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26 July 2019

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Larry Johnson

More mindless nonsense. To repeat the Colonel's critique of your original comment, what is your "evidence" that they lied their asses off to the FBI. If that was true they would have been charged for lying to the FBI. Hell, even Andy McCabe conceded that Michael Flynn did not lie.

The Twisted Genius

Larry, I assume you haven't perused the collection of twitter and facebook posts coming from the IRA masquerading as Americans such as the Tennessee GOP, Pamela_Moore13, Born Liberal, Woke Blacks and many more. The FBI warned the DNC several times Russian hackers appeared to be in their systems. The DNC sysadmin attested to that as did the FBI agent involved. The sysadmin thought the warnings were a hoax for quite a while. These half-assed telephonic warnings were a clear screw up. The FBI should have sent a higher level supervisory agent in person. Beyond that, the FBI could not do anything beyond that unless invited in by the DNC. As a private entity, the FBI could not barge into the DNC without their invitation. This is the same situation as any other private entity. The FBI could not take up the Experian, Equifax and countless other hacks until called in by the victims.

You got the timing wrong on WikiLeaks/DNC hack publication. Crowdstrike and the DNC announced the Russian hack just before the DCLeaks/WikiLeaks publication of the DNC data. I'll give you the Clinton/DNC collusion to defeat Sanders. That happened. It was sleazy, underhanded and disingenuous. It was not illegal. They could have anointed Clinton in a smoke filled room if they chose to do so. It's no different than the current RNC efforts to eliminate any challenge to Trump for the Republican nomination.

I notice you left out the fact that both Republicicans and Democrats of the gang of 8 and gang of 12 were briefed in August and September 2016 on the IC/FBI findings of Russian interference. Did that fact not fit your coup narrative?

Mark Logan

Larry,

Actually, Flynn plead guilty to that charge.


Larry Johnson

Yes I have and they pale in comparison to the actual Facebook efforts of both Trump and Clinton. This is such horseshit. You accept without any benchmark that the Russian effort amounted to something more than a cup of warm spit. It is a lie.

Larry Johnson

That does not mean that the charge was true. I think there is a good chance that Flynn will withdraw the plea in light of the evidence of Brady violations that have emerged.

blue peacock

TTG

In researching a company with explosive DAUs (daily active users), I spoke to two online marketers about this phenomenon with this company. They told me it is very common that clickbait farms create thousands of "fake" accounts to create perceived momentum for the clickbait. Why do you think the Trump & Hillary campaigns and their supporters wouldn't do this? If they staffed with people knowledgeable about online marketing this would have been one of their tactics to both generate lists of those with a propensity to certain messages and to create self-reinforcing messaging. After all social media is all about reinforcing one's own prejudices. My point being that the Russians and the IRA could not be the only folks using clickbait marketing with misattribution since this is par for the course in online marketing.

I have also investigated some PACs and believe me it is not easy to determine who are really funding the PAC. There are many shell organizations who in turn are funded by other shell organizations and the ostensible "officers" of the PAC are like Directors for Hire for the many foreign domiciled shell corporations in the Virgin islands and Panama.

My own belief from my limited investigations of this space leads me to believe that the Russians are not the only ones engaged in black propaganda. There are many domestically as well as in Israel & China who are rather adept at this and have the motive and the expertise to practice it.

At the end of the day where I come down on this is that Hillary was a poor candidate who couldn't connect with many voters including in highly Democratic states and Trump was extremely media savvy and took advantage even with the majority of media stories being negative towards him. He was relentless especially in the mid-west and it was clear that he had the ability to draw people to his rallies. He generated enough enthusiasm to win by a slim margin in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. I don't buy that Russian black propaganda swayed the election considering the sea of propaganda in the election.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12)

Here are some insights into the minds of many movers and shakers in Russiagate:

Key US officials behind the Russia investigation have made no secret of their animus towards Russia. “I do always hate the Russians,” Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. “It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life.” As he opened the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: “fuck the cheating motherfucking Russians… Bastards. I hate them… I think they’re probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages.” Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: “The Russians,” Clapper said, “almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned.” In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: “It was about Russia, period, full stop.… When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it’s coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia.… we’ve been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades.”

https://www.thenation.com/article/questions-mueller-russiagate/

It was always about Russians no matter what they do or don't do. Large strata of US so called "elite" is obsessed with Russia. Not even China.

Jack

TTG,

One thing that has struck me about the discussions on Le Affaire Russia Collusion even here on SST is around the point that no one has ever disputed the veracity of the DNC and Podesta emails that were disclosed by Wikileaks. So one must assume that those emails were truthful. It points to two facts. One, the DNC and Hillary campaign colluded to deny Bernie the Democratic nomination. And second the first Obama administration was handpicked by Wall St with Podesta as chief of the transition team.

Why do you think the Democratic base and all the progressives and of course the millions that voted & campaigned for Bernie and Bernie himself have not made this into a major topic of discussion? It would seem that these two revelations from the leaked emails should have been the main focus of discussions since it points to a deeply corrupt Democratic establishment.

Instead everyone has latched on to allegations of the nefarious Russians "meddling" in our democracy when it has been shown that one of our duopoly did make a complete mockery of our democracy. I'm not saying that the other half of the duopoly is not equally corrupt. It would seem to me that we should shine a spotlight right here at home at our own political parties and their deep seated and cynical manipulation of our democracy.

walrus

Has it crossed anyone’s mind that the reason the FBI weren’t allowed to view the DNC servers was because they would discover evidence of massive DNC illegality in the form of unattributable clickbait operations and suchlike? Perhaps evidence as well of direct collusion between the DOJ and IC community to destroy Trumps campaign as well? Perhaps evidence of direct communication between clapper, brennan, steele, Downer and the British IC in preparation for the attack on the Trump campaign?

What if the russiagate campaign was planned to go ahead BEFORE the DNC was actually hacked, using faked evidence? What if Seth Rich became aware of this operation and tried to spike it? What if the DNC planned to fake the Russian penetration evidence themselves, but Seth Rich dumped the real stuff?

Fred

Walrus,

Of course the FBI wasn't allowed to see the actual evidence nor did they request a subpeona to obtain it.

The Twisted Genius

Blue peacock, Brad Parscales had a good grasp of the possibilities of social media, especially FaceBook, in a political campaign. I feel his use of modern analytics and messaging techniques was a contributing factor to Trump’s victory. I don’t think the Clinton campaign had a clue about this new phenomenon. The Democratic party has learned since then and tried some of these techniques during the last Alabama senate race as a test run. My guess is that what both parties will do in 2020 will dwarf the 2016 Russian effort in scope if not in nature. Election law and campaign finance law have not caught up to advances in social media, big data and AI so both parties are free to pretty much do as they please.

The Twisted Genius

Jack, neither one of those revelations were news. It didn’t take the hacked emails to realize that the DNC was rigging the selection process for their anointed candidate. Gabbard quit her position in the DNC over just this issue. It stunk, especially for us Bernie supporters, and it was a stupid, sleazy, disingenuous decision. However, it was well within the DNC’s right to choose their candidate in whatever way they saw fit. They didn’t throw an election, they picked a candidate. That Podesta was instrumental in choosing members of the Obama administration was also old news. Obama’s policies enjoyed fairly wide support so how his administration was chosen years ago didn’t matter much. It mattered far less than even the DNC’s treatment of Bernie. Beyond some embarrassing comments and the fact of having been hacked, it just didn’t matter that much in the election.

I share your opinion of both political parties. They’re corrupt. I believe the most corrosive factor in their corruption is the idea that money is free speech. And now that social media, big data and AI have far outstripped our campaign finance laws, the 2020 election is going to be a doozy.

The Twisted Genius

Walrus, the flaw in your scenario is that the real stuff dumped by Seth Rich had nothing of the massive DNC illegality you laid out in your conspiracy theory. It is also unlikely the IC and DOJ would use the poorly protected DNC system to discuss such a sinister conspiracy.

Nobody wants the FBI rummaging around in their IT systems. With the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s email server, the DNC had reason to keep them at arms length. My guess is that the FBI, if given free reign in the DNC system, could have found something far more damaging than what was released. It’s much like Trump’s financial and business records. The truth those records would reveal is probably extremely damaging. That’s why he’s fighting tooth and nail to keep those records secret. That's also why he's not releasing much of the IC and DOJ classified data which he can do with the snap of his fingers.

Walrus

The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge meme.

Larry Johnson

Once again. You are as wrong as can be. Devin Nunes was the Head of the House Intelligence Committee. HE WAS NOT BRIEFED ON THE FINDINGS OF SO-CALLED RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE. He was given a different brief than what Harry Reid received. We know this because of the letter Reid sent to Comey.

It is really sad that you have abandoned your objectivity and rationality on this. You keep citing "Russian" meddling. Please give me a list of just two issues that were pushed by Russian "disinformation" campaigns that then became central to the Presidential campaign and shifted the debate. Hell, just give me one?

J

Regarding the Air Force, [active] Gen. John Hyten STRATCOM CC in 2017 opened his mouth and inserted the Air Force's foot with his comment he would not follow POTUS orders if given. The Air Force Chief of Staff should have Immediately relieved Hyten of his Command, as it was not Hyten's place to become a political advocate. Active duty are to remain apolitical and not be a butt-head in public as with Hyten's behavior.

The Navy's Admiral McRaven's public reproachment of Trump erodes the Chain of Command. There was not one word by the Navy's CNO regarding McRaven's Anti-POTUS comments.

Such actions by Admirals and Generals erodes the Chain of Command, and serves as a bad example for the junior grades. For good or bad, Trump was duly elected by the U.S. voters as our nation's POTUS.

The FBI's actions were way outside investigation, bordering on treason with some of their hierarchy actively seeking to subvert a sitting duly-elected POTUS. The FBI Special Agent, the Agent swears to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. To actively seek to subvert a sitting duly-elected POTUS violates their Constitutional Oath. Those FBI Directors and their subordinates who actively engaged in activities against POTUS, IMO belong in prison cells wearing prison orange.

Larry has documented over and over again their subversive actions. Their subversion is also now a matter of official records.

Larry Johnson

Mark,
Why the lies on your part? Please show me the "lies" told by the Trumps. If they really lied to the FBI they would have been indicted for doing so.

Fred

TTG,

What is the probable cause to investigate Trump's financial and business records?

David Habakkuk

All,

Over the past months, Larry has informed us at intervals about the progress of the lawsuits brought by Ed Butowsky and the two lawyers who have been acting for him, Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss.

(The latter has also acted for Devin Nunes, and filed the suit on behalf of Svetlana Lokhova against Stefan Halper and selected MSM organisations in relation to the conspiracy to use the notion of her as a Russian ‘honeypot’ against Lieutenant-General Flynn.)

I would strongly recommend anyone who is interesting in seeing the conspiracy against the Constitution exposed, and its perpetrators get their due deserts, to subscribe to Clevenger’s ‘LawFlog’ blog, and also occasionally to check out the progress of these lawsuits on the ‘Court Listener’ site.

(See http://lawflog.com .)

Sometimes, the most interesting information turns up in the ‘small print.’ At the end of a post by Clevenger I found in my inbox this morning, I read the following:

‘I’m in the early stages of organizing a LARGE racketeering lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Buowsky (sic), and we will likely name the major players in the whole Russian collusion fraud, e.g., John Brennan, Andrew McCabe, the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, et al. If you are a civil litigator and you are interested, shoot me an email at tyclevenger dot yahoo dot com. It doesn’t matter where you are licensed.’

It was a little disappointing to see no British names on his list, but then, it may turn out that this is a case where, as the prophet said, everything comes to him who waits.

(Also, while I have enormous respect for Clevenger – I think he is an absolutely first-class ‘ferret’, which is one of the stronger compliments I can make – I do often wish he would proof-read his stuff more carefully or get someone to do it for him.)

Also at the end of his new post there was a link to a letter which he had just written to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas in response to a request for an explanation of his reasons for issuing a subpoena to the FBI on behalf of Butowsky.

An interesting paragraph relates to key evidence about the life, and death, of Seth Rich, which is the central matter at issue in the lawsuits his client has brought:

‘Mr. Butowsky tells me that he was informed by someone with access to FBI records that the FBI’s Computer Analysis and Response Team (“CART”) took custody of Seth’s electronic devices and downloaded evidence from those devices. He was further told that the evidence included communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks.’

Two lawsuits in relation to claims that Butowsky had disseminated ‘conspiracy theories’ about the death of Seth Rich are involved in this subpoena.

The initial suit was filed on his behalf by Clevenger and Biss on 21 June last year against David Folkenflik and his NPR colleagues, and it was followed up on 12 March this year by one filed by Clevenger against Michael Gottlieb, and other key legal players, various other MSM organisations, and the DNC.

Meanwhile, on 23 March, Biss filed a suit on behalf of Lokhova against Dow Jones, as owners of the WSJ, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and MSNBC.

All of these cases can be followed on the invaluable ‘Court Listener’ site. Much of the material requires a PACER subscription, but key documents in all three are freely available.

(See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7244731/butowsky-v-folkenflik/ ; https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14681570/butowsky-v-gottlieb/ ; https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/15671580/unknown-case-title/ .)

Among the material now publicly available is the report rejecting the Motion to Dismiss filed by Folkenflik and his associates by Magistrate Judge Caroline M. Craven, which was not accessible when Larry discussed it here on SST shortly after it was issued on 17 April.

It is well worth reading in full. Briefly, confronted by Butowsky’s responses to NPR’s repeated suggestions that he had been involved in disseminating false claims about Rich’s death, Folkenflik and his associates attempted to use a combination of legal technicalities and sleazy equivocation to avoid confronting the substantive issues involved.

Among the technicalities was the ‘fair report’ privilege, which was successfully used by ‘BuzzFeed’ in the case bought against them over the dossier attributed to Steele by Aleksej Gubarev to avoid having to defend the claims they had made.

But Caroline Craven treated this with the contempt it deserved.

Although the suit against Gottlieb, the DNC et al was issued before her ruling, the hearing on which it was based was held back in February, and I suspect that it may have been this, together with the first ‘discovery’ produced by the defendants, that gave Butowsky, Clevenger and Biss the confidence to launch the other two lawsuits.

In general, the response of the ‘Fakestream Media’ to all this has been to say nothing.

However, in what was probably a reaction to the second suit, Michael Isikoff, whose role in disseminating the ludicrous assertions in the dossier attributed to Steele, and subsequent qualified retreat, are alike well known, then entered the fray.

On 9 July, he published a long piece attempting to locate the claims Butowsky and others had made in the ‘Russiagate’ narrative.

(See https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html .)

On the background to Isikoff's piece, Butowsky has provided his version, in interviews with, among others, Peter Santilli and Sharon Rondeau.

To the former, he claimed that Isikoff contacted him prior to the publication of his piece, and been told that a principal source was Ellen Ratner, sister of the late Michael Ratner, who was an attorney for Assange.

According to Butowsky, despite a pledge to keep Ratner’s involvement “off the record,” Isikoff contacted her about Butowsky’s claim and she said Butowsky “was lying.”

At that point, according to this version, inhibitions about protecting Ratner which had caused Butowsky to refrain from playing some of the strongest cards in his hand disappeared.

As a result, on 15 July, Clevenger had filed an ‘Amended Complaint’, which ‘outed’ Ratner, and provided a significantly more detailed version of the whole history of the Seth Rich affair, and Butowsky’s involvement in it, which included claims about her role in enlisting him as an intermediary with the Rich family, as well what she said about her contact with Asssange.

And on 21 July, Clevenger ‘tweeted’ a link to a video interview from November 2016, in which Ratner described how Assange had told her face to face that he did not get the emails from a Russian source.

(On all this, see https://www.thepostemail.com/2019/07/17/exclusive-amended-complaint-claims-prominent-journalist-relayed-message-from-assange-on-seth-rich/ ; https://www.thepostemail.com/2019/07/17/exclusive-amended-complaint-claims-prominent-journalist-relayed-message-from-assange-on-seth-rich/ ; https://www.shiftfrequency.com/butowsky-lawsuit-blows-seth-rich-case-wide-open/ ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhY81uKyRr8 .)

This, I think, may turn out to be a David and Goliath story, not simply in that it confronts the apparently weak against the portentously mighty, but in its outcome.

And although I concede that Butowsky is a bit portly for the David role, unless what appears from the documents is cast into doubt by some serious evidence, I think his credentials as an heroic giant-slayer may end up looking rather good.

Without being unduly optimistic, I think there is now a real possibility that in these civil cases we may see 'slingshots' fired, that finally do for the conventional 'narrative' on 'Russiagate', so that those who created it may indeed walk the ‘perp walk’, and those who have continued to defend it can sink into the ground in shame (if they have any.)

Meanwhile, a very interesting aspect of the Lokhova case is again in the ‘small print’, and relates to what has not happened. (A 'dog that has not barked' - yet at least?)

On 26 June, a summons drafted by Biss on behalf of Lokhova was issued, which if I understand correctly, gave Halper and his co-defendants 21 days to produce a response to the complaint, failing which, judgement by default would be entered against them.

As of the last recorded entry on the ‘Court Listener’ site, on 22 July, motions for ‘extension of time to answer’ had been requested and granted on behalf of all the defendants – with the singular exception of the figure alleged to have been the one most seriously implicated in the conspiracy: Halper.

Unless some remarkable evidence surfaces when the responses are finally 'in', the story of the framing of Lokhova as the supposed instrument of a Russian conspiracy to entrap Flynn, and the suggestions he fell for this non-existent plot, and the collusion of the ‘Fakestream Media’ in this nonsense, has to be one of the most sheerly sordid parts of this whole ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy.

And, obviously, the whole 'narrative' is under radical threat, unless Halper can produce a coherent account of what happened, which will survive 1. the 'discovery' process, and 2. his cross-examination in court.

Much more, I suspect, may be going to come out – possibly including the role of the ‘Office of Net Assessment’ in all this, both before and after the late Andrew Marshall’s final, decades overdue, departure from his ‘perch’ there.

Unless Lokhova’s complaint is countered with serious evidence, the role of Cambridge (UK) professor Christopher Andrew would appear particularly sordid. Again, I am disappointed that people in the U.K. have not - yet at least - been sued.

Also of interest - and here, the role of Andrew becomes particularly interesting – is the possibility that in the Lokhova case we are dealing with a kind of epitome of the tragedy of a part of ‘liberalism’ in Russia: decent people in that country, as opposed to the ‘Masha Gessen tendency’, who used to admire and want to emulate the West, and have learnt from harsh experience how naive they were.

David Habakkuk

Pat,

I posted quite a long comment on what has been happening in relation to the cases bought by Ed Butowsky, who I think may be acquiring the mantle of hero – justifiably.

Of course, I could be wrong about this, but so far, his opponents are using familiar ‘information operations’ tactics, including both the kind of exploitation of legal technicalities, and also bullying, bribery, and blackmail, which become easy if you have ‘open door’ access to ‘krysha’, as the Russians term it.

Also, to declare an interest, in my own undistinguished, and mildly irreverent, student career at Cambridge (UK), I heard Christopher Andrew give an – actually interesting and useful – series of lectures.

It thus dispirits me to conclude that, unless he can provide a coherent answer to the claims made in the complaint filed by Biss on behalf of Lokhova, he should feel utterly and unalterably ashamed of himself.

(The Cam is a small river, ill-adapted for suicide. By contrast, at GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, particularly as the nearby Severn flows into the Avon, there are various options, if one wishes to face up to what one has done.)

Walrus

Thank you TTG I haven’t an answer for you

Jack

TTG

Yes, the DNC is a private organization just like the RNC and can setup whatever rules they choose. However, while the Hillary campaign essentially captured the DNC and stacked the deck in their favor by giving a large number of delegate votes to super delegates who had pledged to her even before the Iowa caucuses, they still had rules for the primary. The revelations were big news because it showed unprecedented collusion between the DNC and the Hillary campaign making a mockery of the primary. The fact that Bernie and his supporters did not make a big deal about this corruption does not detract from the fact that many Bernie supporters did not show up to the polls in the general and contributed to Trump's narrow victory in the handful of mid-western states.

The leaks of Podesta's emails with top Wall St executives were also big news IMO, as it showed in black & white the degree of influence Wall St had on the selection of the Obama administration, and the consequent non-prosecution of the massive fraud in the mortgage credit crisis and the trillions spent by the Obama government on socialism for the 1%. Highlighting the utter cynicism of the "eloquent" Obama who hoodwinked the working class and the blacks.

This deep seated cynicism of the Democratic establishment is big news because it directly contradicts the media portrayal. And it points to the collusion of the political, financial and media establishment to propagandize the American public. This is the real news not that Russia ran a clickbait operation. Shame on us that our counter-intelligence leadership were political hacks like Peter Strzok and Lisa Monaco and John Brennan who were incompetent that they couldn't disrupt something as trivial as what blue peacock notes are common tactics by online marketers.

The whole Russia Collusion media hysteria is designed precisely to deflect from the real story of the utter corruption at the highest levels of our political, financial and media establishment.

Stormcrow

Larry. where is John Brennan in all this. An audio recording of Seymour Hersh has him saying: “It was a Brennan operation. An American disinformation…at one point they even started telling the press—they were back briefing the press that ‘we even know who in the GRU the Russian and the Russian military intelligence service, who leaked it.’ I mean, all bullshit.” What do you make of this?

JP Billen

President Trump recently nominated General Hyten to become Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Why would he do that if Hyten has been advocating against him?

And McRaven has been out of the Navy for five years, long before Trump threw his hat in the ring for President.

Check out your sources!

different clue

What if both things are true at the same time? What if there was a Russian IO and also separately a creeping clintobama coup against Trump? What if we have to run two separate trains of thought at the same time? Can we do it? And if we sometimes have to jump from car to car between the two trains of thought, can we do that?

It reminds me of a Venn Diagram. A 2D Venn Diagram offers 2 or more flat circles to show where they overlap. What would a 3D Venn Diagram be like? 2 or more inter-permeable balloons sharing a zone of interlap? I imagine the existence of a Venn creeping-clintobama-coup balloon and a Venn russian-IO balloon partway interlapping eachother. And the Venn Zone of Interlap is filled with all kinds of raging rip-tides, cross-currents, whirl pools, etc.

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