Spooks Spooking Themselves

As the role of a well-connected group of British and U.S. intelligence agents begins to emerge, new suspicions are growing about what hand they may have had in weaving the Russia-gate story, as Daniel Lazare explains.

By Daniel Lazare Special to Consortium News

With the news that a Cambridge academic-cum-spy named Stefan Halper infiltrated the Trump campaign, the role of the intelligence agencies in shaping the great Russiagate saga is at last coming into focus.  

It’s looking more and more massive.  The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials.  Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration.  Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block “Siberian candidate” Trump.  

The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard DearloveHalper’s friend and business partner.  Sitting in winged chairs in London’s venerable Garrick Club, according toThe Washington Post, Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous “golden showers” opposition research dossier, that Trump “reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin.”

Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down.  When that didn’t work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light.  A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal.

Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as “The Walrus” for his impressive girth, other participants include:

  • Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA.
  • Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat.
  • Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow.
  • Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic.
  • James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence.
  • John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst).


A few things stand out about this august group.  One is its in-bred quality.  After helping to run an annual confab known as the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself “The Cambridge Security Initiative.”  Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet.  Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt’s international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor.

Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else.  But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence.  Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale.  In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump’s future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd.

Halper: Infiltrated Trump campaign

In December 2016, Halper and Dearlove both resigned from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar because they suspected that a company footing some of the costs was tied up with Russian intelligence – suspicions that Christopher Andrew, former chairman of the Cambridge history department and the seminar’s founder, regards as “absurd” as well.

As head of Britain’s foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy.”  When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too. 

Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia’s role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than “a crude political insult” hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine.

The result is a diplo-espionage gang that is very bad at the facts but very good at public manipulation – and which therefore decided to use its skill set out to create a public furor over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

It Started Late 2015

The effort began in late 2015 when GCHQ, along with intelligence agencies in Poland, Estonia, and Germany, began monitoring what they said were “suspicious ‘interactions’ between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents.”  

Since Trump was surging ahead in the polls and scaring the pants off the foreign-policy establishment by calling for a rapprochement with Moscow, the agencies figured that Russia was somehow behind it.  The pace accelerated in March 2016 when a 30-year-old policy consultant named George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser.  Traveling in Italy a week later, he ran into Mifsud, the London-based Maltese academic, who reportedly set about cultivating him after learning of his position with Trump. Mifsud claimed to have “substantial connections with Russian government officials,” according to prosecutors.  Over breakfast at a London hotel, he told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow where he had learned that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

This was the remark that supposedly triggered an FBI investigation.  The New York Times describes Mifsud as “an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia” and “a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends,” which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort.  But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome.  Since it’s unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud’s intelligence ties are more likely with the UK.

After Papadopoulos caused a minor political ruckus by telling a reporter that Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize for criticizing Trump’s anti-Muslim pronouncements, a friend in the Israeli embassy put him in touch with a friend in the Australian embassy, who introduced him to Downer, her boss.  Over drinks, Downer advised him to be more diplomatic.  After Papadopoulos then passed along Misfud’s tip about Clinton’s emails, Downer informed his government, which, in late July, informed the FBI.

Was Papadopoulos Set Up?  

Suspicions are unavoidable but evidence is lacking.  Other pieces were meanwhile clicking into place.  In late May or early June 2016, Fusion GPS, a private Washington intelligence firm employed by the Democratic National Committee, hired Steele to look into the Russian angle.  

On June 20, he turned in the first of eighteen memos that would eventually comprise the Steele dossier, in this instance a three-page document asserting that Putin “has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years” and that Russian intelligence possessed “kompromat” in the form of a video of prostitutes performing a “golden showers” show for his benefit at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton.  A week or two later, Steele briefed the FBI on his findings.  Around the same time, Robert Hannigan flew to Washington to brief CIA Director John Brennan about additional material that had come GCHQ’s way, material so sensitive that it could only be handled at “director level.”  

One player was filling Papadopoulos’s head with tales of Russian dirty tricks, another was telling the FBI, while a third was collecting more information and passing it on to the bureau as well.   

Page: Took Russia’s side.

On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that “Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change.”  Washington hawks expressed “unease” that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia’s side in a growing neo-Cold War.

Stefan Halper then infiltratedthe Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other.

On July 11, Page showed up at a Cambridge symposium at which Halper and Dearlove both spoke. In early September, Halper sent Papadopoulos an email offering $3,000 and a paid trip to London to write a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, his specialty. “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?” Halper asked when he got there, but Papadopoulos said he knew nothing. Halper also sought out Sam Clovis, Trump’s national campaign co-chairman, with whom he chatted about China for an hour or so over coffee in Washington.  

The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that “Russians do have further ‘kompromat’ on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it.”  Clovis believes that Halper was trying “to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign … so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation.”  Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration.

Notwithstanding Clovis’s nutty rightwing politics, his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying “to build something that did not exist.”  Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a “nothing-burger” than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017.  Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws.  

But the corruption charges have nothing to do with Russian collusion and nothing in the indictment against IRA indicates that either the Kremlin or the Trump campaign were involved.  Indeed, the activities that got IRA in trouble in the first place are so unimpressive – just $46,000 worth of Facebook ads that it purchased prior to election day, some pro-Trump, some anti, and some with no particular slant at all – that Mueller probably wouldn’t even have bothered if he hadn’t been under intense pressure to come up with anything at all.  

The same goes for the army of bots that Russia supposedly deployed on Twitter.  As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article, 2,700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day.

The Steele dossier is also underwhelming.  It declares on one page that the Kremlin sought to cultivate Trump by throwing “various lucrative real estate development business deals” his way but says on another that Trump’s efforts to drum up business were unavailing and that he thus “had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success.”

Why would Trump turn down business offers when he couldn’t generate any on his own?  The idea that Putin would spot a U.S. reality-TV star somewhere around 2011 and conclude that he was destined for the Oval Office five years later is ludicrous.  The fact that the Democratic National Committee funded the dossier via its law firm Perkins Coie renders it less credible still, as does the fact that the world has heard nothing more about the alleged video despite the ongoing deterioration in US-Russian relations.  What’s the point of making a blackmail tape if you don’t use it?

Steele: Paid for political research, not intelligence.

Even Steele is backing off. In a legal paper filed in response to a libel suit last May, he said the document “did not represent (and did not purport to represent) verified facts, but were raw intelligence which had identified a range of allegations that warranted investigation given their potential national security implications.”   The fact is that the “dossier” was opposition research, not an intelligence report. It was neither vetted by Steele nor anyone in an intelligence agency. Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer’s expense to “protect” the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government.

Using it Anyway

Nonetheless, the spooks have made the most of such pseudo-evidence. Dearlove and Wood both advised Steele to take his “findings” to the FBI, while, after the election, Wood pulled Sen. John McCain aside at a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to let him know that the Russians might be blackmailing the president-elect.  McCain dispatched long-time aide David J. Kramer to the UK to discuss the dossier with Steele directly. 

Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker found a former national-security official who says he spoke with him at the time and that Kramer’s goal was to have McCain confront Trump with the dossier in the hope that he would resign on the spot. When that didn’t happen, Clapper and Brennan arranged for FBI Director James Comey to confront Trump instead.  Comey later testified that he didn’t want Trump to think he was creating “a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation – I didn’t want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way.”  

But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver “resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I’d sure hate to see end up in the press.”  

Since then, the Democrats have touted the dossier at every opportunity, The New Yorker continues to defend it, while Timescolumnist Michelle Goldberg cites it as well, saying it’s a “rather obvious possibility that Trump is being blackmailed.”  CNN, for its part, suggested not long ago that the dossier may actually be Russian disinformation designed to throw everyone off base, Republicans and Democrats alike.

It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree.  But that’s what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda.  In this case, their efforts are so effective that they’ve gotten lost in a fog of their own making.  If the corporate press fails to point this out, it’s because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice.

Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique, and his articles about the Middle East, terrorism, Eastern Europe, and other topics appear regularly on such websites as Jacobin and The American Conservative.  


126 comments for “Spooks Spooking Themselves

  1. June 8, 2018 at 08:06

    Why no mention that Steele was initially hired by a group of Republicans troubled by the prospect of a Trump presidency? Once it was clear Trump had the nomination they dropped the effort and it was picked up by the Dems. What about the myriad business investments, loans, inflated real estate deals, shady Russian actors embedded in Trumpland? Is it mere coincidence that Trump is peeling the nation away from Canada and our European allies while displaying meek deference to Putin? No mention of multiple attempts on voting software in a number of states, including here in Wisconsin.

    I’m a pretty hardcore lefty who has been puzzled by many on the left to turn a blind eye to what is glaringly apparent: Russian interests have a hold on this presidency. Have the FBI/CIA played some role? I don’t doubt it. Is everything reported true? Of course not. But is it all some psyops? No way. I would expect better analysis from Consortium News.

  2. lachlan
    June 4, 2018 at 10:08

    If only masters who control MSM and social media would permit their organisations to publish for once an item such as this, there would be hope that the sleep-walking zombies might wake from their Gobbles trances to see the worked as it is and not as the MSM and social media dictators dictate they see it. But the world dictators would never permit a scintilla of truth to be seen by the masses for fear of starting a democratic uprising.

  3. Vivian O'Blivion
    June 4, 2018 at 06:36

    Interesting technical detail.


    Mueller is trying to omit the normal burden of legal liability, “wilful intent” in his charges against the St Petersburg, social media operation. In a horrifically complex area such as tax, campaign contributions or lobbying, a foreign entity can be found guilty of breaking a law that they cannot reasonably have been expected to have knowledge of.
    But the omission or inclusion of “wilful intent” is applied on a selective basis depending on the advantage to the deep state.
    From a practical standpoint, omission of “wilful intent” makes it easier for Mueller to get a guilty verdict (in adsentia assuming this is legally valid in America). Once the “guilt” of the St Petersburg staff is established, any communication between an American and them becomes “collusion”.
    This stinks.

  4. RnM
    June 3, 2018 at 05:22

    The Clapper
    hey Hill, i betcha, there s someone out to get you
    you ll find him anywhere, on a double decker Red bus, in a vodka bar, in an mostly empty grocery store
    he ll say, “excuse me, Babushka, haven t i seen you somewhere before?”

    Clap-Clap-Clap, they call him the Clapper
    Clap, Clap, Clap, know what he s after

    so he starts his Clappin, hopin somethin will happen
    he ll say he needs you, a Russkie prossie, an incontinent old girl with a UTI he can talk to
    he s made up his mind, he has a Candidate for a sockin to – Big Time!

    Clap-Clap-Clap, they call him the Clapper
    Clap, Clap, Clap, know what he s after

    He s made an impression, so he makes a suggestion
    come up to my place, for some coffee, or tea, and i hope some pee pee
    he s got you where he wants you, girl, you re gonna face some Royalty

    Clap-Clap-Clap, they call him the Clapper
    Clap, Clap, Clap, know what he’s after

    Clap, Clap, Clap, call him the Clapper

    Apologies to:
    the jaggerz

  5. Realist
    June 3, 2018 at 04:50

    “Russiagate” continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I’d be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished.


    I’ve always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump’s persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama’s public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants’ Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged “puppet.”

    The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That’s what really happened.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 3, 2018 at 14:50

      Realist – good post. I think what you say is true. Trump got too caught up in the birther crap, and Obama retaliated. But I think that Trump had been thinking about the presidency long before Obama came along. He sees the country differently than Obama and Clinton do. Trump would never have built up China to the point where all American technology has been given away for free, with millions of jobs lost and a huge trade deficit, and he would have probably left Russia alone, not ransacked it.

      I saw Obama as a somewhat reluctant globalist and Hillary as an eager globalist. They are both insiders. Trump is not. He’s interested in what is best for the U.S., whereas the Clinton’s and the Bush’s were interested in what their corporate masters wanted. The multinationals have been selling the U.S. out, Trump is trying to put a stop to this, and it is going to be a fight to the death. Trump is playing hardball with China (who ARE U.S. multinationals), and it is working. Beginning July 1, 2018, China has agreed to reduce its tariffs:

      “Import tariffs for apparel, footwear and headgear, kitchen supplies and fitness products will be more than halved to an average of 7.1 percent from 15.9 percent, with those on washing machines and refrigerators slashed to just 8 percent, from 20.5 percent.

      Tariffs will also be cut on processed foods such as aquaculture and fishing products and mineral water, from 15.2 percent to 6.9 percent.

      Cosmetics, such as skin and hair products, and some medical and health products, will also benefit from a tariff cut to 2.9 percent from 8.4 percent.

      In particular, tariffs on drugs ranging from penicillin, cephalosporin to insulin will be slashed to zero from 6 percent before.

      In the meantime, temporary tariff rates on 210 imported products from most favored nations will be scrapped as they are no longer favorable compared with new rates.”


      Trade with China has been all one way. At least Trump is leveling the playing field. He at least is trying to bring back jobs, something the “insiders” could care less about.

      I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I’ve underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The “insiders” are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did.

  6. dikcheney
    June 2, 2018 at 16:55

    Thank you for a clear analysis of the permanent state at work.

  7. Juan P. Zenter
    June 2, 2018 at 14:46

    You only get asked one question when being interviewed for the top spot at an intelligence agency these days. “Are you loyal to the truth or loyal to us?” Guess which is the right answer if you want the job.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 2, 2018 at 21:30

      Juan – so true.

  8. Abe
    June 2, 2018 at 02:20

    “Pentagon documents indicate that the Department of Defense’s shadowy intelligence arm, the Office of Net Assessment, paid Halper $282,000 in 2016 and $129,000 in 2017. According to reports, Halper sought to secure Papadopoulos’s collaboration by offering him $3,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to London, ostensibly to produce a research paper on energy issues in the eastern Mediterranean.

    “The choice of Halper for this spying operation has ominous implications. His deep ties to the US intelligence apparatus date back decades. His father-in-law was Ray Cline, who headed the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence at the height of the Cold War. Halper served as an aide to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Alexander Haig in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

    “In 1980, as the director of policy coordination for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, Halper oversaw an operation in which CIA officials gave the campaign confidential information on the Carter administration and its foreign policy. This intelligence was in turn utilized to further back-channel negotiations between Reagan’s campaign manager and subsequent CIA director William Casey and representatives of Iran to delay the release of the American embassy hostages until after the election, in order to prevent Carter from scoring a foreign policy victory on the eve of the November vote.

    “Halper subsequently held posts as deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and senior adviser to the Pentagon and Justice Department. More recently, Halper has collaborated with Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, the British intelligence service, in directing the Cambridge Security Initiative (CSi), a security think tank that lists the US and UK governments as its principal clients.

    “Before the 2016 election, Halper had expressed his view – shared by predominant layers within the intelligence agencies – that Clinton’s election would prove ‘less disruptive’ than Trump’s.

    “The revelations of the role played by Halper point to an intervention in the 2016 elections by the US intelligence agencies that far eclipsed anything one could even imagine the Kremlin attempting.”

    Long-time CIA asset named as FBI’s spy on Trump campaign
    By Bill Van Auken

  9. CitizenOne
    June 1, 2018 at 23:19

    Sorry for not commenting on other posts as of yet. But I think I have a different perspective. Russia Gate is not about Hillary Clinton or Putin but it is about Donald Trump. Specifically an effort to get rid of him by the intelligence agencies and the MSM. The fact is the MSM created Trump and were chiefly responsible for his election. Trump is their brainchild starlet used to fleece all the republican campaigns like a huckster fleeces an audience. It all ties to key Supreme Court rulings eliminating campaign finance regulations which ushered in the age of dark money.

    When billionaires can donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously to the candidate of their choosing what ends up is a field of fourteen wannabes in a primary race each backed by their own investor(s). The only way these candidates can win is to convince us to vote. The only way they can do that is to spend on advertising.

    What the MSM dreamed of in a purely capitalistic way was a way to drain the wallets of every single one of the republican Super PACs. The mission was frought with potential checkmates. Foe example, there could be an early leader who snatched up the needed delegates for the nomination early on which would have stopped the flow of advertising cash flowing to the MSM. Such possibilities worried the MSM and caused great angst since this might just be the biggest haul they ever took in during a primary season. How would they prevent a premature end of the money river. Like financial vampire bats, ticks and leeches they needed a way to keep the money flowing from the veins of the republican Super PACs until they were sucked dry.

    What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be “hustled”. The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was “in the lead”.

    It was a pure stroke of genius and it worked so well that Carl Rove is looking for a job and Donald Trump is sitting in the White House.

    Those clever media folks. Wat a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton’s and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part.

    What to do? Trump was now the Commander in Chief and was spouting nonsense that the establishment recoiled at such as Trumps plans to form economic ties with Russia rather than continue to wage a cold war spanning 65 years which the MIC used year after year to spook us all and guarantee their billions annual increase in funding. Trump directly attacked defense projects and called for de-funding major initiatives like F35 etc.

    The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the “not a real republican” peace-nick occupying the White House.

    What to do? There was clearly a need to eliminate this bad guy since his avowed policies were in direct opposition to the game plan that had successfully compromised the former administration. They felt powerless to dissuade the Administration to continue the course and form strategies to eliminate Iran, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Ukraine and other vulnerable targets swaying toward China and Russia. They faced a new threat with the Trump Administration which seemed hell bent to discontinue the wars in these regions robbing them of many dollars.

    It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies.

    So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook “influence” that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab.

    In the interim, they also forgot on purpose to tell anyone about the election campaign finance fraud that they were the chief beneficiaries of. They also of course forgot to tell anyone what the fight was about for the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Twenty seven million dollars in dark money was donated by dark money donors enabled by the Supreme Court’s decisions to eliminate campaign finance regulations which enabled these donors to buy out Congress and elect and confirm a Supreme Court Justice who would uphold the laws which eliminate all the election rules and campaign finance regulations dating back to the Tillman Act of 1907 which was an attempt to eliminate corporate contributions in political campaigns with associated meager fines as penalties. The law was weak then and has now been eliminated.

    In an era of dark money in politics protected by revisionist judges laying at the top of our federal judicial branch posing as strict constructionists while being funded by the corporatocracy that viciously fights over control of the highest court by a panicked republican party that seeks to tie up their domination in our Congress by any means including the abdication of the Constitutional authority granted to the citizens of the nation we now face a new internal enemy.

    That enemy is not some foreign nation but our own government which conspires to represent the wealthy and the powerful and which exalts them and which enacts laws to defend their control of our nation. Here is a quote:

    When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

    Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms

  10. John P
    June 1, 2018 at 19:22

    People need a diversity of input to draw conclusions on many happenings in this world. One needs to be aware that Trump’s building in NY was home to a Russian mafia based gambling joint.
    I’m not going to read any responses to this, I’m fed up with the nastiness and divisiness the new technological age has reaped in our society. Civility is being cast out the window. Because of that fewer people look for the broad perspective. The articles brlow should shed some light on the Trump administration, Trump himself and Russian contacts. I hope you read them with open minds and then keep or modify your opinions on the matter as you see fit.

    “Here’s the Email Russian Hackers Used to Try to Break Into State Voting Systems”


    Part 1 “Is Donald Trump a Traitor”


    Part 2 “The Abscent Professor”


    Part 3 “The Case For Obstruction”


    • John P
      June 1, 2018 at 22:15

      Obviously many respondents haven’t read the material.

      “Here’s the Email Russian Hackers Used to Try to Break Into State Voting Systems
      by Sam Biddle – The Intercept – June 1 2018

      Just days before the 2016 presidential election, hackers identified by the National Security Agency as working for Russia attempted to breach American voting systems. Among their specific targets were the computers of state voting officials, which they had hoped to compromise with malware-laden emails, according to an intelligence report published previously by The Intercept.

      Now we know what those emails looked like.

      An image of the malicious email, provided to The Intercept in response to a public records request in North Carolina, reveals precisely how hackers, who the NSA believed were working for Russian military intelligence, impersonated a Florida-based e-voting vendor and attempted to trick its customers into opening malware-packed Microsoft Word files.”

      I’m pro Palestinian, I’m not American, and I like Bernie Sanders.

    • andy--s
      June 4, 2018 at 17:09

      You’re about the same as everyone else on the left. Absolutely will not even allow questions…. :)

      SImple logic:

      1) According to Comey, the clinton private server was a nothing burger. If the clinton server was such a nothing burger, then why was it necessary to open a counter intelligence investigation on Papadopoulos when some stranger offered him the missing emails?

      2) If the FBI was concerned about Russians with access to Clinton server documents or dirt, then why did the FBI investigate Papadopoulos instead of Mifsud, the alleged source. Today Mifsud walks a free man.

      3) What evidence is there that the FBI investigated anyone beside the Trump Campaign in 2016, when sources informed of third parties involved?

      Have a nice day. PLease enjoy the IOG report on Comey/Clinton email server.

  11. Realist
    June 1, 2018 at 04:32

    Different journalist covering much the same ground:


    “Russiagate” is strictly a contrivance of the Deep State, American & British Spookery, and the corporate media propagandists. It clearly needs to be genuinely investigated (unlike the mockery being orchestrated by Herr Mueller from the Ministry of Truth), re-christened “Intellgate” (after the real perpetrators of crime), pursued until all the guilty traitors (including Mueller) who really tried to steal our democratic election are tried, convicted and incarcerated (including probably hundreds complicit from the media) and given its own lengthy chapter in all the history books about “The Election They Tried to Steal and Blame on Russia: How America Nearly Lost its Constitution.” If not done, America will lose its constitution, or rather the incipient process will become totally irreversible.

    • Vivian O'Blivion
      June 1, 2018 at 06:25

      Your timing of events is confused.
      The deep state didn’t try and steal the election because they were overly complacent that their woman would win. Remember, they didn’t try to use the dodgy, Steele dossier before the election.
      What the deep state has done is reactively try to overcome the election outcome by launching an investigation into Trump. The egregious element of the investigation is giving it the title “investigation into collusion” when they in all probability knew that collusion was unlikely to have taken place. To achieve their aim (removing Trump) they included the line “and matters arising” in the brief to give them an open ended remit which allowed them to investigate Trump’s business dealings of a Russian / Ukrainian nature (which may venture uncomfortably close to Semion Mogilevich).
      If as you state (and I concur) there was no Russian collusion, then barring fabrication of evidence by Mueller (and there is little evidence of that to date) you have nothing to worry about on the collusion front. Remember, to date, Mueller has stuck (almost exclusively) to meat and potatoes charges like tax evasion and money laundering. If however the investigation leads to credible evidence that Trump broke substantive laws in the past for financial gain, then it is not reasonable to cry foul.

      • Seer
        June 1, 2018 at 07:02

        The Deep State assisted the DNC in knocking out Sanders. THAT was ground zero. Everything since then has been to cover this up and to discredit Trump (using him as the distraction). Consider that the Deep State never bothered to investigate the DNC servers/data; reason being is that they’d (Deep State) be implicated.

        • Skip Scott
          June 1, 2018 at 07:29

          Very true Seer. That is the real genesis of RussiaGate. It was a diversion tactic to keep people from looking at the DNC’s behavior during the primaries. They are the reason Trump is president, not the evil Ruskies.

          • Vivian O'Blivion
            June 1, 2018 at 08:13

            We all seem agreed that the Russia collusion is an exercise in distraction. I can’t say I know enough to comment with authority on whether the DNC would require assistance from the deep state to trash Bernie. From an outsider perspective it looked more like an application of massively disproportionate spending and standard, back room dirty tricks.
            There is a saying; don’t attribute to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence. In this case, try replacing incompetence with MONEY.

          • dikcheney
            June 2, 2018 at 17:09

            Totally agree with you Skip and the Mueller performance is there to keep up the intimidation and distraction by regularly finding turds to throw at Trump. Mueller doesnt need to find anything, he just needs to create vague intimations of ‘guilty Trump’ and suspicious associates so that no one will look at the DNC or the Clinton corruption or the smashing of the Sanders campaign.

            Their actual agenda is to smother analysis and clear thinking. Thankfully there is the forensicator piecing the jigsaw as well as consortium news.

        • robjira
          June 1, 2018 at 11:55

          Spot on, Seer.

        • michael
          June 1, 2018 at 16:49

          Those servers probably had a lot more pay-to-play secrets from the Clinton Foundation and ring-kissing from foreign big donors than what was released by Wikileaks, which mostly was just screwing over Bernie, which the judge ruled was Hillary’s prerogative. Some email chains were probably construed as National Security and were discreetly not leaked.
          The 30,000 emails Hillary had bit bleached from her private servers are likely in the hands of Russians and every other major country, all biding their time for leverage. This was the carrot the British (who undoubtedly have copies as well) dangled over idiot Popodopolous.

        • Uncle Bob
          June 1, 2018 at 22:33

          Seth Rich

      • anon
        June 1, 2018 at 07:42

        Realist is likely referring to events before the election which involved people with secret agency connections, such as the opposition research (Steele dossier and Skripal affair).

        • Realist
          June 1, 2018 at 09:32

          Realist responded but is being “moderated” as per usual.

      • Realist
        June 1, 2018 at 09:31

        Hillary herself was a prime force in cooking up the smear against Trump for being “Putin’s puppet.” This even before the Democratic convention. Then she used it big time during the debates. It wasn’t something merely reactive after she lost. Certainly she and her collaborators inside the deep state and the intelligence agencies never imagined that she would lose and have to distract from what she and her people did by projecting the blame onto Trump. That part was reactive. The rest of the conspiracy was totally proactive on her part and that of the DNC, even during the primaries.

        Don’t forget, the intel agencies led by Clapper, Brennan and Comey were all working for Obama at the time and were totally acquiescent in spying on the Trump campaign and “unmasking” the identities and actions of his would-be administration, including individuals like General Flynn. The cooked up Steele dossier was paid for by money from the Clinton campaign and used as a pretext for the intel agencies to spy on the Trump campaign. There is no issue on timing. The establishment was fully behind Clinton by hook or crook from the moment Trump had the delegates to win the GOP nomination. (OBTW, I am not a Trump supporter or even a Republican, so I KNOW that I “have nothing to worry about on the collusion front.” I’m a registered Dem, though not a Hillary supporter.)

        Moreover, if you think that Mueller (and the other intel chiefs) have been on the impartial up-and-up, why did the FBI never seize and examine the DNC servers? Why simply accept the interpretation of events given by the private cybersecurity firm (Crowdstrike) that the Clinton campaign hired to very likely mastermind a cover-up? That is exceptional (nay, unheard of!) “professional courtesy.” Why has Mueller to this day not deposed Julian Assange or former British Ambassador Craig Murray, both of whom admit to knowing precisely who provided the leaked (not hacked) Podesta and DNC emails to Wikileaks? Why has Mueller not pursued the potential role of the late Seth Rich in the leaking of said emails? Why has Mueller not pursued the robust theory, based on actual evidence, proposed by VIPS, and supported by computer experts like Bill Binney and John McAfee, that the emails were not, as the Dems and the intel agencies would have you believe on NO EVIDENCE, hacked (by the “Russians” or anyone else) but were downloaded to a flash drive directly from the DNC servers? Why has Mueller not deposed Binney or Ray McGovern who claim to have evidence to bear on this and have discussed it freely in the media (to the miniscule extent that the corporate media will give them an audience)? Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running? Is the media really independent and impartial or are they part of a cover-up, perpetrating numerous sins of both commission and omission in their highly flawed reportage?

        I don’t see clarity in what has been thus far been propounded by Mueller or any of Trump’s other accusers, but I don’t think I am the one who is confused here, Vivian. If you want to meet a thoroughly confused individual on what transpired leading up to this moment in American political history, just go read Hillary’s book. Absolutely everyone under the sun shares in the blame but her for the fact that she does not presently reside in the White House.

        • Vivian O'Blivion
          June 1, 2018 at 13:48

          You have presented your case with a great deal more detail and clarity than the original post that prompted my reply. You are also a great deal more knowledgeable than I on the details. I think we are 98% in agreement and I wouldn’t like to say who’s correct on the remaining 2%.
          For clarity, I didn’t follow the debates and wouldn’t do so now if they were repeated. Much heat very little light.
          The “pretext” that the intel agencies claim launched their actions against Trump was not the Steele dossier, at least that is what the intel agencies say. Either way your assertion that it was the dossier that set things off is just that, an assertion. I think this is a minor point.
          On the DNC servers and the FBI we are 100% singing from the same hymn book and it all sticks. Mueller’s apparent disinterest in the question of hack or USB drive does rather taint his investigation and thanks for pointing this out, I hadn’t thought of that angle. I still think Mueller will stick to tax and money laundering and stay well clear of “collusion”, so yes he may be running a kangaroo court investigation but the charges will be real world.
          The MSM as a whole are a sick joke which is why we collectively find ourselves at CN, Craig Murray’s blog, etc. I wouldn’t like to attribute “collaboration” to any individual in the media. It was the reference to hundreds of journalists being sent to jail in your original post that set me off in the first place. When considering the “culpability” of any individual journalist you can have any position on a spectrum from; fully cognisant collaborator with a deep state conspiracy, to; a bit dim and running with the “sexy” story ’cause it’s the biggest thing ever, the bosses can’t get enough of it and the overtime is great. If American journalists are anything like their UK counterparts, 99% will fall into the latter category.
          Don’t have any issue with your final point. Hillary on stage and on camera was phoney as rocking horse s**te and everyone outside her extremely highly remunerated team could see it.
          Sorry for any inconvenience, but your second post makes your points a hell of a lot clearer than the original.

          • Realist
            June 1, 2018 at 16:26

            My purpose for the first post in this thread was to direct readers to the article in Unz by Mike Whitney, not to compress a full-blown amateur expose’ by myself into a three-sentence paragraph. You would have found much more in the way of facts, analysis and opinion in his article to which my terse comments did not even serve as an abstract.

            Quoting his last paragraph may give you the flavor of this piece, which is definitely not a one-off by him or other actual journalists who have delved into the issues:

            “Let’s see if I got this right: Brennan gets his buddies in the UK to feed fake information on Russia to members of the Trump campaign, after which the FBI uses the suspicious communications about Russia as a pretext to unmask, wiretap, issue FISA warrants, and infiltrate the campaign, after which the incriminating evidence that was collected in the process of entrapping Trump campaign assistants is compiled in a legal case that is used to remove Trump from office. Is that how it’s supposed to work?

            It certainly looks like it. But don’t expect to read about it in the Times.”

          • backwardsevolution
            June 1, 2018 at 16:49

            Vivian – 90% of all major media is owned by six corporations. There most definitely was and IS collusion between some of them to bring down the outsider, Trump.

            As far as individual journalists go, yeah, they’re trying to pay their mortgage, I get it, and they’re going to spin what their boss bloody well tells them to spin. But there is evidence coming out that “some” journalists did accept money from either Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie (sp) or Christopher Steele to leak information, which they did.

            Bill Clinton passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that enabled these six media conglomerates to dominate the news. Of course they’re political. They need to be split up, like yesterday, into a thousand pieces (ditto for the banks). They have purposely and with intent been feeding lies to the American people. Yes, some SHOULD go to jail.

            As Peter Strzok of the FBI said re Trump colluding with Russia, “There was never any there, there.” The collusion has come from the intelligence agencies, in cahoots with Hillary Clinton, perhaps even as high as Obama, to prevent Trump being elected. When that failed, they set out to get him impeached on whatever they could find. Of course Mueller is going to stick with tax and money laundering because he already KNOWS there was never any collusion with Russia.

            This is the Swamp versus the People.

        • backwardsevolution
          June 1, 2018 at 13:52

          Realist – another excellent post. “Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running?” As you rightly point out, Mueller IS being very selective in what he examines and doesn’t examine. He’s not after the whole truth, just a particular kind of truth, one that gets him a very specific result – to take down or severely cripple the President.

          Evidence continues to trickle out. Former and active members of the FBI are now even begging to testify as they are disgusted with what is being purposely omitted from this so-called “impartial” investigation. This whole affair is “kangaroo” all the way.

          I’m not so much a fan of Trump as I am a fan of the truth. I don’t like to see him – anyone – being railroaded. That bothers me more than anything. But he’s right about what he calls “the Swamp”. If these people are not uncovered and brought to justice, then the country is truly lost.

          • Realist
            June 1, 2018 at 16:38

            Precisely. Destroy the man on false pretenses and you destroy our entire system, whether you like him and his questionable policies or not.

            Some people would say it’s already gone, but we do what we can to get it back or hold onto to what’s left of it. Besides, all the transparent lies and skullduggery in the service of politics rather than principles are just making our entire system look as corrupt as hell.

          • michael
            June 1, 2018 at 17:00

            When Mueller arrested slimy Manafort for crimes committed in the Ukraine and gave a pass to the Podesta Brothers who worked closely with Manafort, it was clear that Russiagate was a partisan operation.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 1, 2018 at 18:17

            Michael – good point!

  12. KiwiAntz
    June 1, 2018 at 01:00

    Its becoming abundantly clear now, that the whole Russiagate charade was had nothibg to do with Russia & is about a elaborate smokescreen & shellgame coverup designed to divert attention away from, firstly the Democratic Party’s woeful defeat & its lousy Candidate choice in the corrupt Hillary Clinton? & also the DNC’s sabotaging of Bernie Saunders campaign run! But the most henious & treacherous parts was Obama’s, weaponising the intelligence agencies to spy (Halper) on the imaginary Mancharian Candidate Trump & to set him up as a Russia stooge? Obama & Hillary Clinton are complicent in this disgraceful & illegal activity to get dirt on Trump withe goal of ensuring Clinton’s election win? This is bigger than Watergate & more scandalous? But despite the cheating & stacking of the card deck, she still lost out to the Donald? And this isn’t just illegal its treasonous & willful actions deserving of a lengthy jail incarceration? HRC & her crooked Clinton foundation’s funding of the fraudulent & discredited “Steele Dosier” was also used to implement Trump & Russia in a made up, pile of fictitious gargage that was pure offal? Obama & HRC along with their FBI & CIA spys need to be rounded up, convicted & thrown in jail? Perhaps if Trump could just shut his damn mouuth for once & get off twitter long enough to be able too get some Justice Dept officials looking into this, without being distracted by this Russiagate shellgame fakery, then perhaps the real criminal’s like Halpert, Obama,HRC & these corrupt spooks & spies can be rounded up & held to account for this treasonous behaviour?

  13. Sean Ahern
    May 31, 2018 at 19:25

    Attention should be paid also to the role of so called progressive media outlets such as Mother Jones which served as an outlets for the disinformation campaign described in Lazare’s article.
    Here from David Corn’s Mother Jones 2016 article:

    “And a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump—and that the FBI requested more information from him.”

    Not only was Corn and Mother Jones selected by the spooks as an outlet, but these so called progressives lauded their ‘expose’ as a great investigative coup on their part and it paved the way for Corn’s elevation on MSNBC for a while as a ‘pundit.’

    • Paul G.
      May 31, 2018 at 20:46

      In that vein did the spooks influence Rachel Maddow or is her $30,000. a day salary adequate to totally compromise her microscopic journalistic integrity.

    • dikcheney
      June 3, 2018 at 06:57

      Passing around references to Mother Jones is like passing round used toilet paper for another try. MJ is BS it is entirely controlled fake press.

  14. Abby
    May 31, 2018 at 18:23

    Stefan Halper was being paid by the Clinton’s foundation during the time he was spying on the Trump campaign. This is further evidence that Hillary Clinton’s hands are all over getting Russia Gate started. Then there’s the role that Obama’s justice department played in setting up the spying on people who were working with the Trump campaign. This is worse than Watergate, IMO.

    Rumors are that a few ex FBI agents are going to testify to congress in Comey’s role in covering up Hillary’s crimes when she used her private email server to send classified information to people who did not have clearance to read it. Sydney Bluementhol was working for Hillary’s foundation and sending her classified information that he stole from the NSA.

    Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills were concerned about Obama knowing that Hillary wasn’t using her government email account after he told the press that he only found out about it at the same time they did. He had been sending and receiving emails from her Clintonone email address during her whole tenure as SOS.

    Obama was also aware of her using her foundation for pay to play which she was told by both congress and Obama to keep far away from her duties. Why did she use her private email server? So that Chelsea could know where Hillary was doing business so she could send Bill there to give his speeches to the same organizations, foreign governments and people who had just donated to their foundation.

    Has any previous Secretary of State in history used their position to enrich their spouses or their foundations? I think not.

    The secrets of how the FBI covered for Hillary are coming out. Whether she is charged for her crimes is a different matter.

    • F. G. Sanford
      May 31, 2018 at 19:48

      If Hillary paid a political operative using Clinton Foundation funds – those are tax exempt charitable contributions – she would be guilty of tax fraud, charity fraud and campaign finance violations. Hillary may be evil, but she’s not stupid. The U.S.Government paid Halper, which might be “waste, fraud and abuse”, but it doesn’t implicate Hillary at all. Not that she’s innocent, mind you…

    • Rob
      June 1, 2018 at 02:14

      I need some references to take any of your multitude of claims seriously. With all due respect, this sound like something taken from info wars and stylized in smartened up a little bit.

  15. May 31, 2018 at 14:52

    the idea that Stefan Halper was some sort a of mastermind spy behind the so called “Russiagate” fiasco
    seems very implausible considering what he seems to have spent doing for the past 40 years
    going back to the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980 and his efforts then.

    i think he must have had a fairly peripheral role as to whatever or not was going on behind the scenes from 2016 election campaign, and the campaign to first stop Trump getting elected, and secondly, when that failed, to bring down his Presidency.

    of course, the moment his name was revealed in recent days, would have shocked or surprised those of in the general
    public, but not certainly amongst those in Government aka FBI/CIA/Military-industrial circles.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 31, 2018 at 16:36

      chris m – Halper is probably one of those people who hide behind their professor (or other legitimate) jobs, but are there at the ready to serve the Deep State. “I understand. You want me to set up some dupes in order to make it look like there was or could be actual Russian meddling. Gotcha.” All you’ve got to do is make it “look like” something nefarious was going on. This facilitates a “reason” to have a phony investigation, and of course they make it as open-ended an investigation as possible, hoping to get the target on something, anything.

      Well, they’ve no doubt looked long and hard for almost two years now, but zip. However, in their zeal to get rid of their opponent, who they did not think would win the election, they left themselves open, left a trail of crimes. Whoops!

      This is the Swamp that Trump talked about during the election. He’s probably not squeaky clean either, but he pales in comparison to what these guys have done. They have tried to take down a duly-elected President.

    • F. G. Sanford
      May 31, 2018 at 17:09

      His role may have been peripheral, but I seem to recall that the Office of Net Assessments paid him roughly a million bucks to play it. That office, run from the Pentagon, is about as deep into the world of “black ops” spookdom as you can get. Hardly “peripheral”, I’d say.

      • backwardsevolution
        May 31, 2018 at 19:13

        F. G. Sanford – yes, a million bucks implies something more than just a peripheral involvement, more like something essential to the plot, like the actual setting up of the plot. Risk of exposure costs money.

    • ranney
      May 31, 2018 at 18:17

      Chris, I think the Halper inclusion in this complex tale is simply an example of how these things work in the ultra paranoid style of spy agencies. As Lazare explains, every one knew every one else – at least at the start of this, and it just kind of built from there, and Halper may have been the spark – but the spark landed on a highly combustible pile of paranoia that caught on fire right away. This is how our and the UK agencies function. There is an interesting companion piece to this story today at Common Dreams by Robert Kohler titled The American Way of War. It describes basically the same sort of mind set and action as this story. I’d link it for you if I knew how, but I’m not very adept at the computer. (Maybe another reader knows how?)

      We (that is the American people who are paying the salaries of these brain blocked, stiff necked idiots) need to start getting vocal and visible about the destructive path our politicians, banks and generals have rigidly put us on. Does any average working stiff still believe that all this hate, death and destruction is to “protect” us?

      • backwardsevolution
        May 31, 2018 at 19:07

        ranney – when you are on the page that you want to link to, take your cursor (the little arrow on your screen) to the top of the page to the address bar (for instance, the address for this article is:

        Once your cursor is over the address bar, right click on your mouse. A little menu will come up. Then position your cursor down to the word “copy” and then left click on your mouse. This will copy the link.

        Then proceed back to the blog (like Consortium) where you want to provide the link in your post. You might say, “Here is the link for the article I just described above.” Then at this point you would right click on your mouse again, position your cursor over the word “paste”, and then left click on your mouse. Voila, your link magically appears.

        If you don’t have a mouse and are using a laptop pad, then someone else will have to help you. That’s above my pay grade. Good luck, ranney.

        • irina
          May 31, 2018 at 20:13

          If you are using a Mac, either laptop w/touch screen or with a mouse, the copy/paste function
          works similarly. Use either the mouse (no need to ‘right click, left click’) or the touch screen
          to highlight the address bar once you have the cursor flashing away on the left side of it.
          You may need to scroll right to highlight the whole address. Then go up to Edit (there’s also
          a keyboard command you can use, but I don’t) in your tool bar at the top of your screen.
          Click on ‘copy’. Now your address is in memory. Then do the same as described above to
          get back to where you want to paste it. Put your cursor where you want it to be ‘pasted’.
          Go back to ‘edit’ and click ‘paste’. Voila !

          This is a very handy function and can be used to copy text, web addresses, whatever you want.
          Explore it a little bit. (Students definitely overuse the ‘paste and match style’ option, which allows
          a person to ‘paste’ text into for example an essay and ‘match the style’ so it looks seamless, although
          unless carefully edited it usually doesn’t read seamlessly !)

          Remember that whatever is in ‘copy’ will remain there until you ‘copy’ something else. (Or your
          computer crashes . . . )

        • ranney
          June 1, 2018 at 15:39

          Irina and Backwards Evolution – Thanks guys for the computer advice! I’ll try it, but I think I need someone at my shoulder the first time I try it.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 1, 2018 at 20:53

            ranney – you’re welcome! Snag one of your kids or a friend, and then do it together. Sometimes I see people posting things like: “Testing. I’m trying to provide a link, bear with me.” Throw caution to the wind, ranney. I don’t worry about embarrassing myself anymore. I do it every day and the world still goes on.

            I heard a good bit of advice once, something I remind my kids: when you’re young, you think everybody is watching you and so you’re afraid to step out of line. When you’re middle-aged, you think everybody is watching you, but you don’t care. When you’re older, you realize nobody is really watching you because they’re more concerned about themselves.

            Good luck, ranney.

          • irina
            June 2, 2018 at 22:00

            I find it helpful to write down the steps (on an old fashioned piece of paper, with old fashioned ink)
            when learning to use a new computer tool, because while I think I’ll remember, it doesn’t usually
            ‘stick’ until after using it for quite a while. And yes, definitely recruit a member of the younger set
            or someone familiar with computers. My daughter showed me many years ago how to ‘cut & paste’
            and to her credit she was very gracious about it. Remember that you need a place to ‘paste’ what-
            ever you copied — either a comment board like this, or a document you are working on, or (this is
            handy) an email where you want to send someone a link to something. Lots of other possibilities too!

    • mike
      June 1, 2018 at 19:43

      No one is presenting Halper as a mastermind spy. He was a tool of the deep state nothing more.

  16. May 31, 2018 at 13:57

    It seems a mistake to frame the “Russiagate” nonsense as a “Democrat vs Republican” affair, except at the most surface level of understanding in terms of our political realities. If one considers that the Bush family has been effectively the Republican Party’s face of the CIA/deep state nexus for decades, as the Clinton/Obama’s have been the Democratic Party’s face for decades now, what comes into focus is Trump as a sort of unknown, unexpected wild card not appropriately tethered to the control structure. Simply noting that the U.S. and Russia need not be enemies is alone enough to require an operation to get Trump into line.
    This hardly means this is some sort of “partisan” issue as the involvement of McCain and others demonstrates.

    One of the true “you can’t make this stuff up” ironies of the Bush/Clinton CIA/deep state nexus history is worth remembering if one still maintains any illusions about how the CIA vets potential presidents since they killed JFK. During Iran/Contra we had Bush, the former CIA director now vice president, running a drugs for arms operation out the White House through Ollie North, WHILE then unknown Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was busy squashing Arkansas State Police investigations into said narcotics trafficking. Clinton obviously proved his bona fides to the CIA/deep state with such service and was appropriately rewarded as an asset who could function as a reliable president. Here in one operation we had two future presidents in Bush and Clinton both engaged in THE SAME CIA drug running operation. You truly can’t make this stuff up.

    Russiagate seems to be in the end all about keeping deep state policy moving in the “right direction” and “hating Russia” is the only entree on the menu at this time for the whole cadre of CIA/deep state, MIC, neocons, Zionists, and all their minions in the MSM. The Obama White House would have gladly supported Vlad the Impaler as the Republican candidate that beat Hillary if Vlad were to have the appropriate foaming at the mouth “hate-Russia” vibe going on.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 31, 2018 at 19:18

      Gary – great post.

      • irina
        May 31, 2018 at 20:18

        Roger that. I would really like to see an inquiry re-opened into the
        teenage boys who died ‘on the train tracks’ in Arkansas during the
        early years of the Clinton-Bush trafficking. Many questions are still
        unanswered. Speculation is that they saw something they weren’t
        supposed to see.

  17. Mark Thomason
    May 31, 2018 at 13:12

    This all grows out of the failure to clean up the mess revealed by the Iraq fiasco. Instead, those who did that remained, got away with it, and are doing more of the same.

  18. Babyl-on
    May 31, 2018 at 12:46

    So, here is my question – Who, ultimately does the permanent/bureaucratic/deep/Imperial* state finally answer to? Who’s interests are they serving? How do they know what those interests are?

    It could be, and increasingly it looks as if, the answer is – no one in particular – but the Saud family, the Zionist cabal of billionaires, the German industrialist dynasties, the Japanese oligarchy and never forget the arms dealers, all of them once part of the Empire now fighting for themselves so we end up with the high level apparatchiks not knowing what to do or who to follow so they lie outright to Congress and go on TV and babble more lies for money.

    It’s a great contradiction that the greatest armed force ever assembled with cutting edge robotics and AI yet at the same time so weak and pathetic it can not exercise hegemony over the Middle East as it seems to desire more than anything. Being defeated by forces with less than 20% of the US spend.

    • Abby
      May 31, 2018 at 18:36

      You’re right. They answer to no one because they are not just working in this country, but they think that the whole world is theirs.

      To these people there are no borders. They meet at places like the G20, Davos and wherever the Bilderberg group decides to meet every year. No leader of any country gets to be one unless they are acceptable to the Deep State. The council of foreign relations is one of the groups that run the world. How we take them down is a good question.

    • Vivian O'Blivion
      June 1, 2018 at 10:04

      Yep, can’t really improve on that. Some would say those people view us as serfs. Occasional contributor to CN, Craig Murray floated the concept a couple of months back that we would be considered more as helots, to be culled and used as target practice at their whim.
      History teaches that the spartans died out while the helots lived on. Just have to figure a way to ensure that history repeats itself.

  19. Abe
    May 31, 2018 at 12:43

    Following the pattern of mainstream media, Daniel Lazare assiduously avoids mentioning Israel and pro-Israel Lobby interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Israel-gate reality underlying all the Russia-gate fictions.

    For example, George Papadopoulos is directly connected to the pro-Israel Lobby, right wing Israeli political interests, and Israeli government efforts to control regional energy resources.

    Lazare mentions that Papadapoulos had “a friend in the Israeli embassy”.

    But Lazare conspicuously neglects to mention numerous Israeli and pro-Israel Lobby players interested in “filling Papadopoulos’s head” with “tales of Russian dirty tricks”.

    Papadopoulos’ LinkedIn page lists his association with the right wing Hudson Institute. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank part of pro-Israel Lobby web of militaristic security policy institutes that promote Israel-centric U.S. foreign policy.


    The Hudson Institute confirmed that Papadopoulos was an intern who left the pro-Israel neoconservative think tank in 2014.

    In 2014, Papadopoulos authored op-ed pieces in Israeli publications.

    In an op-ed published in Arutz Sheva, media organ of the right wing Religionist Zionist movement embraced by the Israeli “settler” movement, Papadopoulos argued that the U.S. should focus on its “stalwart allies” Israel, Greece, and Cyprus to “contain the newly emergent Russian fleet”.

    In another op-ed published in Ha’aretz, Papadopoulos contended that Israel should exploit its natural gas resources in partnership with Cyprus and Greece rather than Turkey.

    In November 2015, Papadapalous participated in a conference in Tel Aviv, discussing the export of natural gas from Israel with a panel of current and past Israeli government officials including Ron Adam, a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Eran Lerman, a former Israeli Deputy National Security Adviser.

    Among Israel’s numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region.

    Israeli plans to develop energy resources and expand territorial holdings in the Syrian Golan are threatened by the Russian military presence in Syria. Russian diplomatic efforts, and the Russian military intervention that began in September 2015 after an official request by the Syrian government, have interfered with the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis “dirty war” in Syria.

    Israeli activities and Israel-gate realities are predictably ignored by the mainstream media, which continues to salivate at every moldy scrap of Russia-gate fiction.

    Lazare need no be so circumspect, unless he has somehow been spooked.

    • May 31, 2018 at 16:13

      “Among Israel’s numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region.”

      And water. Rating energy and water, what’s at the top for Israel. Israel would probably say both but Israel shielded by the US will take what it wants. That is already true with the Palestinians.. The last figure I heard is that the Palestinians are allocated one fifth per capita what is allocated to Israel’s

  20. mike k
    May 31, 2018 at 11:59

    A large swamp is actually an ancient and highly organized ecosystem. Only humans could create a lawless madness like Washington DC.

    • irina
      May 31, 2018 at 20:24

      Yes that is a good description of a swamp. BUT, if it loses what sustains it —
      water, in the case of a ‘real’ swamp and money in the case of this swamp —
      it changes character very quickly and becomes first a bog, then a meadow.

      I am definitely ready for more meadowland ! But the only way to create it
      is to voluntarily redirect federal taxes into escrow accounts which stipulate
      that the funds are to be used for (fill in the blank) Public Services at the
      Local and Regional levels. Much more efficient than filtering them through
      the federal bureaucracy !

      • Sam F
        May 31, 2018 at 22:21

        But how would one avoid prosecution for nonpayment of taxes?
        That seems a very quiet way to be rendered ineffective as a resister.

        • irina
          June 1, 2018 at 02:30

          The thing is, you don’t ‘nonpay’ them. The way it used to work, through the
          Con$cience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Account, was that you filed
          your taxes as usual. (This does require having less withholding than you owe).
          BUT instead of paying what is due to the IRS, you send it to the Escrow Account.
          You attach a letter to your tax return, explaining where the money is and why it
          is there. That is, you want it to be spent on _________________(fill in the blank)
          worthy public social service. Then you send your return to the IRS.

          When I used to do this, I stated that I wanted my tax dollars to be spent to develop
          public health clinics at neighborhood schools. Said clinics would be staffed by nurse
          practitioners, would be open 24-7 and nurses would be equipped with vans to make
          House Calls. Security would be provided.

          So you’re not ‘nonpaying’ your taxes, you are (attempting) to redirect them. Eventually,
          after several rounds of letters back and forth, the IRS would seize the monies from the
          escrow account, which would only release them to the IRS upon being told to by the
          tax re-director. Unfortunately, not enough people participated to make it a going concern.
          But the potential is still there, and the template has been made and used. It’s very scale-
          able, from local to international. And it would not take that many ‘re-directors’ to shift the
          focus of tax liability from the collector to the payor. Because ultimately we are liable for
          how our funds are used !

          • Bill
            June 2, 2018 at 15:19

            this was done a lot during the Vietnam conflict, especially by Quakers. the first thing, if you are a wage earner, is to re-file a W2 with maximum withholdings-that has two effects: 1) it means you owe all your taxes in April. 2) it means the feds are deprived of the hidden tax in which they use or invest your withholding throughout the year before it’s actually due(and un-owed taxes if you over over-withhold). Pretty sure that if a large number of people deprive the government of that hidden tax by under-withholding, they will begin to take notice.

  21. Abe
    May 31, 2018 at 11:54

    Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence agency of the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom.

    In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK. Snowden’s revelations began a spate of ongoing disclosures of global surveillance and manipulation.

    For example, NSA files from the Snowden archive published by Glenn Greenwald reveal details about GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) unit, which uses “dirty trick” tactics to covertly manipulate and control online communities.

    JTRIG document: “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations”

    In 2017, officials from the UK and Israel made an unprecedented confirmation of the close relationship between the GCHQ and Israeli intelligence services.

    Robert Hannigan, outgoing Director-General of the GCHQ, revealed for the first time that his organization has a “strong partnership with our Israeli counterparts in signals intelligence.” He claimed the relationship “is protecting people from terrorism… not only in the UK and Israel but in many other countries.”

    Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to the UK, commented on the close relationship between British and Israeli intelligence agencies. During remarks at a Conservative Friends of Israel reception, Regev opined: “I have no doubt the cooperation between our two democracies is saving British lives.”

    Hannigan added that GCHQ was “building on an excellent cyber relationship with a range of Israeli bodies and the remarkable cyber industry in Be’er Sheva.”

    The IDF’s most important signal intelligence–gathering installation is the Urim SIGINT Base, a part of Unit 8200, located in the Negev desert approximately 30 km from Be’er Sheva.

    Snowden revealed how Unit 8200 receives raw, unfiltered data of U.S. citizens, as part of a secret agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency.

    After his departure from GCHQ, Hannigan joined BlueteamGlobal, a cybersecurity services firm, later re-named BlueVoyant.

    BlueVoyant’s board of directors includes Nadav Zafrir, former Commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Unit 8200. The senior leadership team at BlueVoyant includes Ron Feler, formerly Deputy Commander of the IDF’s Unit 8200, and Gad Goldstein, who served as a division head in the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, in the rank equivalent to Major General.

    In addition to their purported cybersecurity activities, Israeli. American, and British private companies have enormous access and potential to promote government and military deception operations.

    • mike k
      May 31, 2018 at 12:23

      Thanks Abe. Sounds like a manual for slave owners and con men. What a tangled wed the rich bastards weave. The simple truth is their sworn enemy.

    • Sam F
      May 31, 2018 at 22:19

      Interesting that a foreign power would be given all US communications data, which implies that the US has seized it all without a warrant and revealed it all in violation of the Constitution. If extensive, this use of information power amounts to information warfare against the US by its own secret agencies in collusion with a foreign power, an act of treason.

      • Seer
        June 1, 2018 at 07:18

        This has been going on for a LONG time, it’s nothing new. I seem to recall 60 Minutes covering it way back in the 70s(?). UK was allowed to do the snooping in the US (and, likely, vice versa) and then providing info to the US. This way the US govt could claim that it didn’t spy/snoop on its citizens. Without a doubt Israel has been extensively intercepting communications in the US..

        Secrecy kills.

      • Sam F
        June 1, 2018 at 08:23

        Yes, but the act of allowing unregulated foreign agencies unwarranted access to US telecoms is federal crime, and it is treason when it goes so far as to allow them full access, and even direct US bulk traffic to their spy agencies. If this is so, these people should be prosecuted for treason.

  22. F. G. Sanford
    May 31, 2018 at 11:36

    To listen to the media coverage of these events, it is tempting to believe that two entirely different planets are being discussed. Fox comes out and says Mueller was “owned” by Trump. Then, CNN comes out and says Trump was “owned” by Clapper. Clapper claims the evidence is “staggering”, while video clips of his testimony reveal irrefutable perjury. Some of President Trump’s policies are understandably abhorrent to Democrats, while Clinton’s email server and charity frauds are indisputably violations of Federal statutes. Democrats are attempting to claim that a “spy” in the Trump campaign was perfectly reasonable to protect “national security”, but evidence seems to indicate that the spy was placed BEFORE there was a legitimate national security concern. Some analysts note that, while Mueller’s team appears to be Democratic partisan hacks, their native “skill set” is actually expertise in money laundering investigations. They claim that although Mr. Trump may not be compromised by the Russian government, he is involved with nefarious Russian organized crime figures. It follows, according to them, that given time, Mueller will reveal these illicit connections, and prosecution will become inevitable.

    Let’s assume, for argument, that both sides are right. That means that our entire government is irretrievably corrupt. Republicans claim that it could “…go all the way to Obama”. Democrats, of course, play the “moral high ground” card, insinuating that the current administration is so base and immoral that somehow, the “ends justify the means”. No matter how you slice it, the Clinton campaign has a lot more liability on its hands. The problem is, if prosecutions begin, people will “talk” to save their own skins. The puppet masters can’t really afford that.

    “All the way to Obama”, you say? I think it could go higher than that. Personally, I think it could go all the way to Dick Cheney, and the ‘powers that be’ are in no mood to let that happen.

    • Vivian O'Blivion
      May 31, 2018 at 12:19

      The issue as I see it is that from the start everyone was calling the Mueller probe an investigation into collusion and not really grasping the catch all nature of his brief.


      It’s the “any matters arising…” that is the real kicker. So any dodgy dealing / possible criminal activity in the past is fair game. And this is exactly what in happening with Manafort.
      Morally you can apply the Nucky Johnson defence and state that everyone knew Trump was a crook when they voted for him, but legally this has no value.
      There is an unpleasant whiff of deep state interference with the will of the people (electoral college). Perhaps if most bodies hadn’t written Trump’s chances off in such an off hand manner, proper due diligence of his background would have uncovered any liabilities before the election.
      If there is actionable dirt, can’t say I am overly sympathetic to Trump. Big prizes sometimes come with big risks.

      • David G
        May 31, 2018 at 17:14

        My own feeling from the start has been that Mueller was never going to track down any “collusion” or “meddling” (at least not to any significant degree) because the whole, sprawling Russia-gate narrative – to the extent one can be discerned – is obviously phony.

        But at the same time, there’s no way the completely lawless, unethical Trump, along with his scummy associates, would be able to escape that kind of scrutiny without criminal conduct being exposed.

        So far, on both scores, that still seems to me to be a likely outcome, and for my part I’m fine with it.

        • Vivian O'Blivion
          June 1, 2018 at 05:29

          My thoughts exactly. Collusion was never a viable proposition because the Russians aren’t that stupid. Regardless of any personal opinion regarding the intelligence and mental stability of Donald Snr., the people he surrounds himself with are weapons grade stupid. I don’t see the Russians touching the Trump campaign with a proverbial barge pole.

          • Bill
            June 2, 2018 at 15:26

            it just happens that Trump appears to have been involved (wittingly or not), with the laundering a whole lot of Russian money…and so many of his friends seem to be connected with wealthy Russian oligarchs as well…plus they are so stupid, they keep appearing to (and probably are) obstructing justice. The Cohen thing doesn’t get much attention here, but it’s significant that they have all this stuff on a guy who is clearly Trump’s bagman.

    • Steve Naidamast
      May 31, 2018 at 15:15

      There is also quite an indication that the entire Mueller investigation is a complete smoke screen to be used as cannon fodder in the mainstream media.

      On the one hand, Mueller and his hacks have found nothing of import to link Trump to anything close to collusion with members of the Russian government. And I am by no means a Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination, except as a foil to Clinton. However, even my minimalist expectations for Trump have not worked out either.

      In addition. the Mueller investigation has been spending what appears to be a majority of its time on ancillary matters that were not within the supposed scope and mandate of this investigation. Further, a number of indictments have come down against people involved with such ancillary matters.

      The result is that if Mueller is going beyond the scope of his investigatory mandate, this may come in as a technicality that will allow indicted persons to escape prosecution on appeal.

      Such a mandate, I would think, is the same thing as a police warrant, which can find only admissible evidence covered by the warrant. Anything else found to be criminally liable must be found to be as a result of a completely different investigation that has nothing to do with the original warrant.

      In other words, it appears that the Mueller investigation was allowed to commence under a Republican controlled Congress for the very reason that its intent is simply to go in circles long enough for Republicans to get their agendas through, which does not appear to be working all too well as a result of their high levels of internecine party conflicts.

      This entire affair is coming to show just how dysfunctional, corrupt, and incompetent the entirety of the US federal government has become. And to the chagrin of all sincere activists, no amount of organized protesting and political action will ever rid the country of this grotesque political quagmire that now engulfs the entirety of our political infrastructure.

      • Sam F
        May 31, 2018 at 20:48

        Very true that the US federal government is now “dysfunctional, corrupt, and incompetent.”
        What are your thoughts on forms of action to rid us this political quagmire?
        (other than ineffective “organized protesting and political action”)
        Have you considered new forms of public debate and public information?

      • Seer
        June 1, 2018 at 07:34

        All of this is blackmail to hold Trump’s feet to the fire of the Israel firsters (such actions pull in all the dark swampy things). By creating the Russia blackmail story they’ve effectively redirected away from themselves. The moment Trump balks the Deep State will reel in some more, airing innuendos to overwhelm Trump. Better believe that Trump has been fully “briefed” on all of this. John Bolton was able to push out a former OPCW head with threats (knew where his, the OPCW head’s children were). And now John Bolton is sitting right next to Trump (whispering in his ear that he knows ways in which to oust Trump).

        What actual “ideas” were in Trump’s head going in to all of this (POTUS run) is hard to say. But, anything that can be considered a threat to the Deep State has been effectively nullified now.

      • Vivian O'Blivion
        June 1, 2018 at 08:22

        Possible, but Manafort already tried to get his charges thrown out as being the outcome of investigations beyond the remit … He failed.

  23. Brendan
    May 31, 2018 at 10:26

    There’s no doubt at all that Joseph Mifsud was closely connected with western intelligence, and with MI6 in particular. His contacts with Russia are insignificant compared with his long career working amongst the elite of western officials.
    Lee Smith of RealClearInvestigations lists some of the places where Mifsud worked, including two universities:

    “he taught at Link Campus University in Rome, (…) whose lecturers and professors include senior Western diplomats and intelligence officials from a number of NATO countries, especially Italy and the United Kingdom.

    Mifsud also taught at the University of Stirling in Scotland, and the London Academy of Diplomacy, which trained diplomats and government officials, some of them sponsored by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council, or by their own governments.”

    Two former colleagues of Mifsud’s, Roh and Pastor, recently interviewed him for a book they have written. Those authors could very well be biased, but one of them makes a valid point, similar to one that Daniel Lazare makes above:
    “Given the affiliations of Link’s faculty and staff, as well as Mifsud’s pedigree, Roh thinks it’s impossible that the man he hired as a business development consultant is a Russian agent.”

    Politically, Mifsud identifies with the Clintons more than anyone else, and claims to belong to the Clinton Foundation, which has often been accused of being just a way of funneling money into Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    As Lee Smith says, if Mifsud really is a Russian spy, “Western intelligence services are looking at one of the largest and most embarrassing breaches in a generation. But none of the governments or intelligence agencies potentially compromised is acting like there’s anything wrong.”

    From all that we know about Joseph Mifsud, it’s safe to say that he was never a Russian spy. If not, then what was he doing when he was allegedly feeding stories to George Papadopoulos about Russians having ‘dirt’ on Clinton?


    • David G
      May 31, 2018 at 16:25

      I read somewhere that Mifsud had disappeared. Was that true? If so, is he back, or still missing?

      • Chet Roman
        May 31, 2018 at 18:21

        Here are some excerpts that will answer your question from an article by Lee Smith at Realclearinvestigations, “The Maltese Phantom of Russiagate”.

        A new book by former colleagues of Mifsud’s – Stephan Roh, a 50-year-old Swiss-German lawyer, and Thierry Pastor, a 35-year-old French political analyst – reports that he is alive and well. Their account includes a recent interview with him.

        Their self-published book, “The Faking of Russia-gate: The Papadopoulos Case, an Investigative Analysis,” includes a recent interview with Mifsud in which he denies saying anything about Clinton emails to Papadopoulos. Mifsud, they write, stated “vehemently that he never told anything like this to George Papadopoulos.” Mifsud asked rhetorically: “From where should I have this [information]?”

        Mifsud’s account seems to be supported by Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat who alerted authorities about Papadopoulos. As reported in the Daily Caller, Downer said Papadopoulos never mentioned emails; he spoke, instead, about the Russians possessing material that could be damaging to Clinton. This new detail raises the possibility that Mifsud, Papadopoulos’ alleged source for the information, never said anything about Clinton-related emails either.

        In interviews with RealClearInvestigations, Roh and Pastor said Mifsud is anything but a Russian spy. Rather, he is more likely a Western intelligence asset.

        According to the two authors, it was a former Italian intelligence official, Vincenzo Scotti, a colleague of Mifsud’s and onetime interior minister, who told the professor to go into hiding. “I don’t know who was hiding him,” said Roh, “but I’m sure it was organized by someone. And I am sure it will be difficult to get to the bottom of it.”

        • Toby McCrossin
          June 1, 2018 at 01:54

          ” The Papadopoulos Case, an Investigative Analysis,” includes a recent interview with Mifsud in which he denies saying anything about Clinton emails to Papadopoulos. Mifsud, they write, stated “vehemently that he never told anything like this to George Papadopoulos.””

          Thank you for providing that explosive piece of information. If true, and I suspect it is, that’s one more nail in the Russiagate narrative. Who, then, is making the claim that Misfud mentioned emails? The only source for the statement I can find is “court documents”.

  24. Sam F
    May 31, 2018 at 09:20

    The election scams serve only to distract from the Israel-gate scandal and the oligarchy destruction of our former democracy. Mr. Lazare neglects to tell us about that. All of Hillary’s top ten campaign bribers were zionists, and Trump let Goldman-Sachs take over the economy. KSA and big business also bribed heavily.

    We must restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual donations, for democracy is lost.

    We must eliminate zionist fascism from our political parties, federal government, and foreign policy. Obviously that has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious preference.

    Otherwise the United States is lost, and our lives have no historical meaning beyond slavery to oligarchy.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 31, 2018 at 09:51

      You are right Sam. Israel does work the fence under the guise of the Breaking News. Joe

      • Sam F
        May 31, 2018 at 20:18

        My response was that Israel massacres at the fence, ignored by the zionist US mass media.

    • mike k
      May 31, 2018 at 11:48

      The extreme wealth and privileges of oligarchy depend on the poverty and slavery of others. Inequality of income is the root cause of most of our ills. Try to imagine what a world of economic equals would be like. No striving for more and more wealth at the expense of others. No wars. What would there be to fight over – everyone would be content with what they already had.

      If you automatically think such a world would be impossible, try to state why. You might discover that the only obstacle to such a world is the greedy bastards who are sitting on top of everybody, and will do anything to maintain their advantages.

      • mike k
        May 31, 2018 at 11:52

        How do the oligarchs ensure your slavery? With the little green tickets they have hoarded that the rest of us need just to eat and have a roof over our heads. The people sleeping in the streets tell us the penalty for not being good slaves.

      • Sam F
        May 31, 2018 at 12:50

        Very true, Mike. Those who say that equality or fairness of income implies breaking the productivity incentive system are wrong. No matter how much or how little wage incentive we offer for making an effort in work, we need not have great disparities of income. Those who can work should have work, and we should all make an effort to do well in our work, but none of us need the fanciest cars or grand monuments to live in, just to do our best.

        Getting rid of oligarchy, and getting money out of mass media and elections, would be the greatest achievement of our times.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 31, 2018 at 17:30

        An old socialist friend of my dad’s generation who claimed to have read the biography of Andrew Carnegie had told me over a few beers that Carnegie said, “that at a time when he was paying his workers $5 a week he ‘could’ have been paying them $50 a day, but then he could not figure out what kind of life they would lead with all that money”. Think about it mike, if his workers would have had that kind of money it would not be long before Carnegie’s workers became his competition and opened up next door to him… the worst case scenario would be his former workers would sell their steel at a cheaper price, kind of, well no exactly like what Rockefeller did with oil, or as Carnegie did with steel innovation. How’s that saying go, keep them down on the farm…. well. Remember Carnegie was a low level stooge for the railroads at one time, and rose to the top….mike. Great point to make mike, because there could be more to go around. Joe

    • Steve Naidamast
      May 31, 2018 at 15:16

      “We must restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual donations, for democracy is lost.

      We must eliminate zionist fascism from our political parties, federal government, and foreign policy. Obviously that has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious preference.”

      Good luck with that!!!

      • Sam F
        May 31, 2018 at 20:19

        Well, you are welcome to make suggestions on how to save the republic.

  25. john wilson
    May 31, 2018 at 09:10

    The depths of the deep state has no limits, but as a UK citizen, I fail to see why the American “spooks” need any help from we Brits when it comes state criminal activity. Sure, we are masters at underhand dirty tricks, but the US has a basket full of tricks that ‘Trump’ (lol) anything we’ve got. It was the Russians wot done mantra has been going on for many decades and is ever good for another turn around the political mulberry tree of corruption and underhand dealings. Whether the Democrats or the Republicans win its all the same to the deep state as they are in control whoever is in the White House. Trump was an outsider and there for election colour and the “ho ho ho” look what a great democracy we are, anyone can be president. He is in fact the very essence of the ‘wild card’ and when he actually won there was total confusion, panic, disbelief and probably terror in the caves and dungeons of the deep state.

    • Realist
      May 31, 2018 at 09:33

      I’m sure the result was so unexpected that the shadowy fixers, the IT mavens who could have “adjusted” the numbers, were totally caught off guard and unable to do “cleanly.” Not that they didn’t try to re-jigger the results in the four state recounts that were ordered, but it was simply too late to effectively cheat at that point, as there were already massive overvotes detected in key urban precincts. Such a thing will never happen again, I am sure.

    • Sam F
      May 31, 2018 at 09:36

      It appears that UK has long had a supply of anti-Russia fearmongers, presumably backed by its anti-socialist oligarchy as in the US. Perhaps the US oligarchy is the dumbest salesman, who believes that all customers are even dumber, so that UK can sell Russophobia here thirty years after the USSR.

  26. Bob Van Noy
    May 31, 2018 at 08:49

    “But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver “resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I’d sure hate to see end up in the press.”  

    Recently, while trying to justify my arguement that a new investigation into the RFK Killing was necessary, I was asked why I thought that, and my response was “Modus operandi,” exactly what Robert Parry learned by experience, and that is the fundamental similarity to all of the institutionalized crime that takes place by the IC. Once one realizes the literary approach to disinformation that was fundamental to Alan Dulles, James Jesus Angleton, even Ian Fleming, one can easily see the Themes being applied. I suppose that the very feature of believability offered by propaganda, once recognized, becomes its undoing. That could be our current reality; the old Lines simply are beginning to appear to be ridiculous…

    Thank you Daniel Lazar.

    • Sam F
      June 1, 2018 at 08:39

      The recognition of themes of propaganda as literary themes and modus operandi is helping to discredit propaganda. The similarities of the CW false-flag operations (Iraq, Syria, and UK), and the fake assassinations (Skripal and Babchenko) by the anti-Russia crowd help reveal and persuade on the falsehood of the Iraq WMD, Syria CW, and MH-17 propaganda ops. Just as the similarities of the JFK/MLK/RFK assassinations persuade us that commonalities exist long before we see evidence.

      • Bob Van Noy
        June 1, 2018 at 13:11

        Many thanks Sam F for recognizing that. As we begin to achieve a resolution of the 60’s Kllings, we can begin to see the general and specific themes utilized to direct the programs of Assassination. The other aspect is that real investigation Never followed; and that took Real Power.

        In a truly insightful book by author Sally Denton entitled “The Profiteers” she puts together a very cogent theory that it isn’t the Mafia, it’s the Syndicate, which means (for me at least) real, criminal power with somewhat divergent interests ok with one another, to the extent that they can maintain their Own Turf. I think that’s a profound insight…

        Too, in a similar vain, the Grand Deceptions of American Foreign Policy, “scenarios” are simply and only that, not a Real possible solution. Always resulting in failure…

        • Sam F
          June 1, 2018 at 21:23

          Yes, it is difficult to determine the structure of a subculture of gangsterism in power, which can have many specialized factions in loose cooperation, agreeing on some general policy points, like benefits for the rich, hatred of socialism, institutionalized bribery of politicians and judges, militarized policing, destruction of welfare and social security, deregulation of everything, essentially the neocon/neolib line of the DemReps. The party line of oligarchy in any form.

          Indeed the foreign policy of such gangsters is designed to “fail” because destruction of cultures, waste, and fragmentation most efficiently exploits the bribery structure available, and serves the anti-socialist oligarchy. Failure of the declared foreign policy is success, because that is only propaganda to cover the corruption.

  27. May 31, 2018 at 08:48

    You know, not only Gay Trowdy but even Dracula Napolitano think people like Lazare , McGovern, etc. are overblown on this issue.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 31, 2018 at 13:47

      SocraticGadfly – Trey Gowdy hasn’t even seen the documents yet, so he’s hardly in a position to say anything. The House Intelligence Committee, under Chairman Nunes, are being stymied by the FBI and the Department of Justice who are refusing to hand over documents. Refusing! Refusing to disclose documents to the very people who, by law, have oversight. Nunes is threatening to hit them with Contempt of Congress.

      Let’s see the documents. Then Trey Gowdy can open his mouth.

  28. May 31, 2018 at 08:32

    What I take from this head spinning article is the paragraph about Carter Page.

    “On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that “Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change.” Washington hawks expressed “unease” that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia’s side in a growing neo-Cold War

    Mr. Page hit the nail on the head. There is no greater sin to entrenched power than to spell out what is going on with Russia. It helps us understand why terms like dupe and naïve were stuck on Carter Page’s back.. Truth to power is not always good for your health.

    • Sam F
      May 31, 2018 at 10:07

      The tyrant accuses of disloyalty, all who question the reality of his foreign monsters.
      And so do his monster-fighting agencies, whose budgets depend upon the fiction.

  29. backwardsevolution
    May 31, 2018 at 07:25

    Daniel Lazare – good report. “It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree.” This wasn’t a case of paranoia. This was a blatant attempt to bring down a rival opponent and, failing that, the President of the United States. This was intentional and required collusion between top officials of the government. They fabricated the phony Steele dossier (paid for by the Clinton campaign), exonerated Hillary Clinton, and then went to town on bringing down Trump.

    “Was George Popodopolous set up?” Of course he was. Set up a patsy in order to give you reason to carry out a phony investigation.

    “If the corporate press fails to point this out, it’s because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice.” They’re not befogged; they’re following orders (the major television and newspaper outfits). Without their 24/7 spin and lies, Russiagate would never have been kept alive.

    These guys got the biggest surprise of their life when Hillary Clinton lost the election. None of this would have come out had she won. During the campaign, as Trump gained in the polls, she was heard to say, “If they ever find out what we’ve done, we’ll all hang.”

    I hope they see jail time for what they’ve done.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 31, 2018 at 07:38

      Apparently what has come out so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Some are saying this could lead all the way up to Obama. I hope not, but they have certainly done all they can to ruin the Trump Presidency.

      • JohnM
        May 31, 2018 at 09:58

        I’m adjusting my tinfoil hat right now. I’m wondering if Skripal had something to do with the Steel dossier. The iceberg may be even bigger than thought.

        • Sam F
          May 31, 2018 at 10:18

          It is known that Skripal’s close friend living nearby was an employee of Steele’s firm Orbis.

          • Chet Roman
            May 31, 2018 at 14:58

            Exactly, his name is Pablo Miller and he is the MI6 agent who initially recruited Sergei Skripal. Miller worked for Orbis, Steele’s company and listed that in his resume on LinkedIn but later deleted it. But once it’s on the internet it can always be found and it was and it was published.

        • robjira
          May 31, 2018 at 14:13

          John, both Moon Of Alabama and OffGuardian have had excellent coverage of the Skripal affair. Informed opinions wonder if Sergei Skripal was one of Steele’s “Russian sources,” and that he may have been poisoned for the purpose of either a) bolstering the whole “Russia = evil” narrative, or b) a warning not to ask for more than what he may have conceivably received for any contribution he may or may not have made to the “dossiere.”

  30. mike k
    May 31, 2018 at 07:20

    Interesting details in this article, but we have known this whole Russiagate affair was a scam from the get go. It all started the day after Trump’s unexpected electoral win over Hillary. The chagrined dems came together and concocted their sore loser alibi – the Russians did it. They scooped up a lot of pre-election dirt, rolled it into a ball and directed it at Trump. It is a testament to the media’s determination to stick with their story, that in spite of not a single scrap of real evidence after over a year of digging by a huge team of democratic hit men and women, this ridiculous story still has supporters.

    • David G
      May 31, 2018 at 10:31

      “It all started the day after Trump’s unexpected electoral win over Hillary.”

      Not so.

      Daniel Lazare’s first link in the above piece is to Paul Krugman’s July 22, 2016 NY Times op-ed, “Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate”. (Note how that headline doesn’t even bother to employ a question mark.)

      I appreciate that that Krugman column gets pride of place here since I distinctly remember reading it in my copy of the Times that day, months before the election, and my immediate reaction to it: nonplussed that such a risible thesis was being aired so prominently, along with a deep realization that this was only the first shot in what would be a co-ordinated media disinformation campaign, à la Saddam’s WMDs.

      • Chet Roman
        May 31, 2018 at 15:37

        Actually, I think the intelligence agencies’ (CIA/FBI/DNI) plan started shortly after Trump gave the names of Page and Papadopoulos to the Washington Post (CIA annex) in a meeting on March 21, 2016 outlining his foreign policy team.

        Carter Page (Naval Academy distinguished graduate and Naval intelligence officer) in 2013 worked as an “under-cover employee” of the FBI in a case that convicted Evgeny Buryakov and it was reported that he was still an UCE in March of 2016. The FBI never charged or even hinted that Page was anything but innocent and patriotic. However, in October 2016 the FBI told the FISA Court that he was a spy to support spying on him. Remember the FISA Court allows spying on him AND the persons he is in contact, which means almost everyone on the Trump transition team/administration.

        Here is an excerpt from an article by WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel:

        In “late spring” of 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed White House “National Security Council Principals” that the FBI had counterintelligence concerns about the Trump campaign. Carter Page was announced as a campaign adviser on March 21, and Paul Manafort joined the campaign March 29. The briefing likely referenced both men, since both had previously been on the radar of law enforcement. But here’s what matters: With this briefing, Mr. Comey officially notified senior political operators on Team Obama that the bureau had eyes on Donald Trump and Russia. Imagine what might be done in these partisan times with such explosive information.

        And what do you know? Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections.

        • David G
          May 31, 2018 at 16:56

          Most interesting, Chet Roman. Thanks.

          My understanding is that Trump more or less pulled Page’s name out of a hat to show the WashPost that he had a “foreign policy team”, and thus that his campaign wasn’t just a hollow sham, but that at that point he really had had no significant contact at all with Page – maybe hadn’t even met him. It was just a name from his new political world that sprang to “mind” (or the Trumpian equivalent).

          Of course, the Trump campaign *was* just a sham, by conventional Beltway standards: a ramshackle road show with no actual “foreign policy team”, or any other policy team.

          So maybe that random piece of B.S. from Trump has caused him a heap of trouble. This is part of why – no matter how bogus “Russia-gate” is – I just can’t bring myself to feel sorry for old Cheeto Dust.

  31. backwardsevolution
    May 31, 2018 at 06:56

    Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal had some good advice:

    “Mr. Trump has an even quicker way to bring the hostility to an end.

    He can – and should – declassify everything possible, letting Congress and the public see the truth.

    That would put an end to the daily spin and conspiracy theories. It would puncture Democratic arguments that the administration is seeking to gain this information only for itself, to “undermine” an investigation.

    And it would end the Justice Department’s campaign of secrecy, which has done such harm to its reputation with the public and with Congress.”

    What do you bet he does?

  32. RickD
    May 31, 2018 at 06:44

    I have serious doubts about the article’s veracity. There seems to be a thread running through it indicating an attempt to whitewash any Russian efforts to get Trump elected. To dismiss all the evidence of such efforts, and , despite this author’s words, there is enough such evidence, seems more than a bit partisan.

    • May 31, 2018 at 06:55

      What evidence? I’ve seen none so far. A lot of claims that there is such evidence but no one seems to ever say what it is.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 31, 2018 at 07:06

      RickD – thanks for the good laugh before bedtime. I’m with Mr. Merrell and I actually want to see some evidence. Maybe it was Professor Halper in the kitchen with the paring knife.

      • Realist
        May 31, 2018 at 09:21

        Unfortunately, what this guy says is what most Americans still seem to believe. When I ask people what is the actual hard evidence for “Russiagate” (because I don’t know of any that has been corroborated), I get a response that there have been massive examples of Russian hacks, Russian posts, tweets and internet adverts–all meant to sabotage Hillary’s candidacy, and very effective, mind you. Putin has been an evil genius worthy of a comic book villain (to date myself, a regular Lex Luthor). Sez who, ask I? Sez the trustworthy American media that would never lie to the public, sez they. You know, professional paragons of virtue like Rachel Maddow and her merry band.

        Nobody seems aware of the recent findings about Halpern, none seem to have a realistic handle on the miniscule scope of the Russian “offenses” against American democracy. Rachel, the NY Times and WaPo have seen to that with their sins of both commission and omission. Even the Republican party is doing a half-hearted job of defending its own power base with rigorous and openly disseminated fact checking. It’s like even many of the committee chairs with long seniority are reluctant to buck the conventional narrative peddled by the media. Many have chosen to retire rather than fight the media and the Deep State. What’s a better interpretation of events? Or is one to believe that the silent voices, curious retirements and political heat generated by the Dems, the prosecutors and the media are all independent variables with no connections? These old pols recognise a good demonizing when they see it, especially when directed at them.

        Personally, I think that not only the GOPers should be fighting like the devil to expose the truth (which should benefit them in this circumstance) but so should the media and all the watchdog agencies (ngo’s) out there because our democracy WAS hijacked, but it was NOT by the Russians. Worse than that, it was done by internal domestic enemies of the people who must be outed and punished to save the constitution and the republic, if it is not too late. All the misinformation by influential insiders and the purported purveyors of truth accompanied by the deliberate silence by those who should be chirping like birds suggests it may well be far too late.

        • backwardsevolution
          May 31, 2018 at 19:53

          Realist – a most excellent post! Some poll result I read about the other day mentioned that well over half of the American public do NOT believe what they are being told by the media. That was good to hear. But you are right, there are still way too many who never question anything. If I ever get in trouble, I wouldn’t want those types on my jury. They’d be wide awake during the prosecution’s case and fast asleep during my defense.

          This is the Swamp at work on both sides of the aisle. Most of the Republicans are hanging Trump out to dry. They’ve probably got too much dirt they want to keep hidden themselves, so retirement looks like a good idea. Get out of Dodge while the going is good, before the real fighting begins! The Democrats are battling for all they’re worth, and I’ve got to hand it to them – they’re dirty little fighters.

          Yes, democracy has been hijacked. Hard to say how long this has been going on – maybe forever. If there is anything good about Trump’s presidency, it’s that the Deep State is being laid out and delivered up on a silver platter for all to see.

          There has never been a better chance to take back the country than this. If this opportunity passes, it will never come again. They will make sure of it.

          The greatest thing that Trump could do for the country would be to declassify all documents. Jeff Sessions is either part of the Deep State or he’s been scared off. He’s not going to act. Rosenstein is up to his eyeballs in this mess and he’s not going to act. In fact, he’s preventing Nunes from getting documents. It is up to Trump to act. I just hope he’s not being surrounded by a bunch of bad apple lawyers who are giving him bad advice. He needs to go above the Department of Justice and declassify ALL documents. If he did that, a lot of these people would probably die of a heart attack within a minute.

    • mike k
      May 31, 2018 at 07:11

      You sure came out of the woodwork quickly to express your “serious doubts” RickD.

    • Skip Scott
      May 31, 2018 at 08:07

      Please provide “such evidence”. I’ve yet to see any. The entire prosecution of RussiaGate has been one big Gish Gallop.

    • strgr-tgther
      May 31, 2018 at 21:39

      RickD – Thank you for pointing that out! You were the only one!!! It is a very strange article leaving Putin and the Russians evidence out and also not a single word about Stromy Daniels witch is also very strange. I know Hillary would never have approved of any of this and they don’t say that either.

      • John
        June 1, 2018 at 02:26

        What does Stormy Daniels have to do with RussiaGate?

        You know that someone who committed the ultimate war crime by lying us into war to destroy Libya and re-institute slavery there, and who laughed after watching video of a man that Nelson Mandela called “The Greatest Living Champion of Human Rights on the Planet” be sodomized to death with a knife, is somehow too “moral” to do such a thing? Really?

        It amazes me how utterly cultish those who support the Red Queen have shown themselves to be – without apparently realizing that they are obviously on par with the followers of Jim Jones!

        • strgr-tgther
          June 1, 2018 at 12:17

          That is like saying what does income tax have to do with Al Capone. Who went to Alctraz because he did not pay income tax not for being a gangster. So we know Trump has sexual relations with Stormy Daniels, then afterward PAID her not to talk about it. So he paid Story Daniels for sex! That is Prostitution! Same thing. And that is inpeachable, using womens bodies as objects. If we don’t prosecute Trump here then from now on all a John needs to say to the police is that he was not paying for sex but paying to keep quiet about it. And Cogress can get Trump for prostitution and disgracing the office of President. Without Russia investigations we would never have found out about this important fact, so that is what it has to do with Russia Gate.

  33. May 31, 2018 at 04:53

    Guccifer 2.0’s American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/

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