The Mueller Indictments: The Day the Music Died

Exclusive: The FBI’s Russia indictments last week have whipped Democrats and the mainstream media into a frenzy but the “scandal” may be collapsing under its own weight, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare

Fads and scandals often follow a set trajectory.  They grow big, bigger, and then, finally, too big, at which point they topple over and collapse under the weight of their own internal contradictions.  This was the fate of the “Me too” campaign, which started out as an exposé of serial abuser Harvey Weinstein but then went too far when published a story about one woman’s bad date with comedian Aziz Ansari.  Suddenly, it became clear that different types of behavior were being lumped together in a dangerous way, and a once-explosive movement began to fizzle.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

So, too, with Russiagate.  After dominating the news for more than a year, the scandal may have at last reached a tipping point with last week’s indictment of thirteen Russian individuals and three Russian corporations on charges of illegal interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.  But the indictment landed with a decided thud for three reasons:

—  It failed to connect the Internet Research Agency (IRA), the alleged St. Petersburg troll factory accused of political meddling, with Vladimir Putin, the all-purpose evil-doer who the corporate media say is out to destroy American democracy.

—  It similarly failed to establish a connection with the Trump campaign and indeed went out of its way to describe contacts with the Russians as “unwitting.”

—  It described the meddling itself as even more inept and amateurish than many had suspected.

After nine months of labor, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller thus brought forth a mouse.  Even if all the charges are true – something we’ll probably never know since it’s unlikely that any of the accused will be brought to trial – the indictment tells us virtually nothing that’s new.

Yes, IRA staffers purchased $100,000 worth of Facebook ads, 56 percent of which ran after Election Day.  Yes, they persuaded someone in Florida to dress up as Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform and stand inside a cage mounted on a flatbed truck.  And, yes, they also got another “real U.S. person,” as the indictment terms it, to stand in front of the White House with a sign saying, “Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss,” a tribute, apparently, to IRA founder Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the convicted robber turned caterer whose birthday was three days away.  Instead of a super-sophisticated spying operation, the indictment depicts a bumbling freelance operation that is still giving Putin heartburn months after the fact.

Not that this has stopped the media from whipping itself into a frenzy.  “Russia is at war with our democracy,” screamed a headline in the Washington Post.  “Trump is ignoring the worst attack on America since 9/11,” blared another.  “…Russia is engaged in a virtual war against the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and propaganda,” declared the New York Times, while Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter tweeted that the IRA’s activities amounted to nothing less than a “tech Pearl Harbor.”

All of which merely demonstrates, in proper backhanded fashion, how grievously Mueller has fallen short.  Proof that the scandal had at last overstayed its welcome came five days later when the Guardian, a website that had previously flogged Russiagate even more vigorously than the Post, the Times, or CNN, published a news analysis by Cas Mudde, an associate professor at the University of Georgia, admitting that it was all a farce – and a particularly self-defeating one at that.

Mudde’s article made short work of hollow pieties about a neutral and objective investigation. Rather than an effort to get at the truth, Russiagate was a thinly-veiled effort at regime change.  “[I]n the end,” he wrote, “the only question everyone really seems to care about is whether Donald Trump was involved – and can therefore be impeached for treason.

With last week’s indictment, the article went on, “Democratic party leaders once again reassured their followers that this was the next logical step in the inevitable downfall of Trump.”  The more Democrats play the Russiagate card, in other words, the nearer they will come to their goal of riding the Orange-Haired One out of town on a rail.

This makes the Dems seem crass, unscrupulous, and none too democratic.  But then Mudde gave the knife a twist.  The real trouble with the strategy, he said, is that it isn’t working:

“While there is no doubt that the Trump camp was, and still is, filled with amoral and fraudulent people, and was very happy to take the Russians help during the elections, even encouraging it on the campaign, I do not think Mueller will be able to find conclusive evidence that Donald Trump himself colluded with Putin’s Russia to win the elections.  And that is the only thing that will lead to his impeachment as the Republican party is not risking political suicide for anything less.”

Other Objectives of “Russiagate”

No collusion means no impeachment and hence no anti-Trump “color revolution” of the sort that was so effective in Georgia or the Ukraine.  Moreover, while 53 percent of Americans believe that investigating Russiagate should be a top or at least an important priority according to a recent poll, figures for a half-dozen other issues ranging from Medicare and Social Security reform to tax policy, healthcare, infrastructure, and immigration are actually a good deal higher – 67 percent, 72 percent, or even more.

Summed up Mudde: “…the Russia-Trump collusion story might be the talk of the town in Washington, but this is not the case in much of the rest of the country.”  Out in flyover country, rather, Americans can’t figure out why the political elite is more concerned with a nonexistent scandal than with things that really count, i.e. de-industrialization, infrastructure decay, the opioid epidemic, and school shootings.  As society disintegrates, the only thing Democrats have accomplished with all their blathering about Russkis under the bed is to demonstrate just how cut off from the real world they are.

But Russiagate is not just about regime change, but other things as well.  One is repression.  Where once Democrats would have laughed off Russian trolls and the like, they’re now obsessed with making a mountain out of a molehill in order to enforce mainstream opinion and marginalize ideas and opinions suspected of being un-American and hence pro-Russian.  If the RT (Russia Today) news network is now suspect – the Times described it not long ago as  “the slickly produced heart of a broad, often covert disinformation campaign designed to sow doubt about democratic institutions and destabilize the West” – then why not the BBC or Agence France-Presse?  How long until foreign books are banned or foreign musicians?

“I’m actually surprised I haven’t been indicted,” tweets Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky.  “I’m Russian, I was in the U.S. in 2016 and I published columns critical of both Clinton and Trump w/o registering as a foreign agent.”  When the Times complains that Facebook “still sees itself as the bank that got robbed, rather than the architect who designed a bank with no safes, and no alarms or locks on the doors, and then acted surprised when burglars struck,” then it’s clear that the goal is to force Facebook to rein in its activities or stand by and watch as others do so instead.

Add to this the classic moral panic promoted by #MeToo – to believe charges of sexual harassment and assault without first demanding evidence “is to disbelieve, and deny due process to, the accused,” notes Judith Levine in the Boston Review – and it’s clear that a powerful wave of cultural conservatism is crashing down on the United States, much of it originating in a classic neoliberal-Hillaryite milieu.  Formerly the liberal alternative, the Democratic Party is now passing the Republicans on the right.

But Russiagate is about something else as well: war.  As National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster warns that the “time is now” to act against Iran, the New York Times slams Trump for not imposing sanctions on Moscow, and a spooky “Nuclear Posture Review” suggests that the US might someday respond to a cyber attack with atomic weapons, it’s plain that Washington is itching for a showdown that will somehow undo the mistakes of the previous administration.  The more Trump drags his feet, the more Democrats conclude that a war drive is the best way to bring him to his knees.

Thus, low-grade political interference is elevated into a casus belli while Vladimir Putin is portrayed as a supernatural villain straight out of Harry Potter.  But where does it stop?  Libya has been set back decades, Syria, the subject of yet another US regime-change effort, has been all but destroyed, while Yemen – which America helps Saudi Arabia bomb virtually around the clock – is now a disaster area with some 9,000 people killed, 50,000 injured, a million-plus cholera cases, and more than half of all hospitals and clinics destroyed.

The more Democrats pound the war drums, the more death and destruction will ensue.  The process is well underway in Syria, the victim of Israeli bombings and a US-Turkish invasion, and it will undoubtedly spread as Dems turn up the heat. If the pathetic pseudo-scandal known as Russiagate really is collapsing under its own weight, then it’s not a moment too soon.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).


174 comments for “The Mueller Indictments: The Day the Music Died

  1. Virginia
    February 24, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Daniel Lazare, Thanks for spelling it out so plainly. Publish ye, publish ye, publish ye the word. No moment to lose!

    • jose
      February 24, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Dear Virginia: The russiagate fiasco has never stood on solid ground. Think about the following: 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 exchange. After reading these incontrovertible facts, how can anybody with common sense believe that Putin and Trump have colluded to bring down crooked Hilary? Mr. Mueller investigation has proven nothing that corroborates collusion. I rest my case.

      • Nancy
        February 26, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        Well put. But, unfortunately, Russiagate has nothing to do with common sense. It is all about hysteria and disinformation. The two parties are outdoing themselves to prove which one is more ridiculous in their demonization of Russia and Putin.
        At this point, I’d say the Democrats are winning.

        • Braaainz
          March 2, 2018 at 12:06 pm

          You are so correct! Russiagate, much like prior scandals like Benghazigate, Obama’s birther conspiracy, Whitewater, etc… all have nothing to do with common sense.
          Sure, the Mueller investigation has generated indictments, guilty pleas, etc… but OBVIOUSLY even with those findings, there is nothing more to it.
          I mean, how stupid do they think our President is, that he would have kinky sex in Russia where he could be videotaped in compromising situations. Yes yes, he had had sex with porn stars, is on tape talking about sleeping with married women, and stated that he would have sex with his daughter if they weren’t related, but those things are far removed kinky sex in another country.
          Sure, his closest advisors, people who had been with him since the early days of his campaign have indictments and guilty pleas, but I’m sure our President didn’t listen to his advisors at all!
          Yes, there is no common sense.

          • Katt Mann
            March 4, 2018 at 4:02 pm

            Here is some uncommon sense for you to digest, the tape in question is a surveillance cd from the Hotel security system and it does exist . The real question is just what it means. Trump’s kinky sex has nothing to do with running the country now does it? The real damage is the theft of trillions by republican leadership. Trump has only perfected the Art of the Steal.

          • Daniel
            March 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm

            He is REALLY FUCKING STUPID, and apparently so are you !!!

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      That’s “Not a moment to lose” Comrade.

  2. padre
    February 24, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    And just of what would they be accused?Messing around with USA?

    • Anna
      February 25, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Is not it beautiful that the main accuser of Russians in “meddling” is certain Mr. Schiff from a family that was the most influential in bringing Bolshevism to Russia?
      Today, Schiff the younger is trying to bring Bolshevism to the US. Has this “activist” noticed that he has been defending the violations of the US Constitution?

      • I Don't Know
        February 26, 2018 at 10:07 am

        So the most fervent capitalists since the Gilded Age are actually crypto-commies plotting to impose “Bolshevism” on the United States. I am willing to bet my house that you can’t prove this is true. The propensity some people show for naively thinking contradictory information and coincidences prove their pet theories are on par with the laws of physics could only have come about in a society that was bombarded with anti-communist propaganda for 70 years and a population that was subject to an education system that deliberately does not teach citizens how to think critically. It’s actually not a good sign how easily many Americans delude themselves into believing some pretty far-fetched stuff without any solid evidence to back it up.

        Pretend you own a magic Truth device that knows everything that ever happened in the world. It won’t give you details but it will tell you, if you ask, whether your theories and assumptions about an event or a situation are true (or not true).

        But there is a catch: if the all-knowing Truth Machine says that something you believed to be true is in fact NOT true, it will kill you.

        So, would you stake your life on the claims you are making about Wall Street and the Russian Revolution? No you would not. The “moral” of the story, so to speak, is that we know far, far less than we think we do. Learning to accept a certain amount of ambiguity and uncertainty is a must in a world where events are rarely, if ever, shaped by the wills of powerful individuals alone. For one thing they are not that smart and history is not a Hollywood movie with individual heroes and villains determining outcomes for nations and continents with all loose ends and ambiguities wrapped up and resolved after 90 minutes.

      • orwell
        February 27, 2018 at 8:05 pm

        Anna, what planet are you living on?????
        Adam Schiff is trying to bring Bolshevism to the
        United States?!?!?!?! Off your rocker, darling.
        KOOKOO KOOKOO!!!!!!!

    • Nancy
      February 26, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      MEDDLING! It’s a capital crime, you know. It reminds me of something my mother-in-law is guilty of.

      • Gregory Herr
        February 27, 2018 at 6:28 pm


    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      “Conspiracy Against the United States of America.”

  3. Zachary Smith
    February 24, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    First thing I checked before reading this was to check for instances of misuse of the term “liberal”. When I found none at all, the piece suddenly looked very promising. And it was a fine essay!

    A minor quibble was how at the end the author kept referring to how the “U.S” or “Washington” were the forces for the regime changes or flat-out destruction of nations Israel wants destroyed. The crappy little pesthole has been the barely-concealed mastermind of all the “Wars For Israel” which have turned the US of A into a bankrupt laughingstock.

    With that small objection on record, I will declare this was great.

    • February 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Zachary,…I wouldn’t get too hung up on words like “liberal” which have been used and abused to become almost meaningless but yes, “the Democratic Party is now passing the Republicans on the right.” Somehow I think they believe they can pick up enough “moderate” Republicans in the midterms to make up for the “angry white males”(& intellectuals) they lost in the last election…the same losing strategy.

      • Virginia
        February 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm

        It’s the prefix neo- that makes liberal and conservative virtually one and the same, I’ve come to believe.

        • February 24, 2018 at 5:46 pm

          True, Virginia…although neoliberal usually refers to economic policies, while neoconservative most often refers to warhawks. We now see how much their interests have coincided.

        • evelync
          February 24, 2018 at 5:59 pm

          yup – the same sponsors and controllers – the banksters and the MIC…..

          except the neocons give lip service to the second amenders and
          the “right to lifers” and the death penalty while the neolibs give lip service to gun control and abortion rights and are fine with throwing people into their black hole for-profit prisons.

          neither group seems to have any interest in making life better for average working people but supported gutting the New Deal reforms.

          • Virginia
            February 24, 2018 at 7:08 pm

            Yes, Evelync and BobH, I’m glad you both explained that further.

            I posted something on a previous article having to do with how the pubic was engaged in conversations about “incentives for war,” during the 1930s — the same discussion the full public should be having today, but we’re not. MSM is keeping the conversation on the distractions. The comment fits in here as well (but as I keep saying, the articles at CN are coming on so fast and furiously, we’re not always on the same page):

            In Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s book titled “The Untold History of the United States,” second chapter titled The New Deal, it is recounted that there was a big discussion after WWI carried on in the major newspapers about whether or not money making was the incentive for war. There was certainly a lot of awareness then in this country, and a conscience. A by-partisan committee was formed in Congress led by Gerald Nye, hearings were held, and it looked as though progress were made when, the evening before the vote a couple of committee member saboteurs gathered the press together and spun the argument away from the ways the committee had devised to deal with this problem. The public seemed to be in favor for nationalizing all weapons production, and/or limiting the profits, and/or taxing the profits at high rates even up to 100%. There were, of course, many other concerns. Another topic of public discussion was fascism. There was a lot of orchestration in effort to establish our government as fascist.

            Here’s an antibusiness quote by Roosevelt from the book:
            “We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob … They are unanimous in their hate for me — and i welcome their hatred.”

          • jeff montanye
            February 25, 2018 at 1:02 am

            or as george h.w. bush explained neoconservatism to his inquisitive son george w.:


      • CitizenOne
        February 25, 2018 at 2:31 pm

        IMO, there are two hidden agendas behind going after Trump and Russia.

        The first irritant was Mr. Trump’s initial attempts to trim MIC contracts like the F-35 which everyone from the technology side says is an albatross.

        The second irritant was Mr. Trump’s suggestions we stop demonizing Russia and form economic ties which any scholar will agree are the best ways to keep the peace.

        These threats to the MIC’s business model have caused the government and the fake media to ramp up anti Russian propaganda to keep us in a never ending arms race.

        Lastly, the “Russia hacked the election” BS gives the fake media a way to distract us all away from the real reasons D.T. won which starts with their fat bank accounts. They will never speak badly about their business model that is killing democracy.

        Donald Trump is exactly correct to state that the media is the enemy of the American People. I do not know what else to call these propagandists and war mongers that threatens to embroil us in a nuclear war based on false allegations. They ARE our enemy.

        Haven’t we done enough damage to the presidency over this BS? Isn’t it a bridge too far when we sanction an entire nation based on what they did to one person? How much further down that road will they lead us as they bait Congress with taunts to make more sanctions based on nothing at all.

        From NY Times Op Ed

        “Stop Letting the Russians Get Away With It, Mr. Trump”

        By THE EDITORIAL BOARD FEB. 16, 2018

        “The question is whether Mr. Trump will at last accept the fact of Russian interference and take aggressive measures to protect American democracy. For starters, he could impose the sanctions on Russia that Congress overwhelmingly passed, and that he signed into law, last summer. Of course, this would require him to overcome his mysterious resistance to acting against Russia and to focus on protecting his own country.”

        I have a better way for folks to protect our country. Don’t blindly believe what these “journalists” are foisting on Americans.

        The democrats and the media are two great bastions that are in need of serious overhauls if they will ever again serve anything other than their own selfish interests. Between now and then they remain a chief threat to peace and security.

        • CitizenOne
          February 25, 2018 at 2:34 pm
          • February 25, 2018 at 9:49 pm

            The NYT editorial rests on a false premise: that the Mueller indictment is evidence of anything.

            An indictment contains only allegations that have yet to be proved and may never be. It accomplishes two major tasks in our justice system: [i] it certifies that a grand jury has been shown evidence making out a prima facie showing of guilt; [ii] it gives the defendants notice of specific allegations that they must be prepared to meet at trial.

            On the certification, there is no requirement that the prosecution show the grand jury any evidence that would weigh against guilt. Moreover, the presumption of innocence fairly shrieks that indictments cannot be treated as evidence.

            The above characteristics of an indictment are taught to every first-year law student. That The New York Times editorial board would ignore them is a rather stunning example of reaching way too far.

            By the way, the Democratic minority report purporting to rebut the Nunes Memo is out.

        • Joe Tedesky
          February 25, 2018 at 2:52 pm


      • Braaainz
        March 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

        It is indeed a bizarro universe where the Demonocrats are the fiscal conservatives and fighting for state rights and the Republicans are the ones exploding our deficit to new heights of folly and trying to pass laws in favor of federal law trumping (no pun intended) state level ones.

      • Juvenal451
        March 3, 2018 at 12:20 pm

        Educated people know that the opposite of “Liberalism” is “Monarchism.”

    • Zhu Bajie
      February 24, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      Sorry, but you and your leaders are to blame for your own mistakes, including trying to make Jesus return with Middle East wars. You have been condemned to freedom!

      • Brad Owen
        February 25, 2018 at 9:39 am

        That whole theme was hatched by Cecil Rhodes RoundTable gangsters, to actually shore up the British portion of the New Roman Empire in MENA, in the late 1800s (the French, Italians, Spanish, Portugese, and Germans were expected to take care of their shares in the New Roman Empire in the MENA region as soon as they could get the new, imperial, fascist/NAZI Project underway, under the dethroned King George, Gen. Franco, Salazar, Petain, Mussolini, and Hitler. fortunately for the World, Hitler decided he should be top dog, and not any of the others, which led to the fortuitous falling-out that shaped the WWII that actually occurred. The other main project of the Cecil Rhodes gang was to bring in the USA back into the British portion of the New Roman Empire, with a lot of cooperation from the Ivy-League American Tory Imperialists, after working very hard to undermine the New Deal policies of the former continental Republic. In this they succeeded wildly, coming to dominate the Post-War Era. THIS is what is now passing away, to be replaced by a New Silk Road-defined World, free of war, built on cooperative, constructive endeavors, being groomed for welcoming into the universal family of Humanoid Kind, being once again mindful (of a LONG-LOST Truth) that the Universe is The Creator’s creation, and Earth Herself is Sacred Ground, and there is indeed, a Right Way of living.

  4. mike k
    February 24, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    As ludicrous as Russiagate became, it was no joke, and became a real amplifier of the threat of nuclear war, and the relentlessly increasing militarization of America. Without the enthusiastic help of the corporate media, the whole phony narrative would never have got off the ground. Of course the criminals we call the intelligence community did all they could to give it legs, as well. We can only pray that it fades away now, and is not replaced with something else like a shooting war. But that hope is fading now on several fronts……

    • Kiza
      February 24, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      mike k, with respect to you, it is absolutely amazing how much pure, smelly sh** the US intelectual and public discourse produces, thus turning the channels of communications into channels of raw sewerage. It is totally irelevant that some are making money on Russiagate, the problem is with the buyers of it. On such continuing diet most US brains are turning into swill. Russiagate is only one symptom of this intellectual decline, paralleling the decline of everything else in the society, economy, finance and law.

      If we all survive, then the history will record that the US Empire went out not with a bang then with a flush of a toilet. In the mean time I have gotten tired and tuned out of the the-Russians-did, the-Russians-did-not-do-it, because I only wonder what the next turd coming out of the US turd machine after Russiagate will be. How could they invent a bigger one?

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 24, 2018 at 11:13 pm

        Kiza always good to hear your opinion. Apparently this turd will be replaced by another turd fairly soon, if our MSM has anything to do with it, and they surely do.

        I won’t go so far as to say that this ‘Russia is bad’ MSM scenario will completely go away, as it will probably continue just for the sake of continuation if nothing more. What I do suspect is going to replace this haphazard Russian psy-ops will be a special Trump only version of the #metwo movement.

        I can just see it now of how the MSM will carry on from cable news, to the View, to late night talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel, making comments and scandalous allegations of Trump’s womanizing. The goal for the gaggle of media instigators will be to drive Melanie so nuts, that she will file for divorce. This for a media who instead of reporting the news, will instead do all in it’s media power to make the news, this being of course the first sitting presidential divorce ever in American history. In fact this may possibly be the first divorce of any President while in office or as an ex-president…I think.

        If it turns out not to be Trump and his hornyself, and Mueller runs out of straws to go after the Russians, you can best be sure that it will be of something which screams of ‘hey look over here and see what our Orangehead President has done now’. After all the media struck gold with the Donald in the White House, and the MSM will never be able to control itself with such ratings magnets that Trump provides, by his just being Trump.

        So Kiza seeing you appear here I could not resist writing something to you, since you always seem to have a reasonable response. Joe

        • Kiza
          February 25, 2018 at 2:15 am

          Hello Joe, thanks for the kind words.

          Being from Melania’s neck of the woods gives me a bit of an insight into the nature of the Slovenian women – she will not divorce (stab in the back) Trump during presidency, no matter what story the Deep State throws at her.

          When I mentioned the next public discourse turd, I was thinking more along the lines of “the Russians are raping little children”, “Russian paedophilic ring operating in US”, something much more emotionally charged than just “subverting democracy by electing a pussy-grabber into US Presidency”. Something of an extension to the “hundreds of East Damascus children killed by the Russian bombing”.

          I may be wrong here, but we should not over-estimate the creativity of the turd machine. Just consider what is most vile to the majority of the population and attach Russia to it. We have established before that in the public discourse of the post-modern societies the truths do not matter any more, only emotionally charged stories do, and Orwellian appeals to the lowest in the human nature.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 25, 2018 at 12:07 pm

            After Stalin’s death in 1953 Molotov reached out to the U.S. in a manner as to end the Cold War. Eisenhower answered Molotov’s call by making his speech, ‘a Chance for Peace’, which in my view may just be one of the best foreign policy speeches ever made by an American president. Although Eisenhower’s peaceful intended words would be rebuked by John Foster Dulles two days later ending all hopes of the U.S. and Russia ending the original Cold War. File this under the 1944 Democratic Convention where Henry Wallace got chiseled out of the VP slot, or 1963 with the assassination of JFK.

            This is regretful because in my esteem Russia could be a natural ally to the U.S., like Russia was during America’s Civil War, and of course as the two countries were allied during WWII.

            America needs a bogeyman to further its nuclear programs, and Putin serves that purpose very well. So sad.

            America is not fighting wars to win, no America is fighting all those awful battles to get a small few of Americans rich while others lose their god given rights. Joe


        • Joe Tedesky
          February 25, 2018 at 3:14 pm

          Here’s an article describing how Russian interference is deepening the American public’s political divide. No it doesn’t mention of how the American MSM is greatly helping to wedge open that divide, but it does reflect on how the Russians have capitalized on our American opinionated divisions.

        • CitizenOne
          March 2, 2018 at 1:52 am


          Nice to see that you still have a stomach for consuming the BS. It is also very nice you so often comment and connect with the posters on this website. I feel guilty and would ask forgiveness for not returning the same. Not only to you but to many others.

          To all of you but in this case to you Joe I want to thank you so very much for being such an insightful contributor. I have gained a lot of insight from your ability to read between the lines and this is I think the connector that joins us all.

          You have an ability to see and others have this ability too. Discernment is perhaps the greatest gift. To be able to parse through the complexities and see the root of the issue which is often an ugly root indeed.

          This Russia Gate BS is perhaps the gravest threat to humanity. It comes at a time when our intelligence, media and defense agencies feel they have every right to fool us all and escalate tensions for their economic gain risking catastrophe. As I write this Putin is on the defensive stating that he reserves the Samson Option to take down the entire World with a doomsday device if Russia is attacked.

          Thanks man for keeping on!

          What is worse is that the uber wealthy club including the media in the USA have their own reasons to pull the doomsday trigger and launch a nuclear war. A completely unbalanced wealth pyramid with all the wealth at the top all leads to you and me being dispensable. We are simply worthless in the eyes of the ultra wealthy. It is a situation similar to the French when Marie Antoinette said “then let them eat cake” when petitioned to show some grace because the people had no bread to eat. Aristocracy could not care less for the hungering masses and in fact despises them.

          We have all of the mechanisms in place too. We have a propaganda press and fake news not by some foreign government but by our own government controlled press. We have fervent nationalism coupled with military adventures in a number of countries which are seeding chaos and alienating foreign superpowers which possess vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons targeted on US targets and ready to launch.

          Why else would Putin launch a press campaign that he and Russia possessed a doomsday device if it were not for the continuous propaganda campaign to convince us that Russia is secretly in control of our democracy and our electoral process.

          This is ultimately dangerous stuff. We have to ask what is the evidence and what are the facts to support the allegations that Russia is guilty of rigging our elections.

          Sadly the facts behind the allegations are revealed to be nothing more than some inconsequential individuals that were trying to buy influence by buying ads on Facebook. Like Pizza Gate, Facebook is unwittingly the host of a lot of BS not the least of which is home grown domestic fake news.

          It is a sad state indeed that we seem to be forcing Russia into a stance that they will once again invoke a doomsday device to end civilization as we know it just as they did in the 1960’s in order to counter all of the animosity which we can muster in completely fake ways to justify sanctions and repercussions against Russia.

          Thanks Joe. You have done a great deal to call into question this fake media BS. Hats off too for Consortium News and Robert and Nate Parry for tirelessly investigating the facts surrounding historical events and calling BS on BS.

          I’ll post a link on doomsday.

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Team Trump is being charged and pleading guilty to charges because ‘russia-gate” is ludicrous? Whistling in the dark…

  5. Mark Thomason
    February 24, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    From its first moment, this was a Team Hillary exercise, decided on by her in the days right after the election and promoted through her media contracts that had been an extension of her campaign.

    Why? At first they seemed to imagine it possible to reverse the election outcome.

    Then it shifted to Trump hate. Why?

    That was NOT to remove Trump, which was always a long shot and would only produce Pence and angry motivated Trump voters in the next election.

    The Trump derangement syndrome had a calculated purpose to keep donors giving after they were outraged by the waste of their donations. They’d been acting like a donor-strike was in progress. This cured that.

    This fed off the Stages of Grief reactions of those who’d so confidently expected a Hillary win. That helped do it, but was not the real motive. Those who initiated and shaped it were more directed, and aimed at the money. That is why the more likely things to blame, like Comey, were set aside in favor of the easy target of a foreign enemy which was familiar from recent Cold War.

    It was completely cynical, guided by the same greed that had produced the candidacy of Hillary and run it the whole time, doing fund raising in friendly places instead of campaigning in swing states.

    • Sam F
      February 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      The Trump hate comes from the zionists who control the US mass media and the DNC.
      Trump campaigned on the promise to get us out of the Mideast wars for Israel, and for peace with Russia.
      The zionists want the Mideast wars, and hate Russia because it intervened in Syria.

      • robjira
        February 24, 2018 at 3:52 pm

        Tragic truth.

    • Brian
      February 24, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Almost, decided on before the election to cover the murder of a leaker at the DNC.

    • beard681
      February 27, 2018 at 6:44 am

      I like your analysis. Cynical without the usual theorizing about the cabal behind it all.

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:22 pm

      “Hate Trump” is because Trump is a shitty president, without regard to ideology or platform.

  6. JDQ
    February 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    ..please do read this. It gives Liberals more a bashing than Conservatives

  7. Joe Tedesky
    February 24, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Having only as reference my own personal take on our news media the infamous MSM, is that these journalistic bandits are only in the game of twisting the news for the ratings, and to promote their own opportunistic careers. The corporate owned media has replaced responsible reporting with salaisuus promotions of often tragic events in a way that tends to in my eyes be a mere exploitation of these tragedies, as we viewers become glued to our TV screens. This is the way the MSM sell too many needless pharmaceutical products, and their drugs are products, to insurance ad’s and somehow make commercial space for the MIC defense contractors. This is how the MSM makes real money, as they forfeited our learning of anything worthwhile, as to pave the way for more exploitation of our country’s struggles with everything and anything, but all forfeited simply to make the MSM more money.

    It goes without saying that we the American public aren’t necessarily as fooled, and tricked, as our masters would like to believe we are. So to explain away the Empire’s failings certain forces from within our nation’s Beltway are hard at work trying to blame all of their misgivings on another, and that another is Vladimir Putin and his American engineered misunderstood Russians. For this reason our MSM hardly ever put the real Putin on our television screens. No never, these American media producers always when describing Putin, use a prop, or a slimy squinty eyed shirtless Russian stereotype instead. For our MSM ever to air a speech of Putin, or do as Oliver Stone did, is beyond question, so don’t wait up kids to see ever steady Vladimir on our American TV sets because it just isn’t going to happen.

    So now our MSM is exploiting the Florida mass shooting, and it is with their slants and predisposed opinions where I lose faith in anything our media does. Even as terrible as this Florida school shooting was, our MSM must politicize and adhere left right slants to this story as in their daff journalistic heads this is what they must do. Like I said this is my opinion taken from my own experiences, so take my comment for what it is, and not from any references I happened upon.

    • Louise
      February 24, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Well, Joe, money and ratings certainly play a role, but I think that operation Mockingbird is
      in a very active mood. So may be the MIC, which have now legal authority to spread
      propaganda in the US. Therefore I don’t believe that Russa-gate will be allowed to die.

      The profit from this “scandal” goes to the MIC and the IC as well.That is the very dangerous
      part, coupled with “small tactical nuclear weapons” (Obama’s effort) and with perpetual wars.
      Under those circumstances they could never allow for a rational and cool headed Putin.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 24, 2018 at 5:30 pm

        I have to go along with you Louise, that Operation Mockingbird is the media’s go to bible when it comes to deliberately distort, and to place a bias to each story they report to us, only that more as to lead us viewers to where they want us to go. Their pied piper song is like music to our citizen mice ears, and without any alternative to rebuttal their melody of propaganda, we citizens are surely trapped only to obey this piper of doom, as we mice gnaw at each other from inside of our well purposely intentioned cage. So you are right Louise all of this is no accident, but instead this infotainment laced with the governments omissions and lies are all what’s left for us vulnerable citizens to be entertained by, so sit back and enjoy the show. On second thought come to ‘the Consortium’ instead, you just might find kinship as you might also just learn something as well, like the truth. Joe

    • robjira
      February 24, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      Your opinion is astute as they come, Joe. I am in complete agreement.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 24, 2018 at 5:33 pm

        Great minds think alike robjira …do you know any? Joe

        • robjira
          February 24, 2018 at 7:49 pm

          You honor me, Joe. I would say Glen Ford, Rocky Anderson, Eva Bartlet, Julian Assange, Ajamu Baraka, many contributors and commenters here on CN (and I take this opportunity to thank everyone that’s cited both moonofalabama, and StrategicCulture) would fall into that category. The nearly frenzied effort to marginalize like-minded views to the afore mentioned examples underscores this opinion I think. I believe it was Skip Scott who pointed out here on CN that insightful commentary on subjects like the 2016 election, Syria, Ukraine is usually singled out for often vicious condemnation, thereby reinforcing the insightfulness of such commentary.
          The minds are out there, Joe. As long as reasoned skepticism to now overtly imperialist rhetoric and actions remains persistent, there’s still at least that potential counterbalance to the inevitable slide into unrestrained capitalist group suicide.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm

            If you read old consortiumnews articles and the comments you will be impressed to how right this site has been when reviewing the pass, and to where the future may lead us. Just an observation I made. Joe

    • blimbax
      February 24, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      Your statement, “our MSM hardly ever put the real Putin on our television screens,” reminds me of something that happened four years ago on Democracy Now when Amy Goodman had Stephen Cohen on her program. It confirms your statement. The segment began with some video clips, including one that showed Putin speaking at length on the subject. When Goodman turned to Cohen for his comments, he almost immediately made the following statement:

      “You did two things on your introduction which were very important. Almost alone among American media, you actually allowed Putin to speak for himself. He’s being filtered through the interpretation of the mass media here, allegedly, what he said, and it’s not representative.”

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 24, 2018 at 11:38 pm

        When I was growing up in the 50’s & 60’s we Americans were taken back when Nikita Khrushchev made his remark ‘we will bury you’. Now back then I remember as a kid all of the adults getting pretty angry with the Russian Premier, because the main stream interpretation of Khrushchev’s remark, was that Russia would kill all of us Americans as then these Russian invaders would bury all of us red blooded apple pie Chevrolet owners and that would be the end of the American nation as the world then knew it. Scary stuff indeed, but was the Russian leader making a threat, or was he talking in metaphors about the end of capitalism and definitely could Nikita have been pointing to the end of colonialism with his blunt remark? I know what I think, but read what the CIA thought from back in 1962. I’ll give you a hint; the agency didn’t go along with Ambassador Cabot Lodge’s opinion of what Nikita Khrushchev had said.

        • Robert
          February 25, 2018 at 1:19 pm

          A big part of the problem, alluded to above, is that Russians tend to speak in metaphors and parables, that don’t translate well. (These days, when answering a question, Putin will sometimes tell a story that to a person not familiar with the culture will make little sense in relation to the question presented.)
          An effective device of distortion is to translate literally. I remember seeing an interpretation of the ‘bury you’ remark at the time the remark became known, as referring to ‘bury[ing] you’ in industrial production. In the document linked to, there are interpretations of socialism burying capitalism, i.e. as emerging successful/victorious). At least someone was trying to present some sense of the message other than physically destroying and burying bodies of members of another society. You do not make friends amongst the civilian populations of the world by threatening to bury them, and the mission of communism was to proselytize to the masses.

          As an aside, Krushchev was typically presented as a buffoon in the media, and was certainly not the charming polished statesman that the Establishment (and the media) like to see (sound familiar?), but he was actually quite a shrewd and level-headed guy, and certainly no dumbo. He did get the missiles out of Turkey and make our side look like a bunch of amateurs while resisting the willingness of Castro to go ‘all in’, let us brag about ‘winning’, and had begun the important process of diminishing the cult of Stalin by criticizing his excesses, something no one previously dared do, even after Stalin’s death.

          • Joe Tedesky
            February 25, 2018 at 3:01 pm

            Thanks for your input Robert. I think what it all comes down to is when a foreign leader receives from the U.S. the mark of ‘evil’, or the status of being referred to as a ‘tyrant’ then with that this is all the American public needs to hear. Why, we base our patriotism on these models of identification, and with that life in America hobbles along. The truth, and a well balanced appraisal of such a situation, is not to be tolerated as the Estsbished Powers to be laid down their censorship laws going forward. We all are now living inside of a Orwell prediction. Joe

    • Kiza
      February 24, 2018 at 10:53 pm

      Hello Joe, what you explained so eloquently could be summarised as:


      They are always selling something, no boundary between products, services and ideas, always for the profit of their owners.

      Imagine for a moment that people could express their own ideas and opinions in the broadcast media as we do here!? Would not that be a total disaster for the sales? This is why any exchange of information from one point to many, that is what in UK they call broadcast, is a fundamentally flawed method of communication and any intelligent person would stay away from it. This is especially because there is this highly functional alternative method of staying informed of web-zines, where any owner’s or regime’s lie gets savaged very quickly.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 24, 2018 at 11:54 pm

        Kiza both the U.S. & the U.K. are running scared, and thusly one might say that these power weights are scrambling for what next to do. Oh they have the huge infrastructure to out news the public alright, but in the end the public often turns out to be not that stupid. I mean why else is Donald J Trump in the White House, because the deplorables in fly over country had finally had had enough of this establishments games and lies, and there you have it a outrageous tv reality star now sits in the Oval Office.

        Except for the great tv ratings which the MSM is addicted too, this upsets the National Security State or Deep State as it were, and Trump either has to go or he at least must be contained like no other president before him. Their drilling down, and throwing anything they can up against the wall, and if the least of these tryst should stick then they will go with it…no they’ll run with it.

        There is no integrity or nothing like that in our American establishments world, and it shows from every senator to every Russia-Gate inspired congressperson to the clucks on cable news to the NYT & WaPo designated CIA limited hangouts right down to the confused Hillary supporter who demands Putin’s head. We other Americans if we could, should bench these maniac thief’s and set this ship on the straight and narrow, and if we do look back we should only do that as to reference to our American selfs to how vulnerable and stupid we were to be had, for the lack of a better description. Also I would personally like to prosecute those who stool America’s Left Wing. Joe

        • Kiza
          February 25, 2018 at 1:54 am

          A friend once jokingly asked – have you noticed that you can almost never see the hands of all those “news” talking heads, why is that?

          I jokingly replied – that is because they hold shovels in their hands.

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      The “MSM” made up these numerous indictments and gullty pleas? Haha.

  8. irina
    February 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Another good take on this whole mess :

    Thank you to Daniel Lazare and everyone responding to his article with such thoughtful comments.

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      “opennews”? WTF?

  9. Michael Kent
    February 24, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    The author has put together what we already know in a concise, coherent manner. I’m rereading it several times, and taking the gist of this article over to the Politico comments section. It is alarming how the Clinton democrats (and republicans) and the mainstream media have created a rabid, McCarthy-like Russophobic Groupthink among those blinded by their loyalty to Hillary and hatred of Trump.

  10. Skip Scott
    February 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    My main concern with this continuing “theater of the absurd” is that they will blackmail Gates or Manafort and make them lie, and then use that lie to “prove” collusion by Trump with Putin. I am reminded of Karl Rove’s (aka Turd Blossom) quote:

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    We ain’t outta the woods yet, though I wish we were.

    • Dave P.
      February 24, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Skip, your main concern is the scenario which is very likely going to happen. Yesterday, Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour and those two great scholars – Shields and Brooks – she invites every Friday to educate the masses in the most advanced country in the World, were indirectly pointing in that direction. You know, she is a member of CFR, and is probably schooled in the script, in advance by her Real Masters who pull the strings from behind.

      • Juvenal451
        March 3, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        Why do you hate America?

  11. Bob In Portland
    February 24, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Robert Mueller, as the newly appointed head of the FBI, managed to ignore FBI field agents’ reports of 9/11 hijackers and their flight training, he actively concealed the House of Saud’s involvement, and ignored CIA involvement.

    A decade earlier Mueller prosecuted Manuel Noriega without noticing that much of Noriega’s money-laundering, drug smuggling and gun-running was done on the CIA’s behalf at the western end of the Iran-contra operations.

    As a federal prosecutor in the Bay Area Mueller prosecuted what was known as the “drug tug” case, where a ship was busted in SF Bay with lots of drugs. The publisher of the Napa Sentinel investigated and found fingerprints of the CIA all over the case. But Mueller, with the power of the Department of Justice behind him, didn’t.

    In fact, he even turned down Patty Hearst’s request for a pardon. You’re probably asking yourself, “What’s the CIA got to do with Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army?”

    Here you go:

    Yes, Mr. Mueller has spent most of his career covering up crimes which involved our CIA. His career probably started in Vietnam when he became aide-de-camp to 3rd Marine Division’s commanding general, General William K. Jones where he undoubtedly got a security clearance and never reported on the ongoing Phoenix Program.

    Yes, that’s how to get ahead in a country run by the secret police.

    • Lois Gagnon
      February 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      Excellent. Thanks for that historical background on Mueller. He is a snake. It’s so disturbing to watch self identified progressives in my area believe everything he says like it’s in their best interests. I’ve never witnessed a better job of brainwashing in my life.

      • matt
        February 25, 2018 at 11:16 pm

        Yea, lots of glowing reviews of Mueller in the MSM lately. I always wondered if it was co-incidence that his first day as head of the FBI was 9/11

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks Bob I’ve been hoping you would write something, and by this example of your abilities I feel it was worth waiting for. Joe

    • nonsense factory
      February 24, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Nice resume for Mueller – I’d add in Mueller’s role in the coverup of the anthrax attacks, mailed on 9/18/2001 (to media outlets) and on 10/9/2001 (to the Senate), causing a domestic terrorism event that hit the media around 10/16/2001 and closed a Senate building right as the Patriot Act vote came up (its introduction, passage in House and Senate, and signing by GW Bush took place from 10/23/2001 to 10/26/2001).

      The immediate effort of the Bush White House to link the attacks to Saddam Hussain quickly fizzled due to the scientists at Fort Detrick and elsewhere (U Arizona, etc.) rapidly identifying the strain as Ames, the one used widely as an anthrax vaccine challenge strain at a good number of US and British labs (such as Dugway Utah, Battelle in West Jefferson Ohio, Porton Down UK).

      Interestingly enough, the very first FBI team on the case was pulled off by December 2001 or so, probably because they were getting too close to the culprits (it’s very likely that the material in the letters came from covert CIA programs such as Project Clear Vision, run in the 1990s and aimed at replicating or improving on the Soviet biological weapons program, Biopreparat, which was active in the latter decades of the Soviet Union). The leader of that first FBI group, Van Harp, was forced into early retirement over supposed expense accounting abuse.

      Then, Mueller appointed a second FBI group, which went after Steven Hatfill, pursuing him for four years (2002-2006), when he won a multimillion dollar settlement for false accusations. Mueller then appointed a third FBI group, which claimed, after the suspiciously convenient ‘suicide’ (no note) of Bruce Ivins in 2008, that Ivins was the guilty party, case closed. Multiple scientists, including his colleagues at Fort Detrick, pointed out he had no opportunity to synthesize such material, which was technically advanced with good dispersal properties (as per the CIA’s Project Clear Vision program). An independent National Science Foundation review of the evidence pointed out that there was no proof Ivins was responsible; many other labs had access to the strain used.

      Quite a few people have tried to walk this back, claiming the FBI was accidentally incompetent or that they bungled the case, or that any graduate student in microbiology could have carried out the anthrax attacks – that’s rubbish. All evidence points to it being a deliberately engineered false flag attack carried out by members of the Bush Administration (for example, Cheney’s staff were taking anti-anthrax antibiotics a few days after 9/11, which would have facilitated loading letters while not getting exposed, as Judicial Watch revealed). Efforts by the Postal Worker’s Union (who suffered casualties) to get to the truth were killed off, as were many indendent lawsuits.

      The real agenda seems to have been to generate a national panic which would build public support for an invasion of Iraq; this is what Colin Powell was tapping into when he was waving his little tube of anthrax around at the UN. A complete Deep State operation if there ever was one, with the usual disastrous long-term results. These monkeys are just clever enough to tie their own rope; what a pack of lunatics.

      Mueller orchestrated this whole coverup; he’s a complete tool, a Soviet-style functionary and apparatchik of the lowest order; this is also one of many reasons why there was no criminal prosection of the fraudulent banksters involved in the 2008 economic crash. Why anyone would believe anything coming out of his mouth is a complete mystery.

      • Gregory Herr
        February 24, 2018 at 8:06 pm

        Graeme MacQueen’s book on the anthrax attacks is telling. Certainly was coordinated with 9/11 plot to advance fear and promote war on Iraq and “terrorism”. We don’t have to guess why Leahy and Daschle were targeted. Just clever enough indeed…the letters themselves would have been laughable had they not been lethal for an unfortunate few.

      • Joe Tedesky
        February 24, 2018 at 10:18 pm

        Here you may read about Mueller & Comey, and how they investigated the Amerithrax leaving 5 dead. All I know, is although Mueller struggled with this investigation of the anthrax mailing the Patriot Act got passed into law….now wouldn’t some in DC call that a win?

      • backwardsevolution
        February 24, 2018 at 10:29 pm

        nonsense factory – excellent post. Even though I know these guys are pure intentional evil, it’s still shocking to read. And you can see it on Mueller’s face. It looks like he’s lived 300 years already.

    • backwardsevolution
      February 25, 2018 at 2:09 am

      Bob in Portland – really great post!

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      That’s why it’s good that the accused will have trials. BTW, what about the guilty pleas?

  12. Realist
    February 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Two of the most convincing pieces I’ve seen presented online, one an article by David Stockman and the other a video by Jimmy Dore, just shut the door on any notion that Russiagate was anything other than a contrived ruse by Clinton, the Democrats, the intelligence agencies and the rest of the Deep State to discredit the opposition and reverse the results of the election. The data was already out there, the leg work on the so-called “troll farm” was done years ago already by the Guardian, and was just conveniently re-packaged by Mueller to once again mislead and push a new false narrative when the one he strived mightily to bind Putin, Trump and the Russian government together in a treasonous collusion against the American electorate fell flat. This phony baloney about minions of the Kremlin toiling down on a troll farm which made Pravda and Izvestia pale in comparison on the propaganda scale, and which will not ever have to be supported in a court of law with evidence and witnesses, is just an attempt by Mueller to save his own reputation and that of his co-conspirators in their attempted soft coup that has now fallen short. It was all free lance by a bunch of incompetent amateurs who were basically working for some oligarch trying to curry favor with Putin and perhaps make a buck by generating clicks for ads on the internet. Read the article at the following attached link, and view the actual ads and tweets (which generated numbers like “3 likes” or “2 retweets”–how’s that for effectiveness?) displayed by Jimmy Dore in the attached link after that.

    • Realist
      February 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm
      • ranney
        February 24, 2018 at 5:43 pm

        Realist, your link to the David Stockman article is a gem! I loved that – thanks. Is this David Stockman the same or elated to the old economist? I hope comments readers will click on your link. It’s priceless.

    • Realist
      February 24, 2018 at 4:10 pm
      • evelync
        February 24, 2018 at 6:41 pm

        thanks for that link, Realist!
        Jimmy Dore, – very smart guy
        The video after the one you link to is Jimmy Dore – this time interviewing William Binney:
        posted Feb 20th 2018

        Binney wants to disband the secretive FISA court…..FISA, apparently, only hears the government’s evidence not the other side….Pas Bon

        • RnM
          February 24, 2018 at 10:34 pm

          Jimmy Dore is doing valuable service to shed light on the sedition of HRC and company.
          However, his effusive praise of Binney shows some inconsistency (or maybe naivete?). Binney proudly self admits to being the genius behind the NSA’s cleverness at using “degrees of separation” (my quotes) as the “best” (again, my quotes) way to achieve complete survailence of the American public. Geez, already! What a guy to be praising.

          • Kiza
            February 25, 2018 at 3:22 am

            Fair enough, you do not believe in redemption.

            Mr Binney does look as a particularly intensive evil genius, but also an exceptionally brave and patriotic individual. His is an extra-sharp brain and I appreciate any such person on our side no matter what he has done in the past.

            Of the whole interview what I liked the most was his super-simple summary of why the present situation of the universal surveillance is so bad: it is their country now, not our country any more. In other words, those who can enjoy the fruits of universal surveillance and legal impunity when cought lying and fabricating are the new kings of society and even before Magna Carta. The Marxists think that it is still about the rich versus the poor/labor, whilst it has morfed into the powerful versus the powerless, with a significant overlap between the rich and the powerful. The rich have enough resources to buy the tools of power to make themselves even richer and even more powerful, ultimately untouchable. But there is also a whole understructure, in dog houses, which gets thrown a little bone of power and legal impunity every now and then. Good doggies, good doggies – Obama, Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Muller etc. The same will soon be applicable to the Trump Gang of assorted generalissimos and ex-banksters.

            I wonder who came up with the brilliant idea to surveil everybody?

          • February 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm

            Kiza,… “The Marxists think that it is still about the rich versus the poor/labor, whilst it has morfed into the powerful versus the powerless”…You nailed it!

          • Diana
            February 26, 2018 at 3:04 am

            No, RnM, you’ve got it backwards.

            Binney’s team “…created ThinThread, which he and the other officials describe as less intrusive than Trailblazer, which was lacking the privacy safeguards built into ThinThread.” (Wikipedia.).

            Those “privacy safeguards” were built into ThinThread to protect Americans’ constitutional rights. Trailblazer did away with them. In one of the interviews shared by Evelyn and Realist, Binney emphasizes that the current system violates the First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendments of the Constitution. He’s known as a “whistleblower” because he tried to make our lawmakers aware that the new system was unconstitutional.

            The documentary “A Good American” is helpful in understanding how ThinThread was designed. You can find it on Netflix and other streaming services.

          • Gregory Herr
            February 26, 2018 at 7:08 am

            And Diana, “coincidently” enough, ThinThread was replaced not long before 9/11–and Binney says had that not been done, 9/11 wouldn’t have been pulled off. Imagine that.

          • RnM
            March 1, 2018 at 6:40 pm

            Thanks Kiza and Diana. Points well taken.

        • February 25, 2018 at 12:25 pm

          evelync, Realist,…thanks for two very revealing Jimmy Dore interviews

          • February 25, 2018 at 2:06 pm

            Reflecting on the first video, Dore does a masterful job of uncovering the origins of Mueller’s scant “evidence” against Russian interference in the American election…he is clearly not your average “comedian”. The interview with Binney brings up the very troubling issue of “parallel construction” and, interesting enough, the illegal entrapment of drug traffickers…the same people intelligence agencies have been cohorting with in the past. The ramifications for any msm journalists that get out of line is especially significant.

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 24, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      Add this one, as it was first put on this comment board by Paul E Merrell, and ever since Paul posted it I have been forwarding this along with Stockman’s article as one of the best reads when it comes to Mueller &Rosenstein’s released findings of Russia-Gate. Joe

    • February 24, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      Realist wrote: “It was all free lance by a bunch of incompetent amateurs who were basically working for some oligarch trying to curry favor with Putin and perhaps make a buck by generating clicks for ads on the internet.”

      I’ll fix it for ya!

      “It was all free lance by a bunch of incompetent amateurs who were basically working for some oligarch trying to make a buck by generating clicks for ads on the internet.”

      I’m waiting for Mueller to indict every click farm outside the U.S.A. I understand most of them are in Macedonia?

    • Joe Tedesky
      February 25, 2018 at 11:32 am

      You may enjoy reading this, it has links that are cool also.

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Google “NBC News deleted Russian tweets” and you’ll see an article with links to a quarter million Russian tweets, with timestamps.

  13. Clif
    February 24, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you, to see these thoughts in a public domain was a dream come true. Especially the use of the word ‘repression,’ which has been used so profusely to bludgeon other countries for so long, finally being applied evenly. Watch the link to the 92 St. YMCA with Rumsfeld when the moderator threatened to remove the questioner, if you doubt the use of it in this country.

    Concerned about this:

    “Thus, low-grade political interference is elevated into a casus belli”

    I’m still trying to understand why there is this automatic approval of this interpretation of the motives of the internet promotions. Just because there was politically related substance in the media? That’s where the action was. That is business. That is what globalization is. What are they complaining about? They’ve been beating their chests about innovation, technology, and markets and how the Soviets were anti for 50 years and now they’re outraged?


    • Kiza
      February 25, 2018 at 12:53 am

      You contributed an original aspect of this turd-fest called Russiagate – the US Regime has just criminalised one effect of globalisation, of which it has always been the main implementation agent mostly by force.

      Thank you

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      “Political inferference” rises beyond “low grade” when there is a quid pro quo with a foreign adversary. And what about obstruction of justice?

  14. February 24, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Reading all this stuff the term deplorable comes to mind. Hillary is often treated with contempt for using the term. There is nothing wrong with the term except was directed at the wrong group. Deplorable don’t live outside the beltway but inside.. And to be fair it is bi-partisan.

  15. Tristan
    February 24, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Very good article and certainly on point about the emptiness of the allegations in the first place. But a more insidious reading of the charges by Mueller are found in this article,

    I find that the points made in the article linked are indeed worthy of considering in light of our nation’s political trajectory.

  16. February 24, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Can somebody please answer me one question though? If there is truly nothing to this investigation why are Trump and his cronies lying to us (the meeting was about adoptions), obstructing (Comey firing), refusing to answer (executive privilege claims). Are they acting like innocents with nothing to hide?

    • David G
      February 24, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      They’re lying because they are liars, and because they have an enormous amount to hide (money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, Foreign Agents Registration Act – heaven knows what else). Just none of it has to do with this “collusion” nonsense.

    • February 24, 2018 at 6:37 pm

      Ah… Veselnitskaya *did* take the meeting to get allies to repeal the Majinsky Act so that adoptions could resume. Once Jr. realized this he ended the meeting.

      Yeah, the Trumpsters wanted dirt on Hillary (at least they didn’t pay for it like the DNC paid for the Steele Dossier.) But Veselnitskaya didn’t even have dirt. That was a lie made by Rob Goldstone, a British music promoter, to get Jr. to take the meeting.

      Comey? Democrats were howling he should be fired by Obama after he reopened the Clinton email investigation right before the election. It was all their logic on how that was wrong that was the rationale used by Trump to fire Comey. Only after the fact, that they got what they howled for before, did this turn into an obstruction of justice charge.

      Actually, only an idiot freely says anything to people investigating him or her. What do you think, “Anything you say can and WILL be used against you in a court of law,” means? It means even if you tell the truth they still WILL use it against you in court. So why give them any ammunition?

      But, yeah, Trump lies. Why? The same reason Hillary Clinton lies. The same reason James Clapper lies (to Congress, which should put him in jail.) The same reason Obama lies (about putting on comfortable shoes and joining with strikers.) The same reason FDR and LBJ lied.

      It’s what politicians and business types and security state honchos do.

  17. David G
    February 24, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    A reasonable, intelligent response to the Russia-gate indictments by Daniel Lazare. Thanks to him and CN.

    But I think a little more analysis is in order:

    Elsewhere on CN (Feb. 17), Caitlin Johnstone has written that we should see the election collusion/interference fantasy fundamentally as a tool being used by the deep, “national security” establishment to create tension and hostility between the U.S. and Russia. But since it is just a tool, we should realize that it is not indispensable to those behind it, and that now that it is falling apart, those same actors will only devote themselves with new energy to other avenues of propaganda. We must be on guard for that.

    The *secondary* motivator for Russia-gate has been the revulsion and fear that Trump inspired in the more visible Beltway establishment – Dems and many Repubs, and the media – who were shocked by anybody being elected president who wasn’t already pre-programmed and pre-cleared to operate according to their rules and within their comfort zone, and who (the Dems, at least) were outraged by Hillary being deprived of her prophesied birthright. These silly people who fill our TV screens were the “useful idiots” of the deep-state actors who are primarily after Russia, not Trump.

    But – in contrast to the deep-state anti-Russia, “let’s do World War III” aspect – the conventional Beltway motivations are changing. Trump has proved that all his populist noises on the campaign trail meant nothing in terms of what his administration would do, and that he is just a purer example of the standard Repub who will allow the thieving, polluting economic elites to use the government to loot at will. The Repubs are fine with that, and the Dems are pretty comfortable with it as well. So all we are left with is the partisan, culturally anti-“deplorable”, Hillary dead-ender urges of the Dems, resulting in a weakening of the anti-Trump fires.

    But there is a *third* Russia-gate driver in the form of the Mueller investigation itself. We should not underestimate the degree to which a prosecutor will pursue his or her prey unless affirmatively stopped by a deeper, stronger political imperative. And does anybody believe that, having now turned over the rock of TrumpWorld, Mueller is not now confronted with the grossest, crawlingest array of slimy illegality imaginable (some of which may, tangentially, even involve Russia via money laundering or the like)?

    My own guess is that these sad little Russia indictments are Mueller’s way of throwing a bone to the rapidly dissipating Russia-gate wave that got him started, and he will now get on with trying to nail everybody in TrumpWorld with every Federal law they have broken – which is probably pretty much all of them (i.e. all the Trump people broke all the laws) at least insofar as financial and lying-related crimes go.

    The big political battles going forward will have to do with Mueller having strayed from his original mandate (which, now that it isn’t Bill Clinton and Ken Starr, the Repubs aren’t going to like), and the inevitable torrent of pardons good ol’ Cheeto Dust will be issuing in due course.

    • Kiza
      February 25, 2018 at 1:27 am

      Beautiful, insightful comment David G.

      In a real democracy, it would have been perfect to have a permanent public prosecutor from the opposite party chasing the elected official, especially since the parliament (Congress) has relinquished this most important of its functions.

      In reality, such in-fighting in a bi-partisan crooked system will only support the existing race to the bottom. It will expose further the horrible desperation of the fight for power.

    • nonsense factory
      February 25, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Good points indeed. The issue with Mueller going after Trump on his various foreign business dealings, however, is that they lead directly to the business activities of large American corporations like ExxonMobil. This is probably why the FBI also dropped the Clinton Foundation investigations; they’d have to indict the likes of Boeing, who was distributing CF donations and Bill Clinton speaking fees in exchange for expedited State Department approval of sales to foreign nations (who were also donating to the CF).

      In Trump’s case, the FBI might go after, what, hotel deals in Dubai? But that means upsetting the UAE, which hosts the Pentagon, and buys lots of Lockheed Martin / Northrup Grumann / United Defense / Raytheon / General Dynamics products. . . And it’s highly unlikely that the FBI will go after ExxonMobil over their backdoor relationships with Russia’s Rosneft (and that would bring in Rex Tillerson, too).

      Ultimately the FBI has always served the interests of the corporate structure; I think of them as the equivalent of a South American drug cartel’s enforcement division. They might go after some low-level criminals who steal from the cartel, but never after the cartel leaders themselves (which is why there were no 2008 crash prosecutions). Take the case of HSBC, caught laundering $2 billion in El Chapo Guzman’s drug money – they got a deferred prosecution agreement, and James Comey (who had been Lockheed Martin’s attorney after leaving the FBI) went to HSBC to ‘help them with due diligence’ – and that’s where he was when Obama hired him to run the FBI.

      So if Mueller went after these corporate giants to get to Trump, well, that would sour the deal. No lucrative post-FBI positions at major corporate law firms, etc. That’s where the heads of the FBI and their lieutenants always end up – working in some Wall Street office for millions of dollars after their ‘retirement’. It’s basically the white-collar Mafia setup.

      They spend a lot of money on PR to hide this basic fact about the FBI’s role from the public – they’d have you believe they spend all their time tracking down serial child murderers, corrupt politicians, etc.

      • David G
        February 25, 2018 at 1:59 pm

        That’s a valid insight. But I just don’t think exposing Trump shenanigans is really likely to shake the foundations of any major global players, either corporations or states (excluding the oddball republic he happens to be leading at the moment, of course).

        I say this because, when it comes down to it, Trump just is a pretty small fish, financially and business-wise: a TV star who licenses his name, and owns a few office buildings and a chain of golf clubs.

        While some of his cabinet appointments have real money, they don’t seem likely to get tied up in any of this – both on the merits, and for the reasons you allude to, nonsense factory. And the Kushners? Lol, capitalism will survive their downfall.

        But if there’s one big player that seems weirdly tied up with the Trump Organization, and where things could get interesting if Mueller pursues it, for my two cents it’s Deutsche Bank.

    • Juvenal451
      March 3, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      But the Trump State is so…”shallow”….

  18. Seamus Padraig
    February 24, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    “If the RT (Russia Today) news network is now suspect … then why not the BBC or Agence France-Presse?”

    Because the Beeb, Agence France-Presse–well heck, pretty much all the MSM in the West–just slavishly toe the NATO line on every issue of significance.

    • February 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      Good point, Seamus!…the same thought occurred to me when I read it.

  19. Curious
    February 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you for the fine article Mr Lazare.
    I am surprised by the lies having the inertia to last a year or more. Since lies tend to propagate with more layers of lies to hide the untruths of the previous lies, it is amazing how many people are still blurred by these falsehoods.
    Clinton made the obvious lie during the ‘debates’ by repeating over and over her “fact” that all 17 intelligence agencies have proven the Russians were diddling with the US elections. My guess is she is so twisted up by her own deceits that it is easy for her to think everyone does what she does, as it is only natural for her.
    But why didn’t a lot of the Russian story unravel when people found out she was lying about the 17 agencies agreeing? That lie in itself would have invalidated most everything else she said. All it would take is for some TV station to air a loop of her repeating “17 agencies” over and over again and she would be unable to even write a book or two, as she would have been so discredited. But somehow, this never happened, and that huge lie has morphed into more lies and convoluted layers of ‘facts’ that anyone with critical thinking skills could see how the Big Lie was engendered during the debates and propagated further by those with their own agendas. This momentum, or inertia, is baffling and it has to unravel somehow soon I would think. But I’ve been wrong a few times before. So, now the special prosecutor can dig up dirt on anyone whether it involves Russia or not and people will bow down to his interpretation of events, since he himself is above reproach in the eyes of many.
    It’ll turn into another reality TV show and we know Trump at least has that dialed in, if nothing else. What a waste of a news year, without barely a mention of Yemen. “Keep them doped with religion, and sex and TV” while the world burns.

    • February 26, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      The sad part is most who still get their news from MS News sources still believe the 17 agency lie. It still gets repeated now and then by MSNBC, CNN, etc. and rarely is it ever admitted that it was only three agencies and from those three agencies only James Clapper hand picked analysts. Also almost never mentioned is their report clearly states that their conclusion of a “high probability of Russian collusion” is not fact but merely an opinion.

      • CitizenOne
        February 27, 2018 at 12:00 am

        This website is a treasure chest of original intelligent thinking. VIPS or Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity published a memo on Consortium News on July 24, 2017 to President Trump. A group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, cited new forensic studies that challenged the claim of the key Jan. 6 “assessment” that Russia “hacked” Democratic emails last year. The memo challenged the claim that alleged hacks of democratic emails were a Russian job or whether the email hacks were an inside job by domestic sources.

        MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

        FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

        SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?

  20. gcw
    February 24, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    An incisive report into the colossal distraction of Russian interference in our politics. Even if it were true, and that’s a long way from being ascertained, nary a mention by the mainstream media of endless American interference in foreign politics. The most prominent in recent years is, of course, our participation in overthrowing the Ukrainian government. Victoria Nuland, Hillary’s pit bull in eastern Europe, openly gloated about the U.S. spending $5 billion in the effort. Meanwhile, the threat of nuclear war, global climate change, a collapsing infrastructure, etc. , all get sidelined by the “deplorables,” in this case referring to the media.

    • irina
      February 24, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      Not to mention the intercepted phone conversation endorsement of ‘Our Man Yats’.
      And John McCain was right in the thick of all this. It would be embarrassing if it
      wasn’t so extremely corrupt, hypocritical, and downright dangerous. We literally
      gave credibility to Ukraine’s Far (NeoNazi) Right, aka Pravy Sektor, etc.

  21. jaycee
    February 24, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Counterpunch’s Jeffrey St. Clair offers his sardonic take on the Mueller indictments:

    About halfway down this article is a very useful comparison of vote totals for Greens and Libertarians in the 2000 and 2016 federal elections in several of the important swing states. In common, 2016 saw a large surge in votes for Libertarian candidates, and significantly retracted numbers for the Greens (which St Clair attributes to Bernie Sanders’ successful efforts with progressive voters who he then convinced to side with Hillary). Counting the lost Green vote as moving to the Democrats and the increased Libertarian numbers as moving away from Trump, representing a swing favouring the Democrats of some 150,000-225,000 votes in each state and yet they still lost in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The repudiation of the Democrats after they held almost every advantage was significant and Russiagate, in part, is about preventing an honest analysis of that failure.

  22. Robert
    February 24, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    As Mr Putin said to Ms Kelly in her peurile ‘interview’-interrogation: Have you all lost your minds over there?
    But he is patient with these people, as an adult must be with children.

    • Hawaii guy
      February 24, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      I like when he said the Olympians in the west (in regards to there rampant TUEs prescriptions) should be in the paralympics instead. Classic reasoning of a great world leader.

  23. Hawaii guy
    February 24, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    Pretty sure the number of times the western media has used the word Russia over the past 5 years would be over 100 million, while the number of times Russia has used the word US or US election would be less than 8. The west just can’t shut up with its fixations, probably has everything to do with its daily drugs intake.

  24. February 24, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    “No collusion means no impeachment and hence no anti-Trump “color revolution” of the sort that was so effective in Georgia or Ukraine. ”

    Has this turned into Fox News? That’s what they say – the failure to indicate on collusion in the latest indictments means there’s no collusion. The tortured illogic of that argument is so obvious one can easily argue that making the point is a) entirely insincere and b) a slap at the readers by implying they might actually believe such drivel.

    As for a “color revolution” — hasn’t the author noteced that Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist, woman abuser who has nothing but contempt for just about everybody. If one faction of the power structure is trying to rid itself of another faction, one that is utterly repellant, what’s the protest? You are defending the latest president who lost the popular vote.

    The collision issue is still alive but far less potent than the corruption issues. Let’s see… How did Trump get any financing after five bankruptcsies? Where did the financing come from? How much of what looks like blatant money laundering is indeed blatant money laundering? In addition to his neofascist, anti human policies, Trump is a crook. That will be his undoing.

    • Kiza
      February 25, 2018 at 2:22 am

      Mr Collins, you reminded me of a joking comment a read –
      Yes, Trump drained the DC swamp. He drained one small patch of it, large enough to build a new hotel for Ivanka and Jared.

      • February 27, 2018 at 12:51 am

        LOL, that sounds about right.

        The local lore around your nation’s capital has it that the native Americans who predated the establishment of Washington DC had two names for the area – the place the devil [evil spirit] lives and the place nobody goes.

  25. February 25, 2018 at 12:29 am

    “It is certain that ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”

    — James Baldwin, 1972

  26. johnnieandroidseed
    February 25, 2018 at 2:14 am

    I have always thought the whole Russian attack on US elections was much ado about nothing. If, and that’s a big if, they were as effective as the media is claiming, all it proves is that a majority of US voters are idiots. I do want to see some follow through on any financial deals, no matter which party, that any US politician has with a foreign country; Russia, China, Israel, Germany, Canada…

  27. February 25, 2018 at 4:17 am

    In 1984 Orwell said that the “future” looks like a “boot on a human face forever.” I must disagree. I think the future looks more like the majority of completely dumbed down Americans taking and posting selfies of themselves with the nearest mushroom cloud in the background, to hashtags like “how cool is this?” and “awesome!” – oblivious to reality to the freaking end.

  28. ThereisaGod
    February 25, 2018 at 5:50 am

    The NeoCon Democrats are Trotskyite entryists, posing as Liberal Conservatives but, in reality, warmongering revolutionaries working to implement the global Communist State envisaged by the bankers whose agenda they serve. Those bankers who see Communism as the perfect instrument for holding a total monopoly over the world’s power and wealth by owning the global state.
    Where is Henry Ford when you need him?

    • Deniz
      February 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      What about the Lenin communist, the Russian peasants, who gutted the King of England’s cousin and family, striking fear in the monarchs and papacy across Europe? Unlike the US Revolution, this was not merely a transfer of power from one group of elites to another. What exactly is wrong with them?

  29. Madeira
    February 25, 2018 at 5:54 am

    “The more Democrats pound the war drums, the more death and destruction will ensue.”

    Alas, this death and destruction will not take place in the USA. The cost is entirely borne by others, but they don’t count, do they?

    • E. Leete
      February 25, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      22,000 children on this planet die each day due to poverty – and it isn’t on the news.
      the number 1 cause of death on this planet is hunger – and it isn’t mentioned in the news cycle.
      1/4 of all humans live without electricity – 1.6 billion people – but no one is reporting that on my teevee.
      the human species is billions with trillions starving millions to death every year – but Russia Russia Russia…

      • Robert
        February 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm

        It’s not on the news full-time, but we are presented with a constant barrage of fund-raising advertisements replete with wide eyed cuties, from the aid industry whose cost of administration is an order of magnitude higher than the benefits delivered.
        And having 5 wives and 20 kids doesn’t help the situation either.

  30. Babyl-on
    February 25, 2018 at 8:22 am

    We should not underestimate The Empire. For now more than enough people believe the pr opaganda. Its WMD all over again. US citizens suported Vietnam anda Iraq nothing has changed. Slaughter is the American Dream.

  31. Bob Boldt
    February 25, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    First of all the indictments never touched on the so-called “hack” of the Podesta emails.

    Second it is NOT the contention of the indictments that the attempts to sow discord and anti-American feelings actually had a measurable impact on the outcome of the election. Remember a bugler doesn’t have to steal anything to be indicted for breaking into…

    And finally the indictment does not address any attempt to tamper with the actual voting machines or the voter rolls.

    All the above are the real issues that need to be addressed and proven if we are to take the assertions of the Intelligence agencies seriously.

    Next to those three, the indictment of a bunch of disinfo trolls is hardly worth the effort to make stick or even enforce a sentence against the defendants who should by now all be snugly back on Russian soil.

    Nothingberger. I call you forth!

    Oh, and I almost forgot…

    FOUR: No sole American citizen was indicted. That means Mueller was unable to find any evidence of Trump’s alleged collusion with this activity he was supposed to be the beneficiary of. You don’t have to be a fan of Trump to see this as pretty much an exoneration of him, his staff, and his campaign.

    So can we finally let the neoliberals have their thermonuclear war with Russia now in peace?

  32. James Henry
    February 25, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    As an Australian I can only say, what a desperate spin you Republicans are putting on this. Daniel, I look forward to seeing your response when the first of Trump inner circle collapses. For us watchers from outside, it is pretty amazing to watch the GOP prostitute themselves and rationalise virtually anything Trump does to stay in power.

  33. Clif
    February 25, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    i just noticed a Wiklpedia page for the ‘Russian Meddling’ humiliation. Their footnotes for the assertion quote the American State propaganda outlet The New York Times, however, they failed to note (in the opening paragraphs, this rather lengthy entry seems to have been posted instantaneously) the qualification in the DNI report that there were no facts, only conclusions.

    I would expect someone might care to correct the record.

  34. FreeOregon
    February 25, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Bringing an indictment knowing he cannot go to trial, because Russia will no more extradite its citizens to the US for trial than the US would extradite American citizens to Russia for trial, undermines Mueller’s credibility and increases distrust of the FBI and DOJ.

  35. February 25, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    For Mr James Henry, what of the Democrats’ prostitution for their side? We are seeing a breakdown of the power structure that ruled over us all, indeed for a time ruled over the world, the US government as we call it now, “the deep state”. And note that this converges with massive US debt and deficit, huge human population on earth, and major geological earth changes, some of which are human-caused. Russia and China are the two countries most of concern to the US deep state as power players on the world stage.

  36. Joe L.
    February 25, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    Did anyone catch the video by the Real News which shows a former CIA director laughing about the US interfering in other countries elections:

  37. Jim
    February 25, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    BS. The music is still playing and the birds are still singing, even if a bit outta tune or in a way trump-lovers can’t wrap their wee wittle minds around. Getting the orange turd and wouldbe Fuhrer outta the WH is justified on the basis of his being a flat earther dumbass alone imho, but his being a likely Russia stooge and collaborator in regards to their election meddling machinations makes his demise that much sweeter. Why it is that there are so many like you that seemingly approve of that kinda traitorhood will be explained in due time, no, as part of your whines about his continuing mistreatment?

  38. David Martin
    February 26, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Thanks for proving that you know absolutely nothing about Russia — Prigozhin, a Putin insider since Putin’s St Petersburg days and someone who Putin made a billionaire, would NEVER intervene in an US election without direction from Putin himself. Educate yourself about Russian politics — you are just embarrassing yourself.

  39. ThereisaGod
    February 26, 2018 at 6:38 am

    NeoCon Democrats are not “Conservative” in any meaningful sense. They are Trotskyist entryist revolutionaries who have little interest in the well-being of fellow Americans and every interest in establishing a global quasi-Communist State in league with their banking masters and internationally organised Zionism.
    Gentile careerists like Mueller and swathes of the political/Intelligence Services class have sold out to this group.Here’s hoping there is a major faction within the military or elsewhere who will step forward and act before these people get the big war they are trying to manufacture.

  40. Zachary Smith
    February 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

    “Only a fool would voluntarily talk to Robert Mueller”

    Sort of off-topic except for the reference to Mueller, but this article I read at Naked Capitalism is worth pondering. And the video well worth viewing.

    Even if you are innocent, Duane contends, and you only tell the police what they already know, and you only tell the truth, and you never make any mistakes (a highly improbably combination of events), you will not help yourself by speaking to the cops.

    The piece is about President Dumbass, but applies equally well to all citizens.

  41. Billy
    February 26, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    The claiming of yet to be proven claims of hacking and social media mean commenting. As proven facts by pundits, democrats and even Bernie Sanders is disgusting. It’s dishonest, even the original assessments by the hand picked IC analyst put a disclaimer when issuing their report. I don’t even plan on voting any more. I have supported and contributed to democrats for over thirty years. Their pathetic outright lying and refusal to speak out about the “Russia meddled without doubt” lie makes me want to throw up. I now despise the democrats most all of the MSM outlets. I can’t stand republicans. There’s not a politician in the country to vote for. I have no representation. Democracy is dead,

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm


      We have not had any representation for quite some time, and the MSM has been a propaganda machine for my entire life, and I’m 62 years old. They’ve just honed their craft over time. I would suggest taking a look at the Green Party. They basically offer as their platform the same things that the progressive democrats used to. Our only hope for any representation is to build a party that represents the citizens instead of the corporations. The real debate over the extent of the role of government is an honest debate between the Greens and the Libertarians. The Republicrats are one party shilling for Wall Street and the MIC, and they are corrupt to their core.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 26, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      My first vote at the age of 19 was for John Anderson in 1980. By 1982 I was a registered Democrat and voted straight tickets including midterms all the way through 2012 when I cast yet another vote (though thoroughly disenchanted) for Obama. Eight years of Obama essentially extending the Bush Administration and HRC’s record as Secretary of State broke my support. Jill Stein gave my vote a voice I could agree with. The behavior of the Democrats since Trump’s election has sickened me as well, Billy. The longstanding progressive lip service (run left, veer right) has been bad enough. But I never thought so many rank-and-file Democrats who were opposed to the war on Iraq would become such cheerleaders for more of the same simply because Obomber & Killary were on board. And now “Russia did it!” The proverbial last nail in the coffin.
      It’s like Skip says–the Republicrats are one party corrupt to the core.

  42. Patricia Victour
    February 27, 2018 at 11:19 am

    I don’t think the Dims are going to let Russiagate go quietly onto the ash heap. They will flog this dead horse until Doomsday – which, from the looks of things, is not that far off. Already they are gearing up to blame Russian “meddling” for any possible losses in the 2018 and 2020 elections, asking Congress for a billion or so to shore up our antiquated voting system. Which on its face is a great idea, but I don’t trust either party to have voters’ interests in mind.

    • daniel sudduth
      March 4, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      do Dead Horses usually entail Felony charges of conspiracy against the US? do Dead Horses usually have 20 plus indictments?

  43. irina
    February 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I was surprised to find this fairly reasonable piece on The Indictments in WaPo.

    Then I scrolled through the comments. That was scary ! Aren’t WaPo readers supposed to be ‘liberal’
    and ‘enlightened’ ?

    • Deniz
      February 27, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      We have to give credit to the hardworking folks at psyops. It was not too long ago under the Bush Regime, that the Left was the pillar of sanity.

  44. February 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Here is a very important fact that is being overlooked by virtually everyone, this crucial tidbit of information badly needs to be spread far and wide. The author correctly notes that “…IRA staffers purchased $100,000 worth of Facebook ads, 56 percent of which ran after Election Day.” Well, that’s interesting, considering that this fake Russian shell company had been automatically LIQUIDATED by the Russian business registry system due to lack of activity before the primaries (let alone the general election) even began!

    Check this out: “The United Business Registry database in Russia works according to the Federal laws, so after twelve months of inactivity a business is simply liquidated. The Internet Research Agency was liquidated in December 2016 by the government system after it been inactive for twelve month. It’s inactivity implied that the company had no employees, no office, and no bank transactions for at least twelve months.

    The Internet Research company was liquidated on September 2, 2015 by merging with TEKA company. According to the federal business Registry TEKA was a construction retailer. I wasn’t able to find any indication, like an office, phone number, names of the managers or employees, anything at all that would indicate that this company existed. Just like the Internet Research Agency and the Internet Research, TEKA existed only in the federal registry and nowhere else.”

  45. Harry
    February 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    No Dan, you’re correct Vladimir Putin isn’t a supernatural villain. He’s just a run of the mill fascist coward and a mafia boss. Regardless of what he did or didn’t do, we now stuck with our own fascist coward in the white house.

  46. flamingo
    March 1, 2018 at 6:08 am

    All distraction tactics and taking nobody anywhere. Meanwhile the wars drag on, the military bleeds the USA to death, the country descends into chaos, decay and poverty. The current state of absurdity in the USA is a clarifying moment for everyone else. The AG Sessions cant even prosecute the Awans for the greatest IT heist in USA history, he cant even appoint a special counsel to take a peek at the Uranium One scandal and the Clintons, he cant audit the Clinton Foundation regardless of overwhelming evidence of pay for play. Sessions has earned the Mr Magoo tag and will wear it forever. Mueller has even less credibility and is not worth the ink to spell his name. Bring on Trey Gowdy and Make America Rattle Again.

  47. March 2, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Bring back James Comey!!!!! He’s STILL the F.B.I in my eyes AND so is Jody Foster AND Morgan Freeman!!!!

  48. Stephen Bonser
    March 2, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Of course, its ultimately all going to be about money laundering, a crime that the Trumps, the Kushners, Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and others in the Trump universe undoubtedly guilty.

  49. Donald W Mott
    March 2, 2018 at 11:46 am

    The article is extremely one-sided, as are most of the comments. The author completely missed the fact that the indictments of the 13 Russians are just part of the overall picture of the Russian investigation, which is complex. The author’s suggestion that because the indictments did not implicate Trump directly, therefore the entire investigation was a waste of time, is evidence of extremely poor logic and/or a bias in favor of Trump. Perhaps the author is one of those people that would still support Trump even if he stood in the street and shot someone. Further, the author did not acknowledge all the evidence that is already in the public record of connections between Trump’s people and Russia, nor did he mention the many times that Trump’s people lied about these connections. If there is no merit to the Russian investigation, then why all the lies and why have people like Flynn and Manafort been indicted, and why have some people already pled guilty, like Gates and others. What amazes me is that so many conservatives and the GOP in general are willing to stick their collective heads in the sand when the constitution of the country – and therefore the country itself – is so seriously threatened by Trump and his people. Perhaps the best evidence of that is the fact that Trump’s own intelligence chiefs ALL agree that Russia essentially committed warfare on the U.S. by interfering with the 2016 election process, yet Trump continues to minimize this fact and takes no appropriate action against Russia, including implementing the sanctions that were nearly unanimously supported by both houses of Congress and signed into law by Trump himself. Nothing he has done, such as his actions regarding Syria, rises to the level that it should in response to this Russian war on our country. He is not protecting the U.S., he is not protecting the citizens he took an oath to protect. So, my question is this: WHO IS HE PROTECTING?

  50. Ross Quient
    March 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Ignorance is bliss for Mr. Lazare. That was a pathetic attempt to put a “nothing to see here” slant on what an investigation that is about to conclude that the trump campaign, including trump himself, colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

  51. Rod Chesnut
    March 2, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    You wrote: “I do not think Mueller will be able to find conclusive evidence that Donald Trump himself colluded with Putin’s Russia to win the elections.”

    And when it is Mueller Time and he does indeed bring charges and the impeachment process comes for “45” will you Daniel Lazare write and post a retraction? Will you admit you are wrong? This election was stolen. Farce ? FUCK YOU! Russiangate? FUCK YOU!
    You are just banging Trump’s ‘No Collusion’ Drum. As of February 23, 2018, Mueller has secured guilty pleas from five people: former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, private citizen Richard Pinedo, Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan, and former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates.
    Daniel you published this mess of lies on Feb 24th, and already Mueller has proved you wrong.
    Gates has flipped on Manafort. Manfort is the key to prove Trumps collusion with Russia.
    You are wrong! I can only hope you have the balls to admit it and publish your apologies.
    One more thing: Your claim of being ‘self taught on history’ only serves to show what you do not understand about Watergate and Nixon. This Administration will set new records for criminal indictments and convictions. I suggest you read and learn:

  52. March 2, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    For me, this investigation shouldn’t be viewed solely in terms of “collusion” (i.e. did the president or anyone working for him directly collude with Russian operatives or officials to undermine the election).
    I’m not convinced yet that couldn’t have happened, especially given things like the 6/9/16 meeting, which Trump Jr and Manafort took with someone they’d been told was “a Russian government lawyer.” Yes, that meeting went nowhere, apparently, and the “Russian government lawyer” likely wasn’t on the Russian government payroll after all, but neither Trump Jr and Manafort had any way to know that at the time they agreed to the meeting … which they hosted in Trump Tower, I might add.
    But even if that turns out not to be “collusion,” and if no other “collusion” is found, that doesn’t mean the investigation isn’t worthwhile! As an American, I want to know what the Russians were up to, and as far as can be determined, exactly how they went about interfering in our elections. This includes things like, how they used social media to cause needless disruption (which we now know they did, though its extent is only just being revealed); whether or not they hacked DNC servers and emails (it seems very likely); to what extent they timed release of that hacked data for maximum electoral effect; how and when they intruded, or attempted to, into American electoral data systems, at state and local levels; and more.
    Everyone is too hung up on the “collusion” part of this investigation, to notice the “Russian interference” part. Not to mention the ridiculous drivel about “Obama never did anything about it, so it must have been OK!” and “the Democrats ‘colluded’ first, so it must have been OK!” crap. Both of those are diversions, of the fallacious “two wrongs make a right’ sort, and ought to be dismissed out of hand. (Not to mention, hiring a former British spy to collect “oppo research” is not illegal and is not, in and of itself, “collusion.”)
    It’s time for mature heads to prevail. People need to understand the Russians are not our friends. We need to know what they did, so we can keep a better eye on them and be aware of what they might do in the future. If Mueller can help open our eyes to that, so much the better … without regard to whether or not he ever finds any “collusion.”

    • Litchfield
      March 2, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      “how they used social media to cause needless disruption”

      Can you explain to this ignoramus the difference between “needless” and “needed” disruption?
      And, where have you been for the past ten years, when “creative disruption” has been the battle cry of venture capitalists, sociologist, psychologists, etc. etc. ?
      Isn’t it one of the purposes of social media to “cause disruption”?

      Suddenly we hear people whining and wailing about “needless disruption”!
      Get your “disruption”story straight!

  53. Everyone Everywhere
    March 2, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    You’re a hack.

  54. Whatever
    March 2, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Wow. You are all twisted up and over thinking it. Blaming the media like trump.bla bla bla.All of you were surprised trump won. Cut the all thought it was possible that some sort of collusion happened at first. Deep down you still wonder. People lied to the FBI when questioned. What did you expect the media and any rational person to think? I can maybe brush off meddling but not people who lie to the FBI. How hard was it for them to tell the truth? This might not have been such a big deal if people were not being so shady.

  55. Juvenal451
    March 3, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Haha. We KNOW that there was a meeting with Russians regarding Russian help for Team Trump. We KNOW that Team Trump did it’s best to make references to Ukraine disappear from the GOP platform in the summer of ’17. We KNOW that numerous Team Trump members had meetings with Russians which they then lied about. We KNOW that Donald Trump obstructed justice in a number of heavy-ways. “Conspiracy Against the United States.”

  56. Everyone
    March 3, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    What a load of crap. Thank you for wasting my time.

  57. Michael Rohde
    March 4, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    It is interesting, all of this military activity all over the middle east. It reminds me of another talking head that ended up in government. Zbigniew whatever, Carters National Security Adviser did one of those threat assessment, scare the voters things they do to keep up defense spending. He drew this curved line on a map and described it as the “arc of crisis”. Guess where the arc was? This continuing rape of poor Arabs by their monarchists masters with the full alliance of most western democracies that burn oil is the real crisis in the Middle East. How long these people remain poor and unarmed and unorganized is yet to be seen.

    We should remember there was once a Muslim empire that spanned this entire area. It wasn’t run by Northern Europeans with bigger guns and ships. Maybe if let it go back to native rule and the Europeans went home this whole “arc of crisis” would become an arc of peace and prosperity. The biggest problem of the Arabs is Northern Europeans and North Americans in their business and monarchies. It has been that way more or less since the Roman invasion over 2000 years ago. How it all led to the Great Orange getting impeached for dissing a bunch of greedy people he isn’t letting in on the Bonanza there has escaped me except to say at the end of the day it is whose billionaire are you aligned with? Great way to govern a democracy.

  58. daniel sudduth
    March 4, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    those are some good looking cherries you’ve picked there. just an FYI, since you wouldn’t realize it from this sad expose, Trump’s campaign manager and his aid have both been charged with conspiracy against the US. his National Security Adviser is revealed to be a foriegn agent. I guess thats no big deal to traitors and the ostriches who write their defenses.

  59. Joe Welch
    March 4, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    “Fads and scandals often follow a set trajectory. ” You should be plotting missile trajectories. I’m not so sure the Israeli’s would greatly appreciate the lack of depth of your analysis, given that they must make decisions on these trajectories often. I get the impression you’ve never been in the hot seat, nor done any detailed analysis whatsoever. What was your major in college I wonder?

  60. wade myers
    March 4, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Yet this has exposed crimes and Trump associates have even plead guilty to these crimes.

    People don’t do this when there’s nothing going on.

  61. Spot dashills
    March 4, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    What a lovely long shill piece for Trump and the money laundering Russian mob to praise and enjoy. Give it up Danielle, your chosen crooks are roast meat and the whole Republican Party is going down for it. Watch and see.

  62. March 5, 2018 at 12:09 am

    let mueller do his job and quit screwing up the facts.just cause you say something doesn’t make it the truth. don’t be so full of yourself.

  63. March 5, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Wishful thinking. Look at the relative strengths of the links and evidence here, compared with the Clintons and Benghazi, Uranium 1, and pay for play corruption. 10x, 50x, 100x the evidence and linkage with Russia? Certainly far greater and deeper proof thus far. That also dragged on for years, and even now stands resurrected for a final walk-thru for dramatic effect.

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