The Gaping Holes of Russia-gate

Between Russia-gate and President Trump’s potential impeachment, Washington is blending the thrill of McCarthyism and the excitement of Watergate, as ex-U.S. intelligence officials Ray McGovern and William Binney explain.

By Ray McGovern and William Binney

Official Washington got to relive the excitement of Watergate in a “gotcha” moment after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. There were fond recollections of how righteous the major newspapers felt when condemning President Nixon over his “Saturday Night Massacre” firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Former FBI Director James Comey

But the overriding question from “this Russia thing, with Trump and Russia” — as President Trump calls it — is whether there is any there there. The President labeled it a “made-up story” and, by all appearances from what is known at this time, he is mostly correct.

A few days before Comey’s firing, the FBI Director reportedly had asked for still more resources to hunt the Russian bear for supposedly “interfering” with last year’s election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. And so the firing allowed the Watergate-recalling news outlets to trot out the old trope that “the cover-up is worse than the crime.”

But can that argument bear close scrutiny, or is it the “phony narrative” that Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas claims it to be? Cornyn quipped that, if impeding the investigation was Trump’s aim, “This strikes me as a lousy way to do it. All it does is heighten the attention given to the issue.”

Truth is, President Trump had ample reason to be fed up with Comey, in part for his lack of enthusiasm toward investigating actual, provable crimes related to “Russia-gate” — like the flood of sensitive national security leaks, such as the highly sensitive intercepted communications used to precipitate the demise of Trump aide Michael Flynn.

The retired Army lieutenant general was “caught” talking with Russia’s ambassador last December, a normal undertaking for a person designated as the incoming National Security Adviser. But Obama administration holdovers twisted that into a supposed violation of the archaic 1799 Logan Act and then used a transcript of the phone call to trip up Flynn because he didn’t have perfect recollection of the conversation.

So, a trumped-up federal case was used to help get Flynn fired, but an apparent criminal act – the Flynn leak among many other leaks – was apparently ignored. We suspect that one reason for Comey’s disinterest was that he already knows who was responsible.

In contrast to Comey’s see-no-evil reaction to criminal leaking, the FBI Director evinced strong determination to chase after ties between Russia and the Trump campaign until the cows came home. The investigation (already underway for 10 months) had the decided advantage of casting doubt on the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency and putting the kibosh on his plans to forge a more workable relationship with Russia, a win-win for the Establishment, the Military-Industrial Complex, and the FBI/CIA/NSA “Deep State”; a lose-lose for the President – and arguably the American people and the world, both of whom might benefit from fewer big-power tensions and lower spending on an arms race.

An Evidence Shortage

What has been particularly noteworthy about this “scandal” is how much spooky music we’ve heard and how many sinister suspicions have been raised versus actual “evidence” of the core allegations. So far, it has been smoke and mirrors with no chargeable offenses and not a scintilla of convincing proof of Russian “meddling” in the election.

The oft-cited, but evidence-free, CIA/FBI/NSA report of Jan. 6 — crafted by selected senior analysts, according to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper — is of a piece with the “high-confidence,” but fraudulent, National Intelligence Estimate 15 years ago about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Dmitri Alperovitch, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike Inc., leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.

But what about the “Russian hacking,” the centerpiece of the accusations about Kremlin “interference” to help Trump? Surely, we know that happened. Or do we?

On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents — almost completely ignored by the mainstream media — showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs (like Cyrillic markings, for example). The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the “Vault 7” trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for “proving” the Russians hacked into Democratic Party emails.

In other words, it is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several “active measures” undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Clapper — the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free report of Jan. 6.

Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee’s computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the examination done by the DNC’s private contractor, Crowdstrike. The firm itself has conflicts of interests in its links to the pro-NATO and anti-Russia think tank, the Atlantic Council, through Dmitri Alperovitch, who is an Atlantic Council senior fellow and the co-founder of Crowdstrike.

Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn’t it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey’s hesitancy to demand access to the DNC’s computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?

President Trump has entered into a high-stakes gamble in confronting the Deep State and its media allies over the accusations of his colluding with Russia. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, publicly warned him of the risk earlier this year. “You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Jan. 3.

If Mr. Trump continues to “take on” the Deep State, he will be fighting uphill, whether he’s in the right or not. It is far from certain he will prevail.

Ray McGovern (rrmcgovern@gmail.com) was a CIA analyst for 27 years; he briefed the president’s daily brief one-on-one to President Reagan’s most senior national security officials from 1981-85. William Binney (williambinney0802@comcast.net) worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.

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99 comments for “The Gaping Holes of Russia-gate

  1. Zachary Smith
    May 20, 2017 at 10:50 am

    If Mr. Trump continues to “take on” the Deep State, he will be fighting uphill, whether he’s in the right or not. It is far from certain he will prevail.

    Since my mild hopes for Trump after his election, my attitude has skidded into one of complete disgust at the man’s flip-flops, incompetence, and suicidal behavior. But even as he strives to new levels of “bottoming out”, the man still looks better to me than the people determined to take him down. Trump appears to be a genuine louse, but his opposition is a coalition of disease-carrying fleas, ticks, rabid rodents, and other assorted vermin.

    At the present time I’d wager that the purpose of all this isn’t to drive Trump out of office, but to force him to follow neocon directives like the recent US air strike on the Syrian Army. Obama was a willing partner, but if they have to twist Trump’s arm, that’s what they’ll continue to do.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 20, 2017 at 11:09 am

      You make a valid point Zachary. It’s like we are stuck in the ‘lessor of the two evils’ syndrome, and we can’t get out.

      • Jonathan L. Seagull
        May 20, 2017 at 11:28 am

        Did anyone else notice that the “Trump passed high-level secrets to Russia” story was entirely fabricated and based in no evidence whatsoever?

        CNN actually published a story that, if you read it closely, debunks what WaPo and NYT wrote:

        http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/16/politics/white-house-intelligence-russians/

        As I just wrote in an email to the Russia blogger The Saker:

        “According to that CNN story, the super-sensitive identifying
        information was shared with CNN in March!! They wouldn’t even give it
        to the Five Eyes, but they gave it to CNN!! Then what? They took back
        what they said after they leaked it, and urged CNN not to publish part
        of it? But the rest was okay?? These people are in charge of America’s
        highest secrets?!

        “Furthermore, what do Russia or Syria care about ISIS having a Mossad
        mole? I can’t imagine a strategic use for that information, which they
        had surely guessed years ago. But by leaking this story to the NYT and
        WaPo, the leaker is telling ISIS directly about the Mossad agent in
        their ranks!”

        We have a large number of national media institutions in the US: WaPo, NYT, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, the 4 broadcast TV networks, CNN, NPR, etc. There are also “left-wing” institutions like The Nation or (ugh) Mother Jones.

        And yet every single one of them is broadcasting this story as if it’s internally consistent. The logic here falls apart without any need to doubt any of the facts as presented. How could nobody have noticed this?

        • Jonathan L. Seagull
          May 20, 2017 at 11:28 am

          Did not mean to post this in the middle of a thread. Sorry… first time I’ve ever done that

          • Miranda Keefe
            May 20, 2017 at 4:15 pm

            But I’m glad you posted it, even if you posted it in the middle of a thread.

        • Joe Tedesky
          May 20, 2017 at 11:39 pm

          Well Jonathan you are correct, that our media is working hard on putting the there there.

        • LongGoneJohn
          May 21, 2017 at 3:39 am

          I don’t often let things amaze me, but when I do… I’m amazed.

          Already understood the story wasn’t quite as big as was being portrayed, but I like this lighting anyway.

    • May 21, 2017 at 3:05 pm

      Zachary, I agree with you about Trump’s move against the ‘Deep State’ but I find it interesting that you have to shower first. Let’s go to work and then we can all take a shower.

      It is like a scene from the movie “Down Periscope” when the crew of the submarine faces impossible tasks set up by forces determined to see them fail, they take an unusual path to success;

      [Kelsey Grammer as] Lt. Commander Thomas “Tom” Dodge: To get in, we’re gonna have to use a tactic that is somewhat bizarre, and extremely risky. If any of you feel it’s not worth it, please let me know now.

      [Jonathan Penner as] Seaman Stanley “Spots” Sylvesterson: Uh, actually, sir, I think we prefer to go with the bizarre and risky. Worked for us so far.

    • Wm. Boyce
      May 21, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      You are delusional.

    • jim
      May 30, 2017 at 5:40 am

      Would you consider his behavior incompetent and suicidal if he just went along with the “Deep State” and followed orders like all his predecessors before him? You seem to be projecting all the outrageous smears, lies, leaks and illegal surveillance against Trump as a defect in his own character when the truth is the opposite! If he went along with the Deep state, the media would be praising him as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln.

      The Deep State does not like fighting their battles in the open. If Trump allows the Neocons to maneuver him into another illegal Middle Eastern war, they won’t have to destroy him. In the process of doing their dirty work, he will have destroyed himself, the conservative movement and quite possibly our country as we know it today.

  2. May 20, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Let’s face it, “Russia – gate” could be a great diversion for covering up the actions of the war criminals in our midst. Make no mistake “the warfare state” is big business and a blood soaked money machine for the profiteers of destruction and death that costs taxpayers trillions….
    [More info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/03/is-blaming-russia-diversion-designed-to.html

  3. Joe Tedesky
    May 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

    In order to bring about any rational opinion, or prove anything other than there was Russian interference into our U.S. Democracy one would have to turn off their TV set. The noise of the cable news networks is overwhelming, and because of it it is a wonder we are not all rushing after Russia with pitchforks in hand. We are getting to the point, where if you don’t believe Russia hacked into the DNC computers then you are not a good American. If you don’t believe me watch Bill Mather interview Joel Epstein on Maher’s 5/19/17 show.

    So thanks go to Ray McGovern and William Binney for their experienced opinions.

    • Nancy
      May 20, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      In order to prove or disprove Russian interference in our U.S. Democracy we would have to actually have one! That is what is especially bizarre about this whole stinking mess.

      • Homer Jay
        May 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm

        Yes! What is a shame is that we will never get to the bottom of actual meddling…by the DNC in the contest between Sanders and Clinton, including but not limited to some very odd things happening in various states i.e. California (an open primary) giving independents provisional ballots (what Greg Palast calls placebo ballots), exit polls being way off of the votes tallied, Nevada where Sanders delegates literally were refused there votes…just to name a few. It is amazing to watch as the Russia media circus has completely drowned any of this out. When I talk to Clinton supporters about this, they get this deer in the head lights look, and say something about how Sanders isn’t a “real” democrat…which I guess means he hasn’t completely been corrupted…yet. It really is like the whole world has gone mad. And you can’t help but wonder what their reaction would have been in 2008 if the DNC were revealed to have colluded for Obama….mutiny!

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 20, 2017 at 10:38 pm

        You would think Nancy that for a country which has a two year presidential race that that would be more than enough time for us citizens to choose a very good candidate, but not. It’s insane if you consider that between the Republicans and Democrates there were 21 candidates, and it all boiled down to Trump and Clinton. Then you had the media giving Trump 4.6 billion dollars worth of free tv coverage time, and now the same media tears Trump apart 24/7. Hillary is a walking lie, so what more needs said about her?

        Just to be clear, when people say if you don’t vote you lose your right to complain, well I say no to that, and stress that if you pay your taxes then you have every reason on earth to complain to your government. I wish I could convince 95% of the voting public not to vote, and rob the legitimacy required to run this nation.

        • Homer Jay
          May 21, 2017 at 6:49 am

          Joe…thanks for the last paragraph. I work at a federal agency and a colleague sent out what he must have thought was a neutral reminder email telling everyone “don’t forget to vote” in a local election held last week, like all the others, for demoplicans by demoplicans. I replied back saying we should appreciate the choice “not to vote” as a vote in itself to illegitimize our current covert (or perhaps not so covert) plutocracy. I don’t think he got it.

        • Nancy
          May 21, 2017 at 10:26 am

          I agree. I finally have realized that voting in a rigged system like ours offers tacit approval.

      • Rosa Marzullo
        May 22, 2017 at 5:48 am

        It’s all a distraction from more pressing issues like healthcare, minimum wage raises, prisons for profit, education for profit, the Seth Rich and Shawn Lucas murders and etc etc etc. Not as important as throwing spaghetti at the walls.

    • Sam F
      May 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Yes, thanks to Ray McGovern and William Binney for this clarification.

      I would not say that “If Mr. Trump continues to ‘take on’ the Deep State, he will be fighting uphill” for he will need encouragement, and will need to command all possible support among the swamp critters. Of course there is little support when he opposes the zionist/MIC/WallSt aggressors in the Mideast, despite his appeasements.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 20, 2017 at 10:55 pm

        Sam F if by Trump supportive swamp critters you mean other politicians, and the Beltway crowd, your right Trump may be able to garner support amongst that some among that group. I guess the next question would be, but how many would turnout to support Trump?

        Where Trump lacks the most is in the media. I’m not just talking about the Main Stream Media as we know it, but also the media’s late night tv talk show hosts, and the daytime talk shows as well as among the sitcom innuendos script writers, who love getting a laugh by trashing the billionaire president. I have never seen a new president get the kind of attention Trump is getting.

        • Sam F
          May 21, 2017 at 9:43 am

          Yes, Joe, the mass media presently seem to have herded the sheep Dems into groupthink. I don’t watch mass media unless trapped near the propaganda blasters at an airport, but of course most people do not have the courage to think for themselves.

          These unsupported MSM propaganda excesses will be followed by MSM amnesia, once they are discredited or fail at impeachment, but the MSM are discrediting themselves as mere scandal sheets in comparison with alternative websites, as people see declining reasons to use a few broadcast sources for news. But this will also lead to polarization as people listen only to those they agree with already.

          I still see fairly intelligent people convince themselves that the NYT’s sober format and small print must surely indicate reliability in its news. They have a long education ahead of them, so I am patient.

  4. Tom Welsh
    May 20, 2017 at 11:31 am

    You’ve got to love James Comey’s boyish grin, don’t you? Until you realize that this guy would unhesitatingly torture you to death if that suited his career plans.

    One word: “psychopath”.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Tom Welsh – I think you are totally correct here re Comey, no conscience. I don’t think he squirms at all when he’s asked to lie or take another person out. Like a hit man without a gun.

      Read this post about Comey. It shows him in league with Schumer and the rest of the bandits.

      “Gonzales’s belief, expressed in the book, that Comey and Bharara colluded in secret with Schumer in an attempt to take down a top Bush administration official is no unsupported conspiracy theory, as Bharara himself confirmed Gonzales’s suspicions about Comey’s scheme in a 2016 interview with The New Yorker‘s Jeffrey Toobin.

      Is it possible that everything they and their friends are alleging about Comey and Trump is true? Absolutely. Everything they and their associates are anonymously providing to journalists eager to promote their narrative could be true, especially given Trump’s tendency to rhetorically shoot from the hip.

      But given Comey’s history of secretly colluding with Democratic officials to craft a disputed narrative that makes everyone but himself look awful in order to oust a top Republican who didn’t sufficiently kowtow to Comey, there’s little reason to assume events transpired exactly the way Comey and his friends allege, especially given that both Comey and Bharara have rather obvious axes to grind on the matter. After all, Trump is the reason neither of them currently has a job. In light of Comey’s history of twisting private conversations and events, it’s probably a good idea to take anonymous leaks from him and his friends with a grain of salt.”

      http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/17/former-attorney-general-on-comeys-integrity-jims-loyalty-was-more-to-chuck-schumer/

  5. May 20, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Prof. Stephen F. Cohen is right that the Intel agencies are a 4th branch of government. I’m reading David Talbot’s “The Devil’s Chessboard” while this is going on, and one can see how right he is. Allen Dulles and his right hand man, James Jesus Angleton, resented any butting into their CIA work by any high government officials. It is amazing that Americans never seemed to wake up to the brutal, wretched activities of the CIA as unacceptable behavior to be reviled, until we now are finally getting a real account of the sordid details. What is different now, however, is how the press is not doing its job as an arbiter of fact rather than acting as propagandists, which is why this saga with Trump’s official beginning as President is so twisted. I actually don’t blame Trump for anymore than not knowing how to pick good cabinet and assistants due to his political inexperience. I also believe that if Clinton had gotten elected, we would have a corresponding circus from the other side. The American “democratic” political system I consider long gone due to corruption by money.

    I was thinking last night that, if Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama had not backed away when many Americans wanted Bush and Cheney to be held accountable for their heinous crimes in Iraq, we would have a higher standard for government now. If anyone should have been impeached when he lied about WMDs and for the way the war on Iraq was conducted, it was George W. Bush. Trump doesn’t deserve impeachment any more than many members of Congress, and the Supreme Court should have been impeached for the Citizens United decision. This is a farce…

    • Ray
      May 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Thanks, Jessica K, for sharing the following observation:

      “I was thinking last night that, if Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama had not backed away when many Americans wanted Bush and Cheney to be held accountable for their heinous crimes in Iraq, we would have a higher standard for government now.”

      I think you are completely correct. After the Democrats won back the House in the 2006 election, Cindy Sheehan and I had a private talk with the Judiciary Committee’s John Conyers in his office. It was just after Conyers had taken the chair of the committee again. Besides the three of us, there were three of Conyers’s lawyers.

      What do you want, Conyers asked. Impeachment of George W. Bush, we answered. Conyers: But Nancy Pelosi has removed impeachment from the table; it’s not going to happen. Why, we asked. Because Nancy says that, if we Democrats appear divisive, we will not win as big in 2008.

      So I said: But the Constitution leaves you no alternative. If launching war of aggression on made-up “intelligence” is not a high crime, I don’t know what is.

      “There is nothing in the Constitution that says John Conyers has to start impeachment proceedings,” Mr. CIA man, says the chairman.

      I ask, Who is chair of the House Judiciary Committee?

      Conyers, I am he. But we could not line up the votes anyway.

      Sure you could, says I, as Conyers’ three lawyers almost pee-ed in their pants. (Apparently, you don’t talk like that to a CHAIRMAN.)

      I refused to leave his office. He called the cops; I was arrested. Went to trial and was convicted for “illegal assembly,” a story I relish telling my grandchildren; some of them are already old enough to understand what the implications of what happened… and what is happening to our Republic.

      I was, ok, “shocked.” Not so much at seeing at first hand how craven politics was thwarting implementation of the impeachment provision in the U.S. Constitution, a provision that our Founders were prescient enough to include in our founding document — but even more by the casual “justification” adduced by Conyers for his cowardice; no shame there, just practical politics.

      There is, of course, a fully legal way to remove presidents who start unnecessary wars based on fraudulent intelligence. And the was cast, and the House prepared. Dennis Kucinich had listed and described some 50 of W’s impeachable offenses; Conyers was the responsible chairman in the House to begin impeachment proceedings. Yet, he elected to bow to Nancy — for the greater glory of Democrats in November 2008. Yuk.

      Later, I learned that Pelosi’s motivation was probably worse than simply crass politics and disregard of the Constitution. My NSA alumni associates and others have reminded me that Nancy was briefed on illegal eavesdropping, torture, and other such activites conducted by the intelligence agencies she pretended she was OVERSEEING in her long-tenure leadership position in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. And she knew, of course, that there were all those memoranda of conversation written by the CIA ops people/congressional briefers, once they got back to Headquarters about how fully briefed she was.

      Talk about being vulnerable to blackmail! Nancy was and remains thoroughly compromised. (Benighted Sally Yates should interview Pelosi, if she is interested in how high officials become really — not just notionally — compromised.) Pelosi even made some pre-emptive complaints back in those days about how the CIA has a practice of lying to you.

      In sum, the session with Conyers — and the Dems refusal to start impeachment proceedings — showed me how far the Dems have come from the day of FDR, whom my father respected so much — not least, for his concern for the little guy.

      Confronting the once-respected erstwhile chair of the House Judiciary Committee and seeing him all too willing to kowtow to the Dem politician “in charge” and then defend the kowtowing as he talked with us simple citizens taught me a whole lot. It was VERY worth getting arrested for.

      (And who is to say what kind of dirt the Deep State has on Conyers?)

      As for the Dems, I was a BIC (Bronx Irish Catholic) back in the day when membership in the Democratic Party was conferred at Baptism — along with automatic future membership in the local union. My union membership has expired; I view the Democratic Party with increasinglyly sad contempt (and am glad Dad is not around to see what has happened to it); I remain a Catholic — not because there’s no way to sign out — but far more because I continue to share the open, accepting, ecumenical vision of good pope John XXXIII, the aversion to war of John Kennedy, and the basic tenets of Catholic social teaching, which are no longer invoked in this land — seldom even from the pulpit. Those tenets remain the most well hidden secret of basic Catholic faith. What about taking care of the widow, the orphan, the stranger (the so-called “alien”).

      There is very little difference in the behavior of the institutional churches from the way they behaved after Germany’s “9/11,” the burning of the Reichstag in January 1933.

      Thus, “good” (but ignorant) Catholics can “in good conscience” vote for Paul Ryan and Donald Trump.

      Years ago, a friend of mine, who became President of John Jay University in New York City, had the courage to blurt out before 3,000 well heeled participants in a St. Patrick’s Day dinner, “I have heard it said — ‘Give an Irishman a clean pair of underwear, and he’ll vote Republican every time.” He was greeted with unalloyed boo-ing by the participants who then went back to sipping their cognac and smoking their cigars.

      O Tempora, O Mores!

      ray

      • mike k
        May 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        A day in the life of some political scum.

      • Sam F
        May 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm

        Thank you, Ray, for this glimpse of Conyers and Pelosi exchanging principles for votes, however necessary they may have seen it. I suspect that impeachment would have brought the matter of the Iraq war fraud to the public consciousness for the first time, and brought them far more votes. But the media were even more zionist-controlled by then than during the Watergate hearings, and Mideast wars are the zionist goal.

        So Conyers and Pelosi knew that the mass media would oppose impeachment of GWB. In fact zionist DefSec Wolfowitz had installed zionists Wurmser, Feith, and Perl at NSA, CIA, and DIA to produce the fake WMD “intelligence” and would have to be investigated, and many others would have been turned up.

        So the new Watergate would have been Israelgate, and the zionist mass media prevented it.

      • Fritzie Gaccione
        May 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm

        Thank you, Ray…I will remember your story…and I had thought of Conyers as one of the ‘good guys’…it just goes to show there aren’t any good guys left except for Bernie and some doubt his intentions too…

        • Zachary Smith
          May 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm

          Opinion time: President Sanders would be better than anybody in sight in terms of domestic policy. But on the foreign front, he’d be at least as bad as Trump.

          We’d be moving up for sure, but the man is by no means “Mr. Perfect”.

      • Bill Bodden
        May 20, 2017 at 5:30 pm

        “I was thinking last night that, if Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama had not backed away when many Americans wanted Bush and Cheney to be held accountable for their heinous crimes in Iraq, we would have a higher standard for government now.”

        But from another angle we might ask, “What would have been the people’s reaction to trials of Bush, Cheney and their closest accomplices?” Polls around the time of the vote for the authorization of the use of military force had about two thirds of the American people in support of war which meant big money for the MIC and their various mercenaries, jobs for the working stiff, and a chance for the followers to indulge their racism and delusion of superiority.

    • Miranda Keefe
      May 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

      “I was thinking last night that, if Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama had not backed away when many Americans wanted Bush and Cheney to be held accountable for their heinous crimes in Iraq, we would have a higher standard for government now.”

      Yeah, but the reality is that if there was any chance that Pelosi and Obama were the kind of politicians with integrity like that they never would have gotten to the place of power where they could do that. If the Deep State hadn’t already had full control of Obama he wouldn’t even have ran in 2008. The entire impetus of his running was the Deep State campaign to promote his book in order, I’m sure, to prep him for a national presence so he could be Clinton’s VP or the next Deep State candidate if Clinton lost. They didn’t expect he’d win over Clinton, but it didn’t matter. They just switched who’d be their person in 2008 and who’d be the next one.

      If Pelosi wasn’t a tool from way back she’d never have become Majority Leader. In fact she’d probably have been hounded out of her seat.

    • Realist
      May 21, 2017 at 6:01 pm

      @Jessica K

      Obama formally chose to justify giving Bush et al a “professional courtesy” pass with the glib “I choose to focus on the future rather than dwell on the past”–or words to that effect. What he really meant but couldn’t say was “if I go after them, next they and their friends will be coming after me.”

      As George Carlin said, “it’s a club.” You are vetted well ahead of time for admission to this club. No one in the club talks about its real agenda, and certainly nobody crosses it. Trump was not sponsored for membership, did not get elected to it by the members (the voters don’t count), and is not comporting himself to the wishes of the membership. The membership have put all the wheels in motion to give him the bum’s rush out of the club house and to the proverbial curb.

    • beard681
      May 24, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Blaming Citizens United is like blaming Russia. Everybody says it so it must be true. Remember what Citizens United did to attract the attention of the authorities was MAKE A MOVIE.

      If the Citizens United decision went the other way, the FBI would also be going after every anti-establishment website (including this one) registration trying to find who supports it or pays for it. In addition there would be a blackout in the period before the election. You think that creating more regulations for the state to beat up on private citizens will make things better?

  6. jean delarue
    May 20, 2017 at 11:38 am

    Could it be that the intelligence community prefers to have Pence in place on October 26, 2017, the date that ALL remaining secret documents relating to the JFK assassination must be released to the sitting president who will then have the power to decide whether their release now will ‘threaten national security’?
    The JFK Records Information Release Act

    • glitch
      May 20, 2017 at 11:48 am

      This certainly explains the hysteria.

    • Skip Scott
      May 21, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Wow. I can’t help but wonder though, if after all this time, those records have not been severely compromised. I’m sure they’ve had plenty of time and the ability to sanitize them. That said, I think the Deep State wants Pence anyway as he will be much more pliable to their ambitions.

  7. Tom Welsh
    May 20, 2017 at 11:41 am

    “The investigation (already underway for 10 months) had the decided advantage of casting doubt on the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency…”

    I’m not a US citizen, so I defer to those with expertise in the American political system. But I don’t see how any of this can “cast doubt on the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency”. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that Trump won because so many voters were appalled at the revelations; and further, let us suppose that the Russians engineered the revelations. (Actually, I doubt both of those propositions).

    So what? A presidential election is decided by the voters. Obviously, voters always have preferences based partly on true knowledge, and partly on opinions, rumours, and beliefs that are untrue.

    Even if the publication of the Democrats’ dirty dealings could swing the election, why shouldn’t it? Is someone suggesting that, when voters see evidence that a candidate is a rotten dishonest person, they should not take that information into account when voting?

    • Gregory Herr
      May 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      “Even if the publication of the Democrats’ dirty dealings could swing the election, why shouldn’t it?”

      I can’t for the life of me understand why the answer to your (rhetorical?) question isn’t obvious to everyone. Thanks for your sensible views. But I guess an informed electorate is something not to be desired…

    • Zachary Smith
      May 20, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Obviously, voters always have preferences based partly on true knowledge, and partly on opinions, rumours, and beliefs that are untrue.

      Obviously voters ought know (or care) nothing about an election until the billionaires run their last minute “flood the media” advertisements and canned “news” prepared for the talking heads to read with their perfect speaking voices.

      Any other situation is why the Powers That Be have the Diebold-style electronic voting machines. In my opinion Hillary’s gang didn’t use the things because they were convinced they were going to get a landslide victory without either the expense or the small risk involved in paying programmers to do their thing.

  8. Bob In Portland
    May 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

    It’s a coup, like Watergate and JFK before. If the CIA/Deep State can’t control the President they get a new one.

  9. MrK
    May 20, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Excellent work. Crowdstrike practically is Google.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpQH6X1pY0o

    17:02 Crowdstrike has “a shared, kindred spirit with Google in terms of our mission and what we care about and what we see at Crowdstrike.”

    17:36 “See why Google Capital Led $100M Investment in Crowdstrike”

    19:48 Google CEO Eric Schmidt were helping Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House

    *******

    Also, John Podesta founded CAP, whose board includes Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State.

    https://www.americanprogress.org/c3-board/

    • beard681
      May 24, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      In addition to work for the DNC they are also have had a no bid contract with the FBI.

  10. mike k
    May 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    The clever, evil, and dangerous members of the deep state are pretty much in control of the minds of the sheeple. This is a major source of their power, and their present use of it in Russia-gate shows how well it works. The power to control or destroy a sitting president reveals how real their power is. Any attempt to overthrow the deep state must break their monopoly of the means to control the information available to the broad public. It must sow seeds of deep suspicion in people about the news sources they are currently tuning in to, and provide better sources capable of attracting their attention.

    This is why Cn, Counterpunch and other alternative media are so important. Those already awake to these valid sources need to get their friends to check them out. People have a desire to be in on the “inside scoop” – use that to get them addicted to some new media. Help them to distinguish between wacko conspiracy sites and the real thing.

    • Bill Bodden
      May 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      This is why Cn, Counterpunch and other alternative media are so important.

      Unfortunately, it appears most people are so indoctrinated to the prevailing system and its propaganda they don’t seem to want to believe alternative media.

      • mike k
        May 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

        True, it is hard to get people to think in new ways, but we have to try. Otherwise we just cede the enormous advantage of unquestioned brainwashing to those eager to use it. We need to be willing to be rebuffed by our friends, and tell them what is important to us, and where we stand on these vital issues. At least we can leave such an encounter feeling we have been authentic, and have out of compassion tried to share things our friends really need to think about.

      • backwardsevolution
        May 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

        Bill Bodden – and also because staying on top of the lies is a full-time job. Most people don’t have the luxury of time.

        • Bill Bodden
          May 20, 2017 at 5:35 pm

          Your point is valid in many cases, backwards, but there are many who could improve if they paid attention to the more obvious lies instead of tuning into what someone once referred to as the wasteland of television.

          • Skip Scott
            May 21, 2017 at 8:27 am

            I studied media in college. Marshall McLuhan, Neil Postman, etc. etc. The wasteland of television is so successful as a propaganda tool because it is a passive media. You just sit and watch. Reading is an active media, it takes up more of your concentration. You are thinking more when you are reading, which works against propaganda. Propaganda is still possible, but not as effective, because people are more likely to be engaged and use logic. That said, people are working so hard to make a living these days, that they come home and “veg” in front of the TV because it is so easy to do. Simply put, they’re too tired to think.

          • Realist
            May 21, 2017 at 5:39 pm

            @Skip Scott

            Ah, yes, we were assigned that book by McLuhan, which made the expression “the medium is the message” the “buzz words” of their day, when it first came out, in a teacher’s ed class.

            I don’t recall his definitions of “hot” and “cool” media, but I do know that TV moves so fast that it gives no time for reflection. At best you end up remembering the content–more like just the high points–with no time for reflection and analysis of them as they are issuing forth. With reading you can stop, reflect, analyse, and even argue with yourself on every issue. It is a running debate between you and the author, hence, you understood and internalise more when all is said and done.

            If texting weren’t reduced to indecipherable abbreviations, acronyms and emoticons, and tweets to a mind-numbing 140 characters one might be tempted to make the comparison between them and vocal chatter on the telephone and conclude that the Millennials have been right to opt for the visual rather than aural means of communication over their devices. But I am going to resist that temptation. The principle might hold water when exchanging lengthier emails, tantamount to essays (or old fashioned letters), but engaging the thumbs rather than the tongue seems more limiting in an ongoing conversation. Less time available for expression means less information is exchanged, especially since so much of conversation is repeating and clarifying what is meant.

            Anywho, thanks for the brief revisit to the 60’s.

          • Realist
            May 21, 2017 at 5:44 pm

            @Bill Bodden

            Newton Minnow: “TV is a vast wasteland.” I forget nothing… though I am no Marylou Henner.

        • Realist
          May 21, 2017 at 5:46 pm

          @backwardsevolution

          But they COULD pay closer attention.

          • Skip Scott
            May 22, 2017 at 9:54 am

            The “thumbs vs. tongues” is an interesting concept. I have often thought that it is far easier to develop a logical argument on paper because it gives you more time to pause, reflect, and edit. However the brevity of the kids communication these days doesn’t seem to allow for much in the way of detailed development of an argument. Another problem for the younger generation is that the liberal arts are frowned upon, and the STEM movement is where all the money is at. I was lucky to have a free rein in college, even though it was just a state college. I took courses like philosophy, logic, communications, and astronomy. I was like a kid in a candy shop, and neither my parents nor I incurred any debt. What a different world we would have today if that kind of experience was still possible for the average kid in America!

          • Realist
            May 22, 2017 at 3:31 pm

            @Skip Scott

            I completed all of my undergraduate studies and began graduate school back in the 1960’s. It was a completely different, more affordable and wondrous world compared to higher education today. My education through the Ph.D. was at two Big Ten universities and I paid not a cent for any of it. My native state covered my work towards a B.S., and the federal government paid the entire costs of all my graduate work in the adjacent state. I then moved to the West Coast where I did well-paid post-docs (which is sort of like finishing school for aspiring professors) on two UC campuses. There was no economic struggle in Cali back in the 70’s, with some of my fellow post-docs even buying homes during their training.

            The previous generations who controlled government wanted my generation to become well-educated and they didn’t want to bankrupt us or make us serfs to the banksters for life back in the day. Bernie Sanders was not being outrageously simple-minded when he spoke of re-instituting free college educations, he lived through and remembered the day. The top 1% was actually taxed and didn’t usurp 95% of available cash in the economy of yore. The New Deal hadn’t yet been disassembled by Republicans and traitorous Democrats in cahoots with them.

            Bill and Hillary are of my generation and benefited just like I did from the largess of those who came before, being educated at Ivy League schools on scholarships to encourage their cleverness. Same for Obama. Though I’m not sure what generation to peg him in he was certainly part of the problem rather than a solution. They betrayed the Millennials, who must believe I’ve been smoking dope and hallucinating this stuff, when they set about deregulating big business and high finance and eliminating social programs like there was no tomorrow. “Eliminating the era of big government” and suggesting “grand bargains,” they pretty much guaranteed there would be no tomorrow for just plain folks.

            Now there is no “candy store” experience in higher ed, such as you described for yourself. There is no sampling of great ideas just because they are there, every course costs a small fortune and must be selected on purely practical grounds towards obtaining employment some day. And, the irony is that none of this has made the faculty any richer.

            With what in essence has been the corporatization of higher education, all the additional money has been funneled to a small number of grossly over-paid administrators, mostly drawn from the corporate world rather than academia itself. Tenured positions are, in fact, being constantly reduced with the teaching functions being pawned off on so-called “adjuncts,” who are recruited at very low pay from the ranks of dedicated scholars who have been over-produced by the educational establishment and cannot find any other work. The going rate for these peons is about $2,000 per course they can contract to teach, so they must cobble together a schedule of multiple courses per semester, often at multiple institutions to financially just scrape by. If you teach one university course the right way it is hard work. I can’t imagine the burden of teaching half a dozen such courses simultaneously, with the students obviously being shortchanged in the bargain.

            Except for the corporate manipulators at the top, higher education has become an expensive unrewarding experience for many, if not most, Americans. Of course, the fallout doesn’t stop there, with the jobs for which our kids have been trained at great expense being shipped overseas or cheap labor to replace them being imported via H1B visas. Higher education has been transformed into just one more way to exploit the working and middle classes via corporatization of everything. This is not the world I anticipated fifty years ago when I was finishing college and discovering my future. Glad to be retired now rather than trying to cope with the mess created by naked American greed.

  11. May 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Also, Eric Schmidt of Google is a regular attendee at the annual Bilderberger meeting per Daniel Estulin, who has researched and published on the Bilderbergers. Google is an important part of societal control.

    • Zachary Smith
      May 20, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Google search is now useless for me if I’m looking at certain topics about Hillary or Israel. Their search operators just don’t work as they once did.

    • Sam F
      May 22, 2017 at 7:10 am

      It appears that Google is systematically controlling search results, not only to demand payment for prominence, but to bury anything critical of oligarchy. Research and prosecution are needed, an especially difficult task without regulations in place.

      It also appears that Google is either infiltrated or allied with NSA.

  12. May 20, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I believe a bigger story being covered up is NATO-gate. NATO and its members are reportedly funding, arming and training terrorists. Where is a “special prosecutor” when needed? See link below for more info:
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/05/the-war-gangs-and-war-criminals-of-nato.html

  13. backwardsevolution
    May 20, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Ray McGovern and William Binney – excellent piece of work! Thank you.

    “The retired Army lieutenant general was “caught” talking with Russia’s ambassador last December, a normal undertaking for a person designated as the incoming National Security Adviser. But Obama administration holdovers twisted that into a supposed violation of the archaic 1799 Logan Act and then used a transcript of the phone call to trip up Flynn because he didn’t have perfect recollection of the conversation.”

    Over and over the MSM repeat the words, “But Mike Flynn LIED to Mike Pence.” The word “lie” is almost always used when it just as easily could have been that Flynn forgot to fill in the blanks enough. How many times have we all done this? It could be, being on holiday and sitting on the beach, that Mike Flynn got totally hammered that afternoon and couldn’t remember much of anything. We don’t know. But for the media to call him a liar I think is totally unfair.

  14. backwardsevolution
    May 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    “Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee’s computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the examination done by the DNC’s private contractor, Crowdstrike. […] Or could Comey’s hesitancy to demand access to the DNC’s computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?”

    If anything, the witch hunt against Trump is exposing the rot for all to see. I hope we see the day when the tables are turned and the heat is really turned up on Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Schumer, Pelosi, McCain, Graham, Schiff, Obama, Clinton, to name but a few of the criminals, and the lies and political backstabbing are revealed.

    The time to drain the swamp is now.

  15. backwardsevolution
    May 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Must read re Jim Comey’s past:

    This scathing article by Sean Davis at The Federalist entitled “Former Bush AG On Comey’s 2007 Brush With Scandal: ‘Jim’s Loyalty Was More To Chuck Schumer’” presents an ugly side to Jim Comey.

    “This isn’t the first time James Comey placed himself at the center of a partisan attempt to oust a top Republican. He did the same thing in 2007.

    In fact, the current episode is not the first time Comey and his associates plotted to oust a sitting Republican official through highly orchestrated political theater and carefully crafted narratives in which Comey is the courageous hero bravely fighting to preserve the rule of law. To understand how Comey came to be FBI director in the first place, and how he operates in the political arena, it is important to review the last scandal in which Comey had a front-row seat: the 2007 U.S. attorney firings and the fight over the 2004 reauthorization of Stellar Wind, a mass National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program designed to mitigate terrorist threats in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    The pivotal scene in the Comey-crafted narrative, a drama that made Comey famous and likely paved the road to his 2013 appointment by President Barack Obama to run the FBI, occurred in a Beltway hospital room in early 2004. In Comey’s view, Comey was the last honest man in Washington, the only person standing between a White House that rejected any restraints on its power, and the rule of law protecting Americans from illegal mass surveillance.”

  16. backwardsevolution
    May 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm
  17. C M Concepcion
    May 20, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    You’re all but left with the impression that the entire 2016 campaign was little more than CIA psyop. I have no definite proof this happen, but given the information if the agency was inserting information with Cyrillic characters, you have to wonder what else it was doing behind the scenes to make certain the election could have thrown to favour Trump. Given its long history of operating to subvert anything which would express the democratic will of the people, it wouldn’t be a difficult stretch to believe this would be any different. I’m certain legal niceties preventing the CIA from interfering in American politics would be considered only a minor incovenience.

  18. F. G. Sanford
    May 20, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Alan Dersh holds the Frankfurter Chair. He opined on the Comey affair.
    “There wasn’t a crime”, states the hotdog sublime, so why should the Democrats care?
    He’s a Harvard hotshot law professor, and a civil rights legal redresser.
    He defended Oh Jay, so he must be Okay, he’s an Epstein Lolita Expresser!
    Bob Mueller is now on the case. Chucky Shumer thinks he can save face.
    Was that six-way cheap threat just a bluff or a bet, could it lead to a deep-state disgrace?
    Michael Flynn talked to fat Kislyak. But the Russians have never called back.
    It’s really surreal that the Rosatom deal hasn’t stirred up a Clinton attack.
    Schmoozy Bill got a big speaking fee. The Russians got nothing for free.
    The Clinton Foundation was rife with flirtation, pay to play was preferred repartee!
    They all got immunity deals, with DeGenova hot on their heels-
    With their laptops destroyed, Fifth Amendments enjoyed, don’t expect any Clinton ordeals!
    Susan Rice has been blamed for unmasking. The question is who ordered tasking?
    Some speculate – that Susan will skate, it’s John Brennan that they should be asking!
    Kim Dotcom is back in the news. Sean Hannity asked for his views.
    He claims that the snitch was poor murdered Seth Rich, and he’s anxious to cough up the clues!
    Webster Tarpley makes no sense at all. In a courtroom he took quite a fall.
    Lascivious pander got him sued for slander, but the settlement I can’t recall.
    Going easy on Flynn was requested. Or so Comey’s memo protested.
    If that was obstruction, then simple deduction says Clinton should now be arrested!
    The White House is dripping with leakers. They report to the news outlet seekers.
    It’s not been so riddled since LBJ piddled in the Rose Garden wearing his sneakers!
    The Russians dropped in for a chat. An Insider leaked about that.
    The Democrats shouted, “A mole has been outed”, but nobody dared blame the rat!
    An Israeli asset was toast, so the pundits proclaimed at The Post.
    There was a big crisis, Mossad aiding ISIS was surely not prudent to boast!
    The “deep state” bombed Syria’s forces. Or so say reliable sources.
    Lindsey Graham and McCain found it hard to explain, they deny what the “deep state” endorses!
    Alperovitz looks smugly dapper. He performed as the hack handicapper.
    Crowdstrike was quite tricky, they dipped in their wiki, and caught a bad case of the Clapper!
    That DNC server might answer. If subpoenaed, it could reveal cancer.
    If all of that hacking had CIA backing, we’ll see some insider tap dancing!
    If Kim Dotcom has the goods, then they’re certainly out of the woods.
    In a way that’s a shame, if Seth Rich gets the blame, it’s an alibi good for the hoods!
    But it could be another obstruction – a parallel false flag construction.
    An NSA upload could confuse the source code, and lead to a false reconstruction.
    In the meantime all eyes are on Mueller. Reality couldn’t be crueler.
    I certainly doubt that the truth will come out, he won’t send any crooks to the cooler!

    I really wanted to work Nancy Pelosi in here somewhere, but as they say, “Poems write themselves”. And, timeliness supersedes all other criteria. Cheers!

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 20, 2017 at 11:10 pm

      The other day I said how your crafty writing here should be put into a time capsule. I can picture in about 2000 years some intelligent archeologists studying your comments you left here, and because this is a rare find someone among them will finally figure out our 21st century historical events by what you wrote here on this site. Then after that discovery they will spend a lifetime trying to figure out what an F.G. Sanford was.

  19. May 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    You are exactly on target by noting the significance of the failure of the FBI to examine the DNC server and instead rely on Crowdstrike and whatever other DNC hired consultants were involved. The Democrats are not serious about this investigation. Rather, the entire effort hinges on the Democrats selling the new McCarthyism to a public far more concerned with the critical politics of health care for, oh let’s say, 25 million citizens.

  20. backwardsevolution
    May 20, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    F.G. Sanford – 1000%. Thank you.

  21. May 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks Ray, for your good article with William Binney and the story of your meeting in Conyers’ office with Cindy Sheehan and the lawyers. What a joke! Shows that “the team” is all that matters to them. Partisanship has taken over principles.

    Michael Collins’ statement that the Dems are not serious about the investigation is correct, they just want to keep on keeping on at Trump. Clinton’s demagogic attack on Putin (“Hitler”) served them well even though there’s no there there on Russia-gate. There is so much dirty laundry on Clinton and the DNC that it’s in their interest to keep plugging away at Trump with their trumped-up case. What happened to the GOP that they can’t push back, do they want Trump to go down?

    • mike k
      May 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      The Republicans are in disarray. They are holding their breath waiting to see which way the wind is blowing. Then they will make some stupid mistake – who knows what?

    • backwardsevolution
      May 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Jessica K – “There is so much dirty laundry on Clinton and the DNC that it’s in their interest to keep plugging away at Trump with their trumped-up case. What happened to the GOP that they can’t push back, do they want Trump to go down?”

      Yes, I think the GOP wouldn’t mind if Trump did go down. They’re backing away from him and letting him hang himself. These guys are part of the club, bought and paid for (or being blackmailed), and Trump isn’t. They know the score: that this Russia-gate business is all about deflecting, going after someone else so Clinton’s crimes don’t see the light of day. The club is protecting another member of the club.

      Where are the cries from the GOP to start opening up investigations into Clinton’s wrongdoing? Crickets. Why aren’t the Republicans screaming about the ongoing witch hunt of Trump? They didn’t mind that Trump won, but they do not agree with him on the economy, on healthcare, on globalization, on wars, etc. Trump wanted to do what the people wanted, but they’re not going to let him.

      Congressmen and Senators have been sold to the highest bidder. The ones that haven’t sold out are thinking about their careers, and they are loath to step up and help Trump if they think he’s going to lose.

      These guys don’t work for the people. They’re taking their orders from elsewhere.

  22. akech
    May 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    The Donald Trump who defeated 16 GOP candidates and then went on to defeat the $1.2 billion neocons favored candidate in the general elections is under siege!
    While nation’s attention is focused on Donald J. Trump being peppered with Russian collusion accusations, impeachment threats and a 10 day foreign trip, the following events are occurring inside Syrian:

    https://www.voanews.com/a/us-led-coalition-strikes-pro-syrian-government-forces-/3860332.html

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-idUSKCN18F2NA

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201705181053750870-coalition-strikes-syria-army/

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-syria-airstrikes-why-bashar-al-assad-militia-convoy-iraq-border-training-camp-rebels-a7744091.html

    This could be one of the reasons why Trump is being accused of collusion and sharing classified information with the Russian, thus, warranting his removal from the office.

    While the American public attention is focused on the propaganda by MSM, the US forces are actively striking the positions held by Assad and his allies inside Syria. These fighters are Shiite militias from Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah! That means, the US is active inside the Syrian territory, uninvited, while its the commander in-chief is under siege! The forces against Trump are masters at coercion and/or blackmail!

  23. Virginia
    May 20, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Thank you, Ray.

    And look how the American people rejected Jeb Bush hands down! We don’t want war. Why aren’t the millions who voted for Trump — against war — standing up against the deep-state-led turmoil?

    • backwardsevolution
      May 20, 2017 at 11:34 pm

      Virginia – because most of them don’t even know a Deep State exists. They watch MSM and continue to get lied to.

  24. backwardsevolution
    May 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Are we in the last innings to overturn the election? Trump has gone and upset the only people who matter: the Israelis. (Well, they’re going to pretend like they’re upset.) “Fast and Furious: Now They’re Really Gunning for Trump” by Jim Kavanaugh:

    “The Democratic Party and the #Resistance are not going to impeach Donald Trump. The Democratic and Republican Parties can and will if they want to. And, as they never cease proclaiming, what Israel wants, they want.

    Fast and furiously, in the course of a single news cycle, the game has changed: Donald Trump has been accused of betraying Israel. Impeachment is possible.”

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/18/fast-and-furious-now-theyre-really-gunning-for-trump/

    They don’t want to take the chance of assassinating the guy (that would be too blatant), so they’ll say he leaked information, he’s corrupt, a liar, stupid, uncouth, he’s in bed with Russia, the people around him are on the Russian payroll, etc.

    A country run by criminals.

    • Adrian Engler
      May 20, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      It could be that this strange story about intelligence sharing (allegedly, it was dangerous to share information about ISIS with Russia, a clear adversary of ISIS in Syria, but no problem to leak many details about it to the whole world) was an attempt to mobilize people connected to pro-Israel lobbies against Trump.

      But I doubt that this has worked. I think the main fallacy among many people in the US is that Russia must be seen as an “adversary” with which nothing can be shared from the Israeli perspective. Of course, from the mainstream Israeli perspective (which is quite clause to the Saudi one in that respect), Russia is on the wrong side in the Syrian war because, mainly due to its alliance with Iran and Hezbollah, the Syrian government is seen as the enemy and extremist Sunni militias are seen as the lesser evil. But at the same time, Israel and Russia have relatively good relations, and they do share intelligence. Russia has condemned Israeli airstrikes in Syria, but in a relatively muted way, and probably, from the point of view of security, many in Israel also see Russia’s involvement in Syria as a certain counterweight to Iran’s. Even though they both support the Syrian government, in Israel, Iran is seen as an absolute enemy, while there are regular contacts wih Russia.

      The war in Syria is very complex, it is not jst a war between two sides (in several respects, e.g. NATO member Turkey and the Kurdish YPG are theoretically both US allies, but they are enemies of each other). Even though Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia are on the same side, supporting the Syrian government against radical Sunni militias, for Israel, Iran and Hezbollah are enemies, while Russia is a partner of Israel with whom there is a certain degree of ongoing co-operation. By the way, Israel has no sanctions against Russia, and there are statments from the Israeli minister of agriculture Shamir that Israel wants to use the sanctions between he EU and Russia as an opportunity to increase trade with Russia to fill gaps left by the sanctions, and Israel is one of the countries Russian citizens can visit without visa (since Russia is one of the main countries of origin of people who migrate to Israel, there are many contacts, and especially more recent immigrants from Russia often still have intensive contacts and business in Russia and sometimes move back and forth, this is used often).

      Furthermore, there are relatively strong ties between people in Trump’s proximity with right-wing circles in Israel (probably much stronger ties than between anyone in Trump’s proximity and Russia), a majority of US voters living in Israel favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, and Netanyahu still seems to be willing to try to build up good a good relationship with the Trump government.

      That strange story that it is allegedly not a security problem if details about something that is allegedly so sensitive are leaked to the press, while sharing information about ISIS wih Russia, an enemy of ISIS, may have strengthened anti-Trumo forces among the part of the pro-Israel lobby tim the US, so the power structure has hardly changed.

    • mild-ly fercicious
      May 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      “Are we in the last innings to overturn the election?”

      https://www.emptywheel.net/2017/05/19/the-kushner-comey-connection/

  25. Andreas
    May 21, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Reminiscent of the logic of delusion is this nice ancient joke:
    A woman with delusional jealousy one day did not manage to find a hair on the her husband’s clothes and asked him:
    “Tell me who is this bald woman you are going out with now?

  26. Max
    May 21, 2017 at 7:19 am

    With Flynn stoned and Comey sticking it to the Man, the Russians look like somebody to make progress with.

    “He was defeated 2000 years ago though there’s many that feel that he is The Lord and that they will succeed.”

    We defeat dirt. Max Car Wash DC. Coming soon.

  27. May 21, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Now the Mossad has gotten into it, worked up over the possibility that Trump dropped info on their mole in ISIS when he met with Lavrov and Kislyak at the WH. Russia and Israel do business, per Adrian’s comment above.

    My friend commented on this twisted affair, a la Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”, that Congress wants to rock the investigation, not “grok” it, as in understanding it completely.

  28. mild-ly fercicious
    May 21, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Trump, in Saudi Arabia, tells a large Saudi and African ‘parliamentary’ audience, “I’m” (we’re) ‘not here to lecture’ – then proceeds to exhort those leaders to DRIVE THEM OUT!!! — as if in an extermination, eradication of insect pests.

    He changed his rhetorical term “Islamic Radicals” or Radicalized Islam, in his speech/rant, wherein he rambled on like a Great White Father in full admonishment mode. – . seemingly oblivious to the fact that Saudi Monarchy father’d The Militant form of Islam practiced by the holy fighters that are The Enemies of freedom/justice and so-called equality.

    Yes. The structure of the world is miserably unbalanced.

    Political Zionism is a leading edge in Middle East STRATEGY.
    How can we ignore clear implications of false positives in every one of their Selling Points?

    Iran is the bad guy/Punish Iran?
    Why?
    Do they repeatedly spent hundreds of billions of Dollars purchasing weapons from the U S Military Industry?
    Are they not, Without Mercy, MURDERING men, women, and children this very minute, in Yemen?

    Political Zionism is a leading edge in Middle East STRATEGY.
    How can we ignore clear implications of False Positives in every one of their selling points?

    • mild-ly fercicious
      May 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      “Are they not, Without Mercy, MURDERING men, women, and children this very minute, in Yemen?”

      YES! The Three World-Wide Religions are guilty, this very minute, of ongoing cultural destruction.
      but, there’s just no time for contemplation of cause&effect – the political nature of “reality”.

      Political Zionism is a leading edge in Middle East STRATEGY.
      Arab oil cash is the combustable fuel keeping war fires burning.
      Pay discerning attention to Trump’s activities with “The Pope”.

  29. mild-ly fercicious
    May 21, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    more background information –

    ‘Afghan Shia militias’ have become to Syria what ‘African mercenaries’ were to Libya
    By Justin Podur, published on TeleSur, May 18, 2017

    There’s a phrase that keeps popping up in discussions of Syria. It’s a string of words that always appear together, without variation, which is a tell for propaganda phrases and talking points. In the context of Libya, there was a line about “African mercenaries”. The one I keep hearing about Syria is that Assad has “Afghan Shia militias” fighting for him.

    The phrase caught my attention, because when I heard it used, it was by people who don’t know Afghanistan. The country has sectarian and linguistic differences: there are two official languages (Dari and Pashto), there are different self-identified ethnic groups (Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Hazara), there are rural-urban differences, and there are differences of sect within the main religion (Sunni and Shia Islam). For the first few centuries of its existence, including the first several decades of the 20th century, Afghanistan’s leaders tried to create a nationalism that transcended these differences. Then came the war and the foreign interventions that played the differences up for short-term gain, destroying the country so thoroughly that it now sits near the bottom of the UN Human Development Index.

    Related readings:
    Trump is poised to plunge deeper into the Afghan quagmire, by Michael T. Klare, The Nation, May 17, 2017

    Will the Afghan ‘graveyard of empires’ be Donald Trump’s last stand?, commentary by Martin Jay, on RT.com‘s ‘Op Edge’ feature, May 19, 2017

    The phrase “Afghan Shia” doesn’t mean much in Afghanistan. There are rare exceptions, but if you are talking about “Afghan Shia”, you are probably talking about the Hazara, a group of people traditionally oppressed along caste and ethnic lines. The one book many Westerners have read about Afghanistan, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, prominently features the oppression and violence against a Hazara boy, a friend of the protagonist. During the Afghan wars, sectarian warlords and the Taliban singled Hazara communities out for massacres and atrocities. Millions of Afghans fled to Iran during these wars — many of them Hazara – and were mistreated there, often charged with trumped-up crimes and even executed en masse. Nonetheless, there is a long-term community of Afghans living in Iran, many of whom are Hazara.

    Since the overthrow of the Taliban, there have developed in Afghanistan armed Hazara groups, even Hazara warlords. These groups are mainly preoccupied with self-defense and survival: against the Taliban, other sectarian warlords, and now even ISIS in Afghanistan, which was why I was suspicious of the claims of “Afghan Shia Militia” fighting in Syria. I asked friends in the Afghan diaspora if they thought it was possible. Some thought yes, though none had heard of the phenomenon from the Afghan media or community.

    https://www.newcoldwar.org/afghan-shia-militias-become-syria-african-mercenaries-libya/

    • George Rizk
      May 30, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Why are we still in Afghanistan? We have already become friends with al Qaida and the Taliban. How does a military general answer such a question to a soldier if he was asked?

  30. akech
    May 21, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Donald J. Trump defeated 16 GOP candidates during GOP primaries and the $1.2 billion DNC establishment crowned queen during the 2016 general elections!

    Trump must now start exerting his constitutional rights accorded to him by the electoral college and 63 million American voters to be (a) the POTUS (b) Commander-In-Chief! He cannot allow the coalition of the NEVER-Trump GOP and the corporate controlled DNC establishment elites to drive him out of the White House. These people are kicking the voters in the guts by overtly telling them: “We do not like your pick”!

    I never voted for this guy and I do not like most of his policies. But, his willingness get rid of the TPP, NAFTA and other job killing international trade deals is highly appreciated! Most powerless Americans are merely looking for opportunities to have jobs to feed their families. Is this too much to ask?

    If Trump is as incompetent as the MSM and their allies label him, why don’t they allow him to fall flat on his face based on that incompetence, instead of making tons of money pilling against him while most Americans are struggling? COME ON!

    • Realist
      May 21, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Yep. The smarter Democrats (and there are damned few left with an ounce of brains) would allow him to succeed or fail on his own. Since all the economic indicators are trending negative for the foreseeable future, since the government is powerless to raise money other than to print it, since our foreign policy seems to have been deliberately crafted to explode in our face, and since the voters are now as mad as hell simply by default, every last tea leaf in the cup says this will be another failed presidency no matter who fills the office. A smart opposition party would give him enough rope to hang himself, sit back, watch everything go to hell in a handbasket without their contribution and pick up the pieces in the next election. But no, the fools insist on having a hand in the carnage for which they will share the blame. In fact, by carrying out witch hunts and overtly attempting to overthrow the elected government while the house is on fire, rather than seeming to pitch in to put out the conflagration, they are ensuring that they will be the primary fall guys come the next elections. See, this is why hubris always makes the tragedy even greater than it otherwise might be. Shaking her fist at the heavens will never recruit the gods to Hillary’s side. The ancients knew as much, hence the lessons included in their surviving myths and odes.

  31. Realist
    May 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Trump could surely use better counsel… guys like the authors of this piece, should they want to take sides, which I doubt they do. However, as they say, “he will be fighting uphill, whether he’s in the right or not. It is far from certain he will prevail,” the main reason being the media tools of the Deep State would never give him the access to tell his side, even if Jesus H. Christ came back to earth and made a personal request of them to be fair.

    Like the authors said, this is a Watergate type witch hunt with McCarthyite tactics, ergo… much like a xenomorph feeding frenzy, for fans of Ridley Scott movies. It is a real travesty and will, in one way or another, mark the end of the last pretenses of America’s corrupted so-called democracy. I don’t know how America’s Maximum Leader will be chosen in the future and what manner of tyrant he or she will be, but it won’t be pretty.

    How can Europe continue to take orders from a militaristic dictatorship run by a secret cabal that systematically destroys its own elected leader with impunity to purposely replace him with a puppet controlled by strings as visible as hawsers? Why should any country, even the most craven amongst the NATO crowd, not fear regime change by such a gang of thugs that turns against its own? I see the cowards simply cringing in fear, hoping we do not turn on them whilst we self-immolate. Embrace the horror. You got a ringside seat, my fellow ‘Muricans. Just don’t ask what happens after the game.

  32. Iowa Scribe
    May 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    The appointment of Joe Lieberman, aka “the Senator from Israel”, as Director of the FBI would be a disaster for U.S. law enforcement and counter-intelligence efforts. It is difficult to imagine a more overtly political appointment or a more counter-productive choice to head the FBI. Lieberman distinguished himself in no small measure by turning a blind eye to and preventing investigations of waste, fraud, and abuse as chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (2001-2003) and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (2007-2013), the Senate’s chief investigative and oversight committee and the only Senate committee with a chair who can issue subpoenas on his on authority without a committee vote. But then, perhaps Lieberman’s history of forestalling investigations is precisely what Donald Trump finds so appealing.

    Leaders should inspire loyalty, not demand it over dinner.

  33. Adam Stein
    May 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    My view, and I can expand more on it if people are curious or incredulous, is that the Deep State is taking their time with the investigation because ultimately what they want to do is invalidate the election so they can install Hillary, or a Deep State member who received a few electoral votes and seems fairly non-controversial, like Colin Powell. But mainly Hillary. They want Hillary by hook or crook. They are willing to go with Pence, but he isn’t their first choice because he seems archaic in his social views so he’s not a good face for globalization and empire, plus he is associated with Trump.

    So currently the Deep State’s plan is A. Invalidate the election and install Hillary
    B. Invalidate the election, hold a new general election with deep state approved candidates
    C. If A and B are not possible, impeach Trump and install Mike Pence.

  34. Herman
    May 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    As to McGovern and Binney stating: “If Mr. Trump continues to “take on” the Deep State, he will be fighting uphill, whether he’s in the right or not. It is far from certain he will prevail”, clearly the tie breaker is the media, and as clearly, that the major media is complicit in seeking anything which will kick off impeachment. Trump and his allies have little chance in doing what must be done: a radical downsizing of our security apparatus and the elimination of its violent foreign operation arm. Such reform should also include a wide open debate on the use of security classification to keep all but the insiders in the dark. We need to know. That anyone, even Congress and the White House working together would prevail is breaking the back of our security apparatus is open to question.

    Of course, the media and the deep state have little to worry about since they have put the President in the position of dodging incoming missiles with little time to take on such issues. They have him just where they want him, in the survival mode with little thought of changing much of anything.

  35. akech
    May 22, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Why can’t this “DEEP bloody STATE” just declare to American public that it is permanently in charge of making all policies affecting Americans instead of lying to the voters that they have stakes in the government?
    Americans are watching the neutering of a legally elected POTUS ; and they are being asked to participate in and approve this brutal act of sabotage through the highly paid attack dogs in the MSM and Congress!

  36. John
    May 22, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Made up story you still believe? You might want to stipulate you are an un-read follow the Trump supporter. Consortium News is collusion central.

    • akech
      May 22, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      No, John. I am merely and independent observer of events who chose to draw conclusions from what I see without allowing myself to be sheep-dogged!

    • Dennis Rice
      May 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Those of you who deny the comments of this article, do you never wonder just WHO runs this country?
      Do you ‘really’ think it’s our government?

  37. mild-ly fercicious
    May 22, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Trump’s groveling speech in Saudi Arabia was a national embarrassment

    David Faris
    May 22, 2017

    [abbreviation]
    http://theweek.com/articles/700499/trumps-groveling-speech-saudi-arabia-national-embarrassment

    Largely devoid of apocalyptic language, non-sequiturs, boasts about the magnitude of his Electoral College triumph, and vicious attacks on the press, it was perhaps the first speech he has ever delivered that you could imagine another sentient being in the Republican Party giving, and it was painfully obvious that the president himself had nothing to do with composing it. POTUS on his own probably couldn’t get within 1,000 years if he had to correctly place the wonders of ancient Egypt on a timeline of global history.

    The trouble with the speech is not that it was demented, like most of what passes by President Trump’s lips, but that it is a reminder of what is waiting should the Republicans still be in charge of the country for any extended period of time in the post-Trump era: the policy baseline, the tone, and the analysis of the region’s predicament were all boilerplate Republican inanity, grounded in a monomaniacal obsession with terrorism as the cause of all strife on Earth and bizarrely fixated on Iran as the wellspring of instability and violence. The “Good versus Evil” and “Iran versus the moderates” components of the speech had the sticky Hungarian fingers of fake PhD Sebastian Gorka all over them and they made astonishingly little sense even if the words themselves could be diagrammed properly.

    In Trump’s speech, as in mainstream GOP discourse, Iran is a singular menace to the safety and stability of societies from Tel Aviv to Manama. The threat to the Iran deal is barely concealed. “For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror,” the president thundered, conveniently overlooking the role of his Saudi hosts in developing and exporting the austere Islamic operating system that has destabilized societies from the Philippines to Syria to West Africa. Remarkably, the president singled out Iran to the total exclusion of any other state actors, all of whom, in the Gorka Park reading of modern history, are innocent of all responsibility for what has transpired in the Middle East over the past 40 years. Even the most hardline critics of Tehran wouldn’t subscribe to a version of history in which the Iranians should shoulder all of the blame for the tragedies in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

    The obsequious praise offered by President Trump to the Saudis was also embarrassing, and completely unnecessary. “I have always heard about the splendor of your country and the kindness of your citizens, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place,” the president said to an audience of dictators, layabouts, and thieves who operate one of the most unforgiving, corrupt, and brutal dictatorships in the history of the world. While he is hardly the first president to sacrifice himself on the altar of America’s strange alliance with the Saudis, he certainly outdid himself in the extent to which he was determined to fluff the fragile egos of his royal benefactors. Saudi elites who are still bitter that former President Obama didn’t dance eagerly to their every demand surely went to bed satisfied last night. Trump has never met a ruthless potentate that he didn’t like, and he certainly didn’t break any new ground yesterday.

    Forget for a moment the mind-blowing spectacle of Trump not just distancing himself from anti-Saudi remarks made on the campaign trail, but seemingly saying and doing the precise opposite.

    • George Rizk
      May 30, 2017 at 11:13 am

      Trump was against Saudi Arabia and their Wahhabi hate cult until the deep state and their Muslim Brotherhood goons pressured him into compliance.

  38. Dennis Rice
    May 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    The political leaders of this world (my country included) play on a chess board we don’t even know about – and the common man is the pawn (including American citizens/U.S military enlistees – whose lives are sacrificed for power, not peace).

    And unless you read an informed comment like this one, you’ll never know it.

  39. Tom
    May 24, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    It’s amazing how many news outlets won’t give McGovern the time of day. Even the Intercept with people like Jeremy Scahill and Glen Greenwald won’t touch him. Now THAT’s power.

  40. Z54
    May 25, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    No doubt the amerikan people are most likely to believe the people who have lied to them in the past, the FBI, CIA, NSA, the Military Congressional Industrial Complex, the news media and the think tanks!

  41. George Rizk
    May 30, 2017 at 11:11 am

    The word deep state was revealed to me about 20 years ago, and as I used it in expressing my thoughts I found most listeners unfamiliar with such expression. Nevertheless, now that the mainstream press is using it daily, the average joe-six-pack is using it, but, nobody stops to ask themselves as what is the facades of DEMOCRACY if there is a cabal behind the curtain are forcing the officially elected leaders to do things their way or else.

    I have been thinking about the US debts to the Feds, and many times I speculated that our government has the strongest military, Greenspan, Yellin Feds leaders have no defense if we nationalized the Feds and nullified the 20 trillion debt. Now that the deep state is at war against Trump, I realized that their weapons are way more powerful than Trump’s military.

  42. Kevin Beck
    June 2, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Once again we are seeing the Deep State try to rule the world over this. There is still no evidence whatsoever that there was any collusion between the President’s campaign and the Russian government.

    On a similar note, this country has its own presstitute media that acts as a fourth branch of government. They also share almost identical views to the Democrat party. And there is more evidence of these two parties colluding against their opponents for the purposes of winning elections. What makes that any different than what the President’s campaign is accused of?

    In other words: Other than the nationalities of the people involved, what is different about the United States corporate media collaborating with one of this country’s major political parties to the detriment of their political opponents and the nation at large?

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