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Posts Tagged ‘Russiagate’

Look Ye, Shipmates — He Breaches! | Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on September 18, 2021

Mr. Garland will be left having to explain why the DOJ and the FBI were never self-accountable for the illegal acts of their employees, including Robert Mueller’s fishy special counsel team, which now looks like a cover-up operation, not to mention current and continuing matters such as the DOJ sitting on the laptop of President “Joe Biden’s” son, Hunter, and its bales of incriminating memoranda detailing payoffs to the Biden family from companies run by the CCP. Really, the fate of the Democratic Party is on the line with what might potentially develop if Mr. Durham’s actions go beyond Michael Sussman’s little caper.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/look-ye-shipmates-he-breaches/

James Howard Kunstler

Like the white whale of legend surfacing close to the mainland, special counsel John Durham popped up this week with one Michael Sussmann in his jaws, a smallish fish among the squamous and tentacled monsters hiding in the depths of the Deep State below the raging political seas. Who he, anyway?

Among the now well-known cast of creatures involved in the panoramic episode of perfidious sedition known as RussiaGate, Mr. Sussmann was a bit-player, an errand boy for the Perkins Coie law firm that did much of Hillary Clinton’s dirty work in the 2016 campaign and for the Democratic Party beyond. Mr. Sussmann is charged with lying to the FBI in conveying campaign dirt paid-for by Mrs. Clinton to the FBI’s general counsel, James Baker, Mr. Sussmann’s old colleague from the days when he worked as a cyber-security expert at the bureau. He also peddled-around the same material, cooked up by Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS company and man-of-mystery Christopher Steele, to The New York Times and other news media, who ran with it like kids with a kite.

I have a theory about the case. It is a shot across the bow of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s ship, testing whether main DOJ will attempt to interfere with Mr. Durham’s mission to uncover the predicates of RussiaGate and the vast web of dishonest and illegal acts carried out subsequently by figures in the FBI, the DOJ, and other dark corners of a government gone rogue against its own citizens. Mr. Baker has long been suspected of acting as a cooperating witness in the RussiaGate matter, perhaps realizing early-on that he’d been played by old pal Mr. Sussmann and set up for prosecution.

The problem for Merrick Garland is that Mr. Sussmann’s activities amounted to a mere preface for the graver development of the Crossfire Hurricane operation, which involved a shoal of much-bigger fish across several agencies including Directors John Brennan of the CIA and James Comey of the FBI and many others. The Sussmann indictment also provides a window into the FISA Court fakery that federal law enforcement used to go after people connected to candidate and then President Donald Trump.

Mr. Garland will be left having to explain why the DOJ and the FBI were never self-accountable for the illegal acts of their employees, including Robert Mueller’s fishy special counsel team, which now looks like a cover-up operation, not to mention current and continuing matters such as the DOJ sitting on the laptop of President “Joe Biden’s” son, Hunter, and its bales of incriminating memoranda detailing payoffs to the Biden family from companies run by the CCP. Really, the fate of the Democratic Party is on the line with what might potentially develop if Mr. Durham’s actions go beyond Michael Sussman’s little caper.

The overwhelming body of opinion for more than a year is that John Durham is a phantom doing next-to-nothing about the greatest political scandal in US history. If his efforts end with Mr. Sussmann, he will disgrace himself, of course, and that’s a possibility. But I would venture to suppose that it won’t end there. The insult to the nation of all the epic dishonesty is too grave, even potentially fatal — since it has enabled a depraved skein of additional seditious activities afterward, including the 2020 election subterfuge, the lawlessness of BLM and Antifa, the psychotic race-and-gender “Woke” mind-fuckery infecting the US military, the ongoing invasion across the US-Mexican border, all the coercion around Covid-19, especially “mandated” shots of a dangerous so-called “vaccine,” and the destruction of small business from sea to shining sea. All of that has left the American public demoralized and economically savaged, and with the country’s standing in the world dangerously reduced.

I hope you are ready for a month of shocks to the system. The deceit of the CDC and the FDA in gaming and cooking their Covid-19 data is now emerging from the fog of pandemic hysteria. I will also dare to conjecture that the number of recent and current Covid-19 “cases” turns out to be actually and overwhelmingly adverse reactions to the mRNA experiment, not the disease itself, and that holy hell will erupt among the public as it becomes understood that their livelihoods — and their health — are being stolen as part of this fraud. A week from today, the Arizona election audit results are now scheduled to be released. Expect trauma. Tomorrow, a demonstration in support of the 1/6 political prisoners is on-board for Washington, DC. The potential for Deep State manipulation of the event is high, so stay away from it. There are enough other forces in motion now to throw a spanner in the engine of malice our government has become. Let Karma do its thing and hold on tight for a rough ride.

Be seeing you

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An Ugly War Among Leftist YouTubers Shows Two Common, Toxic Pathologies Plaguing U.S. Politics – by Glenn Greenwald

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2021

Baselessly accusing people of being Russian agents and weaponizing accusations of sexual misconduct are reputation-destroying cancers at the heart of liberal discourse.

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/an-ugly-war-among-leftist-youtubers

An incredibly vicious and protracted war is being waged, seemingly with no end in sight, among numerous prominent liberal and left-wing commentators who work primarily on YouTube. The conflict erupted on May 26 when Cenk Uygur — the founder and long-time host of The Young Turks, the largest liberal-left YouTube platform — baselessly and falsely accused independent journalist Aaron Maté of being “paid by the Russians,” while his co-host, Ana Kasparian, spouted innuendo that Maté was “working for” unnamed dictators.

Maté is one of the very few left-wing journalists who reported skeptically on Russiagate and who questioned the U.S. Government’s narrative about the civil war in Syria, including by traveling to war-torn parts of that country to do so. He won the 2019 Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award for his work debunking Russiagate. Yet with a one-minute rant from their insulated studio, Uygur baselessly branded Maté as someone who is “paid by the Russians” while Kasparian asserted that he “seemed” to be working for Assad and other dictators — a potentially reputation-destroying smear for a journalist and one that can be quite dangerous for a reporter who, like Maté, works on the ground in war zones.

The conflict engendered by those grotesque fabrications escalated significantly when Kasparian sent a private Twitter message to one of Maté’s defenders, Jimmy Dore, in which she threatened to accuse Dore of #MeToo-type sexual harassment from when they worked together seven years earlier. Kasparian made clear that her intent to publicly vilify Dore as a sexual harasser would serve as punishment for his criticisms of The Young Turks. Dore then revealed Kasparian’s threat on his program, and days later, Kasparian made good on her threat by accusing Dore of sexual harassment back in 2014.

Twitter Direct Message from The Young Turks’ Ana Kasparian to Jimmy Dore, Apr. 14, 2016 and June 11, 2021.

While I used my social media platforms to denounce the false accusations voiced by Uygur and Kasparian against Maté, none of this would merit an article or stand-alone commentary if not for the fact that the two weapons they chose — false accusations that someone is a paid Russian agent and exploited sexual harassment accusations — have become extremely commonplace in Democratic Party politics, liberal circles and U.S. politics more broadly. It is long past time — way past time — that these tactics be rejected and scorned by everyone regardless of ideology or personality preferences.

I decided to analyze and dissect this conflict not in order to narrate everything that happened here or to arbitrate who is right and wrong with respect to every disagreement these parties are having. Instead, it is worth examining because the way this nasty exchange unfolded provides such a vivid and illuminating case study of two metastasizing cancers at the heart of liberal discourse. Both of these weapons are ethically repugnant and corrupt — obviously so — yet somehow have become as common and accepted among Democratic Party followers as they are toxic and reprehensible.

From Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean to Rachel Maddow and countless other liberal cable hosts, casually and falsely smearing people as paid Russian agents is now completely normalized behavior in liberal culture. And the list of people whose reputations have been destroyed from evidence-free and cynically deployed sexual harassment allegations or other vague accusations of sexual misconduct is too long to comprehensively chronicle. I examine these two issues in the format of video, which can be watched on the player below, because that is where so much of it has played out and because it seemed that is how the severity and magnitude of these abuses could be most effectively conveyed:https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/WoXZP4m-Af8?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=0

An incredibly vicious and protracted war is being waged, seemingly with no end in sight, among numerous prominent liberal and left-wing commentators who work primarily on YouTube. The conflict erupted on May 26 when Cenk Uygur — the founder and long-time host of The Young Turks, the largest liberal-left YouTube platform — baselessly and falsely accused independent journalist Aaron Maté of being “paid by the Russians,” while his co-host, Ana Kasparian, spouted innuendo that Maté was “working for” unnamed dictators.

Maté is one of the very few left-wing journalists who reported skeptically on Russiagate and who questioned the U.S. Government’s narrative about the civil war in Syria, including by traveling to war-torn parts of that country to do so. He won the 2019 Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award for his work debunking Russiagate. Yet with a one-minute rant from their insulated studio, Uygur baselessly branded Maté as someone who is “paid by the Russians” while Kasparian asserted that he “seemed” to be working for Assad and other dictators — a potentially reputation-destroying smear for a journalist and one that can be quite dangerous for a reporter who, like Maté, works on the ground in war zones.

The conflict engendered by those grotesque fabrications escalated significantly when Kasparian sent a private Twitter message to one of Maté’s defenders, Jimmy Dore, in which she threatened to accuse Dore of #MeToo-type sexual harassment from when they worked together seven years earlier. Kasparian made clear that her intent to publicly vilify Dore as a sexual harasser would serve as punishment for his criticisms of The Young Turks. Dore then revealed Kasparian’s threat on his program, and days later, Kasparian made good on her threat by accusing Dore of sexual harassment back in 2014.

Twitter Direct Message from The Young Turks’ Ana Kasparian to Jimmy Dore, Apr. 14, 2016 and June 11, 2021.

While I used my social media platforms to denounce the false accusations voiced by Uygur and Kasparian against Maté, none of this would merit an article or stand-alone commentary if not for the fact that the two weapons they chose — false accusations that someone is a paid Russian agent and exploited sexual harassment accusations — have become extremely commonplace in Democratic Party politics, liberal circles and U.S. politics more broadly. It is long past time — way past time — that these tactics be rejected and scorned by everyone regardless of ideology or personality preferences.

I decided to analyze and dissect this conflict not in order to narrate everything that happened here or to arbitrate who is right and wrong with respect to every disagreement these parties are having. Instead, it is worth examining because the way this nasty exchange unfolded provides such a vivid and illuminating case study of two metastasizing cancers at the heart of liberal discourse. Both of these weapons are ethically repugnant and corrupt — obviously so — yet somehow have become as common and accepted among Democratic Party followers as they are toxic and reprehensible.

From Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean to Rachel Maddow and countless other liberal cable hosts, casually and falsely smearing people as paid Russian agents is now completely normalized behavior in liberal culture. And the list of people whose reputations have been destroyed from evidence-free and cynically deployed sexual harassment allegations or other vague accusations of sexual misconduct is too long to comprehensively chronicle. I examine these two issues in the format of video, which can be watched on the player below, because that is where so much of it has played out and because it seemed that is how the severity and magnitude of these abuses could be most effectively conveyed.

Be seeing you


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Lord Malloch Brown Revealed: The British Hand Behind the Coup Shows Its Scales Again — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on November 18, 2020

Describing Talbott, Malloch Brown recently wrote: “Strobe Talbott, is a very old friend of mine and in some ways a similar sort of practitioner and theoretician of globalisation… As such he really understood the hidden back-story of modern politics, which always gets shoved out of view by the more familiar story of nation-states.”

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/11/17/lord-malloch-brown-revealed-the-british-hand-behind-coup-shows-its-scales-again/

Matthew Ehret

Throughout the four-year drama of Russiagate, the hand of British intelligence has revealed itself continuously.

From the obvious role of Sir Richard Dearlove and his former MI6 underlying Christopher Steele who together played a driving role in shaping the dodgy dossier, to their involvement with Oxford Rhodes Scholar Strobe Talbott in composing, promoting and marketing the fraudulent dossier to targeted members of Congress and media, to British Ambassador Sir Darroch caught “flooding the zone” with British intelligence assets to shape Trump’s perception of the world, to the array of British entrapment operations that targeted Michael Flynn as early as 2014 in London… wherever one looks, the hand of British intelligence seems to be everywhere.

While vast effort is made to downplay the British roots of the deep state by the media which tends to portray this problem from a partisan narrative of “democratic party corruption”, this sleight of hand misses the causal nexus and demands we believe that the tail truly wags the dog.

The uncomfortable truth which many are either too afraid, lazy or corrupt to admit is that since the moment John F Kennedy died on November 22, 1963, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have undergone an slow take-over by this foreign parasite. The thing that has come to be known as the “deep state” was never based on one party or another, and never emanated from anything native to the Constitutional traditions of the US government itself as I outlined in my previous article “Understanding the Trifold Nature of the Deep State”.

While the Republican party of George Bush was in power, this deep state had used its controls of computerized vote counting to rig elections in 2000 and 2004 in its favor as showcased brilliantly in the 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy. Later, when it was time for a controlled opposition to take power in 2008, it did the same thing under a different cast of characters.

While one side of the unipolar world government agenda was driven by a view that the USA should forever be the primary global police force governing a zero sum system of perpetual war, with an unelected elite managing the system from above, the other side believed that the USA should surrender its claims to sovereignty to an international global body with unelected technocrats and financiers at the top managing the zero sum system of perpetual war from above.

Notice the common denominator?

Election Theft as Russiagate 5.0

Now that it has become increasingly clear that mass election fraud has swept across the USA in an effort to accomplish what four years of Russiagate failed to achieve, yet another light has fallen upon the British hand behind Biden which aims to dissolve any nationalist spirit remaining in the embattled republic.

As I outlined in my last report, the largest private computer voting system in the USA which services 30 states and 70 million voters was shown to be at the heart of the current election theft. In that article, it was made clear that Dominion Voting Systems is a Canadian company which dominates the USA’s private computerized voting systems and is closely tied to another larger company called Smartmatic.

For those still out of the loop, Smartmatic furnishes voting machines and its software (backdoor codes and all) to governments all around the world and is highly enmeshed with the Clinton Foundation, Soros’ Open Society and Nancy Pelosi’s very own Chief of Staff.

Not only that, but the key figure controlling Smartmatic is none other than Lord Mark Malloch Brown, a former vice chairman of George Soros’ Investment Funds (2007), as well as Soros’ Open Society Institute and World Economic Forum, former Vice President at the World Bank (1995-1999), UN Administrator for Development (1999-2005), UN Deputy Secretary General and UK Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the UN (2007-2009). These are just a few hats he has worn in recent years which we will explore in greater detail.

Lord Malloch Brown: Not Your Typical British Agent

Through his lifelong affiliation with Soros, Lord Malloch Brown (Knight of the Order of St George and St Michael) played the role of color revolutionary godfather and key controller of such “technocrat friendly puppet leaders” as Corazon Aquino as well as her son Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines, Georgia’s George Saakashvili and even the hapless talking ego Barack Obama.

After working through an extended “apprenticeship” under the cover of UN aid worker, and marauding journalist for the London Economist, Malloch Brown found himself working for a Washington consulting firm named Sawyer Miller in 1985. It was at this time Malloch Brown was deployed to become the advisor and speech writer to Philippine opposition leader Corazon (Cory) Aquino under the supervision of then Secretary of State George Shultz. Corazon was a darling of the western establishment but had the nearly impossible task of challenging the popular nationalist President Ferdinand Marcos who had steered his country into economic sovereignty in opposition to international financiers for since his inauguration in 1965.

Applying all of the arts of perception management and marketing, Malloch Brown took control of Aquino’s campaign transforming it into the “People Power Revolution” that was in many ways the first successful color revolution of our modern times. Knowing that votes would likely favor the incumbent Markos, Malloch Brown wrote that he drafted Aquino’s victory speech before the elections and had her deliver it before votes were even finalized- and which accomplices in the media were all too happy to project publicly fueling the mythology that Corazon had won.

Describing these events years later, Malloch Brown said: “An outstanding accomplishment during the Cory campaign was to produce an exit poll that indicated that she had won. It landed on the front page of the Inquirer and had a profound impact as it planted the idea that Aquino had won over Marcos… Marcos did not really recover after that. It was a very exciting experience to watch.”

Malloch Brown failed to mention that the “polling station results” which produced the false perception that Corazon had won were manipulated by George Shultz’s local agents survey firms Social Weather Station, and Pulse Asia which have never been held accountable for their role in the anti-Marcos coup.

Shock Therapy

Soon after this “accomplishment”, Malloch Brown began working closely with George Soros on a number of projects that radically altered the world during the intense period of transition from a bi-polar to unipolar age.

In 1993, Soros had only recently carried out a speculative attack on the British pound sterling which resulted in $1 billion profit to the Hungarian speculator while providing the UK with a convenient excuse to avoid walking into the Euro trap which it had set for other European targets entering into the “post-nation state epoch”. In 1994, Soros announced a $50 million grant for “democracy building” operations in Macedonia and Bosnia which Malloch Brown was hired to administer as part of the Shatalin Shock therapy agenda.

From 1993-1994, Malloch Brown was part of the Soros Advisory Committee on Bosnia where advanced the Balkanization projects of the 1990s. In 1998, Malloch Brown also co-founded Soros’s International Criminal Court (ICC) after the duo had created the International Crisis Group (ICG) in 1994. These institutions served to 1) shape “international perception” of the causes and solutions to “crises”, real or fabricated and 2) advocate solutions that removed sovereignty in military and judicial affairs from sovereign nation states where they had been enshrined in the UN Charter, Nuremburg laws and UN Declaration of Human Rights, to supranational unelected organizations under the control of “experts”.

As Vice President of the World Bank from 1995-1999 he took credit for transforming its image to a more democratic organization, and from 1999-2005 led in the creation of the Millennium Development Goals which increasingly tied UN funding to George Soros’ Open Society operations internationally (during his time in New York, Malloch Brown lived on an estate owned by Soros).

R2P and More Color Revolution

During this period, Malloch Brown was among the earliest advocates of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and did more than anyone else to incorporate the doctrine into United Nations “post-Westphalian” governance outlook in 2005 as UN Deputy Secretary General (2005-2006).

Demonstrating his imperial outlook on March 2011, the self-proclaimed “pacifist” grew impatient of nations who were reticent to blow up Libya and wrote in the Financial Times: “declare victory and get on with ousting Gadhafi”.

As co-chair of the International Crisis Group (which was born of seed money from Soros and on whose board of trustees sit Larry Summers, Joe Biden’s advisor Jake Sullivan and both George and Alexander Soros) Malloch Brown supported the narco-terrorist linked Kosovo Liberation Army which was also propped up by both the CIA and NATO during the Bosnia crisis coordinating closely with his Rhodes Scholar colleague Strobe Talbott who referred to Soros in 1995 as “a national resource—indeed, a national treasure.”

Describing Talbott, Malloch Brown recently wrote: “Strobe Talbott, is a very old friend of mine and in some ways a similar sort of practitioner and theoretician of globalisation… As such he really understood the hidden back-story of modern politics, which always gets shoved out of view by the more familiar story of nation-states.”

After bankrolling Georgia’s Rose Revolution in 2003 that put Soros’ Saakashvili in power, the Georgian state was rendered ungovernable due to a mix of vast incompetence and corruption. Here, Soros and Malloch Brown again came to the rescue by organizing a January 2004 event in New York that garnered $1.5 million for Georgian government reform programs (75% from Soros’ Open Society and 25% from the UN Development Program headed by Brown). The UNDP report justified the expense that was to pay Saakashvili’s salary as well as top government officials, and security forces when it said: “Georgia lacked the skilled professionals needed to design and execute sweeping reforms”.

The fact that these actions led to the murder of 1,600 in South Ossetia (mostly Russians) in 2008 and nearly triggered WWIII should not be forgotten, nor should Saakashvili’s nefarious role as Governor of Odessa (2015-16) where the convicted felon protected neo Nazis of the Azov Battalion. Similarly, the strange rise in popularity of Saakashvili underway in Georgia should make anyone with half a brain more than a little concerned.

Handler of Team Obama

On February 24, 2008, Samantha Power, husband to Harvard behaviorist Cass Sunstein and soon-to-be Ambassador to the UN under Obama gave an interview to the London Times describing the Malloch Brown-Obama connection in glaring detail. In this interview, Power said: “The principal conduit between Britain and the Candidate [Obama] has been Lord Malloch Brown, the Junior Foreign Minister, whom Obama came to admire when he [Malloch Brown] was Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Obama was really taken with him. It’s a relationship that has persisted and they have talked a number of times since.”

Indeed, Obama’s political career, like Saakashvili’s and Aquino’s, was always a creation of higher powers with Soros even providing the first $60,000 for Obama’s 2004 Senate run and then organizing the earliest fundraising parties for Obama’s Presidential run in 2007.

Samantha Power herself attributed her career to Soros and Lord Brown saying in 2004: “My book and my research was utterly unsustainable on the free market. If I hadn’t been able to get a grant from George Soros and the Open Society Institute, there is no way I could have done the kind of investigative reporting I needed to do”.

The Case of Cass Sunstein

While Power spent her time in the UN fighting viciously to push a pre-emptive P2P humanitarian regime change on Libya and later Syria, her husband Cass Sunstein worked as an advisor to Obama from 2009-2012 and authored a paper addressing the dangerous rise of “conspiracy theories” which threaten his idea of good government. Sunstein wrote “the existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks” and recommended “a series of possible responses” which include cognitive infiltration of conspiracy groups by government agents.

Additionally five options are developed by Sunstein:

“(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counter speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help”

On August 24, 2020 Sunstein was tapped to chair the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group mandated with modifying global behaviour in compliance with the new norms of the pandemic world order. The WHO chief stated “In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are using a range of tools to influence behavior: Information campaigns are one tool, but so are laws, regulations, guidelines and even fines…That’s why behavioral science is so important.”

Lord Brown in the Obama Era

In 2007, Malloch Brown left the UN to head up Soros’ Quantum Hedge Fund- a lucrative post which he soon left to join the British Foreign Office as Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the UN from 2007-2009.

After leaving his position in the UK government in 2009, Lord Malloch Brown went on to consult oil companies and steer his International Crisis Group. By this time, the ICG had a near monopoly on drafting anonymously published reports of international crisis hotspots priding itself on maintaining armies of “on the ground” specialists who could profile all disputing parties and release their assessments on the international market. These reports have been used by governments, NGOs, corporations, and international bodies like the UN and have played a major role in shaping global policy and perceptions of the causes and remedies to conflict…

See the rest here

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CDC To America: ‘Cancel Traditional Thanksgiving!’

Posted by M. C. on October 5, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control have released a “helpful” set of guidelines for upcoming holidays. Celebrating Halloween or Thanksgiving as we did in the “old normal” is out of the question. Consider a “virtual” Thanksgiving, they recommend. Also today, CNN tells us there is NO RETURN to normal, and if you want to return you may be mentally ill. Also – Why is CIA Director Haspel blocking declassification of documents critical to understanding “Russiagate”? Also, as discussed on today’s program, get your copy of Dr. Paul’s BRAND NEW mini-book, “The End of Unearned Opulence” with a $50 donation to the Ron Paul Institute. For a $100 donation, Dr. Paul will hand-sign it. This is a LIMITED TIME offer!

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The Idiotic Claim That Other Nations Are “Disrupting The Public Conversation” On US Politics | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on October 4, 2020

The idea that any of this could have any effect worth mentioning on the gibbering vortex of irrational vitriol that is American political discourse makes no sense whatsoever, and again Twitter itself admits that it “did not make an impact on the public conversation”. Twitter’s response is a melodramatic swinging at shadows which did nothing but help manufacture the US State Department-friendly narrative that Iran is working to interfere in American democracy.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/idiotic-claim-other-nations-are-disrupting-public-conversation-us-politics

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Twitter claims that it has suspended 130 Iranian accounts for “attempting to disrupt the public conversation” during the US presidential debate.

“Based on intel provided by the FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran,” a thread by the Twitter Safety account reads. “They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate. We identified these accounts quickly, removed them from Twitter, and shared full details with our peers, as standard. They had very low engagement and did not make an impact on the public conversation. Our capacity and speed continue to grow, and we’ll remain vigilant.”

Based on intel provided by the @FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate. — Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 1, 2020

This evidence-free claim aligns with the narrative popularized by the Russiagate conspiracy theory that foreign governments seek to “sow discord” in the United States by amplifying controversial political opinions from both sides of mainstream US discourse, and it is idiotic for a number of reasons.

Firstly, anyone who watched America’s trainwreck of a first presidential debate knows the argument that a few social media accounts could make the US political conversation any more polarized, hostile and toxic than mainstream news outlets and elected officials have already made it is like saying a tsunami was exacerbated by someone throwing a thimble full of water in the ocean.

The much-touted Russian social media election interference in 2016 was shown to be a joke, consisting of a few thousand dollars going toward silly memes and posts amplifying both sides of the political conversation, and much of it happening after the election itself. The few sample tweets provided by Twitter in this latest so-called attempt to disrupt the public conversation from Iran are vastly less significant than even that, saying nothing particularly noteworthy and bizarrely appearing to side with Trump.

The idea that any of this could have any effect worth mentioning on the gibbering vortex of irrational vitriol that is American political discourse makes no sense whatsoever, and again Twitter itself admits that it “did not make an impact on the public conversation”. Twitter’s response is a melodramatic swinging at shadows which did nothing but help manufacture the US State Department-friendly narrative that Iran is working to interfere in American democracy.

Iran hawks want to pretend that regime collapse is just one sanction away – yet it is Iran’s civilian population that is the target and would absorb the pain of new, callous US sanctions that have been proposed: https://t.co/zim6HzD37m — Ryan Costello (@RyeCostello) September 29, 2020

Secondly, the entire premise is bogus because other nations have every right to influence US political discourse. The US uses its military and economic might to bully and manipulate the world into compliance with its agendas; this by itself is an outrage, and at the very least people around the world should be allowed to exert influence on the political conversation of people who, unlike themselves, are able to cast votes which influence the US government. Anyone in any nation on earth is well within their sovereign boundaries to influence the political discourse of a nation whose government does not honor the national sovereignty of any other nation.

This is especially true of nations like Iran, because it is no exaggeration to say that US politics affect Iranians more than they affect Americans. The lives of Americans have been impacted by the Trump administration far less than the people of Iran, for example, as more starvation sanctions are being pushed while crucial goods are already skyrocketing in price, sick Iranians are having difficulty obtaining life-saving medicine, and life in general has been getting much more difficult for the poorest and frailest Iranian civilians.

When Trump nearly started a war with Iran earlier this year, Americans worried about the price of oil while Iranians worried about their children getting ripped apart by explosives dropped from the sky. These things are not equal, and it’s not even close.

To claim that Iranians — or even the Iranian government — should not be allowed to exert any influence over how people are talking about the government that did this is absurd. Such a viewpoint only looks acceptable through the American supremacist worldview which sees Americans as better, more worthy, and more important than the people who live in other nations.

“Heshmat Alavi” is itself known to be a fake Twitter account for a fictional persona that has for years been used to influence US political discourse (https://t.co/uhEXXFjXVY), but its influence promotes anti-Iran narratives so @Twitter has no problem with it. https://t.co/bmMibdR3Yz — Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) October 1, 2020

Thirdly, it is not legitimate for monopolistic tech corporations to align themselves with the US government and then censor speech in a way which always benefits that government. These mass social media purges consistently target accounts from nations which have resisted absorption into the US-centralized power alliance, while known troll operations like the fake “Heshmat Alavi” Twitter account from the MEK terror cult are left free to influence US political discourse because its anti-Tehran focus aligns with the US government.

When you’ve got monopolistic tech giants aligning with government agencies like the FBI to implement censorship which aligns with the US government, what you have is government censorship. There is nothing else you could reasonably call it. We learned back in August that Twitter, Facebook, Google and other massively influential platforms are collaborating with the US government to prevent foreign influence in the lead-up to the US election, and there’s no reason to believe this corporate-state relationship will get any less cozy after November third.

In a corporatist system of government, where corporate power is inseparably intertwined with state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. Every horrible thing the US government accuses other nations of doing is something it itself does as a matter of routine. Increasingly authoritarian control over information and communication is just one more example of this.

*  *  *

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How the Pentagon failed to sell Afghan government’s bunk ‘Bountygate’ story to US intelligence agencies  | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on July 11, 2020

The Times reported first on June 28, then again on June 30, that a large amount of cash found at a “Taliban outpost” or a “Taliban site” had led U.S. intelligence to suspect the Russian plot.  But the Times had to walk that claim back, revealing on July 1 that the raid that turned up $500,000 in cash had in fact targeted the Kabul home of Rahmatullah Azizi, an Afghan businessmen said to have been involved in both drug trafficking and contracting for part of the billions of dollars the United States spent on construction projects.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/07/07/pentagon-afghan-bountygate-us-intelligence-agencies/

Another New York Times Russiagate bombshell turns out to be a dud, as dodgy stories spun out by Afghan intelligence and exploited by the Pentagon ultimately failed to convince US intelligence agencies.

By Gareth Porter

The New York Times dropped another Russiagate bombshell on June 26 with a sensational front-page story headlined, “Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says.”  A predictable media and political frenzy followed, reviving the anti-Russian hysteria that has excited the Beltway establishment for the past four years.

But a closer look at the reporting by the Times and other mainstream outlets vying to confirm its coverage reveals another scandal not unlike Russiagate itself: the core elements of the story appear to have been fabricated by Afghan government intelligence to derail a potential US troop withdrawal from the country. And they were leaked to the Times and other outlets by US national security state officials who shared an agenda with their Afghan allies.

In the days following the story’s publication, the maneuvers of the Afghan regime and US national security bureaucracy encountered an unexpected political obstacle: US intelligence agencies began offering a series of low confidence assessments in the Afghan government’s self-interested intelligence claims, judging them to be highly suspect at best, and altogether bogus at worst.

In light of this dramatic development, the Times’ initial report appears to have been the product of a sensationalistic disinformation dump aimed at prolonging the failed Afghan war in the face of President Donald Trump’s plans to withdraw US troops from it.

The Times quietly reveals its own sources’ falsehoods

The Times not only broke the Bountygate story but commissioned squads of reporters comprising nine different correspondents to write eight articles hyping the supposed scandal in the course of eight days. Its coverage displayed the paper’s usual habit of regurgitating bits of dubious information furnished to its correspondents by faceless national security sources. In the days after the Times’ dramatic publication, its correspondent squads were forced to revise the story line to correct an account that ultimately turned out to be false on practically every important point.

The Bountygate saga began on June 26, with a Times report declaring, “The United States concluded months ago” that the Russians “had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year.” The report suggested that US intelligence analysts had reached a firm conclusion on Russian bounties as early as January. A follow-up Times report portrayed the shocking discovery of the lurid Russian plot thanks to the recovery of a large amount of U.S. cash from a “raid on a Taliban outpost.” That article sourced its claim to the interrogations of “captured Afghan militants and criminals.”

However, subsequent reporting revealed that the “US intelligence reports” about a Russian plot to distribute bounties through Afghan middlemen were not generated by US intelligence at all.

The Times reported first on June 28, then again on June 30, that a large amount of cash found at a “Taliban outpost” or a “Taliban site” had led U.S. intelligence to suspect the Russian plot.  But the Times had to walk that claim back, revealing on July 1 that the raid that turned up $500,000 in cash had in fact targeted the Kabul home of Rahmatullah Azizi, an Afghan businessmen said to have been involved in both drug trafficking and contracting for part of the billions of dollars the United States spent on construction projects.

The Times also disclosed that the information provided by “captured militants and criminals” under “interrogation” had been the main source of suspicion of a Russian bounty scheme in Afghanistan. But those “militants and criminals” turned out to be thirteen relatives and business associates of the businessman whose house was raided.

The Times reported that those detainees were arrested and interrogated following the January 2020 raids based on suspicions by Afghan intelligence that they belonged to a “ring of middlemen” operating between the Russian GRU and so-called “Taliban-linked militants,” as Afghan sources made clear.

Furthermore, contrary to the initial report by the Times, those raids had actually been carried out exclusively by the Afghan intelligence service known as the National Directorate of Security (NDS). The Times disclosed this on July 1. Indeed, the interrogation of those detained in the raids was carried out by the NDS, which explains why the Times reporting referred repeatedly to “interrogations” without ever explaining who actually did the questioning.

Given the notorious record of the NDS, it must be assumed that its interrogators used torture or at least the threat of it to obtain accounts from the detainees that would support the Afghan government’s narrative. Both the Toronto Globe and Mail and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) have documented as recently as 2019 the frequent use of torture by the NDS to obtain information from detainees.  The primary objective of the NDS was to establish an air of plausibility around the claim that the fugitive businessman Azizi was the main “middleman” for a purported GRU scheme to offer bounties for killing Americans.

NDS clearly fashioned its story to suit the sensibilities of the U.S. national security state. The narrative echoed previous intelligence reports about Russian bounties in Afghanistan that circulated in early 2019, and which were even discussed at NSC meetings. Nothing was done about these reports, however, because nothing had been confirmed.

The idea that hardcore Taliban fighters needed or wanted foreign money to kill American invaders could have been dismissed on its face. So Afghan officials spun out claims that Russian bounties were paid to incentivize violence by “militants and criminals” supposedly “linked” to the Taliban.

These elements zeroed in on the April 2019 IED attack on a vehicle near the U.S. military base at Bagram in Parwan province that killed three US Marines, insisting that the Taliban had paid local criminal networks in the region to carry out attacks.

As former Parwan police chief Gen. Zaman Mamozai told the Times, Taliban commanders were based in only two of the province’s ten districts, forcing them to depend on a wider network of non-Taliban killers-for-hire to carry out attacks elsewhere in the province. These areas included the region around Bagram, according to the Afghan government’s argument.

But Dr. Thomas H. Johnson of the Naval Postgraduate School, a leading expert on insurgency and counter-insurgency in Afghanistan who has been researching war in the country for three decades,  dismissed the idea that the Taliban would need a criminal network to operate effectively in Parwan.

“The Taliban are all over Parwan,” Johnson stated in an interview with The Grayzone, observing that its fighters had repeatedly carried out attacks on or near the Bagram base throughout the war.

With withdrawal looming, the national security state plays its Bountygate card

Senior U.S. national security officials had clear ulterior motives for embracing the dubious NDS narrative. More than anything, those officials were determined to scuttle Trump’s push for a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan. For Pentagon brass and civilian leadership, the fear of withdrawal became more acute in early 2020 as Trump began to demand an even more rapid timetable for a complete pullout than the 12-14 months being negotiated with the Taliban.

It was little surprise then that this element leapt at the opportunity to exploit the self-interested claims by the Afghan NDS to serve its own agenda, especially as the November election loomed. The Times even cited one “senior [US] official” musing that “the evidence about Russia could have threatened that [Afghanistan] deal, because it suggested that after eighteen year of war, Mr. Trump was letting Russia chase the last American troops out of the country.”

In fact, the intelligence reporting from the CIA Station in Kabul on the NDS Russia bounty claims was included in the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) on or about February 27 — just as the negotiation of the U.S. peace agreement with the Taliban was about to be signed. That was too late to prevent the signing but timed well enough to ratchet up pressure on Trump to back away from his threat to pull all US troops out of Afghanistan.

Trump may have been briefed orally on the issue at the time, but even if he had not been, the presence of a summary description of the intelligence in the PDB could obviously have been used to embarrass him on Afghanistan by leaking it to the media.

According to Ray McGovern, a former CIA official who was responsible for preparing the PDB for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the insertion of raw, unconfirmed intelligence from a self-interested Afghan intelligence agency into the PDB was a departure from normal practice.

Unless it was a two or three-sentence summary of a current intelligence report, McGovern explained, an item in the PDB normally involved only important intelligence that had been confirmed.  Furthermore, according to McGovern, PDB items are normally shorter versions of items prepared the same day as part of the CIA’s “World Intelligence Review” or “WIRe.”

Information about the purported Russian bounty scheme, however, was not part of the WIRe until May 4, well over two months later, according to the Times. That discrepancy added weight to the suggestion that the CIA had political motivations for planting the raw NDS reporting in the PDB before it could be evaluated.

This June, Trump’s National Security Council (NSC) convened a meeting to discuss the intelligence report, officials told the Times. NSC members drew up a range of options in response to the alleged Russian plot, from a diplomatic protest to more forceful responses. Any public indication that US troops in Afghanistan had been targeted by Russian spies would have inevitably threatened Trump’s plan for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

At some point in the weeks that followed, the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency each undertook evaluations of the Afghan intelligence claims. Once the Times began publishing stories about the issue, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe directed the National Intelligence Council, which is responsible for managing all common intelligence community assessments, to write a memorandum summarizing the intelligence organizations’ conclusions.

The memorandum revealed that the intelligence agencies were not impressed with what they’d seen. The CIA and National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) each gave the NDS intelligence an assessment of “moderate confidence,” according to memorandum.

An official guide to intelligence community terminology used by policymakers to determine how much they should rely on assessments indicates that “moderate confidence” generally indicates that “the information being used in the analysis may be interpreted in various ways….” It was hardly a ringing endorsement of the NDS intelligence when the CIA and NCTC arrived at this finding.

The assessment by the National Security Agency was even more important, given that it had obtained intercepts of electronic data on financial transfers “from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account,” according to the Times’ sources.  But the NSA evidently had no idea what the transfers related to, and essentially disavowed the information from the Afghan intelligence agency.

The NIC memorandum reported that NSA gave the information from Afghan intelligence “low confidence” — the lowest of the three possible levels of confidence used in the intelligence community.  According to the official guide to intelligence community terminology, that meant that “information used in the analysis is scant, questionable, fragmented, or that solid analytical conclusions cannot be inferred from the information.”

Other intelligence agencies reportedly assigned “low confidence” to the information as well, according to the memorandum. Even the Defense Intelligence Agency, known for its tendency to issue alarmist warnings about activities by US adversaries, found no evidence in the material linking the Kremlin to any bounty offers.

Less than two weeks after the Times rolled out its supposed bombshell on Russian bounties, relying entirely on national security officials pushing their own bureaucratic interests on Afghanistan, the story was effectively discredited by the intelligence community itself. In a healthy political climate, this would have produced a major setback for the elements determined to keep US troops entrenched in Afghanistan.

But the political hysteria generated by the Times and the hyper-partisan elements triggered by the appearance of another sordid Trump-Putin connection easily overwhelmed the countervailing facts. It was all the Pentagon and its bureaucratic allies needed to push back on plans for a speedy withdrawal from a long and costly war.

Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012.  His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

 

 

 

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The Fourth Estate Has Murdered America – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on July 4, 2020

The claim iitself is so absurd that it indicates the media regard Americans as completely stupid. The US and Taliban have been killing each other since October 2001 when the Cheney/Bush regime illegally attacked Afghanistan. For 19 years the Taliban has known who its enemy is and does not need Russian bribes to kill US occupiers.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/07/01/the-fourth-estate-has-murdered-america/

Paul Craig Roberts

The “news service” of multi-billionaire Bloomberg echoes the New York Times lie that Russia paid the Taliban to kill US occupying troops:

“Lawmakers from both U.S. political parties demanded President Donald Trump hold Russia accountable over allegations it offered cash bounties for the killing of American troops. Trump has denied reports by several major news organizations that he was briefed on the matter; he has not demanded an investigation of the allegations; and he has yet to even threaten Moscow with retaliation should the reporting be confirmed. Trump’s lack of action has reignited concerns that the Republican is more interested in maintaining cordial relations with Vladimir Putin than defending American interests—including its troops.”

Notice all the innuendos in this dishonest report:  “Trump has denied,” “he has not demanded an investigation,” “he has yet to even threaten moscow,” ‘Trump’s lack of action,” “more interested in cordial relations with putin than defending American troops.”

The claim iitself is so absurd that it indicates the media regard Americans as completely stupid. The US and Taliban have been killing each other since October 2001 when the Cheney/Bush regime illegally attacked Afghanistan. For 19 years the Taliban has known who its enemy is and does not need Russian bribes to kill US occupiers.

To me, it is extraordinary that the New York Times and the proprietor of Bloomberg News are so devoid of integrity that they make up out of thin air false allegations for the sole purpose of convincing Americans that their president is a Russian agent more concerned with getting along with Putin than protecting US soldiers.  This latest lie from NYTimes/Bloomberg is an effort to resurrect the Russiagate hoax.

Here is what happened. Some Democrat or anti-Trump member of the military/security complex planted a lie on the New York Times.  The NY Times knew it was a lie, did not investigate, and quickly published the lie for which the NY Times had no evidence.  Indeed, it is possible that the NY Times simply made up the story itself.

Once the lie is published, the rest of the presstitutes, such as Bloomberg, quickly spread the lie. Democrat and even Republican politicians start agitating for explanations and investigations of why Trump took no action against Russia.

The Department of Defense issues a statement that there is “no corroborating evidence” to support the New York Times’ fake news.  But the Democrats, presstitutes and liberal pundits dismiss the DOD statement as covering up for President Trump.  Once again an obvious lie is being turned into a proven fact.

The New York Times is supposed to be a newspaper, “the paper of record,” and Bloomberg is supposed to be a news service.  But both are propagandists dispensing lies in order to help the American Establishment get rid of Trump who represents the working class.  In American politics, representing the working class is no longer permissible.

The liberals, the progressives, and the left are the actual forces aligned against America.  They are far more dangerous to ordinary Americans than are North Korea, Iran, China, and Russia. They are dangerous to all races that comprise the US Tower of Babel, because they are bringing America down in a spasm of disinformation and hate.

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Guess What — It’s a Hustle – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on June 6, 2020

No, this is a hustle, all right, perhaps the most obvious hustle in US history. It’s the Democratic Party’s last stratagem to get the monster of its own creation, Donald Trump, out of the White House.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/guess-what-its-a-hustle/

James Howard Kinstler

Of course, George Floyd didn’t deserve to die with a cop’s knee on his neck and his face mashed into the pavement, but after yesterday’s first of what will be several funerals for the now revered former armed robber and convict, you’d think he was the second coming (and going) of George Washington. Uh, check that… Washington was a slave-owner and, by definition, a racist. Make that Julius Caesar — based on the way that the Rev. Al Sharpton was bellowing at funeral No.1 Thursday in Minneapolis. Say, what? Julius Caesar owned slaves too? How about Abe Lincoln then? Naw, just another white man? And a secret racist (so they say).

Racist, racist racist! America is racist! Racism is systemic! Racism flows in the hallowed blood of the American system, going back all the way to 1619! All white people are racist. Get down on your bellies and crawl like a snake and beg forgiveness for your natural-born, inalienable racism! Anyway, that’s reality according to The New York Times, America’s premier journal of racism studies.

To prove that America is hopelessly racist, the nation has been treated to, what — ? — seven, or is it now eight nights of looting and burning by young black people acting out every racist stereotype from the Ku Klux Klan official manual of racism. The rest of the news media bent over backwards to avoid deploring the mayhem in the streets, rather, to invert the very looting, burning, and rioting as proof positive that America is racist to the bone. Look what you made us do! Steal sneakers and Rolex watches! Shoot cops, including an old retired black cop (uh, my bad) and run over several more cops with cars! Destroy businesses large and small that have been shut down for three months by corona virus to make sure they won’t ever dare to resume their racist trade in things that white people like!

Has anyone detected a hustle in the past week’s dire proceedings? Well, how would you define a hustle? How about: an attempt to gain advantage by deceitful means. What! Are you saying there was something dishonest about the reaction from sea to shining sea to George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis? I am. For example, the massive protest marches. Who exactly was disputing that the death of George Floyd was a miscarriage of justice? Nobody. Did the cops get away with it? No, they’re all getting indicted for murder or being accessories to a murder by standing around watching it and doing nothing to stop it.

No, this is a hustle, all right, perhaps the most obvious hustle in US history. It’s the Democratic Party’s last stratagem to get the monster of its own creation, Donald Trump, out of the White House. RussiaGate didn’t do it (in fact, it’s backfiring rather horribly now), ImpeachmentGate was a dud. Welcome to GeorgeFloydGate! I know it’s hard to imagine at this moment of maximum televised sanctimony, but this gambit is going to flop, too. A lot of voters have probably noticed that the wholesale looting and burning of US cities is not in the national interest. And that the people who do it don’t deserve special favors.

Of course, this is also a moment of maximum collective acute psychosis in America. The nation is pretty badly shook-up after three months of corona virus lockdown.  Millions watched their careers, incomes, businesses, and futures wash down the drain. Upsetting as the killing of George Floyd was, these losses are monumental in comparison. 99 percent of the people in America are scared shitless about where all this economic damage is taking the nation — even as they watch the stock markets go up and up and up. By the way, the past week of looting, burning, and rioting was especially fruitful for Wall Street. D’ya think that might eventually tick off a few taxpayers who understand that the stock-pumping is being accomplished by the Federal Reserve brokering more national debt in their name?

Joe Biden’s campaign has announced that he will headline the next funeral in George Floyd’s hometown of Houston, the place where Mr. Floyd accomplished the home invasion and aggravated robbery of a woman in 2009 that sent him to state prison for five years. (He was turning his life around in Minneapolis where, ten days ago, he suffered a lapse of judgment while high on fentanyl and passed a counterfeit $20 bill in a corner store, leading to his arrest and unjust death.) I’m counting on Joe Biden to raise America’s awareness about systemic racism at that event — if he can remember where he is and what’s going on.

Also on Thursday this week, the Rev. Al Sharpton announced plans for a march on Washington in August, perhaps just before the Democratic convention in Milwaukee for maximum effect. You may be aware that Joe Biden has obliged himself (sort of) to put a woman-of-color on the ticket for vice-president. Though Stacey Abrams, the real governor of Georgia, seems like the inevitable choice, I have a better idea. Wouldn’t it be perfect to bring back Tawana Brawley for this historic role? She figured so decisively in establishing the Rev. Mr. Sharpton’s cred as leader in the long quest for social justice. She’s all growed-up now and ready to rock! Tawana Brawley, America turns its lonely eyes to you! #Tawana Brawley for veep! Spread the news far and wide!

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Collusion Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Posted by M. C. on May 25, 2020

It is particularly symbolic that in the midst of this imbroglio, the FBI just accidentally revealed the name of another Saudi embassy official complicit in the September 11 attacks, whose identity was long kept hidden by the US government as a “state secret” whose revelation could cause “significant harm to the national security.” Collusion, foreign adversary, national security: in Washington, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

https://jacobinmag.com/2020/05/ignore-trumps-bluster-obamagate-is-a-serious-scandal/

Branko Marcetic

Russiagate looks less like a righteous crusade for truth and justice and more like the typical shenanigans for which the FBI and US security state have long been known: prosecutorial overreach, entrapment, and the criminalization of foreign policy dissent.

 

The crux of Russiagate is that it’s a political scandal masquerading as a criminal one.

The interminable scandal has been back in the news this past week thanks to the Trump Department of Justice’s decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn. Flynn was once briefly Trump’s national security advisor before being fired and then charged with lying to the FBI over a phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. Last Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee finally released fifty-seven transcripts of closed-door interviews it conducted with various key players in the saga over 2017 and 2018, covering Flynn’s call with Kislyak and other matters.

Since the news dropped, every effort has been made to turn Flynn’s absolution into the latest Trump outrage. Barack Obama himself weighed in, charging in a leaked phone call with supporters that “there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” and that the “rule of law is at risk.”

Four years into this chaotic and reactionary presidency, there are more than enough legitimate Trump scandals to go around. But as with many things Russiagate, both the Flynn case and the release of the transcripts reflect far more poorly on the Obama administration, American’s hallowed national security institutions, and the anti-Trump “Resistance.”

Understanding why requires going all the way back to 2016 and the beginnings of the Flynn case. Flynn was a former intelligence official pushed out of the Obama administration over, among other things, his management style. Years later, he became a characteristically weird Trump guy: a heterodox foreign policy thinker who combined occasional opposition to endless war with conspiratorial Islamophobia, and became nationally known for flirting with the “alt-right” and chanting “Lock her up!” at the 2016 RNC.

Flynn’s loyalty to Trump was rewarded that year when he was announced as the president-elect’s national security advisor. At the same time, Flynn had, like many in Trump’s orbit, been investigated by the FBI over whether he was a Kremlin agent, and only further raised hackles after it was leaked that he had spoken to Kislyak the same day that Obama ordered sanctions and expelled thirty-five Russian embassy officials as retaliation for Russia’s interference in that year’s election.

Flynn was, at first, pushed out by Trump when it turned out he had caused Vice President Mike Pence to unwittingly lie about the contact. He was then later charged by Robert Mueller and his team in the course of the “collusion” probe with lying to the FBI (not, as Obama claimed, perjury), which at the time was cause for much speculation: it was the umpteenth “beginning of the end” of Trump’s presidency but ultimately produced no new revelations about a Trump-Russia conspiracy. Now, he’s been allowed to skip a maximum of five years in jail and walk away “scot-free,” as Obama put it.

But through it all and since, details have trickled out that have made the entire saga far less clear-cut than those most invested in the “collusion” narrative would have the public believe. For one, despite all the innuendo around Flynn’s Russian contacts and his sitting next to Putin at a dinner, investigators found nothing unseemly when looking into Flynn and had all but closedtheir investigation into him when the news about the Kislyak call broke.

Secondly, the charge Flynn was ultimately slapped with, lying to the FBI, now looks more like a case of entrapment. Recently released notes written by Bill Priestep, former FBI counterintelligence director, prior to interviewing Flynn about the Kislyak call suggest the Bureau was looking at the option to “get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.” In the notes, Priestep wrote that “I believe we should rethink this,” that simply showing Flynn evidence so he could admit wrongdoing wasn’t “going easy on him” and was routine FBI practice, and that “if we’re seen as playing games, WH [White House] will be furious,” so they should “protect our institution by not playing games.”

What’s more, contemporaneous notes show that the investigators themselves weren’t sure Flynn had intentionally lied to them, and that Comey himself had said so in a March 2017 briefing, before claiming he had never said anything of the sort after being fired by Trump.

There were further improprieties in the investigation. Flynn has claimed, with some evidence, that the FBI pressured him to sit down for the interview without a lawyer. Additionally, two years ago, Comey himself admitted that he had violated protocol by sending investigators to interview Flynn without going through the White House counsel, calling it “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in … a more organized administration.”

Things get worse when one goes through the Mueller team’s interview notes for then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates and Mary McCord,

Read the rest of this entry »

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Chinagate is the New Russiagate | Liberty Blitzkrieg

Posted by M. C. on May 4, 2020

When the premier empire on the planet starts blaming external enemies for its internal problems, you know it’s almost always an excuse to let your own elites off the hook and further erode civil liberties. While it appears the novel coronavirus covid-19 did in fact come from China, and China tried to discourage other countries from taking decisive action in the early days, our internal political actors blaming China for their own lack of preparation and timely reaction is patently ridiculous.

Chinagate is far more dangerous than Russiagate because very serious fundamental problems within the U.S.-China economic relationship do exist. I don’t deny this, and I’m in favor of actual policies that would incentivize the American people to become producers and builders as opposed to castrated debt zombies.

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2020/04/27/chinagate-is-the-new-russiagate/

Michael Krieger

I’ve become convinced the next major event that’ll be used to further centralize power and escalate domestic authoritarianism will center around U.S.-China tensions. We haven’t witnessed this “event” yet, but there’s a good chance it’ll occur within the next year or two. Currently, the front runner appears to be a major aggressive move by China into Hong Kong, but it could be anything really. Taiwan, the South China Sea, currency, economic or cyber warfare; the flash points are numerous and growing by the day. Something is going to snap and when it does we better be prepared to not act like mindless imbeciles for the fourth time this century.

When that day arrives, and it’s likely not too far off, certain factions will try to sell you on the monstrous idea that we must become more like China to defeat China. We’ll be told we need more centralization, more authoritarianism, and less freedom and civil liberties or China will win. Such talk is nonsense and the wise way to respond is to reject the worst aspects of the Chinese system and head the other way.

– From my 2019 piece: Two Paths Forward with China – The Good and The Bad

As the clownish farce that is Russiagate slinks back into the psyop dumpster from which it emerged, an even more destructive narrative has metastasized following the U.S. government’s incompetent response to covid-19.

It was clear to me from the start that Russiagate was a nonsensical narrative wildly embraced by a variety of powerful people in the wake of Trump’s election merely to serve their own ends. For establishment Democrats, it was a way to pretend Hillary Clinton didn’t actually lose because she was a wretched status quo candidate with a destructive track record, but she lost due to “foreign meddling.” This allowed those involved in her campaign to deflect blame, but it also short-circuited any discussion of the merits of populism and widespread voter dissatisfaction (within both parties) percolating throughout the land. It was a fairytale invented by people intentionally putting their heads in the sand in order to avoid confrontation with political reality and to keep their cushy gravy-train of entrenched corruption going.

Russiagate was likewise embraced by the national security state (imperial apparatus) for similar reasons. Like establishment Democrats, the national security state also wanted to prevent the narrative that the status quo was rejected in the 2016 election from spreading. It was incentivized to pretend Hillary’s loss was the result of gullible Americans being duped by crafty Russians in order to manufacture the idea that U.S. society was healthy and normal if not for some external enemy.

Another primary driver for the national security state was to punish Russia for acting like a sovereign state as opposed to a colony of U.S. empire in recent years. Russia has been an increasingly serious thorn in the side of unipolarism advocates over the past decade by performing acts such as buying gold, providing safe harbor for Edward Snowden, and thwarting the dreams of regime change in Syria. Such acts could not go unpunished.

So Russiagate served its purpose. It wasted our time for much of Trump’s first term and it helped prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the Democratic nomination. Now we get Chinagate.

When the premier empire on the planet starts blaming external enemies for its internal problems, you know it’s almost always an excuse to let your own elites off the hook and further erode civil liberties. While it appears the novel coronavirus covid-19 did in fact come from China, and China tried to discourage other countries from taking decisive action in the early days, our internal political actors blaming China for their own lack of preparation and timely reaction is patently ridiculous.

If Stacy and myself were able to see the situation clearly and respond early, why couldn’t our government? This isn’t rocket science. The Chinese were acting as if the world had ended in cities across the country and we’re supposed to believe U.S. leaders simply listened to what the CCP was saying as opposed to what they were doing? How does that make any sense?

It makes even less sense considering the Trump administration has been in an explicit cold war with China for almost two years. This concept that the American national security state just took China’s word for what was going on in the early days is preposterous. So what’s going on here? Similar to Russiagate, the increased focus on directing our ten minutes of hate at the Chinese provides cover for the elites, but Chinagate is far more dangerous because the narrative will prove far more convincing for many Americans.

Although Russiagate was rapidly embraced by people with severe Trump Derangement Syndrome, most people just didn’t buy into it or care. Only the most dimwitted amongst us actually believed the Russians were responsible for our major problems at home, but when it comes to China the argument can be far more persuasive because many aspects of the economic relationship between the U.S. and China are in fact problematic. Specifically, the U.S. transformed itself from a nation of producers and builders into a nation of debt-driven consumption slaves over the past five decades. While China played a key role in this process, it wasn’t the driver.

Did China force the U.S. to abandon gold convertibility in 1971, thus beginning the transition from an industrial empire into a financial one? Did China convince us to repeal Glass-Steagall, or lie about WMD in Iraq? Did China put a gun to our manufacturing executives’ heads and force them to offshore manufacturing, or did the executives do that with greed filled eyes while earning billions upon billions from labor arbitrage? China may have directly benefited from five decades of avarice-driven policy crimes committed by American “elites,” but they didn’t cause them. They are entirely homegrown.

Chinagate is far more dangerous than Russiagate because very serious fundamental problems within the U.S.-China economic relationship do exist. I don’t deny this, and I’m in favor of actual policies that would incentivize the American people to become producers and builders as opposed to castrated debt zombies. The problem is many of the people ratcheting up the volume on the evils of China (I don’t deny the abundance of evil) aren’t interested in bringing liberty and production back to America. Rather, they’re trying to take away more of your freedoms, economically and politically.

The same people who’ve been in charge of the country for the entire 21st century remain in charge. Presidential politics is pure theater in an empire. Think about it, the same people who brought you endless war, the surveillance panopticon and perpetual Wall Street crime and bailouts are supposed to take on China? The same China that made so many of them fabulously wealthy? Give me a fucking break.

The elitist agenda isn’t to use anger at China to bring freedom and production to our shores, but to use heightened emotional fear to tighten their domestic power grip. The idea is to use Chinese authoritarianism as a model for the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects are already coming out of their snake holes to advocate for exactly that. We saw this a few days ago when Harvard Law Professor and former George W. Bush administration lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, explicitly called for Chinese-like censorship of speech on the internet.

In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.

By all means advocate for a reshuffling of the relationship between the U.S. and China that will lead to more freedom, resilience and economic vitality at home and I’ll support it, but don’t tell me we need to become China in order to defeat China. If we’re dumb enough to fall for that, we’ll get exactly what we deserve. Good and hard.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

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