MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Ukrainegate’

At Stake – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2020

I have a theory about the McCabe case: The Attorney General has taken the rinky-dink “lying to the FBI” charge off the table. It has become a liability, virtually the emblem for government misconduct, and Mr. Barr is getting rid of it in these matters. It has already caused too much mischief, insulted Americans’ sense of justice, and damaged the DOJ’s standing.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/at-stake/

James Howard Kunstler

A miasma of consternation lay heavy across the Potomac swamp late last week when former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe was let off the hook for lying to his own bureau while, elsewhere across DC, the distinguished Lt. General Flynn was still fighting for his life against exactly the same charge after three years of dilatory maneuvers by the DOJ to conceal their prosecutorial malfeasance in the case… and then the sketchy Roger Stone matter entered a twilight zone of jiggery-pokery that appeared to climax in a staged ruse by his four prosecutors to lure the Attorney General, Mr. Barr, into a trap.

You are forgiven for failing to follow all the twists and turns in this latest installment of what might now be called CoupGate, a summation of the seditious campaign to overthrow the president, which already has gone through so many gates — SpyGate, RussiaGate, MuellerGate, UkraineGate, WhistleblowerGate — that Mr. Trump looks like he’s spent three years training for the giant slalom in the next winter Olympics. A localized Civil War is underway in the Department of Justice now. Mr. Barr is in the middle, getting it from both sides.

The AG has apparently partitioned the DOJ into two separate realms: the now-identified corps of coupsters working desperately to keep their asses covered in an unraveling conspiracy, and Mr. Barr’s group attempting to account fairly for all that has happened, while salvaging what’s left of the outfit’s institutional legitimacy. Too much documented evidence of crime is out there in the public domain to dismiss these activities as a “conspiracy theory.” The trouble is, so many were involved from so many branches and agencies, that fully prosecuting every angle of it could bring down the permanent bureaucracy like the Jenga tower it has become.

The decision to let Mr. McCabe skate on the lying rap infuriated those demanding accountability for government lawyers-gone-wild, since even the DOJ Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz, cited serial instances of his “lacking candor” in more than one report, and “Andy” seems to have been a pivot-man for the FBI in the early-and-middle phases of the coup — along with his DOJ counterpart, former Deputy Attorney General Rod (“I’ll wear a wire”) Rosenstein.

I have a theory about the McCabe case: The Attorney General has taken the rinky-dink “lying to the FBI” charge off the table. It has become a liability, virtually the emblem for government misconduct, and Mr. Barr is getting rid of it in these matters. It has already caused too much mischief, insulted Americans’ sense of justice, and damaged the DOJ’s standing. Note, Andrew McCabe has been let off only on this charge, stemming from only one particular IG referral; he may well yet be liable for more serious charges-to-come. From here on, there will be no more rinky-dink lying charges against any of those implicated in the coup, only the most serious charges, and only those that add up to a solid case.

The coup has been so broad, deep, and thick that I predict cases will have to be brought under the RICO statutes in batches for different groups in separate agencies and branches of government. For instance, there is the Intel Mob, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intel (DNI) James Clapper, current Intel IG Michael Atkinson, so-called whistleblower (he that cannot be named, E*** C**********) and International Man of Mystery Joseph Mifsud. There is the gang from the State Department who helped engineer UkraineGate, including former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, former Sec’y of State John Kerry, and others. There is that big herd of rogue lawyers in the DOJ and its stepchild, the FBI, the names widely disseminated by now, Comey, Strzok, Baker, Boente, Carlin, Clinesmith, et al. There’s Robert Mueller and his henchpersons, Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, et al. There’s another band of seditionists in Congress that includes Mark Warner of the Senate Intel Committee, the now notorious idiot Adam Schiff over in the House, and staffers who worked for both. There’s a bunch in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment that paid over a million dollars to Alternate International Man of Mystery (actually, CIA asset) Stefan Halper to run entrapment schemes against people working for Mr. Trump. There’s a swarm from Barack Obama’s White House, including Valarie Jarrett, Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, Alexandra Chalupa, former Vice-President Joe Biden and the former President himself. And finally, there is the 800-pound-gorilla over in the Democratic Party thicket, namely Hillary Clinton, and those connected to her and her charity fraud, the Clinton Foundation, which is the real and actual predicate for the whole sordid affair — a list that includes Viktor Vekselberg of Russia’s Skolkovo project, $25-million donor Russian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, and Dmitri Alperovich of CrowdStrike, (Russian collusion, anyone?) as well as rascally freelancers such as Christopher Steele, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the shadowy Nellie Ohr, lawyer/lobbyist Adam Waldman, and Hillary errand boys Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. The stories behind those names are all over the web, in case you want to edify yourself.

Now, perhaps, you can see the scope of this big hot mess, and deduce the degree of difficulty that William Barr faces in attempting to set it all straight. He has to carefully select those who will be charged and probably not bother with some of the bit players. The charges are going to have to be serious, and the cases must be strong. It is a gigantic job of work, and rather delicate business considering the explosive potential to a government whose credibility is already pretty shredded. Failure to attend to it may turn a mere bureaucratic civil war into a genuine citizen rebellion featuring some of the 300-million-odd firearms at large in the republic. I believe Mr. Barr is aware of what’s at stake and will behave honorably.

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The Storms of December – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on November 23, 2019

Both Mr. Schiff and Col. Vindman claimed to not know the identity of the “WB?” If so, it would be logically impossible to reveal the “Whistleblower” by just naming an agency with thousands of little worker bees. Of course, he walked right into the trap set by minority member, Mr. Ratcliffe of Texas. Who doesn’t get that Col Vindman knows exactly who the “Whistleblower” is because he was the “Whistleblower’s” accomplice? And Mr. Schiff knows, too.

I am sincerely wondering how the public will process the storm of indictments coming down at the cabal of government employees who devised the RussiaGate persecution at the same time the Senate prepares to go to a trial that will humiliate and possibly annihilate the Democratic Party. No political faction in history has begged so persuasively to be put to death, or deserved it more.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-storms-of-december/

James Howard Kunstler

Finally, you’re left with that image of Adam Schiff sitting stock straight in the big chair with pursed lips and eyes bugged out, as in a very certain species of lunacy heretofore only seen in Canis latrans of Cartoon-land when, say, he has overrun the cliff’s edge clutching an anvil to his bosom. What was he thinking when he hatched this latest quixotic chapter in the ignominious crusade to reverse the 2016 election?

That he’d never get caught? On Wednesday he witlessly did gave away the game on nationwide TV, telling the witness, heroic Col. Vindman, to not state which intel agency (of 23 !) employed the one still-unnamed person he blabbed to about the epic Phone Call to Ukraine — because it would reveal the name of the Whistleblower.” How could that be? Both Mr. Schiff and Col. Vindman claimed to not know the identity of the “WB?” If so, it would be logically impossible to reveal the “Whistleblower” by just naming an agency with thousands of little worker bees. Of course, he walked right into the trap set by minority member, Mr. Ratcliffe of Texas. Who doesn’t get that Col Vindman knows exactly who the “Whistleblower” is because he was the “Whistleblower’s” accomplice? And Mr. Schiff knows, too.

If the senate majority poohbahs were wise, they would warmly welcome a trial based on articles of impeachment, which would, of course, feature no artificial limits on the witness list, nor on questions that might be asked. The list might start with the UkraineGate “Whistleblower.” Among the many untruths uttered by Adam Schiff was the nonexistent law that gave that shadowy figure a right to anonymity. And besides, in any trial based on due process, the accused has an absolute right to face his accuser.

Oddly, a month ago Mr. Schiff was avid to stick his “Whistleblower” in the witness chair, and perhaps not with a black hood over his head. Then it was discovered that the “Whistleblower” had been consorting at least with Mr. Schiff’s staff members before blowing his fabled whistle, and that they had likely assisted in the assembly of his complaint, and in connecting him to the right lawyers in the Great Blue Okefenokee backwaters of DC lawyerdom, and, naturally, nobody from sea to shining sea over age nine who had paid attention to these antics believed that Mr. Schiff could not know who this “Whistleblower” was. Likewise, the brave Col. Vindman. Both of them deserve some time in a senate witness chair, and Mr. Schiff especially is due some sort of penalty for subjecting the country to his three years of dishonorable, seditious shenanigans — beginning with expulsion from the House and perhaps proceeding to a trial of his very own.

These UkraineGate hearings of the past two weeks raised some additional questions that have not otherwise been aired much in the public arena, chiefly, exactly how much does the US government seek to control the affairs of Ukraine? And how did we become the superintendent of this partially failed state? The parade of State Department diplomats in charge of this-and-that suggests that Ukraine is virtually an occupied territory. Do we realistically suppose that, in the natural course of things, we can shield Ukraine forever from the influence of its neighbor (and former sovereign), Russia?

It is also astounding to see media shills like Rachel Maddow still carrying on hysterically about Russia. She must have cried “Russia” twenty-seven times in the ten minutes of her act I caught on Thursday night. She’s far exceeded even the paranoid raptures of the John Birch Society a half century ago when they were screaming about communists in every broom closet of America. This incessant war-cry can’t be good for the country.

Now we’ve turned the corner into that enchanted season known as “the holidays” and a multi-dimensional showdown after three years of perfidious nonsense looms over the turkeys and silver bells and holy pageantry like a freak winter hurricane out in the dark ocean barreling landward. I am sincerely wondering how the public will process the storm of indictments coming down at the cabal of government employees who devised the RussiaGate persecution at the same time the Senate prepares to go to a trial that will humiliate and possibly annihilate the Democratic Party. No political faction in history has begged so persuasively to be put to death, or deserved it more.

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PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Impeachment Pantomime – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on November 14, 2019

…was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella…

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter’s days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama’s recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/12/patrick-lawrence-the-impeachment-pantomime/

By Patrick Lawrence

Special to Consortium News

Now that “Russiagate” has failed and “Ukrainegate” neatly takes its place, many questions arise. Will the Democratic Party, this time in open collusion with the intelligence apparatus, succeed in its second attempt to depose President Donald Trump in what might fairly be called a bloodless coup? Whatever the outcome of the thus-far-farcical impeachment probe, which is to be conducted publicly as of Wednesday, did the president use his office to pressure Ukraine in behalf of his own personal and political interests? Did Trump, in his fateful telephone conversation last July 25 with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, put U.S. national security at risk, as is alleged?

All good questions. Here is another: Will Joe Biden, at present the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, get away with what is almost certain to prove his gross corruption and gross abuse of office when he carried the Ukraine portfolio while serving as vice president under Barack Obama?

Corollary line of inquiry: Will the corporate media, The New York Times in the lead, get away with self-censoring what is now irrefutable evidence of the impeachment probe’s various frauds and corruptions? Ditto in the Biden case: Can the Times and the media that faithfully follow its lead continue to disregard accumulating circumstantial evidence of Biden’s guilt as he appears to have acted in the interest of his son Hunter while the latter sat on the board of one of Ukraine’s largest privately held natural gas producers?

Innuendo & Interference 

It is not difficult to imagine that Trump presented Zelensky with his famous quid pro quo when they spoke last summer: Open an investigation into Biden père et fils and I will release $391 million in military aid and invite you to the White House. Trump seems to be no stranger to abuses of power of this sort. But the impeachment probe has swiftly run up against the same problem that sank the good ship Russiagate: It has produced no evidence. Innuendo and inference, yes. Various syllogisms, yes. But no evidence.

There is none in the transcript of the telephone exchange. Zelensky has flatly stated that there was no quid pro quo. The witnesses so far called to testify have had little to offer other than their personal opinions, even if Capitol Hill Democrats pretend these testimonies are prima facie damning. And the witnesses are to one or another degree of questionable motives: To a one, they appear to be Russophobes who favor military aid to Ukraine; to a one they are turf-conscious careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them. It is increasingly evident that Trump’s true offense is proposing to renovate a foreign policy framework that has been more or less untouched for 75 years (and is in dire need of renovation).

Ten days ago Real Clear Investigations suggested that the “whistleblower” whose “complaint” last August set the impeachment probe in motion was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella. And who is Eric Ciaramella? It turns out he is a young but seasoned Democratic Party apparatchik conducting his spookery on American soil.

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter’s days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama’s recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

For good measure, Paul Sperry’s perspicacious reporting in Real Clear Investigations reveals that Ciaramella conferred with the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment process, a month prior to filing his “complaint” to the CIA’s inspector general…

This leaves us to reckon the price our troubled republic will pay for months of irresponsible theatrics that are more or less preordained to lead nowhere.

More questions. What damage will the Democrats have done when Ukrainegate draws to a close (assuming it does at some point)? What harm has come to U.S. political institutions, governing bodies, judiciary and media? The corporate press has been profligately careless of its already questionable credibility during the years of Russiagate and now Ukrainegate. Can anyone argue there is no lasting price to pay for this?

More urgently, what do the past three years of incessant efforts to unseat a president tell us about the power of unelected constituencies? The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency’s classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home.

What, at last, must we conclude about the ability of any president (of any stripe) to effect authentic change when our administrative state — “deep,” if you like — opposes it?

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JFK-CIA

 

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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 Ukrainegate ‘Whisteblower’ Isn’t a Real Whistleblower – Rolling Stone

Posted by M. C. on October 8, 2019

Americans who’ve blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It’s an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they’ve weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/whistleblower-ukraine-trump-impeach-cia-spying-895529/

Start with the initial headline, in the story the Washington Post “broke” on September 18th:

TRUMP’S COMMUNICATIONS WITH FOREIGN LEADER ARE PART OF WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT SPURRED STANDOFF BETWEEN SPY CHIEF AND CONGRESS, FORMER OFFICIALS SAY

The unnamed person at the center of this story sure didn’t sound like a whistleblower. Our intelligence community wouldn’t wipe its ass with a real whistleblower.

Americans who’ve blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It’s an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they’ve weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.

Drake, who was the first to expose the NSA’s secret surveillance program, seems to have fared better than most. He ended up working in an Apple Store, where he ran into Eric Holder, who was shopping for an iPhone.

I’ve met a lot of whistleblowers, in both the public and private sector. Many end up broke, living in hotels, defamed, (often) divorced, and lucky if they have any kind of job. One I knew got turned down for a waitressing job because her previous employer wouldn’t vouch for her. She had little kids.

The common thread in whistleblower stories is loneliness. Typically the employer has direct control over their ability to pursue another job in their profession. Many end up reviled as traitors, thieves, and liars. They often discover after going public that their loved ones have a limited appetite for sharing the ignominy. In virtually all cases, they end up having to start over, both personally and professionally.

With that in mind, let’s look at what we know about the first “whistleblower” in Ukrainegate:

  • He or she is a “CIA officer detailed to the White House”;
  • The account is at best partially based upon the CIA officer’s own experience, made up substantially by information from “more than a half dozen U.S. officials” and the “private accounts” of “my colleagues”;
  • “He or she” was instantly celebrated as a whistleblower by news networks and major newspapers.

That last detail caught the eye of Kiriakou, a former CIA Counterterrorism official who blew the whistle on the agency’s torture program.

“It took me and my lawyers a full year to get [the media] to stop calling me ‘CIA Leaker John Kirakou,” he says. “That’s how long it took for me to be called a whistleblower.”

Kirakou’s crime was talking to ABC News and the New York Times about the CIA’s torture program. For talking to American journalists about the CIA, our federal government charged Kiriakou with espionage. That absurd count was ultimately dropped, but he still did 23 months at FCI Loretto in Western Pennsylvania.

When Kiriakou first saw the “whistleblower complaint,” his immediate reaction was to wonder what kind of “CIA officer” the person in question was. “If you spend a career in the CIA, you see all kinds of subterfuge and lies and crime,” he says. “This person went through a whole career and this is the thing he objects to?”

It’s fair to wonder if this is a one-person effort. Even former CIA official Robert Baer, no friend of Trump, said as much in an early confab on CNN with Brooke Baldwin:…

That might prove to be true, but if we’re talking about the treatment of whistleblowers, Trump has a long way to go before he approaches the brutal record of the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, as well as the cheerleading Washington political establishment. Forgetting this is likely just the first in what will prove to be many deceptions about a hardcore insider political battle whose subtext is a lot more shadowy and ambiguous than news audiences are being led to believe.

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Boy Blowing Whistle And Calling Time Out Stock Footage ...

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