RAY McGOVERN: Russiagate’s Last Gasp

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia paid the Taliban to kill GIs as an attempt to pre-empt the findings into Russiagate’s origins.

U.S. Army helicopter pilots fly near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, April 5, 2017. (U.S. Army, Brian Harris, Wikimedia Commons)

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

On Friday The New York Times featured a report based on anonymous intelligence officials that the Russians were paying bounties to have U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan with President Donald Trump refusing to do anything about it.  The flurry of Establishment media reporting that ensued provides further proof, if such were needed, that the erstwhile “paper of record” has earned a new moniker — Gray Lady of easy virtue.

Over the weekend, the Times’ dubious allegations grabbed headlines across all media that are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans — which seems to have been the main objective. To keep the pot boiling this morning, The New York Times’ David Leonhardt’s daily web piece, “The Morning” calls prominent attention to a banal article by a Heather Cox Richardson, described as a historian at Boston College, adding specific charges to the general indictment of Trump by showing “how the Trump administration has continued to treat Russia favorably.” The following is from Richardson’s newsletter on Friday:

— “On April 1 a Russian plane brought ventilators and other medical supplies to the United States … a propaganda coup for Russia;

— “On April 25 Trump raised eyebrows by issuing a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops on the bridge of the Elbe River in Germany that signaled the final defeat of the Nazis;

— “On May 3, Trump called Putin and talked for an hour and a half, a discussion Trump called ‘very positive’;

— “On May 21, the U.S. sent a humanitarian aid package worth $5.6 million to Moscow to help fight coronavirus there.  The shipment included 50 ventilators, with another 150 promised for the next week; …

— “On June 15, news broke that Trump has ordered the removal of 9,500 troops from Germany, where they support NATO against Russian aggression. …”

Historian Richardson added:

“All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020.  But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers. … this bad news apparently prompted worried intelligence officials to give up their hope that the administration would respond to the crisis, and instead to leak the story to two major newspapers.”

Hear the siren? Children, get under your desks!

The Tall Tale About Russia Paying for Dead U.S. Troops

Times print edition readers had to wait until this morning to learn of Trump’s statement last night that he was not briefed on the cockamamie tale about bounties for killing, since it was, well, cockamamie.

Late last night the president tweeted: “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or the VP. …”

For those of us distrustful of the Times — with good reason — on such neuralgic issues, the bounty story had already fallen of its own weight. As Scott Ritter pointed out yesterday:

“Perhaps the biggest clue concerning the fragility of the New York Times’ report is contained in the one sentence it provides about sourcing — “The intelligence assessment is said to be based at least in part on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals.” That sentence contains almost everything one needs to know about the intelligence in question, including the fact that the source of the information is most likely the Afghan government as reported through CIA channels. …”

And who can forget how “successful” interrogators can be in getting desired answers.

Russia & Taliban React

Attendees at the Taliban-U.S. peace signing ceremony in Doha, Qatar, on Feb. 29, 2020. (State Department/Ron Przysucha)

The Kremlin called the Times reporting “nonsense … an unsophisticated plant,” and from Russia’s perspective the allegations make little sense; Moscow will see them for what they are — attempts to show that Trump is too “accommodating” to Russia.

A Taliban spokesman called the story “baseless,” adding with apparent pride that “we” have done “target killings” for years “on our own resources.” 

Russia is no friend of the Taliban.  At the same time, it has been clear for several years that the U.S. would have to pull its troops out of Afghanistan.  Think back five decades and recall how circumspect the Soviets were in Vietnam.  Giving rhetorical support to a fraternal Communist nation was de rigueur and some surface-to-air missiles gave some substance to that support.

But Moscow recognized from the start that Washington was embarked on a fool’s errand in Vietnam. There would be no percentage in getting directly involved.  And so, the Soviets sat back and watched smugly as the Vietnamese Communists drove U.S. forces out on their “own resources.” As was the case with the Viet Cong, the Taliban needs no bounty inducements from abroad.

President Lyndon Johnson announces “retaliatory” strike against North Vietnam in response to the supposed attacks on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. (LBJ Library)

Besides, the Russians knew painfully well — from their own bitter experience in Afghanistan, what the outcome of the most recent fool’s errand would be for the U.S.  What point would they see in doing what The New York Times and other Establishment media are breathlessly accusing them of?

CIA Disinformation; Casey at Bat

Former CIA Director William Casey said:  “We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false.”

Casey made that remark at the first cabinet meeting in the White House under President Ronald Reagan in early 1981, according to Barbara Honegger, who was assistant to the chief domestic policy adviser.  Honegger was there, took notes, and told then Senior White House correspondent Sarah McClendon, who in turn made it public.

If Casey’s spirit is somehow observing the success of the disinformation program called Russiagate, one can imagine how proud he must be.  But sustained propaganda success can be a serious challenge.  The Russiagate canard has lasted three and a half years.  This last gasp effort, spearheaded by the Times, to breathe more life into it is likely to last little more than a weekend — the redoubled efforts of Casey-dictum followers notwithstanding.

Russiagate itself has been unraveling, although one would hardly know it from the Establishment media.  No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  Even the sacrosanct tenet that the Russians hacked the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks has been disproven, with the head of the DNC-hired cyber security firm CrowdStrike admitting that there is no evidence that the DNC emails were hacked — by Russia or anyone else.

U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Wikipedia)

How long will it take the Times to catch up with the CrowdStrike story, available since May 7?

The media is left with one sacred cow: the misnomered “Intelligence Community” Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017, claiming that President Putin himself ordered the hacking of the DNC. That “assessment” done by “hand-picked analysts” from only CIA, FBI and NSA (not all 17 intelligence agencies of the “intelligence community”) reportedly is being given close scrutiny by U. S. Attorney John Durham, appointed by the attorney general to investigate Russiagate’s origins.

If Durham finds it fraudulent (not a difficult task), the heads of senior intelligence and law enforcement officials may roll.  That would also mean a still deeper dent in the credibility of Establishment media that are only too eager to drink the Kool Aid and to leave plenty to drink for the rest of us.

Do not expect the media to cease and desist, simply because Trump had a good squelch for them last night — namely, the “intelligence” on the “bounties” was not deemed good enough to present to the president. 

(As a preparer and briefer of The President’s Daily Brief  to Presidents Reagan and HW Bush, I can attest to the fact that — based on what has been revealed so far — the Russian bounty story falls far short of the PDB threshold.)

Rejecting Intelligence Assessments

Nevertheless, the corporate media is likely to play up the Trump administration’s rejection of what the media is calling the “intelligence assessment” about Russia offering — as Rachel Maddow indecorously put it on Friday — “bounty for the scalps of American soldiers in Afghanistan.”

I am not a regular Maddow-watcher, but to me she seemed unhinged — actually, well over the top.

The media asks, “Why does Trump continue to disrespect the assessments of the intelligence community?”  There he goes again — not believing our “intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.”

In other words, we can expect no let up from the media and the national security miscreant leakers who have served as their life’s blood.  As for the anchors and pundits, their level of sophistication was reflected yesterday in the sage surmise of Face the Nation’s Chuck Todd, who Aaron Mate reminds us, is a “grown adult and professional media person.”  Todd asked guest John Bolton: “Do you think that the president is afraid to make Putin mad because maybe Putin did help him win the election, and he doesn’t want to make him mad for 2020?”

“This is as bad as it gets,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday, adding the aphorism she memorized several months ago: “All roads lead to Putin.”  The unconscionably deceitful performance of Establishment media is as bad as it gets, though that, of course, was not what Pelosi meant.  She apparently lifted a line right out of the Times about how Trump is too “accommodating” toward Russia.

One can read this most recent flurry of Russia, Russia, Russia as a reflection of the need to pre-empt the findings likely to issue from Durham and Attorney General William Barr in the coming months — on the theory that the best defense is a pre-emptive offense.  Meanwhile, we can expect the corporate media to continue to disgrace itself.


Caitlin Johnstone, typically, pulls no punches regarding the Russian bounty travesty: 

“All parties involved in spreading this malignant psyop are absolutely vile, but a special disdain should be reserved for the media class who have been entrusted by the public with the essential task of creating an informed populace and holding power to account. How much of an unprincipled whore do you have to be to call yourself a journalist and uncritically parrot the completely unsubstantiated assertions of spooks while protecting their anonymity? How much work did these empire fluffers put into killing off every last shred of their dignity? It boggles the mind.

It really is funny how the most influential news outlets in the Western world will uncritically parrot whatever they’re told to say by the most powerful and depraved intelligence agencies on the planet, and then turn around and tell you without a hint of self-awareness that Russia and China are bad because they have state media.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh.”

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  During his 27-years as a CIA analyst he led the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and prepared The President’s Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan.  In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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83 comments for “RAY McGOVERN: Russiagate’s Last Gasp

  1. AnneR
    July 1, 2020 at 10:04

    Thanks Ray for this clear, well-informed, honest assessment of yet another set of innuendos, lies, supposed “whistleblower” trash that the Deep State with its allies in both the Blue and Red faces of the Janus neo-con/neoliberal plutocratic party have formulated to end the reign of the Strumpet. Or at least not have it extend another 4 years. I can’t recall whether it was on the Beeb World Service or NPR itself, today or yesterday; but now with the refusal of the Taliban? the Pentagonal? Bolton even? to go along with the latest Grimm Bros creation, the supposed bounty paid actors might be, the suggestion is: non-Taliban Jihadis…. Gawd Luvaduck

    Given that just about all of the Jihadis/Mujahadeen (including the nascent Taliban) were originally the brainchild of the CIA (working from Brzezinski’s ideas) and trained, supported and funded by this so-called intelligence agency to create for the Soviets (read Russia) the quagmire that Vietnam had been for the US. (Something of a difference: Afghanistan had lain on the border of the former USSR; now it’s close but not actual borderland territory.) Oh right – that’s what-aboutism, therefore not a legitimate argument.

    Impeachment didn’t work because based on untruths, fairy tales (Grimm variety) just as the prior attempt to make the Strumpet into “Putin’s” puppet via the “Kremlin’s” interference (!) in our sacred elections. So a new attempt…WHY Russia, though? Well, all one can imagine is that the plutocracy and the political ruling elites (in or out of Congress) together with the MICIMATT (Thanks to Ray for this acronym) are largely, mainly led by those old enough to have been infected by the US “Cold War” syndrome-paranoia. And they, apparently (!), cannot distinguish between the USSR of old (which anyway had no interest in world dominance nor expansion beyond those borderland territories that would be the buffer against western Europe) and the Russia of today… Gor Blimey would that we had a politico of Putin’s intelligence and diplomacy. Unfortunately we (and the rest of the world) get the Obama sort – highly intelligent and totally narcissistic and psychopathic….

  2. James Robinson
    July 1, 2020 at 08:50

    I have to say, “So what!”. Didn’t the US spend billions of dollars in Afghanistan to arm and train the Mujaheddin in order to kill Russians? Even if the bounty story is true, so what. Turn around is fair play is it not?

  3. paul easton
    July 1, 2020 at 01:29

    In the comment strings of NYTimes it has become even more popular to dump on Turtleface Mitch McConnell than to dump on TRump. No doubt he deserves it, but why is it so common to refer to him as Moscow Mitch? I have to wonder if these are really people who didn’t get the bad news about Russiagate, or if they are surreptitiously employed by the US Disinformation Agency.

    • Funkyp
      July 1, 2020 at 17:10

      I think it’s probably because Russian oligarchs contributed money for his reelection campaign, and his allowing Rusal to locate in KY.

  4. roddy6667
    June 30, 2020 at 23:49

    What a country! The media is telling the people who to hate. The Left is trying to start a war with Russia, and the Right is trying to start a war with China. Cue the video clip for “Two Minutes Of hate”.


  5. Zhu
    June 30, 2020 at 23:42

    We Americans are responsible for what we do, no matter how much we want to blame scapegoats like Israel, Russia, China or the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

  6. June 30, 2020 at 20:07

    Speaking of bounties, Nicolas Maduro anyone?

  7. OlMacDonald
    June 30, 2020 at 15:04

    Thanks Sir Ray for sharing your insight. As everyone knows, our permanent war system requires enemies, real or imagined. Apparently we are witnessing the final days of the reign of the empire of shame. When the corrupt world economic system finally collapses, rejoice. From the ashes a new system by and for the people, will be built and as has been prophesied “naught but the finest of the past will survive the onslaught of the new.” Step by step, the kingdom will come, but the rubbish has to be exposed & routed. The Age of Pisces is ending and Aquarius is beginning. “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” ~Jesus in Matthew 28:20

  8. jmg
    June 30, 2020 at 13:49

    Ray McGovern wrote:
    > CIA Disinformation

    Yes, for example the often repeated mantra “an increasingly aggressive Russia” means “an increasingly aggressive US/NATO”.

    In the same way, “Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction” meant “the US possesses weapons of mass destruction”.

    “Syria is a state sponsor of terrorism” means “the US is a state sponsor of terrorism”.

    “Iran poses a threat to the US” means “the US poses a threat to Iran”.

    “Russia meddled in the US election” means “the US meddled in the Russian and many other countries’ elections”.

    And now, “Russia paid the Taliban to fight the US in Afghanistan” in reality means “the US armed and paid al-Qaeda to fight Russia in Afghanistan during CIA’s Operation Cyclone”.

    And so on and on…

    “Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty.”
    — Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda (attributed)

  9. Aaron
    June 30, 2020 at 12:33

    If anything, all roads lead to Israel. You have to consider the sources, the writers, journalists, editors, owners, and rich people from which these stories come. This latest ridiculous story will certainly help Trump, so the sources of these Russia stories are actually fans of Trump, they love his tax cuts, he helps their revenue streams, and he’s the greatest friend and Zionist to Israel so far and also Wall Street. I think most Americans can understand that Putin doesn’t possess all of the supernatural all-encompassing powers and mind-controlling omnipotence that Pelosi and her ilk attribute to him. That’s why at his rallies, when Trump points to where the journalists are and sneers at them calling them bloodsuckers and parasites and all that, the people love it, because of stuff like this. It’s like saying “look at those assholes, those liberal journalists over at CNN say that you voted for me because of Vladimir Putin?!” It just pisses off people to keep hearing that mantra over and over. So it’s a gift to Trump, it helps him so much. And seeing that super expensive helicopter flying around the barren rocky slopes of the middle east, seems like it’s out of some Rambo movie. And like Rambo, the tens of thousands of American servicemen that were sacrificed over there, and still commit suicides at a horrific rate, have always been treated by the architects of these wars that only helped the state of Israel, as the expendables. Whether it’s a black life, a soldier fighting in Iraq, a foreclosed on homeowner by Mnuchin’s work, or a brainwashed New York Times subscriber, we don’t seem to matter, we seem to feel the truth that to these people were are indeed expendable. The question to answer I think is, not who is a Russian asset, but who is an Israeli asset?

  10. Andrew Thomas
    June 30, 2020 at 12:04

    Great reporting as usual, Ray. But special kudos for the NYT moniker ‘Gray lady of easy virtue.’ I almost laughed out loud. A rare occurrence these days.

    • Torontonian
      June 30, 2020 at 15:59

      Agreed! A moniker I will be using from now on!

  11. Michael P Goldenberg
    June 30, 2020 at 10:45

    Thanks for another cogent assessment of our mainstream media’s utter depravity and reckless irresponsibility. They truly have become nothing more than presstitutes and enemies of the people.

  12. Bob Van Noy
    June 30, 2020 at 10:42

    “It’s all over but the shouting” goes the idiom and I think that is true of Russiagate, especially, thank all goodness, here at Robert Parry’s Journalistic site!

    I have a theory that propaganda has a lifetime but when it reaches a truly absurd level, it’s all over. Clearly, we’ve reached that level… Thanks to all at CN…

    • DH Fabian
      July 1, 2020 at 00:19

      No, this is the third or fourth rerun of Russia-gate. There will be at least one more this year, after the November election.

  13. evelync
    June 30, 2020 at 10:33

    You call Rachel Madcow “unhinged”, Ray…..well, yes, I’m shocked at myself that there was a time that I tuned in to her show….
    Sorry Ms Madcow you’ve turned yourself into a character from Dr Strangelove…

    The key threats – climate change, pandemics, nuclear war – and why we continue to fail to address these real things while filling the airwaves instead with the tiresome russia,russia,russia mantra – per Accam’s razer suggests that it serves very short term interests of money and power…whoever whatever the MICIMATT answers to.
    “Former CIA Director William Casey said: “We’ll know when our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false.” ”

    Who exactly was the “we” Casey was answering to each day?
    I know it wasn’t me or the planet or humanity or anyone I know.

    • Maxine
      June 30, 2020 at 17:43

      It seems so long ago that I considered Rachel Maddow (cow)one of the most trustworthy news reporters on TV….That was during the Bush era….But once Obama came to power, she and MSNBC became a downright Democrap news organization….And all hell broke loose when Hillary lost and blamed Russia!….I haven’t watched her for ages but I imagine she is now a major fan of Joe Biden….Yes indeed, Rachel has gone completely mad!

    • Skip Edwards
      June 30, 2020 at 23:17

      “The key threats – climate change, pandemics, nuclear war – and why we continue to fail to address these real things while filling the airwaves instead with the tiresome russia,russia,russia mantra…..”

  14. Bill Rice
    June 30, 2020 at 10:20

    If only articles like this were read by the masses. Maybe people would get a clue. Blind patriotism is not patriotic at all. Skepticism is healthy.

  15. torture this
    June 30, 2020 at 09:54

    It’s a shame that VIPS reporting is top secret. It’s the only information coming from people familiar with the ins and outs of spy agencies that can be trusted.

  16. GeorgeG
    June 30, 2020 at 09:45

    You missed the juicy stuff. See: tass.com/russia/1172369 Russia Foreign Ministry: NYT article on Russia in Afghanistan fake from US intelligence. Here is the kicker:

    The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to US intelligence agencies’ involvement in Afghan drug trafficking.
    “Should we speak about facts – moreover, well-known [facts], it has not long been a secret in Afghanistan that members of the US intelligence community are involved in drug trafficking, cash payments to militants for letting transport convoys pass through, kickbacks from contracts implementing various projects paid by American taxpayers. The list of their actions can be continued if you want,” the ministry said.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested that those actions might stem from the fact that the US intelligence agencies “do not like that our and their diplomats have teamed up to facilitate the start of peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban (outlawed in Russia – TASS).”

    “We can understand their feelings as they do not want to be deprived of the above mentioned sources of the off-the-books income,” the ministry stressed.

    • Thomas Fortin
      June 30, 2020 at 12:08

      Affirmative Ray, two of my old comrades who were SF both did security on CIA drug flights back in the day, and later on both while under VA care decided to die off……God I miss them, great guys and honest souls.

    • AnneR
      June 30, 2020 at 13:10

      Yes, GeorgeC – Shades of GB in the 19th C against China….result the gaining of Hong Kong. Sickening.

      Shades also of the CIA’s involvement (lucrative, no doubt) in the coca/ine trade in Latin America (to the USA). Are the folks who are involved in such ops sick? Avaricious? Immoral? Yep. All three and more.

      And then, after the CIA’s shenanigans in Afghanistan ~ 1978-1989, deliberately creating, training, supporting (under the Carter admin initially) the mujahadeen (including the Taliban to be) in order to create a war between Afghanistan and the USSR, a war that would reduce the USSR to a nonentity….

      HYPOCRISY is Our Way should be the seal of the US.

  17. DH Fabian
    June 30, 2020 at 09:41

    One point remains a mystery. Why would anyone think that when the US invades a country, someone would need to pay the people of that country a bounty to fight back?

    • AnneR
      June 30, 2020 at 13:12

      ‘Cos they are utterly indoctrinated by their own perception of the US as flawless and vulnerable? ‘Cos they are Liars and Cheats? And ‘cos they imagine we are all (the vox populi) thick as two short planks.

    • June 30, 2020 at 19:55

      Such an obvious question that none of the idiots in the media would dare to ask. I can only hope that the public is not swallowing this disgraceful koolaid as many have in the past.

  18. Mark Clarke
    June 30, 2020 at 09:27

    If Biden wins the presidency and the Democrats take back the Senate, Russiagate will strengthen and live on for many years.

    • Al
      June 30, 2020 at 12:11

      All to deflect from Clinton’s private server while SOS, 30,000 deleted emails, and the sale of US interests via the Clinton Foundation.

    • Zedster
      June 30, 2020 at 12:56

      That, or we learn Chinese.

    • Skip Edwards
      June 30, 2020 at 23:21

      Yep, those Clinton’s just never seem to disappear.

  19. Skip Scott
    June 30, 2020 at 09:08

    Another interesting aside is that Tulsi Gabbard’s “Stop funding Terrorists” bill went nowhere in Congress. So it’s Ok for us and our Arab allies to fund them, but not the Russians? Maybe we should go back to calling them the Mujahideen?

    • Thomas Scherrer
      June 30, 2020 at 12:10

      Preach, my child.

      And aloha to the last decent woman in those halls.

    • Torontonian
      June 30, 2020 at 16:02

      Well said!

    • Maxine
      June 30, 2020 at 18:00

      Tulsi Gabbard??….In spite of the raves she got from the Left, I always distrusted her….First because she voluntarily joined GWB’s war against Iraq, and secondly because of her being a huge fan of the current murderous Right-Wing Prime Minister Modi of India….And if that were not enough, she has now joined forces with the Right-Wing Democrap, Joe Biden…..So much for TG.

    • Skip Scott
      July 2, 2020 at 08:41


      I agree that she is another flawed Congress critter. But she did introduce that bill, and her campaign platform was scary enough to Empire to cause them to deny her an audience and accuse her of being controlled by Russia.

  20. June 30, 2020 at 09:01

    Do you not think that the timing of all this (months after the report was allegedly presented to Trump) is an attempt to stop Trump from signing an agreement with the Taliban that will allow him to withdraw American troops from that country?

    • Torontonian
      June 30, 2020 at 16:05

      Exactly– they are pulling out all the stops to prevent Trump from re-election. The feeling that the powder keg is being set and almost lit is why we Canadians are not planning to travel to the States which gives good cover for the US toady Trudeau (his father is rolling in his grave) to continue to shut the border- except goods of course : )– can’t let down the corporations who fund his Party.

    • Lois Gagnon
      June 30, 2020 at 17:16

      Good catch.

  21. Skip Scott
    June 30, 2020 at 08:58

    Great article Ray, but I have to question whether Durham will fulfill his role and get to the bottom of the origins of RussiaGate. If he actually does name names and prosecute, how will the MSM cover it? What will Ms. Madcow have to say? Ever since the fizzling failure of the Epstein investigation, I have had my doubts about Barr and his minion Durham. I hope I’m wrong. Time will tell.

    • Thomas Fortin
      June 30, 2020 at 12:24

      I think on here I can talk about this issue you brought up Scott, on other places when I tried to have a rational discussion on the matter, I got shouted down, well they tried anyway.
      I highly suggest to any readers of this here on Consortium to get Gore Vidal’s old book, Imperial America, and also watch his old documentary, THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA.
      Here is the point of it,
      “Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism.”
      -GORE VIDAL, The United States of Amnesia
      “There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.”
      ? Gore Vidal
      Others have pointed out the same like this,
      “Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party.”
      ? Noam Chomsky
      “In the United States […] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy.”
      ? Robert W. McChesney, Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order
      “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies… is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”
      ? Carroll Quigley [1910 – 1977 was an American historian and theorist of the evolution of civilizations. He is remembered for his teaching work as a professor at Georgetown University, for his academic publications.]
      Teddy Roosevelt, whose statue is under attack in NYC, had this to say,
      “The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either.”
      -THEODORE ROOSEVELT, The Outlook, July 27, 1912
      I suggest also that you look up on line this article, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: Our Fake Two-Party System
      by Prof. Stephen H. Unger at Columbia, here is his concluding thought,
      “The drift toward loss of liberty, unending wars, environmental degradation, growing economic inequality can’t be stopped easily, but it will never be halted as long as we allow corporate interests to rule our country by means of a pseudo-democracy based on the two-party swindle.”
      With this all in mind, and if your my age, you might recall about how over the past more then 50 years, no matter which party gets in power, nothing of any significance changes, the wars continue, the transfer of wealth to the few, and the erosion of basic civil liberties continues pretty well unabated.
      Trump is surrounded by neo-cons and I expect nothing will happen to change anything. I would get into how most called liberals are hardly that, but in reality neo-cons, but I’ve said enough for now, when you consider the statements I shared, then the Matrix begins to come unraveled.

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 30, 2020 at 15:14

      Yes, Thomas Fortin. The Gore Vidal book “History of the National Security State” was the book that Julian Assange was clinging to as he was forcefully carried from the Ecuadorian embassy and I’ve recently become aware of Chalmers Johnson’s similar feelings on these issues…

  22. Grady
    June 30, 2020 at 08:01

    Not to mention the potential peace initiative with Afghanistan and Taliban that is looming. Peace is not profitable, so who has the dual interests in maintaining protracted war in a strategic location while ensuring the poppy crop stays the most productive in the world? It seems said poppy production under the pre war Taliban government was minimal as they eliminated most of it. Attacking the Taliban and thwarting its rule allowed for greater production, to the extent it is the global leader in helping to fulfill the opiate demand. Gary Webb established long ago that the intelligence community, specifically the CIA, has somewhat of a tradition in such covert operations and logic would dictate they’re vested interest lies in maintaining a high yield crop while feeding the profit center that is the MIC war machine. While certainly a bit digressive, the dots are there to connect.

    • Torontonian
      June 30, 2020 at 16:08

      Exactly– when it becomes a vested interest or an industry –it digs in its heels. Frankly this is how the US does EVERY WAR– just like any empire– invade and loot– let everyone you want get a piece of the pie , damn the lives lost (on both sides), damn the destruction, damn the “blow-back”– it just stokes the next round of looting for the MIC and its goons.

  23. Paul
    June 30, 2020 at 07:54

    My friend, I love your columns. Thank you, you have been one of the few sane voices on Russiagate from the beginning.

    Sadly most Americans and most people in the world will not receive these simple truths you are telling. (not their fault)

    We will continue our fight against the system.

    Peace, Paul from South Africa

  24. Voice from Europe
    June 30, 2020 at 07:38

    Don’t think this will be the last Russiagate gasp…whoever becomes the next president.
    The ‘liberal democrats’ believe their own delusions and as long as they control the MSM, they won’t stop. Lol.

    • Thomas Fortin
      June 30, 2020 at 12:29

      You should read my reply to Scott, most of these Democrats are not liberals, but neo-cons who just liberal virtue signal while in reality supporting the neo-con agenda. I hate it how the so called alternative or independent media abuse terms and words, which obscures realities. Anyway, take a look at my reply and the quotes I shared.
      “Definition of liberal, one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways,…progressive, broad-minded,…. willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas,… denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.”
      ? Derived from Webster’s and the Oxford Dictionaries

      “Liberal’ comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon.”
      ? Gore Vidal, “The Great Unmentionable: Monotheism and its Discontents,” The Lowell Lecture, Harvard University, April 20, 1992.

    • Voice from Europe
      July 1, 2020 at 04:14

      Yes, we know all that but ask Clinton, Biden or Pelosi, ask NYT, WAPO or CNN if they consider themselves ‘liberal democrats’ or ‘neocons’ ?

  25. Tom Welsh
    June 30, 2020 at 06:23

    Er, hypocrisy much?

    “‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton”

  26. Tom Welsh
    June 30, 2020 at 06:13

    Once again I would like to compliment Mr McGovern on his magnificently Biblical appearance. That full set would do credit to any Old Testament prophet.

    I see him as the USA’s own Jeremiah.

  27. Tom Welsh
    June 30, 2020 at 06:12

    Seeing that picture of Johnson’s sad, wicked bloodhound features really, really makes me wish I had had a chance to be outside his tent pissing in. I’d have been careful to drink as many gallons of beer as possible beforehand.

    Although it would have been better, from a humanitarian pont of view, just to set fire to the tent.

  28. Tom Welsh
    June 30, 2020 at 06:10

    “Historian Richardson…”

    Clearly a serious exaggeration.

    • Litchfield
      June 30, 2020 at 20:48

      a gentle snark . . .

  29. Tom Welsh
    June 30, 2020 at 06:09

    Ah, the Chinook! The 60-year-old helicopter that epitomises everything Afghan patriots love about the USA. It’s big, fat, slow, clumsy, unmanoeuvrable, and may carry enough US troops to make shooting it down a damaging political blow against Washington.

  30. Vivek
    June 30, 2020 at 05:43

    What do you make of Barbara Honeggar’s second career as a alternative story peddler?
    see hXXps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jB21BVFOIjw

  31. CNfan
    June 30, 2020 at 03:43

    A brilliant piece, with a deft touch depicting the timeless human follies running our foreign policy circus. Real-world experience, perspective, and courage like Ray’s were the dream of the drafters of our 1st Amendment. And ending with Caitlin’s hammer was effective. As to who benefits? I suspect the neocons – our resident war-addicts and Israeli assets. Paraphrasing Nancy, “All roads lead to Netanyahu.”

  32. June 30, 2020 at 03:12

    So,Russia what will do in next Upcoming Years during these covid-19.

  33. Realist
    June 30, 2020 at 02:54

    Ray, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced these allegations against Russia as the gospel truth and has threatened to seek revenge against Putin once he occupies the White House.

    He said Americans who serve in the military put their life on the line. “But they should never, never, never ever face a threat like this with their commander in chief turning a blind eye to a foreign power putting a bounty on their heads.”

    “I’m quite frankly outraged by the report,” Biden said. He promised that if he is elected, “Putin will be confronted and we’ll impose serious costs on Russia.”

    This is the kind of warmongering talk that derailed the expected landslide victory for the Queen of Warmongers in 2016. This time round though, Trump has seemingly already swung and badly missed three times in his responses to the Covid outbreak, the public antics attributed to BLM, and the Fed’s creation of six trillion dollars in funny money as a gift to the most privileged tycoons on the planet. In baseball, which will not have a season in spite of the farcical theatrics between ownership and players, that’s called a “whiff” and gets you sent back to the bench.

    According to all the pollsters, Donnie’s base of white working class “deplorables” are already abandoning his campaign–bigly, prompting the none-too-keen Biden to assume that over-the-top Russia bashing is back in season, especially since trash-talking Nobel Laureate Obama is now delivering most of the mute sock puppet Biden’s lines. It was almost comical to watch Joe do nothing but grin in the framed picture to the left of his old boss during their most recent joint interview with the press. This dangerous re-set of the Cold War is NOT what the people want, nor is it good for them or any living things.

    • DH Fabian
      June 30, 2020 at 10:18

      Biden already lost 2020 — in spite of the widely-disliked Trump. This is why Democrats began working to breath life back into Russia-gate by late last year, setting the stage to blame Russia for their 2020 defeat. We spent the past 25 years detailing the demise of the Democratic Party (replaced by the “New Democrat Party”), and it turned out that the party loyalists didn’t hear a word of it.

    • AnneR
      July 1, 2020 at 15:20

      Shades of “New Labour” DHFabian…. Totally indistinguishable from the greed grubbing Red Faces in reality, under the pink “progressive” lipstick.

  34. John A
    June 30, 2020 at 02:15

    As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia. Have the people there really been that dumbed down by chewing gum for the eyes television and disgusting chemical and growth h0rmone laced food? Sad, sad, sad.

    • Tom Welsh
      June 30, 2020 at 06:17

      John, I think there is something to what you say about dumbing down. I recall Albert Jay Nock lamenting, in about 1910, how dreadfully US education had already been dumbed down – and things have been going steadily downhill ever since.

      But I don’t think we can quite release the citizenry from responsibility on account of their ignorance. (Isn’t it a legal maxim that ignorance is not an excuse?)

      There is surely deep down in most people a sly lust for dominance, a desire to control and forbid and compel; and also a quiet satisfaction at hearing of inferior foreigners being harmed or killed by one’s own “world class” armed forces.

    • TS
      June 30, 2020 at 11:14

      > As a viewer from afar, in Europe, I find it mindboggling how the American public seem to believe all this nonsense about Russia.

      May I remind you that most of the mass media in Europe parrot all this nonsense, and a large segment of the public swallows it?

    • John A
      June 30, 2020 at 14:33

      To TS,
      Up to a point, you are right, but in this particular instance, we are talking about anti-Russia propaganda that is directed at the heartstrings of US audiences, and the thought that brave, plucky, US military personnel are somehow being ‘unfairly’ attacked. Of course, there are European military in Afghanistan there under the Nato umbrella, including supposedly neutral countries such as Swedish troops, but to date, the ‘intelligence’ only talks of bounties for killing US soldiers.

    • Susan Siens
      June 30, 2020 at 15:26

      I certainly agree with you about the willful ignorance of the American public, but I question Europeans’ sense regarding Russia. We have some people in power in the U.S. who deeply desire nuclear war with Russia — as the U.S. goes down in flames due to climate chaos, economic chaos, and the pandemic I fear what they may do — and where exactly do Europeans, who seem to support a lot of this belligerence towards Russia, think such a war will play out? Like all overprivileged Westerners, Americans and Europeans seem to think they can do whatever they please and there will be no price to pay.

      I want to add that I have finally figured out (duh!) why Germans such as Merkel seem to parrot such crap about Putin. Still smarting from the Soviet Union’s decisive defeat of Germany in 1945! Merkel seems to think she’s still fighting WWII and Communism.

    • Torontonian
      June 30, 2020 at 16:14

      At least you get to look at it from afar. Pity us poor Canadians pulling out our hair–in part because of the incredible success of decades of propaganda foisted on the US public AND THEY BOUGHT IT– good god what is in the water? Such a failed experiment in less than the standard 250 yr Society that historians discuss. Yup they are in stage 6 collapse.

      And of course like the Drunk Uncle they are — we get beat up when it works for them– BS trade agreements, pulling us into their fight(s) with China etc.– and all currently being handled (sic) the hapless young Trudeau. My god he pales in comparison to his father. Vacuous doesn’t begin to describe him.

    • June 30, 2020 at 20:05

      I don’t think people are buying it this time. At least I hope not. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

  35. Charles Familant
    June 30, 2020 at 00:50

    Mr. McGovern has not made his case. To his question as to why Taliban militants need any additional incentive to target U.S. troops in Afghanistan, it is not far-fetched to believe these militants would welcome additional funds to continue their belligerency. Waging war is not cheap and is especially onerous for relatively small organizations as compared to major powers. What reason would Putin have to pay such bounty? The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016. This action would be a boon to his re-election prospects. Putin is well aware that if Biden wins in November, there is little likelihood of the hostility in Afghanistan or anywhere else being brought to an end. But, more to the point, the likelihood of U.S. sanctions against Russia being curtailed under a Biden presidency is remote. To what he deemed rhetorical, Mr. McGovern asks how successful were U.S. interrogators of such captured Taliban in the past, I remind him that there were opposing views regarding which techniques were most effective. Might not these interrogators have, in the present case, employed more effective means? Finally, it should not even be a question as to why any news agency does not reveal its sources. But in this case, the New York Times specifically mentions that the National Security Council discussed the intelligence finding in late March. Further, if it is true that Trump, Pence et al ignored the said briefs of which the administration was well aware, this should be no surprise to any of us. Case in point: how long did it take Trump to respond to the present pandemic? One telling observation: Mr. McGovern says that Heather Cox Richardson is “described as a historian at Boston College.’ She is not just “described as a historian” Mr. McGovern, she IS a historian at Boston College; in fact, she is a professor at that college and has authored six scholarly works that have been published as books, the most recent of which in March of this year by the Oxford University Press. Mr. McGovern states that the points Richardson made her most most recent newsletter as “banal.” I see nothing banal in that newsletter, but rather a list of relevant factual occurrences. Finally (this time it really is final), Mr. McGovern employs the use of sarcasm to discount what Richardson and others have contended regarding this most recent expose. And seems to give more credibility to the comments made by Trump and his cohorts, as though this administration is remarkable for its integrity.

    • Sam F
      June 30, 2020 at 11:05

      Plausible interest does not make unsupported accusations a reality. What bounties did the US offer?
      Have you forgotten that the US set up Al Qaeda in Afghanistan with weapons to attack the USSR there?

    • June 30, 2020 at 16:01

      It was kind of McGovern to characterise Cox Richardson’s list as merely banal.
      Leaving aside the swapping of aid to deal with Covid 19 outbreaks as clearly being of no political significance, we are left with:

      “— “On April 25 Trump raised eyebrows by issuing a joint statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the historic meeting between American and Soviet troops on the bridge of the Elbe River in Germany that signaled the final defeat of the Nazis;.”
      It is hard to believe that any US president would have acted otherwise. Such celebrations of the UN’s triumph in 1945 are completely unremarkable.
      Then there is this: “On May 3, Trump called Putin and talked for an hour and a half, a discussion Trump called ‘very positive’;
      Again, so what? Such banallities are the stuff of summitry and have been for
      decades. Unremarkable
      Which brings us to “On June 15, news broke that Trump has ordered the removal of 9,500 troops from Germany, where they support NATO against Russian aggression. …” News that, in the context of the simultaneous news that forces were being transferred to Poland, and the border of Russia, is hard to claim suggests an intention to lower tensions, on the US President’s part.

      Then “Historian” Richardson added: “All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020. ..”
      And there is not a shred of evidence supporting either the first or second of these claims. Not evidence that Russia made any intervention in the 2016 Presidential election and none that it is doing so this year.
      Whatever her other works may suggest, this sort of stuff is not scholarship, her assertions are made without supporting evidence and despite masses of evidence that she is wrong, while she appears to have no understanding of the history of Cold War and WWII diplomacy. Not that this is surprising her subject seems to be the Civil War, and C19th US history including books about Reconstruction and Wounded Knee.

    • Torontonian
      June 30, 2020 at 16:16

      Guess you know Heather Cox Richardson.

    • Tom McCoid
      June 30, 2020 at 16:41

      Thank you for your detailed response, Charles. Let me respond to your criticisms point-by-point, but first I would like to submit a series of questions that I believe would have been asked in genuine critical reporting on the allegations:

      1) Who was/were the GRU personnel responsible for offering the alleged bounties?
      2) If such offers were made, what proof is there that the GRU was responsible?
      3) What is the estimate of the GRU presence in Afghanistan? If they are present in any meaningful capacity, how long have they been there and why has this not been significantly reported on as it would be noteworthy?
      4) How were the offers communicated?
      5) During what time period were the alleged bounties offered?
      6) How were the bounties to be delivered? Were these financial in nature, or otherwise?
      7) What were the specific deliverables — in other words, on what basis would the bounties be paid? Were these general incentives (paid upfront, no necessity for proof of execution), metrics-based (detectable uptick in casualties), or specific (positive demonstration of individual casualties)?
      8) What policy goal would the Russian government be trying to achieve with this action? Why would they believe that this “program” would be likely to succeed?
      9) Assuming the goal of “inflicting sufficient casualties on Americans to justify a withdrawal”, how many casualties did the Russian government believe would be sufficient to this end?

      Now, to your specific criticisms.

      >>> “it is not far-fetched to believe these militants would welcome additional funds to continue their belligerency”

      How much funding would be necessary/sufficient? It seems that they would require pretty significant funds. Do these gentlemen have bank accounts into which these funds can be deposited, or would they just receive bags/pallets of cash? The Russians would have considered these questions.

      >>> “The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016.”

      Please see question 9 above. This presumes that the Russian government would have believed with confidence that sufficient casualties for that outcome would have resulted from such a program — otherwise they would not have undertaken it as the Russians tend not to act indiscriminately.

      >>> “Putin is well aware that if Biden wins in November, there is little likelihood of the hostility in Afghanistan or anywhere else being brought to an end.”

      And it would be terrible if such “hostilities” were to end…

      >>> “more to the point, the likelihood of U.S. sanctions against Russia being curtailed under a Biden presidency is remote.”

      This presumes that sanctions are likely to end under Trump — I do not believe that the Russian government harbors such optimism. Bear in mind that it has recently been suggested that the Putin administration actually preferred Clinton as she was a “known quantity” as opposed to Trump, who had no political history or context to draw from.

      >>> “Might not these interrogators have, in the present case, employed more effective means?”

      Which means, precisely, would those be? What evidence is there that those methods were used?

      >>> “the New York Times specifically mentions that the National Security Council discussed the intelligence finding in late March.”

      Discussed it. This does not mean that they came to the conclusion that it was verified nor even credible. If not, then, as Trump suggests, he might not have been informed.

      >>> “Further, if it is true that Trump, Pence et al ignored the said briefs of which the administration was well aware…”

      The assertion that “the administration was well aware” has not yet, to my knowledge, been demonstrated, but only implied by, say, select members of Congress. We will see if testimony to that regard results in the same rich rewards that were delivered by Mueller’s “Russiagate” investigation.

      >>> “she [Cox] is a professor [history] at that college and has authored six scholarly works that have been published as books, the most recent of which in March of this year by the Oxford University Press.”

      This is an appeal to credentials fallacy, and a weak one at that. Her expertise seems to revolve around 19th century and particularly Civil War era US history, which I do not believe qualifies her as an expert in Central Asia. Furthermore, her assertion that:

      “All of these friendly overtures to Russia were alarming enough when all we knew was that Russia attacked the 2016 U.S. election and is doing so again in 2020. But it is far worse that those overtures took place when the administration knew that Russia had actively targeted American soldiers”

      Russia’s supposed attacks on the US election are laughable. Regarding the five “alarming” incidents she cites, the only one with any teeth would be the removal of troops from Germany — but the notion that American troops are in Germany to prevent “Russian aggression” is ridiculous. Is Putin greedily rubbing his hands together, just waiting for the moment when those troops leave to order the Russian military to waltz through at least two other nations in order to invade Deutschland?

      >>> ” I see nothing banal in that newsletter, but rather a list of relevant factual occurrences. ”

      Banality and factuality are not mutually exclusive.

      >>> “Mr. McGovern employs the use of sarcasm…”

      This is a criticism of the author’s style, not substance.

      >>> “how long did it take Trump to respond to the present pandemic”

      Trump’s performance with respect to the pandemic has been abysmal. Much of his foreign policy has also been atrocious, particularly vis-a-vis Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Israel. Even with respect to Russia, he did not seem particularly reluctant to impose sanctions — perhaps you will attribute this to sheer political calculus. But what has been presented so far with respect to “Bounty-gate” is vague, and being promoted by the same establishment “authorities” who blustered for years regarding Trump colluding with Russia, culminating in…

      I look forward to your rebuttal.

    • Richard Coleman
      July 1, 2020 at 05:19

      “The increase in U.S. troop casualties would provide Trump an additional rationale to bring the troops home, as he had promised during his campaign speeches in 2015 and 2016.”

      In what universe?

      The US doesn’t “cut and run”! “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”! “Failure is not an option”! “We’re number 1”! “USA! USA”! We should let a bunch of towel head camel jockeys push us around?! Not on your life, buddy. If those a**holes think they can chase us out of our country…er that is their…well anyhow someone’s…ah who cares whose country it is?…and abandon our mission, they are in for the surprise of their Islamic lives. No siree! We’ll send in 50,000 100,000, 200,000 troops, drones, planes, rockets, whatever it takes. Make Amerika Great Again starts now. Afghanistan will be our finest hour. And who knows? Maybe after we tidy up there, we’ll go on into Roosia and settle with them once and for all. Hell, they’ve been asking for it since 1917, the goddam communists.

    • AnneR
      July 1, 2020 at 15:18

      Sam F – CF would appear to either have forgotten the deep CIA development, training and support of the Mujahadeen, between the late 1970s and 1980s, in order first to threaten and then defeat the communist friendly Afghani govt (which opened education to females and made health care more widespread), and yet more significantly (Brzezinski) suck the USSR into the bog that Afghanistan would become for them. I gather some 15K Soviet military were killed over these years by the CIA backed, trained, financed mujahadeen, from among whom would arise the Taliban.

      But for those libs as among the cons – what the US can do with nary a word against it, let alone greater penalties, NO other nation state should have the temerity to even contemplate possibly, maybe, doing…..

  36. Zhu
    June 30, 2020 at 00:34

    Come December this year, which losing party will blame which scapegoat? Russia? China? The Man in the Moon? It must be a hard decision!

  37. Zhu
    June 30, 2020 at 00:31

    Unfortunately, bad ideas and conspiracy fictions rarely disappear completely. But that Afghans need to be paid to kill invaders is the dumbest conspiracy fiction yet.

  38. Thomas Fortin
    June 29, 2020 at 21:31

    Excellent report Ray, as usual.
    Interesting note here, I watched The Hill’s Rising program, and listened to young conservative Saagar say, although he does not believe that Russia-gate is credible, he made the statement that Russia is supplying the Taliban weapons and wants us to get out of Afghanistan, and that is considered a fact by all journalists!
    Saagar is a bit conflicted, he does not, but does believe the gods of intelligence, like so many did with the Gulf of Tonkin so long ago, I remember that all too well.
    As I look out upon the ignorant masses and useful idiots who strain at those Confederate and other monuments, while continuing to elect the same old people back into office who continue the status quo, its a bit discouraging. We were told so long ago about our current situation, that,
    “It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin.” [James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817]
    As a historian of some sort and educational film maker, I do my best to educate people, though its a bit overwhelming at times how ignorant and fascist brain-washed most are. Monroe, like the other founders knew the secret of maintaining a free and prosperous republic, from the same piece, “Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.”
    George Carlin got it right about why education “sucks”, it was by design, so our work is cut out for us.
    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson

  39. GMCasey
    June 29, 2020 at 21:25

    Why would Putin even bother? America and its endless wars is doing itself in. Afghanistan is said to be,” the graveyard of empires.” It was for Alexander the Great—–it was for Russia and I suppose that it will be for America too—-

  40. DW Bartoo
    June 29, 2020 at 20:50

    Ray, I certainly hope that Durham and Barr will not wait too long a time to make public the truth about Russiagate.

    Indeed, certain heads should, figuratively, roll, and as well, the whole story about who was behind the setting up of Flynn needs to, somehow, make it through the media flack.

    Judge Sullivan’s antics having been rather thoroughly shot down, though the media is desperately trying to either spin or ignore the reality that it was not merely Flynn that Sullivan was hoping to harm, but also the power of the executive branch relative to the judicial branch.

    The role of Obama and of Biden who, apparently, suggested the use of the Logan Act as the means to go after Flynn, who we now know was intentionally entrapped by the intrepid FBI, need to be made clear as well.

    Just as with the initial claims that torture was the work of “a few bad apples”, when anyone with any insight into such “policy” actions had to have known that it WAS official policy (crafted by Addington, Bybee, and Yoo, as it turned out, directed to do so by the Bush White House), so too, must it be realized that it was not some rogue agents and loose cannons, but actual instructions “from above”, explicit or implicit, that “encouraged” the behavior of those who spoke of “Insurance” policies designed to hamper, hinder, and harm the incoming administration.

    Clearly, I am no fan of Trump, and while I honestly regard the Rule of Law as essentially a fairytale for the gullible (as the behavior of the “justice” system from the ” qualified immunity” of the police, to the “absolute immunity” of prosecutors, judges, and the political class must make clear,to even the most giddy of childish believers in U$ purity, innocence, and exceptionalism, that the “law” serves to protect wealth and power and NOT the public), I should really like to consider that even in a pretend democracy, some things are simply not to be tolerated.

    Things, like torture, like fully politicized law enforcement or “intelligence” agencies, like secret court proceedings, where judges may be lied to with total impunity and actual evidence is not required. As well as things like a media thoroughly willing to requrgitate blatant propaganda as “fact” (while having, again, no apparent need of genuine evidenc), or other things like total surveillance, and the destruction of habeas corpus.

    One should like to imagine that such things might concern the majority.

    Yet, a society that buys into forever wars, lesser-evil voting, and created Hitler like boogeymen, that countenances being lied into wars and consistently lied to about virtually everything, is hardly likely to discern the truth of things until the “Dream” collapses into personal pain, despair, and Depression.

    Unless there is an awakening quite beyond that already tearing down statues, but yet still , apparently, unwilling to grasp the totality of the corruption throughout the entire edifice of “authority”, of the total failure of a system that has no real legitimacy, except that given it by voters choosing between two sides of the same tyranny, it may be readily imagined, should Biden be “victorious”, that Russiagate, Chinagate, Irangate, Venezuelagate, and countless other “Gates” will become Official History.

    In which case, this is not a last gasp, of Russiagate, but a new and full head of steam for more of the same.

    How easy it has been for the lies to prevail, to become “truth” and to simply disappear the voices of those who ask for evidence, who dare question, who doubt.

    How easy to co-opt and destroy efforts to educate or bring about critically necessary change.

    There are but a few months for real evidence to be revealed.

    If Durham and Barr decide not to “criminalize policy differences”, as Obama, the “constitutional scholar”, did regarding torture, then what might we imagine will be the future of those who have an understanding of even those lies long being used, and with recent additions, for example, to torture Julian Assange?

    All of the deceit has common purpose, it is to maintain absolute control.

    If Russiagate is not completely exposed, for all that it is and was intended to be, then quaint little discussions about elite misbehavior will be banished from general awareness, and those who persist in questioning will be rather severely dealt with.

    • Antonia
      June 30, 2020 at 11:43

      ABSOLUTELY. Well said. NOW where to make the changes absolutely necessary?

    • June 30, 2020 at 15:15

      Dear DW Bartoo,

      I believe you are correct, and that the next four months will be crucial to our democracy. You write:

      “If Russiagate is not completely exposed, for all that it is and was intended to be, then quaint little discussions about elite misbehavior will be banished from general awareness, and those who persist in questioning will be rather severely dealt with.”

      HOW DO WE GET THE WORD OUT. I cannot help feeling that if most of the very intelligent people commenting here were to find ways to get the message out……well, that this would be a very good start.


  41. Zalamander
    June 29, 2020 at 18:47

    Thanks Ray. There are multiple reasons for the continued existance of Russiagate as the Democratic party has no real answers for the economic depression affecting millions of Americans. Neoliberal Joe Biden is also an exceptionally weak presidential candidate, who does not even support universal healthcare for all Americans like every other advanced industrialized country has. That said, the Dems are indeed desperate to deflect attention away from the Durham investigation, as it is bound to expose the total fraud of Crossfire Hurricane.

    • robert e williamson jr
      July 1, 2020 at 16:26

      I’ll try to wedge a word or two in here.

      hXXps://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2013/01/26/china-winner-afghanistan/186671/ Chinese mineral rights in Afghanistan.


      Here in the area where I live only the older more experienced , intelligent, humans are the only one wearing masks. Them and those who have serious medical histories or conditions. Many of the rest are meth heads, Boogaloo Boy wanna be’s and evangelical christians
      who seemed to be very angry and confused that the rapture is not occurring the way they thought it would. Many of them claiming that
      there is much more to the plague than a simple virus, some saying it’s a democratic plot. Seriously, the democrats pulling off something like cov-19 when they can’t fool us by screaming “THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.

      Give me a break.

      But I digress.

      The wars were a ruse to distract detractors and threat all of our society with terrorism, terrorism these wars have made worse.

      I for one refuse to hold out any hope that Barr is responsible enough to do the right thing here. He comes from a long list of the ultimate team players. Actions speak much loader than words and I’ve seen more than enough of Billy P Barr for one life time.

      Billy P., prove me wrong here!!! And what happens if he does try to do the right thing? China still is looking good and Putin is still winning.

      Four months and counting down to the next phase of the slow – con!

  42. Sam F
    June 29, 2020 at 18:16

    Thanks, Ray, a very good summary, with reminders often needed by many in dealing with complex issues.

Comments are closed.