Giuliani claims he has Ukrainian docs showing ‘collusion’ with top Dems

October 03, 2019

It is really a testimony to the pathetic state of the US media when one has to watch Foxnews to try to understand what is really going on.  In Russian we say, “when there is no fish, even a crab can be considered a fish”.  I think that this interview is such a crab.

The Saker

Impeachment, Brought to You by the CIA

Impeachment, Brought to You by the CIA

October 4, 2019
Rob URIE

For the first time in half a century, the political left in the U.S. is ascendant. Bernie Sanders is holding his own in the primaries. A group of well-considered programs to save the environment and provide good jobs and health care for all is gaining political traction. And the need is dire. The climate is warming, the seas are polluted and fished out and industrial agriculture threatens to end life on the planet. So, it’s time to change the subject?

Despite occasional warm gas passed in a leftish direction, establishment Democrats never had any intention of allowing a left political program to move forward. After four decades of asserting that they ‘believe’ climate science, the moment has arrived when the only political path forward is to take on their donors. Whatever your assessment of their motives, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have no intention of doing this.

Following the electoral fiasco of 2016, the DNC defended itself in court by arguing that it has no obligation to provide a fair and open primary. In fact, the DNC ran a disinformation campaign against Bernie Sanders, used Superdelegates to overturn primary results, miscounted and misplaced ballots in crucial state primaries and violated its own charter in the allocation of funds to the candidates. In other words, they stole the primary election.

Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump and impeachment, it is the political establishment that is trying to bring him down. That the ‘whistleblower’ is a CIA agent who has since returned to active duty at the agency isn’t lost on Mr. Trump’s supporters. As much as the NPR tote bag set believes that it is the fount of wisdom and truth, they, along with the CIA, inflicted three years of the cynical farce of Russiagate on us and came up empty handed.

The CIA was the central protagonist in Russiagate. The origins of the New Cold War are found in Bill Clinton’s first term, when administration neo-cons looted, plundered and moved NATO against a prostrate Russia in contradiction to explicit guarantees not to do so made by the George H.W. Bush administration. Vladimir Putin’s apparent crime was to oust the Clintonites from Russia and restore Russian sovereignty.

Proponents of impeachment want none of the geopolitical back-and-forth that ties the CIA to U.S. actions in Ukraine, Russiagate and now to impeachment. But considered in context, the charges against Mr. Trump are almost arbitrary. Russiagate was a declaration of war by the ‘intelligence community’ against a duly elected President. As argued below, the CIA’s motive is to move its own foreign policy agenda forward without even the illusion of democratic consent.

If you get your news from NPR or the New York Times, Joe Biden’s threat to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine until Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, fired the prosecutor who was investigating Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma Holdings, was ‘looked into’ and no wrongdoing was found. Of course, the U.S.— the Obama administration, controlled the government that found no wrongdoing. Even still, the charge that the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was ‘corrupt’ was later retracted in private.

Rather than questioning why the Obama administration chose to overthrow the democratically elected President of Ukraine to install a puppet government hostile to Russia, American liberals simply accepted the Cold War mindset as it was handed to them. The official reason given, that Viktor Yanukovych was corrupt, was premised on the fact that he owned a hot tub. But how ‘corrupt’ was it for Mr. Obama to overthrow a democratically elected president in the first place?

In other words, if elections grant legitimacy to political leaders and a political order, how is it legitimate for a foreign power— in this case the U.S., with advance logistics provided by the CIA, to simply charge in and install a new government that answers to it, and not the electorate? In fact, with CIA agents planted in the White House, this seems remarkably like what the CIA is attempting to do against the Trump administration.

During the Clinton years, American economic advisors were sent to Russia to advise the Russian government on how to reorganize the Russian economy along neoliberal lines. As true neoliberals, the American advisors looted the country. The result was the worst economic catastrophe in Russia since WWII. Lest this come as a shock, this is what America does. The CIA is the logistical arm of American smash-and-grab. Out of this crisis, Vladimir Putin rose to power.

Hillary Clinton was Barack Obama’s Secretary of State when the Ukrainian adventure was being conceived. Russia was supplying Ukraine with oil and gas and was making a play to supply greater Europe. The Clintonites in the Obama administration saw Ukraine as a steppingstone to oust Mr. Putin and control the distribution of Russian oil and gas to benefit American ‘interests.’ So, they sent in the CIA to affect that outcome.

In a narrow sense, oil and gas is just a business. But in a geostrategic sense, if you control the energy, you control the country. In an instance of poor timing, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was negotiating an ‘association agreement’ with the EU just as the Obama administration decided to use Ukraine as a springboard into Russia.

Many Ukrainians bought the Western propaganda that the road to prosperity was through business ties with the West. When Yanukovych, with apparent help from Vladimir Putin, got cold feet regarding the association agreement, a popular rebellion was set in motion. Obama / Clinton saw an opportunity and took it. The CIA, with a century of practice using the façade of popular rebellion to affect foreign coups, stepped in and Yanukovych was ousted.

The Obama administration’s charges of corruption against Ukraine’s Yanukovych strain credulity, even amongst American liberals. Mr. Obama had saved Wall Street without prosecuting a single person for one of the most egregious bouts of looting in world history. Obama Vice-President Joe Biden was made the point person inside Ukraine.

As in Russia in the 1990s, the influx of American ‘advisors’ represented a feeding frenzy of self-dealing. The Ukrainian Minister of Finance, Natalie Jaresko, was given instant Ukrainian citizenshipeven though she continued to work for the U.S. government.

Ms. Jaresko’s story is relevant because she so conspicuously used her position to enrich herself. In fact, she appears to have done so on both the American and Ukrainian dime (see link above). The point: the contention Joe Biden fired the Ukrainian prosecutor (Viktor Shokin) who was investigating Hunter Biden’s $50,000 per month job with Burisma Holdings because of corruption is not credible. Looting is the American way. And that explanation is contradicted by the facts.

Given the link between control of global oil and gas distribution and American power abroad, how likely is it that establishment Democrats will give up this power for the sake of ending climate change? And given Joe Biden’s role in the ‘liberation of Ukraine,’ how likely is it that he sees his lot tied to ending oil-based American political dominance? The problem isn’t simply that profits from oil and gas accrue to the oligarchs. Energy is tied to the base conception of American power.

An explanation of Russiagate that ties establishment Democrats to the CIA and the U.S. adventure in Ukraine should be emerging. When, during his 2016 campaign, Donald Trump began making friendly noises toward Russia and Vladimir Putin, the neocons / CIA saw their geopolitical game vis-à-vis Russia going up in smoke. The entire point of the U.S. project in Ukraine was to weaken Mr. Putin in order to do to Russia what the Clintonites did to Ukraine.

Then consider, Joe Biden is the establishment candidate for president for a reason. He tied his lot to the Clintonite / CIA program of regime change to control the global distribution of oil and gas a long time ago. But how likely is it that a President Bernie Sanders would go along with this program? He would be in the same position that Donald Trump is in. Furthermore, how plausible is it that any left programs will be passed and implemented if the CIA has the final say?

This is where Russiagate / impeachment stands today: national security and surveillance state liberals have joined with a not-so-bright left to oust a not-neocon / not-CIA insurgent (Trump) from power. In other words, Mr. Trump may be everything that the not-so-bright left claims he is, but that has nothing to do with why he is being ousted from power. Impeachment is to bring Joe Biden to power to go after Russia.

The CIA’s overthrow formula can be found in Stephen Kinzer’s All the Shah’s Men. Step 1: pose an unimaginably horrific boogeyman— let’s call it communism; and align the leader / government to be ousted with it. Step 2: overthrow said leader / government while marching paid operatives playing communists in front of the American press. Step 3: install a puppet government sympathetic to American interests, declare a victory for freedom, and call it a day.

For those who may have forgotten, the CIA’s ‘achievements’ include the U.S. war in Vietnam that left 4,000,000 Vietnamese dead, ‘Iran-Contra’ that had Oliver North running a global cocaine smuggling ring out of the basement of the White House to raise money to fund right-wing militias that terrorized Central America in the 1980’s, and the crack epidemic that devastated poor neighborhoods across the U.S. in the early 1990’s.

It’s hardly incidental that the former president of Poland sits on the Board of Burisma Holdings. On the day that impeachment was announced the current President of Poland was signing the papers to replace Russian with American-supplied gas to Poland. And Ukraine was inking a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to do the same— to cut Russia out of the oil and gas supply chain. The CIA’s Cofer Black joined the Board of Burisma in 2017.

So, along comes accidental President Donald Trump, who apparently has no idea who in the CIA is trying to screw him or why. In NPR / New York Times world, having a CIA agent planted in the White House is legitimate because, you know, Trump! However, they didn’t appear to agree when the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee and tried to blackmail it into ignoring reports of illegal torture.

Speaking of torture, Nancy Pelosi, who announced the impeachment investigation against Mr. Trump, was explicitly told of the CIA’s illegal torture regime in 2002. As a Senior Member of the House Intelligence Committee, Ms. Pelosi was herself legally culpable when she announced that impeachment of George W. Bush was ‘off the table.’ Had that impeachment proceeded, she could have been prosecuted and sent to prison.

So, Mr. Trump, politically astute domestically, but the intellectual equivalent of Joe Biden when it comes to technology, smells a rat in the CIA’s use of Ukraine as the launch site for the nefarious machinations of Russiagate. Apparently not knowing that Ukraine in toto is a CIA ‘asset,’ Trump stupidly asks the Ukrainian president for political dirt on Joe Biden. A quick bet is that Langley is the ‘whistleblower’s’ source for the complaint.

Given the CIA’s history of overthrowing democratically elected leaders and governments for the benefit of connected oligarchs, why is it a good idea to have the CIA within a million miles of domestic politics? Again, how would the CIA treat Bernie Sanders, or even liberal doyen Elizabeth Warren, if it is given the power to oust elected political leaders at will?

Nancy Pelosi, who saw how easily the ‘reality based community’ was rolled with Russiagate, apparently believes that she can thread the needle to simultaneously 1) end the momentum of left political ascendance, 2) bring the Democrats’ donor base back into the fold, 3) raise Joe Biden to the top of the 2020 heap, and 4) end talk of a Green New Deal, Medicare for All and a Job Guarantee. Early reports suggest the bourgeois left is on board with her program.

However, the other left, the part of the country that supports Donald Trump because they despise the manager class that has spent the last five decades dispossessing them for the benefit of the oligarchs, doesn’t get its news from NPR or the New York Times. Both of these sources heavily promoted both the George W. Bush administration’s WMD lies and charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election— Russiagate, which turned out to be wholly fraudulent.

Mr. Trump could have spent five minutes on the internet and found so much dirt on Joe Biden— such as his actual record of public ‘service,’ that he could easily win the 2020 election if Mr. Biden is his Democratic opponent. But rather than put up a political program to entice voters, establishment Democrats have spent the last three years being not-Trump. By keeping the contest in the realm of political marketing— blue versus red, Democrats hope to win the election while keeping their donor base happy. God help everyone else.

Here is the problem: Bernie Sanders’ electoral chances and the entirety of the left political program require taking on the Democrat’s donor class— and the Republican’s. Mr. Sanders has made inroads by broadening the electorate and crossing the traditional left / right divide. This, plus Mr. Trump inserting himself into the CIA’s turf in Ukraine to bring Joe Biden down, explain the sudden establishment interest in impeachment.

Without impeachment, the primary process proceeds apace, and voters have a real choice for President for the first time in five decades. With it, the marketing divisions of blue v. red drive unaffiliated voters away while solidifying the lines of division along Party lines. The establishment goal is to crush the left and stop its momentum. Impeachment is the tool of convenience toward this end.

Let the electoral process play out.

counterpunch.org

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

Saker rant: reaction to the Dems attempt to impeach Trump

The Saker

September 24, 2019

Saker rant: reaction to the Dems attempt to impeach Trump

I think that most readers know that I am not a fan of Trump or the Republican Party.  But I have to say that compared to the Democrats, the folks at the GOP are quasi decent; not very bright and only decent in comparison with the Dems, but still.

I have always maintained that the Neocons will try to impeach Trump and that he was what I called a “disposable” President the Neocons will use for dumb shit like moving the US embassy to al-Quds before jettisoning him, but I never thought that the Dems would have the chutzpah to pull of exactly the same trick TWICE!

What do I mean by that?

Look at that sequence:

Hillary does something dumb and insiders at the DNC leak documents.  What do the Dems do?  Invent the entire Russiagate charade.

This time around:

The Bidens do something dumb and somebody finds out.  What do the Dems do?  Invent a brand new “Ukrainegate“!

Exact same trick.  Twice!

And since chances are that the Senate will never impeach Trump, the real reason they are now talking about impeachment is just to help Biden and his campaign.  In other words, the Dems are doing exactly what they are accusing Trump of doing: they are trying to use a foreign power to interfere in US elections.

Then there is this: at least some Republicans are true patriots.  But the Dems?  They don’t care that forcing the President to release his conversations with foreign officials will make it hard in the future for foreign officials to be candid when they speak to the US President (even if he/she is a Dem!).

Besides, ALL the intelligence services on the planets have all kinds of agreements and understandings with others and requesting data on illegal activities of US citizens abroad is something which all 17 (!) US intelligence agencies ought to be doing.  And when dealing with a very public or powerful figure, it is normal for heads of state to be the top person to decide if such a confidential exchange of sensitive materials will or will not take place.  Finally, last time I checked, the VP does not keep his immunity of office once gone.

Sorry, but for the life of me I don’t see what Trump did wrong.

But then, neither did General Flynn do anything wrong either, and Trump immediately and totally betrayed him, so there is some karma at work here.

Then there is this famous “whistle-blower”.  First, for all we know, this might be a “Peter Strzok v2”, so let’s wait before assuming that another Snowden is coming forth.

Then, what NERVE the Dems have whining about Trump not allowing this alleged whistle-blower to come forward.  Okay, maybe The Donald got it wrong and said something stupid.  But he sure did not persecute whistle-blowers as viciously as Obama did!  Do these Dems have no shame! (no need to answer, that was rhetorical).

And, to fully complete my sense of nausea, I just read John Podhoretz’ editorial “Trump Did This to Himself” in Commentary (yes, I read the enemy’s propaganda, always).  Technically, Podhoretz’ is right, of course, but not at all in the sense he means it.

I am saddened by all this.  In my 56th year I lived 20 years in the USA and I love both its beautiful nature and many of its kind and good people.  This country deserves so much better!  And please don’t accuse me of being pollyannish about the USA’s past.  I wrote about the evils of US imperialism, racism and multiple genocides (including the biggest one in history, the one of Native Americans) many times.  But I am also aware of all the beautiful and noble things this young country also had in its short history.  Besides, those who live in the USA today cannot be blamed for the past (unless they whitewash it, of course).

Just 30 years ago the USA was a totally different country.  The Bill of Rights still mattered.  M*A*S*H was shown on TV without having hordes of offended minorities protesting.  US Americans did not fear the police (at least if you were not Black).  There was no ICE and US colleges had a TRUE political diversity.  Okay, the US media was mostly crap, but some “dissident” journos could still get published” (nowadays, a US journalist is, to use Alain Soral’s very apt words about the French journos, either a prostitute or unemployed).

This, and much more, is all gone now.

If the human race does not destroy itself and if we still have a future, historians will study this last phase of the US Empire and they will argue who was most to blame.  And while blame can be apportioned pretty much everywhere, I think that it is fair to say that the Democrats did much more damage to this country than the Republicans.  Of course, the real culprit hiding in shades are the Neocons who first took control of the Democratic Party (under Carter and maybe even before) and who then proceeded to infiltrate the GOP (under Reagan) (In the case of the GOP I was an eyewitness to how this was done in several think tanks in DC between 1988 and 1991).

With the sole possible exception of Tulsi Gabbard, I consider the Democratic Party to be profoundly anti-American (sorry, I cannot use the words “anti-US”, which would be more accurate but also clumsy).   In fact, the evidence of the past several decades shows that Dems only care about themselves, their power, their money, their fame.  They don’t give a hoot about the people of the United States, all their catering to loony minorities is just a scam.  They are the worst supremacists in this country for sure!

I think that anybody who for whatever reason supported this party in the past ought to now resign from it, publicly if possible.

Alas, I am not holding my breath for that either.

This is a sad day.

The Saker

The Russiagate hoax is now fully exposed.

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

The Russiagate hoax is now fully exposed.

The last leg of the Russiagate hoax to become exposed was on August 16th, when Gareth Porter bannered at The American Conservative“U.S. States: We Weren’t Hacked by Russians in 2016”. He revealed there that, “A ‘bombshell’ Senate Intelligence Committee report released in July repeated the familiar claim that Russia targeted the electoral websites of at least 21 states — but statements from the states themselves effectively undermine that narrative,” and NONE of the states was claiming that even a possibility had existed that its vote-counts had been affected, at all, by any hacker, anywhere. However, in one case, that of Illinois, there actually had been a hack; but it might have been by a criminal in order to sell the information, and not by any politically involved entity.

Porter reported:

The states’ own summary responses contained in the report show that, with one exception, they found either no effort to penetrate any of their election-related sites or merely found scanning and probing associated with an IP address that the FBI had warned about ahead of the 2016 election. Hardly a slam dunk.

Federal authorities, including Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, later claimed that the Russians used that IP address to hack into the Illinois state election systems and access some 200,000 voter records, though Mueller provided no additional evidence for that in his report. Nor was there any evidence that any data was tampered with, or a single vote changed.

About the same time, in August 2016, it was reported that Arizona state election systems were also breached, and it was widely speculated afterward that the Russians were behind it. But the Senate committee itself acknowledged that it was a criminal matter, and didn’t involve the Russians.

The “Russian” hack on the Illinois website, however, eventually became part of conventional wisdom, mainly because of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 GRU (Russia’s foreign intelligence agency) officers for allegedly carrying it out. 

But the overarching reality here is that there was no real penetration anywhere else. As for outside “probing” and “testing of vulnerabilities” (which, when closely read, makes up the vast majority of the “targeting” cited in the Senate report), that is something that states contend with every day at the hands of an untold number of potential hackers, including, but not limited to, foreign actors.

As Lisa Vasa, Oregon’s chief information security officer, explained to The Washington Post, the state blocks “upwards of 14 million attempts to access our network every day.” And Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams told the Post that the kind of scanning that was discussed by DHS “happens hundreds, if not thousands, of times per day.”  

Furthermore, not all federal officials buy into the theory that the Illinois intrusion was political — rather than criminal — in nature. In fact, DHS Assistant Secretary for Cyber Security and Communications Andy Ozment testified in late September 2016 that the aim of the hackers in the Illinois case was “possibly for the purpose of selling personal information,” since they had stolen the data but made no effort to alter it online.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, DHS, and the intelligence community nevertheless chose to omit that reality from consideration, presumably because it would have interfered with their desired conclusion regarding the Russian cyber attacks on the 2016 election.

——

Prior to that revelation, here were highlights from the major news-reports which had exposed other fraudulent aspects of the “Russiagate” accusations:

——

The Real Russiagate Scandal”

9 May, 2019  in Uncategorized by craig View Comments

Robert Mueller is either a fool, or deeply corrupt. I do not think he is a fool.

I did not comment instantly on the Mueller Report as I was so shocked by it, I have been waiting to see if any other facts come to light in justification. Nothing has. I limit myself here to that area of which I have personal knowledge – the leak of DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks. On the wider question of the corrupt Russian 1% having business dealings with the corrupt Western 1%, all I have to say is that if you believe that is limited in the USA by party political boundaries, you are a fool.

On the DNC leak, Mueller started with the prejudice that it was “the Russians” and he deliberately and systematically excluded from evidence anything that contradicted that view.

Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney. He did not interview Julian Assange. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless.

There has never been, by any US law enforcement or security service body, a forensic examination of the DNC servers, despite the fact that the claim those servers were hacked is the very heart of the entire investigation. Instead, the security services simply accepted the “evidence” provided by the DNC’s own IT security consultants, Crowdstrike, a company which is politically aligned to the Clintons.

That is precisely the equivalent of the police receiving a phone call saying:

Hello? My husband has just been murdered. He had a knife in his back with the initials of the Russian man who lives next door engraved on it in Cyrillic script. I have employed a private detective who will send you photos of the body and the knife. No, you don’t need to see either of them.”

There is no honest policeman in the world who would agree to that proposition, and neither would Mueller, were he remotely an honest man.

Two facts compound this failure.

The first is the absolutely key word of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA, the USA’s $14 billion a year surveillance organisation. Bill Binney is an acknowledged world leader in cyber surveillance, and is infinitely more qualified than Crowdstrike. Bill states that the download rates for the “hack” given by Crowdstrike are at a speed – 41 Megabytes per second – that could not even nearly be attained remotely at the location: thus the information must have been downloaded to a local device, eg a memory stick. Binney has further evidence regarding formatting which supports this. …

——

US Govt’s Entire Russia-DNC Hacking Narrative Based On Redacted Draft Of Crowdstrike Report”

17 June 2019

It’s been known for some time that the US Government based its conclusion that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on a report by cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike, which the DNC paid over a million dollarsto conduct forensic analysis and other work on servers they refused to hand over to the FBI. 

CrowdStrike’s report made its way into a joint FBI/DHS report on an Russia’s “Grizzly Steppe“, which concluded Russia hacked the DNC’s servers. At the time, Crowdstrike’s claim drew much scrutiny from cybersecurity expertsaccording to former Breitbart reporter Lee Stranahan. 

Now, thanks to a new court filing by longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone requesting the full Crowdstrike analysis, we find out that the US government was given a redacted version of the report marked “Draft,” 

——

“CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims”

5 July 2019 By Aaron Maté, RealClearInvestigations, 6,539 words

Mueller’s other “central allegation” regards a “Russian ‘Active Measures’ Social Media Campaign” with the aim of “sowing discord” and helping to elect Trump.

In fact, Mueller does not directly attribute that campaign to the Russian government, and makes only the barest attempt to imply a Kremlin connection. According to Mueller, the social media “form of Russian election influence came principally from the Internet Research Agency, LLC (IRA), a Russian organization funded by Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and companies he controlled.” 

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA’s activities to the Kremlin. …

——

“Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit”

W. 31 July 2019 by Eric London

US federal court exposes Democratic Party conspiracy against Assange and WikiLeaks

In a ruling published late Tuesday, Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a devastating blow to the US-led conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

In his ruling, Judge Koeltl, a Bill Clinton nominee and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, dismissed “with prejudice” a civil lawsuit filed in April 2018 by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleging WikiLeaks was civilly liable for conspiring with the Russian government to steal DNC emails and data and leak them to the public.

Jennifer Robinson, a leading lawyer for Assange, and other WikiLeaks attorneys welcomed the ruling as “an important win for free speech.”

The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street. Judge Koeltl stated:

If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet. But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC’s published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers. …

——

In the World of Truth and Fact, Russiagate is Dead. In the World of the Political Establishment, it is Still the New”

4 Aug, 2019 

Douglas Adams famously suggested that the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. In the world of the political elite, the answer is Russiagate. What has caused the electorate to turn on the political elite, to defeat Hillary and to rush to Brexit? Why, the evil Russians, of course, are behind it all.

It was the Russians who hacked the DNC and published Hillary’s emails, thus causing her to lose the election because… the Russians, dammit, who cares what was in the emails? It was the Russians. It is the Russians who are behind Wikileaks, and Julian Assange is a Putin agent (as is that evil Craig Murray). It was the Russians who swayed the 1,300,000,000 dollar Presidential election campaign result with 100,000 dollars worth of Facebook advertising. It was the evil Russians who once did a dodgy trade deal with Aaron Banks then did something improbable with Cambridge Analytica that hypnotised people en masse via Facebook into supporting Brexit.

All of this is known to be true by every Blairite, every Clintonite, by the BBC, by CNN, by the Guardian, the New York Times and the Washington Post. “The Russians did it” is the article of faith for the political elite who cannot understand why the electorate rejected the triangulated “consensus” the elite constructed and sold to us, where the filthy rich get ever richer and the rest of us have falling incomes, low employment rights and scanty welfare benefits. You don’t like that system? You have been hypnotised and misled by evil Russian trolls and hackers.

Except virtually none of this is true. Mueller’s inability to defend in person his deeply flawed report took a certain amount of steam out of the blame Russia campaign. But what should have killed off “Russiagate” forever is the judgement of Judge John G Koeltl of the Federal District Court of New York.

In a lawsuit brought by the Democratic National Committee against Russia and against Wikileaks, and against inter alia Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and Julian Assange, for the first time the claims of collusion between Trump and Russia were subjected to actual scrutiny in a court of law. And Judge Koeltl concluded that, quite simply, the claims made as the basis of Russiagate are insufficient to even warrant a hearing.

The judgement is 81 pages long, but if you want to understand the truth about the entire “Russiagate” spin it is well worth reading it in full. Otherwise let me walk you through it. …

The key finding is this. Even accepting the DNC’s evidence at face value, the judge ruled that it provides no evidence of collusion between Russia, Wikileaks or any of the named parties to hack the DNC’s computers. It is best expressed here in this dismissal of the charge that a property violation was committed, but in fact the same ruling by the judge that no evidence has been presented of any collusion for an illegal purpose, runs through the dismissal of each and every one of the varied charges put forward by the DNC as grounds for their suit.

Judge Koeltl goes further and asserts that Wikileaks, as a news organisation, had every right to obtain and publish the emails in exercise of a fundamental First Amendment right. The judge also specifically notes that no evidence has been put forward by the DNC that shows any relationship between Russia and Wikileaks. Wikileaks, accepting the DNC’s version of events, merely contacted the website that first leaked some of the emails, in order to ask to publish them.

Judge Koeltl also notes firmly that while various contacts are alleged by the DNC between individuals from Trump’s campaign and individuals allegedly linked to the Russian government, no evidence at all has been put forward to show that the content of any of those meetings had anything to do with either Wikileaks or the DNC’s emails.

In short, Koeltl dismissed the case entirely because simply no evidence has been produced of the existence of any collusion between Wikileaks, the Trump campaign and Russia. That does not mean that the evidence has been seen and is judged unconvincing. In a situation where the judge is duty bound to give credence to the plaintiff’s evidence and not judge its probability, there simply was no evidence of collusion to which he could give credence. The entire Russia-Wikileaks-Trump fabrication is a total nonsense. But I don’t suppose that fact will kill it off. …

And in conclusion, I should state emphatically that while Judge Koeltl was obliged to accept for the time being the allegation that the Russians had hacked the DNC as alleged, in fact this never happened. The emails came from a leak not a hack. The Mueller Inquiry’s refusal to take evidence from the actual publisher of the leaks, Julian Assange, in itself discredits his report. Mueller should also have taken crucial evidence from Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA, who has explained in detail why an outside hack was technically impossible based on the forensic evidence provided.

The other key point that proves Mueller’s Inquiry was never a serious search for truth is that at no stage was any independent forensic independence taken from the DNC’s servers, instead the word of the DNC’s own security consultants was simply accepted as true. Finally no progress has been made – or is intended to be made – on the question of who killed Seth Rich, while the pretend police investigation has “lost” his laptop.

Though why anybody would believe Robert Mueller about anything is completely beyond me.

So there we have it. Russiagate as a theory is as completely exploded as the appalling Guardian front page lie published by Kath Viner and Luke Harding fabricating the “secret meetings” between Paul Manafort and Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy. But the political class and the mainstream media, both in the service of billionaires, have moved on to a stage where truth is irrelevant, and I do not doubt that Russiagate stories will thus persist. They are so useful for the finances of the armaments and security industries, and in keeping the population in fear and jingoist politicians in power.

——

Did Russian Interference Affect the 2016 Election Results?”

8 August 2019  Alan I. Abramowitz, Senior Columnist, Sabato’s Crystal Ball

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE

— Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent testimony was a reminder that Russia attempted to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and very well may try to do so again in 2020.

— This begs the question: Is there any evidence that Russian interference may have impacted the results, particularly in key states?

— The following analysis suggests that the 2016 results can be explained almost entirely based on the political and demographic characteristics of those states. So from that standpoint, the answer seems to be no.

What explains the 2016 results?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, and the Mueller Report itself, make it very clear that the Russian government made a major effort to help Donald Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential election. What the Mueller Report did not determine, however, was whether that effort was successful. In this article, I try to answer that question by examining whether there are any indications from the 2016 results that Russian interference efforts may have played a clear role in the outcome. One such indication would be if Trump did better in key swing states than a range of demographic, partisan, and historical factors would have predicted.

We know from the Mueller Report that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort briefed a longtime associate who the FBI believes had ties with Russian intelligence about campaign strategy and, according to Manafort deputy Rick Gates, discussed decisive battleground states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Manafort also directed Gates to share internal polling data, which may have influenced Russian operations.

In order to address the question of whether the Russian interference effort worked, I conducted a multiple regression analysis of the election results at the state level. The dependent variable in this analysis was the Trump margin. My independent variables were the 2012 Mitt Romney margin, to control for traditional state partisanship, state ideology measured by the Gallup Poll (the percentage of conservatives minus the percentage of liberals), the percentage of a state’s population made up of whites without college degrees, the estimated turnout of eligible voters in the state, the state unemployment rate in November 2016 (to measure economic conditions), the number of Trump campaign rallies in the state, the number of Clinton campaign rallies in the state, a dummy variable for the state of Utah to control for the large vote share won by an independent conservative Mormon candidate from that state, Evan McMullin, and, finally, a dummy variable for swing states. The swing states included Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Virginia, in addition to Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The results of the regression analysis are displayed in Table 1 along with a scatterplot of the actual and predicted results in Figure 1.

Table 1: Results of regression analysis of Trump margin in the states

Source: Data compiled by author.

Figure 1: Scatterplot of actual Trump margin by predicted Trump margin in the states

Note: Alaska and District of Columbia omitted due to lack of state ideology data.

Source: Data compiled by author.

The regression equation proved to be extremely successful in predicting the election results, explaining a remarkable 98% of the variance in Trump vote margin in the states. Several of the independent variables had very powerful effects including the 2012 Romney margin, state ideology, and the percentage of non-college whites in the state. Even after controlling for traditional state partisanship and ideology, the size of the non-college white population in a state was a strong predictor of support for Donald Trump. The data in Table 1 also show that Evan McMullin’s candidacy dramatically reduced Trump’s vote share in Utah — although Trump still carried the state easily. In addition, the results show that voter turnout had a modest but highly significant effect on the results — the higher the turnout in a state, the lower the vote share for Trump. These results seem to confirm the conventional wisdom that higher voter turnout generally helps Democrats.

In addition to showing what mattered in explaining the results of the 2016 presidential election in the states, the data in Table 1 also show what did not matter. Economic conditions at the state level, at least as measured by state unemployment, did not matter. The number of campaign rallies held by the candidates in a state did not matter. Finally, and perhaps most importantly from the standpoint of estimating the impact of Russian interference, Donald Trump did no better than expected in the swing states. The coefficient for the swing state dummy variable is extremely small and in the wrong direction: Trump actually did slightly worse than expected in the swing states based on their other characteristics.

Table 2: Predicted and actual Trump margin in key swing states

Source: Data compiled by author.

This can also be seen in Table 2, which compares the actual and predicted results in the three swing states that ultimately decided the outcome of the election: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. What is most striking about the data in this table is that Donald Trump actually slightly under-performed the model’s predictions in all three states. He did about one point worse than predicted in Michigan, about two points worse than predicted in Pennsylvania, and between two and three points worse than predicted in Wisconsin. There is no evidence here that Russian interference, to the extent that it occurred, did anything to help Trump in these three states.

Conclusions

I find no evidence that Russian attempts to target voters in key swing states had any effect on the election results in those states. …

——

Overstock CEO Turned Over Docs To DOJ ‘In Greatest Political Scandal In US History’”

12 August 2019

Via SaraACarter.com,

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne delivered to the Department of Justice a number of documents, including emails and text messages, in April, regarding both the origins of the Russian investigation, and an FBI operation into Hillary Clinton with which he was personally involved during the first months of 2016, according to a U.S. official who spoke SaraACarter.com.

Byrne has also confirmed the account.

Byrne claims the documents, which have not been made public and are currently under investigation by the DOJ, are allegedly communications he had with the FBI concerning both the Clinton investigation and the origins of the Russian investigation. …

I gave to the DOJ documents concerning both the origin of the Russian probe and the probe into Hillary Clinton, both of which I was involved in, and both of which turned out to be less about law enforcement than they were about political espionage,” Byrne told SaraACarter.com Monday. …

This is going to become the greatest political scandal in US history,” he said. …

Byrne said the investigation into Clinton was one of the main reasons he came forward. …

Here’s the bottom line. There is a deep state like a submarine lurking just beneath the waves of the periscope depth watching our shipping lanes. …

I think we’re about to see the biggest scandal in American history as a result. But it was all political. …

It’s all a cover-up. It was all political espionage.” …

——

The Russiagate hoax was used by Obama’s successor, Trump — who, of course, had been one of the two targets of the Obama-initiated hoax — in order to step up actions against Russia. Here is one example of that:

——

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/

http://archive.is/ek04S

http://web.archive.org/web/

U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid”

By David E. Sanger and Nicole Perlroth June 15, 2019 front page Sunday 16 June 2019

WASHINGTON — The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.

In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.

Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue, after years of public warnings from the Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. that Russia has inserted malware that could sabotage American power plants, oil and gas pipelines, or water supplies in any future conflict with the United States.

But it also carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.

The administration declined to describe specific actions it was taking under the new authorities, which were granted separately by the White House and Congress last year to United States Cyber Command, the arm of the Pentagon that runs the military’s offensive and defensive operations in the online world.

But in a public appearance on Tuesday, President Trump’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the United States was now taking a broader view of potential digital targets as part of an effort “to say to Russia, or anybody else that’s engaged in cyberoperations against us, ‘You will pay a price.’”

Power grids have been a low-intensity battleground for years. …

——

MY CONCLUSION: Both the liberal (Democratic) and conservative (Republican) wings of the U.S. aristocracy hate and want to conquer Russia’s Government. The real question now is whether that fact will cause the book on this matter to be closed as being unprofitable for both sides of the U.S. aristocracy; or, alternatively, which of those two sides will succeed in skewering the other over this matter. At the present stage, the Republican billionaires seem likelier to win if this internal battle between the two teams of billionaires’ political agents continues on. If they do, and Trump wins re-election by having exposed the scandal of the Obama Administration’s having manufactured the fake Russiagate-Trump scandal, then Obama himself could end up being convicted. However, if Trump loses — as is widely expected — then Obama is safe, and Trump will likely be prosecuted on unassociated criminal charges. To be President of the United States is now exceedingly dangerous. Of course, assassination is the bigger danger; but, now, there will also be the danger of imprisonment. A politician’s selling out to billionaires in order to reach the top can become especially risky when billionaires are at war against each other — and not merely against some foreign (‘enemy’) aristocracy. At this stage of American ‘democracy’, the public are irrelevant. But the political battle might be even hotter than ever, without the gloves, than when the public were the gloves.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

US ‘Democracy’ – A Spectacle of War Party

August 2, 2019
Image result for US ‘Democracy’ – A Spectacle of War Party

With over 20 Democratic party candidates vying for the US presidential election in 2020, there appears to be an abundance of choice from a glance at the mere number of contenders. But the superficial optics are far from “2020 vision”.

Image result for US ‘Democracy’ – A Spectacle of War Party

Unfortunately, lamentably, on crucial foreign policy concerning militarism, war and peace, and on relations towards Russia and China, there seems little difference between the crowded field. The single notable exception, so far at least, is the Hawaiian congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

As our columnists Philip Giraldi and Tom Luongo have both separately assessed in recent commentaries for SCF, Gabbard appears to be the only genuine anti-war candidate.

Gabbard, a veteran soldier who served in Iraq, has trenchantly criticized America’s overseas militarism and covert wars for regime change. She has also clearly called for an end to Cold War-style hostility towards Russia, and for better bilateral relations.

In some ways, Gabbard is an echo of Donald Trump when he was running for the 2016 presidency as the Republican candidate. Trump back then condemned US foreign wars and proffered developing normal relations with Russia. Since then, however, Trump has failed miserably to end Washington’s militarism. Indeed he has emerged as an even bigger militarist than previous presidents, boosting the Pentagon’s already gargantuan budget, and embarking on a policy of reckless aggression towards Iran.

In regard to Russia, Trump has expressed wanting friendly relations with Moscow. Nevertheless, he has not scaled back on NATO’s provocative build-up along Russia’s borders; his administration continues to sanction Moscow over spurious claims, including on the matter of gas energy trade with Europe; and, to cap it all, this week the US has officially ended its adherence to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear (INF) Treaty. The US termination of the INF raises the specter of a new arms race with Russia and gravely undermines global peace and security. It was President Trump who personally pushed ending the INF by citing baseless claims of Russia violating the treaty.

In short, Trump is no friend of Russia and his past electoral promises of challenging the US status quo on malign foreign policy have turned out to be pathetic empty rhetoric.

It remains to be seen whether Tulsi Gabbard advances to the nomination as Democrat candidate for the presidency. And whether she retains her commitment to fundamentally change US foreign policy on matters of militarism, war and peace and in particular on creating a real reset in relations with Russia.

As both of our columnists cited above have appraised, the US mainstream corporate-controlled media and Washington political establishment have embarked on a systematic and scurrilous campaign to smear Gabbard as “soft on Russia” and a “Kremlin stooge”. The same smear campaign, of course, has been a non-stop effort to politically eviscerate Trump since he entered the White House more than two years ago. He appears to have conformed to the pressure by self-censoring and suppressing his erstwhile promise to restore relations with Russia.

That brings us back to the other 20 or so Democrat candidates. Virtually all of them conform to the giant media hoax (“psyops”) known as “Russiagate” which bombarded the US public with specious allegations of Russian “interference in American democracy”.

Democrat front-runners Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are proponents of this nonsense. So too are supposed “radical left” candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. A handy compilation of all the candidates’ stated views on Russia as “an enemy” and their denigration of President Vladimir Putin as a “dictator” illustrate the execrable poverty of independent, intelligent thinking among America’s political class. These “opponents” are supposed to be offering American voters a change from Trump. Admittedly, Trump has scoffed at the whole Russiagate claims as “fake news” – and he is right to do that. But what has Trump actually done to pursue normal relations with Moscow? Very little.

All the Democrat candidates – with the honorable exception of Gabbard – are on record for harboring, to varying degrees, Cold War-style ideology of depicting Russia as an enemy or adversary. They have used this baleful and offensive view of Russia as a way to attack Trump. Instead of challenging Trump on his dubious economic policies favoring the wealthy and big corporations, the Democrats have used a futile and destructive tactic of trying to paint Trump has a “Kremlin agent”. Such thinking has only consolidated ever-more hostile US relations with Russia, which has culminated this week in the deplorable collapse of the INF Treaty.

As well as supporting the status quo of obscene US military spending and militarism generally, the so-called political opposition to Trump demonstrate with crystal clarity that there is only one party in the US – the War Party.

Republicans and Democrats are in reality two sides of the same coin that promotes oligarchy and imperialistic wars. That conformity of thinking even among so-called “radical left” candidates is a repugnant reflection on the degraded state of US politics and democracy.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Brazilgate is Turning into Russiagate 2.0

June 22, 2019

By Pepe Escobar – with permission and cross-posted with Consortium News

Brazilgate is Turning into Russiagate 2.0

It was a leak, not a hack. Yes: Brazilgate, unleashed by a series of game-changing bombshells published by The Intercept, may be turning into a tropical Russiagate.

The Intercept’s Deep Throat – an anonymous source — has finally revealed in detail what anyone with half a brain in Brazil already knew: that the judicial/lawfare machinery of the one-sided Car Wash anti-corruption investigation was in fact a massive farce and criminal racket bent on accomplishing four objectives.

  • Create the conditions for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff in 2016 and the subsequent ascension of her VP, elite-manipulated puppet, Michel Temer.
  •  Justify the imprisonment of former president Lula in 2018 – just as he was set to win the latest presidential election in a landslide.
  • Facilitate the ascension of the Brazilian extreme-right via Steve Bannon asset (he calls him “Captain”) Jair Bolsonaro.
  • Install former judge Sergio Moro as a justice minister on steroids capable of enacting a sort of Brazilian Patriot Act – heavy on espionage and light on civil liberties.

Moro, side by side with prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol, who was leading the Public Ministry’s 13-strong task force, are the vigilante stars of the lawfare racket. Over the past four years, hyper-concentrated Brazilian mainstream media, floundering in a swamp of fake news, duly glorified these two as Captain Marvel-worthy national heroes. Hubris finally caught up with the swamp.

The Brazilian Goodfellas

The Intercept has promised to release all the files in its possession; chats, audio, videos and pics, a treasure trove allegedly larger than Snowden’s. What has been published so far reveals Moro/Dallagnol as a strategic duo in synch, with Moro as a capo di tutti i capi, judge, jury and executioner rolled into one – replete with serial fabrications of evidence. This, in itself, is enough to nullify all the Car Wash cases in which he was involved – including Lula’s prosecution and successive convictions based on “evidence” that would never hold up in a serious court.

Moro: Installed as justice minister.
(Wikipedia/Marcos Oliveira/Agência Senado.)

In conjunction with a wealth of gory details, the Twin Peaks principle — the owls are not what they seem — fully applies to Brazilgate. Because the genesis of Car Wash involves none other than the United States government (USG). And not only the Department of Justice (DoJ) – as Lula has been stressing for years in every one of his interviews. The op was Deep State at its lowest.

WikiLeaks had already revealed it from the start, when the NSA started spying on energy giant Petrobras and even Rousseff’s smart phone. In parallel, countless nations and individuals have learned how the DoJ’s self-attributed extraterritoriality allows it to go after anyone, anyhow, anywhere.

It has never been about anti-corruption. Instead this is American “justice” interfering in the full geopolitical and geo-economic spheres. The most glaring, recent case, is Huawei’s.

Yet Mafiosi Moro/Dallagnol’s “malign behavior” (to invoke Pentagonese) reached a perverse new level in destroying the national economy of a powerful emerging nation, a BRICS member and acknowledged leader across the Global South.

Car Wash ravaged the chain of energy production in Brazil, which in turn generated the sale – below market prizes – of plenty of valuable pre-salt oil reserves, the biggest oil discovery of the 21stcentury.

Car Wash destroyed Brazilian national champions in engineering and civil construction as well as aeronautics (as in Boeing buying Embraer). And Car Wash fatally compromised important national security projects such as the construction of nuclear submarines, essential for the protection of the “Blue Amazon”.

For the Council of Americas – which Bolsonaro visited back in 2017 – as well as the Council on Foreign Relations—not to mention the “foreign investors”–to have neoliberal Chicago boy Paulo Guedes installed as finance minister was a wet dream. Guedes promised on the record to virtually put all of Brazil for sale. So far, his stint has been an unmitigated failure.

How to Wag the Dog

Mafiosi Moro/Dallagnol were “only a pawn in their game,” to quote Bob Dylan– a game both were oblivious to.

Lula has repeatedly stressed that the key question – for Brazil and the Global South – is sovereignty. Under Bolsonaro, Brazil has been reduced to the status of a banana neo-colony – with plenty of bananas. Leonardo Attuch, editor of the leading portal Brasil247, says “the plan was to destroy Lula, but what was destroyed was the nation.”

As it stands, the BRICS – a very dirty word in the Beltway – have lost their “B”. As much as they may treasure Brazil in Beijing and Moscow, what is delivering for the moment is the “RC” strategic partnership, although Putin and Xi are also doing their best to revive “RIC”, trying to show India’s Modi that Eurasian integration is the way to go, not playing a supporting role in Washington’s fuzzy Indo-Pacific strategy.

Dallagnol: Serial fabricator. (Wikimedia Commons/José Cruz/Agência Brasil)

And that brings us to the heart of the Brazilgate matter: how Brazil is the coveted prize in the master strategic narrative that conditions everything happening in the geopolitical chessboard for the foreseeable future—the no-holds-barred confrontation between the U.S. and Russia-China.

Already in the Obama era, the U.S. Deep State had identified that to cripple BRICS from the inside, the “weak” strategic node was Brazil. And yes; once again it’s the oil, stupid.

Brazil’s pre-salt oil reserves may be worth as much as a staggering $30 trillion. The point is not only that the USG wants a piece of the action; the point is how controlling most of Brazil’s oil ties up with interfering with powerful agribusiness interests. For the Deep State, control of Brazil’s oil flow to agribusiness equals containment/leverage against China.

The U.S., Brazil and Argentina, together, produce 82 percent of the world’s soybeans – and counting. China craves soybeans. These won’t come from Russia or Iran – which on the other hand may supply China with enough oil and natural gas (see, for instance, Power of Siberia I and II). Iran, after all, is one of the pillars of Eurasian integration. Russia may eventually become a soybean export power, but that may take as long as ten years.

The Brazilian military knows that close relations with China – their top trade partner, ahead of the U.S. — are essential, whatever Steve Bannon may rant about. But Russia is a completely different story. Vice-President Hamilton Mourao, in his recent visit to Beijing, where he met with Xi Jinping, sounded like he was reading from a Pentagon press release, telling Brazilian media that Russia is a “malign actor” deploying “hybrid war around the world.”

So the U.S. Deep State may be accomplishing at least part of the ultimate goal: to use Brazil in its Divide et Impera strategy of splitting the Russia-China strategic partnership.

It gets much spicier. Car Wash reconditioned as Leak Wash could also be decoded as a massive shadow play; a wag the dog, with the tail composed of two American assets.

Moro was a certified FBI, CIA, DoJ, Deep State asset. His uber-boss would ultimately be Robert Mueller (thus Russiagate). Yet for Team Trump, he would be easily expendable – even if he’s Captain Justice working under the real asset, Bannon boy Bolsonaro. If he falls, Moro would be assured the requisite golden parachute – complete with U.S. residency and talks in American universities.

The Intercept’s Greenwald is now celebrated by all strands of the Left as a sort of American/Brazilian Simon Bolivar on steroids – with and in may cases without any irony. Yet there’s a huge problem. The Intercept is owned by hardcore information-war practitioner Pierre Omidyar.

Whose Hybrid War?

The crucial question ahead is what the Brazilian military are really up to in this epic swamp – and how deep they are subordinated to Washington’s Divide et Impera.

It revolves around the all-powerful Cabinet of Institutional Security, known in Brazil by its acronym GSI. GSI stalwarts are all Washington consensus. After the “communist” Lula/Dilma years, these guys are now consolidating a Brazilian Deep State overseeing full spectrum political control, just like in the U.S..

GSI already controls the whole intel apparatus, as well as Foreign Policy and Defense, via a decree surreptitiously released in early June, only a few days before The Intercept’s bombshell. Even Captain Marvel Moro is subjected to the GSI; they must approve, for instance, everything Moro discusses with the DoJ and the U.S. Deep State.

As I’ve discussed with some of my top informed Brazilian interlocutors, crack anthropologist Piero Leirner, who knows in detail how the military think, and Swiss-based international lawyer and UN adviser Romulus Maya, the U.S. Deep Stateseems to be positioning itself as the spawning mechanism for the direct ascension of the Brazilian military to power, as well as their guarantors. As in, if you don’t follow our script to the letter – basic trade relations only with China; and isolation of Russia – we can swing the pendulum anytime.

After all, the only practical role the USG would see for the Brazilian military – in fact for all Latin America military – is as “war on drugs” shock troops.

 

Intercept Exclusive: Brazilian Judge in Car Wash Corruption Case Mocked Lula’s Defense and Secretly Directed Prosecutors’ Media Strategy During Trial.

There is no smoking gun – yet. But the scenario of Leak Wash as part of an extremely sophisticated, full spectrum dominance psyops, an advanced stage of Hybrid War, must be seriously considered.

For instance, the extreme-right, as well as powerful military sectors and the Globo media empire suddenly started spinning that The Intercept bombshell is a “Russian conspiracy.”

When one follows the premier military think tank website– featuring loads of stuff virtually copy and pasted straight from the U.S. Naval War College – it’s easy to be startled at how they fervently believe in a Russia-China Hybrid War against Brazil, where the beachhead is provided by “anti-national elements” such as the Left as a whole, Venezuelan Bolivarians, FARC, Hezbollah, LGBT, indigenous peoples, you name it.

After Leak Wash, a concerted fake news blitzkrieg blamed the Telegram app (“they are evil Russians!”) for hacking Moro and Dallagnol’s phones. Telegram officially debunked it in no time.

Then it surfaced that former president Dilma Rousseff and the current Workers’ Party president Gleisi Hoffmann paid a “secret” visit to Moscow only five days before the Leak Wash bombshell. I confirmed the visit with the Duma, as well as the fact that for the Kremlin, Brazil, at least for the moment, is not a priority. Eurasian integration is. That in itself debunks what the extreme-right in Brazil would spin as Dilma asking for Putin’s help, who then released his evil hackers.

Leak Wash – Car Wash’s season two – may be following the Netflix and HBO pattern. Remember that season three of True Detective was an absolute smash. We need Mahershala Ali-worthy trackers to sniff out patches of evidence suggesting the Brazilian military – with the full support of the U.S. Deep State – might be instrumentalizing a mix of Leak Wash and “the Russians” Hybrid War to criminalize the Left for good and orchestrate a silent coup to get rid of the Bolsonaro clan and their sub-zoology collective IQ. They want total control – no clownish intermediaries. Will they be biting more bananas than they can chew?

RussiaGate 2.0 and The Plan to Impeach President Trump

Global Research, May 05, 2019

In the wake of RussiaGate 1.0, will there be a shift in US foreign policy involving a decisive change in US-Russia relations?

Is the Witch-hunt over? 

Or is RussiaGate 2.0 in the making? 

On March 3, Trump and Putin held a telephone conversation. They spoke for an hour and a half.

The discussions were described by Trump as “positive”.

Trump “unofficially” discussed “The Russian Hoax” with Vladimir Putin. “Very Productive Talk”.

“Getting along with Russia and China, getting along with all of them is a very good thing, not a bad thing, it a good thing, it’s a positive thing,” (to reporters on May 3)

Trump confirmed that he was open to negotiations on reducing the stock of nuclear weapons with both Moscow and Beijing in the context of a trilateral deal (US-Russia-China). Indelibly, such an agreement could potentially destabilize Trump’s 1.2 trillion dollar nuclear weapons program. It could also have an impact on the movement of Aerospace and Defense (A & D) stocks, which experienced a market bonanza in 2018.

The lifting of sanctions on North Korea, Ukraine and the crisis in Venezuela were also discussed.

The Trump-Putin telephone initiative was taken without prior consultation with John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, who have systematically blocked the restoration of normal dialogue and diplomatic exchange with Moscow.

Is this part of an unfolding internal battle between Trump and his national security advisers, not to mention Vice President Mike Pence? (image right).

President Trump’s overture to the Kremlin visibly contradicts both Bolton and Pompeo who are threatening president Maduro,  pressuring him to leave Venezuela and hand over the presidency to Guaido.  According to Trump:

“He [Putin] is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela,”

It is worth noting that two days prior to the Trump-Putin telephone conversation, Pompeo told Lavrov (also in a telephone conversation) that

“the intervention by Russia and Cuba is destabilizing for Venezuela and for the U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship.”

In a bitter irony, this (telephone) statement by Pompeo was made on the same day (May 1st) as the failed “military coup” in Caracas.

Will Trump’s dialogue with Putin have a bearing on the Bolton-Pompeo threats directed against the Maduro government? Was Trump’s call to Putin (May 3) meant to override Pompeo’s overt threats (May 1st) to intervene militarily in Venezuela?

Lavrov and Pompeo are set to meet early this week in Finland. Will Pompeo, a former army officer, Christian evangelical and for a short while a former-CIA director change his tone and approach following Trump’s telephone conversation with Putin? Unlikely. Mike Pompeo has been the architect of numerous foreign policy blunders since his appointment by Trump first as CIA director in January 2017 and then as Secretary of State.

The presumption of the mainstream media (which borders on ridicule) is that Donald Trump as president of the United States should have sought the green-light from Bolton-Pompeo. The fact of the matter is that these two individuals are deliberately involved in sabotaging US relations with a large number countries:

The conversation, which Trump went on to describe as “very positive,” appeared to be yet another example of Trump taking Putin’s claims at face value despite contrary evidence from his own governmentThe White House national security adviser, John Bolton, and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo both said earlier this week that the Kremlin talked Maduro out of leaving Venezuela after U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido attempted to end his regime on Tuesday by calling for a military uprising. (emphasis added)

RussiaGate 2.0

How is this internal confrontation going to evolve? Who is calling the shots at the White House?

Pompeo and Bolton are an obstacle to normalizing diplomatic relations with Russia. They are dangerous individuals, psychopathic in their understanding of global geopolitics, influential with regard to sanctions and  military intervention. They are also misinformed with regard to the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, which they consider as peace-making bombs.

Both Bolton and Pompeo were instrumental in the sabotage of the latest US-North Korea summit in Hanoi.

Impeachment

Despite the release of the Mueller report, the impeachment campaign prevails. Immediately following the Putin-Trump telephone conversation, the campaign to impeach Trump has gone into high gear.

The Atlantic, March 2019

Will The Kremlin Intervene in the 2020 elections? 

Another absurd proposition: The US media is now intimating that Trump’s conversation with Putin is setting the stage for Kremlin intervention in the 2020 elections:

“Mr. President, did you tell him not to meddle in the next election?” a reporter asked.

“Excuse me, I’m talking, I’m answering this question. You are very rude. So we had a good conversation about several different things,” Trump told the reporter.

When asked again about Russian interference in future U.S. elections, Trump said: “We didn’t discuss that.”

According to the Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro

“President Donald Trump wants Russia to interfere on his behalf again in 2020”.

“All of a sudden, he’s willing to take the word of a leader like Vladimir Putin who, time and again, has shown himself to be adversarial to the United States and to be dishonest,” .

In turn, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is now candidate for the 2020 presidential elections has stated:

 “that Congress would have “no alternative” but to impeach President Trump if his administration seeks to block its investigations of issues raised in the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference.” (WaPo, April 30, 2019)

See Trump’s press conference 


ANNEX.

The Russian embassy in the US on the Trump-Putin Telephone Exchange

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Donald Trump, at the initiative of the American side.

The current state and prospects of bilateral relations were discussed with a focus on economic cooperation. The two presidents spoke in favour of developing mutually beneficial trade and investment relations. They affirmed their shared commitment to step up dialogue in various areas, including on issues of strategic stability.

Vladimir Putin informed Donald Trump of the key results of his April 25 meeting in Vladivostok with Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK Kim Jong-un, stressing that Pyongyang’s good-faith fulfilment of its commitments should be accompanied by reciprocal steps to ease the sanctions pressure on North Korea. Both parties noted the importance of consistent progress towards denuclearisation and achieving long-term normalisation on the Korean Peninsula.

The situation in Ukraine was touched on in the context of the recent presidential election. Vladimir Putin emphasised that the new leadership in Kiev should take real steps to implement the Minsk Agreements, which are critical to resolving the internal Ukrainian conflict.

While exchanging views on the situation around Venezuela, the President of Russia underscored that only the Venezuelans themselves have the right to determine the future of their country, whereas outside interference in the country’s internal affairs and attempts to change the government in Caracas by force undermine prospects for a political settlement of the crisis.

It was agreed to maintain contacts at various levels.

The two heads of state expressed satisfaction with the business-like and constructive nature of the conversation.
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“The conversation between Trump and Putin lasted for almost 1.5 hours,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
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