Trump’s Watergate All About Drowning Out Russia

Trump’s Watergate All About Drowning Out Russia
FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 20.02.2017 | OPINION

Trump’s Watergate All About Drowning Out Russia

The adage about One Man’s Terrorist is Another Man’s Freedom Fighter is aptly paraphrased for the running battle in Washington between President Trump and his intelligence agencies. Only instead of «terrorist» substitute the word «leaker».

Prominent sections of the US media are willingly acting as conduits for intelligence agencies leaking classified government information to damage the Trump White House. The media and Trump’s political enemies are thus acting as accomplices in criminal disclosure of supposedly secret government information, which at another time the same media and politicians would condemn as treasonous. Think Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning for instance.

Trump has hit back after his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was forced to resign over disclosed phone contacts he had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak earlier this year. With barely contained anger, Trump described the leaks as «criminal» and «un-American» and has scorned media outlets for conspiring to destabilize his presidency – only less than one month after taking office.

In turn, media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post and CNNhave disparaged Trump for trying to «deflect» the issue away from alleged contacts with Russian state officials to the issue of intelligence services leaking classified information. Such disclosure is a criminal offense, punishable by jail for breach of government secrecy rules.

Trump does have a point though. The practice of leaking confidential information by security services is a grave breach.

But there is something of a contradiction here on both sides of the fight.

When Donald Trump was campaigning as presidential candidate he openly reveled in the leaking of classified information by the Wikileaks whistleblower website because much of the disclosure was highly damaging to his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton, originating partly during her tenure as Secretary of State.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. President Trump is screaming about classified information being leaked and given out «like candy» to media outlets. Because now the leaks are damaging his administration with allegations that some his aides were in close contact with Russian government officials. The alleged contacts go beyond just former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The New York Times this week reported anonymous US officials claiming that several of Trump’s aides also shared contact with Russians.

Ironically, some of these major US media outlets appear indifferent to the criminal offense of leaking classified information by intelligence agencies. They want to focus on the alleged content of the leaks, namely that Trump and his team are supposedly compromised by clandestine Russian connections. Yet, during the election campaign these same outlets showed little interest in publishing the damaging content of information leaked by Wikileaks against Hillary Clinton. Part of that indifference was feigned to be a concern over publishing leaked classified information.

Again, now the shoe is on the other foot. US media outlets that were previously shunning leaked information about their favored candidate, Clinton, are now all too willing to run with leaks damaging President Trump, whom they were decidedly opposed to becoming the White House occupant.

However, to be fair to Trump when he was a beneficiary of leaks against Clinton during the election campaign he was then a private citizen. There is no evidence that he colluded with the source of the leaks, either Wikileaks or, as is alleged, Russian hackers. Also, much of the damaging information against Clinton – her paid connections to Wall Street banks for instance – was obtained from private emails between her as a Democrat candidate and the Democratic National Committee, not when she was in office as the Secretary of State during the Obama administration. That information was not classified government correspondence, so therefore was fair game for publishing.

Whereas the current leaks against President Trump by intelligence agencies or government officials are a clear breach of secrecy laws on classified information. Those leaks are clearly intended at undermining a sitting president by insinuating that his alleged contacts with Russian officials are potentially treasonous.

The media clamor over Trump’s alleged Russian connections are fueling a growing chorus in Congress for further investigations. Media pundits and lawmakers are boldly using the word «treason» to describe Trump’s alleged contacts with Russia. Some are even referring to the infamous Watergate scandal that led to President Nixon’s ouster in 1974.

The Washington Post which famously helped uncover the Watergate scandal published an editorial this week declaring: «The nation needs answers, not deflections, on Russia and Trump».

The Post editors write: «The news [sic] that members of President Trump’s circle had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, reported by the New York Times on Tuesday, might have been less concerning if the president had responded by explaining or condemning the contacts and accepting the need for an impartial investigation. Instead, on Wednesday morning, he dashed off a half-dozen tweets in which he curiously both denied the news [sic] and attacked the leakers who disclosed it. In so doing, he gave more cause for Republicans and Democrats to demand answers about his opaque and increasingly troubling ties with Moscow».

What the Washington Post innocuously calls «news» is actually leaked claims from anonymous US intelligence officials, which are illegal. It is also hardly «news» since the information is unverifiable claims made by anonymous sources.

Nevertheless, the Post castigates Trump for drawing attention to the illegality of the leaks. And it goes on emphatically to «demand answers about his opaque and increasingly troubling ties with Moscow».

The dubious priority here is not to question the ethics of leaking classified information, but rather to push the vapid, unverifiable hearsay that impugns the president for allegedly having private communications with the Russians. Trump has flatly denied that any such contacts were ever made during his campaign.

Ironically, the connection to Watergate is more than it might appear to be. That scandal is commonly thought of as a «high point» of American journalism, in which intrepid reporters from the Washington Post dared to help bring down a Republican president for involvement in «dirty tricks» against Democrats hatched in 1972. A more nuanced account is given by author Russ Baker, in his book Family of Secrets about the Bush dynasty and the CIA. Baker provides evidence that the Washington Post was actually led by intelligence agencies to stitch up Richard Nixon whom they had come to oppose over his shady self-serving politics. Watergate and the demise of Nixon was thus less a triumph of democracy and media righteousness and more a coup by the Deep State against Nixon in which the Washington Post served as the conduit.

The nature of today’s shenanigans with Trump may be different in the precise details. But the modus operandi appears to be the same. A sitting president is out of favor with the Deep State and the latter is orchestrating a media campaign of leaks to dislodge him. Appropriately, the Washington Post is again at the forefront of the Deep State operation to thwart the president, this time Trump, as with Nixon before.

The story of Trump being a potentially treasonous pawn being manipulated by Russia is impossibly far-fetched to be credible. Trump denies it, and Moscow denies it. Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn appears indeed to have had contact with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s transition to the White House. But the content of the conversation has been blown out of all proportion by US intelligence and media to contrive the narrative that Trump is in cahoots with Moscow.

The upshot is that Trump’s avowed policy of restoring friendlier relations with Russia is being hampered at every turn. The president is being goaded into having to deny he is a Russian stooge and to prove that he is not soft on Moscow – by, for example, stating this week through his White House spokesman Sean Spicer that «Russian must hand back Crimea to Ukraine».

Evidently, the big purpose here is to direct Trump to adopt a harder line on Russia and to abandon any notion of developing cordial relations. Either he must tow the line, or he will be hounded by leaks, media speculation and Congressional probes until he is impeached. This is because the Deep State – primarily the military-industrial complex that is the permanent government of the US – is predicated on a strategic policy of adversity towards Russia and any other designated geopolitical rival.

Meanwhile, amid the raging war between the Trump White House and the US intelligence network, which includes sections of the media, Russia said this week that relations between the two countries were suffering.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, lamented that the turmoil in Washington was turning into a lost opportunity for the US and Russia to normalize relations and get on with bigger, far more urgent tasks of cooperation in world affairs.

And that impasse between the US and Russia, it would seem, is the whole object lesson from Trump’s war with powerful elements within his own state.

Trump may have been elected president. But other darker forces in America’s power structure are intent on over-ruling him when it comes to policy on Russia. Trump’s Watergate is all about drowning out a genuine reset with Russia.

I have links to Russia!

 photo russlinks_zpspkcqfpof.jpg

One wonders: what exactly does it mean to have “links” to Russia? Does a phone conversation qualify? Maybe, simply watching an RT video will get you so labeled. I guess if you’re not getting your news principally from CNN or the Washington Post then surely you must be a brainwashed dupe–one deserving of pity and who is, of course, in dire need of reeducation. Or maybe even, in the deranged minds of Trump haters, simply listening to Tchaikovsky will get you branded a Russky sympathizer. If this is the case, then I plead guilty. I have Russian “links”!

Israel seems on its way to outlawing Wagner. Maybe we’ll ban Tchaikovsky here in America. At any rate, we seem to have entered a new McCarthy era here in the US. Or perhaps more precisely we might think of it as a reverse McCarthy era. This time the witch hunts are being waged by liberals; this time the smears and false accusations are devices  employed by the left rather than the political right.

***

Trump’s National Security Adviser Forced to Resign After Lying About Being a KGB Agent

By Rudy Panko | Russia Insider

We’ve really hit rock bottom, folks.

Links?

As NBC reports, Flynn “misled Vice President Mike Pence and other senior officials about his communications with Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States.”

This is what qualifies as having “links” to Russia? A telephone conversation? We thought that a major part of being in government was “talking with people”?

Oh, but this saga of espionage and intrigue just gets better.

Our friends at NBC News claim that Flynn was forced to resign after it was learned that “the Justice Department [had] informed the White House that it believed he could be subject to blackmail”.

That’s the opening line. If you have the patience to read ten more paragraphs, you learn this:

A senior intelligence official confirmed to NBC News last week that Flynn discussed the sanctions, which the Obama administration imposed to punish Russia for its campaign to interfere in the presidential election.

The intelligence official said there had been no finding inside the government that Flynn did anything illegal.

A senior official told NBC News on Monday night the president and his top advisers had been “agonizing” over what to do about Flynn for days. The official, who was involved in the discussions, says the situation became unsustainable — not because of any issue of being compromised by Russia — but because he had lied to the president and the vice president.

So Flynn did nothing illegal. There are no “links” with Russia. He just lied to the President about a telephone call. (He probably didn’t, actually, but was forced to “take a bullet for the team.” Because apparently the media and half of America will not tolerate telephone conversations with Russians. The horror!)

Thank God we caught this KGB sleeper agent before it was too late!

Who will be exposed next? Maxine Waters?

Mother Russia is waiting for you, Comrade Flynn! It’s time to come home.


The 1812 Overture was composed by Tchaikovsky to celebrate Russia’s victory over France in 1812. Let’s keep in mind it was Napoleon who invaded Russia, not the other way around. In Russia the war is referred to as “The Patriotic War of 1812.”

Historical account of the war:

Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace.[10] The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon named the campaign the Second Polish War to gain favor with the Poles and provide a political pretext for his actions.[11]

The Grande Armée was a very large force, numbering 680,000 soldiers (including 300,000 of French departments). Through a series of long marches Napoleon pushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk in August. Napoleon hoped the battle would mean an end of the march into Russia, but the Russian army slipped away from the engagement and continued to retreat into Russia, while leaving Smolensk to burn.[12] Plans Napoleon had made to quarter at Smolensk were abandoned, and he pressed his army on after the Russians.[13]

As the Russian army fell back, Cossacks were given the task of burning villages, towns and crops.[10] This was intended to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. These scorched-earth tactics greatly surprised and disturbed the French, as the willingness of the Russians to destroy their own territory and harm their own people was difficult for the French to comprehend.[14] The actions forced the French to rely on a supply system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field. Starvation and privation compelled French soldiers to leave their camps at night in search of food. These men were frequently confronted by parties of Cossacks, who captured or killed them.

The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months. The continual retreat and the loss of lands to the French upset the Russian nobility. They pressured Alexander I to relieve the commander of the Russian army, Field Marshal Barclay. Alexander I complied, appointing an old veteran, Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, to take over command of the army. However, for two more weeks Kutuzov continued to retreat as his predecessor had done.

On 7 September, the French caught up with the Russian army which had dug itself in on hillsides before a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 soldiers and resulting in 70,000 casualties. The French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army was able to extricate itself and withdrew the following day, leaving the French without the decisive victory Napoleon sought.[15]

Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. In another turn of events the French found puzzling, there was no delegation to meet the Emperor. The Russians had evacuated the city, and the city’s governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered several strategic points in Moscow set ablaze.[16] Napoleon’s hopes had been set upon a victorious end to his campaign, but victory in the field did not yield him victory in the war. The loss of Moscow did not compel Alexander I to sue for peace, and both sides were aware that Napoleon’s position grew worse with each passing day. Napoleon stayed on in Moscow looking to negotiate a peace, his hopes fed in part by a disinformation campaign informing the Emperor of supposed discontent and fading morale in the Russian camp. After staying a month Napoleon moved his army out southwest toward Kaluga, where Kutuzov was encamped with the Russian army.

The French advance toward Kaluga was checked by a Russian corps. Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army for a decisive action at the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Despite holding a superior position, the Russians retreated following a sharp engagement, confirming that the Russians would not commit themselves to a pitched battle.[17] His troops exhausted, with few rations, no winter clothing, and his remaining horses in poor condition, Napoleon was forced to retreat. He hoped to reach supplies at Smolensk and later at Vilnius. In the weeks that followed the Grande Armée starved and suffered from the onset of the Russian Winter. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, hypothermia from the bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses in men, and a general loss of discipline and cohesion in the army. When the remnants of Napoleon’s army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 effective soldiers remained; the Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured.

One can’t help wondering if NATO troops may end up meeting the same fate.

Trump does something right! Very good press conference today

Trump does something right! Very good press conference today

February 16, 2017

After a few rather disappointing days, Trump today seem to rebound.  He had a press conference which I would qualify as very successful. The best thing about this was that Trump FINALLY directly attacked the media, especially CNN.  Hopefully, this will be just the first step in an always possible counter-offensive.  Tomorrow he will be in Melbourne, FL, just south of were I live.  I will be watching that with interest.

Here is his press conference:

Fake News or Real? CNN has Pentagon Planning Ground Troop Invasion of Syria and Russian Spy Ship off US Coast

russiya

Just within the past hour or so CNN has published two stories which may fall into the category of “fake news” (it’s of course hard to tell these days).

In one article, here, the network is reporting that the Pentagon is considering recommending sending “conventional ground combat forces” into Syria in order to “speed up the fight against ISIS.” So far the only US troops that have been sent into Syria are small units of special forces, and as the article notes, the deployment of conventional ground troops “would significantly alter US military operations in Syria.”

In the other report we are told that a Russian spy ship is presently lurking “30 miles off the coast of Connecticut,” and that “the vessel is outfitted with a variety of high-tech spying equipment and is designed to intercept signals intelligence.”

The same report also alleges that a US ship, the USS Porter, “had three encounters with Russian aircraft” while sailing in the Black Sea last Friday. The Russians carried out a “mock attack” against the ship, the article claims.

Both reports are based upon unnamed US officials.

CNN has been accused by Trump of spreading fake news. At the same time, Trump appointed Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis to head the Defense Department. Mattis has said that US policy in Syria “needs to be reviewed and perhaps energized on a more aggressive timeline.”

The 140 characters Trump’s diary

February 14, 2017

By GF

Trump got a huge support, there was support from the most unexpected places. But, what was supported? What was Trump opinions about other countries and general issues, was it really a mystery? And is it unpredictable?

He won the presidential run, wow, came out of nowhere, nobody could have imagined. But is that so?

By 2014 his tweeter feed was full, packed with messages of support for a presidential run. To some of those messages he gave a reply while he retweeted others.

The First Weeks

He enters the office. Nominations that would be making the rounds on the news and public debate were expected.

There was even a telephone call with Vladimir Putin, people on news media and blogosphere celebrated.

Some days go by and there is news about War Games on the Persian Gulf. A raid in Yemen. The Ukraine conflict flares up. By this time both China and Mexico were already pissed from the welcome they got. Flynn’s “putting Iran on a notice” statement.

A research on the messages he posted on twitter gives us good background to better understand these actions and maybe the others to come.

Here they are:

The focus is on his thoughts about Iran, Russia and China.

Trump – Iran

War games on the sea, association to the attacks made by the Houthis, accusations of violating the JCPOA.

It was possible to see that his actions and opinions were not really a mystery or a secret.

Iran as a national security threat. But are you sure?

And how to deal with them?

Go with diplomacy?

Already in 2011?

Hey, don’t do it!

There’s more. Let’s check this.

And the irony:

Before going to China, these ones:

Trump – China

Actions towards China were less surprising but equally aggressive.

Trump considers China to be stealing US jobs, developing a bigger economy than that of the US, expanding its naval fleet and stealing US technologies and secrets

China is a threat, not a friend.

It’s a threat so he wants to reassess the relationship.

Espionage and again a threat, this time for the economy.

Stealing secrets, not a friend but an enemy! Quite an indictment.

Expansion and Containment?

He’s really blunt regarding China.

Must get tough with the Chinese.

Rebels.

Tough again!

China is called a rival and greatest, major threat.

Hacking and again an enemy!

Remember?

So, a finger against ISIS will bring gains to China, Iran and Syria, he does not seem to appreciate the deal but it may be necessary?

Tough one more time.

Trump – Russia

On the tweets that mention Russia, he is more thoughtfull when choosing the words.

Clear opinion about Snowden, more than one or two times.

Seems to consider a stupid idea to go into Syria!

He had Miss Universe in Moscow.

This is mentioned a number of times, destroying the economy.

Initial thought on Ukraine situation.

Destroying the economy! ObamaCare instead of sanctions.

He is aware of the risks.

One more thought on Snowden.

A second thought about the Ukraine situation, “Russia is on the move”.

It has taken Crimea!

Taken!

When mentioning Putin directly, Trump is more blunt.

He says a lot of times that Russia and Putin have no respect for Obama.

No flexibility!

His objective?

Obama’s weakness when dealing with Putin.

Putin is scheming on how to take over the World!

By rebuilding the Russian Empire.

True.

This was a retweet.

This was his view.

Putin, guns blazing.

We have already seen that Russia took over Crimea.

Before finishing, some others.

Trump – Mexico

Trump – News Media

And lastly:

Thank you.

Marine Le Pen Challenges CNN’s False Narrative on Crimea

Source

In this interview with French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour absurdly attempts to argue there was no US coup in Ukraine in 2014. Le Pen sets the record straight, pointing out not only that there WAS a coup, but that the people of Crimea, after the coup took place, voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to become part of Russia. Amanpour, however, has no eyes to see and is blind to the truth.

It raises an interesting question: what kind of pill do people like Amanpour have to swallow each day in order to continue to do what they do? Is it the pill of self-deception? Is it the pill of deliberate and willful deception of others? Is it the pill of fear of retribution? Maybe some combination of the three?

ulfkotte

Udo Ulfkotte was a German journalist and former editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany’s largest newspapers. A few years ago, Ulfkotte became a media whistle blower and began to speak of how he and his colleagues in the journalism profession were in many cases working for the CIA. You can go here to see an interview he did with RT in October of 2014.

“You are bribed to get more and more corrupt,” Ulfkotte says in that interview.

“They make you good contacts. You won’t know that those good contacts are, let’s say, non-official covers or officially people working for Central Intelligence Agency or other American agencies. So you make friends. You think they are friends and you cooperate with them. They ask you, ‘Well, could you do me this favor? Could you do me that favor?’  And so your brain more and more is brainwashed.”

Words rather interesting to keep in mind as we watch Amanpour’s behavior in the video above.

By the way, Ulfkotte died on January 13, 2017. The official cause of death was a heart attack. He was 56 years old. His book, Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News, is scheduled for release in May.

The French elections are set to take place on April 23. Le Pen appears to be the front runner.

Trump’s Immigration Ban Doesn’t Include Country of 9/11 Hijackers!

31-01-2017 | 11:20

Trump’s Immigration Ban Doesn’t Include Country of 9/11 Hijackers!

Trump’s Immigration Ban Doesn’t Include Country of 9/11 Hijackers!

Pamela Engel

President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US doesn’t include Saudi Arabia, the country where most of the 9/11 attackers came from.

In fact, the executive order doesn’t apply to any of the countries where the 9/11 attackers were from. Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon were also left off the list.

The executive order temporarily bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from traveling to the US. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said over the weekend that the order was “a ban on prospective travel from countries … that have a recent history of training and exporting and harboring terrorists.”

Trump also cited the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC, directly several times in his executive order.

“The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States,” the order said.” Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans.”

Related Video

Fifteen of those 19 foreign nationals were from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia, and his family had strong connections to the Saudi royal family. The rest of the attackers were from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia in particular, however, has a long history of exporting Wahhabism… that has been blamed for fueling extremism around the world.

Farah Pandith, America’s first special representative to Muslim communities at the State Department, wrote for The New York Times that in each of the 80 countries she visited from 2009 to 2014, “the Wahhabi influence was an insidious presence, changing the local sense of identity; displacing historic, culturally vibrant forms of Islamic practice; and pulling along individuals who were either paid to follow their rules or who became on their own custodians of the Wahhabi world view.”

Pandith continued: “Funding all this was Saudi money, which paid for things like the textbooks, mosques, TV stations and the training of Imams.” She called on countries to “reject free Saudi textbooks and translations that are filled with hate” and “expose the Saudi financing of extremist groups masquerading as cultural exchanges and ‘charity’ organizations.”

Trump called Saudi Arabia the “world’s biggest funder of terrorism” in 2011.

On “Meet the Press” in 2015, Chuck Todd asked Trump why the US should have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia if the country funded terrorism.
“The primary reason we are with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil,” Trump said. “Now, we don’t need the oil so much.”

He continued: “Like it or don’t like it, people have backed Saudi Arabia. What I really mind though is we back it at tremendous expense. We get nothing for it.”

Saudi Arabia has been a major US ally for decades. From 2011 to 2015, Saudi Arabia has been the top destination for US arms exports.

Trump also has a personal financial link to Saudi Arabia, as The Times noted. The Trump Organization registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia in 2015.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer noted over the weekend that the seven countries included in Trump’s executive order were first flagged by the Obama administration as “countries of particular concern” for visa screening.

Source: Business Insider, Edited by website team

 

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