Is “Russiagate” another deception like Iraqi WMDs?

Iraq: A Deadly Deception – strong parallels with current “Russiagate” affair

The alleged Russian collusion/interference investigations lumber on. Despite the media spin and intelligence leaks nothing of substance has yet been unearthed. Nothing to verify the claims originally made by Hillary Clinton when she attempted to divert attention from the Democratic National committee emails leaked by Wikileaks.

Politically partisan and Russophobic commentators still hold out hope. Admitting no credible evidence has yet emerged publicly (after 18 months) they call on critics to wait for the investigation final reports. They repeatedly use the phrase “where there is smoke there must be fire.”

But what if the investigations finally report that there is no evidence to support Clinton’s original claims? Worse, what if the investigations show that the claim itself was simply an attempt by the establishment to manipulate US politics? To prevent the election of Trump and then to discredit the election result and work to unseat the elected present?

What if the “fire” causing all this “smoke” actually took place, and still continues, but within the political establishment – and within the state agencies, the FBI and intelligence groups?

Well, that is the conclusion drawn by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern in a recent report – The FBI Hand behind Russia-gate. His conclusions parallel strongly with what was done to justify the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq. The fact that he, with other intelligence agents, criticised the way intelligence was being selectively used by the Bush government is also another strong parallel (see the video Iraq: A Deadly Deception above where McGovern is interviewed).

McGovern, together with other ex-intelligence officers in the organisation Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity,  is analysing and criticising the use of intelligence in the Russiagate affair. They have, for example, submitted to Congress forensic information on the leaked Democratic National Committee documents which indicate these documents were leaked and not hacked as the political and intelligence establishments  claim

McGovern summarises his report this way:

“In the Watergate era, liberals warned about U.S. intelligence agencies manipulating U.S. politics, but now Trump-hatred has blinded many of them to this danger becoming real.”

McGovern’s conclusion may still lack sufficient convincing evidence (although I think there is far more evidence than has yet appeared to support Clinton’s story). But important evidence has recently appeared and further investigation of that material is sure to be enlightening.

The Strzok-Page texts

McGovern discusses some of the evidence of political partisanship and Russiaphobia bias within the FBI revealed in the text messages between FBI Counterintelligence Section chief, Peter Strzok, and his FBI lawyer girlfriend,  Lisa Page. These reveal that they knew their discussions were damning – Strzok insisted their discussion only be in texts to avoid them being traced. Page actually wrote in one text: “So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it can’t be traced, . .

So far only a fraction (375) of more than 10,000 of these texts have been released, and these only in the last few weeks. These show an almost childish and gleeful partisan support for Hilary Clinton and hatred for Donald Trump. They also show a belief that they could, maybe, play a role in preventing Trump’s elections. Page wrote:  “And maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace. “ Strsok replies: “of course I’ll try and approach it that way. I just know it will be tough at times. I can protect our country at many levels.”

McGovern points out:

“Another text message shows that other senior government officials – alarmed at the possibility of a Trump presidency – joined the discussion. In an apparent reference to an August 2016 meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.”  Strzok added, “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event that you die before you’re 40.”

Strzok will be asked to explain the “insurance policy” comment when he is called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But one can’t help wondering if the so-called Trump Dossier (which has been largely discredited) and the DNC email hacking story were parts of this “insurance policy.”

Strzok a key player in investigations

Strzok and Page were removed from the Mueller investigation last August when these texts came to light, although this was not made public until December. McCabe has said he will retire early.

Partisan commenters have tried to play down these texts but we should not forget Strzok was the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division and led the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. In this role:

” It is a safe bet that he took a strong hand in hand-picking the FBI contingent of analysts that joined “hand-picked” counterparts from CIA and NSA in preparing the evidence-free, Jan. 6, 2017 assessment accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of interfering in the election of 2016. “

Previously:

“As the FBI’s chief of counterespionage during the investigation into then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized use of a personal email server for classified information, Strzok reportedly changed the words “grossly negligent” (which could have triggered legal prosecution) to the far less serious “extremely careless” in FBI Director James Comey’s depiction of Clinton’s actions. This semantic shift cleared the way for Comey to conclude just 20 days before the Democratic National Convention began in July 2016, that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Mrs. Clinton.”

Trump’s vindication a downside

While welcoming release of the FBI text messages which provide “documentary evidence that key FBI officials involved in the Russia-gate investigation were indeed deeply biased and out to get Trump,” McGovern warns that they also add  “hard proof to Trump’s longstanding lament that he was the subject of a “witch hunt.””

“Justified or not, Trump’s feeling of vindication could hardly be more dangerous — particularly at a time when the most urgent need is to drain some testosterone from the self-styled Stable-Genius-in-Chief and his martinet generals.

On the home front, Trump, his wealthy friends, and like-thinkers in Congress may now feel they have an even wider carte blanche to visit untold misery on the poor, the widow, the stranger and other vulnerable humans. That was always an underlying danger of the Resistance’s strategy to seize on whatever weapons were available – no matter how reckless or unfair – to “get Trump.””

He also warns it will be difficult for the Washington establishment to “turn back” or have “second thoughts” on all this. The Russophobia and its use in political campaigns are now ingrained. How often will it raise its ugly head in the upcoming elections? And what will that mean for the US political climate?

An example already at hand is its use to oppose whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s candidacy for a US Senate seat in the state of Maryland – see the tweets from Molly McKew who Glen Greenwald describes as “one of the media’s favorite Russia-obsessed “experts”” saying “she didn’t even wait an hour before depicting Chelsea Manning’s Senate candidacy as a dastardly Kremlin plot.”

No certainties

McGovern declares:

“The Donnybrook is now underway; the outcome uncertain.”

And he has good reason to doubt a satisfactory conclusion.

“At this point, the $64 question is whether the various congressional oversight committees will remain ensconced in their customarily cozy role as “overlook” committees, or whether they will have the courage to attempt to carry out their Constitutional duty. The latter course would mean confronting a powerful Deep State and its large toolbox of well-practiced retaliatory techniques, including J. Edgar Hoover-style blackmail on steroids, enabled by electronic surveillance of just about everything and everyone. Yes, today’s technology permits blanket collection, and “Collect Everything” has become the motto.”

Let’s remember this warning given to Trump after the election when there were fears he may do a bit of “housecleaning:”

“Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, with almost four decades of membership in the House and Senate, openly warned incoming President Trump in January 2017 against criticizing the U.S. intelligence community because U.S. intelligence officials have “six ways from Sunday to get back at you” if you are “dumb” enough to take them on.”

Still, it is early days. There are many more of the Strzok-Page texts to be released and there is also talk of other, yet to be released,  evidence coming to light of partisan bias and prejudiced actions within the FBI and the investigation team.

Real progress may depend on at least some of the media abandoning their previously partisan attitudes and pressuring the investigations to declassify the evidence they have. As the Wall Street Journal recently said about the current arguments of the “Trump dossier:”

“You can bet that the dossier spin is going to get even crazier, which is why it is so urgent that Congress move quickly to declassify core documents and release them to the public.

So long as those documents remain secret, dossier proponents can concoct whatever story they choose. It’s time to end the season of silly spin and begin one of accountability.”

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69 responses to “Is “Russiagate” another deception like Iraqi WMDs?

  1. David Fierstien

    Could you please provide a link citing “claims originally made by Hillary Clinton” regarding “alleged Russia collusion / interference?”

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  2. David, seriously, you are asking me to provide a link to one of Clinton’s statements on this?? Come off it – these are easy enough to find.

    Are you trying to imply she has never made these claims??

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  3. David Fierstien

    No. I am asking you to provide the original claims, the genesis of Russia-gate, which you said were made by Hillary Clinton. I am asking for one specific date, what was said, and a link. If you make a claim like this, you should be prepared to provide evidence of it. This shouldn’t be very hard for you to provide.

    This is reminiscent of claims made by Donald Trump that Hillary Clinton made the original claims of President Obama not being born in the United States, which, as you can see here, was bullshit. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/sep/23/donald-trump/hillary-clinton-obama-birther-fact-check/

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  4. You are simply attempting a diversion, David. No one in their right mind would seriously question that Clinton made these claims at the time of the DNC email leaks. You yourself are not questioning it.

    This is hardly central to my article which is about a far more serious matter – and it is this you wish to divert away from.

    Not falling for it.

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  5. David Fierstien

    Your quote: “This is hardly central to my article which is about a far more serious matter – and it is this you wish to divert away from.”

    Response: We are going to thoroughly examine this article one sentence at a time in order to expose your habit of spewing fake news.

    Your quote: “Despite the media spin and intelligence leaks nothing of substance has yet been unearthed. Nothing to verify the claims ORIGINALLY MADE BY HILLARY CLINTON (my emphasis) when she attempted to divert attention from the Democratic National committee emails leaked by Wikileaks.”

    Response: “Originally — adverb
    1. with respect to origin; by origin :
    2. at the origin; at first”

    “Origin — noun
    1. something from which anything arises or is derived; source; fountainhead:
    to follow a stream to its origin.
    2. rise or derivation from a particular source:
    3. the first stage of existence; beginning”

    Ken, you literally said that Hillary Clinton was the origin of the Russia-gate scandal. Please provide evidence of this.

    You are the first person to complain about Fake News. In regards to this article, all it would take would be for Donald Trump to read this post. As history has shown he would tweet that Hillary was the source of the Russia-gate accusations, and at that point 30% of the United States, his base, would believe it. From there it would make news stories and finally Politifact would have to disprove it.

    Your fondness of creating fake news is incredibly irresponsible.

    Now, either provide evidence for what you just said, or provide an amendment at the end of this article stating that Hillary Clinton was not the original source of Russia-gate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As I said, David, a diversion.

    I am not playing.

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  7. David Fierstien

    Obviously you can’t defend your claim that Hillary Clinton was the origin of the Russia-gate story.

    Fake news.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David Fierstien

    When a good author writes an article, when a writer presents a thesis, the typical format is to lay the groundwork for that idea at the very start; to put forward a premise which will be maintained or proved in the article which follows. The start of the article is the very foundation upon which the following arguments are based. The good writer puts his best argumentative foot forward.

    The building of your article, here, rests upon a foundation of sand.

    Ken, at the start you said, “(there is) Nothing to verify the claims originally made by Hillary Clinton when she attempted to divert attention from the Democratic National committee emails leaked by Wikileaks.”

    The first paragraph of this article is a blatant lie. It is such a lie, in fact, that you are unwilling to defend it. Its defense, you have claimed, is beneath you. I have questioned the first paragraph of this article, upon which your following argument should rest, and you called the mere questioning of it a “diversion.”

    Ken: “As I said, David, a diversion. I am not playing.”

    Ok. You’re not playing. Then let’s talk about that which is “central” to your article. But before we do, we must look at it in context. Because your attempt, here, to delegitimize the United States Department of Justice, and specifically the FBI, did not happen in a vacuum. This attempt at delegitimizing the foundations of U.S. democracy is a pattern with you.

    You have written time and again about Fake News coming from the Mainstream Media . . something I like to call the Free Press; others call it the Fourth Estate. It, the Free Press, rests upon nothing less than that pillar of an open society which allows freedom of thought and freedom of expression. You yourself enjoy the freedoms which are sustained by this pillar.

    This idea of “Fake News” is not a particularly new phenomenon. What is particularly new about this moment in history is that the phrase has become weaponized. The derision of the Free Press, by applying the term “Fake News,” has become weaponized by President Trump in his efforts to divert attention away from his own shortcomings.

    Ken, President Trump’s attempts to delegitimize a Free Press is a slippery slope upon which we now find ourselves. What lies at the bottom of this slope? Take a look at what is now happening in Kenya: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/02/africa/kenya-tv-stations-shutdown-intl/index.html

    President Trump has weaponized this idea of “Fake News” and people like you are his lackeys, giving potency to his new weapon, his new toy. Prove me wrong. You have written extensively about the Fake News coming out of the mainstream media. Show me one instance where you have written about this issue, Fake News, prior to a point in time when President Trump began weaponizing the phrase. You have become a Trump-lackey, and you are part of the problem. You are assisting our President in pushing us all down that muddy slippery slope to what awaits us in Kenya.

    The “central” theme to your article, here, is little more than another of your attempts to delegitimize another pillar of society, this time Law Enforcement. In this case it is an FBI investigation, if not the FBI itself. By using Cherry-Picked emails between Peter Strzok, an agent who was reassigned to Human Resources by Robert Mueller immediately after he discovered those emails, and his mistress Lisa Page, you again have earned the title ‘Trump-lackey.’ You have relied on a source, Ray McGovern, whom you admit has only read 375 emails . . a fraction of the total.

    President Trump has upped the weaponization of his verbiage by calling their emails “treason” in his efforts to delegitimize his own law enforcement agency.

    I use the phrase “cherry-picked” because in all, over 7000 emails spanning 384 pages were exchanged between the couple. Unlike either you or McGovern, Del Quentin Wilber of the Washington Post, has actually read all 7000 emails. Wilber says:

    “Texts critical of Mr. Trump represent a fraction of the roughly 7,000 messages, which stretch across 384 pages and show no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump. Rather, a broader look shows an unvarnished and complex picture of the lives of an FBI agent and lawyer who found themselves at the center of highly charged probes.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-the-fbi-life-of-peter-strzok-and-lisa-page-as-told-in-their-text-messages-1517589380

    I say cherry-picked, because according to Wilber, “They seemed dedicated to their jobs but didn’t hesitate to chastise or criticize many others beyond Mr. Trump, including their colleagues and each other.”

    I say cherry picked, because in an interview with CNN’s Ali Velshi, Wilber says of their views toward Trump and others, “They were not fans (of Trump). But they weren’t fans of a lot of people. They didn’t like Eric Holder, you know, President Obama’s, you know, former Attorney General. There were a lot of people on both sides of the Aisle they didn’t like.”

    And in that same interview with Velshi, Wilber said of Lisa Page’s reference to a Secret Society (another “conspiracy” about which you have written), “Based on the emails and the reporting that I have done I have never come across any evidence of a Secret Society. In that instance they were joking.”

    From your article, your source, Ray McGovern says, “ Strzok reportedly changed the words “grossly negligent” (which could have triggered legal prosecution) to the far less serious “extremely careless” in FBI Director James Comey’s depiction of Clinton’s actions. This semantic shift cleared the way for Comey to conclude just 20 days before the Democratic National Convention began in July 2016, that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Mrs. Clinton.”

    Of this, Wilber says on the Velshi interview: “He (Strzok) was the lead agent on that and so whatever statement Comey was going to do, he had to play a role in that in the end. And I think what Comey, and people who know Comey and others at the FBI were saying was, ‘We don’t want to suggest that we think she committed a crime that we can charge her with, we want to explain what we really think of her handling of this information. And Comey, or someone, first suggested “Grossly Negligent,” and sources tell us that he went and said, “No, let’s try “Extremely Careless” because it doesn’t have that legal connotation of committing a crime.’

    “And you can tell they spent a lot of time working on this. They started in May and they didn’t exonerate until July 5th, and he’s editing, and he said, “I’m going insane editing this,” in a text, and he was going back and forth with Lisa and others.”

    So, far from the vast conspiracy that you and McGovern are proposing, the truth is that Comey wanted to convey what the FBI truly believed about Mrs. Clinton and her emails. The changed wording merely reflected, and focused in on, the actual beliefs of those who had full knowledge of the circumstances and events surrounding “email-gate.”

    And where has all this led us? Where are we now? It seems a Four Page Memo, written by Trump-lackey Devin Nunes, based upon a Fifty Page FISA request, which he admits he never read, and has been called “grossly misleading,” by those who wrote it, has been given to President Trump, to weaponize. But why would Trump want a memo which has been discredited by the authors of the original FISA request? . . . Maybe as an excuse?

    After Trump was given his new four-page weapon, he was asked if he would fire Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, overseer of the Mueller Investigation. His reply was, “You figure that one out.” The Mueller Investigation, of course, is examining all aspects of Russian interference in the 2016 election and has been given broad authority. How broad?

    “In appointing Mueller, however, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein gave him broad authority not only to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated” with Trump’s campaign, but also to examine “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”
    Rosenstein also gave Mueller the power to investigate “any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a)” — including perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses.” http://www.businessinsider.com/mueller-authority-russia-investigation-2017-7

    And now we find ourselves potentially headed for a constitutional crisis; but not in the traditional sense; that of a collision between different branches of government. This will be a constitutional crisis within the Executive Branch alone, between the President and his own Law Enforcement agencies. And Trump-lackeys like you and Nunes have helped drive us there.

    As for Nunes? Lackeys like him usually end up in jail. What was his crime? All he did was write a misleading memo which may or may not give the President an excuse to fire Rosenstein. If that were to occur, the firing of Mueller would be imminent. Nunes’ crime? Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice. That is, if Trump disregards the advice of his own attorneys, follows his own whims (as he usually does), and actually fires Rosenstein. As for you, Ken? No crime there. You are just a commenter voicing your own opinion, a freedom you can enjoy because it is upheld by that same pillar which upholds a Free Press, and ironically, that same pillar which you, either wittingly or unwittingly, are attempting to dismantle.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My, my. Little old me from New Zealand is somehow engaged in an attempt to “to delegitimize the United States Department of Justice, and specifically the FBI.!”

    And what motivates this charge? Simply you are offended that I attempt to think for myself, look at different sources, and refuse to unquestionably accept the “official” narrative?

    My use of the term “Fake News” has absolutely nothing to do with Trump but relates to use of this term by the mainstream media, militarised and ideological think tanks and NATO agencies who attempt to label anything coming from alternative media sources as “Fake News.” It is these outfits which have weaponised the term “Fake News” to the extent now of pressuring social media to warn readers they may have used or linked to a “Russian” source! This has what it has come to!

    I have known since the days of the US war in Vietnam how dishonest the mainstream media has been. Its current dishonesty, and peddling of fake news, is no surprise to me. That is why I advise using a range of media sources for information and interpreting information from all sources critically and intelligently.

    The Strzok/Page emails were not “cherry-picked” by me or Ray McGovern. They were cherry-picked by the Department of Justice when released to selected media at the time they were handed over to Congress. Ray McGovern and I have relied on those mainstream media reports – and we will all continue to do so until (or if) Congress declassifies and releases the full hoard of these texts.

    You may attempt to place an interpretation on the texts to confirm you bias – I don’t. I attempt to see them for what they are and do not refuse to see the image of bias, and possible collusion between the state agencies, media and the Democrats, that they present.

    If you were truly worried about the slippery slope of delegitimizing the media and state agencies coming out of the current exposures then you would be calling for full exposure of this evidence, making the appropriate judgement and taking the appropriate steps to weed out the problems.

    Attempting to deny the evidence, arguing for its cover-up and the childish labelling of people involved is simply a cop-out. Reminds me very much of those people who attempted to excuse and cover up Stalin’s crimes. And their attempts to silence, and remove, the people who were exposing those crimes.

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  10. David Fierstien

    Ken, before anything else, I have to get this out there. In your article, you say, “Well, that is the conclusion drawn by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern in a recent report – The FBI Hand behind Russia-gate.”

    Response: It’s not a “report.” It’s a biased opinion piece, which has since been largely disproven by Del Wilber, written by a biased right-wing Nixon apologist. The fact that you would call McGovern’s piece a “report” only confirms my suspicion that you tend to give weight to that which confirms and supports your weird biases, when no such credence is warranted.

    Now, this may be a little before your time, but back in the 1970s, Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin routinely performed a parody of a 60 Minutes segment called “Point-Counterpoint.” After Jane Curtin’s “Point,” Aykroyd always began his “Counterpoint” with, “Jane, you ignorant slut.” (For a good laugh, here’s a great example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c91XUyg9iWM )

    What you just gave me here is less cogent than one of Dan Aykroyd’s Counterpoints.

    First you say, “The Strzok/Page emails were not “cherry-picked” by me or Ray McGovern. They were cherry-picked by the Department of Justice when released to selected media at the time they were handed over to Congress.”

    Ok, let’s look at that. By your own admission, there were 375 emails that had, at that time, been released by the DOJ. In your article above, you used exactly 2 texts to make your case. That represents a whopping 0.53% of the total emails released. In McGovern’s “Report,” he cites a total of 3 texts (0.8% of the total) and then he adds 10 text exchanges for a total of 13 which represents 3.5% of the total 375 emails available to him.

    3.5% of 375 available texts that McGovern used?? And you don’t call this “cherry-picking?” No. . . You go on to say, “They (that 375 of 10,000) were cherry-picked by the Department of Justice when released to selected media at the time they were handed over to Congress. Ray McGovern and I have relied on those mainstream media reports.”

    Ok. At this point let’s recap. Your and McGovern’s argument is that the Department of Justice was involved in a “Deep State” conspiracy to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President. And as proof, you have offered texts which you admit were cherry picked by the DOJ, given to selected media, and probably further cherry-picked by them.

    Ken’s argument: “What if the “fire” causing all this “smoke” actually took place, and still continues, but within the political establishment – and within the state agencies, the FBI and intelligence groups?”

    McGovern: “We suddenly have documentary proof (the texts) that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process. And that puts in a new and dark context the year-long promotion of Russia-gate. It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State.”

    (Oh . . one more bit of information that both you and McGovern seem to have cherry-picked-by-omission is that Peter Strzok, was reassigned to Human Resources by Robert Mueller immediately after he discovered those few emails.)

    So to sum up, your argument is that the DOJ was determined and conspired to prevent Trump from attaining the presidency, and your entire argument rests upon a few of the 3.75% emails (375 of 10,000 – according to McGovern) that were cherry-picked by the DOJ itself and released to selected media. Now, of those 375, McGovern cherry-picked a total of 13 texts & exchanges for a whopping 0.13% from the original 10,000-text pool.

    Despite the obvious cherry-picking, what fascinates me is your logic. You’re telling us that the DOJ is involved in this conspiracy, and yet the DOJ cherry-picks less than 4% from a text-pool, a 4% that contains the damnable evidence (what are the odds of that), releases it to the media, and somehow conspiracy theorists like you and McGovern glean that a conspiracy (which, by definition, must include a cover-up) occurred by those who cherry-picked the scant incriminating evidence in the first place and then released it to the media.

    The logic doesn’t quite work, does it. Beyond that, where is this conspiracy against Donald Trump; the same Donald Trump who happens to be the Leader of the Republican Party? Where exactly does this conspiracy exist??

    And at the top of this conspiratorial pyramid is one Robert Mueller: Republican. And as we work our way down we come to Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Republican. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (overseer of the Mueller Investigation) : Republican. The Supreme Court: Republican (5 to 4). The U.S. House of Representatives: Republican. The U.S. Senate: Republican.

    You would have to go back to before 1932 to find a point in time when Republicans held more power than they do now. And yet, we still have buffoons going out and talking about conspiracies against the Head of the Republican Party in a Republican owned playing field. Are you for real? We are on a ship, and Republicans run every part of that ship. Republicans even run the Mess Hall. Morons like you and McGovern still spew nonsense about a “conspiracy” when Republicans hold a total and complete monopoly over all levels of power in Washington D.C..

    Then there is this from you: “My use of the term “Fake News” has absolutely nothing to do with Trump but relates to use of this term by the mainstream media, militarised and ideological think tanks and NATO agencies who attempt to label anything coming from alternative media sources as “Fake News.” . . . I have known since the days of the US war in Vietnam how dishonest the mainstream media has been.”

    Response: Great. Then for the Second Time now, please provide one instance in which you have written about the “Fake News” prior to a point in time at which Trump began weaponizing the phrase — you know, since you have been so outraged about it since the Vietnam War. Your inability to do so will only prove my point that you are little more than a Trump-lackey, assisting in giving potency to his weaponized use of the phrase.

    Then there’s this from you: “If you were truly worried about the slippery slope of delegitimizing the media and state agencies coming out of the current exposures then you would be calling for full exposure of this evidence, making the appropriate judgement and taking the appropriate steps to weed out the problems.”

    Response: I agree. I do support full exposure of everything . . up to, but not including, the point of revealing classified information to the public. That is why I fully support the release of the Democratic 10 page response to Devin Nunes’ supposed “bombshell memo.” I would hope you would support its release as well.

    And finally, this from you: “My, my. Little old me from New Zealand is somehow engaged in an attempt to “to delegitimize the United States Department of Justice, and specifically the FBI.!””

    Response: You are just one of perhaps thousands involved in a global campaign of disinformation. The fact that you write from New Zealand only confirms that point. It is beyond my ability to counter all the misinformation and biased spin out there; but when I see it, and when I have the time, I will call it for what it is. I know for a fact that others who read your conspiracy nonsense feel strongly about it but are hesitant to step on the toes of the great Ken Perrott. That is sad. But I do believe there are enough good people out there to make a difference; people who are willing to speak out against those who spew the bias and bizarre logic that you have shown here.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. David, this is just cheap and childish:

    “I know for a fact that others who read your conspiracy nonsense feel strongly about it but are hesitant to step on the toes of the great Ken Perrott.”

    I am not intimidating in such discussions – and I welcome the discussions of these matters. But I do understand there will be people who have a political stance or bias but cannot justify it so don’t participate in situations where evidence is being discussed. I am exactly the same in areas I have little information on – but I do not pretend my inabilities are an argument against what is being said – or give others the right to use my inabilities to further their own arguments.Apart from that – one person’s reliable news is another person’s fake news – and vice versa. I try to base my use of the term “fake news” or false news with evidence showing it to be fake.

    This isn’t hard to do if one is willing to look for basic information. For example, a recent Al Jazeera report claimed that The Russians had liability for the use of chemical weapons in Syria because:

    1: The UN JIT format was inhibited because Syria prevented investigators from travelling to Syria, and
    2: The Russians voted against renewal of the JIT mandate.

    But having read the most recent JIT report I know that it says the Syrian government gave every help to the team, and did facilitate JIT travelling to Syria and visiting an air base attacked by the US. The report itself made it clear JIT would not investigate the presence of evidence of chemical weapons or visits the site where the attack occurred. There is a lot wrong with the JIT report but surely the point about the cooperation of the Syrian government must be accurate.

    As for the renewal of the JIT mandate – the Russians insisted in the UNSC that the team’s tasks and efficiency had to be improved and refused to endorse blanket renewal in its old form (where no on-site investigation occurred) The Russians put forward a resolution calling for the renewal of the JIT, but with a mandate insisting on more professional working, on-site investigation and so on.

    Having read the JIT report (and previous reports on this matter) and read about the text of the Russian resolution on mandate renewal, I was able to see straight away the Al Jazeera report was false – it was fake news. And there are plenty of examples of similar behaviour by Al Jazzera and other mainstream media. Plenty of examples and obvious to anyone who doesn’t wear blinkers and restrict their sources to the tired old mainstream ones.

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  12. David, the biases and stupidity of both sides in the current arguments seem to have been driven to an extreme by the evidence coming out of unprofessional behaviour within the FBI, blatant bias, etc. And your rave is no exception – you are working hard to deny any such bias etc., and making yourself seem silly in the process.

    Surely it is stupid to argue the innocence of Page and Strzok by naively citing the number of reported exchanges (cherry-picked by the DOJ and the mainstream media who were provided with them – not by me). Sure the number of quoted exchanges is small as a proportion – but they are telling. And the bias of these two so obvious, their unprofessional (maybe even criminal) behaviour so obvious that they were removed from the investigations they were working ion. So your attempt at pretending there was no problem looks rather ridiculous given that their wrong-doing was recognised by their managers and they were moved.

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  13. David Fierstien

    Ken: “Surely it is stupid to argue the innocence of Page and Strzok by naively citing the number of reported exchanges.”

    Learn to read. That may be part of the problem here. Where exactly did I argue the innocence of Page & Strzok?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. stephanie louise fisher

    Ken – I am sorry to see you again after several years, attacking your critics so condescendingly, calling their criticisms ”cheap” and ”childish” and suggesting they are inviting ”games” you won’t ”play”. You have clearly identified Hillary Clinton as the author of instigator of Russian inference. You won’t answer a question and go to great lengths to avoid it and patronise your questioner. Of course the following article isn’t verified by the White House or Fox News or Alex Jones or Breitbart, so it’s probably Deep State and fake news. However it does support the growing evidence observed on all the fake news sources like RNZ, The Guardian, The Independent, etc.

    Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, top U.S. official says
    by CYNTHIA MCFADDEN, WILLIAM M. ARKIN and KEVIN MONAHAN.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/russians-penetrated-u-s-voter-systems-says-top-u-s-n845721

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  15. stephanie louise fisher

    *or instigator

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  16. Stephanie, please explain how David’s concentration on Clinton’s use of the “Russians did it excuse” is not a diversion ( a refusal to deal with the content of my post) and his insistence on a link when he could easily find himself is not a game. Also, do you not think his description of me (ironically) as great and claiming he knows people who ar ei9ntimadated by me is cheap?

    And how silly of you linking to an unsupported claim of “Russian” interference in voting systems. Yeah, just like the interference in US utilities!

    The stupid claim of “the Russians did it” exposes oneself as essentially brain dead. Unwilling to participate in a respectful and rational discussion.

    Come on, one thing you must be aware of is my constant insistence on evidence – it is silly to treat any media source unverified claims as evidence of anything. You need to approach all media sources critically and intelligently.

    And in these matters, it is doubly important because of the outright demonizations of certain politicians and ethnic groups. A demonization I often think amounts to outright racism.

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  17. Here is how Russians laugh at the stupidity which passes for politics in the US.

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  18. And some sensible comments on this whole issue – from a sensible politician.

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  19. And some more sensible comments

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  20. David Fierstien

    I’d like to respond to a few things you have said to Stephanie.

    Your comment: “Stephanie, please explain how David’s concentration on Clinton’s use of the “Russians did it excuse” is not a diversion ( a refusal to deal with the content of my post) . . . “

    First of all, I did deal with the content of your post. Your inability to read it is neither my fault nor Stephanie’s. I’ll speak more about that in a moment. But first, this needs to be addressed: “David’s concentration on Clinton’s use of the “Russians did it excuse””

    Again, it appears that either you can’t read, or you can’t comprehend. My “concentration,” at the top of this thread, was not on “Clinton’s use of the “Russians did it excuse.” My concentration was on your blatant lie in which you claimed that Hillary Clinton was the origin of the Russia-gate investigation. You said, “(there was) Nothing to verify the claims originally made by Hillary Clinton when she attempted to divert attention from the Democratic National committee emails leaked by Wikileaks.”

    Now, one of three things happened here. 1.) Either you misspoke; 2.) or you blatantly lied; 3.) or you repeated something you heard from one of your “alternate facts” sources and you thought it was true. In whichever case, your inability to admit it is beneath childish.

    Mainstream media makes mistakes all the time, and when it is brought to their attention they admit it. When that happens those like you, who are attempting to delegitimize MSM, pounce on it in your efforts to further delegitimize it. Your buddy, Ray McGovern did it in his opinion piece (again, it was not a “report.”) when he said, “For months, the Times and other newspapers of record repeated the lie that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had concurred in the conclusion about the Russian “hack.” Even when that falsehood was belatedly acknowledged, the major news outlets just shifted the phrasing slightly to say that U.S. intelligence agencies had reached the Russian “hack” conclusion.” (By the way, Politifact says that statement was not unreasonable, countering what McGovern just said there. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/jul/06/17-intelligence-organizations-or-four-either-way-r/ )

    This trend, in this Trump-universe, is that the admission of a mistake is itself a mistake. When Senator Al Franken was accused of inappropriate behavior he admitted it. Trump Spokeswoman, Sara Sanders was asked why President Trump, who has been accused by many women of inappropriate sexual behavior, should remain in office when Al Franken left the senate.

    Her answer was that Al Franken admitted it. The President didn’t.

    When Roy Moore, running for the U.S. Senate, was accused of pedophilia and other inappropriate behavior, Trump defended him by saying, “He denied it. And by the way, he totally denied it.”

    And now Trump Aid, Rob Porter, being accused of domestic abuse (from an ex-wife who has been photographed with a black eye, and who had issued a Restraining Order against him) is being defended by the President because he denied it.

    This is an alarming trend, and your inability to admit your errors-of-fact do not hold the moral high ground.

    Ok, enough with that. You also said I refused to deal with the content of your post. That was another lie. The content of your post was essentially that there is a conspiracy within the Department of Justice (I cited your and McGovern’s comments above) which began as an attempt to prevent the election of Trump, and now seeks to undermine him. And as proof you cherry-picked two biased DOJ employees whose damning emails were released by the DOJ itself. Moreover, one of those employees was reassigned to Human Resources by Robert Mueller himself when he discovered them.

    Now, according to McGovern, there were 10,000 emails between these two employees. At the time of McGovern’s article, 375 had been released. That represents less than 4% of the total emails, which you have admitted were cherry-picked by the DOJ for release. (McGovern used a total of 13 emails & exchanges, out of 10,000, many of which were critical of other people, to make his entire case.)

    If there was a conspiracy to undermine Trump within the DOJ, it certainly would not have cherry-picked the damning evidence for release as part of that very small 4%. Your conspiracy theory lacks reason and evidence.

    Moreover, I also pointed out that Del Wilber of the Washington Post has read all the emails between these two employees. Neither you nor McGovern has. According to Wilber, there was no evidence of any conspiracy, either between these two employees or within the DOJ itself. You may review my comment, which does indeed deal with the content of your post, with a link to Wilber’s article here: https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/is-russiagate-another-deception-like-iraqi-wmds/#comment-112338

    So, in case you missed it again, I did deal with the content of your post.

    I almost choked on this from you: “Come on, one thing you must be aware of is my constant insistence on evidence.” What you should have said is “my constant insistence on evidence that agrees with me and my agenda,” because you completely ignore evidence you don’t like. You totally dismissed Sworn Testimony by Facebook Counsel Colin Stretch in which he admitted that Russian interests did favor one U.S. presidential candidate over the other in the 2016 U.S. election by posting fake accounts on Facebook.

    You said Stretch’s sworn testimony wasn’t evidence of anything. Ok. Then explain why Mr. Stretch would not only jeopardize the reputation of his Fortune 500 company by making such an admission; but why he would risk his high paying career, dismemberment from the Bar, his freedom, his money and his reputation by committing Perjury at a Senate Hearing. Your answer was that he was pressured into it from all the anti-Russian hysteria in the political sphere (in the Republican dominated political sphere). Is that correct?

    Nonsense. Did you see the hammering he underwent by making the admission in the first place? Did you see the pressure he put himself under by making the sworn statement? For example, take a look at how much this guy is getting grilled here . . because he made the admission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlPRP-XrRBc

    Your excuses for not accepting evidence that counters your agenda is not only an insult to common sense, but they fly in the face of logic and reason.

    So what would you consider valid evidence of something? What would Ken Perrott use as credible evidence that he gathered through the use of a critical and intelligent eye? Hmmm. Let me think . .

    Oh yeah, by the way, regarding your video, “Russia lies exposed by Lefty in 3 minutes,” is that an example of a credible source that you found because you approached it “critically & intelligently?” Because what Lefty did in that video was, he started out by asking, ‘Where did all this Russia hysteria bullshit come from (meaning Russia-gate and an investigation into interference in the 2016 election)?’ . . . and then he went on to cite campaign strategies from 2015 to answer the question. ‘Trump is most vulnerable because of his bromance with Putin.’

    Of this video you said, “Some more sensible comments.” So, basically, Lefty is saying, or at least implying, that Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference originated from the Hillary Clinton campaign when John Podesta said Trump is vulnerable because of his affection for Putin. So what. He offers no proof or evidence that one (the Mueller investigation of Russian interference) originates from the other (a campaign strategy which made no mention of Russian interference in any election). These are two different issues, but “Lefty,” your credible source of “sensible comments,” is intentionally blurring these two different issues, trying to imply they are the same thing. He is being deceptive . . and you buy into it because it confirms your own biases & pushes your agenda.

    You are the least credible person to lecture anyone about approaching sources critically & intelligently.

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  21. David, I think your strong bias prevents you from reading things properly – or possibly drives you to put words in the mouths of your discussion partners.

    I did not say “Hillary Clinton was the origin of the Russia-gate investigation.” You should know that if you are thinking straight becuase you go on to quote me as saying (I haven’t checked) – “(there was) Nothing to verify the claims originally made by Hillary Clinton when she attempted to divert attention from the Democratic National committee emails leaked by Wikileaks.”

    So, no Clinton’s claims were not the origin of the FBI investigation (and I didn’t say they were) – but she was the main person to try to use the “Russians did it” or “Putin did it” childishness to draw attention away from the DNC electoral corruptions shown in the Wikileaks material immediately this happened.

    Given what we are now learning about the funding of the Steele dossier by the DNC and the Clinton campaign, and the way the information was flowing from the Clinton Campaign to Steele and back to the FBI Clinton was no doubt “in the loop” as far as the search for dirt on Trump, involving US, UK and Russian intelligence operatives or people close to those intelligence establishments is concerned. So it is hardly an accident she used the “Russians/Putin did it” silliness so quickly to divert attention.

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  22. Ken, you said, “Nothing to verify the claims originally made by Hillary Clinton . . . ” You are saying the claims were originally made by Mrs. Clinton. We are speaking the same language, aren’t we?

    I’ll take your response to mean that you misspoke. And I am giving you credit here. However, your inability to admit your mistake is beyond sad.

    I like how you cherry-pick the truth. This for example: “Given what we are now learning about the funding of the Steele dossier by the DNC and the Clinton campaign . . ”

    Well, one thing we know about the funding, that you always seem to omit, is that funding originally came from a Republican / conservative website “The Free Beacon” which supported one of Trump’s Republican rivals, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

    Of course she used dirt on Trump as part of her campaign strategy. And of course she would look for and use whatever information was available. We do live on the same planet, don’t we?

    But your implication that her campaign’s funding of Fusion GPS is the reason the FBI is involved, or that there was some conspiracy (“, and the way the information was flowing from the Clinton Campaign to Steele and back to the FBI . . “) is ridiculous. We also now know that the Steele Dossier was not the primary source which led to an investigation. Or didn’t Lefty tell you about that one.

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  23. I take your lack of response to the rest of my comment to mean that you concede the fact that:

    1.) I did deal with the content of your post and either you lied or you misspoke when you said I did not.

    2.) Colin Stretch’s sworn testimony at a Senate Hearing does constitute evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election . . Unless you have some logical way of explaining it. And since you did not respond to it, it appears you do not.

    3.) Lefty’s video lacks credibility, and your decision to display and endorse it only proves your lack of any ability to approach sources critically and intelligently. You may have had these traits at one time, but have they have since become clouded over by your extreme bullshit bias.

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  24. By the way, what are you talking about here?: “but she (Hillary Clinton) was the main person to try to use the “Russians did it” . . . to draw attention away from the DNC electoral corruptions shown in the Wikileaks material immediately this happened.”

    There were no corruptions. There were no laws broken. There was no obstruction of justice. There was no money laundering. There was nothing illegal about it. It was a political campaign. Unless you can show me that some laws were broken, you are showing yourself to be little more than a right-wing lackey. And this is sad, because you are better than this.

    Given what Bush did to John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina primary, Clinton’s campaign looked like a day at Sunday School. And again, no laws were broken there either.

    2000, South Carolina (of all places – this is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired – by the South:

    “Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain…if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?” This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.”
    Now THAT borders on corrupt. https://www.thenation.com/article/dirty-tricks-south-carolina-and-john-mccain/

    Your obsession with Clinton is bizarre.

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  25. David, the fact that others also funded the collection of dirt on Trump before the DNC and the Clinton Campaign did is not a fact I deny – but it seems you wish to use this to divert attention from what the Clinton campaign and the DNC were doing by involving themselves in a smear campaign involving several countries, or at least intelligence agents or ex-intelligence agents from those countries – the US, UK and the Russian Federation.

    Of course, this sort of underhand smearing is a normal part of the US political process – both sides do it. But becuase of the current existence of three investigations on the 2016 elections iyt6 seems that the role of the DNC and the Clinton campaign, together with biased elements within the FBI and intelligence agencies will come under scrutiny.

    No, I am not implying the Clinton Campaigns funding of the smear collection is the reason for the FBI investigation – not at all. it is another case of your bias and political motivations leading you to put unwarranted words into your discussion partner’s mouth.

    You are frantically busy kicking down open doors.

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  26. David, me obsessed with Clinton!! Come off it.

    On the contrary, my reference to the political corruption revealed by the emails released by Wikileaks seems to have exposed your own obsession with her.

    The barge pole I wouldn’t touch her with is approximately the same length as the barge pole I wouldn’t touch Trump with.

    And yes, I do find the political hysteria that Clinton’s loss seems to have precipitated in the US bizarre. It just confirms for me, once again, that we are not a rational species. I just had not thought we were that irrational. Or perhaps it’s just US politics. I have always found it to be rather silly.

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  27. Very odd: “And yes, I do find the political hysteria that Clinton’s loss seems to have precipitated in the US bizarre.”

    You’re the one that keeps bringing it up. I would be very happy not to discuss Clinton, but you’re the one who keeps diverting back to her.

    Your quote regarding smear campaigns in politics: “what the Clinton campaign and the DNC were doing by involving themselves in a smear campaign involving several countries,”

    Does that outrage you? If you were honest and if you were not a hypocrite you would be outraged by the fact that Donald Trump Jr. met with elements of a foreign country, I believe it was the Russian Federation, in Trump Tower in order to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton. At first he denied it, . . and then he said the meeting was about adoptions . . and then the emails emerged.

    It’s very odd how Wikileaks isn’t dumping the Trump family emails into the public domain isn’t it. If you were honest, and not a hypocrite, you would be questioning that.

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  28. Ken, you say, “I did not say “Hillary Clinton was the origin of the Russia-gate investigation. . . . So, no Clinton’s claims were not the origin of the FBI investigation (and I didn’t say they were) ”

    Well, you clearly implied it. You endorsed a video entitled “Russia lies exposed by “Lefty” in 3 minutes.” You endorsed it by saying, “And some more sensible comments.”

    In essence, you were pushing the propaganda in this video.

    In the video Lefty looks at a 2015 campaign strategy by John Podesta. The strategy was to exploit her political opponent, Donald Trump, where he was most vulnerable. At the start of the video, Lefty asks, ‘Where did all this Russia hysteria bullshit come from?’

    What Russia hysteria bullshit? The only thing that comes to mind would be the investigations into Russian interference of the 2016 elections. Isn’t this what he’s talking about?

    Lefty is clearly saying that Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy is the origin of it all. Isn’t that what he’s saying? And you endorsed that video, didn’t you.

    So, in the second sentence of your post, when you said, “Nothing to verify the claims originally made by Hillary Clinton when she attempted to divert attention from the Democratic National committee emails leaked by Wikileaks,” I don’t think you misspoke. I think you meant it, and I think you believed it. I think you repeated a piece of propaganda that you believed because it fed into your own bias.

    And again, I would be delighted if I didn’t have to disprove all the conspiracy theories that you keep bringing up (and I haven’t gotten to the international conspiracy that involved the FBI yet), but your obsession with her is beyond bizarre.

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  29. Ken, you say, ” It just confirms for me, once again, that we are not a rational species. I just had not thought we were that irrational. Or perhaps it’s just US politics. I have always found it to be rather silly.”

    Yes . . Nothing silly about New Zealand politics is there. . Oh, well maybe this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s67qsv8ForA

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  30. I have always found U.S. politics to be rather silly

    This would have been a better link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kyn_thHgYco

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  31. Ken, your quote: “But becuase of the current existence of three investigations on the 2016 elections iyt6 seems that the role of the DNC and the Clinton campaign, together with biased elements within the FBI and intelligence agencies will come under scrutiny.”

    RESPONSE: There are 35,104 employees of the FBI. https://www.google.com/search?q=how+many+fbi+employees&oq=how+many+FBi%5C&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.7792j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    By “biased elements within the FBI” you are talking about 2 specific employees. That equals 0.0057% of the FBI. If that’s not cherry-picking, I’d like to see a better example!

    So, in your little conspiracy theory about the FBI and Hillary Clinton, you are talking about 2 people who have never met Mrs. Clinton . . you are talking about 0.0057% of the FBI, and you are talking about Hillary Clinton who has no idea of what you are talking about.

    Your comment is a joke. Your bias that led you to make such an irrational comment is a joke. Your blatant cherry-picking is a joke. Your conspiracy theories are a joke. And your credibility is a joke.

    Your obsession with Hillary Clinton, desperately trying to find some wrong-doing based on emails that were released by a clearly one-sided biased source, makes you look foolish.

    Give it up while you still have some integrity.

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  32. Ken, this is the full text of the Mueller indictment of 13 Russians which happened today. I haven’t read it yet, but I intend to read it tomorrow morning (Saturday, my time) over tea. According to my biased left-wing media, it pretty much proves the point that Russian elements were involved in attempting to sway the 2016 Presidential election toward Donald Trump. Have a read. If you would like to discuss it afterward . . I would be delighted.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/rosenstein-mueller-indictment-russia/553601/

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  33. Read it this morning. Had a giggle. It basicly repeats media reports of trolls fostering both anti-clinton and anti-Trump demos etc. Anti-Mudlom and prk- Muslim

    But I am holidaying in the far north so don’t gave an internet connection.

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  34. Read it this morning and had a giggle.

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  35. Read it this morning and had a giggle. This oligarch us bring blamed for pro-Trump and pro-Clinton propaganda and for anti-Trump and anti-Clinton demos. Russian govt not mentioned. Nor Wikileaks.

    I am in the far north and have no internet currently. Bit restricted in commenting – although I have managed a few articles and letters to the editor countering Connett’s rubbish.

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  36. I hope you are enjoying your holiday and I appreciate your internet situation.

    However, based on the scant comments you have made, I question which document you read, and which media reports you have been looking at (“It basicly repeats media reports of trolls fostering both anti-clinton and anti-Trump demos etc. Anti-Mudlom and prk- Muslim . . . “) because I can say with a straight face that almost none of the details in this document have been previously reported by any media of which I am aware.

    For example, this is new: “By in or around September 2016, the ORGANIZATION’s monthly budget for Project Lakhta submitted to CONCORD exceeded 73 million Russian rubles (over 1,250,000 U.S. dollars), including approximately one million rubles in bonus payments.”

    That was/is a HELL of a lot of money being spent, PER MONTH, for some specific nefarious purpose. These weren’t just random trolls who happened to live in Russia who decided to screw with U.S. social media and election issues.

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  37. The general story has been circulated but the new details I see are the names message of tegistration of the company.

    The source ofmostmediasleculation has been 3 articles in Russian media sources. I have seen the articles but my Russian is pretty minimal so i have not read them in detail.

    Whether the new details in the indictment derive from such Russian sources or US spying and hacking I do not know.

    The best take I have seen is the Duran article by Alexander Mercurious. I for yet accept his belief the indictment is factual rather than based on media reports but his version is credible and he has legal expertise. He also has up to date experience of Russia and the behaviour of the oligarchs.

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  38. What the indictment does show is that the story of a Russian government level collusion or interference in the 2016 elections appears to have no evidence and they may have given up on that conspiracy theory. No support for Russian exposure if the DNC emails or any of the other stories. Simply and at the most a very rich oligarch having a play without any clear motives.

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  39. The indictments are rather meaningless as they can only be declarative. None of the named persons are realistically going to be arrested. This has the advantage that the conspiracy theory will never be tested in court but will still be of propaganda value – The sort of fake news which we see too much of these days.

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  40. That is odd, isn’t it: “Simply and at the most a very rich oligarch having a play without any clear motives.”

    He must be very rich to bankroll an operation at the cost of $1 – $2 million per month . . to hire hundreds of employees . . to set up 14 fake bank accounts (that can be proven) . . to engineer the identity thefts of U.S. citizens (that can be proven), to hire U.S. citizens on U.S. soil to portray Hillary Clinton (that can be proven), to arrange flash protests throughout the State of Florida. Emails exist as proof. There are footprints all over the place.

    And no clear motive.

    I think the motive was clearly to elect Donald Trump. The Why will be interesting.

    Sure, perhaps none of these defendants will ever see a U.S. court. But they risk that chance every time they leave Russia and enter a country with extradition arrangements with the U.S. I think the true meaning of the indictments was to fire a warning shot over the bow of the orchestraters, to let them know that they have been uncovered. To expose this social media experiment to the citizens of the United States (not that we’re smart enough to take advantage of this new-found knowledge).

    But when you say, “that the story of a Russian government level collusion or interference in the 2016 elections appears to have no evidence and they may have given up on that conspiracy theory. No support for Russian exposure if the DNC emails or any of the other stories,” you sound exactly like Trump supporters who say there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign & Russia (which isn’t entirely true, according to the indictment. The Trump campaign in Florida worked hand in hand with the defendants.)

    Simply because it doesn’t exist in the Indictment, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Don’t get your hopes up yet. This was an indictment of 13 individuals nothing more, and not meant to be more than that.

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  41. Putting things in context.

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  42. And another response from people who would no doubt be considered as interfering in US politics.

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  43. Good for you, Ken. Within a mere 48 hours you have ascended from Stage 1 of Trumpism to Stage 4. In case you don’t remember:

    The Five Stages of Trumpism-
    1. “It’s a total lie, never happened, fake news.”

    2. “It happened, but it’s not a big deal.”

    3. “OK it might be a big deal, but it isn’t illegal.”

    4. “OK it’s illegal, but Hillary and Obama something something, so it’s OK.”

    5. “Get over it, libturd, you’re just a sore loser.”

    A couple of things wrong with your first video. First, the narrator blatantly cherry-picked the most ridiculous meme presented in Mueller’s indictment and mocks it. (Satan: “If Hillary wins, I win.”) If anyone should object to cherry-picking, I would think it would be you. You certainly object to it when it counters your biases.

    What the narrator failed to mention was the Identity Thefts of real U.S. citizens in order to illegally funnel money in and out of the United States.

    The narrator actually said that the U.S. interferes in more global elections than any other country, yet fails to offer stats of how many elections the Russian Federation has interfered in. (Oops, that argument is probably lost on you. I forgot, I’m talking to a guy who can’t even bring himself to admit that the Russian Air Force caused collateral damage in Syria.)

    The narrator states that actual, factual news stories was the substance of what “Russian bots” were spreading on the internet, and that the Washington Post was among the primary sources. “RT was 19th” – which tells me where this propaganda is coming from. As proof, he offers a tweet from someone named “Ludwig W.”

    Ken, you are better than this, and you should be embarrassed for posting it.

    (Going into this video, I had no idea what the source was, or who was putting it out. But the narrator’s obvious spin on a document that I have read told me something was fishy somewhere. When he got defensive about Russian sources – trying to convince his audience that just because the source is Russian “big brother – the mainstream media conspiracy” is trying to manipulate us against it . . . well, that pretty much let the cat out of the bag.)

    As for the second video, I am saddened. I am truly saddened that you would post this. If you have taken the time to read this indictment (and this propaganda was intended for an audience that didn’t read it) you know that there were more than 13 trolls in Russia involved. You know that there were hundreds.

    Let me give you one, of many examples, in which Alexander Mercurious, whom you admire so much, is blatantly lying. In the video he talks about the Mueller Indictment. He says:

    “All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done. He has lied to the FBI. He has interfered in the U.S. election. He has done so secretly. He has been phoning up newspapers. He has been publishing information in a dossier. He hasn’t registered as any kind of foreign agent. And so why hasn’t he been indicted? Why is there this resistance on the part of the Justice Department to indict him? “

    That was a lie.

    From the Indictment: “ Defendants and their co-conspirators thereafter destroyed evidence for the purpose of impeding the investigation.” That is Obstruction of Justice by means of destruction of evidence. Steele did not commit this crime.

    “COUNT TWO
    (Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud)”

    Steele did not commit the following crimes:

    “knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, transmit and cause to be transmitted . .”

    Identity Theft: “Beginning in at least 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used, without lawful authority, the social security numbers, home addresses, and birth dates of real U.S. persons without their knowledge or consent.”

    Using falsified identification: “Defendants and their co-conspirators purchased and obtained false identification documents, including fake U.S. driver’s licenses.”

    Fraud: “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.”

    Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud: “Defendants . . . did knowingly transfer, possess, and use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person during and in relation to a felony violation enumerated in 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(c), to wit, wire fraud and bank fraud, knowing that the means of identification belonged to another real person”

    Now this guy, Alexander Mercurious, whom you said has “legal expertise,” failed to mention 50% of Mueller’s indictment. Either he is a blatant liar, or he is a legal idiot. I repeat what he said, verbatim, on that video: “All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done.”

    Ken, I repeat, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to spread blatantly false propaganda. What exactly is your motive? This would be a great time to come clean.

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  44. Still on my phone but some clarification. I respect Alexander’s conclusions and he could well be correct. But there are a couple of reasons I do not necessarily accept them at this stage. 1: the document largely repeats what has been in the media for a while and some commenters are talking about copypasta. I think a common trick for the establishment is to launch rumours, get them reported in the media and then use the media reports to construct an official document that is treated as factual. 2: there us no chance the indictments will be tested in court which allows scope for including unwarranted speculation and outright lies.  3: you may remember my comment about the MH17 report- “But would it stand up in court?”. A classic example of the problem is the McLaren report for WADA. When tested in court none of his claims stood up and most of the athletes appeals were upheld. I suspect a simikar thing might happen with this indictment and the MH17 investigation. 4: These problems of unreliable reports is a consequence of anti-Russian racism or Russophobia and the geopolitical struggle where Russians are always assumed to be guilty. 5: I would like to know a lot more about the company at the centre of the indictment. Yet to find a suitable English language source. Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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  45. Ken: “I think a common trick for the establishment is to launch rumours, get them reported in the media and then use the media reports to construct an official document that is treated as factual.”

    Yes, Bill Moyers did an excellent job documenting how the 2003 Iraq war was packaged and sold. It is exactly as you have described here. Dick Cheney would leak a story about WMD to the New York Times on Friday, and on the Sunday morning political shows he would cite the New York Times as a source. It was really quite interesting.

    But all of this is irrelevant.

    Ken, I respect you as a scientist, so I do not understand why you would divert into an irrelevant discussion which has nothing to do with what I said. You posted two videos as evidence of something. The first one was so ridiculous it doesn’t warrant further comment. In the second video, Alexander Mercurious was one of three panelists engaged in anti-something rhetoric. I cited one specific statement, word for word, made by Mercurious because I am aware that you have used him as a source, and I was hoping to open your eyes.

    The statement by Mercurious was: “All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done. He has lied to the FBI. He has interfered in the U.S. election. He has done so secretly. He has been phoning up newspapers. He has been publishing information in a dossier. He hasn’t registered as any kind of foreign agent. And so why hasn’t he been indicted? Why is there this resistance on the part of the Justice Department to indict him?“

    Again: “All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done.”

    That is absolutely untrue. As one example (and you may reference my comment above for more examples) Steele did not commit Identity Theft.

    If you would like to defend Mercurious’ statement, that would be fine, but Russian doping or the JIT would not be relevant.

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  46. By the way, this isn’t necessarily true: ” 2: there us no chance the indictments will be tested in court which allows scope for including unwarranted speculation and outright lies.”

    First of all, if the indictment could be tested in court and found to be nothing more than “unwarranted speculation and outright lies,” as you just said, why wouldn’t any of the defendants willingly appear and subject themselves to trial, if only to allow freedom of travel outside Russia? It looks like the Defendants certainly have the money to pay for a good defense.

    But even if they didn’t, and if the Trump Administration, or anyone else for that matter, Mueller for example, wanted to disprove or prove the indictment, they, or he could easily request for a trial of the defendants in absentia. Although U.S. law insists on due process and a defendant’s right to be present during trial, per rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, there are exceptions. For example, “a corporation need not be present, but may be represented by counsel.” As luck would have it, 3 corporations are under indictment.

    According to the indictment: “Defendant INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY LLC is a Russian organization engaged in political and electoral interference operations. In or around July 2013, the ORGANIZATION registered with the Russian government as a Russian corporate entity.”

    In this case, there would be no problem for the IRA to hire Counsel and defend the corporation, if they chose to do so. And why wouldn’t they? In that scenario, there would be no chance of any arrests being made. It would be completely safe.

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  47. But since you brought up the subject of Russian doping, I find it laughable you would defend a country that finds it necessary to dope for the intensely demanding winter sport of Curling. Unless, of course, you deem the admission of Aleksandr Krushelnitckii to be more Fake News. (btw, I knew that guy was cheating!!)

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  48. The laughable thing, David, is your need to divert to this recent doping injcident to avoid facing up to the fact that the McLaren docuemnt just didn’t stand up to proper assessment in court.

    And it’s not a matter of “defenidng a country” – its a matter of oppsoing disinformation. The fact that this disinformation and hysteria is aimed at a nuclear power – and at prevent ooperation with that nuclear power in the figth against terroism and the struggle for peace and realxation of international tension – jusy makes the whole situaiton dangerous.

    I asm all for peace, for relaxation of international tension and for eliminbating terrorism. But, you must see that as “defending a country” because you have drunk the kool aid of the US poiltical hysteria.

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  49. David, surely you are not so naive as to honestly suggest “why wouldn’t any of the defendants willingly appear and subject themselves to trial.”

    The situation between the Russian Federation and the USA is such that this just is not possible. Why does Rodchenkov not return to Russia to face the criminal charges of sports doping when he headed the anti-doping lab? Why is he treated as a whistleblower rather than a criminal in the USA?

    There are many criminals residing in the USA and UK refusing to face Russian courts. Just as Snowden refuses to face US courts – knowing full well what would happen to him. Look at the enforce asylum of Assange in London.

    But the attitude of the Russians named in this indictment is to treat the whole thing as a joke – despite the fact it would not be wise of them to travel to the USA. (Hell, I was not allowed to travel to the USA or South Africa before 1990 – I didn’t feel I lost anything).There is the comment from one of them that he thinks the Americans are rather excitable and tend towards believing fantasies.

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  50. I apologize and you are correct. I shouldn’t have exploited the fact that somebody felt it necessary to dope in order to Curl. But let’s be honest, it is kind of funny.

    I’m all for getting off of the irrelevant subject of Russian doping. And as as I review this thread, I see that I didn’t bring it up in the first place. Maybe, for the moment, we could just focus on your lying source, Alexander Mercurious. Would you care to attempt to defend the one lie, of his many lies, that I raised? Or, as it appears, you find his comments indefensible.

    After that we can discuss the difference between the Legal Counsel representing an Organization being tried in absentia, and an actual individual being present in a courtroom. You seem a bit blurry in distinguishing the two.

    Please review my discussion of Rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the exceptions to that rule. (Hell, Mueller could even appoint counsel to do it if the IRA didn’t want to get involved – since you stated, “there is no chance the indictments will be tested in court.” Of course it could be. )

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  51. Here is the relevance of my analysis of the McLaren report (https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/34384/) and the eventual appeal court decisions finding McLaren’s claims wrong.

    You will notice I spend a lot of time on this blog looking at the detail of published papers, critically analysing them and exposing the way anti-fluoride people misrepresent them. I do the same thing with some political issues – eg the MH17 reports, the “chemical attacks” in Syria reports.

    The relevance of the Olympics appeal court decision is that McLaren’s claims were tested in court and found wrong. I am suggesting that a similar thing would happen with the “chemical weapons” and MH17 reports – based on my own analysis and the weaknesses this exposes.

    Regarding this indictment – I realise you have some biases to confirm. The document is no big deal for me. I do not have the expertise or knowledge to dig much deeper and I do see the thing as a bit of a joke, anyway. But, my point is that I will treat this indictment as being just as flawed as the McLaren report, the MH17 reports and the “chemical weapons” reports until I know better. The fact that it is never meant to be tested in court adds to my cynicism.

    Already others are dismantling the indictment document – and making fun of it. Have a look at this Aussie take on it:

    I repeat – you obviously have biases to confirm so you will take such anti-Russian and anti-Syrian reports as gospel truth – and where they are tested (as in the case of the McLaren report) you will avoid the issue. Unfortunately, you are not alone in this attitude – there is a strong tendency to accept such reports as factual (hence my point about news reports becoming “evidence,” becoming reports and then becoming “facts”).

    Incidentally, regarding the curler. He is being treated as evil by the media and the initial reaction was one of shock – how could a Russian athlete indulge in doping knowing they would be scrutinised so heavily. And disappointment becuase the Russian team was getting the high moral ground with its sportsmanship and attitudes. And because of the appeal court decision. Sympathy was also extended because the Olympic Committee still refused to invite the clean athletes – and even talked about “reforming” the appeal court because it didn’t produce the biased findings they wanted.

    It appears the positive test was from the beginning of January. Indicating a one-off incident. Whether he knowingly took medolium (a very common medication in his country) or did so accidentally (or was unknowingly doped as he appears to suspect, or at least claim) he has accepted the fact of the positive test – while undertaking to find out how it happened.

    But, meanwhile, this incident (and any others like it) will be pushed for all it’s worth as part of an intense information war resulting from today’s geopolitical conflicts.

    The problem is that you cannot get your head above the information war and therefore cannot make a proper judgment. All that is going on for you is confirmation bias. All very human – we all suffer such bias. But not helpful to rational discussion.

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  52. Yes, as I’ve said, I’m all for getting off the subject of Russian doping, which I don’t believe was brought up by me.

    And yes, I agree, there is a problem. Someone can’t seem to get his head above the information war. And yes, I agree. This is not helpful to a rational discussion.

    On the same subject, based on your response, I suspect you concede that in the little piece of the information war that you presented, the video of Alexander Mercurious and some others engaged in rhetoric, . . I suspect you concede that Mercurious spent some of his time lying to his audience.

    I’ve already gone through the reasons why in at least one example of this.

    The truly sad and scary thing about that video is that I went to the youtube page and looked at the comments beneath it. Not one of those sheep questioned the obvious lying of Mercurious. (If someone did, I missed it.)

    Show me that you CAN get your head above the information war. Admit that Mercurious was lying in that video. And show me that you are capable of a rational discussion.

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  53. No concession of the sort. I am impressed by Alexander’s legal and analytical skills. Certainly didn’t see lies in that video.

    But I can understand why you should want to denigrate him.

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  54. Great! I was hoping you would say that. Let’s do this again. Apparently you missed it the first time.

    In this comment, https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/is-russiagate-another-deception-like-iraqi-wmds/#comment-113873 , you present an RT video which includes one Alexander Mercurious.

    Let me give you one, of many examples, in which Alexander Mercurious, whom you admire so much, is blatantly lying. In that video, at TIMESTAMP 5:25, he talks about the Mueller Indictment. He says:

    “All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done. He has lied to the FBI. He has interfered in the U.S. election. He has done so secretly. He has been phoning up newspapers. He has been publishing information in a dossier. He hasn’t registered as any kind of foreign agent. And so why hasn’t he been indicted? Why is there this resistance on the part of the Justice Department to indict him?” (Timestamp 5:25, in case you missed it.)

    Mercurious was a lying. Christopher Steele has committed almost none, if not any at all, of the crimes which Mueller has leveled against Defendants in his Indictment.

    Here’s the proof:

    From the Indictment: “ Defendants and their co-conspirators thereafter destroyed evidence for the purpose of impeding the investigation.” That is Obstruction of Justice by means of destruction of evidence. Steele did not commit the crime of Destroying Evidence for the purpose of Obstruction of Justice.

    “COUNT TWO
    (Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud)”

    Steele did not commit the following crimes:

    “knowingly, having devised and intending to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, transmit and cause to be transmitted . .”

    Identity Theft: “Beginning in at least 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used, without lawful authority, the social security numbers, home addresses, and birth dates of real U.S. persons without their knowledge or consent.”

    Using falsified identification: “Defendants and their co-conspirators purchased and obtained false identification documents, including fake U.S. driver’s licenses.”

    Fraud: “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.”

    Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud: “Defendants . . . did knowingly transfer, possess, and use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person during and in relation to a felony violation enumerated in 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(c), to wit, wire fraud and bank fraud, knowing that the means of identification belonged to another real person”

    Now this guy, Alexander Mercurious, whom you said has “legal expertise,” failed to mention 50% of Mueller’s indictment. Either he is a blatant liar, or he is a legal idiot. I repeat what he said, verbatim, on that video: “All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done.”

    Again: Now that you have seen the undeniable proof of the Mercurious lying, show me that you CAN get your head above the information war. Admit that Mercurious was lying in that video. And show me that you are capable of a rational discussion.

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  55. David, I think it is pathetic to label Alex a liar. what he said is completely true -even if it hurts your prejudices.

    Steele did work to interfere in the election with his rubbishy dossier. Even though he was paid for this by the Clinton campaign and the DNC he has clearly stated a motivation, as a foreigner, of attempting to stop Trump’s election. He was devious in the process – leading to the FBI to reverse a decision to pay for some of the work becuase he surreptitiously was in contact with the media. He did not register as a foreign agent (then who ever bothers to do that).

    Whether he will even be indicted, given the bias of the current hysteria, is another question. At least he is being investigated for his role.

    I stand by my assessment of Alex as having legal skills and the ability to understand this situation. As I have pointed out this does not mean I agree with him on everything (I do not have idols) – but his insights have been useful to me. I have simply said that while I respect his legal background and analytical skills, and also his practical experience of the behavior of Russian oligarchs, I think he is wrong to see the indictments as necessarily factual, rather than copypasta. But my respect for him does mean I take his arguments seriously and acknowledge he may well, be correct.

    Now, I wonder what he would say about the behavior of at least one of the candidates for the Russian presidency – which makes even the unsupported charges against Trump look extremely mild.

    Sobchak has chosen to spend a lot of her electioneering time in the US, meeting with and speaking to think tanks and media. (Imagine if Trump has spent time electioneering in Moscow and had cozied up to similar organizations – think tanks, media and state organizations, in Russia. Hell, remember the hysteria because Trump was interviewed by Larry King on his RT programme! And the silliness because Flynn and Stein were seen at an RT conference!

    While Russian media sources did comment on this strange behavior by Sobchak no one seems yet to have indulged in the Manchurian Candidate type hysteria we have seen in the US. It appears that the Russian political and media elite seem to recognize international contacts, even those advancing an anti-Kremlin and suspect political agenda, are simply a fact of life in today’s world.

    Although I have not seen any Russian questioning of Sobchak’s advertising in the first round of free TV appearances for the 8 candidates I personally am interested in the fact that the professionalism of her advertising was head and shoulders over most of the others. Just wonder who is financing her campaign. Reminds me a bit of what went on in 1966 with the US financing and organizing Yeltsin’s campaign and advertising.

    And we have the recent admission of the ex-CIA head that, yes, the US interferes in elections and other countries. Accompanied by laughter and the cynical comment that the US does it for the good of those countries.

    Yeah, right.

    The good of the Russian people was the last thing the US was concerned about when they interfered in the 1996 Russian presidential election.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. David Fierstien

    Yes it is true that the United States interferes in the politics of other countries. We now know, or at least there is very strong evidence since the release of declassified documents in November of 2017, that President Kennedy paid the ultimate price for its interference in Cuba.

    But that is irrelevant to this discussion. Sobchak is irrelevant to this discussion.

    It is very sad when you characterize an objective fact as “pathetic” because you can’t wrap your head around it. . I mean, it is really sad. Your quote: “what he (Alexander Mercurious) said is completely true.”

    This is what he said: ““All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done.”

    Prove it. Prove to me that what he said is completely true. Please provide a citation or a link showing me that Steele committed Identity Theft, Fraud, Destruction of Property with the intent of Obstructing Justice, Wire Fraud, or using Falsified U.S. Identifications.

    Please, prove to me that it is pathetic of me to call Alexander Mercurious a liar.

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  57. Eventually they will say there was no interference in the election process. Trump did contact the Russians but after he became president elect, that is after the election.
    So many assertions of the past have been withdrawn:

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  58. David, you are wrong. If we are talking about election interference, of course, Sobchak’s example is very relevant. Also relevant will be the report on US interference in Russia’s election coming from the Russian Security Council in the near future (hopefully there will be an English version). And, yes, there is plenty of evidence of US interference in other countries – from influence election s to outright invasion and regime change.

    Even talking specifically about the US elections it is directly relevant because it provides context. And that context shows how irrational all this US hysteria has become.

    Yes, Alex made a general comment (all the things . . ) which is slightly exaggerated. But the fact remains for the detail you cited his statement was completely true.

    Although, of course, social media being what it is I am sure identity fraud, destruction of property, obstructing justice, etc., would all have occurred in the campaign instigated and financed by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC.

    It goes with the territory.

    You have not convinced me one iota of the truth in your slander of Alex – you are the last person able to judge him on these matters.

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  59. Well, Ken, we are making progress. You have gone from, “what he (Alexander Mercurious) said is completely true,” to, “Yes, Alex made a general comment (all the things . . ) which is slightly exaggerated.”

    Not bad for you. From “completely true,” to , “slightly exaggerated.” You’ve come a long way, my friend. I know it wasn’t easy.

    Now, what puzzles me about you, is you are the first person to demand evidence. You are a scientist after all. You look at everything critically and intelligently because of your demand for evidence. It is this which leads you to this bias-free objective truth in which you pride yourself. You demand proof.

    What puzzles me is that you would say this: “Although, of course, social media being what it is I am sure identity fraud, destruction of property, obstructing justice, etc., would all have occurred in the campaign instigated and financed by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC.”

    For the second time now, prove it. Please provide a citation or a link, provide any evidence you have that, as Alex said, Steele, or as you have said, any entity instigated and financed by the Clinton Campaign & the DNC, committed Identity Theft, Fraud, Destruction of Property with the intent of Obstructing Justice, Wire Fraud, or using Falsified U.S. Identifications. Prove to me that Alex wasn’t lying, or that you are not lying now.

    I demand proof also.

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  60. You are being silly, David. The points you cited were completely true. No backing away from that.

    As for identity fraud, use of bots, etc. I have simply pointed out how ubiquitous this is and suggested examples could be found of their use by the Democrats as well as the Republicans. This sort of thing is probably well established in the political, commercial and ideological spheres – and I have seen suggestions that the St Petersburg company was involved in this sort of behaviour in preparation for commercial advertising.

    Hell, I am sure the anti-fluoride and anti-vaccination people do the same thing. Their social media commenting has all the characteristics of such behaviour.

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  61. (I’m not exactly sure what you mean when you say, “The points you cited were completely true. No backing away from that.” Could you be a little more specific.)

    Ken, the following are quotations from you. These are your words.

    “I call it a myth because it is a story heavily promoted by politicians and the media but lacking any credible evidence. Really. Not one skerrick of credible evidence for the official narrative.
    I keep asking people who question that for their own take – what specific evidence have they seen. ” . . . . And

    “there is absolutely no evidence to support the claims being made. That is why I call the official story from the media and politicians another myth . . ”

    And, “The alternative to basing understanding on evidence is to rely on fairy tales.”

    For the third time now, Alexander Mercurious said that, ““All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done. . . . . And so why hasn’t he been indicted? Why is there this resistance on the part of the Justice Department to indict him?”

    And you have said, “As for identity fraud, use of bots, etc. I have simply pointed out how ubiquitous this is and suggested examples could be found of their use by the Democrats as well as the Republicans.” . . . And, . . . “I am sure identity fraud, destruction of property, obstructing justice, etc., would all have occurred in the campaign instigated and financed by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC.”

    For the third time now, could you please provide specific evidence that either Christopher Steele, or “the Democrats or the Clinton campaign” are guilty of Identity Theft, Obstruction of Justice, Destruction of Evidence, or Fraud?

    Also, could you please explain to me why it is acceptable for you to DEMAND evidence from Steven when he says Russians interfered in the 2016 election. In fact you call it a myth. You call it the “official narrative.” . . . . . But why is it that you don’t feel it is necessary to PROVIDE evidence when both you and Alex Mercurious say that Steele & the Clinton campaign have engaged in crimes like Identity Theft and Fraud?

    Could you please explain that? Have I made the question clear enough?

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  62. David, you are flogging a dead horse. Yes, for strong political and ideological reasons. But still a dead horse.

    Come back when there is some real evidence to consider.

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  63. Thank you, Ken.

    In that case I will stand by my statement that Alexander Mercurious lied when he said that, ““All the things that people have been indicted for, Christopher Steele has done. . . . . And so why hasn’t he been indicted?”

    Until you can show me some “real evidence to consider” showing that Steele committed crimes stated in Counts Two and Three (2 of the 3 Counts) of Mueller’s Indictment, the accusation stands.

    Steele did not commit the crimes of Identity Theft, Fraud, Destruction of Property with the intent of Obstructing Justice, Wire Fraud, or using Falsified U.S. Identifications. Steele committed none of these crimes.

    You lied when you said, “I am sure identity fraud, destruction of property, obstructing justice, etc., would all have occurred in the campaign instigated and financed by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC.”

    Unless you can show me some real evidence to consider which supports your slanderous lies, both you and Mercurious are currently categorized as fucking liars with pro-Russian agendas.

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  64. Ken, your quote: “2: there us no chance the indictments will be tested in court which allows scope for including unwarranted speculation and outright lies.”
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/is-russiagate-another-deception-like-iraqi-wmds/#comment-113926

    You should never say ‘there is no chance’ regarding anything. It looks like Mueller’s indictment will be tested in court. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/04/mueller-russia-interference-election-case-delay-570627

    I’m looking forward to the usual back peddling to which I have become accustomed.

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  65. Yes, David, many in the media will be “back peddling” on this.

    But it seems that instead of the expected scenario of a Russian citizen being arrested when arriving at a US airport what is actually happening is a company listed in the indictments is being proactive and initiating proceedings. This seems to have put the Mueller team into a “pack peddling” mode with attempts to stave off the court action.

    I will be interested to see how this pans out – the Concord legal team has a long list of items they seek to get clarification on during discovery. Hopefully these, and the revealed information, will eventually make it to the public domain.

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  66. Ken: “But it seems that instead of the expected scenario of a Russian citizen being arrested when arriving at a US airport what is actually happening is a company listed in the indictments is being proactive and initiating proceedings.”

    Not the expected scenario? Not exactly an accurate statement, Ken. I’m no legal expert, and even I predicted it:

    “. . if the Trump Administration, or anyone else for that matter, Mueller for example, wanted to disprove or prove the indictment, they, or he could easily request for a trial of the defendants in absentia. Although U.S. law insists on due process and a defendant’s right to be present during trial, per rule 43 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, there are exceptions. For example, “a corporation need not be present, but may be represented by counsel.” As luck would have it, 3 corporations are under indictment.”

    “In this case, there would be no problem for the IRA to hire Counsel and defend the corporation, if they chose to do so. And why wouldn’t they? In that scenario, there would be no chance of any arrests being made. It would be completely safe.” (And that is exactly what happened.)
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/is-russiagate-another-deception-like-iraqi-wmds/#comment-113988

    The only people in the media back peddling are people like Alexander Mercourois . . no, I take that back. He doesn’t back peddle. He makes ludicrous, inaccurate statements, and when they are proven wrong he moves on hoping you will have forgotten about them.

    Yes, it will be interesting to see how it pans out. Whether it will all make it to the public domain is questionable, however, since the information requested by IRA is classified.

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  67. Please point me to the article where Alexander Mercouris discusses this development – I haven’t seen it yet.

    I think even if the Mueller team withholds information on security grounds it will look very bad for that investigation.

    But that seems to be the modus operandi these days. Make outrageous claims (eg the Skripal affair, the “chemical attack” in Douma, the justification for the illegal missile attacks on Syria by the FUKUS regimes – people are starting to wake up to such lies.

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  68. I don’t often read The Duran. When I do it is because you have provided a link to a specific article.

    What I meant . . and what I said . . is that “people like Alexander Mercourois” will be back peddling over this one. (People who make outrageous claims that end up being false. People like Mercourois.)

    What I also said is that Mercourois himself doesn’t seem to back peddle. Nor does he have a penchant to correct himself. He simply moves on and hopes you’ve forgotten what he said.

    For example: https://theduran.com/another-special-counsel-investigate-real-scandal-2016-election/

    Here Mercourois is making the case that the Steele Dossier was the original source for Mueller’s investigation. Thanks to Senator Feinstein, we now know that is not true.

    Unless you can point me to the article in which Mr. Mercourois either corrected his error or even tried to back peddle his way out of what he said.

    Like

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