Mueller v Russia

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, February 19th, 2018 - 324 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Donald Trump, International, Politics, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

I get the feeling the Robert Mueller investigation is reaching a critical stage.

Last week there was news that Rick Gates, former business partner of George Papadopoulos had changed tack and was cooperating fully with the Mueller investigation.  From Salon:

Rick Gates, a former top aide to Donald Trump, looks close to making a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigators.

The former deputy to Paul Manafort, campaign manager for Trump, is in the process of finalizing the plea deal after roughly one month of negotiations, according to CNN. Once Gates has an official plea deal, he will be the third person known to be cooperating with Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Gates’ plea deal could also increase pressure on Manafort, who also used to be Gates’ business partner. Like Gates, Manafort pleaded not guilty on October 30 for alleged financial crimes that did not involve his work on the Trump campaign.

A crucial component in working out any plea deal is the value of what a defendant can offer investigators. Although it’s unclear how Gates could help the Mueller investigation in proving collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the contents of his plea deal will depend on whether he says anything of value — and, more importantly, whether what he says can be verified by Mueller’s investigators.

One important step has already been taken in the Gates case: He has had his so-called “Queen for a Day” interview, wherein a defendant answers all questions from a prosecutors’ team.

Then there was news that Steve Bannon was also spending large amounts of time with Mueller.  From CNN:

Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump‘s former chief strategist, has met with the special counsel overseeing the Russia probe multiple times this week, NBC News reported Thursday, citing sources.

Bannon met with Robert Mueller for about 20 hours, according to the NBC report, which cited two sources familiar with the proceedings.

Bannon, who also ran Trump’s campaign during the final stretch of the 2016 presidential race, left the White House in August. He returned to his position heading up the right-wing online news outlet Breitbart afterward, but he departed the organization after his quotes in an explosive tell-all book went public earlier this year.

And then a couple of days ago news broke of Mueller laying an indictment against thirteen Russians and three Russian corporations essentially alleging wide spread illegal involvement in the 2016 American Election.  From the Guardian:

Thirteen Russians have been criminally charged for interfering in the 2016 US election to help Donald Trump, the office of Robert Mueller, the special counsel, announced on Friday.

Mueller’s office said 13 Russians and three Russian entities, including the notorious state-backed “troll farm” the Internet Research Agency, had been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington DC.

A 37-page indictment alleged that the Russians’ operations “included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” his Democratic opponent.

Mueller alleged that Russian operatives “communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign”, but the indictment did not address the question of whether anyone else in Trump’s team had knowingly colluded.

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, said at a press conference in Washington: “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge.” Rosenstein added that the charges did not mean the Russian activity had an effect on the outcome of the election.

Trump and the White House seized on Rosenstein’s remarks to falsely claim that the indictment proved there had been no collusion and that the election result had definitely not been impacted.

The details of the allegations are interesting.  Again from the Guardian:

The charges state that from as far back as 2014, the defendants conspired together to defraud the US by “impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of government” through interference with the American political and electoral processes.

One defendant, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, is accused of using companies he controlled – including Concord Management and Consulting, and Concord Catering – to finance the operations against the US. The operation at one stage had a monthly budget of $1.25m, according to Mueller, which paid for operatives’ salaries and bonuses.

Events were organised by Russians posing as Trump supporters and as groups opposed to Trump such as Black Lives Matter, according to prosecutors. One advertisement shortly before the election promoted the Green party candidate Jill Stein, who is blamed by some Clinton backers for splitting the anti-Trump vote.

In August 2016, Russian operatives communicated with Trump campaign staff in Florida through their “@donaldtrump.com” email addresses to coordinate a series of pro-Trump rallies in the state, according to Mueller, and then bought advertisements on social media to promote the events.

At one rally in West Palm Beach, a Russian operative is even alleged to have paid Americans to build a cage on a flatbed truck and to have an actor posing as Clinton in a prison uniform stand inside.

The Russians are also accused of working to suppress turnout among ethnic minority voters. They allegedly created an Instagram account posing as “Woke Blacks” and railed against the notion that African Americans should choose Clinton as “the lesser of two devils” against Trump.

In early November 2016, according to the indictment, the Russian operatives used bogus “United Muslims of America” social media accounts to claim that “American Muslims [are] boycotting elections today.”

Following Trump’s victory, the Russian operation promoted allegations of voter fraud by the Democratic party, according to Mueller’s team. Around that time, Trump repeatedly claimed without evidence that he would have won the popular vote if not for large-scale voter fraud.

It did not take long for Trump to change his view from there was no collusion to there was collusion but it was Hillary’s and the Democrat’s fault.

And he even managed to blame the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the election for the recent Florida School shooting. Has he no shame?

Fox News also managed to rail between claims there was nothing to worry about to actually conceding that Russian interference with American politics had occurred.

Mueller’s questioning of Trump must be close. Interesting times …

324 comments on “Mueller v Russia”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Careful! Yevgeniy Prigozhin wants the Internet to forget about him.

    I haven’t been able to find the Forbes article in question. Perhaps they spelled the names differently…

    • D'Esterre 1.1

      One Anonymous Bloke: “Yevgeniy…”

      That spelling of the name is Ukrainian. Which may explain your inability to find said article.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Thanks D’Esterre.

        It’s the same spelling as in the indictment.

        Evgeni, Evgeniy, Evgeny, Evgenii, Evgueni, Eugeny, Eugeniy, Ievgeny, Jevgeni, Jevgeny.

        Oh great. 🙂

      • reason 1.1.2

        ‘Ukrainian’ ? …… The place where the u.s.a and west spent over 5 Billion dollars to engineer a nazi coup ( I would call them neo nazis but their direct link to the original nazis could make the ‘neo’ label misleading ).

        “In 2015, Ukraine passed laws that forced its citizens to honour nationalists who briefly collaborated with the Nazis and participated in the mass killing of Jews. No uproar from the West, of course, since we currently support brave little Ukraine against the Russian beast ..” https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/holocaust-israel-poland-history-difficult-acknowledge-netanyahu-jewish-polish-government-a8212071.html

        It all sounds as legit as ……… Paul Singer … or other Billionaire vultures ;;; like our chandler brothers

        • joe90 1.1.2.1

          their direct link to the original nazis

          My friend Wasal Holub had his nose cut off because of his direct link to the original nazis.

          He was 14 years old.

        • D'Esterre 1.1.2.2

          Reason: “Ukrainian’ ? …… The place where the u.s.a and west spent over 5 Billion dollars to engineer a nazi coup”

          Indeed. A tragedy, and so poorly-reported in the west that most people haven’t the least idea what actually happened. If they remember it at all. The unlovely McCain – mentioned below by Francesca – featured prominently in the Maidan.

          “( I would call them neo nazis but their direct link to the original nazis could make the ‘neo’ label misleading ).”

          I think that you could call them neo-nazis, in the sense that they’re very much alive. Unfortunately. And the original nazis…. aren’t. Fortunately.

          • reason 1.1.2.2.1

            Thanks for your comment D’Esttere …. Life and family have kept me away from the internet and this thread….

            And I’ll use your educated post to sign off in it … rather than continue the expanding and degenerating arguments with other posters down thread.

            You’ve touched on One of our Medias most used propaganda tool ….which is silence ….. keeping us in the dark or only telling half the story / information.

            Oliver Stone …. A great American http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000231/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm
            has a very good documentary movie on the Ukraine …. telling the other side of the story.

            Cheers again D’Esterre

  2. Nick 2

    The corruption is so deep in US Politics, most of them are just paid to do what they are told.

  3. Stunned Mullet 3

    ‘Has he no shame?’

    😆 Not a quark’s worth.

  4. mikesh 4

    There doesn’t seem to have been any mention of the hacking of the DNC’s server (or Hilary’s server) which seems to have been the original point of Meullar’s investigation.

    It should be remembered that the US Constitution protects freedom of speech, so the whole thing sounds to me like a load of bollocks.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      the original point of Meullar’s [sic] investigation.

      No, it wasn’t. Have you read Mueller’s brief?

      any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

      So it doesn’t even mention the DNC hack. If Mueller is going to indict anyone from Fancy Bear they would be separate charges from the IRA indictment, because they’d allege a completely different set of crimes.

      I do wonder where you picked up your completely false impression though.

      PS: your impression of the First Amendment is equally flawed. For one thing, it protects US citizens, and yet they can still be charged for fraud when they tell lies.

      • mikesh 4.1.1

        The Constitution protects anyone acting within US boundaries, whether they are citizens or not. Interfering with US elections doesn’t imply telling lies, although it would include hacking the DNC server.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          US citizens and persons acting within US boundaries are not protected from prosecution by the First Amendment in cases of Identity theft, wire fraud, bank fraud or other crimes of dishonesty.

          You may recall that several people have admitted lying to the FBI. Where was their First Amendment protection then?

          • cleangreen 4.1.1.1.1

            Oh; – the FBI doesn’t lie; – and isn’t protected if it does?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh look, another person who thinks that “he did it too!” is a defence.

              Do you dispute that Gates and Flynn have entered guilty pleas? That would be amusing.

              • reason

                The “he did it too!” comparison / dismissal is misleading in its unbalance OAB ….

                No country, bar none ….. has behaved like the u.s.a in its continual illegal interference in other nations politics*…..

                A more accurate analogy ….. would be that the the u.s.a is like the most prolific compulsive deviant serial rapist …..and they’re alleging some russian pervert has touched their dick.

                Meanwhile AIPAC zionists have circumcised them ….. right back to the ball sack …. .

                And I’m not being frivolous …… rape and war crimes as a result of u.s.a ‘national interests’ …… would run into the millions and millions of victims.

                I wonder what Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela would have said about the present russia-gate farce ………….

                * post WWII

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’m aware of that analysis.

                  During that time, we’ve also seen Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Pinochet, etc., and yet despite that, Steven Pinker can present convincing (and yet-to-be refuted) evidence that suggests military violence is at an all-time low.

                  It’s relevant to Flynn and Gates pleading guilty how, exactly?

                  *For the benefit of lackwits*:

                  This comment means exactly what it says: no more, no less. Any attempt to imply that it in some way endorses violence, or this or that foreign policy, will be met by well-deserved relentless withering scorn.

          • mikesh 4.1.1.1.2

            The 13 Russians don’t appear to have been accused of lying. Rather they have been accused of interfering another ways.

            Not all lying is criminal. Only when it’s fraudulent or perjurous. However I don’t think the question is relevant in this instance.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Wire and bank fraud are crimes of dishonesty.
              Are you reading the replies at all?

      • reason 4.1.2

        “I do wonder where you picked up your completely false impression though. ”

        Paul Craig Roberts …. heard of him ? …..

        https://www.unz.com/proberts/the-result-of-muellers-investigation-nothing/

        “Note that the hyped Russian hacking of Hillary’s emails that we have heard about every day is no where to be found in Mueller’s charges. In its place there is “use of social media to sow discord.” I mean, really! Even if the charge were correct, considering the massive discord present in the last presidential election, with the Democrats calling Trump voters racist, sexist, homophobic white trash deplorables, how much discord could a measly 13 Russians add via social media?”

  5. adam 5

    Woohoo, the left doing right wing attacks and encouraging the new mccarthyism spreading across the USA

    What a truly wonderful time this is to live in.

    Bugger arguments over policy and failed election promises.

    Let’s all act like right wing trolls.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      And yet I’m pretty sure one of the reasons you don’t like Sky City is the money laundering. Never mind those Panama Papers, fraud is just a witch-hunt, eh.

      White supremacist serial rapist president? But But But Hillary!

      Pfft.

      • adam 5.1.1

        I never mentioned h.r.c.

        Funny how you did – how is it with her rapist husband, how that playing out for you?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1

          It isn’t playing out for me at all, since I never set any store in him or his wife in the first place.

          Just so long as they leave the money launderers alone, eh.

          • adam 5.1.1.1.1

            Where would you be without your ability to attack from the hard right ah?

            No, it’s just too hard to actually call out the red-roster on terrible policy and broken election promises. Rather name calling, and this watered down piece of crap – which by the way, does damage to the left.

            Protest organised by Russia, people have no agency, it’s all a Russian plot, communist I tell yah – Mccarthyism much!!!

            This just helps the right crush all left wing opposition in the USA – and you attack me, sad man, just really sad.

            By the way your false flag attacks are dull, get on point, rather than your usual making shit up approach.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m out to get you with my false flag attacks. Make sure you watch your windows and sleep with one eye open 😆

              • adam

                You just make shit up.

                Probably the better explanation for you.

                Edit: and you derail

                and you never respond to points

          • spikeyboy 5.1.1.1.2

            It would be absolutely terrific if they got Trump for money laundering. At least it would be a genuine criminal activity. You are very naive in your trust of spy agencies and the workings of the oligarchs that rule the USA to think that there is even a remote chance that this is the charge that will be laid against Trump. How many billionaires do you think there are that arent laundering money one way or another? Its a very stressful thing trying to give all your illgotten gains legitimacy.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.2.1

              My trust of spy agencies? 😆

              Meanwhile, on Earth, you may recall that my opinion of spy agencies is derived from Sun Tzu, who wrote “all warfare is based on deception”.

              As to who might “get Trump”, that’s a job for the House and the Senate. Apart from impeachment proceedings I can’t see him standing trial at all.

              • cleangreen

                OAB;

                Did you feel that the FBI were also slack at not inditing Hilary after she destroyed the 32000 emails on her cellphone after the FBI has officially requested them from her complete?

                Did you question the deliberate destruction of federal properly then that she deliberately destroyed?

                We all were suspicious of that issue and how FBI failed to carry out judicious proceedings against her then.

                Are you not that inquisitive?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes, I recall when they didn’t even investigate it, and they didn’t call her or any of her staff in for questioning. I didn’t question it at all, because I’m the ignorant biased idiot in your “mind”.

                  No, wait, actually I’m lying: I did question it, but it’s much more fun ridiculing your whataboutism before saying so.

                  So the next time you affect to be a mind-reader, and ask me a bunch of shithead loaded questions, I’m going to do it again.

        • Don't worry. Be happy 5.1.1.2

          What a lot of silly men there are on this site now. Boring, dull and over indulged.

    • mickysavage 5.2

      Do you think the issuing of the indictment is not newsworthy?

      And isn’t protection of democracy important?

      And there are multitudes of posts on this site discussing Trump’s policies and how bad they would be for the US of A.

      • One Two 5.2.1

        No, it’s not ‘newsworthy’…it’s fragrant propaganada…nothing newsworthy in that…

        No, it’s not about ‘protection of democracy’…any more than the TPP is about free trade…

        Yes, many articles written…a number of them by MS…

      • adam 5.2.2

        I’d say the majority have been along these lines, with a bit of policy thrown in.

        How does this save democracy, when the left ends up being the one hurt by this stuff?

        And no in my opinion it’s not newsworthy, it’s divisive.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.2.1

          Adam’s tree step plan to damage the left:

          1. Mueller investigation.
          2 ???
          3. Damage!

          • adam 5.2.2.1.1

            One Anonymous bloke, just making up shit again.

            You’re a bit to much like james in argument style for my tastes.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.2.1.1.1

              You’re the one saying the Left is “hurt by this stuff”.

              • adam

                Oh was that your point, I just thought it was more attacks by you.

                Did you not read the post, now they saying the left like Stine, Sanders and others are Russian pawns. That’s helpful.

                That the anti-trump rallies were Russian organized, yeah right.

                And the crack down on YouTube and Facebook has been on who in the wake of the so called “russian hacking” – not to many right wing sites suffering in that social media forum.

                Mind you are part of it, you attack anyone who does not spout the official narrative.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  “Russian pawns”.

                  I see you saying that, Official Narrative Boy.

                  • adam

                    Again with the gosman, have a nice day.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      😆

                      You just don’t like getting your own back, do you Adam. It’s fine for you to impugn my motivation and opinions, but as soon as some comes back at you it’s the living end.

                      Raise the double standard, Mr. Bellman.

                    • adam

                      Oh relax petel, all that smelling of your own farts is making you loopy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If you’re going to attempt floral insults, learning to spell them is probably a good idea.

  6. JohnSelway 6

    I can just imagine what the Republicans would have done if there was even a hint of Russia meddling at the behest of Obama.

    It is clear from this investigation and the reaction from the GOP regarding the most recent shooting that they have no interest at all in governing and only enrichment and power. The democrats aren’t much better but at least they have a few people willing to do what is right (Sanders, Warren etc).

    The only Republican I have seen make any sort of stand on anything is McCain

    • red-blooded 6.2

      It’s worth noting that the investigation also shows Russian activity stirring up Bernie and Stein supporters (better not to vote than to vote for Clinton). It’s being framed as collusion with Trump’s team (and I’m pretty sure they’ll succeed in showing this) but as much as anything it was an anti-Clinton campaign, and I remember plenty of people on this site putting forward the same points of argument that were being promoted by these professional trolls.

      I know one US guy here in Dunedin who was so riled up about the whole email server thing that he (usually a Dem) voted for Trump! Didn’t like him or his policies, acknowledged that hewas a misogynistic racist arsehole, but still though that somehow he’d clean things up in Washington. No logic at all – got all his news via facebook and other sites and had been thoroughly indoctrinated. Interesting (and disturbing) to see close up.

      • adam 6.2.1

        So another supporter of attacking the left in the USA, sheesh red-blooded your onto a winner there.

        So the same people who discredited Stine saying she was an anti-vaxxer, are now saying that everyone on the left were dupes of the Russians.

        RED SCARE!!!

        RED SCARE!!!

        RED SCARE!!!

        Save the poor people who have opinions of their own, and are fighting against capitalism – they must be dupes of the Russian conspiracy.

        Sound like more hard right b.s to me.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1

          “Red scare”

          😆

          Heads up: the kleptocrats in the Kremlin are not communists.

          • adam 6.2.1.1.1

            Now you’re a literalist.

            Way to go One Anonymous Bloke, but hey, you gotta have your attack lines – otherwise what are you good for.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Noticing that the Mueller investigation is not “attacking the left in the USA”, and that Red-Blooded isn’t either, no matter how much you throw your toys and stamp your little feet.

              • adam

                Poor One Anonymous Bloke, it’s too hard for you to make the connections between this and the new Mccarthyism.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Make the connections for me, then, Mr. Bellman.

                  • adam

                    So in your mind there is no new cold war? In your mind the corporate media are telling you the truth? And in your mind Russia bad, America good?

                    Too many dots?

                    • JohnSelway

                      Actually outside of Fox News most of the ‘corporate media’ are wondering what the fuck is going on and are in no way “Russia bad, America good”. It’s more ‘WTF America?’

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Just as I thought: you have no clue what, or even how I think.

                      Hint: false binary choices don’t come into it.

                    • adam

                      Well OAB if you actually spent more time in exposition rather than point scoring I might understand what your saying. And the question marks were there for a reason, apart from the abundance of emojis, hard to know what you stand for.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Hard to know what you stand for.

                      Human rights, the rule of law, and strong environmental ethics. The Tao te Ching is quite impressive, except that it’s pretty much impossible to be a Taoist without the cultural framework that goes with it.

                      I don’t like binary thinking much: the world is far too complex to reduce it to yes/no, good/evil. right/wrong answers.

                      Apart from that, I’m as stupid and biased as the next person.

                    • adam

                      So, as a follow of the rule of law One Anonymous Bloke, How do you feel about the precedence this indictment sets. 1: Pressing charges against non-USA citizens. 2: The potential to shutdown any non-USA journalist/blogger/commentator talking about USA elections?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      1. It isn’t a precedent.

                      2. [citation needed]

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “…a follower of the rule of law”.

                      I’m not convinced I can “follow” something that only exists as a concept.

                      Unless you can point to a country where the law applies to all with neither fear nor favour, that is.

          • D'Esterre 6.2.1.1.2

            One Anonymous Bloke: “….the kleptocrats in the Kremlin…”

            Produce the evidence for this assertion, if you would be so good. Proper, well-found evidence, mind: not the witterings of the NYT or the WaPo.

    • spikeyboy 6.3

      Holy crap. That wouldnt be the same war mongering McCain that was hob nobbing with Ukrainian neo fascists. I don’t think hes ever seen a military intervention he didnt like.

      https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/20/the-horrors-of-john-mccain-war-hero-or-war-criminal/

    • Aaron 6.4

      Obama was the establishment’s man so they were never going to try to undermine him in any serious way. Trump (and I’m no supporter) wanted to make peace with Russia so they could do business but this upset the war lobby who stand to lose out if the US stops producing the ludicrous amount of weaponry they currently put out.

      Most US presidents have skeleton’s lurking in the closet but so long as they play by the establishment’s rules there are no problems. The last President to get offside with the establishment was Nixon and look what happened to him. Whether there is truth in the accusations is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that the establishment (or enough of it) don’t want them upsetting the status quo and will manufacture a campaign against them.

      The scary thing is how many in the media have fallen into line of this subject. It’s like they’ve got no judgement or investigative abilities at all.

      • red-blooded 6.4.1

        Whether there is truth in the accusations is irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that the establishment (or enough of it) don’t want them upsetting the status quo and will manufacture a campaign against them.

        You’re ignoring the fact that the FBI also had a very public investigation into Clinton, and re-opened it right before the election, undermining her campaign significantly. Or do you see her as anti-establishment and an upsetter of the status quo as well?

  7. tc 7

    ‘Classy’ use of the latest mass shootings to push his own agenda there from the Donald.

    He is the USA’s version of the new statesman….RIP Rik Myall.

  8. joe90 8

    This bloke has had a bit to say about narcissistic personality disorder so I’m inclined to pay attention.

    (1/6)

    Those who have been around since last summer have seen me talk about Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder a lot.What we’re seeing today is the death spiral of a narcissist. 1/— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) February 18, 2018

  9. francesca 9

    Sounds “explosive” however, as much as one might like to depose Trump by whatever means available, wishful thinking may not cut the mustard
    Always worth testing your prejudices / ardent desires with divergent analyses

    https://off-guardian.org/2018/02/18/mueller-indictments-truth-v-liespin-the-observer-view/

    https://ntknetwork.com/facebook-vp-russian-goal-was-to-divide-not-to-swing-election/

    So now we’re getting from “Russia hacked the elections!”,

    to “Russia sought to influence the elections”

    To” Russia seeks to divide us”

    Oh dear, as if America’s problems are nothing to do with unresolved racial tensions, vast gun ownership, crippling of Unions, corporatisation of the media and government, the gutting of the middle class through neoliberal trade deals, and the violence wreaked by militarism and violence abroad coming home to roost.
    Actually the list goes on
    School shootings, fentanyl addiction and overdoses as the result of profit driven pharmaceutical influence on the medical fraternity, PTSD and suicide amongst veterans
    gunning down by police officers of unarmed citizens etc etc etc
    The wily Russians have certainly done a lot on a budget of $100,000

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Right, so everyone turn a blind eye to fraud and money laundering, because there are some other problems.

      No-one has resiled from the allegation that Fancy Bear hacked the DNC, nor the attempts to hack voting machines. I wonder how you came by the completely false impression that they have.

      Or maybe you’re trying to create that false impression.

      Which is it?

      • francesca 9.1.1

        Nope, I’m all for prosecuting fraud and money laundering, but to try and turn it in to a big Russian conspiracy campaign, that’s what I balk at.
        Get Trump fair and square, using provable facts.Don’t dress it up to serve as the latest bogey man freak out to justify further aggression against competitors
        And neither have the allegations about Fancy Bear been proved
        And why all this “allegation ” stuff. The NSA should know, if there was a hack, exactly when the system was hacked.
        Nada

        The security firm employed by the DNC, Crowdstrike has a “moderate “confidence that Fancy Bear hacked the DNC, as does “Fireye”
        Moderate is not a slam dunk in my book
        I am merely noting the original shrieking headlines
        The Russians hacked our elections!!
        which seem to have dwindled rather pathetically to The Russians seek to divide us
        And pointing out that divisions have existed since the original genocide of the indigenous people

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1

          One reason the NSA probably won’t release their specific findings is because that would make it easier for their targets to protect themselves.

          In the unlikely event that any of these alleged perpetrators is brought before a court, I daresay they might have to show that evidence to the judge, but I still wouldn’t expect it to be made public.

          So you’d still be able to believe whatever you want.

          As for “getting Trump with provable facts”, are guilty pleas facts?

          What are you proposing, exactly? That Bernie Sanders closes down the Mueller investigation? That you know how Mueller should proceed better than he does? That the investigation is worthless unless it helps the Democrats win the midterm elections?

          • francesca 9.1.1.1.1

            Heres what 3 ex NSA experts have to say .And one of them designed many of the programs in use today

            https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/bombshell-nsa-experts-say-dnc-hack-was-actually-a-leak-and-inside-job/

            So what am I proposing?
            Healthy scepticism and exercise of critical faculties no matter the temptation to believe any old bollocks if it serves your own emotional biases

          • francesca 9.1.1.1.2

            Then how was it that the NSA was able to track Chinese hackers who’d got in to US military and defence industry installations and determine the building they operated from
            They had no qualms publishing this info in the NYT.Apparently no worries about alerting their targets to protect them selves in that instance

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Different strategies for different situations and adversaries is my guess. Sending a message to the PLA versus staying hidden for Fancy Bear, perhaps.

              I’m picking Fancy Bear (or whatever they’re calling themselves now) are still an active target, too. If the NSA can find a ‘smoking gun’ connecting them to the Kremlin the way they connected PLA Unit 61398 to well, the PLA, that would be a major coup.

              Might even impress the Dutch.

              • joe90

                Might even impress the Dutch.

                Dutch hackers are impressive.

              • francesca

                Actually “they” never called themselves Fancy Bear or Cozy Bear. Dmitri Alperovitch was the first to assign that name. Other security agencies have assigned their own names

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Did you grasp the difference between them and PLA Unit 61398 though?

                  • francesca

                    Both have been attributed to foreign state control
                    However, Wikileaks revealed in Vault 7 how the CIA can hack and then leave “footprints”implicating foreign entities.
                    Utilising a program called UMBRAGE

                    Cut, copy and paste from Wikileaks

                    With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Any cyber attack inevitably leaves traces. This is as true for the CIA as anyone else. When you put on someone else’s shoes, you leave fingerprints on the shoes.

                      I wouldn’t be so quick to trust Wikileaks these days. Their library only has books on one side.

                      I note that the narrative has changed from “it was a leak” to “it was a hack, but the CIA done it”.

                      the Umbrage library is primarily a shortcut for CIA code jockeys who don’t want to write, for example, a Windows keystroke-logging function from scratch, when there are plenty of keyloggers crawling around our crimeware-clogged Internet already. The leaked catalog isn’t organized by country of origin, and the specific malware used by the Russian DNC hackers is nowhere on the list.

                      The Daily Beast.

                      Did you know this before you brought up Umbrage, and just “forgot” to mention it, or is it news to you?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Any cyber attack inevitably leaves traces. This is as true for the CIA as anyone else. When you put on someone else’s shoes, you leave fingerprints on the shoes.

                      As already mentioned, the CIA and NSA are expert at conducting false flag cyber attacks.

                      They can infiltrate a server at some boring Russian company in Vladivostok and launch a bot attack from there, making it look completely Russian in origin.

                      Surely you understand this?

                      The laughable thing are so called Russian hacking attacks which apparently leave behind cyrillic fonts and timestamps corresponding to Moscow time as “proof” that it was Putin.

                      Only MSM influenced westerners would consider professional Russian Govt cyberwarfare units that obviously lazy, stupid and incompetent.

      • spikeyboy 9.1.2

        No. Just turn a bind eye unless its the evil Russians

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2.1

          evil

          🙄

          There’s that religious terminology again. Two days ago, I posted a link about an Algerian national who’d been extradited from Thailand to stand trial in Atlanta, on charges of wire and bank fraud. Guess what the IRA has been charged with (among other things). That’s right, wire and bank fraud.

          Tell me again who turns a “blind eye”, and then we can talk about Finn Batato.

      • cleangreen 9.1.3

        Give it a rest OAB,

        We can see that you are a Democrat and we want to believe in honesty not this ‘red under the bed’ crap.

        McCarthy-ism again eh? get over it, the ‘Washington Swamp’ is a bad place with bad people.

        Don’t back them as they are pure evil.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.3.1

          Who is this “we” you affect to speak for? Multiple personalities? You think you’re the Queen perhaps?

          You can see about as far as the end of your nose, but don’t despair, it may yet grow long enough to improve your vision.

        • Macro 9.1.3.2

          This is nothing like McCarthyism! If you think that Mueller’s investigation is anything like McCarthy’s witch hunt, you are seriously misinformed.
          If anything it’s the other way around – all those indicted have been associated with the Trump campaign and are far from the left politically.
          You and the rest are repeating alt-right slogans and propaganda.
          I’m sorry you can’t see it, but you have been duped.
          This is exactly what Putin is laughing about. Not the fact that his troll factory has been found out – but because people are now shouting at each other. This dissent is exactly what he wanted, and the West is giving it too him in spades.
          And I would have far preferred Bernie to be the Democrat candidate – but he wasn’t. But if you think that Hillary would have presided over a similar train wreck that has been the US over the past year – you are delusional.

          • Anne 9.1.3.2.1

            You and the rest are repeating alt-right slogans and propaganda.
            I’m sorry you can’t see it, but you have been duped.

            Well said Macro.

          • reason 9.1.3.2.2

            ” Putin is Laughing”… and your repeating Legatum grade propaganda Marco ..

            Here’s a link about Legatum …….. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/322968-legatum-kgb-russia-applebaum/ ”’but as you probably wont visit it for fear of being brainwashed I’ll quote extensively from it.

            “While many Western commentators on Russia are stuck in a Cold War mentality, Legatum’s top brass actually seem to believe that era never ended.”

            “Anne Applebaum, the director of Legatum’s ‘Transitions Forum’ earned around $800,000 in 2013. For a journalist, this is mega money.”

            “Legatum’s “Visiting Senior Fellow” (they love to give each other grandiose sounding titles) Anton Shekhovstov was straight out to bat for his boss. “WikiLeaks now seems to be fully under control of Russia’s security/intelligince (sic) services,” he alleged.

            ““Legatum turns out to be a project of the most secretive billionaire vulture capital investor you’ve (and I’d) never heard of: Christopher Chandler, a New Zealander who, along with his billionaire brother Richard Chandler, ran one of the world’s most successful vulture capital funds—Sovereign Global/Sovereign Asset Management. That family of funds, based in the offshore haven of Monaco, operated until 2004, when the Chandler brothers, Richard and Chris, divided their billions into two separate funds. Brother Christopher Chandler took his billions to Dubai, where he launched Legatum Capital, and, in 2007, the Legatum Institute, where Peter Pomerantsev serves as a Senior Fellow.”

            “The Chandler brothers were the largest foreign portfolio investors in Russia throughout the 1990s into the first half of the 2000s, including the largest foreign investors in natural gas behemoth Gazprom. The Chandler brothers reportedly were the single biggest foreign beneficiaries of one of the greatest privatization scams in history: Russia’s voucher program in the early 1990s, when each Russian citizen was given a voucher that represented a share in a state concern to be privatized . . . and most naive Russians were fooled or coerced into dumping their vouchers for next to nothing, snapped up by clever vulture capitalists and factory directors from the inside. Institutional Investor magazine described how the Chandlers benefited by snapping up Russians’ vouchers and converting them into stakes in some of the largest and most lucrative companies in the world,”

            “The Legatum team and their associates seem to pine for a time when Russians were impoverished and Oligarchs ran wild in the country. A period when the state effectively collapsed.”

            Now Marco ….. you must know all about the NZ chandler Bros ….. as your not a dupe.

            So do you think they have more of an axe to grind with Russia …….. Than the AIPAC / usa combo ……….. who lost to Russia .

            Specifically when the Israelies could not patch up their Syrian ISIS fighters …using Israeli doctors and medical facilities ….. quicker than the Russians were killing them.?.

            And have I been duped? … are ISIS the good guys ???????

            • Macro 9.1.3.2.2.1

              And what does that rant have to do with what I said above?
              You have obviously lost your capacity for reason – the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgements logically.

              • reason

                “And what does that rant have to do with what I said above?” …

                consider me one of “the rest” Marco ….. “You and the rest are repeating alt-right slogans and propaganda. I’m sorry you can’t see it, but you have been duped.”

                How do you like being called a clown or a dupe ?.

                For one who writes “to think, understand, and form judgements logically” … you should practice what you preach ….

                The New Zealand Chandler Bros / Legatum link was shining the light on a Billionires “troll factory”….. Informing you …. so you don’t have to make half arsed judgements.

                The last bit I wrote relates to motive …. “the AIPAC / usa combo ……….. who lost to Russia .
                Specifically when the Israelies could not patch up their Syrian ISIS fighters …using Israeli doctors and medical facilities ….. quicker than the Russians were killing them.?.” …
                And to inform about Israel providing the highest standard medical help …for terrorists…..

                Feel free to point out to this dupe …. what part of my post, which was mainly quotes … was a rant ?.

                I’m specifically meaning inaccuracies … or misrepresenting opinion as fact ….. ie “This is nothing like McCarthyism!” ….!

                “She’s palled up with the neocons responsible for the Iraq War and she’s grabbed on to this sort of neo-McCarthyist hysteria about Russia ” … http://theweek.com/speedreads/645239/julian-assange-tells-megyn-kelly-why-wikileaks-isnt-releasing-dirt-donald-trump

                http://observer.com/2016/11/mccarthyism-2-0-has-infected-the-democrats/

                https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/09/democrats-mccarthyism-hits-greens-stein/

                http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446148/russian-farce-trump-collusion-hysteria-diverts-attention-surveillance-scandal

                https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/neo-mccarthyism-serves-to-mask-the-real-problems-america_us_585a986ae4b014e7c72ed917

                etc etc etc etc … etc

                Nothing like McCarthyisim …. just Putins troll factory…. Fuck its big though ..eh ?

                • Macro

                  Good God!
                  Tin foil hat time!
                  You are aware that the “deep state” who are running this investigation in the US are all Republicans – some even appointed by Trump. Mueller is a bi-partisan appointment supported by both Republicans and Democrats. The US citizens who have been indicted are all Republicans. While the investigation is wide ranging insofar as it investigates both Russian involvement (which was far more than a few ads on google) and the possible collusion of the Trump campaign, it in no way approaches the extent of terror that was McCarthyism which lasted from 1947 until 1956 and impinged on the lives of tens of thousands of innocent US citizens.
                  The misinformation that is being spread by some “useful idiots” in the West wrt this investigation fueled by RT and its ilk, is exactly what Russia was hoping for in the first place! They began this campaign of spreading discord in 2014 – long before the entrance of Trump onto the scene. Probably as a response to the perceived interference by the US in the Ukraine. Trump was a gift they could not refuse. There is ample evidence that they have been misusing social media and google for sometime now and it is “incontrovertible”* This from National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster – appointed by Trump. There is evidence to suggest they they are still at this nasty game with Pro-Gun Russian Bots flooding Twitter after Parkland.
                  Even here we have the likes of yourself and a raft of other dupes saying “No it’s not true! Russia would never do a thing like this. It’s all Hillary. etc etc.” Such thinking bears no relationship to the facts.
                  More will be revealed as time goes by and there are a few here who will be forced to eat humble pie.
                  As for the Chandler Bros / Legatum link – you had better be careful what you say – one blogsite has already been forced to remove a slanderous article and apologise for giving false information.
                  https://leftfootforward.org/2018/02/why-weve-taken-down-an-article-on-christopher-chandler-and-the-legatum-institute/

                  *Incontrovertible evidence is a colloquial term for evidence introduced to prove a fact that is supposed to be so conclusive that there can be no other truth to the matter; evidence so strong it overpowers contrary evidence, directing a fact-finder to a specific and certain conclusion.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You are aware that the “deep state” who are running this investigation in the US are all Republicans – some even appointed by Trump.

                    Strzok and Lisa Page were definitely Democrat and definitely anti-Trumpers pro-Clintonistas.

                    But more importantly the ‘Persistent Deep State’ is neither Democrat nor Republican – its agenda is beyond both but also uses both.

                    For instance, the Obama Administration prepared a massive weapons deal for Saudi Arabia. The Trump Administration signed off on it and put it into action.

                    ‘Persistent Deep State’ purpose of ensuring that Saudi Arabia continues to act to contain Iran, work alongside Israel while profiting the Military Industrial Complex accomplished.

                    One last common misconception: Trump is neither Republican nor Democrat. The establishment powers of both parties want him gone. The establishment Democrats wanted Clinton, the establishment Republicans wanted Bush.

                    No one wanted Trump.

                    • Ed

                      I have missed your perception and insight on these issues.
                      Thank you for the research you do and the time you spend explaining your point of view.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Thank you for your kindness, Ed.

                    • Ed

                      I would really like to hear what you think is going on in Syria at the moment. Not today – but when you have time.
                      I guess a post is out of the question?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Writing what I would like to write and having anyone see it seems unlikely.

                      The main thing about the Syrian conflict now is that it is a completely different war than 3 years ago.

                      Mainly and scarily, it is no longer a proxy war. The international players who were always behind the elimination of Assad (“Assad MUST GO”) have, thanks to Iran, Russia, China and Hizb’allah, now had to place their own actual pieces on to the actual board instead of borrowing others.

                      Very dangerous.

                    • Ed

                      Any predictions?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Long painful and drawn out with lots of little escalations and lots of emergency diplomatic work to try and prevent shit from getting too real.

                      Interests of a religiously and ethnically diverse but secular Syria at the bottom of the heap for a couple more years yet to come, sadly.

                      And hope that Israeli internal politics don’t lead to a major military conflict being used as a nice distraction from local problems.

                      Keep an eye out for the Chinese in Syria. The Russians are obvious high profile players but the Chinese are also putting themselves on the line, and not on the side of the Anglo-US-Israeli triumvirate.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …very dangerous to Ergodan’s domestic reputation.

                      The NATO troops at Incirlik Air Base, the Kurdish/US alliance* forces in Rojava, not so much.

                      *which, for the benefit of lackwits, may yet prove to a devil’s bargain.

                    • Macro

                      “Strzok and Lisa Page were definitely Democrat and definitely anti-Trumpers pro-Clintonistas.”

                      They were not involved in the Trump investigation and were removed immediately, and Strzok is now under investigation.

                      But that’s not part of the narrative .

                    • Colonial Viper

                      They were not involved in the Trump investigation and were removed immediately, and Strzok is now under investigation.

                      Explain this sentence further if you could? Neither were involved in the investigation?

                      Amongst other things, there is suspicion – but no public proof – that they played some role in helping set up the circumstances around the ‘Russia narrative’ which led to Special Counsel Mueller being appointed in the first place.

                      But that’s not part of the narrative .

                      The ‘narrative’ I am following on this is likely not one that you have heard unless you have been paying attention to the non-MSM media.

                    • Macro

                      One last common misconception: Trump is neither Republican nor Democrat. The establishment powers of both parties want him gone.

                      You don’t seem to recall the Republican Primaries?
                      Who voted for Trump to be their candidate – oh that’s right – Republicans.

                      As for wanting him gone…
                      There are is almost one reason a day presented to them by the Idiot in Chief for impeachment – Clinton was impeached for infidelity there are two current accusations and 20 other women who have accused the man of sexual abuse. There are 50 votes already in the Senate who would vote for impeachment – it just requires 16 Republicans to gain some moral compass and the man is gone, but the Rupugnants sit on their hands. I wonder if it was because of the big wonderful xmas present they just gave themselves at the expense of everyday US citizens?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You don’t seem to recall the Republican Primaries?
                      Who voted for Trump to be their candidate – oh that’s right – Republicans.

                      Yep – ordinary rank and file. Very few elected Republicans, RNC officials and big Republican donors came out in support of Trump until very late, and some big players like Mitt Romney vociferously opposed Trump.

                      Clinton was impeached for infidelity there are two current accusations and 20 other women who have accused the man of sexual abuse

                      Bill Clinton was impeached for lying to a grand jury and obstructing justice.

                      And you can’t be impeached for things you did not do as President.

                      There are 50 votes already in the Senate who would vote for impeachment

                      BTW impeachment has to first pass the House.

                    • Macro

                      Strzok was on the investigation into the Clinton emails at the time of the offending texts – indeed he supported the reopening of the investigation which Comey announced just prior the election. It was not until later that he was appointed to the number 2 position on the Russian investigation.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    btw if you think that the Russian government cyberwarfare strategy is based on a tiny quantity of Facebook ads (mostly purchased after the 2016 election) and some automated Twitter bots endlessly and obviously retweeting BS, you are really underestimating your enemy.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    there are a few here who will be forced to eat humble pie.

                    In the event of guilty verdicts, (as opposed to plea bargains) I’m picking the majority of them will claim “the jury was rigged”, and then double-down and call the whole thing a false flag attack.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There will definitely be guilty verdicts, but nothing to do with Russian interference in the US election and nothing to do with collusion of the Trump campaign/Trump transition/Trump administration with Russia.

                      Clinton associates are in deep do-do.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Do-doo.

                      I shall look forward to the indictments. And if they never eventuate, I will know it’s likely because the Deep State likely something mumble something.

                  • reason

                    Marcos gone from dupes …. to rants …. and now his slam dunk … tin-foil hats…..

                    ‘all republicans’ …. that’s wrong / fake

                    ‘perceived interference by the US in the Ukraine.’ … $ 5 Billion worth of perception there buddy …. why cant you just admit it … Like Nuland did ?.

                    I could go on and on about your ‘rant’ …. but I’ll let your paranoid ramblings speak for themselves .

                    P.s thanks for sticking up for the Chandler vultures … “you had better be careful what you say” ….it was your high point …. threatening on behalf of poor persecuted Billionaires is a sure way to win people over.

                    I’ve never been so vain and presumptuous to be a Self appointed moderator of others .

                    I’ll take heed of the sites real ones…..

                    • Macro

                      So you have no explanation for you spurious assertions other than to spread further bile.
                      Forgive me if I don’t bother to reply again – I have better things to do with my life than to try to reason with unreason.

          • adam 9.1.3.2.3

            Marco, by definition neo-McCarthyism will be an attack on the left: socialist, anarchist, social democrats and communists. I’m not sure how you think it’s some alt-right plot, feels like some weird conspiracy theory to me. Mind you the who get trump thing is falling into a conspiracy theory. Like I said early your all attacking trump from the right, it’s pretty darn ugly. When his policies – increased military spend alone is beyond frightening is where to attack this muppet, and his broken promises are a weakness. Insted we get a bullshit indictment, where you want me to believe 13 people conspired to get the red muppet into power through the power of facebook. Like I said, sounds a bit to much like a conspiracy theory, and a bad one at that.

            • Macro 9.1.3.2.3.1

              Marco, by definition neo-McCarthyism will be an attack on the left: socialist, anarchist, social democrats and communists.
              That is what I have been saying!
              So to call the investigation of Russian involvement in the US elections by Mueller – instigated at the behest of both Republicans and Democrats -“McCarthyism” is completely absurd. An attack on the political stability of a foreign country has nothing to do with left or right politics – its an investigation into the soundness or otherwise of the US political process, and whether or not, it was interfered with by an outside agency (in this case Russia).

              • Colonial Viper

                A foreign spy did indeed interfere in the US elections and destabilise US democracy. His name was Christopher Steele.

                Steele involved Russians in a plot to not only interfere in the US elections, but to undermine and damage the winning candidate after the elections.

                Steele, a foreign national and foreign spy, not only involved Russian government sources and officials in his efforts, he passed money that he was given on to them as payment for their efforts.

                These Russian sources/officials (and quite possibly Russian counter-espionage operatives) took the chance to supply materials, information and disinformation to Steele.

                All of which were used by Steele – and Steele’s handlers – to affect not just the proceedings of the 2016 election, but to attack the duly elected President of the United States afterwards both in public and in private.

                The most insidious part of this was that Steele’s efforts formed the core of misrepresentations to the FISA court, providing specious grounds for turning the US surveillance apparatus against the President Elect himself and his Transition team.

                The goal was to sow mass division and disinformation amongst American voters.

                Now that’s what I call “foreign interference.”

                And yes, lots of people are going to be indicted over this.

                • Macro

                  LOL
                  🙄
                  I used to respect what you wrote here CV, and at one stage when you were banned, I along with many others, added CV to our handle in protest.
                  I’m sorry to say that now all I see is someone completely loopy along with the other duped “useful idiots” spreading the Russian Propaganda of RT and other sites of similar ilk. Regrettably I personally have experienced this all before. I grew up in a household where Russian Propaganda was freely available and partly fell for it. It was all lies.
                  You support Trump as much as you like – however, as far as the US is concerned he is rated as the worst President of all time, and has achieved that infamy after only 1 year in office.
                  http://www.newsweek.com/trump-worst-president-expert-ranking-survey-reveals-presidents-day-812042
                  Even Pence would rate better than Trump – at least there would be a little more sanity in the Oval Office than what exists at present.
                  What he and his administration have done to woman’s rights, LGBT rights, Health care, Education, The environment, Climate Change, de-militarisation, and social justice generally is unconscionable. The world is a far more dangerous place with him and his big nuclear button, and as for reducing tensions in the middle east the less said about that the better.

                  • adam

                    “Even Pence would rate better than Trump”

                    I think you need to look into that monster a bit more Macro. Don’t get me wrong trump is awful, but I think Pence is much worse, he’s a fundamentalist of the worst type.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      not just a fundie, but also a long time establishment denizen of the Military Industrial Surveillance Complex.

                    • adam

                      That’s why I called him a monster.

                      Been hearing he was the one who put forward the idea of the huge increase to the military for the budget.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You support Trump as much as you like – however, as far as the US is concerned he is rated as the worst President of all time, and has achieved that infamy after only 1 year in office.
                    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-worst-president-expert-ranking-survey-reveals-presidents-day-812042

                    You’re too old to be a fool, Macro, and I know that you’ve seen and done too much to be one.

                    But I bet you haven’t heard that in the last couple of months black unemployment in the USA has hit an all time record low since statistics began.

                    That’s right, an all time low since they started keeping statistics.

                    And I bet you hadn’t heard that Hispanic unemployment is at a 4 decade low.

                    And I bet you hadn’t heard that according to the Economist/YouGov poll that Trump’s approval rating amongst both blacks and Hispanics is now higher than at the 2016 election.

                    Ask yourself

                    1) Why haven’t you heard these things (and why I have).
                    2) Who is the one being propagandised when I know these things and (I assume) you didn’t.
                    3) How is it that Trump – having achieved the lowest black unemployment of all time (give Obama half the credit if you like) – is rated by the MSM as the worst President of all time, even worse than the slave driving plantation owning Presidents.

                    Also, exactly what “rights” do LGBT and women not have today under Trump that they had under Obama??? Enumerate them for me please because I cannot think of a single one.

                    What exactly has Trump done against de-militarisation that makes Nobel Peace Prize Winning extrajudicial US-citizen Droner Obama look so good in your eyes? And once again be specific please.

  10. McFlock 10

    Serious question – what’s stopping trump from just pardoning himself and everyone around him?

    Ordinarily the answer would be “some last shred of decency”, but in his case…

    • Andre 10.1

      It’s not settled law as to whether Trump can actually pardon himself. It would certainly breach the notion that no person may judge their own case, which is a solid part of any functioning justice system worth the name. There’s nothing in the constitution either way, which may be a reflection that the framers never contemplated the possibility that someone so unfit would actually become president. After all, that was part of the purpose of the electoral college (see Federalist Papers 68).

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-30/trump-russia-and-the-early-murmurs-about-pardons-quicktake-q-a

      When someone gets pardoned, they lose the ability to take the Fifth since they are no longer at threat of prosecution. So if the spraytan stalin does issue pardons to those around him, then they have to spill the beans about him when asked or risk contempt of court.

      There’s also the issue that the turd tornado can only issue pardons for federal crimes. State judicial systems can still pursue state crimes.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        When someone gets pardoned, they lose the ability to take the Fifth since they are no longer at threat of prosecution.

        This is untrue – the Fifth Amendment is not a constitutional right which simply disappears in some circumstances.

        It’s not settled law as to whether Trump can actually pardon himself. It would certainly breach the notion that no person may judge their own case

        Except that pardons are not a judgement of guilt or innocence.

        Trump can issue himself a broad pardon before he leaves office – the real issue is that in doing so it would be tantamount to admitting his guilt.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2

      AFAIK, you have to be convicted before you can be pardoned.

      • Andre 10.2.1

        I don’t think that’s legally the case, it’s more of a convention. Paragraph 6 in the Bloomberg link above hints at cases where a pardon might be issued without a conviction.

  11. mauī 11

    Gotta love it. There has to be concern now that Russia is behind every progressive movement in the US including Black Lives Matter, Jill Stein, Bernie, United Muslims of America.

    What if it all went horribly wrong for the Ruskies and they actually got Bernie elected instead using their elaborate $2 Bernie cartoon caricature coloring in book facebook ads. It would be panic stations at the shadowy troll farm no doubt.
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/2/buff-bernie-sanders-coloring-book-ad-part-of-weird/

    What will this dastardly troll factory come up with next.. Pokemon?… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW4ARP7lgvs

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      I note the Guardian article skirts around the same parts of the indictment as Moonofalabama. They don’t fit the whataboutery narrative, so let’s just pretend they don’t exist, right?

      • spikeyboy 11.1.1

        No skirting. Just if its such a heinous crime surely youd want to round up everyone involved. But no. Part of the crime is that you have to be an evil Russian.

  12. Cemetery Jones 12

    Yeah as a few have mentioned above, not so sure these developments support the initial concern that there was collusion between the campaign and Russia. Plus if you ever checked out the Yuri Bezmenov lectures, it’s clear to see that the methodology carrying over from the Soviet period was always about sewing division, rather than seeking the outcome of electing a ‘friendly’ leader. They’re fairly aware that even the Americans would kinda notice something that obvious.

    But hey, let’s face it. When your right and left wing political establishments lose to a disorganized, shambolic, largely amateur-staffed campaign involving the hilarious spectacle of Donald-fucking-Trump running as a Republican, I can well see how you’d want to believe that Russian spies must be responsible. The idea that your mates got beaten by this hot populist mess is just too much for the in-crowds of American politics and media to bear.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Another But But But Hillary argument. Do you actually believe the FBI is the DNC?

      • adam 12.1.1

        Cow excrement One Anonymous Bloke, but I’m sure if you repeat it enough you will believe that excrement.

        Oh wait you do…

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1

          I do believe that the FBI is not the DNC, and that blithering about making excuses for losing the election inevitably conflates the two organisations, as though the FBI is helping the DNC make excuses.

          If you want to concentrate on the DNC’s failings, fine, but why that means anyone else has to ignore fraud and money-laundering hasn’t been adequately explained. Some of us can even do both.

        • cleangreen 12.1.1.2

          100% I love that. Adam. – 12.1.1

      • red-blooded 12.1.2

        …’Cos they certainly weren’t acting in the DNC’s interests when they publicly opened up the server investigation again a fortnight or so out from the election!

        It seems that lots of people here think they can judge better than the people who are actually seeing and hearing all the evidence and following where it leads. On the basis of what special insights, information or skills, I wonder?

        • francesca 12.1.2.1

          I saw where it all led to in 2003 in Iraq, and 2011 in Libya. And pardon me if I don’t share your confidence in the American justice system

          • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.2.1.1

            Newsflash: Red-Blooded didn’t express confidence in the US justice system: they just observed that it’s more reliable than your opinion.

            • spikeyboy 12.1.2.1.1.1

              Thats your opinion and not necessarily supported by fact

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                🙄

                Specialist subject: the bleedin’ obvious.

                • francesca

                  Can’t get much more obvious than James Clapper perjuring himself before Congress

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Can’t get much more obvious than you trying to misrepresent what Red-Blooded said and then flailing wildly rather than just admitting you were wrong.

                    • francesca

                      Red blooded affected amazement that people would distrust those up close who were seeing and hearing all the evidence
                      Me, after those debacles I mentioned, lost the starry eyed belief in the integrity of those insiders

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      English comprehension time:

                      Red Blooded pointed out that people here are less equipped to judge the facts than those who are seeing and hearing all the evidence.

                      That is true, no matter how many strawmen you can twist into existence.

      • Cemetery Jones 12.1.3

        “Another But But But Hillary argument. Do you actually believe the FBI is the DNC?”

        Not an argument.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.3.1

          Why should the FBI give a damn for “The idea that your mates got beaten by this hot populist mess”?

          Whether or not the IRA managed to affect the US election is irrelevant: it has no bearing on the crimes alleged in the indictment.

          If you were one of the people affected by identity theft, would you want the FBI to take it seriously or not? Come back David Garrett, all is forgiven?

          • Cemetery Jones 12.1.3.1.1

            I’m not talking about the FBI, they are conducting a professional investigation into the question of whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in an open minded spirit of enquiry. I’m talking about a professional tier in media and politics who have a near-apocalyptic collective orgasm about the scandal they think is about to envelop the Trump administration every time Mueller does something, despite these things time and again looking to be of major public interest in and of themselves, but hardly supportive of the claim that the collusion thesis is about to be found correct. Usually, the result is a let down for anyone hoping for that outcome.

            And per. statements from Rod Rosenstein, who has been clear that these latest indictments are not collusion related, this is actually yet another blow to the collusion narrative. Manafort’s crimes are the crimes of a sleazy lobbyist, I have no sympathy. Flynn seems to me he kinda got tricked, I somewhat have sympathy, but he’s an adult and made his own bed. Probably should have known better than to talk to the Feds without a lawyer.

            So, collusion narrative blown, you’re now forced to move on to the next claim, one in which the 1.2 billion spent on the Democratic campaign of Clinton (I really didn’t want to mention her name, it seems to have a triggering effect on you) was utterly outflanked by a few thousand dollars worth of social campaigning and some spicy memes. And of course, we know how insanely implausible that sounds, which is why collusion is the outcome this system needs.

            Otherwise, you’re left still to explain how spicy memes, a few grand’s worth of Russian facebook posts, and a campaign featuring the ultralecherous, serial philandering liberal businessman Donald Trump running as a conservative Republican swept the GOP primaries and then beat a 1.2 billion funded (trigger warning!) Clinton campaign. It has to be the Russians, otherwise the disconnect between the public and their ‘betters’ is more cavernous than ever before. And I’m rubbing my eyes in amazement at the idea this needs even needs explaining on a left wing blog, where resident posters seem more keen on seeing Red Scare v.2 being unleashed in defence of grubby plutocrats simply because they happen to prefer the grubby plutocrat who lost to the grubby plutocrat who won.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.3.1.1.1

              collusion narrative blown

              Nonsense. Mueller hasn’t laid out the case for it yet, if there is one. Those guilty pleas are sort of indicative, but.

              I don’t have to explain a damn thing, but I will, just for you:

              Clinton lost the election because she was a shit candidate from an utterly compromised party: “bought” as Dylan Ratigan said.

              So your fantasies about who I “prefer” are total bullshit.

              • Cemetery Jones

                “Clinton lost the election because she was a shit candidate from an utterly compromised party: “bought” as Dylan Ratigan said.”

                In the words of Charles Bukowski, “the truth at last”.

                Fair enough if you are just into Red Scare v.2 for non-Clinton preferring reasons. I just can’t imagine what they’d be given there’s so little likelihood of collusion evidence appearing, and per. Rosenstein no evidence so far that the actions of those indicted Russians moving the needle at all on the election outcome.

                So we’re back to this:

                ‘[How] spicy memes, a few grand’s worth of Russian facebook posts, and a campaign featuring the ultralecherous, serial philandering liberal businessman Donald Trump running as a conservative Republican swept the GOP primaries and then beat a 1.2 billion funded (trigger warning!) Clinton campaign.

                Glad to see you seem to recognize why Ratigan (who I always liked) at least gets the point. I’m guessing he’s gonna be off Maddow’s Christmas card list for that one!

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Nope, “we’re” not back to this at all, since I was never there in the first place. That was just you projecting your BS onto me.

                  • Cemetery Jones

                    Ok, those of us interested in a wider discussion of the culture war and the failure of the American left to adequately represent the powerless are back to this. You do what you please.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Problem is, you keep linking the wider issue of how shite are the Democrats, to the Mueller investigation into Trump. And they’re just not connected in any meaningful way.

                      Also, off-topic discussion tends to get shifted to Open Mike with a moderator warning.

                      It might also be a good sub-thread on today’s post about gun control.

                    • Cemetery Jones

                      Yes I’d hate to be in the shoes of a mod, it’s hard to separate the wider contextual discussion of an issue with OT train spotting.

                      But no, as much as I mock the idea that the Mueller investigation will find anything of value, my main focus is entirely on the unseemly spectacle political/media normie class blowing their collective load each time Mueller indicts, even though each of these events seems to drift further from the collusion which they believe his investigation will uncover.

                      Insert here the George Orwell quote I can’t be bothered Googling about some ideas being so stupid only intellectuals could believe them.

          • Bill 12.1.3.1.2

            What people were affected by identity theft?

            The social security numbers that can be bought for setting up a pay-pal account do not affect the person whose social security number was used. And I can’t see the FBI giving a shit about someone’s stolen facebook page, can you?

            Or do you think I ought to get onto the SIS over that Hotmail account that was nicked way back when? 🙂

        • spikeyboy 12.1.3.2

          Repeating but but but Hillary is also not an argument

    • Phil 12.2

      But hey, let’s face it. When your right and left wing political establishments lose to a disorganized, shambolic, largely amateur-staffed campaign involving the hilarious spectacle of Donald-fucking-Trump running as a Republican, I can well see how you’d want to believe that Russian spies must be responsible. The idea that your mates got beaten by this hot populist mess is just too much for the in-crowds of American politics and media to bear.

      That argument ignores the wider cultural context that President Cheetos Shit-stain blundered into.

      For instance, Fox News and their regional affiliates have spent the better part of 30 years actively stoking paranoia, fear, and outright lies about a whole range of imaginary enemies of the United States (e.g. Muslims, Blacks, Latinos, the poor, Democrats, Atheists, gun control advocates… the list goes on).

      Ordinarily, Republican candidates have shied away from those paranoid views. Both Romney and McCain saw the Latino community as an untapped source of votes for Republicans and attempted to moderate the GOP into a more inclusive broad-church party. Then, along comes President Tiny-hands Pussy-grabber and he leans in hard on the Fox fantasy. He’s been lapping up their bile and regurgitates it back to the masses.

      • Cemetery Jones 12.2.1

        It’s not ignoring it, it’s prompting a proper and extensive discussion of it. Which would be of more benefit that pretending that if we can just impeach Trump for being an FSB asset, this will all be over.

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1

          Impeach Trump, slide Pence into the Presidency.

          The Republican Establishment would have precisely zero issue with that.

          Worthwhile remembering that Trump isn’t on the Democrat side, and he isn’t on the Republican side. At least, neither are on his side.

          • Cemetery Jones 12.2.1.1.1

            I know, it’s like they can’t see how counter-productive it would be. Mike Pence is rubbing his jumper cables with glee…

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Thinking at least one step ahead should be done from time to time, yes. Otherwise bad unintended consequences are likely to result…

  13. Bill 13

    The “critical” stage (first line of the post) is that it’s falling flat on its face.

    There is nothing in the indictment that doesn’t apply to many, many people of multiple nationalities in various parts of the world who use multiple false facebook IDs, sign up to various groups, and take outrageous stories from whatever source to push/seed through social media to get advert clicks and income.

    Trump stories were favoured because they were the best click-bait and click-bait = income.

    Were Russians doing it? Yes. Greeks? Yes. Americans? Yes.

    Did some people organise their operations better than others? Yes. Did some people write their own pieces as well as taking pre-existing pieces from various sources? Yes.

    The suggestion that there’s a link back to the Kremlin is laughable. Mueller should be pictured jumping a shark, not riding one.

    • Cemetery Jones 13.1

      “Mueller should be pictured jumping a shark, not riding one.”

      It’s definitely a window into the soul of the US media right now. A second hand meme pressed into service of an embarrassing delusion.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2

      “Information warfare against the USA”. That doesn’t apply to many many people of multiple nationalities in various parts of the world. It applies to thirteen named individuals and three organisations, and those are their own words.

      But you already knew that.

      The indictment doesn’t allege any links to the Kremlin, and you probably knew that too.

      • Bill 13.2.1

        “Information warfare against the USA” doesn’t make any damned sense. What does it mean OAB? Is the USA now some sentient entity that can assimilate information?

        Given that the same and similar stories as those allegedly coming from the IRA were also coming from Greek teens and however many other sources, and that many of those stories originated in the USA and were then cut and pasted for the sake of making money (sometimes the headline was changed to be more “sexy”) …how does it follow, even if it could be made to make any sense, that there was “information warfare against the USA”?

        And why (if it can be made to make sense) is the allegation or charge being reserved for 13 Russian nationals, and not any of the other hundreds or thousands of non-Russians (many known) who were doing the exact same shit?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1.1

          doesn’t make any damned sense

          I daresay the original phrase was written in Russian, so something may have been lost in translation. It’s right there in the indictment, though, among some other direct quotes which I pointed out multiple times yesterday, and am reluctant to waste my time repeating again.

          • Bill 13.2.1.1.1

            You’re suggesting a phrase used in a US legal document is a poor translation of a Russian phrase?

            So there is no charge pertaining to any “information warfare against the USA” then. I mean, that’s what your saying, right? That the phrase doesn’t exist, as in have any meaning, although (as you say) it’s right there in the indictment document as a charge.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1.1.1.1

              It goes to motivation. The counter-narrative is that the sole motivation was to make money, like those kids in Macedonia.

              Motivation pertains to all the charges.

              • spikeyboy

                No. Goes to nationality. Evjl Russians. Not evil Macedonians since they also admitted to wishing to affect the election.Just like evil Russians not evil Israelis in Flynns taped phone call.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Hi there Spikeyboy. Do you know anyone who can translate this article better than Google Translate can?

                  Сотни троллей за миллионы

                  It’s a 2014 document release from Anonymous International.

                  • In Vino

                    As a language teacher, I would warn you that even in its latest mode, Google translate is still not your friend. Cannot help with Russian, sorry.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3

      PS: “laughable”, and based on multiple reports spanning several years, including (but not limited to) the article I linked yesterday that dates from 2015. From Latvia. Ignore it, it doesn’t suit the narrative.

      • Bill 13.3.1

        I don’t have a narrative OAB.

        I just splutter coffee when I’m asked to believe in all seriousness that the Russian government had a dastardly plan to undermine the political processes of multiple other countries and their elections via fucking facebook and twitter stories/shares/likes.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.1

          Sure. You believe that fucking facebook and twitter stories/shares/likes can influence purchasing decisions, but not votes.

          I guess there’s no point in the Green Party maintaining a social media presence then.

          • Bill 13.3.1.1.1

            You’re flailing. I’ve never said anything about fb posts influencing purchasing decisions – not in relation/comparison to influence on voting intentions, nor in relation to anything else.

            Adverts generate income when they are merely clicked on.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.1.1.1

              You said the kids in Macedonia are doing it for money. If their activities can’t influence purchasing decisions, where’s the money coming from?

              • Cemetery Jones

                Umm, from people clicking the adverts, like he said?

              • Bill

                It was quite widely reported in mainstream media outlets that kids in Greece and elsewhere were doing it for the money. (Funny how those same outlets seem to have “forgotten” now that “Russia” 😉 )

                Merely clicking on an advert generates income.

                So, y’know, if you want TDB to get a bit of income, just pop over there and click on all the ads. No need to buy jack-shit.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Ok, so the advertisers believe that Macedonian trolls can help them sell things. If they’re right, the same dynamic might apply to votes too.

                  The Internet Research Agency worked like this: people were hired and paid specially to write posts and comments on social media (praising the Russian authorities, and criticizing the anti-Kremlin opposition). One typical phrase conceived and disseminated by the troll factory in Olgino read, “Alexey Navalny, who calls himself a ‘truth seeker’ and a ‘freedom fighter,’ has earned himself a reputation as a liar, a fraud, and a traitor to Russia. Meeting with representatives of foreign intelligence services, Navalny once again proves that he’s on the West’s payroll.”

                  About 400 people worked around the clock in Olgino, sitting at computers and writing on Russian social networks according to pre-prepared scripts. After the February 2015 murder of Boris Nemtsov, for instance, the trolls were given the following assignment: “The main idea is that we’re cultivating the view that Ukrainian players might have been involved in the death of this Russian oppositionist. […] That now Russia has once again become a country that faces the West’s hostility. This is an obvious provocation, and an effort to create a surge of discontent among the opposition’s leaders, who will begin calling for protests and demonstrations with the aim of overthrowing the government.”

                  Meduza, 2015.

                  It’s all just a money-making scheme, though. 🙄

                  • Bill

                    Keep waving you arms like this and you’e going to have to tie helium balloons to your computer or do air borne handstands OAB 🙂

                    You want to believe that what Mueller and the rest are spreading is worthwhile information? Then coorie up to it if that’s what gets you through. I sense the church is thinning out and that people are losing faith and departing though.

                    I could be wrong mind. But I don’t think I’m wrong.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      air borne handstands

                      😆

                      I give up. I doubt the same can be said of Mueller, though, now Gates has turned too. I don’t know who “the rest” are supposed to be.

          • Colonial Viper 13.3.1.1.2

            OAB, I’m afraid you’re incorrect on this count. The majority of Russian spending on Facebook, tiny as it was, occurred AFTER the 2016 Presidential election.

            The Russians were NOT trying to swing the results of the 2016 election.

            Indeed, the Mueller indictment explicitly states that no election outcome was affected by the Russian activities described within the prosecution document.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.1.2.1

              The Russians were NOT trying to swing the results of the 2016 election.

              What Rob Goldman actually said is:

              …swaying the election was not the main goal…

              My emphasis.

              As for whether they succeeded or not, please read previous discussion before commenting: what’s relevant is that they made the attempt.

              • Colonial Viper

                Neither you or I are naive.

                The US Government tries to swing elections all around the world using billions of dollars. (Five billion US dollars in Ukraine alone, according to Victoria Nuland).

                This is what great powers do.

                You want to see examples of Joe Biden in the Ukraine and Obama in the UK trying to push REMAIN?

                A few Russian trolls on a shoestring budget who placed ads mostly *AFTER* the election?

                Meh.

              • mauī

                Goldman goes on to say in that article:

                The single best demonstration of Russia’s true motives is the Houston anti-islamic protest. Americans were literally puppeted into the streets by trolls who organized both the sides of protest.

                Seriously, who believes this shit. So the 13 russian super-trolls managed to create sophisticated large scale online groups from another country and went onto make them protest against eachother in the streets while they operated out of their troll cave. F**king hell..

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Stupid question really: apparently Goldman believes it.

                  What a pity the stupid question is irrelevant, because (for the ‘n’th time) the alleged crime was in the attempt, rather than the success or failure of the operation.

                • francesca

                  Man those Russians are superhuman!
                  Poor innocent Americans, manipulated every which way
                  I wonder if they run workshops?
                  We could have the Greens in for ever!
                  Lusk,Slater,Williams , eat your heart out

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    for the ‘n’th time) the alleged crime was in the attempt, rather than the success or failure of the operation.

                    Beginning to think that you’re actually incapable of grasping this. I suppose I should be charitable and assume bias instead.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m sorry, but such a feeble attempt with so little resources and effort made, and no realistic chance of any success on any metric, can’t be considered credible in the least.

                      Hence the focus on it is a distraction.

                    • francesca

                      But that the dreadful,wiley, manipulative, meddling,Clinton hating Putin would invest such a piddling puny amount, and think it would stack up against the campaign scores of millions spent by his nemesis., well sorry , but I can’t take that seriously
                      And him with all his supposed hidden billions, the richest man in Europe so they say.
                      Oh but hang on, there’s no connection with the Kremlin, its just RUSSIANS… but yeah RUSSIANS… bad ass genetic rotters the lot…
                      Sorry, but it really doesn’t stick.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The main irony: how the US deep state/corporate shills has for decades consistently undermined American democracy and effectively disenfranchised its own voters at every turn possible.

                      But now they CRY OUTRAGE that “Russia Russia Russia” might have waved a few tweets and Facebook ads around their precious 2016 election.

                      The Russia baiting ‘reds under the bed’ scaremongering is something to behold. McCarthy would be proud.

          • francesca 13.3.1.1.3

            rather deflecting from the fact that the majority of stories were posted after the election .So not quite sure how they were meant to influence any damned thing.
            The fact that the US was hugely divided anyway explains why clickbait profits were maximised by covering all the hot topics, throw in a few cute puppies and kaching!

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.1.3.1

              The IRA stated its own aims in its own words, and conducted activities in pursuit of those aims before the election.

              If they had any influence, why would they give it up afterwards?

              I note the narrative has changed from “no troll farm” to “but it’s only motivation was cash”.

              If anyone’s trying to deflect, it’s you.

              • Colonial Viper

                Actually, as Trump himself tweeted, the issue is not about Russian troll farms, it never has been.

                It’s about Trump Administration / Trump Transition collusion with the Russians.

                Didn’t happen.

                All the noise about Russian troll farms *is* the distraction. It’s the new ‘Reds under the Bed’ scare designed to distract citizens away from how the US corporate-deep state has already thoroughly undermined US democracy.

                Russia troll farms are approx no. 94 on a list of problems to do with US democracy.

              • francesca

                You’re getting a wee bit mixed up there OAB, a bit punch drunk, replying to the wrong post
                False attributions, I have never used the term troll farm for instance
                Not sure about the legitimacy of those emails you refer to .
                Not quite the language of spies and espionage operatives

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’m talking about the “official” narrative, the one POTUS is playing pick-up-sticks with on Twitter.

                  I’m not sure about the legitimacy of the emails either, and we already covered that at 9.1.1.1.

                  I’m curious as to what you think “the language of spies is”. I doubt they talk about tradecraft, pavement artists and lamplighters in a troll farm.

        • Stuart Munro 13.3.1.2

          They certainly exerted themselves to do just that in numerous former soviet satellites. Why would an espiocrat change his spots? People tend to keep doing what they perceive as being successful.

          • Bill 13.3.1.2.1

            Did they Stuart? And “they” is the Russian government, yes? And what they did in former Soviet satellites was spread stories on facebook, yes? The Russian government, that is – not individuals and groups of people (whether in the form of companies or what-not) pursuing that most capitalist of endeavours – that of perceiving an opportunity to make money and exploiting it.

            The fact that very thing has been well covered in articles from The Washington Post, Guardian and New York Times (just to name the obvious mainstream outlets) is to be thrown aside and discounted “because Russia”.

            ffs

            • Stuart Munro 13.3.1.2.1.1

              “dastardly plan to undermine the political processes of multiple other countries ”

              There’s reasonably consistent evidence of this. Facebook is an innovation in the US instance because they can’t just trundle troops over the borders in mufti the way they do with their neighbours.

              http://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/parameters/issues/summer_2016/5_bukkvoll.pdf

              • Colonial Viper

                I am fascinated that you think that modern day Russia has much to do any more with the shortlived (3 generation) abberation known as the USSR.

                In other words, the USSR isn’t the baseline in outlook, behaviour, military, diplomatic or economic strategy for the Russian people, indeed, far from it.

                It appears to me that you are the one still fighting the Cold War, even as you project to us that it’s Putin and the Ruskies who are stuck in the past.

                • Cemetery Jones

                  Once you’ve read a few years of the likes of Dmitri Orlov or the Saker, you’re just never going to get a sane conversation on this topic, CV.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    +1

                    Peter Lavelle on Crosstalk is good too.

                    • Cemetery Jones

                      Yes, I do appreciate Lavelle. My introduction to that world was very much the work of Sean Guillory, Mark Ames, Yasha Levine etc. back when they were all still based in Moscow. Even that far back they were pointing out that western correspondents in Russia were rarely speakers of the language and basically spent their days doing the rounds of the US and UK embassies along with any of the usual outside institutions (EU etc.) and then spending their days in the Green Ring of Moscow interviewing English-speaking ‘pro-western’ liberals with US/UK connections who pass for ‘sources’ in the world those who can’t meet actual Russians. Sounds like things have only gotten worse in the last 10 years…

                • Stuart Munro

                  History isn’t something you get to elide just because it shows you in a bad light. Czarist Russia attempted a Chechen genocide, soviet Russia almost achieved it by transportation, post-soviet Russia has almost completed it by occupation.

                  We have to fight the cold war because Putin has been fighting it since he won his first rigged election. You may prefer to roll over for the oligarchs but I’ve seen them up close before. There’s nothing good there.

                  I suppose if strong authoritarian leadership is your model government Putin might have a superficial appeal. Weak minds do need strong leaders. It cannot remotely be mistaken for democracy however.

                  Do tell us the moral basis for your tragic sellout to Russian cryptofacism. The old Reds at least had the excuse of believing Russia was committed to a reforming political movement.

              • Stuart Munro

                Though of course if you’d bothered to read the link you’d know it referred to contemporary actions against the Ukraine.

                There’s no doubt that US financial actions in the Ukraine were ill-advised, and constituted undue interference. There’s also no doubt that the Russian backed insurgency there, employing as it did, serving Russian military personal out of uniform, was as illegitimate as any of the notorious US uses of so-called ‘military advisors’.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Why illegitimate?

                  Russia was not going to let the US successfully destabilise yet another border area after the US sponsored an unconstitutional coup in Ukraine.

                  The US cannot act against Russian interests right on Russian borders, and then complain when the Russians respond with counter actions to neutralise such activities.

                  The Anglo-US empire has to learn that it no longer gets things all its way any more.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Why illegitimate?

                    Because sending soldiers to destabilize a bordering state does not respect the democratic preferences of that polity.

                    Even if your own country’s geopolitical ambitions require it.

                    You may be a moral vacuum who supports invasions of sovereign states, but most of us are not.

                    The US had more right to put money into the Ukraine than the Russians had to shoot down civilian airliners for example.

                    But you’re ok with the murder of civilians as long as it’s Putin doing it. Your teachers went to great lengths to teach you critical thinking and here you are kissing the feet of a tawdry murdering dictator.

                    For shame!

  14. JohnSelway 14

    What just fucking boggles my mind is everyone who brings up the DNC/Clintons etc etc

    We are not talking about them and they aren’t holding the presidency. Trump is and him and his lackeys seem to have attempted activities with amount to sedition.

    Fine, fucking hate on the Clintons – I don’t like them much myself – but we are talking about Trump, no one else. Want to start an investigation on Clinton? Well go right ahead but just because Clinton and the DNC might be dirty too in no way absolves Trump.

    • francesca 14.1

      But then again , do we want to see a politicised department of justice, not interested in looking at all the irregularities of the election,(Brazile leaking questions, Bernie shut out ,dirty info against Trump bought from Russians by the Clinton campaign) only interested in whatever brings down Trump.
      If I was an American, I would feel a little dismayed, just as I did when the head of the SIS colluded with Key against Goff

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1

        only interested in whatever brings down Trump.

        Why are you running Republican party attack lines? Christopher Steele didn’t even know who he was working for. Read Glenn Simpson’s testimony.

        • francesca 14.1.1.1

          Why are you running 1950s McCarthy attack lines?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1.1

            Such as? Is inventing false and insulting smears an indication that you have no substantive response to the arguments I’m making?

            Yes: when you have nothing, you demonstrate it by lashing out.

            Do you understand the points Glenn Simpson made in his testimony, regarding the motivations and practice of Fusion GPS? Do you understand his statements about the circumstances of Christopher Steele’s employment by Fusion GPS?

            If you grasp those two things, you will also read those Republican attack lines I mentioned, because Simpson’s testimony responds to precisely the accusations you’re levelling.

            I bet you haven’t even read the testimony, and your repetition of the smears is entirely unwitting. Either that or you’re just lashing out again.

      • Bill 14.1.2

        What “we” want is a large number of conservative liberal clowns to breathlessly propagate a slather of nonsense coming from a backwards and paranoid “radical centre”.

        What “we” want is for “you” to sense that all perceived threats to the “the radical centre” are threats to “yourself”, and that “you” can only neutralise those threats by lending support and votes to politicians of “the radical centre”.

        “We” want “you” to believe “Russia” and “fascism”, and for the Bernie Sanders, the Melenchons, Corbyns and any others whose politics pose a threat to the “radical centre”, whether journalists, politicians or ordinary unassuming people, to be marginalised and silenced. That way “we”, and by extension, “you” will be safe.

        “We” want “you” to embrace the truly dull and deadening world of the Blairs, Clintons, Macrons, Arderns and Trudeaus. It’s time “you” committed to being at home with “us”. For always. 😉

        • cleangreen 14.1.2.1

          Bill I agree with you OAB is a ‘dead post’ unlovable so I give him his swing song here.

          Original – Bobby Bare. Bill Parsons’ wrote the lyrics. Bobby Bare went to Army

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      What just fucking boggles my mind is everyone who brings up the DNC/Clintons etc etc
      We are not talking about them and they aren’t holding the presidency. Trump is and him and his lackeys seem to have attempted activities with amount to sedition.

      The reason that the DNC, Obama and the Clintons are brought up over and over with regards to this topic is because they set up the Russia framing firstly to attack Trump during the campaign, and when that failed, to undermine his White House and his Presidency.

      Even going so far as to use state powers to spy on the President Elect and his Transition Team by obtaining FISA warrants on false pretenses, and then widely leaking the information they gained.

      Your use of the word “sedition” is therefore quite apt, but aimed in the wrong direction.

      Cheers.

      • McFlock 14.2.1

        lol. Bullshit from start to finish.

        • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1

          If you have any counter arguments to make, please feel free. As it stands however, several Obama/Clinton associated officials have placed themselves in significant legal jepeordy.

          There is also a suspicion that senior FBI officials altered their original 302 interview notes of General Flynn. A big no-no.

          • McFlock 14.2.1.1.1

            And yet it’s the trump ones confessing to crimes.

            “There is also a suspicion that senior FBI officials altered their original 302 interview notes of General Flynn.”
            Probably from the same people who think there are child slave camps on mars.

            I’m quite glad I didn’t waste time on an argument, given your refusal to believe Flynn’s guilty plea when it’s linked.

            • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.1.1

              The guilty plea won’t stand – the DOJ and FBI likely acted illegally to pressure Flynn into signing it.

              • McFlock

                Likely did they? Gosh, likely something to think likely about then, likely.

                Whatever, neo. I’m off to bed, and the wheels of justice roll inexorably onwards.

  15. joe90 15

    So, Manafort is dead in the water.. unless he coughs up a bigger fish.

    A former top aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days – and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul J. Manafort Jr., the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign.

    The change of heart by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, Richard W. Gates III, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort’s, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.

    http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-rick-gates-plea-deal-20180218-story.html

  16. D'Esterre 16

    “I get the feeling the Robert Mueller investigation is reaching a critical stage.”

    And you believe this stuff? I see your Mueller fantasies and raise you weapons of mass destruction, yellowcake, Valerie Plame, Scooter Libby, the former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, the Ukraine, the Crimea. And that’s just some of the last 25 years or so, never mind further back in history.

    What happened to lefties accusing the msm of peddling fake news (which said msm did in all of the above cases)? Do you believe the McCarthyist Mueller’s claims, just because you’ve fallen for the anti-Russia schtick? Please approach all of this with a large handful of salt….

    • mickysavage 16.1

      Que?

      There have been three guilty pleas to charges laid. Lots of info suggesting foreign involvement in the US election result. Is this something that should be ignored just because it is anti Russian?

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        The US system is one where authorities often threaten those accused with massive trumped up charges and prison time. Which can be avoided if you just agree to a little plea bargain. Which means that you plead guilty and the case that the prosecutors have never ever gets examined in full by a judge or jury.

        Would you prefer to be bankrupted by the state through the courts over a 5 or 6 year process and risk 150 years in prison? Or would you rather plead guilty to something relatively minor, serve 12 months and then get on with your life?

        It’s a corrupt system.

        They got General Flynn to plead guilty on a minor process technicality – not any crime to do with anything Russian (because he didn’t do anything wrong).

        • McFlock 16.1.1.1

          You mean the minor process technicality of running an illegal foreign policy to undermine the presidency of the day and then lying to law enforcement about it?

          Totally can’t understand why that would be a felony /sarc.

          • Colonial Viper 16.1.1.1.1

            None of your comments are correct, thanks. As incoming NSA, Flynn would be expected to have immediate contacts with representatives from all over the world as part of normal Transition activities.

            • McFlock 16.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s why I added the link. That’s merely what Flynn signed. You might call him a liar, but that doesn’t matter because that’s exactly what he confessed to.

              And no, Flynn was still expected to work within the constraints of the actual presidency’s foreign policy during the transition. To run a parallel foreign policy while a private citizen is actually illegal, which is why Flynn lied about it.

              • Colonial Viper

                General Flynn signed that confession of process crimes under illegal threats to him and his son.

                They couldn’t get him on actually doing anything wrong in his role as incoming NSA, and certainly nothing that would stand up in court

                In other words, they (Obama and Clinton loyalists in the DOJ and FBI) targetted Flynn and framed him.

                • McFlock

                  So they had done nothing illegal, the FBI “certainly” didn’t have a case at all, so Flynn confessed anyway.

                  “Process crimes”: lol giving false information to law enforcement.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    General Flynn expected to withdraw guilty plea in light of prosecutorial misconduct.

                    • McFlock

                      Which doesn’t explain why he pled in the first place, if the FBI certainly had nothing that would stand up in court. Like what you said.

                      But anyway, we’ll see what happens. It’s a process. If he committed the “process crime” of impeding a federal investigation by supplying false statements to investigators, and withdraws his guilty plea, then they’ll simply start from where they left off when he pled guilty.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Except if they deliberately hid exculpatory evidence from him, or obtained other evidence illegally.

                      In which case the DOJ has no case.

                    • McFlock

                      If he tries to withdraw the plea, and the withdrawal is accepted by the judge, and there is no legitimately-gathered evidence of the crimes he pled to or other offences that were not pursued because of the plea deal, then yes, Flynn would be in the clear.

                      Lots of “ifs”, though.

                      And only Flynn would be in the clear. They had another guilty plea from someone else a few days ago. The list is growing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The list is growing? Growing in your dreams, perhaps.

                      In terms of Trump’s team helping the President Elect to collude with the Russians, the feds have nothing.

                      Manafort and Gates are accused of various financial crimes committed many years ago. Nothing to do with Trump. (Clinton associates have done the same in Ukraine/Russia, but they are protected for now).

                    • McFlock

                      Didn’t a Dutch lawyer take a plea recently?
                      yup.

                      Same link says two others also took a plea, in addition to Flynn.

                      But yes, Trump has not been formally charged or accused of anything yet, as far as I know. Obviously that means he’s completely in the clear and will be forever /sarc

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In terms of Trump’s team helping the President Elect to collude with the Russians, the feds have nothing.

                      And continue to have nothing.

                    • McFlock

                      Because “charges not levelled yet” is the same as “the authorities currently have absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing by the person, and never ever will”.

                      At least try to keep your cheerleading within throwing distance of reality, please.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi McFlock,

                      Happy to wait for when it goes to court. Thanks.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re doing a lot of commenting for someone who’s happy to wait.

              • Colonial Viper

                To run a parallel foreign policy while a private citizen is actually illegal, which is why Flynn lied about it.

                This is also untrue, thanks.

                • McFlock

                  never heard of the Logan Act, then?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Please list all the successful prosecutions under said “Logan Act”

                    • McFlock

                      Don’t need to. It exists.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No successful prosecutions under the Logan Act at all in its century plus existence? Oh dear. Looks like it is either unenforceable, or irrelevant. Or both.

                    • McFlock

                      Are you seriously arguing that something must be legal because nobody has been prosecuted for it yet?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If no one has been prosecuted for it in a hundred years despite it happening all the time, yes.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh really? So an act says something is illegal, but if nobody does it in a hundred years, then it must be legal?

                      Or the act says something is illegal, people break it but are always smart enough to avoid prosecution, so when someone isn’t so smart and leaves a trail of evidence, it was actually legal?

                      The contortions you bend yourself into in order to defend your oompah-loompah overlord…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No, my comment spoke for itself.

                      If there are no prosecutions for it in a hundred years (or ever) even though it is happening out in the open all the time, then it is legal.

                      Like not stopping and getting out of your car at each intersection to ensure that there are no horses riders approaching.

                    • McFlock

                      If there are no prosecutions for it in a hundred years (or ever) even though it is happening out in the open all the time, then it is legal

                      vs:

                      Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Basic knowledge of the US legal system might be of assistance. To McFlock. CV will have to confirm it with RT first.

                      Prosecutorial Discretion Law and Legal Definition

                      Prosecutorial discretion refers to the fact that under American law, government prosecuting attorneys have nearly absolute powers. A prosecuting attorney has power on various matters including those relating to choosing whether or not to bring criminal charges, deciding the nature of charges, plea bargaining and sentence recommendation. This discretion of the prosecuting attorney is called prosecutorial discretion.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      OK you guys, please do let me know when the first case ever under the Logan Act is brought to trial and the defendants found guilty.

                      Do you think it will be before or after the Logan Act turns 300 years?

                      Lucky for you, I’m a patient man.

                    • McFlock

                      CV, there might never be another prosecution under the Logan Act ever again.

                      But it is still illegal to run a parallel foreign policy while a private citizen of the US, and it will remain illegal until the passage

                      Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

                      is repealed.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi McFlock,

                      Happy to wait for when it goes to court. Let me know. Thanks.

                    • McFlock

                      So you’ll be restricting yourself to claims that are demonstrable beyond a reasonable doubt from now on?

                      Just to be clear, is it currently illegal for an unauthorised citizen of the USA to negotiate with foreign governments for particular action or inaction by those governments in relation to any dispute or disagreement those governments might have with the USA?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You say it is McFlock, but your claim has never been tested in court in two centuries. Let me know when it has. Thanks.

                    • McFlock

                      Not me. Congress said it was, explicitly, but I guess you know better than to trust unverified reports like “statutes”.

    • mauī 17.1

      Also often reported as the troll farm / troll hub / bot farm / troll army by various media. Obviously they want us to take it seriously.

  17. Antoine 18

    This is one of the worst arguments I’ve ever seen

    A.

  18. francesca 19

    rather deflecting from the fact that the majority of stories were posted after the election .So not quite sure how they were meant to influence any damned thing.
    The fact that the US was hugely divided anyway explains why clickbait profits were maximised by covering all the hot topics, throw in a few cute puppies and kaching!

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Ensure you click the “reply” button right under the comment you are replying to, or your responses will be lost out of the thread and lost out of order.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1

        As already mentioned, the CIA and NSA are expert at conducting false flag cyber attacks.

        Surely you understand this?

        What do you “think” I meant by “putting on someone else’s shoes”, CV? After all, it’s right there in the exchange you butted into without reading.

        Surely you didn’t understand it, nor the reference to leaving fingerprints on the shoes. Sharpen up.

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          Hi OAB not sure what you mean by your response as I was just trying to ensure that francesca knew about the “reply” button.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1.1.1

            I can’t reply to the comment you made at 1:22, which I quoted to give you a great big clue.

            So I replied here instead.

          • francesca 19.1.1.1.2

            Well here I am pressing the reply button
            Thanks
            Sometimes there is no reply button

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.2.1

              Indeed, if you are at the maximum nesting level of replies it doesn’t allow another.

              In which case scroll up and just reply to the last available reply button you can see and the system will automatically add your comment on to the end of that particular thread.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1.1.2.2

              What CV said.

              Or, find a reply button to the person you actually want to reply to, preferably in the same thread. That can make it easier to parse threads involving prolific commenters like eg: Hornet, or me.

              It’s not an exact science 🙂

  19. Colonial Viper 20

    I see the new “reds under the bed” hysteria is alive and well.

    Meanwhile, Kunstler has a great analysis on what the Mueller indictment was actually about:

    The beauty in Robert Mueller’s indictment of thirteen Russian Facebook trolls is that they’ll never face trial, so Mr. Mueller will never have to prove his case. In the new misrule of law made popular by the #Me Too movement, accusations suffice to convict the target of an investigation.

    And also

    I’m surely not the only one to notice how this hysteria is designed to distract the public attention from the documented misconduct among FBI, CIA, NSA, State Department officials and the leaders of the #Resistance itself: the Democratic National Committee, its nominee in the 2016 election, HRC, and Barack Obama’s White House inner circle…It actually looks like the greatest act of bureaucratic ass-covering in US history.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-19/it-looks-greatest-act-bureaucratic-ass-covering-us-history

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      BAU: if you want CV’s opinion, read RT and Zerohedge.

      • rhinocrates 20.1.1

        Or Infowars.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1.1

          😆

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.2

          The Saker is excellent, so is Moon of Alabama.

          http://thesaker.is/

          http://www.moonofalabama.org/

          • JohnSelway 20.1.1.2.1

            Yes those two sites look highly credible

            • Cemetery Jones 20.1.1.2.1.1

              Interesting you say that. From The Saker’s biography:

              “In 1984 I did my military service in electronic warfare and I was later transferred to the military intelligence service (UNA) as a language specialist where did some work with the Swiss Air Force. I then traveled to the USA where I got a BA in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS) at the American University and a MA in Strategic Studies from the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University. Upon my return to Switzerland, I worked as a civilian consultant for the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service (SND) writing strategic analyses, primarily about the Soviet/Russian military. In the military, I was given the Major-equivalent rank of “Technical Officer”, which is a fancy way of saying that I was an analyst. I also worked as an “enemy operations” (“Red Team” in US parlance) specialist for the operational-level training of the General Staff of Swiss armed forces. I then accepted a position for the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) where I specialized in peacekeeping tactics and operations.”

              Full bio well worth reading in terms of why he’s long been a better read on Russia than anyone you’ll encounter in VOX, Salon, The Hill, etc.

              http://thesaker.is/submarines-in-the-desert-as-my-deepest-gratitude-to-you/

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Argumentum ad verecundiam.

                Emeritus professors unite, you have nothing to lose but your hair, teeth, bone density, and I forgot the other one.

                • Colonial Viper

                  But somewhat more credible than your CV in the field of international relations and defense/security, I dare say.

                  Nice bit of irrelevant latin mumbo jumbo though.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Anyone who takes the word of an anonymous bloke for anything is an idiot, if you ask me.

                  • Cemetery Jones

                    “Nice bit of irrelevant latin mumbo jumbo though.”

                    He googled it and put it in italics to make it seem more impressive. Didn’t work though.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It means “the argument from authority”, by contrast to the wild and dangerous idea that arguments survive on their own merits, as opposed to the author’s reputation.

                      Any fool can have an off day.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Now, point to the specific day.

                • Cemetery Jones

                  JohnSelway questioned The Saker’s credibility. I provided some credentials in an effort to persuade him he’s a worthwhile read, accompanied with a link to his full bio in order to keep the post short, but offer the interested reader the opportunity to see that in addition to having more practical experience in matters of strategy and geopolitics than your average liberal hack, he also grew up steeped in the abiding Russian culture of that half of his émigré family.

                  And it seems to me you would actually agree with this approach. After all, you seemed fine with it here, where you chided Francesca for acting like she knew better than Mueller how to proceed with his own investigation. And fair enough too – it’s an acknowledgement of professional expertise.

                  Mueller v Russia

                  So, what I pointed out was:

                  “Full bio well worth reading in terms of why he’s long been a better read on Russia than anyone you’ll encounter in VOX, Salon, The Hill, etc.”

                  So I was ultimately offering him the opportunity to make his own mind up, you can hardly characterise that as didactic. And certainly not delivered like your appeal to the expertise of Mueller.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Full bio

                    He’s an anonymous bloke then: I didn’t catch his name.

                    • Cemetery Jones

                      His real name is Andrei Raevesky. He began writing as an anonymous bloke who identifies as a submarine in the desert, but he eventually named himself.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Stop the Empire’s War On Russia”.

                      The article “Escalation in Syria – how far can the Russians be pushed?” caught my eye.

                      The answer of course, is that like all bullies, they can be pushed forever because if they had any hard power they couldn’t be pushed at all.

                      the Empire will have to pay

                      Sure they will. Reminds me of the three young men from my past, retreating down the road yelling “we’ll get you!” They didn’t of course: had they been capable they’d already have done the job.

                      In a stand up fight, the kleptocrats in the Kremlin are going to be humiliated by the plutocrats in Washington every single time. That’s why they have to resort to ‘kompromat’ and other guerrilla tactics.

                      Look how whiny they got when Obama removed their precious banking privileges.

                      This is just my opinion, of course.

                      Oh, and once again, for the benefit of lackwits, this comment in no way endorses this or that foreign policy or any other aggression.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In a stand up fight, the kleptocrats in the Kremlin are going to be humiliated by the plutocrats in Washington every single time.

                      While Washington more routinely gets embarrassed by a bunch of uneducated jihadists wielding AK47s and RPGs on the back of Toyota pickup trucks.

                      I mean seriously, what is this “stand up fight” nonsense you talk about? Some sort of wild west standoff between the archetypal black hat and white hat, with tumbleweeds rolling by, waiting for someone to draw first?

                      Just juvenile.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @CV: what part of plutocrats vs. kleptocrats are you having trouble with?

                      Which of these are the “white hats” in your “mind”? Lackwit.

                      My rhetorical tone matches the macho posturing implicit in the statements “the empire will have to pay”, and “how far can the Russians be pushed?”

                      You didn’t pick up on that, though.

          • francesca 20.1.1.2.2

            Moon of alabama is great.
            And he will always call himself out if he gets it wrong

            • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1.2.2.1

              Will he call himself out for the cherry-picking that’s blindingly obvious in his analysis of the IRA indictment?

              He ignores all evidence of the motivation behind the alleged crimes, instead simply assuming it is the same motivation as that of Macedonian teenagers.

              Which is odd, because surely he knows that the three pillars of a prosecution case are motive, means, and opportunity.

              Of course, it’s always possible he doesn’t know that 🙄

              • Colonial Viper

                Which is odd, because surely he knows that the three pillars of a prosecution case are motive, means, and opportunity.

                What prosecution case?

                As Kunstler adeptly points out, Mueller has zero chance of bringing these characters to trial and knows therefore that there is zero chance of having his “prosecution case” actually tested.

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