RAY McGOVERN: The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe

Like so many other glib “Russia experts” with access to Establishment media, Fiona Hill, who testified Thursday in the impeachment probe, seems three decades out of date. 

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

Fiona Hill’s “Russian-expert” testimony Thursday and her deposition on Oct. 14 to the impeachment inquiry showed that her antennae are acutely tuned to what Russian intelligence services may be up to but, sadly, also displayed a striking naiveté about the machinations of U.S. intelligence. 

Hill’s education on Russia came at the knee of the late Professor Richard Pipes, her Harvard mentor and archdeacon of Russophobia. I do not dispute her sincerity in attributing all manner of evil to what President Ronald Reagan called the “Evil Empire.”  But, like so many other glib “Russia experts” with access to Establishment media, she seems three decades out of date. 

I have been studying the U.S.S.R. and Russia for twice as long as Hill, was chief of CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch during the 1970s, and watched the “Evil Empire” fall apart.  She seems to have missed the falling apart part.

Selective Suspicion

Are the Russian intelligence services still very active? Of course. But there is no evidence — other than Hill’s bias — for her extraordinary claim that they were behind the infamous “Steele Dossier,” for example, or that they were the prime mover of Ukraine-gate in an attempt to shift the blame for Russian “meddling” in the 2016 U.S. election onto Ukraine. In recent weeks U.S. intelligence officials were spreading this same tale, lapped up  and faithfully reported Friday by The New York Times.

Hill has been conditioned to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin and especially his security services are capable of anything, and thus sees a Russian under every rock — as we used to say of smart know-nothings like former CIA Director William Casey and the malleable “Soviet experts” who bubbled up to the top during his reign (1981 – 1987).  Recall that at the very first meeting of Reagan’s cabinet, Casey openly told the president and other cabinet officials: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”  Were Casey still alive, he would be very pleased and proud of Hill’s performance.

Beyond Dispute?

On Thursday Hill testified:

“The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016. This is the public conclusion of our intelligence agencies, confirmed in bipartisan Congressional reports. It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.” [Emphasis added.]

Ah, yes.  “The public conclusion of our intelligence agencies”: the same ones who reported that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union would never surrender power peaceably; the same ones who told Secretary of State Colin Powell he could assure the UN Security Council that the WMD evidence given him by our intelligence agencies was “irrefutable and undeniable.”  Only Richard-Pipeline-type Russophobia can account for the blinders on someone as smart as Hill and prompt her to take as gospel “the public conclusions of our intelligence agencies.”

A modicum of intellectual curiosity and rudimentary due diligence would have prompted her to look into who was in charge of preparing the (misnomered) “Intelligence Community Assessment” published on Jan. 6, 2017, which provided the lusted-after fodder for the “mainstream” media and others wanting to blame Hillary Clinton’s defeat on the Russians.

Jim, Do a Job on the Russians

President Barack Obama with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, 2011. (White House/ Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama gave the task to his National Intelligence Director James Clapper, whom he had allowed to stay in that job for three and a half years after he had to apologize to Congress for what he later admitted was a “clearly erroneous” response, under oath, to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens. And when Clapper published his memoir last year, Hill would have learned that, as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s handpicked appointee to run satellite imagery analysis, Clapper places the blame for the consequential “failure” to find the (non-existent) WMD “where it belongs — squarely on the shoulders of the administration members who were pushing a narrative of a rogue WMD program in Iraq and on the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn’t really there.” [Emphasis added.]

But for Hill, Clapper was a kindred soul: Just eight weeks after she joined the National Security Council staff, Clapper, during an NBC interview on May 28, 2017, recalled “the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique.” Later he added, “It’s in their DNA.” Clapper has claimed that “what the Russians did had a profound impact on the outcome of the election.”

As for the “Intelligence Community Assessment,” the banner headline atop The New York Times on Jan. 7, 2017 set the tone for the next couple of years: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.” During my career as a CIA analyst, as deputy national intelligence officer chairing National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), and working on the Intelligence Production Review Board, I had not seen so shabby a piece of faux analysis as the ICA. The writers themselves seemed to be holding their noses.  They saw fit to embed in the ICA itself this derriere-covering note: “High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.” 

Not a Problem

With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan,  were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by “all 17 intelligence agencies” (as first claimed by Clinton, with Rep. Jim Himes, D-CT, repeating that canard Thursday, alas “without objection).”  Himes, too should do his homework.  The bogus “all 17 intelligence agencies” claim lasted only a few months before Clapper decided to fess up. With striking naiveté, Clapper asserted that ICA preparers were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA and NSA. The criteria Clapper et al. used are not hard to divine. In government as in industry, when you can handpick the analysts, you can handpick the conclusions.

Maybe a Problem After All

“According to several current and former intelligence officers who must remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue,” as the Times says when it prints made-up stuff, there were only two “handpicked analysts.”  Clapper picked Brennan; and Brennan picked Clapper.  That would help explain the grossly subpar quality of the ICA.

If U.S. Attorney John Durham is allowed to do his job probing the origins of Russiagate, and succeeds in getting access to the “handpicked analysts” — whether there were just two, or more — Hill’s faith in “our intelligence agencies,” may well be dented if not altogether shattered.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. After earning an M.A. in Russian Studies and serving as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer, he worked as a CIA analyst, then branch chief, of Soviet foreign policy; then as a Deputy National Intelligence Officer, and finally as a morning briefer of the President’s Daily Brief.

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64 comments for “RAY McGOVERN: The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe

  1. Herb Weber
    November 27, 2019 at 09:07

    Thank you, Ray, for your continuing and much-appreciated efforts to introduce fact, logic and intelligence into the generation and use of “Intelligence” in politics and its “continuation by other means”.

  2. Juan Ryan
    November 26, 2019 at 13:12

    For my money, the most disturbing aspect surrounding each witness in this farce is the cult of personality campaigns that surround them. Hill is the latest and the corporate, imperial feminist angle is impossible to miss for anyone who listened to her opening statement. Last week, Facebook was replete with ridiculous images of her superimposed on stage with the Rolling Stones in place of Mick Jagger. Just as Vice has made American Imperialism cool with hipsters, Marie Yovanovitch and Fiona Hill, two lesser known technocrats prior to the Kabuki theater known as Ukraine-gate flooded the cable news and PBS broadcasts, have been elevated to a status that an actual hero like Coleen Rowley did not enjoy for too long , but then again Rowley’s work definitely shook the Deep State establishment to its core, something the spooks who have now won over the majority of Democrats don’t look kindly upon. It is possible to simultaneously view Trump as a terrible President but recognize the repeated attempts at a bloodless coup to remove him from office as the greater threat to the elusive concept of democracy as it is practiced in this country. Hill offered nothing but invective for any person or media outlet daring to question the narrative of Schiff and company, not with facts but hearsay and scorn.

  3. John Ellis
    November 26, 2019 at 05:50

    By competition, with those most intelligent hoarding all the wealth and power.
    By socialism, with middle-speed thinkers hoarding all the wealth and power.
    By compassion and charity producing a grateful response, allowing indigenous natives to rule themselves.

  4. Kayla Goldfield
    November 25, 2019 at 10:52

    A million thanks to Sir Ray for shining his brilliant lights on the situation. The great war continues. Houses built on shoddy foundations are destined to crumble. All will be well.
    Love always,
    PS: “Trump’s most unforgivable sin in the eyes of the deep state is his criticism of the empire’s endless wars… There are no internal or external checks on the deep state. The democratic institutions, including the press, that once gave citizens a voice and a say in the exercise of power have been neutered. ”
    Chris Hedges, The Enemy within, (4 Nov 2019): truthdig.com/articles/the-enemy-within/

  5. November 25, 2019 at 01:31

    The thing about impeachment of Pres. Trump is, that Pelosi wants him impeached for “bribery.” It’s, actually, “the pot calling the kettle black.” Most Democrats, along with the Repubs, have agreed with the evil sanctions against other countries. Those are nothing short of extortion. And regarding the “ask for investigation into the Bidens” is concerned, that does need to be done, and it can’t be proven, ( true or not) that Trump wants it done;because, Biden is running for President. So; while I don’t agree with Trump’s domestic policy, I think, he is trying to keep us out of war. I don’t think the Dems have a valid case.

    • John Ellis
      November 26, 2019 at 07:14

      Trump and most all office holders are paid actors who have sold all their decision making powers to the highest bidder. Where is your common horse sense?

  6. Bill
    November 24, 2019 at 18:41

    I don’t Fionna Hill or Vindman. What are their connections to the CIA?

  7. Larry Shea
    November 24, 2019 at 17:20

    “‘Hill’s faith in “our intelligence agencies,” may well be dented if not altogether shattered.”‘ With all due respect Mr. McGovern, your closing statement comes across as rather naive. By implying that Hill’s lying testimony can be passed off merely as a case of Russophobia, misses the point entirely. Her anti-Russian propaganda barrage is a symptom of a much broader geopolitical agenda. As Diana Johnstone points out in her book ‘Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton’ (2015) [p. 98], “…breaking up Yugoslavia…was a rehearsal for the process we have recently seen unfolding in Ukraine with Russia as the target.” This is the real reason for all of the non-stop anti-Russian propaganda with which the American public are constantly being bombarded. Political propaganda was the main purpose of Ms. Hill’s testimony. Ms. Hill is obviously a co-opted political operative who supports wholeheartedly the ultimate agenda of the CFR, NED, the CIA, and NATO.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski outlined this agenda in his book ‘The Grand Chessboard:American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.’ In 1997, a hyper-hubristic Brzezinski wrote the following words: “Russia’s only real geostrategic option…is Europe. And not just any Europe, but the transatlantic Europe of the enlarging EU and NATO… That is the Europe to which Russia will have to relate, if it is to avoid dangerous political isolation” [p. 118]. Well, Mr. B, it looks as though Vladmir Putin and the Kremlin decided to respond your threatening memo on their own sovereign terms.

    A little further on in ‘The Grand Chessboard’ [p. 121], this former member of the Atlantic Council, the NED, and the CFR informs the reader that “Most important, however, is Ukraine …Russia will find it incomparably harder to acquiesce to Ukraine’s accession to NATO, for to do so would be to acknowledge that Ukraine’s destiny is no longer organically linked to Russia.”

    What is the time frame for Brzezinski’s EU-NATO agenda to unfold? On p. 121 he writes “… the decade 2005-2015 is a reasonable time frame for the initiation of Ukraine’s progressive inclusion [in the EU and NATO]. Brzezinski’s propaganda served to promote the naked balance-of-power geopolitics that has been implemented by NATO and others since 1997. RUSSIA HAD TO BECOME THE ENEMY for this agenda of naked aggression to succeed. In 1944, Nicholas Spykman succinctly described the geopolitical importance of Eurasia, “Who rules Eurasia controls the destinies of the world” [The Geography of Peace, p. 43].

    • CitizenOne
      November 25, 2019 at 22:27

      Great comment Larry Shea,

      I and others often settle into citing examples of the West’s agenda of Naked Aggression but often fail to link that series of events into a much broader historical narrative. It is interesting to see some of the larger strategies that were in play during the aftermath of Trump’s surprise victory and how the intelligence agencies needed a way to transform the obvious rigging of the election by the media in order to fully maximize the money they could get by floating a “bait” or straw candidate in order to fleece republican Super PACs that were flooded with money due to the elimination of every campaign finance regulation going back one hundred years to The Tillman Act of 1907, the first federal effort to regulate campaign finance in U.S. elections, banned corporations from expending money from their treasuries to influence a federal election. Campaign contributions are now recognized as a form of speech partly protected by the First Amendment since the recent Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. These landmark decisions not only opened the floodgates for corporate and wealthy individual contributions to political campaigns but gave donations protected status under the U Constitution as protected free speech equating campaign donations no matter how large with protected free speech under the Constitution. To say that this was a perversion of the original intent of the Constitution is an understatement. But now these decisions are not ever even mentioned in the halls of our “Free Press” founded under the principle that even the little guy should have a right to speak freely. What was conceived as an egalitarian right of citizens to fight the rich and powerful has now been extended the rich and powerful under the various laws that have created corporate rights as equivalent to citizens rights under the Constitution. The extension of those rights to campaign contributions has upended government regulations designed to limit the influence of corporations and wealthy individuals in politics.

      So what does any of this have to do with RussiaGate, the Mueller investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 National Election and the reasons why the politicians in Washington signed onto an investigation that ultimately provided no results backing up the allegations?

      To understand this one need to realize that for every action there is a reaction and often an unforseen reaction. The deregulation of campaign finance laws that unleashed a flood of money resulting in a staggering sum distributed among 14 republican candidates raised the possibility that the media were going to get a lot of money. They knew this in advance and that was the reason for the media blackout on coverage of Citizens United which was several years in the making but that is another story.

      But there were flaws in the strategy of the media to extract every available dollar from the cash infused republican candidates. One obvious flaw is the way elections are held. Candidates gather delegates in state primary elections and once one candidate has a majority of delegates they become the defacto nominees for their party. If this happens early on in a race it may end prematurely and as there is no reason to spend money on advertising after a majority candidate emerges the threat of this possibility needs to be thwarted by any means. In some sense, this economic motivation to create a horse race by the media is good for fair representation of all candidates but there are other scenarios where it is more of a con job. In the 2016 election it was a con job.

      This was not an accident. It was a result of strategies by the media to maximize their profits. The main strategy was to create a straw candidate largely funded by the media who would be granted endless free coverage at every available news opportunity and who would be held up essentially as bait or a credible threat. The proof of this lies in the paltry sums of cash that Trump spent on his campaign. An estimated two to three billion dollars in free advertising was provided by the media.

      The idea was to portray Trump as the front runner and the man to beat in order to extort the cash from the republican super PACs. This is not a theory but fact based on Trump’s own tiny cash contributions and what the media stood to gain.

      After the surprise election there was much apoplexy by both parties and they were both searching for the reasons that Trump who was not an in the fold republican was elected and for the democrats how Hillary lost when she was favored to win. Ther were numerous articles in the media expressing disbelief that somehow Trump had managed to fool everyone when in fact it was the media that managed to fool everyone and got rich in the process.

      As the various scenarios were put through the ringer on a more acceptable and more palatable explanation for the results of the election were bandied about under the strict rules that the real reasons for the election upset could never be made public a win win scenario emerged.

      The United States had decades of anticommunist saturation which left a public ready to accept blame on the Russians for anything and this would have the dual benefit of not only distracting the angry people away from the root cause of the election but would also fit nicely into a scenario that would reignite the cold war and reinvigorate defense spending which was lagging since the collapse of the USSR. For politicians whose states relied heavily on defense spending for jobs this was an obvious no brainer.

      So quite suddenly in the aftermath of the election with everyone searching for answers and media moguls cowering naked in the corner for fear of being exposed and the politicians seeing dreams of billions in defense dollars coming their way everybody signed onto the theory that IT WAS RUSSIA!

      Another fear was that the new president was a peace nick and who had close economic ties with the Russians. He early on criticized wasteful military spending and seemed more inclined to do deals with Russia rather than to go along with cold war hysteria which was the decades old backbone justifying the defense budget.

      So slowly he was legitimized by the republicans and the story about campaign finance laws gone wrong was avoided. The rich and powerful maintained their ability to control elections, the military got what it wanted, the media escaped scrutiny, the states got what they wanted and everybody in Washington was once again happy.

      Up until the point that the president bungled foreign affairs and actually became a threat to defense budgets. Making friends with Putin, Making friends with Kim Jong-Un. Cancelling war games, Pulling out of Syria effectively handing control of Syria to the Russians and finally attempting to unearth the history of the seminal long term vital strategy of bringing Ukraine into the western sphere for his personal campaign strategy of portraying the politicians like Biden that enabled this feat as corrupt politicians.

  8. Joan
    November 24, 2019 at 16:49

    Thank you Ray for your great work of sharing the very truths that keep many of us free from the horrible stench of the lies of madmen.

  9. Deniz
    November 24, 2019 at 16:48

    Dr. Hill was the only witness of the Nancy & Adam’s Circus who wasn’t a partisan hack or deep state goon. While one can disagree with her conclusions, she deserves respect for her sincerity and intelligence.

    After listening to her testimony, I find it plausible that Russia, as a competing power, would engage in meddling with the election. This does not in any way absolve Brennan, Clinton or the rest of the motley crew of criminals that run our country. I am also not suggesting that the solution to that problem is to give Lockheed Martin and the DC suburbs another trillion dollars.

  10. Peter in Seattle
    November 24, 2019 at 15:34

    The credible reporting I’ve seen suggests that the only dispositive meddling in the 2016 elections was done by purely domestic actors:

    * Democrat-allied media ignoring, smearing, and scaremongering against Bernie;

    * the DNC appropriating state-party money to support the Hillary Campaign;

    * Democratic-Party operatives rigging the primaries in a variety of ways — roll-purging, vote-flipping on inauditable machines, ballot-dumping — to tip the scales toward Hillary;

    * Democratic super-delegates voting for Hillary nearly en bloc irrespective of her actual popular support and prospects in the general; and

    * Republican secretaries of states in key swing states rigging the general by abusing the Interstate Crosscheck program to purge the rolls of a critical number of likely Democratic voters.

    Given how aggressively Russophobic and hawkish Hillary was, I wouldn’t be surprised if Russia wanted to meddle in the election and even actually tried to. The problem is, I never saw any convincing evidence that they did, and certainly not in any way that rose above the level of “homeopathic” in terms of effectiveness. (Yeah, I know — that’s how fiendishly cunning those Russkis really are.)

    I will say one thing about Fiona Hill, however: she knows what side her bread is buttered on. If you want support in your future endeavors from the Democratic Party, from US intelligence and military concerns (both public and private), and from US media, you can’t go wrong hyping the Russian bogeyman. I mean, how many hundreds of billions a year in pork and cuts of the action does Russophobia alone scare up?

    • Dee
      November 26, 2019 at 21:45

      This: Democratic-Party operatives rigging the primaries in a variety of ways — roll-purging, vote-flipping on inauditable machines, ballot-dumping — to tip the scales toward Hillary.

      This is a complete fiction. There were GOP primaries on the same day as Dem primaries, and there were judges and poll watchers, everywhere. Further, if the Dems were all so powerful, to be able to rig a Hillary win, in the primary, and it was just that easy, why couldn’t they do it in the general election?

      Your theory has no merit. If it could be done so simply, in the primary, the Dems would surely have rigged it so that Hillary would beat Trump in a landslide.

      The fact is, yours is a false narrative, that Bernie’s fans have been hanging onto. The DNC runs the caucuses. All taxpayers and states run primaries. So, it was the Democratic party that oversaw a lot of Bernie wins, in contests they controlled. Where the Dems were not controlling the contests, Hillary won.

      I doubt you can explain that, but I’m guessing you’d like to try.

    • Peter in Seattle
      November 27, 2019 at 15:01

      @Dee: Sure, I’d like to try.

      Further, if the Dems were all so powerful, to be able to rig a Hillary win, in the primary, and it was just that easy, why couldn’t they do it in the general election?

      Fair enough: I should have said that operatives from both parties had an incentive to rig the Democratic primaries for Hillary. The prime directive from the big money behind the leadership of both parties was to keep Bernie out of the White House. And to Republican big-money donors, Hillary was not only the lesser-evil Democrat, she was the weaker opponent. (Polling predicted that Bernie would beat Trump by a decisive margin in the general, whereas Hillary was almost always within the margin of error.) In the general, Democrats’ and Republicans’ common goal of ensuring that Bernie lost was already achieved, and it was each election-rigging team for itself. And if memory serves, the election apparatus in key swing states in 2016 was under Republican control.

      I’d recommend searching for an article titled “Hillary Clinton Versus Bernie Sanders: Taking Election Fraud Allegations Seriously (Part 1)” and reading the full 6-part series linked to at the bottom of that article. But I’ll cut to the chase and quote you the final paragraph of the final article in the series:

      Until someone comes up with [a workable alternative theory], election fraud benefiting Hillary Clinton to the tune of a 120 to 150 pledged delegate difference, is the best explanation we have. People wanting to prove this theory should be suing for a technologically sophisticated and independent review of results and the voting results’ entire computer ecosystems in places like Ohio, South Carolina, Alabama, Boston, Chicago, New York, and many others.

      If you have a problem with the evidence and reasoning in those articles, take it up with the author.

  11. Stephen M
    November 24, 2019 at 15:26

    In terms of the “all 17 agencies” canard, you wouldn’t even have had to wait the three months before Clapper fessed up to know it was a lie. All you’d have to do is read the ICA itself.

    The following are three quotes copied and pasted directly from the ICA… (the internet is a wonderful thing)

    “This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies.”

    “When we use the term “we” it refers to an assessment by all three agencies.”

    “We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.”

    • Stephen M
      November 24, 2019 at 16:05

      Of course, it was even a lie to go so far as to say it was all three of those agencies when in fact it was only a handful of select agents drawn from those agencies, as Clapper later revealed. But the “all 17 agencies” thing was beyond the pale. And it’s amazing that particular story line has had as much lasting power as it has — I even heard someone repeat it on the radio only a couple of weeks ago — when you consider how easily debunked it is.

  12. November 24, 2019 at 11:12

    One gets the impression Americans don’t think much for themselves.

  13. Tom Earls
    November 24, 2019 at 09:39

    Ray, if it wasn’t the Russians, are you suggesting that the American people chose Trump all by themselves? I will grant that Hillary was bad enough to make that a possibility but I suggest you look at the voting machines, the counts and the voter suppression that gave us Bush Jr. twice via Florida and Ohio (well, Cheney actually). Those factors could give us Trump again if we can’t get him into jail soon.

    • Camilo Mejia
      November 25, 2019 at 08:34

      The Democrats gave us Trump, not the Russians.

  14. November 24, 2019 at 00:40

    People should hear the Consortium news show Friday when Joe Lauria interviews Tony Kevin, a retired diplomat from Australia. Tony Kevin nails Putin and Russia (a leader I admire and a country I love as it is today) to a T. It’s a perfect interview. I was please to find a person express my feelings so well. Putin is probably the most stable, calm and sane leader in the world today.
    How can something so obviously ridiculous, Russiagate, be taken seriously by the majority of Americans?

    • November 24, 2019 at 00:41

      P.S. You may, in my opinion, want to skip the George Bebbe interview that runs before Tony Kevin, unless you want to hear someone not so bright.

    • Vincent Walker
      November 25, 2019 at 13:58

      Good comment. You only have to study Putin’s priorities for improving the lives of all Russians and his achievement rebuilding Russia in a term that, historically, takes 50 or 60 years. Quadruple of the Agra sector in just 4 years.
      I’ll search for that Tony Kevin interview. Thanks

    • CitizenOne
      November 26, 2019 at 01:06

      It is taken so seriously because Americans are programmed over many decades to be the open vessels waiting to be filed with anticommunist propaganda stemming from the cold war. We watched the years that followed WWII from the beginning of the cold war. We lived in abject horror of the Iron Curtain and girded our defenses as the wall went up in Berlin. We lived through the fearful times when the nuclear war strategy called MAD directly entwined every American with the existential need to defend ourselves from nuclear annihilation by building up a vast inventory of thermonuclear weapons capable of destroying an entire population in an instant. We lived through Korea and we watched as the Domino Theory of global communist domination that threatened to overtake us and make every person on the planet slaves of a global communist overlord. We watched the McCarthy anticommunist witch trials and feared that any American was a communist sympathizer. We were mortally terrified of the Red Menace. We battled the communists in Vietnam. We faced the threat of Soviet tanks rolling in blitzkrieg like over Europe as we built military bases all over Europe to stop the Soviets massed on the border.

      Our entire global military force has been created based on the threat of global communism. We have fought leftist regimes in South America. We have supplied weapons to anticommunist leaders all over the World both good and bad for the single reason to prevent the spread of global communism.

      And along the way we have become deeply believing that merely mentioning Russia conjures up all of this history. The reason that blaming the Russians for the results of the 2016 election is credible is the same reasons that we have blamed Russia and formerly the Soviet Union for being the biggest threat we ever faced. How this happened is another story but it happened. So it is only common sense that if you want an easy reason to blame something for the 2016 election, blaming the Russians is a no brainer. In fact it has worked spectacularly. Plus the fact that there are many tangible benefits for blaming Russians for throwing a national election. Huge increases in the defense budget. Hiding the real reasons that Trump won. Allowing the rich to continue to control elections while not fearing that their actions will be exposed. Allowing the propaganda state to not face the threat that the bubble will burst. Compelling politicians to sign up for the witch hunt with the potential of jobs creation in their localities based on Defense contracts funded by the new cold war. Protecting corrupt campaign finance laws by not exposing how the laws are rigged for the wealthy to be able to control elections.

      The recent result of Supreme Court decisions over campaign laws has created or perhaps not created but greatly enforced an Iron triangle between the wealthy campaign donors who are free to donate unlimited amounts of cash to elect politicians who will do their bidding, the hand picked politicians that are the result of the money power and the media that covers politics which it calls “news”. The media is ultimately the recipient of all the cash because politicians need to spend the money they received in order to get elected.

      Iron triangles are called that because they are hard to break once established. Each leg of the triangle gains and subsequently enforces its existence through its actions to reinforce and codify the laws that allow it to exist. The Supreme Court battles are not about what the media tells us it is about. It is not about rights for people. It is not about justice or fairness. It is about stacking the court with justices that will side with the wealthy entities that currently control Washington politicians, and the voters who sign on to all of this. The government of the United States and by creation of laws right or wrong results in a state where citizens are effectively controlled by the wishes of special interests.

  15. November 23, 2019 at 22:51

    What is most comical is that both parties are just dancing around the fact that the miasma of post-coup Ukraine is the result of US intervention and the desperation of trying to hang one to the failures of neoliberalism. In five years we will surely know that Yanukovych was on the right side of history by seeking to join up with the EEU.

    • michael
      November 24, 2019 at 12:29

      Yanukovych knew that Ukraine was the gateway between the EU and Russia and was doing an excellent job of playing one side against the other to Ukraine’s (and his own) advantage. The Obama administration changed that with the coup in 2014, leading to the seceding of Crimea. It is unclear if the purpose of the coup (which cut the median household income for Ukrainians in half) was just to provoke the Russians, or rather to take part in the corruption so central to Ukrainian culture, as the American under Clinton did when they installed Yeltsin as leader.

    • boxerwar
      November 24, 2019 at 13:46

      Yes, michael !!!!!!

      Thank You 110 million times !

      “how quickly they forget” (also, how ignorant they choose to be… !)

    • OlyaPola
      November 26, 2019 at 06:28

      Re michael
      November 24, 2019 at 12:29

      “ It is unclear if the purpose of the coup (which cut the median household income for Ukrainians in half) was just to provoke the Russians, or rather to take part in the corruption so central to Ukrainian culture.”

      If the purpose of the coup is unclear why restrict perception to the binary x or y or a crested singular “the”, thereby failing to perceive the existence of “a” and lateral complex.

      In lateral process sole agency and sole causation cannot exist despite the belief of some that these can be achieved.

      The same logic pertains to your assertion/belief , “as the American under Clinton did when they installed Yeltsin as leader.” which was a illustration of useful foolery left publicly unchallenged throughout the 1990’s, thereby becoming a, but not the, facilitator of the accelerated incubation/growth of the Russian Federation predicated on various presumptions of the opponents including but not limited to We the people hold these truths to be self-evidentness and exceptionalism.

  16. November 23, 2019 at 18:23

    I was struck by the following passage in the article:

    “According to several current and former intelligence officers who must remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue,” as the Times says when it prints made-up stuff, there were only two “handpicked analysts.” Clapper picked Brennan; and Brennan picked Clapper. ”

    If this is actually a quote from the NYTimes, could we have the date so it can be checked. I have followed the story for some years (not intensively) and perhaps missed this. I have seen that there were only three of the 17 involved in the assessment. But if in fact there were only Brennan and Clapper handpicking each other–and the NYT admits as much–this would shatter the confidence of many left liberals who have thus far presumed that where there is smoke there must be some fire.

    Could Ray provide that citation please? Thanks.

    • November 24, 2019 at 23:54

      Tom R,

      pls accept my apologies. My wife regularly admonishes me that when I am writing or speaking tongue-in-cheek, I should be clearer about what I am doing. I find it necessary to try to find and insert some levity in these dreary subjects, and often fall short.

      I was not really quoting the NY Times in this paragraph — but just parroting a constant phrase their writers use, in one variation or another — when the buy into and regurgitate guided leaks from the likes of, well, Brennan and Clapper. Again, sorry for any confusion.

      Ray McGovern

  17. irene
    November 23, 2019 at 15:48

    This entire narrative depends on the short memories of even the Americans who have, despite busy lives, been paying attention. Thankfully we have some excellent historical writers like Ray McGovern to help keep us from being swept into the undertow of the MSM memes. The ‘deeper’ intent of these ‘shampeachment hearings’ seems to be to condition the American public to accept without reservation the current MSM shading of US policy towards Ukraine. The Educated Readers of the NYT now feel righteously Informed and therefore have no need to question that policy, framed as it is in the interest of Disabling The Donald.

    • Anna
      November 24, 2019 at 15:58

      Ms. Fiona Hill is either profoundly (and casually) dishonest or she is cognitively impaired.
      Fiona Hill is no patriotic America. She is a political hack. See: nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/fiona-hill-clinton-associate-showed-me-steele-dossierbefore-it-was-published-98477
      “Fiona Hill testified at an impeachment that Strobe Talbott, the former president of the Brookings Institution, shared the salacious document [Steele dossier] with her on Jan. 9, 2017 … a day before it was published by BuzzFeed News.”
      Why did Strobe Talbott show her the dossier before the dossier was published?

      A day after Hill’s exchange with Talbott, BuzzFeed published the dossier, which was authored by former British spy Christopher Steele and funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

      Hill’s testimony establishes yet another link between Steele’s dossier work and Clinton world. Talbott is a longtime Clinton associate who served in the Bill Clinton administration in the 1990s. His brother-in-law is Cody Shearer, a Clinton-linked operative who is the author of a Trump dossier of his own that closely mirrors allegations made by Steele.

      This entire narrative depends on the short memories of even the Americans who have, despite busy lives, been paying attention.
      See: zerohedge.com/geopolitical/state-department-releases-detailed-accounts-biden-ukraine-corruption

  18. Tarus 77
    November 23, 2019 at 16:10

    The general problem IMHO, to state obvious, is that there is no truth in the public discourse, only lies which support the narrative. And there is no penalty for the continuous lies, certainly not from what is called the press these days.

    • Hank
      November 24, 2019 at 09:57

      All the conspiracy talk since Hillary Clinton was LEGALLY beaten by President Trump has NOT ONCE pointed to the REAL reason Trump is where he is. And that is the growing awareness among Americans about the criminal/illegal manifestations of the Deep State and its regular “puppet” that it backs and places in the Oval Office(when it can!). I’m sure MILLIONS of votes that would have gone to Bernie Sanders went to Trump instead, as Hillary and her minions ran roughshod over any sense of rules and fairness in running her Democratic campaign for the POTUS. Her ruthlessness has left the DNC in ruins and all it seems to have for itself nowadays are unfounded innuendos that keep falling on deaf ears! My contention is that either of the two major parties would be in the same situation, even the Republicans, had the Clintons/Deep State been able to strong arm it for the candidacy! Hillary was a Goldwater Girl in 1964, backing a candidate, Barry Goldwater, who uttered those famous words- “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

      Four years later we find Hillary, in all places, as a campaign staffer for EUGENE McCARTHY, of all people! McCarthy, of course, was the candidate who really stuck his neck out in running an anti-war campaign as the Viet Nam war saw no ending in sight. How can one go to supporting Goldwater’s extremist stance to McCarthy’s anti-war stance in a mere four years? Spying anyone? Subterfuge? When Robert Kennedy won the California primary the Democratic nomination was his, so that took care of McCarthy. Then the CIA, with Sirhan Sirhan as a patsy, took care of RFK. The Deep State used the Republican Party this time as Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in 1968.

      Today we have witnessed just what Goldwater’s “extremism” motto means with the arming of mercenary extremists in Middle East nations like Syria to provide a “justification’ for USA “intervention”. And this DID happen while Hillary was Secretary of State! “Extremism” seems to connote ANYTHING done without the approval of the US Congress. The American people are fed up to a large part with this unaccountable behavior and there ARE enough now to make major swings in “predictable” elections. This is why Hillary lost to Trump. The people are waking up and seeing things as they really are, not just as the propaganda mouthpiece mainstream media “reports” them. For Hillary and Co. to treat informed Americans as “deplorables” only shows her disdain for REAL INFORMED Americans, who actually are MORE qualified to vote than those who just blindly accept the Deep State’s 24/7 propaganda!

    • OlyaPola
      November 25, 2019 at 06:05

      “there is no penalty for the continuous lies”

      The existence of phenomena does not require its perception.

      When phenomena are not perceived, thereby facilitating “surprises” and contingent doubt, some resort to bridging doubt by belief to attain “confirmation” thereby limiting/precluding perception of the existence of phenomena rendering those so immersed subject to “…the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

      “Such immersion in paradox is among the wonders of wonderland facilitating quests for “holy grails” like who lost China ? or who is on 3rd base?.” amplified by immersion in binaries and other linear constructs.

  19. AnneR
    November 23, 2019 at 15:11

    Thank you for this piece, Mr McGovern. A most necessary antidote to the Newspeak reportage of such as NPR (and the BBC). The former provided much obviously partisan (pro-DNC line) coverage – via the commentary – of these hearings. Nary a sceptical note to any of it. And then later in their “news” broadcasts. Simply nauseating.

    As for this latest highly educated, clearly Russophobic (though not from her background, I shouldn’t think) bureaucrat’s worldview, one can only imagine that, given her upbringing in a working class, mining family in the north-east of England, she has been ultra eager to shed herself of any such connection to the likelihood of union (let alone *real* Left-wing, if not communist) affiliations in that family of hers.

    She came of age and began her tertiary education at the height of the miners’ strike through which the Thatcher (the Snatcher) government set out to destroy both the miners’ union and British mining tout court. So her early years at university (in Scotland because apparently – taken from that less than reliable mouthpiece Wikipedia – she was made fun of at her interview at Oxford because of her accent and clothing, both probably making clear her working class origins) were during the entrenching of TINA in the UK and the political attitudes and views to go with it. And she clearly was totally determined to rid herself of all connection to her (for her?) shameful background.

    Not overly sure how she absorbed the Russophobia, though. From whence it came? Yes the British ruling elites, especially the aristos, have loathed and detested Russia from at least the mid-19th century (so well before communism appeared). But from my own experience growing up in England – as a member of the poor working class and with a father who was, except for a single peculiarity (he believed that the land should be nationalized and every man, well, of course, should be given 50 acres), he was a true blue Tory and my mother a Liberal party supporter – I didn’t have any anti-Soviet/Russian background knowledge, information…Indeed the Red Army choir used to be screened on television – the Beeb – singing and dancing; they visited Britain and performed there.

    But it has been fairly common, certainly during the 20th C, for those of working class background who “rise” through the socio-economic classes and achieve solidly bourgeois/middle class status to seek to adopt the mindset, worldview of the social class they have worked hard to enter. While eschewing the political outlook of their forebears and others in the same socio-economic class.

    It would seem her “thinking” ceased to develop, broaden, expand and/or adapt to changing realities and remains, as Mr McGovern points out, in the Cold War mindset of the Thatcher-Reagan years. So much for learning, education and expensive universities.

  20. Sam F
    November 23, 2019 at 14:28

    Thank you, Ray McGovern, for this timely summary of the distortions of secret agency reports, the falseness of their appointed managers, and their control of mass media. Indeed they promote endless war for profit, on the basis of the most obvious lies. Our secret agencies should be severely down-sized, restricted to analysis not operations, multiply monitored for corruption, and severely prohibited from domestic spying via any information route. Abuses of secret agencies should be defined as treason, to protect democracy.

  21. November 23, 2019 at 14:28

    >>Hill’s career advancement and access to the MSM depends on her faith in our “intelligence” agencies. << Skip Scott

    According to my observations and interpretations, intelligence agencies have two missions, one is to collect and interpret facts, the other is to create and spread "narratives". The utility of narratives is not in their accuracy but in a salubrious impact on the population, gently steering the policies and public opinion in a predetermined direction. I guess that most of the "17 intelligence agencies" have scant connection with "narrative mission", they are to technical and are never exposed to the public. However, it would be awkward to fever Federal B…t Institute or some such, so narrative builders are seeded among more "real-world oriented" intelligence workers.

    Narratives are constructed for the public consumptions and any inconsistencies have to be smoothened out with several techniques. The technique of "insidious plots" involves scenarios so convoluted that most of the public will be impressed by conclusions in the first paragraph and befuddled by the details. "Insidious plots" also obfuscate the points in dangerous "opponent's narratives" by creating red herrings that bear resemblance to "opponent narrative" etc. Fiona seems to be a narrative builder. Does she believe that stuff? Is she naive?

    Hard to tell without interrogating her under hypnosis. Her gloomy features suggest a person terrified by serious paranoia in the tradition of her mentor, Richard Pipes. As a good student, she absorbed his teaching well and any critical faculties that she had were directed at undermining enemy narratives. To those of you who do not know crowning achievements of Richard Pipes, he was a historian who abandoned prestigious Harvard position in 1973 to split his time between education and narrative construction, most famously at so-called Team B. At that time, Team A made an assessment of military spending that would suffice to cope with Soviet danger, given Soviet capacity in areas like technology and industrial development, and slowdown in both. Pipes team argued that Soviets simulate economic decline to lull the West into complacence and pacifism, only to subsequently make a blitzkrieg that the West, with weakened armaments and morale, will not be able to resist. The theme of insidious simulation was later used in a variety of ways. In any case, Team B won and USA quickly expands military budget ever since. (Actually, there was a pause in growth in the decade after the fall of USSR, when Russian economy actually collapsed and their military was in pitiful shape. However, there was no consensus if the collapse was genuine or faked, so American war machine was not put on diet.)

    Back to the question: is Fiona Hill afraid of her own tall tales? Or telling scary stories for children as a profession has occupational hazards even when you know these are just stories?

  22. Lois Gagnon
    November 23, 2019 at 13:41

    The only ones still believing the Russiagate narrative are the willfully blind. Granted, willful blindness is embraced with gusto by people who can’t tolerate the psychic pain of cognitive dissonance for longer than a second and they are many.

    • michael
      November 24, 2019 at 12:40

      Some people reason with facts and with practice, develop critical thinking skills. Others uncritically accept narratives from authority; this is faith-based thinking, essential to Russiagate and religions. While critical thinkers can change their ideas with new evidence, faith-based thinkers “don’t do evidence” (as Brennan has stated about himself).

    • Peter in Seattle
      November 24, 2019 at 23:08

      @Lois Gagnon: That’s simply not true, Lois. You also have the willfully deaf. Granted, most of them don’t put their fingers in their ears and go “La-la-la-la-la-la-la!” at the top of their lungs (except maybe on TV news). Most of them are more like Upton Sinclair’s man who has trouble understanding something because his salary depends on his not understanding it … but willfully deaf, nonetheless. ;-)

  23. Nick
    November 23, 2019 at 12:04

    I always wonder, if Putin was ordering the intelligence agencies in Russia to undermine the Clinton campaign, why would operatives from those same intelligence agencies then help compile the Steele Dossier?

  24. Dave
    November 23, 2019 at 11:53

    More kudos to Consortiumnews and to Ray McGovern for providing background information that transcends the mainstream media’s increasingly irrelevant noise machinery concerning Russia/UkraineGate. A case in point: there are so many individuals named thus far that the old adage becomes relevant: One cannot tell the players without a program. The Ukrainian / Russia imbroglio is a carnival sideshow attraction compared to what the CIA (aka Christian Investment Authority) is perpetrating globally on a daily basis without an iota of Congressional…much less public…input as to what its secretive missions are, its funding, and ultimately, a public discussion about why CIA even exists at all. The dissolution of empire always has been a messy business, both internationally and domestically; the dissolution of Empire USA is merely the latest example of this spectacle.

  25. SteveK9
    November 23, 2019 at 11:46

    It’s a sad and frightening thing to witness. Russia did NOTHING in the 2016 election, but we can have ‘experts’ state publicly that it is ‘beyond dispute’.

  26. Daniel
    November 23, 2019 at 11:40

    It is crucial to remember that the DNC attacked our democratic institutions by rigging primaries and making sure Bernie’s insurgent campaign failed. And even with their thumbs in the scales, Bernie almost pulled it off.

    • Skip Scott
      November 24, 2019 at 13:58

      The DNC is the gatekeeper that protects the interests of the Oligarchy. It was clear to everyone, thanks to Wikileaks, before the convention that the DNC had sabotaged Bernie’s campaign. Yet Bernie failed to contest the convention, caved to the Clinton machine, and expected us to vote for that evil woman. Any promise to support the democratic nominee should have been null and void after the cheating was revealed. His failure to challenge the corruption and contest the convention gave us the Donald. I expect a replay in 2020.

      Furthermore, Bernie spouts the same “RussiaGate” garbage as the “establishment” candidates. Do you think he really believes it, or does he just know the limits of “acceptable” thought.

  27. Paul Damascene
    November 23, 2019 at 10:58

    Handpicked analysts from three agencies … with two evincing “high confidence” in the findings, and the one agency in a position to have and assess the hard physical evidence expressing only “moderate” confidence. Did they define that too?

    Ray is awfully generous in ascribing good faith to someone who sees as intelligent, given the information she has access to, which includes that we have access to.

  28. Lorenza191
    November 23, 2019 at 10:58

    As usual, Ray McGovern shows that his eyes can see. The age old war between the forces of truth & justice and those of deception & barbarism continues. The truth sets us free from believing their lies. Time will eventually show them that their ignorant belief that they can get away with their crimes against humanity are in vain. As we sow, so do we reap.

  29. November 23, 2019 at 10:49

    Truth be told – the US is the real “Evil Empire”!

  30. Zhu
    November 23, 2019 at 08:16

    US institutions are oligarchic, not democratic. Our elections change nothing important.

  31. OlyaPola
    November 23, 2019 at 07:30

    “…showed that her antennae are acutely tuned to what Russian intelligence services may be up to but, sadly, also displayed a striking naiveté about the machinations of U.S. Intelligence.  ………………..I have been studying the U.S.S.R. and Russia for twice as long as Hill, was chief of CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch during the 1970s, and watched the “Evil Empire” fall apart.  She seems to have missed the falling apart part. “

    Certainty is a function of belief of varying assay and belief is a bridge over the discomfort of doubt.

    Assays of discomfort of doubt and evaluation are functions of purpose.

    That the Russian Federation did not fall apart was, and continues to be, a function of the USSR falling apart and being perceived as having fallen apart given the propensity of some to conflate a moment in a lateral process with a continuing lateral , which was/is “maintained” by the oscillations of opponents’ use of the conflation USSR/Russian Federation as a bridge over the discomfort of doubt.

    Such immersion in paradox is among the wonders of wonderland facilitating quests for “holy grails” like who lost China ? or who is on 3rd base?.

  32. Dao Gen
    November 23, 2019 at 03:00

    Ray, you don’t understand….Even today the Soviets are devilishly tricky. They went so far as to trash the USSR so they could fool us into lowering our defenses and believing they’d given up their plan to invade America. Putin is a secret Communist Czar, and he’s furious because Dr. Hill managed to discover that he protects the whole Politburo in a secret hideout in Sochi, where he goes to get instructions. Advanced research is said to have discovered that Putin tricked the US into supporting a fascist coup followed by massive corruption in Ukraine so he would have an excuse to strike back by hacking and determining the outcome of the 2016 US election utilizing the two major parties as his “useful idiots.” The real whistleblower in the Schiffgate scandal can’t be named because he’s Putin himself. Help! ;)

    • Peter in Seattle
      November 24, 2019 at 21:19

      @Dao Gen: I knew it! ;-)

  33. Fran Macadam
    November 23, 2019 at 01:28

    Brennan and Clapper handpicking each other. Absolutely perfect.

  34. November 23, 2019 at 01:26

    It’s so sad, that the people with the most power, can’t stand the idea of peace. Back when Bush was President and I had a prominent security software, I, accidentally, clicked on “check security” ( don’t remember the exact words.), and most of my messages were highlighted. Most of them had the words, “peace”, “green” and I can’t remember the other word. I, immediately, tried to take that security system out of my computer. It didn’t want to let go; so, it took me awhile to complete the action. It wanted to stay.

  35. robert e williamson jr
    November 23, 2019 at 01:14

    Ray, thank you for the clarity of your thoughts.

    I would assume Hill is younger than either of us and lacking that life history on which to balance the ” enlightening ” educational efforts of her mentor which has revealed flaws in her judgement and enlightenment. This happens too often in these days, revealing outdated ideologies but is to be expected when institutions become outdated and fall victim to stagnated thought.

    The same cannot be said of Brennan and Clapper who because of their experience and age, know better but fail themselves by succumbing to their blind allegiance to the outdated dictum of their agencies.

    Thanks again Ray.

    • michael
      November 24, 2019 at 12:53

      According to wikipedia Fiona Hill is 54, with dual citizenship, and time served in think tanks and under Bush and Obama as well as Trump. She probably think she knows much better about what to do in Ukraine than Trump (and may well be right), but constitutionally Trump makes the decisions and she and other advisers implement those foreign policy decisions (or resign from a cushy job.)
      Wikipedia has a photo of Fiona Hill with Putin. We all know what happened to Jill Stein after being photographed at the same table as Putin…

  36. November 23, 2019 at 00:45

    I reference the LaRouchepub, org., the United Kingdom, in the post WWI era, ordered the nations as follows; Germany was to be kept down, Russia is out, and the United States is up. Hill, who may be a British agent, was running her own game a la Christopher Steele. IMHO. And we’re still in the WWI system.

  37. John Lamenzo
    November 22, 2019 at 22:24

    Great takedown Ray…I managed a few minutes listening to her bloviation, even that was too much! Fascists always need an enemy…even if they have to fictionalize one.

  38. Curious
    November 22, 2019 at 21:53

    Ray, what surprises me about Fiona Hill were her determined responses, as if she was applying for a new job offer. She didn’t sound non-partisan at all, especially when she agreed with a Democratic questioner who said outright Russia started the war with Georgia, and also invaded Ukraine and so, of course, this money was for the defense against Russian aggression instead of for a government killing off their own citizens in the Eastern regions who had the misfortune of speaking Russian as a child instead of the mandated Ukrainian which was imposed by the Poroshenko regime.
    So, with a resounding ‘yes, of course the money would help stop Russian aggression in Ukraine’ she didn’t even try to offer more clarity after the 2014 coup. So she implied therefore Trump was actually helping his Russian friends as well, by slowing the funds. I found this quite disturbing in it’s presentation.
    One year after the Georgia conflict the EU presented this assessment:

    “In the Mission’s view, it was Georgia which triggered off the war when it attacked Tskhinvali (in South Ossetia) with heavy artillery on the night of 7 to 8 August 2008,” said Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini, who led the investigation. Ms Tagliavini did criticize how far Russia went into Georgia, but not its beginning.

    I won’t be redundant and talk about the truth in Ukraine which so many readers of CN already know.

    One would think however, that Ms Hill, after being an exchange student in Russia, while also an intern for NBC news, who even witnessed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signing between Reagan and Gorbachev would have a more nuanced approach to Russia and its peoples. But instead she morphed into hate-filled sound bites against anything Russian. It was very distressing to listen to her.
    As you pointed out, one can change dramatically under the tutelage of a Russiaphobe professor or two. It also helps ones career to be malleable and pollute our airwaves even more.

  39. November 22, 2019 at 20:47

    I remember Phil Giraldi’s comment months ago. He had worked for the CIA and now heads the Council for the National interest. He noted his surprise at how many within the CIA still clung to the cold war view of the Russians, ready to accept almost anything bad about the evil Russians. Given the history since the dissolution of the USSR, it surprised Mister Giraldi as I recall. And it does seem the Russian haters still are living in the past and many have a huge impact on public policy and public opinion. It is a very dangerous affliction for the rest of the world.

    Hard to forget Mueller (not a spook) when he announced that there was no collusion but vehemently stated that the Russians had interfered in the 2016 election and are a threat to do so in the future. That Russian might have interfered is not surprising since others countries do it far more and more effectively. That we do it far, far more often would seem to put a damper on the Russian narrative but it doesn’t because the whole thing about Russia is crazy.

    • CitizenOne
      November 24, 2019 at 00:59

      “That we do it far, far more often would seem to put a damper on the Russian narrative but it doesn’t because the whole thing about Russia is crazy.”

      It is not crazy it is a plan. “That we do it far, far more often” also ignores the other nations other than Russia who also “do it far, far more often”. The complete focus on Russia should light up alarm bells that the US is ready and willing to ignore any other nations attempts to interfere in elections but this just never even comes up as the klaxons are blaring only about one foreign nation Russia.

      True corrective action for foreign election influence would focus on all foreign interference but there is no concerted effort to identify any other nation that might try the same basic and easily accomplished task of purchasing advertising space on Facebook. It would surely focus on the British firm Cambridge Analytica which merely housed a US based office to accomplish the task. Cambridge Analytica’s CEO if shown in videos high fiving with the victorious Trump campaign leaders celebrating as if they had single handed accomplished the win. Cambridge Analytica was also clever enough to staff their US Offices with Americans like Steve Bannon. With financial backing from hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, Bannon co-founded Cambridge Analytica in 2013 as the US-branch of Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) Group, a British company that advertises how it has conducted “behavioral change” programs in more than 60 countries.
      Wylie described Cambridge Analytica as “Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer using a foreign, military contractor … to use some of the same techniques that the military uses … on the American electorate.”
      “Cambridge Analytica is the data scientists and the applied applications here in the United States. It has nothing to do with the international stuff,” Bannon said at the Financial Times “Future of News” event last week.
      But four former SCL and Cambridge Analytica employees said the two companies were basically one and the same, sharing resources, holding joint meetings and using similar methodologies.
      “SCL and Cambridge were completely joined at the hip. There is no difference between the two,” said one former Cambridge Analytica employee who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity citing fear of retribution.

      Apparently Mueller had his horse blinders on again as he singularly sought out collusion between Trump campaign and the Russians while ignoring the possibility that the British psyops company also committed the same kind of foreign influence in a far more effective way by psychologically profiling American Citizens and blitzing their Facebook accounts with targeted propaganda designed to turn their minds into Trump voters. While the British government shut down Cambridge Analytica the only public acknowledgement of their influencing the election blamed Facebook for sharing too much data based on the alleged claims by the company that they were purely a research organization gathering analytic data on voter sentiments. Apparently they hid plans to create an election advertising campaign based on the results of their data mining from Facebook.

      How is this just a Facebook story and not a Cambridge Analytica story here in America after the upset election that has us ready to go to war with Russia based on all the accusations against Russia?

      I suppose there is the fact that they are our closest ally but still technically we are different countries and the same rules should apply especially when their patented privately owned psychological warfare techniques honed in the service of their foreign covert operations are unleashed to influence a presidential election in America just to make a buck. Don’t you think?

      So why only focus on a sliver of the problem? Why is there is only a problem with one country by the charter of the narrowly focused Mueller Probe?

      It is because any other suitable nation that offers influencing services to interfere in elections is welcomed and is protected as long as the republicans, the republican controlled Senate, the republican controlled Supreme Court and the republican controlled media see advantages to that.

      Think globally as the World is turned from a collection of nations to a global swath of international corporations with trillions of dollars, lots of reasons to hate taxes and lots of reasons to support local national political parties that will do their bidding. If you think of it that way then by extension every nation becomes the target of the companies that serve to further the interests of big global businesses. Calvin Coolidge’s quote that “The business of America is Business” has been transformed into the mantra that the Business of Business is to control not only American politics but the established political parties of every nation on Earth. What better way than to use the most advanced Psychological Warfare techniques on the populace of every nation to bend the citizenry to their will?

      Of course the MSM which is also made up of giant global corporations goes along and plays their part. Of course now it is too late to fight it. The only option is to join with it and use it to fight for the global share of all the wealth on the planet.

      So it is us vs. the Russians. They see a path to cut them off and drive a wedge between Europe and the East. They own huge military industrial corporations that profit from conflict and the threat of war that drives up military budgets. They possess supremely sophisticated methodologies and technologies to persuade a majority of us into serving their goals.

      They still need to conduct their business within the framework of the system of laws that exist in each nation. Currently influence is the only tool they have pulled out of their tool belt at least as far as we know. The shadow government is still partially made of real public servants but this is fast fading.

      Soon lock step governments fully aligned and calibrated to the wants and desires of global corporations will exist in every nation which will ignore everything wrong that serves it and attacks everything right that does not serve it.

  40. Another John
    November 22, 2019 at 20:27

    The greatest nation ever’s permanent war system requires much deception & permanent enemies to keep the our economy going strong & the people distracted from the real issues. If everyone knew the truth, the world’s biggest racket ever would fall apart and world peace would break out.

  41. Jeff Harrison
    November 22, 2019 at 20:08

    American “intelligence” agencies will do exactly what “intelligence” agencies have done since time immemorial – they will perpetuate their position and power. The fact that that strips you of some of your freedom is a feature, not a bug.

  42. Skip Scott
    November 22, 2019 at 17:44

    Hill’s career advancement and access to the MSM depends on her faith in our “intelligence” agencies. And I doubt very much that Durham will be allowed to do his job probing the origins of RussiaGate. The evil ones will stop at nothing to keep control of the narrative.

    “It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” Mark Twain

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