New Cracks in Russia-gate ‘Assessment’

Exclusive: President Obama’s ex-intelligence chiefs admit they limited input into the Russia-gate “assessment,” which was handled by “hand-picked” analysts, raising the specter of politicized intelligence, Robert Parry reports.

By Robert Parry

At the center of the Russia-gate scandal is a curious U.S. intelligence “assessment” that was pulled together in less than a month and excluded many of the agencies that would normally weigh in on such an important topic as whether Russia tried to influence the outcome of a U.S. presidential election.

Former CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser.

The Jan. 6 report and its allegation that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails and publicized them through WikiLeaks have been treated as gospel by the mainstream U.S. media and many politicians of both parties, but two senior Obama administration intelligence officials have provided new information that raises fresh doubts about the findings.

On Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee that only four of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment, relying on analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the oversight of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Brennan said the report “followed the general model of how you want to do something like this with some notable exceptions. It only involved the FBI, NSA and CIA as well as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It wasn’t a full inter-agency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies, and for good reason because of the nature and the sensitivity of the information trying, once again, to keep that tightly compartmented.”

But Brennan’s excuse about “tightly compartmented” information was somewhat disingenuous because other intelligence agencies, such as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), could have been consulted in a limited fashion, based on their areas of expertise. For instance, INR could have weighed in on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would have taken the risk of trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign, knowing that – if she won as expected and learned of the operation – she might have sought revenge against him and his country.

The Jan. 6 report argued one side of the case – that Putin had a motive for undermining Clinton because he objected to her work as Secretary of State when she encouraged anti-Putin protests inside Russia – but the report ignored the counter-argument that the usually cautious Putin might well have feared infuriating the incoming U.S. President if the anti-Clinton ploy failed to block her election.

A balanced intelligence assessment would have included not just arguments for believing that the Russians did supply the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks but the reasons to doubt that they did.

Pre-Cooked Intelligence

However, the restricted nature of the Jan. 6 report – limiting it to analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI – blocked the kind of expertise that the State Department, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies might have provided. In other words, the Jan. 6 report has the look of pre-cooked intelligence.

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

That impression was further strengthened by the admission of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that “the two dozen or so analysts for this task were hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.”

Yet, as any intelligence expert will tell you, if you “hand-pick” the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion. For instance, if the analysts were known to be hard-liners on Russia or supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could be expected to deliver the one-sided report that they did.

In the history of U.S. intelligence, we have seen how this approach has worked, such as the determination of the Reagan administration to pin the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and other acts of terror on the Soviet Union.

CIA Director William Casey and Deputy Director Robert Gates shepherded the desired findings through the process by putting the assessment under the control of pliable analysts and sidelining those who objected to this politicization of intelligence.

The point of enlisting the broader intelligence community – and incorporating dissents into a final report – is to guard against such “stove-piping” of intelligence that delivers the politically desired result but ultimately distorts reality.

Another painful example of politicized intelligence was President George W. Bush’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD that removed INR’s and other dissents from the declassified version that was given to the public.

Lacking Evidence

The Jan. 6 report – technically called an Intelligence Community Assessment (or ICA) – avoided the need to remove any dissents by excluding the intelligence agencies that might have dissented and by hand-picking the analysts who compiled the report.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

However, like the declassified version of the Iraq NIE, the Russia-gate ICA lacked any solid evidence to support the conclusions. The ICA basically demanded that the American public “trust us” and got away with that bluff because much of the mainstream U.S. news media wanted to believe anything negative about then-President-elect Trump.

Because of that, the American people were repeatedly – and falsely – informed that the findings about Russian “hacking” reflected the collective judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, making anyone who dared question the conclusion seem like a crackpot or a “Russian apologist.”

Yet, based on the testimonies of Clapper and Brennan, we now know that the ICA represented only a hand-picked selection of the intelligence community – four, not 17, agencies.

There were other biases reflected in the ICA, such as a bizarre appendix that excoriated RT, the Russian television network, for supposedly undermining Americans’ confidence in their democratic process.

This seven-page appendix, dating from 2012, accused RT of portraying “the US electoral process as undemocratic” and offered such “proof” as RT’s staging of a debate among third-party presidential candidates who had been excluded from the Republican-Democratic debates between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.

“RT broadcast, hosted and advertised third-party candidate debates,” the report said, as if allowing political figures in the United States who were not part of the two-party system to express their views, was somehow anti-democratic, when you might think that letting Americans hear alternatives was the essence of democracy.

“The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham,’” the report continued. Yet, polls have shown that large numbers of Americans would prefer more choices than the usual two candidates and, indeed, most Western democracies have multiple parties, So, the implicit RT criticism of the U.S. political process is certainly not out of the ordinary.

The report also took RT to task for covering the Occupy Wall Street movement and for reporting on the environmental dangers from “fracking,” topics cited as further proof that the Russian government was using RT to weaken U.S. public support for Washington’s policies (although, again, these are topics of genuine public interest).

Assessing or Guessing

But at least the appendix offered up some “evidence” – as silly as those examples might have been. The main body of the report amounted to one “assessment” after another with no verifiable evidence included, at least in the unclassified version that the American people were allowed to see.

President Donald Trump delivering his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

The report also contained a warning about how unreliable these “assessments” could be: “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.”

In other words, “assessing” in intelligence terms often equates with “guessing” – and if the guessers are hand-picked by political appointees – it shouldn’t be surprising that they would come up with an “assessment” that would please their bosses, in this case, President Obama and his appointees at CIA, NSA, FBI and ODNI.

The timing and speed of the Jan. 6 report also drew some attention at Tuesday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing, where Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, noted that President Obama requested the ICA on Dec. 9 and the last entry was dated Dec. 29.

“This report was produced in just 20 days in December,” Stefanik said, adding: “It’s of concern to me that there was a two-month lag” between when Obama’s intelligence agencies first alleged Russian “hacking” of Democratic emails and when Obama ordered the ICA.

Of course, the ICA’s flaws do not mean that Russia is innocent or that WikiLeaks is telling the truth when it asserts that the two batches of Democratic emails – one from the Democratic National Committee and the other from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta – did not come from the Russians.

But the Jan. 6 report has served as the foundation for a series of investigations that have hobbled the Trump administration and could lead to the negation of a U.S. presidential election via the impeachment or forced resignation of President Trump.

The seriousness of that possibility would seem to demand the most thorough examination and the fullest vetting of the evidence. Even just the appearance that the ICA might be one more case of politicized intelligence would do more to destroy Americans’ faith in their democratic system than anything that Putin might dream up.

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

 

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144 comments for “New Cracks in Russia-gate ‘Assessment’

  1. Danny Weil
    May 23, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    And while the CIA and coin operated politicians play charades, 1.7 trillion in cuts is coming online to domestic programs.

    • Erik G
      May 23, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      The fake Russia story is certainly a charade, regardless of any “secret evidence.” It is good to see any light on these apparent outright lies of the greatest importance to the people of the United States by its highest officials.

      Those who would like to petition the NYT to make Robert Parry their senior editor may do so here:
      https://www.change.org/p/new-york-times-bring-a-new-editor-to-the-new-york-times?recruiter=72650402&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
      While Mr. Parry may prefer independence, and we all know the NYT ownership makes it unlikely, and the NYT may try to ignore it, it is instructive to them that intelligent readers know better journalism when they see it. A petition demonstrates the concerns of a far larger number of potential or lost subscribers.

      • JWalters
        May 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm

        Trying to promote democracy in America is considered treason by the Oligarchy. So it attacks with both its Deep State hand and its MainStream Media hand.

        • Ciclismo
          May 24, 2017 at 12:47 am

          The MSM is a part of the deep state, not a discrete element separate from.

          • JWalters
            May 24, 2017 at 5:25 am

            I can agree with that. But some people equate the Deep State with rogue elements in the government, essentially bureaucrats gone wild. My point is that the deep control comes from a small group with very big money, traditionally termed an Oligarchy (Aristotle, Jack London). This very powerful money group today directs both the rogue elements in the government (the State), and the MSM. On the surface the State and the MSM appear to be separate entities to most people. Hence David Brooks can appear to give independent credibility to Bibi Netanyahu. I think having clear and consistent terms (whichever they are) for each of these components of the situation would help more people more readily understand our situation.

          • Roberto
            May 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm

            It is the propaganda arm that directs the thoughts of millions of people.

      • Stiv
        May 25, 2017 at 3:25 pm

        Despite the NYT’s obvious challenges in maintaining a clear, concise and sometimes, coherent storyline, they have done some things well. Parry has become a one note buffoon if you ask me. I don’t know what happened to him but he’s been crying the same story, with little new background, for a very long time now. He’d be the wrong person for senior editor at NYT.

        So sad to see someone like him go down the rabbit hole, but that’s what’s happened.

        Still, some valid info to consider. “food for thought and grounds for further research”, as they say, but if you’re taking his opinion as fact, you’re a fool. It’s only his opinion and it’s obviously based on a bias that has gone over the edge.

        • Jessejean
          May 25, 2017 at 8:35 pm

          Shiv–no body asked you.

        • Protagonist
          May 27, 2017 at 3:44 am

          Another dime earned, eh? Keep it up and you’ll feast on a happy meal tonight.

  2. John Puma
    May 23, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Sec State “Clinton … encouraged anti-Putin protests inside Russia … ”

    Presumably this gives the accuser credibility since she seems to know well what it looks like to attempt to destroy a population’s confidence in its government?

  3. Drew Hunkins
    May 23, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Gore Vidal once wrote that the four best words in the English language are “I told you so.”

    Below’s a letter of mine that was published in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper (essentially the “state paper of record” in Wisconsin). This letter of mine was published on Dec.15th, over 5 months ago. It was when the hysteria was just gaining traction and really taking off. A handful of anonymous comments ran below my letter saying that I was a naive buffoon.

    Hysteria over Russia

    The absurd propaganda over Russia purportedly “hacking the election” is now reaching a fevered pitch. It’s this type of group think that ultimately hardens into orthodoxy after it’s repeated ad nauseam by all the “smart and most important people” in Washington and the mass media.

    This hysteria we’re witnessing is genuinely disconcerting. Like him or not, Donald Trump’s recent riposte that ‘these are the same hucksters who assured you that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction’ was right on target. I’m certainly no fan of Trump, but right here he’s spot-on.

    On one side is the small group of critical thinking citizens who haven’t been brainwashed along with Trump and members of his administration, elements of the FBI and Julian Assange; while on the other side sits the entire mainstream press along with the Marco Rubio types, Mitch McConnell, Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee, Rachel Maddow, and much of the CIA who are peddling this outlandish notion that the Kremlin hacked the election.

    What we’re witnessing is a squalid demonstration of where intelligent critical thinking is among the public and Washington intelligentsia. That so many otherwise peace-loving and intelligent people are being manipulated on this issue has the potential to spiral out of control.

    Drew Hunkins

    Madison

    • tina
      May 23, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      Remember how George Herbert walker bush delighted in the fall of the Berlin wall? November 1989. Ronald Reagan ,two years prior saying ,”Mr. Gorbachev ,take down the wall” . We have come full circle, because we want to build a wall. And please, let public education go to the private sector, because the private sector is so much more efficient than anyone. I hope, anyone posting on this site, knows the history of the internet. Completely government funded. But boy, we hate the government. And for all you tin foil hats, the USA did a moon landing, there is the Mars rover, there is DNA, there is such a thing called science.

      • Rob Roy
        May 24, 2017 at 1:55 am

        Sorry, Tina, Reagan saying that now-enshrined famous remark actually had zero effect on the Berlin Wall coming down. Zero.
        I don’t know if you were speaking sarcastically, ironically or truthfully, but I do know this…when private entities take over anything that was in the public domain (schools, infrastructure, national parks, prisons, etc.), corruption zooms right in. Why? Because the goal is profit, not anything good for the commons, the public, which, if you read the constitution was its goal: the well-being of the people.

        • acme
          May 24, 2017 at 10:53 pm

          And, in the general rightward and pro-laissez-faire-capitalism the motive of profit has come to excuse anything whatsoever is required to produce it.

          • Jared Frederici
            May 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm

            All of you can suck a fucking cock you closet cucks. I will murder you all!

      • Sam F
        May 24, 2017 at 9:29 am

        Tina, the good things in a society do not excuse the bad. There are few critics of US misdeeds and corruption who do not know that it has also funded very useful research into “internet… moon landing… Mars rover… DNA” etc. Obviously science has no necessary connection with corruption and warmongering. The wrongs of killing millions since WWII in useless and mindless wars, the wrongs of abandoning the billions we might instead have lifted from poverty, are not set right by acts advancing the technologies of self interest.

        There is greater knowledge is seeing the wrongs, and correcting them, and this both serves and improves society.

      • BannanaBoat
        May 24, 2017 at 10:03 am

        before T; there already is 700 k of wall

      • Peter O
        May 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        Just to touch on one small part of your comment that “we have come full circle , because we want to build a wall. ” I have one (maybe) question , if the wall is so wrong then why did EX-President Obama have a wall / fencing built around his new home in Washington ( and the street to his home blocked off to traffic ) why do so many Hollywood elite , Senators , Congress men and women , live with walls and gates around there homes . Why do so many retired people live in gated communities and so many wealthy people in America live in gated communities ?
        Not to mention the armed body guards that follow many of these people . Why do all these people need such protection if ” there is no problem ” ?
        Peter O.
        Brandon , Vt
        (no gates or walls around me)

    • tina
      May 23, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      Hi Drew
      how old are you? To reduce what is a very complicated and emotional-laden issue is not easily discernable. I do not believe in your reductive theory that you can judge or put people’s opinions by reducing them to being brainwashed people, or enlightened people. We will not spire out of control, we know what is the what. I think, the worse thing one can do is ridicule those who do not share one’s own values/beliefs, instead, try to persuade. Of course , I will forever believe that anyone who vote For DJT is a, douchebag.

      • tina
        May 23, 2017 at 11:43 pm

        voted

      • Drew Hunkins
        May 24, 2017 at 1:41 am

        Hi tina, I’m 46 y.o. but on good days I still feel like the spry 20 year old I once was so many moons ago.

        • Realist
          May 24, 2017 at 2:32 am

          Very charitable response to ill-considered, poorly expressed remarks you could have easily shredded. That’s class.

      • May 24, 2017 at 8:11 am

        do you own a mirror?

      • Sam F
        May 24, 2017 at 9:39 am

        Drew spoke of the “critical thinking citizens who haven’t been brainwashed” and noted that “otherwise peace-loving and intelligent people are being manipulated” by the MSM. He has been careful in allowing for opposition.

        On the other hand, your belief that “anyone who vote For DJT is a, douchebag” suggests refusal to consider the interests and views of others, “reducing them to being brainwashed people, or enlightened people.” In saying that “we know what is the what” you are also carelessly identifying your self with a corrupted government, to gain a sense of power and security. When the corrupt have taken things important to you and those you care for, you will see this error. For now, look at the unfortunate, and ask why we should cause suffering for the personal gain of very few. Why accept their excuses?

      • Stiv
        May 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm

        My ex-Marine buddy and I ( USN 1974-1978 ) couldn’t figure out what kind of a person walks into a voting booth and “pull the lever” for Donald Trump..the most reprehensible excuse for a man possible.

        And then there was Hillary Clinton. The question there would be…what happened to her?

        It was a shitty option this time around and there was going to be a need for resistance either way. Why do people like Parry waste his time trying to defend Trump? Granted, there are some points that need to be understood, but Parry has bought the farm on this one. He’s lost my respect and probably the respect of many of his contributors ( many of whom we haven’t seen for a while..hint hint).

        So, this liitle hamster wheel of a “news site” with it’s $30K budget will never have the resources to be anything other than a mouthpiece for Parry’s ego at this rate. There are still a couple contributors who have something important to write about but I’m not seeing it to be worth supporting anymore. I can get better feeds..with concise, referenced sources…in other places.

    • Alexis
      May 25, 2017 at 12:44 am

      Drew, do you have a link to your published letter, so I can share it? Or would you mind if I copy/paste from here (and of course credit you) to share this? I know a few folks who might benefit from reading it, if they dare open their mind enough to do so. :)

    • May 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

      LOL Drew, this is akin to repeating a lie enough that even the liar believes it.
      We did not vote how the MSM told us to and they are madder than hell about it.

  4. Rajer Pell
    May 23, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    this is all coming as such a shock. I feel a little lightheaded.

  5. William
    May 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    I’m sick and tired of the Russian this, Russian that, Russian maybe, Russian for sure. The only thing I’m sure about is the fact that this whole Russian blah, blah is a bunch of BS, and it’s caused a lot of trouble for the people of America. And it has to stop, now!! Plus I have one BIG QUESTION!!
    How is it that Obama can get away with becoming, as far as I know from history, the first ILLEGAL President who lied and got into office with fake papers, a fake family and tried to take down the whole country, at the same time stealing billions of dollars from the citizens of America, and bringing in ‘his own people’ (Muslims and communists), to really mess up the whole world scene, started ISIS and gave them aid and weapons, all the while, working hand and hand with Hillary, to further rape the land and it’s people, and he’s never had an investigation or any problem with the law? Why is this????? Then you have Trump who gets jumped on EVERY FORKING DAY if his shirt isn’t tucked in!!! Why is that against the law while Obama and the Clinton’s, who are just as bad, if not worse than Bush and his gang, get away scot free? Something is really not right with this whole scene, and if anyone can’t see that, then they are either deaf, dumb, and blind, or corrupt to the bone. Come on Sessions!!! Do your job!!! Last I heard, in America, there is NO statute of limitations on murder, so get after the scum!! If you can’t handle it, step down and have Trump bring in someone who can!!! America is becoming like a “Banana Republique”!!

    • Brian
      May 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      William, you’re first two sentences were spot on, after that down the rabbit hole. Do you’re blood pressure a favor – Please turn off Fox(fake) News.

      • Realist
        May 24, 2017 at 2:18 am

        You are correct in that much of the verbiage you cite (e.g., the birtherism nonsense) IS fake news, originally mostly from Fox. However, the media in general has become much more accommodating of bullshit and baloney these days, with MSNBC now probably leading the pack in disinformation, which may be why they have suddenly shot up to the top of the ratings. Basically, anything appearing over the airwaves or cable television is suspect as pure propaganda now. The corporate/government alliance has yet to commandeer the entire internet, but when it finally does, I suppose we will have to go back to hand-cranked printing presses to get the truth out. Of course, they will outlaw those in due time too.

      • May 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm

        LOL Brian.
        Like CNN and ABC and CBS are all better! You lefties always get wigged out when someone criticizes Obama

    • Realist
      May 24, 2017 at 2:10 am

      PCR published a nice concise piece on Tuesday that summed up just what Washington’s objectives are by incessantly attacking Russia and China. It is no accident, it is no misunderstanding, it is an unstoppable juggernaut that intends to crush both those countries, which happen to be the only independent nations not under the boot of the “Exceptional and Indispensable” country left in the whole wide world.

      There are no lies, no tricks, subterfuges or charades that Washington will not utilise to drive those countries to ruin. The leaderships of both places are fooling themselves or cannot face the reality as they still seem to believe they can come to an accommodation with the maniacs in DC, that it’s just a matter of formulating the right words, making the key concessions or satiating the hegemon’s appetites somewhere short of total capitulation. PCR makes clear that none of that will ever be good enough.

      He further denigrates even alternative news sites, noting specific pieces in Counterpunch that pull their punches and lambast Putin and Trump along with the rapacious neocons in hopes of garnering some credibility from the mainstream media and the brain-washed general public. He presents recent cover pages from Newsweek and Time Magazine as exemplars of the brazen unvarnished propaganda that passes for news and analysis these days in the so-called mainstream press. Take a look: Putin is in the process of systematically destroying our democracy (Newsweek) and he’s nearly accomplished that goal through co-opting US President Donald J. Trump as his personal sock puppet (Time). The White House is even morphing into St. Basil’s Cathedral, which the fools at Time call the Kremlin and describe its orthodox steeples as Islamic minarets.

      They think that you, the reader, are as stupid and biased as their stenographers who string the words together oblivious to truth and reality. Maybe I can almost see how most Americans would be totally onboard with our government and its armies taking over the world, since they still believe that we are that “Shining City of the Hill,” which Reagan described as anointed by God to do the job. The problem is that the bastards at the top of this society are as evil, corrupt and self-centered as they come. All the conquest, and “collateral” suffering caused in the process is simply swept under the rug or shrugged off as the price of doing God’s work.

      And, yes, PCR also mentions the role of Israel as our subcontractor who keeps the entire Middle East safe for the Chosen People, but hell on earth for everyone else. The fly in the ointment, even for the flag-waving American PNAC crowd, is that the most likely end stage of their strategy is green glass and intensely radioactive ash distributed across the entire land mass of the planet.

      • May 24, 2017 at 6:12 am

        Hi Realist-

        Yeah, the MSM is now in “full court press” mode. It is very reminiscent of the lead up to the Iraq war. It amazes me how the average Joe can get fooled again and again. I think it ties in with what we were discussing previously about TV being the perfect tool for propaganda, the lack of liberal arts education nowadays, and a society too busy to think about global affairs.

        I often wonder why the average American doesn’t think about how the rest of the world feels regarding the BS about America being the “exceptional” nation. Obviously if we see ourselves as exceptional, we see them as expendable. Nice way to make friends and get along.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 24, 2017 at 9:20 am

        Hey Realist & Skip last night I watched about 5 minutes of Rachel Maddow, and it occurred to me how the demographics are changing. Rachel is herding the younger Americans into a wartime frame of mind. Where FOX appeals to older viewers, MSNBC is going after the younger ones. Just an observation, but I think I’m on to something thinking it.

        • Skip Scott
          May 24, 2017 at 3:29 pm

          Hi Joe-

          I’ve got a couple friends my age that think Rachel Madcow is great. The think Putin is pure evil and I’m a nut. I suspect that my world travels have made me think more about foreign policy and issues of war and peace than the average American. Being exposed to other cultures, and seeing that they’re basically just like us in wanting to live in peace and have a decent life, has made me ponder just how evil our foreign policy is. For most it’s just another news story that comes on before Jeopardy or Entertainment Tonight.

          I think the Fox/MSDNC divide is more about blue collar vs. white collar, rural vs. urban, coasties vs. heartlanders.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 24, 2017 at 4:13 pm

            Funny you should bring up the world experiences from going port to port, and then returning home to our local loved ones who seemed more enclosed to the many varieties of situations that the world had had. I figured it out, that while we travelers were moving around we were escaping the propaganda that our family and friends weren’t able to escape from.

            I told you the story about the actor Anthony Quinn, and how he made a speech to this very subject you raise Skip. Like Quinn said, after associating with, and getting to know all the different people he had met worldwide, Quinn could not figure out why there was any war, because we all are so much alike. Good observation, and very true to what Quinn was seeing.

            Between you and I Skip I value our experiences, even broken beer bottles being shook in your face and all of that kind of stuff, but never the less it’s been a full life. I’m glad that you and I saw it for what it was.

            The only regrets I have involve my mother, and my lovely wife, other than that it has all been a terrific life.

          • Sam F
            May 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm

            You make a good point, Joe, that our separations from the home culture give us a fresh perspective, something like reflections before rising in the morning, upon the problems of yesterday. Also the value of simply participating in other cultures, to awaken our sympathy and make the tyrants’ claims of foreign monsters implausible. Absence also frees us from the social pressures of conformity to the groupthink, due to confidence in our own observations.

            We become more able to see the home culture for what it is, to organize our half-considered impressions, follow the hunches that we had no time to consider, and to pose questions about the culture and our feelings and relationship with it.

            Such multi-faceted views of the world can come from wide reading in youth, and communication with young people of other cultures. Oddly enough, those losses along the way also provide new perspectives and experiences, and if we are reflective, the incentive to open some of the doors and windows needlessly closed in the rush of life, to try new activities and perspectives, and see that life often can be delightful despite prior adversity.

        • Realist
          May 24, 2017 at 3:53 pm

          I refuse to watch her since she went over to the dark side and became a shameless lying warmonger. What is her demeanor these days? Does she look and sound totally crazed? I can see no valid arguments that any of those visceral Russian haters can make, but does she realise she has become a propagandist for the establishment elites or is she seriously deluded? I think I saw her mind actually snap when the hard results finally came in on election night. I recollect that Chris Matthews tried to talk her back to reality, but apparently that didn’t take. (Jimmy Dore thinks that her $30K per day paycheck exerts a powerful influence on her thought processes, much moreso than actual facts and reality.)

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 24, 2017 at 4:22 pm

            Rachel Maddow sounds like a modern day version of a Tokyo Rose pushing her propaganda. I’m kind of where your at with the watching cable news, but I put it on mute, and look up from time to time to take note of what lies they are selling at that moment. When something comes up which looks worth hearing about, I then turn the sound on. Watching such shows as cable news, Bill Maher, and the View, is my way of checking in on what the masses are being told at that current time. Sort of a way to see where America’s head is being taken, if you will. Yeah, we don’t have a media worth learning anything from, and with this Russia-Gate nonsense we are totally being led down a dark passage, and who knows where they are trying to take us.

  6. Sunset
    May 23, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Seth Rich, as per Kim Dotcom, was the DNC leaker — not hacking by Russia. All over internet today. He’s blowing the whistle now, so maybe we can finally stop hearing about Russia everything. But, sorrowfully, I kind of doubt it.

    • May 23, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      The ex Fox News founder died from a blow to the head the same day the Seth Rich story was heavily publicized on Fox News.

      • tina
        May 23, 2017 at 11:58 pm

        You people on Consortiumnews are turning into Breitbart, and fox news. It seems to me you are more concerned about the deep state, ufos, alternative facts, etc. I respect journalism, but I do not respect fallacies. Robert Parry, You can do better, take control of your website

        • Drew Hunkins
          May 24, 2017 at 1:49 am

          Tina, tina, tina, now you’re just embarrassing yourself. Equating CN with UFOs is a silly stretch of your little imagination which seems to be stuck somewhere up in the clouds. Settle down now and stop being preposterous.

          • Skip Scott
            May 24, 2017 at 3:36 pm

            Drew-

            You’re assuming Tina’s smart enough to be embarrassed! That said, according to the MSM, Ailes hit his head on the 10th and didn’t die until the 18th. Sometimes a coincidence is just that.

        • Anon
          May 24, 2017 at 9:55 am

          The motive of Tina making extreme deprecations here of all social criticism without evidence or argument is very suspect. “Tina” appears to be no more than a right wing troll tactic.

        • BannanaBoat
          May 24, 2017 at 10:09 am

          Tina; Please idicate which of my stated facts are not true.

        • D5-5
          May 24, 2017 at 5:29 pm

          This discussion by Tina and responses to her makes me reflect on the disturbing split that has occurred on the Left. Tina may not be a troll, and reminds me of a discussion I had with a good friend yesterday. This (other) Left point of view is—Trump is strongly disparaged; Clinton is not liked but “too old” and needs replacing; the DEM party is still good to go with Bernie greatly helping, especially in informing young people; DNC corruption and problems with The Clinton Foundation are resisted, bringing silence and not much interest; Russia-gate is pretty much accepted; America is still the shining beacon on the hill Obama said it was; there is not much interest in the notion of a deep state controlling the US and the Globe.

          Still, my friend listened to my points, much like those in this forum, with interest and calm, I suppose because we’re good friends, but I felt I was laboring. Tina has not presented argument to support her claim on “fallacies” and being annoyed and name-calling makes her look like a troll. Too bad we couldn’t have a reasonable discussion.

          It’s difficult for me to understand this other Left position to this orthodox and uncritical view (apart from critiquing Trump) unless, fundamentally, the ingrained myth of America as incapable of doing anything but good (implied by Tina) has overcome ability to use their skepticism. To say this forum is a bunch of tin foil hats indicates she doesn’t read it carefully. Calling on Robert to control it is also very silly.

    • May 23, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      I’m sure you must be aware that Seth Rich was killed two weeks before WikiLeaks released the e-mails. Did he tell Hillary that he “sent the e-mails to Wiki Leaks” so that she could kill him at 4 a.m.? Also are you aware that Julian Assange worked for RT for two years prior to his release of the e-mails.

      • Mike Lamb
        May 24, 2017 at 12:54 am

        Julian Assange was under house arrest in England when he began this RT program.
        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/arts/television/julian-assange-starts-talk-show-on-russian-tv.html

        I would say the New York Times put down Assange for having Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.as his first guest, APPARENTLY unlike a REAL news personality such as Anderson Cooper who on his spanking brand new talk show had as his first guest “grieving father of Amy Winehouse.”

        I would say that Assange had someone newsworthy as his first guest while Anderson Cooper had as his first guest someone with “entertainment draw.”

        As for the implication that because Assange had a program on RT (formerly Russia Today) that he is not to be trusted, apparently like Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz, Larry King who host shows on RT should not be trusted, nor the likes of Ray McGovern (ex CIA), William Binney (ex NSA), and Larry Johnson (ex CIA) who have appeared on RT should not be trusted.

        I would say if “guilt by association,” which the late Supreme Court Justice wrote in his 1960s book “An Almanac of Liberty” called “un-American,” is now acceptable because Barak Obama called the liberals of old out of touch (can’t recall the exact quote and can’t find it at the moment but I do recall it after having bought into his “hope and change” BS of 2008) that if Assange should be suspected because of KGB ties to RT then I would say that all US main stream media needs to be suspected because it is all part of the CIA’s “Mighty Wurlitzer.”

        I would question how any evidence of hacking of the DNC computer could be brought into a US Court as 1) instead of giving their server to the FBI to investigate the hacking, the DNC hired a private Company “Crowd Strike” whose co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is anti-Russian, even though being born in Russia in 1980. 2) Crowd Strike by being given access to the DNC server would interfere with the “chain of custody” of evidence necessary to present it in an American courtroom. 3) Even today, going on a year after the hacking the DNC has failed to give access to its server to the FBI. What kind of tampering with that server could have occurred over that period of time.

        It seems our 17 intelligence agencies down to 3 in Clapper’s testimony, and apparently raised to 4 with Brennan in their January report clearly stated they found no forgeries in the emails released by Wikileaks.
        So the “big crime” seems to be telling the American people about just how dishonest the DNC had become.
        As for myself, I tend to believe the analysis given by the likes of Ray McGovern (ex CIA) and William Binney (ex NSA) who question the claim that Russia hacked the DNC.

        As for the MURDER of Seth Rich I have not followed it all that much, except knowing that for some reason the police seized his computer (which he apparently did not have when he was shot) and apparently still have that computer (although it would not apparently be evidence in his murder).
        I have read that Rich was shot early in the morning and that there were a variety of surveillance cameras in the area of the shooting. While none apparently were near the shooting, one would think, giving that the time of the shooting is pretty well set, that the police could have obtained all of those “tapes” (or computer video files) soon after the shooting to see what vehicle and foot traffic there was in the area and whether any witnesses of the shooting (even if just ear witnesses) could be found.
        It seems that to the Washington police Seth Rich is dead and gone and so is the investigation.

        And finally allow me to say that I am as upset as hell that Hillary Clinton and her Democratic Party supporters are turning the Party of Gene McCarthy into the Party of Joe McCarthy.

        • May 24, 2017 at 6:28 am

          Well said, Mike.

          This Julian Assange as a Russian stooge is one of the latest MSM/Deep State attacks. Anyone who wants to challenge their narrative and get on TV has to go to RT to be heard. That said, I wonder how many Americans ever even check them out. How do RT’s ratings compare to the MSM’s?

          Apparently it is also too much of a stretch for Daniel to imagine that someone found out Seth Rich stole the DNC emails and had him killed before wikileaks released them. Maybe he wrongly trusted one of his co-workers. Maybe he blabbed it out in some bar after work.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 24, 2017 at 10:29 am

            Skip allow me to add, which part of the Podesta’s DNC e mail release by Wikileaks isn’t true? Seriously, even if you wish to demonize Putin, or Assange, then why is them telling you the truth any different than if say Bernie Sanders had told you what’s in those Podesta’s DNC emails? The credibility lies in the fact that the Hillary people can’t dispute what the emails said, but there again nobody is talking about the content of those emails are they? Wake up America, you are being lied too, and you are killing the messenger.

      • Jurgen
        May 24, 2017 at 4:37 am

        I am sure you are aware that WikiLeaks dumped the first batch of Clinton e-mails a week before Rich was killed and more than a month before Rich was killed Assange announced that he obtained enough evidence for the FBI to get Clinton indicted. Do your homework before you attempt playing a smart ass.

        • Skip Scott
          May 24, 2017 at 8:18 am

          Thanks for the correction. I should have checked the timeline myself before commenting.

        • Anon
          May 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

          Too harsh. The proximity in time of the first Wikileaks dump and the Seth Rich killing may well be significant, although not requiring his killers to have advance information.

      • BannanaBoat
        May 24, 2017 at 10:22 am

        When Wikileaks published and when Seth leaked would not be simultaneous. Two or more weeks would not be an unreasonable period between leaking and verification and publishing. What did ” working for RT” consist of ? What does recieving income from RT prove? Assange has never been shown to be dishonest. BBC unlike RT is completely state funded, thus its employees are all , what?
        Shawn Lucas

        • Joe Tedesky
          May 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

          I agree, and wouldn’t Assange need a satisfactory amount of time to prove read the emails?

  7. mike k
    May 23, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Fake facts from the experts at lying. “Intelligence” is a misnomer for the nitwit spies that have gotten us all in so much trouble. This bunch is the last place to look for truth about anything. Lying is their default position. The idea that these criminal clowns have any dignity or veracity is ludicrous. When a slimy little creep like Adam Shiff tries to make these spooks sound like some honorable paragons of honesty it is truly a ludicrous absurdity.

  8. Tomk
    May 23, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Brennan, Clapper and Comey are the ones a “Special Prosecutor” should be investigating…if there were any sanity in any of this phony “Russia did it” insanity, but there isn’t — just a slow coup to reverse the election and put the new Neocon Cold War with Russia into high gear …We saw the faster cousin of this scenario the last time such got together as to JFK….NYTs and the corporate media dancing to the “Mighty Wurlitzer” was in deep on collusion as to that one too as we see happening again today, Mueller seems to be point man to pull this one off for them now — he didn’t have much respect for the Constitution during his time at the FBI in regards to his use of “intelligence” to do what was plainly illegal otherwise so we can’t expect much from him now either, his great “friendship” with Comey is no great indicator of things to come either….

  9. Robert
    May 23, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Good to see the Trumpster cozying up to the Saudis… he will soon be doing the Trump the only thing that glitters is gold and this arms deal with Saudi Arabia will create lots of jobs (for the NRA members) but of course out of his lying mouth will come an order to drop the 911 lawsuit again the Saudis, and of course anyone who reads knows where the terrorists money is coming from. So the intellectual might of Premier Trump won’t see where those arms will likely end up. Meanwhile, Trumps Final Solution to poverty in America is to gut the social programs that help keep the poor alive.

    I didn’t vote for Trump (he is NOT my president) nor did I vote for establishment Clinton.. but what is happening in our country is a travesty. I am a Vietnam disabled vet so I don’t need any lectures about crooked politics and worthless wars…. but when the lights get turned out in my country I don’t like it. I don’t care if it Russia-gate or any gate, I sign and will continue to sign every impeachment article that hits my inbox. We are first and foremost a society, it is ruptured more than ever. I’m no fan of establishment politics, but we can do a lot better than this.

    • Liz
      May 23, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      I agree with your thoughts on tRump–he is not my President either. However, I cringe when I hear people say they didn’t vote for tRump but they didn’t vote for that female ogre either–they (you?) basically threw their (your?) vote away. The sole candidate qualified to serve as President, and the only name that should have been allowed on the 2016 ballot, was HRC. Period. Full stop. She would have served us well, and we would not be in this clusterf**k we’re in today. Russia meddled in the election through bots and “fake news” dissemination they like to make mischief. Homeland displayed it well in their recent TV season; the episode was called “sock puppets.” tRump’s people stole the election thanks to the meddling, voter suppression from Kobach’s CrossCheck, the Mercer’s money and Cambridge Analytical data laundering. The GOP are the true terrorists and I fear they are winning. We will never be able to get the dark money out of politics and, thus, we’re doomed. In the interim, good riddance to Emperor Sh*tticus and his so-called cabinet.

      • Robert
        May 23, 2017 at 9:39 pm

        I don’t disagree with you, however I knew my state (New Mexico), would never vote someone like Trump into office so I figured I could vote my conscience …safely.

      • Rob Roy
        May 24, 2017 at 2:28 am

        Liz, no HRC was NOT the most qualified candidate; that would be Jill Stein. Hillary planned to attack first ran, a country that has never attacked anyone, decided in 2003 to never make a nuclear weapon; then Russia with “regime change” in mind as the goal. She is completely without morals, a raving war hawk. Period. From her lips I first heard, “Gaddafi must go” and “Assad must go” and plotted the coup in Ukraine along with the infamous Cohen right-wing family, into which Victoria Nuland married. Goodness, Liz, did you real HRC’s emails? It’s all there. It amazes me that there was endless talk about the leaking of the emails, with no discussion of what they contained, which should have been the real discussion. Her plot to take Bernie out of the running (he chickened out as you know) was there. If she were president, we would be at war with Iran, a country of lovely people (go see for yourself) to continue the USA’s goal of 1) doing Israel’s bidding, and 2) continuing the hegemony creep of the US. Yes, the USA WILL continue its endless aggression to own all the world’s resources and subjugate all the people in the world. Another thing, notice in the MSM, when Russian is mentioned, it’s called “a known adversary” or “a known enemy.” Why? Russia is not aggressive in the least, nor does Iran want a nuclear bomb nor does it export terrorism (that the USA’s job), but the MSM, a patsy for the powers, stays right on those two talking points, as if they were true. Repeat something daily and it becomes “fact.” Ha. No, Liz, HRC would NOT “have served us well.” (You know she was raised staunch Republican and was called “The Goldwater Girl” don’t you?)

      • Realist
        May 24, 2017 at 3:02 am

        Sorry to disagree, but you and everyone else on the planet would already be dead if HRC had won that election. Exactly WHAT qualified her for the job? All the financial support and political connections she had finagled by hook or crook? Her plans for attacking Syria, Lebenon and Iran? And then picking a fight with nuclear implications with Russia… and perhaps also China? She had already totally destroyed Libya and left it in utter chaos. She supported the goddam headchoppers in Syria. That ambassador in Benghazi was killed because he was over there on her orders arranging for the transfer of Gadaffi’s weapons to the Islamic State in Syria. She was and still is a freakin’ maniac!

        The whole Russia Gate story is a ruse, concocted personally by her as a campaign ploy just before the political conventions. It was then dug up as an excuse for her loss after what everyone assumed to be impossible came to pass. Anyone who can ignore so many actual facts surrounding her career in politics gives their allegiance solely on the basis of partisanship, not facts, and not even ideology. Her ideology is straight from Opposite World: say one thing and do exactly the opposite. She preaches “Progressivism” when Bernie Sanders looks to be a threat in the primaries but her “principles” and her base are sheer Wall Street. Those half million dollar speeches to the banksters were nothing but deferred compensation for favors she gave to them while in office. Now Obama is cashing in on the same arrangement he made with them.

        OBTW, I’m a lifelong liberal Democrat who never voted Republican, but my eyes have been opened (not to support the equally heinous GOP) by what have been crooks infesting the White House since before her husband took the oath of office. Your unfortunate choices have NOT been morally superior, they’ve just been more effective in hoodwinking you. I’m sick of their lies, their exploitation of minority groups, and their bait and switch rhetoric. Both the Dems you love and the GOPers you hate have been in bed together for the past 50 years, formulating and propping up the warmongering militaristic state that has brought so much murder and mayhem around the globe. Both the Dems and the GOPers take your tax money and blow it all on warfare. The Dems tell you it’s going to go to social programs, but they lie. At least the GOPers are honest about their intentions to starve you and feed the MIC.

        • May 24, 2017 at 6:37 am

          Thanks Realist.

          I was about to respond to Liz, but then scrolled down and saw you beat me to it, and with a lot more eloquence than I’m capable of.

      • Sam F
        May 24, 2017 at 10:38 am

        Liz, you have noted some real truths but HRC was a mistake. Yes, the “GOP are the true terrorists” but their work continued at only slightly lesser speed under the Dems with support of AlQaeda & co. Yes, the problem is certainly that we must “get the dark money out of politics” but remember HRC’s top ten “donors” were zionists, and KSA “donated” heavily to her foundation.

        HRC advocated Iraq War II, and as SecState gave the boys with the medals whatever they wanted in Afghanistan surges without demanding a rationale as Obama did (and later capitulated when DoD stonewalled him). HRC represented Israel and Saudi Arabia in the disguise of women, minorities, and gays.

        The problem is that the first options for an “identity candidate” are always Trojan horses, full of enemy soldiers. So many women were enchanted by the idea of a woman president, that they did what so many did with Obama: took the first such candidate as what they believed in, regardless of the evidence, and got the exact opposite. There were absolutely no “qualifications” of HRC except as a warmonger who did not care for the people beyond gestures of identity politics.

      • Brad Owen
        May 24, 2017 at 12:09 pm

        Jill Stein was on 95% of all ballots. She was on YOUR ballot most likely. People who voted Trump or Clinton are the people who threw away their votes, and that is about 95% of the electorate who opted to vote, essentially voting for two different sets of severe crises, instead of voting for the solution…way to go, dunderheads.

      • May 24, 2017 at 5:38 pm

        I voted with the Independants this time, as i felt they were close enough on the numbers to mange to get fed funding…Was possible to even approach percentages to be admitted to the debates…I was trying to help establish a third party with my vote…I like Jill, but her numbers were just too low to make any headway…We need a third party that represents the people…not the 2 parties that represent the lesser evils of the Globalists…

  10. Bill
    May 23, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    It seems like you believe that under different circumstances, the intelligence community can release useful information to the public. Sorry, that’s not their job, it’s time to clean house of these dangerous people who think it’s their job to run the country. Brennan is criminal number 1 on the list.

  11. Robert
    May 23, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Good to see the Trumpster cozying up to the Saudis… he will soon be doing the Trump the other thing that glitters is gold and this arms deal with Saudi Arabia will create lots of jobs (for the NRA members) but of course out of his lying mouth will come an order to drop the 911 lawsuit again the Saudis, and of course anyone who reads knows where the terrorists money is coming from. So the intellectual might of Premier Trump won’t see where those arms will likely end up. Meanwhile, Trumps Final Solution to poverty in America is to gut the social programs that help keep the poor alive.

    I didn’t vote for Trump (he is NOT my president) nor did I vote for establishment Clinton.. but what is happening in our country is a travesty. I am a Vietnam disabled vet so I don’t need any lectures about crooked politics and worthless wars…. but when the lights get turned out in my country I don’t like it. I don’t care if it Russia-gate or any gate, I sign and will continue to sign every impeachment article that hits my inbox. We are first and foremost a society, it is ruptured more than ever. I’m no fan of establishment politics, but we can do a lot better than this.

  12. Chloe
    May 23, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    From the very beginning of this Russia nonsense, I have suspected that it’s nothing more than Obama’s revenge against Trump for the birther nonsense that Trump promulgated during Obama’s term. Big boy gamesmanship is at the root of all this; meanwhile, the majority of Americans twist in the winds of deprivation. It would simply be pathetic if it weren’t so tragic…and so dangerous.

    • Realist
      May 24, 2017 at 3:21 am

      I too think there is a lot of personal animosity between those two. I don’t think Trump would have ever run for the office if Obama hadn’t trashed him at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. I know, Obama had understandably become sensitive about the Birtherism nonsense, but he directed his entire animus at Trump rather than the movement.

      I think Trump has been attempting to one-up Obama on “style points” in office. For example, Obama played it cool at the Correspondents’ Dinner while his navy seals were offing Bin Laden, announcing the outcome only the next day. Trump waited until his tomahawk missiles were raining down on the Syrian aerodrome before dramatically revealing that fact to Chinese President Xi over dessert at his state dinner. I feel that was intended to one-up Obama for audacity.

      All recent presidents except for Obama have deliberately remained silent on the performance of their successor while in office. Obama has pointedly ripped Trump ever since he took the oath of office. There is clearly bad blood between the two. Romney was just as cutting in comments against Obama during that campaign, but Obama did not seem to respond so personally at the time as he has against Trump. I thought Romney was damned mean, but Trump was often funny. Obama apparently did not see it that way.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 24, 2017 at 11:48 am

        I’m with you Realist, this fight isn’t amongst the likes of you and me, as much as it is between the elite and their humongous egos. It’s that simple on so many levels that I it’s hard to believe that more people can’t see through this publicly displayed tug of war going on at the top of our American pyramid. Our politicians live for the lobbyist, and particularly for the MIC. We are the excess population, and they know how they need to suppress us all for the sake of more war.

  13. Abe
    May 23, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    The political document “Background to ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution” reads like an Atlantic Council “report”.

    Indeed, the lavishly publicized allegations of Russian perfidy directly track back to a coterie of Atlantic Council propaganda affiliates, including CrowdStrike and Bellingcat
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/sheerafrenkel/meet-fancy-bear-the-russian-group-hacking-the-us-election?utm_term=.ebxx7mJQjR#.vtoA70eo6m

  14. LJ
    May 23, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    My father once said to me ” You aren’t going to like it anywhere”. That does hurt because it’s true. I like something in the past that is gone. Nostalgia is self deception. . He said , “Nobody wants to hear the truth about themselves”. He said, “If you’re gonna be a bear be a Grizzlie”…… Go CAL Ther’s always next season. . But worst of all he said, ” Bullshit is Bullshit and Enough’s Enough”. That doesn’t sell copies of the NY Times or dissuade people from turning into FOX News.

  15. David Ryan
    May 23, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    And what about Seth Rich, will the mystery ever be resolved. This case would have been resolved had he not worked for the DNC, I get there must be lots of money hiding the facts.

    • May 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      A private investigator states there were 45,000 plus emails and 17,000 plus attachments sent to Wikileaks on Seth’s laptop.

    • Litchfield
      May 23, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      Hiding the facts and misdirecting the public’s interest away from the content of the Clinton and Podesta emails. It is basic magic technique.

      • Rob Roy
        May 24, 2017 at 2:32 am

        Litchfield, excellent comment. The content is what should be discussed. The Russia thing is the distraction.

    • David Tam
      May 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Fox now disavows the Seth Rich story alluded to by Art:

      http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/fox-news-seth-rich-sean-hannity

      TPM Livewire
      Fox Removes Story Based On Conspiracy Theory About Murdered DNC Staffer
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      Douglas C. Pizac/AP
      By Esme Cribb Published May 23, 2017 3:14 pm

      Fox News on Tuesday removed a story based on an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about the unsolved murder of a DNC staffer.

      “The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting,” Fox said in a brief statement. “Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.”

      The network did not apologize and said it “will continue to investigate this story.”

      A link to a Fox News story originally titled “Slain DNC staffer had contact with WikiLeaks, investigator says” returned an error Tuesday afternoon, though the original iteration of the article remained available via the Wayback Machine.

      Local Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate WTTG published a story last week about claims made by a private investigator under contract with the family of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who was shot and killed in July 2016 two days before WikiLeaks released thousands of emails from top members of the Democratic National Committee.

      In its story, WTTG claimed that Rod Wheeler, the investigator, said there was “tangible evidence on Rich’s laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death.”

      Conservative outlets including the Drudge Report, Breitbart News and Fox News immediately blasted out WTTG’s story about Rich’s alleged communications.

      • BannanaBoat
        May 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

        Hannity broadcast the murder information and Ailes (sp?) died from a blow to the head within 24 hours.

      • May 24, 2017 at 8:15 pm

        Sounds like the Boss handed them their hat for telling the truth for a change

  16. Ned
    May 23, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    Edward S. Herman

    March 27, 2017

    it provides no supporting evidence—only assertions, assessments, assumptions and guesses

    https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/the-new-anti-russian-hysteria/

    • Skip Scott
      May 24, 2017 at 8:21 am

      Good link. Always liked Mr. Herman.

  17. May 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Absolutely spot on, everybody commenting, and it all comes down to, we are sick of this Russia did it BS! I agree with the assessment that Obama is a large part of this, as is Clinton with her nasty demagoguerie. Year after year after year, the American people allow themselves to be treated like idiots by lying politicians who are in Washington only to feed at the trough. And then the BS elections that are meaningless. The people who comment here are obviously people who will NOT be treated as idiots by less than mediocre politicians but don’t know what to do about it. I would scream it from rooftops, Russia had nothing to do with this, you idiots did it to yourselves! The CIA is the most nefarious outfit in the world, when will torpid Americans wake up?

    And, yes, what is going to happen to the Seth Rich case? Will the Clinton machine manage to get that one buried, too?

    • David Tam
      May 23, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      @Jessica K:
      “Absolutely spot on, everybody commenting…” “And, yes, what is going to happen to the Seth Rich case? Will the Clinton machine manage to get that one buried, too?”
      I SAY:
      Robert Parry has very high credibility with me, but so does Talking Points Memo I very give little credence to the Russiagate hacking being instrumental in Clinton’s loss. But we should also be skeptical of what is unsubstantiated, as I believe is the case with the Seth Rich conspiracy.

      • May 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm

        yes…hoping for a break in Seth Richs case…Lots of things fit in the case of his being murdered because of his leak…but is all very speculative and circumstantial yet…They need to push for more info from the federal investigator…and they need to secure RICHS LAPTOP…any qualified investigator could take this much farther than it is being taken…it is an OPEN murder investigation…what is holding this up…

        As far as any info from Kimdotcom…i would be very suspicous…not much clean to see there…

        • BannanaBoat
          May 24, 2017 at 10:35 am

          an ex DC detective on Hannity stated the DC mayor leaned on DC detectives to shelve the assasination.

  18. May 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    The deep state has once again proven to us the sheeple how democracy works in the post modern era. Since June ladies and gentlemen that this charade has been going on . Not one verifiable fact has been demonstrated to any of us. Much to anybodies chagrin the echo chamber along with pompous Pompeo new head of the CIA still insist that the Russians Federation has and is undermining our deluded form of democracy.
    I might also add how they are setting Pence up to be POTUS is so obvious and blatant even my neighbors dog can see the writing on the wall. To compare anything the Trump regime has done since he has been in office as a watergate moment is really telling how the deep state along with their colluding jackals are undermining the whole US public as well as the western world.

  19. Chet Roman
    May 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    This all started with the Wikileaks publishing the DNC e-mails. My main concern is that the DNC server was never inspected by any government agency. The FBI requested to inspect it but the DNC denied the request. They hired a private company, CrowdStrike, to do the analysis. It is run by an anti-Putin Russian with ties to an anti-Russian Atlantic Council. CrowdStrike has been debunked as an incompetent by others in the IT field. The Russia-gate charges stink from the very beginning.

    It’s quite plausible that Seth Rich was the leaker. The first two policemen at the scene wore body cameras, which were “lost”. He was alive when the police found him and died at the hospital. The police immediately concluded that it was a botched robbery without any shred of evidence and they continue that claim. Rich was shot twice in the back at 4:00am and nothing was taken. The police did not question the people at the last place Rich was scene, a bar, or looked for possible video cameras there. Donna Brazile called the family and police wanting to know why a private investigator, Wheeler, was snooping around and investigating. And the media is calling the possibility that he may have been the leaker a conspiracy while the Russia-gate is, to paraphrase Seinfeld, a scandal about nothing.

    • Skip Scott
      May 24, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Chet-

      Do you have any links about the cops losing their body cameras? I have also wondered about surveillance footage since it was 4am and not much traffic.

    • D5-5
      May 24, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      RT reports (May 24) that Brennan has now said “I don’t know” on whether there was collusion with Russia and Trump to influence the election. Nevertheless on January 6, he was one of the big three with “assessments,” the CIA’s being “high.”

      That these agencies have been played by Crowdstrike and turned political is evidently very difficult for some people to believe, plus the implications of this condition. If intelligence agencies are arguing for a political position regardless of actually doing investigation (how could Brennan not know but give the impression he did know) then we have a rogue government in control. This is the issue that needs investigating, and does not warrant all this huffing and puffing about “tin foil hats” and “conspiracy theorists.” The brain needs to be put on the START position instead of the OFF position.

  20. Hank
    May 23, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    NSA would have picked up a “hack”. Russia had nothing to gain with a “reactionist” like Trump on the nuclear trigger. Bill Binney should be interviewed as well as Ray McGovern, Professor Stephen Cohen, and Robert David Steele to name a few. Besides two Hillary insiders have come out and stated how quickly the Clinton team decided to spin & blame the loss on the Russians. Trump is an accidental president. Vegas odds had him at 20-1 best to 200 to 1. Clinton lost because: She refused to spend enough time in Wisconsin, The Dems stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders and many of his supporters did not vote ; Over 40% did not bother to vote and this may have been due to mainstream news blathering about the Clinton blow out win- so voters in Detroit and Chicago stayed home, Hillary may be intelligent but does not come across as likable (opposite of George W.) ; also a lot of baggage; the Comey letter had some impact; all Combined to produce an upset.

  21. May 23, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    David, we don’t know what is unsubstantiated until we know what IS substantiated. And I’m pretty sick of the term “conspiracy theory”, that one gets drubbed to death for the sake of completely diverting from a subject being debated. The problem is, what agents here are really interested in getting to the truth? There’s that great line delivered by Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”: “You can’t handle the truth!” Applies here.

    • BannanaBoat
      May 24, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Coincidence Theorists.

  22. Horton
    May 23, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain! RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!

  23. Litchfield
    May 23, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    “A balanced intelligence assessment would have included not just arguments for believing that the Russians did supply the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks but the reasons to doubt that they did.”

    A balanced assessment would have included some solid EVIDENCE.

  24. Boris M Garsky
    May 23, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I don’t believe in coincidences in today’s world. Russiagate is falling apart. Testimonies are not even remotely convincing, nor could stand up to scrutiny. Then the terrorist attack in London- a diversion or a warning? Brussels fingerprints are all over the attack.

    • Gregory Herr
      May 24, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      “Thus, astoundingly, according to the Telegraph, a thriving community of listed terrorists exists knowingly in the midst of the British public, without any intervention by the UK government, security, or intelligence agencies – with members regularly travelling abroad and participating in armed conflict and terrorist activities before apparently returning home – not only without being incarcerated, but apparently also without even being closely monitored.”

      http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/05/uk-government-harbored-terrorists.html

      • Gregory Herr
        May 24, 2017 at 10:51 pm

        “The British government is directly responsible for the recent Manchester blast. It had foreknowledge of LIFG’s existence and likely its activities within British territory and not only failed to act, but appears to have actively harbored this community of extremists for its own geopolitical and domestic agenda…
        What is surprising is that the Western public continues to react emotionally to each terrorist attack individually rather than rationally, seeing the much larger picture and pattern. And until the Western public sees that bigger picture and pattern, fear, injustice, murder, and mayhem will continue to dominate their lives and futures.”

  25. Michael K Rohde
    May 23, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    What frightens me is to watch ‘mainstream media” march in lock step like recruits in boot camp following orders from a drill instructor. Bill Maher is repeating the ” all 17 agencies” argument like it is gospel and he used to be considered outside of that loop. When our government and our leading media outlets appear to be allies that is scary. It certainly led to the second invasion of Iraq and allowed Trump to commit an act of war against Syria when they’ve done nothing to threaten us. The Stuxnet scandal is another example of the major outlets more or less giving the Executive branch a free ride and we cannot count on a Republican Congress for any kind of over sight or honesty. Obama was all in on Stuxnet, he wasn’t ambushed by the CIA like Kennedy was on Cuba and he was our Democrat in the Whitehouse and we still did not get the truth about an act of war by our government and our second government in Jerusalem. What that means is unless you are a donor and have the inside scoop, you are a voter trying to decide your nation’s fate with a total lack of accurate information to base that decision on and no real influence on that very government. Our population is in opposition to many of our governments’ policies by a substantial majority and yet we remain in a permanent state of war with nations that have no ability to harm us in battle yet we’re spending trillions to fight . Russia-gate is another red-herring created out of whole cloth to allow our government to pursue a policy the majority of its’ citizens oppose or at least do not support whole-heartedly. The problem is these guys have nuclear weapons and are capable of turning our country into a parking lot just like we can to them. The news we get to read now is decided by a few people with an agenda that is not in our nation’s best interest but their own financial interest. We read news written with a goal in mind before the first finger hits the keyboard. Our own defense department has a 4 and a half billion dollar communications budget and much of it is aimed at our own citizens to promote big defense spending and to demonize fake enemies whose only sin is to have a financial interest inconsistent with decision makers in our country. Sounds less and less like Democracy the more you think about it. It is nice to be able to turn to Consortium but let’s be honest, there is no multi-billion dollar budget to collect all the information we need to make these decisions. Those sort of newspapers and journalists have been purchased by the big 6 media companies or joined the lucrative speaking circuit where you go make speeches in front of rich people and collect 6 figure fees to tell them how smart and powerful they are. I know, this is getting depressing, I’d better end it. We need to take control of our lives back from these billionaires and the political parties they have purchased. That can only happen at the ballot box. So I guess at the end of the day all you can say is exercise your right to vote and please pay attention. I don’t know any other way to change things. Please vote.

    • Skip Scott
      May 24, 2017 at 8:33 am

      I wish we could vote our way out of it. They have rigged that entire process. All candidates are vetted by the oligarchs, or excluded from meaningful coverage and debates. I think it will take a revolution, hopefully a peaceful one.

  26. King279
    May 24, 2017 at 12:24 am

    When interviewing a delusional patient the patient will take up any arguments against what he or she believes in and use it as proof to support the delusion and that your arguments will be included in this from then on. And thus it goes with the Phantom of the Russian Opera: although Assange has said it was a leak and hinted strongly that Seth Perry did it and was assassinated (TV interview on Dutch Nieuwsuur in august 2016, can be googled), it ended up as proof of the opposite (because Assange cannot speak the truth, so that is part of a conspiracy theory).
    Nice joke sums it up: a jealous woman one day did not find a hair on her husband’s clothes at all, so she asked him: “Who is this bald woman you are going out with?”.
    Now let’s see how they are going to deal with Kim Dotcom’s news about his knowledge about the Seth Perry case!

    • BannanaBoat
      May 24, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Seth Rich and Shawn Lucas

  27. Joe Tedesky
    May 24, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Tonight while watching Rachel warn us about Russian thinking slipping into the unsuspecting American minds, I couldn’t help but see how the 2001 model at FOX having O’Reilly whip up the over 40 crowd, was that now we have Russia hating Rachel Maddow scaring the bejesus out of the under 40 American of today.

    There has to be a list of who our friends are, and who our friends aren’t, and that’s just the way it is. The real villain to the Western Powers is Vladimir Putin, because the Oligarchy Elites know Putin gives no quarter to their monopoly abuses. I also think that because of this, that this is why Putin is so popular with the Russian people.

    This Russia-Gate business is all a plot towards something, I just wonder to what, that’s all.

  28. MEexpert
    May 24, 2017 at 2:43 am

    I was enjoying reading the article until I reached this paragraph.

    “Of course, the ICA’s flaws do not mean that Russia is innocent or that WikiLeaks is telling the truth when it asserts that the two batches of Democratic emails – one from the Democratic National Committee and the other from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta – did not come from the Russians.”

    For me this looked like CYAS moment. Why Mr. Parry?

    • Realist
      May 24, 2017 at 3:41 am

      It’s to show you that he is not abandoning strict logic to bolster his case. If it logically remains a possibility, however remote, it should be mentioned in a systematic critique of the evidence. Try writing a scientific paper for publication. Peer review will get you every time if you leave any possible explanations of the data unaccounted for even if you cannot sustain or refute them. The least you must do is admit to them.

      • MEexpert
        May 24, 2017 at 7:46 pm

        I have written scientific papers. I know what needs to be included. Adding superfluous data does not improve your objectivity. WikiLeaks has a 100% record of being truthful. As far Russia, no proof has so far been presented by the ICA or the mainstream media.

        • Realist
          May 25, 2017 at 1:25 am

          You still don’t get it. His point, for the sake of complete logical rigor, is that it has not been established definitively that Russia did not hack the DNC. That is still a possibility, whether they were the source for Wikileaks or not. It is also a possibility that Wikileaks is lying in spite of what we believe of their reputation. Russia could have hacked the DNC and yet not have been the source to Wikileaks. Most analysts say that every world power hacks all electronic communications. Wikileaks could have received the material from Russia but not used it because they also got it elsewhere–from Seth Rich for example. That is not “superfluous.” It is full disclosure. It is relevant to the rigor of the author’s conclusions.

          Frankly, I personally do not favor those possibilities, but they still remain possible no matter how likely that the actual transfer was from a source distinctly other than Russia.

  29. Max
    May 24, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Culinary Triangle, a prototypical diagram of Lévi-Straussian structuralist anthropology
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Culinary_Triangle.svg

    It looks like a case of the boiled 5th of Jack sour mash.

  30. May 24, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Chris Hedges, in his own inimitable hard-hitting style, has a very good essay at Truthdig, “The Death of the Republic”, beginning with comparisons to Rome’s decline, ending with the point that removing Trump will not end the disaster of US death of democracy. (Realist, your comments are so great, always, thanks!)

  31. Leonardo
    May 24, 2017 at 8:47 am

    I wouldn’t focus that much on the ICA including the assessment that Putin had a personal stake in the operation, that he ordered as some kind of reprisal against Hillary Clinton.

    It looks overwhemingly clear to me that such statements are just media-oriented garbage meant to speak to public opinion’s prejudices. They try to leverage the picture that the mass media have crafted around Putin, who is depicted as a mediocre despot and man bent on pursuing his little vengence against the person who crossed and stood up to him.
    It’s just there to tell people what they expect to hear based on their distorted, prejudice-laden vision, so as to mask the lack of concrete evidence in the report and make it sound more credible than it is. It’s self-reinforcing BS.

    It also blatantly contradicts the way the Russian presidency and government have acted up to now: that is, very professionally, with a clear head and always avoiding to let emotions and personal feelings get in the way of bilateral relationships between powerful, important and dangerous countries.

  32. Liam
    May 24, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Its quite notable that the US MSM (except for Fox) is prioritizing their false Trump/Russia meme over the bombing in Manchester.

    Now the UK government is stating that they will replace police officers with armed soldiers at large events. We are well on the road to full bore police state fascism and the Deep States in the US and UK – Europe are covering up the obvious fact that THEY have been lying to the public and have been clandestinely supporting murderous terrorist groups which they are using as proxies in the Middle East and as a propaganda organ against western citizenry in order to control pieces on The Grand Chessboard. Their demonization of Russia in the media is part and parcel of this nefarious agenda.

    They fact that they are brazen enough to give al-Qaeda an Oscar should tell you all you need to know about their evil intentions. Make no mistake. They are evil.

    Massive White Helmets Photo Cache Proves Hollywood Gave Oscar to Terrorist Group https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/02/27/massive-white-helmets-photo-cache-proves-hollywood-gave-oscar-to-terrorist-group/

    Direct Terrorist Collusion: Over One Dozen Videos Capture White Helmets Working Side-By-Side With Terrorist Groups in Syria https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/05/08/direct-jihadist-collusion-over-one-dozen-videos-capture-white-helmets-working-side-by-side-with-terrorist-groups/

    Father of Invention: Media Portrayed Grief Stricken Dad Turns Out To Be al-Nusra Front Terrorist
    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/05/02/father-of-invention-media-portrayed-grief-stricken-dad-turns-out-to-be-al-nusra-front-terrorist/

  33. Max
    May 24, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Good gate designation would be X-gate. Just keep adding X’s as the charges pile up. Have XXX and NSA investigate Russia. FBI can use X-1-2-3 etc. to keep track of the mess using intelligence porn system.

  34. Anonymous
    May 24, 2017 at 10:27 am

    We have read the Statement made by the Very Credible Source who is Kim Dotcom and this is in regards to his Personal Experience that Seth Rich was the Person who Leaked the Emails to WikiLeaks, and the reason he is Credible is because in May of 2015, he said that WikiLeaks would release Information on Hillary Clinton, and after warning the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee of that, then Only someone working for the Democratic National Committee could Leak those Emails, and we Know that Person was Seth Rich.

    Kim Dotcom has Properly requested that his Evidence be examined by the Special Council Robert Mueller who is Said to, or who is Alleged to be conducting an honest and impartial investigation on whether a foreign Country interfered in America’s recent Election.

    The Rest of the Abundant Evidence should Not be made available at once for it to be Misrepresented by the Biased, Bribed, and Corrupt American Puppet Mainstream Media, but it Should be Examined by those who want to pursue Justice for Seth Rich, and therefore by implication Justice to American Democracy, but we Know that the Bribed and Corrupt American Mainstream Media and their Puppet Masters who are the American Shadow Regime do Not care about Democracy.

    This Offer to Testify in America will say more regarding any lack of credibility by Mueller, which we Already Know that he was selected by the American Shadow Regime, and this Statement with its Offer will show if there is any Integrity with the process, and it Proves the Credibility of the Facts, because there is Much Evidence to Prove these Facts.

    This is because this Statement is Backed Up with Much Evidence, and we have seen Much Evidence Already, and there is Evidence that we have Not as yet seen, and if there is a contradictory finding by Robert Mueller, then Americans will more Clearly see the Corruption by the American Shadow Regime, and how they have Puppetized the Establishment Democrats and how they have Puppetized the Establishment Republicans, and this is Why there are Many Americans who want a Third Political Party that will restore Honesty and Integrity to America’s Government, because Washington’s Corruption will Not clean itself up, because the System is Rigged, and this Why Americans want a Third Political Party at http://phibetaiota.net/unrig/ .

    That Statement made by Kim Dotcom is the following: #SETHRICH WAS A HERO, I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK. I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich. Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful. I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics. “He wanted to change that from the inside.” I was referring to what I knew when I did an interview with Bloomberg in New Zealand in May 2015. In that interview I hinted that Julian Assange and Wikileaks would release information about Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election. The Rich family has reached out to me to ask that I be sensitive to their loss in my public comments. That request is entirely reasonable. I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process. If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment. STATEMENT FROM KIM DOTCOM.

    Kim Dotcom is offering to go to America with his Evidence, under Reasonable conditions, and Kim Dotcom would Not do that lightly given the circumstances, and he wants Justice for Seth Rich who he and Most Americans consider to be an American Hero and Patriot.

    We have heard that it has been alleged that Seth Rich died because of a failed robbery attempt.

    We have heard People say that because they say that nothing was stolen.

    There are People who think that there was something that was stolen, and that is the Original Information on his Laptop Computer, because the Police and the FBI have stolen that, or are Keeping it concealed, which makes it the equivalent to robbery, and there are People who think that Robert Mueller would be Responsible to Investigate that and Ask Questions, and examine the Seth Rich Computer, even though Mueller has heard of the Facts regarding the Clinton Crime Syndicate, and if the alleged robber took that Computer, then People would have said that it was because of the Information on that Computer, and so there are People who think that a way had to be found to make the Police take that Computer, because someone was Curious to Know for Certain what was on that Computer and if their Suspicions were correct that Seth Rich Leaked those Emails to WikiLeaks.

    There Could be People who think that what was on that Laptop Computer of Seth Rich has been Recorded on Flash Drives of Many People who were involved with Seth Rich, and with the work of WikiLeaks.

    This could be Why there are People who think that Robert Mueller Should Consider what was said in the Kim Dotcom Statement, and we do Not Know if there is Film of Seth Rich saying that he Leaked those Emails to WikiLeaks, and that the Internet Party are waiting for the American Shadow Regime to Incriminate themselves, with these Sham Congressional and Senate ‘investigations’ and with the Mueller ‘investigation’.

    We Will see if there is any statement from Robert Mueller in Writing Only, because an investigator should Not reject Evidence from a Credible Source, and we can be Certain that Kim Dotcom is a Very Credible Source of Evidence, because he Knew these things in advance at https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-05-14/kim-dotcom-julian-assange-will-be-hillary-clinton-s-worst-nightmare-in-2016 .

    There is Much Evidence that there was No foreign interference with America’s recent Election at https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/12/us-intel-vets-dispute-russia-hacking-claims/ .

    It was Proper for President Donald Trump to dismiss the former Director of the FBI, and the President could Not have confidence in the Biased and Unprofessional, and some would say Criminal activity of James Comey at
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/05/james-comey-what-msm-wants-you-to-know-and-what-they-wont-tell-you/ .

    There are ways for a President to Obstruct Justice such as concealing Evidence, and I heard that the American Constitution says that the President has all Executive Authority, and that because that is a lot of Work to do, then the President delegates Much of that Work to others to do such as Secretaries or Directors of Departments, and that under the Constitution, that the President is Really the Secretary of State, and the Director of the FBI, and of other Departments.

    Lawyers would Know the answer this matter, and if that is true, then there are People who think that due to the Complexity of the matters, that it would be difficult for any President to obstruct Justice with regards to the situation of the History and character of the former Director of the FBI given all of the circumstances, including Comey’s Bias, but also it is because it was one or more Democrats who Leaked to WikiLeaks, and there is Public Testimony from several People to say that it was Democrats who Leaked to WikiLeaks, including Julian Assange and indications from a Private Detective looking into the Seth Rich case, who appears to have been Bribed or Intimidated or Obligated because of Legal Contractual reasons or all of these reasons to be more compliant with the False narrative of the Clinton Crime Syndicate and of the 2 Party Tyranny of America, because there is only so much that any Individual can do to Prevent WW 3, unless they have enough support from People, be that Julian Assange, Kim Dotcom, and the others who Know the Truth, and WikiLeaks does Not reveal their sources, even for Leakers who are deceased, because WikiLeaks Knows that they have Family, and President Donald Trump correctly compared the American Shadow Regime to Nazi Germany, and there is a former British Ambassador who has said that he Knows the Democrat who Leaked to WikiLeaks, and these matters of Personal Testimony Should be Investigated by Mueller if his investigation is to have any degree of credibility at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4034038/Ex-British-ambassador-WikiLeaks-operative-claims-Russia-did-NOT-provide-Clinton-emails-handed-D-C-park-intermediary-disgusted-Democratic-insiders.html .

    This is because if the President is really the Director of the FBI, then there could be some reason why the President thought that it was in the National Interest, that necessitated a private conversation with the former Director of the FBI, even though the President has said that he did Not order the FBI to halt any Investigation, and this is why the Constitution granted the President the Legal Right to Pardon any American, and this was Abused by Bill Clinton, with someone who gave Money to the Clintons.

    The word investigation is at times used by the Unprincipled as a Euphemism for Cover Up, and these investigations conducted by the Congress, the Senate, and Mueller, will insure that there much more that is said by Many Americans on these matters, because they want Integrity in the Government of America.

    • D5-5
      May 24, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Thank you for this comment and clarification on Kim Dot Com. (I believe the date early in your comment should be May 2016?) It is also important to think about Trump’s language with Comey, as you point out, versus the quickly leaping to conclusions he was trying to corrupt Comey from doing his job. Trump asked if he was being investigated and whether Comey was loyal to Trump, which could be interpreted as would Comey be fair? I’m not saying this is it, but it could be. I am no Trump supporter, instead very critical, but the assumed insinuation of what Trump said, known for blundering in his speech, may be incorrect as fuel for this accusation against him.

  35. Bob Beadle
    May 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

    An assiduous reader of consortiumnews and a big fan of the serious breath of fresh air journalism of Robert Parry, it hurts to say this:

    Partisan nitpicking, ineffectual dithering, an opinion looking for factoids to support it.

    Shame on you, Robert Parry

    • Sam F
      May 24, 2017 at 11:30 am

      You would have to argue those points to have any credibility:

      1. So far I have seen no partisanship here. Can you be specific?
      2. Have you any argument to blame on better journalists the endless evidence-free mass media diversions from the true story of political corruption, as you attempt?
      3. The lack of evidence in the MSM diversion from DNC’s Israel/KSA corruption emails, does not make criticism thereof “opinion looking for factoids” or “nitpicking, ineffectual dithering.”
      4. Does an “assiduous reader” of “fresh air journalism” know of better analysis, or can we assume otherwise because you would have listed it?

      Apparently you seek to deceive the “assiduous reader” of “fresh air journalism” by pretending to be one, that those who expose this endless evidence-free MSM scam, should be blamed for your lack of evidence, and just go away, and leave your corrupt MSM to their propaganda operations.

      No one here will be fooled.

      • Skip Scott
        May 24, 2017 at 12:32 pm

        Thanks, Sam F. You have to wonder what these trolls think they’re accomplishing with their evidence free statements that also seem to lack any logical development. After reading all the sensible comments here, you would think that they would know that most of us are too smart to fall for their BS.

        • Realist
          May 24, 2017 at 3:34 pm

          You’ve put your finger on the unifying characteristic of such trolling as goes on here (and, fortunately, that is not much). As you say, the usual style of these trolls (or perhaps troll using several noms de plume) is to make totally unsubstantiated generalities often laced with gratuitous insults. Perhaps these people have inadvertently taken the wrong fork in the road on their way towards plenty of other sites where extreme brevity and snarkery is the popular style.

          • May 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm

            yes…ive been to many other forums that leave me with an unsettling perspective of the nature or many people in this country…those forums r not the solution to anything…and we are lucky that we havnt experienced many more trolls, at CN, than we have…they are legion…
            .

  36. May 24, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    It is necessary by Robert Parry and others to push back on the “Russiagate” farce that has become nearly all-consuming. NSA keeps our oppositional posts, and good! They should know this farce is opposed. The last chapters of David Talbot’s great recent book, “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government” show how JFK’s desire for detente with the Soviet Union was one of the major factors in the decision to take him out. (And if anyone still believes only Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, you’re not reading enough.)

    Bringing back the old US/”USSR” tension seems to be effective to continue the con on a public now rather jaded to the never-ending terrorism threat. Many Americans don’t even understand what constitutes communism or socialism. Russia isn’t the Soviet Union, and Putin isn’t Stalin.

    • Realist
      May 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      You are right, Jessica. If the absurdists are going to push that nonsense down our throats non-stop 24/7, we who prefer living in the real world will have to resist them just as tenaciously. Allowing the “Big Lie” to be retold countless times without objection is to surrender to it. We’ve seen how that works in our history books.

  37. akech
    May 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    A message to the spirit of the late Seth Rich:

    “Dude, Please do not let those corrupt elites who are trying to shut down the investigation about your brutal murder, at a tender age of 27, not get away with it. Let your spirit haunt them with intensified regularity. These elites are hurting powerless humans around the globe “!

  38. Mark Thomason
    May 24, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    That is only three agencies, plus their joint coordinating HQ that has no resources of its own.

  39. Wm. Boyce
    May 24, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Well there certainly are elements of U.S. intelligence that would cook up a false brew for their own purposes, but the huge amount of leaks coming from this administration indicate there’s a bigger problem here. That would be someone with a 5th-grader’s knowledge of the world leading it. These people within the government are plenty scared at what they’re witnessing, and are doing, IMO, the patriotic thing in leaking to the major news outlets. i think the WashPost has been doing a fantastic job of being on multiple stories like flies on shit – as it should be if you’re doing good journalism. The Times has also been doing a good job. If this “disrupts” what Trump and his band of idealogues want to do – so much the better – it’s their own damned fault.

  40. May 24, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    As good as the job they were doing when the Bush/Cheney administration led the US into two wars on cooked-up intelligence, and when the Obama administration also led the US further into the wars that continue to kill innocent people in the Middle East countries? The leaks are not any greater or less from the Trump players than from other agencies. Both the NYT and WaPo have reported unsubstantiated information. I don’t defend Trump, he’s a plutocrat representing the party of plutocrats, but when has this government in recent time not been led by ideologues who were representing the big banks and the wealthy? If Trump leaves office, it’s a guarantee the same will continue. And if Pence takes over, the TPP will surely get pushed and probably passed. No matter who we get with this duopoly, the war machine has been winning for decades at the expense of the people. And, at the expense of Middle Eastern people severely, with death of untold numbers.

    • May 25, 2017 at 1:22 am

      So well said…

  41. acme
    May 24, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    The question of Russian hacking, of which I was always doubtful, has taken a back seat to the coverup, which is pretty obvious and massive. Why would they go to such lengths to stop the investigations of something if the investigations would eventually clear them of wrongdoing? It only makes sense if they are hiding things. Hopefully the investigations will tell us what, if anything.
    It certainly wouldn’t be the first nonsense this admin has come up with, but…, where there is that much smoke, not the accusations or the investigations, but the attempts to stop it, there is usually a fire.

    • Don G.
      May 25, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      The issue of Russia hacking is part of the demonization of Russia/Putin, which is in both the Democrats and the Republicans’ interests. The only fly in the ointment is trying to separate Trump from the program that must go on in order to fulfill the US agenda of complete control over the ME.

      Trump and his team must somehow cancel out and reverse the stupid things Trump said during his campaign that fly in the face of the US agenda. It takes time to turn 180 and the Dems are preventing progress on allowing Trump to do that because it’s so valuable to them as a weapon against him.

  42. May 25, 2017 at 1:16 am

    Another big lie by the lie FACTORY AKA the AMERICAN GOVERMENT.. Do they EVER tell us the TRUTH…???? America is like some old listing HULK, of its former self…All shot through with holes.. Losing face, stature , and creditability faster than the three card Month man… If trump wants to restore America and make it great again, the best place to start is with it’s shabby character. Murder, torture and rape of even children as its policy… Or is Seymore Hersh lying too… No, I don’t think so… He has been accurate in the past… He cares about his actions and image…

    It’s really hard to be anything but pessimistic these days… Trump said he would make America great again, buy he hasn’t a clue about greatness… Killing poor people and A american children half way round the planet won’t make A met of the Donald great… Buil FD Donald, stop destroying…

  43. May 25, 2017 at 1:19 am

    Build Donald, build, stop destroying… There is no greatness in it…!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Michael Kenny
    May 25, 2017 at 9:01 am

    MacronLeaks proves Russiagate. No American author, including Mr Parry, has ever tried to refute that proposition.

    • Antonia
      May 25, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Really! It proves absolutely nothing!

  45. John Zimmerman
    May 25, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Just watching John Brennan before the congressional committee and specifically when questioned by Gowdy, reveled in his less than accurate answers that he KNOWS that the results of the ICA report was designed to be an attack on President Trump.
    President Obama is GUILTY of orchestrating a deliberate attack on the elected President because HE knows that if Trump follows through with achieving his campaign objectives, Obama’s plan to bring down America will be defeated and HIS legacy!

    • Don G.
      May 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      You first of all need to understand that Trump’s foreign policy campaign objectives are all redundant. They were all spoke in ignorance of US goals in the ME.

      There is no space between Republican and Democrat plans for the ME; it is the US agenda and it’s nothing but a propaganda game being played by the Democrats to oppose Trump and maintain the illusion that Trump supports good relations with Russia/Putin.

      Trump is slowly coming onside with the program of making Russia the enemy. But he has to at least seem credible because it calls for him turning 180 from the nonsense he spoke during his campaign speeches.

  46. Peter O
    May 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I would , really , like to know why the Hollywood elite , Senators , Congress , House , Wealthy Elite , the EX President Obama ( Who just had a wall constructed around his new home in Washington ) to explain why THEY all live in homes that have large walls or fencing around them . Why do they have ARMED bodyguards (24/7) or why contractors build GATED COMMUNITIES all around America if ” there is not problem with threats to America ” ?
    Someone PLEASE explain this to me .

    • May 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      The level of “threat” to an individual is in direct proportion to the “actions” of the individual….

  47. Don G.
    May 25, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    The US has a problem. Demonizing Russia is essential in order to continue with it’s PNAC agenda which will give it complete control over the ME. But in order to do that, Russia has to stand down and out of the way. Russia is also interested in having some strategic interests in ME countries. Mostly at this point in time, Syria and Iran.

    And so, this US agenda calls for the Republican party to be in line with the efforts to bring about the final success of the PNAC. There is nothing inconsistent between the Democrats and the Republican on that! Nothing, other than the facade of the Republicans being opposed to the demonization of Russia and Putin.

    Therefore, there’s really no way for the Republicans to oppose the effort to cause Russia to stand aside. That appears to be inconsistent with Trump’s supposed agenda, but in fact isn’t now that Trump has been brought up to speed with the US agenda for the ME, and how he must act in concert with that.

  48. Kathy Heyne
    May 27, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Oh dear. The article mentions “President Obama”. Does that mean I have to keep calling the man who used his Nobel Peace Prize to stop his weekly Tuesday extra-judicial assassination list of people who werent Americans in countries that werent America blowing off his desk “President”, because I struggle with bestowing the respect and courtesy on a highly intelligent, well spoken, sane, cold blooded murderer?

  49. James
    May 28, 2017 at 12:33 am

    The US has a history of “fixing the facts around the policy”, and admitted they do it in the “Downing Street Memos” scandal of 2002 in the lead up to the attack on Iraq. Does anyone really believe that things have changed and America would never do such a thing again? Of course not. Facts will be cooked and the public will be misled today as they were in the past.

    Only fools take the theater being played for us seriously.

  50. Herbert Dorsey
    May 28, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Anyone who has followed the Seth Rich murder knows that he was the source of the Wiki Leaks DNC e-mails which weren’t hacked because Rich worked at the DNC and had legal access to those e-mails. Newt Gingrich has stated that Seth Rich was assassinated because he was the source. I have thoroughly researched this and also believe that Newt Gingrich is absolutely correct on this.

  51. Bob
    May 28, 2017 at 4:50 am

    “This doesn’t mean that Wikileaks or Russia are innocent”

    But it certainly points in that direction doesn’t it? It all comes down to Wikileaks. Hillary first floated the whole Russian hack electoral conspiracy to the American people in a desperate attempt to control the deathblow of the WHISTLEBLOWER(s). Wikileaks asserts the emails were not leaked by Russian hackers and flatly denies any Russian involvement. This would make the whole story a complete and deliberate fabrication, the implications of which should be repugnant to every citizen of America.

    So it just so happens that after Trump and the American people give double middles to the DC establishment and it’s pathetic MSM propaganda mouthpiece, essentially destroying and humiliating both, that this story was ran with in another desperate attempt at controlling the potentially revolutionary tide of angry populism. Hillary’s magic conspiracy theory is confirmed..a lie confirmed by lies.

    And, lo and behold, Trump’s and the American People’s enemies rise with this absurd lie. The same lying scum MSM and the greedy sell out D.C. filth that brought our country to where it is today and who, oddly enough, helped get this horrible, elected, tyrant Donald Trump into office, rise again. A large swath of American people hate the media, Hollywood, and D.C. political class so deeply and passionately they ignored all the powerful forces against Trump and elected him against all odds, but the establishment finds that unacceptable. The American people are getting wise to and justifiably angry with all the lies and BS.

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