Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
[Comey] Irrelevant.
I don't agree. You claim that Comey's actions tilted the election results in favor of Trump and against Clinton. But other observers (including Trump himself) felt that in fact Comey's actions benefited the Democrats, by raising the issue of Clinton's emails and then dismissing as a matter of no importance. In statements since then, Comey has made it very clear that he personally prefers Democrats, and that he has quit the Republican Party.

If (1) was the case, the Putineskas could simply tell Trump to slow his roll and stop appearing so inept.
As I told you, apparently that's eventually what happened after the Kushner request for a back channel. But, remember that Putin (IMO) has limited ability to control what Trump says and does. Also, to some extent the Russians benefit from Trump's cooperation, whether inept or not. So perhaps they would feel some reserve about giving advice to Trump. Especially advice about how to be a better spy for them?? Knowing that every communication could be intercepted by the NSA?

I watch the news Jerry. There were two translators, and only Putin has any translator's notes. Putin understands English in any case.
I get my daily news from Information Clearing House, WSWS, and various blogs. Usually works well enough, but sometimes I miss trivialities like this. Bygones.

Going back to the beginning, you said:

Confiscates the translator's notes
So I think you're saying now that Putin still has his translator's notes, and that Trump confiscated the American translator's notes? I can only assume that Trump confiscated the notes to prevent them being leaked to the press, which gets back to my earlier view that this was an obviously useful strategy on his part.

Quoting from the MSM now?
Of course. One of the key functions of the MSM is to publish self-serving and pro-government leaks from anonymous government sources. In this case I see no reason to doubt that some self-serving anonymous government source leaked the information, exactly as the MSM source is dutifully reporting it. As to whether the events described in the leak actually took place exactly as described, I am open to further information.

Sibel Edmonds destroys Snowden.
No, she made a pathetic attempt to smear Snowden. This is all too typical of Sibel Edmonds: she has recently made similar scurrilious attacks on Vanessa Beeley and James Corbett. And back in the early days of 9-11 truth, she was a strong LIHOP advocate, and smeared everyone in the MIHOP camp.

Some have reached the conclusion that Edmonds works for Turkish intelligence. I don't know about that, but on the other hand she's not on my list of most trusted sources.

Edmonds' attack on Snowden starts at about 11:45 in the video and continues to 15:35. Her complaints are:

(1) Snowden lived in Hawaii, which is also Omidyar's base of operations.

(2) When Snowden went fleeing to avoid prosecution, he went to Hong Kong, rather than to Ecuador or some other South American sanctuary.

(3) Edmonds sent Snowden a nosy questionnaire to find out if he was a real whistleblower, and to invite him to join her whistleblowers' organization if he made the grade. Snowden declined to answer the nosy questionnaire.

In answer to this attack, I say:

(1) Snowden was in Hawaii to take a job with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he intended to obtain classified documents for publication. Where else would he go?

(2) Hong Kong turned out to be a sub-optimal but credible choice. Snowden was able to stave off getting extradited to the US, long enough to get on another plane. Russia may have also been a sub-optimal choice, but then Ecuador hasn't worked out so well for Assange in the long run, either. Edmonds' question presumes that Snowden has some omniscient capacity to find an ideal asylum location, and also that his opinion must be the same as her own (also omniscient) thoughts about the matter.

(3) Edmonds is so full of herself, that she can't imagine why Snowden wouldn't answer her intrusive questionnaire. Seems obvious to me why he didn't.

It's worth noting that Edmonds' attack on Snowden fell completely flat with Webb, who wanted none of it.

OK, so you can figure out what Mueller means by "laundered", but not what I mean?
Yes, at least Mueller's position is coherent & intelligible. Whereas I (still) can't understand what you think happened. I gather you think it was ultimately a psy-op run by the "shepherds" (whoever they are), but the details of how you think this happened remain obscure & mysterious to me.

I think we're in agreement that Wikileaks has far more credibility that The Intercept, both as a legitimate source for leaked government documents, and as a legitimate partner for insiders who want to leak information. Although neither The Intercept nor Wikileaks has a perfect record for protecting their sources, at least Wikileaks appears to be making a sincere effort, and they succeed from time to time.

Why are you concerned about my satisfaction, or worse that they, the Putineskas, could achieve such, or desire to satisfy me?
Because it seems to me you are claiming some sort of unique understanding of the Russians' true interests, and that your dissatisfaction somehow proves their ineptness. Why they should have the same opinion as you, about their own best interests, is beyond me.

I understand that you want to belong to a wider zeitgeist system of belief.
Why do you presume to psychoanalyze me, and ascribe my beliefs to some sheepish desire to find a sense of belonging? You can't bring yourself to consider the possibility that the wider zeitgeist is sometimes correct?

The "wider zeitgeist" you're referring to, is also highly alienated from the mainstream.

No, I do not want a web site. Maybe you should get yourself your own personal website?
Umm... this is already my personal website? It was supposed to be a cooperative (joint) endeavor, and intended to showcase some of your creative ideas. But I'm the publisher and administrator.

Another alternative (which I've suggested) is for you to prepare some sort of summary statement, and then I could prepare a comprehensive response, and then agree to disagree.

We could take the whole conversation to email. When we're working together, I think a dialog might be interesting to readers. Whereas when we're bickering, it's a lot less edifying.

Or we could just work together on some topic we (mostly) agree on.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
I don't agree. You claim that Comey's actions tilted the election results in favor of Trump and against Clinton. But other observers (including Trump himself) felt that in fact Comey's actions benefited the Democrats, by raising the issue of Clinton's emails and then dismissing as a matter of no importance.
Ouch, well if Trump and friends say that Comey benefited Hillary then I have to believe that. NOT!!! Again, Comey violated FBI/DoJ policy on election timing of such announcements by announcing the re-opening of investigations into Hillary emails and staying mum on the ongoing Trump investigation. "... and then dismissing ..." I think you and they are conflating two different episodes, the earlier dismissing of importance and later reopening of the investigation.

But all these objections your raising distracts away from that Trump represents the preferred zeitgeist that the matrix wants to project right now, while their fellow servant, Hillary, doesn't provide the same. Her venality is under a softer guise that doesn't comport with the needs of the neoZealots. Your continued objections along these lines makes it seem that you do not agree with Machiavellian political machinations, domestic or global in nature. But rather that you've reverted to Random Coincidence Theory, at least selectively.
As I told you, apparently that's eventually what happened after the Kushner request for a back channel. But, remember that Putin (IMO) has limited ability to control what Trump says and does. Also, to some extent the Russians benefit from Trump's cooperation, whether inept or not. So perhaps they would feel some reserve about giving advice to Trump. Especially advice about how to be a better spy for them?? Knowing that every communication could be intercepted by the NSA?
I'd be asking why Putin isn't asking Snowden why he isn't complaining about The Intercept not releasing his cache of NSA data. And then, if I was Putin, I'd be asking myself WTF is going on. But, as I've said, he knows damn well what's going on, and he's just playing the game, Shepherds versus Sheep.
It's worth noting that Edmonds' attack on Snowden fell completely flat with Webb, who wanted none of it.
Interesting that Snowden didn't make a copy of the data, leaving The Intercept with the only complete copy. If not, why hasn't Snowden released it?
Yes, at least Mueller's position is coherent & intelligible. Whereas I (still) can't understand what you think happened. I gather you think it was ultimately a psy-op run by the "shepherds" (whoever they are), but the details of how you think this happened remain obscure & mysterious to me.
What is so difficult for you about the concept of data being transported from one entity to another, whether there are one leg or several intermediate legs in the journey? You are being insanely disingenuous when you state that you don't know who I'm talking about. Now you're going to tell me that 19 Arabs conducted 9/11.
I think we're in agreement that Wikileaks has far more credibility that The Intercept, both as a legitimate source for leaked government documents, and as a legitimate partner for insiders who want to leak information.
Almost. They may indeed be 'innocent dupes', and therefore be cleaner, or they may just be another front that appeared cleaner by comparison to The Intercept.
Why do you presume to psychoanalyze me, and ascribe my beliefs to some sheepish desire to find a sense of belonging? You can't bring yourself to consider the possibility that the wider zeitgeist is sometimes correct?
I've coherently presented substantial evidence on this thread that Trump has a well developed dual persona, as an 'actor' should, and that the White House swamp surrounding him is a false populist front, fronting for the Georgetown and Goldman Sachs cabal. That cabal, operating on the actual globalist agenda of the JudeoChristianIslamic construct, per their canonic narratives.

But now your admitting that the mainstream and most popular alternative narratives about Trump being just another freakish, spontaneous, ego 'accident', like Hitler, is more likely. And that, as usual, the poor liddle Russians are ever the victims of their usual suspects, like the Christians are, and the Jews are, and the ...
The "wider zeitgeist" you're referring to, is also highly alienated from the mainstream.
The way is narrow, and wrong is wrong. But in any case, I'm not speaking about progressives versus corporatism, I'm speaking in terms of the Trump tableau, which includes Wikileaks and the Russian, and the actual global Deep State (not Trump's distortion of it). Basically, everyone is saying: Well shit happens". And I'm saying that in instances like this, shit does not just happen.

This is where I believe the most in being a Contrarian, because when everyone is thinking the opposite, then (fake) miracles happen.
Umm... this is already my personal website?
I was being facetious. But I need to ponder the end, I have little left to add, and I'm getting tired of going in circles. Besides, obviously I'm mad as a hatter and the world is sane.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
But I need to ponder the end, I have little left to add, and I'm getting tired of going in circles.
I'll address this first, before "circling" back.

I am not sure whether any of us have enough prophetic powers to say how soon our end might come. People sometimes endure chronic illnesses for years if not decades. And the will to life can be very powerful. There's a willingness to go through bad days, to get to the better ones.

On the other hand, anyone could get hit by the proverbial truck tomorrow. So every day is a gift.

If one's remaining days are limited (and they certainly are, for every one of us mortals) then there's no time to waste. And nobody wants to suffer unnecessarily.

Working on this Postflaviana website can be depressing. I can imagine where one might easily prefer spending one's days enjoying a Social Security funded retirement. Or at least, I hope you're not feeling trapped as a wage slave to Postflaviana.

> [JR] What about us: would you describe us Postflavians as "little innocent lambs", bleating helplessly as we await our fate?
Yes, of course. What would you say?
This exposes a problem with the SSSM model: namely, that the comparison of human beings to 'sheep' is insulting and dehumanizing, and we need to be careful about how we use it. The fact that it's a biblically sanctioned comparison is beside the point.

SSSM might have its utility as an illustrative model, and a satire of the Biblical text, and to explain the general nature of the relationships we're describing. But there's no way I'm going to stand for it, if you go calling me a "sheep". Or anybody else, for that matter.

Yes, there are a lot of human beings who seem to be largely unaware of the "Shepherd" class, or who are confused in various ways, or for various reasons don't present much if any challenge to the rule of the "Shepherds". These people fill the role of "sheep" in the SSSM model. And it's a real thing.

But on the other hand, since the 19th century there have been many people brought to at least a minimal awareness of the Marxist view that history consists of class struggle. Or in other words, the struggle of the sheep against the shepherds. Marx's theory of the bourgeoise class was not so different from our sheepdog theory, either. And at least under Marxist theory, the sheep get to be called "proletariat" or even "oppressed workers", which sounds a lot better than "sheep".

So as much as we despair that Marx was in fact a Prussian secret agent, nevertheless what we're offering here seems to be a lot like classical Marxism in a Biblical satire bottle.

And in addition to the sheep, the sheepdogs, and the shepherds, I'd add at least fourth classification. Let's call them "rebels", and the most noteworthy among them "heroes". These are people who may be confused to various degrees, but have arrived at a state of discontent about the SSSM system, and some insight about its nature, and have been working to change it in some way, or protest against it.

Over the centuries, I believe that there have been many "rebels" and some "heroes". As much freedom and pleasure and good as there is in the world today; the fact that we aren't trapped in medieval feudalism or worse; is largely because of the efforts of the rebels and heroes. And, people can be born as shepherds and mature into rebels and/or heroes as well.

I like to think of ourselves as rebels. Or, as you wrote recently:

Likely Jerry and I will fail in our efforts, but at least my ashes (speaking for myself) will rest easier upon my now selected mountain top (hopefully soon).
A most rebellious and un-sheepish sentiment.

Hmm... I was thinking I'd go back and continue the discussion about Comey, and Trump's inevitability or lack of the same, and the ambiguity of the concept of data transmitted from one unidentified entity to another. But: maybe later.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The following is an interview by Sibel Edmonds with Mint Press's Whitney Webb:
Edmonds might also be slightly off with her Greenwald-Snowden timeline. Here's an article discussing Greenwald's early career in pornography, and his IRS tax problems. It agrees that Greenwald's tax problems continued into 2013, but it says his porn lawsuit was settled in 2004. Greenwald says he moved to Brazil (circa 2005) because it was legal to marry his partner David Miranda there, and not because of his IRS problems.

Snowden started gathering documents while he was working for an NSA / Dell office in May 2012. He contacted Greenwald in Dec. 2012, and moved to Booz Allen in March 2013, where he continued his espionage project. He left for Hong Kong in May 2013, and Greenwald and the Guardian started publishing a few documents soon after that. Greenwald's deal with Omidyar was announced in Oct. 2013, and that's when his financial problems with the IRS were finally cleared up.

More interesting Greenwald links:

https://theothermccain.com/2013/06/27/glenn-greenwald-is-a-ridiculous-joke-and-alas-the-internet-never-forgets/
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1002101211
https://newrepublic.com/article/116253/edward-snowden-glenn-greenwald-julian-assange-what-they-believe
https://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/the-silencing-and-robbing-of-edward-snowden-or-americas-occult-journey-into-the-dark-ages/
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
I know that one can plausibly say that Snowden is a true blue whistleblower, but that is what deniability is all about. The following provides a web of linkages all the way up to Clapper, who is now a frequent guest on the talking head shows. We can believe that such as Clapper and Trump are on opposite sides, because ... Trump says so. And Trump should know, because he's got all those connections to the Georgetown national security apparatchiks, hanging out in the White House and outside like Bannon and Kissinger.

As the Snowden affair, whether he's complicit or a dupe, has turned into a nothingburger, I'm seeing The Intercept tableau as a figurative Santa Claus to the Wikileaks tableau being the figurative Jesus. Both being fake, but the former making the latter appear unquestionable in the minds of many. No insider elites were harmed in the making of these productions.

Booz Allen, “the world’s most profitable spy organization,” is one of the NSA’s leading private contractors; the director of US intelligence, James Clapper, was a Booz Allen executive, and former NSA director Michael McConnell is now a Booz Allen VP.
In other words, if you consider yourself an Edward Snowden supporter in any way, Booz Allen is the enemy.
So it may come as a surprise that billionaire Pierre Omidyar — publisher of The Intercept, which owns the only complete cache of Snowden’s NSA secrets; financier of the Freedom of The Press Foundation, where Snowden serves on the board of directors — has just selected one of Snowden’s former bosses at Booz Allen’s Hawaii branch to join the Omidyar Fellows program.
His name is Robert Lietzke, and he’s a “principal” at Booz Allen’s Hawaii branch, where he’s worked for over 15 years. In 2008, Lietzke was reported in the local Hawaiian press as one of “three principals [running] day to day operations” at Booz Allen’s Hawaii branch. Lietzke’s specialty at Booz is information systems and technology, Snowden’s field. Before he joined Booz Allen, Lietzke was a computer systems officer in the US Air Force from 1989 through 1999.
After joining Booz’s Hawaii branch, Lietzke worked “support” for the US Pacific Command, headquartered outside of Honolulu, on protecting critical infrastructure and network operations. ...
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Did Cicero predict Donald Trump? Apparently not, but it seems that maybe the late novelist, Taylor Caldwell, did.

A Facebook post says a quote from Roman public speaker and statesman Cicero amounts to "a two thousand Year Old warning about TRUMP."
The quote reads:
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. For the traitor appears not a traitor – He speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation – he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city – he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared."
The words, with some slightly different iterations, have been widely attributed to Cicero across the internet for some time, but we could find no evidence that he actually said or wrote it. (Additionally, he died in 43 B.C., a year before the meme claims he said the quote.)
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We traced the quote down to a 1965 fictional novel by Taylor Caldwell called "A Pillar of Iron." On page 661 of the book, it attributes the passage to a speech Cicero made in the Roman Senate in 58 B.C. as "Recorded by Sallust." ...

I was first made aware of Taylor Caldwell when coming across her also prescient (to today's Trumpian zeitgeist) 1952 novel, The Devil's Advocate, sometime in the late 1960's I believe. I was pretty amazed by the conception (below), and her writing was compelling, as I remember. She has been compared to Ayn Rand in some respects. The following is about The Devil's Advocate plot.

In the heart of Philadelphia, insurgent Andrew Durant has been nursing a festering rage. And he’s not alone. Through underground networks, he’s found himself among a secret thousands, building an army called the Minute Men. They’re readying themselves for war to reclaim what was once America.
In the nation now known as the Democracy, independent thought is a thing of the past. The Constitution is waste paper. A conscienceless president has been appointed by the military—for life. The government has co-opted farmland crops. Citizens are divided between two classes: wealthy corporations and the destitute. Areas of the country devastated by war or natural disaster remain unchecked. On behalf of national security, neighbors are instructed to spy on one another. Exposing those who are undemocratic is law. And all dissenters are eliminated.
Durant, the chosen agent for the poverty-stricken rural Democracy, finds himself increasingly isolated and afraid. Mobilizing revolutionaries has become a dangerous tactic; the Minute Men have their own traitors, infiltrators assigned to undo everything Durant and his men are fighting to conquer. Now, the rebels have only their beliefs left to trust.
A stunning dystopian vision in the tradition of George Orwell’s 1984 and Ayn Rand’s Anthem, The Devil’s Advocate is author Taylor Caldwell’s “tour de force” (Kirkus Reviews). More than a half-century after its original publication, it is timelier than ever.

The term 'Devil's Advocate' is employed by the Catholic Church, as the explicit title of a church officiant in charge of 'trying' the case of a person put up for sainthood, whose role is to determine whether or not the nominated dead person is worthy of being declared a saint. As if Dogod and Santa Claus don't already gnow who's naughty and nice.

What is interesting to me, with the novel and with the Church's institution of this, is that the so-called Devil's Advocate is supposedly serving the cause of the "greater good". In the very ontological construction of the Christian enterprise the duality of Satan is a necessary (metaphorical) dialectical component, a foil for the 'good guys' ... just as the synthetic construction of the tribe of the Jews was, and is today. If there are no criminals then we have no need for the police, .. only Sting. If there is no enemy, then you must create one.

The excerpt about The Devil's Advocate doesn't inform us that the protagonist must secretly play the sacrificial role of the antagonist, so that the nation can survive its (Deep State) tribulation. And so, from a particular POV, is Trump such a Devil's Advocate? I say yes, to some extent. He is playing this role, only that he is serving the same masters as the 'real' Deep State 'actors'. This is why this particular devil's advocate has so many Georgetown 'national security' players in his White House.

Caldwell was fairly well known for her novels that seemed to display significant knowledge of historical data, to the degree that it was pondered if she had access to past lives. We've seen similar with living novelist, Paul Fitzgerald.

My father had a copy of Caldwell's The Romance of Atlantis, which I read. As my father warned me, it was pretty damn steamy. Supposedly, Caldwell wrote it at the age of 12, in 1912. However, it didn't get published until 1975, so what does that tell us?

Furthermore:

Atlantis is ruled by the beautiful and intelligent Empress Salustra. The fate of the Empire will be decided by an arranged marriage with the ruler of a less advanced, semi-barbarian northern kingdom, as the advanced technology of Atlantis is powerless against strange environmental and ecological disasters.

Atlantis? New Atlantis?
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
As predicted, the Mueller Report has not led to a diminishing of the heat over the involved issues. AG Barr has stated that the (or any) President has the right to shut down an investigation if said President feels that there is no justification for the investigation. Which means that there never can be any investigation of a corrupt president, and thus a President is an unlimited king, except via the expiration of the terms of office. Some, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, wonder if the terms of office and/or unhappy election results will be a limitation for the orange dick, if true, thus making him a dicktator in waiting.

Subpoenas being issued for Trump associates, income taxes, banking papers, etc.. will likely soon have to get resolved in the Supreme Court, and we'll get to find out the value of Trump's appointments. Will the Catholic majority on the court support the so-called Unitary Executive as Barr has explicitly done? I think they will, but if not, this will not be the last card for Trump to play. His personal stakes are simply too high to leave the legal protections of his office now.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
AG Barr has stated that the (or any) President has the right to shut down an investigation if said President feels that there is no justification for the investigation. Which means that there never can be any investigation of a corrupt president, and thus a President is an unlimited king, except via the expiration of the terms of office.
To be precise, here is the quote from Barr:

https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/05/01/7-big-moments-in-william-barrs-senate-testimony-on-mueller-report/

“If the president is being falsely accused, which the evidence now suggests, the accusations against him were false and he knew they were false, and he felt that this investigation was unfair, propelled by his political opponents, and was hampering his ability to govern,” Barr said. “That is not a corrupt motive for replacing an independent counsel.”
Thus, the President has to convince the AG that the investigation has gone off the rails. And when the AG is convinced, the independent counsel gets replaced, but the investigation itself doesn't necessarily get shut down. If Congress finds that the AG has dismissed the investigation without a good cause, that could be reason enough to impeach the AG as well as the President.

With our existing Congress, this is all moot. They have no spine or enthusiasm for impeachment.

As predicted, the Mueller Report has not led to a diminishing of the heat over the involved issues..... Some, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, wonder if the terms of office and/or unhappy election results will be a limitation for the orange dick, if true, thus making him a dicktator in waiting.
Democrats had better find some other issue besides Russiagate to talk about, otherwise Trump is going to win in a landslide in 2020.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
To be precise, here is the quote from Barr:

https://www.dailysignal.com/2019/05/01/7-big-moments-in-william-barrs-senate-testimony-on-mueller-report/

“If the president is being falsely accused, which the evidence now suggests, the accusations against him were false and he knew they were false, and he felt that this investigation was unfair, propelled by his political opponents, and was hampering his ability to govern,” Barr said. “That is not a corrupt motive for replacing an independent counsel.”
Every criminal from here on out should make this claim, that they know that they are innocent, so cancel the investigations. We'll save loads on taxes for police and courts.

Barr also admitted that he hadn't read the Report, and we're being told that Mueller disagrees with Barr's assessment, that Mueller did leave his report worded with the intent that Congress perform its Constitutional duties instead of himself, and per the DoJ rule.

With our existing Congress, this is all moot. They have no spine or enthusiasm for impeachment.
Congress aside, this is not moot. Barr and the WH Counsel are establishing that they are the President's Men and not the publics'.

Yes, the power Dems claim that they are scared that the Senate will not convict no matter what. So what? They are also scared that the Republicans want them to impeach? So what? At least go down swinging.

Democrats had better find some other issue besides Russiagate to talk about, otherwise Trump is going to win in a landslide in 2020.
Don't worry Jerry, it's in the bag.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Barr also admitted that he hadn't read the Report, and we're being told that Mueller disagrees with Barr's assessment, that Mueller did leave his report worded with the intent that Congress perform its Constitutional duties instead of himself, and per the DoJ rule.
And, as Bill Maher reminds me, the Mueller Report, whether true or not, maintains the narrative that Russia interferred with the election. Thus leaving Congress to decide whether or not Trump has complicity. Or to impeach on a hundred other issues, at least.

Maher, like many others, are dropping that we are at the end of American democracy. And that he scooped Hillary on asking China to get Trump's tax returns:
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
More than 400 former federal prosecutors claim that Agent Orange is chargeable with obstruction of justice? Some might say that such extensive evidence of obstruction is evidence of consciousness of guilt ... of some other crime or crimes.

And this in the shadow of yet one more of Trump's bizarre communications with Putin, where the Kremlin says that Trump indeed called Putin, and Trump claims that Putin smiled while saying that Russiagate started out a mountain and turned into a mouse. And now Trump once again, has changed his mind, this time not wanting Mueller to testify to Congress after saying he had no objections.

More than 400 former federal prosecutors have signed a letter contending that President Donald Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice based on the findings of the Mueller report if he weren’t president.
The letter, published to Medium on Monday, is backed by a growing list of impressive names—413 at the time of this post’s publication. They include, as the Washington Post notes, Bill Weld, who is challenging Trump for the Republican nomination; Donald Ayer, who served as deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush administration; Paul Rosenzweig,* who served as senior counsel to Ken Starr; and a number of U.S. attorneys and former chiefs and directors of various departments and agencies. The signatories include career government employees who have worked for decades at the Department of Justice and high-profile political appointees who have served during both Republican and Democratic presidencies dating back to the Eisenhower administration.
“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the former federal officials wrote. ...
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
More than 400 former federal prosecutors claim that Agent Orange is chargeable with obstruction of justice? Some might say that such extensive evidence of obstruction is evidence of consciousness of guilt ... of some other crime or crimes.
The letter is here, now with 520 signatures:

https://medium.com/@dojalumni/statement-by-former-federal-prosecutors-8ab7691c2aa1

The Mueller report describes several acts that satisfy all of the elements for an obstruction charge: conduct that obstructed or attempted to obstruct the truth-finding process, as to which the evidence of corrupt intent and connection to pending proceedings is overwhelming.

The statement goes on to list several specific instances. This is a very authoritative rebuttal of my earlier view (following Barr and Paul Craig Roberts) that obstruction requires proof of a crime whose investigation has been obstructed. And Trump doesn't seem to be guilty of conspiring with Russian election tampering efforts, but he's no doubt guilty of plenty of other crimes.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
RAGA = MAGA?

With the Trump cabal saying Fuck No to the Constitutional duties of the legislative branch to investigate malfeasance, non-fake or alleged, such as asserted variously by the American intelligence community, Deep State or not, the media, MSM or not, Michael Cohen, believable or not, and the Trumpkins' own words themselves, prolific liars or not, we continue to see the Trumpian machine break down the Republican Party and the republic itself. Trump is continuing to push the narrative that his various enemies, a cabal of Republican and Democratic elites is engaged in an ongoing coup d'etat against him. All the while he, and his cabal of backers is engaged in a coup d'etat against the original Liberal enterprise of the American Revolution, using the imagery of the Rugged Individualist as his Pied Piper schtick.

The following excerpts are from a Masha Gessen article about the Trump and Putin reframing of WWII, including the recent approval of new retro-WWII style Army uniforms. As if we haven't been spending enough on the military even before Trump. Maybe we'll need these new uniforms as the Iranians, the North Koreans, the Venezuelans are Agent Orange, while Trump is escalating the trade war with China. And he is hinting that its OK to shoot at unarmed people along the southern border.

...
The holiday [the Russian's WWII Victory Day - rs] has grown as the story of the Soviet victory in the Second World War has become central to Russia’s national identity. The Russian sociologist Lev Gudkov once told me that victory in the war made for the perfect myth because “it shines its light backwards and forwards.” It illuminates the prewar past in such a way as to justify the Stalinist terror that came before the war. It illuminates the postwar past in such a way as to explain how the Soviet Union became a superpower and to justify the terror that followed the war. There is a national longing for Russia to reclaim its superpower status, and the narrative of the Second World War renders this a righteous desire.
Leaders who have staked their legitimacy on the promise of making their countries great again apparently have a way of alighting on the same points of reference. Last month, during a meeting with a small group of veterans of the Second World War, Donald Trump previewed the Army’s new uniform, which is a radical style departure from the uniforms of the past sixty years—and is almost an exact copy of the Second World War-era uniform. The Times reported that the Army wanted to reach back to the last war that it fought with the full support of the American public, and won. Speaking about the uniform, Trump also assured his audience that it was not cheap: “And, if you think those uniforms were inexpensive, they were very expensive. They were very. But they wanted it, and we got it.”
The assurance that no expense was spared goes along with Trump’s repeated claims that his Administration is bringing power and respect back to the military after (imaginary) neglect by previous Administrations. “We’re rebuilding our military like never before,” he said, at the April event. “Brand-new fighter jets. Brand-new ships of all kinds. Every soldier has the best equipment. In the Army, we’re even getting new uniforms.”
There is something particularly insidious about these two men, Trump and Putin, claiming to be restoring the glory of victory in the Second World War at this moment, when the Western world’s understanding of the war seems to be crumbling. This understanding has shaped European politics for seventy years. It’s not just that it created a united Europe; the Second World War showed humanity what it was capable of. Like totalitarianism, the Holocaust was a twentieth-century phenomenon: the result of the combination of human cruelty and modern technology. Following the war, societies that chose (or were allowed to choose) democracy had to reckon with their own potential for destruction. Nations devised stories about themselves in the aftermath of the war. Germany’s story was, in effect, that it had sunk to the bottom of its national soul and had to fight to prevent such a thing from happening ever again. Countries that had been occupied by the Nazis valorized the resistance and minimized the role of collaborators. Sweden, which was neutral during the war, focussed on the one indisputably good thing it did: accepting nearly two hundred thousand refugees, including Danish Jews who were fleeing the Nazis. These stories shaped the political identities of many European countries and their behavior. Germany pursued a policy of de-Nazification and criminalized Holocaust denial, for example; Sweden fashioned itself as a humanitarian superpower and a haven for refugees. In the countries that the Allies handed over to the Soviet Union, history was different, and simpler: there was no Holocaust. Children of the Soviet Bloc learned that the Nazi concentration camps were for “antifascists.” Books about the Jewish catastrophe were banned. With the Holocaust absent from their historiography, these countries’ narratives were not influenced by a fuller understanding of humanity’s potential for destruction. That understanding itself would have been a challenge to totalitarianism.
In the past few years, as the politics of isolationism, nostalgia, and resentment have claimed electoral victories throughout the Western world, those postwar stories have started falling apart.
...
The reality behind the transformation—or the rejection—of the lessons of the Second World War is that people who actually remember the conflict are nearly all gone. Their story is being reframed, with breathtaking speed, as one of glory, or at least of warring armies rather than as a story of humanity’s darkest hour so far. Instead of serving as a warning, the Second World War is becoming the source of nostalgia for greatness. To be sure, America has always had the luxury of remembering the Second World War as its greatest triumph, but this historical narrative has also always included the Holocaust, at least as a warning against anti-Semitism—in this, the American view of history was vastly different from the Russian one. But the Trumpian spin on the war is all MAGA, which makes it essentially the same as Putin’s. ...
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
we continue to see the Trumpian machine break down the Republican Party and the republic itself.
As this process goes on, it's important to remember that Trump's erstwhile enemy, the Democratic Party, is not necessarily our friend. But rather, part of the tableau.

Trump is continuing to push the narrative that his various enemies, a cabal of Republican and Democratic elites is engaged in an ongoing coup d'etat against him.
Unlike the Russiagate narrative, it seems that this narrative actually has some factual basis. Not that this coup d'etat is succeeding. Maybe it was never even intended to succeed.

As Larry Johnson reports at Sic Semper Tyrannis (via Consortium News):

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/07/how-us-and-foreign-intelligence-agencies-interfered-in-a-us-election/

The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign.
...
The Mueller investigation of Trump “collusion” with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:
  • Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow
  • George Papadopolous
  • Carter Page
  • Dimitri Simes
  • Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)
  • Events at Republican Convention
  • Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak
  • Paul Manafort
One simple fact emerges–of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the proposals to interact with the Russian Government or with Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, and not Trump or his people.
There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.
Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.
Or, as James Kunstler poses the situation:

In short and in effect, the Democratic Party itself is headed to trial on a vector that takes it straight into November next year. How do you imagine it will look to voters when Mr. Obama’s CIA chief, John Brennan, his NSA Director James Clapper, a baker’s dozen of former Obama top FBI and DOJ officials, including former AG Loretta Lynch, and sundry additional players in the great game of RussiaGate Gotcha end up ‘splainin’ their guts out to a whole different cast of federal prosecutors? It’s hardly out of the question that Barack Obama himself and Mrs. Clinton may face charges in all this mischief and depravity. ...
It’s a further irony of the moment that the suddenly leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, is neck-deep in that spilled garbage, the story unspooling even as I write that then-Veep Uncle Joe strong-armed the Ukraine government to fire its equivalent of Attorney General to quash an investigation of his son, Hunter, who received large sums of money from the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, which had mystifyingly appointed the young American to its board of directors after the US-sponsored overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych.
That nasty bit of business comes immediately on top of information that the Hillary campaign was using its connections in Ukraine — from her years at the State Department — to traffic in political dirt on Mr. Trump, plus an additional intrigue that included payments to the Clinton Foundation of $25 million by Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. That was on top of contributions of $150 million that the Clinton Foundation had received earlier from Russian oligarchs around 2012.
All of this in the context that Trump is increasingly floating jokes (?) about extending his term in office. See the WSWS:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/10/immi-m10.html

At a campaign rally Wednesday in Panama City, Florida, thousands of Trump supporters laughed and cheered wildly when an audience member shouted that the US should “shoot” immigrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border. ...
At the Panama City rally, Trump also said he could stay in office for “10 or 14” years, echoing his Sunday tweet asserting the possibility he may cancel the 2020 election and extend his term another two years.
WSWS furthermore posed the question, whether the Democrats are going to do anything about an unconstitutional power grab. In an interview with the NY Times last week, Peolosi said that she doesn't believe Trump could be removed through impeachment, but only by defeating him in the 2020 election by a decisive margin. Which begs the question, what if there is no election? WSWS speculates:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/08/pers-m08.html

Were Trump to follow through on his threat, the most Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer would do is promise to file a lawsuit!

Or maybe not even that much, if the Democratic party and its candidates are embroiled in their own court cases. With enemies like this, who needs friends.

Further thickening the plot, it seems that the US and its allies are doing their best to provoke war in multiple theaters. This week the action is centered in Iran, where WSWS (with the most comprehensive analysis I've run across, as usual) says:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/05/11/thre-m11.html

Pompeo and US national security adviser John Bolton, who has publicly called for bombing Iran, have both threatened that the US will unleash a devastating attack on Iran against any and all attacks on US troops or “US interests” anywhere in the Middle East by a host of actors that Washington deems to be “proxies” of Tehran, ranging from Shia militias in Syria and Iraq to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian Gaza Strip.
In any one of these countries, the Pentagon or the CIA, or, for that matter, Washington’s principal regional allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia, which both want a US war against Iran, are capable of staging a provocation that can be used as a pretext for launching an all-out war.
NBC News revealed that last week top Trump administration officials convened a highly unusual summit meeting at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia to discuss the war buildup against Iran. Present were CIA Director Gina Haspel, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joe Dunford, Secretary of State Pompeo, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and others, US officials told the network. ...
What were these officials talking about in the CIA’s bunker in Langley? Former CIA operations officers and military officials told NBC that such meetings at CIA headquarters are normally convened to discuss highly sensitive plans for “covert actions.” Whether such actions will be aimed against Iran and its government, or at staging a “false flag” operation somewhere in the Middle East that can be used as the pretext for a US attack remains to be seen.

And also:

Meanwhile, the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an advisory on Thursday warning US commercial ships, including oil tankers, that they could be targeted in the growing buildup to war in the Persian Gulf. Given the crippling embargo that Washington is mounting against Iranian oil exports, the advisory warned:
“Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf. Reporting indicates heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against U.S. forces and interests.”

With this advisory in effect, what's going to happen to insurance rates for oil tankers in the Persian Gulf? Isn't it likely to be closed, just as effectively as if war were already under way? Add this to draconian sanctions and trade war with China? A crash of the world economy would be just another reason for Trump to cancel the 2020 election and extend his term.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Consortium News says:
The Mueller investigation of Trump “collusion” with Russia prior to the 2016 Presidential election focused on eight cases:
  • Proposed Trump Tower Project in Moscow
  • George Papadopolous
  • Carter Page
  • Dimitri Simes
  • Veselnetskya Meeting at Trump Tower (June 16, 2016)
  • Events at Republican Convention
  • Post-Convention Contacts with Russian Ambassador Kislyak
  • Paul Manafort
One simple fact emerges–of the eight cases or incidents of alleged Trump Campaign interaction with the Russians investigated by the Mueller team, the proposals to interact with the Russian Government or with Putin originated with FBI informants, MI-6 assets or people paid by Fusion GPS, and not Trump or his people.
I suspect that this may be true generally, but that it is somewhat more convoluted than being simple. Georgetown Manafort's role is rather suspect as are several several others that cross the Russia divide.
Consortium News says:
There is not a single instance where Donald Trump or any member of his campaign team initiated contact with the Russians for the purpose of gaining derogatory information on Hillary or obtaining support to boost the Trump campaign. Not one.
Of course, with such as the TT NY meeting, they took the bait and lied about it, as Trump lied about having no business regarding the TT Moscow biz. So many lies. Of course, the grifters being perfect marks for an entrapment.
Consortium News says:
Simply put, Trump and his campaign were the target of an elaborate, wide ranging covert action designed to entrap him and members of his team as an agent of Russia.
What is also interesting is the apparent failure of Mueller to investigate Trump's finances, as to the various sources of his financing regarding whom he is beholding to, especially since the death of his daddy (who had to continually save him). If Mueller had done so and Trump / Barr let the full report out to Congress, and Mueller was also allowed to testify then tensions might be allayed.

In any case, if this is all generally true then we are looking at an intelligence operation on the scale of the "Garbo" spy ring deception during WWII.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
I suspect that this may be true generally, but that it is somewhat more convoluted than being simple.
Yes, but throughout this thread you've emphasized that public perception, is as important as the underlying reality. There's nothing new about Trump's claims that the Democrats have been conspiring unfairly, and laying a coup against him. If Johnson's analysis is correct, then with the Mueller report, all the evidence is now at hand to support Trump's claim. We can expect this to be discussed ad infinitum at Fox News and Breitbart.

Now, will Trump and the Republicans pursue this in court, as Kunstler suggests? Or will Trump just go on tweeting and whining about how he's been victimized?

If Trump refers the matter to federal prosecutors, he risks having his own misdeeds further exposed. Promotion of viral Facebook memes can be just as effective without the downside.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
There's nothing new about Trump's claims that the Democrats have been conspiring unfairly, and laying a coup against him.
One of the reasons that it is more convoluted than simple is that it is not just Democrats that are working against him. The wider DoJ and Mueller folks are much more Republican than Democrat, albeit institutionalists.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpt is from an interesting article on presidential executive privilege and why we are indeed currently in a constitutional crisis.

...
No president has—or should—call for total blanket executive privilege for all federal officials before they even appear and claim the privilege and their reasons for it. If Nadler and Pelosi think we are facing a major separation of powers clash between the executive and the legislature now, they should think ahead. The courts get the last word in our tripartite government. If the current Barr and especially the Mnuchin cases eventually ended up in court, as is likely, the Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Merrick Garland may write the interim governing opinion.
And if that is appealed, I expect that Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh would be asked to recuse themselves. The Supreme Court’s odd recusal law leaves to the sitting Supreme Court justice himself the right to decide whether or not to recuse, and there is no review or appeal of his decision. That bizarre procedure reeks of prejudice and bias and needs to be changed.
You can’t make up a story with such confounding irony! It reminds me of the 1950 movie, All About Eve. Actress Celeste Holm asks Bette Davis: “Is it over, or is it just beginning?”
Davis replies, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

This post from emptywheel explains why the Mueller Report cannot be taken as that the Special Counsel's office didn't even perform a counter-intelligence function or investigation as many are speculating today. And by implication by others, if it did, that there are no counter-intelligence (or collusion) charges related to the President. Again, that job is left to Congress, but Trump et al. are having none of constitutional Congressional authority.

Thus, we are indeed at the proverbial Mexican Standoff, the most recent (Obama era) legal strictures on special counsels and Mueller's strict, boy scout, adherence to them have facilitated it along with executive branch contumacy.

Merrick Garland, of course, is the judge that Obama wanted to put on the Supreme Court, but Mitch McConnell refused to follow norms on confirmation.

If the courts don't stop this then we will indeed have an imperial president. Trump will be further empowered and he now has tremendous personal legal incentive to not let go of his office. While everybody gets to point their fingers about who did what, or not, is this current circumstance what was engineered, i.e. to facilitate the transition from the republic to the imperium? All the while Trump's manifold foibles get the credit or blame.

A special counsel investigating potential high crimes of one branch of government should never be under the authority of that branch.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
Even though the following clip does not mention Trump, I'm placing this in this thread because of Trump's typical devious politician ploy of warmongering while claiming to be against all wars, including with Iran.

In the clip the Yong Turks discuss MSNBC host, Ali Velshi schooling MSNBC paid guest, Hugh Hewitt about the comparative facts between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and our hypocritical support for one side versus the other. Velshi is, of course, a suspect Canadian, and his name is 'Ali', so we have to take his position with a grain of sand, so to speak. What is MSNBC's game here, will Velshi keep his job much longer?


The seeming conundrum above perhaps should be viewed through the same lens as the seeming conundrum below regarding the role of Rudi Guiliani, another crazy 'acting' shepherd of the Real Deep State, and another reason why we should all know that Trump is a stone cold fraud, a Real Fake Populist. The below excerpt was posted by Jerry on the Assange thread here, about talk of a Trump pardon for Assange.

Giuliani is a longtime deep state snake and what he is suggesting is negotiating a cover for CrowdStrike having laundered the CIA creation of supposedly Russian ‘fingerprints’ on the so-called ‘hack’ now proposed to be ‘outed’ as Ukrainian and bury the fact it was the assassinated Seth Rich took the DNC mails out on a memory stick. The price to be paid by Trump’s most farcical persecutors (e.g. John Brennan) is a little egg on the face over ‘bad intelligence’ that can be forgiven. A simple matter of embarrassment as it were. Meanwhile, wrapping up loose ends, a few expendable DoJ personalities will have to fall on their swords (Steele Dossier.)
Wikileaks knows the real score, and there is plenty of evidence in the public domain pointing to the reality but what remains to be seen is whether Wikileaks buys into Giuliani’s suggested lie to ‘rescue’ Assange (keeping the ‘hack’ narrative intact.) In other words it can never be admitted Central Intelligence Agency was behind the actual election meddling and attempted frame-up of a man who became President of the United States. This pitch to Wikileaks is likely agreed on terms between Trump’s Pentagon handlers (Pence faction), The Department of Justice and the intelligence agency big-shots. A peace treaty if you will.

Such a pardon and even more, high level talk of a pardon - which hasn't been executed, looks bad for Assange, which paradoxically makes me wonder more that he may indeed be a patsy.

And, BTW, I assert that there is no 'fact' about the actual role of Seth Rich, in regards to how the data made its way out of the DNC and got into the hands of Wikileaks. Rich is dead, or so we are to believe, and in my book the players who benefit most are the Real Deep State, of whom the Clintons and the Great Orange Pumpkin are actors for -- in this contrived drama.
 
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