The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate

Exclusive: Official Washington’s groupthink is that Russian “disinformation” helped elect Donald Trump, but the evidence is actually much stronger that Russian “dirt” was helping Hillary Clinton, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

An irony of the escalating hysteria about the Trump camp’s contacts with Russians is that one presidential campaign in 2016 did exploit political dirt that supposedly came from the Kremlin and other Russian sources. Friends of that political campaign paid for this anonymous hearsay material, shared it with American journalists and urged them to publish it to gain an electoral advantage. But this campaign was not Donald Trump’s; it was Hillary Clinton’s.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

And, awareness of this activity doesn’t require you to spin conspiracy theories about what may or may not have been said during some seemingly innocuous conversation. In this case, you have open admissions about how these Russian/Kremlin claims were used.

Indeed, you have the words of Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, in his opening statement at last week’s public hearing on so-called “Russia-gate.” Schiff’s seamless 15-minute narrative of the Trump campaign’s alleged collaboration with Russia followed the script prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who was hired as an opposition researcher last June to dig up derogatory information on Donald Trump.

Steele, who had worked for Britain’s MI-6 in Russia, said he tapped into ex-colleagues and unnamed sources inside Russia, including leadership figures in the Kremlin, to piece together a series of sensational reports that became the basis of the current congressional and FBI investigations into Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow.

Since he was not able to go to Russia himself, Steele based his reports mostly on multiple hearsay from anonymous Russians who claim to have heard some information from their government contacts before passing it on to Steele’s associates who then gave it to Steele who compiled this mix of rumors and alleged inside dope into “raw” intelligence reports.

Lewd Allegations

Besides the anonymous sourcing and the sources’ financial incentives to dig up dirt, Steele’s reports had numerous other problems, including the inability of a variety of investigators to confirm key elements, such as the salacious claim that several years ago Russian intelligence operatives secretly videotaped Trump having prostitutes urinate on him while he lay in the same bed in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton used by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The luxury Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow

That tantalizing tidbit was included in Steele’s opening report to his new clients, dated June 20, 2016. Apparently, it proved irresistible in whetting the appetite of Clinton’s mysterious benefactors who were financing Steele’s dirt digging and who have kept their identities (and the amounts paid) hidden. Also in that first report were the basic outlines of what has become the scandal that is now threatening the survival of Trump’s embattled presidency.

But Steele’s June report also reflected the telephone-tag aspects of these allegations: “Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for a least 5 years.

“Source B asserted that the TRUMP operation was both supported and directed by Russian President Vladimir PUTIN. Its aim was to sow discord and disunity both within the US itself, but more especially within the Transatlantic alliance which was viewed as inimical to Russia’s interests. … In terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years. …

“The Kremlin’s cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. However, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.”

Besides the anonymous and hearsay quality of the allegations, there are obvious logical problems, especially the point that five years ago, you could have gotten astronomical odds about Trump’s chances to win the U.S. presidency, although perhaps there is more an astrological explanation. Maybe the seemingly logical Putin went to some stargazing soothsayer to see the future.

There also may have been a more mundane reason why Trump’s hotel deal fell through. 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.

Yet, one would assume that if the supposedly all-powerful Putin wanted to give a $1 billion or so payoff to his golden boy, Donald Trump, whom Putin just knew would become President in five years, the deal would have happened.

Whetting the Appetite

Despite the dubious quality of Steele’s second- and third-hand information, the June report appears to have won the breathless attention of Team Clinton. And once the bait was taken, Steele continued to produce his conspiracy-laden reports, totaling at least 17 through Dec. 13, 2016.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

The reports not only captivated the Clinton political operatives but influenced the assessments of Obama’s appointees in the U.S. intelligence community. In the last weeks of the Obama administration, I was told that the outgoing intelligence chiefs had found no evidence to verify Steele’s claims but nevertheless believed them to be true.

Still, a careful analysis of Steele’s reports would have discovered not only apparent factual inaccuracies, such as putting Trump lawyer Michael Cohen at a meeting with a Russian official in Prague (when Cohen says he’s never been to Prague), but also the sort of broad conspiracy-mongering that the mainstream U.S. news media usually loves to ridicule.

For instance, Steele’s reports pin a range of U.S. political attitudes on Russian manipulation rather than the notion that Americans can reach reasonable conclusions on their own. In one report dated Sept. 14, 2016, Steele claimed that an unnamed senior official in President Vladimir Putin’s Presidential Administration (or PA) explained how Putin used the alleged Russian influence operation to generate opposition to Obama’s Pacific trade deals.

Steele wrote that Putin’s intention was “pushing candidate CLINTON away from President OBAMA’s policies. The best example of this was that both candidates [Clinton and Trump] now openly opposed the draft trade agreements, TPP and TTIP, which were assessed by Moscow as detrimental to Russian interests.”

In other words, the Russians supposedly intervened in the U.S. presidential campaign to turn the leading candidates against Obama’s trade deals. But how credible is that? Are we to believe that American politicians – running the gamut from Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren through former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to President Donald Trump – have all been tricked by the Kremlin to oppose those controversial trade deals, which are also broadly unpopular with the American people who are sick and tired of trade agreements that cost them jobs?

Steele’s investigative dossier suggests that we can’t really think for ourselves. We are all Putin’s puppets.

Greater Skepticism?

Normally, such a ludicrous claim – along with the haziness of the sourcing – would demand greater skepticism about the rest of Steele’s feverish charges, but a curious aspect of the investigations into Russia’s alleged “meddling” in Election 2016 is that neither Steele nor the “oppo research” company, Fusion GPS, that hired him – reportedly with funding from Clinton allies – has been summoned to testify.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California

Usually, official investigations begin with testimony from the people who are making the allegations, so their credibility and motives can be tested in an adversarial setting. Plus, some baseline information should be established: Who, for instance, paid for the contract? How much was the total and how much went to Steele? How much did Steele then pay his Russian contacts and did they, in turn, pay the alleged Russian insiders for information? Or are we supposed to believe that these “insiders” risked being identified as spies out of a commitment to the truth?

None of these answers would necessarily discredit the information, but they could provide important context as to whether this “oppo” team had a financial motive to sex-up the reports to keep Clinton’s friends coming back for more. Arguably the funders of this “oppo” research should be called to testify as well regarding whether they would have kept ponying up more money if Steele’s reports had concluded that there were no meaningful contacts between Trump’s people and the Russians. Were they seeking the truth or just dirt to help Hillary Clinton win?

Since last November’s election, Steele has ducked public inquiries and Glenn Simpson, the former Wall Street Journal journalist who heads Fusion GPS, has refused to divulge who hired his firm or answer other relevant questions. That means we still don’t know which Clinton friends paid for the dirt and how much money was given to subcontractors like Steele and his Russian associates. (One source told me it may have totaled around $1 million.)

According to various press reports, Fusion GPS first worked for a Republican opponent of Trump’s, but then switched over to the Clinton side after Trump won the Republican race. With Steele generating his reports every few days or every few weeks, people close to Clinton’s campaign saw the Russia allegations as a potential game-changer. They reached out to reporters to persuade them to publish Steele’s allegations even if they could not be verified.

Before the election, a longtime Clinton operative briefed me on aspects of Steele’s investigation, including the “golden shower” allegations, and urged me to at least publish the accusations as a rumor citing the fact that some major news organizations were looking into the charges, an offer that I declined.

In a different setting – when Gov. Bill Clinton was seeking the presidency and Republican “oppo” researchers were pushing various wild and salacious allegations about him – the Clinton team dismissed such claims and the motivations of the people behind them as “cash for trash.”

Following the Storyline

Yet, Schiff’s opening statement at the hearing on March 20 relied heavily on Steele’s narrative and the supposed credibility of the ex-British spy and his anonymous Russian sources, even to the point of naming Americans who presumably joined in a scheme to collaborate with the Russians to help rig the U.S. election, an act that some commenters have compared to treason.

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)

The California Democrat said, “Russian sources tell [Steele] that [Carter] Page [a Trump foreign policy adviser who made a public trip to Russia in early July 2016] also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, CEO of Russian gas giant Rosneft. … According to Steele’s Russian sources, Page is offered brokerage fees by Sechin on a deal involving a 19 percent share of the company.”

These “Russian sources” also tell Steele, according to Schiff, that “the Trump campaign is offered documents damaging to Hillary Clinton, which the Russians would publish through an outlet that gives them deniability, like Wikileaks. The hacked documents would be in exchange for a Trump Administration policy that de-emphasizes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and instead focuses on criticizing NATO countries for not paying their fare share.”

Schiff continued: “Is it a coincidence that the Russian gas company Rosneft sold a 19 percent share after former British Intelligence Officer Steele was told by Russian sources that Carter Page was offered fees on a deal of just that size? Is it a coincidence that Steele’s Russian sources also affirmed that Russia had stolen documents hurtful to Secretary Clinton that it would utilize in exchange for pro-Russian policies that would later come to pass?”

However, is it also not possible that Steele and his profit-making colleagues made their reports conform to details that already were known or that they had reason to believe would occur, in other words, to match up their claims with independently known facts to give them greater credibility? That is a classic way for conmen to establish “credibility” with marks who are either gullible or simply want to believe.

Also, clever prosecutors in presenting a “circumstantial case” – as Schiff was doing on March 20 – can make innocent coincidences look suspicious. For instance, though Trump’s resistance to escalating tensions with Russia was well known through the primary campaign, Schiff made a big deal out of the fact that Trump’s people opposed a plank in the Republican platform that called for shipping lethal military supplies to Ukraine for the government’s war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. Schiff presents that as the quo for the quid of the Russians supplying purloined emails from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks (although WikiLeaks denies getting the emails from the Russians).

In his opening statement, Schiff said: “In the middle of July, Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign manager and someone who was long on the payroll of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests, attends the Republican Party convention. Carter Page, back from [a business meeting in] Moscow, also attends the convention.

“According to Steele, it was Manafort who chose Page to serve as a go-between for the Trump campaign and Russian interests. [Russian] Ambassador [Sergey] Kislyak, who presides over a Russian embassy in which diplomatic personnel would later be expelled as likely spies, also attends the Republican Party convention and meets with Carter Page and additional Trump Advisors J.D. Gordon and Walid Phares. It was J.D. Gordon who approved Page’s trip to Moscow.

“Ambassador Kislyak also meets with Trump campaign national security chair and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions would later deny meeting with Russian officials during his Senate confirmation hearing. Just prior to the convention, the Republican Party platform is changed, removing a section that supports the provision of ‘lethal defensive weapons’ to Ukraine, an action that would be contrary to Russian interests.

“Manafort categorically denies involvement by the Trump campaign in altering the platform. But the Republican Party delegate who offered the language in support of providing defensive weapons to Ukraine states that it was removed at the insistence of the Trump campaign. Later, J.D. Gordon admits opposing the inclusion of the provision at the time it was being debated and prior to its being removed.”

Problems with the Conspiracy

So, not only is Schiff relying on Steele to provide key links in the conspiracy chain but Schiff ignores the surrounding reality that Trump had long opposed the idea of escalating the confrontation with Russia in Ukraine – as, by the way, did President Obama who resisted pressure to send lethal military hardware to Ukraine.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Plus, Schiff ignores other logical points, including that party platforms are essentially meaningless and that the savvy Putin would not likely take the huge risk of offending the odds-on winner of the presidential race, Hillary Clinton, for something as pointless as a word change in the GOP platform.

There is also the point that if Trump were a true “Manchurian candidate,” he would have taken the more politically popular position of bashing Russia during the campaign and only reverse course after he got into the White House. That’s how the scheme is supposed to work. (And, of course, all embassies including American ones have spies assigned to them, so there is nothing unusual about Ambassador Kislyak presiding at an embassy with spies.)

Other independent-minded journalists have noted various chronological problems with Steele’s narrative, such as Marcy Wheeler at her Web site.

In other words, there are huge holes in both the evidence and the logic of Schiff’s conspiracy theory. But you wouldn’t know that from watching and reading the fawning commentary about Schiff’s presentation in the mainstream U.S. news media, which has been almost universally hostile to Trump (which is not to say that there aren’t sound reasons to consider the narcissistic, poorly prepared Trump to be unfit to serve as President of the United States).

The journalistic problem is that everyone deserves to get a fair shot from reporters who are supposed to be objective and fair regardless of a person’s popularity or notoriety or what the reporter may personally feel. That standard should apply to everyone, whether you’re a foreign leader despised by the U.S. government or a politician detested for your obnoxious behavior.

There is no professional justification for journalists joining in a TV-and-print lynch mob. We also have seen too often where such wrongheaded attitudes lead, such as to the groupthink that Iraq’s hated dictator Saddam Hussein was hiding WMDs, or in an earlier time to the McCarthyism that destroyed the lives of Americans who were smeared as unpatriotic because of their dissident political views.

So, yes, even Donald Trump deserves not to be railroaded by a mainstream media that wants desperately – along with other powerful forces in Official Washington – to see him run out of town on a rail and will use any pretext to do so, even if it means escalating the risks of a nuclear war with Russia.

And, if mainstream media commentators truly want a thorough and independent investigation, they should be demanding that it start by summoning the people who first made the allegations.

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

93 comments for “The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate

  1. Anonymous
    April 6, 2017 at 09:27

    There Could be some People who might think that another Person might be crazy or easily deceived on a matter.

    However, some People will ask themselves whether it is that another Person is crazy or easily deceived, or is it that they themselves might be ignorant or easily deceived on a certain matter.

    We have heard Lies by the Establishment Democrats and the Establishment Republicans that Russia tried to undermine America’s ‘democracy’, but this is a Lie, because America has Always been a Satanic Dictatorship, and there are People who Know that it is Impossible for America to ever be a democracy.

    The Founding Fathers Knew these things, and this is why the Founding Fathers made America a Republic, to moderate the level of the Satanic Dictatorship that America would be.

    We Know that the Devil does Not like the American Constitution, because the American Constitution makes America lesser of a Satanic Dictatorship than what it would otherwise be, and the Invisible Devil and his Invisible Demons are Enraged with this situation, and they are Working Hard to try to Undermine the American Constitution.

    America does Not have a democracy to undermine in the first place, and so if any foreign Country influenced America’s Election, then it could Not in any possible way undermine America’s ‘democracy’.

    We have seen how it is True that if Voting could change anything in America, then the American Shadow Regime would make Voting Illegal.

    We have seen how there are those who Know that the American Constitution can make a little difference, and we can be Certain that the Devil does Not like the American Constitution.

    The Reason for this is that the America’s Shadow Regime is Really the Invisible Satan the Devil and his Invisible Demons.

    We have heard how Establishment Democrats and Establishment Republicans have said that Investigations should follow where the Evidence leads them, and the Founding Fathers Always Warned that after they were no longer on the scene, that Lying and Evil People would at times be in Congress and the Senate and the Media, and because of this they made Many Statements such as that Eternal Vigilance was the Price for Liberty.

    The Real Reason that the Devil arranged for Hillary Clinton to lose the Election, was because the Invisible Devil and his Invisible Demons calculated either correctly or incorrectly that fewer Americans would Study the Bible Properly in order to gain Everlasting Life.

    We Know that the Invisible Devil will try to deceive People and try to make them think that it is for other reasons that the Invisible Devil and his Invisible Demons did this.

    We have seen how the Invisible Devil has tried to Falsely Blame Russia for why Hillary Clinton lost the Election, but this is such an Obvious Lie.

    The Republican National Committee did Not need Russia’s money for the Election, because they had Enough of their own Money, and Hillary Clinton Spent much more on her campaign than what Donald Trump did, and Russia did Not hack the Voting Machines, otherwise even the Traitors would have to Very Reluctantly suggest that Only Paper Ballots to be used for Elections, and the Traitors want the Corrupt Voting Machines so that they can Rig Elections Easier, and the Republican National Committee did Not need Russia as their Speech Writer, and so Russia did Not interfere with the American Election.

    A foreign Country did Not hack the DNC, Regardless of All of the LIES, and the Congressional Medal of Honor should be given to the one of the Few Honest Democrats who Leaked those Emails to WikiLeaks, so that Americans can Know that Not All Democrats are Vile, Putrid, and Corrupt, and this is Why the 2 Party Tyranny in America does Not want to posthumously give the Congressional Medal of Honor to the DNC’s former Computer Expert Seth Rich for Services to America.

    This is the Real Reason why the American Shadow Regime will Not give that Congressional Medal of Honor, and it is Not for the Reason of Blackmailing the Establishment Democrats and the Establishment Republicans, and Americans want to these Traitors to have Primary Elections at the next Primaries.

    If Russia had any influence on how Americans Voted, then it would have help Hillary Clinton, because Voters thought that a foreign Country was trying to influence the Election, and we Know that this FACT is Known by the LIARS who include the Director of the FBI and the Director of the NSA and the rest of the Deliberate Liars.

    A Possible Deceptive Reason why the Invisible Devil and his Invisible Demons did not let Hillary Clinton become President, might be portrayed as that President Donald Trump and a few Senior Establishment Republicans and Establishment Democrats including Bill Clinton who had access to the DNC Computers and who plays Golf with his long time friend Donald Trump can share the Billions of Dollars for a Subtle Coup in America that would be Cunningly Disguised as either an Impeachment, or with a Fake health issue, or with another Cunning Deception, but the Real Reason is that the Invisible, yet Real Ruler of America, wants to Deceive People at .

    We Know that the last time there was a chemical attack in Syria, that it was Proved that it was done by America and its Terrorist Puppets in Syria at , and the rest of it is at , and Steve Bannon Knew these things, and was Pressured to retire and to Lie .

    There are Americans who have enough Self Respect for Themselves and for other Americans, that they will Not allow themselves to be influenced in the Slightest way by other Americans who are Corrupt Liars, who Deliberately Lie that Russia interfered with America’s Election, or those that are that Gullible that they would believe such nonsense, and these Americas want it to be Declared that the Russia Investigation into America’s recent Election has long ago Proven Beyond All Doubt that Russia did Not interfere in America’s Election, but that this Lie was Invented by the previous Administration for Convenience to try to justify their Criminal actions of Spying on an Opposition Political Party, because if that Convenient Lie had not been Not invented, then that Spying would have Unambiguously been an Act of Treason which it Most Certainly was.

    The Bible says that if you Want to Live Forever, and to be Wiser than the Invisible Devil and his Invisible Demons, then you Should Serve God and Study the Bible.

  2. coal burner
    April 3, 2017 at 12:47

    What is ironic is that when the Russians were Communists, the Left in America loved them, and didn’t care if they tried to interfere with our elections, in fact they welcomed it. Teddy Kennedy contacted the Soviets twice to get them to first subvert Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Democrat primary, and then later, Ronald Reagan’s reelection bid in 1984. Now since this was done at the height of The Cold War, I would think that this would be a better case for treason than anything Team Trump has been accused of doing. Russia/The Soviet Union has been interfering in our elections since at least the 1930’s. There is more evidence of collusion between the liberal media and the DNC to get Hillary Clinton elected than there is evidence of any collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Any conversations between Team Trump and Russian reps had more to do with business than anything else. Remember, no one, with the possible exception of Trump himself, thought he was going to win the presidency, so his business dealings would obviously continue even during his campaign. If you look just about every poll up until the day of the election, Clinton was going to win, the only question was by how much. So the claim that Russia hacked the election is farcical. If Russia hacked the election then how did Clinton win the popular vote? The Democrats just can’t come to terms with the fact that Clinton lost to a political novice in an election that was rigged in her favor. And most of all, is that she lost to Donald Trump. The fact that she called Trump supporters deplorable and irredeemable had more to do with her loss than anything Russia allegedly did….

  3. Richard Coleman
    April 1, 2017 at 16:05

    1. I am beginning to believe that Schiff is running with this BS for all it’s worth, so he’ll be nominated in 2020.

    2. This is also beginning to remind me of the original 20th century “fake news”, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This was supposed to be a record of a secret council of rabbis plotting world domination by the Jews. It has long since been debunked as a fraud cooked up by the Okhrana, the Russian Czarist secret police, but it survives to this day as a proven fact among hard core anti-semites the world over. I suspect the Russian hacking and interference in 2016 will share the same future.

  4. Mike Locklear
    March 31, 2017 at 15:42

    The words/opinings of this erstwhile hero have for years now been worth the aether they’re printed on. “$witched teams/sides”, but IT’S STILL THE SAME TEAM: The (faux-) elite (all-)political system whose inertia makes fundamental change/transformation impossible. Could’ve simply told the truth about the secret-weapon hero of 2003-2007 who after kickin’ Kerry’s ass into high enough gear to give this natural-born loser the close loss to Vader-Bush that was good enough for him then proceeded to school the political-media(-entertainment) establishment about what’s really most wrong with our (elitely fuck!’d) “cunt-tree.” “Sad”, “disgraceful” (to quote Robber Parry’s newest idol-icon)…

  5. March 31, 2017 at 12:29

    This is not much more than a very long article that is long on conjecture and devoid of pertinent facts or evidence. It’s all about Schiff and his peddling of Steele’s conspiracy theory which may or may not have any validity. He keeps talking about Steele and inferring that there is nothing of substance with what that British operative is alleging when neither he, Parry that is, or anyone else knows one way or the other. That’s not what’s called “objective” journalism.

    The FBI is in charge of this investigation and they are concentrating on facts and evidence, not conjecture as Parry is doing. What Schiff thinks or says will not be a key factor in the final conclusions made if that is even possible because this issue is so complex. There is no question but that some of Trump’s associates have had direct contact with individuals from Russia. That’s indisputable and what the FBI is looking into; and we need to give this more time to get the real facts.

    That’s what Mr. Parry should also concentrate on doing; instead he is coming across as a chief apologist and defense attorney for both Putin and Trump. Maybe he thinks it’s no more than a witch hunt as Putin has said. Maybe he wants to just drop the whole issue.

    • coal burner
      April 3, 2017 at 12:49

      the witch is so weak, she could not win with 3 mil more votes, all it took was some juvenile fake pizza stories to destroy the dems plans to install her as empress of America, thats all it took.

      Probably some Russian teens paid in weed, thats how weak she is. Fking pityful, they are so buthurt, cant take ownership of a crushing defeat. Putin is laughing his balls off everyday, I bet when he has a bad day, he just asks his minions to replay her “shouty” angry speeches. She was a lightweight, the dems stacked the deck but it backfired. They cant even win by cheating and colluding with CNN, so all they have left is Russia this, Russia that, anyone who drank vodka on the night of the election is suspect. If you talked to a Russian cabbie you were probably involved in “hacking”…

  6. Rick Patel
    March 31, 2017 at 08:56

    Nobody believes anything other than “information” which supports their political views. Zimbabwe has a more serious & credible government than does USA.

  7. Steve
    March 31, 2017 at 01:52

    With all due respect Robert…is this still a story? I have followed you and respected your work for some time now. I’ve contributed as much as I can and have all of your books (well at least 90% or so)….and I’ve been waiting to see something in response or addition to Russ Baker’s newest release in WhoWhatWhy about Trump’s dealings with Russia, Putin, the Russian Mafia and our own Cosa Nostra over many years. This seems to be much more of an important story than the reports of what Putin or Trump have been up to since the election season. I am hoping that someone gets on this newer story, that, if true or containing any truth is aimed at very possible collusion and even treason!
    Thanks for all of your work and being almost the last American journalist reporting on the facts of the coup in Ukraine.

  8. Bob In Portland
    March 30, 2017 at 13:14

    We’re beginning to see the shape of the okeydoke. If you are developing oppo research, you don’t safe most of it for after an election.

    Everyone thought Clinton would win, especially the authors of this propaganda campaign. They held back some of this for use after the election, to give President Clinton a casus belli for a hotter war with Russia. This morning’s stories that Russia MAY MIGHT COULDA PROBABLY spied on Marco Rubio is a means to supply cover for Republicans when the Deep State, with or without Trump, start taking drastic steps against Russia.

    It was always about Hillary getting her war with Russia. Maybe when order is restored they’ll let her come in and press some of the buttons.

  9. March 30, 2017 at 13:13

    Thank you, Zachary, so Schiff and Pence are Orwellian twins. Freedom of the Press, oh yes… This society is now probably the most controlled of all, almost bar none. The internet is the instrument of control as well as link of information, at least for the moment. How did Trump let himself get talked into Pence? If he needed to court the evangelicals, there must have been a few better options… Mike Huckabee? Hard to know, since I don’t follow that camp.

  10. Anne
    March 30, 2017 at 12:48

    If the Democrats are guilty of “Russiagate” to whatever degree, why hasn’t one of theirs, someone or several someones in the know, done everything possible to derail any process that might expose that involvement? What is the reason they are part of hoisting themselves by their own petard?

  11. Zachary Smith
    March 30, 2017 at 12:37

    Everything I’m reading these days is about Trump. According to the Main Stream Media, the man is the pure essence of incompetence as well as flat-out treason. But a thought occurred to me as I looked at the little weasel Schiff’s picture – where does Mike Pence stand in all of this? On to the search:

    From 2006 – “Schiff, Pence Launch Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press”

    The two have been good buddies in the past doing “bipartisan” works together.

    More recently on 2/19/17 – “I wish the vice president had given the kind of speech that John McCain gave because I think that would have done a lot to reassure all of the NATO members, European allies, and others that are here today,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told ABC’s “This Week” guest host Jon Karl.

    Note how this is more like friendly advice than criticism. Pence just needs to hone his Neocon language a little. If Schiff has been any harsher towards the former right-wing radio talk show host/Indiana Congressman/Indiana Governor/Vice President, the google search I made didn’t display it. Be More Like John McCain!, says Schiff (Dem-Israel).

    And from today’s news – “In a sharp contrast to Trump, press goes positive on Pence”

    I can see a pattern. Dump on Trump. Do it endlessly, and make things up out of thin air if you must, but put the idea into every head in the US that Trump is the root of all evil and the Rush “druggie” Limpaugh-loving Pence will be our savior.

    In case anybody needs more information about our utterly wonderful Vice President, here is the writeup at a Fox site.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 30, 2017 at 13:30

      I broke my rule of not clicking on a neocon Washington Post headline for this one – the clickbait title was just to tempting.

      “Mike Pence doesn’t dine alone with other women. And we’re all shocked.”

      During his 12 years in Congress, Pence had rules to avoid any infidelity temptations, or even rumors of impropriety. Those included requiring that any aide who had to work late to assist him be male, never dining alone with a woman other than his wife, and not attending an event where alcohol is served unless Karen was there.

      On top of all his other virtues, the man is a saint who would put Jimmy Carter to shame and give Jesus some serious competition!

      If you believe the neocons of BOTH parties aren’t wetting their pants in anticipation of Pence becoming President, don’t invite any Bridge salesmen to your next dinner party.

  12. Herman
    March 30, 2017 at 12:18

    Surprising how few see what has happened since the election. The crime that has been committed has now become people talking to Russian officials. The crime of influencing the election, however phony a charge, is being lost and simply talking to Russians has become the crime. Words like treason are bandied about, supporters of détente are ridiculed, dismissed or ignored and the Cold Warriors have won the day. All the brouhaha about Trump and his foibles were not and are not the reason for attacking Trump, his very sensible idea of talking to our “enemies is. All those who pile on Trump for other reasons are merely useful idiots.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 30, 2017 at 13:34

      Herman – “…simply talking to Russians has become the crime.” You are right! Good points.

  13. March 30, 2017 at 11:58

    Nothing about ex-SoS Hillary Clinton preventing the resetting of the button with Russia \by making out that. Edward Snowden was a Kremlin spy when he fled to Moscow when he was being set up as a Chinese one by Washington.

  14. March 30, 2017 at 11:10

    Very good, Kiza, I just picked up on your “Main Sewer Media”– very clever, have to employ the term routinely, thanks.

  15. bozhidar balkas
    March 30, 2017 at 08:38

    All leaks are exciting. They cause fears, joys, anger, hate, love, curiosity, wars, bombings, terrorism, envy, jealousy, coercion and even movies.

    So, the more leaks, the better and more and more i yearn for them; especially, those about politics, politicians, journalists, clergy, morticians, scammers, con artists….

    How about following Leak? NIV, Rm 5:12, “Therefore, sin entered the world through one man [it had to have been Adam]. So, Eve is innocent!! Girls, hear, hear the Leak of the millennia. No more head-hanging in shame, guilt, inferiority.

    And sin or our fallibility came from somewhere else than Adam!!!! 1 Cor 11:12, “But everything comes from God”.

    So, it is God who made us fallible and priests who made us gullible and turned us on each other. So, here we have another lovely and lovable Leak!

  16. March 30, 2017 at 08:10

    Kiza, thank you, and I note you know more about this. But what I note is the ramp-up by MSM, swallowing of the propaganda by Americans, and the fact that we are in a particularly stupefied time since the last election cycle. And the fact that it appears to me that western imperialism is failing and therefore the power holders become more desperate to hold onto control. Worldwide we are seeing what I feel is the end of capitalistic economies that have nearly ruined earth (my area is ecology) and desperation is everywhere, we could see major economic collapse. In Russia from what I read, young people there are vulnerable to Navalny’s color opposition because, well, that’s the nature of being young and not understanding history. Yes, you are right-on that Russians do not like what the West did to them, but it takes only one strange incident to start many others going, as we have seen throughout history.

  17. March 30, 2017 at 07:34

    There is evidence or a lack of it. Show me his taxes!

  18. March 30, 2017 at 06:46

    I mean the attempts to destabilize Russia by the West, not the other way around, which is how my misleading placement of the word ‘Russian’ made it appear. The Magnitsky affair and creation of the act in his name was unclear to me until I read more about it.

    • American-Expat
      March 31, 2017 at 13:44

      There is little douby of US efforts to destabilize Russia but have hitched a ride on the wrong horses.Navalny is a convicted conman who while on house arrest instead of the lengthy prison sentence he was given, conned the US into propping him up as a rival to the very popular Putin.

      Regarding the sale of the oil company shares….it is a publicly traded corporation. We all knew and debated the proposal to sell a year before the campaign even stared. Anyone who could read a newspaper in Russia or watched tv debate programs knew about the proposal. None of Steele’s reports ring true to any Russian or foreign expat living in Russis, including me.
      Funny this is, when Putin says it is all nonsense anyone who knows current and recent decades histor have learned to trust him to tell it straight. With 85% approval ( the majority who disapprove do so because they think he is too patient with western provocation.) He has reason to lie or use weasel word nonsense statement all American polititicians have to. Russia is much too unitized for the accept the ham-fisted attempts to create opposition by the US.
      The Steele reports seem like sloppy fiction to scam billionaire Clinton supporters. It is written by stretching it out to milk the maximum cash from the scam victims. Expect Steele to be killed in a public execution made to look like FB right before he is supposed to testify in hearings

      Why was this information a surprise to the most bloated IC in history? If Steele had gotten it why , with unlimited money and resources and capture of every phone call, text message by anyone in the world couldn’t?? The same people who were confidentered of WMD were the people who said Sunni and Shia in Iraq together would welcome , holding hands and tossing flowers to liberating US Troops. Believing conmen in Iraq, and every other country we invaded and now Steele should worry the hell out of every American. The IC has never been correct or aware of actual conditions in the run up of every regime change or invasion. Are they the most incompetent hacks in the profession or just crooks themselves?

  19. March 30, 2017 at 06:26

    In light of yesterday’s testimony to the Senate by Vladimir Karamurza and having read about Bill Browder and Aleksei Navalny, I would like to request that Gilbert Doctorow present an article for Consortium News, if possible, on these individuals. It appears the Russian destabilization attempts are reaching another level, and quite odious.

    • Kiza
      March 30, 2017 at 07:16

      Jessica, those attempts to destabilise Russia are not new and not serious. They have never worked in the past and they do not look like working now or in the future. There is simply not even close to enough critical mass of dissatisfaction to get a colour revolution rolling in Russia. The Russians still remember Yeltsin’s time too well. Finally, we are getting a false impression on the importance of this event and false numbers of protesters from the usual purveyors of false news, the Main Sewer Media. They paid for the show so they may as well make a big fuss about it.

  20. Andrew Nichols
    March 30, 2017 at 03:22

    but also the sort of broad conspiracy-mongering that the mainstream U.S. news media usually loves to ridicule.

    Only those conspiracies that conflict with the official narrative.

    • Kiza
      March 30, 2017 at 05:35

      You are obviously referring to 911, right? The official version of 911 is another regime’s ridiculous conspiracy theory, just like the Russian hacking of the US election.

  21. March 30, 2017 at 03:18

    The attempt to link Steele to HRC/DNC here seems a lot stronger than WaPo source. This is their relevant paragraph: “Steele was hired to work for a Washington research firm, Fusion GPS, that was providing information to a Democratic client. Fusion GPS began doing Trump research in early 2016, before it hired Steele, on behalf of a Republican opposed to the businessman’s candidacy. The firm declined to identify its clients.” The wording is super lawyer vague, and that should arouse our suspicion. It does not say the “Democratic client” is HRC or DNC – any US liberal might do. It also does not say that this client was researching Trump or that the client asked for dirt on Trump. It does not say the client was super excited about Steele’s dirt. Almost the opposite – it says that the work was continued by “a Republican” opposed to Trump for President. My gut hunch from various sources remains that the CIA was pulling the strings on both Steele and the “suspicious” communications between Trump Tower and Russia. Steele was best known to MI6/CIA, FBI would take CIA’s word to help out, and it would have been especially trivial for the CIA to feed Steele nonsense from Russia if they hired him and was monitoring him along the way. Think about how irregular it is for the almost exclusively offense minded CIA to warn about irregular communications in Spring 2016 and start a process that led to FISA warrants. Think about how so many potentially sources of dirt on Trump that would be politically damaging are all being ignored over the last 6 months in favor of focusing only on silly dirt that benefits Cold War warriors. The idea that the CIA is behind both and the press manipulation just fits better than all the other theories I’ve seen.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 30, 2017 at 10:28

      Josh I think you are on the right track. I recall when I first heard about Steele that his information on Trump was collected in order for Jeb Bush to use against Trump. Whether Jeb left the race before this dirt on Trump could be broadcasted, or whether Steele’s data collection was turned down by Jeb for it’s being to darn crazy and unbelievable is the unknown. Regardless Steele’s report ends up on I believe Buzzfeed, and wasn’t it CNN who aired a bit of it? I’m not sure, but by the time John McCain wanted to hype it up, Steele’s report wasn’t being taken seriously any longer. Even people like Masha Gessen a real Putin hater was denying the authenticity of Steele’s report.

      If we the public are going to go under the assumption that where there is smoke there must be a fire, then let’s waste even more time and not only investigate Trump’s Kremlin Golden Shower Escapade, but investigate Podesta and Hillary’s PizzaGate accusation story as well…basement or no basement, but let’s really show the world how mislead Americans really are. Let’s continue to ignore all that collateral damage in Yeman and Iraq, and totally ignore everything from Internet privacy to putting the final touches on destroying what’s left of our earths precious ecology, and really show the world how exceptional we all are.

      The biggest political blunder of all, is that at this very moment in time the Democrate’s could have recruited a vast majority of new voters to join the ranks of it’s failing political party. The stupidest thing the Democrate’s are doing is by pushing this Russia-Gate nonsense the Jackass Party is continuing to follow the Clinton Dynasty Machine, and that is where the most time is a terrible loss. When all is said and done, and when they blow the final Taps over the grave of the Democratic Party then let’s see how much help the CIA is as a Pallbearer lowering the Jackass coffin into the grave.

  22. David H Slavin PhD
    March 29, 2017 at 23:28

    With all respect to Robert Parry, I would challenge him on the following counts:

    a. The “deep state” (not his term but now common parlance on the alt right and the left) and conspiracy theories that ultimately involve hundreds if not thousands of intelligence officers, justice department officials, etc., strain credulity. You can’t keep such an entourage free of whistle blowers. In fact, the whistle blowing is on the other side of the story. “Deep state” is not a conspiracy. It’s the permanent government of civil servants that Bannon and Conway are trying to disrupt.

    b. I would suggest that this stuff about Russia gate being a hoax distracts from the real “conspiracy,” namely the takeover of Trump, his campaign, and his White House by Robert Mercer and daughter Rebekah. See Jane Mayer “Trump’s Money Man: How Robert Mercer, a reclusive hedge fund tycoon, exploited America’s populist insurgency.” The New Yorker 27 March 2017. Is Mayer, author of “Dark Money” about the Koch Brothers, part of the conspiracy? The last word of this article is given to former Mercer associate David Magerman: “when the government becomes more like a corporation, with the richest 0.001% buying shares and demanding board seats, then we cease to be a representative democracy….we become an oligarchy.”

    c. Russia under Putin is undoubtedly an oligarchy – plutocracy – kleptocracy that has stolen $ trillions in wealth of the people of the former Soviet Union — who built that wealth over 50 years (not to mention the centuries toiling under the czars and boyars) and 20 million of whom died in WW2 (the Great Patriotic War as it was called) defending it. It makes perfect sense to me, as a historian, that this oligarchy would like to find allies to remake the world into an “oligarch international.” David Kay Johnston reckons that Trump is worth a few hundred million at best. The real oligarchs in the US, the Kochs ($80 billion), the Mercers ($15-20 billion) are the ones who are in the same league as Putin (net worth $80 billion or $100 billion — according to CIA estimates) and the Russian oligarchy.

    d. Putin is providing the financial backing for a “white supremacist international” including Wilders, Le Pen, Farrage, Bannon & Conway who are using Trump as their mouthpiece and useful imbecile. Unless a progressive alternative can mobilize so-called “white” working people to repudiate the phony status of white race identity, this white race international will succeed in precipitating the “race war” they fervently anticipate. The US Christian Identity movement (non-whites are Mud People) and Dispensationalists and other Fundamentalists who are conducting private foreign policy in support of Israeli settlements with tens of millions of dollars of donations every year converges with the Bannon stream.

    e. Jane Mayer’s article points out that the US oligarchs foresaw a populist revolt brewing in the US since 2013, and went searching for a candidate who could harness the discontent. Bernie Sanders failed to harness it not because of Clinton dirty tricks (although there certainly were lots of them), but because his campaign had failed to produce a straight forward message to European American working people as to why white supremacist policies hurt them and why solidarity with the rest of the working class was in their immediate interest. The same failure is true of Warren, Robert Reich, and all others on the Democratic Party’s left wing. The message of class solidarity is lost on “white” workers as long as progressives consider “privilege” a benefit to those “white” workers. The white blind spot in the progressive community as to the hidden costs of racial privilege is what stands in the way of building a class based movement. Until then, “whites” will continue to see billionaire carnival barkers like Trump, whose strings are pulled by even bigger billionaires like Mercer, as speaking for them.

    f. Studying US history is essential, especially the origin of the “white race” as the ruling class’s social control strata. See Theodore W Allen _The Invention of the White Race_ and other writings by Allen at the website of Jeff Perry: along with Perry’s own work on Hubert Harrison.

  23. expatjourno
    March 29, 2017 at 22:18

    This entire Russia digression is all about distracting people from the simple fact that voters do not like the policies that are making them poor. Democratic insiders have become millionaires by selling out the interests of the American people to Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, oil companies, media conglomerates, Pentagon embezzlers, coal barons, car companies, airlines, the medical-industrial complex, the surveillance-industrial complex, telecom companies and every other malefactor of great wealth that pays to play. Hillary was their avatar. Insiders really, really do not want people to examine who she really represented. So I am reminded of this story.

    Once upon a time a pet food company created a new variety of dog food and rolled out a massive marketing campaign to introduce the product. Despite hiring a first-rate advertising agency, initial sales were very disappointing. The agency was fired and a new agency and a new campaign was launched. Sales continued to disappoint. If anything, they fell even further. In desperation, the CEO called in all of the top executives for a brainstorming session to analyze what had gone wrong with the two campaigns and how a new campaign might revive sales.

    The meeting went on for hours. Sophisticated statistical analysis was brought to bear on the problem. One VP argued that the mix of TV and print ads had been messed up. Another argued that the previous campaigns had been too subtle and had failed to feature the product with sufficient prominence. Another argued that the TV ad campaign had focused too much on spots during sporting events and not enough on regular programming with a broader demographic. Another argued the opposite–not enough sports programming had been targeted. After the debate had raged for hours, the CEO felt they had accomplished very little. He asked if anyone else had any theories that might explain the failure of the new product. Finally, one newly hired employee raised his hand and was recognized. Maybe the dogs don’t like it, she said.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 29, 2017 at 23:18

      That is a great story expatjourno. The point you made is wonderful.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 30, 2017 at 00:32

      expatjourno – I think you’re right, anything to get American minds off the looting that has and is taking place. It has been one great big, gigantic free-for-all looting extravaganza, and the American people are now up to their eyeballs in debt because of it. A complete disgrace.

      Better that the people are distracted with Putin, otherwise they might be calling for Hillary’s head on a plate, or maybe Obama’s. Heck, without the Putin distraction, people might actually start wondering why the bankers were never jailed. Or they might start calling for an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, opening up a new 9/11 investigation, etc. Maybe the people might actually get serious about demanding single-payer health care, or stripping corporations of their “personhood” status, getting rid of campaign financing, the revolving door in Washington, might start questioning the role of the Federal Reserve. Horrors!

      Imagine what people could accomplish if they weren’t being constantly distracted.

      Good post, expatjourno.

    • Kiza
      March 30, 2017 at 03:41

      Wuf, Wuf!

  24. mikekrohde
    March 29, 2017 at 21:46

    It almost makes his Orangeness sound believable when he says the news is fixed. NYT has been dropping the ball on foreign policy since Iraq II and Ms. Miller led us to war against Sadaam for nonexistent WMD’s. This has all the same smell to it, because the NYT didn’t tell the truth about Ukraine or Venezuela when Bush was demonizing them because of their populist leaders who had the audacity to implement that horrible program corporate America has been fighting in South America for hundreds of years, ” land reform”, i.e., nationalizing their own land instead of allowing American corporations to steal it.

  25. JS
    March 29, 2017 at 21:27

    Here is the way forward, and it will advance truth, send rats running for cover, and separate the sheep from the goats. Our “Russian problem” is rooted in defense of Hillary Clinton; meant to explain her loss and destabilize American politics for others. The remedy: Hillary must be charged under the Espionage Act on the bill of particulars delineated by James Comey. Any person who aided or shielded her must also be charged. And if the Clinton defenders are inclined to fight this, then open up the Clinton Foundation and begin charging Hillary for selling favors for donations while SecState. Trump’s DoJ could make this happen; the investigation is half done and just shelved.

    Once there is no upside to defending Hillary, clarity will come to the national conversation. And then Americans can see whether, in fact, Trump is dirty. We already know that Hillary is.

  26. Eric Otto
    March 29, 2017 at 20:41

    With the Russia stuff, we need real evidence. The Aspen Security Forum, The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 13 page report, and Grizzly Step are thin proof.

    The real problem is that Hillary, her campaign people and the DNC are short on ethics. What happened to Sanders really showed how corrupt the Democratic Party has become. Instead of fixing the issues or providing a vision, the idea is to blame Russia, blame men, blame Jill Stein, blame privileged millennials, blame Wikileaks, the right wing noise machine, etc., still will not deal with the issue that Hillary is not well liked and doesn’t to be able to likable except for a narrow focus of conservative (neoliberal and neocon) Democrats. The bigger problem is that the 90s are over, too. She’s lost in the past. If she run in 2020 all this Russian stuff isn’t going to help.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 29, 2017 at 23:05

      I agree with you Eric the Democrate’s are walking off the cliff, and the Hillary people are the ones who are leading this stray donkey to the brittle rocky edge like the stupid jackasses they now appear to be. I mean time is a wasting, and the best the Democrate’s can come with is this Russia-gate nonsense.

      Consider how everyday there is another program, or reshuffling of a government agency’s mission, or another military escalation going on somewhere in the world, and then ask yourself why aren’t the Democrate’s going after those Trump initiatives, or Executive Orders. Seriously between canceling student lunches, college debt programs being eliminated, EPA rules being crushed, gutting banking and business regulations, should I go on? Nothing much being made of these political opportunities, but instead the Democrate’s end up on the same side as McCain and Graham, and for what…to lose even more elections in 2018?

      Eric I’m with you, the real investigation should be to lift open the hood of the DNC and to find out just how corrupt it is. What the Hillary people did to Bernie Sanders was not only illegal, but it cost this country a chance to possibly get a president who may have been able to put this country on the right track. Bernie has his flaws I will give you that, but he wanted to go against Citizens United, and by his wanting to go after the Wall St. crooks how could that not have helped?

      The only Democrate looking back who did the right thing was Tulsi Gabbard when she stepped down from her DNC chair, but now even Tulsi is getting beat up by her own kind, because she went to Syria and met Assad. For the love of Mike Democrate’s Rep Gabbard is the real deal, and a healthy thinking political party would jump on her bandwagon, and put her in the White House as America’s first woman president…is it me, or are the Democrate’s missing something here?

      No the Democrate’s are not only killing their own brand, but they are truly missing some great moments where they could have shinned. Somebody please tell the Democrate’s that Hillary and Bill will be just fine, but now is a perfect time for the Democrate’s to recruit a whole new generation who will if permitted too carry the Democratic Party to win any election a Democrate may choose to run in. If Bernie could have gotten as far as he did in the Democratic Primary with $27 donations, imagine where the donkey could go if they weren’t being such big jackasses to back a Wall St swindler shill.

  27. elmerfudzie
    March 29, 2017 at 19:45

    What a despicable and demoralizing selection of politicians dear citizens! A Hitlery Clinton who’s legacy spans from the long forgotten Whitewater scandal days to the Pizzagate fake news allegation (unless of course, the fake news dumps on Russia’s Putin). Behold! the emblematic equivalent of Ronald Mc Donald , Trump-truly a new American cultural phenomena and fictional creation, of the highest order. Trump, recently hosting TV wrestling matches like WrestleMainia, an investor and profiteer for mindless shows like Monday Night Raw, offered commercial free! WOW! in televised in wide screen, HD utter nonsense. Trump, the casino owner, gambler, billionaire, dice roller! certainly seems to be a warmed over version of another Ronald; Prez Ray-guns! and his adorable blue eyed horses! GOD, AMERICA, IN HEAVEN’S name, the whole damn Democrat-Republican party system is d-e-p-l-o-r-a-b-l-e. I say again (previously stated in another CONSORTIUMNEWS commentary… what choices are these, dear citizens! Even the F-35 man, Bernie is beginning to look good again.

  28. March 29, 2017 at 18:44

    “I believe what we are seeing daily is a dirty diversion designed to hide the treachery of western war criminals. And this diversion is aided and abetted by the corporate media.”…
    [read more at link below]

  29. John_Frank
    March 29, 2017 at 18:22

    Mr. Trump was duly elected. There is no evidence of any Russian interference with the electoral process.

    Now, a concerted effort is underway to overturn those results; pushed by the corporate media and their political allies based in part on a set of unproven allegations which have no bearing on whether Mr. Trump should continue to serve. People should be outraged.

    Instead, the left (which includes “neo-conservatives”) are showing that they refuse to accept the will of the people and are willing to run destroy the Republic, including the risk of nuclear war with Russia, to hold on to power.

  30. March 29, 2017 at 17:53

    Let’s see: The daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador lied to Congress in the run up to the first Gulf War, and then there was Pinocchio Malaki before we shocked and awed Iraq the second time. This collection of “truth tellers” may end up having the reverse effect of making President Trump look good. One has to wonder if he understands the Middle East at all. He supports the Saudis in their decimation of Yemen, and now we are frustrating the efforts of Syria and Russia in Syria. Clinton or Trump? I think we are getting to the point in the book where you look from pig to man and can’t tell which is which!

  31. Adrian Engler
    March 29, 2017 at 17:41

    I think it is fair to say that the conspiracy theories around Steele’s dossier are on a similar level like the Pizzagate story – in both cases, some basic claims are known to be false (there are witnesses who confirm that Trump’s lawyer was in the US when he allegedly met Russians in Prague, and the pizzeria in question has no basement), and there are many other elements that are highly implausible or do not make sense. Of course, it can never be excluded with absolute certainty that some elements may still turn out to be true, but it is extremely unlikely.

    As far as the general public is concerned, the parallelism holds up quite well. At one time, surveys showed that about half of the people who voted for Donald Trump believed in Pizzagate and about half of the people who voted for Hillary Clinton believed that Russians hacked vote tallies (of course, the latter claim was rarely made and representatives of the US secret services explicitly reject it, but good propaganda can make people believe things that are not even stated explicitly, when people see headlines about “hacking the elections” all the time, it is understandable that many believe that actual vote counting was hacked, even if the articles with these headlines contain very different claims). On the whole, these surveys show that in the current political climate, across the political spectrum, there is a great deal of readiness to believe in conspiracy theories for which there is no evidence.

    However, there is one crucial difference. Despite the popularity among their voters, the Republican establishment has wisely shunned Pizzagate completely. When Michael Flynn’s son wrote something about Pizzagate, the transition team distanced itself from him immediately. Even Alex Jones attempted to distance himself from Pizzagate after he had pushed it because he understood how dubious and toxic it is.

    In stark contrast, Democrats up to the highest ranks have put their credibility on the line for their version of evidenceless conspiracy theories. Because of their tremendous media power, they seem to get away with it quite well. When a claim without evidence is repeated often enough, many people seem to think it is a fact. Many Democrats now wrongly believe that it has already been established that it was Russia who gave the DNC and Podesta e-mails to Wikileaks and that the question is only to what degree the Trump campaign was involved in the “Russian conspiracy”.

    But I doubt that they will get away with it so easily in the future. Many Democratic voters have a high readiness to believe conspiracy theories when they make Trump look bad. But the constant allegations still create the expectation that eventually some evidence will turn up. I think the devastation that will occur when it finally becomes clear that there is no evidence for the whole “Russian meddling and conspiracy” story should not be underestimated.

    Possibly, they can keep the story going for some time. Maybe, they will find more people with connections to Trump who talked with Russian people on some occasion. It was even attempted to create a scandal from the fact that Flynn had a conversation with a Russian-British graduate student at a conference. But when the core of the allegations about Russian meddling breaks down, attempting to push this xenophobic line further will hardly help.

    I think it is also important not to have too cynical an attitude towards US media. The fact that they peddle claims for which there is no evidence may lead one to conclude that they are aware that they probably spread false allegations. Then, of course, it could be expected that they go on with their parallel reality even when it has become clear that there is no evidence for it. But probably, most people in the media who spread these conspiracy theories really believe them for the time being, and when these theories break apart because even after all investigations no evidence has been found, the story in the media will probably change, and the credibility of the politicians who banked on Russiagate will probably suffer severely.

    When the US media were full of claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in my view, it was quite easy to see that many of these claims were dubious even without access to secret intelligence information. Furthermore, if Americans really believed the claims Colin Powell made in his theatrical performance before the UN, this would have been an argument for continuing the inspections in order to verify the leads, certainly not for starting a war. Therefore, at the time, I thought that the propagandists knew well that the allegations were bogus and that after the occupation of Iraq, they would continue in the same manner – either they would find some small leftover quantities of chemical weapons that had been forgotten somewhere and claim they had found the evidence they were looking for or they would plant evidence. But this view was too sinister, probably, most of the people who spread stories about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq really believed them at the time, and when it became clear that these claims had been false, this fact was not hidden in the media. I don’t know whether my sinister view of the US media has become true in the meantime, but I still think it is more likely that the media won’t hide it when the Russiagate story breaks down.

    One might argue that the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq did not hurt Republicans that much and that therefore, it will not hurt Democrats too much when the conspiracy theories about Russia break apart. But I think that there are important differences. The weapons of mass destruction had hardly ever been more than an excuse for the military aggression because it was thought that this would be the argumentation the public would find most acceptable. It was quite easy to change to the story to a war for toppling an evil dictator. Many accepted it, and at least it was known that Saddam Hussein had had chemical weapons and nuclear research at some time in the past. Perhaps more importantly, the Iraq war was supported by many Democrats, emphatically by some prominent figures like Hillary Clinton. His opposition to the war was important for Obama’s nomination, but in general, Democrats had little interest in dwelling too much on the false allegations about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This will be different in the case of Russiagate. Apart from John McCain and Lindsey Graham, few Republicans have entangled themselves deeply in the Russiagate allegations, and Donald Trump will hardly have any hesitations to exploit Democrats’ credibility problem with full force.

    Even now, the Russiagate story is very weak. Much of it is based on the claims of Crowdstrike (of the neocon think tank Atlantic Council member Alperovitch) about alleged common features of DNC hacking with hacking of military gadgets in Ukraine. In the meantime, the claims about the hacking of the gadgets in Ukraine have been rejected by experts and Ukrainian officials. A rather comical line of argumentation is based on the fact that cyrillic settings and the name of Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the KGB, was found in some metadata. This shows that the hacker wanted to create a connection with Russia, but certainly not that he or she worked for the Russian secret services. Of course, one can think up a story that Russian agents on purpose used such metadata because then everyone would think that Russian spies would not be that stupid and it must have been someone else. Of course, like many things, this cannot be excluded with certainty, but it is obviously absurd to treat these metadata as evidence for Russian involvement. A further rather comical line of argumentation was that some hacker attacks took place during “Moscow office times”. Well, the main thing is probably that these times are outside US office times, and hackers generally have better chances when they attack at nights when no administrators can detect and thwart the attacks immediately (if the target does not have high security with administrators around the clock – from what is known, it can be concluded that the DNC hardly had a high level of security). Podesta’s e-mails were obtained by simple phishing, certainly not something that requires the technological sophistication of a large secret service. Among the US intelligence reports, the core element of one was a list of “suspicious” IP addresses, many of which were simply TOR exit nodes, and the other mainly consisted of an outdated description of the programme of RT. On that basis, it may seem hard to believe that so many people treat these allegations as if they were credible. But many people don’t look at the details and know little about networks. When investigations go on and still no evidence is found, it will be hard to admit that the emperor has no clothes, and this could severely damage Democrats and their allies in the media who now dwell on the allegations against Russia all the time.

    Of course, I have little pity for the Democrats who have chosen such a pernicious strategy for opposing Trump that will probably blow up sooner or later. But while I find it somewhat difficult to decide whether Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was the lesser evil – both were very bad -, I certainly think that Donald Trump is in many ways very problematic. It can be dangerous when, with their chosen strategy, Democrats and the media allied with them give Trump an easy way to undermine theor credibility in the future, so that there may not be an effective counterweight any more.

    • Sam F
      March 30, 2017 at 16:22

      While I agree in part, it is odd that you claim “it is also important not to have too cynical an attitude towards US media.” I see little distinction between even the actions you admit and outright propaganda warfare against the people of the US. But the situation is really far worse than you have stated.

      The MSM are controlled by zionists, both Jews and those tied to them economically. I researched this in the 1980s and found that 40-60% of major newspapers were directly controlled by Jews, and the others almost never disagreed with their bias. The only ones that had no apparent Jewish control were in New Jersey (all controlled by Italians) and Texas-Louisiana (where they were said to be controlled by oil companies). The situation was steadily getting worse then, and is certainly worse now. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is the sad truth, readily verified by those who care for the truth. It is not a diatribe against Jews, most of whom are not involved, but a record of the tragedy of the response to fascism, which brings to power the fascist element among the victims, in this case the zionists.

      Control of the mass media of a large democracy does not happen by accident, nor for benevolent causes. It is an effort to control a population for personal gain, by working for unfair advantages for one’s ethnic or economic group.

      This is deliberate subversion of democracy by propaganda warfare. Why would it be important not to be cynical about that?

    • Meeting in Prague
      March 30, 2017 at 17:55

      And who is behind it. Neocons.
      These people have a such grip on media they even don’t bother to have any imagination in their lies.
      They also tend to repeat the lies over and over again in different not connected cases.
      … Meeting in Prague is an example. Sounds familiar.
      James Corbett had an interesting case on this today.
      One more thing. After so many lies, red lines, airplanes, weapons of all kinds, viagras in Lybia it’s sad that these people won’t stop and all your energy for months would be “proving them wrong” and writing about it.
      The solution would be simple. You lie over and over. You crossed the red line. Why don’t you prove that you don’t lie.
      Problem is that so many, even inteligent, people get hocked to simply Title articles, and the “truth” is so stuck in that it’s hard to get through.
      Even all heads of agencies said no proof but after all bombastic titles it is in the sea of lies Democrats will still believe Putin did it.
      Im off with this one more It’s silly. And I don’t have time. I was on the Putin crashed the plane, even thou every logic sounded otherwise, for so long I don’t want to spare time on spoiled political brats and their lies and Democrats seduces in it cause they can’t cope with Hillary loosing the election and got sucked in: She couldn’t be that bad, cause we look bad too, it must be Pariah.
      Grow up

  32. Realist
    March 29, 2017 at 17:27

    We have successfully re-created the Soviet Union in 21st century North America where control of the population, including its very thoughts, is paramount and propaganda rather than facts and reality is determinitive of national policies. The main difference is that Soviet citizens of the 20th century seemed to have a much better grip on the distinction between the truth and bullshit their government dispensed than we do.

    • S Purewal
      March 29, 2017 at 19:16

      Soviet people were better educated. They knew that their government was peddling lies. Here it is different. In U.S., for a long time now, the population, by design (of the Ruling Classes), has been completely dumbbed down. You can feed anything into their enfeebled brains. The article in “Counterpunch” on March 23rd “The United States of Cognitive Dissonance” by CJ Hopkins is very illustrative of what is happening here now. As he writes in the article that we are way past Orwell now. So true. It is very frightening what is going on in the country with this “Russia Meddling in U.S. Election” nonsense. There are very few sane, brave, and honest people left in Waghington , D.C. and the country at large; in Congress, in Executive Branch, or in MSM. Even the whole Hollywood elite -, Actors and their Movie Studios Masters – here in L.A. are on board. Just about all of them are busy peddling all kind of lies to the masses; day and night.

      • Realist
        March 29, 2017 at 20:45

        I absolutely concur with your well-put statement and also agree that the article you cite by Hopkins about cognitive dissonance in America’s relationship with its government was right on the mark. We need some kind of shock therapy that causes us to collectively smarten up or we will make the writers of the intended comedic movie “Idiocracy” to become absolute prophets.

      • backwardsevolution
        March 29, 2017 at 23:34

        S Purewal – “The United States of Cognitive Dissonance” was a very good article. Especially liked his last line: “But you may want to drop some acid first in order to get the full effect.” No kidding.

        You’re right, actors have also swallowed the stupid pill. Some of these people I actually used to enjoy watching. Aaaaagh! I don’t know if there’s any going back now. I can’t just put their stupidity back in the bottle.

  33. LJ
    March 29, 2017 at 17:19

    Nyet Nyet on the golden shower fu. Unseemly even for a Clinton aficionado.. By the way, what was up with all the pictures of the gaping maw that Hillary demanded in her campaigning pictures. Was this some kind of lesbian thing?. Remember Dominique Strauss-Kahn? He would be President of France now but for a couple trivial rape allegations. Bertoluscini, Putin’s friend? Hey, who doesn’t likea young girl? JFK? “I’m not through with a woman until I’ve had her 3 ways”? Like Trump would be compromised for acting like Ted Turner /Jane Fonda on a slow night? You have to keep up with the Jones don’t you? What a laugh. He’s 72 years old for God’s sake. Who cares? Silly

  34. Hank
    March 29, 2017 at 17:13

    Does anyone recall a ” Chinagate” 1996 ????

  35. Geoffrey de Galles
    March 29, 2017 at 16:36

    John Batchelor @ Princeton interviews Stephen F. Cohen @ NYU
    on “Dissent & the New Cold War” (42 mins podcast) – 03/28/2017

    • Bob Van Noy
      March 29, 2017 at 19:35

      Thank you for that link Geoffrey de Galles. Professor Cohen makes many good points in this discussion including personal experience with Soviet propaganda and its ultimate demise leading to Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost…

    • backwardsevolution
      March 29, 2017 at 23:13

      Geoffrey – thank you for that link. That was very interesting.

  36. March 29, 2017 at 16:36

    Even if Trump were unseated, the situation will not change, the objectives are what are truly frightening. The War Party hawks are not going to stop. Read the Counterpunch article posted by mike k. It doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference who’s in charge, it’s those behind the scene calling the shots. As for the Russia meddling story, the US should look in the mirror — it’s their CIA top of the list.

  37. W. R. Knight
    March 29, 2017 at 16:28

    I am truly torn in two directions. While I find the allegations of Russian interference appalling, I find the notion that they could be used to unseat Trump appealing.

    • S. Hyland
      March 29, 2017 at 17:27

      There is little damage that Trump could do which would equal the damage of a defacto coup by the “Deep State”. It would rip away the last vestige of representative government. If the American people let that happen then we richly deserve to live in the Police State, that this country has become. Just remember, they came for Trump this time, next time it will be the politician on your side that is inconvenient to the bureaucratic State. It’s what happened to Bernie, just in the small scale primary stage.

      • fuzzylogix
        March 31, 2017 at 07:30

        Absolutely. What they do to your enemy will also be done to you.

        But it really does not matter who is in charge because the MIC cannot be defeated.

  38. March 29, 2017 at 15:57

    The scary issue is what mike k is pointing out with that Counterpunch article, that the neocons will not give up until they accomplish their PNAC regime change target list, and Syria is the piece de LA resistance of the list in their minds, was actually first in their 1997 memo and turned out to be hardest. China stated they wanted to be involved in rebuilding of Syria because of its importance to their Silk Road Project, and I hope they do come in with Russia and Iran to challenge the US imperialists. The neocons have obviously gotten to Trump and Tillerson. They cannot be satisfied until they completely ruin the Middle East and defeat Russia, too.

  39. Stiv
    March 29, 2017 at 15:39

    Jesus Christ, Robert. The same old shit, eh?

    First of all, we all know you’re still hurting from the WAPO listing of CN as a “Russian propoganda outlet”. Yea, that sucks..but they did own up to making a mistake….kind of.

    Second of all, didn’t this “Steele memo” start as a GOP candidate research effort? Sure, Demo interests were interested when the GOP faction lost steam on the issue.

    Third of all….your focusing on Schiff. WTF? The real issue is…wouldn’t you agree… get to the bottom of this and move on. Schiff isn’t the problem…Nunes and a large part ( but not all)of the GOP is.

    There is no reason for there to be a war over this…unless you listen to Cheney ( who supports Trump anyways). As a matter of fact, Trump releasing his tax returns might go a long way towards resolving some of the concerns that he’s compromised the integrity of the office.

    Last week you republished an article you wrote concerning the October surprise. A beautiful paper by the way..some 10+ years after the fact. Don’t let you’re silly premise that Russia wanted to help Clinton blind YOU to facts that may emerge. So, far you read like an apologist for the Trump operation. Putin HATES Clinton …and I don’t blame him either.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 29, 2017 at 17:09

      Schiff, is that you? I never bother reading your posts. Garbage.

      • Stiv
        March 30, 2017 at 15:06

        Granted, not proof but background that there is…apparently…credible evidence.

        But you do read it, don’t you? Wouldn’t be commenting otherwise. And frankly, I wouldn’t care. I have my suspicions about you.

    • incontinent reader
      March 29, 2017 at 19:03

      From what you have just written, I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t digested, or perhaps even taken the time to read the many other articles by Bob, or Ray, or Bill Binney – see for example, The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate at: (or those accounts of first hand knowledge by Craig Murray) – or even to watch President Obama’s final press conference – all of which address the allegations of ‘Russian hacking’ and ‘Russian influence’, and reveal them to be a canard.

      Nor does it seem that the insider DNC leaks (and/or leaks by a patriotic few in the Intelligence community) leading to Wikileaks’ undisputed disclosures of DNC perfidy, and their effect on an electorate already inundated with massive amounts of information related to Hillary Clinton’s criminality would not have had an effect on voters. Consider, for example, her blatant disregard of national security, or self dealing in violation of the trust of her office, or attempt to cover her ass by destroying evidence (which one presumes, the NSA must still have archived in some haystack or other). Or, consider that more than one former federal prosecutor has argued that she could be successfully prosecuted for having violated over15 federal felony statutes. Or, consider her ‘oh so highly’ promoted ‘experience’ of what in fact was a disastrously failed record. It may not have registered with you, but I suspect it did with the electorate, and that they decided she was unfit to serve as our President. After all, is it not possible that the ‘deplorables’ or ‘little people’, or the ‘great unwashed’ recognized it and said so at the polls? Isn’t it also possible that many who would normally have voted for a Democratic party candidate (whether or not they in fact supported Bernie Sanders), might have been so disaffected that they voted against Hillary- and that they couldn’t have cared less what the Russians might have thought or wanted?

      Until the Party leaders, and its apparatchiks- and ‘ appara’chicks’ ‘- stop remaining mired in denial, but instead finally begin to ‘self reflect’, reform the party, and fight for truly progressive causes that represent people and people’s needs, they will keep failing, and no amount of demonization of the Russians, or Chinese, or Iranians, or whomever else, will help them ‘succeed’, even if they are able to further delay the peace and normalized relations that should have been in place eight years ago.

      As for an ‘elephant in the room’ that continues to yield undue influence over our Congress, Executive, MSM, and financial and other corporate institutions, you might direct your gaze at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and their affiliated lobbying groups both here and abroad.

      • D5-5
        March 29, 2017 at 20:25

        It is remarkable to me that the Clintons have kept investigation away from themselves and possible criminal trials. It seems Clinton is still viable, which is like saying Nixon remained viable during the worst disclosures and the stench of Watergate, but hey the party is falling apart, man, we need somebody . . .

      • Bill Bodden
        March 29, 2017 at 21:56

        An excellent response, incontinent, to inform readers who might have bought into Stiv’s claptrap; however, if you intended it to enlighten Stiv you probably just wasted your time.

        • Stiv
          March 30, 2017 at 15:16

          LOL! Don’t get your panties all tied up in knots, gentlemen! I’m not saying the points Parry says do not have truth in them…I’m just saying it’s the same over and over and over. It would be more appropriate for him to move on and simply reference what he’s previously pointed out, when necessary/appropriate to further/background new information. God, it’s an echo chamber with you folks!

          And no, I’m not a journalist. I depend on professionals like Parry for that. I just think he can do better than he has been. In fact, we all depend on him. I’m finding that the other contributors here tend to bring the NEW information forward…and some of the commenters. Thank you for that…”reader” included.

      • Brad Owen
        March 30, 2017 at 04:30

        They can’t reflect upon what went wrong, because if they did, they would realize that they have to disband as a Party and “retire to private life” as the American Tories did, after the Patriots won their Revolution, and join the ranks of the Deep State operatives that the American Tories established here in the first place. But the Deep State itself is slowly going to be shut down, because a new Spirit is moving across the World, traveling on a New Silk Road. Like the movements of a symphony, one movement draws to a composed close, while the next composed movement opens up, and their part of the Symphony is OVER. This they deeply suspect, but can’t believe it’s all over for them. As for who The Conductor is?…I just call it Ministering Angels in charge of conducting the Symphony according to karmic dictates. The American portion of Empire is drawing to a close; the older Establishment families in Britain and Europe in charge of Empire will face their own end later (as The Symphony moves along).

  40. mike k
    March 29, 2017 at 15:33

    While we are distracted, Trump’s generals are moving to destroy Syria and attack Russia.

    • John_Frank
      March 29, 2017 at 18:35

      In case people missed it the Russian and US military leadership met recently in Azerbaijan, before the recent build up and military advances in north eastern Syria.

      • D5-5
        March 29, 2017 at 20:27

        Interesting new term right now (to me) “de-conflict.” This is the military jargon for the current situation re “cooperation” with Russia. No, no, no. We’re not “cooperating.” We’re “de-conflicting,” which means trying to avoid dropping bombs on them.

  41. backwardsevolution
    March 29, 2017 at 15:21

    Thought this was interesting from Paul Craig Roberts re Crimea and Ukraine:

    “Ukraine Annexed Crimea in the 1990s

    Something else “our” government and its media whores did not tell us is that under the Crimean Constitution of 1992, Crimea existed as a legal, democratic, secular state. Crimea’s relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. In 1995 Ukrainian special ops forces and Ukrainian Army troops invaded Crimea and annexed the territory.

    Here is the report from Arina Tsukanova:

    The Autonomous Republic of Crimea was established by the 1991 All-Union Referendum in which 94% of Crimeans voted in favor of re-establishing their status as an autonomous republic. Crimeans repeated the vote in 2014 by an even higher percentage, and this time prevented another Ukrainian invasion by reuniting with Russia.

    Why didn’t you know this? Why instead do you hear nothing but lies about a ‘Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea’?”

    • intheno
      March 30, 2017 at 07:54

      thank you! this should be shared/posted around the web.
      the rothschild’s and george soros will stop at, pretty much,, nothing to discredit and bring to ruin, Russia.

  42. Chim
    March 29, 2017 at 15:15

    That Schiff points to the Rosneft sale is quite amusing, and further adds to the silliness of his accusations, as that supposed “sale” to Glencore/Qatar was in fact just a scam to issue money from the central bank, as a means to bolster the economy.

  43. backwardsevolution
    March 29, 2017 at 15:10

    Great article! If it’s going to be a witch-hunt, at least let it be an exhaustive one.

    “Who, for instance, paid for the contract? How much was the total and how much went to Steele? How much did Steele then pay his Russian contacts and did they, in turn, pay the alleged Russian insiders for information? Or are we supposed to believe that these “insiders” risked being identified as spies out of a commitment to the truth?”

    Haul them all in, then follow the money trail. What’s the motive, the intent? And just to be fair (because this is all about fairness and truth, right?), when they’re finished with Trump, start investigating Adam Schiff’s involvement with Igor Pasternak and other weapons manufacturers. Schiff’s worldview looks to be in lockstep with McCain and Graham.

    “Schiff’s voting record is in line with the military industrial complex; he voted against banning armed forces in Libya without congressional approval, voted against removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, voted in favor of the Iraq War, voted in favor of arming moderate Syrian opposition rebels, and pushed for the U.S. to arm Ukrainian rebels in defiance of Obama’s apprehension to do so. His record more in line with Republican war hawks than the Democratic Party.”

    After following the money trail leading to Schiff (which might explain his motive for going after Trump), the committee should next turn their attention to the Clinton’s, their connection to Uranium One (the selling off of 20% of all U.S. uranium to the Russians), huge donations to the Clinton Foundation as a result of this deal, and the $500,000.00 fee paid to Bill Clinton to speak in Russia.

    With so many fingers in so many pies, it’s a wonder that politicians ever get any work done on behalf of ordinary people.

    • Erik G
      March 29, 2017 at 17:15

      It is an excellent article.

      Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:

      He may prefer to be independent, and there may be better polling websites, but pressure on the NYT to recognize the superior reporting of their opposition is a good thing. I will repeat this post from time to time.

    • intheno
      March 30, 2017 at 07:52

      well, you assume that they were running for office to do the job for the people.
      schiff, he works for the rothys. the schiff family has many, many long years of service to them.
      most politicians work for those who supply the money. they love their little piece of power and self-created importance in the country, and as john mccains shows us all, his self-importance in the world. he still thinks he should be president.

  44. Drew Hunkins
    March 29, 2017 at 14:50

    Someday honest independent historians and intellectuals will reflect back on this massive early-21st century Russophobic group-think with incredulity and astonishment. The manner in which it’s swept up so many otherwise intelligent people across much of the politico-economic spectrum is truly disgraceful and disheartening.

    I can’t help but think of a common refrain the late Edward Said would write about from time to time – basically that the true genuine intellectual has absolutely no allegiance to any state or authority. A real man of letters, who’s committed to peace and committed to attacking any unjustified form of violent authority, evaluates and critiques the world geopolitical reality regardless of any sort of affiliation to state or Party he may have been inculcated with from birth.

    • D5-5
      March 29, 2017 at 20:47

      These are the kind of people we need as global leaders.

  45. Geoffrey de Galles
    March 29, 2017 at 14:05

    Have you no sense of decency, Mr. Schiff?

    • D5-5
      March 29, 2017 at 20:30

      I can actually hear Welsh saying this to McCarthy via old vid, and his tonality is almost indescribable–disgust somehow combined with sadness.

    • intheno
      March 30, 2017 at 07:48

      he never has. btw the schiff family is a long time friend and employee of the rothschilds.

  46. mike k
    March 29, 2017 at 13:45

    The details of how we are being screwed, and how we are screwing each other are of course interesting, but we need to keep the bigger, deeper picture in mind as context for understanding all this. That larger context includes capitalism, environmental destruction, militarism, selfishness, and a loss of interest in truth in favor of what feeds our short term desires. These are the underlying vectors that must be changed. Anything less than that will only be dancing on the Titanic.

    • D5-5
      March 29, 2017 at 20:40

      To me we need to keep emphasizing peace. I don’t want sound too self-righteous but I mean in the community, too, practice good vibes, peace, civility. This does not mean ignoring the core issues.

  47. mike k
    March 29, 2017 at 13:29

    All of this nonsense is perfectly understandable and expected for anyone with a knowledge of history and the web of lies that always surrounds the higher levels of power. This stuff is not an anomaly or a unique example of corruption; this is how it has always worked. Power corrupts, remember?

  48. Tom Welsh
    March 29, 2017 at 13:22

    “The hacked documents would be in exchange for a Trump Administration policy that de-emphasizes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…”

    Aha! Now we are getting to really vicious, wicked disinformation. Perhaps the Trump administration, in this scenario, would also have denied the existence of Santa Claus and even denied that the world is flat.

    As everyone knows, Russia has never “invaded” Ukraine – unless one stretches the word “invade” to absurd lengths, as on the occasions when Russian or Soviet troops drove foreign invaders out of Ukraine. Charles XII and his Swedes, Hitler’s Nazis…

    Indeed, to any impartial observer with common sense, Ukraine has always been part of Russia. The very first Russian state, after all, had its capital in Kiev! About the time that King Alfred was inventing the novel idea of a kingdom called “Englaland”.

  49. Tom Welsh
    March 29, 2017 at 13:17

    “How much did Steele then pay his Russian contacts and did they, in turn, pay the alleged Russian insiders for information? Or are we supposed to believe that these “insiders” risked being identified as spies out of a commitment to the truth?”

    Very pertinent questions, and what’s more very reminiscent of the Lockerbie kangaroo court, in which the main – indeed the only significant – witness was paid some $2 million for his testimony by the US government. Not that they paid him to testify a particular way, of course – God forbid they would think of meddling with the course of impartial justice. But one wonders whether that $2 million would have materialized had he said something different.

    • Kiza
      March 30, 2017 at 00:14

      The story of golden showers on former Obama’s bed in a Moscow hotel fully resembles Slavic humor. I am pretty sure that no matter how much he was paid for this “fact”, some Russian “spy” is still laughing his behind off. Naturally, Steele would have added the videoing by KGB (which does not exist any more under that name, Mr Steele is a bit behind the ball).

      The originator of this salacious “fact” is essentially saying with this joke that he does not care about either Clinton/Obama or Trump, it is all the same dumb US sh** and he is above it. That is the best translation and it appears to have been the right assessment of both Presidential candidates (still candidates when this “report” was being prepared).

      As I stated many times before – sexual smear is so 20th century. Corruption and financial crime is 21st century. The blackmailing potential of having golden shower with prostitutes is close to zero. To blackmail Trump the Russians would have had to ensnare him in some serious financial scandal in which Trump would have been breaking some US law.

      • Kiza
        March 30, 2017 at 00:56

        On the second thought, it is also possible that the source was a double agent (Mr Steele has been kicked out of Russia long time ago). If this “fact” was truly sent to US as a provocation by FSB, then it would show that FSB has some good psychological experts. Those experts understand that powerlust is stronger than any other lust, including sexual, and that the recipients of this joke would take it seriously and splash it across all Deep State MSM.The US Deep State (the Demo Party political appointees to CIA, FBI, NSA etc) is so blinded by powerlust that it was prepared to believe in or promote absolutely anything which could bring it closer to regaining power. As someone asks below – are such characters the prospective rulers of the World? It reeks more of decline than rise. This joke shows that US is already an Idiocracy.

        How the roles have reversed. In some better times for US, it used to be CIA planting jokes into the Communist Block. For example, one was: President Brezhnev is giving a speech on the First Channel of Soviet TV, but if you switch over to the second channel there is a KGB Colonel waving his index finger and saying: “No-no!”

    • intheno
      March 30, 2017 at 08:00

      for me, there are no russian “insiders”. you don’t need them if you make believe and cite “unnamed sources”. bugs bunny could have been one of the sources. schiff loves that sort of information.

      • John Hawk
        March 31, 2017 at 08:33

        Schiff and his ilk are part of the ‘we wage war by way of deception’ crowd. ’nuff said!

  50. Tom Welsh
    March 29, 2017 at 13:08

    “I was told that the outgoing intelligence chiefs had found no evidence to verify Steele’s claims but nevertheless believed them to be true”.

    Yes, that is exactly the ability one would look for, above all, in an “intelligence chief”. The unusual ability to decide, without any evidence, whether a story is, or is not, true.

    Although it does leave one wondering: why does the USA spend over $50 billion every year on its 16, or 19, or whatever, “intelligence agencies”, when their bosses are able to know what is true without recourse to anything as mundane as facts? Why bother gathering intelligence at all, when those superhuman personages are able to discern the truth merely by taking thought?

    • Bill Bodden
      March 29, 2017 at 13:20

      Why bother gathering intelligence at all, when those superhuman personages are able to discern the truth merely by taking thought?

      Because those superhuman personages need their personal empires.

    • JS
      March 29, 2017 at 21:14

      Yes, might as well hire a Johnny Carson impersonator. Or a smart dog. Or find a magic 8 ball.

      • Sam F
        March 30, 2017 at 15:53

        Or RasPutin, perhaps they have a found his descendants.

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