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11 July 2017

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robt willmann

The late writer Gore Vidal, may he rest in peace, described the Sunday New York Times Magazine section as, "the graveyard of American prose." The rest of the newspaper may not be much better. After glancing at the MSNBC Morning Joe program for a few minutes this morning, and seeing what the distracting topic of the day was going to be, I read the NY Times article about Donald Trump jr and the British tabloid flack Goldstone and "The Russians".

My first thought also was: who has been intercepting or getting access to, and reading Trump jr's e-mail messages, and giving them or describing their content to the NY Times newspaper?

The NY Times likes to tap dance around specifics; showing a little cleavage here, a little leg above the knee there, and tries to lead your imagination into filling in the details in the direction the newspaper wants you to go.

Trump jr released the e-mail messages, and they are innocuous. I will not waste time on the pathetic bleating of the politicians, especially those of the Democratic Party, culminating with Senator Tim Kaine's statement that "this is moving into perjury, false statements, and even into potentially treason". (Citation deliberately omitted.)

Speaking of foreign countries trying to influence the U.S. presidential election, no one denies that an "Ex" MI6 British agent/spy produced a lurid paper about Donald Trump, claiming, among other things, that he was in the presence of adult Russian females who had not been potty trained as children. That paper was designed to help a different presidential candidate, who was ....

turcopolier

plantman

There is not such crime as "political collusion." If the state prosecutor wanted to give the Trump campaign information of Hillary he was free to do so and the Trump campaign was free to receive it. in the event DJT Jr. decided they Russians did not have anything worth listening to. pl

scott s.

So, if there is evidence of Clinton's "criminality" why isn't the NYT feverishly working to get that evidence out? Instead the big news is that Junior hired a lawyer.

Dr. K.

Do you think the Republicans would actually do that?

Dr. K.

I like your sense of humor! We need more of that.

Elrond

Over at emptywheel, a commentator named "bmaz" (a lawyer) has stated that the allegation of "felony" in your post is without merit. (He uses less terperate language.) Care to comment?

hans

The Borg has decided the country ought to be whipped and stay whipped into a lynch mob fury for the foreseeable future and I am remind of Chuck Schumer's words of 1/3/17 to MSNBC “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

“So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/312605-schumer-trump-being-really-dumb-by-going-after-intelligence-community

Anna

"Moon of Alabama" describes the two cases: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/07/which-campaign-truly-colluded-with-russia.html
Case 1:
A Hillary Clinton campaign cut-out hires the (former?) British intelligence agent Steele to pay money to (former?) Russian intelligence agents and high-level Kremlin employees for dirt about Donald Trump. They deliver some dirty fairy tales. The resulting dossier is peddled far and wide throughout Washington DC with the intent of damaging Trump.
Case 2:
Some lobbyist for Russian business interests contacts the Trump campaign with a promise to deliver some dirt on Hillary Clinton. She meets campaign officials but no dirt on Clinton is offered. Instead the lobbyist uses the time to lobby for the business' cause. There is no follow up.
Question: Which of the two cases stinks of "collusion with the Russians"?
As you write, "Yes, in this case the "Clinton associates", happen to be the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the CIA along with someone high up in MI6.."
Whatever Clintonists touch transforms into...not gold.

kabu

Sure Dems will maximize these reports and tweets to their advantage, but D and R commentators and members of D and R administrations have expressed similar shock at the impropriety of the meeting. Do folks on this board truly feel that this was a run-of-the-mill oppo meeting?? This was not just any Russian lawyer. And certainly Manafort knew exactly who she was and what to expect.

turcopolier

kabu

What partisan BS. You are trying to drive the president of the US out of office so that you can have Pence? I do not provide a platform for crap the like of which you spout. pl

Eric Newhill

kabu,
What's ironic and funny is that the emails - if you want to take them seriously - indicate that the Russian government 1. has info about Clinton collusion/insider business with Russia and 2. that the business is of a nature that would be embarrassing to Clinton and 3. Implies that Russia has something they could hold over Clinton by way of blackmail; creating the possibility that the Russians could influence her should she have won the election - essentially what the leftists are saying is true of Trump.

I think it is Clinton that needs to be investigated as a result of this leak. A very dirt politico and a compromised candidate.

jdledell

I have not made up my mind regarding Trump and the Russians. I am waiting for Mueller to lay out the case, be it good, bad or indifferent. I do believe that the Democrats are overstating their case regarding this issue, in pursuit of partisan gains. However, if the exact same information came to light in a Hillary Clinton administration, Republicans and Fox News would be all over the issue 24-7 and similarly using terms like treason etc.

Keith Harbaugh

Lucopter, you are absolutely right.
Thank you for your astute and brave observation.
But I agree with the comment from raven in one respect:
"Astute" and "brave" are better descriptions for "what you are spreading" than "surreal".

The Twisted Genius

I agree with most here that Fredo's meeting with a Russian lawyer is a tempest in a teapot. So he wanted dirt on Clinton. That's just politics. It's how the sausage is made. It's no more evidence of collusion than the Republican and then the Democratic parties looking for Trump dirt from a former MI6 officer. Another source of outrage is the charge that Fredo lied about foreign contacts on his SF-86. That's also bullshit. Mark Zaid, a DC lawyer who does this stuff for a living, explained how this contact does not rise to the very specific level required for reporting foreign contacts on the SF-86. This all may be a political problem, but certainly is not a legal problem.

None of this would have even affected the election if it was revealed in October. Sure a small number of voters that just don't anything to do with those damned Rooskies would be turned off, but that's it. The political damage now centers around the cover up. The months of denials of any contact with Russians was stupid. I don't know why Trump just didn't compile a list of previous contacts and business/financial connections back in January or February. It was common knowledge that Trump had past Russian business contacts. Why deny it. Yeah there'd be partisan uproar, but it wouldn't amount to much. At the end of the day, Trump is still a bullshit artist and a conman, but he's also our legally and rightfully elected President. We have to learn to deal with all of that.

ancient archer

What surprises me about this incident is that the Dems and the liberal neocon supporters are keeping at it - the whole anti-Trump propaganda. They are trying to dredge up some dirt but can't find any and this is the result. The question is why, though. In any other scenario you would expect reasonable people to accept defeat and move on with life. Not the tribe of liberal neocons. Very strange!

Or maybe not strange at all if there is a grand masterplan behind all this. It might be that the public media is being saturated by anti-Trump propaganda till the American people accept the Russian meddling nonsense without thought (and many right thinking people already do). On top of it, there is an incredible amount of propaganda aimed at making Trump look foolish/incompetent/stupid.

In my view, all this is being done with a view to steal the results of the election in which the American public elected Donald Trump. The tribe didn't like it and will never accept it. Things like this Trump jr emails and the meeting (without any basis in fact or reason) are just keeping the air poisoned so that no one complains when the knife is put through the heart (of the election results). The final stroke will come, soon I would guess. It might have nothing to do with Russian meddling for all you know.

Careful Americans - your democracy is in the process of being stolen by the same bunch who were so assiduous in their love of it (outside the US of course) that they have made a mess of the middle east having invaded countries and killed millions in the name of democracy. They are the same bunch who have killed in its name before and will kill again, here, if given a chance. Careful!

Tay

Hypothetically speaking...

What if agents of the Russian government did collude with the Trump campaign to help get him elected? What if it is proved that there was active coordination, including actions like hacking into DNC and state elections servers? Would this then be illegal? How would/could this be dealt with?

turcopolier

Elrond

He is wrong. The unauthorized release of intercepted SIGINT is a felony. pl

BrotherJoe

Don't you all think that it's important to learn of any contact that candidates or prospective candidates have with foreign powers. By all means continue the scrutiny of the Trump campaign. OTOH, shouldn't we also be investigating those
candidates who fly to Tel Aviv to profess undying allegiance to the Israeli state. What promises have THEY made to that foreign power. The Middle East is an extremely volatile region ; we have a right to know of any potential commitment that our political leaders have made.
Will THEY be investigated? Oh look, a squadron of flying pigs !!!

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Clearly a coup is underway. Classified government decryptions, conversations and private e-mails are handed over to corporate media with the expressed purpose of taking down President Trump. This is all extra-legal since the only way to remove the President is by impeachment. It is tied into the information operation that is demonizing an aggressive Russia for meddling in the 2016 election and hindering NATO/Israel/Gulf Sheiks schemes for Syria and Ukraine. That the Russian Federation has 7,300 nuclear warheads, of which 1,790 are strategically operational, is ignored.

I believe that there is a cabal of new aristocrats and multi-national corporations who want another chance to loot Russia, neuter democracy and end taxation. Donald Trump hinders this. Thus, he has to go. It is frightening. We are in more dangerous times now than during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Fredw

I don't know. The July 9 NYTimes article described its sources as "according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it." I and others took this to mean advisors working in the White House now. It doesn't specifically say that. But that is the clear intended message. Current "advisors" leaking something like this seems to indicate a lot of pressure and corresponding attempts to manage public perceptions. Fairly desperate attempts. Former Obama officials are implacably hostile, but they are not under any particular pressure.

The meeting itself is a classic nothing burger. There are laws that could be brought to bear, but the legal situation is muddy enough that years would pass before the courts would actually do anything. Like most of the whole Trump-Russia affair, it's the reaction from the White House that persuades people that there is something real there. It seems to be the discovery process they're afraid of, not any particular charge. The charges are all pretty weak. They don't seem to be getting any traction among Trump voters who are the only audience that matters. But it sure looks like there is something there there that they don't want exposed to daylight.

English Outsider

Lucopter - I read with astonishment your remarks about "The Jewish globalist elites" and "these people are going all in".

AIPAC is a force, no doubt about that. Christian Zionism is a factor in American politics, that's also clear - in my view it is the determining factor in American Foreign policy as far as the ME is concerned, although I do accept that most here might not see it as such.

There are many such lobbies and interest groups. The Ukrainian lobby in Australia and Canada. The Polish lobby. I suppose the Israeli lobby, given that strong Christian Zionist support, is the most influential in the States. It is legitimate to identify all such lobbies and to examine the effect they have on American Foreign Policy. Again in my view, not a beneficial one.

But to go from there to propounding an international Jewish elite conspiracy is ridiculous. What next? The Bilderbergers? The Vatican? The Babylonians? I've even seen the Queen put forward as the kingpin of a NWO conspiracy. Such talk cuts the ground out from under your feet if ever you should wish to put forward a serious argument.

Though I have to agree with you, looking at what's happening in Europe, the States, and in my own country, that it's now verging on the surreal. Who could have imagined, even twenty years ago, that we'd all find ourselves in such a mess? But I must deprecate the idea that we can pin it all on this or that particular little group. That's a get-out if ever I saw one. In the end, after we've sworn at the politicians and the cronies and the assorted hangers-on, there's only one group we can truly pin it on. Us.

Fred

Dr. K,

DeNile is a river that starts way out west and flows past Foggy Bottom, Staten Island with some side trips through the windy city.

Fred

Raven,

You said it.

turcopolier

fredw

Aw, c'mon. The Trump WH staff did not exist when this meeting and these tweets went down. How would they even have these tweets, e-mails or whatever they are? Do you think they were distributed to present WH advisers. The NY Times, like all print media lies about sources and distorts source descriptions to avoid burning them. I should know. My identity as a source has often been hidden by major media. pl

Fred

Elrond,

Marcy has made conclusions she hasn't got the evidence to substantiate, as in "So, yeah, the dumbass son not only incriminated himself..."

She should explain what crime might that be since meeting with Russians to gather opposition research isn't a crime. Then there is the simple question of how Marcy determined that the NSA did not intercept these emails and conclude there wasn't anything to them? She's never had a clearance nor had any "need to know" on what the NSA has collected orhow it gets analized. All she's done in this instance is jump to a very partisan conclusion.

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