Ray McGovern: Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard

COMMENTARY: FBI agent Peter Strzok may be soon “thrown under the bus” in the ongoing investigation into Clinton’s emails and his alleged role in the Russia-gate investigation, comments Ray McGovern. 

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

If FBI agent Peter Strzok were not so glib, it would have been easier to feel some sympathy for him during his tough grilling at the House oversight hearing on Thursday, even though his wounds are self-inflicted. The wounds, of course, ooze from the content of his own text message exchange with his lover and alleged co-conspirator, Lisa Page.

Strzok was a top FBI counterintelligence official and Page an attorney working for then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.  The Attorney General fired McCabe in March and DOJ has criminally referred McCabe to federal prosecutors for lying to Justice Department investigators.

On Thursday members of the House Judiciary and Oversight/Government Reform Committees questioned Strzok for eight hours on how he led the investigations of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized emails and Donald Trump’s campaign’s ties with Russia, if any.

Strzok did his best to be sincerely slick.  Even so, he seemed to feel beleaguered — even ambushed — by the questions of Republicans using his own words against him. “Disingenuous” is the word a Republican Congresswoman used to describe his performance.  Nonetheless, he won consistent plaudits from the Democrats. He showed zero regret for the predicament he put himself into, except for regret at his royal screw-up in thinking he and Lisa could “talk about Hillary” (see below) on their FBI cellphones and no one would ever know.  One wag has suggested that Strzok may have been surreptitiously texting, when he should have been listening to the briefing on “Cellphone Security 101.”

In any case, the chickens have now come home to roost.  Most of those chickens, and Strzok’s predicament in general, are demonstrably the result of his own incompetence.  Indeed, Strzok seems the very embodiment of the “Peter Principle.” FBI agents down the line — that is, the non-peter-principle people — are painfully aware of this, and resent the discredit that Strzok and his bosses have brought on the Bureau.  Many are reportedly lining up to testify against what has been going on at the top.

It is always necessary at this point to note that the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA and even the Department of Justice were operating, as former FBI Director James Comey later put it, in an environment “where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump.”  Most of them expected to be able to stay in their key positions and were confident they would receive plaudits — not indictments — for the liberties that they, the most senior U.S. law enforcement officials, took with the law.  In other words, once the reality that Mrs. Clinton was seen by virtually everyone to be a shoo-in is taken into account, the mind boggles a lot less.

Strzok arrives to testify on FBI and DOJ actions during the 2016 Presidential election during House Joint committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (Getty)

Peter Principle

In a text sent to Page on April 2, 2016, Strzok assured her that it was safe to use official cellphones.  Page: “So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it can’t be traced.” It goes downhill from there for the star-crossed lovers.

Pity Page, who asked for more time to answer a subpoena to testify to the same joint-committee. It is understandable that she would have trusted Strzok on this.After all, he was not only her lover, but also one of the FBI’s top counterintelligence officials.

How could she ever have expected to taste the bitter irony that the above text exchange could be retrieved, find its way to the Department of Justice Inspector General, to Congress, and then to the rest of us, not to mention far more incriminating exchanges.

The ‘Hillary Dispensation’

There were moments of high irony at Thursday’s hearing.  For example, under questioning by Darrell Issa (R-CA), Strzok appealed, in essence, for the same kid-gloves treatment that his FBI and DOJ associates afforded Mrs. Clinton during the Strzok-led investigation of her emails.

Issa: Mr. Strozk, you were part of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, that’s correct?

Strzok: Yes.

Issa: And in that investigation, uh, you were part of the decision for her to, uh, and her lawyers, to go through emails that were produced during, uh, you, if you will, during her time as Secretary, go through and determine which ones were Government, and which ones were not, both the classified and unclassified, is that correct?

Strzok: I was not.  

Issa:   You were not involved at all.

Strzok: That’s correct. 

Issa: But you’re aware of it. 

Strzok: I..I’m aware of their statements to us about how they did it. 

Issa: And do you think it was ok, uh, for Secretary Clinton to determine what could or couldn’t, uh, uh, qualify for her to turn in under the Federal Records Act? 

Strzok: I, I can’t speak to that.  That was a decision, my understanding between her and her attorneys, and…

Issa:   Ok, but you were aware that in her production she failed to deliver some items that’ve now been ruled were classified, is that correct? 

Strzok: I’m aware that we recovered information that was not in the material that she turned over.  I don’t know if it was her failure, the failure of the attorneys conducting that sort, or simply because she didn’t have it. I, I don’t know the answer to that question. 

Issa: So, I bring up something that came up in the previous round.  So far, only you have determined what should be turned over from your private emails, that, or your non-government emails and texts, what should be delivered because it was government in nature. You’ve made that decision.

Strzok: That’s right.

Issa: And it’s your position that nobody else in the way of a government entity should be able to look over your shoulder, so to speak, and make that decision.

Strzok:   That, that’s right.

Issa: So you think it’s ok for the target — and you are a target — of an investigation to determine what should be delivered rather than, if you will, the government, right? 

Strzok: Sir, I am not aware of any investigation of which I am a target, not aware I’m a target of any investigation. 

At this point Issa tells Strzok he is indeed a target of investigation by Congress.  More importantly, Issa makes the point that the content of the texts exchanged on the FBI phones contained a mixture of official business and personal matters.

So why, asks Issa, should we not ask you to provide similar texts from your personal exchanges, since there is likely to be a similar mixture of official and personal matters in those texts? Issa suggests they likely “would be similar.”

Strzok asks if, by “similar,” Issa means “commenting on Mr. Trump or Hillary Clinton or anything else political in nature.”  Strzok then adds, “I don’t specifically recall but it is probably a safe assumption.”

Uh oh.

Strzok: No Good Options

Issa: Told Strzok he’s under investigation. (Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

If Strzok was distracted by texting during the standard briefing on “NSA Capabilities:101,” he may have missed the part about NSA collecting and storing everything that goes over the Internet.  That would include, of course, his private text messages with Page on private phones.

There is, admittedly, a very slim chance Strzok is unaware of this.  But, given his naiveté about how well protected the texts on his FBI cellphone were, that possibility cannot be ruled out.  In any case, given the high stakes involved, there seems a chance he might be tempted to follow Mrs. Clinton’s example with her emails and try to delete or destroy texts that provide additional incriminating evidence — or get someone else to do so.

More probably, after Thursday’s hearing, Strzok will see it as too late for him to try to cash in on the “Hillary Exemption.”  Strzok, after all, is not Hillary Clinton.  In addition, it has probably long since dawned on him that his FBI and DOJ co-conspirators may well decide to “throw him under the bus,” one of those delicate expressions we use in Washington.  In this connection, Strzok will have noted that last month McCabe asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to give him immunity from prosecution in return for his testimony on how senior officials at the FBI and Justice Department handled the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s private email server.

If McCabe knows FBI history, he is aware that one of his predecessors as acting director, L. Patrick Gray, famously was left to “twist slowly in the wind” per the instructions of President Richard Nixon’s aide John Ehrlichman, when the Senate Judiciary Committee could not get satisfactory answers from Gray.

Nixon had nominated Gray to lead the FBI after J. Edgar Hoover died in May 1972, but he could never get confirmed by the Senate.  Worse still, Gray was forced to resign after less than a year as acting FBI director, after he admitted to having destroyed Watergate-related documents.

Predictable Media Spin

The “mainstream media” remain the main obstacle to understanding what is going on behind the scenes.  It would be easier to forgive them, were not a full-blown Constitutional crisis brewing between the Executive and Legislature branches, as the DOJ and FBI continue to resist Congress’s requests for original documents. Former CIA chief John Brennan is also being given space to indulge in pre-emptive rhetoric that he apparently thinks will help when they get to him.

The New York Times reported Friday that “Peter Strzok … was hauled before the House but came out swinging. … The embattled F.B.I. agent who oversaw the opening of the Russia investigation mounted an aggressive defense of himself and the F.B.I. on Thursday, rejecting accusations that he let his private political views bias his official actions and labeling Republicans’ preoccupation with him ‘another victory notch in Putin’s belt.’”

The Potomac Times (aka The Washington Post) ran similarly laudatory coverage of Strzok — “Strzok testifies amid partisan fury: heated hearing sheds little light as agent fumes at accusations of FBI bias” — and laced its coverage with a defamatory article about Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who led the most aggressive Republican questioning of Strzok.

According to the Times, Jordan is “under withering scrutiny as he faces numerous accusations that he knew or should have known about the alleged sexual misconduct of a doctor who worked with the Ohio State wrestling team when Jordan was an assistant coach there between 1986 and 1995.”  The Timesgoes on to quote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Well, many people say that he did know and by his own standard, he should have known.” 

And, sadly, do not look to so-called progressive media for more balanced reporting.  For example, Democracy Now! Friday morning chose to highlight Strzok’s tortured explanation of what he really meant when he told Page, “We will stop” Trump.  Strzok says the “we” he referred to was “the American population [which] would not elect somebody” who behaves like Trump. The context of that text exchange, however, makes it clear who the “we” is — or was. 

Finally, for those with the courage to dissect and explain Strzok’s testimony to neighbors still drinking Russia-gate Kool-Aid, please note that Strzok’s name is easier to say, than to spell.  It is pronounced “struck” like “dumbstruck,” or — equally applicable in Strzok’s circumstances — “Moonstruck.”  Those watching Thursday’s hearing will have noticed that not all members of the House Judiciary and Oversight/Government Reform Committees had gotten the word on how to pronounce what may now become a household word. 

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  A former U.S. Army officer and CIA analyst, he has closely watched Washington goings-on like this for five decades.  Ray co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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162 comments for “Ray McGovern: Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard

  1. robert e williamson jr
    July 18, 2018 at 11:10 am

    The DOJ is the “fixer for the super wealthy elitists. FBI, DEA, CIA & NSA could not do what they do without the interference in court cases by DOJ. This needs to stop. This mechanism has put these agencies above the law. Lawyers who work both sides of the bench in D.C. provide the conduit. All scratching each others backs in order to survive. The country be damned. This is fueled by limitless speculation as to who is doing what and why. Free speech. The “secret” or “dark money” is the fuel .

    The SCOTUS is bought and paid for by the super wealthy elitiests. At least this court has been.

    Funny thing about money being speech. In D.C. the free speech is never limited, the supply of hot air there dominates the Environs.

    Money on the other hand is a very real power over others and isn’t in endless supply but limited by those few who have the most of it.

    Super wealthy elitist are calling the shots and now Trump has even them worried.

    • Mild -ly Facetious
      July 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      robert e williamson jr — “Super wealthy elitist are calling the shots and now Trump has even them worried.”

      My formal fear and denouncement of Mr. Trump in the 2016 election ( I voted for Bernie , not Hillary) had a Keen Focus on ONE SINGLE ELEMENT — The Propagation / Inculcation of a Right Wing Dominated SCOTUS — A (political) Climax reached/achieved
      by reason of (A)-The Bastardization of United States RESIDING / SETTLED Protocol / Propriety of the sitting POTUS having the LEGAL Honor/Duty of Nominating A / The next replacement SCOTUS.

      This rightful and correct honor was denied the Sitting POTUS by reason of Turtle Faced rightwing Mitch McConnell and the “Freedom Caucus” right wing Obstructionists whom stood as a BLOCK WALL AGAINST any/every thing Obama wanted to do / / in EVERY ASPECT OF MAKING LIVES BETTER for THE PEOPLE……………

      All the BullSpit OBJECTIONS they arrogantly applied to Obama’s progressive principles/ ideals germinated into Hate Speech and, going forward, into Anti-Obama Objectification – and – went forward into a 21st century origin of species and political new birth wherein a usurious Arrogate Pre-empts the Traditions of StateCraft and Presents his self as the Shot -Caller – In – Chief and the USURPER of Citizen Rights and the Bulwark of Walls and divisions of peoples and Blatant Racism.

      This is the piece of dung you champion and protect.

      Shame on all of you !!!!11!1

      The Walls he Builds
      shut out more than
      “Illegal Aliens” they
      Erect ramparts of hate
      and exclusion of love.

      • Trip
        July 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm

        Sounds like somebody is gonna lose their reproductive rights.

      • July 21, 2018 at 5:03 pm

        Whoa there Mildly- Facetiously / unhinged ; I have been involved within the Democratic Party [ Nevada] … for over 35 – years…. my late father was one of the most Progressive- minded – Forward thinking Four time State Senator and three terms as a Assemblyman… all campaigns I proudly worked on …. YOU ARE COMPLETELY CLUELESS ABOUT this Russia- Phobia … intrinsic value is essential to be successful in business and life 702-767-0072

  2. hank
    July 18, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Strzok is largely a distraction. In reality the DNC rigged the primary so Sanders could not win. Sanders does not think he can win outside the Republicrat Party. The RNC stole the election via voter suppression in key areas such as Michigan. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-yJGrgMqQI&t=51s

    The Russians did not hack the DNC server. It was a download in the Eastern Time Zone. See Bill Binney.

    • July 21, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      I would like to give ( Hank ) a big Kudos for his astute statement

  3. anastasia
    July 16, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    You’re right. Trump obsessed haters are far more balanced, to be sure.

  4. anastasia
    July 16, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    If I were Strzok, and my job were on the line, and my pension on the line, and criminal charges were threatened against me, as well as a contempt citation, I would not be acting as supremely confident as he was acting. I would be afraid. I would act with extreme deference before Congress. I would be speaking in a pleading voice, not in a loud pontificating and lecturing voice. Very clearly, Strzok is KNOWS nothing will happen to him. He was never charged with any crime; never penalized in any disciplinary action, never charged with contempt of congress; he is still an employee, still has a security clearance, still has his pension. These congressional hearings are nothing better than grand theater, and who knows that best, other than their leading actor, Strzok.

    • Skip Scott
      July 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      They have to protect him because he could spill the beans on higher-ups. And his bosses own the theater and direct the play.

    • Adam Halverson
      July 17, 2018 at 5:29 am

      You may be right, but Strzok’s smugness and thinly-veiled arrogance will not do him any favors. He seemed pretty complacent when he assured Lisa Page that their texts will never be revealed, as they were. Strzok, just like the rest of the leadership of the FBI/CIA/NSA, were so sure that Hillary Clinton would win the election, that it must have come as a shock to all of them when Trump actually did. Maybe, perhaps, Strzok is failing to learn from past history yet again – it could also be a projection of psychopathy, too. Confidence is a good thing, sure… but left unrestrained and unchecked, it can prove to be one’s downfall.

      This is a dynamic situation with a countless number of moving parts, and nothing is set in stone just yet. We musn’t lose hope.

  5. irina
    July 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    An interesting link to the connection between Strzok’s ‘official’ position
    in the FBI and his ‘off the radar’ position in the CIA :

    https://www.intellihub.com/a-sheep-dipped-peter-strzok-works-for-both-the-fbi-and-cia-documents-reveal/

    No wonder he sports such a disturbing smirk ! But the mind boggles at the blackmail potential . . .

    • July 21, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Irina gets the grand prize for digging deeper …. you are spot on all of your points! Respectively R. Luján 702-767-0072

  6. Blaise Gauba
    July 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    “Stuck” aside (pun intended), I’m not sure if I am actually hearing some bias on Ray McGovern’s part though, either. Whenever religion is involved in someone’s background, I tend to take their overall comments and/or opinions with a grain of salt. Did Strzok @#$% up? Well, obviously he certainly did. That goes without saying. The bias I am hearing in Mr. McGovern’s commentary is his nonchalant dismissal of Russia’s involvement in this whole fiasco. It’s true. I am just a taxpaying/voting citizen myself, and therefore, I have no way either of proving or disproving any or all of the facts. But, there’s obviously a lot more going on that is not being admitted to by the rulers and their henchmen. (Rulers = CORPORATE owned White House/Congress/Senate. Henchmen = C.I.A./F.B.I./N.S.A./all other sub-divisions of “law?” enforcement.)

    • Rob Roy
      July 15, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Blaise, how many times does Julian Assange have to say the emails were leaked to Wikileaks from the DNC? Why do you think Assange has been cut off from ALL outside communication? Because the PTB do not wanting him dispelling the Russiagate lie, which by the way was begun with Hillary Clinton. I remember the day we heard the first lie from her lips. My first thought was, there she goes, so shocked by her defeat that she HAD to place blame on someone other than herself.

      Now, you say you have no way of proving one way or the other. Well, that’s not your job. That’s the accusers job which they’ve failed so far. Just because the NYT, WaPo, London Times, Guardian, and msm tv are writing/speaking as if it’s gospel truth that Russia interfered in our election, doesn’t mean it’s true until proven. Not happening. You do have the right to demand evidence of which there’s not one shred.

      BTW, NOT RUSSIA but rather the USA has interfered in 80 elections and coups since WWII as well as attacking sovereign countries; not one time has any of this been legal. And everybody talks about “Russia interfering in our democracy.” Unbelievable.

      Further, everyone talks about HRC’s emails but not about what’s in them. I read them. If she were president we would already be at war in Iran (who has never attacked anyone) and going after regime change and war in Russia (who is not in any way a threat to the US), which the Rand Institute has already assured the MIC that we will win. THE US IS A THREAT TO RUSSIA. Right now our sixth fleet with many ships and aircraft with some other countries is in the Black Sea threatening Russia.

      • July 15, 2018 at 6:38 pm

        The MSM and democrats are winning this war unfortunately. The corruption is astounding and unbelievable to us ordinary Americans. We are furious and write our congressmen but nothing happens and this goes on and on. Mueller and his cabal are criminals themselves completely ignoring any democrat crimes. He is going to go after Roger Stone next to make the Trump connection complete, all because Stone send a 24 word e-mail to Guccifer2.0 as a joke. It is so amazing we have reached this point in the U.S. I have no faith in democracy or justice any longer.

        Trump is probably too late in declassifying documents so we can see what the evidence of their crimes. I’m sure documents have been changed to protect these worthless pigs. It would take many, many whistleblowers to uncover the real story. WTF!!! It’s so appalling to see this happen to our country. It’s worse to see just how dishonest so many are in this mess. How can they live with themselves?

        • irina
          July 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm

          There is absolutely no point in writing your congressmen.
          The media has the bit in its teeth and is running with it.

          Check out Chuck Todd on today’s Meet the Press if you doubt me !

        • Adam Halverson
          July 15, 2018 at 9:43 pm

          I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Frederick. The mainstream media are master manipulators at creating the illusion that their narrative will be “vindicated”. In actuality, they’re desperately trying to out-flank Donald Trump from a distance in the lead-up to the Helsinki meeting with Vladimir Putin, and in light of the possibility of ending the “Special Relationship” between Wall Street and the City of London (Corporation), which the The Washington Post talked about negatively. The timing of Robert S. Mueller III’s indictments against 12 more Russian nationals, who Mueller knows damn well will likely never face trial, was curious, and was crafted – when it was – to create the illusion that “progress” is being made, as fodder for the mainstream media. (FiveThirtyEight.com is completely delusional in their biased analysis of this particular situation – they exemplify an appendage of the mainstream media, and are a perfect example of this.) There’s a saying about indictments – “you can indict a ham sandwich.” Indictments don’t really mean anything, outside of whatever “information” is presented. People are brainwashed into thinking that things are getting real, but in actuality, they’re being deluded by the large shadow being cast by a much smaller object. In addition, an entity that was named in Mueller’s last round of indictments (Concord Managemement) actually traveled to the U.S. to confront the indictments against them, and Mueller was caught totally off-guard

          Other things to consider:

          1. Russia successfully hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was very well-received by the attendants there. The perception/illusion put out by the mainstream media, that Russia is a “dangerous” country, is beginning to unravel.

          2. The 2nd Novichok incident in the U.K., which actually led to the death of a 44-year old female (Dawn Sturgess).

          3. Longer-term, the privileged elites know that the days of unrestrained, deregulated free-market capitalism and speculation are numbered. They control much of the mainstream media, moneyed interests, and political entities. The offensive that the mainstream media is engaging in, is really a reflection of their worries that their days, too, are numbered.

          Don’t pay too much mind to the negativity being generated by these forces. Believe it or not, right now, they are on more precarious footing than they have been in a very long time – as the saying goes, “a cornered mouse always attacks.” More and more Americans are beginning to see the truth behind these illusions being cast by an increasingly and more evidently psychotic mainstream media.

          There is a lot more work to be done, and nothing is determined or pre-determined yet, but the establishment is slowly losing their grip. Once these perpetual wars abroad end for good, you’ll know that day has truly arrived

          • July 17, 2018 at 3:17 pm

            Unfortunately, this is now July 17th ….. and the insanity is overwhelming.

      • Adam Halverson
        July 15, 2018 at 10:00 pm

        going after regime change and war in Russia (who is not in any way a threat to the US), which the Rand Institute has already assured the MIC that we will win. THE US IS A THREAT TO RUSSIA. Right now our sixth fleet with many ships and aircraft with some other countries is in the Black Sea threatening Russia.

        After Vladimir Putin made an announcement earlier this year (I think in early March) that Russia had successfully developed counter-strike capabilities that can effectively neutralize any ICBM attack from the U.S., the entire dynamic had changed, and the MIC of course were forced to reconsider their long-term strategies. Recently, stock in companies like Boeing and Raytheon went down, due to projections that the likelihood of an all-out war had decreased dramatically. Now, that could still happen, but it’s certainly less likely to happen now. In related news, NATO out to be discontinued permanently – it is an outdated institution that serves no real net positive function at this point.

        • Adam Halverson
          July 15, 2018 at 10:02 pm

          I meant to say “NATO

          ought

          to be discontinued permanently”

      • Jessejean
        July 15, 2018 at 11:05 pm

        Rob Roy–love you! A perfect recap of how we got here, without the claptrap and Maddowspin.

      • July 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm

        You aren’t supposed to notice the encircle- ment of Russia, nothing to see…here!!!

        Or the Hillary & Victoria Niland overthrow of the democratically elected Ukraine President: With $5 billion’s in bribe and walk around cash from USA letter agency front money, disrupting the democratic ballance of power between the East & the Rusophone West….. ininevitably prolonging the calamity of facts on the ground, combined with the give –away of the historically Russian Crimea since Catherine the Great to (his native) Ukraine. Kinda like a French ancestry U.S. president being elected and giving back the Louisiana purchase Real Estate. Probably not a good Idea.

        In any case, there is enough blame to cause a wash… It’s lucky the Bear didn’t swallow the whole enchalada..

      • July 21, 2018 at 5:11 pm

        YAHTZEE! Bingo Rob Roy .. ! I have held the aforementioned libation Rob Roy as a total ruining of good Spirits… congratulations to ya!! You have tremendous clarity

  7. Dunderhead
    July 15, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Isn’t it great to have our own Stasi

    • Blaise Gauba
      July 15, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Well… they’re working on it. Give them a little more time.

      • Varenik
        July 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm

        umm,
        it’s been here all along…

  8. Tony Vodvarka
    July 15, 2018 at 10:32 am

    “hoisted on his own petard”, indeed. It is entertaining to watch one of a class of individuals, “counterintelligence officials”, who so wanted the public to be subjected to a total loss of privacy in public communiation squirm on hearing their private conversations being dredged up and presented to them.

    • Dunderhead
      July 15, 2018 at 11:06 am

      Hell yeah man, I don’t know what kind of countries these so-called liberals want but the best way to get rid of the Empire is to break it up!

    • July 15, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Yes, it’s unfortunate that we don’t have a decentralized, citizen/community-based self-governing system. What was that hilarious, but very well stated social commentary in Monty Python’s The Life of Brian:

      Peasant woman speaking to the king of the Britains and a fellow peasant (man): “I thought we were an autonomous collective?”

      Peasant man: “You’re fooling yourself. We’re living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes…”

      Peasant woman: “Oh, there you go bringing class into it again.”

      Peasant man: “That’s what it’s all about. If only people would…”

      King: “Please! Please, good people. I am in haste. Who lives in that castle?”

      Peasant woman: “No one lives there.”

      King: “Then who is your lord?”

      Peasant woman: “We don’t HAVE a lord.”

      King: (Shocked) “WHAT?!”

      Peasant man: “We TOLD you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.”

      King: “Yes.”

      Peasant man: “But all the decisions OF that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting…”

      King: “Yes, I see.”

      Peasant man: “…by a civil majority in the case of purely internal affairs…”

      King: “BE QUIET!”

      Peasant man: “…but by a two-thirds majority in the case of one part of the…”

      King: “BE QUIET! I ORDER YOU TO BE QUIET!”

      Peasant woman: “Order aye? Who does he think he is?” (laughing)

      King: “I’m your king!”

      Peasant woman: “Well, I didn’t vote for you.”

      King: “You don’t vote for kings.”

      Peasant woman: “Well, how’d you become king then?”

      King: “The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft, Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence, that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king!”

      Peasant man: “Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from farcical aquatic ceremony.”

      King: “BE QUIET!!!”

      Peasant man: “But you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power… just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!”

      King: “SHUT UP!!!” (exacerbated

      Peasant man: (now yelling) “I mean, if I went around, saying I was an emperor, just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!”

      King: (now grabbing the peasant man and yelling in frustration) “SHUT UP! WILL YOU SHUT UP?!!!”

      Peasant man: “Oh! Now we see the violence inherent in the system.”

      King: “SHUT UP!!!

      Peasant man: (yelling to all the other farmer peasants nearby in the fields as he is being manhandled by the king) “COME AND SEE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!!! HELP! HELP!! I’M BEING REPRESSED!!!”

      King: “BLOODY PEASANT!!!”

      Peasant man: “Oh! Oh! What a giveaway! Did you hear that aye? That’s what I’m on about! Did you see him repressing me?”

      Hilarious…but in all honesty, truly this is a reflection of what actually goes on in some form or another.

      • Leroy
        July 16, 2018 at 7:59 pm

        Nice post – but that was Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    • July 16, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      Political Bloodsport at it”s best and finest…

  9. July 14, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Well now, I the odious crew including Issa, Jim Jordan, Gaudy, and the amen chorus of Republican Yahoos are venerated on what was the best news site on the internet. Who comes next for the high honors, Alex Jones.

    Trump is a bully, tyrant, crook, deviant, and danger. Worrying about Clinton emails at this point misses the point that the clear and present danger is in the White House.

    Making the case against Clinton diverts attention from serious damage Trump is doing to the nation and the world.

    • July 15, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Hear! Here! I totally agree with you.

    • Adam Halverson
      July 15, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Congresspersons tend to represent their party in a tribalistic manner, whether they’re right or wrong. In this particular case, the Republican side is on the right – I mean correct – side.

      I’ll praise them when they do good, but criticize them when they attack things like a single-payer healthcare system, workers’ rights, and consumer protections from predatory business practices.

      Really, politics forces the gullible to abandon moral principles for the kind of mob-mentality tribalism that is so common among lawyers and politicians. They also get way too attached to labels instead of understanding how things actually work – call it “political superficiality.”

    • July 17, 2018 at 1:15 am

      The fact that Clinton would have been a disaster in no way absolves Trump from being a disaster. They are both dreadful.

      Click on my name and you will see about 15 articles I wrote criticising U.S. and NATO policies regarding Ukraine. I am on record, as it were, opposing the neoconservative war machine. I’ve also commented extensively on Syria, before it was much noticed starting in 2012 https://www.opednews.com/Series/The-attack-on-Syria-by-Michael-Collins-131005-528.html No fan of HRC’s neocon road to destruction for Syria, Libya too!

      Trump is only right by accident and he has little staying power. He couldn’t wait to launch an attack on Syria. Has he stopped the many covert actions underway around the world? Will he every have the insight to understand that the biggest problem we face is climate change? Not likely, since he doesn’t “believe” in climate change.

      Trump deserves absolutely no support. You can put all the lipstick you want on that pig but it’s a real bad idea to kiss it.

      • Adam Halverson
        July 17, 2018 at 5:14 am

        Trump is only right by accident and he has little staying power. He couldn’t wait to launch an attack on Syria.

        I don’t believe this to actually be the case. While it is not obvious, it appears to me that his hand was – and is still being – forced by the Deep State / Military-Industrial Complex apparatus. If Trump really did want to launch an attack on Syria, he would’ve been more adamant about doing so when the White Helmets claimed that there was a “gas attack” just recently. Hillary, who was chiefly responsible for the disastrous campaign in Libya, was more blatant about putting into place the machinations for a possible World War III, to serve the moneyed interests – which are tied to the Deep State /Military-Industrial Complex – which she had served with diligence for many years (as evidenced by her speeches).

        However, Trump did fail to take the initiative in compelling Saudi Arabia to cease their genocidal campaign in Yemen, and made a horrendous mistake in putting into motion the plan to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which has led to provocations that effectively gave the IDF a “license to kill,” under the guise of fighting terrorism. This is made worse by the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu is his “friend.” We don’t know all the details behind these dealings, but it’s certainly making things worse. Perhaps, Trump’s hostile stance towards Iran is being enacted as a favor to Saudi Arabia and Israel, who are both secretly allies with each other, to the casual observer.

      • Adam Halverson
        July 17, 2018 at 5:36 am

        Also, it’s worth noting that Trump wants to establish good relations with Russia, whose military chiefly contributed to the liberation of Syria from the actual terrorists there. For Trump to willingly undo those efforts would be antithetical to establishing good relations with Russia.

    • Tony Vodvarka
      July 17, 2018 at 11:05 am

      “Worrying about Clinton e-mails”? Those e-mails clearly demonstrated the theft by foul means of the Democratic primay by a completely corrupt political machine that blocked the nomination of a candidate who would have beaten Trump. Then that machine fabricated a cock-and-bull story about Russian meddling intended to divert attention from that crime and allowed it to run wild as a national hysteria and a precursor to a new cold war. This affair has proven that “the lesser of two evils” in 2016 was not the hubristic and insanely greedy Clinton.

      • Richard Gere
        July 18, 2018 at 8:07 am

        Right! Hillary has done far worse damage within this nation than the Russians could possible hope to do themselves. Poisoning one party, fabricating false accusations about a rival nuclear power leading to a new Cold War, stoking national hysteria and division/polarization of the citizens. If there is any justice, Hillary will burn in hell for what she’s done.

    • Richard Gere
      July 18, 2018 at 7:56 am

      “Making the case against Clinton diverts attention from serious damage Trump is doing…”

      Focusing on Clinton casts light on the corruption within the Democratic Party, hopefully leading to an overhaul on how it conducts its affairs, including improving the legitimacy of its Presidential nomination process in future elections. If the Democrats had had a legitimate and viable presidential nominee in 2016, Trump may not be our president today. Think on that when you are tempted to ignore Hillary’s gross misconduct.

  10. July 14, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Reporting that “The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok. “It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia,” he added. Gohmert said the ICIG investigator, Frank Rucker, presented the findings to Strzok, but that the FBI official did not do anything with the information. Strzok acknowledged meeting with Rucker, but said he did not recall the “specific content.” (Dailycaller/zerohedge)

    That the top FBI counterIntelligence official working this ‘private-server’ case did not recall the specific content of a meeting supplying him with detailed information that over 30,000 of Hillary Clinton’s emails were ‘going to an un-authorised source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia”, identifies him as gatekeeper in conspiracy to subvert justice.

    It appears overall, that being incompetant to this level, is an allowable part of the dressing of modern deception.

    • Alcuin
      July 15, 2018 at 1:53 am

      Notice he did not say “hostile” foreign entity. So it COULD be N. Korea. But it could also Israel, or the UK, right?

    • Brendan
      July 15, 2018 at 5:41 am

      The fact that the American intelligence chiefs haven’t highlighted this already makes me suspect that the emails were sent to a ‘friend’ of the USA.

    • Alcuin
      July 15, 2018 at 8:11 am

      Perhaps an observation made by someone here last year is relevant: “Joe, don’t tell anybody I said this…but my best guess is that Arwan and Imran were Pakistani born Mossad agents. That’s how they got the DWS hookup in the first place. I guarantee this story will never make the six o’clock news.”

      • F. G. Sanford
        July 15, 2018 at 9:56 am

        I kinda wonder what old time Borscht Belt stand-up comedians like Myron Cohen would have had to say about this:

        “Vait…vat? You mean to tell us dat a nice Jush goyl from Lawn Guyland vould hire…Oy vey! No vonder dey never put dat on da six o’clock news!”

        And, just as I predicted, as if by magic, the whole thing was made to completely disappear.

        • Alcuin
          July 15, 2018 at 3:42 pm

          You predicted it, and the more I read of your comments the more I see that you have long been aware of many things I am only now beginning to understand.

    • Michael Keenan
      July 15, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Was the forensics even done Louie?

  11. Secondthoughts
    July 14, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    That is, hoisted “by” his own petard, not “on” his own petard. The quote is from Shakespeare. A petard is a small bomb.

    • Jessejean
      July 14, 2018 at 10:50 pm

      For accuracy, it’s “hoist” not hoisted and its “with” not by or on. The hoist part is because a small bomb was placed on a tripod sort of thing that could lift it to the right height. And petard probably came from a French word that meant “fart”. Just for clarity.

  12. Alcuin
    July 14, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    iRock at TCT: “Possibly unknown to Peter Strzok, Clapper and Brennan exploited Strzok’s personal Trump hatred by running multiple covert operatives at the Trump campaign, laundering secret information as well as fabricating information for the Clinton campaign, planting stories in the media for release… creating a powerful pretext for a full FBI investigation. Clapper and Brennan knew Strzok could not resist “evidence” to get Trump and now Strzok cannot recognize he was used by the spooks as he is left holding the bag. One day the realization may dawn upon Peter Strzok that he was a tool of Clapper, Brennan and by extension the White House.”

    • Mild -ly - Facetious
      July 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      Alcuin
      “Possibly unknown to Peter Strzok, Clapper and Brennan exploited Strzok’s personal Trump hatred by running multiple covert operatives at the Trump campaign… ”

      Yeah/right, sure, Alcuin. Just as
      “The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil
      as is in the Persona of One Donald J. Trump,
      a Vociferous Liar and Self-Annointed

      World Revolutionary who’ll MAGA and
      restore White Power into higher levels of
      Political and Ethnic Superiority in the World,
      beginning in Russia and Eastern Europe … .

      Empires Come and Empires go away
      with changes of alliances / we await a
      Revival of the Byzantine Church / Empire
      under Putin and The Eastern Orthodox Church.

      … wait for it /

      • Alcuin
        July 15, 2018 at 2:02 am

        Yes, I often wonder to what extent fear/contempt of Orthodoxy is fueling the present Russophobia among those who do not (presumably) have anything to gain financially from a new cold war. Thank you.

  13. LarcoMarco
    July 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    The ONLY soundbite of Strzok’s testimony played by Cranky Amy was the one quoted by Ray (below). However, Ms. Goodman has unwittingly made Strzok look like a dissembling clown with his ludicrous rationale behind his txt msg. Yes, another example of American Exceptionalism: The FBI can lie (and more), because they are purely interested in doing what is right for “the American population”.

    ‘Democracy Now! Friday morning chose to highlight Strzok’s tortured explanation of what he really meant when he told Page, “We will stop” Trump. Strzok says the “we” he referred to was “the American population [which] would not elect somebody” who behaves like Trump. The context of that text exchange, however, makes it clear who the “we” is — or was.’ — RMcG

    • Nygma619
      July 17, 2018 at 1:27 am

      “The context of that text exchange, however, makes it clear who the “we” is — or was.”

      You can think it’s clear who the we was, but you can’t prove it.

  14. Anon
    July 14, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Hey, I don’t work for the FBI but I certainly know that the NSA collects everything (didn’t he ever read about Snowden?) and that there is no protection for cellphones (something he could have learned from watching TV!).

    This guy is totally clueless and it astounds me that he has risen to such a high position (not really!).

    • Seer
      July 16, 2018 at 3:52 am

      No, in no way are the clueless. They all figure that they can cover their behinds because of their positions. Again, Strzok figured that HRC was going to be elected. Myopia was Strzok’s issue: blinders had him convinced that Trump would be pushed down and HRC would end up as POTUS.

      Almost every single person in the intelligence community is engaged in unconstitutional activities. Power isn’t power by following the law!

  15. Joe Tedesky
    July 14, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Peter Strzok used as his defense that his personal ramblings did not interfere with his official duties. When Strzok pointed to this separation of attitude against his profession position I thought of us service people from back in the late sixties. There were many amongst us draftee recruits who differed with our opinions from the military’s point of view. We enlisted, and even some in the junior officer corp, were more than compliant when carrying out our orders, but we were always warned about where to draw the line. Like we were discouraged from peace protesting in our uniforms.

    I’m not advocating for Strzok. No, instead I think he was compromised, and that he did have a strong bias. This in my opinion is where Strzok has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that his professional conduct was not hampered by his personal choices for the 2016 presidential election. The Strzok/Page emails are hard to refute, and this is where Strzok and Page have a problem…. oh if I were Strzok or Page I wouldn’t put to much stock in the Democrats to come save their chatty asses. What ya think 18 months, reduced to 6 months for good behavior?

    • Skip Scott
      July 14, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Yeah Joe, I really want to know about the “insurance policy” they apparently discussed in McCabe’s office. And how could that possibly be seen as anything other than letting your personal opinions impact your professional work?

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 15, 2018 at 10:13 am

        I hear ya Skip.

  16. July 14, 2018 at 10:12 am

    “According to the Times, Jordan is “under withering scrutiny as he faces numerous accusations that he knew or should have known about the alleged sexual misconduct of a doctor who worked with the Ohio State wrestling team when Jordan was an assistant coach there between 1986 and 1995.” The Times goes on to quote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Well, many people say that he did know and by his own standard, he should have known.” ‘

    Instead of a red herring might want to call it a blue herring.

    Factionalism gone wild. Jefferson worried about it but practiced it. It is bizarre when we decide on the merits of government behavior on whether it is a Democrat or Republican proposal and grows worse when Trump proposes anything. Wonder what would happen if Trump propose universal single payer health insurance. It is not funny but tragic but since it’s unlikely to change, look for the funny side. Good for the digestion.

  17. F. G. Sanford
    July 14, 2018 at 9:42 am

    Lisa Page and Pete Struck had some fun. He showed her his badge and his gun.
    We can’t hear them moan, they used text on the phone, They made plans and the coup was begun!

    They were sure that the Harpy would win. They’d be able to prosecute Flynn-
    The Steele Dossier would appall the beltway, Rachel Maddow would add lots of spin!

    Susan Rice said it’s done by the book. But the POTUS desired a look.
    The cat’s in the bag, they’ll elect that old hag, And we’re all gonna get off the hook!

    The plan was cooked up on the tarmac. A recusal would serve as the payback.
    Thousands of emails were just minor details, It was all just a right-wing attack!

    They claimed it was sex, not sedition. Jerry Nadler voiced strong opposition.
    He claimed points of order, a whiny recorder, Fearing Gowdy might get a confession!

    Peter Principles have been invoked. Some concluded the New York Times joked.
    Struck came out swinging but what he was slinging- Left his principal peter uncloaked!

    Who was “we” asked Trey Gowdy forthright, All the Democrats stiffened with fright-
    Major Burns and Hot Lips traded salacious quips: There’s no treason, just carnal delight!

    The documents still they sequester, But the truth is beginning to fester-
    If one witness squeals and they open the seals- They’ll claim Jordan must be a molester!

    Comey and Brennan are squirming. An indictment filled bus could be firming.
    Who gets thrown under is what they both wonder, So they’ve taken to self-righteous worming!

    When he asked Peter Struck about “it”, It’s a two-letter word he’d admit.
    Trey Gowdy was moody, a bit like Judge Judy- He put Struck in some really deep…doody!

    Hat’s off to Tom Welsh — I’m still rolling on the floor laughing my a** off over the Hot Lips Houlihan reference — great catch, and he does look like Major Burns!

    • July 14, 2018 at 10:55 am

      F.G., thanks for this classic. Needed that. :)) ray

      • Rob Roy
        July 15, 2018 at 3:32 pm

        F.G. Intense dislike of Trump (rapist, dictator, bully, sociopath, misogynist, liar) doesn’t mean believing the lies about Russia. Ray demands proof. The hatred of Trump has led otherwise smart people to want to be rid of him by any means. Ray and I would like it to be legal and factual, not woven out of wishes. (Hope i’ve got that right, Ray.) The main stream media is going crazy about the possibility of Trump and Putin “making peace,” ..yes, they said that, for godssake. Horrors. They don’t mention that beginning with FDR all presidents and Russian leaders have met, sometimes several times. They also can’t stand that Trump wanted to end the Korean war which should have happened decades ago. Our president is a stupid man imo, but please have the brains to see when something he wants is actually a good thing. I like the idea of no war with Russia, don’t you?

        • Adam Halverson
          July 15, 2018 at 10:26 pm

          The hatred of Trump has led otherwise smart people to want to be rid of him by any means. Ray and I would like it to be legal and factual, not woven out of wishes.

          PRECISELY.

          Also, for what it’s worth, The Hill recently reported that Trump’s approval ratings in his first 550 (or so) days has actually steadily risen over time, which is exceedingly rare for a U.S. President in recent memory (obviously, I’m not counting Bush Jr.’s post 9/11 ratings spike) – this, perhaps, because people had such a negative view of him in the beginning that there was more upside to be had.

        • Adam Halverson
          July 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm

          I really wish there was a way to edit comments immediately after posting. This is the thing I dislike about the new posting system the most.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 14, 2018 at 11:22 am

      F.G. Like you ripped a Page out of the MASH playbook with the Hot Lips reference, as I was Struck by your clever worded wittiness. Joe

    • Skip Scott
      July 14, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      F.G.-

      You’ve outdone yourself with this one! Bravo!

    • Mild -ly - Facetious
      July 14, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      F. G., i must admit that i love you
      thou i appose you, i must admit
      your lexicon and unabashedly brilliant
      thought process touches Van Gogh

      In it’s depths of time perception
      and cadence / as if marching
      band commanded precedence
      over intricacies Of The Game.

    • mike k
      July 14, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks for some much needed comic relief in this ugly affair F.G. LOL!!

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 14, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Mild-ly, here’s the deal. Before the election, it would appear that the Executive Branch set in motion a Constitutionally forbidden effort to subvert the rule of law. It conspired to subvert an election using intelligence community assets. After the election, the Judicial branch took up the mantle and co-involved the Legislative branch. This unfettered perversion of The Constitution, the rule of law and separation of powers is far more egregious than any real or imagined transgression President Trump may have committed. There is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER of Russian government interference in the election. While a string of U.S. Presidents have engaged in wars of aggression – the supreme international crime, President Trump has not initiated any new ones. The supreme domestic crime, on the other hand, is subversion of The Constitution. I’d put it above murder and mayhem. Even treason, which could hypothetically be committed for rational reasons, is not as reprehensible. The oath I swore was to the U.S. Constitution. And yes, I’m damn glad Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected. Like it or not, President Trump remains less guilty of any real or perceived impeachable offenses than his four immediate predecessors. They’re trying to do to him exactly what they did to JFK. They’re just not using bullets. Until somebody can come up with evidence otherwise, President Trump is the legally elected and lawfully serving President. As long as this goes on, we are in danger of completely destroying the Republic. By the way, I consider myself a steadfast FDR/JFK Democrat…not that it will change your mind. Just sayin’.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

        Now that’s getting down to brass tacks. Thanks for this beautifully concise explanation. I agree wholeheartedly.

      • Mild -ly Facetious
        July 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm

        AMY GOODMAN: So, this interview that Trump did with The Sun—and for people in the United States to understand, this tabloid, owned by Rupert Murdoch—in which he praised Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who resigned earlier this week. This is what he said.

        PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I was very saddened to see that he was leaving government. And I hope he goes back in at some point, because I think he’s a very—I think he’s a great representative for—for your country. I was very surprised and saddened that he was getting out of government. And you lost some other very good people. Well, I’m not pitting one against the other. I’m just saying I think he’d be a great prime minister.

        AMY GOODMAN: Now, I don’t know if Donald Trump’s presence and his words make you feel any sympathy for the prime minister, Theresa May, Gary–But This Explosive Interview Where He’s Basically Endorsing The Person Who Will Be Her Competitor, right, Boris Johnson?

        GARY YOUNGE: Yeah, I mean, there is a touch here of the chickens coming home to roost, right? I mean, not only is he insulting immigrants and Muslims and the London mayor and so on, but he’s actually insulting his hostess, the very person who invited him. And it’s as though, you know, the term “diplomacy” never happened. He comes out of Europe, out of the NATO summit, having pretty much insulted everybody, and then said, “Well, I think that went quite well.” And now here he is.

        (AS IS TRUMP) – – – Boris Johnson is a buffoon.
        He is an incredibly—he’s from a, you know, very upper-class background. He went to Eton, which is the same school that the queen’s kids go to and, actually, David Cameron, the previous Tory prime minister, went to. You don’t get much more elite than that. He has gone in print talking about smiling “piccaninnies” with their “watermelon smiles.” I mean, he’s—and he was a terrible foreign secretary. And the reason he resigned, having been a significant part of the Brexit campaign, is really not as a point of principle—I’m not sure that he has many of those—but as a point of ambition, that they went to Checkers, which is the prime minister’s residence, and she laid out her Brexit policy, which, you know, is not a great policy because Brexit is not a great idea. And Johnson said it was like “polishing a turd.” Then he said he’d support it anyway. Then, within about 48 hours, someone else had resigned, and he thought, “Oh, here’s my chance maybe. Here’s my chance, so I should resign, too.” This is not a man of principle. He’s not our future prime minister. He’s a very, very bad joke that’s been played on both this country and the rest of the world.

        http://www.democracynow.org

        • Skip Scott
          July 14, 2018 at 9:36 pm

          Mildly-

          How does your reply have anything to do with F.G.’s statement of the situation? Your BLIND hatred for Trump keeps you from understanding the depth of the horror of the Deep State’s creation of the RussiaGate propaganda. You are unhinged.

        • Gregory Herr
          July 14, 2018 at 10:37 pm

          Amazing, isn’t it Skip? A complete non sequitur of a response whereby everything F. G. referred to blew right over his head. What Mild-ly, Gary Younge, or anyone else thinks of Trump is completely beside the point of what Mild-ly was supposedly “responding” to.

          Great. 3rd weekend in a row I’ve caught the moderation bug. If this gets read in 2 or 3 days Skip, you will understand why you might hear a lot less from me. So tiresome.

        • Michael Keenan
          July 15, 2018 at 11:33 am

          Dear Wildly – Facistious….

    • July 14, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      I love this!

    • Kim Louth
      July 14, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks so much for shsring this ckever bit if comic relief.

      Kim

    • July 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      You are amazing! Thanks FG!

    • Mild - ly Facetious
      July 14, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      Trump — Russia Narrative ?
      or a New World Autocratic
      Imperative of White Nationalism?

      WITCH (yes, witch) is the craft
      pushing Bannon/Trump ideals
      of racial superiority / isolation?

      (… the thief comes not but to steal, kill and destroy

      XXXXXXXXXXX

      https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/07/14/five-things-that-would-make-the-ciacnn-russia-narrative-more-believable/

      Trump — Russia Narrative ?
      or a New World Autocratic
      Imperative of White Nationalism?

      +++++++++++++++
      Or would you Other wise recall/remember the Extreme Nationalism of Trump — Russia Narrative ?
      or the New World Autocratic Imperative of White Nationalism? as presented by
      Norway’s murderous assassin Anders the White Nationalist who systematically shot and killed 70 Norwegian teenagers ???

      Must you be reminded, in any way, of NATIONALIST FERVER as it exists in Northern and Eastern Europe –
      — where Trump is BUILDING his Now Nationalist Base … ?

      wake the ruck up, you Ichabod Cranes’s -.-.-.-

      Trump is the Revivalist of Eastern Europe’s
      Byzantine Empire
      and Putin’s Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church.

      (World / European History’s Deeply Embedded Roots …)

    • Skip Scott
      July 14, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      Still waitin’. (for a year and a half now).

    • Varenik
      July 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Mild-ly,
      Pity your faint gift is so blindly mis-directed…

    • Rob Roy
      July 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      Mildy F, read my reply to FG above. It is also my reply to you.

    • Adam Halverson
      July 15, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      @ Mild- ly – Facetious

      Oh goodness… never mind the Strawman Argument aspect of this ridiculous post. This qualifies as a non-sequitur. And a rambling and incoherent one at that.

      I award you negative points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  18. backwardsevolution
    July 14, 2018 at 6:42 am

    This back-and-forth requesting of documents by the House Intelligence Committee, only to then receive heavily redacted documents from the DOJ, or outright refusal to provide documents at all, is getting ridiculous.

    Several legal experts have said it is within President Trump’s power to order ALL documents be released immediately. This would put an end to the stalling on the part of the DOJ and the truth could be laid out on the table. Who is this Mr. Rod Rosenstein really working for, who is he trying to protect, and where the heck is Jeff Sessions?

  19. RickD
    July 14, 2018 at 6:26 am

    This article has the tenor of a hit piece.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 14, 2018 at 6:51 am

      RickD – “Many [FBI agents] are reportedly lining up to testify against what has been going on at the top.” Tick-tock, Strzok!

      • Mild -ly - Facetious
        July 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

        backwardsevolution —

        May I say, “Bring It On… ”

        Bring up the “Agents” lining up to testify against the US F.B.I. !!!!

        • mike k
          July 14, 2018 at 3:52 pm

          If it’s a “hit piece” – it’s right on target!

  20. JWalters
    July 14, 2018 at 6:20 am

    Thanks all for the great points being raised. They really fill in the scenario.

    The evidence is plain these people were trying to influence the election for Hillary against Trump, just as the DNC had done for Hillary against Bernie. Hillary was clearly the oligarchy’s candidate in the end, bankers and zionists all the way.

    It seems to me Trump had one voter demographic route to the presidency, and he took it, end-running the oligarchy in the Republican voter base. (“George Bush LIED to the people to invade Iraq!”) So they don’t trust him, and are clearly trying to bring him down with the MSM. This leads to “progressive” reporters ignoring Israel’s atrocity of the week (e.g. intentionally assassinating young woman doctor tending wounded, unarmed demonstrators, more Gaza massacres), instead spending their time scoffing at Trump’s move toward peace with North Korea, his move toward peace with Russia, and his World Wide Wrestling manners.
    http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

    • July 14, 2018 at 10:17 am

      JWalters, loved the phrase “his World Wide Wrestling manners” and appreciate your comments in general. Whatever we can say about Trump’s performance, he is a piece of work. Helluva lot better than smarmy, patronizing Obama and Johnny one note Bush.

    • Skip Edwards
      July 14, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      I encourage everyone to read the link on JWalters comment from warprofiteers; and, the four links in that article. Many years ago I read a political article in a major magazine which described how political staffers and most of our elected representatives come from major US colleges and were in fraternities and sororities. They bring with them the old tricks and attitudes which those frats and sororities used on each in college. The games of “gotcha” which they played in college have no place in a hostile world in which we live today; but, nevertheless it goes on seemingly endlessly, like our endless wars. Someone needs to tell the Clinton’s and their Democratic Party regime to grow up and realize “they” gotcha! Will it take jailing these thugs to get their attention? Republicans had better take heed, too.

      • JWalters
        July 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm

        Skip, thanks for seconding that recommendation. That’ll help some others to check it out. It seems to me a useful overview, surprising in some ways, but sensible in the end.

        Your comment on the tricksters reminds me that Richard Nixon’s “dirty tricks” squad were literally fraternity pranksters first.

    • Jessejean
      July 14, 2018 at 10:27 pm

      JWalters– Yours is the best comment in this whole discussion. While I love Ray Mac and his opinions, the amount of mental masterbation that appears here on this Lilliputian subject is grotesque. Thanks for sticking the landing.

  21. Brendan
    July 14, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Can Ray or any of the VIPS shed any light on the meaning of “oconus lures” that Strzok used in one of his text messages to Page? Apparently it’s some kind of shorthand used by FBI agents about some foreign operation. I can’t find any verifiable meaning or any translation from any language. Different people provide different explanations for what it means, depending on whose side they are on.

    Some people say the expression is about spies, and they question why the word ‘lures’ was redacted from the originally released transcript. President Trump tweeted that those texts were “referring to a counter-intelligence operation into the Trump Campaign dating way back to December, 2015.”

    Trump’s critics, on the other hand, say it’s about a trap or an arrest outside the USA and that that it doesn’t refer to Trump in any way. They also point out that the FBI investigation into Trump did not begin until the middle of 2016.

    However, it is known that the FBI investigation began following intelligence about Trump that the CIA received in March 2016. The Guardian dates the beginning of Russiagate back even further: “GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/apr/13/british-spies-first-to-spot-trump-team-links-russia

    That would put Strzok’s “oconus lures” text in December 2015 at about the same time as the first suspicions “in late 2015” of the Trump campaign’s alleged Russian connections. It would therefore be interesting to know what sort of foreign operation Strzok and Page were discussing at that time.

  22. Tom Welsh
    July 14, 2018 at 4:07 am

    On a more general plane, what continues to amaze me is how, in the environment of American politics and business where everyone is incessantly lying to everyone else, we get occasions like this when some particular individual is put under the microscope and blamed for his personal lies.

    The hypocrisy of it is stunning. The US government, one of the hugest manufacturers of Big Lies in the world – and owned body and soul by American corporations, which are if anything even greater liars – prosecuting someone for a few tiny little routine everyday tiddlers.

    I am reminded of the movie “Liar, Liar” in which Jim Carrey plays a successful lawyer. One day he is struck by a curse that compels him to tell the absolute truth on all occasions. The utter devastation this inflicts on his life is the core of the comedy, the point being that every single part of his life, from his career to his marriage, rests on an elaborate structure of lies large and small.

    Perhaps some director could create a similar movie in which the same thing happens to everyone in American politics and business. Just imagine the possibilities!

  23. Tom Welsh
    July 14, 2018 at 4:02 am

    “If Strzok was distracted by texting during the standard briefing on “NSA Capabilities:101,” he may have missed the part about NSA collecting and storing everything that goes over the Internet. That would include, of course, his private text messages with Page on private phones”.

    Perhaps a more likely explanation would be that it never occurred to Strzok that the same rules could ever apply to him – a Leader of the Anointed, a Sacred FBI boss – as to the great unwashed masses.

    Like so many “democrats”, he seems to have an enormously inflated ego and sense of his own importance.

    • RickD
      July 14, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Or these conversations between lovers were as innocuous as they seem to those not Trump supporters.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 14, 2018 at 7:13 am

        RickD – do you mean “there’s no there, there”? Those were the words that Peter Strzok used early on in the Russia collusion investigation, that he didn’t believe there was any there, there. Strzok certainly played a big role in the exoneration of Hillary Clinton, but perhaps he was only following orders? We’ll see how innocuous his comments were when all the documents are released and a timeline is established.

    • July 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm

      You are so right, the most likely explanation is a false sense of security. I can tell you this type of thing goes on in the federal govt all the time. People send stuff back and forth on govt issued equipment with the thinking that nobody cares what I email directly to one co-worker. We are always aligning with people who are politically like minded and then sending things to each other that we both identify with. And it was probably so social acceptable in the FBI to hate on Trump, Strzok would have felt completely comfortable voicing such contempt with his lover, and if it ever did get out who cares! Afterall Hillary will be POTUS. Really the suggestion made earlier is correct, Stryzok is the fall guy for higher ups (i.e. Comey), if they scrubbed everyone’s cell phones and computers and the like they would find all kinds of crazy shit. You just have to be in the club.

  24. Tom Welsh
    July 14, 2018 at 3:54 am

    “Pity Page, who asked for more time to answer a subpoena to testify to the same joint-committee. It is understandable that she would have trusted Strzok on this. After all, he was not only her lover, but also one of the FBI’s top counterintelligence officials”.

    Anyone remember Hot Lips Houlihan and Major Frank Burns (in “MASH”)? Actually, judging from the photo Strzok even looks like Burns.

  25. July 14, 2018 at 3:47 am

    How ironic is it that Trump is wanting peace and democrats are pushing for WW3 ?

    • backwardsevolution
      July 14, 2018 at 4:53 am

      Jean – yes, how ironic! And Trump is pushing for tariffs in order to force the U.S. multinationals to bring their production back home, and the Democrats are pushing back against him. The party that used to represent the working man is now hanging them out to dry. Bizarre.

      • Skip Edwards
        July 14, 2018 at 1:09 pm

        “And Trump is pushing for tariffs in order to force the U.S. multinationals to bring their production back home, and the Democrats are pushing back against him. The party that used to represent the working man is now hanging them out to dry. Bizarre.”

        Let me get this straight. Did not Bill Clinton start packing up American jobs and sending them to cheaper, no benefits with no worker safety rules foreign countries. It was Bill Clinton and his establishment Democrats who did this, was it not?

    • Kim Louth
      July 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      Jean,

      Trump wants profits, not peace. Even if it is proven that the FBI colluded wirh and protected Hillary’s machine , and that this neo McCarthyism is , pardon the pun, a trumped up ruse, Trump will still be nothing more than the glorified used car salesman. he has repeatedly proven himself to be. Let’s for once rise above this old school binary thinking about our country and our leaders and simply look for the truth. The only ones I trust anymore are Assange, Snowden and Ray McGovern. This is not because tbey support a party line or a candidate but because they support the truth Assange has maintained since Day 1 that the Russians had nothing to do with hacked DNC servers and leakef emails. This is a man who has published over 10 million documents, NOT ONE OF WHICH HAS EVER BEEN CHALLENGED FOR ITS AUTHENTICITY, not by the CIA, the FBI or the NSA.

    • July 14, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      It is mind blowing!!!!

  26. backwardsevolution
    July 14, 2018 at 3:47 am

    I only saw snippets of Strzok’s testimony, but I came away thinking: what an arrogant and cocky little “p”. That smirk on his face was either the smirk of an idiot or someone who knows that higher-ups have got his back. Regret? Not something a guy like that would ever feel. His only regret is that he got caught.

    “Many are reportedly lining up to testify against what has been going on at the top.” This is exactly what needs to happen, a total purging of all of the corruption.

    I want to know who authorized allowing Crowdstrike to forensically examine Hillary’s servers. This can’t be FBI protocol, can it? Why would the FBI take the word of an outside company when they have their own investigators? The most likely reason is that the FBI “wanted” the results that Crowdstrike came up with. I mean, had their own investigators examined the servers, they would have found out the truth, and truth wasn’t what they were looking for.

    “Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” the sources said. The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter. The shift from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” which may appear pedestrian at first glance, reflected a decision by the FBI that could have had potentially significant legal implications, as the federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for “gross negligence.”

    Oh, for the love of coincidences! It just so happened the Loretta Lynch just coincidentally ran into Bill Clinton on an Arizona tarmac and had to recuse herself (as if her second-in-command, Sally Yates, couldn’t have handled it!), thereby inexplicably leaving the decision whether or not to charge Hillary Clinton in the hands of the FBI. How convenient was that?!!! After a few drinks and some laughs – voila – “gross negligence” disappears from the pages of history.

    And that’s just scratching the surface. If the American people fall for this and don’t demand that the whole truth comes out, then the country is truly lost.

  27. July 14, 2018 at 3:40 am

    This is where it goes off the cliff

    FBI texts: Obama ‘wants to know everything we’re doing’

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna845531

    • Skip Scott
      July 14, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Thanks for the link. It is very strange that NBC let this story slip by, and it doesn’t bode well for the overall success for the prosecution of Strzok and McCabe. Obama will be protected at all costs. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” is already in high gear.

  28. Elise Wood
    July 14, 2018 at 3:22 am

    Thanks for the expanded insight into this debacle Ray! What a farce. The unhinged dems were in particularly pitious form. Scary times when you see so many people conflating a narrative into a viceral reality. I’m curious which of these dems on the committee believe their hysteria and which ones are acting.

  29. Ben
    July 14, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Why didn’t the FBI or CIA take the DNC server that was mentioned as compromised from the very beginning?
    They should had been the first to initiate a cyber forensic analysis, not CrowdStrike.
    There are other cyber forensic analysts who disagree with CrowStrike’s findings and performed a better job than they did.
    Ex:
    https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/
    http://g-2.space/

    • July 14, 2018 at 3:48 am

      Because it implicates them

      • Seer
        July 16, 2018 at 4:20 am

        And there it is– EXACTLY what lies at the heart of this!

        I said it here quite some time ago that the intelligence community was involved in helping to undermine the Sanders campaign (no, I was not a Sanders supporter [I supported no one]).

        This is just like the Benghazi story in that the origins of the crimes cannot be let out as doing so will condemn the entire system: in the case of Benghazi everyone was complicit, in which case the GOP couldn’t really unmask HRC’s crimes w/o getting caught up themselves- all they could do is point at HRC (and she couldn’t really defend her position w/o implicating herself). I strongly believe that it was more than the DNC itself that had a hand in overthrowing Sanders- and thus the basis for ACTUAL election interference (always point fingers at others [e.g. Russia] for crimes you yourself are committing, seems always the strategy). Pretty sure that the GOP power-brokers are aware that they cannot peel the layers into HRC’s e-mails w/o implicating themselves: and the evidence is pretty much there (WikiLeaks), but it’s been craftily tainted via the Russia-Gate brushing; only an insider willing to come forth can force this out into the open (it would take a Snowden-squared level of action to open this can).

  30. July 13, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Every time I follow a new twist and turn in the U.K’s false flag “Skripanl poisoning affair” I think to myself that the U.K. government’s actions more and more resemble some sort of absurd Monty Python skit – however, just about then another facet of our U.S. “Russiagate” false flag nonsense rears its head and I realize the Brits have absolutely nothing on us when it comes to absurdist political theatre. The only thing surprising at this point is that ANY citizen in either country might believe a single word spoken by any government official on any matter whatsoever.

    • July 14, 2018 at 3:50 am

      You might think that they would have learned after they knew they were lied into the wars and are being flooded with unfriendly immigrants from USA wars

    • Skip Scott
      July 14, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Whenever I hear “common folk” discussing the Skripal poisonings or RussiaGate I get the feeling that I’ve walked in on some hypnotist’s act of mass hypnosis. It is quite strange and disquieting to be the only one who isn’t hypnotized. I come to CN to get a little company.

      • July 14, 2018 at 10:04 am

        It is truly an era in which the creation of highly orchestrated collective mass delusion – based upon zero actual evidence – has become simply the “normative” state of affairs in our so called “Western democracies.” If I wasn’t witness to this I don’t think I’d believe such a mass propaganda effort could be so amazingly effective. CN and the smattering of other progressive anti-imperialist web sites are the only refuge from this collective madness.

        • Alcuin
          July 15, 2018 at 5:03 am

          Makes it easier to imagine what typical civilians must have experienced in Germany, Soviet Union, etc. in the last century.

      • robjira
        July 14, 2018 at 12:14 pm

        Me too, Skip; it’s getting pretty lonely out there.

      • July 14, 2018 at 6:28 pm

        Mass hypnosis is exactly what it is…..

    • Skip Edwards
      July 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      And when there is no trust in government what do the Brits do? But here in the good old US of A what do we do? Why we go shopping is what we do.

  31. July 13, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks for this from someone who heard you speak live in Catholic church in the Midwest in 2003 in the run-up to the Iraq War. I’m not an intelligence analyst but you showed how you didn’t have to be to cut through the disinformation and think critically about the evidence or lack thereof among the weeds.
    Your sense of humor is not lost upon your readers and is a much needed balm in that face of this kind of mass cognitive dissonance with Russiagate. Keep writing Ray.

  32. Anya
    July 13, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Mr. Mueller has not been interested in examining the DNC computers for the alleged Russian hacking. But was he interested in the documented violation of congressional computers by Awan family?
    The congressional computers have a trove of classified information. Awans had never had a clearance for accessing these computers. Will Debbie Wasserman be punished for keeping Awans on the congressional payroll even after they were suspected of the crime? Will Wasserman be asked to reimburse the government (taxpayers) for the exorbitant fees that she ahd arranged for the Awans, even while it was known that Awans were not qualified for the IT job?

    • July 14, 2018 at 3:52 am

      Wasn’t it a crime scene?

      You don’t think that they would take your computer in a nanosecond?

      They are covering their tracks

    • Skip Scott
      July 14, 2018 at 8:43 am

      The Awans were almost immediately flushed down the memory hole. “Nothing to see here folks…move along.”

      • Seer
        July 16, 2018 at 4:26 am

        Just like the bin Ladens, who were flown out of the USA just after 9/11. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

    • Gregory Herr
      July 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      https://sputniknews.com/radio_fault_lines/201807061066074476-the-deep-state-strikes-back/

      “For the final segment, Emmy award winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson joins the show to give her thoughts on the recent DOJ IG report and the case of the Awan Brothers. What is the extent of DOJ and FBI corruption that has been revealed, and why were members of Congress, including Republicans, not interested in aggressively pursuing the actions of the Awan Brothers.”

      I bookmarked this discussion last week and haven’t gotten around to it yet…but it may prove informative.

  33. Clif
    July 13, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    I am just so grateful to Ray McGovern.

    Stunning how the mythology of a Great America rest on such a few individuals fighting the good fight.

    • Sam F
      July 14, 2018 at 9:05 am

      Yes, that “such a few individuals” are “fighting the good fight” is indeed stunning.

  34. Jacob Freeze
    July 13, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    Both the New Yorker and New York Magazine celebrated Strzok’s testimony as a triumph for truth, justice, and the American Way! The New Yorker’s headline – “Peter Strzok Zaps His Republican Inquisitors” – was so far over the top that at first I thought it must be one of Andy Borowitz’ satirical articles, but no! They put it out there like straight news.

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-g-man-fights-back-peter-strzok-zaps-his-republican-inquisitors?

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/peter-strzok-transcript-hearing-watch-fbi-agents-searing-testimony.html

    • DFC
      July 13, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      Jacob Freeze,

      That is a really interesting observation. I imagine that Strzok, Page, McCabe, Comey, Rosenstein et.al. were all big consumers of the MSM. With headlines and stories like you just posted, anyone consuming those publications is not getting the TRUTH. If you were consuming those same publications, just prior to the 2016 election, no doubt you would come away with the idea that Hillary Clinton was going to be the next President with 100% certainty. In that case they all felt they could act with near impunity as Hillary would never investigate anything and possibly even reward them. What they did not realize was that they were reading BOGUS MEDIA and thus got duped by their own propaganda arm (the MSM) (lol).

      • Alcuin
        July 14, 2018 at 4:36 am

        Almost makes you wonder if the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird was ever discontinued… Are these poor FBI folks the dupes of another three-letter agency? Or was Strzok CIA from the beginning? Apparently more people remember Obama at Columbia than remember Strzok at Quantico.

        • Skip Scott
          July 14, 2018 at 8:40 am

          Obviously control of the MSM continues apace, if not even worse than the days of Operation Mockingbird. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, and the NDAA of 2012 (that made propagandizing U.S. citizens legal) were the two final nails in the coffin. “Full Spectrum Dominance” is the name of the game. We live in Orwellian times.

    • July 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      It is stunning, isn’t it? In a horror movie kinda way. :(

    • Rob Roy
      July 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Jacob, I’ve subscribed to The New Yorker for decades. Since Trump, however, they have lost their minds. Always touted for their fact-checking, that reputation has gone out the window. They actually spout the same junk re Russia as the MSM. Masha Gessen writes there instead of Stephen F. Cohen. This is 7/13 from TNYorker: “Thanks to Robert Mueller, Trump and Putin Now Have a Summit Agenda” by S.B. Glasser who never writes anything that can pass the smell test. David Remnick is on board to speak wisely about how bad Putin is. I’m going to have to drop a magazine I’ve respected for years.

      Oh, I quit the New York Times a long time ago.

      • Adam Halverson
        July 15, 2018 at 10:41 pm

        I’m sure you’re well aware of the seemingly well-crafted doozy of a conspiracy theory authored by Jonathan Chait by now. (Marked by “PRUMP TUTIN” on the top.)

        • Adam Halverson
          July 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm

          [Comment deleted]

  35. July 13, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Our VIPS technical experts say the indictments are easily debunked nonsense. Do you get the idea that some folks in Washington, inspired, aided and abbetted by John Bolton, would like to put the kibosh on the summit — or at least make sure it does not succeed? ray

    • exiled off mainstreet
      July 13, 2018 at 10:20 pm

      I appreciate the article, and it certainly looks like you’ve got a handle on this grandstand indictment. What would happen if the Russians indicted yankee operatives who really were guilty of something? The whole thing has the aroma of absurdity about it, especially since the real evidence indicates the most likely source of the wikileaks documents was Seth Rich, who was murdered for his act of heroism exposing the corruption of the Hillary-controlled Democratic National Committee.

      • Skip Scott
        July 14, 2018 at 9:07 am

        Thanks for this link…very telling indeed.

    • Realist
      July 14, 2018 at 3:31 am

      Mueller is so transparently political it is clear he has no shame whatsoever, nor does he fear any blowback from his blatantly divisive actions. He sees his role as the anointed agent to effect regime change in this country (i.e., effect a coup one way or another), damn the consequences. Obviously, Trump can’t touch him or risk being charged with obstruction of justice, but frankly I am amazed that the Republicans have allowed this charade to progress as far as it has (unless they are not-so-secretly working with the Democratic opposition). He has been wasting time, money and government resources for a year and a half already. Why doesn’t the GOP make him appear before congress to give a progress report and explain his notable gross derelictions such as the total failure to seize and analyse the DNC servers or how the Intelligence Community Assessment of “Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” doesn’t amount to a hill of beans without actual evidence? Apparently, both we Yanks and our British minions are working from the same manual when it comes to substantiating highly provocative accusations against Putin and Russia. Evidence? We don’t need no steenking evidence! We also ape them on the timing related to other major world events… like critical summit meetings between world leaders. Nothing like poisoning the water on the long journey to achieving world peace.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 14, 2018 at 4:44 am

        Realist – “…frankly I am amazed that the Republicans have allowed this charade to progress as far as it has (unless they are not-so-secretly working with the Democratic opposition).”

        I think this is exactly what’s happening. With few exceptions, it’s one big uni-party now. Many of the top Republicans wouldn’t mind Trump being impeached. In fact, they are probably working toward that end. The politicians have been totally captured, along with the media. The elite don’t want someone like Trump monkeying with their foreign factories employing cheap foreign labor. That cuts into profits. They don’t want NATO cut back or peace breaking out. They are going to fight Trump every step of the way. This is the price he must pay for wanting to change things. Can you imagine any outsider ever wanting to run for President again?

      • michael
        July 14, 2018 at 7:29 am

        Hopefully the newly charged Russians (if they even exist, probably known dead agents from the past) will send or hire lawyers here to expose “the evidence”, much as the clickbait Russian ad agency did. Mueller freaked when the clickbait lawyers asked for Discovery, the right of any defendant charged with a crime in the US.
        From watching the plight of ILLEGAL immigrants, foreigners seem to have the same rights (or more) than American citizens. Except Russians who have no freedom of speech or right to face their accusers. Probably because the Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever”, as the racist liar Clapper put it.

        • backwardsevolution
          July 14, 2018 at 6:37 pm

          michael – yes, I too hope that one of these Russians calls Mueller’s bluff. Good comments.

      • Seer
        July 16, 2018 at 4:46 am

        The entire goal of all of this is to keep the general population confused/distracted. Got nothing to do with unearthing the facts, as the facts would effectively condemn the entire power structure. As H.L. Mencken wrote:

        “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

        With the certain impending demise of the USD there is a sense of urgency in conjuring up an external threat big enough to distract us from this. The power elite require a smoke screen to make their get-away: some will stay and fight (using State apparatus) while others will look to run. In no way am I thinking this will be as “easy” as others have had it in the past.

        Elements of the US government have been responsible for manipulating elections IN the US for a long time, not to mention engaging in outright assassinations. Whether or not the curtain is ever really pulled back to show us the brick wall (look up the quote by Frank Zappa) is up for debate, but there can be no doubt that there is in fact a brick wall behind the curtain.

    • JWalters
      July 14, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Well, the CIA did have one of their spy planes shot down over Russia just before a meeting between Eisenhower and Khrushchev. It torpedoed the meeting, which was not what Eisenhower wanted. But there’s so much money to be made from war …

      • JWalters
        July 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm

        PS. The CIA launched that flight despite Eisenhower previously ordering all such flights stopped specifically to avoid such an occurance.

    • July 14, 2018 at 6:33 pm

      Yes!!! As a recovered evangelical fundamentalist I KNOW they do not want peace with Russia. That would prevent their Armageddon “prophecies” from being fulfilled within their lifetime. Watching Pompeo talking to evangelical fundamentalists about the “Rapture” makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

      • JWalters
        July 14, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        Diana, thanks for your testimony. Cults are created to be manipulated and milked. Once established, their leaders can rent out the members as political mercenaries for extra income.

  36. Jeff Harrison
    July 13, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Go Ray! I would love to hear your take on the indictments of Russians in hacking the DNC server. As I understand it, Mueller & Co. didn’t look at the server itself, they relied on Crowdstrike, that highly competent and capable IT organization instead. And I’ll be really interested to see Mr. Putin’s reaction in the event that Trump is stupid enough to do what Ms. Pelosi is demanding.

    • July 13, 2018 at 9:52 pm

      I agree. I’d like to hear from him or other VIPS on both the latest indictiments and the recent Senate Intelligence Committee’s judgement that the original Intelligence Report is to be believed entirely.

      • Meg W
        July 14, 2018 at 1:05 am

        Yes! Please give us VIPS report on the indictments of the Russian Intelligence Officials.

        • michael
          July 14, 2018 at 7:40 am

          Nothing came out of Pompeo’s discussion with Binney. High level Intelligence Agencies’ bureaucrats are tightly wed to Establishment politicians and the neocon neolib agendas (war profiteering).

          Remember Obama’s and Hillary’s sanctimonious lectures about democracy being about accepting the results of Elections even when your side loses?
          The president, campaigning in Miami for Hillary Clinton and Senate candidate Chris Murphy, said that “when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy.”
          “That is not a joking matter,” Obama said. “No, no, no. I want everyone to pay attention here.” “That is dangerous.”
          “Then you are doing the work of our adversaries for them,” Obama argued. “Because our democracy depends on people knowing their vote matters.”
          “We know, in our country, the difference between leadership and dictatorship. And the peaceful transition of power is something that sets us apart,” Hillary Clinton.

          It has been over a year and the losing half of our Banana Republic refuses to accept the Election results. When these people can interfere with foreign policy with no accountability, America is in deep trouble.

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