Orwellian Cloud Hovers Over Russia-gate

Ray McGovern calls out the void of evidence at the heart of the Senate hearing with Attorney General Barr on Wednesday.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

George Orwell would have been in stitches Wednesday watching Attorney General William Barr and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee spar on Russia-gate.  The hearing had the hallmarks of the intentionally or naively blind leading the blind with political shamelessness.

From time to time the discussion turned to the absence of a legal “predicate” to investigate President Donald Trump for colluding with Russia.  That is, of course, important; and we can expect to hear a lot more about that in coming months.

Barr questioned by Sen. Harris, May 1. (YouTube)

More important: what remains unacknowledged is the absence of an evidence-based major premise that should have been in place to anchor the rhetoric and accusations about Russia-gate over the past three years.  With a lack of evidence sufficient to support a major premise, any syllogism falls of its own weight.

The major premise that Russia hacked into the Democratic National Committee and gave WikiLeaks highly embarrassing emails cannot bear close scrutiny. Yes, former CIA Director John Brennan has told Congress he does not “do evidence.” In the same odd vein, Brennan’s former FBI counterpart James Comey chose not to “do evidence” when he failed to seize and inspect the DNC computers that a contractor-of-ill-repute working for the DNC claimed were hacked by Russia.

Harris questioning Barr, May 1. (YouTube)

Call us old fashioned, but we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) still “do evidence” — and, in the case at hand, forensic investigation.  For those who “can handle the truth,” the two former NSA technical directors in VIPS can readily explain how the DNC emails were not hacked — by Russia or anyone else — but rather were copied and leaked by someone with physical access to the DNC computers.

We first reported hard forensic evidence to support that judgment in a July 2017 memorandum for the president. Substantial evidence that has accumulated since then strengthens our confidence in that and in related conclusions.  Our conclusions are not based on squishy “assessments,” but rather on empirical, forensic investigations — evidence based on fundamental principles of science and the scientific method.

Bizarre, Medieval

All “serious” members of the establishment, including Barr, his Senate interrogators, and the “mainstream media” feel required to accept as dogma the evidence-free conventional wisdom that Russia hacked into the DNC.  If you question it, you are, ipso facto, a heretic — and a “conspiracy theorist,” to boot.

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Again, shades of Orwell and his famous “two plus two equals five.”  Orwell’s protagonist in “1984,” Winston Smith, imagines that the State might proclaim that “two plus two equals five” is fact.  Smith wonders whether, if everybody believes it, does that make it true?

Actually, the end goal is not to get you to parrot that two plus two equals five. The end goal is to make it so you’d never even consider that two plus two could equal anything other than five.

During the entire Barr testimony Wednesday, no one departed from the safe, conventional wisdom about Russian hacking.  We in VIPS, at least, resist the notion that this makes it true.  We shall continue to insist that two and two is four, and point out the flaws in any squishy “Intelligence Community Assessment” that concludes, even “with high confidence,” that the required answer is “five.”

William Hurt as Winston Smith in "1984." (YouTube)

John Hurt as Winston Smith in “1984.” (YouTube)

Doubtful Dogma

Wednesday’s Senate hearing brought a painful flashback to a similarly widely-held, but evidence-free dogma — that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction before the U.S. attacked that country. It gets worse: Many of the same people who promoted the spurious claims about WMD are responsible for developing and proclaiming the dogma about Russian hacking into the DNC.  The Oscar for his performance in the role of misleader goes, once again, to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, whose “credits” go back to the WMD fiasco in which he played a central role.

Before the war on Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put Clapper in charge of analysis of satellite imagery, the most definitive collection system for information on WMD.  In his memoir, Clapper admits, with stomach-churning nonchalance, that intelligence officers, including me, were so eager to help [spread the Cheney/Bush claim that Iraq had a ‘rogue WMD program’] that we found what wasn’t really there.” [Emphasis added]

John Brenna, left, and James Clapper. (LBJ Library via Flickr)

John Brennan, left, and James Clapper. (LBJ Library via Flickr)

Last November as Clapper was hawking his memoir at the Carnegie Endowment I had a chance during the Q and A to pursue him on that and on Russia-gate.  I began:

“You confess [in Clapper’s book] to having been shocked that no weapons of mass destruction were found.  And then, to your credit, you admit, as you say here [quoting from the book], ‘the blame is due to intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help [the administration make war on Iraq] that we found what wasn’t really there.’”

“Now fast forward to two years ago.  Your superiors were hell bent on finding ways to blame Trump’s victory on the Russians.  Do you think that your efforts were guilty of the same sin here?  Do you think that you found a lot of things that weren’t really there?  Because that’s what our conclusion is, especially from the technical end.  There was no hacking of the DNC; it was leaked, and you know that because you talked to NSA.”

Evidence

Back to the Senate hearing on Wednesday: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), during a line of questioning about evidence of obstruction of justice, asked the attorney general if he personally reviewed the underlying evidence in the Mueller report.

 “No,” said Barr, “We accepted the statements in the report as factual record.  We did not go underneath it to see whether or not they were accurate.  We accepted it as accurate.”

Harris: You accepted the report as evidence?  You did not question or look at the underlying evidence?

Barr: We accepted the statements in the report and the characterization of the evidence as true.”

Harris: “You have made it clear that you did not look at the evidence.”

It was crystal clear on Wednesday that Barr had bigger fish to fry, as well as protective nets to deflect incoming shells.  He is likely to be preoccupied for weeks answering endless questions about his handling of the Mueller report. It is altogether possible, though, that in due course he plans to look into the origins of Russia-gate and the role of Clapper, Brennan and Comey in creating and promoting the evidence-free dogma that Russia hacked into the DNC — and, more broadly, that, absent Russia’s support, Trump would not be president.

For the moment, however, we shall have to live with “The Russians Still Did It, Whether Trump Colluded or Not.”  There remains an outside chance, however, that the truth will emerge, perhaps even before November 2020, and that, this time, the Democrats will be shown to have shot themselves in both feet.

For further background, please see:

VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal to Interview Assange

VIPS: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  He was a CIA analyst for 27 years, with special expertise on Russia, and prepared The President’s Daily Brieffor Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.  He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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135 comments for “Orwellian Cloud Hovers Over Russia-gate

  1. May 6, 2019 at 20:21

    I sat and watched Barr and Co. and kept thinking about evidence, the lack of evidence.

    I did find something that does indicate Obama DID do something about cyber-hacking though.

    In April of 2016, the Obama White House appointed one of group of ten, Steven Chabinsky, to his White House Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.

    I also did examine a news article stating a US ambassador to Ukraine delivered a ‘do not prosecute list’ upon her first visit with Ukrainian anti-corruption investigators. Please note these receptors of the list used the opportunity with a western journalist to voice their displeasure that a stipend of $4 million dollars (US) promised them had NOT been delivered in timely fashion.

    I have doubts about the black bookkeeping, based upon nothing else, but by default.

    • May 6, 2019 at 20:25

      BTW, something about a passport scandal aroused my attention. Brennan appears to have been caught with his hands in the cookie jar.

  2. Robert Morency
    May 6, 2019 at 17:43

    Judging by the deteroration of the comments on this site, where true skeptics once reigned, I can only conclude that the IC has discovered the site, and is actively blowing its fog machine at full tilt. My compliments to Ray and the VIPs for their long committment to exposing the foggsters. Over and out.

  3. Pablo Diablo
    May 6, 2019 at 16:17

    Seems the Democrats still can’t get over the fact that Trump didn’t win, Hillary lost. Now they are pushing for Biden to lose to Trump. Both parties are getting rich off the status-quo. Why change? As long as Congress can’t get along, nothing changes and the Rich just keep getting Richer.

  4. Vera Gottlieb
    May 6, 2019 at 14:50

    I am 79 yrs old…will I live long enough to finally see the end to this on-going saga??? Nauseating…to put it mildly.

  5. May 6, 2019 at 14:30

    My reply to Donald Trump

    Not sure, depends on how you, President Donald Trump, work for peace. Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity are not “Socialists”. Please read:
    Orwellian Cloud Hovers Over Russia-gate
    —————-
    Jim,

    Democrats are energizing their socialist base with a long list of radical presidential candidates. They all have their sights set on taking back the White House in 2020 and implementing their extremist agenda.

    The mainstream media is already predicting a Trump defeat in 2020, just like they did in 2016.

    We proved them wrong then and we will prove them wrong again.

    President Trump doesn’t care what the mainstream media says about his chances, he only cares what YOU think.

  6. John Puma
    May 6, 2019 at 13:15

    The leak of the DNC emails in question, showed that the Dems have
    rapidly closed the apparent election fraud gap they suffered with the GOP.

    If you question the DNC/HRC conspiracy theory on how the emails were
    ultimately made public then YOU are the conspiracy theorist !?!?!

    It appears the Dems, with Kaffka-esque aplomb, are now bearing down on
    another GOP/gap: “loudly project onto others our own vile & odious atrocities.”

    Yes, I concede, said gaps may have NEVER existed but rather were simply
    better hidden!

  7. May 6, 2019 at 11:59

    Only thing on Chinagate, Clinton just expanded China’s Most Favored Nation status — i think it was Bush the Elder who started that, along with the “New World Order” propaganda!

  8. May 6, 2019 at 11:45

    michael’s reminder of “Chinagate” during Clinton’s term 1996 shows exactly how short attention span is in the United States of Amnesia (thanks, Gore Vidal). My, my, my — how little do we remember! Only now “Russiagate” is different…?

  9. May 5, 2019 at 17:16

    This is the best legal take I can find on our current situation involving Barr, Trump, and the Mueller report:

    https://opensociet.org/2019/05/05/an-attorneys-thoughts-on-barr-and-the-mueller-report/

    • robert e williamson jr
      May 6, 2019 at 16:10

      O Society —> Damn the music was great! But there is nothing legal about what is going on with this current distraction that is legal.

      We have three dark forces at work in D.C. under the big top. One is CIA , one is Congress and the other is their partner DOJ. We all understand that CIA. DOJ, and others act first and worry about the ramifications later. Why because they know very well that the system of checks and balances is non-existent with respect to stopping the “business as usual”. When any of the three are charged with the responsibility of uncovering wrong doing if those actions involve people from these agencies or bodies, we get the “well some things must be kept form the public eye to protect people.” One reason is to protect national security which as a reason has become comical. CIA can fund ISIS and not be held responsible because some one involved my be endangered.

      HORSE SPIT, TELL A MARINE THAT EXCUSE. What about him?

      CLEARLY SOMETHING IS WAY OUT OF WACK HERE.

      If the actions become topics of discussion and controversy , the legal process takes over and moves at a snails pace. Weeks turn into months and months into years and then the players change and one party or the other throws in the towel claiming they have more important business. So much for checks and balances.

      Starting with the murder of JFK CIA took the position that revealing everything would damage the country. The result is that those records still are sealed or have they been destroyed? We the people have a right to all this info. Methods and practices be damned.

      But the courts say well the plaintiff has not proved that revealing all of this would do good for the country. If that is their argument shouldn’t they be made to prove that keeping everything secret has helped the country. I men fair and honest means fair and honest.

      CIA lies and the justice department rolls over like a witness in the witness protection program. Now hold those thoughts.

      Currently we hear nothing but Barr and Meuller , courts or no courts. Some want the unadulterated truth, some want to hide it at all cost and so we hear that this vexing issue could last more that a year because our “Justice System just works slowly”,. Okay I’ll grant that and that is in and of itself is a large part of the problem. The sides wrangle back and forth and before long the reason for the confrontation is hardly remembered because life goes on. Our country and it’s citizens are getting had by the super wealthy elitists. The authoritarians in our government refuse to do the will of the people and they get away with it because the wealthy want it that way.

      Think not find this and read it. https://apjjf.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott/4206 and or this https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/04/29/the-meuller-report-alfa-bank-and-the-deep-state?

      Barr has given pardons before and will do it again if given the right opportunity. These people are snakes not chameleons they do not change their colors.

      Our government officials are hiding stuff from public view and it’s all about the deep state. Read the piece at who what why and learn the facts.

      Or take your son or daughter down to the local recruiting office and sign them up to go fight in Iran. The services are not filling either retention quotas or enlistment quotas and they are going to need lots of warm bodies so they can turn some of those warm bodies into cold corpses.

      Lets us actually support the troops by keeping them out of this coming very bad mistake and cutting all the “Oh thank you for your service bull shit!”

      VETS DON’T FORGET!

  10. May 5, 2019 at 10:33

    JoeSixPack – personally I found viewing the “Yosemite Sam” click-bait stuff so compelling I got distracted and just forgot about the entire election and I stayed home watching old Disney cartoons!

    Yeah, the entire social media “influenced” the vote nonsense is more than old and stale by now, it’s positively rotten, which explains why the NYT’s is still busy sharing that nonsense.

  11. May 5, 2019 at 09:29

    US Lobbying – Revolving door betw/ Congress and Bizness – AIPAC most powerful Lobby – Bushbaby and Dark Lord Cheney brot by “The Supremes” – No papertrail for elections – Evangelicals wannabe “Raptured” – US American Dreamers sit in front of TV spoonfed (Sup)Press Pablum – Gaslit Country, USA! I recommended “1984” to my novel-reading Democrat sister, she said “I won’t read it”. She still watches the MadCow.

  12. jg
    May 5, 2019 at 04:49

    All of the details are rendered moot because there are no consequences for committing war crimes, not for Americans, Israelis, Brits, and their allies. That is why this is an evil empire. All the bickering about minutia changes nothing. Nothing.

  13. May 4, 2019 at 19:25

    Absent the more rational Tulsi Gabbard, the Democrats seem to have decided they can’ t let go of the issue right up to the 2020 election. There are going to do their damndest to prevent Barr from investigating the origins of the investigations , why they happened in the first place. So Barr has a target on his back and the media will do its best to paint it brighter.

    Democrats have at least one good issue, universal health care. They don’t seem to believe in anything other than what both parties are doing in foreign affairs. A casualty of their bipartisan foreign policy will be Gabbard who is outspoken about the immorality of regime change. Expect the media to bury her by ignoring her and where will she get financing.

    • Skip Scott
      May 6, 2019 at 07:17

      I don’t think the corporate Dems want universal health care, just the Progressive wing of the party. Both parties main stream candidates are beholden to the Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industries. Any Democrat who gets the nod will most likely hold “private” positions that are at odds with their “public” positions. In other words, they lie.

  14. jadan
    May 4, 2019 at 18:11

    When one asks qui bono? in the “Russia gate” matter, the beneficiaries are those who want a new cold war to push US global hegemony and those who want to defend the failed US electoral system that made Trump president. Trump advocated friendly relations with Russia, which was a stand down from the aggressive posture of Obama/Clinton. Trump’s failure to win the national popular vote and his victory in the “electoral college” which was achieved through a slim margin of state popular votes ( about 78,000) in a handful of states, indicates clearly that the US electoral system does not represent the will of the majority of US voters. It is a failed system.

    But rather than examine the failed electoral system, the Democratic Party decided to focus on Russia, which did attempt to influence the US election, which is normal behavior. The US attempts to influence the internal affairs of other nations is standard operating procedure. It openly pursues “regime change” operations, occasionally in a military mode as in the 2003 Iraq War. Currently, the US is engaged in a blatant intervention in the internal affairs of Venezuela. The fact that Russia attempted to covertly influence US political affairs is not news and it certainly did not deliver the 2016 election to Trump.

    The corruption of the US electoral system made Trump president.

    Will the Congress appoint a special counsel to examine the failure of the highly dysfunctional US electoral system? Will we ever see the day when we can say with confidence that yes, I know my vote was counted as cast, and I can prove it? Not likely. This system will continue to deliver idiots like Trump because it is not designed to count votes, it counts dollars, and who has more dollars than the billionaires on the right? Who is more willing to lie & cheat than this same class of robber barons?

    • Michael
      May 5, 2019 at 08:24

      The biggest problem in our voting system is the effect of 34 million non-citizen immigrants, particularly the 20 million+ illegal aliens, on apportionment of federal districts (and thus electoral votes). In most states about 100,000 voters are needed to elect a House Representative, but in California the average is only 66,000 (some districts only 35,000). We should have a “one man, one vote” system based on legal citizen voters only. California votes are worth 1.5 of votes in most other states, and worth 3 times as much in some districts. This is gerrymandering on a grand scale (and explains the turnaround in Democrat support for illegal aliens since Trump was elected). https://cis.org/Impact-NonCitizens-Congressional-Apportionment

    • Skip Scott
      May 6, 2019 at 07:11

      The DNC Democrats don’t want to fix the corruption of the US electoral system any more than the Republicans. They serve the same master. That is why they subverted Bernie’s campaign in 2016, and why they do everything in their power to make sure a Progressive candidate won’t get the nod in 2020. Both parties protect the interests of the Oligarchy. We are left with the choice of whether or not we want gender-specific restrooms with our Forever War.

    • Action Jackson
      May 6, 2019 at 10:52

      So, you think we should of had a lying criminal instead of an intelligent president? weird dude.

  15. Nathan Mulcahy
    May 4, 2019 at 15:34

    Russian collusion? “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

  16. robert e williamson jr
    May 4, 2019 at 14:01

    You may want to read https://apjjf.org piece first. As you will see far too many are expecting answers out of the D.C. cloud of deceit. It a very concise review of the actions of the Deep State for the last 54 years or so.

    Then read the piece at whowhatwhy, jhttps://whowhatwhy.org/2019/04/29/the-meuller-reprot-alfa-bank-abd-the-deep-state/ and if you aren’t much more than curious you may be wasting your “free speech time yelling in the darkness”. There exists no easy way to deal with coming to the realization that this country is going down the drain, the drain that created by the Deep State.

    Hell I expected as much but it’s not easy to digest, the fact that we are being screwed to death by the like of the “Tin Man” Dick Cheney, Milkhial Fridman, a Israeli citizen billionaire, was #20 on the Forbes list is now #73, and majority owner in the Alfa bank, Tyumen Oil a ruskie Co. , Rosnef ruskie Oil Co., Exoon, Rex Tillerson, Davis Manafort, Konstantin Kilimnik russian spy ?, Kirkland and Ellis , Bill Barr’s former employer, Brian Benczkowski who was nominated for and awarded the job at DOJ to Head of the DOJ Organized Crime division and by the way his former law firm was Kirkland and Ellis also.

    They are doing it again, the Deep State is and looking to Wasnhington for Answers is a fools errand.

    I would suggest going to who what why land reading Pete Dale Scott’s piece. https://whowhatwhy.org/2019/o4/29/the-meuller-reort-alfa-bank-and-the0deep-state/ Even if I had issues with the whowhatwhy site and PDS what is written there would give me pause.

    This gentleman also wrote “The Fates of American Presidents Who Challenged the DeepState https://apjjf.org/2014/12/43/Peter=-Dale-Scott/4206/html

  17. May 4, 2019 at 13:27

    Lies have always possessed great strength.

    That is, so long as they play into some aspects of a people’s predisposition, just as any lie about Russia automatically does in America. Just any lie, no matter whether shrewdly constructed or crudely, will find an American audience and some true adherents.

    All of America’s intense efforts through decades of the Cold War, both at home and abroad – something which in total much resembled a fundamentalist religious movement like the three Great Awakenings in American history – certainly left a legacy of attitudes and hostilities which remains alive to this day, much resembling embers that only need a little stoking to make into a new blaze.

    And no effort has ever been made to clean away this immense dark and confusing legacy, as when for example modern Germany worked hard to reduce of legacy of the Third Reich. I believe the basic reason for this failure to clean and correct is the view by America’s powerful that Russia represents a kind of Carthage to America’s Rome.

    The strength of lies, especially cleverly constructed ones, is why they have been used countless times by the powerful – from Doctor Goebbels, who was real expert at them, to Lyndon Johnson and to Obama and Trump. The CIA, an immensely powerful agency given almost limitless resources, lies for a living. That is just what they do, not so much on the intelligence collection side of that house of horrors as on the operations and administrative sides.

    The United States has lied its way into, and through, a great many conflicts. We have Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Somalia as just some of the highlights. Along the way, there were so many others, Iran, Guatemala, Chile, Cuba, Panama.

    Now I take Mike Pompeo at his word, completely, when he recently appeared on the campus of Texas A & M University, laughing and joking about his days at CIA, lying, cheating, and stealing.

    But you know, sadly, a good portion of the American people do not grasp the ugly truth of what Pompeo bragged and laughed about. They either still naively believe that America is fundamentally good, a force for truth and goodness in the world, or they just don’t care, caring only about the fact that America comes out on top, just as they care about their local football team winning.

    In all of it, there is very little honest rationality and a great deal of deception.

    When you run a vast empire, lying just comes with the territory. All the wars and aggression require lies to support and justify them.

    America’s been at it a very long time, and it is very practiced, building a continental empire on lies about the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, or the quick and ruthless annexation of Hawaii well before all the lies involved in pushing its way into every corner of the earth.

    I suggest that lies have been incorporated into the very building materials of America’s vast imperial project, and most Americans are either unaware of the fact or treat it the way Pompeo does his CIA experience.

    He’s a powerful example. Here’s a man who brags that the Bible remains open on his office desk and that he is a born-again Christian, yet who openly laughs about lying, cheating, and stealing in his career. One who is deeply involved at present in a number of dark projects, as, for example, the fate of the poor people of Venezuela.

    Freud’s notions of ambiguity in the human mind at work before our eyes in the workings of the world’s most powerful state.

    Empires and honesty are fundamentally incompatible. As I’ve said many times, you can either have a decent country or you can have an empire. You cannot have both, and America made its choice a long, long time ago, and it has never stopped lying about what it is doing, both to others and to itself.

    Here are some words on just a few details of this history, words which may interest some readers:

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/john-chuckman-comment-the-remarkable-case-of-thomas-jefferson-he-wasnt-at-all-what-so-many-think-he-was-how-the-needs-of-politics-can-twist-and-exploit-historical-figures-and-myth-making-as-a/

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

    https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

    • Neil Youngson
      May 8, 2019 at 01:15

      Well said! The late, much missed, William Blum has documented the US crimes of empire in his books, which helped me to realise we are not the good guys! I’m a Brit and we have been complicit in many of the US crimes against the world – and of course we spend 200 years before that as the chief perpetrator. Both countries have expended a great deal of effort in propagandising their own populations to believe that they are a force for good around the world, whilst doing the opposite.

  18. Sam F
    May 4, 2019 at 11:43

    Ray has again done a fine job of staying on the humorous side of irony and contradiction, and keeping us aware of the extremity of corruption in our government and mass media.

    • Bob
      May 4, 2019 at 15:17

      Nice whitewash Skippy. This was corruption by everyone but Trump, and you sit there and obfuscate.
      Smell the coffee. The left has become radicalized, and the right already had this battle, with the corrupt and treasonous neocons. We punted them.
      So before you go all “CNN” on everyone, witness the destruction of the democratic party in the next two years. Clinton/ Obama were sock puppets, just as W. was. Support politicians big corporations can’t own.

    • Sam F
      May 6, 2019 at 17:56

      I presume that your irrelevant reply was intended to reply to a different comment.

    • boxerwar
      May 5, 2019 at 10:50

      … seems to me facts seem to prove that the man accused of Obstructing Justice (TRUMP) is now continuing to Obstruct Justice; and Attorney General Barr has assumed the plebeian position of Trump’s Flunky, as opposed to America’s Attorney General. …

      Cheers for James Comey ! ! !

    • Action Jackson
      May 6, 2019 at 11:37

      nonsense

    • boxerwar
      May 6, 2019 at 15:09

      Nonsense or Pretense or Senseless all connote a condition that implies absurdity, weak-mindedness, or, the incivility of a creepy idiot…?

      One word replies symbolize the self-same pusillanimously adroit/cleaver, and cowardly way Trump and Barr RUN AWAY

      from answering pertinent questions and/or, in a Manly/Truthful way of facing their accusers, which, in this case,

      is the THIRD BODY OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS, The United State’s HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES > > >

      in a Cowardly Way, choose to Continue to OBSTRUCT JUSTICE, by refusing to answer questions from The Peoples House!!!

      Nonsense???, ‘Action Jackson’- or Cowardice in the face of Trumps’ bogus regime of Self-Agrandization/Narcism… ?

    • boxerwar
      May 6, 2019 at 15:19

      Do Not Read Past

      But think Through

      Objective Analyse

      Disavow Freudian

      Slip.

  19. Bob In Portland
    May 4, 2019 at 11:31

    I absolutely agree with Ray McGovern here. But just pointing out that sometimes mixing metaphors can be confusing. For example:

    “It was crystal clear on Wednesday that Barr had bigger fish to fry, as well as protective nets to deflect incoming shells.”

    Fish-nets-shells.

    That is my only criticism. Thank you for an excellent article.

    • boxerwars
      May 6, 2019 at 18:13

      Bob In Portland;

      So, by now Barr is a beggarly house / niggardly / supplant of Republican Party
      Architects of – Rich/White World supremacy / as Structured under Ayn Rand

      Going Forward/ into Universalist Trump Tower diplomacy of InterNationalism
      Into North Korean Beach Fronts / Casinos as Profit Making Ventures/ 4 Trump.

      when will you wake up
      and smell the bull/spit,the
      likes of Bob In Portland… ?

  20. Vincent Castigliola
    May 4, 2019 at 09:19

    123 What are we fighting for
    Don’t ask me …
    Certainly misconstrued, but Communism was our enemy & we went to war in Vietnam.
    But how is non-communist Russia our enemy today? Congress has not deliberated and has not declared war on them, yet we have sanctioned Russia based upon misrepresentations regarding the death of Magnitsky, Crimea’s referendum to join Russia & fabricated claims that Russia interfered in the election that gave us Trump over Clinton. We are waging economic war against a country for which there is a lack of credible evidence much less a determination after fair hearing that Russia did or attempted to do us harm.
    After Russia gave up its Eastern European empire we expanded ours, to the borders of Russia. The US through NATO created scores of military garrisons throughout an area we promised Russia that NATO would not go.

    The Rule of Law is far more important than Democracy. Due process with a burden of proof, where the accused is innocent until proven guilty, are essential in a free and responsible society. Our Constitution expressly requires this, and most US officials and all military officers swore to support and defend our Constitution.
    The mantra of “Russia is our enemy has been repeated to the point that as note by Ray McGovern, it is accepted without any credible analysis. Russia has convicted of being our enemy without due process.
    The interference of other nations in US political process is accepted with little notice. AIPAC members pay $millions to candidates conditioned on support of a foreign country , UK produces a fabricated “dossier” and that is of no concern.
    Russiagate and Russophobia are but symptoms of a core disease

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 08:30

      “The Rule of Law is far more important than Democracy.” Really? Then why are so many of our corrupt pay-to-play politicians above the Law? Trump and Hillary for sure should be in jail cells. Even if laws were suddenly enforced, the politicians would be playing tennis and enjoying life in a Wolf of Wall Street minimal security prison rather than in a real jail. Rich people, such as horrific pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, don’t go to real jails.

    • Skip Scott
      May 6, 2019 at 07:02

      Vincent-

      The empire is fighting Russia solely because Putin halted the looting done during the Yeltsin years. Putin has refused vassal status. That is the real crime. They are no longer socialist, but they have become an independent competitor, therefore they are an enemy. It is basically multi-polarism vs. the PNAC vision of a unipolar empire.

    • May 6, 2019 at 13:42

      Vincent,

      Thanks for a very concise summary of the main issues to confront.

      Ray McGovern

  21. John
    May 4, 2019 at 03:58

    Ok, someone help me out here, how can someone with McGovern’s savvy think he’s destroyed the Russia-gate “conspiracy” over the claim that the Russians didn’t hack the DNC. Who was responsible for getting those emails is only a small part of the whole maze of connections between tRump and his cronies and the Russians.

    For instance, the FBI investigation began after an Australian diplomat reported his concern regarding what George Papadopoulos had told him about Russians having “dirt” on Hillary. Then former British spy, Christopher Steele, who has a deep background operating in Russia and a history of contacts with the FBI on other cases that gave him credibility, was concerned enough about what he was hearing from his Russian contacts about the Trump/Russia connection that he contacted American intelligence and passed along the Steele dossier giving American intelligence even more to chew on. The dossier then became one piece of evidence used to apply for a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page, etc. etc..

    The mystery of who hacked the DNC is just one piece of the puzzle yet I get the impression that McGovern wants to dismiss the entire maze of connections based on what he sees as a lack of evidence re: the official DNI version. So what if he’s right, it’s only a part of the picture.

    And, George, if you’re still not convinced that the Russian affected the election, please read Jane Mayer’s piece about this:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/01/how-russia-helped-to-swing-the-election-for-trump

    • JoeSixPack
      May 4, 2019 at 05:26

      So you’re saying that Social Media memes changed people’s votes? Wow, then I got some swamp land in Florida I’d love to sell you.

    • Matilda
      May 5, 2019 at 12:50

      Wow, some memes? Kidlets, the Mercer family is bringing us the end of informed consent, and any free election on the planet. Cambridge Analytica and the IRA, in the case of the 2016 US Election, used this “meme” targeting to confuse voters. The technique was used in Brexit, An Italian election, and was attempted in France. Don’t downplay a data targeting technique that told black voters to go to the wrong polling station, told white voters that immigrants were to blame for their joblessness, In the service of billionaires who’d see us all murder eachother rather than pay taxes, or find a less profitable energy model than gas/oil.
      Y’all can’t see the totality of this, because you ain’t doing first hand, outside the states, research. Like most folks, you are relying on secondhand opinions. And perhaps like Hilary Clinton and Roger Stone, not particularly tech savvy.

    • bjd
      May 4, 2019 at 07:34

      Please elucidate yourself on the many Russian connections of Hillary, and of Obama, and of Bush, and of …

      If not, be careful continuing to sleep — all that hook, line and sinker in your throat.

    • nathan mulcahy
      May 4, 2019 at 14:19

      Joe and bjd: well said

    • Skip Scott
      May 4, 2019 at 15:00

      Here’s another piece of the puzzle you perhaps missed:

      https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/24/special-counsel-mueller-disingenuous-and-dishonest/

      Felix Sater was/is FBI, and Misfud is Mi6. RussiaGate is an Intelligence Agency psy-op. Time to go after the REAL criminals.

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 08:42

      Simpleton Papadopoulos was the victim of FBI/ MI6 agents Stefan Halper, Joseph Mifsud and CIA assets Azra Turk and Australian diplomat Alex Downer, a classic honey pot entrapment attempt that failed. Papadopoulos was eventually charged with being an “unregistered Israeli agent”, a charge that would land half of DC in prison!
      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/04/03/george_papadopoulos_mueller_wanted_to_charge_me_as_an_agent_of_israel.html

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 08:46

      The Christopher Steele -Fusion GPS dossier was just Kremlin disinformation spread by Hillary and the DNC to “sow discord” and was key to the Russian interference in our Election and move us into Cold war again. But since this was done by Hillary and the Obama administration, it somehow gets a pass.

    • bevin
      May 5, 2019 at 11:43

      You misrepresent Steele’s position. A ‘former’ MI6 operative he owns a business which specialises in producing private intelligence briefings.
      He was hired by a Republican candidate in the Primaries to produce ‘dirt’ on Trump. When that contract ended-his employer dropped out of the race- he contacted the DNC and they paid him to flesh out his ‘dossier.’ The entire production, not one part of which has ever been found to be true and which no media dared to use until Buzzfeed broke the ‘story’, lacks credibility.
      The significance of the ‘hacking’ narrative -with which Ray and the VIPs have dealt- is that it is attributed-in the Russiagate case-to actions of the GRU, a Russian government organ. This is the only ‘evidence’ of official Russian involvement, without it we are left with nothing more than gossip about Trump’s business dealings with Russian kleptocrats, such as those with which the Clinton Foundation has had dealings and received millions, and this sad story about Facebook etc ads which on examination adds up to very little.
      You and Jane Meyer have to face facts: Steele is completely unreliable, his sources are simply fantasists who, anticipating his needs, concoct stories for reward and the DNC-as the emails showed-is as crooked as the proverbial dog’s hind leg.
      Jane Meyer gets paid, very well, for keeping this nonsense alive, John, what is your excuse?

    • Glennn
      May 5, 2019 at 11:46

      I read the Jane Mayer article you linked to and it is total garbage. A lot of assumptions based on more assumptions. The emails revealed all the things that Mayer blames on the Russians with no evidence as if that makes them false. They wrote those emails and exposed themselves. Who gave us the emails doesn’t matter, but it’s clear it wasn’t the Russians but rather an insider, who happened to be shot in the back days later, something Mayer doesn’t mention. Then she gives credit to a few Facebook ads for discouraging people -she singles out blacks – from voting or worse voting for people who would better represent us as if that was an anti-democratic act. Now because of this two year tantrum we still haven’t learned the lessons of 2016, which could give us four more years of either Trump or a corrupt Democrat. Ray gets it right.

  22. Zhu
    May 4, 2019 at 02:21

    If Dems & Reps spent all their time fighting over meaninglessness elections, will they forget to kill people around the world? I hope so!

  23. Zhu
    May 4, 2019 at 01:47

    From the beginning, Russiagate reminded me strongly of Birthergate.

    When Obama was elected, the Republicans could not accept that, and invented a fantasy fiction that he was not a real US citizen. In 2016, Trump was elected, Democrats could not accept that, and invented a fantasy fiction that Trump & Russia had stolen the election.

    In each case, there was no evidence beyond prejudice and fantasy. Perhaps this will be the case with all our future elections.

    Not that our elections ever change anything important. No matter which team wins the White House, homelessness grows and endless wars continue.

    • May 5, 2019 at 08:54

      Funny, it reminded me of Chinagate, when the Clintons and the DNC illegally accepted donations from China. Bill won the Presidency, and afterwards, with plenty of rich friends suddenly, paid back the money. Only Chinese went to jail. I think that was germinal for Russiagate.
      (China actually benefited immeasurably! Clinton gave them PERMANENT favored nation trading status, dropped restrictions on selling sensitive and military technology to Communist China, and was instrumental in offshoring American jobs to China. China quickly became a World Power. Probably Clinton’s most significant achievement as President, right up there with repeal of Glass Steagall, consolidating media with the 1996 Telecommunications Act, doubling the incarceration rate with the Crime Bill of 1994, and ending “welfare as we know it”.)

  24. Dao Gen
    May 3, 2019 at 23:25

    Ray, thanks for another powerful, persuasive article. However, I don’t see how Barr could have done much research already on whether or not Guccifer2 was a secret DNC agent or on whether not the Russian government actually did what Mueller simply asserts but hasn’t proved. Harris was surely unfair. It will probably take Barr a long time to investigate unless a VIPS member gives him a tutorial. I hope the VIPS will at least send him a letter suggesting ways he can speed up his investigation. Right now he must be surrounded by mountains of false information.

    In addition, there are two areas related to the Russiagate hoax that remain very dark and confusing. Could you and/or VIPS shed any light on these areas?

    1. How could Mueller have come up with the names of allegedly guilty Russian intel officers in his indictments? He doesn’t appear to have done any deep research in this area. Were the names taken from a NYT or other article? Could they have been suggested by Crowdstrike? I read that Dmitri Alperovich’s name sometimes appears in the blogs of fascistic and Russophobic Ukrainian hacker blogs. I’ve also read that many former Russian intel officers go to Ukraine because it is easy to get jobs there. Could the names of the Russian intel officers in the Mueller indictments actually be working in Ukraine and generating false information there? The Ukrainian role in possibly helping to create and in spreading Russiagate doesn’t seem to have been researched very deeply yet.

    2. Did Brennan help Hillary with her campaign? Obama seems to have helped her. And from whom did Hillary get the obviously fake notion that Russia hacked the DNC server and gave the info to Assange, a nonsensical claim that was announced just before the Dem convention in 2016? Moreover, Fusion GPS seems linked to both Hillary and to the IC. And both Hillary and the FBI seem equally invested in the fake Steele “dossier.” Were the Hillary campaign and Crossfire Hurricane intimately linked, or were they just parallel?

    • hetro
      May 4, 2019 at 11:42

      For further review on these interesting speculations:

      What we know as fact is that on January 6, 2017, Clapper, Comey, and Brennan posed “assessments” on the accusation that Trump and Putin colluded. These assessments contained the caveat (neatly buried out of sight) that they were evidence-free and theories only, or in effect “guesses.” Further confusing, the estimates varied, with two at “high” (Comey and Brenna) and one at “moderate” (Clapper) as to the likelihood of their being reliable.

      I believe the weightiness of that moment, wherein some naïve persons such as myself believed these noble intelligence agencies surely must be neutral and not political, turned out to be based on Crowdstrike analysis. The DNC servers had not been examined; the case was accepted whole from Crowdstrike. We further learned that this agency worked for and was paid by Hillary Clinton, plus that some of its personnel hailed from the Ukraine, with decided biases against Putin and of course Trump.

      This kind of background tends to be lost or perhaps forgotten but should be strongly highlighted at this time. What we see from these facts alone is that the intelligence agencies of the US were engaged in creating an impression not based on their research, but on what look decidedly like political influences. This (plus a great deal more) is the situation Barr has said he is now taking on to investigate. If this were not the case, and Brennan, Clapper, Comey had dutifully and diligently pursued the case like real detectives, then they should be held responsible for their incompetence.

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 09:04

      In addition to DNC funded Crowdstrike and Fusion GPS, there is also New Knowledge that has been shown to have faked being Russian interfering with Elections (maybe Jones-Moore Alabama Senate race wasn’t their first actions? It is their business model, no Russians’ interference, no business). With the release of vault7 by wikileaks it is clear that anyone can pretend to be Russians. I’m not sure there were any Russians involved, beyond Dmitri Alperovitch and Max Boot, “sowing discord” to hamper government after Trump was elected. No one with half a brain would accept anything from Brennan, Clapper, or Comey without evidence (which they never seem to have).

    • May 6, 2019 at 14:50

      Thanks, Hetro,

      On the so-called “Intelligece Community Assessment,” I wrote an article to mark the end of its second year of infamy. You and others might be interested.

      https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/07/a-look-back-at-clappers-jan-2017-assessment-on-russia-gate/

      Best, Ray

  25. Willy Nilly
    May 3, 2019 at 21:01

    On topic. In case you haven’t heard this already. It’s a very satisfying tune.

    The Day Collusion Died – A parody of American Pie
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqn3iI_h1vg

    • May 4, 2019 at 18:34

      Thanks. A very satisfying and familiar tune. I must confess that I rather liked this new version of the words. I was waiting for the line “The three men that they admire most”, but I guess that the writer couldn’t fit “Clapper, Brennan and Comey” into the music.

  26. May 3, 2019 at 20:38

    It’s astounding, isn’t it Ray. Why should a lie have such purchase?

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2019 at 01:52

      It tells people what they want to hear. Such falsehoods are common. Think of “American Exceptionalism”.

  27. Nancy Peterson
    May 3, 2019 at 20:17

    USA has more to worry about than Russia interference. Read Greg Palast investigations into vote rigging by the Democrats, the massive crosscheck fraud wiping millions of working class mainly black Americans off vote lr rolls. Which rhey are still doing. Combined wth the Rat****ked gerymandering by the Republicans and latest is Trumps attempt to rig the census. Add to this the full on assault on the First Amendment through the extradition of Julian Assange. As Assange said in his 60 minute interview, if this suceeds this is the end of the American Republic.

    • Sharon
      May 4, 2019 at 00:10

      It was not the Democrats who initialed the cross check fraud. In the 2016 vote, Greg Palast exposed the cross check fraud done by Chris Koback. Trump put him in charge of voting in his administration. So the cross check fraud continued in the 2018 election. Get the Palast investigation CD of this.

    • Robert Mayer
      May 4, 2019 at 23:13

      Nancy Please reveal Source4 Greg claiming Dems voterigged… Wasnt that Kris Koback Gop from Ks?

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 09:10

      Asking Citizenship is hardly an “attempt to rig the census.” California using populations of illegal aliens to steal federal districts (House members and electoral votes) from other states and count California votes 1.5-fold more than votes in other states is true gerrymandering! “One citizen, one vote” should be the rule as in real democracies. https://cis.org/Impact-NonCitizens-Congressional-Apportionment

  28. v l vernon
    May 3, 2019 at 19:29

    putin is a master controller of useful idiots.

    obviously vulnerable, the don is kompromat.

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2019 at 01:54

      Putin Hell! We Americans are to blame, not the scapegoat du jour,

    • Vincent Castigliola
      May 4, 2019 at 10:42

      Upon what credible evidence do you base your assertions?

    • Tom
      May 4, 2019 at 13:48

      Did Putin force Hillary Clinton to ignore Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin?

  29. KiwiAntz
    May 3, 2019 at 19:02

    Fake Conspiracies, Fake Russian meddling, False & Fake investigations to hide criminal behaviour?All this Fakery & Falsehoods equates to, as Ray said, quoting Orwell’s 2+2=5, propaganda to gaslight people into believing this travesty called Russiagate? George Orwell knew very well how a Nation such as America would collapse under the weight of its own lies, hubris, arrogance & contemptible fascist attitudes? Truth is the first thing that dies & when try & invert reality to con your own people into believing that might is right, War is Peace, Black is white & Evil is Good, then you know that the rot has well & truly set it & the Empires collapse is inevitable? Is it any wonder why Countries are flocking to China’s BRI Initiative as they can see for themselves the despicable & desperate actions of the Neoliberal World order controlled by the US, self destructing & self flagellating itself into chaos? A fish rots from its head down & that’s exactly the situation America & its corrupt Political system finds itself in? Rotten to the core!

  30. Dunderhead
    May 3, 2019 at 18:32

    Question for anyone, has anyone gotten a letter from their state senator declaring that Donald Trump is a Russian agent? Because I have and it is something from another planet.

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 09:15

      Psychopaths accuse others of doing exactly what they themselves are doing. How much was the Clinton Foundation paid by Putin to spread the Russian Kremlin disinformation dossier and thus sow discord throughout America? However much he paid, he got his money’s worth!

  31. Jeff Meyerhoff
    May 3, 2019 at 18:10

    It’s John Hurt in the photo from “1984”, not William Hurt.

    Thanks for the article.

  32. Bob Van Noy
    May 3, 2019 at 18:07

    zerohedge is reporting that Attorney General William Barr told the Senate Judiciary Panel this week that he has assembled a team at the Justice Department to probe whether the spying conducted by the FBI against the Trump campaign in 2016 was improper, reports Bloomberg. 

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-03/barrs-review-2016-fbi-spying-will-have-wide-scope

  33. Jeff Harrison
    May 3, 2019 at 17:42

    Thanx, Ray. The reality is that we are living in a period of information warfare. The governments of “The West” want to control the narrative so that all us sheeple will move in lockstep with the government approved narrative. I sincerely hope they lose this war. It’s really bad when the likes of Pompous declares that Maduro was ready to get on the airplane but the evil Russkis dissuaded him from fleeing. Fake News. Deliberate lies by the Secretary of State, especially lies that are promptly parroted by our subservient corporate media, are going to have a corrosive effect on the body politic. People won’t believe the government. That includes not just what the government says but who they suggest you should listen to, indeed what fake news is and how to detect it. The deep state is creating a much bigger problem for itself than they seem to realize.

    • Jeff Harrison
      May 3, 2019 at 17:51

      The other thing that disturbed me about Barr’s congressional appearance is that we have the likes of Nancy Pelosi going on about Barr lying to Congress and how that’s a crime. Hmmm. Somehow, I don’t remember her spouting off like that when Brennan and Clapper lied to Congress.

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 09:17

      Unlike AG Barr, Clapper, Brennan, Hillary and Mueller can freely lie to Congress and the FBI. They are Above the Law.

    • Sam F
      May 3, 2019 at 20:17

      I would like to believe that our fake democracy is “creating a much bigger problem for itself than they seem to realize” at least over the long term, as that would suggest eventual reform.

      The only large example I recall is the USSR where the union collapsed without violence, in part due to distrust of government. But they apparently had some serious regional factions (in their central Asian states) which the US does not have. And their government was probably more honest, transparent, and populist than the US. Distrust and even open rebellion here would only lead to more rebranding, mass media propaganda, and other lies.

  34. Robert
    May 3, 2019 at 17:30

    Excellent, perceptive article. Barr (with continued resistance from Mueller, Democrats, GOP elites, and MSM) has affirmed that there was no Russia collusion or obstruction of justice. He was smart enough to not start investigating the Russian hacking narrative until Trump was cleared. There is likely to be an investigation into how, based on no evidence, the Mueller investigation was even started. I don’t know how deeply such an investigation would delve, because the FBI (and State Department, CIA, NSA) have been politicized to an unprecedented extent and enormous pressure will be put on Barr to limit the scope. I do know, however, that there is enormous pressure on Trump from his voter base to get to the bottom of the issue, and weed out all the corruption, including links to UK intelligence individuals involved and Steele. The strong support Trump voters have for Julian Assange may also serve as an incentive to investigate the official, but evidence-free, narrative of Russian hacking of DNC computers.

  35. May 3, 2019 at 17:14

    I don’t want to be the heretic here, but we can still be concerned about the contacts between the Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, right? Just like we were concerned when Nixon sabotaged the LBJ peace overtures in October of 1968, and Reagan the release of the American hostages in October of 1980. As for 2016, there are a few unsettling facts that we must address, such as Manafort’s sharing polling date with the Russian Federation folks well before the election was decided. Did that data control where some at “the troll farm” directed their propaganda?

    We can still work to protect the integrity of our electoral process while realizing that the leaked information showed that HRC was even more the lying and duplicitous neocon and neoliberal than we had suspected. We can still demand detente with the Russian Federation, remain cognizant of the gross exaggerations of Maddow and the hawks’ nest that is MSNBC, and at the same time strive for mutual non-interference when either of the two superpowers is picking its leaders.

    Furthermore, we should surely be able to agree that any presidential contender must disclose every foreign investment, without regard to the political party or country.

    Help me out here. I would like to think that this whole Russia thing is a red herring designed to stir a new Cold War. Are we contending that there was absolutely no Russian Federation help given to the Trump campaign? Let’s suspend the question of coordination for a moment.

    Thanks for listening. I support the VIPS and hope to contribute to some of the whistle-blowers who’ve been financially hurt by our burgeoning national security state.

    • Sam F
      May 3, 2019 at 19:26

      But it would be irrelevant if a few Russian private citizens contacted the Trump campaign. One would have to compare among the parties such contacts, and proven influences.

      It is relevant that Most of HRC’s support came from zionists and KSA with foreign agendas. Why not investigate that now? Why not investigate who the 1% and corporations support?

      In two racketeering cases, after over a year of intensive investigation in each case, I have sent voluminous and conclusive detailed proof of internet racketeering, and in the other case political corruption with massive theft of state funds, to the FBI and received no response at all.

      The federal judiciary have proven to be absolutely corrupt as well. They both know what party they support where, it depends on who bribes the politicians who appoint them. They only prosecute the crooks of other tribes.

    • Michael Shanahan
      May 3, 2019 at 20:07

      With Manafort being watched since 2014 and the current investigation nearly 3 years old,
      I think you can jettison the idea of a Russian Federation connection.

    • Devin
      May 3, 2019 at 20:39

      I appreciate your comment. I have had similar thoughts. While I haven’t seen evidence of direct Kremlin to Trump collusion and don’t expect to ever see any, the anti-mueller report movement seems to be putting wind in the Trump regimes sails for no reason other than to claim some ownership in the exposure of democratic political weaponization and over-exaggeration- something we all know. Nevertheless, the violations of the emoulments clause, the many Trump real estate favors from foreign govs, the rampant disregard for law in total all turn this russiagate crackdown from the left into cautious support for his continued presidency.

    • May 4, 2019 at 20:23

      I would like to see the $50 million Saudi donation to Clinton foundation after negotiating largest arms deal ( to destroy Yemen) in history and the $10 million donations from the Russians after they bought 1/3 of USA uranium resources.

      PLus a long line of war crimes by commanders in chief.

      Plus the Honduras coup, Libya destruction, financing of ISIS by saudi’s and Qautar, Ukraine coup, ad infinitum.

      Obviously, looking at his actions Trump is a zionist( as NYT depicted), not russian, puppet.

    • michael
      May 5, 2019 at 09:44

      We would all like to see the e-mails of Hillary as Secretary of State where access seemed to be bought in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation or for Friends of Bill (the Emoluments Clause is not limited to the Presidency, and pay-to-play corruption is the blood of political life in DC). Of course the FBI could not prove intent after Hillary bleach-bit her Government Property Secretary of State emails.

      Supposedly a foreign prince gave George Washington a fancy sword and he was told by his advisors that he could not accept it because of the Emoluments Clause. Washington said “I’m keeping it.” And did. Presidents and Secretaries of State are Above the Law.

    • bevin
      May 3, 2019 at 22:33

      Nobody has produced any evidence that the Russian Federal government made any intervention in the 2016 election. It seems very unlikely that they did, while there is abundant evidence that the British government was involved in several serious interventions, including the Steele Dossier, against Trump.
      The basic allegation against Russia is that the GRU hacked the DNC computers in order, presumably, to make Bernie sanders look good. Large numbers of Democrats appear to have forgotten that Russia is no longer an important part of the Soviet Union. And that the Russian economy and political system are dominated by capitalists who owe their wealth and power to the Clinton administration’s sponsorship of Yeltsin who they imposed on the electorate.

    • May 3, 2019 at 23:15

      I would reply in two parts. Concerning help of Russia to Trump campaign, Putin is on the record saying that “Trump is talented” and I do not recall any equally polite words about Mrs. Clinton. How many states or precincts did it sway? All other putative acts of help are of the kind that they could be masked and equally well, fabricated to implicate Russia. For example, an expertise by expert familiar to Consortium news used dates of file transfers from DNC computers to conclude that these transfers could not proceed over the internet because of a very high transmission rate, so these files were transferred to a data key or a similarly portable device: a terabyte disk memory easily fits in a jacket pocket. I also read a counterclaim, namely that the dates of the file transferred were overwritten. If you believe the counterclaim then you must conclude that the masking possibilities are virtually unlimited. If you do not, it was done by a person in employ of DNC, possibly with an enmity toward Mrs. Clinton as it could be observed among folks on the left and write — understandable in the case of “fanatical centrist”.

      Part two is the following: in what sense a Russian interference would constitute an “unacceptable behavior”? Violating UN Charter? A treaty? Or simply a kind of conduct that USA finds SO UNACCEPTABLE that we would never do it, or at most, extremely rarely, say, less than once a year. I am not familiar with UN Charter to that extend and the treaties, but the estimates of American interference in foreign elections, typically lavishly budgeted ones, were estimated by NYT to occur several times per year. If we add assistance in armed coup attempts or organizing riots…

      Part three: are there ANY limits on hypocrisy of American foreign policy that we would like to see?

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2019 at 02:04

      Our electoral process is meaningless. When was the last time a war was ended because election? Poverty and homelessness keep growing no matter what.

    • Skip Scott
      May 4, 2019 at 07:54

      John-

      This earlier article at CN sheds some light on the Intelligence Agencies’ invention of RussiaGate:

      https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/24/special-counsel-mueller-disingenuous-and-dishonest/

    • Neil Youngson
      May 7, 2019 at 22:55

      The “evidence” of Russian interference in the election came from two sources – a private company, Crowdstrike, paid for by the DNC to inspect their servers – the DNC refused to give the FBI access to their servers, one can only ask why? The DNC needed a scapegoat to distract from the obvious conclusion exposed by the email leaks that they do not represent the ordinary people, but instead only care about Wall Street and their Corporate donors. We all know this is the truth.

      The assessment by the Intel agencies was based on 5 hand-picked agents from 3 agencies – hand picking agents strongly suggests you are starting with a conclusion and then ginning up the evidence to support that. The Mueller report refers to Crowdstikes’ conclusions and the intel assessment, but does nothing to investigate the underlying evidence.

      The NSA/GCHQ suck up everything! If the servers were hacked they would have evidence to show us. Craig Murray, the former British Ambassador, said in an interview that the DNC and Podesta emails were two separate leaks, one from inside the DNC and one from the security services! He didn’t say if that was from US or UK intel. Interesting to note that in Obama’s last speech as president he referred to the leak, not the hack. Slip of the tongue, I don’t think so!

      The other evidence was a “so called” analysis of FaceBook postings/adverts placed by the Internet Research Agency based in St Petersburg. This analysis was nothing more than reading the digital tea leaves at the bottom of the cup – complete BS. More than half the adds were placed after the election. Of those placed before, as many focussed on pro liberal issues as pro conservative issues – how did the establishment deal with this? Oh, they were trying to sow dissent! Seriously? The world is full of comapnies trying to sell advertising on-line – and they know the best way to do this is to establish a following on a particularly topic and then offer that as a targeted group for the advertisers. Moon of Alabama blog has a great article on this.

      Let’s be clear, normally the deep state don’t care who gets elected, as long as they are establishment figures who can be controlled. Early in the campaign Trump, the outsider, didn’t expect to win, but he knew he was getting great publicity and he wanted to build a Trump Tower in Russia, so he started talking about better relations with Russia. This was a huge red flag to the US/UK intel agencies because they are aware that Russia and China present a big threat to US/UK hegemony. So they concoted RussiaGate – they actually did more than that but details are only just starting to emerge.

      By the way, in case you think the UK is irrelevant in all this, understand that 60% of global capital passes through the City of London (UK’s Wall Street). It’s been estimated also that $10 trillion dollars is laundered through the UK every year. And we know that money does not belong to the 99%.

    • Skip Scott
      May 11, 2019 at 07:32

      Great comment Neil. Glad I checked back to see the latest. I knew London was a major player, but I’d never heard the 60% figure before. That is truly astounding! I think the forces of Empire are out to make nations irrelevant, and to enforce global feudalism for the sake of the 1%.

  36. JDD
    May 3, 2019 at 16:57

    Mr. McGovern,
    We thank you for all are doing and have done in the interests of rescuing our republic from the coup attempt at the hands of British and allied Intel agencies, including our own. However, I am more optimistic than you that the truth will soon emerge, if we the people demand it so. The NY Times article on the Papadopolous sting operation is just the beginning of a break in the damn, and should the president soon release the classified documents behind the entire operation, the floodgates will open. And when it does, we will have you, among other VIPS such as Bill Binney, to thank.

  37. Paul
    May 3, 2019 at 16:46

    Small correction to your image of “1984” the actor’s name is John Hurt, not William Hurt.

  38. May 3, 2019 at 16:39

    What’s truly sad is if you head over to Counterpunch’s weekend edition you’ll read a piece by Nader displaying his buying in to some of the tenets of the Russiagate circus rubbish. Disheartening to say the least. Any mainstream corporate Dem could have written what Nader submitted to Counterpunch this weekend.

    • AnneR
      May 4, 2019 at 09:22

      I’m sure that you will have noticed that CP’s political stance has, over these past twelve or so months, moved steadily in the Demrat direction, which is to say a touch to the sinister of Attila the Hun. They have stopped publishing Caitlin Johnstone, C.J. Hopkins, and so far as I can see, Stanley Cohen (the lawyer) along with others. And the co-editor (I think I have his position right) Joshua Frank is *fully* on board with the “Russians Did It” codswallop. If not “collusion,” then definitely the “leakage.”

      Without the likes of VIPS and especially Ray McGovern we’d be swimming in this cesspool even more than we have been. And it doesn’t look likely to get composted any time soon. It strikes me that Russiagate works very nicely for the Demrats in that it takes up so much Congressional time, space and energy – and oxygen – that they can “safely” ignore real, serious, electorate desired actions.

    • May 5, 2019 at 10:43

      AnneR – spot on regarding CounterPuff. They have also stopped publishing such staunch anti-imperialist voices as Andre Vltchek, Diana Johnstone, and I believe also now even Ed Curtain. Meanwhile you can still read the “progressive pro-regime change” drivel put out by a Louis Proyect or Melvin Goodman at CP. Very sad indeed to see what has transpired at CounterPuff over the past several years.

    • Drew Hunkins
      May 5, 2019 at 14:57

      Exactly AnneR!

      Well put.

    • Neil Youngson
      May 7, 2019 at 21:50

      And the same goes for The intercept. They still do good reporting on other issues but by employing James Risen on all things Russiagate related, who appears to be a conspiracy theorist, they have dropped massively in my estimation. Ditto also Mehdi Hasan. Sad to see but not that surprising. I still support Glen Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill.

  39. mike k
    May 3, 2019 at 15:31

    As in 1984, to expect the truth to play any part in the propaganda of the MSM, or the choreographed antics of the US congress is futile. Citizens who do not do their own research into these crucial matters are left without a clue to what is really happening in their world. But we were trained by our so called educational system from childhood to worship whatever the textbook, or the teacher said, and faithfully regurgitate it at test time – or else. Independent thought was not only neglected, it was frowned upon.

  40. May 3, 2019 at 15:27

    Ray McGovern is a moral relativists. He wants to analyze evidence, and attacks people who do not. But why should they? They have firm convictions stemming from their well grounded set of values. After some reading I have some idea what those values are.

    Paramount value: the worst possible outcome, something that we should all strive to avoid, is to “MAKE PUTIN HAPPY”. Hard to imagine a mark more bleak than “making Putin happy”. So before we look at the evidence, we must ask ourselves: is there a chance that the outcome would make Putin happy? And if yes, what we can do to avoid that calamity? Ray must admit that refusing to doubt determination of so private foreign outfit is a safe choice in that sense. And yet, he scolds our lawmakers and journalists who do their best to avoid it.

    Still, life is not easy and sometimes there is no easy way out. Once I was so surprised that I almost fell from my chair: an op-ed in NYT had a favorable mention of Putin. You see, the topic was what inferences we can make about human character from their attitude to dogs. Trump is a dog hater, and he lacks an excuse of having a friendly cat. Among other world leaders Putin treats his dogs exceedingly well, walks with them, plays with them, leaves their care to the most qualified personnel at times when he is too busy. So the choice was of eschewing the opportunity to write something nasty about Trump and writing something that could make Putin smile.

    On the bright side, NYT usually avoids making Putin happy for more than a year without interruption. I suspect that one reason that they replaced the graphics in “Markets” section with a highly incomprehensible format because the previous format made Putin happy.

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2019 at 02:09

      Putin did not make Trump president any than the Man In The Moon did.

    • Realist
      May 4, 2019 at 04:09

      Very perceptive. Most people manage to miss the obvious because it would seem too stupid for the Times to state their true priorities. For them, it’s personal, not principled. You nailed it.

    • anon4d2
      May 4, 2019 at 06:33

      What do you mean by “refusing to doubt determination of so private foreign outfit is a safe choice”? And who could argue that “making Putin happy” motivates anyone for or against any public policy? Needs clarification.

    • Skip Scott
      May 4, 2019 at 07:57

      Great comment!

  41. Abe
    May 3, 2019 at 15:11

    Israel-gate: The pro-Israel Lobby Behind the “Russia-gate” Orwellian Cloud

    Robert Mueller’s investigation has finally concluded that there was no collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to subvert the 2016 US election.

    There is however plenty of evidence of foreign interference and collusion in US politics, except it is being ignored by establishment media and politicians because the state doing it is not Russia, but Israel.

    Both Hillary Clinton’s and Trump’s presidential campaigns in 2016 were stage managed by the pro-Israel Lobby. Key operatives of the pro-Israel Lobby (including John Bolton and Mike Pompeo) populate the Trump Administration.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P5FuyXn0VI

    • Zhu
      May 4, 2019 at 02:10

      More nonsense. Americans madeTrump president, not Israel.

    • anon4d2
      May 4, 2019 at 06:41

      You repeat that endlessly in willful ignorance of the evidence. Why do you ignore the extensive evidence of DNC control by zionists, that Hillary’s top ten 2016 donors were all zionists, that zionists provided over half of her donations over 500K, that zionists and KSA are the major donors to her foundation, that her entire foreign policy served only zionists at the expense of the US? Because you are a zionist troll.

    • AnneR
      May 4, 2019 at 09:36

      Ah but, Abe, you know that such as AIPAC are not foreign agents, noooo. They only have the USA’s well-being and interests at heart, not the interests (impunity from all international legal scrutiny and condemnation being high among them) of that other Un-namable country.

      Now I view the relationship as one based on mutual benefice, i.e. each uses the other to its own ends. And neither has a single moral or ethical scruple anywhere within its polity or the general populace, thus allowing each to do to others (often with smiles on their faces) that which they most strongly condemn done to themselves.

      Russia-phobia – and with it Putin-phobia – is clearly a very clever deflective focus away from the really existing, long-standing culprits of foreign interference in this (and other western nations) country’s political (and military) structures and actions.

    • Abe
      May 4, 2019 at 19:12

      Unfortunately, veteran intelligence professionals don’t do evidence when it comes to Israel’s hostile state intelligence service.

    • May 6, 2019 at 14:57

      Abe, please dig out my reply to you the last time you made that unsupported “unfortunate” charge. Ray

    • Abe
      May 7, 2019 at 02:38

      For starters, Ray, please dig out any time that VIPS expressed concern about the proliferation of “services” by Israeli intelligence firms provided to both the Republican and Democratic campaigns during 2016 US presidential election.

      If there’s an new “memo” in the works, y’all better step on it. The next election is just ’round the corner.

  42. Abe
    May 3, 2019 at 14:20

    – Tell me, what do you do with witches?
    – Burn them!
    – And what do you burn, apart from witches?
    – More witches!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp_l5ntikaU

  43. robert e williamson jr
    May 3, 2019 at 14:13

    BTW it’s a DEEP STATE thing!

  44. robert e williamson jr
    May 3, 2019 at 14:10

    I came across something rather interesting by Mr. Peter Dale Scott, 2014 he wrote a piece for Asia – Pacific Journal. I worked in the Nuclear Accident response business for about 30 years and as a result of the Fukishima debacle I check on news of area to see how the “Half-life” of the accident is coming. But I digress.

    What caught my eye was the title “The Fates of American Presidents Who Challenged the Deep State”, Oct. 20 2014 | Vol 12 Issue 43 | No. 4. I recently wrote, ” Where are all those high powered Political Scientists?”. I’m not sure how powerful Mr. Scott is but this piece needs to framed and hung on the wall. In the Oval Office! If “civics were still taught in high schools every Senior should be required to read this until they can pass an oral exam on the paper. Scott’s effort is that powerful and complete.

    Anybody hear the story about Alfa Bank, Dick Cheney, Rex Tillerson, Mikhail Fridmen an Israeli citizen, Konstantin Kilmnik, Paul Manafort, Tyumen Oil Co. , Rosneft Oil Co., Kirkland and Ellis , a law firm, Bill Barr and Brian Benczkowski who was confirmed as Head of DOJ’s Criminal Division July of 2018.

    No! Well two cyber security computer experts walk into a bar and one says to the other, hey have you heard the one about how to throw an election and . . . . .

    You might want to ask yourselves Who knew ,What and Why did they know it.

    Anyhow it’s just a thought!

    Now go to the Fifth Column New and join Beau in his fight for truth and justice for all. He is not Superman but may well be the next best thing!

  45. robert scheetz
    May 3, 2019 at 13:37

    “There remains an outside chance, however, that the truth will emerge, ….”

    Dear Ray,
    I know you have to have hope, regardless how forlorn, to do what you’ve been doing. And while I deeply appreciate your very productive efforts at exposing Truth, …your hope for an effect is Quixotesque, …which, as a Xtian, is deeply affecting as well. But we both know, the “Ministry of Truth”, howsoever specious, will overwhelm the puny lance of Truth. From the Lincoln assassination to 9/11, though the truth is there for anyone with the will to it, the Lie has always proved invincible.

    There’s no ground left for illusion. Only a god can save us now.

    god bless!

    • anon4d2
      May 4, 2019 at 06:53

      Claims of “illusion” and “forlorn hope” in anti-corruption work help the corrupt. Believing that only divine intervention can eliminate corruption is capitulation. If you are discouraged, it is better to study methods and suggest new actions.

    • May 4, 2019 at 20:32

      general strike and stand down of security forces, have succeeded in past.

      Demo’s smothered OWS call for general strike and O killed OWS.

    • robert scheetz
      May 5, 2019 at 12:33

      Like Didi & Vlad, we waited a long time for the Rev. The basic problem is that Nature is “the food chain”. The strong always eat the weak. And you can’t repeal Nature.

      The “god” thing is a late quote from Heidegger, who also believed in rev, …and got it.

  46. Brian James
    May 3, 2019 at 13:35

    Mar 25, 2019 Russiagate implodes: Aaron Maté buries the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory

    Russiagate has imploded after Robert Mueller’s investigation found no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

    https://youtu.be/tF_b6cA1nNQ

    • hetro
      May 3, 2019 at 14:59

      This is a good addition to Ray’s report. Aaron M is as usual calm and clear not just on the debunked collusion theory but the damage that activity has done in side-tracking attention from the real harm Trump is doing. There is, however, one disturbing aspect to Aaron’s reporting.

      Not long ago on the Jimmy Dore show he claimed to be an “agnostic” about whether Russia hacked the DNC, the very issue Ray is going after here. Previously, in the renowned “obliteration” piece by Glenn Greenwald, he ignored this claim in the Mueller Report (that Russia hacked the DNC and passed the info to Assange). It is disturbing that these stalwarts would hesitate on a critical attitude toward this view of a Russian “hack.”

      Ray’s article debunking this propaganda is valuable and necessary. We need to keep challenging this view that Russia is behind the DNC revelations. No, this is the contrivance Hillary Clinton invented in view of what was revealed.

    • May 3, 2019 at 18:18

      If true that Aaron Maté doesn’t have the balls/integrity to stand up against the lie that the DNC was hacked by Russia the reason is simple: he writes for The Nation. That rag has fallen to a new low and is little more than another propaganda arm of the DNC and neoliberal establishment–a highbrow variant of MSNBC for the properly cultured with the requisite veneer of concern for social justice. All in the service of helping good liberals sleeps soundly at night.

    • hetro
      May 4, 2019 at 10:56

      I wouldn’t recommend leaping to a conclusion on his integrity like this. His comment was not clarified or pursued, so it’s puzzling. My concern is the general tendency to blame the Russians on this issue, so I might have been over-sensitive in my reaction.

    • tom
      May 3, 2019 at 15:36

      Mate and Greenwald are still persona non grata on MSNBC and CNN especially now that they were proved right and consistently exposed the fraud.

  47. Skip Scott
    May 3, 2019 at 13:29

    “It is altogether possible, though, that in due course he plans to look into the origins of Russia-gate and the role of Clapper, Brennan and Comey in creating and promoting the evidence-free dogma that Russia hacked into the DNC…”

    I strongly suspect that this possibility is what brought Mueller back onto the scene. After all, it is said that the best defense is a good offense. They will be coming after Barr with everything they’ve got if he really does try to turn the tables. I wish Barr all the luck in the world, and I hope he has good bodyguards. I also hope he drives an older model car that can’t be remote controlled by the CIA.

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 3, 2019 at 15:39

      For what its worth Skip I think you’re exactly right. This “game” has become too important to abandon, so it will be played until one side or the other wins. One hopes that the truth is with the victor, we’ll see…

    • hetro
      May 3, 2019 at 20:20

      Skip, maybe we’re seeing some backbone for a change, via Barr. He has made it very clear, calmly, that intelligence services should not be a tool of politics. I suggest this is hopeful for us to see the whole thing unravel in the next few months.

  48. bjd
    May 3, 2019 at 13:25

    A well-written, biting, concise, and documented analysis of mass lunacy.

  49. Mark Clarke
    May 3, 2019 at 12:39

    “There remains an outside chance, however, that the truth will emerge…” The truth doesn’t seem to matter.

  50. Kerry Marshall
    May 3, 2019 at 12:34

    Ok… Church of the Saviour…Tell the Word..?
    This is your expertise voice…?

    • DW Bartoo
      May 3, 2019 at 16:12

      Jimmy Dore has interviewed William Binney of VIPS. I recall that Dore was horrified at what Binney revealed about the secret FISA courts. One assumes that viewers were likewise appalled by what was exposed.

      Perhaps, hetro, it is time for Dore to interview Ray McGovern?

      Better yet, a double interview with both Ray McGovern and Arron Mate discussing the “Russia did it” hoax.

      Mate has done a magnificent job showing that there was no “collusion” and might well appreciate a discussion that makes clear, as McGovern, with the help of others, has magnificently done showing that no credible evidence exists to verify any of the DNC/FBI
      claims primarily because the DNC computers were never “seized and examined” by the FBI.

      Therefore, there is no way that the FBI or the DoJ can produce actual evidence to verify ANY allegations that Russia did anything to the DNC.

      No credible case can be made, on that failure alone, to even accuse Russia of “hacking”.

      A point many have long argued.

      That Ray McGovern can then also point to forensic evidence of a download and the likelihood physical transfer of the data, absolutely nails the falsity of the whole invented fairytale.

      Jimmy Dore, please ask Ray McGovern to appear on your show. You will find it as enlightening as your interview with William Binney!

    • DW Bartoo
      May 3, 2019 at 16:14

      This comment was for, hetro, above.

    • hetro
      May 3, 2019 at 20:08

      DW, Jimmy Dore did seem startled with Aaron’s seriously stated “I’m agnostic” on the question, so yes, I think any discussion that would delve into the Russia hacked the DNC with Assange as pawn propaganda is a good idea, and that this emphasis should continue generally. It could also be tied to a web of deceit–the further unraveling that Barr is currently threatening is very interesting. If interviewed with Ray, it would be good to see Aaron’s response and try to understand why he’s an agnostic (and why did Greenwald step around the issue also?) It would seem to me sufficient to have Assange’s word on this matter, to be convinced it was NOT the Russians hacking (or leaking from) the DNC.

    • May 4, 2019 at 20:39

      Assange stated no State gave him the download.

      Assange posted a $10,000 reward for Seth Rich’s assassin.

      Green on DN did state there was no russian hacking.

    • Ort
      May 3, 2019 at 17:16

      It’s unfortunate that you didn’t read the rest of the blurb before posing your tendentious questions.

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