Consortium News’ Record on Russia-gate—How CN Covered the ‘Scandal’: No. 4—‘The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate’

As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the “scandal” started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, wrote Joe Lauria on Oct. 29, 2017.

The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election — without providing convincing evidence — were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers. Think about that for a minute.

We have long known that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.

And, it has now been disclosed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim that the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposed that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump’s presidency years ago when no one else did.

2016 Democratic National Convention (Flickr)

Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele’s allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama’s intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “hand-picked” the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 “assessment” claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama’s intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.

Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured “scandal” that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political “oppo” serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the “scandal” continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. (Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies.)

‘Cash for Trash’

Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.

Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.

“The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week,” The New York Times reported on Friday night.

So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats’ aim from the start.

Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.

It’s important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government’s decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call “cash for trash” when they were the targets.

Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.

Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.

Dubious Stuff

Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This “oppo” is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele’s memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.

Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump’s campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence “assessment” by those “hand-picked” analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama’s intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 “assessment.” Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.

Five days later, after the fact of Comey’s briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in full by the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations’ inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier’s publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.

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Russian Fingerprints

The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian “fingerprints” in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.

Dmitri Alperovitch, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer, CrowdStrike Inc., leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.

CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike’s conclusion about Russian “fingerprints” resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

CrowdStrike’s credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

“An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election,” VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there’s the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange’s denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.

And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic “hack” would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a “hack,” the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin’s guilt.

Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Washington Post)

Just weeks after last November’s election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or “useful idiots.”

Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West,” put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.

Included on the list of “useful idiots” absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report stated: “Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naïveté about RT’s political agenda, buying into the network’s marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These ‘useful idiots’ remain oblivious to RT’s intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts.”

The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.

Geopolitical Risks

More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.

Time magazine cover recounting how the U.S. enabled Boris Yeltsin’s reelection as Russian president in 1996.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia’s vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia’s border.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton’s defeat but to stop Trump — possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage — because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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38 comments for “Consortium News’ Record on Russia-gate—How CN Covered the ‘Scandal’: No. 4—‘The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate’

  1. April 8, 2019 at 09:58

    It has always bothered me that the DNC was able to thumb its nose to the FBI when there was good reason to check the DNC servers for hacking evidence back in 2016, before this McCarthyesque anti-Russian quest went into high gear. Let’s say the foremost civilian police agency had probable cause to do such an investigation, could the DNC really just say “Hands Off, FBI, we don’t want you messing with our servers?” Wow, if the the DNC could do this, I wonder why DT’s lawyer Michael Cohen didn’t have the same choice to protect his office and home computers from FBI investigators? Indeed, can we all just say we happen to dislike what the FBI might be doing and ask it back off? What a country!

  2. robert e williamson jr
    April 4, 2019 at 16:57

    Johnmicheal2 –

    So the hell you say! I’m liking this tact your are on.

    We can find that the Internet Research Agency was founded middle of 2013 . In fact the Wikipedia page has a pretty comprehensive history of the development of the Russian’s effort there.

    I know it’s wiki but things like the 2013 establishment 0f Russia’s IRA and other dates I’ll go with until someone can verify other wise.

    My point is these dates are evidence. Johnmicheal2 raises an interesting point about just how far Internet and computer technologies have advanced. I can state with 100 % certainty that I’m clueless to how far advanced this tech may be.
    Years ago in the military I learned that they had means far beyond what was known to the public. Tech that was something 10 or 15 years ahead of the public at large.

    We need verified factual evidence. In addition we need to know if our intel services are up to this task. So far I’m not impressed at all. To me that is a big problem. The bigger problem is that the intel services have themselves backed onto a corner with their “source and methods ” bullshit excuse for not releasing anything. Then we hear , “well we don’t want to cause injury to the innocent individuals involved.” Look most of these individuals are pretty well off. I think if you run for office or appointed to high level positions that must be confirmed then we get to see your income tax returns. You are at that point a public official. This simple act would stop a large portion of the misbehavior for profit in our government. Don’t hold your breath waiting for this idea to catch hold in D.C.

    Considering what we don’t know about the tech involved our own government’s intell agencies might have tried to hijack the election.

    This is exactly why every American needs to raise hell until they know what actually happened here. That is of course unless you happen to believe the old line, “Hello we are from the government and we are here to help you. . . . ” Based on the “bullshit barrage” we have received so far I am not about to believe the intel community’s mouth pieces. They have done nothing to build confidence.

    We could use an autopsy, an electronic autopsy to follow the electronic signals. One of the electronic forensic investigations. Some one does have the records right? Or am I thinking about the folks at the ICIJ, International Consortium or Investigative Journalists. A group Mueller contacted for info-data-evidence files.

    It’s a Dogdamned shame we don’t have an Eric Swartz around to help our side out right now.

    We need a full unredacted report published on the internet about just what the hell happened here and we need it last week. 2020 is rapidly approaching and Americas ballot boxes are under serious threat.

    PEACE

  3. Brian
    April 3, 2019 at 13:55

    The article says April 2016, GPS Fusion was hired. Papadapolous was meeting with a Russian operative by late March 2016. Can someone clarify on this one? Just trying to track facts. I like that this is getting clearer, more fact driven.

    • Broompilot
      April 4, 2019 at 00:41

      It also states that Singer dropped Fusion GPS in May 2016… Then in April 2016 the DNC hired Fusion …
      My calendar may be wrong but it shows April 2016 preceding May 2016. Or were the fine folks at Fusion working for both parties at the same time?

  4. JC
    April 2, 2019 at 20:41

    regardless of Russian gate the people of the USA were given the choice between rotten and rottner…clinton was already to be a belligerent ahole to the highest degree..trump said he wasnt going to be but lied. I really dont think he was even elected he wasa appointed look who he has been the best for hardly anyone in the USA but israel hit the jackpot.and probably would have with either one…to hell with the middle class for from both of them

  5. H. Beazley
    April 2, 2019 at 19:29

    I never believed the Russiagate story and got drummed out of an Indivisible chapter for stating that belief. The Democratic Party no longer stands for peace as it did in my youth. Very sad!

  6. jsinton
    April 2, 2019 at 18:24

    Mr. Parry was SOOOO on target, right from the beginning. I only instinctively knew it was a Deep State hit job “when I saw one”. There was so few voices that got it right about Muellergate in the early days back in 2017. Mr. Parry gave me the courage to pursue the story through the correct lens.

  7. Johnmichael2
    April 2, 2019 at 14:12

    Binney and McGovern are years behind in their understanding of digital technology. USA located robot bot clusters are very good at hacking large databases quickly without the need for fast data links to their controllers. Wake up guys, we’re in a different age.

    • Eric32
      April 2, 2019 at 19:27

      >USA located robot bot clusters are very good at hacking large databases quickly without the need for fast data links to their controllers. <

      That's nearly incoherent, but nevertheless I searched on "robot bot clusters" and only came up cartoon and gaming items.

      Give us some relevant links as to what you're talking about.

  8. Joe Tedesky
    April 2, 2019 at 13:21

    First I must mention that here at the Consortium this Russiagate story has been called out for what it was from the very start. Starting with the founder Robert Parry and continued on by Joe Lauria the Consortium has proved an invaluable source of first rate reporting. Thanks Consortium.

    Now and until we drill down into how this whole Russiagate story got started it’s a waste of time to blow pass the genesis to where the collusion story evolved to what we now know of it. By prosecuting these false blame game agents of political confusion this would send a message to the ones who were the most harmed by this contrived rouse namely the Russians. Would bringing these evil instigators too justice improve our relationship with Vladimir Putin? I’m sure Putin would be diplomatically gracious but I seriously doubt that there are enough of those with good conscience in our nation’s capital who would find this kind of apology suitable to their ‘indispensable’ hubristic ways. Sad when there could be so much to gain on the international front.

    Here Edward Curtain discuss a few other ‘conspiracies’ that need examined by the American public.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-takeover-america-1960s/5673387

    • Bob Van Noy
      April 2, 2019 at 13:48

      Nice link Joe. Thank you.

      • Joe Tedesky
        April 2, 2019 at 15:04

        you are welcome Bob…. we should start with investigating all these so called ‘conspiracy theories’ (which aren’t really conspiracies).

        • CitizenOne
          April 2, 2019 at 20:01

          If you own the means of communication and control the message then you invent a hundred fake conspiracies to hide the true conspiracy which is the one the media never talks about or if it does is dismissive of.

          Just look at the massive power failure in Venezuela. The US has already engaged in this type of sabotage and we saw the same root kit used by the CIA to disguise hacks conducted by the US to make it look like the Russians did it.

          The Suxtnet virus was the virus used either the US or Israel or both to destroy about half of the Uranium enrichment Centrifuges in Iran’s major enrichment facility. The virus took over the PLCs and HMIs. It commanded the PLCs to increase RPM to self destruct while disabling all failsafes. Meanwhile the HMIs were altered to reflect typical operating parameters so no one would be alerted until the centrifuges were all a bustin and a poppin. The Iranians cut the hard wires and managed to save most but a lot were destroyed.

          So how did Marco Rubio, Americas new ambassador to Guaido Land know exactly three minutes after the failure at the main hydro dam in Venezuela that the backup generators also had failed which he tweeted about?

          Why are the Washington Post and the NY Times publishing articles saying that the latest sanctions are the first time the US has done that when it was done in 2017. The 2017 sanctions that nobody here seems to know about set the whole economic free fall in motion at a new frightening pace. Now a year and a half later we are swooping in for the kill.

          As far as the media is concerned they are dismissive that the US might be behind it. Stupid as ever to the end of time in the service of the empire.

          I completely agree that Russia has been hammered over and over with sanctions which truly impact their economy. The Banksters have mastered the art of waging war with money. Economic warfare is what it is. “Sanctions” sounds so sanitized. The are the receiving line of the shi* rolling down from the top of the US government. Honestly, I am grateful that we have not caused a major altercation with Russia as of yet. The US power grab in Venezuela may be too much for the Russians to bear.

          It reminds me of a movie called WWIII about how the final nuclear war happens when Russian troops capture a pumping station at the Alaska pipeline and threaten to blow it up if their demands for the US to end the grain embargo are not met. Eventually through a single last minute misstep, the missiles go flying ad the movie ends with mushroom clouds all over the place.

          We are heading there by our own choices and actions. It is eerily similar to the situation today where we are slapping heavy sanctions heaped over and over for dubious allegations of Russian wrongdoing or at least highly exaggerated.
          Now Russia is moving troops and planes to Venezuela while the US orders them out.

          Here is a review: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084919/

          If only Bob were alive today to alert us to the impending doom as he was so great at doing. Bob is greatly missed. His passing has left a hole in the world of honest investigative reporting and that is becoming a lost art.

  9. Dwight Spencer
    April 2, 2019 at 13:03

    “And, it has now been disclosed . . .” Are you kidding? This collusion by Hillary Clinton and the DCCC with the Russians has been known for the past year via Wikileaks emails. Go look at the video reports generated by Jimmy Dore over the past two years. This is OLD news – where have you been?

    • Consortiumnews.com
      April 2, 2019 at 14:35

      This article was published on Oct. 29, 2017, as it states above. We are running a series of our Russia-gate stories from our archives, showing how we covered the story.

  10. Eric32
    April 2, 2019 at 12:41

    I think there are two factors that go into the Hillary dems using the Russia fiction on Trump, versus bad and even criminal things he’s actually done, which David Cay Johnston has been writing about for a couple decades.

    1) Trump-Russia propaganda has had the tactical advantage of mis-directing people’s attention from Hillary’s own deals with, and receipt of money from, Russia. The uranium deal, her degenerate husband being paid $500,000 for one speech, the corrupt Clinton “charity” foundation, and who knows what else.

    Accusing others of what the actual perpetrator has done is a good tactical move that confuses people – it makes the issue appear indecipherable to much of the public.

    2) I think the American political process has been “Hollywoodized”. As such, it simply isn’t comfortable and familiar with real things – it wants fiction and fantasy, the more perverse the better.

    Why go with corrupt business dealings, reneging on deals, bankruptcies based on reality, when you can gin up Russian hookers peeing on beds and someone rolling around in it?

    That’s where we are with these “people” who are at the top of the American “democracy”.

  11. Eddie
    April 2, 2019 at 11:52

    The ruling elites prefer that workers are distracted by the nonsense of Russia-gate or any of the myriad shiny objects the lickspittles in the the two-party dictatorship and the corporate media create out of thin air.

    Meanwhile, the wars of profit continue apace, The Pentagon cannot (or will not) account for $22 trillion of our taxes. Psychopaths like John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Mike Pompeo and Mike Pence in the Trump administration are lying the US into a war with Venezuela. One half of the US population lives in poverty as 80 percent of the US population do not have the resources for a $400 emergency.

  12. April 2, 2019 at 11:06

    “Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear.”

    Yet some non-significant intelligence agencies supported the conjecture of “Russian meddling”. That an many instances in the past, like Iraqi WMD, lead me to think that misinformation is part of the mission of CIA and similar agencies, although it is perhaps part of “operations” rather than “analysis”. But misinformation requires that false data are paid for and the organization of the collected data is “subtle” so to make hoaxes easier to make if the political leadership so insists.

    For another recent example, consider Scripal poisoning. Integrity Initiative was apparently staffed by members of MI6 and/or other intelligence organizations, although it is murky why they were paid from a grant as a QUANGO. Nevertheless, intelligence organizations can provide people for campaigns of misinformation, vilification etc.

    I assume that MI6, CIA etc. also work on figuring out what is really going on, so by design the picture is not clear to the public.

    • Eric32
      April 2, 2019 at 15:06

      >Yet some non-significant intelligence agencies supported the conjecture of “Russian meddling”.<

      Not exactly. The crapbags Clapper and Brennan had to hand pick some analysts (meaning finding some especially malleable ones), and even then they couched their language in terms of an "assessment", which is inside language for they don't know either.

    • April 2, 2019 at 19:31

      Psych Operations is a CIA category.

  13. April 2, 2019 at 10:58

    People who have had the basic good sense to follow Consortium News since VIPS got the Iraqi “WMDs” so spectacularly right, never fell down the Russiagate rabbit hole, thanks to Robert Parry, Ray McGovern, William Binney, Joe Lauria, Gareth Porter, and other clear-eyed analysts.

    • ToivoS
      April 2, 2019 at 15:00

      so very true.

      At one point I thought that there might be something there: omg! NBC and CNN could not be that wrong. OK I was wrong. But I still found it difficult that they could be so wrong.

  14. April 2, 2019 at 10:44

    This classic analysis is the key to understanding that EVERY aspect of Russiagate – including “Russian interference” – is a consciously-constructed hoax. I highlighted it in an essay I posted several months later.

    https://medium.com/@markfmccarty/every-aspect-of-russiagate-is-an-outright-hoax-crafted-by-paid-associates-of-the-dnc-and-abetted-3a81e3fd665e

    It is hard to overstate the evil of the people who pulled this off.

  15. Bob Van Noy
    April 2, 2019 at 09:52

    Many thanks Joe Lauria for this very insightful and accurate reporting. It is truly amazing in retrospect. In this reading, I was particularly impressed by your perceptive insights on “Geopolitical Risks” that I didn’t fully grasp until I read F. William Engdahl’s book “Manifest Destiny”.
    Again, your work at this site and for Julian Assange is invaluable.

  16. Rob
    April 2, 2019 at 08:55

    This is all about bankrupting the world through debt so that within the next decade compliance will come through extortion:

    Revelation 13:16-17 And he causeth all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, that there be given them a mark on their right hand, or upon their forehead; (17) and that no man should be able to buy or to sell, save he that hath the mark, even the name of the beast or the number of his name.

    The question becomes who will you serve:

    https://sumofthyword.com/2017/01/18/the-mystery-of-lawlessness/

    • hetro
      April 2, 2019 at 15:25

      And from the bible at Proverbs 12:

      “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”

  17. Sally Snyder
    April 2, 2019 at 08:43

    Given the many recent issues with the American intelligence community, here is a look at what one former POTUS had to say about trusting his own intelligence network:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/02/americas-intelligence-community-can.html

    Given the current world geopolitical situation and the American intelligence network’s close involvement in the Russian meddling narrative, it’s looking this former president’s assessment was prescient.

    • Hrabanus
      April 2, 2019 at 17:38

      Thank you. That should really be included in every US History textbook.

  18. April 2, 2019 at 08:43

    Looking at the article today and Mueller’s conclusions demonstrates just how prescient it was. Got a chuckle out of the following:

    “Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian “fingerprints” in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.”

    Thought so the first time I read the Mr. Lauria’ article.

  19. April 2, 2019 at 08:19

    During those seemingly endless years of non-stop Republican nonsense about Obama’s “birth certificate,” and claiming “Obamacare is the end of the world,” it seemed to me that no political party could possibly stoop lower into the gutter than the Republican’s had done. Enter the Democrats!

    In the Republican’s defense, at least they didn’t feed into the creation of a completely fraudulent “new Cold War” making the world an infinitely more dangerous place for everyone. The farcical nature of Russiagate and of Washington’s version of “reality” in general would be amusing if it were not so dangerous to the continuation of all life on earth.

    The MSM, both corrupt political parties, and a good deal of the so called “progressive” and “alternative” media have outed themselves with this latest bit of Orwellian slapstick imperial crazy. As they say, “you can’t make this stuff up.”

  20. Skip Scott
    April 2, 2019 at 08:09

    Great article from Joe Lauria. This recap of CN’s coverage of RussiaGate was a great idea, and shows how accurate and honest reporting stands up to the passage of time, whereas propaganda eventually needs to be flushed down the “memory hole” so a new propaganda scheme can be effective.

  21. JDD
    April 2, 2019 at 07:49

    It has long been known that the origins of the campaign against Trump were in British Intelligence, as the Guardian has repeatedly boasted, and recently acknowledged by the president himself in a tweet last week. We know that the now-exploded ‘Russia-gate’ was started from British GCHQ signals intelligence and MI6 foreign intelligence in 2015, a network run by Steele’s former superiors Sir Richard Dearlove and Sir Andrew Wood; the President and his attorneys know the attack was British, and imported into the United States by CIA’s Brennan, among others.
    “The conspiracy against Donald Trump, in my opinion, originated with British intelligence and persons connected with the Clinton Campaign. The provocation/dangle of George Papadopoulos was the result of electronic intercepts by [British intelligence’s NSA equivalent, General Communications Headquarters] GCHQ targeting people working on the Trump campaign. The collection effort generated hundreds of highly classified ‘SIGINT’ messages that were disseminated in the U.S. intelligence community. Those messages led to the unmasking of more than 100 Americans whose names appeared in those reports. And this ‘intel’ dump from the Brits became the predicate for launching a counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump and his campaign,” former CIA officer Larry Johnson, now active with the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), wrote on March 27, in the blog of Col. Pat Lang (ret.), “Sic Semper Tyrannis.”
    Therefore a focused counter-investigation led from the White House will blow up the U.S.-British “special relationship” and British war and Cold War policies. It would end the geopolitical war-confrontation policy London has dragged Trump into through relentless, McCarthyite “Russia-gating,” led on the ground shamefully by leading Democrats — the new, true “neo-Cons”.
    President Trump could become relatively much freer to pursue the policy fow which he has spoken but has been blocked from doing, cooperating with other great powers — particularly Russia and China — for peace. And perhaps even for the development of previously war-wracked regions.

  22. Anon
    April 2, 2019 at 07:45

    Finally, the real story is being exposed. The Washington Post “Democracy Dies in Darkness” is really a self-description of their role in this canard.

  23. April 2, 2019 at 06:19

    As we all saw coming, the only way Trump can compete is if the smart folks choose to play his childish “I know you are but what am I” games. They did. Now Trump is going to win in 2020.

    https://opensociet.org/2019/04/01/wild-ride-in-the-wayback-machine/

    • Anon
      April 2, 2019 at 07:51

      Very funny stuff. Yes, Hillary Hubris never dies and she will just get Trump elected again!

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