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16 February 2018


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Looks to me like a very professional operation

Here, I have to politely disagree. This is what makes me say this, and I quote from Indictment:

b. to knowingly execute and attempt to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud a federally insured financial institution, and to obtain monies, funds, credits, assets, securities and other property from said financial institution by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344.

Reads to me as a simple financial fraud. Moreover, where is the collusion? The group, obviously, in accordance to documents, came into existence in 2013-14--Donald Trump wasn't in the plans then, to put it mildly. While fraudulent activities are a good enough reason to indict someone, the rest--playing with fake social media accounts and "rallies" reads exactly as a weak attempt to deliver at least something. The e-mail with "FBI got us" altogether is a good indication that it wasn't THAT professional. So, those people could be (and there is a good chance that they are) a nasty bunch but this indictment says nothing about Trump and his collusion with Russia. What one may expect now, however, is Russians pulling out a huge history of US very real meddling in Russian elections since 1996, when even Time Magazine was forced to admit that Yeltsin's second term was basically paid for by the US. I expect a lot of noise on this Mueller's "work", but it merely adds to a very real hysterical justified and not anti-Russia stance. This is at least first impression I got.


There are a lot of countries that can start issuing indictments against Americans that have "interfered" in their elections, it seems to me.



This whole thing has been a waste of manpower, time and taxpayer money.

Our citizenry could care less, they understand we the U.S. meddle in other nations affairs, it is understood that they will try and meddle in ours.

Our fellow citizens are more concerned about the delapadated bridge they have to cross everyday going to and from work, the unnecessary increasing food prices, up and down gas prices. The unaccounted $26 Trillion in DoD and HUD. Unnecessary and wasteful legislation like the newest boondoggle called the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018 that Congress is wasting time and money on.

To most Americans Mueller needs to quit wasting their time and taxpayer money.

It's real day to day life issues that matter to them, they see Mueller needs to get a real job or retire.


Seems to me that we hacked "The Internet Research Agency". Did it do any more than we try to do to other peoples elections?

...As for TTG and PT, seems like you are both right.

wisedupearly Ceo

Y2000, Trump runs as a presidential candidate for the Reform Party. Gets 15,000 votes in California's primary.
March 2011, Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has Trump leading all presidential contenders, even Mitt Romney.
Now that is an amazing step-up in recognition.
April 2011, More research polls show Trump as the top Republican presidential candidate, Trump turns birther and dumps on President Obama.
2012, Trump endorses Mitt Romney.

So, there are plenty of indicators that Trump would be inclined to run for President.

Check the Russian connections here as if you were a Russian operative.

The basics are already in place, and, for the Russians, ensuring Hawk Hillary lost to "businessman" Trump is a no-brainer.
The commercial Russians would be desperate to prevent US-Russian war in Syria a'la Hillary Clinton, as their investments and basic fortunes would be placed at risk.

Judging from some of the comments the level of partisanship here inside SST is basically the same as outside.

Jonathan House, MD

It is hardly a surprise that nobody drowns in the first drop of rain. Perhaps it won't rain. Perhaps there will be a storm.
Patience is said to be a virtue.


jonathan house

There is not evidence as yet of Trump's conspiracy with the Russian government but you have reached certitude. My SWAG is that Trump is vulnerable to charges of screwing bimbos and on various business related criminal activities but not more. pl



We would not have had the balls to run an operation at this level of "adventurism." pl

Jonathan House, MD



There are a lot of countries that can start issuing indictments against Americans that have "interfered" in their elections, it seems to me.

Very true and where it will lead--I don't even want to contemplate. But while I was driving home from work I desperately tried to recall when any serious intelligence asset in the history of spying addressed the other in open with "OK, Gestapo got me", or sent a telegram to Lubyanka "OK, I got busted by FBI", nor do I expect CIA assets in Russia, the moment FSB gets to them, start sending e-mails to Langley with "Dudes, got to run, FSB is on my tail". Not only it goes against anything real professionals do, but even real military guards rank and file, guarding weapons and ammo depots have parole and response which are secret "words" known only to them--all that is required by basic field manuals. Now, I am pretty sure that real serious SVR assets have a well trained and worked out open communications protocols which include secret ciphered words and phrases for a number of urgent contingencies. Even boy-scouts do that. I am sure that real SVR officer or agent would write, in case of being under FBI surveillance and feeling a heat something like that: "Got a serious caries problem in my low far left mole. Hurts like hell, need to make a dentist appointment", or "Have issues with bowel movement, need to take stool softener." And who in our time doesn't need a stool softener, right? So, yes, there are huge questions about this Mueller's "work", for me at least, and I do not deny the possibility, albeit asses the probability as very low, that Russia could have been involved in some form into "influencing" something, but this is not it. Money laundering? Yes, that is more like it but then serious SVR assets on assignment to subvert US democracy are not engaged into questionable financial activities.



I agree. It's exactly what Mueller was hired to do. Of course the MSM is making hay out of it but there is nothing really new nor indication that there was any collusion or quid pro quo. Just a standard info op which, frankly, doesn't surprise me in the least.

I doubt the Russians expected Trump to win. If he had a big lead they might well have supported Hillary. Seems their goal was more to incite than push a candidate but it would make sense, if the goal is to incite, to push the candidacy of the one behind in the polls and Trump was behind in most all polls.

Also, in terms of influence, their effort was pretty small. Lots of homegrown people and billions of dollars were pushing Hillary. Much more than Trump. Of course it's perfectly legal for Americans to do it.

Lee A. Arnold

Wow, the indictment states that by Sept. 2016 the budget for this Russian operation was $1.25 million per MONTH.


Lee A Arnold

Chicken feed for this kind of effort. pl

Outrage Beyond

I am no legal expert, but that indictment appeared to be one big nothingburger.

1. A total budget of around $1 million? That's supposed to swing the election?

2. A bunch of minor social media activity?

3. A few fake rallies. Did anyone even show up? It's not clear from the indictment if the rallies took place; certainly, no attendance figures are given.

4. No claims are made about actual votes being hacked.

5. Of course, the Russians won't extradite any of these characters.

The whole thing seems to be more about some hackers trying to make some profit off the election, most likely by driving pageviews or clicks, rather than any influence campaign.

The Israeli effort to influence US politics, were it ever described fully, would even more make this look even more inconsequential.


Outrage Beyond

The major action in the putative conspiracy in the IC leadership and the DoJ/FBI has yet to be declared by Mueller. pl



I confess to being a crude old soldier. pl



We have been naughty as well? So what? I never said the SVR or Putin's oligarch pal's op were involved in Trump's other liabilities. should we purge Trump for screwing whores? Not unless you are the reincarnation of Cotton Mather. pl


JamesT- "There are a lot of countries that can start issuing indictments against Americans that have "interfered" in their elections..."

I agree.

But it seems to me that you are implying that because of our own "interference" we should lay back and enjoy the reaming instead of crying rape.



Call it what you like but you should abandon the sanctimonious bullshit. We should get out there and do it to them better than they did us. pl


IMO , as of today the CWII is officially announced (warned) to American people. From this point on, all Americans are warned if knowingly or unknowingly they are involved with whom or what is considered a foreign disinformation operation may be subject to prosecution for un-American acts.
The good point is, that we now completely in economic and political war/ opposition with Russia, so let’s hope god help us all, not to get in to a intercontinental thermo hot war.


I found the indictment disturbingly thin on scale or significance. A budget of 1.25 million is cited for Project Lakhta, but that project had domestic efforts in Russia, as well as in many other countries besides the USA. How much was on the USA? Unclear. It cites social media monthly ad buys in the thousands of dollars. In lawyer speak, that means it's not in the tens or thousand of dollars, but somewhere between 1 and 9 thousand. Not much! Nevertheless that level of ad buy fits with what Facebook reported - that there was a total of about $100,000 of ad buys from Russia. But Facebook also stated that a little more than half of that was spent after the election, and the remainder was split between battleground and non-battleground states. The indictment also cites the promotion of many campaign rallies, but never states how many actually happened, or what was the size of the ones that did happen. Or, what was the significance? It appears that a grand jury can not only indict a ham sandwich, but also a piroshki.


My SWAG is that Trump is vulnerable to charges of screwing bimbos

But what a way to go:)) Just joking, I am happily married for 35 years almost.

Cold War Zoomie

Foreign spies in our country funded by foreign power with the sole purpose of influencing our election is not a "nothingburger."


I don't argue with that, my specific point is that Muller's indictment seems to have very little to do with SVR and more with PR and ideology. Spy business is a dirty one on all sides and it is what it is.

Yeah, Right

Looking at that indictment I would think that Mueller's biggest nightmare is if all 13 of those indicted turn up at a US airport with their arms outstretched and saying "OK, arrest me, I look forward to my day in court".

To argue - as Mueller argues - that "impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes" is to "defraud the United States" seems to me to be a very hard sell to a jury.

"fraud and deceit" for the purposes of scamming money from Uncle Sam's coffers would strike me as being something you could argue: "the accused claimed $xxxxmillion of *your* money, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, money that they weren't entitled to claim".

But "fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes" is, well, a nothing.

It would be like Mueller making it a crime for one politician to lie about another politician, or for any TV talking-head to make scurrilous accusations about a candidate.

Put a dollar-value on it, sure, then "fraud" becomes something you can send someone to the slammer for. But that's not the case here, is it?

Or am I missing something?

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