Exclusive: Democrats and liberals are so angry about President Trump that they are turning to McCarthyistic tactics without regard to basic fairness or the need to avoid a costly and dangerous New Cold War, notes Daniel Lazare.
By Daniel Lazare
America is a strange place and the blow-up over Mike Flynn’s conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak is making it even stranger. Liberals are sounding like conservatives, and conservatives like liberals.
Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, made perfect sense when he remarked on CNN concerning the intelligence leaks that are now turning into a flood: “We’ve got to have some facts to work with here. And what troubles me is that … there are people within the intelligence community that disagree with President Trump [and] that don’t want to see his administration succeed. … General Flynn has been subject to a political assassination here regardless of what he did or didn’t say to President Trump or Vice President Pence.”
Quite right. Breitbart News’ Joel B. Pollak sounded similarly sensible in asking “whether our nation’s intelligence services were involved in what amounts to political espionage against the newly-elected government.” So did right-wing talk-show host Michael Savage in describing “the demonization of Putin, Russia, and Flynn” on the part of “neocons, the intel community, and Democrats who want constant antagonism with Russia.”
Considering the craziness we usually get from such sources, it was all disconcertingly … sane. On the liberal side, however, the hysteria has been non-stop. In full prosecutorial mode, The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza demanded to know:
“Did Trump instruct Flynn to discuss a potential easing of sanctions with Russia? Did Flynn update Trump on his calls with the Russian Ambassador? Did Trump know that Flynn lied to Pence about those contacts? What did the White House counsel do with the information that he received from [Acting Attorney General Sally] Yates about Flynn being vulnerable to blackmail?”
At The Nation, Joan Walsh was thrilled to hear the media asking “the old Watergate question about what the president knew and when.”
“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again,” declared Bill Moyers and Michael Winship at Alternet: “there MUST be an investigation by an independent, bipartisan commission of Russia’s ties to Donald Trump and his associates and that nation’s interference in our elections.”
At The Intercept, the perennially self-righteous Glenn Greenwald said intelligence agents are “wholly justified” in leaking inside information because “[a]ny leak that results in the exposure of high-level wrongdoing – as this one did – should be praised, not scorned and punished.”
Over the Top
Finally, there was The New York Times, which, in Thursday’s lead editorial, compared the Flynn contretemps to Watergate and Iran-Contra, expressed “shock and incredulity that members of Mr. Trump’s campaign and inner circle were in repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials,” and called for a congressional investigation into whether the White House has been taken over by Moscow:
“Coming on top of credible information from America’s intelligence agencies that Russia tried to destabilize and influence the 2016 presidential campaign, these latest revelations are more than sufficient reason for Congress to investigate what Moscow has been up to and whether people at the highest levels of the United States government have aided and abetted the interests of a nation that has tried to thwart American foreign policy since the Cold War.”
High-level wrongdoing! Colluding with the enemy! Shock and incredulity! It’s enough to make a concerned citizen reach for the nearest bottle of 151-proof rum. But it’s all nonsense. Liberals are working themselves into a crisis mode on the basis of zero evidence.
Let’s begin with what The Nation’s Joan Walsh regards as the key issue: what do we know and when did we know it?
Well, we know that on Thursday, Dec. 29, Barack Obama expelled 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives for allegedly interfering with the presidential election and imposed sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services. We also know that Flynn had called the Russian ambassador a day earlier to discuss sanctions in general and that although he “never made explicit promises of sanctions relief,” according to unnamed government officials cited by the Times, he “appeared to leave the impression it would be possible.”
In Times-speak, “appeared to leave the impression” means that the paper is unable to pin down anything that Flynn did that was specifically wrong, but still believes that the conversation was somehow unseemly.
According to The Washington Post, the key phone call came after Obama’s Dec. 29 decision to expel the Russian diplomats when Kislyak reached Flynn by phone while the national security advisor-designate and his wife were vacationing at a beachside resort in the Dominican Republic. “As a veteran intelligence officer,” The Post said, “…Flynn must have known that a call with a Russian official in Washington would be intercepted by the U.S. government, pored over by FBI analysts and possibly even shared with the White House.”
In any event, whatever he told Kislyak must have been reassuring since Vladimir Putin announced later that day that he would not engage in a tit-for-tat retaliation by expelling U.S. diplomats.
Irritated by such maturity, the American “state security organs,” as the KGB and other Soviet intelligence services were once called, pounced. Having intercepted the Russian ambassador’s phone call, the FBI relayed the contents to Obama’s Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who authorized it to interrogate Flynn about the conversation. Flynn may have lied or not given a complete account or forgotten some of the details about what he and Kislyak discussed. He also may have given a similarly incomplete account to Vice President Mike Pence, which apparently upset Pence and led to Flynn being tossed overboard.
But if Trump and his team thought that would satisfy the sharks, they were wrong. The press went into a feeding frenzy. But the substance of the complaint against Flynn adds up to very little.
As Obama administration holdovers in the Justice Department searched for a legal justification with which to accuse Flynn of wrongdoing, the only thing they could come up with was the Logan Act of 1799 forbidding private citizens from negotiating with a foreign government that is in dispute with the United States. Adopted during the presidency of John Adams, the law was prompted by Dr. George Logan’s unauthorized negotiations with France, contacts that were praised by the Jeffersonians but anathema to the Federalists.
But invoking the Logan Act in any instance is a stretch, much less this one. It has never been used to prosecute anyone; it has never been tested in a court of law; and its constitutionality couldn’t be more questionable. Moreover, if the law is dubious when used to threaten a private citizen engaged in unauthorized diplomacy, then using it to go after a designated official of an incoming presidential administration that has been duly elected is many times more so.
As journalist Robert Parry points out, the Logan Act has mainly been “exploited in a McCarthyistic fashion to bait or discredit peace advocates” such as Jesse Jackson for visiting Cuba or House Speaker Jim Wright for trying to end the Contra war in Nicaragua. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Trump Caves on Flynn’s Resignation.”]
Of course, the Obama holdovers at Justice also said that Flynn might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. But if Flynn assumed that the U.S. intelligence was listening in, then the Russians probably did also, which means that both sides knew that there was no secret dirt to be used against him.
In other words, there’s no there there. Yet anti-Trump liberals are trying to convince the public that it’s all “worse than Watergate.”
This is not to make Flynn into a martyr of some sort. To the contrary, the man is every bit as nutty as critics say. The Field of Fight: How to Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies, the book he co-wrote last year with neocon “intellectual” Michael Ledeen, is a paranoid fantasy about Muslim extremists ganging up with North Korea, Russia, China, Cuba and Venezuela to bring down the United States and Israel.
Flynn’s appearance at a Feb. 7 White House press briefing in which he announced that “we are officially putting Iran on notice” over a missile test – and then stalked off without taking a single question – was so bizarre as to be positively Strangelovian.
But whether Flynn is a criminal is another matter. As Ronn Blitzer observed in a smart article at Lawnewz.com: “Between the details of the communications being unclear and the complete lack of historical guidance for prosecutors to work off of, chances are slim that he’ll face any legal repercussions.”
Lying to the FBI is another matter, of course. But grilling someone about whether he violated a moldy old law that should have been repealed centuries ago is the equivalent of giving someone the third degree over whether he washed his hands after using a public restroom. It raises questions about civil liberties and prosecutorial abuse that used to concern liberals – before, that is, they went bonkers over Russia.
Moreover, taking a call from the Russian ambassador is not only legal but, with the inauguration only three weeks away, precisely what one would expect a newly designated national security advisor to do. If the call indeed happened while Flynn was on vacation – and hence without the usual staff support – it’s not that surprising that he might not have had total recall of what was discussed. For FBI agents to question him weeks later and test his memory against their transcript of the conversation seems closer to entrapment than a fair-minded inquiry.
The whole area is a gray zone regarding what is and isn’t proper for a candidate or an incoming administration to do. Eight years earlier, Barack Obama reached out to foreign leaders to discuss policy changes before he was even elected.
In July 2008, candidate Obama visited Paris to confer with then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy about Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and NATO. In late November – after the election, that is, but before the oath of office – he telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss how his country might achieve greater stability.
Yet as Robert Charles notes at the conservative Townhall.com website, no one thought to mention the Logan Act or accuse Obama of overstepping his bounds by engaging in private diplomacy.
As to whether it was Trump who instructed Flynn to talk to the Russian ambassador – what Politico calls “the key question” and what Times columnist Gail Collins says would be “super-illegal” if true – that is also standard operating procedure.
Poor Donald Trump is getting it from both sides, from those who claim that he was unprepared for his new responsibilities (which he was) and from those who claim that he was too “pro-active” in reaching out to key international players before taking office.
The Crime of Peace
As to Glenn Greenwald’s charge that what Flynn did was not only illegal but wrong, all one can say is: what on earth is so terrible about trying to reduce U.S.-Russian tensions? Of all the things that Trump said on the campaign trail, one of the few that was not completely stupid was his call for better relations with Moscow.
After all, Obama had gotten himself into a serious pickle by the end of his administration in the “intermarium” between the Baltic and the Black Sea. This is where Obama found himself beholden to dangerous nationalist provocateurs from Estonia to Ukraine, where a major NATO arms build-up was making observers increasingly nervous and where serious fighting is now underway. But while one would think that liberals would approve of attempts to defuse a dangerous confrontation, Flynn is under assault for merely giving it a try.
(And what about Greenwald’s usual concern about intrusive electronic surveillance? Isn’t the Flynn case a classic example of law-enforcement agencies using powers to entrap an individual into a possible criminal violation by seeing if his recollection diverges from the official transcript of a wire-tapped conversation?)
Finally there is the New York Times editorial, a farrago of half-truths and unsubstantiated assertions. For instance:
–No matter how many times the “paper of record” insists that “Russia tried to destabilize and influence the 2016 presidential campaign,” it should realize that saying something doesn’t make it so. In fact, the Director of National Intelligence’s Jan. 6 report on the alleged hacking was so skimpy that even the Times conceded that it “contained no information about how the agencies had collected their data or had come to their conclusions” and was therefore “bound to be attacked by skeptics.”
–The charge of “repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials” is similarly evidence-free. The Times made the charge in a front-page exposé on Tuesday that was heavy on innuendo but short on facts. It said that Trump associates had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials” without saying what those contacts were or whether the individuals in question were even aware of whom they were talking to. It added, moreover, that there was “no evidence of … cooperation” with Russian intelligence and that it was “unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself.” There’s no there there as well.
–As for aiding and abetting “a nation that has tried to thwart American foreign policy since the Cold War,” all one can say is that the Times is engaging in classic McCarthyism by crying treason with zero data to back it up.
Opportunism and Confusion
So, what’s going on? The simple answer is that Democrats are seizing on Russia because it’s an easy target in a capital city where war fever is already rising precipitously. Little thought seems to have been given to where this hysteria might lead. What if Dems get their way by forcing the administration to adopt a tougher policy on Russia? What if something horrendous occurs as a consequence such as a real live shooting exchange between U.S. and Russian troops? Will that make Democrats happy? Is that really what they want?
The truth is that America is in disarray not only politically but ideologically. Once Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race last summer, voters were faced with a choice between two right-of-center candidates, one (Hillary Clinton) seemingly bent on a pro-war policy regardless of the consequences and another (Donald Trump) who uttered isolationist inanities but nonetheless seemed to sense that a course change was in order with regard to Russia, Syria, and perhaps one or two other hot spots.
Since the election, both parties have responded by going even farther to the right, Trump by surrounding himself with billionaires and ultra-right fanatics and the Democrats by trying to out-hawk the GOP.
Sanity is in such short supply that the voices of reason now belong to Republicans like Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who told the Washington Post, “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded,” or House Speaker Paul Ryan who says that reaching out to the Russian ambassador was “entirely appropriate.”
Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, seems oddly rational in indicating that he will block legislation seeking to prevent Trump from rolling back anti-Russian sanctions.
All in all, it’s the worst Democratic performance since the Washington Post complained in 1901 that Teddy Roosevelt had “fanned the flames of negro aspiration” by inviting Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House. What’s the point of an opposition when it’s even more irresponsible than the party in power?
As Phil Ochs sang about unprincipled liberals back in the 1960s:
Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I’ve grown older and wiser
And that’s why I’m turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal.
Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).
I find it fascinating and hilarious to find a overblown “McCarthyism” headline on a site run by Parry…who sprung the 1980 October surprise operation.
Of course this should be investigated! Circumstantial evidence is certainly there and hard evidence will or will not prove/disprove. Does the Orange Dunce and his administration get a pass? Why?
Sure, there’s a certain amount of hot air going around…I’m not immune, but there have been investigations of far, far lesser matters and the GOP should reap what they sow. Trump should reap what he sows. I won’t cry when he dies when/if it comes down to that. A bad precedent but the whole election was a bad precedent..
Can we add “None of the above” to the ballot?
It’s all a freaking mess. I just hope that the far left can get it’s scat together and focus on the important issues. We don’t necessarily want to impeach Trump. How would Pence be an improvement? The fight needs to taken to force Trump to do the right thing, that means the true left needs to conduct, not resist. Getting arrested for blocking a federal building is not going to change squat. We need push for detente with Russia, an end to the Cold War, a redirection of federal spending toward infrastructure, healthcare, education…
Unfortunately I haven’t heard anything like this from our lefty critics. Bill Maher is spewing Russian hate hysteria. Where is someone in the media with some sense? Hating Russia seems to be a prerequisite to getting noticed. And saying anything pro Russian brands one a traitor. Very sad.
this was like hearing the voice of reason in the midst of cascade of cacophony. The Democratic Party has an opportunity to really make a powerful case against Trump, and ultimately blow him away, but they have gone bananas. I’m a Democrat who is thoroughy
dismayed by the leadership of the Party.
The fascism and hatred of democracy coming from the Dems is quite disgusting. However, in the end it’s really serving only to further discredit the Dems and very definitely strengthening Trump and the Repubs. No question about it. Only a real maniac would be openly advocating war with Russia, or trying to keep the long-dead Cold War alive. But let them make fools of themselves. They are only embarrassing themselves and helping the real Americans.
I agree with virtually everything Daniel Lazare has written in this commentary: “Democrats, Liberals Catch McCarthyistic Fever.” —
There REALLY is “no there, there.” — from the vicious Group-Think Liberals, who have become more Un-liberal and illiberal with
each passing day…, They are no longer “liberal” in their political behavior whatsoever…
I have been a lifelong Progressive Democrat since my days as an activist in C.O.R.E. in the Mid-1960″s, or rather, I was, until Hillary made her infamous Accusation in 2014 — that Vladimir Putin was “the New Hitler”– and since that time she has continued her constant preposterous & duplicitous claims against Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia generally.
I could not disagree more concerning all of these “Russian questions.”
This most certainly includes my complete and total disagreement that Russia had “anything at all”
to do with interference in our recent American Presidential Election of 2016.
This was in my view, a clear decoy stratagem, to BLIND everyone to the REAL Interference that was actually
taking place FOR Hillary — by nearly all of the Network Media and Press– in the Tank for her — and Huge financial
support for Hillary from Wall St., & international Elites like George Soros & Others.
Earlier, in 2014, on the day Hillary made her spurious claim against Putin as the “New Hitler”, I wrote a fairly long
comment on Facebook — stating that she had just Disqualified herself from ever being President ….and that
I could not possibly support her if she did run…as SHE was the leading edge of the Neo-Con PNAC Agenda.
I voted for Bernie Sanders in the June California Primary, but became quickly appalled at his withdrawal of his candidacy
and his turning to support for Hillary– “those damn emails” Bernie said… Instead of later walking out of the Democratic Election, and running as an Independent. He might have wonl
Hillary did mount a campaign later, to run for President, which I had believed already at that time was almost certain. .
These attacks by Hillary against Russia and Vladimir Putin were a Declaration of the New Cold War, & they are so
egregious that they became a significant issue during the entire 2016 Election– and they are profoundly disturbing
to more than one-half of the entire nation– because they are an attempt to deny the validity of the Election of 2016.
These attacks are not based upon reality at all, and they need to stop.
But the most serious problem in addition to the points made
in the article
“This was in my view, a clear decoy stratagem, to BLIND everyone to the REAL Interference that was actually
taking place FOR Hillary — by nearly all of the Network Media and Press– in the Tank for her — and Huge financial
support for Hillary from Wall St., & international Elites like George Soros & Others. ”
Absolutely. I agree with all you say. Why has this “misdirection” not been called out?
Obviously, the MSM are not fools and are on board with the agenda to delegitimize Trump’s presidency and Trump himself.
This is so very dangerous.
because the next step is to delegitimize the presidency. And what comes next?
If the Dems don’t like governance by decree, perhaps they should have paid more attention as Obama expanded this power of the Executive Branch.
But at the same time it is so obvious!!
Penn & Teller and tell what a magician is doing to misdirect an audience’s attention. Which is, actually, a much more difficult task than the situation here.
It’s not fake news. It’s propaganda. It used to be illegal. Obama made it legal when he repealed the Smith-Mundt act.
“Amber Lyon is a three time Emmy award winning journalist at CNN. She has gone on record stating that the mainstream media outlets are routinely paid by the US government as well as foreign governments to selectively report and distort information on certain events. She has also stated that the United States government has editorial control over mainstream media content.”
“Dr. Udo Ulfkotte: “I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.”
Daniel Lazare makes a strong argument against piling on Team Trump for contact with Russian agents in preparation for their assuming office. However, still left unanswered are questions of Trump’s relations, both personally and financially, with Russian citizens or actors. Is he in debt to Russian oligarchs or mobsters? Given Trump’s unwillingness to reveal his financial dealings to the public, such speculation is not unwarranted. Do Russian intelligence agencies have compromising information about him? Would anyone be surprised if they did? These questions are reason to be concerned about Trump’s motives. He might be able to resolve some of them by releasing his tax returns, but something tells me that they contain information that would be highly embarrassing, if not totally delegitimizing, to the man who just became POTUS.
We may have asked if Russian intelligence has compromising materials about Hillary who was in Moscow, was paid $50,000 for a speech and then allowed Russian interests connected to Putin to take over 20% of US uranium production a military strategic mineral, for payment into her foundations.
I wonder if anyone of the self-righteous people now would have accused her as POTUS of being Russian spy who want to destroy America. I doubt that since it is nonsense. So what’s going on, the IQ dropped.
I want all the tax records released SCOTUS, POTUS and congress to see how they are indebted to the US and foreign interests like Israel because for sure they are not indebted or care about American people who pay their salaries.
Everyone’s financial records made public.
Also meetings and phone calls.
Especially Hillary’s and, especially her proxy, *Bill*.
And her closest aide, Huma Abedin.
Great article and interesting comments. Without getting too deep into philosophical esoterica, the notion of detente with Russia should be a simple choice. We can choose to side with civilization for the sake of survival, or, we can follow the Neocon script. That involves siding with medieval monstrosities, bronze-age theocracies and anachronistic barbarities for the sake of preserving the wealth and privilege of a corrupt plutocracy. I’ll refrain from naming names, but most of you can ascertain of whom I speak. All of our foreign policy to date is based on lies; any well informed citizen must realize that. The question is whether or not the purveyors of those lies know they are lying. If they don’t, they are psychotically deranged. If they do, they are criminally insane. There simply is no middle ground. I found one quotation particularly interesting:
“This attack on the Executive Branch is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The most historically interesting element of this moment is the rarity of seeing the CIA operating, in real time, not in its usual historical role as a covert arm of the presidency, but as the sort of rogue elephant that Senator Frank Church and others long ago claimed it is.”
Never seen it before? Just a suggestion: please review “The Zapruder Film”. Somehow, even in this day and age, some folks have apparently missed it. And, recall that none other than Dan Rather described watching The President’s head lurch “violently down and forward”, the exact opposite of what the film depicts. We’re working on six decades of total inversion of the truth. Yet some folks still insist that the “official narrative” deserves some respect. Pitiful. Absolutely pitiful. The truth is just too monstrously hideous for most people to grasp.
Monstrously hideous indeed. Psychotic derangement or criminal insanity…yes, yes. Preserving the wealth and privilege of a corporate plutocracy…right on.
I know most here have heard the quote from William Casey, former CIA Director, but it bears repeating:
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
“I am the source for this quote, which was indeed said by CIA Director William Casey at an early February 1981 meeting of the newly elected President Reagan with his new cabinet secretaries to report to him on what they had learned about their agencies in the first couple of weeks of the administration.
The meeting was in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House, not far from the Cabinet Room. I was present at the meeting as Assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser to the President. Casey first told Reagan that he had been astonished to discover that over 80 percent of the ‘intelligence’ that the analysis side of the CIA produced was based on open public sources like newspapers and magazines.
As he did to all the other secretaries of their departments and agencies, Reagan asked what he saw as his goal as director for the CIA, to which he replied with this quote, which I recorded in my notes of the meeting as he said it. Shortly thereafter I told Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who was a close friend and colleague, who in turn made it public. Barbara Honegger
Well put. The Repocrat script is indeed = “siding with medieval monstrosities, bronze-age theocracies and anachronistic barbarities for the sake of preserving the wealth and privilege of a corrupt plutocracy.” Truth is a navigational hazard for them, they know where it is and they aren’t going there..
A story with not one solid fact to back it up, nothing. An American public largely skeptical of the charges when they first appeared because it was a campaigne ploy by the Clinton´s to take the spotlight off the contents of the emails showing Clinton malfeasance and the dirty campaigne the DNC was waging against Bernie Sanders.
However just as Goebbles recommended, the MSM, Newsweek , the Times and Washington Post kept hammering away at the lie and now it is accepted fact in the US. In short they have built a consensus for a nuclear war, with a country that has the capacity to litterally wipe the USA off the map.
The German Secret Service did an in depth investigation of the charge that the Russians were sabotaging their electoral process and just this past week has published a report stating that there is zero evidence of Russian involvement. But the agenda of the deep state in The US is demanding a confrontaion with Russia so no lie, no bad news is overlooked in turning Russia into a real menace to the USA.
My question to Newsweek, New York Times and Washington Post and the rest of the MSM is. Do you have any clue what you are doing when you are sowing the seeds for a war with Russia? Nuclear weapons have not lost their lethality as world killers. The results of that war would be the extinction of the human race. AND NO THE WAR WOULD NOT STAY CONVENTIONAL, NEITHER RUSSIA NOR THE USA ARE GOING TO TAKE DEFEAT WHILE SITTING ON FIVE TO TEN THOUSAND THEREMO NUCLEAR WEAPONS, no matter the fantasies that the Pentagon and Group Think Tanks come up with. To bomb one Russian or Chinese city and the nuclear war will be on and over before dinner time..
For cryin out loud step back from what you are doing and take a good serious look at WHAT you are doing. Because what you are doing is not only stupid it is suicidal !! Given the track record of the Pentagon, CIA and NSA in predicting how their latest war would turn out before it started if I were an American citizen nothing would freighten me so bad as listenting to the upbeat, hubristic thinking coming out of the think tanks and the Pentagon with regards a war with Russia. The biggest fallacy is that it would only be fought in Europe and Asia. Well good luck with that one while you sit and watch every major American city razed to the ground in a radioactive flash. Remember how the country was paralysed by 9/11. The Federal Government could not be found for three days. They were all hiding in their undisclosed locations in the underground bunkers. Do you remember the scenes of people running in panic out of the capital buildings like rats deserting a sinking ship? Rudolf Guilliani was the face if government in the USA. Now multiply 911, by a hundred thousand times and just think about the guys who started it hiding like the cowards they are in their taxpayer built and paid for bomb shelters, while you are turned into a permanent shadow on a sidewalk, your physical body and those of your family members vaporized. . Like Reagan said after a meeting with his top generals at the Pentagon on the subject of nuclear war with the then Soviet Union and the Generals talking about a couple of hundred million American deaths. Reagan said after the meeting ” They are crazy” because they sure scared the hell out of him, and then he started talking to Gorbechev.
The underlying tension here is CIA’s mass hysteria over external threats to its impunity.
Russia has emerged as the international community’s most influential advocate for rule of law. In concert with Africa they have formally challenged the ICC’s impartiality. And Russia intelligence actually knows how to do HUMINT. They know where the “black site” death camp bodies are buried. That’s why CIA is frantic to shut down lines of communication with Russia – Russia can substantiate the US legal obligation to prosecute or extradite CIA crimes against humanity.
This all has to be viewed in the context of ICC’s imminent decision on referral of CIA torture to the Pre-Trial Chamber. UN Special Procedures have characterized CIA torture with the term of art “systematic and widespread.” That means it is a crime against humanity, that is, legally, what the Nazis did. The Nuremberg Principles get invoked and it’s open season on CIA torturers in any jurisdiction in the world, with no statute of limitations. Torture is unique because of US accession to the Convention Against Torture. The treaty body has indicated unsatisfactory response to urgent issues and could make public the results of a confidential investigation. Italy and Portugal are cooperating on the international criminal law obligation erga omnes to prosecute and extradite suspects. Two treaty bodies have insisted on command responsibility as a requisite for treaty compliance. CIA can’t just lock up a couple hillbillies. CIA heads are on the chopping block.
The Red Scare is about to get more strident. Turns out Trump is not going to stonewall for CIA torturers like Obama did. He’s complying with the courts. It’s another little rent in CIA’s impunity, so the NCS torturers’ choreographed mass hysteria will now go off the chart.
Russian and other intelligence agencies worldwide have much more than than what’s in this timid report. Though the real action is in the ICC and universal jurisdiction, the prospect of an administration distancing itself from CIA criminality is a new wrinkle.
I would like to hear more about the “ICC’s imminent decision on referral of CIA torture to the Pre-Trial Chamber.” The US is the only nation to actually pass a law (American Service-Members’ Protection Act 2002) threatening the Hague with military attack if it prosecutes US military or government personnel for war crimes. It would be a very interesting political battle before trial.
You know Sam F, if you look at the text of ASPA now, the Netherlands invasion provision got amended out of it. It just got too embarrassing. The Bush administration unsigned the Rome Statute so they could undermine it and Bolton submitted like 700 amendments to hold up a UN document until they took the tabu i-word, impunity, out of it. The Obama administration dropped the posture of unremitting hostility so they could sneak loopholes into the definition of aggression. So the US may soon have to decide whether to veto a referral of US torture in humiliating public opposition to the object and purpose of the treaty, torching US legitimacy once and for all, or let the wheels grind and take their chances.
While I wholly agree with this analysis, I don’t understand why the author has a beef with Greenwald here. It’s like we read two completely different (Greenwald) articles. Since GG is operating under the assumption that Flynn’s communication with ambassador Kislyak was intercepted because the Russian embassy is monitored as a matter of course–and that’s a pretty safe assumption–there is no inconsistency with his well-known concerns regarding personal-privacy. Also he’s quite consistent on the subject of leaks: it’s undeniable that they are illegal. That’s not a matter of opinion. The question is: are they in the public interest? To suggest that the private machinations of the incoming National Security Advisor are better left secret would be extremely inconsistent. You don’t have to like the way that these leaks are being used by the deep-state–and GG clearly does not–but you have to like the leaks. Transparency is always good.
Trump suggested Russia retrieve the 30,000 emails H deleted (hid) in contempt of a court order to furnish all the emails on her server. Podesta admitted having been phished , not hacked, by what Macafree states was an unsophisticated nonstate hacker. Seth Rich was murdered for passing the DNC leak to former British Ambssador Craig Murray,which was then passed to Assange. H was gearing for nuclear war with Russia, Trump has thrown a monkey wrench into the neocon policy of global projection of full spectrum dominance. The only way out of this orchaestrated divisiveness is a rejection of “identity politics”. Support what Trump does correctly and reject his negativities.
It is good to see you bring up the Seth Rich murder, and the statements of Craig Murray. When people question the heavy reporting being done by our MSM it’s always in the context of if Russia had hacked the DNC, but an in depth reporting media would search out in full view for it’s readership all avenues requiring some investigation. To simply leave out these other apparent avenues of concern, is where our media fails us. Further more the MSM had secured a lid to furthering down these alternative roads by constructing a huge ‘FAKE NEWS’ sign so as to scare the cautious citizen away….dastardly just dastardly evil in nature, and this is a country who has always taken pride in it’s free press.
I noticed in a recent piece in the February Harper’s, “Blood and Soil,” by a fellow named Justin E. H. Smith, that he seemed to be using “leaks” and “hacks” interchangeably. It seemed to me, with the intention of deliberately creating confusion as to what was leaked, and by whom, and what was hacked, and by whom. As has been explained repeatedly, there is no problem at all in determining the source of hacks. So why do these writers continue to confuse the issue?
This Smith fellow also made quite a few other ridiculous statements, such as alluding to “the Japanese pilot who read Goethe while preparing for a kamikaze mission.” Say, what? Did those “divine wind” pilots really stoke up on Goethe before flying to their deaths? I very much doubt it. What nonsense.
But the whole article is actually a good study of how all depeartments of periodical (in this case, a book review) are drawn into service to implant ideas and “facts” that are not questioned and soon become part of “accepted knowledge” via this sly repetition.
Just one: “
Good article and comments showing the process in action.
Very informative book The Brothers. Highly recommend.
Lots of stories and names from the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell where Dulles operated. Still a power player.
How the neocon’s Forever War with its killing of millions in every corner of the planet can continue to stand relatively unopposed is a puzzle. You would think that was one thing everyone could agree on. Remember the Domino Theory.
In regard to Russia’s attempts to “thwart American foreign policy since the Cold War,” because Putin did not bow to the hegemons, he did indeed thwart American foreign policy. If he had just behaved more like Yeltsin and continued to give away the store, we would not have these problems today!
It is well documented that Stalin insisted that communism could never peacefully coexist over the long run with other socio-political systems, and indeed could not survive if it was the only communist nation facing the wrath of capitalist imperialism. This goal of world revolution augmented by the first “workers’ state” was a cardinal feature of the Soviet agenda long before the 1933 Nazi revolution in Germany. Stalin spoke of what he called the “final republic” encompassing all nations, thereby completing the world proletarian revolution envisioned by Marx and Lenin.
Stalin also realized that, given a free choice, the people of the advanced Western countries would never voluntarily choose communism. It would therefore have to be imposed by force. Stalin further decided his plan could be realized only through a world war. Accordingly the Soviet government conspired to encourage Germany, France, and England to exhaust themselves in total war, after which a massively enlarged Red Army would roll in and take all of Europe.
To this end, Soviet development of the most advanced offensive weapons systems, primarily tanks, aircraft, and airborne forces, had already begun in the early 1930s. Stalin announced his decision to implement a two-year total mobilization plan prepared by Chief of the General Staff Boris Shaposhnikov at the August 19, 1939 Politburo meeting – just four days before signing the Soviet-German non-aggression pact. In the following 22 months, Stalin raised 125 new infantry divisions, 30 new motorized divisions, and 61 tank and 79 air divisions – a total of 295 divisions organized in 16 armies, plus the mobilizing by 1941 of an additional six million man reserve force.
It was the dire threat of this huge army massing near Germany’s border that caused Hitler to otherwise inexplicably violate his long-standing vow never to fight a two-front war. Desperate necessity ordered the advance into Russia of an ill-prepared Wehrmacht barely a third the size of the invasion force being assembled by Stalin. But caught in indefensible attack formations, millions of Soviet soldiers were captured or killed in just a few months.
Incidentally, we now know that Stalin placed over three hundred moles in the U.S. government during the war. The highest ranking of these actually represented the United States at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944. In this light perhaps the infamous witch hunt of Senator McCarthy had some actual basis in reality.
You may be correct but my historical readings are that Stalin refused his generals pleas to prepare for the German invasion and thus the decimation of a great number of Russian troops and Germany’s deep penetration of Russia. After all Germany broke the treaty and invaded Russia regardless of excuses. Into the geopolitic mix the historical record often claims that both Hitler and Stalin were irrational .
This is false history. Stalin was not prepared for the Nazi invasion, specifically ordered defensive forces to stay clear of the border, and obviously would not have allowed Stalingrad to be surrounded and starved if he had had the forces to stop them some distance away. As I recall, the USSR had to move its military heavy manufacturing far back from the borders, and millions died before they could field enough tanks to push back the Nazis.
It looks like you are manufacturing anti-Russia propaganda, no?
Stalin effectively destroyed Red Army, in the 1937-8 “purging” of its officers. Thousands of them. Its best officers – and they don´t grow on the trees, they have to be made. Without experienced officers, Red Army just became one big mob for Germans to catch and direct to the camps for prisoners. (in the first year of war, about 2 milion of them). At the end of 1941 Red Army have casualties of 4.5 millions, almost all of regular army before the war(5million). Stayed without planes, tanks and other war material.
This is how Stalin prepared SU for war.
Excellent article. I have to take issue with the several attempts you made to imply that Flynn “forgot”, or “couldnt remember” what he said during the conversation.
Diplomacy is the art of conversation, the mastery of language. You cannot conduct effective diplomacy if you cant remember what you said to the guy last week.
I would expect anyone in that position of power to have excellent skills of recall.
“For FBI agents to question him weeks later and test his memory against their transcript of the conversation seems closer to entrapment than a fair-minded inquiry.”
That’s the tactic, make accusations until your target or one of their associates is caught in misleading or lying. The original purpose of the investigation fades away and the crime becomes perjury. Works every time.
Still, shake my head at Trump caving in. Again, an oft-repeated unsuccessful effort to call off the dogs. Maybe I am being too kind but if something other than the telephone call prompted the firing, why do in a way that makes it appear connected to the phone call.
As to leaving Pence out of the loop, think back to Reagan, and even further to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Vice President Garner.
It only makes sense if you look behind the curtain, and for all the issues that Trump raises, the one big issue is détente and what its impact would be to those effected by it. It is one a President can do something about and one of enormous importance and scares the hell out of a lot of people.
Thinking back to Bush as Vice-President claiming to be “out of the loop” when he quite likely knew more about the whole Iran-Contra affair then Reagan ever did.
I guess I was wrong. Reagan knew what was up.
“By 1985 the press had caught wind of North’s efforts to assist the contras, and Congress began to inquire. McFarlane and North determined that they would not provide Congress with certain “problem documents” — primarily memoranda by North that documented his providing tactical assistance and funds to the contras. Instead McFarlane lied about North’s activities in a series of letters to Congress
North’s activities were discussed at a meeting May 16, 1986 that included President Reagan, Vice President Bush, Secretary of State Shultz, Secretary of Defense Weinberger, and others. This was just after North’s operation, dubbed “the Enterprise” had received $15 million from an arms sale to Iran.
In June of 1986 the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committee requested reassurances from the President that the Boland amendment was being complied with. Newly appointed National Security Adviser John Poindexter knowingly repeated earlier false statements that the NSC staff “were in compliance with both the spirit and letter” of the Boland Amendments. The committee then asked to meet with North, who denied providing military advice or funding to the contras.
On October 5, 1986, a military transport plane operated by the “Enterprise” was shot down by Nicaraguan government troops. The lone survivor, Eugene Hasenfus, said while in custody that he worked for the CIA. With Congress about to approve the Administration’s aid package for the contras, CIA officials truthfully stated that Hasenfus did not work for the CIA. They denied knowing other facts, or whether the U.S. Government was involved, however. The false statements had the desired effect, and Congress approved the contra aid package on October 17.”
excerpted from http://www.thedubyareport.com/node/271
Don’t forget DC is loaded with think tanks that are an integral part of the deep state, indeed part of the revolving door. The NED, Orwellian named National Endowment for Democracy, was set up in 1983 after the CIA was exposed for its COINTELPRO nefarious activities and other such. Carl Gershman, original no-con head of NED and still there, has been gunning for Putin for years. The WaPo is the CIA official mouthpiece and last year published a piece by him stating that Putin must be removed for killing of many who oppose him, purely unproven allegations but consistently parroted by political operatives of the west. Anyone seeking truth of facts behind any deep state operations now or in the past has a long, dangerous web to untangle. The Dulles brothers solidified the entrenched anti-communist policies of the US that prevail today, even though the old Soviet Union is no more. Great book, “The Brothers” by Stephen Kinzer, that lays out how much US foreign policy was set down by Allen Dulles, first CIA head, and John Foster Dulles, who was Eisenhower’s Secretary of State. And it was Eisenhower who, in his farewell address, warned America of the military-industrial-complex, which now we call the deep tate.
”Anyone seeking truth of facts behind any deep state operations now or in the past has a long, dangerous web to untangle. The Dulles brothers solidified the entrenched anti-communist policies of the US that prevail today, even though the old Soviet Union is no more.”
I certainly agree Jessica K, much of my reading leads back to this important time in American statecraft. It is possible that a handful of well placed lawyers with some pedigree, simply decided that they were smarter than anybody worldwide, and that whatever natural recourses were necessary for American Corporatism to progress, were theirs to take…?
For instance, this from “TheIntercept” this morning. Former SEC chair, Mary Jo White will be replaced by President Trump by Jay Clayton a former lawyer with Sullivan and Cromwell (the former law firm of the Dulles Brothers) which represents Goldman Sachs. ”Clayton’s wife Gretchen is a Vice President at Goldman Sachs.”
Yes you can thread back so much of importance in terms of direction of American foreign policy to this post-war (and even much later, but as far as “modern” history is concerned) period that was in fact somewhat dominated by the Dulles brothers.
And Bob I think your description of the general “attitude”, particularly as one might expect from any impartial (objective) viewing, is poignantly knowledgeable.
I meant to say, “and even much earlier”
Thanks Gregory, l appreciate the validation.
I am terrified about the amazing number of similarity between Donald Trump and Benito Mussolini, I think though confusing him with Hitler just makes us unprepared for what horror might come. (projects/Italy/Mussolini.domestic.policy) “Preached making Italy great again and created, 400 bridges, 4,000 miles of roads and grandiose buildings for fascist party offices, post offices and sports arenas. Mussolini vowed that within five years, Italy would become “as powerful as it was in the times of the Augustan empire.” Trump likely for instance to place many thousands of cameras in downtown Chicago, bragging that he will similarly stop crime wherever “the sate as God” can reach.
However, I am thankful he so far blinked on declaring Taiwan independent and Jerusalem the capital of Israel and tickled the conscience of many thousands of Americans toward immigrants, and finally started to dismantle the Cold War. I think we can resist the march toward Mussolini’s Italy by in part praising any good news we can find. Some compare Trump and supporters as part of a death wish, but a death wish seeps into both sides. http://RichardKanePA.blogspot.com, http:RichardKanePhiladelphiaPA.blogspot.com
I was shocked to see Michael Ledeen mentioned…the Universal Fascist was his doctoral thesis. I don’t know whether as an admirer, or as one who is seeking a way to oppose it. He’s a neocon, so I think it is the former. Flynn co-authored a book with him.
I looked up Ledeen on EIR website. Good God almighty, this guy is radio-active poison. He embraces universal fascism and was the brains behind the “Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal” and the idea of permanent war. Jesus this guy is bad news. Glad to see Flynn flushed.
Richard, I know that Trump has been targeted and how he behaves is not the reason but your suggestion that he reminds you of Benito Mussolini is funny because he does. Even the bottom lip which juts out when he is speaking. Making America great again, your parallel is correct. All beside the point of the article, and I’m afraid the New Yorker is already working on the cartoon with the two of them together, merely to add to the pile on that exists and is growing.
Well, the liberals and democrats who are taking up McCarthyist tactics should endure the same fate as McCarthy. They should all lose their jobs and fade off into the void!
The actions of a truly professional intelligence agency is never detected. Smoking out foreign spies, or even better, converting them to spy against their own country, requires total secrecy for, if the cover is blown, all leverage and potential advantage goes down the toilet. Remember Valerie Plame? How much intel was subsequently lost when her cases were exposed? How many carefully tendered assets lost or even killed? Because the WH needed pretext to go to war with Iraq and Mr. Valerie Plame didn’t play along? Is this FBI payback for Comey’s last-minute revelations about another tranch of HRC emails? For all the money and prestige these obsessive brutes have, it’s about time they grew up.
Daniel Lazare – excellent article, extremely fair and accurate. I liked your humor too: “It’s enough to make a concerned citizen reach for the nearest bottle of 151-proof rum.” Ha, no kidding!
David Price had this to say about the CIA:
“This attack on the Executive Branch is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. The most historically interesting element of this moment is the rarity of seeing the CIA operating, in real time, not in its usual historical role as a covert arm of the presidency (which Congressman Otis Pike argued was its primary function), but as the sort of rogue elephant that Senator Frank Church and others long ago claimed it is.”
Thanks, Daniel. Keep up the good work.
One thing was learned for certain, don’t mess with Pence.
I never did find out if Flynn’s throwing down the gauntlet on Iran, was approved by Trump. If Flynn’s departure was warranted by his going over the bosses head, could we expect to see Nikki Haley get the boot for her UN performance threatening Russia over Crimea?
If the ‘Deep State’ did this to Flynn then President Trump better do some more shuffling around in his entourage until he gets it right, before it gets anymore out of hand. On the other hand if Trump let Flynn go for other reasons then ours is to eventually learn to the reason why. If Flynn was the lone Neocon slayer then we all lose, and then there’s Vice President Mike Pence.
Very nice piece Daniel. I blame a lot of this on Hillary Clinton who tried to make Trump into a Putin dupe on the campaign trail.
The Logan Act is a dead letter, Period. This hysteria was a tempest in a teapot. The Democrats should he ashamed of themselves.
Why doesn’t someone take this opportunity to reopen discussion or even investigation of Bush et al. deep-sixing Carter’s reelection by their off-the-reservation meetings with the Iranians in Paris?
Just an FYI, Greenwald spoke up against the Deep State targeting Trump in an interview with Democracy now.
I’m new to this website, and have enjoyed reading all the articles and comments. It’s been quite the education.
I have been reading Glenn G. on and off for about 15 years. He is a opportunistic hack. One day he is condemning the deep state for going after trump, the next he is saying that the leaks (from the deep state) that brought down flynn are laudible.
The only reason I have kept reading him for the last 7-8 years is because in the comments section of his articles there are some very intelligent people who make some very good points.
Don’t you get it? The left is totally fake these days. Everyone with even a few functional brain cells is drifting right because of shared interest in protecting civilisation from the increasingly deranged left.
There is no shame in this. It’s about shared interests not shared ideaology.
Check out the real debate;
Prof. Jordan Peterson, the last thinking man at U of T.
You make the fatal mistake of thinking that the Democratic Party is anything other than far-right wing, along with its apologists.
Capitalism is a right wind ideology. The Democratic Socialism that Benedict Sanders claimed (while in reality being a New Deal Liberal, which, again, is right-wing) is a centrist position, as it is a hybrid of Capitalism and Socialism.
An actual Left platform is not allowed to be voiced in the US (due to right wing control that corporate media inevitably features). Yet, as the popularity of Benedict Sanders makes evident, it remains incredibly popular, despite having no mainstream voice.
In fact, it was by appealing (in a con-man fashion) to the Left impulses inherent to humanity (through denouncing TPP, corrupt politicians, working class, anti-interventionist wars, etc – even supporting Single Payer healthcare, and promising to support Medicare and Social Security) that Drumpf was able to win.
To not understand this takes quite a deficit of functional brain cells.
A refreshingly rational analysis which points out that “talking to the Russians” might actually be a very good idea. The Center for Citizen Initiatives is organizing another round of private citizen diplomacy making plans to take 100 American citizens to meet with Russians in order to encourage more friendship and cooperation between the two nuclear superpowers.
The notion that Russia is an “enemy” is in reality an elaborate hoax encouraged by the neocon’s and Israeli Zionists. Putin’s Russia doesn’t want a war, but it will not accept being a target for “regime change.”
Liberals and Democrats should have learned by now that the military/industrial/covert operations complex specializes in creating so-called “enemies”, real and imagined. “Enemies” are required since war is a highly profitable business, which requires keeping the American people afraid. “The CIA As Organized Crime” by Douglas Valentine should be required reading. Learn about false flag operations in the making of “enemies,” and the use of mainstream “media assets” (the “Mighty Wurlitzer”) to manipulate public opinion — a steady stream of propaganda (Psy Op’s).
Was not a law passed last administration that essentially legalized sea I ae domestic propaganda?
Question: how do we remove from entrenched power an aristocracy that considers itself above the law and entitled to gamble with lives of every creature on Earth? This lunacy cannot continue.
There are examples in the histories of France (1789) and Russia (1917) that we might have to follow.
The Democrats are outraged, I mean outraged that Flynn talked to the Russians. Outraged.
Meanwhile, we’ve got the CIA continuing to leak as if Obama were still the President. Will Trump find the leakers and send them to a firing squad for treason? If he doesn’t, they are going to continue to cause huge problems. It’s them or him, no ifs, ands, or buts.
It strikes me the immediate phobia is paranoia, as in paranoia runs deep. Tweets are Trump’s little steel balls, from The Caine Mutiny, and the alt-Left (I will call it that because the Left is so badly split) is paranoically joining with what used to be its worst enemy, Clinton-think and associates. Paranoia rubs at us, we are nervous. Here at this site and others like it we have a good thing going. I thank you.
Wonderful. We need more articles like this one. I was beginning to think – they must have evidence? There’s an article in today’s (2/1817) New York Times about Russia and the Dutch and elections – which I haven’t yet read – but the press has ignored that probably a lot of countries were doing hacking – and I am bolstered in my opinion on the really wretched show in Washington, by Julian Assange’s saying the Russians weren’t involved in the leaks – and that he would not give out the sources because of “trust”. But he’s only one person although he does happen to be head of Wikileaks. So what are we to do? Gretel Munroe
P.S. I took a really good semester course on Russian History taught by a German (Berlin) Jew whom I thought was Austrian. He did a lot with 19th century Russian Intelligentsia whom I suspect may still be of interest in Russia. I wrote a thesis on Alexander Herzen who was a member of the above and a street in Moscow (I was there with a tour in 1986) that’s named after him. Gretel Munroe
You may refer to the German Jew, as “who” (not whom) you thought to be Austrian. (Wrong Grammar).
Assange does not reveal the sources of his information, based on trust. He has mentioned this many times. (What part of ‘trust’ do you not understand?)
I suggest you continue your studies and learn to distinguish between who knows and who “does a lot…”.
The New York Times is not a reliable or reputable, source of information. If you do not know this, you are at the wrong site here.
Gorgeous dog, Fred.
Jeez, Fred. Take it easy.
Disappointing to see Counterpunch is also running scared.
Why not say more? Such as? Jeffrey St. Clair? Mike Whitney? Who did you have in mind?
You are mistaken. I do not think they are running scared. I think they are fed up with uninformed and mediocre commentators.
Disappointing to see Counterpunch is also running scared.
I read CounterPunch on a daily basis and find your interpretation puzzling.
How do the editors and writers feel having now been labeled an “enemy of the people”? Apprehensive?
Will your political slant change more to the dystrumpian?
The word “dystrumpian” is clever, a good pun, but why this approach, what do you want? I hate to be disagreeable by asking. The important thing we need to is thinking, instead of fear-mongering.
” Liberals are sounding like conservatives, and conservatives like liberals”’
Exactly why I am neither one.
Maybe after the neos start another war and the vultures crash Wall Street again and millions of people die from mad cow diseased meat courtesy of our new Agr. Czar –we will get the real revolution we so need.
My constantly repeated mantra is that “conservatives” (I don’t see much conservative about right-wingers) love a mythical past and “liberals” (I don’t see much liberalism amongst Democrats) love a mythical future. “Oh, for the wonderful fifties when everyone knew her place!” “Oh, everything is getting better and better!” (because I no longer have to look at White Only signs).
When I kept seeing that as a Google News headline I realized that the New York Times was on a Mission From Somebody to take Trump down. Nobody there can possibly be stupid enough to believe that nonsense, so they’re doing it for some Greater Good. Or more likely, for Greater Israel.
I agree. And IMO: what if he did?
NYT is nothing but a propaganda tool for Israel. (Besides: their writers suck.)
Another great article—thank you.
The most troubling sentence, early in the article and part of a quote:
“there are people within the intelligence community that disagree with President Trump [and] that don’t want to see his administration succeed.”
That speaks to me of treason and sedition. The Deep State, as I write in my most recent book, wants Trump impeached or assassinated.
It’s time for the POTUS to put his foot down and stamp out this riffraff.
That is what JFK wanted to do. To do it, Trump had better get as paranoid as Stalin and just stay in the bunker, in helmet and flak vest, for the duration of this covert civil war.
It is time for POTUS to release is taxes. This would shut up a lot of foolish people!
You’re right, there’s nothing inappropriate about the national security adviser speaking with Russian, but why did Flynn lie to the FBI and Pence about the contact? It’s true that the NYT story on the Trump campaign’s contact with Russian intelligence is thin on details/evidence, but are you saying that the NYT just completely made this up? What legitimate reason would the Trump campaign have had to be in contact with Russia as they were openly calling upon Russia to hack Hillary’s emails? Why would the campaign lie about the contact if there’s some completely benign explanation as you suggest? I agree we don’t have all the details or ability to vet the evidence, but where there’s smoke (lies), there’s fire. Just assume there really was a conspiracy between the campaign and Russia–how would we find out about it? Clearly we can’t trust the administration to admit it. This is why we need a real bipartisan investigation. And investigating top officials in our government for potentially conspiring with a foreign power to influence a domestic election is not the same as McCarthy-ism.
This line of thinking is implausible and badly lacking in context. Trump’s calling for Russia to hack Hillary was typical of Trump’s bluster, possibly even what he thought was humor. Trump’s ignorance allowed him this sort of glory-seeking, through as usual his ego. We need to be careful not to buy into the notion there is something with this Russia story–okay be skeptical, but be skeptical both ways. It’s absurd to think Putin would have organized what is clearly an effort to divert from the real issue–what the leaks revealed. It’s increasingly obvious, is it not, that a system of leaks is happening, a chain is developing. And where is it coming from? It’s not Russia, it’s within our own system. Now we have the Flynn leaks and again leading back to Russia demonizing. These people are very clever in a sick, psychopathic sort of way, and I mean the people controlling the intelligence agencies and holding the neocon playbook.
It’s more plausible to believe that all of this is all a conspiratorial misinformation campaign from the intelligence community? I’m not saying that impossible or that we shouldn’t consider it, but what evidence is there of that? How do you know that’s what’s happening here? Isn’t the information we have, while admittedly limited and circumstantial, at least as suggestive of something truly afoot between the Trump administration and Russia?
There is no evidence to support the charges. This is old news that has been debunked time and again, including here at this site. It’s not enough to keep saying they did it over and over again, without providing evidence for the charges. The three major intelligence agencies could not prove it. This is called misinformation, and I believe that it is misinformation is fact. But you can check it for yourself by searching on your questions.
Well, the irony expressed in Trump’s “wisecrack” (about Russia finding the 30,000 lost emails) certainly wasn’t lost on me, I LOLed!
Truth Seeker….. you’re not living up to your name. Because you haven’t found the truth yet….but speak as though you did. Consider that there was NEVER any real sources of the BS about the supposed Russian email hacks > All the paperwork issued had Disclaimers on them. Now they’re building on that unfounded premise to keep stoking the fires of war. These are distractions …the neocons have been shaken up and they see their power slipping away …their world dominance threatened. . It’s quite shameful that so many are ignorant of the lies and obfuscations that are leaked out.
How are you so confident that these are lies and obfuscations? Your evidence of that is the absence of evidence provided. Could there be legitimate journalistic reasons that the sources cannot be revealed (this is not rhetorical, I’m genuinely asking)? I’m not sure what “disclaimers” you’re referring to (source?).
I don’t think I’ve found the truth, and am adopting a position of uncertainty, which seems to be the most rational space to occupy at this moment. I’m trying to learn what the basis is for the beliefs presented here. Thus far I would characterize it as speculation at best and not based on anything more concrete than the reports themselves.
You have evidently not informed yourself as well as you think. The fucking document issued by our government say at the very fucking top: “This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”
Want that translated? Dont ask us to stand behind any statement in this document. We completely made this shit up, but we know that you will believe what ever we tell you, so, meh.
The contacts between Flynn and the Russian ambassador happened almost 2 months after Drumpf won the election, not during the campaign as your question on the matter claims.
For one who claims to seek the truth, this misstatement of the timeline seems to undercut that claim rather substantially.
No, there is not necessarily fire where there is smoke and mirrors; there is no rhetoric to equate suspicion with fact. Would you not be amazed if there were not already ongoing investigations, despite the zero evidence so far.
I totally agree with your last statement. It is its application where we disagree. Have a good day.
The problem: none of the three sides have made public their intentions. Everyone is guessing.
Republican, Democrat and the intelligence communities.
527 legislators are disagreeing over issues and reasons for the issues that have not been made public many such reasons might
even be illegal. But the situation exposes the anti-democratic nature of top secret legislation, presidential authority, and the non disclosure agreements that go with such legislation
The intelligence communities are part of the Deep State and the Deep State’s intentions are clear: have Trump impeached or assassinated. (See my recent book on the topic.) You can’t expect spokespersons for the Deep State to PUBLICLY state these intentions, so your comment about “made public” is completely ridiculous and irrelevant.
THE DEEP STATE WANTS TRUMP IMPEACHED OR ASSASSINATED, and that includes many of the intelligence agencies. PERIOD.
Dr. Bart Gruzalski, Professor Emeritus Philosophy and Public Policy, Northeastern University, Boston, MA—and the only Ph.D. I know in philosophy who supports President Trump (and one of the only two Ph.D.’s I know in the country who supports President Trump). I do explain that odd statistic in my new book.
You are not alone, sir, as I am also a retired professor from a major state university with a Ph.D., in my case biochemistry. And, it’s not so much that I support Trump’s policies across the board as I do his right not to be harassed and obstructed mercilessly with the object of his removal from office by the media and the Deep State because their anointed one failed to win the election. Cases in point, they ought to just change the names of the Huffington Post, New York Times and Washington Post to the “Let’s smear Trump with every line of type Chronicles.” And, MSNBC ought to rechristen itself the “Anti-Trump Network.” Unlike you, professor, I would not volunteer my real name to the public as I fear the very real prospect of harassment in a country that supposedly respects and protects “free speech.” I fear that the Deep State and its intelligence agencies are not too enamored of that constitutional right.
I would not volunteer my real name to the public as I fear the very real prospect of harassment in a country that supposedly respects and protects “free speech.”
Real name or pseudonym, it’s a good bet at least one of our spooky agencies has a file on everyone writing or commenting on this and similar sites. As for individuals who have made personal criticisms, I either managed to prove they were wrong or admit I was wrong.
Bill, among other reasons that one might wish to hide their identity, especially in today’s volatile political environment, are the conflicts that might arise on the job and to maintain friendships and family ties that might otherwise be jeopardised. Many people cannot discuss any issues if the name “Trump” or “Hillary” is attached in any way. My sister is such a person who feels compelled to release a torrent of bile should his name be mentioned, or anything critical of Hillary be accidentally dropped, and I wish to maintain our relationship. Needless to say, taking my brother’s advice, such conversations have become entirely one way, with no response should the devil be mentioned. You never know who might be reading these forums, aside from the intelligence agencies. They might be important to you.
It is worth noting that the blog Zero Hedge specifies in their “manifesto” that anonymity in authorship is key because:
“our method: pseudonymous speech…
anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. it thus exemplifies the purpose behind the bill of rights, and of the first amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation– and their ideas from suppression– at the hand of an intolerant society.”
All that said, I can admire your courage if you choose to post what might be considered highly offensive or provocative (to other people) remarks under your own name. You have to be willing to get in trouble and lose family and friends in today’s America.
You argue for leaving Trump alone and doing as he pleases. Criticism is part of the American way. You have touted your criticism of Barack Obama endlessly on this site. You wish to shut up the free press that is guaranteed by the Constitution. If you really listen to Donald you might just hear what he is saying. What are you saying? Silence those who don’t agree with me? Being 70 years old doesn’t make one extra intelligent. Donald Trump is 70 years. Impeaching him would be a guaranteed right given to us by the founders.
This reply is to the posting by “Realist”
I wish to shut up the free press? That is absurd. When did I EVER call for the press to be silenced? When did I even tangentially imply such a thing? Apparently you see what you want rather than what is, or are a person easy to convince by people with motives you somehow miss. I would, however, like the “free” press to be a bit more objective and civil when it comes to Trump rather than condemning his every remark, no matter how trivial. It has clearly become a pissing contest between Trump and the media.
If the media fancies itself so superior to Trump on a moral plane, it should display a modicum of restraint instead of adopting his style. It should also try harder to camouflage its bias. Right now it looks as petty, shallow and unhinged as Marco Rubio did when he decided that his key to victory would be to take the fight into the gutter.
If I wanted to silence you, I’d tell you to sit down and shut up, especially in light of your clear bias against older Americans. Was that ageist dig really necessary? When I occasionally mention my age, son, it is merely to underscore that I have never before seen such acrimony in the political arena, such behind the scenes subterfuge by entrenched power brokers or such clear cut favoritism by the supposed “unbiased and objective” “free press” in all my years, not even during the Vietnam years.
Calling out these threats to our freedom and democracy is not an attack on our system but a plea to protect it. Sure, you and your like-minded activists are free to pursue the impeachment of Donald Trump and to obstruct his policies just as Obama was obstructed by the Republicans and the Tea Baggers, but try to make sure that you are not merely a bunch of witch-hunting insurrectionists just like the folks who “hunted the president” and impeached Bill Clinton. Be sure that this is not just partisan payback that you are seeking, which it sounds a lot like to me. It would be nice of you to protect my right to free expression as you want reserved for yourself, turnabout being fair play and all that.
As I have said many times, I am not FOR Trump (I am against many of his policies), I am, however, AGAINST this mindless rush to overthrow him. I am FOR protecting the elective office of the presidency against insurrectionists embedded in the “Deep State” who would use the veneer of “popular will” against the legitimate government, just as the sheep were enticed to follow McCain and Nuland in the Maidan. The endless diatribe in both the print and broadcast media is an age-old device to gin up the belief that there is such a “popular will” amongst the people. It’s called propaganda. Your attempt to portray me as exactly the opposite of who I am and what I stand for is also an old trick, which maybe you are not old enough to realise.
I just want to say something about the subject of “age.”
A personal observation for me in reflection of the CN commentary is that many of the contributors that I feel are more developed in their knowledge and understandings than myself are those older than me. But of course all things should be taken on their own merits, aging does not always equal development.
The simple and natural fact is that elders who have lived a life of development of knowledge and understandings have unique perspectives that only time can bring.
Professor Stephen Cohen, NYU and Yale, supports Trump’s position of détente with Russia
He appears every Sunday on the John Bachelor radio program
In reference to the above post about my demeaning your age is laughable. I happen to be 80 years old. Perhaps you should communicate with your sister who you also have trouble understanding. I’ll take your “sonny” label as a compliment. I am curious as to why you don’t post under your own name. I am even more curious as to why you feel it necessary to defend or overlook the childish behavior of someone you probably would have told to sit down and shut up had they been in one of your classes. That person is Donald Trump. If you need a list of some of the things he has said or done I could suggest some sites where you might find them.
This is a good case in point about things being taken on their own merits, and that aging does not always equal development.
Sir, you began the age issue on this thread by saying, “Being 70 years old doesn’t make one extra intelligent. Donald Trump is 70 years.”. No one else made that assertion, challenged it, or used age to insinuate anything else. So your opening sentence in this comment is curiously incoherent.
Your snide remark about a family matter which shows (as does his intelligent explanation about the use of pseudonyms as an exemplification of the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and as a means of protecting valued relationships) Realist to be thoughtful and, I think, compassionate, is uncalled for.
“Sonny” was not used as a label. I noticed a gentlemanly manner of speaking when Realist inserted “son” into an explanation. You seem to be missing some explanations and continue with another falsehood, claiming that Realist feels it necessary to defend or overlook [Trump’s behavior]. I keep up with CN commentary fairly steadily and really must say that that is absurd on its face.
If you are indeed 80 sir, I am sorry…but you need to grow up.
Thank you Gregory Herr for taking the time to try to put Daniel Foley on a track closer to reality. Indeed I never argued against a free press. I never said that Donald Trump should have free reign for whatever policies strike his fancy. I do see the virtue of maintaining anonymity on internet blogs (as do most folks who post here). If that offends Mr. Foley, tough luck. Communication with many people across the political divide is next to impossible today, family members included. I have certainly not provided enough personal information for Mr. Foley to be giving me advice about proper levels of communication with my sister. I get on much better with her than I apparently do with Mr. Foley, who thinks he knows me from only a single post. (Had he read my numerous other posts he would know that I do not give blanket support to Trump’s policies, only to a few such as detente with Russia, but I do not countenance any attempt at “regime change” in America which I sense being pushed by factions in the government and the media. That stand would not matter who the president might be at present. Perhaps Mr. Foley should be more concerned about those anonymous factions within the Deep State than anonymous posters of web forums.) I have certainly never told any student over the course of an entire career in academia to sit down and shut up. My point was just the opposite of his inference, I would never use such terms because they would be an imposition against free exchange. Perhaps Mr. Foley’s twisted accusation was an attempt at parodying Donald Trump. Finally, Mr. Foley does not need to direct me to published information on the alleged nefarious schemes and supposed bad behavior of Donald Trump as those topics are covered ad nauseum both on this site and practically every other one on the internet. Maybe Mr. Foley was trying to be jocular.
In reference to your post that I should not tell you about your sister you are right. I probably got carried away thinking about all your posts where you called Obama Obomber , and Hillary Killary. It probably would upset her to see your name attached to such posts. You have a noble friend in Gregory Herr for his support.
By their works shall ye know them, Mr. Foley.
If the Deep State/MSM/Dem-Lib forces gather much more steam, the Presidency may have to relocate to Moscow with Snowden!
Tempest in a teapot? Mountain out of a mole hill? I believe there are more than a few “neo-con’s” voices saying the same sort of things leading up to the illegal invasion of Iraq and the destruction of their society by Bush II and it concerns me that they still have a venue to spread their version of a better world. Why are these people that led us into that fiasco even being allowed to speak out about anything louder than their individual voices can carry? Yet they have a platform with the appearance of credibility and are doing it all over again. It’s like that Weiner guy in NYC that got caught with multiple pictures of his penis on the internet yet was still considered a candidate for mayor. Why do they still have the ability to reach out as if what they did didn’t count? How is this possible? Are we down to the standard anything except a pedophile? We’re not talking about insignificant local elections. We’re talking about people that would be in a position to affect national policy by dint of their position and exposure. NYC Mayor is automatically considered a potential presidential candidate in the next election cycle. Weiner as leader of the Free World? WTF? Being proven a liar and a cheat publicly doesn’t preclude you from national leadership? That’s how we ended up with Trump/Hillary, I believe the 2 most unpopular presidential candidates ever offered by either major party. Hobson’s Choice squared. What will it take to remove the discredited neo-cons from the national conversation? We don’t seek out Michael Milken to run the SEC. We don’t ask for Bernie what’s his name to be Treasurer. The neo-cons were totally discredited by all of the information that came out after the invasion and yet here they are, network television especially. As if they were not caught lying to the American public over and over in the run up to the war. Some believe the neo-cons actually lied to president Bush personally to facilitate the decision making favoring invasion. They don’t belong. They need to retire with Hillary.
Your question is the 64 Billion dollar question: “Why are these people that led us into that fiasco even being allowed to speak out about anything louder than their individual voices can carry? Yet they have a platform with the appearance of credibility and are doing it all over again. It’s like that Weiner guy in NYC that got caught with multiple pictures of his penis on the internet yet was still considered a candidate for mayor. Why do they still have the ability to reach out as if what they did didn’t count? How is this possible?”
It’s possible because Hilliar hasn’t quite being pissed off, nor has Obama, nor have the newspapers and news networks which so badly missed the obvious: TRUM WAS GOING TO WIN. Shit, even ZeroHedge published that prediction a week before the election.
So you’ve got George Soros, who throws money around to stimulate “spontaneous demonstrations”; Michael Moore who is way bent out of shape and I for sure can’t tell why; and, of course, crybaby Hilliar who spent the night of November 8th crying and letter her snowflake supporters rot.
These are powerful forces with lots of money and public followings and so they are giving voice to the fully discredited neoconservatives. IF I had to pick the culprit, I’d pick the presstitutes from NBC, CBS, CNN, NYT, and Washington Post, among others.
Your questions should have been asked within a few minutes of it becoming obvious the Iraq war was a disaster, but to paraphrase that old line from the movie “Love Story” being in the power structure means not having to say “sorry,” a factor that may very well lead to the complete collapse of America and its empire..
Why is it you are so focused on Russia while neglecting the other neocon targets?
The answer is simple.The relationship between the United States and Russia is the key relationship in world politics and the precondition for peace in the world, as well as to tackling all other problems, such as terrorism. Despite the attempts by the Obama/McCain networks to create a Maidan like atmosphere in this nation, the idea of a working detente between the two superpowers, unthinkable during the last sixteen years, is now a possibility. The desperation with which the supporters of a dead system are trying to hold on to their illusion of a “unipolar world,” is one which the president can defeat by pursuing a foreign policy of collaboration with Russia, China and Japan on “New Silk Road” development projects and by fulfilling his campaign promise to return to the Glass-Steagall banking law, which will defang his enemies and encourage his allies, making possible the success of his trillion dollar infrastructure proposal.
What you say is 100 per cent true and right on. The main obstacle to this strategic realignment, breaking free of the Western Empire of City-of-London/Wall Street. We need our own Brexit from Empire, and Glass-Steagall is the key to unlock our “jail cell”.
To quote The Asshole, “Nuclear fucking weapons”. That enough for you?
Oh, to see a return of those Republicans who had a conscience, who lived in and cared about their communities, who denounced and obstructed the nuts to their right.