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20 February 2018

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TimmyB

I slightly disagree. The indictment is a road map for the US government to prosecute Americans for the exact same offenses. The US government has a history of criminalizing certain speech and then first prosecuting unpopular foreigners for those crimes. After the prosecutions of unpopular foreigners succeeds, the government next turns to prosecuting American.

You can read more about that history here, http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1207

RC

Publius,

The St Petersburg "Internet Research Agency" is a former creature of SHALTAI BOLTAI [translated Humpty Dumpty] an organization that boasts it is in the business of creating alternative reality though fake news.

I wrote "former creature" because IRA no longer exists. Apparently our now famous 13 managers failed to pay their keyboard peons, who denounced them to the St Petersburg Police. The 13 were tried and found guilty.

If Mueller wishes to find the 13, he should contact the St Petersburg Jail. Those with the shortest sentence of 3 years will be freed in a little more than 2 years. Mueller will need to wait longer for the rest.

Joe100

John Helmer has a must read blog post on the IRA and the Mueller indictment (at johnhelmer.net - his site is currently down?). Helmer is a serious investigative journalist based in Moscow. Given what is known about the IRA and it's director, it seems highly unlikely that the trolling work described in the Mueller indictment was directed or funded by the Russian government.

The IRA conducts web intervention work on behalf of clients. According to Helmer, the origin of IRA was that the the director (then restaurant owner) was getting bad web reviews of his meals and set up an operation to flood the bad reviews with good one - which apparently worked. It would be interesting to see the actual Facebook adds and other web activity by the "13 russians" to see if there is an obvious economic purpose - building an audience for certain adds, etc.

This does not look like a "professional" Russian government information operation - if such existed.


Richardstevenhack

It's worse than a hissy fit. As Glenn Greenwald and Pat Buchanan point out in separate articles, there are Democrats and others out there calling this an "act of war" on a par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11!

That is absolute lunacy.

A Consensus Emerges: Russia Committed an “Act of War” on Par With Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Should the U.S. Response Be Similar?
https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/

Is That Russia Troll Farm an Act of War?
https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2018/02/19/russia-troll-farm-act-war/

This is what happens when a nation allows itself to be swept up in mass hysteria as a result of propaganda promulgated by persons with an agenda. Not, as Greenwald points out, that we are actually likely to go to war with Russia over these indictments, but they provide further grist for a degeneration of relations which could ultimately lead to WWIII.

raven

Comin to get you. . .

turcopolier

Flavius

Strictly political theater. The predicate in this case would not have found traction for a criminal investigation in any District in America. Because evidence will never have to be produced (because the case will never be prosecuted) it is a chickenshit indictment whose pernicious effect is to futher undercut the Trump Administration's ability to conduct foreign policy. The subject matter is, if anything, proper material for the exercise of statecraft which if presented over a table would have the Russian counterparts laughing hysterically for obvious reasons. Mueller should be ashamed of himself. Unless he is a complete dope, he should know that media resonance for this charade is solely because the Trump demonic American moronocracy will associate this dud with Trump as something he is in some way responsible for. The expression during the Watergate era had to do with the crime/coverup being a cancer on the Presidency. Mueller's office per se is turning out to be a cancer on the Presidency.

turcopolier

raven
That could well be. pl

Mark Logan

PT,

By claiming to find "unwitting collusion" Mueller cleverly justified his investigation and while handing Trump something Trump can, and did, label victory at the same time.

I would not underestimate Mueller.

Eric Newhill

Sir,
Trump is already working his usual political jiu jitsu. He is putting this all on Obama - who was, after all, POTUS when it occurred. Tweeted about it today (like 'em or not, his tweets get airtime). Obama belittling Trump for suggesting a rigged election and shaking his [O's] finger declaring that no one could influence US elections to an extent to change the outcome is good Trump mojo. If you still like Obama, you conclude that he was right and this whole thing is a big dud.

blue peacock
Mueller should be ashamed of himself. Unless he is a complete dope, he should know that media resonance for this charade is solely because the Trump demonic American moronocracy will associate this dud with Trump as something he is in some way responsible for..... Mueller's office per se is turning out to be a cancer on the Presidency.

Col. Lang,

This has been and continues to be the sole purpose of special counsel Robert Mueller. Notice that Deputy AG Rosenstein who setup Mueller was emphatic that no Americans were involved in the Russian trolling aka "influencing the elections and sowing discord". There have been no evidence regarding the collusion allegations which was the basis of the Mueller appointment. All we have right now are a few process indictments, the indictment of Manafort for money laundering with his Ukrainian connections and the indictment of a few Russians for trolling. The plea deal by Gen. Flynn is now coming under question.

There is of course also the parallel track currently led by Congressional Republicans to uncover a potential conspiracy at the Obama administration, IC and law enforcement. If this starts to get any real steam it could, IMO, lead to a massive national crisis as the collusion between the media and the IC and law enforcement to actively engage and influence domestic politics in a partisan manner becomes apparent. This is way bigger than any Russian influence operation.

Our societal divisions and social discord are deep and growing and whatever the Russians did or did not do is nothing compared to what has been brewing domestically for decades. The war between the Deplorables and the coastal elites that dominate media and the political/government establishment has been ratcheting up for sometime.

SmoothieX12

cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 has descended on the usa and many are incapable of seeing the historic parallels....

I am always cautious with historic parallels (unless they are genuinely prudent) but there is no denial that Borg is trying to use a Cold War 1.0 playbook, but there no any silver linings to all that. This unfolding Cold War 2.0 is much more dangerous, since the Borg has no idea what it deals with nor is it aware of its own precarious position--it is expected from this environment dominated by people who have no applicable real world skills other than political demagoguery and lies.

SmoothieX12

That is absolute lunacy.

Yes, it is, but let us be very plain spoken here--this is the actual "intellectual" and moral level of current US political "elites", for the most part. There are exceptions, of course, at least for now.

JohnH

Plaintiffs were able to sue Iran for 911 and win. I assume that Mueller will be able to get some kind of criminal conviction because there will be no defense...an expensive exercise in political charade that will be milked to the fullest by the borg in its campaign to vilify Russia.

Yeah, Right

If this really was a deliberate attempt by the Russian government to subvert the political process in the USA then the smartest course of action that Putin can now take is to order one of those 13 spooks to travel to the USA and give himself up.

That spook can then demand his day in court, which would completely disrupt Mueller's current working assumption that he'll never to produce his evidence.

After all, agencies get their agents to pretend to defect in order to feed misinformation to their rivals. How is that materially different from sending an agent to "surrender to the authorities" when that is certain to throw a huge spanner in the works?

Or, in short:
If Putin really is behind all this then that's what he should do.
If he isn't behind this then he has no reason to cough up anyone.

Leaky Ranger

Today's indictment of the son-in-law of the CEO of Alfa Bank has a slow fuse on it. You will recall that there were unexplained communications between Trump Tower and Alfa Bank servers
https://theintercept.com/2017/10/26/russian-bank-accused-of-trump-connection-tries-to-clear-name-by-pressuring-u-s-computer-researcher/
The dots are being connected so fast there's a doppler effect.

BillWade

Yeah Right,
I respectfully disagree. Due to the sanctions imposed due to Russian influence on our elections the indicted 13 have done far more harm to Russia than they did to us. If beyond a shadow of a doubt that Putin's government had nothing to do with the indicted 13, he should round them up and put them on a plane to NY right away and with great fanfare.

wisedupearly Ceo

For PT. With all respect,
suggest you read Richard Sale, internalize, and then give us the facts and only the facts.

b

@Leaky Ranger- the indictment of a son-in-law of the CEO of Alpha Bank has nothing to do with the old email lists some reality marketing agency used to sell Trump labeled apartments (aka - the "connections" to the Alpha servers).

@all

Of note: The Mueller indictment says that the operation of the Russian company in the U.S. was a for-profit advertising business.

It created content to attract followers and "eyeballs" which it then sold to advertising customers.

/quote/
Point 95:
Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts, including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist.
/blockquote/

The rest is all blubber.

shepherd

The simple answer to the question of how they obtained evidence is that they hacked the IRA, and offloaded its entire server, a la Hillary. Believe it or not, that's a perfectly legal way to get evidence, and doesn't even require a warrant. It's how they bring cases against hackers and pedophile rings. The FBI is apparently very good at doing this kind of thing.

Sid Finster

As the election of Trump shows, people in the United States are seething mad right now, and getting angrier and angrier.

The establishment response can be summarized as "shiny distractions, combined with renewed efforts to clamp down on dissent."

Publius Tacitus

I have presented facts. You just don’t like them.

Leaky Ranger

b, I do not understand your response about "reality marketing agency". This is a serious business and I find the cavalier attitude of many here to be the farce. There is more substance in van der Zwaan's confession than in the whole of, say, "Whitewater". The GOP ran AgSec Mike Espy out of D.C. for accepting tickets to college football games. Compare that to Kushner's inability to get a security clearance.

luke8929

A CNN national security analyst suggested on Monday that social media companies are “treasonous” for allowing Russian trolls to use their websites to disseminate disinformation. I guess that includes the owner of this website and anyone who posts here Russian or not?

Disclaimer: Dear herr mueller/FBI agents/Agents of the security state monitoring this website. Self reporting non american poster, Canadian, not a russian, never met a russian, never spoke to a russian, only interested in the open discussion of ideas with other like minded people, not trying to alter the outcome of US elections or political topics that may be discussed on this website.

PS initially posted this in lower case, but it appears your pretty far down that rabbit hole, will re post louder in UPPER CASE if you can't hear it.

VietnamVet

PT

TTG and the Colonel and perhaps you will confirm that Russian and American intelligence operations have be ongoing against each other since the Bolshevik Revolution, if not before. I was impacted by the anti-war movement and I have no recollection of credible reports that the silent mutiny in Vietnam was a Soviet Union operation. Russiagate is hysteria. The problem is that the ruling establishment is so hung-up in its greed that it can’t plan one month ahead. Right now Americans are killing Russians and perhaps visa-versa in Eastern Syria. The slightest mistake and a World War is on. Before the hydrogen bombs are lit off, I could be rounded up as a collaborator for typing “Lock Her Up” here on SST.

Cortes

As an outsider it seems to me that the indictment will be used by future law lecturers as the perfect illustration of “mockrage.”

The sooner the POTUS hitches up his pants, casts a cool appraising eye about him and appoints someone beyond reproach as a different Special Counsel to look at this whole farrago of absurdity the safer we will all be.

When the “untouchables” are dragged into Court.

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