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20 February 2018

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Frank Sherwood

Au contraire, Timmy no foreigner is ever going to be tried for these crimes. But these indictments will be used for indictments on US citizens. Another quite obvious ploy. And it will work even on unwitting dupes

Krony

It's hypocritical, yes. However, when an adversary does a harm to you, let's say in the time of war, do you say, oh well, we shot at them so we can't be hypocritical. That's stupid. Sorry, we can't be mad at Japan for bombing Pearl Harbor because we invaded the Dominican Republic. Oh well. So that line of argument is silly.

And so Russia is paying millions of dollars for people to influence public opinion in America and that's somehow just fine and dandy because we do it too? I suppose hacking the DNC and Podesta is perfectly fine. Would Mr. Sic Semper Tyrannis be fine if he was hacked? I suppose if his former job were in intelligence it would be open season on him because he wouldn't want to be a hypocrite.

I get it. The US does bad stuff too. But that does not mean we should just let our guard down. And I get that plenty of people willingly believe Hillary should have been locked up because right wing wealthy operations that were perfectly domestic were already poisoning their minds. So Russia just piled on a little bit more. But that doesn't make it right. The problem as I see it is that the right is mad because this is a popular story in the media. It is getting a lot of attention and getting amplified through social media and other news aggregators. Oh wait, isn't that what Mueller's probe is all about!? I guess you can't really complain if this story gets big and people start chanting "Lock Trump up!" because they won't want to be hypocritical.

johnf

Freedonia Fries.

steve

Don't think so. The GOP made the Benghazi investigations last 4 years.

Steve

c1ue

Great writeup.
Have you considered the thesis offered by some other blogs - particularly moonofalabama.org and johnhelmer.net - that IRA is just a for-profit organization?
In particular, I recall the Macedonian conspiracy: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fake-news-macedonia-teen-shows-how-its-done

The online advertising industry is a $360 billion dollar annual revenue one, and 2016 saw 0.5% to 1% of that revenue coming from the political campaigns.

I don't find it hard at all to believe that there aren't plenty of people - in Russia as well as all over the world - who want to dip their fingers into that very large pie. The name of the game is aggregation and its purveyors have no goal except self enrichment.

ISL

PT: I totally agree about farce and theater, but like TimmyB, I think it is worse.

Additionally, it is a roadmap to remove the free speech of any foreigners living in the US, and also to allow the US to prosecute any foreigner outside the US

For example, could not a resident alien who was applying for citizenship and filed an appeal be subverting the US govt?

And if guilt by innuendo is the new standard of US prosecutions, we are entering a dark place.

I hope the ACLU finds a way to challenge this?

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

Just as we've seen clamor ing from some quarters to go after environmental protestors as "economic terrorists" we could following this hysteria see heterodox bloggers be indicted for "sowing discord" when they publish revelations of elite malfeasance along the lines of COINTELPRO and Operation Artichoke. The allegations would be "creating mistrust in our nations law enforcement"
And just like that other sacred cow in American politics, "The Troops", "Law Enforcement" is an institution that none dare critique. It's the Israel of internal politics. Even when they go off the rails and slip the leash, the ore patriotic or self declared conservative punditry will go to the barricades to fight off reform or public control.

David Habakkuk

PT and all,

Recent developments are raising new questions, as well as giving fresh urgency to familiar ones.

An article by a Los Angeles lawyer called Allan J. Favish which has just appeared in the ‘American Thinker’ is headlined ‘Prediction: Sessions will find FBI lied about Steele credibility to spy on Trump.’

(See https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/02/prediction_sessions_will_find_fbi_lied_about_steele_credibility_to_spy_on_trump.html .)

It provides a concise summary of the evidence in the memoranda from Republicans on the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary Committees that the FBI gave the FISA Court misleading information in relation to Christopher Steele, and that there are strong grounds for suspecting this was done so knowingly and deliberately.

One can however I think take the argument further. I cannot see any cogent reason for believing claims from the FBI that that they were unaware of the contacts Steele had with the press prior to October 2016. Moreover, if they were aware of these contacts, the notion that they were ‘unauthorised’ might also be misleading – this could be a situation where key figures in the FBI knew and approved what their informant was doing, but simply wanted ‘plausible deniability.’

Moreover, the suggestion apparently made by the FBI to the FISA Court that the organisation suspended its relationship with Steele in October 2016 because of his – supposedly – unauthorised disclosures to the press might also be misleading.

Even if the suspension actually happened, this again could have been to do with ‘plausible deniability’, with contacts continuing behind the scenes.

I certainly find it increasingly difficult to see how Mueller can consistently refrain from bringing proceedings against Christopher Steele under the ‘general conspiracy statute.’ The relevant questions, obviously, are whether he was involved in making statements he ‘knew to be false, fraudulent or deceitful’ to the FBI, whether the FBI were involved in making such statements to the FISA Court, and whether Steele and the FBI colluded in a conspiracy to deceive the Court.

An obvious question is whether a significant number of key figures in the FBI, up to and including James Comey, are candidates for indictments under the statute. In view of this situation, of course, it is difficult to see how justice can be served by having a former long-serving director of that organisation, who also appears to be a friend of Comey’s, deciding who is, and is not, to be prosecuted.

blue peacock

Was the appointment of Mueller planned and orchestrated at the FBI by Comey?

"I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter [for The New York Times]. I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/judicial-watch-asks-what-fbi-hiding-its-war-protect-comey

Fred

Peacock,

It was reported almost a year ago that the "friend" was Columbia University professor and former federal prosecutor Dan Richman. I believe he should have know what he was doing was a felony.

blue peacock
... it is difficult to see how justice can be served by having a former long-serving director of that organisation, who also appears to be a friend of Comey’s, deciding who is, and is not, to be prosecuted.

David,

Mueller is a highly compromised person. From UraniumOne to his longstanding role at the FBI and personal friendships with many like Comey.

I believe you have hit the nail on the head. The Fusion GPS dossier is the pivot and simplest path to gain understanding of what happened and what role various individuals in law enforcement and the IC played. IMO, that is why Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley are so focused on all the issues surrounding the dossier.

Nunes in a recent interview stated his game plan. He has seen evidence that the FBI/DOJ lied and misrepresented to FISC which was essentially what the now publicly released memo asserts. His next step is to investigate the role of the State Department & Max Blumenthal and others around the production and dissemination of the dossier. He has also asked the FISC presiding judge for all documents and testimony around the the Page FISA application. He has also this week written a letter to the top officials in the Obama administration asking them 10 questions around their knowledge of the dossier.

My sense is that after the DOJ IG report is released, there will be calls for another special counsel with a broad mandate to investigate the findings of the Congressional Republicans. Mueller may get ensnared in that investigation.

pj

Blue Peacock, I think you mean Sidney Blumenthal, the Clinton fixer and father of Max, who is a complete Russiagate sceptic.

Account Deleted

Very much looking forward to seeing the FBI, the organization, referred to in upper case.

Anna

An opinion of a layperson: Mueller is either a first-rate opportunist looking forward for a fat pension as a reward for his blatantly unpatriotic, anti-Constitutional activities or he is in cognitive decline. Perhaps both. The indictment is laughable for any sane person (see a comparison with a comic book https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/stockman-blasts-muellers-comic-book-indictment-how-prosecute-great-big). Unfortunately, the indictment creates a legalistic danger for a blanket punishment of any critique of the government. Another Q is what kind of electoral process the US could have from now on? Here is a CNN reporter accusing an elderly lady, who has been supporting Trump, in acting on Putin's orders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsEnh1zilec These frivolities distract from the really important questions: Who in the FBI have made the decisions to meddle in the US electoral process? Why the FBI allowed to be shooed away from the DNC “compromised” computers and instead the FBI let an avowed Jewish Russophobe Dm. Alperovitch, associated with the openly Russophobic Atlantic Council, to do a judgment (in 10 sec!) on “Russian meddling?” What about Brits’ meddling in the electorate process in the US? What about Seth Rich murder and the incredible Awan affair? What about Uranium One? The Union is indeed in crisis. It is rather insulting that the serious measures are substituted with the cartoonish “Indictment of Trolls.”

Anna

"I suppose hacking the DNC and Podesta is perfectly fine."
Considering the numerous publications about the probable impossibility of the hacking as compared to the much more probable leaking, your statement is rather misleading. The opportunistic and viciously Russophobic Mr. Alperovitch of CrowdStrike fame is not a reliable person -- whereas the American Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) are: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/

J

Colonel,

What troubles me is the apparent deep penetration of FBI's CI by a foreign intelligence agency, and it ain't/isn't the Ruskies or the Chicoms.

Anna

"War is a racket" and a special role of the security apparatus in the racket (from a report on the Munich Security Conference, 2018) http://www.voltairenet.org/article199781.html
"... three bosses -- German BND (Bruno Kahl), British MI6 (Alex Younger) and the French DGSE (Bernard Emié), who explained in a private room, in front of an audience chosen for their naïveté, how nervous they were about the Turkish operation in Syria. The three men pretended to believe that the combatants of the YPG constitute the safest barrier against Daesh. Yet they were supposed to create the Frontier Security Force with certain ex-members of Daesh. ... It’s clear that the job of these three super-spies is to know to whom they owe the truth, and to whom they can lie. Sustaining their momentum, they hinted that the Syrian Arab Army uses chemical weapons – profiting from the absence in the room of the US Secretary for Defence, Jim Mattis, who had testified a few days earlier that proof of this claim is inexistant."
--- No wonder that the Internet, social media, and alternative media present such a danger for the masters of the universe, who make the decisions about the mega-racket.

james

krony - the only problem with your comments is that their is no proof of a connection to the russian gov't in any of it.. it is more like a connection to some cheap madison avenue advertising biz.. and for the record, it is not 1.25 million devoted to the one project, but split up among a number of projects, with only one of them used to engage fictitious americans for the 2016 election.. of course these details are conveniently evaded as the main meal is to demonize russia.. seems to have worked on you! let me know when you get tired of your media prattling on about russia is bad 24/7... looks like many americans still haven't had enough... there is more at the msm troff minus the important details too!

blue peacock

pj,

Yes, you are correct.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/31/cody-shearer-sidney-blumenthal-emerge-russia-dossi/

Procopius

I think the parallels are because the neocons are still in control, though this time more firmly ensconced in the State Department (which is why I'm ambivalent about Tillerson destroying it) than at Defense (where only the ones who had grabbed headlines left -- for very, very well paying jobs elsewhere for a while). Although there may be a counter-cabal at Defense, because they seemed to be at odds with the CIA in Syria at times, this only serves to confuse the overall strategy.

English Outsider

Anna - "What about Brits’ meddling in the electorate process in the US?"

I was a "Brit" during the Falklands War and proud to be one. That goes for a lot else too. But the Steele episode? That's down to Westminster and with any luck not too much of it.

I used to own, or you might say I used to feed and house, a Labrador that wanted to be a Rottweiler. A sneaky Rottweiler - he'd eye up the opposition first and if he thought he was in with a chance he'd be off. His way of fighting was scarcely honourable either. It was always difficult, when apologising to the opposition's owner, to explain quite how I came to be walking around with such an animal.

The aggrieved owner would sometimes point out that I ought to have the brute on a lead. Of course they were right and that's how I usually walked him. The trouble is in the case of Westminster generally, and in such cases as the Steele episode in particular, that there are several tens of millions of us here who can't find the blasted lead.

james

i think you are right - the neo cons are still in control...and the last part of your post makes sense too, which would explain what appears like a not well thought out game plan in syria..

Leaky Ranger

Mueller has filed detailed new charges against Manafort and Gates. Covers time they were on the Trump campaign payroll. Judge has denied Manafort bail. Mueller moving very, very fast.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/22/mueller-files-new-charges-against-former-trump-aides-paul-manafort-rick-gates/364943002/

Fred

Leaky,

How's Huma Abedin doing? Mueler investigate her yet about destruction of evidence? How about Imran Awan? Crimes they committed "covers time" of campaign interference. Was that what Pakistan was doing with Mr. Awan - influencing US elections - or was he just your every day crook?

"accusing them of lying to banks to obtain millions of dollars in loans." wow, that's what Meuller charged Manafort with? Boy isn't it just wonderful Trump fired him all those months ago? BTW I don't see the names "Christoper Steele" or "Russia" in that article. I wonder if Mueller will get on the money trail of the $4.5 billion that reportedly went through Ukraine for that revolution that Victoria Nuland passed out cookies for in Maidan Square. I wonder how much made its way back to people connected to people connected to political campaigns in the USA.

james

leaky - still no connection to russia meddling in the usa's democratic lunch.. oh well..

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