“Russiagate” category

Now exists.  pl

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79 Responses to “Russiagate” category

  1. OK I’ll start. One of the things that I find quite common among critics of the Dossier is that they generally accept that the stories told in it are false but assume that there was some Russian input into it. For example in Ritter’s piece here http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/in-the-russian-collusion-debate-whos-fooling-who/ we find: <>
    Now Ritter is properly sceptical of the NYT’s attempt to remove the Dossier from its (true) pre-eminent position but he can’t realise that it’s all fake.
    I very much doubt there was any Russian official involvement in its preparation and would be surprised if there were any Russian involved at any point in the story. I strongly suspect that the thing was put together by Nelly Ohr and Steele out of bits and pieces of crap some of which would have been supplied by Ukrainian and Baltic disinformation sites. Then presumably polished by other members of the conspiracy.
    After all, we only have Steele’s word for it that there was Russian involvement and why would we believe anything he said?

  2. Greco says:

    Can we half-jokingly retitle it “Russia-ghazi”? Liberals push “gate” because it recalls Watergate. Using the suffix “ghazi” instead recalls what happened in Benghazi.

  3. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang
    This write-up by Sundance, connects all the dots, and points out the heroic role played by Admiral Mike Rogers in uncovering the plot by the Obama administration in using FISA 702(16)(17) to spy on presidential candidate Trump and his campaign. Admiral Rogers went to Trump Tower a week after the election and spilled the beans to then President-elect Trump.
    The doggedness of Rep. Nunes has enabled the Congressional committee’s to unravel much of this plot. Now, apparently the next shoe to drop is the OIG report, which will set the stage for Congressional demand for a second special counsel to empanel a grand jury and investigate a host of people at the FBI, DOJ National Security Division, etc.
    If this is the real story, it is gonna be EXPLOSIVE. So much bigger than any past DC scandals including Watergate. The real story seems to be that an incumbent Presidential administration used the powers and machinery of law enforcement and intelligence to spy on a rival campaign, interfere in an election in cahoots with the media and then attempted to delegitimize a duly elected POTUS. Russiagate was the foil.
    In this context, Trump’s tweet makes perfect sense.

    Is it legal for a sitting President to be “wire tapping” a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!

  4. Rogers, BTW, has put in his resignation. Flynn and he know where all the bodies are buried in the perversion of the intelligence business under Obama & Co.
    The rumours floating around a year or so ago hat Trump surrounded himself with generals as protection against the (as they said in the USSR) “organs of state security” look more credible now, don’t they?

  5. Drat! Quotation from Ritter’s piece didn’t make it. here it is
    “Seen in this light, the Papadopoulos story is more about a Russian campaign to neutralize a future American president as part of its ongoing effort to undermine American power and prestige than it is about collusion between this candidate and Russia to get him elected.”

  6. Peter AU says:

    Mercouris at the Duran has an article on this tweet by the Senate Judiciary. Would this mean the tide is turning?
    Jan 5
    Senators @ChuckGrassley and @LindseyGrahamSC have referred Christopher Steele to @TheJusticeDept for investigation after information reviewed by committee investigators revealed significant inconsistencies in statements provided to authorities

  7. SmoothieX12 says:

    He spoke of 240 high level officers who supported him (and I guess helped draft some new geopolitical program) on a number of occasions, including in his acceptance speech. That certainly didn’t look accidental.

  8. blue peacock says:

    Yes, in this context it makes perfect sense why Trump chose military people as his top national security team. Rogers can testify unencumbered to Congress in the spring when he is gone. Get the popcorn. This is gonna be some show!
    Who knows where this leads? Rep. Nunes apparently has read PDBs that had surveillance information from the Trump campaign but nothing about Russia associated with it. Maybe a time comes when Congress asks the question, “What did President Obama know & when did he know it?”

  9. turcopolier says:

    blue peacock
    Yes, Rogers will by then be comfortably enjoying a retired full admiral’s pay and perks and will be in a position to crack this whole thing wide open so long as DJT does not want to go after him, and, he won’t want to, far from it. pl

  10. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang
    DJT already feted Adm. Rogers.
    To quote Sundance:

    That night, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was seated at the head of the table as each member of the military likely aware -in varying degrees- just how consequential NSA Director Mike Rogers was in fending off the biggest constitutional crisis in the history of the U.S.
    A grateful U.S. President, recognizing a great and patriotic man, amid many great and patriotic men. ….And no-one outside that room even knew.

  11. ISL says:

    Patrick Armstrong,
    Your points are well taken.
    There is a real cognitive dissonance – on the one had, the Russian’s are super villains able to control everything everywhere, on the other hand, they are responsible for the incompetent dossier. Having watched RT quite a bit, Russian propaganda is a lot higher quality than US propaganda – it presumes the target of their propaganda has a memory, and actually is fairly knowledgeable. US propaganda (primarily aimed at Americans) seems to assume a grade 3 or lower understanding and a long term memory of about 20 minutes.
    I wish US propaganda was a bit more entertaining – we are paying a phenomenal amount for it.

  12. There’s this part:
    What gave the Downer cable its import, the New York Times claimed, was that it arrived in the FBI’s hands right around the same time—July 22, 2016—when Wikileaks began releasing thousands of emails sourced to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
    End Quote
    While Ritter is correct to point out that the DNC leak has no connection to the Downer cable, it does point to my contention that without the DNC leak – and the DNC/Clinton (and perhaps FBI) effort to turn that leak into a Russian hack – the subsequent Dossier impact would have been much less
    Which is why I assert that the DNC leak is a more important subject for official investigation than the dossier. Prove that leak to be a leak and half of “Russiagate” goes out the window.
    Given the time frame that Steele has to produce the report, I’d agree that any Russian involvement might be problematic. There still remains the possibility that Steele had some contact with some Russians who fed him some BS with the intent of making anyone who used it look stupid (and maybe got paid for it.)
    What they didn’t count on was the depth of American stupidity, as H.L Mencken once said.

  13. Lefty says:

    Who will be the next DIRNSA? Looks like we’re back to USAF in the rotation.

  14. plantman says:

    I agree with Patrick Armstrong on this: “The real story seems to be that an incumbent Presidential administration used the powers and machinery of law enforcement and intelligence to spy on a rival campaign, interfere in an election in cahoots with the media and then attempted to delegitimize a duly elected POTUS. Russiagate was the foil.”
    But I wonder if the origins of Russia gate have not yet been revealed?
    IMO, it all starts with Brennan whose animus for Russia (he was foiled in Syria and Ukraine) creates a motive for piggy-backing onto the DNC’s goofy hacking story. That way he could kill two birds with one stone, that is, Trump and Putin.
    Keep in mind, that in his original testimony before congress, Brennan said he referred the case to the FBI.
    Isn’t that an admission that the buildup for the Dossier started with Brennan??

  15. Barbara Ann says:

    Sundance (essential reading these days on this matter) published a take on this suggesting the real aim:

    By referring a criminal complaint to the DOJ the Senators are, in essence, forcing the DOJ to outline that material presentations by the FBI, to the committee, were false…. OR, that Christopher Steele is lying. The former is likely, the latter not-so-much.

    Agree with PA above too – Russians would know how to spell Alfa.

  16. outthere says:

    Paul Craig Roberts reviews the story, and the questions asked by US Rep Jim Jordan. Then he slams Rosenstein (a Trump team member) for “for sitting on his ass while a totally corrupt FBI attempted to destroy the elected president of the United States.”
    Roberts concludes:
    Insouciant trusting gullible Americans who “believe in our government” have no comprehension how totally corrupt “their” government is. It is the most corrupt in the world. The corruption in Washington is really unbelievable. You have to experience it to know it, and those who experience it are part of it and will not tell.
    The orchestration “Russiagate” proves that the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI are so corrupt and unaccountable that they comprise the greatest threat to the American people in the entire history of America. The only solution is to break these agencies into a thousand splinters, as President John F. Kennedy intended, and rebuild them from scratch with total transparency. No more protecting their vast crimes under the cloak of “national security.” No classification of any so-called intelligence unless it can pass a unanamous vote of Congress and the ACLU.
    The orchestration of Russiagate is proof that the alleged “national security agencies” are an anti-American force detrimental to our survival as a free people. The criminals in the FBI, CIA, and DNC must be investigated, indicted, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned or freedom in America is forever dead.
    If President Trump fails in this task, he will have failed America. Everyone of us will be the victims.

  17. Jack says:

    It looks like Devin Nunes is doing just that. If it weren’t for him we wouldn’t know about Peter Strzok and his paramour Lisa Page discussing insurance policy with Andy McCabe. Neither would we know of Bruce and Nellie Ohr cavorting with Christopher Steele and Glen Simpson. A lot has already come out and much more will be revealed in good time. There is a slew of hearings that Nunes has scheduled and Rosenstein has agreed to provide him a bunch of documents.
    It seems to me they’ve already covered a lot of ground. Admittedly I have not followed this story closely.

  18. VietnamVet says:

    In most times and places, Russiagate would get the Benghazi treatment; ignore the Rat-Line. But, these aren’t normal times. The Obama Administration was a disaster. Europe is awash with refugees thanks to his wars. The EU is splintering; distancing itself from DC and London City. Germany is next to leaderless. Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the reasons Donald Trump is President. Their backers led by Jeff Bezos can’t back down. Fortunes are at stake. If the USA ever returns to a people’s democracy, oligarchs and financiers could up taxed up to 70% of their wealth to build infrastructure and the Empire’s forever wars ended. Heads will roll to prevent this. Russiagate is part and parcel of establishment’s scheme to regain power from the NYC upstart. The ultimate question is whether Generals Mattis and Kelly are sufficient to keep the DOD Pretorian Guard supporting the current President or will Mike Pence be sworn in.

  19. jpb says:

    “Trump surrounded himself with generals as protection against the (as they said in the USSR) “organs of state security” look more credible now, don’t they?”
    Yea…and the rumors of US Marine Corp helicopters landing at Langley. Who do you suppose floated those rumors and why would they float such a rumor?
    IMO…the secrets of 9/11 leave a lot of swamp dwellers wondering about the hangman if they don’t back down.

  20. kooshy says:

    Colonel Sorry for OT,
    Looks like the American ruling elite have tabled their choice for US’ next president. She, a TV talk show personality( one without any sexual harassment so far) with her own book club to her credite and as her most important presidential qualification, supposedly will run against our current reality TV personality president. This new highly qualified presidential candidate is no other than Oprah Win-Fairytale who like Santa throws free cars here and there.
    One CNN piece of S* regular pundit, was so excited by Oprah’ few minute-long statements at the Golden Globe last night, he told his fake news network audience, “can we all close our eyes and for a minute, and imagine if that speech was given in Iowa. God saves us all.
    IMO,like in the short story by Shirley Jackson “The Lottery” it would be a much better way to choose our next president, and a few congress personalities.

  21. I think the Saker has the answer
    “Furthermore, and at the risk of sounding like a Russian propagandist myself, I would say something which is quite evident, but still hard to believe: the Russians have no need to lie, their propaganda is fundamentally truthful, fact based and logical. There is no Russian equivalent of the Pokemon story. And when the western leaders demand that Russia withdraw her forces from the Donbass, the Russians have no need to make up some convoluted story about how the Russian military is in the Donbass but that these forces are as invisible to the observer on the ground as they are invisible to the satellites in space. The Russians don’t have any need to lie about their operations in Syria because what they say they are doing there and what they are actually doing there is one and the same: liberating Syria from Daesh. I could multiply the examples, but my point is simple: unlike their US American counterparts, the Russians are not engaging in policies which they cannot justify before their own public opinion or before the public opinion of the rest of the planet. Sounds simple? Then why is it that the US seems to be comprehensively unable to say the truth about anything they do?” https://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2017/10/27/1016020-re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods-the-saker/
    And I would add that, spending the time I do doing what I do, the Saker is right. Russian propaganda/viewpoint is, generally speaking, consistent with reality; US/NATO is not. In fact, once you break through the crust, as most of us on this site have, US/NATO propaganda is just preposterous. Just, for example read anything NATO says about Libya

  22. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Another good example is the hit piece on the journalists who actually reported from the Syrian war zone by the desk-bound “journalist” Olivia Solon that was published at The Guardian last month. Rather than provide the direct link to it I’ll link the response of one of those journalists, the Canadian Eva Bartlett, published on January 6 at Global Research. The link to the hit piece is in the introductory sentence, and Bartlett’s debunking begins after a bunch of screen shots of scathing comments on The Guardian‘s facebook page.

  23. blue peacock says:

    It looks like Rep. Nunes has received the FISA application. The Intelligence Committee investigators should now be able to know if the Steele dossier was used in part or what evidence the DOJ presented to FISC to obtain the surveillance warrant on Trump during the election.

    The committee was able to review Friday all FBI and DOJ documents on the Trump dossier, former MI-6 British agent Christopher Steele who authored the dossier, and Fusion GPS, the political opposition firm that hired Steele. DOJ also provided Obama administration applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which could approve the surveillance of the Trump transition team, according to a source with direct knowledge of the case..


  24. LondonBob says:

    Still can’t quite figure what the role of Mueller and Rosenstein is. There is the theory that they are a playing a role as misdirection, don’t really buy that though.

  25. Mathiasalexander says:

    If you can swing the dumber section of a population that might be sufficient for any purpose.

  26. Lars says:

    The Trump excusers are getting more and more hilarious. Joe Izuzu, for those who remembers him, comes to mind. But no matter how furiously they raise some dust with their tap dancing, it will not obscure that we have an incompetent president.
    That is where the real threat is.

  27. turcopolier says:

    What demonstrates his incompetence? pl

  28. Lars says:

    Having lied about two thousand times since he took office, which has been documented. Make official government policy by way of Twitter, frequently in a incoherent manner.
    Once listening to Steve Bannon?

  29. Harper says:

    Read the Luke Harding book, which is a puff piece for Christopher Steele, but inadvertently provides some further clues about Steele’s so-called Russian sources. It seems that Steele was providing “over 100” reports to Victoria Nuland on the Ukraine situation in the run-up and aftermath of the Maidan coup. Harding notes that Steele used some of the same sources in his Trump “dodgy dossier” (my words, not his). So I would imagine that whatever “Russian sources” Steele used on Ukraine were part of the anti-Putin camp and would by their very nature be suspect.
    New York Times recent effort to dodge the crumbling Fusion GPS material by claiming FBI investigation was begun by George Papadopoulos drunken chat with Australian ambassador Downer at a London pub also stinks. Downer is one of Down Under’s most notorious neocons and war mongers. I can’t help but suspect that GP was a plant from the outset into the Trump camp. London-based, did he have any relationship with Steele or other MI6 or MI5 channels prior to entering the Trump campaign?
    More trees in this forest need to come down before the full, ugly treachery is revealed. Good that Nunes, Grassley and others are pushing finally. Also keep a watch on the DOJ IG, who initially unearthed the Strzok-Page emails and texts and passed them to Mueller in July.

  30. sid_finster says:

    What I find comic is the assumption that every Russian person ever anywhere and anyone else with any connection to Russia is by definition a Kremlin puppet, except of course for the alleged Russians who furnished the dossier.
    They can be trusted implicitly, no matter how absurd their allegations.

  31. sid_finster says:

    In that sense, American propaganda targeted at Americans would be premised on more realistic assumptions.

  32. turcopolier says:

    When the man gives his opinion and you disagree with it you say he lies. When he speaks in an expansive way as business people do, you say he lies. Who made you a qualified judge as to whether or not government by Twitter is incompetent. They don’t do that in Sweden? Having advisers you do not approve of makes him incompetent? you are merely partisan. pl

  33. Lars says:

    Several fact checkers have deemed many, if not most, of Trump’s claims to be false. It does not matter how many shades of lipstick you will consider to put on this pig, it will not change the image, or reality.
    It has nothing to do with partisanship. It has to do with properly assess the obvious, using rather standard intellectual means.
    In Sweden, where I have not lived in 52 years, they would not have anyone like Trump in charge of anything. Their standards for personal conduct is much higher than here. One prominent politician lost an election because 40 years earlier she had used a government credit card for personal purchases, $250 worth of charges.
    Try to apply that standard in Washington, DC.

  34. Further to the absurd list of 1000 lies. (BTW the complicity of the MSM in the conspiracy is just starting to be revealed)
    Two of Trump’s famous “lies”
    1. Size of crowd at inauguration https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/01/politics/trump-inauguration-gigapixel/ He wasn’t lying, the MSM was
    2. His office being bugged. It was. (Not “bugged”, they don’t do that any more and they don’t break into offices any more. They get FISA warrants.)
    But he does like to say “greatest” “most beautiful” a lot.

  35. EEngineer says:

    Deception is an art of war. Read Sun Tzu.

  36. LeaNder says:

    What I find comic is the assumption that every Russian person ever anywhere and anyone else with any connection to Russia is by definition a Kremlin puppet, except of course for the alleged Russians who furnished the dossier.
    Great point.
    But then, “total security” may have to deal with possible secret messages being exchanged by whoever, with whatever foreign actor, even if he/she only has a rather innocent chat at an event with “a Russian” official, or maybe whatever ambassador, strictly:
    But how to deal with the larger multitude? Meaning every one of us? Maybe?
    Thus: let’s complicate it slightly. There was more randomly of course a “spy/agent” exchange between Russia and the US in 2010, between among others a Russian born red-haired Mata Hari* and Igor Sutyagin?
    * the femme fatale was at that point in time located in NYC according to Spiegel’s Mark Pritzke.
    Marc Prizke from NYC in 2010 via Google translate:

  37. blue peacock says:

    Mueller is continuing the “insurance policy” by trying to dig into every nook and cranny of Trump and his family’s personal business deals well prior to the election. Anything to get a scalp.
    Russiagate, in terms of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the election is long gone. After 18 months not a shred of evidence has been leaked or disclosed.
    The only evidence that keeps coming out is the conspiracy at the Obama administration who used law enforcement and intelligence in a partisan manner to interfere in the election and then to delegitimize Trump. Of course with the active participation of the media.
    Rosenstein seems to be playing a double game. On one side he got the Mueller team going and had it staffed with all the partisan FBI & DOJ folks who played some role in the Obama administration conspiracy. Note it was the IG who uncovered Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s text messages. Additionally, he has stalled and delayed and put obstacles on the Congressional investigation. It seems the person who is inside and digging through stuff is IG Mike Horowitz. That is why his report due in the next few weeks is going to be crucial to take this to the next step. It seems that Nunes and Goodlatte and Grassley want a second special counsel appointed. Then we’ll have the dueling counsels with the second one even investigating Mueller’s partisan team.

  38. Thomas says:

    You posted this another thread but my response would fit here.
    “I don’t think there is any master plan with Trump either. Either he cannot or he will not challenge the Deep State, the Bog, the Blob, whatever you want to call it, or at most he can delay.”
    Nah, Don Donald and his gang have the “Deep State” dimwits by the balls and all he has to do for the public “castration” event is declassify the records from a July day in 2014 and their Ideological Illusion of Supremacy will be shattered along with their careers, and lives. It is why there is a no holds barred attack on him and it give reason to what has been happening as the key pieces of the puzzle become known.
    Notice that Malaysia has been very silent about the event? Or that UK Foreign Secretary made a late December visit to his counterpart in Moscow? I wonder what they talked about in private?
    Eff the EU? No Madame Under-Secretary, it is eff tu.

  39. Dr. Puck says:

    Please explain your link to CNN and its demonstrable value in clarifying the different inaugural turnouts between 2017-2013-2009.
    I suppose it is useless to ponder a pissing contest between politicians over whom is the most mendacious.
    Quality counts too. My favorite of Trump’s lies was about the millions who illegally voted to give HRC the popular vote victory.
    The conservative moment is ascendent. The biggest lies Trump told during the campaign were those of omission, in his not being forthright about how critical a role billionaires, bankers, lobbyists, and special interests were going to play in this conservative moment. I am a partisan and it seemed that there was always a 100% chance that Trump would bow before the monied GOP establishment and ditch the now unhelpful populism. ….which he has done.

  40. turcopolier says:

    Dr. Puck
    What was the % chance that Hillary would not have bowed to the moneyed interests who supported her. and who supplied her campaign with the with the vast sums she spent on advertising? He lies by omission? What sanctimony! pl

  41. SmoothieX12 says:

    OK, nobody wants to say it, I might as well do it myself–Melania is a beautiful and class act woman. Is she the most attractive First Lady in US History? I didn’t finish my review of all of the first ladies yet, but so far, she is the most elegant, stylish and beautiful person who ever graced the White House. Now let the hate mail come;)

  42. turcopolier says:

    Did you watch the meeting today at the WH? What is your critique of that? pl

  43. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang,
    I am surrounded by these PC partisans, who mask their partisanship under the cover of their “moral rightness”. When it is exactly as you say, being sanctimonious. They are very condescending to those that don’t have their mannerisms and speech and etiquette. And of course all those credentials and college degrees and prizes.
    Look at their criticisms of Trump here at SST – “unfit”, “illiterate”, “demented”, “incompetent”. None are willing to give him any credit that despite his so-called “illiteracy” and “incompetence”, in his first run for the presidency, with no experience running for another political office before, he defeated the crème de la crème of the GOP in the primary and then goes on to defeat the wonder woman, the so smart, so experienced, and shoo-in Hillary. Backed by the entire media, billions of dollars in campaign contributions, the best campaign team money could buy, the establishment of both parties, and now we are slowly finding out federal law enforcement & intelligence agencies.
    Ever since his electoral victory he has been constantly battered and beaten by the media with everything they got including completely fictitious stories that generate even more hysteria and loathing by these same sanctimonious people. He has federal law enforcement looking into every aspect of his personal business life well before he even became a candidate. No such scrutiny however for the legions of politicians in DC who have had their hands at the trough for so long.
    That fact that he has survived a year, in itself, is such a great achievement considering the circumstances. No president in my yet short life has been subject to the level of attacks and hysterical media coverage as he has. Of course he’ll get no credit for mostly standing aside as R+6 and Assad consolidate Syria. He’ll get no credit for getting out of TPP and re-looking all these so-called free trade agreements. He’ll get no credit for lowering corporate taxes that actually benefits smaller businesses much more as large corporations’ effective tax rates have been much lower due to all the loopholes.
    I can’t imagine what happens if he confounds his critics once more and wins a second term. How can heads explode even more than they already have?

  44. blue peacock says:


  45. SmoothieX12 says:

    Melania’s role is more than just, however beautiful, attachment to POTUS. Woman of such class is a serious (everybody, shut up;) asset in PR and foreign relations. People DO pay attention to such a beauty and elegance; in many respects Melania for the last year was this “other” much more attractive face of America–that matters great deal, especially against the background of insanity which unfolds in Washington.

  46. Lars says:

    The only meeting I was interested in today was with my HOA, as they discussed my pending re-roofing project. I have no idea what they were doing at the White House. Last evening I watched the football game for 2nd place and saw that Mr. Trump seems to have trouble with singing the national anthem.

  47. Fred says:

    “In Sweden, where I have not lived in 52 years, they would not have anyone like Trump in charge of anything. Their standards for personal conduct is much higher than here.”
    We got the good Swedes. And just like American they have no no-go zones.

  48. Check out what was reported at the time and compare it with the photo.

  49. ISL says:

    Patrick Armstrong,
    Russian propaganda tends to emphasize certain aspects, and neglect others – it definitely downplayed civilian deaths in Syria, as does NATO; however, they never pretended that President Assad was a saint – just that he was better than the liver eater alternatives. I think Russian’s are more comfortable with real-politick, the US seems to believe our population can only be comfortable with unicorn armies.
    One sees the same dysfunctionality in US domestic partisanship, which also devolves into active fantasy about one’s team and the other’s – never saw evidence of Obama playing 11 dimensional chess, per his supporters.

  50. TonyL says:

    “Look at their criticisms of Trump here at SST – “unfit”, “illiterate”, “demented”, “incompetent”. None are willing to give him any credit that despite his so-called “illiteracy” and “incompetence”, in his first run for the presidency, with no experience running for another political office before, he defeated the crème de la crème of the GOP in the primary and then goes on to defeat the wonder woman, the so smart, so experienced, and shoo-in Hillary.”
    I hope the colonel will educate you, if he has such time to waste, why he thought Trump is unfit for office.
    When someone does not think highly of DJT, it does not automatically translate to that they are fans of Hillary. That’s a myopic way of thinking. Not evrything is either black or white, left or right, odd or even.

  51. LeaNder says:

    US propaganda (primarily aimed at Americans) seems to assume
    Standard: Propaganda/PR always starts at home. Always. Necessarily.
    And I would add that, spending the time I do doing what I do, the Saker is right. Russian propaganda/viewpoint is, generally speaking, consistent with reality;
    Or the outgoing Western War on Terrorism has arrived at home, thus Russia can easily choose and pick the most popular memes and feed it back to the audience both ways? …
    Trump’s gonna deal with the TGWOT , once and for all. As he promised?

  52. Kerim says:

    Although we’re in totally incorrect political territory I would agree smilingly with your comment.
    Beauty and elegance of their respective wives also helped Sarkozy, Bourguiba, Reza Shah, El Assad, Sadat, Peron and probably many others

  53. Kerim says:

    or rather politically incorrect territory…

  54. LeaNder says:

    or rather politically incorrect territory…
    Not as far as I am concerned. And I am female. What the hell is “politically correct”, asks the “cultural Marxist”?
    I would assume she had plenty competition. 😉
    Although, admittedly, I am not fond of handing her the status of the most beautiful woman on earth. Something I stumbled across. I doubt she would want it. Was it here? I do enjoy seeing her occasionally in casuals. … That I have to admit. Seems to fit to my America.
    She no doubt helps, visually. Image wise.

  55. blue peacock says:

    Trump is unfit for office.

    That is a judgment for the American people and they chose him despite him being “unfit”.
    And who has been fit for the office of the President over the past three decades?
    I know you ain’t gonna answer that because it is ALL about TDS.

  56. sid_finster says:

    The events regarding MH 17 and numerous other events are well known to anyone who is paying attention.
    The question remains whether anyone will care.

  57. I’m not as familiar with Melania as I am with Ivanka. I find Ivanka to be one of the most articulate and poised women in public appearance (Swiss finishing and modeling schools apparently do work) and certainly the best-looking woman in the business world. She’s almost been Trump’s “face” in public for some years now, to his advantage.
    I know little of her political opinions so have nothing to say on that score.
    But her father is an ass.
    I agree that Melania is undoubtedly the best looking First Lady in the last century at least.

  58. SmoothieX12 says:

    Basically you posted a link to a neocon rag Newsweek which, if effect, writes about “no-go zones” concept, not about the cold hard fact that they actually do exist and that Swedish government suppresses crime statistics. Scandinavian lingo on what is transpiring in Sweden and elsewhere there is appalling since obfuscates the actual severity of a problem. Obviously a global awareness of the situation in Sweden forced Swedish government to at least try to address, however in a half-assed (which is still lying) manner, some issues:
    Sweden is done. But then again, banlieue events in France were also “nothing special”. So was the last beating the crap out of French Police (woman included) by “youth” and, of course, no weapons were drawn and no perpetrator was shot. But other than that–things are just peachy in Europe.

  59. Thomas says:

    “The events regarding MH 17 and numerous other events are well known to anyone who is paying attention.”
    Which is a small minority.
    “The question remains whether anyone will care.”
    They will when it becomes known that they were subjected to a full on propaganda campaign in the cover-up by the same folks effing everything up for the past half generation.
    It is human nature to intensely hate the liar who fooled you.

  60. blue peacock says:

    It looks like Sundance has an interesting hypothesis.

    The ENTIRE SYSTEM of surveillance and data collection was weaponized against a political campaign. There were no authorizing or accompanying FISA warrants.


    Within this entire enterprise of spying on the Trump Campaign there is no “wiretapping” per se’ because EVERYTHING is being collected by NSA. The issue is: can you legally “look at” what is already being collected?
    That’s where Admiral Mike Rogers comes in because he discovered political operatives were LOOKING AT IT. Hence, his report to the FISC about FISA-702(17) violations.

    On one level this seems plausible as all domestic communications are hoovered up by the NSA, and those with access can query the system. Maybe these are the FISA 702(17) queries that concerned Admiral Rogers who ordered an audit and then went to FISC after the audit was completed in October 2016 and had them stopped. This is probably what he informed Trump a week after the election.
    Is a FISA warrant a requirement to conduct such queries? Clapper stated in an interview that he did not see any FISA warrant.

  61. Barbara Ann says:

    I’m just thankful we haven’t had to suffer Bill as first First Man

  62. Jack says:

    David Habakkuk, I would love to get your always erudite take on the analysis of Sundance that blue peacock has introduced here, as well as all the latest in the Russiagate affair including the criminal referral by Sen. Grassley to the DOJ to investigate Christopher Steele and defamation lawsuit by Michael Cohen against Fusion GPS following on the earlier lawsuit by Aleksej Gubarev that you wrote about. Seems like there is a lot going on. Your perspective is always invaluable.

  63. blue peacock,
    “The ENTIRE SYSTEM of surveillance and data collection was weaponized against a political campaign”
    I was thinking the same thing from a different angle. It was weaponized against a perceived RIS threat. The political campaign was just standing too close to that RIS threat. There were supposedly at least five countries that picked up contacts between Russian IS operatives and Trump associates. They passed these reports to their US counterparts. Between this much SIGINT and the Aussie HUMINT, I’m not at all surprised that the FBI started looking this in July 2016. Just based on SIGINT an interagency working group involving CIA,NSA, Justice, FinCEN and DNI started to look at movement of Russian funding into the US in April 2016. The Steele stuff was almost an afterthought when it came to the attention of the FBI.
    This reporting would have the names of the US persons masked, but they would still give some indication that the Russian RIS operatives were contacting someone of significance. From a CI perspective, I can understand the unmasking of those identities. It could potentially have been an espionage case of importance to national security.
    A FISA warrant would allow access to any mentions of those USPs alluded to in the foreign SIGINT as well as that vast database of domestic communications sucked up by our SIGINT systems. I don’t think that would be possible without FISA warrants.
    While this massive and pervasive system is a great safeguard against the likes of those like Pollard, Walker, Ames and Montes, it is still disconcerting. I remember back in the MOONLIGHT MAZE days, the FBI had to work long and hard to get a FISA warrant in support of an interagency espionage investigation. Now it seems to be closer to a rubber stamp operation. Back then, the NSA would run from the room in near panic when us HUMINTers would talk about operating in CONUS. That sure changed with the “collect it all” mentality that evolved after 9/11. I can sympathize with Rogers’ uncomfortableness with this monster.

  64. optimax says:

    Melania is no Eleanore Roosevelt.

  65. blue peacock says:

    I found this explanation by Sundance of the arcane “FISA warrant” very helpful.

    A warrant implies advanced judicial approval to begin surveillance and collecting emails and phone calls etc. Like a traditional Title III DOJ / law enforcement search warrant. But that’s not how FISA-702 works.
    The FISA database, run by the NSA hub, already holds all the information, all the emails, texts, phone calls etc. The information already exists in a database. There are two steps to access the database of information:
    Step One is to “Query” the database for your subject. That search needs a factual legal reason to take place; like an ongoing investigation. That search then returns an outcome, a set of information based on the “query” parameters. If the user gets a positive response to the “query” then Yes, the database holds information related to what they are looking for. Remember, there has to be a preexisting investigation to do the query.
    Step Two is to “Open” the data set. That’s the step that needs a “search warrant” to be legal. That second step, the ‘looking at the information’ is where an approval from the FISA court is needed. The investigator must fill out a FISA application to the FISA Court for approval. In order to get a FISA Court approval the investigator must show a valid reason for the search.
    Example (not real):
    Step One: The DOJ/FBI official puts “Jared Kushner” into the search query. This generates a number of responses. Perhaps his emails, phone call logs, actual intercepted recordings of his calls, or text messages, etc. (everything the NSA hub captures “about” Jared Kushner). There has to be a valid investigative reason in this step. An investigation of Jared Kushner must be underway.
    Step Two: The DOJ/FBI official then quarantines the returned information and applies to the FISA Court for permission to review it. The FBI/DOJ official has to tell the court why they want to look, ie. the FISA application. The FISA court grants the application and gives the FBI/DOJ official the approval. The application must have a legal basis as presented to the court – similar to that needed for a search warrant.

  66. turcopolier says:

    Poor Eleanor. Her mother in law’s bedroom was situated between her’s and that of her husband. that is probably not true of Melania’s living arrangements. pl

  67. turcopolier says:

    IMO Russian efforts to “stand too close” to the Trump campaign are irrelevant and merely serendipitous. IMO what happened was a “Deep State” conspiracy at the top of the IC, FBI and DoJ to help HC defeat Trump. pl

  68. optimax says:

    Obama had his mother-in-kaw living with them in the White House.
    I’ve never read a word about Melania’s parents.
    Doesn’t Fire and Fury say the Trumps have separate bedrooms? Could be BS or I might be wrong.

  69. outthere says:

    Ray McGovern agrees with you (not that you care what he says):
    > We suddenly have documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process. And that puts in a new and dark context the year-long promotion of Russia-gate. It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State.
    > Ironically, the Strzok-Page texts provide something that the Russia-gate investigation has been sorely lacking: first-hand evidence of both corrupt intent and action. After months of breathless searching for “evidence” of Russian-Trump collusion designed to put Trump in the White House, what now exists is actual evidence that senior officials of the Obama administration colluded to keep Trump out of the White House – proof of what old-time gumshoes used to call “means, motive and opportunity.”
    a lot more here:

  70. blue peacock says:


    It was weaponized against a perceived RIS threat….The Steele stuff was almost an afterthought when it came to the attention of the FBI.

    Three questions:
    1. If there was real SIGINT on the Russians, why was the initial FISA 702 request in July 2016 rejected by FISC? As you note FISC is a complete rubberstamp.
    2. Why did the NSA audit at the end of October 2016 uncover FISA 702(16)(17) violations? This is what prompted Admiral Rogers to go to FISC and then shutdown the FISA 702 “About Queries”.
    3. Who are these Trump “associates”? Carter Page? George Papadopolous? Who were peripheral at best in the campaign.
    Reporting yesterday notes that the October 2016 FISA authorization was based on the Steele dossier. I think the new evidence shows that the Steele dossier played a huge role. Certainly there were many players at the FBI & DOJ actively interacting with Steele and Glenn Simpson.

    Multiple sources told this reporter that the dossier was used along with other evidence to obtain the warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as FISC. The sources also stressed that there will be more information in the coming week regarding systemic “FISA abuse.”
    “(The dossier) certainly played a role in obtaining the warrant,” added another senior U.S. official, with knowledge of the dossier. “Congress needs to look at the FBI officials who were handling this case and see what, if anything, was verified in the dossier. I think an important question is whether the FBI payed anything to the source for the dossier.”

    Did you note in the Glenn Simpson interview transcript released by Dianne Feinstein that he met with the Russian lawyer Ms. Veselnitskaya before and after her meeting in Trump Tower? Seems like that was a trap and luckily for Don Jr. he didn’t fall for that.
    I think the alternative hypothesis that the top officials in the Obama administration including the highest levels in the FBI, DOJ, Clapper & Brennan used FISA 702 violations and the Clinton funded Steele dossier to build the Russia collusion narrative has actually more evidence disclosed. Note that neither Muelller nor the leaking like a sieve FBI/DOJ/Clapper/Brennan have put forth any tangible evidence of Russia colluding with the Trump campaign to actually steal the election after 18 months of investigation. What we see is just the opposite. All the new evidence points to a conspiracy in the Obama administration and how compromised Mueller’s team is. An email from DOJ attorney Andy Weissman, who is Mueller’s right hand man congratulating Sally Yates for publicly disobeying Trump’s immigration ban is just one example of the bias.
    All the evidence of the activities by the top officials at the FBI & DOJ including the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, their role in the Clinton exoneration, Bruce & Nellie Ohr and their role with the Steele dossier, we know because of the IG. The IG report of their investigation will shed more light. We also now have a Congressional referral to DOJ for a criminal investigation of Steele. It seems that pressure is slowly building for a second special counsel to investigate the FBI, DOJ & IC, which will likely include the top attorneys on Mueller’s team.

  71. Jack says:

    Last night over dinner, SWMBO brought up the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. As our discussion progressed we noted an irony. It was the Republicans, W & Cheney and their members in Congress supported by “national security state” Democrats like Dianne Feinstein and Hillary Clinton who setup the mass surveillance and bulk collection of all Americans domestic communications under the guise of fighting the Global War on Terror. And lied about its existence until Snowden blew the cover. Only a few civil libertarians opposed it and pointed out the unconstitutional nature of it and the potential for abuse. They were dismissed as marginal and unpatriotic. Isn’t it ironical that the Democrats weaponized it for partisan purposes and used it against a Republican presidential campaign and president?
    In further irony, the Republicans in Congress so incensed about the abuse of the mass surveillance are now ramming through a FISA reauthorization which would further relax the rules and increase the ability to hide these activities by clubbing it with a must pass spending bill or else the government shuts down. Only Rand Paul threatens to filibuster and we all know how much he is ridiculed by all those so serious members of Congress.

  72. turcopolier says:

    So, you think the European custom followed in the UK in the supposed upper classes of having separate bedrooms is equivalent to FDR and his wife having separate bedrooms with his mother’s bedroom between the two rooms? Have you ever been to Hyde Park? Trump sleeps very little . Do you suppose that has anything to do with the separate bedrooms? pl

  73. Mark Logan says:

    blue peacock,
    The Sara Carter article you cited actually says the Steele dossier was used along with other evidence, not that the warrant was based upon it.
    We should all be careful of using the standard of one error impeaching an entire source, I guess.

  74. blue peacock says:

    You are correct.
    The point however is that Sara Carter’s sources in government are disputing the NY Times story that it was George Papadopoulos’s drunken statements to Aussie diplomat Downer and the many other stories in the media that the Steele dossier had NO role in the FISA application approved in October 2016 by FISC.

  75. optimax says:

    No, I don’t think it’s the same.
    Maybe his mother’s plan worked since Franklin and Eleanore lived separately
    at the end of his life. Ne must have been somewhat of a mother’s boy to allow her interference.
    Never been to Hyde Park. Have been to Monticello and was quite impressed with Jefferson’s inventions.

  76. Keith Harbaugh says:

    See Joe diGenova, on 2018-01-21, spend 30 minutes describing what happened,
    and assigning responsibility:
    Note he asserts that,
    among the private contractors allowed access to raw 702-derived data
    was not only Fusion GPS but also Crowdstrike.
    He claims such actions were prima facie illegal.
    And he provides a preview of what he expects to happen.
    And asserts Comey is “devoid of moral purpose”.
    DeGenova also calls DIRNSA Mike Rogers “a hero” and “saved the day”.
    Note Rogers went both to the FISA court and president-elect Trump.
    He also points out how WaPo and the NYT have all but ignored
    the now-declassified FISC ruling.
    He also takes a number of whacks at special counsel Mueller.
    Thanks to Conservative Tree House for pointing out this video:

  77. jpb says:

    “It’s all built on lies!” William Binney
    Former FBI Director James Comey is going to teach ethical leadership at the College of William and Mary in the fall semester.
    George Carlin must be laughing in the grave.

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