Anti-Trumpists Use Mueller Indictments to Escalate Tensions With Nuclear-Armed Russia

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm is leading to calls for escalation with Russia, exacerbating tensions that are already at historic – and dangerous – lows, observes Caitlin Johnstone.

One-time home in St. Petersburg, Russia, of Internet Research Agency. (WikiMedia Commons)

By Caitlin Johnstone

U.S. empire loyalists are so close to telling the truth when they babble about “Russian propaganda.” They are openly admitting that it is wrong to use media to manipulate the ways that Americans think and vote. Now all we need is for them to admit that they themselves do this constantly, and we’ll be on the right track.

The word “Russians” is America’s top trend on Twitter at the time of this writing because of a Mueller indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm, those nefarious supervillains who posted pictures of puppies and promoted Bernie Sanders to “sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. election.”

Predictably, no evidence is added to cohesively tie the establishment Russia narrative together with allegations of Russia hacking the Democratic Party and giving their emails to WikiLeaks, meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. at Trump Tower, any shenanigans with well-hydrated Russian prostitutes, or indeed anything tying the troll farm to Trump or the Russian government at all.

The focus instead is on people disguising their identities to troll Americans on social media, which we have now learned constitutes a “conspiracy to defraud the United States.” As Disobedient Media’s Elizabeth Lea Vos rightly points out, it is also behavior that the Hillary Clinton campaign is known to have funded and engaged in extensively.

In response to this underwhelming revelation, Democrats and Never-Trumpers are howling for new Cold War escalations with Russia. This despite the fact that this administration has already killed Russians in Syria, greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine (a move Obama refused for fear of angering Moscow), established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats as part of continued back-and-forth hostile diplomatic exchanges.

We are already at an extremely dangerous point in the ongoing trend of continuous escalations with a country that is armed with thousands of nuclear warheads. And these deranged lunatics want more.

“Special Counsel Mueller’s indictments are further proof that Vladimir Putin directed a campaign to interfere with our elections, with the goal of tipping the outcome,” tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Given these indictments, @realDonaldTrump should implement the sanctions that Congress passed immediately.”

Steven Schmidt, MSNBC analyst and former strategist for George W. Bush and John McCain, said that the word “meddling” is not a sufficiently inflammatory word, because “What Russia did is ATTACK the United States. Trump and the Corrupted GOP majority refuse to defend the sovereignty of the country from this outside THREAT from a hostile state actor.”

Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, Senator Bernie Sanders, popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh have all joined in the pile-on, along with many, many others, all demanding that the president do more to escalate tensions with Russia even further than he already has.

This is exactly what renowned U.S.-Russian relations expert Stephen Cohen has been warning of: an extremely dangerous mixture of continually escalating Cold War tensions coexisting with hot proxy wars between two nuclear superpowers, with a president facing immense political pressures to keep advancing and never, ever back down. A narcissist in the White House being baited by his political enemies into a game of nuclear “chicken,” without the ability to swerve when necessary.

Meanwhile what are Republicans talking about? Why, they’re all crowing about the fact that these Russia revelations began on Obama’s watch and don’t show collusion, of course.

Do you see what is happening here? There is never, ever going to be any proof of Trump-Russia collusion, because that has never been what this is about. We’ve talked about this before: America’s unelected power establishment doesn’t care about impeaching Trump, it cares about hobbling Russia in order to prevent the rise of a potential rival superpower in its ally China. All this lunacy makes perfect sense when you realize this. The U.S. deep state is using the hysterical cult of anti-Trumpism to manufacture support for increasing escalations with Russia, and the anti-Trumpists are playing right along under the delusion that pushing for moves against Russia will hurt Trump.

Well they will not hurt Trump, because there has never been any Trump-Russia collusion. If there had been it would have been picked up by America’s sprawling surveillance networks and leaked to the Washington Post before the end of 2016, and if Trump were a Putin puppet he wouldn’t be continually escalating toward direct conflict with Russia in ways his predecessor Obama never would have dreamed of doing. They aren’t hurting Trump with these loud cries for increased sanctions and hawkishness, they’re imperiling us all.

Democrats, it is time to stop letting them bait you into calling for even more escalations with a nuclear superpower and start calling for detente instead. Republicans, it is time for you to stop putting partisan politics ahead of the survival of our species and start pushing against these dangerous escalations that your president has been playing right along with. These escalations are extremely dangerous and getting ever more so, and in the name of all that is holy I implore you to stop before the unthinkable happens.

On my knees I beg you all to stop this madness, for the sake of my children and yours. You lunatics on both sides of the political divide are going to get us all killed. In God’s name, stop. Please.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. This article was re-published with permission.

176 comments for “Anti-Trumpists Use Mueller Indictments to Escalate Tensions With Nuclear-Armed Russia

  1. Elkojohn
    February 18, 2018 at 19:46

    What about all the “Super-PACs” who spend $$ millions on ”attack” ads and trolls
    to influence elections –
    What about all those lobbyists who spend $$ millions on candidates
    to influence elections –
    What about all those talking heads in the status-quo media trying
    to influence elections –
    What about the DNC stealing the primary for HRC ??

    . . . What’s that, 13 Russian trolls posting FB comments ??

    I’m shocked, just shocked – and how are we going to protect our pristine electoral system?

    YES, I know, more arbitrary sanctions on Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, China, Yemen et. al
    that will teach them what freedom is all about –– won’t it.

    • BobS
      February 18, 2018 at 20:51

      But “what about…what about…what about…what about…”.
      Four ‘whatabouts’ is a lot, even for this site.
      Strong work…how does one say ‘hasbara’ in Russian?

      • February 18, 2018 at 22:20

        go away little boy…back to twittering with your buddies at ProporNot

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 19, 2018 at 00:31

      Elkojohn, like you I am also dumbfounded, but maybe if you frequent this site enough you and us will be able to figure out to how we all may fix our beloved America. BTW I call America beloved mostly because of it’s people in it, and not so much to what swamp critters now lead it. Hey Elkojohn maybe that would be a perfect place to start, and that is by getting rid of this awful bunch who are at this moment leading us down the path to not only more continual war, but to maybe even a terribly expensive, not to mention deadly nuclear Armageddon. As for now all our American leadership worries about is Military Budgets, and bigly one’s at that. See ya on another post Elkojohn. Joe

  2. j. D. D.
    February 18, 2018 at 18:38

    Well said. However, much depends on shutting down the Mueller operation before it achieves its goal of ousting Trump. After all, that is its purpose

  3. bostonblackie
    February 18, 2018 at 17:05

    Back in the mid sixties, I had a law professor who stated, “that a good prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich.” I have heard variations of this over the years and it seems appropriate

  4. Litchfield
    February 18, 2018 at 16:46

    This byline “Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper ” does nothing to advance the credibiltiy of this site nor of Johnstone herself. This should be of concern to all who post and DONATE to this site, because this trivilializing byline/description reduces the effectiveness of Johnstone’s items and the whole site for changing hearts and minds among the acquaintanceship of supporters and users of this site. Please, come up with something a bit more serious. “Poet and utopia prepper” sounds very puerile.

  5. February 18, 2018 at 15:53

    Thanks Caitlin, nicely put.

  6. Anon
    February 18, 2018 at 15:02

    It’s the internet for gawd’s sake. It’s all about clicks! How can anybody with have a brain not realize this. The level of stupidity in this country is mind-boggling!


  7. Brian
    February 18, 2018 at 13:13

    In God’s name? You sound like a hysteric, more than a journalist. Get a grip for Christ’s sake! LOL

  8. Michael Kenny
    February 18, 2018 at 11:20

    The usual pro-Putin propaganda. Nothing new, just the usual re-hash. “Now all we need is for [U.S. empire loyalists] to admit that they themselves [use media to manipulate the ways that Americans think and vote] and we’ll be on the right track”. Well, not entirely. There’s also a need for websites like this and authors like Ms Johnstone to admit the same thing. In fairness to the latter, though, their efforts are so flat-footed and laid on so thick that I doubt if anyone could possibly be fooled.

  9. MLS
    February 17, 2018 at 23:25

    The more I see the same commenters congratulating themselves on their respective confident, cognitive bias-laden assertions, the more painfully obvious it becomes that while posters here may know what they have read and heard, none have any clue what is going on.

    Where exactly is the factual basis, for example, for this stunning paragraph:

    “Well they will not hurt Trump, because there has never been any Trump-Russia collusion. If there had been it would have been picked up by America’s sprawling surveillance networks and leaked to the Washington Post before the end of 2016, and if Trump were a Putin puppet he wouldn’t be continually escalating toward direct conflict with Russia in ways his predecessor Obama never would have dreamed of doing. They aren’t hurting Trump with these loud cries for increased sanctions and hawkishness, they’re imperiling us all.”


    Because Caitlin said so? If/then theoreticals? Please.

    The great Robert Parry did research. Journalistic legwork.

    The cynicism olympics of small-time blogsylvania is no substitute.

    • BobS
      February 18, 2018 at 00:11

      Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.

    • backwardsevolution
      February 18, 2018 at 04:35

      MLS – well, where’s the evidence? Please enlighten us.

    • Desert Dave
      February 18, 2018 at 11:01

      MLS, I think Caitlin’s statement is true on its face. The NSA would certainly have the intercepts of hacking if it had happened. Mueller has access to all of it. That essentially proves that hacking of our elections did not occur. When it comes to collusion, on a pure logical level you are right because it requires proving a negative. NSA intercepts mean less in this more human realm.

      In a separate paragraph she provides the list facts that demonstrate that Trump is not dancing to Putin’s tune. It is pretty clear that Trump is beholden to Neocons and corporatists, and some (not me) would say Zionists. They are the ones getting what they want out of Trump. So if there was collusion it sure isn’t working out well for Russia.

      I know, I know, confirmation bias. Yeah, I have been following all this closely for over a year, so I have formed some pretty inflexible opinions.

      But even if my bias is blinding me, it is STILL blindingly clear that the US and Russia MUST step back from the brink, grow up and evolve. Or else.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 18, 2018 at 12:50

      Nice try MLS. Your broadbrush of “posters here” is not-so-cleverly euphemistic. You may have well had said “smug, overly-biased, ill-informed, and clueless.”

      Why you are “stunned” by the paragraph you chose to ridicule must be attributed to a lack of attachment to a general “factual basis” of the world we live in. Logical inferences are not the same as mere theoreticals.

      (As an aside: Obama gets “credit” for not attacking Damascus in 2015 and for declining to send heavy weaponry to Ukraine. He didn’t overtly attack Syria at the time because it was both politically and militarily very risky and the use of proxy terrorists was still thought to be enough to serve purposes. He was “on the watch” for the Ukrainian coup and NATO war games–and was rhetorically belligerent and deceptive with regard to Russia and Ukraine. So to say what he would have not “dreamed of doing” were he in Trump’s position here in 2018 is open to question–though yes, at the time he didn’t inflame things as much as he might have.)

      But back to your post MLS. Please explain “what is going on” that “posters here” haven’t any clue about.
      Or is it “painfully obvious” that you are here for “perception management”?

  10. February 17, 2018 at 22:34

    Everything written here by Caitlin Johnstone makes sense except that you can’t beg a psychopath to stop what they’re doing. Like asking a serial killer not to kill you.

  11. Rael Nidess, M.D.
    February 17, 2018 at 22:02

    “In God’s name, stop. Please.”

    The voice of sanity.

  12. jose
    February 17, 2018 at 20:57

    I always try to use common sense when dealing with any situation. Let us take paragraph 5 which I think everybody should read slowly, stop and ponder meticulously: “… this administration has already killed Russians in Syria, greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine, established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats…” I have tried to compare or match the Mueller Russia-gate logic with paragraph 5 facts and it resulted in a complete exercise of futility. I think that if I were to apply the Socratic method (based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presumptions) to Mr. Mueller, he could not be able to reconcile the internal structure of his report. The reason is very simple: the facts are not on his side, his report, or the war hawks backing him up.

  13. jose
    February 17, 2018 at 20:32

    You are correct when you assert that : “It’s all been gossip and innuendo” Somebody ought to tell Mr. Mueller ” clay, clay, clay for without it, I cannot make bricks” I have not seen anything remotely resembling hard evidence. This entire Russia debacle reminds me of the 2007 movie of Batman in which at the end the joker states the following: “Madness as you know is like gravity, all it takes is a little push” The worse part in all this is that millions of Americans believe this Russia meddeling as a given without demanding any solid prove. The grip of the American doctrinal system is very powerful, indeed.

  14. February 17, 2018 at 19:38

    To say that what the Russians did had any effect on the election is like claiming it was the fly fart in the tornado that blew the roof off.

    • Zachary Smith
      February 17, 2018 at 19:45

      Lately I’ve seen some quips which are really memorable. “Fly fart in a tornado” is great, and the one by mike k the other day also made my day:

      Voting in a crooked system is like pissing in the ocean – it’s OK if you have nothing better to do…….

  15. mike k
    February 17, 2018 at 19:00

    “Worse than Hitler” hits Uncle Sam right on the head. Our leaders learned a lot from Hitler and his gang, but they have gone far beyond what Hitler accomplished. Racism, power lust, torture, fiendish weapons, mass murder – we have the whole package now in spades.

    • Marko
      February 18, 2018 at 08:26

      Worse , indeed , but what bothers me most is that we ( the American people ) have allowed the situation to get this bad.

      I used to wonder : ” How could the German people have allowed Hitler to obtain and maintain his power ? Were they blind , or were they just as evil as he was ? ” Now I don’t have to wonder any more – I’m experiencing the phenomenon first-hand , in real time. If the Guiness Book of World Records ever comes up with a category called ” Nation With the Most Irresponsible Populace ” , Germany no longer has to fear being named the record-holder , thanks to us.

  16. February 17, 2018 at 18:43

    Good one, KiwiAntz! I agree with you and I also think that Mother Earth is sending messages to humans, too. Too many people allowing (mis)leaders to lead us over a cliff.

  17. KiwiAntz
    February 17, 2018 at 18:26

    I’m from NZ so I’m going to use a Lord of the Rings analogy? America & it’s Deepstate is the evil “Sauron” of the World”? Sauron (like the US) is a cowardly bully who wants to dominate all life on earth using his Ork minions (MIC) & one ring (nuclear weapons) to rule them all? What did it take to stop Sauron (& what will it take to stop the US?) A last alliance of men, elves & all the other people’s of middle earth (planet earth) uniting & standing together as one to confront this grave threat to life on earth?? JRR Toiken understood the situation only to well I think? Simplistic solution,but a time is coming when all Nations of the Earth are going to have to stand up too & destroy the greatest existential threat too life on Earth, that has ever been, which is the American Empire & USA? A greater threat than Nazi Germany ever was? The survival of the human race is at stake as your lunatic leaders are leading us to permanent destruction! You’d be surprised at the amount of rich Americans, think Peter Thiel for one example, buying end times, survival prepper, bolt holes in my Country of NZ as they can see what your insane, hysterical Nation is leading us too? When the rich start abandoning the Country, like rats leaving a sinking ship, ITS TIME TO TAKE NOTICE? Just as one small hobbit, the most unlikeliest of hero’s changed the outcome & the fate of middle earth, it set a precedent that ordinary people or small people of the World could stand up to & unite against EVIL & become the most unlikeliest of heroes in order to SAVE our Earth? God help us all?

    • mike k
      February 17, 2018 at 18:53

      Well said!

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 19:12

      My dying last warning to you KiwiAntz while I’m stuck here on the USA mainland is when those rich creeps of ours do come to your beloved New Zealand….immediately arrest them, and put then in jail. Since I’m not big on capital punishment that’s the best advice I can give you, but if you would rather I could hand this over to my cousins in Jersey, because their good at making things disappear. Be careful, watch yourself KiwiAntz. Joe

    • Desert Dave
      February 18, 2018 at 10:45

      Excellent analogy. Let’s throw the One Ring (nuclear weapons) into the volcano to be finally destroyed.

      (but don’t forget that even after the Ring was destroyed, lesser evil Saruman was making a mess back home in the Shire)

    • Zachary Smith
      February 18, 2018 at 18:23

      New Zealand has a lot going for it, and the isolation is a big part of the appeal.



  18. jaycee
    February 17, 2018 at 18:01

    The Mueller indictment describes a common clickbait operation through a most hysterical and paranoid lens. Absurd madness. It’s “commies are poisoning our vital bodily fluids” level stuff. Imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 17, 2018 at 20:42

      I put myself through the excruciation of watching a bit of Chris Hayes tonight talking with Nadler (D-NY) and some guy from the Clinton campaign who were both calling the so-called “interference” an “attack” tantamount to Pearl Harbor. Hayes played the straight man and poohed the comparison a bit, but they were insistent and Hayes suggested the logical conclusion of what they were demanding in response was war. Nadler stopped short of that but said the Russians must pay a heavy price (more sanctions) and the other guy said the new war would be of the cyber variety. I think you are right that “imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here”.

      • David G
        February 17, 2018 at 21:30

        The rhetorical slippery slope started with “hacking the DNC” (not that I’m conceding the reality of that), and slid rapidly through:
        “hacking the election” to
        “hacking our democracy” to
        “attacking our democracy” to
        “attacking our country”,
        and now what you saw on MSNBC, Gregory Herr, is the norm.

        I’ve seen: What is the difference between what the Russians did here and if they’d occupied the Aleutian Islands?

        How to rationally engage with argle-bargle paranoia like that?

    • David G
      February 17, 2018 at 21:19

      jaycee, I think that is actually a key point that should be foregrounded in commentary on this nonsense: the psychological drivers are concerns about *purity* and *contamination*.

      I’ve read about studies that show such preoccupations correlate with right-wing, or “conservative”, political orientation, which absolutely describes the Russia-gate construct, despite its demographic base on the Dem-partisan, allegedly liberal, side of the aisle/populace.

  19. February 17, 2018 at 17:28

    Absolutely, politics is mostly theater, as nonsense factory stated. Tom Welsh and mike k, what a great exchange on humans as stupid as sand fleas! The western nations are floundering because of their slavish dependence on money and military might, and the US is set for economic collapse soon with $20tn debt and unbelievable deficit and continuing to rise to aid oligarchs; meanwhile with desperate masses, many of whom can’t even put a roof over their heads without help. The Goldman has Sacked US. Notice how Goldman Sachs has been in charge of the gold since Bill Clinton? These fiends are using displacement because they have made the bloodiest mess of American society so they blame Russia for what they do, they’re psychopathic. We’ve got to call them on it. Do read that article at The Saker, “A Brief History of the Kremlin Trolls”. The imprint of CIA is all over this.

  20. February 17, 2018 at 16:58

    “The U.S. deep state is using the hysterical cult of anti-Trumpism to manufacture support for increasing escalations with Russia, and the anti-Trumpists are playing right along under the delusion that pushing for moves against Russia will hurt Trump.”

    On the mark, but the strategy goes beyond the deep state which I take to mean actors within our government. Cui bono, and that includes suspects that make no pretense of what they are after. The problems with their plans is that it assumes they have their hand on the switch that can turn this putsch on and off and somewhere in between.

  21. cmp
    February 17, 2018 at 16:49

    Remember how up until the 80’s with every election cycle, the stump slogan was always “It’s about the jobs.” Or, “It’s about the economy”?

    So, how is the U.S. responding to all of these smokescreen tactics, while they are being Russkie “Groped”?
    The question that Gallup presents every month for Party Affiliation is:
    “In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent?”
    ————————Democrat (%)—–Republican (%)—–Independent (%)
    2016 Nov (1-6) ………..31…………………….27………………………..36………
    2016 Nov (9-13) ………30…………………….27………………………..40………
    2016 Dec (7-11) ………29…………………….28………………………..39………
    2017 Jan (4-8) …………25…………………….28………………………..44………
    2017 Feb (1-5) ………..31……………………..31………………………..37………
    2017 Mar (1-5) ………..30……………………..26………………………..42………
    2017 Apr (1-5) …………25……………………..28………………………..44………
    2017 May (3-7) ………..29……………………..28………………………..40………
    2017 Jun (4-8) …………26……………………..30………………………..42………
    2017 Jul (5-9) ………….28……………………..28………………………..41………
    2017 Aug (2-6) ………..25……………………..28………………………..44………
    2017 Sep (6-10) ………29……………………..30………………………..40………
    2017 Oct (5-11) ……….24……………………..31………………………..42………
    2017 Nov (2-8) ………..25……………………..27………………………..42………
    2017 Dec (4-11) ………25……………………..27………………………..46………
    2018 Jan (2-7) …………22……………………..32………………………..44………
    *** Since the 2016 Election, the Democrats have had a decrease of 9% in their polling statistic.

    And, who was it that felt the “pitchforks” during the “Rock Stars” tenure? I suppose it was the Russkies, who hacked those 10 Governorships during his administration. And those Russkies, while they were at it, they just happened to hack away those 900 State Legislative Seats; as well. …. And, while we are at it, why not pile on the Bloodbath of 94 to the Russkie Grope too.

    The American people are not dumb. But, they sure are Bi-Annually intentionally provided with a piss poor system that has piss poor candidates.

    All I can say, is I hope and pray, that these new activists, in all of the Western counties, can learn much faster than I have. Because, as I see it, the polarizing messages of the Right, a long with a very intentionally “Misled” Left, is rising across all of these countries.

    It is the sincere person who does attempt to get off his/her butt, and become active that I truly feel sorry for. :

    With the Citizens United, I believe that the Democrats are getting “..creamed..” at the local levels. I also believe, that this is why HRC stumped, that she would reverse it.

    But, with the choice of Perez, no meaningful changes to the Democratic Bylaws, allowing corporate sponsorship of the DNC, and their continuation of targeted “dark money” donations – they have clearly demonstrated that they are still lip locked to the crack pipe.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 19, 2018 at 18:41

      Statistically speaking…this is VERY significant. Couple the drop in affiliation with Democrats with the rise in affiliation with Republicans and it becomes even more so. Too bad the Dems are too corrupted, tone-deaf, and self-assured about winning back the House to pay attention. And they thought Clinton losing to Trump was a surprise…they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  22. BobS
    February 17, 2018 at 16:39

    Ms. Johnstone, would it be too much trouble for you to apply your ‘skills’ to an astrological reading of important world leaders?

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 17:28

      BobS why was Caitlin going to fast for ya?

      • backwardsevolution
        February 17, 2018 at 19:49

        Joe – his initials are “B.S.” and that is what he’s shoveling.

  23. mike k
    February 17, 2018 at 16:31

    If you enjoyed Caitlin’s clarity and directness. as I did, then you will really love this piece……….

  24. Lucifer
    February 17, 2018 at 16:20

    “On my knees I beg you all to stop this madness, for the sake of my children and yours. You lunatics on both sides of the political divide are going to get us all killed. In God’s name, stop. Please.”

    Thank you Caitlin. You have very succinctly identified the problem and you are correct. Both sides are to blame. And both sides are accountable to the American people, to the people of the world, and to God for their actions. The globalist (or sell-outs paid by globalists like Chuck Schumer and John McCain among others) warmongering, open borders, and pay-for-play agenda is over. The sooner they get on their knees and ask for God’s forgiveness the better. The people of the world want a better world for their children and their families. Not more bloodshed for fiat money and power that is worthless in the eyes of God and not more money wasted for political nonsense (like the Russia investigation that has cost Americans millions of dollars and wars for oil and gas pipelines and currency manipulation) that could be used to help populations rise from hunger, drug use, and homelessness (created by-design by evil economic and employment systems). Human history is replete with this nonsense and it is going to end. God is coming down and into the hearts of the people. Rest assured that things are about to dramatically change and all people will know the truth. The status quo of globalist slavery will not continue – so help me God. Almighty God is on your side. Thank you for your words.

  25. February 17, 2018 at 16:13

    It’s not only tension escalation with Russia. Trump’s antiMexican retoric has infected US diplomats in Mexico City, one of whom willingly runover two motorcycles injurying the riders. People who saw the attack were really angry. Police intervention defused an extremely delicate situation.

  26. RandyM
    February 17, 2018 at 15:54

    This is a real low point for Homo sapiens americanus. We are the dumbest people on the planet. My God!

  27. mike k
    February 17, 2018 at 15:24

    As to the “troll farm”; read this piece suggested by Jessika in a previous post. Very revealing of what’s really going on there.

    Read “A Brief History of the Kremlin Trolls” on The Saker website.

    • Lisa
      February 18, 2018 at 18:42

      Mike, I was reading this piece about the Kremlin Trolls today and wondered whether Mueller realizes that he may be indicting an entity which does not exist?

      By the way, I would suggest that the Russians invite Mueller with his team of lawyers to Russia, to question the accused persons on site. But certainly they would not do it, it would be like confessing their “crimes”.

      Here is the favourite joke of Scott Humor (who wrote the article on Kremlin Trolls):
      “It’s easy to become a Kremlin’s Agent: you just have to start speaking the truth”.

  28. David G
    February 17, 2018 at 15:19

    So, by Caitlin Johnstone’s analysis, this is being driven behind the scenes by deep-state actors who don’t even give a hoot about Trump, and just want to create hostility to Russia, while the pols and TV talking heads are (to use the old-is-new phrase of the hour) the “useful idiots” whose cultural and visceral aversion to Emperor Babyhands is being exploited to advance that clandestine goal.

    God that’s depressing, since it’s so convincing.

    My one glass-half-full offering is that these indictments may be Mueller throwing a bone to the Russia-gate crowd (it’s not like any of the criminal cases are ever going to move forward), and with this out of the way he’s going to move on to the rich veins of real-life TrumpWorld mendacity, from obstruction of justice to money laundering and beyond.

  29. mike k
    February 17, 2018 at 15:12

    Caitlin, please keep putting your clear voice of truth out there against the lethal cloud of lies enveloping our country.

  30. mike k
    February 17, 2018 at 15:10

    The democrats are following the principle that when you are caught in a pack of lies, you just invent a whole new pack of lies………….

  31. February 17, 2018 at 14:37

    My God if they would only look at Mexican interference in the last election the prisons would be overwhelmed.

  32. Lolita
    February 17, 2018 at 14:04

    “Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm is leading to calls for escalation with Russia, exacerbating tensions that are already at historic – and dangerous – lows, observes Caitlin Johnstone.”

    Pardon me, but I am afraid there was a mishap here: the rRELATIONS are at already historic -and dangerous- LOWS but the TENSIONS are historic -and dangerous- HIGHS. No?

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 14:08

      How low can you go now. Now everybody do the Limbo Rock. You are 100% right Lolita how much lower is the lowest we may have yet to go, is the question? Joe

  33. Mild - ly - Facetious
    February 17, 2018 at 13:56

    Mueller Indictments Miss The Mark On Trump Russia Collusion

    By Jonathan Turley

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 14:05

      My question is, is the American public wittingly or nonwittingly going along for the ride on this Russia-gate bus to no where?

      • nonsense factory
        February 17, 2018 at 16:00

        Based on what looks, at first glance, as widespread censorship of comment sections on this story in the corporate media across the English-speaking world, I’m guessing that the general public is not really buying it, outside the hardcore center of wealthy Clinton-Blair supporters and MIC insiders. That’s just my impression, though.

        When empires begin to collapse, the centers of wealth and power draw inwards and set up walls in a desperate bid to retain control; but the harder they try to grasp it the more slips through their fingers. They also tend to blame external forces for their own incompetence and Byzantine corruption, which is why all the finger-pointing at Russia. That’s what I’m seeing, anyway.

        Prophecy is never to be trusted; who knows how this will turn out? But it sure doesn’t look good for the status quo of the Clinton-Bush-Obama era; those days are likely gone forever. Trump is ramping up wealth inequality with his massive tax cuts and huge military-industrial budget – again, much like the end days of the Soviet Union, when the apparatchiks had their Black Sea villas while the rest of the country lived in poverty.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 17, 2018 at 16:06

          I’m growing to like hearing from you nonsense factory, thanks for your input. Joe

          • nonsense factory
            February 17, 2018 at 20:24

            Thans Joe, I have used a wide variety of outlets to post my samizdat commentary but Consortium is one of the few places where both the publishers and the commentariat seem to be honest people, not playing some manipulative game.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 18, 2018 at 01:36

            That’s great, and you fit right in. Stay with us, we all might learn something. Joe

          • Bob Van Noy
            February 18, 2018 at 09:01

            nonsense factory and Joe. Very clear thinking. I agree, and look forward to much more discussion. Many Thanks.

  34. Zachary Smith
    February 17, 2018 at 13:24

    Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, Senator Bernie Sanders, popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh have all joined in the pile-on….

    It pains me to once again be confronted with the fact that Sanders is a neocon hack.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 13:30

      Your right Zachary in as much as Sanders has been inspiring, he along time ago should have dispelled this Russia-gate Bull, and went forward promoting his progressive goals. Joe

      • LaNinya
        February 17, 2018 at 14:44

        I wrote off Bernie Sanders as a serious contender when, upon losing the Democratic nomination, instead of falling back on his life-long status as an Independent and socialist to throw his support to the Stein/Baraka ticket, he full-throatedly exhorted his supporters to vote for Hillary (Dick Cheney with lipstick) Clinton. Which, to me, indicated that he lacks faith in his own convictions.

        It’s interesting, though, that running as a “socialist” he attracted such great crowds and enthusiastic support. Remember how almost shocking that was? That anyone would be so bold as to run for president as a “socialist”?

        And yet…it hasn’t been that long ago that the Communist Party itself would routinely field presidential candidates to run in the elections. Indeed, turns out John Brennan himself had voted for the communist candidate (Gus Hall) back in 1976.

        When and how did the United States allow it’s political discourse to get so cramped and narrow? Does anyone remember?

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 17, 2018 at 15:19

          I think the U.S. was captured into the net as far back as maybe starting with the midnight vote to establish the Federal Reserve in 1913. Another place would be the right wing Dem’s putting Harry Truman on the VP ticket in 1944. And how could we analyze this downfall without including the assassination era, starting with JFK in 1963? Yes LaNinya it’s been a long slow process, and it ain’t over until the fascist take total control.

          The public’s yearning to hear Socialist Sanders, is interesting, but does anyone for one minute take the time to realize that Bernie at best is a tat to the right of an FDR new Dealer? Although you go with the best you got, it is a shame that there aren’t more truly Leftist candidates, because I think Americans want them. Joe

          • February 17, 2018 at 15:39

            Add to that the end of the draft in 1973, which we thought was a victory, only to see a corporate military rise as the only means of access to “education” and “employment”. A military corporation dedicated to war, death and destruction for profit, as well as censorship of its ultimate goals, and an industrial output of propaganda to encourage and prop up its agenda.

            Rave on Sasha Alexandre. Rave on Jara. I am not your enemy. 173 Oudezijds Achterburgwal, Amsterdam Centrum.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 17, 2018 at 16:04

            You raise a memorial point, milkmild. I just got off active duty around the time the draft was ended. As happy as I was, I also recall giving some thought to what would our military do, without all of us Constitutional pesky civilians around to nag the warmongering brass, as we did? Well now I know. Joe

          • February 17, 2018 at 16:31

            Reminds me of MASH the movie. The evolution here too was that Hollywood would “sign up” and ultimately we ended up being force fed Sutherland’s punk son in collaboration with the likes of “24”!

    • mike k
      February 17, 2018 at 15:07

      Sanders is a turncoat traitor to those he misled.

      • nonsense factory
        February 17, 2018 at 15:51

        Sanders is interesting, in that he was basically running against Clinton just so she could say that she had an opponent. The Sanders platform is basically FDR-limited, in that if you look back to 1933 you can see FDR running on a very similar (but much more anti-Wall Street) platform.

        My one piece of advice on Sanders is, don’t trust politicians in this system to fix problems – we live in a seriously plutocratic system with remarkable similarities to Brezhnev’s Soviet Union. Our politics is largely theater – Sanders was to be the foil to Clinton, and Trump’s rise in the Republican Party was largely engineered by corporate allies of Hillary Clinton who thought he’d be easier to defeat than GW Bush. The Republican wing of the plutocracy wanted either Bush or Rubio, for similar reasons.

        Trump was never supposed to win the general election, and Sanders was never supposed to get anywhere near Clinton in the primary. Somehow the whole program went off the rails, and the neolib/neocon crowd in Washington and Wall Street didn’t see it coming. Now they’re trying to pick up the pieces. . .

        But I don’t think all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, will be able to put the American Empire back together again. So I’m betting that the Soviet Union collapse scenario is going to play out in the United States; Gorbachev,Yeltsin, Putin. If we can find someone like Putin who will throw our politically-minded oligarchs in jail or exile them, as Putin did with Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky and Gusinsky, then we’ll be much better off and the pain will not last as long.

        As far as Russia vs. the USA, no, China holds all the cards, on renewable energy, on technology, on diplomacy. We should all learn to speak Chinese and Russian, anyway . . . Just so we can communicate with our equals on a level field. Bye bye Empire, bye bye. . .

    • Gregory Herr
      February 17, 2018 at 17:47

      “It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018. It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.” Bernie Sanders

      Yeah Bernie, it’s the Russian oligarchs pouring millions into the coffers of our electoral campaigns.

    • Anon
      February 18, 2018 at 15:20 on Bernie Sanders:

      “She would think about college students who defected from her camp to support an old radical socialist (who owns three homes and has pocketed close to a million dollars from his latest book about income inequality)”.

  35. LaNinya
    February 17, 2018 at 13:02

    …no evidence is added to cohesively tie the establishment Russia narrative together

    It’s all been gossip and innuendo.

    If there HAD been any evidence of “collusion”, “treason”, or an “attack” by foreign state actors, the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies would not have been playing games leaking to the press, but pressing forward with serious measures to harden the country’s security system and neutralize the threat(s). Had there been any genuine evidence of malfeasance by the Trump campaign (outside of widely practiced and generally accepted instances of corruption), Donald Trump would have been pulled from the roster of presidential candidates by October 2016 at the latest.

    Any country that would allow a traitor (or even a suspected traitor) to compete for the highest office in the land is not a country that is serious about “sovereignty” or “democracy” and should quite rightly be considered a failed state.

    As for the red-baiting and blatantly obvious attempts by the FVEYs to get Russia to throw a first punch — so we can then jump in with all we’ve got and pin down the victory we thought we had back in 1998 (the big one that got away) — I think we should all re-read that open letter signed by Dmitry Orlov, the Saker, and others which was posted in May of 2016 (yeah: right around the time this whole Russia narrative was being cooked up):

    Let’s all just hope the warmongers end up exposing themselves as being the belligerent, immature a**holes that they are so everyone else can laugh and point and get back to building the peaceful, prosperous world that we want to live in.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 13:13
      • Virginia
        February 17, 2018 at 13:23

        Joe, I’m reading your article! with tears!

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 17, 2018 at 13:27

          That sentiment is worth more than all the world’s oil.

          • February 17, 2018 at 15:24

            Excellent link. Thank you Joe.

            “Even the thoughtful Germans of the post-war generation of baby boomers, who tried so hard to do penance for the sins of their fathers, do not see it.”

            For us too, it took a while. But thanks to journalism of the likes of Consortium, Strategic C., and Counter Punch, not to mention the backlash of the Obama Presidency, and now Trump behaving like the generals have a gun to his head or else!… we finally see it. Worse yet is the transformation of praxis into mere competition for jobs, salaries, materialistic accumulation to prove how much better one is than “others”, so that “others” are no longer camrades of human plight, but rather enemies in a capitalistic system where ruthless competition is the only rule of law in town.

            Thank you Consortium for the opportunity to express an overwhelming frustration of the nihilistic cloud that has been forced over us; and the opportunity to see clear for continued penance for our fathers’, brothers’, and sister’s sins; penance as investment in that “main asset” for this world and the next?

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 17, 2018 at 15:35

            There will be more times like these where we will all sincerely miss the fantastic reporting of Robert Parry, for he was throughly on top of this Russia-gate baloney. I also wish that more Americans were to read ‘the Russia they Lost’, because it is a great example of how we are all but human, and borders are only borders while people will simply be just that…people. Look in the mirror, and then shoot yourself, because the enemy is you. Joe

          • February 17, 2018 at 16:18

            Look in the mirror, and then shoot yourself, because the enemy is you.

            “…[if] the enemy is you….”?

          • February 17, 2018 at 16:57

            For what it is worth, the reference is to the movie “Coming Home”: Luke’s words to Bob as Bob points gun at Luke, threatening to shoot him after learning from snooping FBI agents of Luke and Sally’s affair. Voila la creme de la creme

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 17, 2018 at 17:15

            I should better have explained that last comment I made about the enemy being you. What I really wanted to point out, was that the enemy you kill is a lot like yourself. They put on their pants one leg at a time, they send their children off to school with a kiss and a reminder to obey the teacher, they stand in the same kind of shopping lines when buying groceries. When I stop to think like this about the commonality of the human race, I seriously then wonder to why there is ever a war. Don’t shoot yourself or anyone else mijkmild, because your too precious, plus no one wants to clean up your mess…literally. Joe

          • February 18, 2018 at 13:44

            Post-script much appreciated, like the rest of the solid, critical conversational praxis posted at CN. I was thinking that if i look in the mirror and see within an enemy who feels the need to take the frustration out on others, i’d rather just take out the enemy within; that’s what Bob does at the end of Coming Home.


            A big part of my “penance for my father’s sins” is about organic farming, where nothing gets metaphysical, yet the cycle of life and death takes place before one’s very own eyes, and decay is one of the main catalysts in the process. Which brings me to another topic seemingly unrelated, yet, if you can rally the American public in favor of organic foods, and and against genetically modified foods to the point of getting Nabisco to go Non GMO, perhaps there is hope yet of reigning in the military industrial complex. Thank you for the critical, conversational praxis.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 19, 2018 at 00:17

            Thanks for the tip on the non-GMO food mijkmild. The good news is after our grandson at the age of seven was diagnosed with diabetes one, his mother, my daughter, and the rest of the family quit eating that chemical latent garbage, and now we are total organic. I might add that while we still go to regular GP doctors we also frequent Wholistic doctors, as well, and as to keep ourselves healthy and everyone honest.

            Great conversation mijkmild hope to do it again sometime, it was a pleasure. Joe

      • LaNinya
        February 17, 2018 at 13:48

        Wow. Good one, Joe. Beautifully written. Thanks for the link. The comments were interesting, too.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 17, 2018 at 13:55

          Your welcome, and you are right about the comments. Let’s read the very first one, as I’m also leaving off the commenters name which may be seen on the original comment board.

          “As an American who has spent a lifetime studying his nation, I can tell you for a fact that America was never cool. At the end of WWI, American soldiers came home to lynch African-Americans in record numbers because they had gotten “uppity” in the soldiers’ absence. After WWII, America protected Nazi war criminals and immediately attacked the real saviour of mankind (the Soviet Union), actually attacking Soviet citizens and starving the Soviet state of reconstruction monies. In the 1950s, America took over the British and French empires and became a National Security State with the growth of the CIA. Sixty-five years later, it is estimated by scholarly demographic studies that The United States is directly responsible for 40 million deaths. Even Nazi Germany, had it been victorious in WWII, could have not outstripped that record of carnage. Think about that! The world was saved from the Nazi conquest only to suffer the US conquest. And the latter was worse — simply because the US was larger and richer and therefore more powerful and violent. You and your friends should never have been entranced. The Soviet Union provided its citizens with employment, housing, education, health-care, recreation, great art, science. The United States provided its citizens with job insecurity, homelessness, brainwashing, obesity, stress leading to mass killings, crap art, and laughable pseudo-science. I rather wonder what it might have been like for myself if I had been born on the USSR rather than the USA. I’d feel less rage and guilt, forty million fewer iota of rage and guilt; that is for certain. That would have been cooler.”

          What a great comment, and made with such historical accuracy. Joe

          • LaNinya
            February 17, 2018 at 15:14

            Historical accuracy.

            I have read elsewhere: The Nazi’s didn’t lose WWII, Germany did.
            Which, I think puts a thought-provoking spin on it.

            I have a folder full of quotes and quips that I have collected through the years.

            Here’s another thought-provoking quote from that folder:
            “Fascism is the natural state of Europe because it is the natural outcome of the Enlightenment, which should perhaps be renamed something like The Great Darkening.”
            I’ve pondered that one, and it’s beginning to make sense to me.

            If anyone can comment on it, pro or con, I’d like to hear if it makes sense to anyone else.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 17, 2018 at 15:23

            LaNinya as disgusting as those quotes are, I would in my own way be interested to hearing more. On the other hand I got a front row seat to see all those awful quotes become true. Oh well. Joe

      • robjira
        February 17, 2018 at 16:07

        What a superb essay; thanks for sharing Joe. I take comfort in knowing that, as bad things are getting, there are still some keeping hope for humanity’s survival and maturation alive.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 17, 2018 at 17:26

          That letter represents 145 million Russian people who only wish that the U.S. would quit picking on them, and if nothing else help them catch the real bad guys, but as you know this is not the Neocon plan. Thanks for your reply please robjira. Joe

    February 17, 2018 at 12:45

    This dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia is extremely lucrative for the war profiteers, the retired generals & intelligence members who prostitute themselves as media pundits, the members of Congress who get $$$ from the war profiteers, and the corporate media which thrives on links to the war profiteers as well as on war reporting.

    That’s why we must all be kept fearful, so we don’t demand that annual trillion dollar military “defense” budgets be slashed and that money instead be spent on social safety net programs and infrastructure.

    That’s also why tensions with not only Russia, but Iran, Syria, North Korea, and China must be maintained, and our endless wars and global empire of military bases continued.

    As long as war and militarism are such profitable rackets, it doesn’t matter that all life on earth is threatened. That is the essence of capitalism in a nutshell: profits are more important than life itself.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 12:55

      You got that right, and the sooner the American public wise up to all these lies the better. If you want this maddening insanity to stop, well then my fellow Americans quit buying into their lies. Just go ahead and board the damn plane, oh BTW one of the reasons NFL attendance is down is well think of the new security rules put in place plus who knows the rules of football anymore (our football is even tainted with screwiness). Sorry for the rant, but we Americans got to start calling our officials out on this stuff. It’s that plain and simple. Nice post REDPILLED. Joe

    • Virginia
      February 17, 2018 at 13:06


      I’m just imagining how it must feel, if you’re Putin, to be able to rein in your emotions, to not react no matter how much baited, and to stay above the fray while warmongers, like dogs, are barking at your feet. That degree of self-composure, resting on a strong necessity to try to prevent WWIII and nuclear annihilation, …well, I’m afraid not many of us will ever know or feel that exactly, but we can imagine! To do this with grace and dignity, insult after insult! There are lessons to be learned here.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 17, 2018 at 13:10

        Virginia we Americans better hope patient Putin stays in power. Joe

        • mark
          February 17, 2018 at 13:46

          If Zhirinovsky was in his place we would already be at war.

        • irina
          February 17, 2018 at 15:19

          Exactly. I can’t imagine who the Creatures of the Deep think would be a
          good successor to Putin, but I do think they should be very careful of
          what they wish for. Case in point, the Ukraine. What exactly happened
          to “Our Man Yats” anyway ? He seems to have (been ?) disappeared. . .

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 17, 2018 at 15:30

            There is a bit of a warring nature still left in this old fighter cat, and during these imaginary moments of destruction I struggle with I see Russian T72 tanks driving down Maiden Square looking for old Yats and his friends. Not to worry though, I seriously don’t want anyone, anywhere, to have to suffer even one minute of war, but on a bad day, well need I say more? Joe

      • ranney
        February 17, 2018 at 17:45

        I agree Virginia. I am so depressed by Mueller’s actions my head swims. I had hoped that Mueller was actually an honest investigator who believed in the rule of law as everyone said. Now I can’t imagine what game he is playing. Now it seems like all hope has vanished that anything even vaguely resembling the truth will come out.. Mueller”s indictments of these poor people seals the deal: Russia is the evil bugbear that must be destroyed and all right thinking patriots will agree to that when we launch nuclear war.
        I keep feeling like we’re all in a Kafka exercise or a Harold Pinter play where motives and truths are hidden behind an impenatrable wall. Even the new Consortium article by McGovern and Binney seems to hint at much more than they are telling, leaving me to wish they’d just come out and say what they are worried about given their knowledge and expertise. Instead I’m left with the sense that there is a coded message in there that I have missed.

        So yes, I too worry about how patient Putin can be when we have already in so many ways performed a dozen or more acts of war on Russia in the past year and he has not reacted violently.

        p.s. Once again Caitlin has provided great links. Click on one of the first about the government telling us lies. It’ll get you a great 4 minute cartoon based on Chomskys book Manufacturing Consent. It’s about propaganda. You’ll like it.

        • Virginia
          February 17, 2018 at 20:50

          Ranney — One thing that has lifted my spirit somewhat, I heard a real thinker say that the Deep State (DS) is losing ground now because its anointed candidate HRC was defeated in 2016. So 2016 marks a positive time of turning and healing. Putin and Xi seem to both be working for the good of the world. Wonderful if Donald Trump could drain the swamp and get on board. Either way, those two Leaders together can lead us out of this morass.

          There’s a state of thought that remains composed no matter what the valley of the shadow of death. The more I learn — and sometimes what I learn is vastly darker than I could ever conceive — the deeper grows my joy. It’s been a puzzle to me that I could read something truly devastating here on CN and walk away with more joy than I had before reading it (and believe me, it’s not because of the evil news). It’s partly because I’m grateful that my eyes have been opened. There is absolutely nothing I can do without being well informed about it. I feel I’m learning all this for a reason; a very real big good reason. Don’t you? There’s a state of thought that refuses to be fearful no matter what. Adopt that one, Ranney.

          Just look at those Olympiads doing the impossible! They start with, “I can.”

      • Dave P.
        February 18, 2018 at 04:07


        Yes. Regarding the barking dogs, I read some where this Putin’s answer to a question a few days ago on that list of 200 sanctioned Russians put out by U.S. Treasury Department. Putin said: Let the barking dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.

        • Virginia
          February 18, 2018 at 10:23

          Thanks, Dave P. An apt metaphor!

          Whether siege, barrage, or barking dogs, it’s incessant for several world leaders. Probably a sign they might be doing — or might be about to do — something right.

      • Anon
        February 18, 2018 at 15:14

        He’s an adult and I think the entire planet realizes that the Americans are totally psychotic.

    • mike k
      February 17, 2018 at 15:00

      Makes you really want to swallow a handful of blue pills sometimes…….

    • Jessejean
      February 18, 2018 at 18:59

      RED—excellent. And the same analysis I heard at every anti-Vietnam war rally I attended in the ’60s. America is a militarized empire just like Rome was. You want change? Work for it..

  37. Tom Welsh
    February 17, 2018 at 12:31

    Well, black as things look, at least we are getting some powerful insight into the Fermi Paradox. Why have we seen no traces of any alien civilizations in all the billions of star systems out there?

    Very likely, because whenever technological civilization occurs, it contrives to destroy itself in short order.

    Currently homo sapiens has several alternative suicide plans, such as thermonuclear war, biological war, global warming, pollution, and – should all the others amazingly fail to pan out – the gradual degradation of our minds through education and “popular culture”.

    Although many individual specimens of homo sapiens have shown clear signs of practical intelligence, the species as a whole is less intelligent than ants or sandworms.

    • mike k
      February 17, 2018 at 14:58

      Beautiful Tom. I guess Fermi’s “paradox” looks less and less like a paradox anymore. More like a sure thing. Lack of spiritual development plus immense powers from science equals extinction. Can we reduce this to an equation?

      LSD + P = 0 or more simply P – SD = E Power without spiritual development equals Extinction. QED

    • TW
      February 17, 2018 at 15:26

      Thank you. This is a brilliant resolution of Fermi’s Paradox–and an insult to ants and sandworms. Don’t call it “homo sapiens”; it is a duality, both “homo faber” and “homo necans.” It excels at creative destruction, making things to destroy things. Its crowning achievement is a global civilization that is a Doomsday Machine.

  38. Joe Tedesky
    February 17, 2018 at 12:30

    This Mueller revelation of 13 Russians flipping a combined campaign amount of 6.9 billion dollars spent by both American presidential candidates, is awl inspiring, and convinces me to if I were to run for public office I would do myself well to get these 13 Russians to work for my campaign…utterly amazing, these Russian trolls could flip such an overly expensive long term election with so little.

    Besides that Rosenstein did his duty, as to redirect our attention from those nasty FISA court accusations, made by the Nunes Memo…how conveniently timed. Although, Mueller’s fantastic work (not my words but Rachel’s) did not implicate any Russian involvement, and to the disappointment of many Democrates Mueller didn’t imply that Vladimir Putin gave his permission to flip Hillary’s win, but all the same….the Russians are up to no good, period.

    This story barely tops the exclusion of Russian athletes from the Olympics for drug doping, but Mueller’s Russia investigation is the le creme de le crumb of FBI investigations…. Florida 19 year old shooter, not so much.

    In the end, this will just be another day in an America life, while Mueller and company wind this thing down, and with the hopes the open sore FISA court insinuation goes away.

    This whole thing is maddening.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 13:20
    • Joe Tedesky
      February 17, 2018 at 13:27

      Read this it shows the quality of stupidity that is running our country, or at least is a part of the small cabal that is lying to us.

      • Annie
        February 17, 2018 at 14:37

        Joe, you do have to ask yourself why Mueller came out with their non-findings on Friday when everyone’s attention was drawn to the school shootings in Florida where the FBI was given warnings, but neglected to pay attention, and the governor of Florida is calling for Wray’s resignation, and heads to roll.

        Fox news was thrilled, and patted themselves on the back for knowing it was a lie all along, at least the part where Russia helped Trump get elected. However they continued with their anti-Russia rhetoric and repeatedly brought up Hillary’s sale of Uranium to Russia. Now Trump is out there acknowledging, yes Russia interfered in our elections. Our interventionism on a world wide scale makes this all quite nauseating.

        Those Russians created discord, well, they really didn’t have to bother since Americans were so good at it, they didn’t need any outside help. I haven’t had the stomach to see how CNN, and MSNBC are going to handle this since they were such proponents of Russia-gate.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 17, 2018 at 15:10

          Annie I’m glad you bring up the predictable timing of Rosenstein’s release of the Mueller Russia-gate investigation, for these new allegations of Russian interference could replace the news of that awful shooting down in Florida.

          I actually picture Mueller & Rosenstein as planning this long before the shooting, and I can just see them figuring out that during the next mass shooting on a Friday before a weekend news cycle, that bringing up the Russia thing would not only distract our attention away from how the FBI dropped the ball on catching a 19 year old shooter who had tons of red flags surrounding him, while adding some new life to all that is bad about Russians, was the go to point.

          I’m not surprised, although disappointed, that FOX is on the anti-Russian band wagon. This keeping Russia in the dog house has been discussed, and written about on this comment board, so keeping Russia & especially Putin in the spot light of all that is evil, to me comes as no surprise.

          It would appear that the U.S. is eventually going to go to war with Russia, or do we dare? Neocon’s are good at dropping bombs on far away places, but will they be any good at ducking them when the bombs drop here?

          And yes we Americans don’t need any help from any Russians in order to screw up our democracy, we are perfectly great at doing that ourselves. Joe

        • February 17, 2018 at 19:46

          Annie, I’ll reply to your question in another comment. But I’m going to pile onto your near-top comment to spread some important information in its own right before commenting. Bernard at Moon of Alabama has just convincingly put the lie to Mueller’s indictment by building upon an article he posted last October.

          I am now convinced that the indictment is a fraud upon the court deserving of sanctions being imposed on Mueller by the Court. I’ll add some reasons for believing that in my follow-up comment.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 18, 2018 at 01:33

            Paul that was the best so far of anything I read, or learned, about this Mueller/Rosenstein travesty. Joe

          • john wilson
            February 18, 2018 at 06:04

            Also Paul, did you know that the vice chairman of Face book has just announced that most of the Russian advertising spend happened AFTER the election. Read it for yourself on the zero hedge site.

          • February 18, 2018 at 06:14

            Yes, Joe. I’d really like to see VIPS dive into what b presented.

            The Mueller indictment is a highly unusual document.

            It’s extraordinarily verbose for an indictment. Coupled with the fact that Mueller knew there was no way he would ever be required to prove what was charged (the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia), the indictment is not in reality addressed to a judge or jury; it’s fodder for propaganda purposes and as discussed below, is intended to protect the indictment’s entire subject matter from Freedom of Information Act requests.

            As further indications that the document is a work of fiction not intended for a judge or jury:

            1. The document is overflowing with information that would be filed under seal if it was not fictional. A host of classified intelligence sources and methods would be on full display if the information in the indictment was factual. E.g., we get internal Russian company documents and private emails. Those records would have to be authenticated at trial with admissible proof of how DoJ and the FBI acquired them (sources and methods) if the indictment was intended for a judge and jury. But we get a 37-page detailed document without a single redaction for classified information. Are we to seriously believe that the Deep State is willing to burn the identities of private actor spies in Russia so they can testify that they stole company documents and emails in a foreign country? Or are we to believe that the FISA Court issued search warrants for FBI or NSA to penetrate the company’s networks for a criminal rather than foreign intelligence purpose?

            2. There are way too many perfect smoking gun English language quotes. It’s rare to get smoking gun quotes from defendants and they almost always require context to interpret them. Since we are purportedly dealing with Russians, one would also expect at least most of the quotes to be in Russian, requiring translation to English, yes? But we have here perfect English language smoking gun quotes and lots of them, without any indication that they have been translated from Russian as would be required if they had been. And they all speak for themselves, without need for interpretation. Even one such quote would be rare in criminal cases. But to have a bunch of them, all in English? It beggars belief.

            3. In a normal criminal case, an indictment’s allegations would be tested at a public trial and the public would then learn what the evidence actually is. But with a case where the defendants will never be extradited to stand trial, the entire case file is exempt from public disclosure under the law enforcement records Freedom of Information Act exemption so long as the investigation is ongoing. By vastly increasing the level of detail beyond what is required for an indictment, Mueller sweeps far more evidence into what is clearly exempt from public disclosure.

            4. Grand jury procedure permits what bernard describes, although it is highly unethical and violates a lawyer’s duty of candor to the grand jury and the court. In a grand jury, the prosecution is not required to show any evidence tending to establish the defendants’ innocence. Just enough evidence for the grand jury to find that the prosecution can present a prima facie case of guilt. That means Mueller did not have to show the grand jury any of the Internet communications that favored Hillary Clinton rather than Trump. But we know from bernard’s October article and from MSM reports when the Facebook ads were disclosed to Congress that the pro-Clinton communications exist too. In other words, Mueller apparently cherry picked the evidence to support his charge that the communications all favored Trump instead of Clinton.

            5.The indictment presents a wacky theory that the defendants conspired to defraud the United States that is riddled with First Amendment issues. Conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, that’s not obviously a bad argument. But that fraud conspiracy claim smells like a very long distance stretch to me (caveat, I have not yet researched it thoroughly). But what’s fraudulent about reports you never filed with the FEC and DoJ? Why not just charge them with not filing the reports? Is it just so you can trumpet “conspiracy to commit fraud on the United States?”

            There’s more but those are the major points I’ve got so far.

          • February 18, 2018 at 06:49

            @ John Wilson:

            John, that isn’t new news. Robert Parry repeatedly made that point here at Consortium News. See e.g.,

            * h**ps:// (“Facebook has said most did not pertain directly to the presidential election and some ads were purchased after the election.” September 25, 2017).

            * h**ps:// (” Facebook also reported that only 44 percent of the ads appeared before the 2016 election.” (October 10, 2017).

          • Skip Scott
            February 18, 2018 at 08:45


            Thank you so much for your comments here. Once again I get an education at CN.

          • February 18, 2018 at 08:57

            Regarding my point 5 above, I’m going to withdraw it. There is some case law that reads on this legal theory. E.g., U.S. v. Kanchanalak, 192 F. 3d 1037 (D.C. Cir. 1999). So far I have not seen authority that would sweep as broadly as Mueller does in this indictment, but at this point I’d rather move on to other issues with the indictment.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 18, 2018 at 11:20

            Paul now we are talking. These bullet points you listed gives a person a lot to teeth on. I’ll be reviewing what you wrote as I my amateur self try and understand what the Mueller investigation is doing to our rights, and freedoms.

            Quickly Paul, I worry about what Mueller will leave behind that will effect the internet websites that don’t toe the company (USG) line. Plus how will the results of Mueller’s work on Russian interference relate to outside the U.S. journalist? Will Mueller build a information wall around the U.S., leaving the U.S. news junkie a baron landscape for diverse news commentary?

            Thanks Paul, you are a real,help. Joe

          • Zachary Smith
            February 18, 2018 at 18:09

            Bernard at Moon of Alabama has just convincingly put the lie to Mueller’s indictment by building upon an article he posted last October.

            The Moon of Alabama post was mighty convincing, and so were your own remarks. Thanks for the interesting and informative analysis you’ve presented.

          • February 19, 2018 at 02:53

            Julian Assange has raised some of the same issues as Moon of Alabama in regard to the Mueller indictment: h**p://

            A lawyer ridiculing the indictment raises some of the same kinds of questions Caitlin Johnstone does here: h**ps://

            Joe, a case that will never be litigated to a conclusion on the merits really can’t establish legal precedent. The biggest related danger that occurs to me is that the indictment might conceivably be used politically to justify legislation that would change applicable law.

            Indictments do not establish facts as true in the judicial sense. Indictments are mere unproved allegations of criminal misconduct that: [i] give notice to the defendants of what they are accused of so that they may prepare their defense; and [ii] certify that a grand jury has heard enough evidence of guilt to justify bringing a criminal case. The prosecution must still prove any of those allegations at trial that are relevant to a valid legal theory beyond any reasonable doubt. An indictment is not proof of any fact alleged in it.

      • February 17, 2018 at 16:32

        Your link to the Giraldi piece is appreciated, however, Giraldi starts off on a false premise: He claims that people generally liked and trusted the FBI and CIA up until or shortly after 9/11. Not so! Both agencies were complicit in the most infamous assassinations and false flag episodes since the Kennedy/MLK Vietnam days. Don’t forget Air America CIA drug running and Iran/Contra / October Surprise affairs.

        The Dulles brothers, with Allan as head of Sullivan and Cromwells’ CIA were notorious facilitators for the international banksters and their subsidiary corporations which comprise the largest oil and military entities which have literally plainly stated in writing, need to occasionally “GALVANIZE” the American public through catastrophic and catalyzing events in order for Americans to be terrified into funding and fighting for those interlocked corporations in their quest to spread “FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE,” throughout the globe.

        The political parties are theatre designed to fool the people into believing we are living in some sort of legitimate, representative system, when it’s the same old plutocracy that manages to get elected because they’ve long figured out the art of polarizing people and capitalising on tribal alignments.

        We should eliminate all government for a time so that people can begin to see that corporations really do and most always have run the country.

        It’s preposterous to think the stupid public is actually discussing saddling ourselves and future generations with gargantuan debt through a system designed and run by banksters!

        it should be self evident a sovereign nation should maintain and forever hold the rights to develop a monetary/financial system that serves the needs of the people, not be indentured servants in a financial system that serves the insatiable greed of a handful of parasitic banksters and corporate tycoons!

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 17, 2018 at 17:08

          You are so right, in fact Robert Parry made quite a journalistic career out of exposing the CIA for such things as drug running. I gave up on that agency a longtime ago, after JFK was murdered, and I was only 13 then. Yeah maybe Phil discounts the time while he worked for the CIA, but the CIA has many, many rooms in which plots are hatched, so the valiant truth teller Giraldi maybe excused this one time for his lack of memory….I guess, right?

          Good comment Lee. Joe

          • February 18, 2018 at 17:37

            Thanks back at you Joe, your informed comments as well as others like you are why I like Consortium News so much.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 18, 2018 at 22:28

            Thank you Lee, and welcome aboard ‘the Consortium’. Joe

        • Annie
          February 17, 2018 at 17:56

          Yes, but he’s referring to the public’s opinion of these agencies, and if they didn’t continue to retain, even after 9/11, a significant popularity in the public’s mind how would we have so many American’s buying into Russia-gate? In my perception of things they only lost some ground after 9/11, but Americans notoriously have a short memory span.

          • Gregory Herr
            February 17, 2018 at 18:42

            And films that are supposed to help Americans feel good about the aims and efficacy of the agencies…like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo…are in the popular imagination.

          • Skip Scott
            February 18, 2018 at 08:53

            Hi Annie-

            I watched the World News a couple nights ago when they paraded some FBI folks who all unanimously stated that Russia is a dire threat to our democracy. It was a real fluff piece, no contrary opinions or hard questions allowed. It was bare-faced propaganda, and I thought to myself that unfortunately the “sheeple” are probably buying it. The average American seems to me to have very little capability for critical thought. Television is a passive medium (that’s why it’s called the “Idiot Box”), and unfortunately I think it is still where the majority gets its news.

        • Skeptigal
          February 17, 2018 at 19:19

          The book by Peter Dale Scott, “The American Deep State Wall Street, Big Oil And the Attack on American Democracy” covers in detail some of the points you mention in your reply. It is a fascinating book.

        • February 18, 2018 at 06:26

          @ Lee: “We should eliminate all government for a time so that people can begin to see that corporations really do and most always have run the country.”

          Impossible. Corporations do not exist in reality. They are legal fictions created by government. “A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.” Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 518, 636 (1819),

          If you eliminate government you eliminate corporations, disclosing the reality: human beings operating businesses.

          It’s the same thing with government. That’s another fictional entity that does not exist in reality. In reality, there are only people exercising power under the invisible, intangible cloak of “government.”

          Never believe for a moment that corporations or governments actually exist. They are imaginary.

        • Anon
          February 18, 2018 at 15:07

          I don’t think people trusted either agency after Vietnam or the Kennedy/King assassinations. I never did.

    • Bob In Portland
      February 17, 2018 at 14:29

      Joe, when you hit the campaign trail, remember to bring a basket of puppies along.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 17, 2018 at 14:35

        And plenty of puppy chow.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 17, 2018 at 19:23

        Bob I’d love to hear your commentary on this subject. Joe

    • Realist
      February 17, 2018 at 15:27

      Essentially, all Mueller did yesterday was to indict a bunch of private Russian citizens for expressing their opinions about the candidates in the last presidential election via public media (mainly Facedbook and Twitter), and the individual Russians contacted by the press about it did not deny doing so. Mueller made no links to the Russian government, Putin, the FSB or even their alleged puppet Donald Trump. Just private individuals being persecuted for expressing an opinion on American politics in public because they are foreigners. Doesn’t matter whether the opinions were true, false, complementary or disparaging because they were subjective just like anyone else’s opinions (you know, opinions are like a-holes, everybody’s got one).

      So, if that move by Mueller is allowed to stand and serve as a precedent in American jurisprudence, doesn’t that mean that journalists from foreign lands, like Caitlin herself, are at risk of being indicated at any moment by the US Justice Department if they express opinions that the insiders in the Deep State do not like? And, what about all the foreign nationals who post here in this forum on this blog? I daresay most offer opinions not complementary of the US government and its political menagerie. And, to be honest, many do so in order to either change minds or solidify shared beliefs with others, including great swirling drifts of snowflake Americans.

      This free exchange of thoughts is now to be verboten because someone other than Uncle Sam may have an influence or even change the mind of a precious American citizen? This is madness. That the most educated and articulate amongst us do not see this, but rather participate in the feeding frenzy upon the carcass of what is left of our liberal democracy is absolutely stupifying. As I have been saying for some time now, someone or some force must be imposing a form of mass hypnosis upon the population and only a few of us (including most here) seem to be immune to its effects. Maybe something we consume acts as an antidote. Perhaps your Italian grandma’s muffalettas or calzones, Joe? Or my mother’s German rouladen?

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 17, 2018 at 15:58

        As usual with you perception you nailed it Mr Realist, good comment.

        Actually all I wanted to hear this weekend, was the FBI explain away to how a deranged 19 year old shooter could have gone so unnoticed. Other than that, this is all just stage craft being orchestrated for yet another day of Russia-gate. Seriously what is CNN and MSNBC going to do if this Russian interference into America’s democracy should suddenly dry up and go away? Besides that John Brennan got a new job at NBC, and NBC needs to keep the old spook busy.

        My Italian grandma use to shake her cane at us kids when we were bad, and she would call us ‘Bolsheviks’ does that tell you anything of where Grandma Laura’s head was? Joe

        • Gregory Herr
          February 17, 2018 at 18:50

          Thing is–he didn’t go unnoticed.

          “In a statement, the FBI said “a person close to” Cruz called the agency’s public tip line on Jan. 5 and left information on Cruz’s “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.”
          The tip should have been “assessed as a potential threat to life” and forwarded to the bureau’s Miami field office for investigation. “We have determined that these protocols were not followed,” the agency said.”

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 17, 2018 at 19:05

            Gregory it is utterly amazing to how bad the FBI, Department of Corrections for the State of Florida, and on and on it goes, to how badly this guy flew under the radar of everything put in place to protect us. If the authorities can’t enforce the laws we already have, then tell me for how much trust we should put behind these same authorities as to their carrying out a new harshly written gun law? They can’t, and that’s that. Why, because all of the FBI bosses in DC are too busy trying to make something out of nothing, not to mention their poking at the nuke capable Russian Bear, which is certainly highly regretful. God it’s frustrating to watch this continue, if only we could rely upon a couple to few responsible politicians, but there go I again wishing for the hopeless things I wish for.

            A few have said this, that what we are watching with this U.S. paranoid themed ‘the Russians are coming to take our democracy away’, is an empire spinning out of control. I think these critics are right, how about you. Joe

          • irina
            February 17, 2018 at 19:52

            That kid left SO MANY red flags. In addition to all the very disturbing Instagram posts,
            he posted a clip to YouTube when he was 14, showing himself CUTTING HIS ARMS.
            (Sorry for caps). This prompted a visit by Someone With Social Services who determined
            that Nikolas ‘was not a threat to himself or others’. (Although the police had previously
            documented him throwing heavy items at his mother, cursing her out, etc. etc.) Sheesh.

            The woman who took both brothers in after their mother died of complications from the
            flu on November 1, 2017, gave Nikolas a choice after he tried to bring a gun into her
            home. He could stay without the gun, or leave with it. He chose to leave, after which
            (around Thanksgiving) another family took him in. Where is social services when you
            need them ? (But heaven forbid you allow your child to play alone out in your yard !)

        • backwardsevolution
          February 17, 2018 at 19:14

          Joe – the police had over 30 visits to that Florida school shooter’s house over the years, yet they never charged him with anything. Had they, he would not have been able to buy a weapon (as he would have had a record). Also, everyone on psychotropic drugs should probably be on some sort of prohibitive gun registry as well because they are obviously not in their right minds.

          And after being alerted to the shooter’s Facebook post re wanting to shoot up a school by a concerned citizen, the FBI says they couldn’t find Nikolas de Jesus Cruz? Apparently there are only six people with the name of Nikolas Cruz in Florida, and only 12 countrywide. And they couldn’t find him?

          Sounds like somebody dropped the ball many, many times. Was it done out of neglect or on purpose? Makes me wonder.

          “Seriously what is CNN and MSNBC going to do if this Russian interference into America’s democracy should suddenly dry up and go away?”

          They’d be forced to confront the lies of their very own John Brennan. If there were no Russiagate, Hillary Clinton, Uranium One, the phony FISA warrants would be glaring us in the face.

          I swear that Russiagate is nothing more than trying to cover up the blatant corruption of the DNC, Hillary Clinton, the FBI, CIA and The Department of Justice. Keep everybody busy with Russiagate and don’t allow the corruption (with the help of the press) to see the light of day. Otherwise, people in high places would be going to jail.

          I’m starting to wonder whether this has anything to do with Russia at all. In fact, Russia probably knows this.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 17, 2018 at 19:18

            Yell BINGO backwardsevolution because you got every block covered with your excellent appraisal. Gotta run, but enjoyed hearing from you. Joe

          • Skip Scott
            February 18, 2018 at 09:05

            Hi B.E.-

            At the risk of sounding like a representative of the NRA, I think our intelligence agencies are purposefully allowing at least some of these occasional mass shootings to take place to keep Americans passive about excessive surveillance and police state tactics, and enraged enough to eventually insist on the disarming the American populace as a whole.

            Call me paranoid, but it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 18, 2018 at 11:31

            Skip in a very dark conspiracy way it may not be out of reach to look into how this 19 year old shooter kept getting ignored, which left him free to roam the streets for another day leading to his performing his terrible massacre. So could this shooter have been allow to run free, like what I’m suggesting is that he was purposely put on ice until he was needed, and then he was left out of his cage to go slaughter the innocent? His cue was when he was needed to become a distraction from more important news…like Rosenstein’s lame news conference making allegations against these 13 Russians.

            Far fetched, insane tinfoil hat conspiracy…. yes, but isn’t this what investigations do?

            Oh, remember this shooter got under the radar around 30 times, or so it’s said…you tell me.

            Okay now you can laugh at me. Joe

      • Dave P.
        February 17, 2018 at 17:01

        Realist –

        “As I have been saying for some time now, someone or some force must be imposing a form of mass hypnosis upon the population and only a few of us (including most here) seem to be immune to its effects.”

        You are dead right on that. My wife was yelling and screaming last night that why I was not watching this “Russia trolls” show with her on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS; to learn how the Russians have destroyed our beautiful democracy. She had seen the World too, mostly for fun and experiences; she taught English in Malaysia – British colony until 1957 – as a peace Corps volunteer during 1960’s. There you have it. As many commentators have pointed out, we are a country of completely brain washed people now. Schiff, Schumer, Sanders . . . they are all cut from the same cloth. There is not one politician left in the country who will challenge the The Ruling Power Structure’s narrative. Even in Russia, there are lot of opposition leadership voices who are making noises against the System they disagree with.

        • Skeptigal
          February 17, 2018 at 19:32

          Plato said, “Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed by the masses.” Here we are, more than 2,400 years later and what he said then still applies today. Rather depressing!

          • Sam F
            February 18, 2018 at 08:23

            Good quote indeed; origin unsure. A related reference:
            “the good are not willing to rule either for the sake of money or of honor… there must be imposed some compulsion and penalty to constrain them to rule … the chief penalty is to be governed by someone worse” Republic, Plato, v. 5, 6 (347c) Shorey, Harvard 1969

        • irina
          February 17, 2018 at 19:54

          Unfortunately, PBS enjoys an entirely undeserved reputation for being
          ‘Fair and Balanced’. It almost seems like Fox News is doing a better
          job in that department these days . . . by try telling the intelligentsia that !

          • Dave P.
            February 17, 2018 at 21:32

            Irina , because PBS enjoys that entirely undeserved reputation, this so called Public Network is even much more dangerous than the other Networks. Last evening after Judy Woodruff’s ‘Russia trolls destroyed our democracy” show, there was this “Washington Week” show by Costa. Three invited guests – one of them African American – were so ignorant that it was pathetic to watch them. They were all so worried about these Russian trolls destroying our democracy that they wanted to see a massive campaign at the grassroots level to educate the masses.

            Already the algorithms to keep out the dissenting opinions are in place on Google, Facebook. Recently Youtube has also implemented some algorithms too for the same purpose. All it means is that much more is coming to suppress any dissenting views. Our democracy will indeed be much more beautiful then – everybody in line with the Ruling Establishment’s narrative.

      • Drew Hunkins
        February 17, 2018 at 17:14

        “Essentially, all Mueller did yesterday was to indict a bunch of private Russian citizens for expressing their opinions about the candidates”


        Mueller’s song and dance is essentially an attack on the First Amendment.

        Haha! Imagine indicting every dual citizen Israeli Zionist.

        • Sam F
          February 18, 2018 at 07:37

          Yes, the indictment of zionist control of mass media would be irrefutable and of historic significance.
          There can be no reasonable doubt that such influence is indeed determinative of election results.
          RussiaGate = IsraelGate.

      • Gregory Herr
        February 17, 2018 at 18:21

        They can’t make “hacking” stick…’cause it’s false. They can’t make “Trump is a Putin puppet” stick…’cause it’s false. So now the whole damn dumb show–regurgitated by either shameless war profiteers or straight-faced useful idiots–comes down to so-called Russian social media trolls exercising the same “speech” that we are supposedly so proud to call “free” in this country. They not only take us for moronic fools, but they can’t even see that that they are insulting us further by insinuating that our voting decisions are completely unsophisticated and easily swayed to the point that 13 Russians could have an impact amidst a sea of election season campaign “propaganda” from both major parties and an array of special interest influence peddling. Like the Clinton campaign didn’t hire Facebook trolls!
        Bye Bye First Amendment…no one in the halls of power takes it seriously enough to defend it unless you’re spouting groupthink…right Bernie?

        • backwardsevolution
          February 17, 2018 at 19:19

          Realist, Joe, Gregory, Dave P., Drew – thank goodness for people like you. You give me hope.

      • Zachary Smith
        February 17, 2018 at 20:00

        Essentially, all Mueller did yesterday was to indict a bunch of private Russian citizens for expressing their opinions about the candidates in the last presidential election via public media (mainly Facedbook and Twitter), and the individual Russians contacted by the press about it did not deny doing so.

        I’ll echo Drew Hunkins in calling this a brilliant condensation of the issue. What worries me is what the morons-in-charge might have in mind as a follow-up to this lunacy.

        • Anon
          February 18, 2018 at 15:10

          And my husband believes that the real outcome of this investigation will be internet control. Remember ProporNot?

      • CitizenOne
        February 18, 2018 at 02:31

        Perhaps we are entering into the Orwellian dawn of Thought Crimes which are any feelings or thinking a Citizen has which are counter to the State Propaganda put out by the Ministry of Truth. The Thought Police (thinkpol in Newspeak) are the secret police of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is their job to uncover and punish thoughtcrime. The Thought Police use surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members of society who challenge the party’s authority and ideology.

        Anyone who has questioned the intelligence agencies narrative that Russians and Trump colluded to win the election are viewed with suspicion as potential enemies of the state.

        It would appear to be allegations of thought crime because 15 foreign nationals posted things on social media. We have been under the perception that social media is a free forum for discourse but now, like China, we are seeing the formation of a witch hunt for foreign devils who have infiltrated the social mediascape and are on trial for the results of a national election.

        We are literally burning some innocent teenager for the calamity we are convinced was not of our own making. We need to find a witch to brew some witchcraft to explain how our current situation has arisen.

        Not sure if anyone alive today believes the Salem Witch Trials served justice and created a restoration of civil harmony. I’m fairly sure that everyone looks at those dark days as a travesty of justice.

        Yes we are living in a time of universal deceit and the act of telling the truth has become a revolutionary act just as Orwell portrayed in his novel.

        Thought crimes are fairly scary and they imply that our government is willing to indict the thoughts of whoever it deems to be an enemy of the state and bring the thinkers of thought crime as defined by the state as anyone who questions the official fake narrative of Russia Gate to “justice”.

        What is the end goal? The end goal is to prop up a long in the tooth multi-decade cold war with Russia to justify massive military spending. Do you want to know the answer to your question of whether or not the US defense industry and our intelligence agencies are trying to spark a war with Russia?

        The answer is yes they are. As crazy as that sounds, the hungry defense industry with its insatiable appetite for more weapons has decided to go for the ultimate win the lottery strategy and foment war with Russia. It had been happening under Obama and now it is happening under Trump. They are trying to box him into a corner where he will feel enough pressure to go against Russia. Perhaps they can goad him into attacking Russia which is what I believe they want to do. Our national media plays along and is in bed with the intelligence agencies as much as ever just like they spouted the lies of Chalabi in Iraq War II falsely believing his claims that Saddam Hussein had nuclear and chemical and biological weapons.

        Even the analysis on North Korea which opines that NK will use all weapons first as a first strike in a scenario the USA has called the “Use it or Lose it” fell short and was proved a false scenario or that there were really no actual WMDs in Iraq as the UN claimed.

        Either way, the likely outcomes of a WMD armed Iraqi leader facing imminent demise which would cause him to use all available weapons at his disposal did not happen. There are only two conclusions to the outcome. Saddam did not have these weapons or the likely scenario of “Use it or Lose it” is all wrong.

        Either way the premise of the war was shown to be false.

        Unfortunately in the aftermath of that war there was no US counterpart to the British Chilcot Report and the US went on to engage in regime change in other nations like Ukraine, Syria, Libya and elsewhere.

        There is no sense to it other than to destabilize nations, foment violence and create international tensions which have the effect of causing our elected leaders to pony up more money for defense to combat the new enemies we just created.

        Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia.

        I agree with her assessment that this is crazy. This is the most irresponsible thing yet but it has been enabled by a fake news press just as it was enabled by the fake news media all the times before.

        I agree with you Joe that a form of mass hypnosis has gripped our democrat officials and a large segment of our population. We have been handed a leader they don’t like and they are ready and able to make hay with the election outcome to persuade us by force to support more military adventures.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 18, 2018 at 03:33

          I applaud every word you say CitizenOne.

          What I’m waiting to see is what kind of new crack down methods will be put in place to silence the diverse, and objective, facts and narratives, will come from the Mueller Russia Investigation, as to see what will be thrown to the wind in regard to our free speech & freedom of the press. Will we Americans lose all outside news into America? Will content be judged so heavily, as a self imposed censorship would be the only way to get published, and is that already happening now? Have you not noticed the militarization of our country over the last 17 years?

          Well anyhow, good way to speak of our concerning off the rails by command situation CitizenOne…. Joe

          • CitizenOne
            February 18, 2018 at 23:10

            Just read the NY Times Opinion page
            “Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now
            Feb. 18, 2018
            Thomas L. Friedman

            In his opinion piece he says, “In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief.”

            His reasoning is as follows, “At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller — leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the F.B.I., C.I.A and N.S.A. — has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups — all linked in some way to the Kremlin — for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections, America needs a president who will lead our nation’s defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracy.

            What a crock of shit. He is not incompetent to be the Commander in Chief nor is he hiding something so threatening to himself since the Mueller indictments would have included possibly Trump or some people associated with him in the indictments.

            The term “criminally incompetent” invoked by Freidman to describe the president are powerful words yet nobody in the Trump administration is accused by Mueller in his indictments.

            This is just more trashy guilt by association coming from a regular contributor to the NY Times in which Freidman is desperately seeking to associate Trump in some collusion with Russia which was foisted upon us by the “intelligence agencies” which has now been proven to be false by the lack of any indictment on any member of the Trump administration.

            Such a complete bullshit article should have never been published except of course if the NY Times itself is guilty of instigating and perpetuating a false news narrative which they have done many times before. See the history of their support for the Iraq War by articles by Judith Miller where the NY Times regurgitated the false claims of the Bush administration through Miller via a proxy stooge (Ahmed Chalabi) as an example.

            The right article to publish would have been, “Trump Exonerated by Mueller Investigation. Indictments were handed down but none involved Trump or his campaign or his cabinet in any way.” Russian election interference was by Russians and Russians alone. Hence the investigation should be folded up and closed.

            But that’s not what is going to happen. The investigation like the Clinton investigations have taken on a partisan agenda and their aim is not to focus on the allegations once proven to be of no consequence be it Whitewater or collusion with Russia or the use of email servers or Benghazi. Their aim is to be a official means to damage or to end a political career for partisan purposes.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 19, 2018 at 00:08

            Hey CitizenOne read this, it says a lot about the seriousness as opposed to the politicization of this Mueller Investigation.


        • Dave P.
          February 18, 2018 at 03:53

          Citizen One –

          “Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia.

          I agree with her assessment that this is crazy. This is the most irresponsible thing yet but it has been enabled by a fake news press just as it was enabled by the fake news media all the times before.”

          Yes. This scenario is getting more and more likely. All steps point to that direction.

      • Jessejean
        February 18, 2018 at 18:41

        Brilliant, Realist. I noticed that but could guide finish the thought the way you have. Another thing I noticed is that these indictments tacitly exonerate Hillary for being too arrogant and stupid to be able to beat T- rump. So we’re spending beaucoup bucks to pay Mueller to clear Hillary of venality. Big whoop. Now the support of the Neolibs for this macarthyism makes more sense. Ye shall know them by their effing fruit.

    • Skeptigal
      February 17, 2018 at 23:10

      Unfortunately I’m not as confident. Here is the complete indictment at There are three counts (with almost 70 allegations): 1. Conspiracy to Defraud the United States 2. Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud And Bank Fraud and 3. Aggravated Identity Theft. It ends with a forfeiture allegation seeking property, real or personal from the defendants.

      The Russiagate affair has been going on for almost a year and I would think Mueller is under a lot of pressure to find something to stick. This indictment may be it. Mueller will be the hero; Trump may be saved as the interference started in 2014, before his campaign began; the Hillary emails and Nunes memo will be cast aside; and the USA can say to the world “see I told you so.”

      Once again, Russia’s reputation will be taken down a few notches and made to suffer another humiliation. And the US will move on to the next allegation, “UK and US blame Russia for the malicious NotPetya cyberattack” (headline on BBC).

      • Realist
        February 18, 2018 at 00:45

        I refer readers back to the previous article on CN by Ray McGovern and William Binney which discusses Washington’s newly stated policy of potentially responding to anything they consider a “cyber attack” with nuclear weapons. Basically, building on some trivial opinion pieces and ads proffered by Russian nationals in Facedbook and Twaddle that may have disparaged Hillary and complemented Trump (a few droplets of extraneous and obscure verbiage against an ocean of raging political rhetoric generated within the United States), Washington deep state operatives, politicians and media figures have conflated those acts to “hacking” (nevermind misuse of the term), then “hacking the election,” then “stealing the election,” then “assaulting our democracy,” then to “cyber crime,” and finally to “an act of war against the United States” against which a nuclear response may be considered appropriate. Therein lies the madness and the danger.

        Personally, I think the term “cyber crime,” especially one considered worthy of any military response let alone nuclear armageddon, should be something like shutting down the power grid or wiping all the banking records on Wall Street, not directing unkind remarks at American politicians whom everyone knows are self-serving congenital liars of the first order whose faux “honor” or hurt feelings could never in a million years be worth going to war over.

        Just on the face of it, this over-the-top response to a few random pot-shots at Hillary Clinton’s record or character by a handful of anonymous Russians paled in comparison to eight solid years of “birtherism” directed at Obama, including statements from his own relatives and rants by the infamous Orly Tate before Donald Trump took up the banner. Then, turnabout being “fair play” Trump got nailed with “pussy grabbing” boasts out of his own mouth. No one sued or made a federal case out of this absolutely garden variety (by American standards) political slander. Moreover, Ms. Clinton has seen it all before during the eight-year presidency of her husband. Way more was concocted and thrown at both their reputations than any of the tame stuff the Russians may have said about her health, age, drinking, mental agility or knee-jerk bellicosity and Russophobia.

        Yet they want to take these thoroughly precedented trivialities and create a mountain out of a mole hill. They want to transform an imperceptible blip on the social media radar into a casus belli equivalent to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. You wouldn’t think any rational thoughtful person would be buying this transparently fallacious dog and pony show, but the Dems, most of the establishment elites and the entire media seem to have become thoroughly invested in it. Talk about minds being a terrible thing to waste! This whole country has become one vast mental wasteland. Frankly, the whole zeitgeist of 21st century America has been nothing short of stunning, has it not?

        [Come on! Why the “moderation” yet again? How can we have a timely conversation with this baseless impediment? I protest.]

        • Gregory Herr
          February 19, 2018 at 18:30

          The lack of proportion, perspective, and just plain common sense with regard to Russiagate has been bad enough…but now for Mueller to come up with this wholly nonsensical indictment without the least bit of “pause” from the “chattering class” is staggering to even begin to contemplate.

          2017 was certainly the Year of Nonsense, so some of the reaction (or non-reaction) to this indictment is not surprising…but even so, one should think that at least a few high-profile people would pull together enough fortitude to raise a finger and say “wait a minute…you’ve got to be joking, right Mueller?”

          I protest moderation of this post as well. If you hadn’t alerted us, I would have missed it like I almost missed that very interesting science-oriented post from several days ago. One major reason I spend as much time as I do perusing these threads is to learn from people with more experience and education. With all the crap from “trolls” that gets through, I am simply confounded that your trenchant and illuminating commentary would ever be a “concern” for moderation.

          • Realist
            February 19, 2018 at 21:59

            I am glad that people such as yourself are interested in reading what I have to say, Gregory, because, based on your own posts, you are highly intelligent, and if you like the content, perhaps I am on the right track.

        • Skeptigal
          February 21, 2018 at 04:10

          Yay, your reply has finally appeared. I completely agree with you. You’re a very astute and articulate write and I appreciate your comments. And I do enjoy your witty sarcasm. It’s great to learn from the knowledge and insight of many of the individuals who comment on this site.

          • Realist
            February 21, 2018 at 04:41

            Outstanding. If my thoughts pass muster with a skeptic, I’m doing something right.

      • Realist
        February 18, 2018 at 00:52

        Look for my response when they get around to “moderating” it in about a day. [PMO!]

        • Realist
          February 19, 2018 at 04:28

          I posted my reply on Saturday night, it is now Monday morning and it is still in moderation. Absurd.

      • Martin - Swedish citizen
        February 18, 2018 at 01:15

        If the allegations are true, they need to be put in perspective:
        – what might be the rational behind? Eg tit-for-tat for Western meddling, arms race, …
        – do other nations engage in similar projects? What are the scale of those?

        Starting in 2014 could it have been triggered by the Kiev coup and Nuland’s was it five billion?

        • Martin - Swedish citizen
          February 18, 2018 at 04:17

          Also, what is not there, like the collusion, the DNC leak, etc

      • irina
        February 18, 2018 at 13:35

        Mueller could have saved himself and his staff a LOT of time and money
        by just reading this article :

        Who knows, maybe Mueller & Co. did read it and just added a lot of window dressing to make it look
        like they were earning their keep ?

    • Piotr Berman
      February 18, 2018 at 03:09

      “is awl inspiring”, with English as my third language, I can only guess that this means “causing a feeling of piercing pain”, unless it was supposed to be “owl inspiring”, i.e. waking up our inner owls and causing us to shout “hoot, hoot”.

      • backwardsevolution
        February 18, 2018 at 04:28

        Piotr Berman – I think it should have said “awe inspiring”.

        Awe: an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime. Example: “They stood in awe of the king.” Or to regard nature’s wonders with awe. Example: “The landscape filled them with awe.”

      • irina
        February 18, 2018 at 13:38

        I thought that was a typo but I like ‘awl inspiring’

        An awl is a heavy, sharply pointed metal tool, usually
        with a rounded wood handle, generally used to punch
        holes in thick materials like leather or sailcloth.

        Not a bad phrase when we need a tool to punch holes
        in thick materials like mainstream media propaganda !

        • Anon
          February 18, 2018 at 15:12

          It is funny – awl inspiring. So is owl inspiring :)!

      • Jessejean
        February 18, 2018 at 18:56

        Piotr–Awl inspiring. Very funny, despite the pedants trying to s’plain it to you. I often feel that awl, especially when watching our esteemed cable news anchors go on and on and on and on about Russia, with hair on fire and brain in park. I’m 73 and countin’ on the kids because the Yuppies can’t find their asses with both hands. It’s so sad.

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