The Scary Void Inside Russia-gate

Despite a lack of evidence at its core – and the risk of nuclear conflagration as its by-product – Russia-gate remains the go-to accusation for “getting” the Trump administration, explains Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen.

By Stephen F. Cohen

The foundational accusation of Russia-gate was, and remains, charges that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee e-mails and their public dissemination through WikiLeaks in order to benefit Donald Trump and undermine Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and that Trump and/or his associates colluded with the Kremlin in this “attack on American democracy.”

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin wall, Dec. 6, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

As no actual evidence for these allegations has been produced after nearly a year and a half of media and government investigations, we are left with Russia-gate without Russia. (An apt formulation perhaps first coined in an e-mail exchange by Nation writer James Carden.) Special counsel Mueller has produced four indictments: against retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national-security adviser, and George Papadopolous, a lowly and inconsequential Trump “adviser,” for lying to the FBI; and against Paul Manafort and his partner Rick Gates for financial improprieties. None of these charges has anything to do with improper collusion with Russia, except for the wrongful insinuations against Flynn.

Instead, the several investigations, desperate to find actual evidence of collusion, have spread to “contacts with Russia” — political, financial, social, etc. — on the part of a growing number of people, often going back many years before anyone imagined Trump as a presidential candidate. The resulting implication is that these “contacts” were criminal or potentially so.

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy’s search for “Communist” connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding “contacts” with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post, in an editorial. This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary, argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

Russia-gate began sometime prior to June 2016, not after the presidential election in November, as is often said, as an anti-Trump political project. (Exactly why, how, and by whom remain unclear, and herein lies the real significance of the largely bogus “dossier” and the still murky role of top U.S. intel officials in the creation of that document.)

That said, the mainstream American media have been largely responsible for inflating, perpetuating, and sustaining the sham Russia-gate as the real political crisis it has become, arguably the greatest in modern American presidential and thus institutional political history. The media have done this by increasingly betraying their own professed standards of verified news reporting and balanced coverage, even resorting to tacit forms of censorship by systematically excluding dissenting reporting and opinions.

(For inventories of recent examples, see Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept and Joe Lauria at Consortiumnews. Anyone interested in exposures of such truly “fake news” should visit these two sites regularly, the latter the product of the inestimable veteran journalist Robert Parry.)

Still worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards, where expressed disdain for “evidence” and “proof” in favor of allegations without any actual facts can sometimes be found. Nor are these practices merely the ordinary occasional mishaps of professional journalism.

As Greenwald points out, all of the now retracted stories, whether by print media or cable television, were zealous promotions of Russia-gate and virulently anti-Trump. They, too, are examples of Russia-gate without Russia.

Flynn and the FBI

Leaving aside possible financial improprieties on the part of General Flynn, his persecution and subsequent prosecution is highly indicative. Flynn pled guilty to having lied to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, on behalf of the incoming Trump administration, discussions that unavoidably included some references, however vague, to sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama in December 2016, just before leaving office.

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

Those sanctions were highly unusual — last-minute, unprecedented in their seizure of Russian property in the United States, and including a reckless veiled threat of unspecified cyber-attacks on Russia. They gave the impression that Obama wanted to make even more difficult Trump’s professed goal of improving relations with Moscow.

Still more, Obama’s specified reason was not Russian behavior in Ukraine or Syria, as is commonly thought, but Russia-gate — that is, Putin’s “attack on American democracy,” which Obama’s intel chiefs had evidently persuaded him was an entirely authentic allegation. (Or which Obama, who regarded Trump’s victory over his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, as a personal rebuff, was eager to believe.)

But Flynn’s discussions with the Russian ambassador — as well as other Trump representatives’ efforts to open “back-channel” communications with Moscow – were anything but a crime. As I pointed out in another commentary, there were so many precedents of such overtures on behalf of presidents-elect, it was considered a normal, even necessary practice, if only to ask Moscow not to make relations worse before the new president had a chance to review the relationship.

When Henry Kissinger did this on behalf of President-elect Nixon, his boss instructed him to keep the communication entirely confidential, not to inform any other members of the incoming administration. Presumably Flynn was similarly secretive, thereby misinforming Vice President Pence and finding himself trapped — or possibly entrapped — between loyalty to his president and an FBI agent. Flynn no doubt would have been especially guarded with a representative of the FBI, knowing as he did the role of Obama’s Intel bosses in Russia-gate prior to the election and which had escalated after Trump’s surprise victory.

In any event, to the extent that Flynn encouraged Moscow not to reply in kind immediately to Obama’s highly provocative sanctions, he performed a service to U.S. national security, not a crime. And, assuming that Flynn was acting on the instructions of his president-elect, so did Trump. Still more, if Flynn “colluded” in any way, it was with Israel, not Russia, having been asked by that government to dissuade countries from voting for an impending anti-Israel U.N. resolution.

Removing Tillerson

Finally, and similarly, there is the ongoing effort by the political-media establishment to drive Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from office and replace him with a fully neocon, anti-Russian, anti-détente head of the State Department. Tillerson was an admirable appointee by Trump — widely experienced in world affairs, a tested negotiator, a mature and practical-minded man.

President Trump speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Nov. 1, 2017, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Trump’s right and son-in-law Jared Kushner seated in the background. (Screen shot from

Originally, his role as the CEO of Exxon Mobil who had negotiated and enacted an immensely profitable and strategically important energy-extraction deal with the Kremlin earned him the slur of being “Putin’s pal.” This preposterous allegation has since given way to charges that he is slowly restructuring, and trimming, the long bloated and mostly inept State Department, as indeed he should do. Numerous former diplomats closely associated with Hillary Clinton have raced to influential op-ed pages to denounce Tillerson’s undermining of this purportedly glorious frontline institution of American national security. Many news reports, commentaries, and editorials have been in the same vein. But who can recall a major diplomatic triumph by the State Department or a Secretary of State in recent years?

The answer might be the Obama administration’s multinational agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear-weapons potential, but that was due no less to Russia’s president and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provided essential guarantees to the sides involved. Forgotten, meanwhile, are the more than 50 career State Department officials who publicly protested Obama’s rare attempt to cooperate with Moscow in Syria. Call it by what it was: the sabotaging of a president by his own State Department.

In this spirit, there are a flurry of leaked stories that Tillerson will soon resign or be ousted. Meanwhile, however, he carries on. The ever-looming menace of Russia-gate compels him to issue wildly exaggerated indictments of Russian behavior while, at the same time, calling for a “productive new relationship” with Moscow, in which he clearly believes. (And which, if left unencumbered, he might achieve.)

Evidently, Tillerson has established a “productive” working relationship with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the two of them having just announced North Korea’s readiness to engage in negotiations with the United States and other governments involved in the current crisis.

Tillerson’s fate will tell us much about the number-one foreign-policy question confronting America: cooperation or escalating conflict with the other nuclear superpower, a détente-like diminishing of the new Cold War or the growing risks that it will become hot war. Politics and policy should never be over-personalized; larger factors are always involved. But in these unprecedented times, Tillerson may be the last man standing who represents the possibility of some kind of détente. Apart, that is, from President Trump himself, loathe him or not. Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation, where a version of this article first appeared.


77 comments for “The Scary Void Inside Russia-gate

  1. Frank
    December 27, 2017 at 07:25


  2. Mild -ly- Facetious
    December 20, 2017 at 13:55

    Creating The 21st Century Internet
    in World — by Kevin Zeese — December 18, 2017

    Co-Written By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

    Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who is chair of the FCC, went too far last Thursday in undermining the Internet when he led the dismantling of net neutrality rules. As a result, he has fueled the energy needed to protect Internet rights. It is time for Movement Judo, where the energy created by the overreach of the FCC is turned into energy not just to overturn the FCC’s decision, but to also create the Internet we need in the 21st Century.

    Over the past few months, there has arisen an epic mass mobilization in support of net neutrality and national consensus, with a University of Maryland poll finding 83% support for the Internet being open and equal to all. There was a record number of comments to the FCC on this issue over the summer. More than 1.2 million calls and 12.5 million emails went into Congress through the coalition site, Battle For the Net, and more than 700 protests were held across the country for net neutrality on December 7. The Internet is important to all of us and politicians who do not side with the people will pay a heavy political price.

    This week, three FCC commissioners gave a handful of mega-corporations the power to control the speed of websites and where we go, what we see and what we pay for access to content on the web. The battle for the Internet is not over – it has just begun, and we will go into next steps to protect our Internet, but first we will start with a bigger question – what should the Internet be in the 21st Century?

    find at

  3. Mild -ly- Facetious
    December 20, 2017 at 13:48

    The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
    has gained Ascendance

    in the United States of America.
    There are No weapons against it.

    (Pythagoreans and the Pentagon)

  4. Bob Beal
    December 19, 2017 at 13:39

    Here’s another account of the infighting within the ruling circles:
    Political warfare escalates over Mueller investigation into Trump-Russia claims
    By Patrick Martin, 19 December 2017
    “Trump’s right-wing media supporters are warning of an FBI-led “coup” while Democrats suggest that Trump is about to fire the special prosecutor and trigger a constitutional crisis.”
    “Democrat Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued an email statement declaring, “The men and women of the FBI are among the most professional and committed public servants in our nation,” adding that they “serve all of us.””

  5. Tim
    December 18, 2017 at 10:13

    Sadly, quite a concise, clear picture of the muddy waters called Russia-gate, Intel’s baby, and the faint possibilities of Tillerson and Lavrov holding fast against sabotage. Let’s hope against all hope.

  6. December 17, 2017 at 21:10

    Vox has an article “The Left Shouldn’t Make Peace With Neocons — Even to Defeat Trump”, by Robert Wright. Bill Kristol of American Conservative and many other neocons including Robert Kagan have dual US-Israel citizenship, and they push the MICC toward war. They’ll be pushing for war with Iran and maybe Russia.

  7. December 17, 2017 at 13:56

    “It’s the state-sponsorship of terrorism, stupid.” … The largest-scale, ongoing, organized war criminal operation in the history of the world has murdered millions.

  8. Bill
    December 17, 2017 at 12:03

    Do you really think that Obama was misled by others? I don’t believe it. Obama and Hillary are the origin of the fabrications. Will anyone hold their feet to the fire?

    • anonymous
      December 18, 2017 at 08:17

      Nope. The realization that Mr. Obama never was, is not, and never will be any better than the others is too much for some to bear. He lied his way into office, and then sold out on a wide range of issues (Gitmo, prosecution of Wall Street fraudsters, warmongering imperialism, the exploitation of medical care by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, government surveillance in violation of the Constitution, ad nauseum). And he pooped in the punch bowl with the Russian sanctions on his way out the door. But for those emotionally invested in The Great Black Hope, these failures will always be blamed on others. If he keeps his nose clean, he’s destined to join Lincoln and FDR as politicians beyond criticism.

      Let’s not let that distract us from calling out the Establishment on the Russian Hate Hoax. This article and the comments are superb.

  9. rosemerry
    December 16, 2017 at 17:53

    Professor Cohen is one of the few who really knows about Russia, so of course so any of the Fawning Corporate Media (to quote Ray McGovern) denigrate his work. Even in GWBush’s time he often explained “the Cold War is over”, and Obama’s intemperate rush to expel diplomats and push ahead the Russophobia after Trump’s election had no basis in fact and just encouraged the Hillary-Dems and neocons to continue the unjustified destruction of the one aspect of Trump’s “plan” that would have benefited the USA and peace.

  10. Clif
    December 16, 2017 at 17:04

    Yes, thank you Dr. Cohen.

    The lack of scrutiny is alarming. I’d like to offer Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan as possible figures who are working the lines and should be drawn into the light.

  11. James
    December 16, 2017 at 10:13

    Thank you Mr. Cohen for your ever insightful and reasoned commentary on this disturbing trend.

  12. dhinds
    December 16, 2017 at 07:28

    An important interview, for anyone that wants to understand Russia, today.

    Megyn Kelly Interview Vladimir Putin

    June, 2017

    Damn good Interview (on the part of Putin – He said what was needed to be said. including “well, this is just more nonsense … Have you lost your mind over there, or something)? He then continued to wrap it up, in a reasonable and and diplomatic manner.

    Effectively, the USA continues locked into denial, refusing to accept responsibility for it’s own current state of affairs. (The mass delusion is so thick you could eat it with a spoon, if it wasn’t so putrid).

    Warmongering, terrorist and refugee creating Regime Change and mass assassinations (with neither congressional oversight nor due process), arms and influence peddling profiteering, the creation of a mass surveillance society and militarized police state that kills minorities, the homeless and poor with impunity, mass incarceration in private for profit prisons, increasingly gross inequality and the excessive cost of health care and education; show the USA to be a society adrift and devoid of fundamental values. (And that’s me talking, not Vladimir Putin)

    The Clintons, Bush’s and their supporters are to blame and should be held accountable, but mainly a new course for society must be charted and neither of the two corrupt major political parties is capable of that at this time.

    A new coalition is called for.

  13. Gregory Herr
    December 15, 2017 at 21:43

    What has really been astonishing to me—beyond a lack of evidence for all the “Russia-gate” allegations–is the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative in the first place. Robert Parry has addressed this, but the voice of Stephen Cohen–with the perspective of specialized scholarship and experience vis-a-vis Russia–is a welcome voice indeed.

    • David G
      December 16, 2017 at 09:55

      The NY Times printed an allegedly explanatory graphic a couple of days ago showing the Trump/Russia “scandal” as a basically a proliferating root system descending from the central “collusion” premise, with the roots and rootlets branching down to encompass all the disjointed facts (and “facts”) and allegations that have appeared in the media.

      The graphic was unintentionally revealing of the phoniness of the whole business: instead of showing numerous observations leading to a deeper truth, it accurately depicted “Russia-gate” as a pre-existing (fact-free) conceit that has chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments. That’s the definition of a weak and useless theory!

      • Gregory Herr
        December 16, 2017 at 16:37

        It seems to that as a representative of the incoming Administration’s foreign policy team Flynn was just doing his job speaking with the Russian ambassador about the sudden and striking maneuvers of Obama during the transition. And in trying to defuse potential fallout and escalation due to those sanctions he was doing his job well. Was it not perfectly legal and well within the parameters of his duties to establish some baselines of discussion with counterparts?
        Flynn’s expression of thoughts on policy to counterparts were, to my mind, subject to the approval of the head of the incoming Administration—namely Trump, and Trump only.

        By the time the FBI questioned Flynn, he surely must have had an idea his conversation with the Ambassador had been under surveillance. What was the “lie”? Was he forgetful of a detail and just caught in a nitpicking technicality? Or did he deliberately manufacture a falsehood? When he gets past his legal entanglement, I sure hope he sits down to a candid interview. I’d like him to demystify me about all this.

        I like your phraseology David…this nonsense has been chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments!

        • David G
          December 16, 2017 at 18:46

          Thanks, Gregory Herr. In your earlier comment that I replied to, you reference “the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative”. That’s not bad phraseology either.

          And it also gets to something I’ve been thinking all along: I’d like to hear a “Russia-gate” proponent, such as an MSNBC host, actually supply what they consider a plausible narrative that fits all these breathless Trump/Russia “scoops”.

          I’m not demanding they prove anything, but just want to hear a story that makes sense. Because it seems to me that all the little developments they rush toward with their hummingbird attention spans don’t fit together, *even if you concede all the dubious and debatable “facts”*.

  14. December 15, 2017 at 21:32

    Thought the acronym PEPs was clever, Progressives Except for Palestine. Now it has morphed into PEPIRs pronounced Peppers, Progressives Except for Palestine, Iran and Russia. Actually could be PEPIRS adding Syria. If we added Iraq it could be PIEPIRS or Peepers. Actually, I have little regard for such people whose aims include killing and maiming for land and money.

    Professor Cohen’s credentials are very impressive and his voice and pen are badly needed. People like him are precious resources for America and the world.

    • December 16, 2017 at 11:08

      PIEPIRS is incorrect with the I before the E making Pipers. So we have PEPs, Peppers and Pipers. Please excuse the frivolous comments but it feels good to try to expose their hypocrisy in any way you can, that is of the Peps, Peppers and Pipers.

  15. Litchfield
    December 15, 2017 at 21:29

    Thank god Consortium News keeps up the pressure on the Russia-gate scam.
    And glad to see Stephen Cohen published here.
    Readers of this site need to keep reminding themselve of the basic background on this—at least, I do—in case opportunities comes along to deflate others’ credulousness.

    One question for Stephen Cohen:
    Your wife is the editor of The Nation.
    What has The Nation done to stop the madness?
    Not enough. What’s the story?
    In fact, during the campaign and post-election, The Nation shamefully lent itself to the craziness on the left that sought to devalidate not only the results of the election but Trump himself qua human being. Nothing has been too far below the belt for Nation editors and writers to strike. I have had the ongoing impression that The Nation’s editorial board really cannot see below the surface on any of this and have driven a very superficial anti-Trump, “resist” narrative dangerous in its implications. I think I have seen just one story, by a Patrick someone, that seriously questioned the russia-gate narrative. The Nation has fallen right in to the trap of “I hate Trump so much and am so freaked out by his election that I will make common cause with any one and any forces in our polity that will get rid of him somehow.” The nation seems too scared of facing head on the reality of deep state actors in the USA. Or is too wedded to its version of reality to see what has become incraseingly clear to growing numbers of Americans.
    As many an intelligent and more knowledgeable than I person has said: There is plenty to decry about Trump. But worse is the actions taken in the name of ridding the country of him and his presidency.
    Because of this consistent cluelessness I have canceled all gift subscriptions to The Nation. I’ll pay for my own sub, to see where this magazine goes, but others will have to pay their own way with The Nation if they so choose.
    So, please clean up at home and get the act together on what is left of the left.

  16. December 15, 2017 at 20:33

    “unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous” sums it up nicely. It was also good to have Professor Cohen’s endorsement of this website’s courageous initiatives in combatting the Russia-gate farce.

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 16, 2017 at 11:15

      I’ll happily second that thought BobH. And thanks…

  17. Annie
    December 15, 2017 at 19:58

    This is one of the reasons I no longer support Democracy Now. As Mr. Cohen said, “… worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards,…”

    God, help us, everyone including mental health professionals have no sense of professionalism, but they sure know how to make a buck, and try to undo a presidency.

    “There are Thousands of Us”: Mental Health Professionals Warn of Trump’s Increasing Instability

    • Litchfield
      December 15, 2017 at 22:00

      Ditto, The Nation. See my post.

      • Annie
        December 15, 2017 at 23:22

        I read your post, and of course I agree. Some of the allegations are so minor, as he hugged me and gave me a kiss on my mouth. He touched my breast. I was in the dressing room when he came in unannounced, and my hair was in curlers, and I was only wearing a robe, but I was nude underneath. Of course some were more disconcerting then those I mentioned, but all claim to be traumatized. I have no doubt their agenda is to bring him down and the whole thing has been orchestrated to do just that. Where is all the concern, and coverage of rape in this country where the estimates go from 300,000 to over a million women raped each year? Where are the stories about sexual trafficking of children, or the children who are sexually abused in their own homes? I’ve never seen coverage on these issues like what is happening now. That is another reason I find this whole thing appalling. Not to mention using sexual harassment as a political tool to bring down a president.

    • David G
      December 16, 2017 at 09:41

      So many examples of this. There’s an alternative newspaper comic I used to like, “Tom the Dancing Bug” – smart, subversive, and “progressive”. But the writer has completely bought into Scary Putin/Puppet Trump. It’s depressing.

  18. Leslie F.
    December 15, 2017 at 19:11

    So the investigation isn’t really about Russia. It is about corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, etc. All worthy of investigation. Not to mention the conspiracy to kidnap the Turkish cleric and collusion with Israel This investigation should not be shut down because the deep state and the press are in a conspiracy to blame it all on Russia. It is up to you guys in the press to convince your colleagues to call it what it really is, and expose those members who continue to misrepresent reality. The press, as a whole, has dropped the ball in a big way on this, but that is not Mueller’s responsibility. The 4th estate is a mess and you should be trying to figure out how to clean it up without violating the constitution.

  19. Annie
    December 15, 2017 at 18:48

    I also see the sexual allegations made against Trump, as another opportunity to oust him from his presidency. I in no way condone such behavior, but it’s disturbing to think the main motivation driving this is another means of trying to oust him from his presidency. I don’t believe, as these women claim, that they felt “left out”, in the recent outings of men who have misused their positions of power to exploit women sexually.

    • Litchfield
      December 15, 2017 at 21:58

      Yep, the Weinstein thing is being trumpeted and amplified to the extent that it synergizes wtih attempts to oust Trump. It is handy to the deep state. Trump qua political figure is being tarred with the Weinstein brush. That is the main reason we are seeing such a heavy dose of stories on male bad behavior. We would not be seeing this if Hillary were in power. Just a few stories but not full-court press. Because too many of these bad actors are actually in the Hillary camp. Like, most of Hollywood. The story wouldn’t help her, politically, if she were in power. It only helps politically to drag down Trump. Before the Weinstein thing came along, we arleady had teh golden showers fairy tale. In fact it would not surprise me at all if Rose McGowan had some kind of political support and encouragement to “go public.”
      this is no way means that I think this kind of thing is OK. But, things are not straightforward in our world. It is a political as well as a “moral” or lifestyle story. One of the political targets is Trump. Notice that the heads of studios who knew all about this behavior and did nothing are not being forced to step down. Let’s check out their political donations . . .

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 16, 2017 at 00:44

        What if the ‘Sexual Predator Purge’ stories along with the ‘Get Trump Out of Office’ campaign were but two stories colliding into each other? I mean a reporter in our TMZ world we live in would need paid a handsome sum to continually stay quiet over a Harvey Weinstein kind of scoop, so eventually these scandals had to come out. And then there’s hateable loud mouth the Donald, who must be stopped by any means. Put the two together, and hey with how all these big shot perv’s are going down, why not corral Trump and force him to resign. It’s even cheaper than impeachment.

        So the conniving once again craft together a piece of fiction, mixed in with some reality, and take the American conscience off into another realm of fantasy. Hate can get anybody carted off to the guillotine, if the timings right.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 16, 2017 at 00:55

        Andrew Bacevich mentions the Weinstein scandal, and then goes on to suggest what the conversation should be.

        • Litchfield
          December 16, 2017 at 09:12

          Bacevich is fine as far as he goes
          But he never quite “turns the corner” himself in taking the story as far as it needs to be taken and laying out the conclusions that the public needs to grasp.

          • David G
            December 16, 2017 at 09:32

            Yes! That! Thank you, Litchfield.

            Bacevich is knowledgeable and worth reading. But he never, afaik, ventures to look deeply enough into the imperial heart of darkness – “turn the corner”, as you say.

  20. Abe
    December 15, 2017 at 17:02

    “In a dramatic development in the trial in Kiev of several Berkut police officers accused of shooting civilians in the Maidan demonstrations in February 2014, the defence has produced two Georgians who confirm that the murders were committed by foreign snipers, at least 50 of them, operating in teams. The two Georgians, Alexander Revazishvili and Koba Nergadze have agreed to testify […]

    “This dramatic and explosive evidence was first brought to light by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin on November 16 in an article in the Italian journal Il Giornale and is again brought to the world’s attention by a lawyer with some courage picking up on that report and speaking with the witnesses himself. These witnesses stated to Gian Micalessin, even more explosively, that the American Army was directly involved in the murders.

    “The clear objective of the Maidan massacre in Kiev on February 20, 2014 was to sow chaos and reap the fall of the democratically elected, pro-Russian Yanukovych government. People were slaughtered for no other reason than to destroy a government the NATO powers, especially the United States and Germany, wanted removed because of its opposition to NATO, the EU, and their hegemonic drive to open Ukraine and Russia to American and German economic expansion. In other words, it was about money and the making of money.

    “The western media and leaders quickly blamed the Yanukovych government for the killings during the Maidan demonstrations, but more evidence has become available indicating that the massacre in Kiev of police and civilians – which led to the escalation of protests, leading to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government – was the work of snipers working on orders of government opponents and their NATO controllers using the protests as a cover for a coup.

    “One of the snipers already admitted to this in February 2015, thereby confirming what had become common knowledge just a few days after the massacre in Kiev and in a secretly recorded telephone call, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reported to the EU head of Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, in early March 2014, that there was widespread suspicion that “someone from the new coalition” in the Kiev government may have ordered the sniper murders. In February 2016, Maidan activist Ivan Bubenchik confessed that in the course of the massacre, he had shot Ukrainian police officers. Bubenchik confirmed this in a film that gained wide attention.

    ‘Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, at the University of Ottawa, published a devastating paper on the Maidan killings setting out in extensive detail the conclusive evidence that it was a false flag operation and that members of the present Kiev regime, including Poroshenko himself were involved in the murders, not the government forces. […]

    “In the November 16 article in the Italian journal Il Giornale, and repeated on Italian TV Canale 5, journalist Gian Micalessin revealed that 3 Georgians, all trained army snipers, and with links to Mikheil Saakashvili and Georgian security forces were ordered to travel to Kiev from Tbilisi during the Maidan events. It is two of these men that are now being called to testify in Kiev.”

    The Maidan Massacre: US Army Orders: Sow Chaos
    By Christopher Black

    • Abe
      December 15, 2017 at 17:12

      The pretext for the western-supported overthrow of Ukrainian President Yanukovych was the massacre of more than a hundred protestors in Kiev in February 2014, which Yanukovych allegedly ordered his forces to carry out. Doubts have been expressed about the evidence for this allegation, but they have been almost entirely ignored by the western media and politicians.

      Ukrainian-Canadian professor Ivan Katchanovski has carried out a detailed study of the evidence of those events, including videos and radio intercepts made publicly available by pro-Maidan sources, and eye witness accounts. His findings point to the involvement of far-right militias in the massacre and a cover-up afterwards:

      – The trajectories of many of the shots indicate that they were fired from buildings that were then occupied by Maidan forces.
      – Many warnings were given by announcers on the Maidan stage about snipers firing from those buildings.
      – Several leaders of the then opposition felt secure enough to give speeches on the Maidan around the time that gunmen in nearby buildings were shooting protestors dead, and those leaders were not targeted by the gunmen .
      – Many of the protesters were shot with an outdated type of firearm that was not used by professional snipers but was available in Ukraine as a hunting weapon.
      – Recordings of all live TV and Internet broadcasts of the massacre by five different TV channels were either removed from their websites immediately after the massacre or not made publicly available.
      – Official results of ballistic, weapons, and medical examinations and other evidence collected during the investigations have not been made public, while crucial evidence, including bullets and weapons, has disappeared.
      – No evidence has been given that links the then security forces’ weapons to the killings of the protesters.
      – No evidence has been given of orders to shoot unarmed protestors even though the new government claimed that Yanukovych issued those orders personally.
      – So far the only three people have been charged with the massacre, one of whom has disappeared from house arrest.

      • Bob Van Noy
        December 15, 2017 at 18:16

        Thank you Abe that article could change everything…

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        December 15, 2017 at 18:54

        Thanks for advocating Dr Katchanovski! I have been reading some of his papers since a year or two and his work seems very thorough! He uses physical facts like trajectories of bullets to determine where shots originated.

        Another expert in the field who knows Mr Katchanovski fully endorsed his academic work without any hesitation when I asked him recently. He is being published by publishers with the highest demands. His work can be found in or is it .org, login is free of charge.
        His work deserves the attention of real journalists.

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          December 15, 2017 at 18:57

          Oh, sorry, I see u already mentioned!
          No harm repeating though.
          And it is .edu. :)

      • Litchfield
        December 15, 2017 at 21:51

        Ditto with the airliner shootdown.
        Russia is accused and evidence is destroyed/suppressed.
        The pattern is quite clear. Russiagate is merely an extension of the same pattern.
        Remember those intelligence tests that consist of presenting a series of numbers, and the test taker has to figure out what the next number in the pattern is . . .
        So, the Russiagate thing is merely the next item that continues the pattern of Maidan, plane shootdown and cover-up, shootdown of plane in Sinai, etc. etc. etc.
        I think the deep state REALLY went apoplectic when Snowden escaped to Russia.

        They will have their revenged, at any price, to the USA, to Russia, to the world. These are madmen.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 16, 2017 at 00:32

        It’s prove Abe that ‘only if you live long enough’ applies to learning these newly uncovered facts regarding the Maiden Square riots. Let’s hold out hope that the truth to MH17 comes out soon. Another thing, how can these sanctions against Russia stay in place while everything known as a narrative to that event comes unraveled.

    • Marko
      December 15, 2017 at 17:31

      That’s a good article , worth reading in its entirety. Thanks.

    • occupy on
      December 16, 2017 at 01:23

      Abe, thank you so much for this information. US fingerprints are all over Ukraine’s sickening economic ‘reforms’, too! Have you read the House Ukraine Freedom Support Act – passed by both houses in the middle of the night Dec. 2014? I have. Wade through until nearly the end where it gives President Obama #1. the power to work toward US corporations exploring and developing Ukraine’s natural resources (including fracking) once ‘reforms’ have been put in place (privatization); #2. the power to ask the World Bank to extend special loans for US corporations to develop those natural resources; #3. the power to install ‘defensive’ missile sites all along Russia’s western borders; #4. the power to free US NGO’s in Russia from their previously non-partisan restraints and allow them to work with anti-Putin political groups.

      I urge you to google Dennis Kucinich/Ron Paul/Ukraine Freedom Support Act -2014. You won’t believe how that bill got through the House of Representatives and Senate. And you’ll have to laugh when you hear the word “democracy” in any context with “the USA”.

  21. Piotr Berman
    December 15, 2017 at 16:13

    Jessica K: The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become.

    One could say that there is nothing bad about a witch hunt, provided that it genuinely goes after evil witches. Perhaps the worst hitch hunt in my memory was directed at preschool teachers accused of sexual molestation and sometimes satanism. Probably we are not in this Animal Kingdom story (yet):

    Denizens of AK see a hare running very fast and they ask “what happen?” Mr. hare answers “They are castrating camels!” “But you are a hare, not a camel!” “Try to prove that you are not a camel!”.

  22. Realist
    December 15, 2017 at 15:44

    My parents always used to use the old argument to keep my thinking on track and avoid conforming to dangerous groupthink: “if everyone else decided to jump off the cliff, in the river or out the 10th floor window, would you just follow the crowd?” Professor Cohen is one of the rare little boys who either learned that lesson well or has always had strong innate instincts to avoid following the crowd or jumping on self-destructive bandwagons. Most of the readers of this site seem to have similar predilections and are among the very few Americans not being led by the Pied Pipers of all-encompassing self-destructive Russophobia. (Is there some common childhood experience or shared gene in our personal biographies that compel our rigorous adherence to the principles we all uphold?) As other posters have noted here, those few media personalities with a seeming immunity to the pathological groupthink now infecting most of America are indeed a very curious lot, with little else in the way of ideological conformity, but thank heavens for them for any restoration of mass sanity will surely have to originate from within their ranks, examples and leadership. I, for one, am pulling for Professor Cohen to be among those leading this country out of the wilderness of lock-step madness.

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 15, 2017 at 15:47

      We remember an era before 11/22/1963…

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 15, 2017 at 16:30

      Realist I’m glad you brought up the readers on consortiumnews, and their not falling for this Russia-Gate nonsense. People posting comments here in support of ‘no Russian interference’ have been accused of being Trump supporters, but that was never the case. No, instead many here just saw through the fog of propaganda, and certainly saw this Russia-Gate idiocy as it being nothing more than an instigated coup. This defense of Trump could have been for any newly elected president, but the division between Hillary supporters, and Trump backers, has been the biggest obstacle to overcome, while attempting to explain your thought. I truly think that if the shoe had been on the other foot, that the many posters of comments here on consortiumnews would have been on Hillary’s side, if it had been the same kind of coup that had been put in place. It’s time to tell John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Robert Mueller, to call Hillary and say, ‘well at least we tried Madam Secretary’, and then be done with it.

    • Dave P.
      December 16, 2017 at 14:43

      Realist and Joe – I always enjoy reading your thoughtful comments. Those of us who have been reading professor Stephen Cohen’s articles for more than four decades now , know that he is the foremost authority on Russia. Instead of being courted to give his valuable input into the relations with Russia, he and others like him are being vilified as Putin apologists. It is the sign of the times we live in now.

      As many comments posters here on this site had noted, the Russia-Gate has been deliberately created to confront Russia at this time rather than later on. Russia is in the way for final push for World domination – the Neoliberal Globalization.

      Nobody, in Washington or elsewhere in the Country seems to ask why and for whom they, The ruling Powers want to establish this World Empire at any cost – even at the risk of a nuclear war. This process of building an Empire has changed the country as I had seen it more than half a century ago.

      NeoLiberal Globalization, building this World wide Empire during the last three or four decades had its real winners and losers. Lot of wealth has been created all over the World under neoliberal global economy.

      The big time winners are top .01% and another about 10% are also in the winners category, and have accumulated lot of wealth. From all over the World; China, India . . . this top 10% class send their kids to the best universities in the West for professional education; Finance, High tech, Sciences, and other professions and they get the jobs all over in Silicon Valley, and big financial Institutions and other professional fields in U.S. , U.K., Australia Canada . . .

      The losers are middle class in U.S. – whom Hillary called deplorables – especially in those once mighty Industrial States in the Midwest, and East. With my marriage here , I inherited lots of relatives more than forty five years ago, most of them in the Midwest. As somebody commented a few weeks ago on this site about these middle class people that their ” Way of Life ” has been destroyed. It is true. All these people voted for Trump. With the exception of two, all our relatives in the Midwest and elsewhere on my wife’s side voted for Trump. They are good, hard working people. It is painful to look at those ruined and abandoned factories in those States and ruined lives of many of those Middle Class people. Globalization has been disastrous for the middle class people in U.S. It is a race to the bottom for those people.

      Ask those relatives if they have ever read anything about Russia during 2016. Not one of them have ever read or listened to anything related to Russian media or other Russian source. They did not even know if anything like RT or Sputnik News ever existed. Most of them don’t even know now. And it is true of the people we associate with here where we live. None of them have time to read anything let alone Russian Media. I came to know about RT during events in Ukraine in 2014, and about Sputnik News over a year ago when this Russia- Gate commotion began. And I had read lot of Russian literature in my young age.

      As several articles on this website have pointed out those email leaks were an inside job. Russia-Gate is just a concocted scheme to bring down Trump. And to destabilize Russia – a hurdle to Globalization and West’s domination.

      • Skip Scott
        December 17, 2017 at 08:39

        Dave P-

        Yours is a very accurate portrayal of the heartland of America. I live in a very rural area of the southwest, and you describe reality there to a “T”. They are much too busy trying to survive to dig too deeply into world affairs. Thank goodness at least they’ve got Tucker Carlson at Fox to contrast the propaganda spewers on the other networks. They know the latte sippers and their government has abandoned them, but they don’t fully understand the PNAC empire’s moves in pursuit of global domination, and many wind up in the military jousting at windmills.

      • Realist
        December 17, 2017 at 16:46

        I totally concur, Dave. I’m 70 and well remember, as a little kid, as a teenager and as a young man, folks talking about a far-off ideal of world unity, wherein all people on earth would share in earth’s bounty and have the same democratic rights. The UN was supposed to be one of the first steps in that general direction. However, nobody thought that the eventual outcome would be what the movement has transmogrified into today: neoliberal globalism in which a tiny fraction of the top 1% own and control everything, with the rest of us actually suffering a drastic drop in our standard of living and a blatant diminution of our political rights.

        It’s been fifty years since I lived in Chicago, and about 45 since I last lived in the Midwest, but I was born and raised there and well recognise everything you have said about the place and the people in your remark to be entirely correct. It’s also true for most of the other regions of this country in which I have lived, but the “Rust Belt” has paid the price in spades to satiate the neoliberal globalist “free traders.” (Remember when THAT catchphrase was first sold to the working classes by Slick Willie’s DLC wing of the Democratic party? He and Al Gore basically ended up doubling the ranks of “Reagan Democrats” whether they intended to do so or not. And, Hillary was so delusional as to assume those people would be on her side!)

        • Dave P.
          December 17, 2017 at 23:36

          Yes, Realist. That Slick Willie and Gore did the most damage to the working class than any other administration in the recent American history. And being progressive democrats, we worked hard for their election as volunteers registering voters. At that time Rolling Stone Magazine called them as Saviors after Reagan and Bush era of greed – as they called it. Clintons sold the Democratic Party to the Wall Street and to Neoliberal Globalization. Tony Blair did the same in U.K. to the Labor Party.

          Then we put faith in Hopey changey Obama and worked for his election. And he turned out to be big fraud too. After his Libya intervention and then on to Syria, I finally got turned off from Democratic Party politics. My wife, and I had started with McGovern Campaign in 1972.

          Talking about Chicago, I landed at O’Haire fifty two years ago during snowy Winter, with just a few hundred dollars in my pocket enough for one semester on my way to Graduate School. You can not do it these days. America was at it’s best. Ann Arbor was a Republican town those days with very friendly people. Compared to Europe, and other cultures, I found Americans the least prejudiced people, very open to other cultures. The factories In Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana . . . were humming. Never on Earth, such a prosperous middle class on such a scale has ever been created; made of good, hard working people in those small and big towns. The workers were back bone of the Democratic Party. And every thing looked optimistic. I, and couple of my friends thought it can not get better than this on Earth.

          And all this seems like a past history now. Life is still good but that stability and that optimism of 1960’s is gone. I visited Wisconsin and Michigan last Spring and in Fall again this year. It is painful to look at those gigantic factories shut down and in ruins. I lived for a decade in Michigan. As I said in my comments above, the biggest loser in this NeoLiberal Globalization is American Middle Class.

  23. December 15, 2017 at 15:35

    Thanks, Bill, and I think we’re at a profound crossroads in world history. I saw an interview on YouTube with young Americans who did not even know who won the Civil War nor why it was fought! We all must speak out with conviction and without anger.

  24. December 15, 2017 at 15:27

    Thanks, Professor Cohen, and I happen to think that this phony Russia hacking fabrication is breaking down, along with many other false narratives of the West. So many things are exposing the lies and there are truly good investigators who are weighing in, so I am hopeful that the neocons will be finally outed as hopelessly behind the times.

    And Twitter is helping because western media sources will not tell the truth and people are taking to it to push back. I agree that at this time Fox is more interested in the facts than MSNBC, and particularly Tucker Carlson. (The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become. It is feminist McCarthyism, sadly, and I am glad Tavis Smiley is fighting back.)

    Yesterday I had a conversation with a loud mouth believer of the “Putin did it” fable and told him some details, that outright it was a fabrication, and someone nearby in the coffee shop actually joined to support the pushback with other facts. So, I am hopeful that people are waking up. And Nikki Haley has just been called by people on Twitter for her lies about Iran provocation in Yemen. Plus documents on NATO expansion after Gorbachev was assured would not happen, have just been revealed. I do think people are waking up.

    • Bill
      December 15, 2017 at 15:30


      That’s what it takes. The political battle of our times. Good on you. I think you’re right. The beginnings of which seem to have motivated Russiagate in the first place. I did a longer post on this above. Please keep spreading sense. I’ll do the same.

      Best wishes,

      • RnM
        December 15, 2017 at 21:25

        It’s good to be optimistc, but let us not forget the long history (short by Old World standards) of the oligarchy of doing anything and everything to get what they want.
        The present cock-up of Russia-gate (Geez, I hate using that MSM concocted jingo term) points, not to the oligarchs losing their groove, but to an incompetent but persistent bunch of Clinton/Obama synchophants. Their days in any knd of power are, thankfully, numbered. But the snakes are lurking in the bushes, as are the deeper parts of the deep state. It’s the long game that they are in for.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      December 15, 2017 at 18:37

      Thanks, Jessica,
      A hopeful comment! Here, too, I sense at least some more dissent among us citizens with the prevailing lies.
      When the bubble bursts, the boy has cried and everyone “realises” the emperor is naked, I wonder, will our governments, politicians and media survive? Everyone, practically, is complicit.

  25. Bill
    December 15, 2017 at 15:11

    Really glad, Mr, Cohen, to see your article in Consortium. Your voice is always a wise one. Weekly listener.

    Very important and accurate information, for the most part, in my view, though I have a few caveats.

    Unfortunately for our perception of the ‘goodness’ of those in power, I tend to think the level of knowledge and intention of those who spread Russiagate are more cynical than you imagine.

    When we read certain articles from hardline think-tanks and serious political commentary from those publications and outlets which sustain the current ‘scandal’ we see a surprising awareness of Russia’s true intentions and nature. Sober, and reasonable. The problem is that this commentary is not what is used to persuade any element of the public toward a certain view on Russia. You instead see it within the establishment essentially talking amongst themselves.

    The problem, as I see it, is that these people are fully aware of the truth, as well as Russia’s intentions. They are just quite simply spinning vast lies to the contrary whenever they speak to, or in front of, the public. For two main reasons:

    * Hobbling Trump, for a number of reasons, not least of which amounts to his unwillingness to pretend he cares about ‘spreading Democracy’ around the world. More immediate goal.

    * Trying to put a lid on a rapidly boiling over domestic discontent with the status quo. Meaning corporate control over the government, pro-corporate, anti-democratic policy, and endless senseless war.

    The remainder of this piece refers to #2.

    Russia is an ‘enemy’ now, more than anything else, because, for whatever it’s self-interested motivations, it is a loud, prominent, powerful voice actively and methodically criticizing and opposing US imperial hypocrisy, double-standards, and deception.

    * We are told they ‘sow chaos’. Code for platforming anti-establishment truth-tellers.

    * We are told they cause us to ‘lose trust in our system of government’. Code for them platforming people who help expose, like Bernie Sanders does, how ‘our system of government’ has been taken from us by corporations, and making us want it back, for the people.

    * We are told that Russia is, in however many words, whatever we, ourselves are. Imperialistic, disregarding of truth and reality, arrogant, entitled, expansionist etc. The American people are waking up to what the Empire does, and why. The rather desperate idea is to redirect that knowledge and stick it to Russia. Externalizing an internal threat.

    * Finally, we are told that Russia is criticizing and grand-standing against the West in order to tamp down domestic discontent. Which, given the previous entry here, is showing to be exactly what the US government is doing. To the letter.

    Russia is a fake enemy, talked about in a fake way, by fake people in an increasingly fake democracy. Respectfully, Mr. Cohen, I don’t think ideology is the problem. I don’t think those at the helm of US foreign policy have had an ideology in a long, long time. I think they have, with few exceptions, a ‘prime directive’: The retention and expansion of Oligarchic corporate power.

    Nowadays, fearmongering over immigrant crime, terrorists, non-state cyber-criminals, or whatever else conjured to make the extremely safe-from-foreign-threats (To this day no war on our soil since the Civil War. Itself a domestic threat) American people feel afraid, and thus controllable and ignorant, is no longer working. Only a big fish like Russia can even hope to do the job. Plus that big fish is one of the factors ‘sowing chaos’ by giving a voice to anti-imperialists in the West to spread the truth of the government we actually live under.

    In short, Russiagate, and it’s accompanying digital censorship efforts, are a desperate attempt to rest control back over the American people and away from honest, rational truth.

    Even shorter, our rulers underestimated the power of the internet.

    Kind regards,

    • Lois Gagnon
      December 15, 2017 at 20:57

      Thank you. That is a really truthful post. It really is all about maintaining imperial hegemony at all costs. Unfortunately, the cost could be the end of life on Earth. These weasels controlling the machinery of state from the darkness must be exposed as the treacherous criminals they are.

    • David G
      December 16, 2017 at 09:22

      Reason #3: A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the U.S.’s parasitic surveillance, “security”, and “defense” ecosystems.

    • December 20, 2017 at 12:47

      Every point you make hits the nail on the head. Thank you Bill!

  26. exiled off mainstreet
    December 15, 2017 at 14:54

    This is a great article by one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable commentators on Russia remaining active despite the ongoing dangerous propaganda storm. Those responsible for this storm are threatening our continued existence. Because of this depressing salient fact, the democratic party, which has been fully on board with this, has totally sacrificed its legitimacy and degenerated to a clear and present existential danger. Clear thinking people have to view it as such and take necessary action based upon that fact, which is serious in its implications, since it is difficult in the extreme to supplant an existing party in a two party system (which has degenerated into a two faction one party state some time ago) in light of the media propaganda, intelligence and police control exercised by this odious system.

  27. alley cat
    December 15, 2017 at 14:36

    “Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?”

    The neocon perpetrators of the Russia-gate hoax will continue putting their own greed (for money and power) ahead of American national security. That’s who they are and what they do. They conflate global domination with American national security because it benefits them to do so. Sure, they don’t want a hot war with Russia because they are neither psychotic nor suicidal. But they are power-crazed: delusional to the extent they think they can prevent the Russian-American hostility provoked by their own machinations from spinning out of control.

  28. Patrick Lucius
    December 15, 2017 at 14:20

    Great article. Has America gone off the deep end? I just watched the first ten minutes of an anti-Putin and anti-Russian Frontline on television two nights ago. I have never seen more blatant or shameless propaganda. Because my mom watches tv all day and I am taking care of her, I see the same slop, drivel, and gibberish parroted all day long on the major news outlets. Perhaps I should state that more professionally: I see the same shameless propaganda parroted daily by the mainstream news media… And it occurs to me–these young news commentators are not part of a conspiracy, willfully lying–they actually believe the propaganda. We are in trouble. I think as a group we act much more like bees in a hive or monkeys in a troop than we do as rational beings, and I mean no disrespect to bees or monkeys.

    • exiled off mainstreet
      December 15, 2017 at 14:56

      I agree. It seems sort of like the Nazi regime with more advanced technology and more complete ability for the gestapo to exercise control or more aptly like the Soviet Union where people actually believe the regime’s propaganda.

    • Annie
      December 15, 2017 at 16:35

      Personally I believe that many do know that there is nothing to the Russia-gate story, but go along to get along, and they are no different then politicians, who bow before the Israeli Lobby, or NRA, or corporate groups to get reelected, and maintain their standing in their party. Another way of putting it, is to say they are willing to prostitute themselves. I can’t see myself doing that.

    • occupy on
      December 16, 2017 at 00:36

      I, too, saw this scurrilous ‘documentary’ – “Putin’s Revenge” – and made a point of writing down the names of a good number of those commentators moving the narrative along. All of them are well-known active Zionists or children of American Zionists who’ve helped create and ardently protect the State of Israel. I wish I could remember now at least some of the commentors’ names. I didn’t see Frontline’ “Putin’s Revenge” on PBS. It was on a National Geographic channel that traditionally shows those anthropological ‘documentaries’ about “Ancient Alien Visitors,” “Gods from Outer Space, etc….pleasant programs to fall to sleep by. ‘Putin’s Revenge’, however, was grotesque in its downright lies – making me furiously wide awake until I could google info on those names.

  29. Drew Hunkins
    December 15, 2017 at 14:19

    Unfortunately, and I can’t believe I’m going to concede this, but FOX News, regarding this one particular issue: the baloney of Russiagate, is probably the most accurate mainstream source out there right now.

    Despite everything else they get wrong, FOX News, pertaining to Russiagate, is generally (generally) accurate from the bits and pieces I’ve seen.

    One quick example — a few months ago the otherwise execrable Hannity actually had on his show the great Dennis Kucinich who railed against the deep state for attacking Trump b/c of his overtures toward peace with Moscow and how the deep state was using Russiagate to do it, etc. Kucinich was sensational. I doubt Maddow would ever have given him such a platform to voice the truth like Hannity did on this particular occasion.

    • Patrick Lucius
      December 15, 2017 at 14:27

      I may have to take a look at Fox again–I bet you are right. Hannity as an arbiter of truth–oh my god…

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 15, 2017 at 15:35

        On this one particular issue, Hannity gets things right.

      • Rob
        December 16, 2017 at 14:00

        If Hannity ever reports a story correctly, it’s only because it coincides with his deeply partisan interests. Being truthful is something about which he cares little, if at all.

    • Skip Scott
      December 15, 2017 at 15:05

      Yeah Drew-

      For years I railed against Fox, but nowadays they seem to be the relatively sensible ones. Tucker Carlson is exceptionally bright, and I have no idea what got into Hannity. I used to loathe him to no end. Him giving Dennis Kucinich a chance to speak his mind is something I never would have imagined.

      • Drew Hunkins
        December 15, 2017 at 15:36

        Isn’t it something Mr. Scott?

      • Dave P.
        December 15, 2017 at 23:34

        Drew and Skip Scott – Yes, I agree with you. I watched Dennis Kucinich too. Hannity and Carlson have been doing some very good reporting on these issues. It is amazing how the things have changed. Fox News was “No” for progressives to go to.

    • Annie
      December 15, 2017 at 16:25

      Prior to Trump’s presidency I would never watch Fox News, but on this issue,, they are a more accurate source of information then any other broadcasting media. Rachel Maddow does nothing but rave, as if she had her own personal agenda, and maybe she does, ousting Trump, and that a woman didn’t win the White House. I too saw the interview with Kucinich, and indeed it was a very good one.

    • RamboDave
      December 15, 2017 at 17:27

      Tucker Carlson, on Fox (right before Hannity), has had Glenn Greenwald on several times.

    • David G
      December 16, 2017 at 09:08

      That basically maps directly onto the fact that Russia is the one issue Trump is right on.

  30. Bob Van Noy
    December 15, 2017 at 13:58

    Welcome Professor Cohen.

  31. Abe
    December 15, 2017 at 13:49

    “Thanks to Flynn’s indictment, we now know that the Israeli prime minister was able to transform the Trump administration into his own personal vehicle for undermining Obama’s lone effort to hold Israel accountable at the UN. A clearer example of a foreign power colluding with an American political operation against a sitting president has seldom, if ever, been exposed in such glaring fashion.

    “Kushner’s deep ties to the Israeli right-wing and ethical breaches

    “The day after Kushner was revealed as Flynn’s taskmaster, a team of researchers from the Democratic Super PAC American Bridge found that the presidential son-in-law had failed to disclose his role as a co-director of his family’s Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation during the years when his family’s charity funded the Israeli enterprise of illegal settlements. The embarrassing omission barely scratched the surface of Kushner’s decades long relationship with Israel’s Likud-led government. […]

    “A Clinton mega-donor defends Kushner’s collusion

    “So why isn’t this angle of the Flynn indictment getting more attention? An easy explanation could be deduced from the stunning spectacle that unfolded this December 2 at the Brookings Institution, where the fresh-faced Kushner engaged in a ‘keynote conversation’ with Israeli-American oligarch Haim Saban. […]

    “”The spectacle of a top Democratic Party money man defending one of the Trump administration’s most influential figures was clearly intended to establish a patina of bipartisan normalcy around Kushner’s collusion with the Netanyahu government. Saban’s effort to protect the presidential son-in-law was supplemented by an op-ed in the Jewish Daily Forward headlined, ‘Jared Kushner Was Right To ‘Collude’ With Russia — Because He Did It For Israel.’

    “While the Israel lobby ran interference for Kushner, the favorite pundits of the liberal anti-Trump “Resistance” minimized the role of Israel in the Flynn saga. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who has devoted more content this year to Russia than to any other topic, appeared to entirely avoid the issue of Kushner’s collusion with Israel.

    “There is simply too much at stake for too many to allow any disruption in the preset narrative. From the journalist pack that followed the trail of Russiagate down a conspiracy infested rabbit hole to the Clintonites seeking excuses for their mind-boggling campaign failures to the Cold Warriors exploiting the panic over Russian meddling to drive an unprecedented arms build-up, the narrative must go on, regardless of the facts.”

    Michael Flynn’s Indictment Exposes Trump Team’s Collusion With Israel, Not Russia
    By Max Blumenthal

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