The Missing Logic of Russia-gate

Exclusive: Russia-bashing and innuendos about disloyal Americans were all the rage at Monday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on alleged Russian “hacking” of the presidential election, but logic is often missing, says Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As Rep. Adam Schiff tries out for the lead role in a remake of the Joe McCarthy hearings by maligning specific Americans as suspected Russian moles, some of the actual evidence argues against the Democratic notion that the Russians own President Trump and other key Republicans.

Retired U.S. Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn at a campaign rally for Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Oct. 29, 2016. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

For instance, last week, Democrats circulated a report showing that retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, had received payments from several Russia-related entities, totaling nearly $68,000.

The largest payment of $45,386 came for a speech and an appearance in Moscow in 2015 at the tenth anniversary dinner for RT, the international Russian TV network, with Flynn netting $33,750 after his speakers’ bureau took its cut. Democrats treated this revelation as important evidence about Russia buying influence in the Trump campaign and White House. But the actual evidence suggests something quite different.

Not only was the sum a relative trifle for a former senior U.S. government official compared to, say, the fees collected by Bill and Hillary Clinton, who often pulled in six to ten times more, especially for speeches to foreign audiences. (Former President Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin, The New York Times reported in 2015,)

Yet, besides Flynn’s relatively modest speaking fee, The Washington Post reported that RT negotiated Flynn’s rate downward.

Deep inside its article on Flynn’s Russia-connected payments, the Post wrote, “RT balked at paying Flynn’s original asking price. ‘Sorry it took us longer to get back to you but the problem is that the speaking fee is a bit too high and exceeds our budget at the moment,’ Alina Mikhaleva, RT’s head of marketing, wrote a Flynn associate about a month before the event.”

So, if you accept the Democrats’ narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaged in an all-out splurge to induce influential Americans to betray their country, how do you explain that his supposed flunkies at RT are quibbling with Flynn over a relatively modest speaking fee?

Wouldn’t you think that Putin would have told RT’s marketing department that the sky was the limit in paying off Flynn because the ever-prescient Russian president knew from his Ouija board in 2015 that Flynn would be the future national security adviser under President Trump?

After all, it’s become one of Official Washington’s favorite groupthinks that RT is nothing but a Russian propaganda front designed to destroy the faith that Americans have in their democratic process – as if the sleazy and shameful political campaigns financed with hundreds of millions of dollars from billionaires need any help from RT.

Anti-Democracy Debates

But RT-bashing is always in season. The Director of National Intelligence’s report on Jan. 6, with its evidence-free “assessments” that Russia was engaged in undermining American democracy included a seven-page appendix dating from 2012 that described how RT was contributing toward that goal by portraying “the US electoral process as undemocratic.”

Jill Stein and Michael Flynn attending a dinner marking the RT network’s 10-year anniversary in Moscow, December 2015, sitting at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The “proof” behind the DNI’s accusation included RT’s articles on “voting machine vulnerabilities” although virtually every major U.S. news organizations ran similar stories in that time frame. The DNI report also took RT to task for covering the Occupy Wall Street movement and for reporting on the environmental dangers from “fracking,” topics cited as further proof that the Russian government was using RT to weaken U.S. public support for Washington’s policies (although, again, these are topics of genuine public interest).

To further demonstrate how RT was carrying out the Kremlin’s goal of spoiling Americans’ faith in the U.S. democratic process, the DNI report noted that “RT broadcast, hosted and advertised third-party candidate debates.”

Apparently, the DNI’s point was that showing Americans that there are choices beyond the two major parties was somehow seditious. “The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham,’” the DNI’s report said.

Yet, polls have shown that large numbers of Americans would prefer more choices than the usual two candidates and, indeed, most Western democracies have multiple parties. But somehow RT’s suggestion that other voices should be heard constituted an assault on American democracy.

As for Flynn, the report on his finances showed that he also received payments of $11,250 from the U.S. subsidiary of Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cyber-security firm, and $11,250 from a U.S. air cargo company associated with the Volga-Dnepr Group, owned by a Russian businessman.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, who was the chief defender of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was subjected to the Republicans’ over-the-top Benghazi investigations, switched positions in publicizing the news about Flynn’s post-government work related to Russia. Cummings was suddenly the accuser.

”I cannot recall any time in our nation’s history when the President selected as his National Security Advisor someone who violated the Constitution by accepting tens of thousands of dollars from an agent of a global adversary that attacked our democracy,” Cummings wrote in a letter to President Trump, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and FBI Director James Comey.

Heating Up the New Cold War

Cummings thus became another Democrat pouring gasoline on the smoldering tensions between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States. For the Democrats, any dealing with any entity that had some connection to Russia is now prima facie evidence of disloyalty.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California

The context of these contacts has become almost irrelevant, subordinated to the larger goal of ousting Trump, whatever the cost, even transforming the Democratic Party into the party of the New Cold War and the New McCarthyism.

Yet, further undercutting the new certainty that Putin lined Trump’s pockets with rubles as a way to ensure his allegiance to the Kremlin is the story of Trump’s failed luxury hotel project intended to be built in Moscow several years ago.

A source familiar with those negotiations told me that Trump had hoped to get a half interest in the $2 billion project but that Russian-Israeli investor Mikhail Fridman, a founder of Russia’s Alfa Bank, balked because Trump was unwilling to commit a significant investment beyond the branding value of the Trump name.

Again, if the Democratic narrative is to be believed – that Putin controls all the businesses in Russia and wanted to pay off Trump – it’s hard to understand why the hotel deal fell through. Or, for that matter, why RT was nickel-and-diming Flynn.

The other problem with the Democratic narrative is that it always assumes that Putin could foretell that Trump would rise in 2016 to win the U.S. presidential election and thus there was value in corrupting Trump and his entourage with money and other favors.

The fact that almost no political pundit in the United States shared that prediction even last year would seem to demonstrate the kookiness of the Democratic assumptions and the flaws in the U.S. Intelligence Community’s “assessments” about alleged Russian “hacking” and distribution of Democratic emails.

Those “assessments” also assume that Putin’s motives were to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign, boost Trump and – as FBI Director Comey added on Monday – turn Americans against their democracy.

But there is a counter-argument to that thinking: Assuming that Putin read the polls like everyone else, would he risk infuriating the likely next President of the United States – Hillary Clinton – by embarrassing her with an email leak that would amount to a pinprick? Clinton herself blamed her surprise defeat on FBI Director Comey’s decision to briefly reopen the investigation into whether she endangered national security by using a private email server as Secretary of State.

Unless one assumes that Putin’s Ouija board also predicted Comey’s actions or perhaps that Comey is another Russian mole, wouldn’t it be a huge risk for Putin to anger Clinton without ensuring her defeat? There’s the old saying that “if you strike a king, you must kill him,” which would seem to apply equally to a queen. But logical thinking no longer applies to what’s going on in Official Washington.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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154 comments for “The Missing Logic of Russia-gate

  1. Jean Ranc "Catcher in the Wild"
    March 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    My comment on today’s nytimes The Stone op-ed by a psychoanalyst, which is relevant here as well:

    As a psychologist who was clinically trained in an Ivy League Dept. of Psychiatry & practiced for years in the Dept. of Psychiatry of a leading public university, I’ve been observing this battle over “reality” between Trump and the mainstream-elite-owned media where neither side telling the truth: as a race to the bottom, a descent into psychosis. However, this faux reality predates Trump. Remember when the Bush administration bragged that they “were creating their own reality” as they lied their way into Iraq. However, the Bush version of “reality” was but a paragraph in a long-running narrative fabricated to obscure & maintain our American Empire or as its Foreign Policy establishment would put it, “The Liberal World Order”: a system of economic exploitation known as “Globalization” rigged to benefit, not just the American .01% but including the rest of the global elite network. However, they have become so obscenely rich, greedy and incompetent (witness the 2008 recession & perpetual war to defend their treasure) that they’ve provoked, not only a terrorist backlash, but populist rebellions known as Brexit & the Trump election plus right & left populist parties across Europe. Meanwhile, the American elite’s media and its presidential candidate have had the gall to blame Putin for their colossal incompetence & failure & are so reckless as to risk nuclear war with Russia and drag all of us down with them as they descend into madness & ashes.

    • lindaj
      March 20, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      Right on!

    • GCM
      March 22, 2017 at 7:37 am

      “Meanwhile, the American elite’s media and its presidential candidate have had the gall to blame Putin for their colossal incompetence & failure & are so reckless as to risk nuclear war with Russia and drag all of us down with them as they descend into madness & ashes.”

      Anyone on a blog can make up their credentials. The fact of the matter is that Russia, just like North Korea, is posturing. There isn’t going to be this nuclear showdown that results in the world blowing up, compliments of LWO. That is the narrative spin by the Alt-Right.

      • BEard681
        March 22, 2017 at 11:55 am

        The other narrative spun by the alt-right is that state organs pose the greatest threat to liberty and democratic government, and the power of the internal state security grows as a result of perceived external threat. Witness the loss of freedoms and privacy as a result of 9/11. The threat of “Radical Islamic Terrorism” is in effect minor compared to the normal risks faced by Americans (crime, accidents, even lightning is a greater individual risk). With Osama Bin Laden dead they need Putin, as the head of nuclear armed Russia as the new bogey man. The attempt to conflate Russia’s political influence in running RT with “An Act of War” builds up that sense of threat.

        The subversion of the political process by the organs of security is by far a greater danger to the US than Russia, and is the point of the article above.

      • Procopius
        March 22, 2017 at 8:28 pm

        Blaise Pascal analyzed the cost/benefit ratio of believing in a God. If there is no God but you believe in one the cost is giving up some pleasures. If there is a God and you do not believe in him the cost is eternal suffering and pain. Therefore you should believe in God. I look at the possibility that both Russia and North Korea might be truthful about their willingness to take us down with them. If they are lying but we treat them as truthful we give up conquering their territory and enslaving their people. If they are truthful but we treat them as lying, they will, as our armies roll over their borders, destroy all life on Earth. I think it would be more sensible to act as if they are truthful.

        • N. R. Murray
          March 26, 2017 at 10:54 am

          A big problem is the cowardice and dishonesty of the Democrat elite. They thought that they had all the people fooled, but the strong antipathy towards Clinton across the country was not registering at the private fundraisers on both coasts.

          Meanwhile, the Dem base, left out of the elite parties or wage and job growth, were moving toward Bernie Sanders, third parties and some toward Trump. They had had it with the Clintons, and saw that Obama was a puppet for the corporate class for 8 years, giving them almost nothing except a very flawed health insurance program. The Dems were in effect, trying to make their own reality, which included conspiring against the one candidate who could have beaten Trump, and then insisting that the rest of us vote for their cheating, lying psychopath Hillary Clinton. A war monger, pay-to-play corporate shill. Outraged that the DNC/Clinton emails revealed the truth about them, the Dems lashed out, at Comey, Wikileaks, Sanders, third parties, and Russia. They are incompetent, even at cheating. And the genetic spinelessness of not taking responsibility and blaming, anyone, everyone, manifested in formerly reasonable people like Keith Olbermann, Robert Reich, Paul Krugman and all of the rest of the Hillary shills, going over he edge into mental illness and psychosis. I was so happy to do #DemExit after the election. I would not ever again associate with the Dem Party until it totally reforms and throws out the oligarchs and corrupt, like Pelosi, Schumer, Feinstein and Wasserman-Schultz, etc. Despite the disaster of Trump, the election was enlightening, because it showed us who the Democrats really are. Just Republicans with more liberal social values. Nader was right, barely any difference between them.

          • John
            March 26, 2017 at 9:09 pm

            So true. Only thing I see that you got wrong here is the claim that Romneycare is a “flawed” health insurance plan. It is not flawed, as it does exactly as it is intended to – provide a massive handout to the financial industry (of which the insurance industry is a part of.) This is not a flaw, but the main feature that was intended by the plan (which is why Obama had health insurance lobbyists write the bill.)

    • Don G.
      March 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      But it’s all Trump’s fault for starting it. Had Trump not decided to pick up a few votes of a small antiwar faction that didn’t hate Russia/Putin then Clinton wouldn’t have pounced on it as a campaign winning strategy. She knew immediately that to hate on Russia/Putin would be a winner with the American people.

      And then after the election, it just naturally spiralled out of control and the Dems hang on to it as a winning strategy with which to destroy Trump. Trump now wants it to go away because there never was anything in his campaign remarks of better relations between the US and Russia.

      What more proof of this being true than the fact that Trump has completely distanced himself from anything to do with Russia now. He hasn’t uttered a bloody word since his campaign speech(es). Those who are still supporting Trump are now trying to say that Trump’s been intimidated and so won’t back his claims of being bff with Russia. Riiiggghhhhtttt!

  2. Sally Snyder
    March 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    As shown in this article, both the USSR/Russia and the United States have meddled in a significant number of elections since the end of World War II:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2017/01/global-election-meddling-superpower.html

    These actions have resulted in significant global geopolitical unrest.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 20, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Sally; Thank you for that very interesting link. I don’t know if Dr. Levin’s criteria apply to South Korea after the Korean war, but my understanding is that the United States rigged the elections in favor of the first few Korean presidents until the people – who apparently had more guts than the consumers resident in the U.S. – rose in opposition in favor of more democratic leaders.

  3. Bill Bodden
    March 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    To find something more vile and squalid then the hypocrisy of the Democratic party leaders regarding their Russia-bashing requires looking at the Republicans’ venal replacement for third-rate Obamacare.

    Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs are certainly not models of virtue, but have they ever committed crimes against humanity on a scale comparable to the Clintons’ sanctions on Iraq that cost an estimated half million Iraqi children their lives or anything like the Bush/Cheney/neocon war on Iraq that brought death, destruction and displacement to millions of people and has destabilized the Middle East continuing into the present?

    • Tom Welsh
      March 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      “Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs are certainly not models of virtue…”

      That is actually a masterpiece of obfuscation worthy of a director of the FBI or even a US Senator. Many of the Russian oligarchs – much like the American, British, French, German and other oligarchs – are certainly not models of virtue.

      However, as men go – and most emphatically as politicians go – Vladimir Putin *IS* a model of virtue. I do not know of any occasion on which he has lied – and I am backed up in this claim by Bill Clinton among others. Unlike Western politicians, Mr Putin is scrupulous in his observance of law – all laws, national and international. Whereas American Presidents and their accomplices have on their hands the blood of literally millions of innocents, I know of only a handful of innocent victims of “collateral damage” due to Mr Putin’s orders.

      • Bill Bodden
        March 20, 2017 at 3:59 pm

        Many of the Russian oligarchs – much like the American, British, French, German and other oligarchs – are certainly not models of virtue.

        If the Russian oligarchs are not models of virtue (as you say and with which I agree), it is difficult to comprehend how Putin could have been so virtuous when he had to deal with them – or for that matter with Erdogan, Assad and the dictators in the “-stans” that are neighbors to Russia. If I ever see Putin walking on water, I’ll reassess my opinion.

        • Brad Owen
          March 20, 2017 at 4:12 pm

          We overlook the phenomena of “the StrongMan” when a brutal and thuggish threat is faced within one’s own Nation. For instance, our example of “the Strongman” is Abraham Lincoln. He also happens to be our best President who saved the Union from dissolution, which would have guaranteed perpetual American wars in the future, had the Union been dissolved.

          • MEexpert
            March 20, 2017 at 9:03 pm

            ” He also happens to be our best President who saved the Union from dissolution, which would have guaranteed perpetual American wars in the future, had the Union been dissolved.”

            Brad, apparently Lincoln’s “ploy” didn’t work. What would you call, Vietnam, Korea, Granada, Panama, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen wars? Aren’t they all “Perpetual American Wars.”

          • CitizenOne
            March 20, 2017 at 11:41 pm

            Abraham Lincoln was faced with a secessionist southern threat to tear apart the Nation. He responded with a patriotic defense of the nation coupled with revulsion of southern slavery. He won that war.

            Donald Trump as an anti-Abraham Lincoln is the leader of a corporatist threat to tear apart the Nation and he has responded with a healthcare plan and an immigrant plan for deportation and plans to end all social programs and has appointed antithesis appointees to lead government programs which are diametrically opposed to the thinking of Lincoln. If Trump was Lincoln in the Civil War, he would be on the side of the slave holders.

            Surely it should be obvious that the media circus and the republicans putting Comey on the stand testifying “The Russians Influenced the Election” is an insane premise since there is not one whimper about how Comey himself most definitively influenced the election by reopening the Hillary Clinton Email Server investigation focusing on Anthony Wiener’s laptop computer against the DOJs warnings that such an action would surely be seen as election influencing. Today’s testimony covered by the main stream media without connecting the dots is telling us that we are living in a propaganda state where even obviously provable influences on the election like Comey’s reopening of a closed investigation two weeks before an election do not raise any level of questioning by the media or Congress that he might be just as guilty of the crimes by Russia he is charged to investigate or summoned to testify about.

            I think this situation has gone over and above fake news. We have now entered the Witch Burning phase of political and media dishonesty.

            Witch Burning was enabled by bizarre Star Chamber rules wherein those who were responsible for the crimes were placed into high office and were empowered to single out scapegoated “Witches” who would be burned alive at the stake to create a false sense of justice in the populace while concealing the actual guilty party.

            Comey’s appearance before the Congress testifying about Russian meddling in elections nothing less than The corrupt sheriff .being allowed to take the witness stand with a corrupt jury and a corrupt judge.

            Comey threw the election. Gerrymandering threw the election. Voter ID laws threw the election. Dark money and the media giving Trump 3 billion dollars in free advertising threw the election. The Supreme Court threw the election. Corporations threw the election.

            Now we are experiencing the injustice that young girls faced in Salem. They dared to speak truth to power and were burned alive for it. It is a massive diversion away from the real causes of the election results and is being heaped on a Witch or, in this case, the Russians.

            The new Witches are the Russians. They are being tried in court by the governors of a new Salem Witch Trial.

            It is insane that the media and the republicans can corroborate in an attempt to deny what really happened and blame some unproven scapegoat as the only and singular reason that the election went to Trump while they simultaneously hold power because of their malfeasance and there is no attention made by the media to what actually happened.

            One only has to listen to the gravitas of reporters covering Comey’s testimony today to feel the kangaroo court like atmosphere.

            “The room fell silent and a hush came over the crowd as a somber ambiance filled the room with onlookers realizing the seriousness of what was about to be said by the Witch Burning dude”. “Amidst the silent and hushed witnesses, Mr. Comey completely and convincingly and in the most unreproachable way told the members in the hearing with his completely honest testimony that Russia had singularly thrown the election to Trump and that there was an active investigation”. “Everyone was suddenly and utterly utterly convinced by his testimony that there could be no question that the Russians had done it”

            If this isn’t a Witch Burning Kangaroo Court, then I don’t know what is.

            I would suggest that we are being brainwashed. No, we are being brainwashed.

            The media’s willful silence about how Comey should be the last person we should trust and was most probably the single biggest influence on the election results is testimony to how we have been misled and continue to be misled by the media.

            Where is the DOJ? Uh, controlled by Trump now. Where is any accusation Comey was the person responsible for election rigging? There is only silence.

            The Russian theory is nothing but a great ruse and we are all falling for it.

          • Brad Owen
            March 21, 2017 at 6:12 am

            To MEexpert: those are foreign wars of aggression, launched by the same forces that assassinated Lincoln (also JFK by the way); namely, Tory agents of the British Empire (Wall Street is THEIR asset in a notorious Tory town during the Revolution). The only thing that has changed about our politics is the camouflage (including the current zionista fad of the last 70 years).

          • Gregory Woods
            March 22, 2017 at 5:16 am

            Gee, isn’t that what we have now…?

          • Procopius
            March 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

            I agree with your assessment, but I think your last sentence was badly phrased. I’m not sure what a better phrasing might be. If the Union had been broken, I think it’s pretty certain that we would have had a whole bunch of small countries in place of the United States. Those countries would probably have been at war with each other all the time as the European countries have been since the seventh century. What those wars should be called is unclear to me. Not “civil wars,” I think.

      • Shawn
        March 20, 2017 at 4:51 pm

        Great post. I like you don’t necessarily “like” Mr. Putin but I do believe he is an outstanding leader. He has maintained his cool during all of the assults by the insane U.S. Neocons trying to provoke a war with Russia. Make no mistake, he will not allow our greedy neocons to cause regime change in Russia not will Chinese President Xi allow our greedy leaders to subvert their country. The neoconservative, like all other imperialists from the past have seen the stopping point of their dreams of global military and economic hedgemony. I for one am glad to see this. Who wants everyone on the face of this planet wants to see the global population ruled by the U.S.’s greedy elites?

        • Bill Bodden
          March 20, 2017 at 9:00 pm

          I like you don’t necessarily “like” Mr. Putin but I do believe he is an outstanding leader.

          In international diplomacy he deserves a lot of credit.

        • GCM
          March 22, 2017 at 7:40 am

          “Who wants everyone on the face of this planet wants to see the global population ruled by the U.S.’s greedy elites?”

          Great question. So, how are you personally ensuring that these “greedy elites” are being exposed -and- will be overrun? I imagine that you are part of a large grass roots organization who is seeking to educate your fellow Americans. I imagine that you plan on running for political office. Correct?

      • Bill Bodden
        March 20, 2017 at 8:57 pm

        However, as men go – and most emphatically as politicians go – Vladimir Putin *IS* a model of virtue. I do not know of any occasion on which he has lied – and I am backed up in this claim by Bill Clinton among others. Unlike Western politicians, Mr Putin is scrupulous in his observance of law – all laws, national and international.

        I am backed up in this claim by Bill Clinton

        Bill Clinton: Now there is an honorable man. If you can’t trust Bill Clinton then whom else can you trust?

        Mr Putin is scrupulous in his observance of law – all laws,

        British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money: Exclusive: Billions of dollars were moved out of Russia in ‘Global Laundromat’ operation, with anonymously owned UK companies playing major role – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/20/british-banks-handled-vast-sums-of-laundered-russian-money

        The FSB – run by Vladimir Putin before he became prime minister and president – had used part of the Laundromat money to further Russian state interests, Moldovan officials said.

        Presumably, Putin cleaned up his act on becoming prime minister and president so that he is now “scrupulous in observance of all laws.

        • Pixy
          March 21, 2017 at 12:24 pm

          You should check your sources, love. Vladimir Putin HAS NEVER run FBI. You are either mistaken or just intentionally lying.

          • Bill Bodden
            March 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm

            You should check your sources, love. Vladimir Putin HAS NEVER run FBI.

            Pixy: You are apparently another sloppy reader of my comments. The reference to what Putin was running was to the FSB. Did you get that? The Effing Ess Bee. Not the Effing Bee Eye. If you can stay awake long enough check the link to the Guardian. That was my source. The mistake I made – if you want to make an issue out of that – is that I failed to put the quotes from the Guardian in quotation marks.

            I apologize for revealing my irritation at your sloppy comment, but I do have a limit for such bullcrap. There is a related saying you might want to ponder. Sloppy writing is usually a sign of sloppy thinking.

      • Kiza
        March 20, 2017 at 9:52 pm

        Tom, I second that. Bill’s is the ancient trick of guilt by association which the MSM use quite frequently. Reading Bill’s comments is like going to a school for good little MSM parrots. But he dot protest his innocence when exposed every now and then.

        The other guy, Brad, would not have a clue what a “strongman” is. Did Putin cause a civil war in his country in which 6-7 hundred thousand people died?

        Naturally, imagine for a moment a swap between Putin and Clinton, any Clinton … Would not the US the statesman or stateswoman Putin then be called decisive, a cool-headed great leader, measured in his responses, dedicated to his country and so on.

        Can’t you guys be at least be a little creative when regurgitating propaganda? Invent some new adjective for Putin, do not just keep parroting: dictator, autocrat, strongman, war criminal, downer of civilian airliners and all the other rubbish you pick up when consuming the media for the dumb! It is so boring reading your comments.

        • Bill Bodden
          March 20, 2017 at 10:36 pm

          Did Putin cause a civil war in his country in which 6-7 hundred thousand people died?

          This resembles a point I made in my opening remark in defense of Putin: “Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs are certainly not models of virtue, but have they ever committed crimes against humanity on a scale comparable to the Clintons’ sanctions on Iraq …”

          Naturally, imagine for a moment a swap between Putin and Clinton, any Clinton … Would not the US the statesman or stateswoman Putin then be called decisive, a cool-headed great leader, measured in his responses, dedicated to his country and so on.

          “Would not” requires a question mark at the end of this sentence. The first part of the sentence could use a rewrite to make it easier for readers to know what you are getting at. Would not the US the statesman or stateswoman Putin What are you trying to say there?

          • Kiza
            March 20, 2017 at 11:28 pm

            Thank you Bill the Propagandist for your kind help with the grammar/punctuation of my quickly typed comment. Here is a corrected one: [Swapping Clintons and Putin] would not the US statesman or stateswoman Putin then be called decisive, a cool-headed great leader, measured in his responses, dedicated to his country and so on?

            The criticism of my punctuation? A similar trick to what the Democrats are using to divert from the content of the emails revealed – my punctuation as their diversion on Russia hacking.

            I do give you credit for being skillful with your propaganda here, you make a strong claim then you walk back a little and continuously so. Example? After matching Putin to the vile Russian Jewish oligarchs, who Putin has been fighting his whole political life, you write: “In international diplomacy he deserves a lot of credit.”.

            The logic of Putin needing to be the same as the oligarchs he has been fighting is the logic by which the US Government must be as vile as ISIS to (supposedly) fight ISIS.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 21, 2017 at 12:12 am

            I must admit to how I have very close to me relatives who are really upset with me over my telling them what I read about Putin. My messaging the news to my dear beloved family members, is mistaken by them as being my approval of Trump. I tell them not to shoot the messenger, but I bite my lip holding back when I listen to what my relatives swear is correct news that they receive from our MSM media. I’m fighting a losing battle here, and I’m doing everything I can to avoid confrontation.

            The most interesting part is how my well mainstream media informed family hasn’t heard a word in the news about the Dakota Access, they knew nothing of Trump undoing the student debt. repayment program, and forget any geopolitics they are getting any news of…but I’m a Putin lover, a puppet, and I buy too easily into conspiracy theories (owl that one hurt) but that’s what I get…and later I get treated like the puppy when my love ones cool down, and feel sorry that they said that stuff to me….I wag my tail and come here and then I drive you all nuts.

            No one takes into their assessment of me as being as one of us three who in a big family served in our armed services. Forget the American flag I have in my office, and no I don’t ram that patriotic and religious stuff down my employees or customers throats. I’m not over the top patriotic but I’ve answered when our country calls, and of all our friends I’m the only one who has when asked whether in uniform or even as a civilian provided my services to our country when asked…I love Americans okay.

            The MSM is doing a fine job of brain washing our country into what I feel is a unhealthy place to put our nation in. None of what the MSM and or Donald Trump is doing is good for establishing good relationships with other nations. So just where is this madness in our media taking us? When you figure that out, then you will know why they are doing what they are doing now.

          • Kiza
            March 21, 2017 at 3:07 am

            With family and friends it is the hardest to resist sharing the media illusions.

        • Sam F
          March 21, 2017 at 5:09 am

          Let’s moderate our criticisms here: I don’t think you are reading Bill’s comments correctly; he has certainly not been an apologist for MSM propaganda. He simply noted that “Putin and the Russian oligarchs are certainly not models of virtue” to suggest that he cannot necessarily defend them on all points, and then took the opposite course. You are on the same side there.

          • Bill Bodden
            March 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm

            I don’t think you are reading Bill’s comments correctly;

            Thank you, Sam F. I don’t believe Tom Welsh or Kiza read or understood anything beyond the first sentence of my opening comment.

            Kiza presented himself as an observer of my comments on Consortium News. Judging by his comment above he (and Mr. Welsh) seem to have missed my recent comment about Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov appearing to be the only adults on the stage.

          • Kiza
            March 22, 2017 at 7:49 am

            It looks like you, Sam F, are not reading any of the comments correctly. I added that Bill Propagandist is repeating stuff from the MSM, not that he is defending the MSM. Where did you find what you claim?

            Bill has been doing his schtick here at consortium for quite a while now, in the propaganda rhythm: two steps forward, one step back (that is, two against, one for the subject he attacks). Before the election he was doing the same in favor of HRC, when I confronted him before. Now he is probably doing it for DNC or just for himself.

            But the easiest thing is just to skip his comments, which I will do from now on.

        • Brad Owen
          March 21, 2017 at 6:20 am

          You know nothing, Liza.

          • Brad Owen
            March 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

            And there is not enough space on this iPad to bring you up to speed on the underlying reality of today’s global politics.

      • woody188
        March 21, 2017 at 4:53 pm

        There is that whole Chechen war decade in Russia that has been lost to the memory hole. Some funny stuff going on then.

        • Constantine
          March 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm

          What is your point exactly? Chechenya in the 90s was a semi-independent state that was developing into a disorganized Caucasian version of ISIL. Part of the local leadership was receiving funds from Russia and it was the RF that paid the salaries of civil servants and officials (while most of their Russian counterparts were getting paid every few months). The rest of them were hard-core jihadists.

          It’s a curious thing that poor Chechenya, brutally conquered by the evil Russians under dictator Putin, has been fully rebuilt, it has become the most stable republic in the Caucasus region, the Chechens are not leaving their homeland in droves and as it happens their population has increased and Grozny, much lamented of by the UN in 2004, is in such good condition that Gerard Depardieu bought an apartment downtown there. The Russian government apparently trusts the Sunni Muslim Chechens to the extent that a couple of military police units manned by them have been dispatched in Aleppo.

          Now feel free to make an exact comparison with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and any other place ”liberated” by the US of A.

    • lindaj
      March 20, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      #TheUnitedSnakesofAmerica — built on genocide and continuing in the tradition around the world.

  4. D5-5
    March 20, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I don’t think that the amount Flynn received can be considered under “logic,” nor Putin’s apparently formidable powers of prediction. Logic is deduction via evidence to reasonable conclusions. The problem is evidence. Evidence is lacking. What was the substance of Flynn’s commentaries for whatever he was paid as to indicate he was conspiring with a foreign power to hurt the US? What is the evidence from Clinton’s half million dollar event in Moscow that he was seeking to conspire with a foreign power? Does this evidence implicate his wife? What is the evidence that alternative media are Putin stooges? This is what we need to go after. And so far, and increasingly in recent days, members of the Washington Establishment are coming forward to say there is no there there. There is no fire, only smoke.

    Unfortunately, the discussion we’re having is resembling a carousel as we go round and round. Now we’re back to whether it’s plausible Putin could possibly know the outcome so as to attempt to influence the election. How would he do that? Tamper with voting machines? Did he come in to the county where I voted and subvert the count somehow? Am I a Russian stooge because I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton? None of the discussion is clear and evidentiary, but instead loose and emotional and ad hominem. But mostly, as we well know, common sense, not logic, puts the lie to all the BS.

    Further, as Jean Ranc above indicates, we should keep in mind the disaster the DEMS brought on themselves. Look how successful all the smoke-blowing and accusations have been in diverting attention from the horrendous screw-up involving a corrupted DNC, subverting your best candidate, revelations about pay for play, backing a candidate the electorate couldn’t stand, then losing the election. Instead of answers we have caterwauling. But again we’ve seen indications, as with Gallup polling, that all this nonsense is not succeeding with MOST of JQ Public. What is succeeding is respect for this country is sinking even lower as it turns into a bullying laughing stock.

    • Stephen Sivonda
      March 21, 2017 at 12:24 am

      D5-5…..your last paragraph is spot on. The DNC was responsible for the outcome of the elections…. and what have they since done to exhibit a new path forward? Same-ol same-ol……..they had a great candidate in Ellison, but let BO push Perez on them . What are they thinking ? The very best thing the Dems can do if they really want to survive as a viable party is to distance themselves from the Clintons and Obama (s). Go full bore Progressive …. otherwise they won’t see the voters ,for the lies.

      • D5-5
        March 21, 2017 at 5:24 pm

        Yes, I think your comment is right on, and for me ties into Sanders’ ineffectuality with his “our revolution,” which if I’m understanding properly is supposed to come about by reforming the Democratic Party into getting behind his program from last year. But Sanders, having turned away from fighting for the nomination to take an easier course, might as well be walking backwards and shouting into the wind versus his prowess as a voice for change a year ago. All that Bernie talk however was a mirage in the desert, and he vanished into weak retreat after the California primary. The Dem Party has collapsed and revealed its irrelevance with all this covering behavior on Russia’s supposed interference. It may be time, at last, for a significant third party to emerge and mount a serious challenge in 2018 and 2020.. But I think it will take new, young, leadership to pull it off.

        • March 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm

          interesting how alledged russian election hacking may morph into what R & D do in many precincts in most federal elections.

    • Gregory Herr
      March 21, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Stimulating comment, great questions. We need more “common sense”.

  5. Tom Welsh
    March 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    ‘ The Director of National Intelligence’s report on Jan. 6, with its evidence-free “assessments” that Russia was engaged in undermining American democracy included a seven-page appendix dating from 2012 that described how RT was contributing toward that goal by portraying “the US electoral process as undemocratic.”’

    Well, gosh. While the worthies of the FBI are investigating RT, maybe they should question four other shady characters: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. They, too, seem to have told the American people that they had a republic, not a democracy; and that democracy is undesirable and dangerous.

    “We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship.”
    – Alexander Hamilton

    “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”
    – Benjamin Franklin

    “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”’
    – John Adams

    • Tom Welsh
      March 20, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      And wasn’t Mr Hamilton just absolutely, perfectly correct when he warned that, “If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship”?

      You did, and you have.

      • Evangelista
        March 20, 2017 at 8:02 pm

        Tom,

        Two points you missed in your list are:

        1. Democracy is the first tool of ‘Divide and Conquer’, and,
        2. It is democracy that governs in lynch-mobs.

        It is the responsibility to fairness and fair-dealing required to make republican government re-publica, that protects the individual and minority of the public in republics. prohibiting dividing and conquering and inserting the voice of moral reason that can oppose mobs (sometimes successfully).

    • Sam F
      March 20, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Your quotes I have not seen anywhere else, but I can clarify that the Founders had no contemporary democracies to study, only Aristotle’s Politics describing city-states in Greece. Aristotle’s terminology differs from the modern in an important way. He refers to “Constitutional Government” as something democratic and stable, and reserves the term Democracy for democracies that have inadequate constitutional structure and have degenerated into demagoguery and mob action.

      That terminology is not useful today. Democracy (Greek origin) and Republic (Latin origin) both refer to government of the people, however constituted. No large democracy today is without a constitution, and few small ones.

      The problem is that the “Republicans” have distorted these early quotations as propaganda to claim that unless money rules (they equate themselves and money with virtue) which they call a republic, then immediately mobs will run wild in the streets, which they call a democracy. Of course there is no evidence for this, so they quote the Founders quoting Aristotle, who were not referring to such a situation at all.

      • Evangelista
        March 20, 2017 at 8:36 pm

        Sam,

        “Constitutional governments” are republican; they are governments with bodies of law for the government and the governing (constitutions) provided to control the governing and, through so doing, protect the public. This makes such governments “re publica”, for the public, and members of the public, and for the public’s, and members of the public’s, benefits, rather than reflective of any majority’s preferences in any given situation.

        In constitutional governments democracy is a tool, used to facilitate decision-making by the members of the public. Democratically decided questions, and democratic process decisions, in constitutional governments (republics) are controlled by the re publica law defined in the law for the government and the governing defined in the constitution. In republics democratic decisions do not override law embedded in a constitution. To the contrary, constitutional law overrides, and moots, contradictory democratically taken decisions. For example, in a constitutionally formed republic where a directive in the constitution assigns that each individual has right to make his and her own decisions, that servitude to another’s will must be voluntary, democratic process decisions that would override individuals’ rights to make their own decisions are moot and void, whatever percentage a majority may have democratically decided.

        Because the words “democracy” and “republic” derive, respectively, from Greek and Latin does not make democracy Greek and republic Roman today.

        Also, it is not only Republicans (members of the political party) who are responsible for the distortion of the United States’ Constitutional Republic form of government. Everyone, in every case, who puts preferences ahead of principles participates in the distorting, and helps to wreck the Republic (which is, effectively, to overturn, or overthrow, the republican government of the Constitutional Republic, which is Treason. Democracy, except when used as a decision-making tool under the principle-based (not the lawyer-distorted) laws of the Constitution of the Constitutional United States, is Treason. It is attempt to destroy the Republic through assertion of numerical strength and divide-and-conquer tactics.

        • Sam F
          March 21, 2017 at 5:28 am

          The words “democracy” and “republic” mean the exact same thing, one Greek and the other Latin etymology. The attempt to whitewash the term “republic” and denigrate the term “democracy” is just Republican propaganda.

          As I explained, using “democracy” to mean “corrupted democracy” so that the term “republic” can mean “constitutional democracy” does not have any foundation in history. They are the same thing; all modern democracies have constitutions. The Weimar Republic of Germany 1922-1933 was a constitutional democracy and fell to Hitler by democratic=republican means, an election.

          • Evangelista
            March 21, 2017 at 9:49 pm

            Sam,

            “Democracy” and “republic” do not mean the same thing. The assertion that they do is a propaganda assertion, perpetrated, and perpetuated, by persons with intent to replace republican rule in republics with ‘democratic´ rule (my single quotes of ‘democratic’ are for democracies never being democratic in the de Tocqueville usage sense meaning ‘individual self-rule expanding to compass a society of like mind’)

            The difference is as I stated: in republican government the rulers are ruled by over-arching rules that are based on inviolable principles. A prime example is what is called the English Law System, where “Presumption of Innocence” is the over-arching Principle. Implicit in presumption of innocence is presumption of individual ability to self-rule, each to self control to hold to a reason-based minimal community standard for conduct. Juries are a form of democratic decision-making used in English law courts to determine community standard in each case, meaning in, specifically, the case at hand (the next case may be different for difference in some element or circumstance). Thus, presumption of innocence principle based jury adjudications are preservative of liberty for each and all. Presumption of guilt makes the law the ruler, and the maker of the law the ruler of the rules. Presumption of guilt provides anarchy for the law-deployers, and their above-the-law friends, but removes liberty from the subject-to-dictations-of-law.

            Mob law is democratic law: The majority make law what the majority-focus makes law at any given focal moment. It is for this that when the focus is spurred toward a described incident of outrage and shown an alleged perpetrator, the mob will run against the purported perpetrator and enforce the law fo the moment against the perpetrator of the moment, even where both incident and perpetration may be excited imagination.

            The only antidote to mob law is principle-base, which does not exist in democracy, since principles are ideals. Ideals are not subject to democratic decisioning, because the principles of ideals require thoughtful weighing, and comparing, which is what makes them ruling in decision-making, whether democratic or other.

            Reread your Aristotle. “constitutional government” is democratic does not mean a constitutional government is a democracy, or that a democratic government will be constitutional. Consider settler communities in the American West in the 19th century: Democracy worked in those where the communities were homgeneous, where Mormons lived with Mormons, or Baptists with Baptists, whites with whites. Where disparate groups mixed, democracy failed. To maintain equal rights among mixes, Mormons, Baptists, whites, indigens, blacks, orientals, required (or would have required) over-arching republican principles, guards for the in each instance minorities in interactions.

            The Weimar Republic of Germany was not republican, and so was not a real republic. It was a democratic forms government imposed on an imperially experienced people. The German people, experienced under the government structures of Kaiser Wilhelm, had no understanding of republican responsibilities. The Weimar Republic was a cruel joke and a hoax and was fated for being so to fail, and fail as it did, as the French Revolution did before it, following despotic rule, degenerating into degrees of anarchy from which emerged imperialisms, Hitler’s Reich and the Napoleonic Empire.

            The United States appeared to succeed, and hobbled along, for longer because it was founded and then supported by intellectuals, and was given a Constitution of carefully crafted rules, which idealists sought to hold the general course to. it therefore took a little longer for opportunists to undermine and emplace crooked lawyers to positions of judges, in which they could ignore judiciary responsibilities and use lawyer tactics to finesse and finagle the Constitution’s rules, to change the government to the the dictatorship of the monied elite imperial form we have today.

          • GCM
            March 22, 2017 at 8:09 am

            “The difference is as I stated: in republican government the rulers are ruled by over-arching rules that are based on inviolable principles. A prime example is what is called the English Law System, where “Presumption of Innocence” is the over-arching Principle. Implicit in presumption of innocence is presumption of individual ability to self-rule, each to self control to hold to a reason-based minimal community standard for conduct. Juries are a form of democratic decision-making used in English law courts to determine community standard in each case, meaning in, specifically, the case at hand (the next case may be different for difference in some element or circumstance). Thus, presumption of innocence principle based jury adjudications are preservative of liberty for each and all.”

            You assume that the English in this system had consistently applied this principle. Given the fact that elites played prominent roles in that society, justice was not necessarily meted out with with liberty in mind.

            “Presumption of guilt makes the law the ruler, and the maker of the law the ruler of the rules. Presumption of guilt provides anarchy for the law-deployers, and their above-the-law friends, but removes liberty from the subject-to-dictations-of-law.”

            The law had been created by people in a legislature or an assembly. The juries were to execute that law based on the evidence. You assume that they were other than prone to presume guilt.

            “Mob law is democratic law: The majority make law what the majority-focus makes law at any given focal moment. It is for this that when the focus is spurred toward a described incident of outrage and shown an alleged perpetrator, the mob will run against the purported perpetrator and enforce the law for the moment against the perpetrator of the moment, even where both incident and perpetration may be excited imagination.”

            You create your own definition here and proceed to argue as if the criteria and outcome is true. Mob law is not democratic law, but a small group of people who imposes their will for their own designs. Democratic law refers to laws created by the people themselves through their consent to protect the liberty of all people in that designated area.

            “The only antidote to mob law is principle-base, which does not exist in democracy, since principles are ideals. Ideals are not subject to democratic decisioning, because the principles of ideals require thoughtful weighing, and comparing, which is what makes them ruling in decision-making, whether democratic or other.”

            An ideal is a principle or value that one actively pursues as a goal, usually in the context of ethics. Ideals are indeed subject to democratic decisioning–people debate the merit of that ideal and decide which ideal will be put into practice by creating an act or a law. Indeed, certain ideals are considered to be more important by those individuals put in charge by citizens.

            “Consider settler communities in the American West in the 19th century: Democracy worked in those where the communities were homgeneous, where Mormons lived with Mormons, or Baptists with Baptists, whites with whites. Where disparate groups mixed, democracy failed. To maintain equal rights among mixes, Mormons, Baptists, whites, indigens, blacks, orientals, required (or would have required) over-arching republican principles, guards for the in each instance minorities in interactions.”

            You assume that homogeneous groups, in this case religious groups, are other than capable of being able to believe in and express the same political ideals.

            “The Weimar Republic of Germany was not republican, and so was not a real republic. It was a democratic forms government imposed on an imperially experienced people. **The German people, experienced under the government structures of Kaiser Wilhelm, had no understanding of republican responsibilities.**”

            Would you be willing to clarify what you mean here, because when someone uses the word “no” that can pose a significant problem. Perhaps you meant to say limited.

            “The United States appeared to succeed, and hobbled along, for longer because it was founded and then supported by intellectuals, and was given a Constitution of carefully crafted rules, which idealists sought to hold the general course to. it therefore took a little longer for opportunists to undermine and emplace crooked lawyers to positions of judges, in which they could ignore judiciary responsibilities and use lawyer tactics to finesse and finagle the Constitution’s rules, to change the government to the the dictatorship of the monied elite imperial form we have today.”

            Any form of government can become corrupted. The Founding Fathers could be considered opportunists who put in place rules to ensure that their elitist status would be maintained. Moreover, you assume that “crooked lawyers” were elevated to positions of authority with the intention to undermine our Constitution. Of course lawyers use “tactics to finesse and finagle” in order to ensure that the liberty of their clients will be protected.

          • Evangelista
            March 22, 2017 at 8:49 pm

            GCM,

            You wrote, “You assume that the English in this system had consistently applied this principle.”

            No such assumption was made. The term “English Law System” is a descriptor for the law system in which each member of a society is presumed to have a knowledge of the society’s common law, which is law respected by all members of the society, and for this may be assumed to in all cases obey that common, commonly known, law. It is for that presumption of knowledge and presumption of positive intent to hold to that commonly recognized law that in such a society innocence of violation of the common law may be presumed.

            What is called the English Law System vastly predates England. It was the law system of Anglo-Saxon Britain, and Gaulic France, and, it appears, Etruscan Italy, Democratic Greece, Ptolemaic, and, with interruptions, apparently, Dynastic and “pre-historic” Egypt, and on into antiquity. Evidences of he system’s existence exist in Judaic Scriptures, where it was perceived in opposition, Judaism being a single supreme deity subtending religion, hence, an imperial religion, under an Imperial Deity.

            Imperiality is appealing to imperial elites, whether they define their powers implicit in their eoitism or elite positions, or deriving from a Deity whose ‘viceroys’ he ruling emperors (or priests) are. The imperial law form, in which the accused are presumed guilty (the emperor, God or human, being presumed correct in his accusation), is designated, after the codification provided in the Roman Empire, “The Roman Law System,” or “Roman Law”, and, since the Napoleonic Empire, “Napoleonic Law”.

            The term “English Law” for the system is product of the incomplete domination by the Norman Conquerors after 1066, when the Normans did not bother to impose their Roman and Roman pattern canon law (or their French language) on the commons in their conquered territories.

            The law of current England, and all of Britain, and the current elite dominated United States is not English Law based, it is commercial law based, an early 20th century aberration imposition. The law of the current United States is corrupt, and a corruption of the principle-based form. To return it to its initial form the founding principles will have to be re-asserted and re-imposed.

          • GCM
            March 22, 2017 at 10:11 pm

            “The term “English Law System” is a descriptor for the law system in which each member of a society is presumed to have a knowledge of the society’s common law, which is law respected by all members of the society, and for this may be assumed to in all cases obey that common, commonly known, law.”

            Exactly, presumed. But the adherents to this system, those living in England and Wales, may not have necessarily respected the law, nor may not have abided by the decisions made by judges sitting in courts applying statute and legal precedent from previous cases.

            “It is for that presumption of knowledge and presumption of positive intent to hold to that commonly recognized law that in such a society innocence of violation of the common law may be presumed.”

            And this presumption is also found in the States as well. Citizens are presumed to hold a basic understanding of our legal system and are presumed to believe that those before them in a court of law are innocent, that the burden of proof is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt of their innocence.

            “What is called the English Law System vastly predates England.”

            English law indeed has an evolving history dating from the local customs of the Anglo-Saxons. After the Norman Conquest they merged with the Saxon shire courts, the feudal courts of the barons, and the church courts. Arising from the king’s council were the royal courts, led by professional judges. These royal courts gradually absorbed the jurisdictions of the feudal and church courts. By 1250, the royal judges brought these local customs into the system of common law. This evolution of the law reflected the people and its ideals, or principles. As you stated, by the 19th century, the whole of English law was changed in essence by Parliament, with the essentials of English law as the foundational piece.

            “The law of current England, and all of Britain, and the current elite dominated United States is not English Law based, it is commercial law based, an early 20th century aberration imposition. The law of the current United States is corrupt, and a corruption of the principle-based form. To return it to its initial form the founding principles will have to be re-asserted and re-imposed.”

            No, the laws of Great Britain and the United States have English Law antecedents and are reflective of the growth and evolution of said countries. Certain laws may have been the result of corruption or corrupting influences, but the laws here remain based on long-standing principles that have changed throughout the centuries as technology, the economy, and society intersected.

  6. Realist
    March 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Logic? We don’t need no steenkin’ logic!

  7. incontinent reader
    March 20, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Schiff and Cummings are not only a disgrace, they are, through their political witch hunting and their desire and agenda to dump Trump, also sabotaging our nation’s well-being and its foreign relations, and thereby creating unacceptable existential risks for America and Americans.

    Just watch the Benghazi and email-gate hearings where the hapless two defended Hillary Clinton’s, and her apparatchiks’ (including Sidney Blumenthal’s) unprotected emails and unauthorized servers, and showed no concern at all about Clinton’s blatant disregard of national security or the protection of classified information- in some cases clearly endangering the lives of agents in the field.

    Now, if one were to raise the issue of Israel- sic., Israeli influence and Israeli espionage- then expect them to deny, deny, deny.

    • Marko
      March 20, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      I think the worst of all was Congresswoman Speier ( Dumb-Calif. ). I mean , Putin as a tarantula , committing an ” act of war ” against the U.S. ?? :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBPQxpYowsA

      I’m glad Putin has a good sense of humor.

      • Abe
        March 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

        “We decided to do this film because, generally, people are very afraid of spiders.” – Jack Arnold

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtU1YYxQXJw

        Best known as one of the leading filmmakers of 1950s science fiction films, Arnold was born on a kitchen table in New Haven, Connecticut, to Russian immigrant parents. His most notable films are It Came from Outer Space (1953), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Tarantula (1955), and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).

      • Abe
        March 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm

        The Missing Logic:
        “Our situation is indeed desperate. We stand poised on the brink of disaster. There is only one way out: War.”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmTmdDpUEMc

        Jack Arnold also directed a 1959 Cold war political satire, The Mouse That Roared, starring Peter Sellers in three roles: Duchess Gloriana XII; Count Rupert Mountjoy, the Prime Minister; and Tully Bascomb, the military leader.

        The Mouse That Roared was adapted for the stage in 1963. In 1964, Arnold obtained exclusive television rights for The Mouse That Roared. He produced and directed a color television pilot based on the film, with Sid Caesar playing the three roles that Sellers had played, but it was not picked up for production. The recent assassination of an American president may have been a factor.

      • Kiza
        March 20, 2017 at 10:27 pm

        “Putin is a tarantula”, now that is what I call an original adjective or name. Congratulations Congresswoman Speier, at least you are original in your propaganda unlike some individuals in the comments to this article. I wonder if Putin liked it too and had a hearty laugh.

        Common guys and gals, you can do even better … Consider this a competition – who can come up with the most vile adjective/name for Putin. I know that you hate him because he is so much more capable than you, so you do not lack motivation for this competition. Let us read or hear it.

      • chupacabra
        March 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        It was a surreal moment, thank you for reminding me!
        I got a good laugh out of it especially since tarantulas do not build webs lol.

    • March 20, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      “‘Schiff and Cummings are not only a disgrace…..” Oh yes. These two “gentlemen” should be asked, first, whether they “support the troops” and the “war on terror” and then, immediately, they should be asked about their informed opinion on the very sizable contributions from the Middle East despots (and main sponsors of islamic terrorism) to “democratic” Clintons.
      “Why Did the Saudi Regime and Other Gulf Tyrannies Donate Millions to the Clinton Foundation?” https://theintercept.com/2016/08/25/why-did-the-saudi-regime-and-other-gulf-tyrannies-donate-millions-to-the-clinton-foundation/
      “Persian Gulf Sheikhs Gave Bill & Hillary $100 Million:” http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/11/exclusive-persian-gulf-sheikhs-gave-bill-hillary-100-million/

  8. Abe
    March 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Missing logic has been a hallmark of US foreign policy over successive administrations, most notably with regard to the global “War on Terror”.

    In reality, the rise of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) terrorist organization reflects American plans for destructive conflict across the entire Middle East and Eurasia. Russian efforts to limit US-backed attacks on Syria and Iran are in direct opposition to cherished American foreign goals.

    Geopolitical researcher Toni Cartalucci has pointed out the unique role of Israel as a key US ally and regional provocateur:

    “Israel has existed as a nation-sized, defacto forward operating base for Anglo-American interests since its creation in the 20th century. It has pursued aggressive regional policies that have intentionally pitted itself against its neighbors as a means of maintaining a Western foothold and point of leverage in North Africa and the Middle East for decades.

    “Ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestine are fueled by an orchestrated strategy of tension between a manipulated Israeli population and controlled opposition – Hamas – politically backed, armed, and funded by Israel’s own regional collaborators including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    “When proxy military operations began against the Syrian state in 2011 under the cover of the US-engineered ‘Arab Spring,’ Israel along with Jordan and Turkey, played a direct role in backing militants and undermining Damascus.

    “While Jordan has played a more passive role, and Turkey a more direct role in facilitating proxy militant forces, Israel has played the role of ‘unilateral provocateur.’ While Turkish, US, and other ‘coalition’ forces are unable to directly attack Syrian forces, Israel – posing as a unilateral regional player – can and has done so regularly since 2012 […]

    “[…] while Israeli politicians and military officials claim their aggression seeks to stop the transfer of weapons to terrorist organizations, organizations they deem as ‘terrorist’ are in fact the sole forces within Syria fighting actual, internationally recognized terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda, its various subsidiaries and affiliates, as well as the Islamic State itself.

    “Paradoxically, these genuinely terrorist organizations have existed along Israel’s border enjoying defacto protection from Israeli forces from Syrian military operations […]

    “As each Israeli incursion into Syria unfolds – regardless of the details, claims, and counterclaims made regarding each incursion – it should be analyzed within the context of US interests, not ‘Israeli’ interests. And regardless of the details of each incursion, the ultimate purpose is to escalate the conflict continuously until Syria and its allies react and provoke a much larger, direct military conflict the US and others amid its axis of aggression can openly participate in.

    “It should be noted that in Brookings’ 2009 paper, ‘Which Path to Persia?,’ using Israeli attacks to provoke an Iranian response and thus justify direct US military intervention involving everything from an air campaign against Tehran to a full-scale US invasion and occupation were among the centerpieces of the policy paper.

    “It is clear that an identical policy is now being pursued against Syria.”

    Israel: America’s Mad Dog in Syria
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/03/israel-americas-mad-dog-in-syria.html

    • Gregory Herr
      March 21, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      “In reality, the rise of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) terrorist organization reflects American plans for destructive conflict across the entire Middle East and Eurasia. Russian efforts to limit US-backed attacks on Syria and Iran are in direct opposition to cherished American foreign goals.”

      That’s the reality. And to think such things are actually “planned”. Premeditated damage to civilian needs through sanctions, premeditated destruction of infrastructure causing civilian suffering, and premeditated unleashing of trained and supported vile terrorist armies upon the Syrian people–in effect, premeditated murder. How have we come to a world in which such planning, let alone execution, of such wrongdoing is so openly allowed?

      Have to pray for humanity…while skating away on the thin ice of a new day.

  9. mike k
    March 20, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Took me back to the McCarthy hearings of old. Even more boring and ridiculous this time around. Two-bit lawyers trying to sound like big time prosecutors. Same old exposure of the corporate puppets of our real rulers as the creepy frauds they are.

    Donald Trump is a very powerful, very evil person. We must remain fully aware of this at all times. His gaining the presidency is an enormous disaster at this critical time in the world’s history. Those henchmen he has gathered around him are determined to end the last vestiges of democracy in this country and in the world. These people must be stopped. We must put this at the top of our list of things we need to do to have a better world. If we fail to depose these forces, then whatever we may put our hands and hearts to will be for naught.

    Do not be fooled because Trump is foolish and ignorant and a buffoon. This evil man and his henchmen will kill and injure millions if not billions unless he is stopped.

    • Patrick Lucius
      March 20, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      I doubt that you are correct. Sounds like knee-jerk partisan reactions that you are engaging in. How would I know this? Several months ago I identified as a a lifelong Democrat and actually sent Bernie money. My perpetual solace now–Hillary would have been worse on all counts. She’s corporate, Saudi, and Israeli owned; she’s a war monger who pushed for the destruction of Libya, the coup in Ukraine (hired Cheney’s chief foreign adviser Nuland) and was promising war in Syria. The pay to play clinton foundation was shameless and no republican could have done that without the rancor and righteous indignation of every democrat! Trump on the other hand, by God, seems to be fulfilling his campaign promises. Jump out of that liberal life raft while you can. Try the kool aid–little funky at first, gets better. C’Mon Trump!

  10. Joe Tedesky
    March 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    So the Democrate’s want to get to the bottom of foreign influence, or is it they want to get to the bottom of just Russian influence? Besides our politicians accepting money from foreign entities, we should question our defense contractors. Why should it be not revealed how much money an American based arms manufacturer receives in military grade equipment orders from say a country, such as Israel, or let’s say Saudi Arabia. Oh but you say these countries are our allies, well doesn’t it matter that these same allied nations contributed lots of money to many an American political candidate…and that’s suppose to be okay? If America is going to object to outside contributions being made to our American political class, then end all foreign outside contributions and be done with it. Once again I’m caught screaming into the wind.

    • F. G. Sanford
      March 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Hey Joe, thanks for the kind words, but sometimes, I just get so tired. Matrix or metrics, I don’t remember, but I thank you just the same. I always understand what you mean. It’s like “empirical rein” vs. “imperial reign”. Who now remembers Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff, saying of Hillary Clinton, “I just don’t think she’s electable.” I never thought so either. To me, she ranks among the most repugnant public figures I can think of aside from D*ck Cheney or Nancy Reagan. My empirical estimation of this whole hullaballoo is that it’s a ruse to keep her out of jail. Logic aside, the empirical aspects of this are being ignored, because the MSM knows that if it vomits out enough slime, cheap theatrics and emotionalism, it will win the day. The public “truth” is dose-dependent, as Josef Goebbels effectively proved. The corporate-run media has a bigger syringe…or enema bag…than the people telling the truth. “Empirical” refers to measurable, quantifiable or describable attributes that can be confirmed by observation apart from any theoretical framework or belief, and those attributes are reproducible. Things like the freezing temperature of water, or the melting point of steel, are “empirical” facts. Empiricism is why science works, and Ouija boards don’t…unless the Ouija board tells you something that is coincidentally true. I hate to keep going back to it, but it’s the sentinel event of our time. Don’t read the MSM accounts, read the book written by the lawyer who tried the case and won. Mark Lane essentially proved to a jury that the CIA assassinated JFK. The jury insisted that its verdict was based on the fact that the conspiracy had been irrefutably proven, not that the accusation of conspiracy was false or malicious. It’s interesting to study how that verdict was treated by the MSM. Many of the surviving perpetrators could have been rounded up and charged based on valid testimony and probable cause. It should have been the blockbuster trial of the century. The MSM wouldn’t touch it, except to try and smear the jury. But speaking of imperial, my uncle had this old Chrysler. He drove the weasel juice out of it for about fifteen years. Then, one day, the radiator blew. Funny, but the engine block didn’t melt. “Plausible Denial”. It proves almost anything as long as enough people believe it. It’s the difference between a republic and a democracy. There’s only one of me, and I know I can’t win.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 20, 2017 at 8:18 pm

        Yabbut when I wrote that empirical rein thing regarding Oliver Stone on another comment I was rattln my knogn to hell and back look’n for the right word…then there Yinz is with ‘imperial reign’. That was what I was look’n for…thanks! Oliver Stone’s gonna think I’m stupid. I just said to someone the other day, I think it was Skip, how there ain’t a comment I’ve writn that I wish idabeen able not to write again. Where F.G. was Yinz when I needed Yinz?

        ‘Matrix’ you explained to me once when you described how when intelligence and strategy planning went from an experienced planner to a check list of items to be deciphered down into a plan for real humans to execute…although you explained that better than I just did here, but that’s what you taught me about using the word matrix in your comment on that particular Wednesday July 27th 2014 @2:37 pm…just kidding it was one day at another time, but you took the time to explain it to me. I always used the word matrix in pricing schedules.

        Hillary and Bill could bring down a lot of people…just imagine it. I mean seriously make a list, read their entire history, and then shut your eyes and picture the carnage the Clinton’s could leave behind. I don’t even know them, and I’d be afraid of getting sucked into their vortex of criminality. Yeah that would give you a chance to say, ‘oh the humanity’!

        The fact is that with all this hullabaloo going on in our public space, is no doubt a shield to protect us snowflakes from the mischievous nonsense that both, or correct that to read ‘all’ sides are using against each other, and shoot’n nat each other fur real don’t ya know. Did you see David Rockefeller died at 91? But getting back to talking nonsense deez ladies and germs who are run’n this country and the world are nogoodski’s of the highest order. I guess it’s true the good die young, now I ain’t judge’ no one mine ya, but that there rich fella is in God’s hands now and I ain’t touch’n that one, no way no how. Plus I ain’t gett’n no younger so I don’t know what that tells ya.

        The funny thing about our dear old reliable friend Mark Lane is for him and the small few early birds who delved inside of the JFK assassination is that they pretty well had it right from the get go. I said the other day that our nation America is still a young nation, and that until that day of reckoning comes, as it has for centuries old nations who came before us, we Americans will need to confess and admit to our sins, or we will never get pass the false narratives and unrealistic realities that we struggle to get through. It just won’t change for the good until we come to that ‘Jesus Moment’ and then go forward vowing never to turn back to our old ways. Yes the CIA would be scattered to the wind, along with a few other bureaus and agencies.

        Abbut that car. Didya jano jisabaht anyone whois asumbuddy whotat owned oneoftho’s thought tat ride was madof real arn and hork. If Yinz wasen a real jag off Yinz coulda change tat erol in inabut ahr.

        Translation matrix provided in link…..

        http://www.pittsburghese.com/glossary.ep.html?type=nouns

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 20, 2017 at 9:36 pm

        If any of you are like me you probably read and take in all kinds of data when researching a subject, and then pull from the believable to the sounds rationale until you reach a point where you feel you may have discovered enough of the believable rationale sounding evidence you could find, and then you arrive at your conclusion. So with all of that I would like to leave you all with an article written by Gordon Duff. Now I feel responsible to warn you that Gordon Duff will test your rationale and urge your unbievable membrane to the limits. So read how Duff links Trump via Roy Cohn to arrive at the idea that when Trump met Cohn, that that was when Trump’s CIA file was originated. Read and we can talk about it…also it overlaps fairly well with Robert Parry’s piece here.

        http://journal-neo.org/2017/03/20/the-danger-of-underestimating-the-cia-s-web-of-control/

        I wrote a response to F.G. but for now it’s being moderated by the examination algorithm software in this sites computer. Hopefully my previous comment will enter the comment board section soon.

      • Kiza
        March 20, 2017 at 10:40 pm

        “Logic aside, the empirical aspects of this are being ignored, because the MSM knows that if it vomits out enough slime, cheap theatrics and emotionalism, it will win the day.”

        I once did some psychological research in my career, I compared the effectiveness of a rational, informative message and an emotionally loaded but otherwise meaningless message to the general population. The emotional message won 13:1, in other words only about 7% of the people reacted to the rational/informative message. Therefore, maybe the media just vomit out what the democratic majority of the people want: slime, cheap theatrics and emotionalism?

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 21, 2017 at 1:06 am

          KIza I wonder if the rate of people shooting out their big screen tv’s is on the rise? There is nothing smart or soberly being presented by our American media which would be considered news worthy responsible reporting. Sit in between Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity and you will be back in 2nd grade lunch break hearing the two most idiotic bully’s hackle at each other in the most childish ways to no end, and it’s all stupid.

          Most of the regular pundits you will see on cable news are the same hacks who write for our major MSM papers, and the others are somewhere between the CFR, Brookings, or a government defense contractor. Nothing to worry about there, because the majority of the public isn’t going to search for any resume to verify these pundits agenda, and the media won’t make any question of it, but we the people are to believe in the unbiased opinion being told here qualifies as suitable for our acceptance.

          After all the lies of our nation’s pass to convince us to go to war, yes after the Gulf of Tonkin, Kuwaiti babies being thrown out of incubators, weapons of mass destruction, and especially after the 911 Comission Report, I have had enough…so to those who don’t like my attitude I’ll say sorry but I ain’t buying it no more.

          • Kiza
            March 21, 2017 at 3:14 am

            Joe, after the second attack on Iraq, I stopped consuming MSM almost altogether. I only peruse some YouTube TV excerpts and some articles, when linked to (referenced) by the alternative sites which I use all the time. MSM is a terribly incestuous community through a revolving door between politics, journalism, academia, government and MIC, as you say.

          • Marko
            March 21, 2017 at 4:44 am

            I’m less and less concerned about the influence of the MSM , even if most people continue to soak it up. The reason I’m more hopeful is that it’s becoming more obvious by the day that everything is a big lie. The kleptocrats and their MSM lackeys either can’t hide it effectively any more or they don’t even bother to try. It couldn’t be more obvious if they tattooed “liar” on their foreheads.

            At long last , truly transparent government is about to be ours ! Hooray !

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 22, 2017 at 2:18 pm

            After reading your comments KIza and Marko I can only hope the majority of people are following your stride.

      • Bob Van Noy
        March 21, 2017 at 10:03 am

        ”Don’t read the MSM accounts, read the book written by the lawyer who tried the case and won. Mark Lane essentially proved to a jury that the CIA assassinated JFK. The jury insisted that its verdict was based on the fact that the conspiracy had been irrefutably proven, not that the accusation of conspiracy was false or malicious. It’s interesting to study how that verdict was treated by the MSM. Many of the surviving perpetrators could have been rounded up and charged based on valid testimony and probable cause. It should have been the blockbuster trial of the century. The MSM wouldn’t touch it, except to try and smear the jury. But speaking of imperial, my uncle had this old Chrysler. He drove the weasel juice out of it for about fifteen years. Then, one day, the radiator blew. Funny, but the engine block didn’t melt. “Plausible Denial”. It proves almost anything as long as enough people believe it. It’s the difference between a republic and a democracy. There’s only one of me, and I know I can’t win.” Mr. F.G. Sanford

        Thank you F.G. Sanford for your always sage advice. When I first came to this truly wonderful site, long before I dared to comment, I remained loyal to it for two reasons: One was the honest reporting by Robert Parry about Iran Contra and Gary Webb; and the other reason I continued visiting the site was your additional, often additive commentary. At that time, you were usually the Only commenter.

        I’ve read Mark Lane, I’ve read and followed the career of William Pepper, I know the frustration of Jim Garrison, of Fletcher Prouty, all truly Patriotic Americans. There are more than one; there are many and we will Win…

  11. Ed Reed
    March 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    As we learned today, there is an ongoing FBI investigation into the matter. Hopefully, soon all will be revealed. Sadly, until then, there will still be endless conjecture. If there is a silver lining, General Flynn is no longer National Security Advisor. He was ill-suited for that job and the country is better off that he no longer holds it.

  12. Jim Ward
    March 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    This is not about a New McCarthyism or the Cold War “Commies.” Russia is now a Kleptocracy ruled by corrupt Oligarchs. ExxonMobil is partnered with Russian Oil companies to drill in the Arctic — new opportunities made possible by glacial melting due to global warming. Dick Cheny’s Halliburton services the wells.The Obama/Clinton sanctions got in the way of their profits. This is not rocket science. Oh, and Lockheed Martin got their jet engines from Russia. Lockheed Martin also has a billion dollar partnership with ExxonMobil. And James Comey was senior vice president of Lockheed Martin before he was FBI director. Lockheed Martin, Halliburton and all the private military companies lost billions because Obama/Clinton would not put boots on the ground in Libya, Syria, Iran, etc.

    • Adrian Engler
      March 21, 2017 at 5:33 am

      Is Russia *ruled* by oligarch? Certainly there are Russian oligarchs and they have influence (the same could be said about the United States, to a significantly lesser degree about most Western European countries and Japan where the concentration of wealth is more moderate), but there are also measures from the state to curb their power. It is much more appropriate to say that Russia was ruled by oligarchs under Yeltsin, who also had the support of Western governments. In the early years of Russia after the end of the Soviet Union (and in the last years of the Soviet Union) there was an enormous grab of national wealth by people who were at the right place in the right time and could buy former state property much below its worth. This lead to resistance, which is why Boris Yeltsin was impeached in 1993 by the Russian parliament with a constitutionally correct procedure. However, this would have threatened the influence of the oligarchs, which is why Boris Yeltsin made a military coup and even had the army shoot at the building of the Russian parliament – and he had full public support of Bill Clinton. Before the elections of 1996, Boris Yeltsin had become extremely unpopular (he came in tenth place in polls), but there was a concentrated campaign of Russian oligarchs who had full control of mass media with the help of Western governments, and they succeeded in getting him elected again.

      The power of the Russian oligarchs was clearly curbed when Putin became a Russian president, and some oligarchs were prosecuted for illegal dealings. There is criticism that the Russian state primarily went after oligarchs who wanted to use their wealth for gaining political power and mostly left alone apolitical and loyal oligarchs. To some degree, I can understand this criticism – if it was really just about things like tax evasion and other violations of law, all oligarchs should theoretically be treated equally. But in consequence, if all dubious dealings in the wild early 90es were prosecuted and it was attempted to undo the damage, this would could mean a renationalization of the whole Russian economy, and Putin clearly does not want to go that far, both pragmatic reasons, it would create enormous economic insecurity, and because he does not have sympathies for communism. Not attempting to undo all the dubious dealings in the wild early 90es, while clearly restricting the options of oligarchs to wield political power on the basis of their wealth, as people like Khodorkovsky tried, can be seen as a pragmatic compromise. If oligarchs can remain rich, as long as they do not violate laws too clearly in the present and they do not attempt to convert their wealth to political power, this clearly means a restriction of the influence of oligarchs – certainly compared to the 90es.

      I would not idealize the situation under Putin. While Putin certainly curbed the influence of the oligarchs, which was necessary after Boris Yeltsin was completely dependent on them, this restriction of the power of oligarchs came at the price that the Russian deep state, the so-called siloviki (forces in the army and the secret services) gained power. The Russian deep state had never gone away, it had remained influential under Yeltsin, but under Putin, it became more influential. Especially in the beginning, Putin needed it in order to be able to curb the power of the oligarchs, and the deep state has remained influential (a problem that is also not completely unknown to the United States, but in Russia, it is probably worse).

      • Brad Owen
        March 21, 2017 at 6:42 am

        Thanks for setting the record straight. Putin is like their “New Deal” President and a great statesman, every bit as popular, there in Russia, as was FDR in the USA.

        • Bob Van Noy
          March 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

          Thanks Adrian Engler and Brad Owen. Brad, l like your comment about President Putin being a Russian “New Dealer”. I would add Sergey Lavrov and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to that mix…

  13. John V. Walsh
    March 20, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Comey said there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump being surveilled by the Obama administration. But he did not say whether there is an investigation underway. But even if there were, he would not be allowed to say so without permission from DOJ, as I understand it.

    Comey COULD also have said there is NO EVIDENCE of Trump and Russia colluding on the election as Mike Morell, former acting CIA director and Clinton partisan, has stated most emphatically, as as did James Clapper:
    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/clinton-ally-says-smoke-no-fire-no-russia-trump-collusion-n734176
    BUT COMEY DID NOT SAY THAT.

    Instead he said there is an investigation underway, which he is not allowed to say UNLESS he gets permission from DOJ as I understand it. Who at DOJ gave that permission? Sessions? Not likely. Or did Comey go around Sessions because Sessions had recused himself from such an investigation? Does the recusal excuse Comey from asking Sessions for permission? Who gave that permission?

    What Comey did was to take discussion of surveillance of Trump by Obama’s administration off the table and put back on the table the investigation of the Trump-Russia connection. This is meant to cripple Trump in his search for New Detente with Russia. As the NYT gloated, this investigation could drag on for years during which time it will be impossible for Trump and Tillerson to work for New Detente with Putin. The neocons and “humanitarian imperialists” will work to move us ever closer to conflict with Russia during that time.

    Whatever one may think of Trump’s personality, his policy of seeking New Detente moves us away from the danger of nuclear holocaust. This policy should be protected. It may turn out Comey committed a crime against humanity today. At the very least his performance should lead to a more careful investigation of him and his brother, and their involvement with the Clintons and with the War Party. And if the FBI will not investigate the Obama administration surveillance of Trump, perhaps another agency should do so.

    A great scam is being perpetrated here and the Amrican peopleare being played in a very obvious way. We must not let this happen.

    • March 20, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Comey said O did not order an ILLEGAL wiretap .O may have requested a LEGAL wiretap. Also one may tap say Russian Bankers at Trump towers and also intercept T’s calls.

      • John V. Walsh
        March 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm

        But that was not the central issue. Trump did not say whether it was legal or illegal but that it occurred and that the info was improperly given to the MSM.
        So it remains that there should be an investigation.
        The high officials who had access to that info, the names of whom were affirmed by Comey under questioning by Rep. Trey Gowdy should be part of the investigation. Ideally they should be brought before Congress or some other body and asked whether they gave the info to the MSM.
        This has great importance because it is clear that the Elite, both neocons and liberalcons, want to prevent New Detente with Russia and putting the alleged Trump-Russia connection center stage without evidence and removing the question of the surveillance by the Obama administration off stage is key to their strategy.

  14. mike k
    March 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    A great scam is being perpetrated here? The entire Federal Government is a great scam. To understand the role of the US government at home and in the world, just think of it as a world wide Mafia, and many things will become clear about it. The inability to think this thought leaves most Americans in the dark about what their gov is up to and why.

    • Sam F
      March 21, 2017 at 5:54 am

      Yes, I increasingly think that you are right, that the oligarchy or deep state behind the federal and most state governments is no more than gangsterism. Every aspect and operation of the legislative and judicial and executive branches (other than some civil servants in agencies created before 1965) is gangsterism. Purely lying, cheating, and stealing in the service of ignorance, selfishness, hypocrisy, and malice.

      This is due to the abject social and moral corruption of the people by the mass media. They want and believe in corruption and consider it a life skill and a respectable profession. That damage cannot be repaired by removing the cause. It will take a century or more of education from external remnants of civilization, after the US has been reduced to nothing by disasters it has caused.

      • Brad Owen
        March 21, 2017 at 6:54 am

        This didn’t just “happen”. It was deliberately built up with malice-afore-thought. Someone said (I forget who) during the Nixon era, that to get a clear picture of what’s going on in global politics, one should read The Godfather novel. The preparatory work of making the the citizens complacent in the face of this threat to their own Republic and their own general welfare, was done in the late forties and through the fifties and sixties, by the Congress of Cultural Freedom (CCF). One can read about it by using EIR’s search box.

    • Bob Van Noy
      March 21, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Mike k, l think a big part of this is the association our government made with the Sicilian mafia prior to the invasion of Italy. They provided intelligence and guaranteed that East coast ports remained “opened” and “safe”.

  15. Zachary Smith
    March 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    But logical thinking no longer applies to what’s going on in Official Washington.

    I have to disagree with Mr. Parry’s conclusion on account of something I read earlier today at the Moon of Alabama site. First, a view of where the blogger is coming from:

    I dislike Trump and his policies. I dislike Merkel and her policies. Both are my political enemies. But what I dislike even more are lying media which try to deceive for undeclared political aims.

    Now the title of his or her piece: “The False Handshake Story Aims To Delegitimize Trump”

    The pissant attacks from the likes of Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California fit into a larger picture of demonizing Trump. As with the “handshake” story, the fact that these attacks are conjured up out of thin air doesn’t matter the least bit. What’s really important to keep the “allegations” coming – to overwhelm the critical senses of the citizens watching the talking heads on their flat-screen idiot boxes.

    Once they figure they’ve softened him up enough, they’ll present sane and sober and “grown-up” Mike Pence as the solution to the nation’s problems. And there is one other itty-bitty factor involved in wanting President Pence. I don’t have the slightest doubt Hillary2020 would win in that contest.

    www*moonofalabama.org/2017/03/the-false-handshake-story-aims-to-delegitimize-trump.html#more

  16. Theodore Fidenko
    March 20, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    I read your stuff to get a contrarian view of the “news”. Sometimes it is a struggle, as with this current apologia to Putin. It can join all the others consortium news has presented that smack more of Duranty’s boosterism of Stalin.

    I will continue to read your “stuff” just like I read a variety of left and right news media. None report the “truth” whatever that is but diversity in information sources may lead me to a semblance.

    It would be nice if you added the “Russian Connections” to your exposes (Tillerson, Flynn, Strong, Mannafort ……..)

    • Gregory Herr
      March 21, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      You sit pretty high. Oh yes, diversity of information, nobody gets the truth, but I’ll sort it out. Maybe you shouldn’t deign to read this stuff.

  17. Plincoln
    March 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Remember how US interfered in the Russian 1996 election to make sure Yeltsin won so the rape of Russian assets could continue? With the help of our lackey the IMF giving a 20 billion dollar loan we succeeded.

    Many of these corporate citizens donating large amounts have significant foreign interests and shareholders.

    Anyone believe Israel is not a main player in trying to get candidates with pro-Israel attitudes elected?

    Frankly, the Dems are making themselves look so foolish over this. Russians would have had a lot to lose if Hillary won. It seems more likely the hack and leaks came from someone who has gained the most in Trumps first 60 days. Russia obviously got nothing. Just look at the proposed budget and our actions in Syria and Yemen and save rattling at Iran , Russia and China.

  18. exiled off mainstreet
    March 20, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    The whole Russia thing has exposed the fact that the democratic party leadership no longer represents the public interest but itself has degenerated into enemies of the people and a fascist receptacle of neoliberal parasitic capitalism and neocon imperialism. The GOP is almost as bad, but is survivable because it is less intent on a world-ending conflict with Russia merely because it continues to provide an element of resistance the neoliberal yankee imperium.

  19. March 20, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    In reference to the reason why Clinton lost the election it is probably mostly due to a person named David Bossie who was part of Trumps campaign. He started his assault on the Clintons in the 90s. He is not known to a lot of the readers but will be before all is said and done. He knows how to go low and does. He was a partner to Newt Gingrich for a while and probably still is. Having said that it does not change the narrative that the Russians interfered in the election. David Bossie is the founder of Citizens United which helped make money a voter(s) in the elections. If you really want to make the elections more representative help end Citizens United. Still wondering if the VIPS stand by Larry Johnson one of their members who is quoted as telling a story that has fake news written all over it?

  20. Kalen
    March 20, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Those near extinct corpses in Congress, POTUS and SCOTUS are not lacking logic. They are lacking brains that have been long ago removed as serving not known function while in government.

    We need an army of thousands of psychiatrists who would deal with this thing that can only be described as a patients’ takeover of insane asylum in D.C.

    Logic is a big word, simple earthly reality would suffice as a first step of healing of mental collapse of those who are pushing anti-Russian fairy tales.

  21. J'hon Doe II
    March 20, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Texas D.Rep Castro hit the proverbial game winning grand slam today with his remarks. His touched on the Actual crux of the matter concerning Russia and Trump. Not questions but statements— from today’s intel committee meeting;
    ::

    CASTRO: Thank you. And thank you gentlemen for your service to the nation and for your testimony today. I wanna take a moment to turn the Christopher Steele dossier, which was first mentioned in the media just before the election and published in full by media outlets in January. My focus today is to explore how many claims within Steele’s dossier are looking more and more likely, as though they are accurate. First, let me ask you, can you describe who Christopher Steele is?

    COMEY: No, I’m not gonna comment on that.

    CASTRO: Are you investigating the claims made in the dossier?

    COMEY: I’m not gonna comment on that, Mr. Castro.

    CASTRO: OK. Well, the reputation of the author, Christopher Steele is a former accomplished British intelligence officer with a career built on following Russia is important. This is not someone who doesn’t know how to run a source and not someone without contacts. The allegations it raises about President Trump’s campaign aids connections to Russians, when overlaid with known established facts and timelines from the 2016 campaign are very revealing. So let’s begin.

    In general, as my colleagues have discussed before, is it true that a large number of oligarchs and wealthy businessman in Russia have profited from their continuing close relationships or cooperation with the Kremlin?

    ROGERS: Can you say that one more time sir…

    CASTRO: Sure.

    ROGERS: I want to make sure I understand.

    CASTRO: Have oligarchs and wealthy folks in Russia profited from their connection to the Kremlin?

    ROGERS: Yes.

    CASTRO: And, there are no free lunches in Russia. If you get wealthy under Putin, it’s because you support Putin and are expected to support him. Is that fair to say?

    ROGERS: I would assume there’s a perception of his banage (ph), but I would assume it also varies by the specifics and the particular…

    CASTRO: Sure.

    ROGERS: … individual and relationship we’re talking about.

    CASTRO: OK. But Putin never distrusts, he verifies, right? As a former KGB man, he wants to keep tabs on his wealthiest citizens, especially those that could ever pose a challenge to him. Is that right?

    ROGERS: I assume he maintains knowledge of the situation around him to include particular centers of influence within Russia. CASTRO: Thank you. So, is it likely that the Kremlin would accept or actively trade favors or other valuable or sensitive information, intelligence from foreign figures about Russian oligarch or wealthy businessmen living abroad?

    ROGERS: Is it possible? Yes, but again, it depends on the particulars of the situation. I don’t know that I would make a flat statement…

    CASTRO: But it’s certainly a possibility.

    ROGERS: It’s a possibility.

    CASTRO: OK. Well, the dossier definitely seems right on these points. A quid pro quo relationship seems to exist between the Trump campaign and Putin’s Russia.

    A July 19, 2016 entry for example asserts that Russians were receiving intel from Trump’s team on Russian oligarch and their families in the United States. An entry from June 20, 2016 states quote, “Trump and his inner circle have accepted regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his democratic and other political rivals,” which is something for something.

    A July 30 entry likewise states that a source close to the Trump campaign confirms a regular exchange with the Kremlin has existed for at least eight years, including intelligence being fed back to Russia on oligarch activities in the United States. Is it generally true that Moscow actively seeks and supports, whether through the oligarch, overt Russian officials or undeclared intelligence officers, sympathetic or cooperative foreign figures abroad, whether through business dealings or political backing or a combination of the two.

    COMEY: (OFF-MIKE)

    ROGERS: Generally, it’s a tactic we have seen over time, but again, I would caution us — we’re talking about very specific cases theoretically here and I’m not prepared to get into any of the specifics.

    CASTRO: And I know that my colleagues have touched upon this, but I think it’s important in the context of Christopher Steele’s dossier to bring it up again. So, my question is, is it likely or plausible that the Russians might seek out Americans for Moscow’s purposes.

    COMEY: It is one of the focuses of our counterintelligence mission to try to understand the ways in which they try to do that, that’s at the core of their intelligence gathering, is trying to coop recruits — Americans — to give them information.

    CASTRO: So, the dossier states in an entry dated August 10, 2016, that a quote “Kremlin official involved in U.S. relations” suggested that Moscow might offer assistance to quote “sympathetic U.S. actors.” Does this sound like a plausible tactic out of the Russian playbook? COMEY: I’m not going to comment on that, Mr. Castro.

    CASTRO: OK. Now, let’s get even more specific. Among the U.S. actors, this Kremlin official mentions a Carter Page and Michael Flynn, whom my colleagues have already discussed at length and which the dossier describes as quote “examples of successes by the Kremlin official.”

    We know that Carter Page went to Moscow on July 7 to give a speech to the new economic school. We’re in possession of the slide deck from his speech there. And we know Carter Page obtained approval from the Trump camp from Trump campaign manager at the time, Corey Lewandowski, as reported in Politico, citing national security campaign official, J.D. Gordon.

    CASTRO: Now, let me ask you another question with respect to somebody else. Is it correct that Igor Sechin, the president of Russian oil giant, Rosneft, is a former member of Russian intelligence and a long-time aide and confident of Vladimir Putin.

    COMEY: Not going to answer that, Mr. Castro.

    CASTRO: In an October 18, 2016, entry, the dossier states that, during Page’s visit to Moscow, he met with Igor Senchin, offering, quote,”Page and Trump’s associate, the brokerage of up to 19 percent stake in Rosneft,” which Page conferring (ph) that, quote, “If Trump were elected U.S. President, sanctions on Russia would be lifted.”

    And although fortunately the White House hasn’t been so naive as to (inaudible) unilaterally lift sanctions on Russia, it was widely reported that on January 27th of this year, Rosneft sold a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft in what Reuters calls, quote,”one of its biggest privatizations since the 1990s.” Furthermore, Reuters reported that, quote, “Public records show the ownership structure of the — of the stake ultimately includes a Cayman Islands company whose beneficial owners cannot be traced.” What a coincidence.

    Is this the subject of your investigation? One of the subjects of your investigation?

    COMEY: Same answer.

    CASTRO: OK.

    COMEY: Meaning — meaning I’m not going to comment.

    CASTRO: I understand.

    So, let’s move to WikiLeaks for a moment, who played such a prominent role in the 2016 election. As has established before and reestablished at this hearing, WikiLeaks was at a minimum an unwitting pawn and, at a maximum, an active co-conspirator of the Kremlin’s in publishing stolen DNC and senior Democratic officials’ e-mails. And so you agree this was done in order to offer Moscow some measure of separation as to mask its hand in having hacked and stolen the data in the first place, but so it could still have it publicly posted to inflict damage on the Clinton campaign?

    COMEY: Yes, I think that’s fair.

    ROGERS: Yes. CASTRO: OK. An entry from July 19, 2016, in the dossier states that a Trump associate knew that the Kremlin was using WikiLeaks in order to maintain quote, “plausible deniability of its involvement.” Three days after this entry, WikiLeaks carries out the Kremlin’s wishes and publishes upwards of 20,000 stolen DNC e-mails, and 8,000 associated e-mail attachments, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Another entry dated August 17th has Carter Page and a Russian associate discussing WikiLeaks publishing e-mails in order to swing Sanders’ supporters away from Clinton and to Trump. And again, from a September 14th entry in the dossier, quote, “Kremlin has further compromising material on Clinton in form of e-mails and considers disseminating after parliamentary elections in late September.” And on October 7th, WikiLeaks publishes John Podesta’s hacked e-mails. So the coincidences keep piling up.

    Let’s turn, in the few minutes that I have remaining, again to Paul Manafort, as a follow-up to Mr. Himes’ questioning. Suffice it to say, Paul Manafort was a major part of the Trump campaign, including serving as its chairman, convention manager, and chief strategist, before departing the campaign in disgrace in August 2016. It’s also established the fact that Paul Manafort was a long-time official adviser to pro-Russian Ukrainian political leadership.

    Is Paul Manafort — Manafort a subject in your investigation?

    COMEY: I’m not going to comment on that.

    CASTRO: All right. Director, can you describe to the American people the Russian concept of kompromat?

    COMEY: It’s a technique that they use to gather information on people that may be embarrassing or humiliating, and using it to coerce cooperation.

    CASTRO: In your career, have you known instances where that has been successfully leveraged?

    COMEY: Yes, I believe our counter-intelligence division has encountered it a number of times.

    CASTRO: Does that include private places, including places such as hotels that are wired for audio and video?

    COMEY: I don’t think I remember enough about the particulars to say, but in theory, sure.

    CASTRO: Thank you.

    I yield back. I yield back to Ranking Member Schiff.

    • Evangelista
      March 20, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      J’hon,

      You wrote, “Texas D.Rep Castro hit the proverbial game winning grand slam today with his remarks”

      The D.Rep whose blatting-blather you quote extensively, was batting with a ‘Seazy-Slugger’ Report, autographed by one “Christopher Steele”, whose dubious quality as an intellectual bat has been proofed, the report being proofed composed all but entirely of soft and punk man-made materials, of quality not even sufficient to qualify as ‘Nerf’.

      How do you perceive your D.Rep batter, whose question-batting skills, demonstrated in your extensive excerpting to be of equally low, soft and punk grade, being able to “…hit the proverbial game winning grand slam today with his remarks”?

      Did you mis-type and mean the D.Rep blatherer “…hit a lees level boring grand stand in a political-garbage league game”?

    • Kiza
      March 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm

      As I wrote before, the case of “a former accomplished British intelligence officer with a career built on following Russia” Christopher Steele should worry US voters much more than the alleged Russian meddling into the US election. This is for two good reasons:
      1) because the distinguished “Steele Report” shows that the British Deep State is involved in managing the US Presidency almost as much as the US Deep State, and
      2) the sexual smear in this report is so 20th century, totally obsolete; who cares if Trump was into prostitutes and golden showers in that Moscow hotel room and videoed? Most children, let alone voters, can find much, much worse stuff on the Internet.
      If MI6 and CIA promote Steele Report then the “intelligence” is just another area where the taxpayer is being ripped off, just like by the MIC. Are we paying them the 21st century salaries for the 20th century smear reports?

    • March 21, 2017 at 5:35 am

      do we know the dossier is more than disinformation?

    • Diana
      March 21, 2017 at 6:50 am

      From your transcript:

      CASTRO: In an October 18, 2016, entry, the dossier states that, during Page’s visit to Moscow, he met with Igor Senchin, offering, quote,”Page and Trump’s associate, the brokerage of up to 19 percent stake in Rosneft,” which Page conferring (ph) that, quote, “If Trump were elected U.S. President, sanctions on Russia would be lifted.”

      And although fortunately the White House hasn’t been so naive as to (inaudible) unilaterally lift sanctions on Russia, it was widely reported that on January 27th of this year, Rosneft sold a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft in what Reuters calls, quote,”one of its biggest privatizations since the 1990s.” Furthermore, Reuters reported that, quote, “Public records show the ownership structure of the — of the stake ultimately includes a Cayman Islands company whose beneficial owners cannot be traced.” What a coincidence.

      There’s another version of this story, J’hon.

      Chris Hayes asked Carter Page about this portion of the dossier. (See MSNBC, All In with Chris Hayes, “Carter Page: ‘I don’t deny’ meeting with Russian ambassador,” March 2, 2017, about 10 minutes into the interview.) Page denied meeting Senchin (and another person) “one on one” or acting as a Trump liaison. Later, Page asked, “Who actually bought Rosneft?” When Hayes said, “We don’t know,” Page disagreed. “It IS known. It is a matter of public record. It was Glencore. And who was the founder of Glencore? It was Mark Rich.” He then referred Hayes to the Clintons if he wanted to know more about Mark Rich.

      So, it’s not quite clear who offered what to whom, or who bought a stake in Rosneft.

  22. backwardsevolution
    March 20, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    From Fred Reed:

    “The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to get rid of Trump. Yes, the man is erratic, contradictory, shoots before he aims, backs off much of what he has promised, and may be unqualified as President–but that is not why Washington and New York want to get rid of him. It is about money and power, as is everything in the United States. Wall Street, the Pentagon, the Neocons, and the Empire run America. Trump has threatened their rice bowls.

    Consider:

    He has threatened to cut the F-35, a huge blow to Lockheed-Martin and hundreds of subcontractors; to pull US troops out of South Korea, a blow to the Empire; to end the wars, a blow both to the Empire and the military industry getting rich from them; to pull troops out of Okinawa, crippling the Empire in the Pacific; to start a trade war with China with a forty-five percent tariff of Chinese goods, threatening American corporations with factories there; and to chase out illegal immigrants, an important source of cheap labor to businesses. He has called NATO “obsolete,” when leaving it would be the death knell of the Empire; and threatened to establish good relations with Russia, when the lack of a European enemy would leave NATO even more obviously unnecessary.

    Thus New York and its branch operation in Washington resuscitate Russia as a bugbear to terrify the rubes, meaning most of the public. Money. Power. Empire.

    What sense does this make–apart from money and power? Russia is an economically challenged nation of 145 million, less than half of Europe’s population and much less than half of America’s. Its economy is a small fraction of the combined economies of Europe and America. It is not on a war footing. It is not moving forces into position for an invasion. It is not mobilizing. To satellite photography, to NSA these things would be as obvious as leprosy on a prom queen. The Establishment would be screaming to high heaven if there were the slightest trace of preparation for war. The whole business is manufactured.”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46547.htm

  23. backwardsevolution
    March 20, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    So you’ve got a bunch of crybaby losers out protesting over the lost election, trying to trump up anything – anything – that could smear Trump. I notice they’re not out crying for anything worthy. No, the elite make sure the dumbed-down masses concentrate on things like bathroom stalls and the like. Why is it that the whole country isn’t out protesting anything significant, like:

    – single-payer healthcare

    – the monopolization of media (90% of all media is owned by six corporations, concentration of power)

    – the monopolization of the banking industry (which concentrates power in fewer and fewer hands)

    – the spying on citizens by NSA, and now the rest of the intelligence community (after Obama’s new law)

    – the NATO expansion toward Russia (risking a future nuclear war)

    Why are these things not the most important?

    When no evidence is found after this witch-hunt, I hope that absolutely everyone involved, including Congressman Schiff, ends up spending time in jail. Next up – the Clinton Foundation dealings. Now that should make for some good TV watching.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 21, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      You have several good points there, backwards.

  24. March 20, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Article of interest at link below:
    —————————————————————————
    Yes, Obama Did Investigate Trump
    George Neumayr
    March 20, 2017, 7:00 pm
    After all the parsing at the Comey hearing, that remains the bottom line.
    https://spectator.org/yes-obama-did-investigate-trump/

  25. Dorsey Gardner
    March 20, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Why is no one concerned that the top five contributors to Hillary Clinton were Jewish billionaires? Most likely they hold Israeli passports. Does anyone believe they were making contributions because Hillary was best for America?
    Or was it because the Jewish billionaires were intent upon buying influence that would benefit the terrorist apartheid state which occupies Palestine?
    Don’t forget Israel, the NYTimes, and Judith Miller stampeded shabbos goy George Bush into destroying Iraq, a misadventure that cost the US taxpayer upwards of $2 trillion and destabilized Iraq to Israel’s benefit, to say nothing of the misery created for the Iraqi people and her neighbors.
    So how much trouble could Putin cause compared with Israel’s ongoing malevolent influence?

    • Sam F
      March 21, 2017 at 6:12 am

      While such influence is certainly plausible, we would need references for such a strong statement as “the top five contributors to Hillary Clinton were Jewish billionaires .” Substantiate that and you will have a story.

      • Andrew Nichols
        March 21, 2017 at 7:12 am

        http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/033116/top-10-corporate-contributors-clinton-campaign.asp

        The top 10 contributors to HRCs Superpac were as follows:
        1. Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna: $35 million
        2. Donald Sussman, Paloma Partners: $21,100,000
        3. Jay Robert Pritzker and Mary Pritzker, Pritzker Group and Pritzker Family Foundation: $12,600,000
        4. Haim Saban and Cheryl Saban, Saban Capital Group: $10,000,000
        5. George Soros, Soros Fund Management: $9,525,000
        6. S. Daniel Abraham, SDA Enterprises: $9,000,000
        7. Fred Eychaner, Newsweb Corporation: $8,005,400
        8. James Simons, Euclidean Capital: $7,000,000
        9. Henry Laufer and Marsha Laufer, Renaissance Technologies: $5,500,000
        10. Laure Woods, Laurel Foundation: $5 million

        Make of this what you will…A story?

        • Sam F
          March 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

          Thank you! Very useful.

  26. March 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    “Wouldn’t you think that Putin would have told RT’s marketing department that the sky was the limit in paying off Flynn because the ever-prescient Russian president knew from his Ouija board in 2015 that Flynn would be the future national security adviser under President Trump?”

    First off this is simply speculation. To me it is completely logical that RT would try to negotiate a better price for the speaking engagement.

    While I agree that in general it is clear that there is no hard proof of any real collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign what I do find interesting is that Trump has never to my knowledge ever criticized Putin in any way shape or form. He is happy to go after anyone else under the sun yet the Russians he treats like family.

    What seems to be glossed over most of the time with Trump is that when he blew the deal in Atlantic City and left his investors holding the bag who were the banks who gave him his next line of credit? No American bank would touch him so we know from the small and short financial disclosures that Trump was forced to release to be a candidate that he owes at least 500 million dollars to foreign banks! How much of the debt is to Russian banking oligarchs? Clearly if Trump is in debt to Russian banks then there is a huge conflict of interest in the White House.

    For me this is were the real smoking guns lie! I can only hope someone leaks something of relevance on Trumps debt to foreign banks.

    • March 21, 2017 at 5:40 am

      if the debt promoted detente, would that be bad?

    • Sam F
      March 21, 2017 at 6:14 am

      I would be easy for the IRS, FBI and Homeland Security to trace such payments, and they would have done so by now.

    • Jason
      March 22, 2017 at 2:42 am

      Trump has personal assets of around five billion dollars. If he does owe anyone five hundred million that’s still not much to someone of his means. It’s roughly equivalent to me owing someone a thousand dollars.

      Trump may or may not be as rich as he likes people to believe, but he’s certainly not hurting for a dollar.

      As I understand it Trump was actually quite clear before the Atlantic City project started that without international custom the project would fail. The city fathers refused to make their airport international, so the project failed. I’m sure Trump did try to protect as much of his own money as he could when he saw how the chips were falling. Any sane person would.

      As for criticizing Putin, why should he? Putin has not done anything deserving of criticism in the time Trump has been in office. Obama and Hillary attempting to offload her own carelessness on Putin does not prove Putin’s guilt, merely their own incompetence.

  27. Charlie
    March 20, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I cannot believe this Robert. You are falling for the GOP talking points! Putin KNEW that if Hillary was elected she would have been incredibly weak. Impeachment calls would have started on Nov 9! Her agenda would’ve been dead on arrival and she would have had her hands full with mere survival let alone start any anti Russia campaign. A Hillary win or a Trump win would have meant a weakened US, at war with herself. A Trump win additionally would mean the destruction of NATO.

    • March 21, 2017 at 5:56 am

      war is often the preferred diversion

    • Sam F
      March 21, 2017 at 6:20 am

      Nonsense, there has not been any pressure for a Hillary impeachment, and her anti-Russia campaign for Israel is most of her foreign policy. If “A Hillary win or a Trump win would have meant a weakened US” then why would any opponent be concerned? And most obviously, if you could show a motive you would have proved nothing about actions.

  28. Pablo Diablo
    March 20, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Hillary Clinton was quite capable of losing all by herself. She didn’t need Russia to help elect Trump. However, all this pandering to a Russian investigation keeps the focus away from what was in the DNC and Clinton emails. And, fuels the War Machine.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 21, 2017 at 1:32 am

      All of this news is made for tv. Russia is now being cast in a remake where once again Russia will be the evil empire, and America will be great again. It’s now official all of America has loss their minds.

    • Jason
      March 22, 2017 at 2:49 am

      True. The Democrats ran the weakest possible candidate on the most uninspired campaign unimaginable, and still wonder why they lost.

      Trump worked like a motherf**ker for every vote, and some people still wonder why he won.

      He won because he brought his A-game. Hillary was so weak she had Obama doing her campaigning for her. I had called Trump’s victory six months out, but watching Obama shill for Hillary just confirmed it in my eyes. Americans love a fighter, and Trump is a fighter. His aim does sometimes suck though.

  29. Stiv
    March 20, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I can’t help but think that, if Parry had been active in the early 70’s, he would have been an apologist for Nixon. Granted, there are points to be made that are accurate. Certainly there are incongruencies in politicians statements and positions. This would be politics but to cozy up to Trump…which Parry has done because of his absolute hatred of Clinton (earned) is abhorent. So is the constant idol worship done here. Parry can do no wrong? I think his diatribe deserves the same analysis as the MSM.

    • March 21, 2017 at 5:44 am

      nixon approved the EPA and promoted a universal gaureenteed $20,000 income

    • Andrew Nichols
      March 21, 2017 at 6:59 am

      Parry is no Trump supporter. If you think that pointing out the flaws in the risible Russian bogeyman story is pro Trump I feel sorry for you.

  30. Jessejean
    March 20, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Yes, but Robert–are you a Rhodes Scholar? We must beleive the Rhodes Scholars ’cause theyer smort! Just ask Slick Willy and Rachel ( bleck, eck) Maddow.

  31. Bob In Portland
    March 21, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Curious thing I’m finding looking at the reporting of the “Russian election hack” stories. All stories seem to be uniformly vague as to the exact extent of the alleged Russian malfeasance. When one is charging someone with a crime, the first step is to be clear in what the bad guy did. This vagueness serves a purpose if the purpose is propaganda. Russian intelligence hacking Podesta melds with hacking voting machines melds with Trump, urine and Russian prostitutes, Paul Manafort, treason et al. That’s perfect for propaganda because its ultimate purpose is not to tell the truth, or even a coherent narrative, but to create a fog surrounding the target. I’m sure the endless homoerotic cartoons of Trump and Putin play well down along the Bible Belt. Think back to how things that were unbelievable were mixed with the sordid were mixed with the dangerous to get everyone up to support the war on Iraq? Yellowcake, meetings in Vienna, Saddam’s privileged raping sons, aluminum tubes, London could be hit by Saddam’s nuclear missiles in 45 minutes! I bet you forgot the last one.

    But propaganda is like a deck of playing cards to be turned up at the right time. The evidence of Russian intelligence hacking the DNC is pretty thin. When it announced that it was hacked last June the DNC, instead of sharing information with the FBI or letting them investigate the allegation instead turned to CrowdStrike, a “cybersecurity” company with a strong anti-Russian identity, and CrowdStrike surely did find out it that it was the Russians. CrowdStrike’s owner, Dmitri Alperovitch, is on the board of the Atlantic Council, a rabidly anti-Russian think tank from the Cold War. Anyone else find that suspicious?

    The one question that Robert Parry asks that stands out in front of the others is why would Putin risk creating a cassus belli for the new President Clinton.

    You see, Clinton was supposed to have won the Presidency. And she would have had her cassus belli to present to the Deep State for a war against Russia which the Deep State would have gladly accepted. Imagine an imperial Clinton with the fog of propaganda implicating Putin and Trump in a plan to sink democracy! (Plus she could finally be the son her father wanted her to be.)

    Another thing. From Alexandra Chalupa the Ukrainian American who ran the DNC’s oppo research on Manafort’s connection to Russia, to the use of Ukrainian malware misidentified as Russian, to the wet kiss planted by WaPo on PropOrNot, where on its website in an early post some PropOrNotter used “Heroism Slava!” the wartime Ukrainian fascist slogan introduced just before the Nazis sent out Ukrainian fascist units to carry out their Operation Nightingale in WWII. The Russ Bellant interview in THE NATION in 2014 described the seventy-year relationship between US intelligence and Ukrainian fascists.

    We have a swirl of Ukrainian fascist fingerprints all over the scandal, and if you know your history you know the CIA is not far away.

    Remember when the post-9/11 destruction of Iraq was portrayed in the press as Dubya getting revenge on Saddam because his dad only got to blow up part of Iraq on his turn in the White House? I have come to believe that this “Russian hack” scandal was an intelligence op originally created to be President Clinton’s reason to make it personal with Putin. Another grudge match for the public. And you can probably guess where along the Russian border a war was going to break out.

    What is the one thing that Trump can’t give the Deep State that Clinton could? The war with Russia. What appears to be a scandal is the negotiating process. Down to the last Russian prostitute.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 21, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Bob – “I have come to believe that this “Russian hack” scandal was an intelligence op originally created to be President Clinton’s reason to make it personal with Putin.” Very plausible. Good comments.

  32. fudmier
    March 21, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Mike K hit correctly on it.. Basically the people of the nations of the world have been divided into two Groups maybe many more. but to keep it simple: two groups: The corruption restricted group [CRG] and the corruption promoting group [CPG]. Those in the CRG represent the bulk of the people in each of all nations around the world. Those in the CPG are, at the entry levels elected politicians, but at higher levels become part of the worldwide integrated intelligence and policy communities. Basically the folks who run the intelligence and policy communities, have come together to call the shots inside of most of the nations and are coordinating those shots between the nations to extract from the CRG all that can be extracted.

  33. Andrew Nichols
    March 21, 2017 at 6:57 am

    “The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham,

    Well knock me down with a feather who’d have thought? What an amazing revelation….not

  34. March 21, 2017 at 7:29 am

    I can think of no better recommendation than being than being slated by America’s leading politicians, secret services and corporate media. Little wonder RT doesn’t need to advertise its services with publicity like that.

  35. March 21, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I suspect this whole sham show is to further some nefarious act of the CIA in its ongoing plot to destabilize Russia, which has been a never ending goal since the days of the USSR falling apart. The Democrats become perfect dupes for the game. One Alexei Navalny, a Yale educated lawyer who set up an opposition party to Putin several years ago and has been endorsed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the corrupt oil oligarch who was jailed by Russia after Yeltsin’s fiasco was stopped by Putin, is back in Russia escalating his campaign. Check him out, American press reported him being attacked with green paint, which looks rather strategically placed on face and hands. Why should ABC report this, anyway? Furthermore, he has been on the payroll of NED, a propaganda arm of the CIA, in the past as Navalny has stated. Something is afoot. Also check out Bill Browder, who detests Putin for spoiling his money game in the 90s in Russia.

    The US is ruled by an oligarchy, various studies have shown that, the (nonexistent, according to Salon today!?) Deep State prefer that the people accuse someone else’s oligarchy rather than their own ruling elite. Russia does have problems with a Mafia, existing from days past, sort of like our time of JFK’s era when Mafia was thoroughly entrenched, from what I read. Organized crime will always exist, I have read that Chicago’s Mafia called The Outfit is well entrenched with government in Illinois very much today (where Barack Obama is from, I might add).

    The theatrics being put on in the Congress are pathetic when there are so many pressing problems needing to be addressed. This government (is it mine? I don’t think so, they just take my money for war!) has long ago ceased to be “of the people”.

    It is interesting that under Putin the average Russian income has increased 5 times what it was under Yeltsin, they have a health care system no doubt with problems but functioning, GMOs have been banned (try to do that here, Monsanto rules), pensions have risen, they are working on an agriculture program for greater self sufficiency. I believe this is all about Putin envy and recognition that the US is losing control as a superpower. Blame somebody else, and Russia is the perfect foil for these incompetents!

    • backwardsevolution
      March 21, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Jessica K – “I believe this is all about Putin envy and recognition that the US is losing control as a superpower.” Yes, making sure that Putin’s Russia does NOT get too cozy with Europe. The U.S. want to cut Europe off from Russia, make Europe look towards the West, not the East.

  36. J'hon Doe II
    March 21, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Bob In Portland – “We have a swirl of Ukrainian fascist fingerprints all over the scandal, and if you know your history you know the CIA is not far away.”

    Yes, another vital factor obscured by the Putin is the boogie man focus.

    The Rep. Castro statements all referred to Trump’s backdoor deal making with Russian oligarchs.

    My simple question would be, does this deal making indicate the machinations of a First Class Scoundrel? One who’s greatest interest lies in building his own private kingdom of wealth? Hasn’t that been the Trump playbook his entire sleazy life?

  37. J'hon Doe II
    March 21, 2017 at 11:25 am

    SPEIER: All right, let’s move on now to Carter Page.

    Carter Page was the founder of Global Energy, it’s an investment fund. He has only one partner and that partner is Sergei Yatsenko who’s the former executive of a Russian state-owned Gazprom oil company. Before that, from 2004 to 2007, he worked for Merrill Lynch in Moscow.

    In March of 2016, Then-Candidate Trump referred to Carter Page as his foreign policy advisor to the Washington Post. The next day, Page asserts that he’s an advisor on Russia and energy. But then subsequently, Candidate Trump says he doesn’t know him.

    SPEIER: On September 26, he takes a leave of absence from the campaign and then Page publicly supports a relationship with Russia, criticizes U.S. sanctions and NATO’s approach to Russia, saying — and then subsequently says he’s divesting his stake in Gazprom in August. In 2014, he writes an article criticizing the U.S. sanctions, praising Sechin in an article and global policy and then rebuked the west for focusing on so-called annexation of Crimea.

    In July of 2016, he gives a graduation speech at the new economic school, denies meeting with the prime minister, Christopher Steele, in his dossier, says he met with, again, Igor Sechin, offering a 19 percent interest in Rosneft. It becomes the biggest transfer of public property to private ownership.

    Now, Carter Page is a national security adviser to Donald Trump. Do you believe that — why do we — I guess, again, here’s another company that has had sanctions imposed upon it. Could you again clarify why we impose sanctions on companies?

  38. J'hon Doe II
    March 21, 2017 at 11:47 am

    SWALWELL: Director, from our perspective on the committee, the dots continue to connect. President Trump, his team, people in his orbit, to Russia. And the questions that we have, it’s quite simple. Are these merely 100 different coincidences or is this a convergence where you’re seeing deep personal, political and financial ties, meeting Russia’s interference in our campaign?

    So I’m wondering, Director, with your extensive counterintelligence expertise and in view of the Russian intelligence campaign to influence the election in which Donald Trump was candidate, do you consider this — these number of connections between well-connected Russians and Donald Trump, the Trump Organization, the Trump family and the Trump campaign, to be a coincidence or a convergence?

    COMEY: I’m not gonna answer, Mr. Swalwell.

    SWALWELL: From your perspective, Director, have you ever seen in the history of American politics or at least since you’ve been alive, any political candidate have this many connections, personal, political and financial, to a foreign adversary?

    COMEY: Same answer.

    • LJ
      March 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Eric Swalwell took Pete Stark’s, a real liberal Democrat’s, seat. It should have gone to Ellen Corbett in my opinion who is far more representative of the po9litical temperament of the area. but the timing was bad as she was still serving in the California State Senate., She’s a Pro labor Democrat from San Leandro. . Swallwell is a military vet, . He is not a liberal. He is a Centrist. , HE’S WORKING HIMSELF INTO THE PELOSI CAMP, Positioning himself for a leadership role in the future. Believe it. A YES MAN AND OBVIOUSLY AN ATTACK DOG. Alameda Country is one of the most liberal counties in the nation.. San Francisco and Marin vote slightly more Liberal Democratic. This is sad and he really is playing the part with all his might. He is asked for quotes in the SF Chronicle now. Expert, insider. Right. He likes to say ” I don’t have any skin in the fight”. A go to line. This is my back yard.

  39. Heman
    March 21, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    It is good to remember what happened in Russia in the 90’s. A corrupt, foolish drunk virtually destroyed the country by allowing a few crooks to steal billions and take the wealth out of the country. Putin arrived and things changed and without being too snide, what stealing was done was among Russians who were loyal to Russia. Under Putin, the economy improved, morale was restored in its military and Putin demanded respect from other nations. The Russian people love him for giving back their self-respect and what he has done for them and Russia and he is hated by the neocons for the same reasons.

    Patricia was working as a floral designer and the name Putin came up. One of the co-workers spoke out ‘Putin is the Devil.” There were nods around the room. Not wanting to be attacked verbally, Patricia said something like the all alike.

  40. J'hon Doe II
    March 21, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    The idea the Trump would not continue war policy was decidedly blown away by his increase in defense spending. That we are now deploying troops and heavy equipment along Russian borders w/Estonia and Latvia are another indication of no change in entrenched War Dept. intentions.

    Trump’s interests in Russia/Putin have been a purely selfish capitalistic opportunism.
    Those here who’ve assumed he’d be some kind of peacenik, vis-a-vis Hillary Clinton were greatly deceived.
    The man is a crass self-serving autocrat and the demise “freedom” in the United States is, sadly, imminent – looking at the cabinet/agency choices he has made.

    The nation was thrown into an abyss that we’ve not recovered from beginning with the “iconic” Ronald Reagan to GHW Bush and Bill “I Am A Conservative” Clinton through the SCOTUS installed Bush II and the Brzezinski puppet Obama.

    Trump is simply an incalculable disaster and will only drive us deeper into the abyss of relic empires.

    • Jason
      March 22, 2017 at 3:09 am

      Obama put the military on the border of Russia. A nice “goodbye” present to Trump. Now if Trump pulls them out he’ll be cast as sympathetic to Russia and in Putin’s back pocket.

      Trump isn’t a peacenik, he chose men of war for his cabinet. However he chose smart men like Mattis, men who not only know how to win a war, but also how to avoid unnecessary wars. His commitment was to destroy ISIS, and Mattis seems to be enjoying working under a president who actually knows what side he’s on. What I expect to see an end to is military adventurism, and nation building.

      If you look at many of the policy directions Trump has indicated, they involve dismantling government regulation and interference, in other words an increase in freedom. That’s the opposite of Obama who worked to concentrate power in the hands of the Federal government.

  41. Akech
    March 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    This is how elites, particularly the Democratic elites, are fine tuned into deceiving Americans whom the sweet talk into voting for them as narrated by this whistle blower:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IClVKyb63m4

    When these elites talk about national security/interest, they are not talking about the powerless Americans’ interests/security.

  42. Nik
    March 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    As a Russia expert I would say your analysis regarding motives and why’s and how’s is way off base. You need to dig deeper into who Putin is, what his motives are what his plans are for the West -in general- in order to understand what’s going on and why.

    • John Doe II
      March 23, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Simply stated, Putin is under threat from the US — he is no threat to us. His posture is defensive. He has no “plans for the West”.

      Brzezinski and the Democrats have lusted after Russia and Central Asia for 30 years or more. Positive evidence will be found in Brzezinski’s book The Grand Chessboard, and many other published articles.
      It was his strategy, in 1979 to arm Saudi jihadists and lure them into Afghanistan to fight the Russian army. He essentially ‘created’ the Al Qaeda monster with great assistance from Saudi Arabian cash and Wahhabi religious ideology.

      Too many Americans have swallowed the kool-aid about Putin’s “aggression” — It is we who are and have been the bellicose, truculent agitators for more than 30 years now. Especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the prominence of the US as ‘The World’s Sole Superpower’ along with the propositions of The Project For A New American Century. Russia has been the ultimate target. The “Color Revolutions” throughout the region have all been US provocations financed by US dollars and modeled after our overthrow of the elected president in Iran back in 1953.

  43. Binky
    March 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Pretending not to know what information warfare is doesn’t make it go away or make it worth belittling.

  44. Andy Jones
    March 21, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Can someone who knows something about the Russian intelligence services explain why the FSB would be hacking political parties in the US. Wouldn’t that be outside of their mandate? They do internal security. Foreign intelligence is the role of the SVR and the GRU. As far as I find out the Russian counterpart to the NSA is part of the FSO.

    The news reports about the Russian hacking all say the hacks were traced to the FSB and GRU. None of them explain why the FSB would be doing it. It sounds like sloppy journalism since it would seem to be the wrong Russian intelligence agency for that kind of activity.

  45. harold burbank
    March 22, 2017 at 9:44 am

    from dr. paul craig roberts, former usa undersec of reagan admin usa treasury, and a usa (and world) deep state enemy: ‘The Democrats are probably not sufficiently intelligent to understand that they are fanning the flames of war between nuclear powers. The Democrats are desperate to find someone on whom to pin their loss of the election. Moreover, by pinning it on a conspiracy between Trump and Putin, they hope to remove Trump from office. Although Pence, who is a Russophobe, is acceptable to the military/security complex, the Democrats have hopes of clearing out Pence as well, as his election resulted from the alleged conspiracy, and reinstalling themselves in the White House.’

  46. Large Louis de Boogeytown
    March 22, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Isn’t ‘Russia(hacking)-gate’ the antithesis of ‘Trump tower wiretap-gate’?

    Both of them are founded on the premise that something happened and are set on the course of finding the proof of that. The two political camps take diametrically-opposite, but equally stupid positions, on both. The essence of which is that ‘not being to find any evidence’ (or “have any information”) about either is ‘definitive proof’ that the one happened and the other didn’t.

  47. Michael Kenny
    March 22, 2017 at 11:26 am

    The problem with Trump being “Putin’s stooge”, if he actually is that, is that Putin himself is beleived to be the stooge of the mainly ex-KGB gangster/oligarchs behind him. Let’s call a spade a spade and say the Russian Mafia. Thus, if Trump is Putin’s stooge, then Trump is in fact the Russian Mafia’s stooge. So it’s not “Russia-bashing”, or even Putin-bashing, it’s gangster-bashing. Is gangster-bashing such a bad thing?

    • Gregory Herr
      March 22, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Believed to be by a coterie of liars or fools.

  48. polistra
    March 22, 2017 at 11:47 am

    The simplest argument comes from plain old observation. RT has never been pro-Trump. For many years they’ve been following the same line as Occupy, and they clearly favored Bernie in this election. Their attitude toward Trump was mildly negative.

    Nothing strange about any of this. Hillary was obviously moving FAST toward all-out nuclear war, and Trump didn’t seem to be moving quite as fast. Russia doesn’t want all-out nuclear war, so RT strongly opposed Hillary without strongly favoring Trump.

  49. Detective Frank Columbo
    March 23, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    QUESTION FOR CONSORTIUM NEWS DETECTIVES:

    If we dismiss the notion that Russia was behind the DNC hack and the leak of the Podesta emails to Wikileaks, what other nation state might be? The Wikileaks hack (and handover) occurred before Trump secured the Republican nomination, so we can assume that the leak was not designed to promote Trump but ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN candidate.

    Given this, we can ask seven circumstantial questions:
    1] What nation would benefit from a Republican in the Oval Office?
    2] Had Clinton won, what nation would have benefited from a greatly weakened Clinton administration after the Wikileaks revelations? (notice how there is no downside to the leaks if either of these two objectives are the aims).
    3] What nation has had a notoriously bad relationship with the Obama administration and his first Secretary of State? (So bad that its Prime Minister openly supported Romney in 2012.)
    4] What nation is facing a perilous existential crisis that would drive it to try and influence an American election?
    5] What nation has an intelligence service capable of hacking the DNC / Podesta and having it misattributed to Russia without being detected?
    6] What nation would benefit from the United States having a bad relationship with Russia, as Russia is supporting its main adversary?
    7] What nation did the Obama administration recently and bizarrely fail to support in the UN Security council? (Probably because someone has already figured this out.)
    And the nation state is? _______________________ .
    Hello!

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