Patrick Lawrence: John Durham & Burying History

Witness the obliteration of a highly significant passage in U.S.  history. To be deprived in this way of the past — of the facts of our time — is a kind of condemnation.

Riot police at the Capitol on Jan. 21, 2017, for Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons)

By Patrick Lawrence

Original to ScheerPost

There are certain things I do not quite get since Special Counsel John Durham’s report on the epically corrupt conduct of Donald Trump’s enemies during the 2016 election campaigns went to Congress last week. Many things, actually.

For all the ground Durham covers in his 306–page report, I don’t get why he left a lot of things undone and unexamined, a lot of names unnamed and a lot of conclusions unconcluded after a four-year investigation into the very unfunny fiasco known as Russiagate. 

And then there are a few things I do get. Chief among these is that, with the already-evident burying of the Durham Report, we now witness the obliteration of a highly significant passage in U.S. history. To be deprived in this way of the past — of the facts of our time — is a kind of condemnation.

This comes with consequences. I get these things. What the institutions of government and the corporate media perpetrate as we speak, this abuse of those alive now, of those who will follow us, altogether of the history that belongs to us, imposes a great responsibility upon us. This last is something I hope we all get. 

The Durham Report is at bottom a confirmation more than a revelation, as various commentators have noted. Those among us willing to look squarely at events and evidence without fear or favor in the true meaning of this phrase understood years ago that the Democratic Party and the Federal Bureau of Investigation — among others, I have to add — conspired to concoct the Russiagate ruse in the service of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency.

The Durham Report gives us a lot of detail as to just how this was done. We are now able to follow the bouncing ball once Clinton, personally so far as I understand it, got it rolling by way of what Durham calls the Clinton Intelligence Plan. 

This detail is important. Susan Schmidt, an experienced journalist with a good record to her credit, runs it down in a piece for Racket News that ScheerPost republished a day after Attorney General Merrick Garland sent the Durham Report to Congress. Glenn Greenwald produced an excellent segment on the report in his System Update program.

Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn, the novelist and essayist, considered Durham, Russiagate and the latter’s fate in their America This Week podcastChris Hedges weighed in Monday.

John Durham in 2018. (Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

I appreciate the Durham Report for the chronology of events it indicates. This is now easier to follow than it has been previously. In simple terms, Clinton authorized an operation to frame Trump within days of the leak of emails from Democratic Party servers in July 2016.

The F.B.I.’s leadership acted quickly to set this operation in motion. It first considered using the offhand remarks of George Papadopoulos, a minor Trump campaign volunteer, to obtain surveillance warrants against various of Trump’s advisers.

[Related: The Tale of a ‘Deep State Target’]

When that proved too flimsy, the agency’s top officials turned to the Steele Dossier. The agency knew it was junk, but they punched it up sufficiently to get the warrants needed to proceed against Trump and his people. 

[Related: 4 Years Later, NYT Says Steele Dossier ‘Turned Out to Be Democratic-Funded Opposition Research]

This was Crossfire Hurricane, the F.B.I.’s anti–Trump op at the heart of the Russiagate hoax. 

“The truth is, we had almost all of the information a long time ago. What we didn’t have was the certification of the information by a government authority, by a legal authority,” Walter Kirn remarks in America This Week.

“I think Durham did a job of showing reach to the highest levels of the government. Apparently everyone was briefed on the reality of this thing early on, very early on. All the highest authorities knew it was bullshit.” 

Perfectly fair comment, an astute summation. Then Kirn continues in a very curious way:

“In a way, I guess it became necessary that the system vindicates itself by finding that which could not be found and asserting that which could not be proved, to the point that the moment where it mattered passed away. President Trump’s no longer president. All of the harms that were done by this thing have been done. They changed our history, they changed our media. They changed our sense of information and why it’s important.”

Kirn is right to suggest that “the system” appears to figure that a report such as Durham’s can now be released because it is all water under the bridge — a little in the way the U.S. will acknowledge one or another of its coup operations long after the facts have ceased to matter.

Similarly, it looks as if Garland found this an opportune moment to send the Durham Report to Capitol Hill, effectively to remove the entire Russiagate affair from the common American consciousness. With a presidential election 18 months away, Biden’s attorney general must dispose of Russiagate and Durham’s probe as hastily and as best he can. 

But I am not with Kirn when he asserts all the harm has been done. No, it has not. Russiagate changed history all right. And the destruction of this history is to my mind the greatest harm of all. This is the very oddest thing about the

Durham Report: It purports to rip off the veil shielding the plot against Donald Trump from view, but it shapes up after a few days’ consideration as part of the effort to bury the Russiagate hoax the way the Warren Commission buried the facts of the Kennedy assassination for many years. 

The Warren Commission, Aug. 14, 1964. (John T. Bledsoe, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

It is this interment of so key a passage in American history we will live with for the rest of our lives, this we stand to pass on to generations to come. Deeper into the Republic of Pretend we will go — losing our capacity to understand events, to see straight, to know with confidence who we are.

The alternative is vigilance, vigilant protection of the truth of the Russiagate years the way a few courageous souls kept the truth of the Cold War years alive so that we, now, can understand America’s responsibility for starting, prosecuting, and prolonging it. 

Criminal Enterprise

It is fine that we know more now of the who-did-what-when-and-why of the Russiagate story. But let us remind ourselves of something Durham chose for whatever reason not to note. Russiagate was a criminal enterprise with many perpetrators and accomplices guilty of what would stand in a court of law as felonies.

They corrupted the political process, tampered with an election and unlawfully undermined the executive branch. Abuses of office and public institutions were rampant during the Russiagate years — fatally, I would say, in the case of the F.B.I. 

We are left with various bitter realities. Our already troubled republic has sustained permanent damage at the hands of people pretending to protect it. We can no longer trust the nation’s dominant political party or those institutions charged with upholding the Constitution and the legal processes that derive from it.  

Let’s go larger. Many of those elected to govern this country display no respect for it. I do not see there is any longer any denying that a Deep State — a term that gained currency during the Russiagate years, not coincidentally —exercises a wholly unlawful degree of power over the American polity. “Apple pie authoritarianism” can no longer be taken as a distant, unlikely danger or the cry of Cassandras. It is our reality. 

I have been looking, since the Durham Report was made public, for historical comparisons to bring home the magnitude of what the report puts on paper, if incompletely. Nixon and Watergate? Not even close. Watergate was at bottom one man’s scandal; it had nothing to do with systemic decadence and institutional rot from within.

The theft of the GoreBush election in 2000 is a worthier comparison. While it got a lot less press than Watergate, it put Americans on notice that their judiciary, supreme among our mediating institutions, was corroded at the very highest level. 

But for the breadth and depth of the decay, it seems to me, Russiagate has no match in American history going back who knows how long. It leaves us with the bitter realities just mentioned. 

I do not think Russiagate’s perpetrators, criminal as they were and remain, ever intended the anti–Trump operation to grow to the magnitude it did. No, when the Clinton Intelligence Plan and Crossfire Hurricane were set in motion, they were intended to last only a few months.

Clinton would win in November, and what may be the greatest subversion op in our history would take its place among the countless other cases of our republic’s political rambunctiousness, and so fade away.

As polls close, Nashua, New Hampshire, Hillary for America headquarters, Feb. 9, 2016. (Ted Eytan/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

A year after the July 2016 leak of the Democrats’ mail, Trump eight months in office, I wrote a column under the headline “Too Big to Fail.” That was the reality by then: The extravagant damage already done to America’s public institutions, the reckless overinvestment in Russiagate by all the liars on Capitol Hill, in the law-enforcement agencies, in the intelligence apparatus, in the Obama White House, and, let us not forget, in the media meant that the truth of the hoax could never come out.

These people had put the stability of the republic at risk. What would be the dénouement, then? Out of what side door would all the Russiagaters weasel?   

Post–Durham, too big to fail is again the reality. And the way out for all those caught in their own web is now clear. Russiagate, the whole nine of it, is to be buried. 

This is too big a lump to be hidden under the carpet, too significant a chapter in American history to be written out of the national narrative. The mind goes back 60 years — 60 years, can you believe it? — to the Kennedy assassination. How long did it take, due to the perspicacity of Oliver Stone, the filmmaker (JFK, 1991; JFK Revisited, 2021), David Talbot, the author (The Devil’s Chessboard, 2015), and a few honorable others to establish the C.I.A.’s culpability beyond a reasonable doubt?

And how much longer before the truth of Nov. 22, 1963, is disinterred and given its place in our history?


A brief digression as an aid to our understanding of our moment. 

Many years ago, I spent some weeks in Guatemala researching an essay. This was a few years after the government and the nation’s guerrilla movement signed accords ending 36 years of civil war, and a couple of years after the Recovery of Historical Memory Project, led by Bishop Juan Gerardi, published four volumes documenting those decades of violence under the title Guatemala: Nunca Más

The thought implicit in this endeavor was as compelling as Bishop Gerardi’s courage and determination: Record the past, bring it to the surface, enable people to think and talk about it, and the past need not be repeated. The dreadful irony here is that Gerardi was assassinated just as the Recovery Project’s work went into print. But Never Again still stands as a monument to his wisdom. 

Recovery of Historical Memory report. (Surizar, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The Maya were always the majority in Guatemala, and at the turn of the century accounted for 70 percent of the population. Yet they had been more or less erased from the national narrative for half a millennium.

They had not been permitted to participate in the historical phenomenon known as “Guatemala.” Instead of history they had memory — that is, an unofficial, handed-down past. If memory is all one has, the act of remembering becomes all-important — a matter of self-preservation. I named this condition “memory without history.” 

To value history, Nietzsche told us in very different circumstances, is “to understand the meaning of the phrase ‘it was.’” But the health of an individual, a people, or of a culture he also said, depended on forgetting, too: It is only when we can forget that we escape the bonds of the past and dare to begin again, to imagine and create, “to perceive as we have never perceived before.”

Having the certainty of a written history is what makes possible this desirable kind of forgetting. People can live without memory, the great German reminds us. “But it is altogether impossible to live at all without forgetting.” If you have ever seen a people in the condition of memory without history, you will have no trouble with Nietzsche’s thought.

There is a pervasive sadness about them, an absence of vitality, an inwardness, a recessive inability to connect with others.  

History and memory, to crunch this down, are in this way adversaries. People without a history are condemned to remember and remember and remember —memory as burden. It is only when people are confident their story is inscribed in history that they can begin to leave behind their memories, lifting a great weight from their shoulders and proceeding with a light, life-embracing step.

Memory without history often lives right next door to its opposite, “history without memory.” The human story is full of these — official histories gutted of all manner of facts, occurrences, and realities inconvenient to those who usurp the right to write history.

Histories without memory are the doorways to that national psychosis I mentioned in a previous column. Guatemala’s official histories were of this kind when I was there. There was a project to correct this, to write the Maya into the history texts, but I have no idea how far it has gotten, politically fraught as the undertaking was. 

American Question, Too 

Rockefeller Center in New York City on Election Night, Nov. 9, 2016. (Marco Verch, GPA Photo Archive, CC BY 2.0)

The headline on that long-ago essay was, “History without memory: Who owns Guatemala’s past?” This is the American question, too, it seems to me: Who owns U.S. history? We can imagine posing it on all sorts of occasions. Who owns the Cold War’s history? The Vietnam War’s? The history of the Kennedy administration?

Publication of the Durham Report raises this question again. Who is going to own the history of Russiagate, an interim as consequential as these others? Will it be the corrupt controllers of the mainstream narrative, who include the hoax’s perpetrators, or we to whom the history of that dark time rightfully belongs? 

I do not want to spend the rest of my days carrying Russiagate around in my head, to put this point another way. I want it written into the record as it was. I wrote a lot about the doings of the corrupt during those years, along with many others, and my altogether conscious intent was to get down what happened so I could begin to forget it.

I have, since those days in Guatemala, identified the condition of memory without history (and its opposite) with crude, despotic regimes and forlorn peoples, but … but here we are, ushered into the mirror conditions of memory without history and history without memory unless we choose the path of resistance.  

John Durham’s intent when he submitted his report to Attorney General Garland seems to me very ambiguous. He got some things down in a legal document, but he left so much out: He never subpoenaed Hillary Clinton, he does not appear to have looked into the Obama White House’s collusions, or corporate media’s very consequential collusions, and so on through a list of apparent omissions.

He stopped well short of alleging criminal wrongdoing, even in patently evident cases such as Clinton’s. He charges the F.B.I. not with “political bias,” a grave matter that would require legal action and institutional discipline, but with “confirmation bias,” a standard slap-on-the-wrist gambit that will require precisely nothing of anybody.  

I have to ask: Was Durham, whose integrity and disinterest have been much-praised in the course of his career, compromised during his investigation? Has he been “got to,” shown where the Deep State plants the fence posts and advised not to operate beyond them? Was he urged to conclude — this reminds me of Al Gore’s moment in 2000 — that the truth, the whole, and nothing but of Russiagate would threaten the stability of our republic (as I think it would) and so avoided telling it?

Did he produce what the spooks call a “limited hangout” because what is probably the greatest political hoax in our history is simply too big to fail?

The consequences of the Durham Report’s omissions are already evident. The New York Times can describe it as “a whimper” bearing no significance. The Times and the major dailies that routinely ape it continue to report allegations of malfeasance at the F.B.I. as mere “conspiracy theory.” You see what is going on here, I trust.

Allow the Deep State and its appendages to bury U.S. history in this manner and Americans will lose the ability to see anything clearly — you name it: the war in Ukraine, Joe Biden’s senility, the conjured nonsense of “domestic extremism,” and in the end even ourselves, who we are, and what kind of nation we live in. 

Read the list, partial, of those publications upon which I have relied for coverage this past week. That is all I have to say about The New York Times and all the others. The publications I have looked to are all independent. It is to these media we must turn to keep the record of these past years from being interred so that it finds its proper place in our history, so that we have a fighting chance to learn from the past and avoid repeating it. 

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His new book Journalists and Their Shadows, is forthcoming from Clarity Press. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site.   

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


Support CN’s Spring

Fund Drive Today

33 comments for “Patrick Lawrence: John Durham & Burying History

  1. robert e williamson jr
    May 27, 2023 at 19:54

    This was a very thorough dress down of Durham and his effort. We have seen our government do this too many times to count. Many of those incidents started with the trials and tribulations of the Kennedy brothers.

    The problem here seems to be the guilty got things sealed off pretty well. Make no mistake, the death of Seth Rich caused those same guilty lots of heartburn. I’m still curious of what actually happened there, as I have written before. The murder there was never explained to my liking. The Rich family lost one son and my opinion is their silence could have easily been bought. They lost one son and kept quiet. Was that silence bought by the promise they would not question the official version of events there? If anyone has evidence or an official explanation addressing serious questions about the investigation i would like to know.

    The bigger issue I see here is that all indications, judging from Durhams weakly veiled translucent white wash that seems to have succeeded is that Seth Rich is gone and the creation of a Clinton Intelligence Plan exposed as an Op that got out of c0ntrol and doomed Hillary. A really good reason for this type of Op to not be allowed, I my opinion, is because the individuals involved with the Clinton’s Op, might have not been top notch or trustworthy.

    “I do not think Russia Gate’s perpetrators, criminal as they were and remain, ever intended the anti-trump operation to grow to the magnitude it did. No, when the Clinton Intelligence Plan and Crossfire Hurricane were set in motion, they were intended to last only a few months.”

    Something pretty damned serious occurred here and we are left clueless, which is exactly the way intelligence community likes it.

    When reviewing the Clinton’s scandal mottled history I come away wondering who had who here.

    Nice job Mr. Lawrence

  2. Rob
    May 27, 2023 at 14:18

    One of the pillars of the Russiagate narrative was nonstop demonization of Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has only grown stronger in the ensuing years. The resulting intense Russophobia was essential to bringing the American public to the point of accepting the catastrophic proxy war against Russia that is currently destroying Ukraine. This war would likely not have come about without the groundwork first being laid by Russiagate.

      May 28, 2023 at 21:42

      Excellent comment.

  3. RWood
    May 27, 2023 at 13:44

    I cannot understand how Patrick Lawrence can pass over the excrescence of Iran-contra, which I believe was a development of a long history of illegal manipulation of “history” by political, financial and other elites. I do agree with the concept that is being tested to provide some revelation from the authorities — even as they appear as “the usual suspects” — that effectively pollutes our deeply polluted thinking of what has happened and what’s coming. Toujours gai!

  4. Bernadette Evangelist
    May 27, 2023 at 11:45

    This was so necessary. I have read or heard all the others who you mentioned. As a Russagate denier to the point of thinking it was ridiculous and transparent, I hoped for some recompense beyond a review by Durham.

  5. James White
    May 27, 2023 at 10:46

    ‘Comey declined to be interviewed by the Durham team.’ I asked a lawyer friend of mine if there was some legal explanation for this: ‘Durham had prosecutorial power to compel testimony. Did he not? Why did he not subpoena Comey to testify? Comey could lie, take the fifth or as usual pretend that he didn’t remember. I don’t understand how or why Comey had the ability to decline an interview.’ -I don’t know.- was his answer. Durham is scheduled to testify before Congress ‘sometime in June.’ The massive and pervasive lies being told continuously to U.S. voters by our elected representatives has completely disrupted, if not destroyed any and all distinction between fact and fiction. There are three categories of U.S. adults: Those who are blissfully unaware that everything they are being told is a lie. Those who are aware of being lied to and are outraged and aghast about it. Those who are aware of being lied to and are smugly in favor of it because the liars are on their side of the political divide. As children we were horrified to read and learn about the Salem witch trials. The Oath Keepers leader who never entered any Capitol building on Jan. 6 was nonetheless convicted by a judge and jury of a ‘thought’ crime and given an 18 year prison sentence for it. The judge and jury imagine the defendant thought to commit a crime that in the real world never actually happened. If we can’t prevent this sort of Lewis Carroll punishment of people, based purely on personal hatred then we are clearly not ready for the coming explosion of Artificial Intelligence. Another way that truth is disintegrating in front of us are recent revelations about the two world wars. Nearly every aspect of narratives of both wars are being deconstructed now. It turns out that there were many respected historians who were blackballed, bankrupted and otherwise silenced before, during and after the wars for publishing inconvenient truths. Spoiler alert is that Winston Churchill was not the saint he has been portrayed to have been. Nor is Dwight Eisenhower nor FDR. Hitler and Stalin are not precisely the raving mad cartoon characters we have made them into. The honest truth, much like world peace only begins with clear self examination inside of each of us. The collapse of past great civilizations begins to appear with greater clarity once reason itself had been distorted or discarded. Often, if not always with the best of intentions. Beware of repetition in all mass media messaging. The completely unprovoked war. The completely unfounded claims of election interference. They hate us because of our freedom. ‘The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.’ -Voltaire

  6. LeoSun
    May 26, 2023 at 22:20

    “But for the breadth and depth of the decay, it seems to me, Russiagate has no match in American history going back who knows how long. It leaves us with the bitter realities just mentioned.” Patrick Lawrence

    Please, allow me, to “spotlight,” the breadth & depth of the decay, it is beyond inhumane. It is the dehumanization, persecution, incarceration of Julian Assange & WikiLeaks. Cui Bono.!?

    It’s NOT, The Kremlin who’s got their dirty, grubby, bloody claws in Julian Assange, i.e., The Espionage Act charges against Assange were originally brought by Ohbama’s Successor/Assassin-N-Chief, DJTrump & his Board of Executioners, Pence, Pompeo, Bolton, et al.; AND, the political corpse, Biden-Harris, posing as POTUS masquerading as human, “GOT” this, @ stake is The First Amendment, Freedom of The Press, Julian Assange’s LIFE! No One is Safe!

    “It is one of the purposes of the study of history that we learn to oppose it.”

    “Surely, it is foolish to hate facts. The struggle against the past is a futile struggle. Acceptance seems so much more like wisdom. I know all this. And yet there are some facts that one must never, never accept. This is not merely an emotional matter. The reason that one must hate certain facts is that one must prepare for the possibility of their return.

    If the past were really past, then one might permit oneself an attitude of acceptance, and come away from the study of history with a feeling of serenity. But the past is often only an earlier instantiation of the evil in our hearts.

    It is not precisely the case that history repeats itself. We repeat history—or we do not repeat it, if we choose to stand in the way of its repetition. For this reason, it is one of the purposes of the study of history that we learn to oppose it.” ? Leon Wieseltier, Kaddish

    “HEAR! HEAR!” —We MUST turn to KEEP the RECORD of INDEPENDENT media—“IT IS to these media we must turn to keep the record of these past years from being interred so that it finds its proper place in our history, so that we have a fighting chance to learn from the past and avoid repeating it.”

    Patrick Lawrence, absophknlutely makes the right call, “Apple Pie Authoritarianism,” a criminal enterprise with many perpetrators and accomplices guilty of what would stand in a court of law as felonies.” Give us peace, “Book ‘Em!”

    Not only RussiaGate, Julian Assange, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, but the Crises in the Divided $tates of Corporate America, @ the Center of Democrat’s Control (CDC) yields deception, destruction, death Year after year! Succinctly summed up by Patrick Lawrence, “THIS IS too big a lump to be hidden under the carpet, too significant a chapter in American history to be written out of the national narrative.” TY. “KEEP IT LIT!”

  7. May 26, 2023 at 21:19

    Re: “with the already-evident burying of the Durham Report, we now witness the obliteration of a highly significant passage in U.S. history”, c’mon. The media is full of articles and editorials on the Durham report, left and right. I’ve clipped a file full, watched the rest on screen.

  8. RWilson
    May 26, 2023 at 21:11

    The official autopsy report on Robert F. Kennedy found conclusively that he was killed by a bullet to the back of the head fired from a distance of no more than three inches. The convicted man was at all times, according to eyewitnesses, several feet in front of Kennedy. So he could not have fired the fatal shot.

    This information was withheld from the jury by the court appointed “defense” attorney. It was withheld from the American public by the entire corporate press apparatus.

    The obvious conclusion is that the perpetrators controlled both the “justice” process and the corporate press. For example, here is how the CEO of CBS news derailed a re-examination of the Warren Commission report.
    How CBS News Aided the JFK Cover-up

    Rachel Maddow pushed the Russiagate theory from the start, and recently used the Durhan report to exonerate the criminals. From the beginning, Rachel ignored readily avaiable information that revealed the corrupt plot. I knew them from reading Consortium News.

    Rachel is renowned as a consummate con artist, lying brazenly. All the “top” corporate news people today must be the same – O’Donnell, Stephanopoulos, Tapper, Hannity, etc. All these people are hence fully complicit in massive crimes, from the mass murders in manufactured wars for profit, trillion dollar Wall Street “bailout” heists, deceiving the voters in massive election “meddling” schemes, and pushing to gut the 1st Amendment with various censorship operations.

    With all the information today, these people must be aware of their complicity in all these massive crimes. I predict history will record them as among the most obsequious traitors in Amerian history.

  9. wildthange
    May 26, 2023 at 20:50

    A lot of history involves our taking over the Spanish empire now we have become the steward as the new imperial advance guard of a religious sect where the liberals cover for the actions of the conservative upper echelon. With people like Bill Casey moving Reagan ahead of GHWBush and taking the lead for drafting drug cartels as freedom fighters in return for immunity to sell cocaine to the US.

    The Russia gate issues covers for swinging an election away from a feminist and toward a control of the Supreme Court then back to Biden to continue a religious war with Russian Orthodox that seems to have lasted centuries interrupted briefly to witch hunt communism and Brzezinski to promote religious war in Afghanistan.

    The Russia gate attempts to bury a party switcheroo where they triangulate the two parties and seemingly confound the demographers. Then we get 4 full years of late night comedy on Trump as Putin’s poodle. The targeting of Russia as new villain without a soul complete with trying to boycott a Sochi Olympics like a rerun of the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

    We are their poodle and they now have decades for counter-culture war in the Supreme Court to counter the end of the Reagan era sinking in the reality of the 21st century world view that was previewed in the 60’s cold war era.

    Oops but a new cold war pivot to Asia as darkening our horizons still looking to convert Asia to our ways of thinking and speaking and worship of idol threats.

  10. Rafi Simonton
    May 26, 2023 at 20:04


    I thought the HC signs were a meaningful Freudian slip. Revealng how the “Democratic” party has been moving since the take-over where the New Deal was finally buried and labor silenced. They’re neolibs pro-WTO, anti Glass-Steagall. So none of the Wall St. econopaths of ’08 ever brought to justice. Message? No risk! Thus a repeat; the recent bank failures.

    As for U.S. history–the D elite can pretend it’s all better now. This self-declared meritocracy isn’t based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. All you have to have is two parents who were university professors like Harris. Or an Ivy League education like so many in the last few D administrations. Plus shifting the blame onto us lessers, given our ingratitude and resentment, as that “basket of deplorables.” Just never, ever, mention……class.

    How does that assertion of superiority work out? Read Halberstam’s “The Best and the Brightest” and Tuchman’s “The March of Folly.” So now we have B & B 2.0; if only these Ds would explain to us how more wars aren’t more folly.

    The D elite has pushed the arrow all the way to the neocon right. People like Nuland, who worked for Cheney, running the Biden State Dept. Based on Flat Earth map projections of a unipolar world and the PNAC erotic desire for power expressed as American empire. No matter if they have to destroy the planet to save their fantasy.

  11. Mark Oetting
    May 26, 2023 at 17:06

    The worst part is Russia gate probably insures that Donald Trump will be our next president as this report will invigorate his supporters as Biden continues to lose all credibility. The Republican party can’t dump Trump even if though they want to and the DNC will not allow any opposition to Biden especially not from an accepted narrative challenger such as RFK jr. Don’t know what a 2nd Trump administration would look like but based on his first term he has shown he lacks the moral fiber to stand up for the nation even when he believes otherwise but many again will be sucked in by his promises to end the forever wars, crack down on wall street, stop runious free trade agreements, etc. which got him elected the first time not Russia, Not Bigots, rednecks,gun lovers or deplorables. By the way I did not vote for him in ’16 or 20′ Chose to vote for Jill Stein.

  12. Oregoncharles
    May 26, 2023 at 16:40

    A style point: “conspiracy theory” is almost always a bullshit tell. In brief, propaganda, a way to dismiss a claim without bothering to make a case – generally because there isn’t one. In practice, it means “story I don’t like.”

    Ironically, Russiagate is a rare example of a proper use of the term: that is, for an elaborate, concocted story about a nonexistent conspiracy.

    (To be clear: I”m not accusing Lawrence of using it; he blames it on the NYT, I’m sure appropriately.)

  13. May 26, 2023 at 16:16

    Excellent essay revealing the gist of the Durham Report and what it failed to expose. It is a crucial essay for all Americans who value our once great Constitutional Republic created by our Founders. If only those indoctrinated by the mendacious corporate media would read and ponder the meaning and seriousness of Russiagate. Unfortunately, the ones I know are too brainwashed to do so. They love the NYT and WaPo and believe independent media are the problem. They are helping to orchestrate our demise as a free and egalitarian nation.

  14. Sam F
    May 26, 2023 at 15:01

    I have all the proof needed that the secret agencies and judiciary are completely corrupt to the highest level.

    “Russiagate was a criminal enterprise … Abuses of office … were rampant … in the case of the F.B.I.”
    In my case against the DOJ, FBI and HSI for refusing for years to investigate proven political racketeering theft of $120 million by Republican politicians in FL, even while they investigated their Democratic opponent there for mishandling of one-thousandth of that amount, they were in full collusion with massive theft by political racketeers.

    “the Gore–Bush election in 2000 [the federal] judiciary…was corroded at the very highest level.”
    In the above case in DC district court, the judge who gave the FBI a thousand warrants with zero evidence in the FISA court, dismissed the proven racketeering case against those agencies with idiotic excuse that they have monarchical discretion and immunity regardless of Constitution and laws.

    The case also establishes the rank political corruption of Repub and Dem district judges in Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, and California.

  15. lester
    May 26, 2023 at 14:01

    For what it’s worth, history rarely stays buried. There are always revisionists who want to re-tell the story in a different way. Not that politicians or voters will learn from history, with rare exceptions.

  16. May 26, 2023 at 13:43

    Bravo to Patrick Lawrence for this piece on the Durham Report and Historic Memory. Another way Russiagate “changed history” was it deepen the Neo-conservatives project to demonize President Vladimir Putin and Russia paving the way for the Biden, Sullivan, Blinken, Nuland provoked war against Russia using Ukraine as a “sacrifical lamb.” If one wonders why the vast majority of so-called “liberal” and “progressive” Democrats support that war it is because they deeply deeply hate Putin because they believe he was responsible for Trump being elected. The War over Ukraine may actually “end history;” and the “Russiagate” debacle will play a major role in that outcome.

    • Valerie
      May 26, 2023 at 18:23

      “The War over Ukraine may actually “end history;” and the “Russiagate” debacle will play a major role in that outcome.”

      That’s a sad possible outcome George. But this hatred of Putin and by extension Russia, i believe, from my own observations, didn’t just begin with “Russiagate”. Maybe to those “liberal” and “progressive” Democrats, it manifests as the “icing on the cake” in a perverse way. But then, perversity appears in many different guises.

  17. Robert Emmett
    May 26, 2023 at 12:37

    Thank you for use of the term “hoax”.

    “The matter was opened as a full investigation (by the FBI, ed.) without ever having spoken to the persons who provided the information.” (from executive summary of report) Just as might be deliberately done if you were to fake an investigation of a fakery.

    Are there any checks, even so meager as lawyerly admonition, to balance this deeply concocted deed of deception? Oh, yes? Really? Then why weren’t they employed by stalwarts of the rule of law?

    Meanwhile a man walks into an Aussie bar with a Russian fable that eventually could set the whole world ablaze. Maybe it was an op? Operation Butterfly Wing.

    Have you noticed how the apparatus often uses the very terms that most directly apply to themselves but turn them against its mark, in this case, the U.S. public? For instance, the concept of “collusion”.

    Yes, by all means the officially documented (partial) history now shows clear-cut, massive collusion between the FBI & the FISA court, the FBI & the Clinton campaign. A collusion of silence amongst the highest security officials in the Obama administration, including Obama himself. Plus, a collusion of all of the above (including a befuddled, at best, if not deeply implicated, self-serving Congress) with the corporate mass media.

    And nary a ripple now disturbs the quietude of Martha’s Vineyard.

  18. Lenny
    May 26, 2023 at 12:23

    “Allow the Deep State and its appendages to bury U.S. history in this manner and Americans will lose the ability to see anything clearly — you name it: the war in Ukraine, Joe Biden’s senility, the conjured nonsense of “domestic extremism,” and in the end even ourselves, who we are, and what kind of nation we live in. ”

    What you state has already happened.

    Forgetfullness is now the norm

  19. Myriad Mike
    May 26, 2023 at 11:56

    This is an amazing piece, and really burrows into this calamity, this crisis, this treasonous act at the highest levels of government!
    The mere fact that the entire federal government is so corrupted, that there were no arrests following this report, and apparently, no entity that can, or will, pursue it legally, clearly demonstrates that the nation is lost.
    If the state governors had any stones whatsoever, they would send their state police to arrest the conspirators and co-conspirators, and drag them into their respective state jails, legal systems, and courts, the federal law be damned! And if that means Civil War, then so be it, because we either fight it right now, or lost it thru inaction.

  20. Drew Hunkins
    May 26, 2023 at 11:41

    I’ve yet to read the Durham Report. But from the articles I’ve read about it, it seems that it blames almost all of this on the FBI and lets the CIA/intel agencies off the hook. As stated, I haven’t read the report, so perhaps I’m wrong.

  21. Jamie Aliperti
    May 26, 2023 at 11:14

    The Kennedy Assassination was the real beginning of the long, slow-motion coup which culminated in Bush v. Gore and the end not just of our democracy, but of self-government itself. The Oligarchy and its national security enforcers now rule us, and continue the pretense of staging periodic elections only to distract and focus our attention away from that fact. And the coup is only rolling on, imposing ever more conformity and stamping out diversity in service to its captialist ideology and its great free market machine. Their project is not merely to obliterate history, but memory as well. The Nazis actually had a word for this process of sychronizing all elements of society in service to an official ideology: Gleichschaltung.

  22. Antiwar7
    May 26, 2023 at 08:29

    Yes, the Durham Report is a limited hangout: an intentionally incomplete record, intended to bury the rest of the story.

    The US is corrupt beyond fixing, until some collapse happens. Tragic.

  23. Chris Bob Reed
    May 26, 2023 at 07:55

    I live in West Virginia. Joe Manchin touts himself as a maverick, someone who acts independently of the party establishment. Near as a call tell he hasn’t lifted a finger to push back against this Russiagate nonsense.

  24. Michael Kritschgau
    May 26, 2023 at 06:54

    There is a quote from The X-Files which I always loved. It is from the episode “The Blessing Way” and is spoken by Floyd Red Crow Westerman who plays Albert Hosteen, a Navajo. It goes like this:
    “There is an ancient Indian saying that something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. My people have come to trust memory over history. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth. Beware these men for they are dangerous themselves and unwise. Their false history is written in the blood of those who might remember and of those who seek the truth.”

    This quote seem to encapsulate the entire article.

  25. Patrick Powers
    May 25, 2023 at 19:46

    “Americans will lose the ability to see anything clearly”

    Isn’t that the goal of our rulers?

    • Lenny
      May 26, 2023 at 12:25

      Of course.

      This is Fifth Generation Warfare.

      “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”  

      — William Casey, CIA director, February 1981

    • Blessthebeasts
      May 26, 2023 at 12:27

      Americans have been blinded for many years, at least since the Kennedy assassinations. We’ve been told not to believe our very eyes, and instead go along with false narratives that make no sense. It’s baffling to me how many people comply, but I guess it’s just too frightening to face reality.

  26. Linda Edwards
    May 25, 2023 at 19:39

    Very powerful essay.

    Thank you CN and Patrick Lawrence

  27. ray Peterson
    May 25, 2023 at 18:23

    Mr. Lawrence how about a name change for you: Winston Smith I proffer?
    I fear the Deep State controls the future with Durham’s report and
    that the “Second Coming” (W.B. Yeats), is upon us.
    But you and faithful journalists need to keep writing and we
    your readers need to keep talking, until we’re all silenced.

  28. Ed
    May 25, 2023 at 18:11

    Significantly and appropriately the picture of John Durham the accompanies the article portrays him as a man without a mouth.

    • Valerie
      May 26, 2023 at 12:13

      Yes Ed. He reminded me of Sigmund Freud with that stern look.

Comments are closed.