The Scheme to Take Down Trump

Exclusive: The U.S. intelligence community’s unprecedented assault on an incoming U.S. president – now including spreading salacious rumors – raises questions about how long Donald Trump can hold the White House, says Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare

Is a military coup in the works? Or are U.S. intelligence agencies laying the political groundwork for forcing Donald Trump from the presidency because they can’t abide his rejection of a new cold war with Russia? Not long ago, even asking such questions would have marked one as the sort of paranoid nut who believes that lizard people run the government. But no longer.

Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. October 29, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

Thanks to the now-notorious 35-page dossier concerning Donald Trump’s alleged sexual improprieties in a Moscow luxury hotel, it’s clear that strange maneuverings are underway in Washington and that no one is quite sure how they will end.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper added to the mystery Wednesday evening by releasing a 200-word statement to the effect that he was shocked, shocked, that the dossier had found its way into the press. Such leaks, the statement said, “are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

Clapper added: “that this document is not a US Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC. The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”

Rather than vouching for the dossier’s contents, in other words, all Clapper says he did was inform Trump that it was making the rounds in Washington and that he should know what it said – and that he thus couldn’t have been more horrified than when Buzzfeed posted all 35 pages on its website.

But it doesn’t make sense. As The New York Times noted, “putting the summary in a report that went to multiple people in Congress and the executive branch made it very likely that it would be leaked” (emphasis in the original). So even if the “intelligence community” didn’t leak the dossier itself, it distributed it knowing that someone else would.

Then there is the Guardian, second to none in its loathing for Trump and Vladimir Putin and hence intent on giving the dossier the best possible spin. It printed a quasi-defense not of the memo itself but of the man who wrote it: Christopher Steele, an ex-MI6 officer who now heads his own private intelligence firm. “A sober, cautious and meticulous professional with a formidable record” is how the Guardian described him. Then it quoted an unnamed ex-Foreign Office official on the subject of Steele’s credibility:

“The idea his work is fake or a cowboy operation is false, completely untrue. Chris is an experienced and highly regarded professional. He’s not the sort of person who will simply pass on gossip. …  If he puts something in a report, he believes there’s sufficient credibility in it for it to be worth considering. Chris is a very straight guy. He could not have survived in the job he was in if he had been prone to flights of fancy or doing things in an ill-considered way.”

In other words, Steele is a straight-shooter, so it’s worth paying attention to what he has to say. Or so the Guardian assures us. “That is the way the CIA and the FBI, not to mention the British government, regarded him, too,” it adds, so presumably Clapper felt the same way.

What is Afoot?

So what does it all mean? Simply that U.S. intelligence agencies believed that the dossier came from a reliable source and that, as a consequence, there was a significant possibility that Trump was a “Siberian candidate,” as Times columnist Paul Krugman once described him. They therefore sent out multiple copies of a two-page summary on the assumption that at least one would find its way to the press.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Even if Clapper & Co. took no position concerning the dossier’s contents, they knew that preparing and distributing such a summary amounted to a tacit endorsement. They also knew, presumably, that it would provide editors with an excuse to go public. If the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency feel that Steele’s findings are worthy of attention, then why shouldn’t the average reader have an opportunity to examine them as well?

How did Clapper expect Trump to respond when presented with allegations that he was vulnerable to Russian blackmail and potentially under the Kremlin’s thumb? Did he expect him to hang his head in shame, break into great racking sobs, and admit that it was all true? If so, did Clapper \then plan to place a comforting hand on Trump’s shoulder and suggest, gently but firmly, that it was time to step aside and allow a trusted insider like Mike Pence to take the reins?

Based on the sturm und drang of the last few days, the answer is very possibly yes. If so, the gambit failed when Trump, in his usual high-voltage manner, denounced the dossier as “fake news” and sailed into the intelligence agencies for behaving like something out of “Nazi Germany.” The intelligence community’s hopes, if that’s what they were, were dashed.

All of which is thoroughly unprecedented by American political standards. After all, this is a country that takes endless pride in the peaceful transfer of power every four years or so. Yet here was the intelligence community attempting to short-circuit the process by engineering Trump’s removal before he even took office.

But the Guardian then upped the ante even more by suggesting that the CIA continue with the struggle. Plainly, the Republican congressional leadership has “no appetite” for an inquiry into Steele’s findings, the paper’s New York correspondent, Ed Pilkington, wrote, adding:

“That leaves the intelligence agencies. The danger for Trump here is that he has so alienated senior officials, not least by likening them to Nazis, that he has hardly earned their loyalty.”

What was the Guardian suggesting – that disloyal intelligence agents keep on searching regardless? And what if they come up with what they claim is a smoking gun?

Explained Pilkington: “To take a flight of fancy, what if it [i.e. Steele’s findings] were substantiated? That would again come down to a question of politics. No US president has ever been forced out of office by impeachment (Richard Nixon resigned before the vote; Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were acquitted by the Senate). Any such procedure would have to be prepared and approved by a majority of the House of Representatives, and then passed to the Senate for a two-thirds majority vote. As the Republicans hold the reins in both chambers, it would take an almighty severing of ties between Trump and his own party to even get close to such a place.”

It’s a long shot, but the Guardian’s recommendation is that rogue agents keep on digging until they strike pay dirt, at which point they should go straight to Congress and persuade – if not pressure – the Republican leadership to initiate the process of throwing Trump out of office.

This is not the same as sending an armored column to attack Capitol Hill, but it’s close. Essentially, the Guardian was calling on the intelligence agencies to assume ultimate responsibility regarding who can sit in the Oval Office and who cannot.

A Desperate Establishment

All of which demonstrates how desperate the military-intelligence complex has grown after Clapper’s report on alleged Russian hacking of Democratic emails met with such a derisory reception following its publication on Jan. 6. Even the Times admitted that it provided “no new evidence to support assertions that Moscow meddled covertly through hacking and other actions” while the Daily Beast said it was “unlikely to convince a single skeptic” due to a notable absence of anything by way of back-up data.

Indiana Gov. (now Vice President-elect) Mike Pence speaking in Phoenix, Arizona, on Aug. 31, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

The Steele dossier was supposed to take up the slack. Yet it has fallen short as well. It asserts, for example, that Trump attorney Michael Cohen traveled to Prague to discuss hacking with a Russian official named Oleg Solodukhin, a claim that both men have since denied. It misspells the name of a major Russian bank and gets its Russian geography wrong too.

As Owen Matthews points out in a very smart article in Newsweek, it “seems to be under the impression that the suburb of Barvikha on the tony Rublevskoe highway is a closed government compound, instead of just an expensive vacation home area favored by the new rich.”

The dossier misspells the name of an Azeri real-estate mogul named Aras Agalarov and “reports his association with Trump as news in August 2016 – when Agalarov publicly organized Trump’s visit to the Miss Universe pageant in 2013 and arranged a meeting with top Russian businessmen for Trump afterward, both of which were widely reported at the time.”

Other aspects of the dossier don’t add up either. It reports that the Russian government “has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years” in order to “encourage splits and divisions in the Western alliance.” But as Matthews points out, Trump wasn’t in politics five years ago and was considered a long shot for months after entering the presidential race in mid-2015. So how could the Kremlin be sure that their man would ultimately prevail?

The dossier says that Trump “accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on Democratic and other political rivals.” But Trump gave no hint of having inside information when he called for “Crooked Hillary” to be locked up for purging her email files; to the contrary, he did so on the basis of information available on every front page. The memo says that the Russians also had “compromising material” on Clinton. If so, then why wasn’t it used?

Hearsay Evidence

The discrepancies go on. But this is what one would expect of a document based entirely of hearsay in which Source A claims to have gotten a juicy tidbit from Source B, who heard it from Source C deep inside the Kremlin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a state visit to Austria on June 24, 2014. (Official Russian government photo)

Grasping at straws, the Guardian’s Ed Pilkington conceded that no news agency has been able to verify the dossier’s findings. But, he said, they are “unlikely to be discarded as quickly or as conclusively as Trump would like” for the simple reason that “the flip side of information that cannot be classed reliable is that neither can it be classed unreliable.”

But the same could be said for information that someone got from a friend whose brother-in-law heard from a park ranger that Barack and Michelle like to while away their evenings snorting cocaine. It can’t be classed as reliable because no one can verify that it’s true. But it can’t be classed as unreliable because no one can prove that it’s wrong. So maybe the best thing to do is to impeach Obama in the few days he has remaining just to be sure.

This not to say that the so-called President-elect’s legitimacy is not open to question. To the contrary, it is questionable in the extreme given that he lost the popular election by more than 2.86 million votes. In a democratic country, this should count for something. But the intelligence community is not attacking him on democratic grounds, needless to say, but on imperial.

Trump is a rightwing blowhard whose absurd babblings about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen reveal a man who is dangerously ignorant about how the world works. But he has managed to seize on one or two semi-good ideas over the years. One is that Obama administration’s confrontational policies toward Russia are a recipe for disaster, while another is that toppling Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with Al Qaeda and ISIS still up and about will only hasten their march on Damascus.

Both views are perfectly sensible. But because Washington’s endlessly bellicose foreign-policy establishment is wedded to the opposite, it sees them as high treason.

This is very serious. U.S. foreign policy has been marked by a high degree of continuity since World War II as Republican and Democratic presidents alike pledged to uphold the imperial agenda. But Trump, as radical in his way as William Jennings Bryan was in 1896 or Henry A. Wallace in 1948, is bucking the consensus to an unprecedented degree.

Even though its policies have led to disaster after disaster, the foreign-policy establishment is aghast. Consequently, it is frantically searching for a way to prevent him from carrying his ideas out. The intelligence agencies appear to be running out of time with the inauguration only a few days away. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up. All it means, rather, is that they’ll go deeper underground. Trump may enter the White House on Jan. 20. But the big question is how long he’ll remain.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

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213 comments for “The Scheme to Take Down Trump

  1. Dr. Ip
    January 14, 2017 at 8:45 am

    The Washington D.C. Jungle

    Down in the jungle
    Where nobody goes
    There’s a great big gorilla (the IC = Intelligence Community)

    Down in the jungle
    Where nobody goes
    There’s a slithery snake (Mike Pence)

    Down in the jungle
    Where nobody goes
    There’s a great big crocodile (House of R/Senate)

    Down in the jungle
    Where nobody goes
    There’s a great big elephant (The “other” billionaires)

    • Lin Cleveland
      January 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Nice work! But . . . let’s admit that the “D” side of our congressional Möbius strip is as complicit with the “R” side. When push comes to shove the GOP (guardians of privilege) and the DNC work as one to circle their wagons to ensure no third party candidate sneaks onto the gravy train.

      • January 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm

        They appear to oppose each other in public, but in secret they agree to rape and use the citizenry to pillage the globe.
        In fact there appears to be one dominant party, d & r form two wings of this one party.

      • January 15, 2017 at 8:04 pm

        I watch RT sometimes with more than a grain of salt. RT lobbied extreme hard for Bernie, then Jill Stein and Gary Johnson to throw the election into the House of Representatives, Only at the last minute did RT stop criticizing Obama, and switch to criticizing Hillary.

        The same Israeli Lobby, Saudi Lobby, right-wing Cuban Lobby that fought for Trump is now shrilly condemning RT.

        • Call A Spade
          January 16, 2017 at 6:09 am

          You cast a wide net and catch nothing the issues reside in your TV.

      • Richard
        January 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        Good Point, A two Party Duopoly, two sides of the same coin !
        Given the threats of outright Sedition during the Trump Inauguration, these people may have finally overplayed their hands. We could finally be facing a total collapse of this emerging empire, the continuous sell out of the American Public as well as the rest of the planet by wealthy special interest may have finally met it’s match ! Europe is finally finding the nerve to reject NATO, a 70 year old institution that continues to stir up international military conflicts in Europe’s back yard while continuing to sheltering Americans on this continent !

    • January 15, 2017 at 4:06 am

      Thanks for a very informative article, Daniel!

      • January 15, 2017 at 8:16 pm

        Ray I badly want to contact you personally. If Robert Parry is still active he knew me back when I was in Washington DC and Consortium News a newsletter.

        Richard Kane
        RichardKANEpa.blogspot.com
        scrawl the back archives.

      • Richard
        January 18, 2017 at 12:40 pm

        A true patriot, loved your recent interview with the LaRouche Organization. Surprised but pleased that the Intelligence Sector hasn’t taken action to silence you !

  2. Paul Easton
    January 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

    At least Trump is keeping his own security rather than relying on the Secret Service as Kennedy did.

    • Lin Cleveland
      January 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Uh-huh. Wonder if The Donald has seen Oliver Stone’s, “Untold History of the United States“?

      • Bob In Portland
        January 14, 2017 at 4:05 pm

        Bet he saw “JFK”.

      • Rob
        January 14, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        Are you serious? Trump is the most uncurious person on the planet, and he has the attention span of a gnat. For him to have watched Stone’s epic documentary, he would have to have been held in chains with his eyelids taped open.

        • January 14, 2017 at 7:45 pm

          It was not Oliver Stone’s JFK which the Secret Service presented to Trump, on behalf of the c.i.a. and f.b.i. It was their own video of Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, from an angle not seen before. A rifle comes into the frame firing the fatal shot, ‘up, and to the left.’ The Director of the c.i.a. asks President Elect Trump, “our evidence on the Russian hack of the DNC, is fake or real?” As we all heard from Trump, the evidence of the Russian hack is credible, but it did not affect the election.

          • Brad Benson
            January 16, 2017 at 10:08 pm

            I’ve posed that same theory in similar constructions. It’s a standard part of the President’s first day in office.

    • January 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Yes, that’s good.

  3. mike k
    January 14, 2017 at 8:57 am

    When thieves and murderers fall out with each other, it gets pretty messy, doesn’t it. It’s like a pitched battle with no holds barred between competing pirate ships. There will be blood! So far no one has mentioned the assassination option, but when you are dealing with the CIA, anything is possible….

    • January 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Millions of patsies to choose from, if such an event were to occur. The list of suspects would include every progressive hipster from any major coastal city. The hunt for the assassin would be covered by cnn for days on end, featuring all the usual suspects giving their “expert advice” until the fbi in full swat gear kills some Arab, Latino, or Black kid known to be emotionally unbalanced … maybe even an emotionally scarred marine.

    • eole
      January 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

      “Assassination option”? I bet it’s been in the mind of l lot people. There remain still six days to go!

    • January 15, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Donald’s entire life is at the edge of crime and intrigue, but no dead bodies or anyone actually successfully sued by him, I want to fight his threat to freedom and support his possible positive achievements at the same.

  4. Bill
    January 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

    So the threat to democracy isn’t the Russians, it’s our own intelligence agencies. The behavior of the intelligence agencies has risen to the level of treason, conspiracy, sedition, and other high crimes. Are they really acting on their own, or did orders come from President Obama? Obama has certainly been going out of his way to make things difficult for Trump. We’ve seen Brennan on TV many times pushing a political agenda — did he really decide to do that on his own? Trump needs to prosecute the bunch and send them to jail, and some will need to face a firing squad. Doing so will make the Democrats howl like wounded dogs.

    • Kiza
      January 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Very wrong Bill. The US “Intelligence” agencies have always been as you say they have now become. You were just not aware of it. The US, and pretty much most other “intelligence” services of the World are the official mafias doing worst crimes for personal enrichment (drug running, sex slave trade, weapons, human organ trade, selling of favors (more a Clinton speciality) and so on. The US “intelligence” agencies are just the world leading crime syndicates.

      After tens of even hundreds of coups organised overseas, what is one small and friendly domestic coup?

      • Lin Cleveland
        January 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm

        After tens of even hundreds of coups organised overseas, what is one small and friendly domestic coup?

        Could be, but I remember that just after the JFK assassination my mother saying, “There’s been a coup!”

        • Bob In Portland
          January 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

          She was correct. My mother said the same thing.

        • W N Illis
          January 15, 2017 at 1:19 am

          Your mother spoke the truth.

      • Jessejean
        January 14, 2017 at 2:51 pm

        Kiza– you are so right. They HAVE been doing this stuff for years, the last one being the drum beat for Bushie to invade Irag. This charade has the same smell. That charade (Irag) had the same smell as the Kennedy assassination cover-up. If I were older, I’d have more “smell” memories.
        But I’m so old now that this whole kerfufel is just making me laugh–the two most stinking rats in the whole US–the “intelligence” community and the conservatives–are fight over their big piles of rat droppings. If it weren’t for Glen Grenwald and others, I’d go nuts.

        • Kiza
          January 14, 2017 at 5:34 pm

          The existential struggle between Trump and the CIA will be by far the most interesting aspect of the Trump’s presidency. Personally, I did not expect the hostilities to come so soon and so openly but this appears to have been the CIA decision. They appear to be coordinating with George Soros and his well organised attack on the Inauguration (Soros managed to get the chief of the DC National Guard fired just before the Inauguration http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-13/dc-national-guard-chief-fired-days-trump-inauguration-timing-extremely-unusual). George Soros has been rumoured to be the CIA financial market investor and their manipulator of foreign societies. The team appears to be doing to US now what they have been doing for the last 20 years or so to the foreign countries.

          I call the two laughable kompromat dossiers on Trump “the Brennan’s two kitchen sinks” after a good joke by an article writer that Brennan threw even his kitchen sinks at Trump in desperation to make Trump malleable – controllable by the Deep State. The dossiers are so amateurishly prepared that I find it hard to read the CIA and MI6 acronyms mentioned together with the said dossiers. It does look desperate. It appears that the goal was to throw enough Deep State feces at Trump in the hope that the sheer quantity of it and the complete control over the prostitute media ensure that at least some of it sticks.

          • Rob
            January 14, 2017 at 6:31 pm

            Please provide hard evidence that George Soros is involved in any of the things that you say he is. The article to which you linked contains no such evidence–none, nada, zip. I read it, have you? Hence, I can only conclude that you,too, are a purveyor of false rumors, not unlike the CIA.

          • January 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm

            Rob
            Here is one report which links Soros to anti-Trump provocateurs rallying protesters into riots.
            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/14/republicans-call-clinton-obama-reel-professional-a/

          • Kiza
            January 14, 2017 at 7:57 pm

            Rob, you are happy to read and hear pure insinuations, clear inventions about Trump from the MSM and other regime’s media but you request “hard evidence” from your fellow commenters. Are you joking? Even if you did not, I just laughed.

          • Kiza
            January 14, 2017 at 8:35 pm

            One other interesting issue is that the British got involved so openly in cutting down Trump. The fact that the “former” MI6 officer Christopher Steele wrote at least one of the two dossiers against Trump suggests that the US Deep State and the UK Deep State are in the open. In the UK, the government broadcaster BBC has been promoting the second kompromat dossier against Trump, The Guardian newspaper and other British media have been actively pushing both dossiers. It appears that the UK “intelligence”, the media, even the Government owned media do not listen to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May or the UK Parliament. The anti-Trump coup appears to be direct cooperation between CIA and MI6, circumventing any “democratic” institutions in the two countries. Britain has been struggling with Brexit and the election of Trump, both of which brought potential loss of trade and political isolation (no US friend, no EU friend). Theresa May has been rather keen to establish closer ties with Donald Trump to avoid possible political isolation of Britain. But the Deep State appears to have other ideas. What will happen with the special trade relationship between US and UK if Trump does not fall?

          • January 15, 2017 at 8:41 pm

            Rob’s response that follows is missing a reply icon. Therefore I can’t remind him that the Washington Times is part of the Sun Mung Moon conglomerate and part of past intrigues and still likely part of it.

            richardKANEpa.blogspot.com

            This now follows, not several comments back.

          • January 15, 2017 at 8:47 pm

            Rob’s response that is 6 comments back is missing a reply icon. Therefore I can’t remind him that the Washington Times is part of the Sun Mung Moon conglomerate and part of past intrigues and still likely part of it.

            richardKANEpa.blogspot.com

      • JWalters
        January 15, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        The intelligence agencies follow orders, working for the guys with the big money, the war profiteers.
        http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

        Who silences the mainstream media? Clue – NOBODY in the MSM criticizes Israel’s blatant crimes, lies, and consistent bad faith in words and deeds.

    • rosemerry
      January 14, 2017 at 4:46 pm

      ” shocked, shocked, that the dossier had found its way into the press. ”
      POTUS Obama and Senator Russophobe McCain were responsible, it seems.

    • Realist
      January 14, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Yes, a coup against the incoming president by the intelligence agencies acting at the behest of the establishment’s Deep State is exactly what this is.

      Today, they are trying yet a new ploy in the “Trump is a Russian puppet” gambit. Now they are saying that General Michael Flynn, Trump’s designated National Security Advisor, made five phone calls to the Kremlin on the day that Obama imposed his latest sanctions on Russia and thereby violated the “Logan Act,” which bans any civilian contact (even the president-elect only days away from inauguration) from communicating in any way with foreign governments.

      Never mind that Trump may need to act quickly to avoid any dangerous conflicts between Russia and the US that may be precipitated by Obama’s last second rash actions. And never mind that to gain this knowledge of the phone calls, the intelligence agencies had to be spying on Trump and his incoming administration, treating them like an enemy rather than their new bosses. At least Trump didn’t send his future secretary of state to Moscow with a birthday cake for Putin, like Reagan/Bush sent Bob Macfarlane to the Ayatollah bearing a cake and a bible.

      It’s all madness that will only result in this country destroying itself, as no outside force wants to do so or is even remotely powerful enough (short of a thermonuclear exchange). This is the product of a mental disease caused by an insatiable lust for power, control and riches which has resulted in, by far, the largest share of national wealth and talent to be invested in war and intrigue rather than the finer accoutrements of civilised society, like science, art, good health, housing, adequate nutrition and education. We have collectively become simply barbarians in designer fashions.

  5. Josh Stern
    January 14, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I liked Mr. Lazare’s essay.

    But wish to make a few notes on this point:
    “All of which thoroughly unprecedented by American political standards.”

    JFK – murdered, with heavy CIA involvement

    LBJ – pulls out of primaries ahead of Spook sabotaged 1968 peace talks. RFK – murdered, shot at from the front by hypnotized lone nut with no motive or recollection; killed by close range bullet from behind, security guard mysteriously not detained or seriously questioned by police.

    Nixon – Watergate scandal triggered by capture of “ex”-CIA-led robbers during a routine nightime burglary where they left clues on the locks for the guards to find. WaPo reporters get secret story of coverup in hokey way from FBI No. 2 man, Mark Felt.

    Carter – 1980 election chances undermined by Hostage Crisis & Reagan’s “October Surprise both of which are now known/suspected to have been the product of heavy CIA involvement.

    • tom veilleux
      January 14, 2017 at 11:24 am

      I think I like your analysis way better than the “opinion” sans any attributable facts by Lazare…can hardly wait for the videos to emerge. I am wondering if the contributors to this site would provide links to fact-based sites so that we the readers can draw our own conclusions about what is real and what is not.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 14, 2017 at 12:36 pm

        I don’t know if this will qualify your definition of fact based, but read this….

        http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/01/09/russia-trump-election-flawed-intelligence/

        • evelync
          January 14, 2017 at 2:52 pm

          Thank you Joe for providing this link to Masha Gessen’s thorough analysis!!!

          Their lackluster intelligence report suggests that our intelligence agencies are driven by ideology and fear mongering unwilling to consider that Hillary Clinton was a weak candidate who too many people did not trust to serve their best interests or the best interests of this country.

          The endless wars and near financial meltdown in 2008, exposed the tweedle dee and tweedle dum political parties as warmongers and financial predators. Clinton never proved that she understood the follies that took us to where we are now. Instead she pandered to the very interests that got us to where we are.

          Not all voters agreed with Bernie but I think most people trusted him as an honest broker. It seems that enough discouraged people in swing states believed that Trump understood their pain and actually offered them some hope. Forbes November 22, 2016 piece points out that Jared Kushner ran a very sophisticated end game to their campaign targeting the discontent in the “surprise” states that won him the electoral vote:
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2016/11/22/exclusive-interview-how-jared-kushner-won-trump-the-white-house/#4096b24f2f50

          The political arm of the intelligence agencies are so used to lying to us that they now seem to believe their own lies. Or think Americans will continue to buy the faux fear mongering.

          No one believes that Russia, seen by Professor Andrew Bacevich as a second tier power, is a huge threat. The Neocons and Neoliberals are offended if anyone criticizes their regime change plans which both General Wes Clark and Colonel Andrew Bacevich have pointed out, were dreamed up decades ago.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 15, 2017 at 12:22 am

            evelync so now I see who Trump’s David was up against the Clinton’s Goliath, and come to find out it was all in the family having been Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son in law. Many of us older folk have haunting memories of ourselves, and how we navigated our blossoming careers through our rookie years, and in young Jared we may reminisce and connect with him. The article you provided claimed how Kushner’s novice decisions may have actually been his strongest point up against the big bad Democrate’s crooked Hillary obsessed machine.

            The Democrate’s were so foolish as to secretly tear down the sturdy house of Sanders, as they all fell over each other to expensively build the shaky Hillary house of cards, and with this collapse they now want to blame Assange, Putin, Jill Stein, and any other somebody or something other than to take the blame themselves. Here in lies the real problem, and one that by their own denial will only further erode an already decayed Democratic Party, who has loss everything to the Republicans. Not only is our DC Government now a majority of the Republican Party who will now run it, but so are 33 U.S. States now controlled by the GOP. The real fear of losing our American democracy shouldn’t be leveled against Vladimir Putin, as much as it should be leveled against a corrupt system which allowed the Democrate’s to slither in to such an unaccountable degree of sliminess that even the deepest snake pit wouldn’t be able to handle all the overflowing slush that comes from it.

            You mentioned Andrew Bacevich, now there is a person who I would like to see installed onto some presidents cabinet. How about Robert Parry as White House Press Secretary?

        • rosemerry
          January 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

          An excellent link- unexpected from the NYT!!

          • evelync
            January 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm

            yes, indeed, rosemerry, not what one would expect from the NYT.
            Please take a look at the description of the NY Review of Books:
            https://www.nybooks.com/about/

            I don’t think it is connected with the NYT but I could be wrong…

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 14, 2017 at 11:07 pm

            rosemary nothing unexpected happened with the NYT, take another look at the link, it’s an easy website link to get confused with…it’s nybooks.com not NYT

            The Beltway Regulars are getting more frustrated as each day goes by, and along with them losing their ever loving mines, they are now becoming so sloppy with their anti-Trump allegations that anything and everything is on the table to takedown the Teflon Trump. With the release of Secret Agent Steele’s report, I find it surprising to see the Spooks allowing themselves to look so unhinged, as they chase after the ever elusive President-elect Trump like a drunken carpenter hammering down a bent nail. I’d possibly under normal circumstances root for these DC Clowns, but toying with that idea just gives me the creeps, when ousting a President Trump leaves us with a….dare I say it? President Pense!

          • Gregory Herr
            January 15, 2017 at 11:28 am

            It is an excellent article. What I didn’t like about it though was the author characterizing Putin as telling the truth “for once”, and saying that RT “is certainly a propaganda outlet funded by an aggressive dictatorship.” Oh well, I guess the author thinks of this as “balance”.

        • Oleg
          January 15, 2017 at 8:02 am

          Honestly I am very surprised, not by the analysis itself, but by the identity of the author. Masha Gessen has been one of the fiercest Putin’s critics ( and a largely unreasonable one at that), so it is highly suggestive that the idiocy of the situation gets to her too.

          • Gregory Herr
            January 15, 2017 at 11:29 am

            I like your observation. Good point.

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 15, 2017 at 11:40 am

            Oleg, you are right. Masha Gessen is no Putin lover, but if you are looking for diversity amongst a repetitive media who dance to the same drummer, reading Gessen may help your escape. Like everything else in life I find the truth to be elusive. How often have we found ourselves knee deep in reading article after article, book after book, only to end up where you started from except for the fact you now know more yet you can’t seem to be able to determine what is true? In the end it’s all up to you to decide what is right, and what is not right. Sorry for the rant, but here is a link to more of Masha Gessen’s writings….

            http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/masha-gessen/

          • Litchfield
            January 17, 2017 at 6:04 pm

            Right.
            Re “Thank you Joe for providing this link to Masha Gessen’s thorough analysis!!!” I was going to say, “Thou jokest! Masha Gessen? ARe you sure????”

            Re “Masha Gessen has been one of the fiercest Putin’s critics ( and a largely unreasonable one at that), so it is highly suggestive that the idiocy of the situation gets to her too.”

            More than a “critic.” A total anti-Putin and really pro-neoloberal-project-Soros ideologue. Whither Masha??? Could something be shaking her conviction as to the location of Good and Evil in this world?

        • Abe
          January 15, 2017 at 4:24 pm

          Not so fast, JT.

          Former Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Russian Service director Masha Gessen has been flogging mainstream media conspiracy theories about the purported the “DNC hack” for months.

          Example:

          “Russia did hack the DNC. Yes, it did—and apparently the hackers who carried out the attack, following what the FBI believes was a high-level assignment, bothered little with covering their tracks.”
          – Masha Gessen, “The New Politics of Conspiracy” New York Review of Books (November 2, 2016)

          Gessen’s latest “analysis” is a propaganda retread of her usual fare of “conspiracy thinking” about Russia.

          The whole PropOrNot “fake news” project is designed to re-position rank propagandists like “Passion of Pussy Riot” Gessen and as paragons of professional “journalism”.

          Gessen’s propaganda track record makes her one of the Atlantic Council’s favorite Russian “journalists”, along with Moscow Times tabloid writer and Mikhail Khodorkovsky-pleasing sycophant turned “Russian media analyst” Vasily Gatov
          http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/component/event/detail/the-changing-face-of-kremlin-propaganda

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 15, 2017 at 8:40 pm

            Abe everything you present here regarding Masha Gessen is correct. The linked article I provided was Gessen’s negative critique against the latest U.S. Intelligences release of the pee pee scandal, where Gessen describes the report as a bad attempt to proving that Trump did anything wrong while he visited Russia. This particular article of Gessen’s may prove to be more valuable considering her dislike of both Putin and Trump. The value maybe found in the facts you have presented here Abe, and it’s always an interesting thing when the opposition is agreeing with your point of view.

            I am new to Gessen myself, and after Oleg mentioned how Gessen is no Putin fan I then provided a link to Gessen’s other articles which are definitely critical of the Russian leader to be sure. Gessen’s apparent track record speaks for itself, as you rightfully pointed out, but this particular article is anything but a hit job on Putin or Trump. If anything Masha is supportive of those of us who believe that the U.S. Intelligence agencies really did screw up with this one.

            Thanks Abe for keeping the record straight, and for getting us up to par regarding Masha Gessen.

          • Abe
            January 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm

            Understood, JT.

            The only “value” of Gessen’s essay is that it demonstrates the “post-truth” fake “fact-check” propaganda strategy used by Bellingcat, StopFake, Interpreter Mag, the Atlantic Council, and all the other PropOrNot “Related Projects”

            Note how Gessen does not retract or even acknowledge her previous enthusiasm for “flawed intelligence”.

            When yesterday’s lies are exposed, the serial liar simply writes a new article “debunking” them.

            “I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down…”
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7xyd_IRgGs

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 16, 2017 at 11:35 am

            Thanks Abe for your many posted comments that allow us all to see the lies for the truth they hide. Whatever Gessen’s article was intended for at least this one time we can use her own words to deny her the satisfaction she may usually get for the propaganda she delivers most of the time. Again thank you Abe for helping to pull back the curtain on this author. Joe

            Ps the provided video you linked us to was all to painful and true.

          • Abe
            January 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

            Bought and paid for propaganda banshees like Masha Gessen, PropOrNot “Related Projects” info-warriors Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss of Interpreter Mag, and former Moscow Times screed writer turned “media analyst” Vasily Gatov are all on the payroll of Russian criminal oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

            Oligarchs like Khodorkovsky and Boris Berezovsky rose to power in the post-Soviet era, buying up huge sections of newly privatized industries before moving on to the markets of propaganda (television) and politics.

            Human Edge, an educational television hosted by Canadian journalist Ian Brown on TV Ontario, presented a documentary film titled “The Rise and Fall of the Russian Oligarchs”.

            Also titled “The Oligarchs: The Struggle for Russia”, the documentary by director Alexander Gentelev shows how the oligarchs’ downfall was just as swift as their rise due to the leadership of Vladimir Putin.

            The following segment of the documentary shows Putin’s presidency and the demise of Khodorkovsky
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShRugIEl-t8

            “Rise and Fall” provides a big clue as to why Putin is so utterly demonized today by the West.

            The oligarchs are exemplars of what the West calls “democracy”, but which is in reality heartless oligarchy: “free” elections created and stage-managed by rich donors and PR companies, usually with foreign investment courtesy of NGOs whose goals are antithetical to the nations in which they operate.

            Corrupt individuals like Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky are portrayed as the good guys in Western media.

            Most revealing are the candid remarks made by the oligarchs themselves. For example, here is what Berezovsky had to say about his role in Yeltsin’s successful 1996 election: “It’s said that the media acted on orders. To these accusations all I can say is, yes, it’s true. Directives were given, news coverage wasn’t objective, but it’s all part of a democratic process.”

      • Bob In Portland
        January 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm

        A lot to chew on here: http://www.alternet.org/media/anonymous-blacklist-promoted-washington-post-has-shocking-roots-ukrainian-fascism-eugenics-and

        A little more information here and we could probably guess NATO’s next bombing runs.

        • evelync
          January 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

          holy mackerel!!!! Bob in Portland!

          Thanks for this Alternet piece by Mark Ames!

          According to Mr. Ames, the Washington Post may have relied on right wing Ukrainian nationalists, one of whom worked for the DNC to “prove” that Russia did the hacking:

          Mr. Ames mentions the:
          “Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group “US United With Ukraine Coalition”, which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests. In October of this year, Yahoo News named Chalupa one of “16 People Who Shaped the 2016 Election” for her role in pinning the DNC leaks on Russian hackers, and for making the case that the Trump campaign was under Kremlin control. “As a Democratic Party consultant and proud Ukrainian-American, Alexandra Chalupa was outraged last spring when Donald Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager,” the Yahoo profile began. “As she saw it, Manafort was a key figure in advancing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agenda inside her ancestral homeland — and she was determined to expose it.” ”

          What’s most troubling about the Alternet piece, is if WAPO’s accusations relied on sources who seem to have been convinced by their own paranoia and/or their paychecks as opposed to any real evidence.

    • floyd gardner
      January 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      All points well stated, and true.

  6. Brendan
    January 14, 2017 at 9:43 am

    This definitely looks like a campaign by a large group of people, including some in the CIA, to promote the allegations that Trump was recorded in a compromising situation.
    The BBC’s Washington reporter Paul Wood says that he heard about the alleged tapes from a number of sources, including CIA officers:

    “I understand the CIA believes it is credible that the Kremlin has such kompromat – or compromising material – on the next US commander in chief.
    (…)
    Later, I used an intermediary to pass some questions to active duty CIA officers dealing with the case file – they would not speak to me directly. I got a message back that there was “more than one tape”, “audio and video”, on “more than one date”, in “more than one place” – in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and also in St Petersburg – and that the material was “of a sexual nature”.
    The claims of Russian kompromat on Mr Trump were “credible”, the CIA believed.”
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38589427

    Wood said much the same thing in a radio interview.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyFTRVvhM5M#t=40s

    • evelync
      January 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

      re:
      “This definitely looks like a campaign by a large group of people, including some in the CIA, to promote the allegations that Trump was recorded in a compromising situation.”

      Is this the best they’ve got? – a sexual romp?
      Who cares?
      Given our egregious foreign policy given all the violence and brutality and dislocation, loss of life, abuse of the people serving in our military and abuse of innocent people overseas, do the gossipers think Americans are so easily distracted, fooled, manipulated?

      Thanks to the “faux news” writers who are asking the right questions instead of joining the witch hunts.

      This is all very sick!

      • irina
        January 14, 2017 at 1:40 pm

        Well, I care. Because in this day of photoshop and voice recognition software there is absolutely no way to verify if such tapes
        (which may very well exist but are probably fabrications) are authentic. Why isn’t anyone in the media admitting that possibility ?

        • evelync
          January 14, 2017 at 3:23 pm

          I agree, irina, that the authenticity of the charges is important!

        • Bob In Portland
          January 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm

          The porno loops of Sukarno. The multiple photos of OJ Simpson in Bruno Maglis on the playing field in Buffalo (introduced in the civil trial), examined and authenticated by the photography school in the Rochester Institute of Technology where the CIA used to (maybe still) send employees to learn how to make fraudulent papers and passports.

          http://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/17/nyregion/school-s-cia-tie-faulted-in-review.html

          I seem to remember a line about “imaging science”. There was an expose about RIT in the old Covert Action Information Bulletin back in the last century.

      • Eddie
        January 14, 2017 at 3:38 pm

        “Is this the best they’ve got? – a sexual romp?
        Who cares?”

        Exactly! Strictly POLITICALLY speaking, WTF difference does it ultimately make what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms as long as no one is physically injured, especially (as in this case) it would’ve happened BEFORE he was even in a political office?? The only way you can legitimately criticize a political office-holder’s sexual habits was IF they are performed with subordinates or lobbyists, etc, which gets into sexual harassment and graft, respectively. It’s not a major factor in the electorate’s voting decision. If the US valued sexually purity as a major political factor, we’d elect a priest or monk, but it’s not valued that way – – – it’s essentially a personal matter that’s irrelevant to a politician’s actions/policies. The important things a politician or candidate says or does are regarding things like war, economics, human rights, environment/conservation, etc – – – not what he/she does to satisfy their sexual urges.

        • Joe Tedesky
          January 15, 2017 at 12:39 am

          Eddie I think you have made a great point. I seriously believe that if a porn tape popped up with Donald Trump appearing in it, that his popularity would only grow. I recall when Bill Clinton was battling with his self induced Monica Lewinsky scandal that his popularity numbers were always going up, instead of down. Let’s face it Donald Trump has been with the American public for so long now, that with all of his controversial happenings, it is no big deal. What would be a big deal would be if the Donald were to fall down and humble himself to the point of embarrassment, well then that might get the public shook up….maybe, but we’re talking about Donald Trump here.

          • evelync
            January 15, 2017 at 6:21 pm

            Joe, I missed the opportunity to respond to your comment earlier including having the chance to agree with your opinion that Andrew Bacevich would for sure be a very welcome alternative view in a Cabinet position – Secretary of Defense? or Secretary of State?
            I always enjoy listening to his commentary.

            And it would be great to have an honest, intelligent, Press Secretary. I suspect that Robert Parry would, as Press Secretary, scrutinize the “narrative” of the day and then give feedback as to whether or not that narrative was an honest, complete, reporting of news and therefore whether or not he would report it.

          • Vietvet 68
            January 15, 2017 at 6:23 pm

            We as a nation have a big problem with DT. On the one hand it appears he is fighting the Intel Community and working hard to avoid world War III with Russia. That is all good. ON the other hand…his domestic policies are a total disaster. The Majority of his cabinet are billionaries and characters who would like to get rid of the agencies they will lead. DT wants to repeal ACA, end unions, oppose the $15 min wage, wants to privatize SOcial security and Medicare, destroy public schools and labor unions. He and his admin are antagonistic to the media, and anyone who criticizes them like the Office of Government Ethics. He attacks women, minorities, and has lied about Obamas legitimacy. He can hand our criticism but cannot take it all the hallmarks of a budding dictator. He refuses to set up a blind trust for this gigantic business investments. WHo knows how deep his links go to foreign leaders. He refuses to release his income taxes and is a arrogant as he can possibly be. The threatens and with the power of his office is fast surpassing Nixon in his paranoia and fearmongering. So this is the choice we face for you folks who think he will be our savior and keep us from WW III. What is the point when we may soon live as slaves to his dictatorship. We have a very real constitutional problem developing.

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 15, 2017 at 9:03 pm

            evelync Thanks for continuing our conversation. After I wrote that about Bacevich, and Robert Parry, I had a thought that if I were president I would appoint Paul Street as Secretary of Labor. I would get Paul Craig Roberts to be our nation’s Secretary of Treasury…and before I could make any other appointments I’d probably be laid out for viewing at the Capitol rotunda. Always a pleasure to read your comments evelync ….Joe

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 15, 2017 at 9:22 pm

            Vietvet 68 Your concerns I would believe are but a mirrored image of all of our concerns. I stated somewhere within this very long thread of comments, was how once we get beyond this Putin influenced our American presidential election nonsense, that we will move on to become more critical of Trump’s Administration. What the comments on this site reflect when commenters are appearing to support Donald Trump, is not so much a groupthink of support for our 45th President in as much as a bunch of honest opinions to what the facts bare out.

            This past week after viewing the Trump Cabinets Senate Confirmation hearings I became annoyed, and disappointed to how Trumps nominees answered their Senate questioners. Trump’s nominees left nothing to be hopeful about.

            This much I will tell you, I’m not getting my expectation levels up to high….Joe

    • Josh Stern
      January 14, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      The sex tapes are completely different evidence & claim from the DNC leak called “Russian hacking”. The sex tapes supposedly come from Western intelligence sources.

      What is supposed to be the link? We are supposed to believe a) CIA has evidence of Russia obtaining the leaked emails & getting them to Wikileaks despite not providing any evidence for that and Wikileaks/carrier witness providing a completely different story, b) that this action was part of a plot by Russia to get Trump to win, c) that the reason Russia wanted Trump to win is not the legitimate reason that his policies are friendlier to them but rather the illegitimate reason that they can blackmail him, and d) the fact or false claim that Western intel has gathered evidence to blackmail Trump with is supposed to support the fact or false claim that Putin must have some too, so therefore that was his motivation to want Trump, and therefore Trump is illegitimate and their no evidence claim of DNC hacking can be forgotten about.

      My view is that the CIA & FBI make it *their* business to gather blackmail dirt on all US candidates and try to use it. They have a history of accusing other nations of the things they stand for (Terrorism, anti-Democracy, anti-Human Rights). We have seen no evidence of Russia doing 1/1000th of the crap they get away with, yet now MI6 guy’s sex tape is supposed to make us hungry for war with Russia – or at least a big expensive addition to the Defense budget – whether President-elect Trump wishes that or not.

      • Twostep
        January 15, 2017 at 1:39 am

        Re your third paragraph: Hoover remained head of the FBI for so long because he was very good at this.

  7. David Brown
    January 14, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Also the buidup of NATO forces is forcing Putins hand ( whom, by the way I am not a cheerleader for,) could lead us to another World War.This is madness We are the warmongers here, look at Syria.
    Recently rewatched ‘ The day the Earth stood still’ and I believe when AI reaches sentience that more or less this will be our fate, we simply can not be trusted..Lol.
    What interesting times we live in, no?
    Peace…from Texas

  8. January 14, 2017 at 10:24 am

    One notable thng about this whole mess is the absence of polls.Everyone knows that the US political system loves it´s polls. They tell americans which way they should vote, who to hate, who to love etc.

    But the 1/10 th of 1% , in it´s bubble thinks that the US general population hates Trump the same way they do. The only thing is, that that opinion is not supported by polls. Ergo, no reporting on polls results. However in their hubristic way of thinking, if they just keep pounding the issue they think that the population will come around to their way of thinking. After all they are geniouses at promoting the big lie. Goebbles would fit right in with this bunch.

    This is dangerous in the extreme. The Beltway was always a bubble. But the thinking in this bubble has the potential to make the country look like Syria. There is a viseral hatred of the people trying to get rid of Trump, What ever their feelings about Trump and how much they might dislike him, theitr hatred of the people trying to overthrow the election results is even greater. if they should succeed you may well see the American Army on the streets protecting the Senators, Congressmen, Supreme Court and the 1/10th of 1% that own them, from the enraged populace. A country as well armed as the US is, that could well be catastrophic. Will this be like their well planned wars, that always go sideways? And the consequences if it does?

    • Wm. Boyce
      January 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      “But the 1/10 th of 1% , in it´s bubble thinks that the US general population hates Trump the same way they do.”

      Uh, you better have a look at the Gallup poll on Mr. Trump’s popularity so far:

      http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/14/14273180/john-lewis-donald-trump

      It’s on a table down in the column.

      The intelligence community and the rest of the Deep State aren’t going to have to work too hard to get rid of this guy, his self-implosion will be on schedule. He’s not going to have any allies in Congress before he gets through with his manic, Tourette-style Twittering

      • Bob In Portland
        January 14, 2017 at 6:27 pm

        “…the Deep State aren’t going to have to work too hard to get rid of this guy…” But they are working very hard to get rid of this guy.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 15, 2017 at 1:58 am

        Wm. Boyce – yeah, just like the polls that put Hillary Clinton way ahead before the election. Wrong.

    • Jessejean
      January 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Dan–I think the beltway bubble is a Clinton bubble. In my experience, everytime Hillary is involved in anything there is the miasma of “visceral hatred” hanging around it. I’m a Bernie girl and I could see it in the MSM coverage of him before they defeated him. Then I saw it again when she lost to t-rump. I saw it when she tried to govern with her corrupt little predator husband. She just hates anyone who thwarts her. All this NATO build up at the Russian border was so fast, I think it was her plan for “when” she was anointed. The Neo-libs just can’t give up their plans for war profiteering so they hate t-rump for trying to thwart that. It would be schadenfreude except that when the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.

  9. Carl Rising-Moore
    January 14, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I hate to turn on the news each morning. What will tomorrow’s news be. 1,000 U S NATO troops in Poland, Ash Carter complaining Russia has done nothing to fight ISIS in Syria, Israel sends missils at Domascus..again, Obama supplies MANPADS to the terrorists to create a defacto no fly zone in Syria, but will no doubt be used against civilian aircraft eventually, a new “Ministry of Truth” to fight RT and fake news but in support of the Mokingbird MSM, What next?, a neutron bomb on Domascus to punish the oldest city in the world for disobedience to America’s Full Spectrum Dominance?

  10. David Lentini
    January 14, 2017 at 10:47 am

    A very disappointing article for the likes of this ‘blog.

    Does the author really think the US is a pure democracy? Does he not understand that Trump won the election through the process defined in the U.S. Constitution, as five other presidents did before him?

    And how does the author square the fawning claims about character of the former MI-6 agent who produced the dossier, and quality of his work, with the list of glaring failings in the very same work that the author separates from the point about the former agent?

    And is the author really serious about the “continuity” of US foreign policy? Does he know any history? Apparently not.

    And finally, does the author really think the US is run by a monolithic, selfess, intelligence community? Apparently he’s not familiar with the foundation and growth of the CIA under Truman, the many attacks the Agency (or parts of it) have made on America and Americans over decades, and the dire warnings of Eisnehower, Truman, and JFK, the latter likely to have been assassinated with CIA involvement?

  11. Brad Owen
    January 14, 2017 at 10:49 am

    So the Establishment is desperate about how to deal with the outsider (to the D.C./Wall Street Establishment) Trump. They had a choice; outsider Bernie, or now outsider Trump. Bernie was the outsider with the outstretched hand, a plea for help for the 99percenters, to bail out and rebuild Main Street. Trump is the clenched fist, ready to bludgeon the Establishment. The Establishment rejected the outstretched hand with a sneer. They thereby chose to face the fist. They’ll be dis-established, one way or an other. Their time on the World Stage is nearly up, and the long age of Empire is nearly over. The era of the China/Russia/U.S. Alliance is about to begin, and long-standing World problems (MOST of which were created by Empire & Its depredations) will finally be solved.

  12. January 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

    As I recall Mr. Clapper has his own credibility problem, having lied to Congress. As the possible reincarnation of Pinocchio his ability to discern truth from error is questionable. The ghosts of the Dulles brothers are evidently still very much involved in our foreign and domestic policies. Analysts of the future will ponder why certain demonic entities were so hell-bent toward nuclear war.

    Excellent article!

  13. Mike
    January 14, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Cokie Roberts’ Rule: well, its “out there” so it can be reported.

  14. Vincent Castigliola
    January 14, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Those aboard a sinking ship caught in a hurricane, might best focus their efforts on aiding the ship’s captain in stopping leaks, rather than questioning the “legitimacy” of his position.
    Can there be any question that Donald Trump was duly elected consistent with the law as it exists? I have difficulty accepting Mr. Lazar’s assertion:

    “This not to say that the so-called President-elect’s legitimacy is not open to question. To the contrary, it is questionable in the extreme given that he lost the popular election by more than 2.86 million votes. In a democratic country, this should count for something. But the intelligence community is not attacking him on democratic grounds, ….”

    It would appear, that what’s left of this Republic is being threatened by a branch of government nowhere to be found in the Constitution intended to protect us from government. The “intelligence community” has no right to attack the President on any grounds. Mr. Lazar detracts from important points to preach his personal disdain for the Constitution. It is a set of laws many of us swore to protect from enemies foreign and domestic. Should we not focus on upholding the rule of law which protects us from the tyranny /dictatorship of the majority/proletariat. Cannot ultimate “democracy” lead to a lynch mob?
    If there is a proper time to present scandal regarding past acts, it ended with the general election.

    Promotion of “democracy” has been used and abused at least since Pres. Woodrow Wilson much to the detriment of these United States and the rest of the world. Like all of us, President-elect Trump has his flaws; however, it is past time for us to appreciate and support his efforts to seek friendly and productive relations with other nations rather than the creation of enemies. Should we not act in accord with the law and our own best interest?

    • evelync
      January 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      re:
      “It would appear, that what’s left of this Republic is being threatened by a branch of government nowhere to be found in the Constitution intended to protect us from government. The “intelligence community” has no right to attack the President on any grounds.”

      I agree it has no constitution right to attack the President, but at least, for Trump’s sake, so far it’s only a verbal attack. Hasn’t the intelligence community, at least here and in Britain, always represented the interests of the wealthy elite and taken foreign policy as their bailiwick alone, keeping average working people outside the loop?
      There seems to be a consensus that presidents who dare to depart from that secret agenda are seen as expendable by the intelligence services who represent the elite. Alternative views on the murder of JFK are but one example.
      The peons can be used to fight, kill and be killed for the natural resources of weaker countries on behalf of the privileged classes but not be in on the policymaking decisions.

      At least my guy, Bernie, who gained the trust of Democrats, Independents and Republicans during the primary, recognizes that Trump won and says he is committed to working with Trump where they have common ground but will stand up to Trump on policies that threaten the well being of average Americans.

      I think that after all the endless wars and financial failures people have lost faith that those in power know wtf they are doing.
      And maybe they will see behind the curtain this time.
      I am pleased that Bernie is taking an adult responsible view, trying to deal with today’s reality in order to continue to fight for average people without giving in to the ideology wars.

    • Wm. Boyce
      January 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      “Can there be any question that Donald Trump was duly elected consistent with the law as it exists?”

      Oh yeah, plenty o’ questions:

      http://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/#more-12923

      Unless you read Palast and his investigations of the years’-long setup by the Repugs, you are an innocent.

      • Litchfield
        January 17, 2017 at 6:23 pm

        I have long been a fan of Palast and the work he did on the 2000 election was, AFAIK, indispensable.
        However, I think Palast also has an ax to grind, and his info may not be complete or completely unbiased.

        There is evidence that there were even more ropy votes in states and precincts where Clinton won than in states/precincts that Trump won. That is, Clinton’s dirty tricks were less effective against Trump’s than she and her planners such as Podesta (ugh!!!) expected. That is, Trump’s vote was greater than they thought they were going to need to overcome with their own dirty tricks. So they underplayed.

  15. Bill Cash
    January 14, 2017 at 11:56 am

    This site is totally group think. If Trump is really this innocent guy you portray, all he has to do is release his tax returns to prove he has no Russian connections but he won’t do it. I suspect he is very guilty.
    The IC didn’t begin this investigation. Some republicans hired a firm to do this but dropped it after Trump got the nomination. The IC didn’t leak it. David Corn published this months ago but didn’t include the sexual stuff.
    Trump is already talking about dropping sanctions and weakening NATO, everything Putin wants. I’m glad this report came out because Trump would have squashed it once he became president.
    I suspect Assange will get what he wants once Trump is president.
    If Trump makes an alliance with Russia, it’d be the most dangerous alliance since the 30s with Germany, Italy and Japan. No one could stand up to them militarily and that’s dangerous.

    • John
      January 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Wow, you seem confused.
      “Assange will get what he wants”?? As if Transparency in government is a bad thing?

      Major nuclear states getting along is a dangerous thing?

      As far as “Russian connections”, was it not Hillary’s State Department that authorized the sale of 1/5 of the US Uranium deposits to Russia?

      Russia, btw, has NEVER attacked the US, unlike Israel (see the USS Liberty.) It is a far more open and tolerant country than Hillary’s other BFF, Saudi Arabia.

      Your accusations of “group think” make you seem like a hipster who lives completely by irony.

      • floyd gardner
        January 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

        Thanks, JOHN. {Does this make me a “group thinker?”}

    • Vincent castigliola
      January 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Mr. Cash
      innocent until proven guilty. only in totalitarian countries are people required to prove their innocence. tax returns are by law confidential. Did JFK release his returns? I wish we had fewer alliances and more cordial relations and profitable trade.
      Peace be with us

    • Kiza
      January 15, 2017 at 5:52 am

      If you do not think like I and the mine, then you group-think.

      Groupthink requires some sort of formal or informal organisation surrounding people who do it, that is a group. For example, the US Government can and does suffer from group-think. Have you even stopped for a moment to consider how a varied assortment of people of different ages, education and from all over the world (I reside in Australia, for example) visiting this zine can group-think? You could equally say that all the people visiting an amusement park somewhere in the US suffer from groupthink. Or you are just blindly using a phrase you picked up somewhere because it makes you sound cool?

  16. Knomore
    January 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    This is a troubling article. The American people are seriously information-deprived. The mainstream media has been tilting the field for decades and in recent times while the imperial machine has been out in the field murdering people as fast and furiously as it can, our ignoble press has been stringing together more and more support for this murder machine with more and more lies.

    Are we really supposed to believe that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote? As someone suggested, if the Russians rigged the elections for Donald, why would they have left that potential minefield out there for its enemies to grab hold of? And if it were true, why wouldn’t the Clinton campaign have used this so-called matter of the popular vote as a legitimate wedge to fight for re-examination of the entire election process? (Using Jill Stein is not enough…)

    Perhaps, because it’s not true. Perhaps because the Clinton campaign knows that. That they cheated as hard as they could, one cannot doubt. Also, one cannot forget the California primary elections that were announced for Hillary (by ABC?) before the polls even opened in California…

    We are witnessing a desperate war waged by the Deep State to maintain their power against an insurgent populace that’s sick of being lied to, that’s sick of being manipulated, of having their lives and livelihoods disrupted by the next great trade deal. Sick of being jobless and left without hope.

    And then, it is truly amazing how little has been made of the extent to which Barack Obama’s lies to the American people have seeded widespread disillusionment with the whole American governing apparatus. This Quick Change Artist conned the American people to get himself elected and continued to con them for the eight years he’s been in office. He had a lot of help from the Deep State — starting with that phony Nobel Peace Prize followed up with a record of unbroken war for his entire tenure in office. My guess is that Hillary’s loss was probably greatly aided by Barack Obama’s failures.

    The People are just not the stupid — no matter how hard David Rockefeller and his friends at the CFR and in all the other secret organizations have bent over to trick them, fool them, distract and dumb them down.

    Anonymous on YouTube is publishing some great info documentaries on the current insurgency by the Cabal to take back their power. Pray it doesn’t happen…unless you’re happy with the status quo, happy with perpetual war and the widespread fear of imminent economic collapse.

  17. Herman
    January 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    The picture of a guy in a jail cell listening to the angry mob outside, one of them carrying a rope. Missing is the brave sheriff stepping out to confront the crazed mob. After a commercial break, we will see how it ends.

    Let’s hope some influential Americans have the sense to see what is at stake and find that sheriff.

  18. myshkin
    January 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    “Is a military coup in the works? Or are U.S. intelligence agencies laying the political groundwork for forcing Donald Trump from the presidency”

    There are other permutations, one of which is a plausible variation of those suggested; that is the Intelligence Community, the covert arm of the establishment, is negotiating with Trump over who will call the shots. To date Trump seems to be resisting the establishments (deep state) version of US foreign policy narrative going forward.

    The IC is holding a thick file of dirt on Trump (with his business dealings it seems a reasonable assumption), slowly leaking bits as the negotiations proceed. As Charles Schumer, the senator from Wall Street said, “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

    Watching this unfold is of course speculation for most citizens, (K wonders what is going on inside the Castle). It is cause for serious concern should a true reform candidate, perhaps someone like Sanders, ever gain the presidency someday.

    • Wm. Boyce
      January 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Hell, the IRS could leak the tax returns and that would be plenty interesting, now wouldn’t it???

    • floyd gardner
      January 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Charles Schumer,Sen,. Wall Street/Israel, should have said {WE} “have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you.”

    • Robert Bruce
      January 14, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      If someone like Trump can’t hold on to the presidency then someone like Sanders could not.

  19. Zachary Smith
    January 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    All of this is turning into the craziest stuff I’ve ever seen! An essay at Naked Capitalism ought to be read along with this one by Daniel Lazare. Title:

    Gaius Publius: Who’s Blackmailing the President & Why Aren’t Democrats Upset About It?

    As I said above, there only three elements to “get” to get this story. First, there’s the blackmail element. According to the 35-page dossier, Russia (supposedly) prepared blackmail material on Trump but isn’t using it.

    But it’s clear that American intelligence services certainly are using it, or using the threat of using it, and doing so very publicly (per CNN, quoted here, my emphasis):

    One reason the nation’s intelligence chiefs took the extraordinary step of including the synopsis in the briefing documents was to make the President-elect aware that such allegations involving him are circulating among intelligence agencies, senior members of Congress and other government officials in Washington, multiple sources tell CNN.

    “For your information, sir”? Or “Careful; you don’t know what all us intel types know about you … sir”? Again, Trump was presented with just a two-page summary of the full dossier. The actual information, which we have thanks to the later publication of the 35-page dossier, was reportedly not presented to him, perhaps to leave to his imagination what it contained.

    Even before he entered politics Trump was a wealthy man who made a lot of deals around the world. I would assume he and any similar man with power and money would be closely monitored with microphones and cameras – even/especially in his bedroom. Another assumption here is that Putin has never finished cleaning his intelligence “house” – just as Obama neglected to do here in the US following Bush the Dumber.

    So I conclude that rogue elements of Russian Intelligence could have released lurid tales and possibly even damning video of Trump being Trump in what he thought was the privacy of his own hotel room.

    Next up is NATO, and especially the United Kingdom. The fellow who put together the Trash Trump dossier first for a Republican Primary candidate, then for some unnamed Democrats is very tight with British Intelligence. So while US Intelligence is out to either take Trump down or else neuter him, they have lots of little helpers from overseas.

    Since the New York Times and Washington Post have been burned so badly lately, they’ve backed off and allowed other outfits to take the “point” on this story. Plenty have stepped up to do so.

    Headlines from the World Socialist Web Site

    The Guardian uses anti-Russian hacking claims to proselytise for CIA and war

    Washington invokes the language of war against Russia

    Obama expands NSA spying

    That last one is another of the traps and minefields being set by Obama for Trump. The NSA can now release pure gossip, and this will in turn encourage Trump to do something rash which will add to his “impeachment” charges.

    This whole matter could easily spiral into a national disaster from which we won’t recover.

    • Sam F
      January 14, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      I would suggest that any national disaster is likely to be a first step of recovery.

    • jaycee
      January 15, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      By the way, “Obama expands NSA spying” is a major story and has occurred under the radar with all the Trump headlines.

      http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/01/14/nsas-j14.html

      Much like recent legislation in Britain, all police and intelligence agencies now have access to any and all data generated by any and all persons. This information can be combed through (fishing expeditions) and referred to the Justice Department without warrant.

      Obama came to the presidency based on his “hope and change” platform, but he was never subject to any pressure by a threatened establishment because they knew he wasn’t serious. Trump is obviously an outsider, as is Corbyn in the UK who is also relentlessly attacked.

  20. January 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    The CIA can get away with murder because of the NSC10/2 legislation, “which gives the CIA free reign with deniability as the cover.” The Congressman, who wrote this legislation, said it was a very big mistake. We can see how out of control the agency is, and we need to clamor for the repeal of the NSC10/2. Right now, it’s like the “tail wagging the dog” in our government.

  21. Lin Cleveland
    January 14, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Let’s be honest, here! Most U.S. adults know that every major nation has its own “intelligence” 007 type spies. The U.S. has been spying on Russia ever since WWII or maybe before and, of course, Russia returns the favor. Even Oliver North admitted that our so-called “unbreakable bond” with bestest friend Israel their Mossad spies on the U.S. and vice versa. We_the_People are caught in a web of lies while grown-up adolescents play the game of spies. What the heck does Clapper–who got caught lying to congress–mean by “national security”? Has the U.S. ever attempted and even accomplished regime change in another country? Haiti? Cuba? Iran? Iraq? et cetera, et cetera. All to protect their elite status and nothing to do with your or my security! Aah! Don’t-cha just love the smell of hypocrisy on the morning breeze?

    • Joe Tedesky
      January 15, 2017 at 2:37 am

      Lin Cleveland, you make a good point. Our leaders not only live in a bubble, they speak in a news cycle. This is the Orwellian garden they thrive in. You and I, by their elite standards, are stuck in a trailer park somewhere in the backwoods of America, and we don’t count. Funny thing is the people who really do live in trailer parks are on the whole a better caliber of humanity than what gathers in our halls of government, and that’s no lie. The real problem for these elitist screwballs is that even if they do chase Trump out of office us ‘flyover Americans’ will still be out here, and with that the corrupt establishment will be faced with trying to feed all of us po folk.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 15, 2017 at 1:09 pm

        Here is a decent article with charts, and references, which may help you all to see more clearly why the American voter is in revolt. Although you probably already know why read the article anyway…

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-14/mad-hell

  22. Michael
    January 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    “”So even if the “intelligence community” didn’t leak the dossier itself, it distributed it knowing that someone else would.””

    Fake national security? Sounds like Dr Strangelove is alive and well.

    We don’t need no stinking country, look at the map, we have the whole globe!

    IC + IT+ DT = TSHTF in 2017

  23. Pablo Diablo
    January 14, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    And, the New York Times posts it as front page/headline news even though unsubstantiated. All a smokescreen so we don’t see the stranglehold corporations have on our government. The 1% are happily paying for a non-functional government. They like the status quo and all the gossip mill distractions just fine.
    AN EMPIRE IN DECLINE.

  24. Tom James
    January 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Perhaps it is all false flag …. to make it look like Trump is being pursued…if so, why? Some possibilities:

    1. New more insane version of patriot act to be rolled out?
    A. To provide leeway in public opinion in pursuit of political enemies?
    B. Pursuit of enemies of the state that have popular support (I.e. Clinton corrupt media outlets? Others)?

    2. Opportunity for non partisan rank and file to pursue (at POTUS behest) politicized appointees, partisan appointees?

    3. Beats me….

  25. Abe
    January 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    “Nusra and Daesh both make it hard, because you have this extreme element out there and unfortunately some of the opposition has kind of chosen to work with them.

    “The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus and so forth. And that’s why Russia went in. Because they didn’t want a Daesh government and they supported Assad.

    “And we know that this was growing. We were watching. We saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, however, we could probably manage […]”

    – Secretary of State John Kerry in a taped private meeting with anti-Syrian activists at the United Nations in September 2016

    US watched ISIS rise in Syria and hoped to ‘manage’ it — Kerry on leaked tape
    By Philip Weiss
    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/watched-manage-leaked/

  26. aquadraht
    January 14, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    If Trump were the macho he claims to be, Clapper et alii would have to face to be shot for high treason on inauguration ave.

    a^2

  27. Bill Bodden
    January 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    From one of the more respected British journalists: “The Russian Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs” by Patrick Cockburn who didn’t run and hide undercover after his writings were published. – http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/the-russian-dossier-reminds-me-of-the-row-over-saddams-wmds/

    • Jessejean
      January 14, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      BIll, thank you for the Cockburn link. A sterling old curmudgeon if ever I saw one. And almost always right.

      • floyd gardner
        January 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm

        Right!

  28. CitizenOne
    January 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Well, at least Donald’s stubbornness to go along with a New Cold War has revealed the inner workings of the machine. It now becomes obvious why Obama went along for the ride and advised Trump to do the same.

    There are many events that have never been covered by the main stream press. There are many obviously fake news stories and they have even been used as justification for war. The New York Times has published lots of official lies and presented them as substantial and credible but they were lies. Like all the B.S used to go to war with Iraq.

    The evidence hides in plain sight, no digging required. Dick Cheney and PNAC planned invading Iraq and stated it would take a “New Pearl Harbor” to get people to follow. Indeed that is exactly correct. In fact that is what happened. It just never gets reported.

    True events are routinely not presented to us. Some of these events have gigantic ramifications for the future of our country but because of power and wealth and the need to increase it at all costs, we routinely will sell our mothers into prostitution, our souls to the Devil, our first born to Moloch and our democracy to the highest bidder.

    Here is one example of a suppressed story that is kind of important but nobody knew about it until it was too late.

    The plan:
    Screw the Constitution, let’s replace democracy by the people and for the people with the richest not really real people. Let’s throw 100 years of campaign finance reform all the way back to the Tillman Act of 1907 out the window, allow secret unlimited corporate donations lest we violate some company’s, i mean, person’s free speech rights. Also, because we are fairly sure that if the American people find out what we’re up to, they won’t like the idea, let’s not tell them. In fact is is extremely important not to tell them because all of those donations will flow straight to the media companies for their ad campaigns. Why would they tell them?

    There are so many examples of the media spinning, lying, obfuscating, omitting, hiding, etc from global warming to attacks on net neutrality and machinations about raising hell all over the planet by the war hawks. Let’s just say the ratio of truth to lies is by now reversed from where it should be.

    The military budget of the United States is 569 billion a year. That is double what China spends and ten times what Russia spends. In fact, it is larger than the combined military budgets of the next seven biggest military budgets which are: China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France and Japan. Israel manages to survive on just 16 billion.

    We have seen that presidents and congresses have routinely passed larger and larger budgets year over year in times of peace and war. We have seen needless wars or more appropriately wars of ambition for the purposes of domination and control for unfettered access to resources.

    Donald Trump has fired warning shots across the bow of that mighty warship suggesting some programs are wasteful. It seems obvious. But there can be no doubt that the military industrial complex has an entrenched, large, powerful, wealthy, influential, and dangerous group of people in Washington who do its bidding.

    Why do they do it? Simple. Humans will seek to have power and control over others. People naturally seek to dominate others just as most males of any animal species seeks to dominate other males for the right to reproduce, thus insuring whatever tendency to be a victor in clashes of violence get passed along to the next generation in a never ending cycle of increasing violence.

    However, we as humans and as spiritual people guided by a higher authority. It is our duty to create, preserve and protect a formal system of government for a just, fair and free society. Where instances of undue and unwarranted control and power resulting in injustice, war, death and human suffering for the purposes of increasing control, reducing freedom and creating injustice are found, we must resist. If we want to remain a free people we must resist the undue acquisition and misuse of power to undermine our constitutional democracy and to wage unwarranted war. War for no other purpose than to make money. It kind of sounds like some John Kennedy speech right? Look what happened to him, right?

    Eisenhower and Johnson got the heck out of there. Nixon ended the war but was forced to resign, Carter was sabotaged, Clinton was impeached, Cheney got his beloved war, Bush Senior probably had a lot to do with a lot of it and Bush Jr was along for the ride just like Obama and Reagan was just a PR man for the military. The Star Wars President. Apparently , even though Reagan is credited by the Orwellian re-writers of history as the greatest president of all time, he failed ultimately to leave Russia even just a little bit less dangerous after he tore the Berlin Wall down with his bare hands. He did manage to scare the Iranians into coughing up the hostages down to the minute he was inaugurated. How could such a scarily effective giant of a man who could end communism by making just one speech fail to reduce the threat posed by Russia? I just don’t get it. It should have worked.

    Unfortunately, that is where we have ended up. Now, a call for a new war with an old enemy has made its presence known. Our president elect has fired a warning shot that he is unwilling to go along and it has become a constitutional crisis. We will come to find out in the weeks to come if Donald Trump can hold on to his presidency and also remain in opposition to the war proposition.

    It is clear to me also that I see exactly why the Russians preferred Mr. Trump and exactly why the current president who went along for the ride pointed his finger at Russia and did everything short of declaring war with Russia so as to set the stage to continue the attacks until Mr. Trump either acquiesces or is removed from office.

    Donald Trump vs. Godzilla. He’s gonna need some backup to win that fight.

    • Zachary Smith
      January 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm
    • Gregory Herr
      January 14, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      “It is our duty to create, preserve and protect a formal system of government for a just, fair and free society. Where instances of undue and unwarranted control and power resulting in injustice, war, death and human suffering for the purposes of increasing control, reducing freedom and creating injustice are found, we must resist. If we want to remain a free people we must resist the undue acquisition and misuse of power to undermine our constitutional democracy and to wage unwarranted war. War for no other purpose than to make money”

      Bears repeating. In fact, your entire comment.

  29. John Puma
    January 14, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Indeed, we simply cannot allow a person into the White House who may very likely upset our meticulously crafted, and extremely expensive, unbroken record of foreign policy disasters!!!

    • Jessejean
      January 14, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      John Puma–I wish I had a car big enough to carry this as a bumper sticker. It is too right!

    • Zachary Smith
      January 14, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Indeed, we simply cannot allow a person into the White House who may very likely upset our meticulously crafted, and extremely expensive profitable, unbroken record of foreign policy disasters!!!

      • Kiza
        January 15, 2017 at 9:02 am

        Both very well written.

  30. floyd gardner
    January 14, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I may be a “paranoid nut,” Daniel;” but “lizard people {DO} run the government.”

    • Joe Tedesky
      January 15, 2017 at 1:16 am

      Yeah Floyd, why pick on the reptiles?

  31. January 14, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Interesting article
    I believe the establishment is: “Ganging up On Trump”
    “The establishment enemies of Trump come from countries ruled by war criminals past and present. Some have retired and live in luxury. (When they should be in jail) Another is nearly retired and about to leave public office. His legacy is reportedly one of destruction and death.”
    [read more at link below
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/01/the-ganging-up-on-donald-trump.html

  32. Emanuel E Garcia
    January 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    May I ask a simple question : what’s wrong with advocating peaceful relations with Russia?

    Has Putin invaded Iraq, is he bombing Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, does he flaunt a Guantanamo Bay, does he run a drone assassination programme? Do people not understand that the Ukraine coup was orchestrated by the West?

    • Bill Bodden
      January 14, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      May I ask a simple question : what’s wrong with advocating peaceful relations with Russia?

      Lots. Peace would cut into the profits of the corporations producing weapons of mass destruction and the “security” corporations who will also make lots of money off fear mongering. As for the military and other cogs in the war department their psychopathic inclination would not find an outlet.

    • backwardsevolution
      January 14, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Emanuel – there’s nothing wrong with advocating for peace with Russia. Nothing at all. It would bring everything good to the world. We must back up Trump. If their plan is to try to impeach Trump, we must be vocal in backing him up. It is the last chance the country has of getting rid of these evil, evil people.

  33. Anono
    January 14, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Perhaps the British prepared the sloppy garbage to set up the US neocons by giving them a “dossier” that would immediately unravel under examination; giving trump the cover to really clip their wings…once MI6, always MI6?

  34. Jada
    January 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    It’s what happens when you put a Boar in the White House. When you lay down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.

  35. Mark Thomason
    January 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    The attack on the incoming Administration by our intelligence agencies is done by the political appointees leading them, shameless liars like Clapper and Brennan.

    It is not Trump fighting with them, it is them attacking him. It is a fools’ mission. It will end as soon as those political appointments are gone.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      It is a fools’ mission. It will end as soon as those political appointments are gone.

      Nice thought, but don’t bet on it. These people have tasted power, and they are probably addicted to it and will continue on the anti-Trump bandwagon if there is anything in it for them.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 14, 2017 at 9:11 pm

        Bill Bodden – then they can have a taste of the type of power found in prisons. They are gone! There is no way that Trump will leave these people in position – no way. They are toast. Now, if they want to be toast behind bars, then they should just keep opening their mouths.

      • Joe Tedesky
        January 15, 2017 at 1:24 am

        Bill you got a point there. I read that when JFK fired Allan Dulles, that the Dulles residency then turned into CIA central. If you believe that Dulles was involved in the JFK assassination, well then his setting up shop in his home, was where the plot thickened until it’s execution. So an unemployed government appointee maybe more worrisome than an employed government employee will be.

        As Michael Corleone said, ‘keep your friends close, and keep your enemies closer’.
        arrivederci

  36. January 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    i believe this is going to end badly. ( I hope I am wrong.} the same people that looted the financial system and got bailed out with taxpayers money are in control. Their devious ways are so blatant. They control the system, and the system does not want Trump in power. After all, he said, he would “drain the swamp,” and the snakes are hissing in anger.

  37. Patrick
    January 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I wish Daniel would quit sitting on the fence as far as Trump is concerned. Is he suggesting that Trump has just stumbled on the right answer to Syria and Russia were just lucky. Daniel give him more credit please. He is right on a lot more then this. Daniel do not underestimate the man.

    • Kiza
      January 15, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Yes, that is the only fault I found with this article as well: Daniel is smarter than Donald. I wish to see Daniel standing where Donald is, because it takes not only the smarts then a combination of the smarts and the guts. So far so good with Donald, he has not disappointed grossly yet then is shaping up to become one of the greatest Presidents in the US history, for resisting the entrenched power.

  38. Bill Bodden
    January 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    The hypocrisy emanating through the mainstream corporate media is astounding.

    John Lewis, a civil rights icon turned Clinton supporter, claimed Trump’s election was illegitimate because of Russian interference of which there has been no evidence other than intelligence agencies “assessments” and continuously recycled speculation. Lewis, whose role in the civil rights struggle was truly admirable, did not, however, find Clinton’s nomination as the Democratic party’s presidential candidate illegitimate despite stark evidence of dirty tricks out of the Democratic National Committee to rig that nomination in favor of the Queen of Chaos and to stab Bernie Sanders in the back.

    Marco Rubio, in his latest attack, accused Russia of war crimes. That may or may not be true, but what about the US-UK war on Iraq that has been declared by distinguished international authorities to have been a violation of international law and a crime against humanity? Rubio wasn’t in Congress when the vote for war on Iraq was taken, but as he was a staunch Republican when Bush and Cheney set up that war, it would be a safe bet Rubio was a loyal party member on that issue. Rubio, as a loyal puppet of the Israel Lobby, endorsed Operation Protective Edge engaged in by Israel’s military. It, too, was defined as a violation of international law by many international authorities. Rubio is not the only politician being hypocritical on this and other related points. Washington is full of them. The same goes for an abundance of presstitutes.

    Trump’s election as president may provide a more peaceful relationship with Russia. If so, it will probably be one of very few favorable developments out of his presidency, but if Trump is ousted from office his replacement will probably be a greater tragedy.

    • Wm. Boyce
      January 15, 2017 at 1:03 am

      “…the Queen of Chaos …”

      You know, I read quotes like this about a woman who is probably the most qualified person to serve as president, and I;m in awe of the blindness of the folks on the left. You aren’t ever going to get anyone better, in fact, we have an unstable sociopath now who will do a great deal of damage in his instability.

      Sure, foreign policy issues, etc., it doesn’t matter, dude, it’s about the lesser of evils, and we now have being inaugurated next Friday, the greater and more unknown of two evils. Within a short time, my prediction, you will wish Mr. Obama was still president.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 15, 2017 at 2:08 am

        Wm. – the Queen of Chaos, cold and calculating, is closer to a sociopath than Trump is. Had she become President, the transition would have been smooth, but the world would have been on fire. She needs to find a pasture somewhere.

      • Bill Bodden
        January 15, 2017 at 2:15 am

        You know, I read quotes like this about a woman who is probably the most qualified person to serve as president,…

        If one of the qualifications for president of the United States is to be a warmonger and not suffer from PTSD then you are probably right. However, if as some of us believe the president of the United States should be a leader promoting civilized conditions in the United States and other parts of the world, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Consider Clinton’s resume as Bill Clinton’s two-for-one partner in crime and a free lance changer of regimes:

        To get Bill elected in 1992 he and Hillary rushed back to Little Rock to prove they were tough on crime by presiding over the judicial murder of Rickey Ray Rector, a brain-impaired man on death row.

        I’ll skip the sordid domestic policies they enacted.such as welfare reform and ending Glass-Steagall.

        There were the wars in the Balkans where Milosevic was their bogeyman who wound up in The Hague. He was exonerated a few months ago – posthumously.

        Next we move to Iraq where the Clintons supervised the sanctions that led to the deaths of an estimated half million Iraqi children of which Madeleine Albright, their secretary of state at the time, said, “We thought it was worth it.” “We” would have included Bill and Hillary and other prominent figures in their administration. That was followed by the Bush/Cheney war on Iraq for which she was a strong advocate.

        As secretary of state she pushed for regime changes in Libya, Honduras, and Syria, all of which proved to be horrendous and continuing disasters.

        Clinton assigned neocon Victoria Nuland to Europe where she helped to engineer the coup that overthrew the elected president of Ukraine and has been a vocal promoter of aggression against Russia and an ally of the neo-fascists running this failing state.

        No matter how many people, including women and children, Israeli forces killed in Gaza, Hillary Clinton was as staunch a supporter of Israel as anyone in Washington.

        If you believe the next president of the United States should continue the promotion of wars as Bill Clinton, Dubya, and Obama have done, then Hillary Clinton is certainly qualified.

        Fortunately, we dodged the Clinton bullet at this past election, but unfortunately Donald Trump is the price we will have to pay for this reprieve. As bad as he may be, he doesn’t have a history of creating anything near Clinton’s dealings with death, destruction, and displacement.

        • Kiza
          January 15, 2017 at 9:27 am

          The bigger the death toll the better qualified, appears to be the key criterion of the Clintonistas.

        • Bill Bodden
          January 15, 2017 at 4:17 pm

          One of what should be alarming aspects of the barbaric histories of people like the Clintons, Kissinger, the Bush family, Cheney and others similarly disposed to perpetrating death and destruction on innocent people is the enormous number of people who are not only accepting of the monumental tragedies they have created but would be eager to be associated with them and put them in a position to add more horrors to their resumes. If anyone can explain this perversion, please share your thoughts.

          If some power rose on this planet to prosecute the people named above in accordance with the rules that were applied at Nuremberg after the Second World War they would at least suffer the fate of Rudolph Hess who spent the last years of his life in Spandau prison.

      • Gregory Herr
        January 15, 2017 at 11:57 am

        Try reading “The Queen of Chaos”, a book by author Diana Johnstone.

        • Bill Bodden
          January 15, 2017 at 7:04 pm

          I read Diana Johnstone’s book and learned a lot from it.

          • Gregory Herr
            January 15, 2017 at 8:30 pm

            Bill, I would have thought you had. My reply was supposed to be for Wm. Boyce who thinks of Clinton as “probably the most qualified person to serve as president” and seemed to take umbrage at the moniker. I always admire your comments and know you are well-read, indeed.

  39. horace
    January 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Trump will take himself down.
    Amongst other reasons.

    He will pull out of NATO, it will be given to Germany.
    They actually controlled it from its inception.
    That is why Brexit took place.
    This is all according to plans; the NWO.
    Trump is underground Reich (DVD).

    The next President is being groomed for 2020.
    Tulsi Gabbard, another Fascist.
    Look beyond the headlines.

  40. Realist
    January 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    How many other governments throughout the world have the spooks and the neocons overthrown? Several dozens, with millions dead, injured and displaced as collateral damage. Why should we think they wouldn’t turn their “regime change” skills upon an American president? After all, they have shown themselves time and again to stand for power, control and wealth, not freedom and democracy. This is just one more color revolution taking place within our own borders.

    Perhaps to prevail, Trump would need to react using all the tools that Erdogan has in Turkey (and I’m not saying that would be a good thing), but Trump is not even a politician, let alone an entrenched national leader. He is an amateur who does not know all the players, let alone the covert rules by which they play. If he COULD uproot these Deep State manipulators and hitmen in intelligence, he would be doing the country (and the world) an enormous favor. It would be a legacy of which to be proud.

    Should Trump survive inauguration, I would hope that he immediately puts his justice department onto investigating the likes of Brennan, Woolsey, Comey and Clapper and their dirty tricks to control the world for the cabal of international oligarchs that own 90% of everything and lust after even the remainders. Ever since the 60’s, and perhaps before that, it has been the primary role of the American president to protect those miscreants and their financial interests. Perhaps it will take a maverick billionaire to rein in the gang of rapacious trilliionaires poised to cannibalize what’s left of civilisation. I hope he survives, because our lot will depend on it.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 14, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Ever since the 60’s, and perhaps before that, it has been the primary role of the American president to protect those miscreants and their financial interests.

      Smedley Butler, who had an exceptional understanding of American roles in wars, said that one of the reasons the U.S. entered the First World War was to protect Wall Street loans to Britain. If the Brits had lost that war, Wall Street bankers would have lost lots of money.

      • Realist
        January 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm

        You are, of course, right about the presidents from the late 19th to early 20th century–except perhaps for TR. It’s just that I stalled at lumping Eisenhower and FDR into that mold. Even Lincoln allowed the robber barons to feather their nest with government largess, though I hope he didn’t view that as his primary duty of office. And, Grant’s administration was notoriously full of scandals. Those after him until, I guess, McKinley, were most concerned with stealing the remains of the West from the Native Americans. I mostly wanted to focus on the modern world with my statement.

    • January 14, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      Well said. Realist. it is well past time to drain this fetid swamp.

    • Knomore
      January 15, 2017 at 8:33 am

      To Realist: Thanks for this and your comment above:

      This cohort aimed at destroying civilization wherever they come upon it is not only exceedingly dangerous, it’s also exceedingly selfish and immature. They want only what they want when they want it.

      I also hope that our next President will come to see that the world will run much better without this band of tricksters whose roster of deeds includes precisely none that are of benefit to anyone. They are ISIS; Hillary and BO and the Bushes and the American Deep State run through the CFR and all the other malignant secret organizations — they are the enemy — they chop off people’s heads: We need them?

      The Libyans, Syrians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Ukrainians, Somalians have stories to tell. How can we not be devastated, and supremely ashamed, seeing images of the war and destruction, children atop piles of debris, tears running down their faces, brought to them by our presence in the world?

      If we can’t shut down these out of control juvenile gangsters, maybe the only hope for Americans is to start a new country… because we are flea-ridden and the fleas are running the show. Yes, in designer clothes–fleas in designer clothes.

      The fact that these asinine storm troopers are against Trump speaks loads for Trump’s character.

    • Sam F
      January 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Well put, as are the replies.

  41. Bob In Portland
    January 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Another thing. The given timeline (and I mean given) pushes the DNC leak back to June, but I would imagine the intelligence services have folders of oppo research on all politicians. The concept of a DNC leak may have been originally designed to sink Sanders back in the primaries. After all, we had the kerfluffle back in the fall of 2015 about Sanders hacking DNC computers, and if this story surfaced with Sanders as the target (leaking DNC docs, not to be confused with the dossier insinuating Russian prostitutes leaking on Trump) it would have taken some of the shine off of his campaign.

  42. Rob
    January 14, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    I find it interesting how “Consortium News” has become a gathering site for Trumpistas. And all these years, I thought that it was mainly for progressives. While I find the reporting on our compromised media and intelligence agencies credible, it would be nice to read more about the threat that Trump and the Republicans pose to our constitutional democracy. A little balance, please, Mr. Parry.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      I find it interesting how “Consortium News” has become a gathering site for Trumpistas.

      Trump has many negatives that have been exposed on this website, but he and his partners (accomplices, if you will) are not the only bad actors in town. Valid criticism of Trump’s opponents doesn’t necessarily make the critic a “Trumpista.”

    • Remmington
      January 14, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      That is very unfair. Just read through the article history. It is just and right to stand up against all conspiracies which seek to overthrow an established democraic mandate. The current media driven campaign against Trump is more than sinister.

      If Trump brings detente with Russia then I for one will allow him any amount of personal foibles. He will have saved millions of lives afterall. Handling the economy is an even trickier proposition, but I am willing to give him a chance. We gave Obama eight years.

    • Bob In Portland
      January 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      Rob, if you see the CIA et al trying to take down the president you speak up. Did you speak up about JFK?

    • backwardsevolution
      January 14, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      Rob – give Trump a chance to get his coat off. He hasn’t even begun. We can sit here all day and trump up stories about what he might/could possibly do, but we’d just be guessing. Let’s see what he does. If we don’t like it, then we can criticize him.

      But he is against war, he is against the offshoring of jobs, he is against “illegal” immigration. Those are good things for a country.

      Trump is fighting for his life right now (and if he does any of the above), he fighting for the country too. For crying out loud, get behind him, man!

    • F. G. Sanford
      January 15, 2017 at 7:44 am

      We read that in Tampa Florida, seven people were just arrested for feeding the homeless “without a permit”. This is the new “America”, where people go to jail for feeding the hungry. We rank something like 39th in education, and our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment. It ranks right up there with Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. We dropped 26,171 bombs in seven different countries during 2016. That’s three bombs per hour, 24/7. A kid dies every ten minutes from an American bomb. So…just what part of the outgoing administration do you consider “progressive”? Hillary Clinton ran on that record, committed violations of U.S. Public Law, and her campaign successfully subverted the Democratic primaries. She did more to elect Donald Trump than Vladimir Putin ever could have. She lost. Get over it.

      • Kiza
        January 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

        Mr Sanford, you and I had a conflict in tha past, but this is an absolutely first class comment.

        It is sad to see how many people in the US got stuck in the election loop and just cannot move on.

        • F. G. Sanford
          January 15, 2017 at 7:03 pm

          Thanks. We probably have more in common than you might think.

          • Joe Tedesky
            January 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm

            It’s not like we all have to agree with each other all of the time, but seeing you two get along makes me happy….I’m a fan of both of you guys. Joe

          • Kiza
            January 15, 2017 at 11:56 pm

            The same vice versa Joe, I seldom miss to read your comment. From now on I will do the same with F.G’s comments.

            In general, it is encouraging to find out how many commenters on consortium.com are anti-war, anti-aggression and anti-stealing (of other nations’ property). This is why I come here: well informed people with the right attitude.

            In the political world, the war of words is escalating. Somebody above wrote that CIA Director works for the President, not the other way around. Well, CIA Director Brennan Warns Trump To “Watch What He Says”: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-15/scathing-attack-cia-director-brennan-warns-trump-watch-what-he-says
            (obviously trying to make Obama happy; how CIA became the darling of the “progressives”).

      • Gregory Kruse
        January 16, 2017 at 11:51 pm

        I’ve been on the other side of it since I heard the news. There is nothing to get over.

  43. Remmington
    January 14, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Very interesting article indeed. I am very surprised at the UK Guardian because it claims to be independent. So much still to be discovered. As for Christopher Steele, he would have been in his twenties when he worked in Russia. All his personal contacts and information would be stale. The fact that he apparently worked on the Polonium case before his very early retirement raises red flags. That was another smear campaign against Putin – nothing ever proven, everything based on conjecture and allegation but which very effectively helped sway public opinion towards seeing Putin as the new bogey man.

    Steele’s “skill” is obviously in the realm of black propaganda. But he has seriously overreached in this case. As others have pointed out, his dossier doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. I expect he is more used to being able to feed intermediate reports into the system without having to prove anything, whilst relying on his political masters to do further massaging and thus disguising the origin. This is the game they played with WMD as well.

    • Sam F
      January 14, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      The UK Guardian is not at all what it was thirty years ago, and in fact has dropped dramatically in the past few years. I recall a story about its offices being raided in the last few years by MI5/6 to moderate its occasional criticism of oligarchy.

  44. Bill Bodden
    January 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC? by Gregory Elich – http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/did-the-russians-really-hack-the-dnc/

  45. Steven A
    January 14, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    “But Trump gave no hint of having inside information when he called for “Crooked Hillary” to be locked up for purging her email files; to the contrary, he did so on the basis of information available on every front page.”

    I sense a whiff of reliance on the wisdom of the zeitgeist, rather than attention to actual facts here. To my knowledge, Trump never called for Hillary to be locked up during his campaign and therefore didn’t “do so” on the basis of anything. The actual facts are – correct me if I am mistaken – that Trump made profligate use of the “Crooked Hillary” meme during his campaign rallies, and did specifically cite her reported purging of email files and hard drives in this regard. In such situations, the audience would then chant “lock her up” – to which Trump would respond by shaking his head negatively, or by adding something to the effect that “What we really need to do is defeat her in November.” Only in the midst of the second debate, which overall, from the behavior of both sides and the “moderators” as well must be ranked as one of the low points in the history of presidential campaigns, did Trump say that if elected he would instruct his attorney general to “look into” her affairs.

  46. Norma J Price
    January 14, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks for the hilarious responses. They ring so true. We need to be more like Sherlock Holmes in our assessment of intelligence and news gathering.

    • Remmington
      January 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      I would be very suspicious of the circumstances of Christopher Steele’s wife’s death after hearing that she died young from cirrhosis of the liver AND that he had been handling the Livinenko Polonium case AND that he had been based in Paris AND that Yassar Arafat had been there at the same time (2004) AND that Arafat was also diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver AND that traces of polonium were later found on his body. Maybe the Russians did more to him than he thought. Or maybe it wasnt the Russians.

  47. bluto
    January 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    coming talk
    ==========

    ‘The Successful 2nd American Revolution and Seismic Transformations of Jewish Power in the US and Israel’

    WHEN: Sunday Jan 15 2017, 2:00 – 3:15 pm
    WHERE: Otay Branch San Diego Public Library,
    3003 Coronado Ave, San Diego, Ca 92154
    WHO: Dr Lance Dale

    Topics:

    The Successful 2nd American Revolution
    -The Successful 2nd American Revolution Playbook

    ‘Obama as a Transformational American President regarding Jewish Power in US and Israel’. A ‘Club of 2’

    ‘Red Lines on Bibi’ – UN SCR 2334 and American Recognition of Palestine. Legacy as ‘man who lost Israel’

    The Aftermath of UN Sec Co Resolution 2334 tsunami: Bibi Toppled, the Dismantling of the Apartheid, and Transitioning to 1P1V1S

    Transitioning to ‘1P1V1S One State’, ‘1P1V1S One State replacing Apartheid-One State’, Marwan Barghouti. 10 million Palestinians and 6 million Jews – do the math

    The Cost of Netanyahu’s continued pursuit of passing the Palestine Annexation Law – triggered/greenlighted Chapter 7 upgrade to UN SCR 2334, and some Israeli summary removal as head of state apparently ‘on the table’, calls for it from Israel x 5, triggered ICC hot in flagrante delicto cases

    ‘One Big Bag’ – the entirety of the Kahanists swept up together – the Apartheid and the Kahanist Neocons, etc, ‘Bibi and Trump as Israel and the Israel Lobby’

    The Social Revolution against Trump merging with the revolution against the Israel Lobby

    American Recognition of Palestine – shifts in American media coverage

    Diskin/CIS needs Chapter 7 upgrade of UN SCR 2334 to dismantle Apartheid

    Q and A after the talk

    • Jerome Gelb
      January 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      Jew-Hater Alert!

  48. January 14, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Interesting link below.
    “The One Thing You Need to Know About ISIS”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkxFT_hJCdQ

  49. backwardsevolution
    January 14, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    California, and California ONLY, got Hillary the coveted “popular vote” – 4.3 million more votes than Trump!

    “Democrats who are having trouble getting out of the first stage of grief — denial — aren’t being helped by the fact that, now that all the votes are counted, Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has topped 2.8 million, giving her a 48% share of the vote compared with Trumps 46%.

    To those unschooled in how the United States selects presidents, this seems totally unfair. But look more closely at the numbers and you see that Clinton’s advantage all but disappears.

    As we noted in this space earlier, while Clinton’s overall margin looks large and impressive, it is due to Clinton’s huge margin of victory in one state — California — where she got a whopping 4.3 million more votes than Trump.

    California is the only state, in fact, where Clinton’s margin of victory was bigger than President Obama’s in 2012 — 61.5% vs. Obama’s 60%.

    But California is the exception that proves the true genius of the Electoral College — which was designed to prevent regional candidates from dominating national elections.

    In recent years, California has been turning into what amounts to a one-party state. Between 2008 and 2016, the number of Californian’s who registered as Democrats climbed by 1.1 million, while the number of registered Republicans dropped by almost 400,000.

    What’s more, many Republicans in the state had nobody to vote for in November.

    There were two Democrats — and zero Republicans — running to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer. There were no Republicans on the ballot for House seats in nine of California’s congressional districts.

    At the state level, six districts had no Republicans running for the state senate, and 16 districts had no Republicans running for state assembly seats.

    Plus, since Republicans knew Clinton was going to win the state — and its entire 55 electoral votes — casting a ballot for Trump was virtually meaningless, since no matter what her margin of victory, Clinton was getting all 55 votes.”

    http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/its-official-clintons-popular-vote-win-came-entirely-from-california/

  50. backwardsevolution
    January 14, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    The above article goes on to say:

    “If you take California out of the popular vote equation, then Trump wins the rest of the country by 1.4 million votes. And if California voted like every other Democratic state — where Clinton averaged 53.5% wins — Clinton and Trump end up in a virtual popular vote tie. (This was not the case in 2012. Obama beat Romney by 2 million votes that year, not counting California.)

    Meanwhile, if you look at every other measure, Trump was the clear and decisive winner in this election.”

  51. backwardsevolution
    January 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    That’s why they have an Electoral College. Otherwise, states like New York, Florida and California could override everyone else. Small states would say, “What’s in it for us,” and then just leave. It’s called the “United States” for a reason.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      “Our Constitution,” Obama pronounced last Tuesday, “is a remarkable, beautiful gift.” That was a nice gem in the wake of how the Constitution’s explicitly anti-democratic Electoral College has just and for the second time in this century granted the U.S. presidency to a right-wing Republican who lost the majority presidential vote (and Trump lost by close to three million votes). The Electoral College was inserted into the Constitution to, among other things, buttress the power of the slave-owner class.- http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/hit-the-road-barack-some-farewell-reflections/

      • backwardsevolution
        January 14, 2017 at 8:17 pm

        “Our Constitution,” Obama pronounced last Tuesday, “is a remarkable, beautiful gift.” Yeah, that’s why he’s shredded and continues to shred it, because it’s so beautiful.

        Bill, you don’t live in a democracy. You live in a Constitutional Republic. Read “That’ll Be Enough”:

        “America is not a Democracy. It is a Constitutional Republic. This is very important; in a democracy 50%+1 can render the 50%-1 slaves by mere vote. Those who are in the minority in a democracy have no rights at all. Democracy is best represented by two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

        We are all minorities in some form or fashion. If you’re gay, black, yellow, male, female, whatever — all it takes is some other set of groups to get together and decide to oppress you, and in a democracy you’re ****ed.”

        https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=231656

        • backwardsevolution
          January 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

          More from “That’ll Be Enough”:

          “What if the people who peacefully conceded the result of two elections over the last eight years, despite vehemently opposing the outcome, decide that if the “blue” folks can riot, loot, beat people who vote the “wrong way” and similar, they will not accept any further election result that doesn’t go their way, and instead of rioting or burning things, they will simply shut off the flow of food and energy to said “blue” areas? After all, you don’t value them at all — you consider them subhuman, racist, xenophobic, deplorable and irredeemable — all at once.

          I’ll tell you what happens if they take that decision: Every major city in the country would go feral within hours.

          Within days those cities would not be blue, they’d be blackened and reduced to ash as those very same “protesters” you like so much loot, burn and shoot at each other trying to get the last scraps of food and fuel remaining. They would then probably try to come out of the cities and take by force what had been denied them, only to run into a major problem – the “red guys” have more guns, they know the land because they live there, and more importantly they actually hit what they aim at, having had plenty of practice feeding their families with deer, wild boar and similar. Mr. Gang Banger against Mr. Deer Hunter isn’t a very fair fight, when you get down to it.

          Oh by the way there’s a phrase for what this would mean, if you haven’t figured it out by now: Civil War.

          Is that what you want?”

  52. Bill Bodden
    January 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier by John Wight – http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/russia-must-be-destroyed-john-mccain-and-the-case-of-the-dodgy-dossier/

  53. LJ
    January 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    After Trump’s appointments take the reigns at the CIA and NSA there may be a few early retirements but the minions will quickly fall into line. The head of the CIA works at the behest of the President of the United States . Not the other way around . That is part of the problem here , Obama’s boys want to please their master on his way out the door protecting his legacy as well as their own. It is not because they believe in anything, they do not.and that is what led to this sloppiness as the Democrats want to hurt Trump as much as possible before he takes office for a variety of reasons. Remember Mr. Slam Dunk, George Tenet, the FBI Director appointed by Clinton? Well he quickly became a yes man for GW Bush. Then remember when Bush reluctantly established a 9-11 Commission , Bush did not compel the FBI Director to cooperate with the Commission and did not fire him for not doing so. . That is why the 9-11 commission report begins with a disclaimer blaming the CIA for a lack of cooperation. The CIA Director is a soulless lying servant of the President. It is in the job description. If Leon Panetta can do it what does that tell you?

    • Bill Bodden
      January 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      The head of the CIA works at the behest of the President of the United States . Not the other way around

      Not if he (or she) is like Allen Dulles: You Think the NSA Is Bad? Meet Former CIA Director Allen Dulles.
      In a new book, David Talbot makes the case that the CIA head under Eisenhower and Kennedy may have been a psychopath.
      http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/10/book-review-devils-chessboard-david-talbot

  54. backwardsevolution
    January 14, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    “How did Clapper expect Trump to respond when presented with allegations that he was vulnerable to Russian blackmail and potentially under the Kremlin’s thumb? ”

    All you’ve got to do is get lies out there. That way the “accused” is always on the defensive. My bet is they’re trying to get Trump angry, so he’ll shoot off his mouth and say something, anything that will hurt him. That’s all they’ve got left, and their time is running out because they’re soon all going to be gone. They know this.

    This is kind of like Israel bombing the Syrian airstrip the other day. Just an invitation to a fight. Syria didn’t retaliate, and so far Trump has kept a cool head.

  55. Eric Downey
    January 14, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Time for a new round of Church Committee hearings, before Trump gets Kennedy’d. Thanks to Daniel Lazare and Consortiumnews for the insightful reporting and analysis.

    • Joe Tedesky
      January 15, 2017 at 2:44 am

      I second the motion struck by our colleague and honorable Mr Downey.

  56. Coldwind
    January 15, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Evidently, the “Intelligence Community” is vying for first place with the US Congress as to whom the American people, who have been betrayed by practically everyone associated with the current faux Government, hate the most. But it is clear, if these traitors succeed in overthrowing Trump, the Republic disappears and there will be war and conflagration.

  57. January 15, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Donald Trump is not a blowhard but and extremely skilled con artist. The one good news is no dead bodies lying around.

    Skillfully calling for even-handedness in the Middle East, to keep lefties to continue to criticize Hillary, while condemning Iran who is in a permanent struggle with the Saudi King who believes he has an obligation to make mortals obey God and God’s spokesperson, while al Qaeda threatens to overthrow him unless he tries a lot harder. Some Palestinians thanks to Iran policy call themselves Sunni but practice Shiite tolerance. And if the Saudi’s let Yemen slip toward tolerance the al Qaeda threat against the Saudi King will increase

    So far Donald Trump has ignored not condemned Marco Rubio’s viscous attacks. but I am hoping Donald responds with tolerance toward Cuba only demanding the Cuban Casino Trump was trying to bribe for.
    .
    The dire danger actually is that al Qaeda can fake phony attacks on the US by China or the other way around the way they succeeded at creating chaos in Lebanon.

    • January 15, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      THIS DIDN’T POST UNTIL I REWRITE IT. Sony I am too tired to edit out the redundancy.

      An important part of this article misses the real Donald Trump:
      “Trump is a rightwing blowhard whose absurd babblings about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen reveal a man who is dangerously ignorant about how the world works. But he has managed to seize on one or two semi-good ideas over the years.”

      Donald the con-artist has amazing skill. He skillfully makes his comments seem like wisdom where one agrees. And babble when one doesn’t. “Even-handedness in the Middle East” comments allowed peace activists to continue to criticize Hillary, while condemning Iran ingratiated Israel and the Saudi King.

      Iran and the Saudi King are in a 1000 year struggle for the soul of Islam. The Saudi King believes he has Koran based mandate to make mortals obey God and God’s messenger and make Muslims proud of this heritage. Al Qaeda believing that the king lost most of his 10th century bite and must thus be pressured to bite harder or be replaced. Thanks to Iran’s foreign policy many Palestinians who nominally practice Sunni-ism, hearts are Shiite, believing all Muslims are equal before God weather or not they bow to the King. Yemen was about to loose its obedience to the messenger mandate until the Saudis finagled the US and Israel to to help the Saudis stop it, just like Turkey finagled the US from stopping the Kurds from marching into the ISIS state. The Kurds can advance with ease since they don’t replace one tyranny with another.

      Donald plans to be the fist trillionare and has a chance to succeed. He may also toy with the idea of bluffing the world into world peace, already getting North Korea to want to start negotiating with the South. The most ominous danger would be al Qaeda pretending to be a Chinese attack on the US and/or the other way around. Can we get ourselves and our chief manipulator President to be aware of this dire danger.

      Every militaristic lobbying group finagled and at times hacked for Trump, including Netanyahu. Trump not getting an overwhelming landslide shows their weakness. Al Qaeda pretending to be Hezbollah, killed the Prime Minister throwing Lebanon into total turmoil. This is the world’s future unless we and our President take steps to prevent it.

  58. Paul Wichmann
    January 15, 2017 at 7:28 am

    On the theory…
    Every manager a warlord, every office a satrapy,
    recall the damage Comey did Clinton in the final days of the campaign.
    I’d float the possibility that our intelligence agencies are at war with one another, or better, that within each one there’s a divide between Trump and Clinton, and that any zealot capable of doing damage (there are not so very many) is taking his shots.
    If on the one hand this distraction and stalemate exposes US to to further meddling and possible attack, I feel internal chaos, as if we’re not already slogging and muddling, is the more certain consequence.
    The concepts unintended consequences and collateral damage – which never fall on those of merit – should keep us from thinking this funny.

  59. tony
    January 15, 2017 at 10:13 am

    “Trump is a rightwing blowhard”

    No, he only played that character to get thru the primaries. If he ran as just another Republican (like Cruz, Bush, Rubio, etc) he never would have won the nomination.

  60. FobosDeimos
    January 15, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Well, everything that Daniel Lazare says in his article is true. The state of hysteria that now prevails in the power circles is obvious for anyone to see. And yet, what I find completely ironic is that Trump’ picks for all the key positions in the “perpetual War Department” are pathetic loonies who are even more fiercely pro-war and pro-MIC than the present cabal. Aside from the lukewarm and always contradictory statments from Trump himself abot a thaw with Russia, the outlook is terrible! His appointees are rabidly pro-Israel and anti-Iran, madly anti-Chinese and in general can be described as cheerleaders for exceptionalism and hegemony. I am thinking especially of Coats, Kushner, Mattis, Flynn, Pompeo, Bossert and Navarro. If Trump is such a threat to big power, how come he has embraced such a bunch of awful people? I agree that he will be under attack from day one, but only because the current masters are so profoundly stupid.

    • Joe Tedesky
      January 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      I agree with you. If only America’s MSM would move on and away from this Putin interfered with our presidential election nonsense, well then maybe we could all start analyzing the incoming Trump Administration a little better. It’s like we are stuck inside the past presidential election, and we can’t get out of it. I too would like to change the conversation, and start dwelling on what is important to us now.

      Here is an article which will give you cause to think. I’m not endorsing it, because what the author describes is totally different from anything I can relate to with what I know, but read it for your own contemplation and you decide if the author Brandon Smith is on to something….

      http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3102-the-false-economic-recovery-narrative-will-die-in-2017

  61. ChuckW67
    January 15, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I have a feeling that Trump is going to have to fire Pompeo within weeks.

    • FobosDeimos
      January 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      OK. But then why did he choose him in the first place? And the same happens with the rest of his cast of fanatics. Even Tillerson is already reciting the empty mantra of Russian danger. If the deep state still loaths Trump is only because the deep state is made up of morons.

      • backwardsevolution
        January 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm

        Fobos – the nominees HAVE to speak tough, otherwise they’ll be rejected.

        • Kiza
          January 15, 2017 at 9:13 pm

          So many commenters here show the sore lack of understanding due to being on a mono-diet of MSM. If the MSM say that someone is extra, ultra, mega, giga, tera, peta-extremist, the good little MSM consumer swallows the story as a manna from God.

          In reality, yes, may of Trumps appointments are peculiar, but he is the boss and they have to do what they are told, regardless of what is their own opinion, at least this is how it works in business. In business, the boss may ask you for your opinion or not, but you always do as the boss says if you want to keep your job. This is on top of appointees having to show the appropriate blood-thirst to pass through the unfriendly Congress territory on the way to their appointments. The appointees mostly appear to be the Washington outsiders with excellent expertise in the field, despite some bad brand names on their CVs.

        • JJ
          January 16, 2017 at 12:06 pm

          backwardevolution and ExiledoffMainstreet. I am also optimistic. Each of the nominees know the system inside and out and know what it takes to both survive and move the Titanic 180 degrees. Trump is no fool. All the Russia hoopla is a smokescreen for a far bigger catastrophe that is picking up speed. The tea leaves are there. China just become a part of Davos and, with China and Brazil currencies now a part of the IMF’s securities basket they can outvote the US and its allies to set global currency exchange policies. Wake up. There is an ongoing massive currency and cash war (e.g. following India?) and plans underway for the IMF to do an global currency reset in which the USD is being replaced as the currency for global trade settlements. The great rotation is underway just like what happened to Great Britain following WWII is happening to the USD. The US is insolvent and and there is underway a rapidly accelerating unwind. All of this will take place on Trump’s watch. The only institution left globally who would even consider bailing out the US government corporation is Goldman & Sachs. The US needs Russia as an ally on the global stage. More tea leaves. Trade deals with AliBaba – it is in fact the reverse engineering of the Great Walmart/China and Amazon combined. Brilliant but necessary. There is more, but we the US public are not being informed about this and this is far more grave than Russia / US detante. In sum, Trump has surrounded himself with people who he believes will help the US out of the mess we are in which was our own doing, help us to keep our sovereignty. Its messy, dirty, and there will be casualties, but, we will be the better for it on the other side. The financial and economic news reporting through alt media is far more realistic and reflective of what is really going on than garbage social media. The US economy will be fundamentally restructured, NOT under a centralized unipolar global economy which is where both parties were headed using the ‘forever war’ scenarios, with the Trilateral Commission dictating policy and the likes of the IMF and UN implementing globalist policies. But instead, what is emerging is a decentralized multi-polar globalization model where regional trade alliances and nation states cooperate. It is clear that Asia, South America and now with Brexit, European states are moving this way, as is Russia as evidenced by the array of bilateral trade policies they have developed with China, Japan, various middle eastern countries. Incidentally, the final Cabinet list does not include Trilateralists, these men were vetted and dropped. This was a positive sign. but it takes fire to fight fire and that is what we see.

  62. Dave
    January 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I am disappointed to see Consortium News responding to unproven speculation with yet more unproven speculation.

    • Bill Bodden
      January 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      I am disappointed to see Consortium News responding to unproven speculation with yet more unproven speculation.

      Consortium News was one of the first sites to expose the fraudulence of evidence-free speculation. What is your source for your claim?

  63. Exiled off mainstreet
    January 15, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    I am actually guardedly optimistic, since Trump, knowing the situation, won’t have to kowtow to the power structure which has exposed its absolute hostility to him. This latest initiative, which has been easily revealed as bogus, shows that they have overplayed their hand and exposes their intent. Now Trump, once in power, will no longer need to act as though they are anything but corrupt scumbags. They are quickly running out of time to prevent his accession to power. Meanwhile, the latest effort telling Israel not to cooperate with Trump, corroborates this. Since Trumps own people will investigate and reveal the “Russian hacking” story to be false, at least to the extent that it was a separate leak, not Russian hacking (even if the Russians actually did hack and know the facts) that exposed the DNC and Podesta during the campaign, this will eliminate the need for them to follow the establishment line on Russia. This frees Trump to develop new policies, and, since the exposure of the false dossier was probably illegal under the draconic US legal system, he can go after establishment scalps on this issue. Since the Clintons were involved and hostile, he can allow the FBI and other investigative arms to go after them via their corrupt foundation. This should be his response, to go after the old regime using the legal system. This is why Sessions as Attorney General will be such an important figure. I believe that Buchanan is being to pessimistic. The investigation Trump is authorizing, when it comes out with an accurate refutation, enables Trump to be a free agent to go after the deep state. Those who think that Pence, because of his past views, will be an agent to overturn Trump, misread him. He seems to me to have a sense of loyalty and recognition of the favour granted him in his VP position and the recognition it could eventually give him a legitimate opportunity for the lead role. Though his intelligence may be limited, within his viewpoint I can see that he recognizes that he would always be viewed as a traitor if he made himself the catalyst for the power structure in the destruction of Trump based on a misuse of the 25th amendment. In summary, I think that the latest effort, moving forward into direct fraud to go after Trump, restores Trump’s freedom of action to go after them, and he is intelligent enough to see that fact.

    • Realist
      January 16, 2017 at 2:49 am

      Two things that may still constrain Trump’s relations with Russia irrespective of his own intentions: i) the Congress passes onerous legislation which Obomber signs before his term is up (still 4.5 days to go), or ii) the McCain/Graham/Rubio axis joins with the Democrats to form a veto-proof majority to hamper Trump after he is sworn in. For that matter, Congress could formally declare war on Russia and, as Commander-in-Chief, Trump would have to prosecute the war even if he were the biggest peacenik on the planet. If Trump tried to buck any of this, he would be violating the constitution and be subject to impeachment and removal from office. Mike Pence wouldn’t even need to lift a finger, let alone invoke the 25th Amendment.

      It is possible for a congress to cage the president, in spite of the modern day trend towards an imperial presidency. It’s what they did to Andrew Johnson. Impeachment was the result of his attempt to remain an independent agent (and I’m not saying he was a noble figure). He never left the reservation a second time. The constitution does purposefully make the legislature potentially the most powerful branch of government. In practice, we humans have reverted to form, that being strongman rule in the form of ever expanding presidential privilege.

  64. elmerfudzie
    January 15, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Well , I defended General Be-tray-us so, who cares!, I’ll defend our new POTUS as well; look folks (phrase left over from the O’bomber day’s)..Over the last fifty years, we’ve had the loftiest intellects in the Oval Office: Carter, the nuclear scientist and submarine captain, too bad that he had no sympathy for the unemployed and their sufferings, despite his “Misery Index Jive”, never the less, a damn good man- Christian in moral principles and a lover of humanity. Then we had a grade ‘B” Hollywood movie actor step onto the political stage, Ronald-Ray-Guns, indeed he had a wide, friendly sort of smile Albeit, just a humble radio announcer, turned actor who loved to collect blue eyed horses for his big ranch. A brain that turned to mush years before he left the Oval Office…does this sound like “those credentials” we expect a person to have before entering the Presidency? Oh, and yes Bush Jr….the so called “dry drunk” stumbling through life, despite his family name, just like most of us, fake it till you make it. Bush Jr., who was deprived of his first chance to assume presidential responsibility when, (probably) Dick Cheney made sure that Bush Jr. lost all communication with the situation room and Pentagon, while aboard AF 1 during those early hours of 911. And lest we forget his dad, George Sr. the “black belt” from the CIA, a man who believed that our citizenry at large can be fooled all-the-time. Even the likes of director “Wild Bill” Casey admitted that the CIA wasn’t quite there yet, that is, “fooling our citizens all the time”. Now comes Mr Clinton, who kept loosing his pant zipper and none the less was a Rhodes scholar..a lot of good that credential did for our social safety net support intended for the most vulnerable poor of our nation! And last but surely, not least; in the sphere of grand follies, poor ‘ol Richard Nixon, losing an election against JFK because of a four o’ clock shadow. JFK, that rather tall ” bronze looking” demigod who somehow conquered, just in the nick of time, the visible effects of Addison’s disease- Inserted here as a bitter commentary regarding the shallowness of American voters judgements… Again, Nixon, who, despite the formal spiritual training from a Saintly Quaker mother, not to mention, a Harvard graduate in law, somehow couldn’t bring himself to admit to a bungling, small time, stupid, third rate break-in….consequently, he lost all the Presidential glory connected to that, never to be forgotten, and historical moment for the USA, the first China visit. What founding father of our nation was quoted as saying; any man off the street can become president? How true, how true….

  65. Call A Spade
    January 16, 2017 at 6:14 am

    US democracy is a joke a filthy rich boys club eat your heart all you dictators look and learn.

  66. Roger Dodger
    January 16, 2017 at 6:33 am

    ?If the left’s lips are moving, they are apparently lying or deluded. The same applies to their enablers, supporters, Fake Newsers, and advocates.

    Don’t buy their CDs or the products they hawk on TV, don’t go to their inane movies, don’t visit their stupid sites, don’t listen to them on the radio.

    Don’t watch them on their Fake News TV, don’t buy tickets to see them do ANYthing, and especially don’t watch or attend their dumb, leftist-activist “shows.”

    Are they the oily, lying, Shmuck Shroomer, political type? Or the lying, “You can Keep Your Doctor,” insane, world-ruler type?

    If so, they would be your leftist, Islamist, One-World, slave-master wannabes. And they are coming after you, and your family, just as they come after Donald Trump

    You have only to look at the bloated, vacuous, debauched-looking face of their newest poster slut, John Dufus, the failed “civil rights leader,” to see how they are rolling in their own, filthy, stinking lies about Donald Trump and you.

    It demonstrates they stop at Nothing to grasp at their filthy, stinking goals.

    Don’t believe any lying word they say. Defund them; block their plots. “Find them, fix them in place, isolate them, and ridicule them.” (To paraphrase their own leader, Saul Alinksky)

    Think: would you wipe them out financially, or have them praising Trump, in about 6 weeks? ??
    .
    Will you pass these ideas onward and forward to your mailing lists? It’s your Move, isn’t it?
    .
    .

    • lizzie
      January 17, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Izzat you, RushBo?

  67. Kozmo
    January 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    More likely, and easier, for the spooks to put some guns or bombs together with some patsies and add some professionals, and le voila, it’s “Executive Action” (1973, screenplay by Donald Trumbo, see it!) all over again. Pence the loyal sevant will not pose any such problems for the Deep State.

  68. Brad Benson
    January 16, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    The intelligence agency bosses and their minions have underlings that would be willing to take their jobs. Fire them all from the executive suites right down to the loading docks as necessary. Then hang Clapper, Brennan, Morrell and the rest.

    • Dr. Crowdoc
      January 19, 2017 at 1:27 am

      Spoken like a true supporter of democracy! You should apply for a job there!

  69. Dr. Crowdoc
    January 19, 2017 at 1:24 am

    Yes, it must be the intelligence community trying to undermine our democracy, not the Russian government acting in collusion with the Trump campaign although that is what evidence indicates.
    Millions would believe this. I don’t, but millions would…

  70. Michael Morrissey
    January 19, 2017 at 6:38 am
  71. Michael Kenny
    January 19, 2017 at 10:58 am

    The only problem Trump has with the Washington establishment, including the intelligence community, is his attitude to Putin, or, more correctly, the attitude that Putin’s American supporters have attributed to him, namely that he intends to capitulate to Putin in regard, in particular, to Ukraine. What interest does Trump have to sacrifice his presidency for Vladimir Putin, who has nothing to offer him? At best, Trump’s core supporters don’t care about Putin or Ukraine one way or the other. At worst, seeing Putin humiliate the US with the connivance of the President might offend their hyper-patriotism. So Trump has no interest whatsoever in capitulating to Putin and his first steps, offering a lifting of sanctions in return for a deal on nuclear disarmament rather than a unilateral lifting sanctions, as Putin’s American supporters seemed to have hoped for, suggests that Trump is well aware of both the problem and the solution to it.

  72. Mark Thomason
    January 19, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    “they knew that preparing and distributing such a summary amounted to a tacit endorsement. They also knew, presumably, that it would provide editors with an excuse to go public.”

    The leaders of our intelligence agencies are by definition very well informed, very savvy insiders. If they were not, they could not possibly be leaders of the intelligence agencies.

    So of course they knew. Of course they intended. It is who they are, by definition.

  73. January 20, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Trump is (arguably) the People’s Choice. Unfortunately, the wrong People.

    The “right” people (the ones with the guns) will have their man (or woman) in place before the year is out.

    I doubt they’ll let Trump live, though they would if his survival could leave their own agenda secure.

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