35 pages in January

By Patrick BAHZAD

6a00d8341c72e153ef01b7c851603e970b-800wiThe snow ball effect keeps on growing. Three days after Buzzfeed published the incendiary private intelligence report that had been circulating inside the Beltway for months, there is still no end in sight to the whole media frenzy. And today's breefing of the House certainly was not intended at making the whole thing fade away. As the endgame emerges more and more clearly, with words such as "treason" and "impeachment" being mentioned with a striking regularity, it looks like caution – once again – is being thrown into the wind. History shows that the inevitable fallout from such an incredible turn of events will be far reaching. What is unclear, is who will benefit from it and who will pay the price. Vae victis !

After each piece of information – or disinformation – that comes to light, we are litteraly bombarded with new speculations that are basically useless at figuring out what is going on. As Inauguration Day approches, chances are, we have not seen the end of it and there still is room for yet another layer of hyperbole.

Hysteria taking over, once again

There are legitimate concerns about what went on, but the current media circus is not the appropriate way to address those questions. Two official reports have now been released, and a third private intelligence report that reads like an indictment also found its way into the press. Elected officials are pursuing an agenda of their own that has nothing to do with the national interest.

Look at the evidence, they are telling us. What evidence ? Asking us to disqualify Trump on the basis on some poorly drafted intelligence reports, or a pile of garbage that could have come right out of a British tabloid, that is a bit of a tough proposition when it comes to the Presidency. Is this what it is all about ? Convincing enough among the American public and in particular among members of Congress that Trump is unfit for office? Or is it just about forcing him into making the policy concessions his opponents in both parties are so eagerly awaiting ?

Up until Tuesday, both courses of action were conceivable, but the leak of the Trump "dossier" changes the equation: unsubstantiated allegations that all major news outlets had refused to publish found their way into the MSM and added what some may have expected to be the final nail in Trump's coffin. There are gaping holes in that narrative though and public opinion as a whole does not seem to buy into it. The question is, however, whether Congress will take the bait. Something very dangerous is looming in the shadows and I can assure you, it is not Vladimir Putin…

The gap between large segments of the populace and the political establishment in D.C. is widening. Tensions are also growing among ordinary Americans. The atmosphere is highly volatile, yet some seem intend on playing with matches. Don't be surprized if the country as a whole is going to lose, and lose big in the end, as there are no possible winners in such a game.

In the highly politicized atmosphere of this post-election America, anything even remotely connected to Trump needs to be handled with extreme caution, as it is immediately scrutinized and interpreted in the most binary way. You're either for Trump, or you're against him. Nothing in between. Against this bias, it is difficult to provide a rational analysis for all that has been said or written in recent weeks, in particular the latest private "intelligence" report.

The Trump "dossier"

It almost seems like any theory is being considered with the same degree of interest and credibility, however far fetched. But instead of looking into the basics, we are getting sucked into a superficial page by page analysis, taking everything at face value and then only looking for clues either for or against it. In other words, we still aren't submitting the allegations to a simple "stress test" aimed at putting them into perspective.

The Trump "dossier" contains 17 short reports that are no less than a compendium of statements presented as facts. Had we been in a court of law, this would largely have fallen under the category "hearsay". More exactly, 7 primary sources – some of them possibly overlapping – as well as some 25 other individuals have made the statements mentioned in the report. The circumstances in which these statements were obtained are neither explained nor described. No assessment is ever made as to the reliability of any of the sources.

If you contectualize the information, or engage in interpretation of the wording in the report, you may get the feeling that this intelligence was collected through various means (face to face discussions, indirect statements obtained through intermediaries, intelligence provided by third parties, possibly intercepts), but you cannot back this up by any strong evidence. Considering that the sources are anonymous, although some of them could possibly be identified and confronted with the claims made in the report, it is virtually impossible to prove or disprove many of the allegations other than basic facts, such as a trip to Prague, which seems to have been debunked already.

Taken as a whole however, there is another way of gauging the credibility of the report. And remember, when you analyse intelligence, always separate the information itself from the source (or author). We are being told Mr. Steele is an accomplished intelligence professional. He has worked in this field for many years, both as a British government operative and a private consultant. That may be. I do not know him personally nor his pedigree, and I am neither biased for nor against him.

Credible information or credible author ?

I am not looking so much at him rather than at the work he has produced. And let's be honest about this: if only 10 % of what is in this report is true, this would be a huge problem for the President-elect, likely to result in his demise. But it would also be a big issue for the IC, because one man – Mr. Steele – would have proven beyond any doubt that a small private business like his is capable of producing intelligence of a quality far better than anything the CIA has produced in relation to Russia since … well, since ever, actually.

For that reason alone, and regardless of some of the most outreagous claims, we should already be very suspicious of the contents. To produce and cultivate not one but several sources that high up in the Kremlin's chain of command would require an outstanding performance, one that calls not only for time and professionalism, but also for resources and a degree of covertness far beyond anything a private company of that size can produce.

It would also have been virtually impossible for Steele to reach out to his sources and meet them on Russian soil. With a pedigree such as his, the Russian government would not grant him a visa, or it would track his every move. Besides, the British government might not have allowed him to travel to Russia either. This means in turn that Steele most likely did not meet any of his Russian primary sources and had to rely mainly on intermediaries to collect the statements he's reporting on.

All this constitutes a further problem regarding the reliability of the dossier. The more human interference there is in the chain of intelligence, the more room there is for human error or foul play. What kind of people did Steele work with to get his sources talking ? How did he assess their trusworthiness ? Again, there is not a word about these aspects. The only thing we can do is look into Mr Steele's resume to figure out which are the most likely answers to those questions.

Cui Bono ?

And these answers may hurt the report's credibility even further: whether Steele got help from Russian oligarchs living in the West (i.e. people having an axe to grind with the Russian government), or through Ukrainian/Baltic intelligence agencies (i.e. people having an axe to grind with the Russian government), either way, it does not look good. It looks even worse when you consider the risk of wilful deception involved here, or just the potential for another "curveball" fiasco, with individuals just saying what we want to hear, either for the sake of financial compensation or political advantage.

Examining who would possibly benefit from such allegations, both domestically and internationally, may provide for another analytical tool that is not dependent upon knowledge of the missing details regarding the report itself. Again there is no way around this: both the sources, in all likelihood a very small number of people, and the clients had an interest in gathering compromising material about Donald Trump.

Let us not forget, Senator McCain had an assistant fly all the way to London to get a copy of the report, in early December 2016, a copy he then personally handed over to FBI director Comey asking him to look into it. The report had been floating around Washington for weeks, all the FBI had to do was to pick it up basically, yet it took that move by McCain to bring the document to the attention of the Bureau, which was as clueless about the specifics of the allegations as the rest of the IC, if we are to believe DNI Clapper.

You can look at this from all angles, there is always a terrible sense of déjà vu about it. Of course, that is not to say it is all "fake news", but then the burden of proof is not on me. It is up to the (not so) public prosecutors going after Trump to make a compelling case, and I'm afraid they are far from having convinced the jury.

A familiar MO

The reason why so many ordinary people aren't thrilled is because they have not forgotten what happened some 14 years ago, with Saddam's imaginary WMDs or his alleged connection to Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and 9/11. The IC is worried about the lack of confidence the general public has in its assessments, yet it is the IC itself – or rather its rank and file – that is mainly to blame for this.

When American lives were at stake, when the future of the country was in the balance, the leaders of the IC chose to lay low and spread loops of lies that some sorcerer apprentices wanted them to feed the country and the world. Taking the moral highground now, when the very same people didn't have to guts to speak up as US servicemen and women were about to be sent to war, that certainly takes some nerve.

Some might argue that the analogy with the case about Saddam is misguided, yet it is striking in more than just one regard. Let us not forget that this was a multilayered and well structured campaign, which – coincidentally – was launched from abroad, by British intelligence reports. Remember the yellow cake and Plamegate ? It started with a private Italian intelligence consultant coming up with of trove of intelligence about Saddam's plan to get his hands on nuclear material from Niger.

The story bounced back and forth a few times, notably through French DGSE, which found it totally unreliable. It was then forwarded to British intelligence and hence found its way into British papers and American intel reports. Turned out, it had all been fabricated with the help of a small number of US intelligence operatives, some of whom are very vocal today in their anti-Trump stance. Remember also the previous "Prague meeting" ? That time it wasn't an associate of Mr.Trump meeting with Russian FSB or GRU handlers, it was allegedly Mohamed Atta – the head of the 9/11 cell – meeting with Iraqi intelligence officers.

Drinking the Kool-Aid … or not

Finally, remember "curveball" ? Another prime source of intelligence very close to Saddam, who basically gave his handlers whatever they wanted to hear. He too was fake and possibly manipulated US intelligence into believing fairytales made up by the Chalabi cabal in order to push the US into overthrowing Saddam. There were many players at work back then. There is a high likelihood that there are many players at work today. Each one with his own agenda, and neither of them acting in the prime interest of the United States and its people.

Does this necessarily mean the current case is all fake ? No it doesn't, but it shows that the damage to the IC's credibility is not a new phenomenon and in that regard, the way Syria was handled in recent years probably just added to the sense of suspicion the IC leadership now finds itself exposed to. This is very much a self-inflicted wound and Donald Trump is not responsible for it. He may be using it to his advantage, but he surely is not the root cause.

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184 Responses to 35 pages in January

  1. Cortes says:

    A fascinating essay. Thank you. Two brief remarks.
    First, the fourth comment on the following article by Pat Buchanan
    http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/trumps-enemies-see-an-opening/ makes a very good point: that anti-Trump politicians who don’t like the assessments of the IC regarding Iranian nuclear programmes are quite content to accept wholly any materials issued by or with the knowledge of said IC whose effect seems to be to paint the President-elect as a dupe or a depraved traitor.
    The second is that I was shocked by the language used by Gilbert Doctorow in his contribution to the latest edition of the RT show “Cross Talk” dealing with the lead-in to the new Administration. Any time previously I’ve been impressed by his measured tone and rational arguments. On the show in question he identifies the USA as being in “the antechamber of civil war.”
    I sincerely hope that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

  2. Everyone&Noone says:

    You are aware that OSINT may provide dividends.
    US IC scours OSINT, including Twitter tweets.
    Garnered via Twitter tweets:
    –BBC has reported that there are multiple sources that claim much of the Steele reportage is accurate in the dossier, multiple films/videos, and an audio tape as well. Not just events in Moscow, but in Saint Petersburg as well. Also mentions knowledge by an East European intelligence agency of an additional carnality blackmail tape existing.
    “Outside Source” 11 Jan. 1800 GMT. Paul Wood reporting.
    Apparently Penthouse’s $1 million offer for a Trump carnality tape has three interested parties. Ex-FBI persons will study tape to check authenticity. Spokesperson for Penthouse magazine says they expect to (allegedly) get a copy of the tape by the end of this weekend.
    –There is an “East European intelligence agency” involved that eavesdropped on Trump associate meeting a Russian Duma member in (what is surmised to be the Czech Republic). That was the Estonian intelligence service. Newsweek article states this.
    –A Twitter account of Christo Grozev has proffered informed speculation that one of Steele’s high Russian sources is FSB General Erovinkin, the ex-Chief of Staff for Sechin. Or should I say the late FSB General. He was found murdered in an automobile in Moscow on December 26. (First FSB General to be murdered.) Erovinkin appears to have been well connected enough to know about all the chicanery.

  3. The Beaver says:

    It would also have been virtually impossible for Steele to reach out to his sources and meet them on Russian soil.
    Through what I have read since Tuesday night, Steele has not been to Russia for the past 20 yrs- he can’t go because of the Polonium affair. Thus through contacts and money, he has managed to buy some informants or second-hand info. Hence the 17 reports from different sources or may even been written by some of them.
    What is very strange ( but not as far as the Brits are concerned) is the involvement of FCO in that affair. Granted that as a spook, he was a “diplomat” at the British Embassy in Moscow but getting a former Ambassador involved to get the attention of Sen McCain?
    His original report may have been altered since the hand over was made via Sen McCain to the FBI and the leaked redacted version that everyone saw on different news sites may not be 100% accurate in content.

  4. Ghostship says:

    Who is responsible for deciding what the foreign policy of the United States is? I’ve always thought it was the president. Am I wrong?

  5. kooshy says:

    “As Inauguration Day approaches, chances are, we have not seen the end of it and there still is room for yet another layer of hyperbole.’
    Yes PB you are right, just today, a few hours ago, an elected US congressman(John Lewis) refused to recognize as legitimate US’ legally elected president by overwhelming electoral vote. IMO, In a way, this fool is questioning the legality of US system and his own office. PB IMO, with these systematic attacks (you read coup) on legality and legitimacy of the system we are on trouble for some time to come, but I believe so you are on the otherside of water, since you are so attached to us to lead. I hope you tell us, how private and public talks around this issue is discussed in France.

  6. kooshy says:

    PB remember this dossier was originally compiled as a research opinion for primaries, I guess a report as such, for primaries may not require as high of research and accuracy as it does for general elections or the legitimacy of president elect. Could that be the reason for sloppiness of the report?

  7. Boomheist says:

    Good article. I would say my radar is firing off all over the pace on this one. All the whiskers alert to con jobs are quivering. Tonkin Gulf? Burning babies on Bush #1 vs Iraq war 1?
    Here’s what I think. I bet they DO have something nasty on Trump, not itself sufficient to drive him from the palace, but embarrassing, perhaps sexual in nature, but perhaps not. Maybe something as simple as Trump himself talking to someone in Russian intelligence in he run up to the election, some brief aside at a meeting somewhere. With all this hoopla and unending blizzard of allegation, if THEN Trump is found to have lied or mis-spoke about ANYTHING, they will drag him down. I think that’s what this is about.
    We are going t find out, fast, if the man truly has titanium balls…

  8. Just Asking says:

    I have one (hypothetical) question that puzzles me: why would Trump feel that he needed to wait until he was in a Russian 5-star hotel before hiring some hookers to, umm, mark his territory?
    Has Obama never had a sleepover in, say, a classy San Fran or an expensive Los Angeles establishment?
    Or London? Paris? What about Rome in the time of Bersesconi – at least then he’d know who the pimp is.
    The idea that Trump would think it a good idea to choose the one country that is guaranteed to bug the Presidential Suite – or supply hookers straight out of Honey Pot Central Casting – just doesn’t sound right to me.
    Trump may not be cultured, but he has proved beyond a doubt that he is very, very, very shrewd. Surely he is shrewd enough to know when it’s a good time to call up the hookers for a good time, and when it’s Neither The Time Nor The Place.

  9. BraveNewWorld says:

    Great article. Better stuff here than every thing else I have read put together.
    What strikes me the most is just how totally amateurish it all seems. Even at the height of the CIAs BS it still had polish. MI6s games for terrorists in Syria has polish. This just all feels so third rate. To over the top. Any one could think up a more believable story. I can’t help but think there is another player we haven’t heard from yet. But that’s just my gut backed by zero facts.

  10. Macgupta123 says:

    Funny how the conventional journalistic ethics works.
    When Trump made unsubstantiated allegations about Obama’s citizenship, birth certificate, etc., the MSM published it. Trump’s making of these allegations does not affect his credibility.
    When former MI6 agent, the highly regarded Michael Steele of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. makes unsubstantiated allegations, but staking the credibility of his business on it, the MSM ought not to publish these allegations because they are not verified.
    It seems that MSM should not act as filters on celebrities and should publish whatever they say; but should sternly block anything lesser mortals say because …”unverified”.
    The moral of the story is that per current standards, you need to have your own reality TV show in order to have what you say published by the MSM.

  11. jld says:

    Unfortunately once the infos have been “sufficiently” messed up it is not possible to properly sort them out again:

  12. Castellio says:

    First point:
    It’s quite amazing that we’re talking about this… given that it is most likely the DNC leak was initiated by Seth Rich, an idealistic Democrat with the appropriate computer access, angered and betrayed by the dirty tricks against Sanders… who was later found murdered.
    Why is the media not focused on a real crime directly tied to an inside leak of true information at the DNC, rather than focusing on this shoddy and obvious ploy to redirect and obfuscate?
    Second point:
    As Patrick rightly points out, whenever certain elements of the US government intend to engage in something obviously illegal, they prefer to have the “cover” of the British government or British intelligence; as if immediate action on an important consensus of the Anglo-American world is necessary to save the globe from disaster. At first blush it sounds impressive, doesn’t it, “an intelligence operative for M16”? However, this approach is so tired and so far from the current reality of people’s lives that it has become, at long last, tiresome and ineffective.
    Third point:
    Obama rose so quickly to his powerful position because he had the necessary big money big media backing, and had made the necessary compromises and promises to get it: which is precisely how he ended up being such a disappointing President. Hillary spent the last eight years trying to prove her loyalty – by ALL means possible – to exactly those who had neglected her for Obama. She thought if she could win them (and she did) she had the position in the bag. The electorate was secondary in her priorities, and too many of the electorate knew it.
    Those who chose Obama and had decided to back Clinton represent a key power node of Big Media, Big Money and Big Influence. They are hardly “fresh thinkers” and, a great and complicating factor, they have a lot to hide. They will fight Trump relentlessly not only in the media which they own (slurs, chastisement, ridicule), and in the Congress which they are used to manipulating (impeachments, legislation), and most likely, too, to try to freeze funding for or otherwise undermine the health of his companies’ projects.
    It will come down to this: will the breadth of the Republican party keep their noses out of the proverbial trough of self-interest long enough to maintain any sort of party coherence?

  13. johnf says:

    I agree that this is a very dark and dangerous situation arising, but as an incurable optimist I do see some reasons for hope.
    The powerful in the Western world seem to have gone collectively mad. Like a swarm of Godzillas they are rampaging drunkenly around our countries destroying everything decent and worthwhile in sight. Democracy – pfft! Freedom – puff! Innocent until proved guilty – give us a break!
    We have a saying in British politics. The higher one climbs up the greasy pole, the better everyone can see your arse. What all this thud and blunder is providing for the lesser classes is a sudden and deeply salutary lesson in the realities of our betters and their politics. After years of supine indifference, suddenly ordinary people are being forced to educate themselves and discover for themselves precisely what the hell these weasels are up to. The MSM stink – at last they realize that – and instead they educate and inform themselves on social media relying on people they know and trust.
    And I’m not denying there is a lot of shit on social media. But that means they are having to hyone their own analytical skills, they are having to learn to reason and think. It is an amazing and heartening thing to witness.
    And all the entitled princelings haven’t the least idea its going on. To them the deplorables are incapable of rational thought. As the princelings become irrational and hysterical, the unwashed are becoming informed and pragmatic.
    Interesting days! I thank God I’m living in them.

  14. johnf says:

    Just a footnote.
    What also cheers me is the youth, emotion, wit, the irony, and the sheer fun many people on social media are having playing with and destroying the memes of the undeplorables. I find twitter sites like draftourdaughters and fakenews verbally and visually arresting, imaginative and hilarious.
    As our great puritan poet John Milton wrote during the darkest days of our civil war:
    “Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks: Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam; purging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance, while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms. What should ye do then, should ye suppress all this flowery crop of knowledge and new light sprung up and yet springing daily in this city, should ye set an oligarchy of twenty ingrossers over it, to bring a famine upon our minds again, when we shall know nothing but what is measured to us by their bushel?”
    Enuff over-the-topness.

  15. Ghostship says:

    The Russian government have formally denied that they do such things.
    Back in the Soviet Era when all hotels were state owned it probably occurred frequently. These days with all the hotels privately owned, I doubt it. Five star hotels are five star hotels because they give their guests privacy among many other things. Do you really think a major corporation would compromise its reputation by allowing such activity? Just imagine the financial impact of the hotel chain if this proved to be true. That’s not to say that hotels don’t allow monitoring of guests when required by the legal authorities of the country concerned. or that other entities do it.

  16. LondonBob says:

    Surprisingly the government and MI6 are coming under a lot of criticism here. Of course this has been well deserved for a long time.
    The intelligence agencies, the media and the political class have managed to thoroughly discredit themselves. The question is really is how detached are the political establishment in the US are from reality, they have already pushed this far further than would have been wise. From one of the few reliable pollster in the US, Trump’s approval ratings have only risen since his election.

  17. raven says:

    “In a way” what was you first clue? Next thing you know this “fool” will scream out at the state of the union “YOU LIE”!!!

  18. Raven says:

    “Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday that there are about 30 to 40 Republicans in Congress who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency and are seeking to erase everything that’s happened during his administration.
    King made the remarks in a discussion with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” after the host asked how many Republicans would like to “erase [Obama’s] record, as if he was never here.”
    “I’ve had members, they know who they are, they say, ‘I really can’t say with these lips that this man, Barack Obama, was elected president,’” Matthews said. “They choke on that. How many are there in Congress on your side that represent that rejectionist front?”
    “I would say there are probably 30 or 40 who are like that,” King responded. “As there were a number of Democrats who felt that way about George W. Bush, and going back to when you and I first met, Republicans who felt that way about Bill Clinton.”

  19. Raven says:

    “Others” like Cheney etc all?

  20. turcopolier says:

    raven and kooshy
    IMO John Lewis is a very decent man who deserves our respect, but in this instance I think he is probably acting out long standing and understandable anger over Trump’s birther nonsense. He knows quite well that Trump is legitimately elected. The national popular vote is legally meaningless. It is interesting that her popular vote majority resides in California. pl

  21. J says:

    The deepstate war versus Trump
    Tucker Carlson and Glen Greenwald discuss

  22. ambrit says:

    Considering that nationalism is still a potent force in world affairs, the fact of being a global concern doesn’t guarantee immunity from local politics. Thus, multi-layered webs of influence will affect actions. America is no stranger to government agencies strong arming private concerns. Strong arming is not necessary, when “patriotism” is put into play.
    Finally, Bill Clinton ‘got away’ with sexual predations. In the Lewinsky case, Clinton had a responsibility to protect the young woman, simply because he was her boss, and wielded total control over her workplace situation. At worst, Trump has shown poor judgement in his ‘extracurricular’ dalliances. The women here were supposedly paid for their time and ‘talents.’
    I agree with Mr. Bahzad that this is shaping up into a Constitutional crisis. If Trump goes, America will have it’s first official President chosen by the Praetorian Guard.

  23. Vic says:

    I wonder if the ORBIS Russian spy network (or MI6) was also the source for the high confidence assessment that the highest levels of the Russian government knew about the hacking and that the purpose of the hacking was to disadvantage Clinton? Such detailed insight into the working of the Russian leadership is seldom if ever in Open Source. It often requires a highly placed insider to get the required placement and access to that type of information. Such sources are historically rare. More often it is disinformation or just fabrication for money by Expats. If it is too good to be true….it usually is.

  24. notlurking says:

    Link not working……….

  25. kooshy says:

    Colonel, a few days ago you wrote “IMO Trump may be impeached early and often.” I am now inclined to
    believe soon you need to change the may to will, and i am not sure if he can last. Simply the Borg is not accepting him as the president, the birther noise compared to this, was nothing, never realistically threaten the system seriously, IMO the borg in pulling him down is willing to permanently damage the system, that’s why i thought Mr. Lewis is a fool trying to cut the branch that is holding his own weight for 20 consecutive years.

  26. Steele has been described in some sources as the British SIS go to guy about Russia, or very knowledgeable or something like that. Well, my question is this: how accurate has the Western int community been about Russia? Pretty bad I would say. Throughout we see surprise about Moscow’s resilience, resourcefulness and determination. Georgia’s attack on Ossetia, the Ukraine coup, sanctions, Syria, oil wars etc etc. Int’s principal role is to attempt to reduce surprises: I would say that the failure is close to 100%, wouldn’t you?
    And, now that he was apparently involved in the Litvinenko story, I call further nonsense.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    If these accounts were credible, one would have seen at least a single frame catching Trump in the act by now.
    No such frame, no substance.

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think it is clear that the principals in many countries are ill-informed about other countries.
    Hitler was ill-informed about USSR, expecting a quick and decisive victory.
    Japanese leaders were ill-informed about the United States, expecting a quick and decisive victory.
    Israeli leaders were ill-informed about Arabs and Lebanon, not expecting to be defeated over an 18-year long occupation and in 2006.
    Saddam Hussein was ill-informed about Iran, expecting a quick and decisive victory in 1982.
    Bill Clinton and Co. expected a collapse in Iran and North Korea, in an analogous manner to the dissolution of USSR, when that did not happen, they left the United States in a cul de sac with respect to both countries that likely will persist for a few more decades.
    Bush II went to Iraq, not knowing the Middle East.
    Obama went into Syria, not knowing the Middle East.
    Obama went into Ukraine, not knowing Russia or Ukraine (a country created by Stalin – on paper).

  29. Hank L. says:

    For many years I worked as an investigator doing background investigations for the federal government, including at the highest levels (IC). That sane, reasonable people (e.g., on this blog) would not immediately see this as laughable BS– and worse, even entertain the possibility that it is true– scares the holy living sh!t out of me. The collective madness that is going on and the intolerance coming from the left and its allies is frightening. I have no idea how this is going to play out, but we are in a very perilous situation and the left and the Borg seem to think they can continue this assault without any major consequences.

  30. JohnH says:

    Earlier I agreed with the assessment that Trump would not last. Now I’m beginning to doubt that Republicans can impeach him. The backlash from ‘deplorables’ would be fierce in the mid-term elections, and many Republican Congressmen would be forced out of office, mostly to be replaced by Trump loyalists. I don’t think that Republicans have the courage to oust Trump.

  31. JohnH says:

    “Something nasty on Trump” likely won’t cut it. A lot of nasty stuff came out during the election with no impact.
    The trick is to find something really nasty that is not only verifiable but also very offensive to those who voted for him…something (hypothetically) like an abortion for Melania.

  32. Old Microbiologist says:

    California, the land of fruit and nuts. My birthstate, where names like Sunshine, Bambi, and Moonunit aren’t uncommon. I haven’t been back for over 20 years and am highly unlikely to ever go back there again.

  33. Everyone&Noone,
    If you want to do ‘OSINT’, it is important to do it properly.
    As it happens, General Evrokin is not the ‘first FSB general to be murdered.’
    Before him, there was General Anatoly Trofimov, assassinated in February 2005 by unidentified gunmen. According to the ‘evidence’ provided by Alexander Litvinenko to his Italian associate Mario Scaramella, he had said that Romano Prodi was ‘our man’ in Italy – that is, the prime agent for the KGB/FSB.
    This is an ‘information operations’ technique, sometimes described as ‘dead men talking’. They are not in a position to confirm or deny what it is claimed they said, and the fact they have been murdered can be taken as corroboration. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it can be very effective, so long as you are dealing with the congenitally gullible.
    It now appears likely that, at the time he made these claims, Litvinenko’s ‘handler’ was Christopher Steele.
    A very bright lady who used to blog on the ‘European Tribune’ site under the name ‘eternalcityblues’ did an ‘OSINT’ round-up on this and other garbage produced by Scaramella and Litvinenko immediately after the story of the latter’s poisoning broke.
    (See http://www.eurotrib.com/?op=displaystory;sid=2006/11/19/20439/209 .)
    As to the BBC, it is patently not a reliable ‘OSINT’ source.
    A couple of examples, from the ‘evidence’ presented to Sir Robert Owen’s Inquiry.
    The first BBC documentary on Litvinenko’s death, on Radio on 16 December 2006, was wholly devoted to claims by Yuri Shvets, then a colleague of Oleg Kalugin at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Alexandria, Virginia, with a pathetic story told about how Litvinenko had been forced by poverty into ‘due diligence’ work. As a result of the terrible truths discovered by these impartial analysts, who of course had no connection with any intelligence service, we were given to understand, a close crony of Putin’s had taken a terrible revenge.
    No mention was made of the role of Shvets and Litvinenko in processing the famous – or perhaps one should say notorious – tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma recorded by Major Melnichenko, which were central to the original ‘Orange Revolution’ – although a quick ‘OSINT’ check would have revealed that. You do not think the BBC believes that this is the kind of information which is appropriate for their audience, do you?
    (See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf .)
    The second, on the flagship current affairs programme ‘Panorama’ on 22 January 2007, was based on claims by Mario Scaramella – the BBC was quite happy to give credibility to someone who had accused Prodi of being the ‘Manchurian candidate’.
    (See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000507wb.pdf .)
    Evidence presented to the Inquiry established that Shvets had used the Melnichenko tapes in an attempt to demonstrate that the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich had not only worked for the FSB – which seems likely – but was personally close to Putin. (As a test of your ‘OSINT’ skills, see if you can find where Shvets edited the tape.)
    On the basis of this, Litvinenko went on to claim that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent of the FSB and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’, had attempted to obtain a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ for Al Qaeda.
    This was not, of course, mentioned in Owen’s report. You do not really think an upright judge thinks that the British public should be entrusted with such information?
    (See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ015726wb.pdf ; https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ018922wb.pdf .)
    It is indicative of how corrupt Owen is that in testimony to the Inquiry, Scaramella was allowed to get away with the following description of a key meeting held at the International Maritime Organisation on 26 July 2004:
    ‘Once we organised a formal meeting at the 17 International Maritime Organisation with him and other 18 people, from ECPP and from – so other senior discussant, so Oleg Gordievsky, Vladimir Bukovsky, so 20 staff at International Maritime Organisation, Mr Cohen and some senior expert of the ECPP.
    ‘So once it was just a meeting in London, just aimed to analyse Litvinenko’s statements, and other times it was just me and him, yes.’
    (See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/03/lit180315.pdf .)
    From Scaramella’s presentation at the meeting, as incorporated in the dossier sent out from the International Maritime Organization following it. In his description of his ‘threat hypothesis’, he writes:
    ‘At the end of the cold war nuclear devices were allocated by USSR in several coastal areas or dumped at sea. Also big ammount (sic) of waste to be used as weapons of mass destruction were released. Only in the Mediterranean sea more than 50 billions Curie of High Level Radioactive materials were dumped, in particular in the Sicily Street and in the Sicily Channel. Evidences confirms that telemines were dumped inside the waste material.’
    This garbage – endorsed by Oleg Gordievsky, Vladimir Rezun/aka ‘Viktor Suvorov’, and Vladimir Bukovsky (since arrested on child pornography charges) – was indeed supported by ‘statements’ from Litvinenko. The title of one of them makes clear the relation to the ‘mini nuclear bomb’ disinformation: ‘A Nuclear suitcase from Moskow to Zurich’.
    At the time this merry gang of disinformation peddlers were disseminating this nonsense, it now appears, Litvinenko’s ‘handler’ was Christopher Steele.
    What happened, it is reasonably clear, was that both MI6 and elements in the CIA got into bed with an ‘information operations’ network centred around Putin’s opponents: specifically, Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky, and Nevzlin.
    This network was then allowed to shape both coverage in the BBC, and more generally in what we probably now need to call the ‘fakestream media’ (to borrow a phrase from Patrick Armstrong), and Owen’s Inquiry.
    This network had, and doubtless still has, a great number of contacts in Moscow. Just as the private security companies with which Litvinenko and Shvets were working – Erinys International and Titon International – were patently in cahoots with MI6, there seems to me to be every reason to believe that Orbis is.
    However, a lot of the ‘evidence’ so gathered will be of the quality of the material I have outlined. This could be for a range of reasons – even including the possibility that some deliberately absurd disinformation is being fed with the object of discrediting the dossier.
    That said, the notion that claims either by currently serving or former members of MI6 should be treated as authoritative is patently ludicrous.
    It gives every sign of being an organisation run by corrupt incompetents. What is happening now is simply that the same smear tactics once used on Putin and Prodi are being tried out on the President-elect of the United States. Rather that Prodi as the ‘Manchurian candidate’, we have Trump cast in the role.

  34. kooshy says:

    You will miss a lot

  35. jld says:

    You’re not very helpful, are you?

  36. Babak Makkinejad,
    Further to my response to ‘Everyone&Noone’ above, if you look at the transcript of the programme presenting the claims by Shvets to which I have linked, you will see that his collaborator, who was brought into corroborate his claims, was a former FBI investigator called Robert – ‘Bobby’ – Levinson.
    A piece in ‘Commentary’ on 12 January by Michael Rubin, entitled ‘The Man Kerry Left Behind’ deals with Levinson. A key paragraph:
    ‘The man who should haunt the dreams of Kerry and his team into their retirement, however, is Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent turned independent contractor who entered Iran legally and then was seized by its security forces. Levinson then disappeared into Iran’s prison system.’
    And Rubin goes on to write:
    ‘Much has been written about how Levinson had apparently done side contracting with the CIA and that he may even have planned to report back upon his return from Iran.’
    (See https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/the-man-kerry-left-behind-iran/ .)
    Inadvently, Rubin has made my key point for me. Figures like Steele, Shvets, and Levinson commonly use ‘private sector’ employment as a cover for activities on behalf of their old employers – or, as Levinson was former FBI working for CIA, new ones.
    As to the BBC programme to which I linked, it is material that it was presented by Tom Mangold – originally Goldman – who was one of the chief disseminators of the ‘anthrax scare’ BS, which was instrumental in generating hysteria about Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD.
    On that occasion, the corruption and incompetence of MI6, and the BBC, worked in Iran’s favour. It seems to me likely that Levinson, in collaboration with the other elements in the Berezovsky network, were trying to undo the damage, and got outplayed in the ‘hall of mirrors’ game.
    Be that as it may, Levinson, Shvets, and Litvinenko were no more independent ‘due diligence analysts’ than I am the new George Smiley.
    The ‘name-of-the-game’ with the networks with which we are dealing was to take some accurate information from Russian sources, mix it with disinformation, and use the resultant ‘toxic mixture’ to create pressure to ‘take down’ chosen targets.

  37. Valissa says:

    Professor (and Russian expert) Stephen Cohen is interviewed by Tucker Carlson. Video clip is about 3 1/2 min.
    Professor: Russia Dossier Is ‘Attempt to Destroy Trump’s Presidency’ Before Inauguration http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/01/11/professor-cohen-russia-dossier-donald-trump-destroy-presidency-inauguration-putin
    I think this is the first time Prof. Cohen (author of 8 books on Russia, and a liberal dem) has made it on to an MSM show in some time. He is a regular guest on the John Batchelor Show, and often on RT, but he’s not on board with the Borg on Russia. Now that Fox is supporting Trump, it’s interesting to see some of the formerly alternative news source folks get interviewed on an MSM channel.

  38. jld says:

    “the left and the Borg seem to think they can continue this assault without any major consequences.”
    I think a distinction should be made between the foot soldiers of the left which seem to be mostly hostile deranged idiots fully hooked on the “narrative” and the Borg operatives truly having skin in the game.
    The useful idiots are absolutely unaware of the dangerous consequences while the Borg members are certainly aware but appear ready to bet the house on countering Trump, so, he is likely seen as a mortal danger to them.
    Which kind of danger?
    I don’t think it is his populism and official positions which they could fight back with their usuals tactics, I rather think that they know that Trump is a tool of some (?) adversarial party likely from within their own ranks (not the Russians 😀 ).

  39. Valissa says:

    Ambrit, I am not a Bill Clinton fan, but in the case of Monica Lewinsky it is a fairly well known fact the she seduced him. In an interview she did with Barbara Walters (I think) she admitted she flashed her thong underwear at him and initiated contact.
    Many women throw themselves at powerful men. When a powerful man accepts their advances it makes them feel more powerful, important and special. This is not to say that powerful men don’t take advantage of their position, because they do. And sometimes “innocent” women get taken advantage of, because they are gullible, naïve or passive in nature. But I would hazard a guess that the great majority of time it is a consensual situation.

  40. Jack says:

    IMO, the election results and the results of CNBC and NY Times reporter John Harwood’s twitter poll shows that a large enough segment of the American people are not buying the propaganda of the Borg. Their credibility continues to decline. A recovery is not possible until there is a significant pare back accompanied with root & branch reform. That’s unfortunately not gonna happen anytime soon.
    IMO, if Trump can achieve some kind of rapprochement with Russia in the face of unprecedented opposition from the Borg, he would achieve the maximum possible under the circumstances. I also believe that the financial chickens will come home to roost during Trump’s term. Of course he’ll be blamed although this has been a long time in coming.

  41. Valissa says:

    “What also cheers me is the youth, emotion, wit, the irony, and the sheer fun many people on social media are having playing with and destroying the memes of the undeplorables”
    For a few chuckles, check out the “punny” comments on this Scott Adams post about the sticky association of Trump and Hitler.
    I have selected a few from the beginning to give you a taste 🙂
    The Master Persuader Scrambles the Frame http://blog.dilbert.com/post/155723690911/the-master-persuader-scrambles-the-frame
    I did nazi that coming
    Don’t worry, everything will be all reich
    The press seem to be goebbeling it up.
    And goering up for a response.

  42. Valissa says:

    “What we may be seeing is a “war” between elements of the US Deep State.”
    This is how I see it as well. Great comment! For convenience we often refer to “the elite” as if they are a monolith, which they are most decidedly not on most issues, and there are many sub-classes of elites. “The FP elites” (the Borg/Deep State) are a complex “ecosystem” and small changes in “predator-prey” populations or dynamics, or what the nutrient balance is in the swamp, can have significant effects.

  43. Thomas says:

    “That sane, reasonable people (e.g., on this blog) would not immediately see this as laughable BS– and worse, even entertain the possibility that it is true– scares the holy living sh!t out of me.”
    Hank L.,
    The sane and reasonable here understand that this is bullshtz. Unfortunately, SST has had a horde of hazardous barbarians posting here in the last year or so in subtle defense of the beastly Borganism. Some of the new ones are quite good, others are, in private diplomatic speak, effin’ morons. It just requires patience to await the former’s mask to slip.

  44. Thomas says:

    “…he is likely seen as a mortal danger to them.
    Which kind of danger?”
    The danger any criminal is afraid of, being caught, and they have some doozies in just the past couple of years from shooting down an airliner in seeking a casus belli for the Cookie Coupsters to providing manpads to Usama’s crew in Syria.
    The Nouveau Khans really should drop the BS and book their flights out of the country by next weekend.

  45. Nancy K says:

    I lived in CA for 65 years and never met a Sunsine or Bambi and the only Moonunit I’ve heard of was Frank Zappa daughter, his son’s name was Dwizzle. I live in NC now but go back yearly to visit. There are fruits and nuts in every state. Look at some of the names Sarah Palin has given her children.

  46. gowithit says:

    Ahh, but one of the greatest American writers, Steinbeck!

  47. Jack says:

    I’m befuddled why this level of vitriol against Russia and Putin now? Who benefit from a confrontation that could lead to MAD?
    I’m also befuddled by the role of the British in all this “dodgy dossier” business. We had the Brits with Tony Blair and his dossiers including the imminent threat allegations in the run up to the Iraq invasion. They were right in the middle of deposing Gaddafi in Libya and have played a central role in the propaganda efforts of the jihadis in Syria. Why? Who benefits there? Note it’s not the MIC as they have steadily reduced the size of their military including even reducing funding for historical military museums.

  48. The Beaver says:

    Figures like Steele, Shvets, and Levinson commonly use ‘private sector’ employment as a cover for activities on behalf of their old employers
    Thanks for this comment.
    I was scratching my head to understand how a company which made ( supposedly) only £ 1M over the past 2 years can afford such a location in London for their office.

  49. Charles Michael says:

    I am with you on these. It’s simply laughable, or rather it wood be if it was not coroding the very fabric of the USA.
    SST is foremost a re-information jewel, a place of sanity where one can fund some confort in an ocean of deception.
    As inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther would say: cherchez la femme. In other words who benefit from the crime ?

  50. AriusArmenian says:

    The bottom line is that the IC is attempting a coup against a US national election.
    This is very dangerous, as dangerous as the JFK years.
    Then they got their war and 50,000+ young Americans died.
    How many will die this time if they get their way?
    Millions? Billions?

  51. Jackrabbit says:

    What’s the point of the campaign against Trump? Are we to believe that it just happened of its own accord (starting immediately after Nov. 8)? The current “frenzy” comes after a long barrage of hate/smears orchestrated by anti-Trump to de-legitimize him.
    1. Influence Trump’s foreign policy?
    (most common explanation) Trump will easily dismantle any roadblocks. (even if it takes some time to do so because he has to first bring IC to heel first.)
    2. Assassination?
    This risks civil war.
    3. Impeachment?
    Uncertain at best. Trump is just too media-savvy. Whether successful or not, those who try to impeach him will be hurt in return.
    4. 25th Amendment?
    Only requires a determination by VP Pence and a majority of the cabinet. Congress must later approve.
    The quickest and lest risky way to dump Trump is 25th Amendment. Pence is a friend of McCain. Pence would cite Trump as too compromised to be President in the middle of a Cold War. “For the good of the Country.”
    Virtually all Democrats and many Republicans would like to dump Trump so the 2/3rds needed is within reach. Especially if AIPAC weighs in.

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think it is accurate to say the no one achieves any long-standing gains in this sort of situation.
    Today, coincidentally, and Iranian site carried a number of historical pictures of Hamburg from 1890s – please see http://www.fardanews.com/fa/news/615300/%D8%AA%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1%DB%8C%D8%AE%DB%8C-%D8%A7%D8%B2-%D9%87%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%B1%DA%AF-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D9%87%D9%87-%DB%B1%DB%B8%DB%B9%DB%B0
    One has to ask oneself:
    “What did Germany gain?”
    “What did UK gain?”
    “What did France gain?”
    “What did Austro-Hugary gain?”
    “What did Russia gain?”
    “What did US gain?”
    “What did Italy gain?”
    “What did Serbia gain?”
    I think it very likely that all those men and women that made the decision to go to war in August of 1914 thought, like their analogues today, that they would come out with enduring gains and the gods would crown their heads with the proverbial laurels.
    Last year, finally, it became clear that all the protagonists and the antagonists of WWI and WWII had forgotten the lessons of those 2 wars.

  53. gowithit says:

    Kristol re-tweeted:
    “It’s telling, I’m afraid, that Donald Trump treats Vladimir Putin with more respect than he does John Lewis.”
    Rep Lewis is a notable man of grace, having met and forgiven the man who fractured Lewis’s skull with an axe handle. As such, I surmise Rep Lewis will re-feel, re-think himself through the frustration with Trump he is now deep into.

  54. Superb summary. And the comments. Thank you. That’s all one can say. It is, after all, not my scene.
    But this is, very much so, this passing remark of Trump’s at a recent press conference”:- “BBC news. That’s another beauty.” That’s been mostly ignored in the flurry but it’s quite possible that that remark is as meaningful as if the President-elect had delivered a full dress foreign policy speech.
    That’s because the BBC, in effect, now speaks for the UK government. Since the death of Dr David Kelly the BBC has, in all major matters of foreign policy, been a government information service. There are still old BBC hands around who say that since that time the BBC has been careful to follow closely whatever the current government line is. Even if there were some No. 10 press office feeding the BBC their message for the day, you couldn’t get a closer correlation between what the politicians want us to believe and what the BBC, with it’s prestige and its considerable expertise, is attempting, usually successfully as far as I can judge, to get us to believe.
    Trump will know that, and his team will. They’ll also know that most of the British press is similarly prone to following the official line.
    What is that line? As far as I can tell, and in spite of Mrs May’s perfunctory disavowal, it’s continued to be anti-Trump. Viciously so. We get Sir Andrew Wood on the BBC giving us the impression that Trump is implicated in some dubious relationship with Russia. We get constant reference to the scandals, all serving to cast doubt on Trump’s fitness to be President. I’ve seen no reference to any suggestion that we might do some house-cleaning on our side, in spite of the fact that it’s one of our ex-intelligence agents who played a part in giving the anti-Trump campaign ammunition for the scandals. On the contrary, all I see is that we seem to have protected the agent from enquiry and are now occupied in defending and on occasion justifying his work.
    So how’s the “Special Relationship” doing while all this is going on? Even outsiders know that in one respect, military and intelligence co-operation, we do have a very special, or at least a very close relationship with the US. Good thing too. For all the quite disastrous foreign policy mistakes made on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years, and all the death and destruction those mistakes have caused, for the US the UK is the European anchor of NATO and for us the US is the only reliable ally we’ve got.
    What, then, does that “Special Relationship” now mean for a Trump Administration? It means that when there was some dirty work to be done for Trump’s opponents, whoever did it could rely on British intelligence to lend a helping hand. They could rely on no more than a perfunctory attempt to remedy matters on the part of the British Government; and they could rely on the full support of that part of the British media that is most under official influence.
    If Trump stays the course, and I have no doubt he will for all the talk about impeachments or the 25th Amendment and such, I don’t therefore see him regarding the UK Government helping his opponents as any sort of a plus. Mrs May is making the mistake of falling between two stools. She may wish to see the back of Trump and may let that be known to the opinion formers and the intelligence services in this country. That can’t be reconciled with the necessity of having Trump on our side when we’re negotiating with him.
    I suppose there’s going to be some negotiation to do . Quite a lot. Trade relations, given the consequences of Brexit. Defence, given that the relationship between the continental European NATO countries and the US isn’t going to remain as it is. Foreign Policy adjustment if, as I sincerely hope, the current Russophobic policy of both countries is to got back to sanity. Trump and his administration is going to be dealing with us knowing full well that when it came to the crunch the UK was backing his opponents, and that in a way so disreputable that you wouldn’t expect it from an adversary, let alone a close ally.
    Where does that leave us? Even looking on from outside I don’t like what’s going on in America at the moment. Irrespective of whether one is pro- or anti-Trump the spectacle of an entire governing structure shooting itself in the foot cannot be agreeable. The fact that our own politicians and officials have assisted, and that so discreditably, is acutely disagreeable. But when it’s all died down I think that that short sentence “BBC news, that’s another beauty” is going to define the US/UK relationship more than is currently apparent.

  55. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Kissinger: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”

  56. Ghostship says:

    Daily Sabah – Turkish English-language paper reported on December 26th that
    former FSB general Oleg Erovinkin, who left the FSB in May 2012, died of a heart attack:
    “Former Federal Security Service (FSB) general and the head of one of Russian oil giant Rosneft’s offices, Oleg Erovinkin has passed away due to a heart attack, Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported on Monday.
    Earlier in the day, local media had reported that the body of 61-year-old Erovinkin was found in a car in central Moscow.”


  57. walrus says:

    jack, Britain has its own military industrial complex, thus it has skin in the game.

  58. walrus says:

    jackrabbit, then pence reins for four years and is replaced by ‘the great uniter ” to heal our divisions, etc., etc. Who is already being groomed for this role by the borg?

  59. VietnamVet says:

    Yes, there is a coup attempt underway inside the Beltway.
    On January 20th, there will be a clean sweep of all political appointees in the federal government.
    Sometime after the election Senior Managers realized that they would be out of a job with no safe haven. The Clinton Foundation and Democrat NGOs lost all influence. They would survive a Mike Pence Presidency. He’d listen to them. Thus, the Trump take down. Their talking points and dossiers are laughable. Civil servants didn’t audit them for their short-timer bosses.
    Democrats are completely out of power. They are insane to aid a coup in order to fight a war with Russia. But, then these are the same persons who got America involved Syria, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan and Ukraine. US Armored Units just deployed to Poland’s border.

  60. hemeantwell says:

    After the flop of repeated attempts to prove Trump is an impeachment-worthy agent of Putin I wonder what evidence would be believable. With the intel impeachers outed as careerist liars, and given the exposure we’ve all had to the CGI capabilities of film studios, I’d imagine that many people would see films or audio tapes of Trump as only another round of fabrication. The comment made above about the potential for at least an electorally explosive response to an abandonment of Trump by congressional Republicans is absolutely correct.

  61. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You state: “… for us the US is the only reliable ally we’ve got.”
    But ally against whom?
    The Russian Federation? Whose borders have gone back to what it was 300 years ago?
    Against the Germans? Or the French?
    Or is it People’s Republic of China?
    I mean, such a statement does not survive any close and serious scrutiny.

  62. Tyler says:

    I told Larry I had been busy with life (true), but also the not so small fact that these comment sections have been garbage fires lately, with the worst ideas from the fever swamp of the Left being passed around by the Fifth Columnists around here. As they say, you can’t argue with a crazy person, because you only end up looking crazy. If anything, this only proves that Leftist thought is a mental disease: its obvious that a significant portion of your amygdalas have withered.
    Look sore losers, you have two options now: Trump MAGA or Civil War: Bosnia on Steroids. Show the deploreables that the system doesn’t work for them, and all is show for the UniParty, well then things are going to get interesting.

  63. In the last week or so I’ve marvelled to see Julian Assange and Glenn Greenwald receiving respectful treatment on Fox News shows.

  64. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Like the traffic; 45 minutes to drive 12 miles – cities in which only C-level executives can afford housing; and that squalor called Oakland – looks just like the faves of Rio.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    In many areas, it reminds of South American cities like Brazil; homeless males are everywhere.

  66. Walker says:

    Hey listen. I’m on the left, and I don’t buy the “Trump is a Russian stooge” meme. Try stereotyping less.

  67. Will.2718 says:

    35 pages in November
    7 days in May
    CIA replaces the military as protoganist

  68. Will.2718 says:

    make that 35 pages in January rather than November.

  69. kooshy says:

    I agree with EO, UK doesn’t have much left except holding to US tight. How would they think their finance industry survive, without US’ support. IMO, they can do without EU but not without US.

  70. Edward Amame says:

    Col Lang
    John Lewis could be referring to something else. Reporter Greg Palast, a friend of Lewis’, has been writing about more than 95,000 ballots cast in the big 3 deciding Midwestern states where there was no vote for president. They use paper ballots – if you don’t fill the bubble completely, the machine records that you didn’t vote for president. In Michigan, most of the uncounted ballots came from Flint and Detroit.
    Then there’s the tens of thousands of minority voters dropped from the rolls in the swing states that shifted Trump. Rep Alcee Hastings says that the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is a criminal violation of federal law and called for criminal indictments and an investigation.

  71. Edward Amame says:

    The FBI got its way. Clinton was not elected. Apparently now the CIA is trying to have its way regarding Trump.
    This election was a banana republic travesty.

  72. WJ says:

    The “left” needs to be distinguished from DNC Democrats and liberals and the credentialed set. I am a “left” political realist Sanders supporter and neither I nor anybody else I know from that group this this is anything by a deep state quasi coup/CIA turf defense/ DNC distraction technique.

  73. Origin says:

    Thanks for the link to the insightful article.

  74. turcopolier says:

    How about the huge popular vote for HC in CA. Everything kosher there? pl

  75. paratrop says:

    Henry John Temple Palmerston: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
    The UK and Australia both joined the AIIB in the face of opposition from the US.
    The IC of the US and UK are very close and feed off each other in their beliefs and truths all the time but ultimately, these days, economic interests will triumph.

  76. FB Ali says:

    Anatol Lieven has a very sound and penetrating piece on the current situation in the US. Aptly titled Is America Becoming a Third World Country? it is at:

  77. Gordon Wilson says:

    As Mr Field remarked, “Sometimes you have to take the bull by the tail and face the situation.”
    I fail to see how a vote for Hillary in Mississippi or for Trump in California is less important than any other vote in any other precinct in any other state or commonwealth. The arithmetic in both the popular and electoral vote are in any case non-germane to this discussion. No offense intended, just something I had to get off my chest. It’s a limited democracy by design, and these things will happen.
    As to Mr. Lewis’ remarks I have no idea his motivation for saying such a thing, anymore than I have a motivation for the birther nonsense other than people would rather find the straw man to blame for failure.
    I am quite certain that the information bubbles both left and right get their political oxygen from are a serious impediment to analysis of what did or didn’t happen, since no one knows enough to really add anything to what we all know collectively.
    When I was blogging I lost a lot of anti-war/pacifist readers for agreeing with you on military action against Libya, although I cited humanitarian reasons for doing so, I was convinced by your argument of re-establishing American power in the Mediterranean due to our absence from other engagements, and like you I suffered the disappointment of NATO efforts, especially France and Britain, in following through with the plan. That Putin felt sandbagged is not too surprising, but if I might digress further, it was this military action that persuaded Russia to re-engage in Syria to protect their assets and interests there, and lead to the Syrians disposing of their chemical weapons.
    Add that to the color revolutions in Russia’s near abroad, I think Putin’s motives are fairly obvious although highly unlikely that he would have known Trump would be President, a juicy target nonetheless. As for Mr. Assange’s motivations, he has never been coy about wanting to bring the American empire to heel and so his being a conduit for the Hillary and DNC leaks are a no brainer. He and Mr. Putin are not American partisans, and like all our adversaries quite willing and capable of exploiting our divisions as a people, as our own native partisan propagandists. One need only pick a side and smooth talk and the tickling of ears will do the rest.
    As you well know the easily inflamed are the most vocal in this, as in all other matters, quite convinced of their judgments based on whatever facts the information bubble they reside in deigns to inform them of, passing this wisdom on to us in a multitude of assertive comments, reaffirming the folk saying that fools rush in where angels dare to tread. Probably OK with Grandma sandwich money, not so much with nuclear weapons.
    As to the “Borg Collective” seems to me we are dealing with the same flatheads we dealt with in 2002-03. If only we had pictures like those of the bridge bombed in Baghdad you and Larry could enlighten me with observations of standing and fallen spans, and the various characteristic of differing ordinance.
    At any rate the inauguration will go forward as scheduled, and my thought and feelings on the President elect won’t matter on wit. Unlike Alexander Cockburn and Justin Raimondo my politics aren’t motivated by what I hate, but I understand that for many this is the lens they use. I will spare you the Elanor Roosevelt quote.
    In conclusion, thanks for the continuing efforts, and I hope your better half is doing well.

  78. “I mean, such a statement does not survive any close and serious scrutiny.”
    I think it might:-
    1. If you don’t have a defence you don’t, ultimately, have a country. Or your country can get wrecked.
    Any defence has two components: The armed forces a country can afford and the alliances it can rely on. On the second component, America is the only truly reliable ally we have, unless you wish to maintain that we have none.
    2. As you say “But ally against whom?” Who are we defending ourselves against?
    Don’t know. Nobody much at the moment, I hope, for all the silly talk about Russia. Nor do I know who is likely to burgle my house. But I still take out insurance against burglary and so do you.
    Footnote 1. Quite a few memoirs have come out from people who served in the Falklands war. The Americans were on the face of it infuriating in that war – kept on trying to negotiate our position away. But underneath that, as those memoirs repeatedly mention, American support was there when needed and was provided in the usual lavish American style. The memoirs don’t mention any support from our European allies.
    Footnote 2. You and I are very sceptical about defence at the moment because our politicians are using it all wrong. No one knows that better than the people who serve in the military and of course using superbly trained Special Forces to go off and assist headchoppers or Neo-Nazis shouldn’t be what it’s all about. But the fact that we’re using it wrong doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a defence.
    End of brief summary. Do tell me if I’ve got anything wrong.

  79. David says:

    Thanks for posting a link to those pictures

  80. raven says:

    Oh bullshit, who the hell do you think you scare with this stuff?

  81. doug says:

    Probably kosher. It is California after all where the politics of the “People’s Republic of Santa Monica,” a moniker coined some 50 years ago, is spreading across the state like kudzu. The big cities are about as liberal democrat as one can get. Rural areas went for Trump. Might have been some illegals on the voting roles since no-one checks those. It was preordained that HRC would win big here so most of her time in the state was spent fundraising. Many rich liberal democrats to tap.

  82. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    This thread needs some comic relief, but it should be somewhat relevant to the topic. Therefore I offer this:

  83. doug says:

    Indeed, impeaching Trump will not be done immediately but after more months of throwing everything at him. Manchurian candidate, Putin’s puppet, sex pervert, unprincipled businessman (emoluments), unpredictably dangerous, appeaser. No matter what the facts are as they aren’t relevant. The Borg is busy creating a new reality around Trump. After between 2 to 4 months of drumbeat when enough republicans feel safe they’ll decide who can safely vote against him and combine that with >95% of the democrats and that will be it.
    Trumps bully pulpit will be outside the MSM. Social media, blogs and such. There will be a concerted effort to break that away in bits and pieces.
    The full allergic response of the elites was never anticipated as necessary. This would have all occurred before the election had Trump polled closer but the elites really never imagined he would be elected.
    Building up the drumbeat is a necessary precursor much like what was done with Nixon. In Nixon’s case once the WH tapes came out his goose was cooked. The palpable dislike and fear of Trump is, IMO, considerably greater amongst the elites. The fear will drive a continuing attack from all sides and, when he seems to be damaged enough, there will be a quick impeachment.
    The only major unknown is Trump’s ability to persuade and reach common people. It is, however, damned hard to counter repeated claims of being a Russian stooge.
    One of the biggest risks I see in the situation is the leverage this gives the Borg. No fly zone and troops to Syria? Bomb Iran? Many external interests will try to take advantage of the situation. Trump could even provide a handy goat if, or rather when, things go South.
    Quite a sad thing to see but the writing’s on the wall.

  84. Cee says:

    Col. Lang,
    IMO John Lewis is a very decent man who deserves our respect,
    Yes, however, for some odd reason he’s very much wedded to HRC. He didn’t support Obama in 2008 until the writing was on the wall and of course he maligned Sanders.
    He’s demeaning himself with the meaningless tantrum.
    The President of Talladega College recently said “You can’t eat if you aren’t at the table”.

  85. Cee says:

    I’m on the left and voted for Trump because of his stance pertaining to Russia.
    Secondly, the DNC was out to destroy Sanders and thought they could get away with this. They pissed me off, I washed my hands of them and walked away.
    Now what is frightening to me is Obama moving soldiers to Poland and Israel bombing Syria.

  86. JMH says:

    Buyer’s remorse is a major factor, IMO.

  87. Allegorio says:

    How about the election stolen from Senator Sanders in California, Nevada by Senator Boxer? I suppose that was Kosher? Recent events in the California Democratic Party is giving the Borg pause.

  88. johnf says:

    Its almost as though Fox News is morphing into RT.
    I’m pretty certain Murdoch is still personally running Fox after Roher Ailes’s unfortunate revelations.

  89. jld says:

    You and WJ:
    I said “mostly” and being SST non trolls readers “disqualifies” you from such categorization. 🙂

  90. Old Microbiologist says:

    He was commander in chief. In the military consensual sex between a superior and a subordinate is considered and prosecuted as rape. I know this as I was an Article 32 investigating officer in the case of sergeant
    Drill instructors having sex with privates in their platoons. This occurred exactly the same time as the impeachment of Clinton. All are still doing the long course at Leavenworth. The president got off Scott free and set a horrible example to everyone in the government.

  91. Ken Roberts says:

    This may be tangential, but perhaps an interesting data point if one interprets present goings-on as attempts to gin up … whatever. Controversy in St. Petersburg re transfer of cathedral from govt to church. First time I’ve seen petition signing bots seriously discussed in mainstream news.

  92. Old Microbiologist says:

    lol. I actually have met people of those names (and similar) back when I lived in Corona. But, to be fair I left California in 1985 and only returned for my father’s funeral in 2001 and haven’t been back since. Arguably, California is a bizarre place with a higher than normal amount of shall we say ultra-liberals? Of course, this is not unique to California and there are other places just as weird (to me) such as Washington State (Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia areas), Austin Texas, Ithaca New York and probably most of Colorado and little enclaves in Arizona and New Mexico. Places that are havens for wanna-be hippies etc. Generally this is what we are referring as the coastal verses inland regions demarking what appears to be two entirely distinct nations of Americans. Of course it isn’t that simple but I can say having spent a large part of my life dealing with HIV that the ratio of liberals to HIV infection levels appear to correlate fairly well Of course this is taboo so no one is going to present that particular data in that way. It is, of course, just my own hypothesis, but I worked for quite a while doing disease surveillance and was put in charge of screening the Army for HIV back in 1985 (as an additional duty). Prior to that I worked as a Preventive Medicine specialist for a large military community in Stuttgart in the early 70’s (before HIV) when gonorrhea was the large problem as was infectious Hepatitis B both of which were travelling widely in the closeted gay community in the military. Between my enlisted and officer career I worked at the Orange County Coroner’s office (while obtaining my BS and MS degrees) and was involved once again with dealing with the lifestyle choices of ultra-liberals. So, my experiences have clearly jaundiced my attitudes.
    However, I do not live in the US and prefer to travel in Europe and Asia although we are heading back this year as tourists to the Southwest (not California) on a Russian photo safari. We live in Hungary where there don’t appear to be any liberals at all, at least based on US standards. Here a liberal would be still considered a conservative in the US. On the other hand crime is really low despite poor economic conditions. I attribute that to Hungary resisting the neo-liberal globalism and forced immigration of non-Hungarians. Make of that what you will but things here are so much better in this regard than in the US it is kind of shocking when I return back to the US periodically. Hungarians generally hate their government (doesn’t seem to matter what party is in charge) but like the current immigration policy so it is a wash. Trump is seen as hope for better relations here and under Obama it was very close to war despite being a member of the EU. Soros is persona non grata in Hungary despite that he is still a Hungarian citizen.
    I apologize as these are very off topic statements though other than the contrast of ultra-liberals in places like California (and London) which seem to have a larger than deserved effect on US politics. I wonder when we will start to see prosecutions for sedition? If the “protests” at the inauguration get out of control, and rioting ensues there is a real argument that people like Rosie O’Donnell have incited rebellion and could be prosecuted for a variety of offenses should damages and/or deaths occur. We live in interesting times.

  93. Old Microbiologist says:

    Nice summary. One other factor that seems in play is the profound (and stupid ) belief that Russia will back down if threatened. This explains the coup in Ukraine and the deployment of 2,500 armored vehicles on Russia’s borders. I think these same idiots also believe that they can win a nuclear war and that the Aegis defense system actually works.
    I am reminded of a quote which I cannot attribute and must paraphrase from my dim memory “There is stupid, really stupid, and invading Russia”.
    Despite Trump’s indications that he will pursue better relations with Russia, Obama is setting the stage for a colossal failure. Russia has deployed a great deal into Crime and Kaliningrad as well as regions in Russia in preparation for defense (not aggression as our neo-con nutcases would like us to believe). The next week is perhaps the most dangerous in world history.

  94. LG says:

    Thank you for writing, I was missing your posts.

  95. Old Microbiologist says:

    Assuming my post made it regarding ultra-liberals and HIV rates. This is best observed at the county level: https://aidsvu.org/map/
    I am too lazy but a comparison of counties that voted for Trump or Hillary (and maybe for grins and giggles Jill Stein) to this map might be interesting. What it alludes to is what we all recognize already at our gut level is that there are really two entirely different America’s now within the same borders. This is starkly apparent. One could do the same thing for violent crime etc. But, the lifestyle differences are very apparent between the deplorables and the liberals. (Rate in Hungary for comparison is 2.7/100,000 and virtually all from IV drug use). The self-identifying liberal population in Hungary is 4% (Hungarians are notorious for lying on polls though).

  96. pmr9 says:

    It may be relevant that Trump’s remark about BBC news was made to Ian Pannell. There is evidence that Ian Pannell’s BBC reports from Syria were part of an information operation linked to MI6. These include a report of an alleged napalm attack on a school in Aleppo province, which appears to have been fabricated (https://bbcpanoramasavingsyriaschildren.wordpress.com), and a report from the site of an alleged chemical attack in Saraqeb in which as David Habakkuk has noted on SST (http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/09/bellingcat-proves-the-russians-didnt-do-it.html) Pannell concealed the role of Hamish de Bretton-Gordon. It’s not clear if Trump was aware of Ian Pannell’s history as an information operative.

  97. Ken Roberts says:

    Thank you for article link. Some good observations, especially re concept of legitimacy of a state.

  98. JohnsonR says:

    As someone who was a Thatcher voter and supporter of Cold War confrontation of the Soviet Union, and who is very much a Eurosceptic, I am naturally drawn to agree with your assertion that “the US is the only reliable ally we have got”, at least in theory and in the long run. But the reality of the past two decades is that the US alliance has been a disaster for us, from enabling our rulers to engage in otherwise impractical interventionist wars based upon lies in Kosovo, in Iraq and in Libya, to the enthusiastic collaboration of our own elites and government with the US’s elites and government in foolish and misguided foreign policies such as the demonization of Russia, the attempt at regime change in Syria, the confrontationalism towards Iran and the general misguided support of Israel.
    And an alliance is one thing, but things seem to have reached an unhealthy degree of subservience in recent years. It made sense for us to subordinate ourselves to the US in 1945, when we emerged shattered from the second of two disastrous world wars, to face a world in which we were overlooked by two unmatchably powerful superpowers, each in their own way determined to see our empire ended. There is today no need for such subservience, and we should be an ally of the US when it suits us to be such, yes, but first we need to distance ourselves a little. Ending NATO, which ought to have been ended in the 1990s when its raison d’etre disappeared and since then has only been an engine for disorder and trouble, is the least we need to do if we want to stand on our hind legs again.
    If we are not to take the opportunity now, when we face no meaningful military threats that we cannot deter or defeat ourselves, to establish that healthy distance, then when will we ever?

  99. LondonBob says:

    Trump won’t be impeached by his own party, even Niall Ferguson was dismissing such a scenario as far fetched, nor will anything else happen to him. To paraphrase something I recently read by Pippa Malmgren about the civil war between the intelligence community and the more conservative military community, it will be noisy and messy, but it will end with Trump and the military annihilating their opponents. I think their recent actions guarantee it. The media and the Democrat party will be on the receiving end too, that Clinton investigation will be a great way to ensare many I should think.
    As for being able to blackmail Trump over sexual escapades, seriously? Are these people the only ones on this planet that don’t know his history.

  100. Old Microbiologist says:

    One also must think about the US response if Russia were to move 2,500 tanks, medium range nuclear capable cruise missiles, and 5,000 soldiers to the Northern border of Mexico at Mexico’s request? This would be to counter US aggression and threats against Mexico. Obviously, this would be an insane move by Russia yet we have done this in Europe. It bothers me as several hundred are coming here to Hungary relatively close to my home in Hajmasker. This was an old Russian (armor) base abandoned in 1992 but recently renovated last year so this has been planned for quite a while now and has nothing to do with perceived Russian aggression but more to do with “supporting” Ukraine in a new attack on the Donbass. This is on top of the move of a squadron of A-10 Ground Attack Fighters to Papa Air Base (ostensibly NATO but manned and commanded by Americans only).
    My fear is a false flag attack so reprehensible that the US and NATO must invade all of Ukraine. Perhaps a nerve gas attack on Mariopol or Odessa might do the trick. It seems like chemical warfare has recently become our false flag of choice. Couple that with snipers at the inauguration and it will be loads of fun. Personally, I am very leery that so many protests were approved coupled with the firing of the Commander of the DC National Guard. Add in the motor cycle gangs who have sworn allegiance to Trump and it has the recipe for a nice tasty revolt requiring martial law. Far fetched? Maybe but these days it isn’t out of the question. Too many chess pieces are moving on the board all at the same time.

  101. Nancy K says:

    Liberal to HIV vs rural to opioid addiction, diabetes and lung cancer.

  102. Tyler says:

    You, obviously.

  103. Tyler says:

    Thanks, but its just not worth my time to engage with people like the quality of raven (likely Corvinus from isteve) – who’s posting career consists of cutting and pasting from HuffPaint.
    CTR must be hurting for funding after Borg Grandma’s loss.

  104. Nancy K says:

    She didn’t need a lot of votes to win in CA.but it is a liberal state especially in the major cities where the bulk of the voting population lives. 2 million votes does not seem too far fetched.

  105. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I understand that there always could be enemies and often are. I am not questioning that.
    But I still do not understand who are UK’s potential enemies in the current situation.
    And why?
    UK won in Falklands because the sitting PM decided to go to war, using UK’s own resources and capacities. She did not invoke the Article 5 of NATO to receive any kind of aide and succor that the alliance could provide.
    Why is UK still part of NATO?
    Why does NATO even exist now after the dissolution of USSR and the Warsaw pact?
    UK could just sign a bilateral treaty with US and leave NATO to its own devices.
    Unless UK are planning to wage a global war.

  106. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I disagree with you on “state”.
    In Congo, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya there is no state (one could argue that there is no state in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel) and you are seeing the consequences of its absence – banditry, rapine, famine; a short brutish life.
    Also, far be it for me to defend the Perfidious Albion, but you cannot, in my view, put them in the same category was with the brutal and rigid caste system of Hindu India.
    But I agree that we ( the 99%) are screwed with no end in sight.

  107. Hank L says:

    What’s amazing is that Deep State monitored Michael Flynn’s phone calls to the Russian Ambassador when Obama kicked out the 35 Russian diplomats and this information was then directly fed to David Ignatius of the Washington Post.
    “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”

  108. turcopolier says:

    Hank L
    Yes Ignatius revealed through the article in the WP that the US listens to the Russian Ambassador’s telephones. We all knew that but this confirms the fact. Flynn would have known it as well before he called. As you realize in this case it was decided by “someone” to give Ignatius this information to have it published in the WP. The fact of this collection of data is of necessity classified. So, “someone” probably at CIA gave their unofficial PR man, Ignatius this information in the knowledge that is was classified and that Ignatius would do something illegal with it. This was a blatant and obvious use of the intelligence function for political purpose. pl

  109. Old Microbiologist says:

    One thing I find amazingly idiotic is that the US has no National Identification card. Here in the EU every resident is issued a Permanent Card which shows your citizenship, age, place of birth, mother’s maiden name and status. we also must obtain an address card from the local mayor’s office showing your residency. Basically, you can do nothing without these cards in any official capacity. This includes stuff at the Post Office. If you drive you need a driver’s license and proof of insurance, if you sail a boat you need a skipper’s certificate (ICC or equivalent) and proof of insurance, and so on. On top of that nearly every Hungarian also has a Passport. It isn’t required but it is if you visit any countries outside the EU and former Hungarian countries (In general Hungarians tend to only go to Hungarian places or former Hungarian places) are near us such as Bosnia/Herzegovina and the Ukraine which are not part of the EU.
    If our Congressmen would get off their butts and pass something logical like that as a law (might require a constitutional amendment) then it would end a lot of fraud in the US. It is bizarre as you need an id to own a gun, buy liquor, etc. but not to vote or receive public assistance (thinking illegal immigrants here). Nutty places like California are now issuing driver’s licenses to illegals as part of their “sanctuary” concept. This is categorically insane.

  110. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you, that is indeed what I am saying.

  111. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think anyone who advocates state destruction without the concomitant commitment to prolonged occupation and reconstruction of that state should be quickly removed whatever position of influence or power that he or she occupies.
    The United States and her allies pursued a policy of state destruction in Afghanistan against the Communist Government of Dr. Najib to success.
    However, in my opinion, in the light of what has happened since, it was truly a Pyrrhic victory; entailing enormous costs to the United States and her allies over several decades.
    Are the United States and their allies benefiting from the disappearance of Yugoslavia and its replacement by a couple of dukedoms, and a couple of areas run by EU’s pro-consuls?
    I personally think not but the full bill is still in the future, in my opinion.
    Likewise for the destruction of the Libyan government; yes the EU raped her finances and I imagine there is a population of “1%” people in EU that benefited temporarily for her destruction. But over the coming years – I very much doubt it.

  112. OMB,
    I’m coming around to your thinking about national ID cards. Now that I carry three picture ID cards and am resigned to the massive level of data collection and retention by both the government and corporations in this country, I see advantages in a mandatory universal ID card. Every person within US territory must have a national ID indicating citizenship, immigration/visitor status or must carry a valid passport from their home country. To be found not having your papers in order would mean arrest or citation. To employ a person not having their papers in order would also mean arrest or citation. No more possibility of voter fraud or voter suppression. Hell, we could even require all eligible voters to show up to vote. They could fill out a null ballot if they choose, but they have to vote. Of course this would require eliminating hurdles to obtaining such an ID card.
    OTOH, I still find the idea of someone removing themselves from “the grid” without the threat of retribution from the state to be philosophically satisfying.

  113. turcopolier says:

    TTG & OMB
    I, too, have come around to accepting national ID cards for a variety of reasons. pl

  114. The deplorables don’t care aboput an abortion, or anything else you can dredge up or fabricate.
    Whether Trump means it or not, is kind of irrelevant because he’s saying the things to people who are hurting, and that’s why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump. He is the human Molotov cocktail that they’ve been waiting for. The human hand grenade that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them. . . Trump’s election is going to be the biggest F_k You ever recorded in human history. And it will feel good.” –Micheal Moore
    As long as that’s on track President Trump can do whatever he wants.

  115. kooshy says:

    TTG, beside the voter fraud, IMO a reliable national id system will add tremendously to security, and security/ law enforcement, fraud prevention functionality.

  116. This was a blatant and obvious use of the intelligence function for political purpose
    True, but Trump and Flynn knew that also; they successfully trolled the dirty establishment, exposing another traitor.
    “Trump throws the brushback pitch” – http://andstillipersist.com/2017/01/trump-throws-the-brushback-pitch/

  117. Tyler says:

    Comic relief? There’s plenty here already in the form of the commenters who ACTUALLY BELIEVE Russia stole the election for Trump.

  118. kooshy says:

    Colonel, did you watch John Brennan’ Fox news interview this morning, any thought on this, is he feeling any heat or fear , accepting to come to Fox to make good?

  119. HawkOfMay says:

    As someone on the left who despises Trump to his core I’m not buying it either.
    We live in a day and age where a minority view (or even a piece fake news) can be magnified through social media manipulation. Social media bots are rampant. Engineered Social Tampering. It is ongoing war between those who are trying to identify the bots with machine learning vs those who are using bots to evade detection. I distrust all generic comments about the left or right without data to back them up.
    Your comment of collective madness that is going on and the intolerance coming from the left and its allies is frightening strikes me as a straw man of kind of argument. I live in the “Peoples Republic of Ann Arbor” or “25 square miles surrounded by reality” and no one I know cares about or believes the buzz feed article. They are incensed enough about Betsy Devos as Secretary of Education to need anything else to hate Trump for.

  120. gowithit says:

    What’s up here?
    “Israeli intelligence officials fear that top-secret information that has been exposed to the United States will be leaked to Russia—and from Russia to its close ally, Iran.

  121. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Iran and Russia are not close allies.

  122. Cee says:

    I was just reading about the CIA hiring people to manipulate opinions on social media. No shock.

  123. Nancy K says:

    I agree a national ID card would be great as would national elections using the same rules however state rights rules and I cannot imagine the individual states giving up their individualism.

  124. Nancy K says:

    I agree with your post completely. The reasons I dislike Trump have nothing to do with his behavior in Russia or anywhere else.

  125. Article 5? I thought that didn’t cover the Falklands area. I’d have thought it would’ve been difficult getting the continental Europeans on board anyway – most people in Europe either weren’t interested or thought we were in the wrong.
    It’s very far from the topic of this thread, but if the Colonel permits us to wander off for a moment, there are one or two points here that might, for those not familiar with the subject, be misunderstood.
    When you say that Mrs Thatcher “decided to go to war” you will have meant “Mrs Thatcher decided to send an expeditionary force to recover the Falklands”. The war started with the unexpected Argentinian invasion. Mrs Thatcher just had to decide whether to lose it or not.
    You will know that but these days many don’t. As for thinking the UK was and is in the wrong, that, to my occasional irritation, is standard amongst my continental friends and sometimes thought to be the case elsewhere. Perhaps I could set out the true state of affairs, two background points and two major points:-
    1. UK legal right to the Falklands is indisputable.
    2. Geographically it looks a bit iffy. Port Stanley to London some 8,000 miles, to Argentina a few hundred. But if propinquity is to be the main determinant in these matters, there’s going to be a lot of upset around the world if all such territories and islands are to be arbitrarily re-allocated to their nearest neighbour.
    Then we come to the two issues that really matter. Issues that really matter from a moral point of view, and also from an electoral point of view in case any politician is tempted to go back on our commitment to retaining the Falklands:-
    3. The few inhabitants of the Falklands are British and that’s how they want to stay. There are better ways of persuading them otherwise than doing it by force.
    That consideration, that the Falklanders should stay British if they want to, is, I believe, at the root of the strong feelings the Falklands episode aroused in the UK. It is, for me and I believe for most, still the main consideration.
    4. Finally there’s the little matter of the invasion. Plenty of precedent for just marching in and grabbing some land you feel belongs to you – the Sudetenland and Palestine spring to mind – but plenty of precedent for resisting if possible. Resisting it was possible, just, for us, and that was due to the extraordinary enterprise and courage of the British forces sent out to re-take the islands. We lost many soldiers and many came back disabled for life. After that, I don’t think most in the UK view the matter quite as we might have done before the invasion.
    I hope that sorts out that question. On the matter of a bilateral defence arrangement, I haven’t heard Mrs May mentioning it. But she doesn’t talk to me much anyway.
    English Outsider

  126. Fred says:

    Let me point out a few items. First I would not put forward a judge who was impeached and removed from office as the person of integrity to comment on voting fraud in this or any election.
    Second, to your point “In Michigan, most of the uncounted ballots came from Flint and Detroit.”
    You left out that 35+% of precincts in Detroit had over-votes i.e. did not match the established voter rolls and therefore could not be recounted under Michigan law. That’s how you lock in your voter fraud in this state. Perhaps you could find a more credible source than Rolling Stone, which last of $7.5 million jury judgement for that fake rape story, for reporting election fraud in Michigan.

  127. I agree. And with Babak makkinejad. That or reform. But the action is on the other side of the Atlantic. Until Trump’s inaugurated we won’t know what his options are.
    The point I originally made was that our politicians here are closing down their own options by attacking Trump or allowing their officials to be party to an attack. It doesn’t seem to be mere posturing – they really do seem to want to damage him. One can only hope that olive branches are being offered behind the scenes, but with the BBC still running Trump down that doesn’t seem likely.

  128. Fred says:

    “Nutty places like California are now issuing driver’s licenses to illegals as part of their “sanctuary” concept. ”
    This is being done without referencing citizenship so that automatic voter registration of all residents can be given under the presumption they’ll vote the way the left wants them too.

  129. Fred says:

    The President is not commander in chief of the citizens. He got impeached but not removed.

  130. turcopolier says:

    Does this have something to do with her popular vote in California? pl

  131. Edward Amame says:

    Forget that it was Rolling Stone. Seriously, check Palast’s work and rep. Check out his Wiki page.
    I first became aware of his work after Gov Geo Pataki deregulated the energy market here in NY state (rates doubled overnight and never went back down). Palast had directed a U.S. civil racketeering investigation into LILCO’s activities and subsequently looked into the entities behind energy deregulation, first when they tried it out in the UK and then here in the US, esp in NY, TX, and CA. Enron was one of the major players.

  132. Edward Amame says:

    Old Microbiologist
    Not sure how a national ID will keep states from voter caging and purging from the registration rolls. However, national IDs would prevent the blocking of people from legitimate registrations and the shunting of millions of voters to provisional ballots that will never be counted.
    I oppose national ID’s in theory, but them I live in NY and not a state where all the above can be problems that minority voters have faced.

  133. Fred and pl,
    Voter registration of illegals in California is an urban myth. Voter registration is done concurrently with coming in to get a driver license at the California DMV. The illegals aren’t registered because they don’t have the required proof of eligibility to vote. They do get a driver license, but do not enter the voter roles.

  134. Edward Amame says:

    Voter fraud, as most people understand it (ie: voting multiple times), is a practically non-existant problem. The real problem is states that utilize all kinds of ways to keep people they don’t want voting from doing so:

  135. Edward Amame says:

    Col Lang
    Apparently there was a voter purge in CA too. It appears to be due to ineptitude, not legislation. Same here in NY.
    There seem to have been some issues in your state though. Apparently there were lawsuits filed regarding a group trying to force an unnecessary voter purge:

  136. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    I was not questioning the decisions of the English Government in regards to Falklands War; only meaning that UK could rely on her own resources then and – I assume – now. She does not need the United States unless she intends to participate in another World War.

  137. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater to All,
    So what’s it going to be called? “The Spy Who Stepped Out of 9-11?” (Orbis address.)
    I have some contrarian ideas about the whole thing. Maybe the real story could just be called “The Spy Who Needed Too Much Money.” Though I don’t know for sure that he even had a mortgage.
    Steele and his second wife and their total of four children, three of them by Steele’s late wife, are said to have been at Brookley Close, Runfold, Surrey, only recently, for half of 2015 and all of 2016. This seems to be a relatively new housing development. It sits on the outskirts of Farnham, a very nice little ville, that has three good routes up to London. By the M-3 it is forty miles; or about one hour and twenty minutes. It is twenty-seven miles to Heathrow; less than half an hour’s run. The Hog’s Back runs right by the Close; an historically interesting road up through the North Downs to Guildford.
    House values in Brookley Close, Runfold, could be described as averaging recently 789,695 pounds, or $962,101. Interesting that one house in the last five years sold for 1,380,000 pounds, or $1,689,281. Does Steele have a lease; or does he own his house? I get the impression from reports that he owns, but I am not sure. If he owns, he is living in a neighborhood that has $2,000,000 houses, where there has been a steady and significent annual increase in recent years.
    Where does a senior level SIS officer, on a civil service pension or its equivalent, who seems to have served about twenty years, get that kind of money? If he gets say $70,000 a year, it seems to me that a mortgage on a house in the Close could eat up most or all of his yearly pension income. Four per cent of a million is $40,000 a year. He was born in 1964. At 52 he is in his peak earning years. Those ten years following would be decisive as to what comes after that. He’s got four children to be schooled, with university following. His family and his late wife’s family seem to be very solid in military and scientific vocations. One could guess his father’s family could have had Army background in the Raj. But there has been no sign that they are rich. His first wife worked while they were stationed in Moscow. Even if house prices in Britain are high, I have seen on the Zillow equivalent (Zoopla) in that area (and Surrey seems to be home base for his family), adequate houses that are more reasonably priced for one in his situation.
    What is his situation? I am guessing. He seems to have accomplished a lot. The loss of his young wife at 43 after a five-year illness must have been devastating. Did that destabilize him a bit? Is he a bit of a fantasist? That has been said of him. (That seems important.) Has he slipped into a Personality Disorder? Does he have the capability to go off the reservation? Isn’t this what has happened? He’s gone rogue, but he’s still legal, and he is laboring mightily to keep his intent disguised, at this point.
    Why did he get out of SIS when he did? It looks like he could have continued onwards and upwards. But was there enough money, even at the end of the long climb? He got out and founded, with his partner, a business intelligence company called Orbis, in March of 2009. This was six months before his wife died. Where did they live then? Not at Brookley Close, surely.
    Had his association with Litvinenko, and presumably Berezovsky, given him the idea that he could just jump out there from government service into the London business world and shake the money tree? And he found out that it was far more difficult and risky than he had ever thought? That’s my theory of the case.
    My theory is that he has now deliberately sacrificed his company, Orbis, and with it his partner’s interest. It had to be. He saw that he was burning through the assets and going down. The money was not coming in relative to expenses. He was getting information from clandestine sources by telephone? Not good. He couldn’t go to Russia. Not good. His source flies in to London. Long time no see. Can he believe what he gets? What does he really know about the Russian situation? He’s paying out cash on the barrel head. He has offices in Belgravia, a very posh, fashionable part of central London (as The Beaver also noticed), six minutes walk from Lady Astor’s dwelling on famous Eaton Square, near the Gorham Hotel, twenty five minutes stroll to Bird Cage Walk. Everything about it, his website, for example, looks very solid, very impressive. I think it’s all front; he had invested far too heavily in appearances and living an upper middle class life, the money just wasn’t there, he was getting in way over his head, and he was terrified of losing everything. Fifty-two, four children, three cats, a nice new wife, two million dollar house, everything to fight for. He knows what he must do. He can lie and dissemble and hide what he is doing, and he knows it is disgraceful, a betrayal of everything in his background that he had done so well. He has to make the patriot noises. And that is what he is now doing. As with Mother Jones. A very worried, heroic guy who stumbled on to something. Working without pay.
    His case makes me think of Danny Casolaro, who had a balloon mortgage. If he hadn’t had that, Danny would still be alive. For Danny time ran out. He couldn’t get an advance. Problems with his story. He killed himself. I am also reminded of Frank Terpil and Edwin G. Wilson, who earned millions somehow (at least for a while) while working for government wages in the far-flung American spook factory.
    I think Christopher Steele was shocked as he began to learn just how bad his business model was. He was just running a glorified detective agency. Sometimes business didn’t come in. He had had some good luck, as with FIFA. But he could see what loomed ahead. And he was never going to be one to run a framing shop or hustle real estate.
    But he had a fall-back position. It was and it is very bold. It meant betraying certain people in certain ways, perhaps not in illegal ways, but close. He is now selling himself as the product. His life is the product. It is fake, it is a lie, it is scandalous, it is damaging to his own government, and to his presumably former organization, the secret service. But I am afraid it looks like he’s made a brilliant chess move. He’s got something terrific going now. Whatever legal documents he may have signed with his government about secrecy can be bypassed; the real dramatic tension of his story is what is happening now, in recent time, and he is unencumbered. And as to the past, he can bypass a lot of classified matters by making things up, and stay away from the service’s genuine legal constraints. Steele must have a lot of War stories in the pipeline he could work into the patriotic narrative. He can go angrily full bore on the Litvinenko horror. He and his writer will promulgate the already developing fiction that he is, like Raymond Chandler’s Detective Marlowe, the solitary, tough, honorable (“introverted, detail man”) who finds himself up against powerful, evil, forces, like Danny Casolaro’s Octopus. And we know that this is a true story!
    It’s absolutely brilliant. If examined under oath, he can say that his alarm at what he had learned was simply overwhelming. It would be hard to trap him with perjury. He worked at Mother Jones for nothing. The efforts in Washington DC to accomplish the one thing, actually accomplished several other things. One is to provide cover. Better, he improved the product, his life story, greatly. It will surely pay off. He is now one of the most famous (or infamous) people in the world. His life story is now worth millions. When he is ready to tell it, when he has gotten a writer to assist him, he will begin with a huge advance. Who knows, maybe he can pay down the mortgage?
    Steele will even get the satisfaction of pulling a vaporous yarn out of the ether that will then stick like mud. His story and film will create the true visual memories in other people’s minds that are now only fleeting images in his own imagination. We live in an age where there is a new genre called transgressive literature. Or film. This is a splendid example of the transgressive. The lucrative transgressive.
    But who, other than Trump, has been slandered, betrayed, or worse? And might become dangerous. I would think among the real enemies Steele has unavoidably, of necessity, created, one might be his business associates; how can Orbis do business now or for a long time to come? Not the ones now for a discreet inquiry, are they? And what about the reputation and possibly the operations of the SIS? I think he would have quite a few colleagues who might be the ones who would like to kill him. As for the Russians– I would think the Russians might view the chaos created by his dossier(s) in the United States Borg, IC, and government with some equanimity. Actually kind of a check on the British and American governments. For the US and UK public it is now a time of deep mistrust , and fear of certain institutions. Their governments must be careful. So keep Steele going. How will the UK and US ever bring him to heel? I don’t think it is possible to prevent a book or a film. And how could there not be some sort of inquiry in parliament and elsewhere, at some point down the line.
    Steele and his family are in an SIS safe house? I wonder about that. Is the British government being slowly dragged deeper into this chaos? Maybe they are with relatives.
    What Steele needs now is a New York agent.

  138. trinlae says:

    Oh, you mean that place dnc decided to let AP call for HRC in the primary entire days before the polls closed ?
    Yes, by all means, let’s rigorously examine that data, shall we?
    All those millions of compaign dollars and no one could hire a brainiac to inform Dnc that reams of missing data from primaries concocted across the country (and PR) might just throw off the predictive statistics a little bit!

  139. trinlae says:

    Someone here a few days ago was praising HUMINT over SIGINT, in the context of Syria if I recall properly.
    Along those lines, while punitive citations and so forth can enforce failure to carry papers on person, they are still only symbolic of more material lines of accountability.
    In lower tech places like Nepal it always amazes me how law enforcement and intel services routinely crack contraband smuggling rings of all kinds and sizes and regularly round up and throw out foreigners who have overstayed their visas, all without the massive data spyware collection, although they are always being lured into that boondoggle. They do it through old school community human relationships intelligence in networks that seem like they have been handed down for centuries through their ancestors!
    The main downside to it imo is the system tends to reward nepotism and cronyism, due to spending so much energy in so much facetime with othersl

  140. trinlae says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this observation and that is the gift of this election season for me also, to inspire in me a profound observation for the sheer ingenuity and passion in their own due diligence, however amateurish or self-positioned they may be in policy preferences.
    The uncountable dynamic splines if you will are also among the generational shifts going on. When CTR ponied up the $1 million+ do to social media trolling on facebook that brought many bernie pages into a brief censorship freeze last April and May, the meme fests over on the dank meme stash pages that mix text comments with image files meant the professional trolls and fb data hacks couldn’t even keep up with the mixed media message “shape shifting.”
    Most of the legacy DC players are so far out of their own leagues they can’t even see how uneducated and skill-less they are compared to basement dwellers, bernie bros, deplorables and so forth, while DT is a master of that world. Yet removing him won’t make that world go away. People in some ways don’t even want their HBSC Cayman Lolita express tax shelter trillions and are resigned to an alternate existence with a trade and bit coin informal economy.
    I think it is safe to say that while little evidence points to any coherently meaningful narrative description worthy of an interpretation effort, it is looking likely that people still have no idea of the radical shift coming in terms of the way talent, intelligence, and local power will interact to supplant the old hubris games that masqueraded as meritocracy.

  141. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I hope you recall, in regards to the NATO destruction of state in Libya, that I stated publicly on this forum that things would go south – which they did.
    On the Avenida de Castellana, in Madrid, as you drive North, on the West side, there is a modern multi-story building that houses a Spanish-Libyan Bank; dating from the times that EU and Libya were friends.
    I wonder how many Spaniards are plundering the monies of Libya; buying themselves Audis and BMWs – all legally through EU Laws that, in essence, are nothing but legal piracy.

  142. Fred says:

    In reference to both my comments to EA above I would say that certainly illegal voting by non-citizens is possible but we’re unlikely to see any investigation into it. (I doubt we’ll see much investigation in Michigan into Detroit’s problems either. Gov. Snyder is neither too popular and is a lame duck, unlike the current Mayor of Detroit, who is getting a lot of milage out of an a mirage-like Renaissance in the city) As to whether precincts in CA had the same ballot box stuffing that Michigan saw I’m sure they did. It’s an old, old political trick. They certainly had problems in LA in the primary elections:
    In the case of Michigan I think those things sway the local elections far more than the national one. In California’s case I think the influx of people into the state and its generous social welfare programs have a lot more to do with people voting Democratic. Lots of conservatives – and liberals too – have been fleeing California taxes for some years now. Colorado and Texas getting the lions share of transplants. I even had breakfast with a couple of California Clinton supports in Paris. They made a point of telling the Swedes at the table they “resided” in Montana six months out of the year. I didn’t have the heart, or heartlessness, to ask them why they didn’t support those Clintonesque social programs with their tax dollars.

  143. doug says:

    Let’s see,
    Do Russia and Iran have joint visa waiver programs? No.
    Do Russia and Israel have joint visa waiver programs? Yes.
    OTOH, do the USA and Israel have joint visa waiver programs? No, but may in the near future.
    So who’s a close ally with whom?

  144. charly says:

    Aids is mainly a disease of gay men and of drug users who share needles. Both move to more liberal (read big city region) areas so the fact that aids & liberal areas are correlated is obvious. Straight people in the US who don’t have sex with a) gay man or b) needle drug users or c) sex worker have more change to win the lottery than to get Aids.
    Hungary is a European fly-over state (the west Virginia of Europe) and if they don’t want migrant in their country than there is a very simple solution for it. Give them a Hungarian passport and they will be gone in a fortnight to one of the more “liberal” EU states.

  145. charly says:

    How is the question even asked? Because the word liberal has very different meanings in different countries. From the ultra left to the center to the ultra right and also with totally different policies and the type of people which are their voter.

  146. charly says:

    IIRC UK does not have a a requirement that you have an ID card. (life is difficult without one) and i know for certain that status and mother’s maiden name is not an EU requirement cause it is missing on mine.

  147. charly says:

    It makes voter suppression much more obvious. Voter fraud seems to me something that does not exist in the real world in a meaningful way and it wont stop ballot stuffing.

  148. charly says:

    Unlikely to do the trick.
    I don’t think anybody really believes he is anti abortion. On abortion he sounded like a salesman who agrees with the customer because agreeing with the customer is a salesman trick. Not because he really felt that way. In fact i think his answer was so logical correct but extremist that i think he did it on purpose to signal that his agreeing was that of a salesman aka lying.

  149. Sam Peralta says:

    Did you guys watch that disgrace of a bureaucrat, John Brennan on Fox today? He’s the Saudi boy that failed to get the Borg Queen elected. Now flailing as he ratchets up the tension with Russia and expects Trump to submit to the Borg’s anti-Russia venom.
    I am glad that Trump communicates directly using Twitter well to get past the media filters and their groupthink agenda.
    check out the best rated comments. Many people are not buying what these losers are saying. Unfortunately the institutions that they lead are now gonna get tarred even more.
    The best FU to the Borg is to establish a good working relationship with Russia and takeout the jihadis and their supporters hard.
    Isn’t it interesting that the left that were always skeptical of the CIA and their meddling in the violent overthrow of leftists in South America, now are cheerleaders for the CIA because they smear Trump? Anatol Lieven is correct we have “the domestic politics of the Philippines or Argentina.”

  150. Edward Amame says:

    Also. I checked out your assertions about Detroit over-votes. True. However, the Detroit Free press notes that, “…there were 248 precincts in Detroit where voting machines tabulated more Election Day votes than people who were counted as checking in to vote. The affected precincts represent 37% of the city’s 662 precincts.
    Most of those overages were by small amounts — on average about 3 votes — with the largest being 12 votes in a single precinct. Those small numbers, which add up to 782 total spread out across more than 200 precincts, tend to point to human or machine malfunction as the culprit, rather than widespread fraud.
    In 158 precincts, the number of ballots tabulated by the optical-scanning voting machines was inexplicably less than the number of people who signed in to vote. At least 362 ballots were not counted in those precincts, even though the voters had been listed in poll books…”

  151. Fred says:

    Yeah a little fraud’s ok since the election your trying to win only needs how many extra votes above what the other gal gets. You just highlighted that there is more than one way to get there. Which party has been running Detroit for the last 50+ years?

  152. Old Microbiologist says:

    I think we have found a new acid test. If they hate (literal meaning) Trump then they are ultra-liberal. Merely despise then just Liberal, tolerant but not happy with the choice ranges from right leaning (centrist) Democrats to left leaning (centrist) Republicans and devoted and happy with Trump ultra-Right. Note you can’t include neo-cons or neo-liberals as they are all actually so far each direction they have met in the middle of the back side to become the Borg. Note: it isn’t important to actually vote. Most of the people who hate Trump vehemently never vote at all. They just want to complain, cry, rend their garments, or whine.
    I think the overall point I was making is a casual observation I have made over my years in different parts of the world dealing with a lot of different levels of wealth and poverty. You can’t go into a poor country to do research without greasing the powerful and attending the required parties. Anyway, what I am observing is a slow decline of society as it becomes more liberal. The American lifestyle is highly infectious but also brings with it the perils of the liberal lifestyle. This includes sex, drugs, and rock and roll (facetious but somewhat true). As religion wanes then the alternate lifestyles change along with that and we see an overall decline in social mores. As the US now also exports total destruction to perceived enemies we are creating the impetus for mass migrations which in effect supports globalization. So, it becomes a downward spiral. I am not a religious person but I think that there is social value to it and it is becoming a serious problem. You see it in the US with disease prevalence and if you really want to overlay the data violent crime, drug usage, etc. There is an obvious tendency for this to become more prevalent in “liberal” areas first but eventually will become prevalent elsewhere. Perhaps this is the root cause of the deplorables revolt against the political class. They see that life is changing rapidly and for the worse. On the other hand they also see wealth moving along with that. This is the paradox and something we have to address soon. I do not think Trump is the answer but I do believe he will be an impetus for change. Perhaps things are not so far gone it can’t be recovered without a major revolution and/or world wide war.

  153. Old Microbiologist says:

    Well, because of Obamacare requirements you now cannot go off the grid without violating the law requiring proof of insurance which also necessitates filing Income Taxes.
    But, I get you meaning. There was a time when this was a nice concept to go where you want and survive anyway you can. Kind of the wild west days which has been slowly being made impossible due to property ownership, fences, violations of military and/or federal lands etc. The same is true for flying in the US. You can still fly anywhere without filing a flight plan except more and more airspace is becoming classed so this is now an onerous problem to chart a route without violating some official airspace.
    So, I think the days of that kind of freedom are gone and perhaps this is a good thing. Now we need to organize and get everyone identified and catalogued. It is already done at many levels privately so why not do it at the federal level as well? Part of the NSA collection is reading license plates and plotting everyone’s locations using cell tower data. So, the watching is happening whether we like it or not. Soon, facial recognition will be in place everywhere and it will be illegal to wear anything that obfuscates the ability of software to track you. So, I don’t think having aNational Identity Card is a real threat to freedom. That freedom is already gone.

  154. Edward Amame says:

    The Detroit Free Press article suggests it’s not about “a little fraud,” it’s about “human or machine malfunction.” Either way, there’s going to be an investigation into the questionable 782 votes.
    There will not be an investigation into the 80,000 votes cast in Michigan that contain no vote for President. Those ballots needed to be examined by hand. That won’t happen thanks to the Trump campaign and the state’s GOP Attorney General.

  155. Babak Makkinejad says:

    And that supposed US “ally”, Israel, sold the names of US agents in USSR to the Soviet Government – which she had obtained through her spy network within US Government.
    Some ally.

  156. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater says,
    I remember in college talking to a black South African after he had given a speech. I think his name was Selvi Mvusi. He said that one way the National ID card was used at that time in South Africa was as a means of repression. His example was what had happened to him. He was standing in the street out in front of his own house. Police asked him for the ID. He didn’t have it on him. He was not allowed to step inside and get it. He was arrested, taken to jail, held for a while–I don’t remember the full details– and perhaps fined. You simply had to carry your ID at all times. It was infuriating to the black population.
    Every so often I go off on a long walk, sometimes at night. I think the laws requiring a national ID would mean that I needed to carry that card at all times, when off my own property. Even when jogging; taking out the garbage; speaking to a neighbor. Sounds like a surgically inserted chip might be next.
    With regard to boats, non-commercial boating, yachting, there is one little thing that many people don’t know– the U.S. Coast Guard can always get you on something, if they have a suspicion that they need probable cause to detain you. I’ve been through coast guard inspections. The list might include having in good condition certain emergency lamps; a zodiac raft in good condition with all necessary accoutrements, such as emergency bellows for inflation; fire extinguishers that have been recharged within a certain time-frame; a radar reflector for fog; appropriate life preservers, vests, etc. I suppose I could actually check now on the internet what that list is; but the idea is, at least thirty years ago, they were looking for drugs on board. I distinctly remember back in the 70’s when the US Coast Guard could be considered to have become unfriendly. To have to pass a license, and carry same, to be allowed to be out on that boat, or any boat–I don’t want that. And would it be a federal license? Wouldn’t that require a new federal agency? The state is bad enough with its requirement for their numbers on the bow of your boat and other laws, which also includes docks, alligators, and wetlands. During the warm months in the South, most yachtsmen carry insurance, which they drop in the winter months. As for transatlantic sailing, say on a fifty footer, I’ve heard of a skipper-owner requiring signed contracts acknowledging his complete lawful authority over the crew; he would obviously carry insurance.
    As to commercial watermen, oystermen, shrimpers etc., I suspect that that are many laws I just don’t know about. Certainly, in order to use a ship-to-shore back in the 60’s you needed a federal license. You just filled out a form, sent off for it, including a small fee, and after a while you got one. I recall one of Col. Lang’s intriguing stories about what certain complicated legal restrictions mean for lobstermen, which must be one of the most closely regulated of all the fishing industries. As for scallop draggers, I believe the stories I have been told out of prison about some of these boat captains taking a little time out to shoot heroin, even if the boat is suddenly off course and out of control. The crews are all on weed, and given the agonizing crouched position one is in working in back in the cutting shacks, sometimes in high seas, beer and weed seem to me to be helpful for these guys, given that weed is part of their way of life. Since many of them are on the run from the law, I speak in their behalf to say why would they want a license? Probably just get counterfeits ones quite easily.
    I’m curious about Hungary. Have you ever heard the arguments that Hungarians are so different from other mortals–and possibly so superior to them– that there are those who believe they come from another planet? (Perhaps these others are also Hungarians.) Still, I have heard that Hungarian women are amazingly supportive of their writers and poets. True?

  157. LeaNder says:

    Are the United States and their allies benefiting from the disappearance of Yugoslavia and its replacement …
    Serbia recently tried to sent a train to Northern Kosovo, predominantly inhabited by Serbian people, after all these years. A train mind you, no tanks. Apparently the Kosovars considered it a declaration of war due to the slogan on the train: “Kosovo is Serbia”. Seems train was built in Russia.

  158. different clue says:

    Edward Amame,
    The nice thing about Legal Paper Ballots is that they can be physically inspected by analog humans with their own bio-analog eyeballs. That would reveal any partial mark on a President bubble which the Opti-Scan machine missed.
    It would be interesting indeed if 80,000 ballot-casters in Michigan filled in every other bubble clearly enough for the Opti-Scanner to read and yet all equally left the President Choice bubble equally semi-marked enough that the Opti-Scanner would miss it . . . for 80,000 votes . . . otherwise totally recorded for every bubble marked.
    I heard Lewis on NPR today. I heard him say that the Trump election was “illegitimate because of Russian interference in our election.” THAT is what he said. “Russian” “interference”.
    So he is catapulting the propaganda for the MSM Fake News Industrial Complex. Just as early in the primaries he consciously and maliciously lied about Sanders “not being involved” in the Civil Rights movement. He received enough protest about that to where he found himself forced to make a Nixonian non-apology “apology” for his lies in that regard.
    It just goes to show . . . those who help the Clintons in their work are bound to become besmirched.

  159. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Serbia suffered on the field of Kosovo, and Russia was born in Kiev.
    Those histories have a hold on human emotions and will deliver their judgement in due course.

  160. walrus says:

    Brilliant Tidewater! While I haven’t checked your facts regarding Steele, my very limited experience of the British upper middle class way of life suggests to me that your theory is plausible with one exception.
    That exception is the end game. As I am sure you and others know, it is generally regarded as extremely unwise for intelligence services to leave “loose ends” – discarded agents, perhaps with a story t tell and annex to grind, at the end of an operation. There are prescribed ways to avoid this problem, not all of them pleasant. I am sorry to say that I don’t think Mr. Steele is likely to surface again, nor ever need a Hollywood agent. Hopefully his wife and children will be allowed to get on with their lives.

  161. Kooshy says:

    To obtain a CA DL one would need to have a varifiable SS number which it can indicate if citizen or not, with that you can be allowed to register to vote, if I remember correctly, almost 40 years ago that was not the case, I got registered in front of a grocery store by a young HS girl without even seeing my DL. But nevertheless my guess ( from what I think is the mentality) is that the illegal immigrants/workers ( mostly SA latinos) in SC wouldn’t give a damn to vote, and they rather do not want to get close to anywhere that may be asked to show thier ID. There is a known fact that there are illegal workers that work with rented ( someone else’s) SS numbers, and IRS knows this and doesn’t care to enforce. From what I have learned, bulk of the cash paid Latino illegal immigrants work in construction and farming industries and both federal and CA governments are well aware of this fact and choose not to enforce, for economic political reasons. I don’t see Trump or anybody else will or can try to change that, I am sure many illegal Aliens are already working in Trumps resorts, as well as all other hospitality businesses. And I also do think some of those jobs that illegals take the legal Americans don’t want, and wouldn’t do, unless they are paid very well, and are treated as they are heroes like firemen for doing this kind of work. This is just my openion living and learning here in SC.

  162. charly says:

    It depends on the drug and its culture if it is used more in liberal or conservative areas. Some drugs are used more in conservative areas and others more in liberal. Claims that liberal areas are the drug users is obvious not true (see pain medicine misuse in the US). What is true is that rural areas have a tendency to kick the bad seeds to the big city but that is not he fault of the big city.

  163. Edward Amame says:

    different clue
    Thank you for clearing that up. Mr Trump has conceded that Russia had carried out cyberattacks against the two major political parties during the presidential election. Rep Lewis considers that “interference.” It would appear that opinions on that run along partisan lines.

  164. turcopolier says:

    How would supposed Russian release of the e-mails and/or “fake news” make Trump illegitimate. I don’t see the logic in that. pl

  165. kooshy says:

    Oh, god, please no more hanging chads

  166. Thirdeye says:

    It’s still difficult for me to believe the 35 pages are anything other than a hoax. If they were leaked to Buzzfeed falsely representing the contents of the dossier that’s silly but understandable. If Steele/MI6 truly bit on that information it puts their competence, sanity, or both in question. The symmetry between the debunked account of a Prague meeting in the 35 pages and the debunked account of a Prague meeting in the Iraqi WMD hoax is just too great to ignore. Whatever troll planted that story along with the nonsense of Trump wearing adult footie pajamas, wee-wee at the Ritz Carlton, Trump mouthing off on the toilet, and anime viewing with Russian whores must be waking up each morning snickering over all the fools. It’s the kind of stuff that indicates an intelligent but essentially adolescent mentality, easy to find on the internet.

  167. kooshy says:

    DC, Fake News Complex , nice I like the sound of that FNC

  168. kooshy says:

    Colonel, I wonder why our own EA, Rep. John Lewis and others are not complaining about the earlier hacking that essentially delegitimize HRC’ nomination, the real now proven hacking by Hillary’s DNC party bosses, supporters and operators who prevented party equality and level ground to Bernie Sanders. Doesn’t that make HRC illegitimate nominee of DNC. Why nobody is complaining about the illegitimate nomination, before they complain about DT’ legitimacy.

  169. different clue says:

    Edward Amame,
    I wonder what Mr. Trump thinks he is conceding and why. I have seen no evidence of Putin diddit.
    And opinions don’t run on partisan lines. They run on personality cult lines. The Klinton Kultists believe Putin diddit. The Borgo-Clintonite elites pretend to believe that Putin diddit as they catapult the propaganda.
    The rest of us have major doubts.

  170. Fred says:

    Why? Other than actually asking these 80,000 people why they didn’t vote for Hilary or Donald? what do you expect to find? I left lots of spots blank on my ballot. Perhaps you have some grounds besides Hilary losing? Feel free to take legal action if you do.

  171. Fred says:

    Yes and complicit in putting Putin’s man in the White House was the President of the Senate, Joe Biden, gaveling the Democratic members of House into silence when they wished to contest the results of the Electoral College. Joining him in that act of complicity was United States Senator from New York Charles Schumer, who refused to sign that objection the House democrats were trying to get recognized – you know, to keep Putin’s man out of the Oval Office. I sure hope New Yorkers know what to do in the next election he runs in.

  172. kooshy says:

    Babak, just the weather lone, makes up for everything else one may not like.

  173. Tidewater,
    There is a relevant explanation in a piece just posted on the Consortium News site by the former MI5 officer Annie Machon:
    ‘Much has already been written about Steele and the company, much of it contradictory as no doubt befits the life of a former spy. But it is a standard career trajectory for insiders to move on to corporate, mercenary spy companies, and this is what Steele appears to have done successfully in 2009. Of course, much is predicated on maintaining good working relations with your former employers.
    ‘That is the aspect that interests me most – how close a linkage did he indeed retain with his former employers after he left MI6 in 2009 to set up his own private spy company? The answer is important because companies such has his can also be used as cut-outs for “plausible deniability” by official state spies.
    ‘I’m not suggesting that happened in this case, but Steele reportedly remained on good terms with MI6 and was well thought of. For a man who had not been stationed in Russia for over 20 years, it would perhaps have been natural for him to turn to old chums for useful connections.
    ‘But this question is of extreme importance at a critical juncture for the U.K.; if indeed MI6 was complicit or even aware of this dirt digging, as it seems to have been, then that is a huge diplomatic problem for the government’s attempts to develop a strong working relationship with the US, post-Brexit. If MI6’s sticky fingers were on this case, then the organization has done the precise opposite of its official task – “to protect national security and the economic well-being of the UK.”’
    (See https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/16/donald-trump-v-the-spooks/ .)
    I am in a position to expand on this. It seems clear that Steele was both Litvinenko’s ‘handler’ and also central to managing the ‘narrative’ after the story of his agent’s poisoning broke.
    In the original version of the ‘narrative’, the extremism of the claims which Litvinenko regularly made was treated as having been too much even for Berezovsky, so that his oligarch patron had largely cast him off, forcing him to eke out a living by ‘due diligence’ work.
    A critical feature of these claims was the attempt to demonstrate that behind the ostensible Russian strategy of seeking alliance with the West against jihadist terrorism, there lay a covert strategy of sponsoring such terrorism. This went so far as to fake evidence so as to suggest that Putin was involved in attempting to supply a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ to Al Qaeda.
    Among other targets was the Italian politician Romano Prodi, in relation to whom Litvinenko produced disinformation claiming that he was a KGB/FSB agent.
    As we now know, when official British sources treated the claims by Litvinenko’s supposed assassin, Andrei Lugovoi, that his supposed victim was an MI6 agent with contempt, it was they who were lying, and he who was telling the truth.
    Very significant players, in all kinds of countries, had a strong interest in the ‘regime change’ agenda in relation to Russia in which Steele was clearly a key player. So when he officially left MI6, it would not have been remotely difficult for him to find sources of funding to continue with his efforts.
    As far as MI6 was concerned, it is likely that this would have been a convenient means both of maintaining ‘deniability’, and of having others help fund the ‘regime change’ agenda.
    Of course, after it became clear in late 2011, that it would be impossible not to resume the inquest into Litvinenko’s death, a certain amount of Steele’s time would probably have been taken up with the forging of evidence required to produce a reasonably coherent ‘narrative’. Again, however, a lot of people would have had very good reasons to be prepared to fund this.
    The attempts to defend his claims we have seen in recent days also strongly suggest that his activities with Orbis were pursued in close collaboration with MI6.
    It is a perfectly natural extension of the activities of scum like this to attempt to lend credibility to the resistance of fellow scum like John Brennan to accepting the results of the Presidential election in the United States.
    Further circumstantial evidence suggesting that Steele’s dossier on Trump may have been part of an ‘information operation’ in which MI6 and elements in the CIA were involved from the start comes in BBC ‘Panorama’ programme entitled ‘Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?’, presented by John Sweeney, which went out on Monday night.
    In this, Sweeney coins the term ‘Trumputinism’. For a critical analysis, see a piece just posted by Paul Robinson on his invaluable ‘Irrussianality’ blog, at https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/ .
    Having noted that Sweeney repeats the complete claptrap about Alexander Dugin being ‘Putin’s Brain’, Robinson goes on to remark:
    ‘After walking out of an interview with Sweeney and his team, Dugin tweeted that the BBC reporters were “Utter cretins. … Pure Soviet style propagandists.” I have to say that I sympathize.
    As it happens, it was Sweeney who presented the 22 January 2007 ‘Panorama’ edition’ on the Litvinenko mystery to which I linked in an earlier comment – which was most probably masterminded by Steele.
    The ‘Panorama’ programme which went out on Monday, I suspect, gives you an accurate portrayal of the mindset prevailing in MI6. If one sees the world in these terms, one would indeed be eminently capable of believing that the survival of Western civilization depends on preventing Trump becoming President.

  174. Edward Amame says:

    Col Lang
    The definition of illegitimate is: “not in accordance with accepted standards or rules.” Dems and anti-Trump GOPers can say getting an assist like the Russian hacking/release of emails was “not acceptable” standards-wise. Julian Assange apparently agrees. He says that calling Russia the source of the DNC docs is an attempt to delegitimize Trump.

  175. turcopolier says:

    Assuming for the moment that Russia did feed WikiLeaks the e-mails, nobody has claimed they were not true copies. It is your position that releasing the truth is unfair? As I have pointed out repeatedly we do this kind of things to other peoples’ elections with great frequency. This is just the game of nations. pl

  176. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater says,
    Walrus, thanks for your comment. That’s a very sobering thought, that he forges ahead with the book, and later on, say his kids would slowly find that could not get into certain schools or universities of choice. The establishment slowly strangling their futures, until they all have to emigrate. There seems to be a lot of fear, if he fled from his home. There was already a suggestion of his disappearance from what, public life(?) in that article that showed him with his family over Christmas.
    I think he doesn’t have much choice, if I am right about his financial situation. His disappearing, like the hero of ‘Rogue Male,’ helps the screen-play. With family, too. New angle that? (“Father, there’s a man who looks like Blind Pew out on the road looking at the house.”) I think disappearing helps him stay away from the office and his partner(s). I think he is out of Orbis.
    Peter Wright got away with it, didn’t he? (If the cheapo’s had given Peter Wright a pension, it might have been better, wot?) I think he’d better farm the kids out to the relatives along with his wife, get the writer, go somewhere the writer knows, which will be out of Britain, somewhere like Vermont, where you can keep a few weapons handy, have dogs, and a good view from every window, some motion detectors way down the dirt road and around the house, maybe a watchful old hired hand, and start talking into a tape recorder. With steady transcription and editing; and then writing. Get it started and get out of there. He’s been in Afghanistan briefing the SAS, hasn’t he? He can rip off their stories. (Dangerous?) Paris! All over the place. Great love angle. Wasn’t she his ‘Laura’. What a story. A hundred pages would get the million dollar advance. God, I’m peeing all over myself. Talk about golden showers. Can that be the subtext? The writer talking to himself. The shower of golden coins from Zeus?
    Again–he doesn’t really have a choice, I think. Like he’s on the north face of the Eiger and can only go up. The big eagle is not going to eat his liver. Maybe his business partner(s) will sue, though?
    By the way, do you have any interest in the story of Gough Whitlam? The PM the two intelligence services destroyed in the constitutional crisis of 1975?

  177. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater says,
    Thank you for your comments and references to sources such as ‘Irrusianality.” I have been paying close attention to what you are saying about this.
    I was struck by your suggestion that Christopher Steele may have fabricated evidence in this matter. Is there any source on this? Would this have to do with the Polonium trail? I’d love to hear what the speculation has been about this. If that were somehow faked that would be a stunner.
    Also, was there any insider speculation on the possibility that the reason that there seems to have been some sort of tension or falling out between Litvinenko and Berezovsky was because Berezovsky believed the Litvinenko was going too far with his steady barrage of what seems to be mostly unfounded slander against Putin?
    But that Litvinenko had the SIS monkey on his back? He had to do what he was told. He desperately needed British citizenship and legitimacy? Which could be withheld for a long time, if necessary.
    You do believe that the actual cause of Litvinenko’s death was the poisoned green tea in the teapot in the Pine Bar of the Millenium Hotel, Grosvenor Square, right?
    And that subsequent tracking of the Polonium spore in Britain should be regarded as accurate?
    That perhaps the Owens Inquiry should have just very carefully pointed the finger at the Russian government and concluded unproven?

  178. Tidewater,
    I dealt with the faking of evidence in some detail in a piece which Colonel Lang posted a year ago – see http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/01/david-hakkuk-on-sir-robert-owens-inquiry.html and the subsequent exchanges of comments.
    A piece which Paul Robinson posted a few days ago on a BBC ‘Panorama’ programme entitled ‘Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?’, presented by Paul Sweeney, prompted me to restate a basic point. Having noted that Sweeney recycled the gibberish about Alexander Dugin being ‘Putin’s Brain’, Robinson went on to write:
    ‘After walking out of an interview with Sweeney and his team, Dugin tweeted that the BBC reporters were “Utter cretins. … Pure Soviet style propagandists.” I have to say that I sympathize.’
    (See https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/farage-bannon-dugin-trumputinism/ .)
    My comment read as follows:
    “I can supply further evidence in support of Dugin’s assessment of Sweeney.
    “In the interviews supposed recorded by Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt with Alexander Litvinenko before he died, one finds an exchange about the latter’s journey into London on the day he was supposedly deliberately assassinated, it is suggested at the instigation of the Kremlin (‘Carter’ was Litvinenko’s code name):
    “‘DI HYATT: And when you left home how did you travel? Where did you travel to first?
    “‘CARTER: I can’t remember whether I took a bus to get to the underground station, or Marina took me to the station.
    “‘Interpreter. Marina?
    “‘CARTER: Yes, my wife, Well …
    “‘DI HYATT: To which, to which, you went, you used the Metro, the tube station.
    “‘CARTER: It was either East Finchley or … the next one towards the centre of London after East Finchley. I think East Finchley. I paid … I always use Oyster Card for travel. I have had it for about three years so it is not difficult to establish.’
    “(See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/INQ016528x.pdf .)
    “As an ‘Oyster Card’ is an electronic payments device which leaves a record when ever it is used, if it was used it should indeed have enabled Counter Terrorism Command to establish precise details of Litvinenko’s journey.
    “Supposedly, the record establishes that he boarded a number 234 bus near his home at Muswell Hill at 12.29, changed to the underground at East Finchley at 13.11, and arrived at Oxford Circus – that is in the centre of London – at 13.34.
    “Accepted into evidence at the Inquiry was a BBC ‘Panorama’ programme, presented, like Monday’s, by John Sweeney, which went out on 22 January 2007.
    “(See https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000507wb.pdf .)
    “In this it is explained that:
    “‘Litvinenko caught the 134 on November the 1st; no trace of polonium on his ticket or the bus; he was clean.’
    “So, at this stage there is no ‘Oyster Card’, but a ticket, and the bus is the 134, not the 234.
    “These errors are not the product of journalistic sloppiness. As it happens, from Litvinenko’s house one could either take the 234 and underground to Oxford Circus, or the 134 the whole way to nearby Tottenham Court Road.
    “Actually, in the first major investigative piece on the affair, in the ‘Sunday Times’ on 3 December 2006, it was suggested that Litvinenko had been given a lift into central London by car, and the car had been found to be clean. In the ‘Mirror’ on 12 December it had been a number 134 identified by a £1.50 ticket, with the bus found to be clean.
    “Following Sweeney’s ‘Panorama’ programme, in the April 2007 study ‘The Litvinenko File’ by the former BBC Moscow Correspondent Martin Sixsmith, the ‘Oyster Card’ is introduced, but it is still suggested that the 134 took Litvinenko the whole way to Tottenham Court Road. It is only in the August 2008 study ‘The Terminal Spy’ by the ‘New York Times’ correspondent Alan Cowell that it is suggested that Litvinenko transferred to the underground, but at this stage he is still supposed to have made the early stage of the journey on the 134.
    “A report in the ‘Guardian’ last Thursday was headlined ‘Donald Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for author’s credibility: Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, named as writer of Donald Trump memo, is “highly regarded professional”.’
    “(See https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/intelligence-sources-vouch-credibility-donald-trump-russia-dossier-author .)
    “According to the report:
    “‘When the agency was plunged into panic over the poisoning of its agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, the then chief, Sir John Scarlett, needed a trusted senior officer to plot a way through the minefield ahead – so he turned to Steele. It was Steele, sources say, who correctly and quickly realised that Litvinenko’s death was a Russian state “hit”.’
    “I can see no alternative interpretation of the successive transformations in the claims made about Litvinenko’s journey into central London on the day he was supposedly poisoned than a rather incompetently managed cover-up. And I can see no alternative explanation to the hypothesis that the interviews supposedly recorded with Detective Inspector Hyatt are forgeries.
    “Of course, it may be my logic is wrong. But if this is so, I can quite easily be refuted. All that is necessary is for Counter Terrorism Command to produce the actual audio of the interviews with Litvinenko. If the transcripts can be revealed, what conceivable reason can there by for not producing the audio?
    “Some of the contradictions which I have outlined, together with a mass of other inconsistencies in the claims made about the circumstances of Litvinenko’s death, were pointed out by me to the team running Sir Robert Owen’s Inquiry, in memoranda I was assured were read.
    “They were also pointed out by me to all the journalists responsible for the stories I have cited, as well as Luke Harding, co-author of the ‘Guardian’ report from which I quoted, and several of his colleagues. Apart from a courteous but non-committal reply from Sixsmith, I got no answers.
    “So I think that a reasonable conclusion has to be that Dugin’s contemptuous dismissal is applicable to practically all the mainstream British media, as well as Sir Robert Owen and the team who ran his Inquiry.
    “Perhaps one should say that in Britain we have reached the perfection of ‘Ingsoc’. It is not necessary to have either the ‘memory hole’ or the terrors of ‘Room 101’ to enforce ideological conformity. No self-respecting British journalist would ever notice contradictions in the ‘general line’ about a matter like the death of Litvinenko, however flagrant they might be.
    “And there is a really Orwellian joke with which to end. Next to the statue of the author of ‘1984’ which is to be erected next to New Broadcasting House, it is planned that a famous quotation from his writings will be inscribed: ‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’
    “I do not think Orwell could have thought of something as wickedly funny as putting those particularly words in front of the contemporary BBC. It would need Bulgakov.”
    If you or anyone else is interested, I can dig out the links to the various reports to which I have referred. I am still waiting to find anyone who will propose an alternative reading to my own: that Counter Terrorism Command and Sir Robert Owen are deliberately attempting to obscure the truth about how Litvinenko died.

  179. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater says,
    Thank you very much for your (apparently infinite) patience in elucidating the discrepancies in the official account of the Litvinenko murder. I have been trying to do a bit of my own “due diligence” on this matter. I certainly do not see how Owens could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the Russian state (Putin) ordered the assassination. Therefore, I think we are in agreement on that point. In fact, I understand that this conclusion is an outrage, which you have communicated. In fact, I keep wondering if this inquiry was conducted under the rules of common law. I have read that Owens far exceeded a coroner’s mandate in drawing any conclusion beyond establishing what happened and who should be remanded into custody for trial given conclusions of probable cause. Not that the Metropolitan Police couldn’t act on their own whatever conclusions Owens reached.
    I keep thinking that if you can get any time reading on the Oyster card whatsover, just at any point along the line, and I did see some Oyster card receipts put into evidence (I am not sure what they suggested),it would remove the possibility of Litvinenko’s much earlier, (by several hours) pre-noon arrival and presumed meeting in the Meridian hotel room of Lugovoy. The Pine Bar bill says Room 441. The argument that Litvinenko was given the Polonium in a tea pot by a contract killer specially brought in, perhaps brewed up in the bathroom (which would necessitate Lugovoy travelling with a hot water heater/kettle, or would there be a hotel record of one on loan?) would be decidedly weakened if Litvinenko’s morning itinerary under this scenario did not allow for a logical and confirmed meeting time at the Japanese sushi shop(Itsu) near the Burlington arcade on Picadilly. (Around the corner from Jermyn street, I believe, where I didn’t realize businesses like Lobbs would stoop to having February ‘soldes’ signs splashed on their windows, just like in France.)
    It seems to me that if Litvinenko was poisoned in the hotel room earlier, still Oleg Gordievsky is wrong to conclude that nothing happened in the Pine Bar because the hit had gone down and Litvinenko was already a walking dead man. Meaning that the risk was not necessary. (And there is the CCTV of Lugovoy with his hand in his pocket walking up the steps to the WC where there was a Polonium trace-infected stall.) There would have had to be a second hit, I believe, given all the evidence taken from the porcelain teapot, specifically that this was not a matter of the teapot having been handled by someone “trace infected” with Polonium, but rather that the teapot had been in DIRECT contact with liquid Polonium. (From a little sprayer or atomizer, horrible thought, I mean, to even be doing it!) And that further, Polonium had bonded with tea tannin in the spout. (Of course, it could have been green tea from Fukushima?) Further, there were traces of a direct Polonium splash, probably miniscule, on the table, wasn’t there? Polonium on the table is important. I assume that the tea had been brewed in the Pine Bar, and there was a good deal of testimony about that from the head bar-tender there. I think that is established. Eventually the signature pot ended up in the kitchen, where it continued to glow like a glowworm Polonium trace evidence, but I assume that it came from the Pine Bar. Anyway, we know that there was liquid Polonium in the Pine Bar.
    Frankly, looking at the photo you so kindly provided, I don’t like the looks of the guy in the middle. Nor do I like his stare. I think these guys have been definitely underrated.
    And then there is the evidence of the German police!
    I hope there is an opportunity to revisit this Litvinenko-Steele matter. Thank you again for your comments.

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