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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Crooked Donald Trump tied to mobster who sold nukes to Al Qaeda. Sad!



Sorry I have been away. Yes, I've been attuned to every hemi-demi-semiquaver of the Trump/Russia connection; yes, I've followed the twitter streams of people like Christo Grozev and Louise Mensch. I don't have time right now for a long piece about all of that.

The Keith Olbermann video embedded above suggests that he has developed sources within the intelligence community. Good. However, I suggest caution: I see an increasing number of indicators that there is an Alt Right faction lurking within spookdom.

When the Sater connection hits big, Trump is going to deny knowing the man. Evidence like this will prove important, as will AP stories like this and WP stories like this.
“Anybody can come in and build a tower,” Sater told potential investors, according to testimony in a 2008 court case. “I can build a Trump Tower, because of my relationship with Trump.”
But Sater is not the only one. It's long past time for this blog to discuss another Russian mobster with a difficult-to-spell Russian name: Semyon Mogilevich. Although his heyday may be in the past, we still need to understand his history.

This story from 2004 speaks of a link between Mogilevich and none other than Osama Bin Laden.
The October 2001 issue of the Russian magazine "Top Secret," relying on sources in Russia's security services, claimed there was a connection between Osama bin Laden and the Russian mafia. According to the magazine's "Black September" article the chief of the largest and most dangerous Russian crime syndicate, Semyon Mogilevich, has met bin Laden's associates in Marbella Spain.

Mogilevich, known as "the brainy don," is said to be the world's most intelligent criminal. He is also very dangerous. When journalist Robert Friedman wrote about Mogilevich's career in a book titled Red Mafiya, Mogilevich allegedly put out a $100,000 contract on Friedman's life. According to Friedman, "hundreds of pages of classified FBI, British and Israeli intelligence documents ... describe him as a malevolent figure who has become a grave threat to the stability of Israel, Eastern Europe, and North America." According to his closest associates, Mogilevich employs Ph.D's on his staff, has penetrated countless banks, owns military and defense industries in more than one country, controls the flow of contraband through Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport and maintains close relations with "former" communist structures and personnel. Friedman states: "He is protected by a web of relationships with high-ranking officials of international security services, high flying financiers, and politicians."
Of course he's in deep with Putin. But it gets better. The following ties in with the preceding post about Russian-linked prostitution rings...
According to Friedman, "Mogilevich's lieutenants are trained in intelligence operations and countersurveillance, and provide warnings of impending police actions...." They are experts at compromising Western security services, especially by making secret agreements to provide information on rival crime groups. Mogilevich's organization blends East Bloc intelligence professionalism with arms smuggling, money laundering, extortion, prostitution, drug trafficking and murder. Meanwhile, Mogilevich's "former" East bloc intelligence professionals are teaching al Qaeda how to set up safe houses and smuggle weapons. (The pay is excellent and the work familiar.)
Now we come to the nuclear connection. As you know, I have predicted that there will soon be a terror event involving a "small" nuclear weapon. Well, guess what?
According to sources near the action, East European mobsters (including Mogilevich's Red Mafiya) are helping al Qaeda to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological materials.
The idea that a police state (Russia) run by a police statesman (Putin) cannot cope with gangsters who steal nuclear, biological and chemical materials is not credible. Vladimir Putin is perfectly comfortable using gangster methods against his political opponents, including "oligarchs" and journalists. Why can't he use these methods against criminals who steal WMDs from Russia's vast arsenal of mass destruction?

Is it possible that "thefts" of Russian WMD materials are somehow useful to Vladimir Putin? After all, the stolen weapons are smuggled by Russian gangsters and "former" intelligence operatives for use against Western countries. If you think about it, Russia's WMDs were built with Western countries in mind.
It has been said that Putin had Litvinenko killed specifically because he (Litvinenko) revealed Putin's links to Mogilevich.

By this point, you are probably asking yourself: Yeah, but where's the Trump connection? Here it is. Felix Sater is part of Mogilivich's organization. John Schindler (referenced by Olbermann, above) says
Sater = Mogilevich...both of them have ties to Putin and to Russian security services. Well known to Western intel.
Sater works for Mogilevich, who supplied WMDs to Al Qaeda and other terror groups. Sater also "got out of jail free" by revealing certain things to the FBI and CIA. It seems pretty obvious that Sater's big revelations had to do with the nukes and CBWs sold to the terrorists.

John Schindler has a lot more to say about Trump and Mogilevich in a series of tweets captured for posterity here. I have arranged the tweets in a more conventionally readable fashion....
You need to understand real estate finance, and Russian organized crime AND Russian intelligence...if you do, the picture is quite clear. Mogilevich is the biggest mob boss in Russia -- maybe the world -- and his capos+footprints are all over the Trump Org since early 1990s.

Mogilevich launders money in the West, including the USA, on a gargantuan scale; he is clever and good at this. FBI knows all about it.

In 1992, Mogilevich sent a capo to NYC to run his US show. That was Yaponchik AKA Vyacheslav Ivankov, who was murdered in Moscow in 2009. Yaponchik/Ivankov -- for 3 years until the FBI caught up with him -- was dividing his time between Trump Tower & Don's Taj Mahal Casino. There are literally dozens of Russian OC scams, some gargantuan, that we know were based at Trump properties -- quite a coincidence.

The real issue is how Mogilevich made the Trump Org one of his overseas subsidiaries, de facto, back in the 1990s. FBI knows this too.

Also, Mogilevich has a very cozy relationship with Putin & his special services, going back to KGB days. They help each other non-stop. Not long after Sasha Litvinenko told reporters about Putin's close links to Mogilevich, FSB gave him atomic tea. Another coincidence. There's an old IC joke about Russian organized crime: "Who do you think organized them?"

Trump being in bed with ROC = in bed with FSB
For more, you may want to check out an online book called Deep Capture. The chapter at the other end of the link includes the eye-opening revelation that Mogilevich was represented by former FBI Director William Sessions, even though the FBI had the Russian on its "Ten Most Wanted" list!

Say what you will about J. Edgar, he never would have sunk that low.

That chapter has some good background on Mogilevich's connections to a $7 billion money laundering scandal involving the Bank of New York -- a scandal which few now recall, though it was big news at the time. I can find nothing online linking Donald Trump to that business; if you know of a link, please shre with the rest of the class. (The scandal did involve another flashy real estate developer named Gene Phillips.)

The chapter also has more on Sater, Bayrock and Tevfik Arif. Now we are undeniably in Deep Trump Territory.
In later years, Felix co-founded a real estate and mortgage outfit called Bayrock. As we will see in later chapters, Bayrock played a role in the larger “bust out” of the mortgage markets, but for the purposes of this chapter, I will note that Bayrock’s former CFO, Jody Kriss, has alleged that Bayrock is a massive money laundering operation. In 2009, Kriss filed a lawsuit to this effect, and noted that Felix had once threatened to have him (Kriss) tortured and then murdered.
There simply is no credible way for Trump to claim that he had nothing to do with Bayrock.
One of Bayrock’s co-founders was Tevfik Arif. In 2011, Arif was arrested in Turkey after Turkish commandos raided a party that Arif was holding on a yacht that had once belonged to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s founding president. Arif, a native of Kazakhstan, was arrested along with a small harem of prostitutes and some unnamed government officials from Central Asia. (It is unclear why the commandos raided the yacht; the media has reported that Arif was charged only with illegally hiring prostitutes, a crime that does not usually result in commando raids).
As we've seen below, the Israeli press reported that the prostitutes were underaged girls from Russia, who were being used to acquire blackmail on VIPs; they were working for Arif. This ties in with what we know about Mogilevich, who is said to run a large-scale prostitution ring, and who obtains kompromat on important people around the world.

It also inevitably reminds us of Trump's old pal Jeffrey Epstein, who also surrounded himself with underaged Russian girls. According to Virginia Roberts, these girls were also used to acquire kompromat on VIPs.

Since the source of Epstein's money remains mysterious, it is fair to speculate as to whether he has had financial dealings with Mogilevich's criminal empire. For all of his personal failings, Epstein is a brilliant man -- and the same can be said of Mogilevich. The two men would seem a natural fit for each other.

I'm not the first person to so speculate. As much as I hate to admit it, a commenter named Rattlesnake, writing in to Infowars -- yes, freakin' Infowars -- got there first, back in 2015. At the time, Alex Jones had no idea that he was publishing material that might one day tarnish his beloved Donald Trump.

Also see this story on Paul Manafort (always a key member of Team Trump, as well as a partner to Roger Stone) and his dealings with Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash. In what follows, Tymoshenko refers, of course, to the former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, who brought a suit against Paul Manafort.
Tymoshenko claimed that CMZ and other Manafort-run firms were backed not just by Firtash but also by Semion Mogilevich, a Ukrainian national deeply involved in Russian organized crime. Tymoshenko’s lawsuit referred to Mogilevich as a “silent partner” in Group DF.

Mogilevich is “involved in weapons trafficking, contract murders, extortion, drug trafficking, and prostitution on an international scale,” according to the FBI.

In a meeting with the American ambassador to Ukraine in late 2008, Firtash “acknowledged ties to Russian organized crime figure Seymon Mogilevich, stating he needed Mogilevich's approval to get into business in the first place,” according to a State Department cable released by Wikileaks.
Trump's people keep associating with Mogilevich and his people. Yet Trump wants us to believe that these associations were glancing or accidental.

The Mogilevich factor is one reason why I think we should be a bit wary of the information we are now getting from the American intelligence community. Remember, this is a guy who brought former FBI Director William Sessions on board. He specializes in forming relationships with people from various intelligence services, not just the FSB.
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Comments:
WOW! What a treasure!
Joseph Cannon wraps it all up in a pretty package with a big, red bow!
Thank you!
 
Hope you don't mind the fact that I retitled the post. Thanks, Aja. Stop by again!
 
Breaking news. An Austrian court has just approved the extradition of Ukrainian oligarch Dmitri Firtash to the US on racketeering charges.
 
"According to justice officials in Austria, Firtash's extradition to Chicago is on hold because Firtash is facing new organized crime charges in Spain." http://abc7chicago.com/news/ukrainian-oligarchs-extradition-to-chicago-on-hold/1768041/
 
Steve Bannon admits that his goal (and Trump's) is the deconstruction of the administrative state -- effectively the elimination of federal government protection for the individual. Arizona has voted to expand racketeering laws to include protesters and protest organizers, meaning police could arrest demonstrators and seize their assets. And the House Republicans are going to kill off any inquiries into Trump's finances.

Oh, these guys are not going to stop. The police state is well and truly coming.
 
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Trump, Arif, Sater, Milo, Epstein...and pedophilia

Milo Yiannopoulos -- Alt Right leader, influential Trump supporter, close associate of Steve Bannon, and keynote speaker at the CPAC conference, is on video appearing to advocate the legalization of sex between boys and older men.
“But you know what? I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him,” Yiannopoulos replied, using a euphemism for male oral sex.
Milo angrily denies that he favors pedophilia, and his words deserve your respectful attention. He says that he has exposed pedophiles -- who happen to be linked to enemies of the Alt Right. This behavior seems motivated not by morality but by vengeance. The closing section of his denial is...strange.
I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That's perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.
A 13 or 14 year-old boy is not pre-pubescent, but he is underaged. Like it or not, a sexual relationship between an older male and an underaged male is, by definition, illegal -- and every gay man knows that.

Trump and Epstein. Coincidentally, this brouhaha erupted just a short while after we learned that Trump's pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, was the slimeball who made that inexcusable deal that let childfucker billionaire (and longtime Trump pal) Jeffrey Epstein off the hook, without informing Epstein's victims. Most people have forgotten that Trump was served with a subpoena in the Epstein case, even though Donnie later denied it. In fact, there is evidence which strongly suggests (but does not prove) that Epstein met his underaged lover Virginia Roberts via Donald Trump.

(I can guess what some of you are about to say: "But Bill Clinton...!" No. You've fallen for a widely-circulated fake news story, as I detail at length in this earlier post.)

Of course, we all recall how Trump liked to pop into the dressing rooms of pageant contestants, some of whom were as young as 15.

But that's not all. This incredibly important piece on Trump's Russian connections describes Trump's links to the shadowy Bayrock group. And yes, this investigative trail does lead back to allegations of pedophilia. Follow along:
Carelessness about due diligence with respect to potential partners and associates is one of Donald Trump’s more predictable qualities. Acting on the seat of the pants, he had hooked up with Bayrock rather quickly in 2005, becoming an 18 percent minority equity partner in the Trump SoHo, and agreeing to license his brand and manage the building.

Exhibit A in the panoply of former Trump business partners is Bayrock’s former Chairman, Tevfik Arif (aka Arifov), an émigré from Kazakhstan who reportedly took up residence in Brooklyn in the 1990s. Trump also had extensive contacts with another key Bayrock Russian-American from Brooklyn, Felix Sater (aka Satter), discussed below. Trump has lately had some difficulty recalling very much about either Arif or Sater. But this is hardly surprising, given what we now know about them.
A little bird tells me that Sater will figure very heavily is some news stories which will appear very soon -- perhaps tomorrow. Right now, though, I want to draw your attention to Arif:
As for Arif, his most recent visible brush with the law came in 2010, when he and other members of Bayrock’s Eurasian Trio were arrested together in Turkey during a police raid on a suspected prostitution ring, according to the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

At the time, Turkish investigators reportedly asserted that Arif might be the head of a criminal organization that was trafficking in Russian and Ukrainian escorts, allegedly including some as young as 13. According to these assertions, big-ticket clients were making their selections by way of a modeling agency website, with Arif allegedly handling the logistics.
Emphasis added. For more on Trump's strong and undeniable links to Arif, see here.

Until now, nobody has suggested in print that the claimed Arif "escort" ring may link up with the Epstein case. Before you scoff at the idea, consider the following four points:

1. Many of the underaged girls in Epstein's "stable" came from eastern Europe. (See here and here.)

2. According to Virginia Roberts, Epstein used those women to obtain "kompromat" on politicians.

3. Tevfik Arif, Trump's business partner, has been accused not only of trafficking in underaged eastern European women, but of using them to "entertain" politicians and powerful businessmen. Again: Kompromat. 

4. Trump associated with both Arif and Epstein. The evidence linking Epstein to Trump is, in fact, far more copious than most people realize.

Bringing it all together. It seems as though Trump is guilty of every accusation he lobbed against Hillary Clinton in 2016. He called her a racist, he said that she was rigging the election, he assailed her for lack of transparency, he said that her foundation was crooked, he accused her of communicating in an insecure fashion, and he even called her a puppet of Vladimir Putin. Each of those claims turned out to be applicable to Trump himself.

Pizzagate may have been a similar exercise in mirror imaging. Although Pizzagate was a massive falsehood, a real pedophile scandal demands investigation. While we cannot (yet) tie this scandal directly to Trump himself, the trail leads to his associates. Not to Democrats, not to liberals, not the imaginary Evil Clinton Conspiracy: To Trump's associates.

Let's get back to Milo: How the hell can he justify working with someone like Steve Bannon, whose history on gay issues is pretty damned awful? How the hell can he rationalize his working relationship with the followers of Russian fascist Alexander Dugin (profiled glowingly by Infowars here), a man who thinks that America's tolerance of gay marriage proves that the U.S. is the kingdom of the Antichrist? Do you think that we all will soon be entertained by the spectacle of Milo defending Dugin on the topic of gay marriage while simultaneously defending "February/December" romances between boys and men?

There are neo-Nazis who hate Milo because he's gay. There are also Alt Rightists who refuse to concede that he is homosexual. I can't pretend to comprehend everything that goes in that world; all I know is that the Alt Right is one seriously screwed-up subculture -- and I wish to hell it had stayed sub.

Let's get back to Felix Sater. Just a few hours ago, Jake Tapper (in an apparent hint of things to come) counseled us to read up on Sater. All right: Let's do that. Start with David Corn, here.

If Josh Marshall has read the tea leaves correctly, Sater may soon become a household name. Sater, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the Putin government have been hammering out a Ukraine peace plan, which Sater gave to General Flynn just before his resignation. Why is this shocking? Because -- as indicated above -- Sater is a shady, sleazy character, and Trump has been trying to pretend that he has no real links to the guy.
Having spent some time studying the matter, the biggest red flags about Donald Trump's ties to Russia and businessmen around Vladimir Putin have always been tied to the Trump SoHo building project in Lower Manhattan, from the first decade of this century. I base my knowledge of this on this rather cursory but still quite good April 2016 article from the Times and my own limited snooping around the Outer Boroughs Russian and Ukrainian emigre press. (I summarized the most salient details of the earlier Times article in Item #3 of this post.) This was a key project, perhaps the key project in the post-bankruptcy era in which Trump appeared heavily reliant on Russian funds to finance his projects. Sater was at the center of that project. The details only came to light after the project got bogged down in a complicated series of lawsuits.

After the lawyers got involved, Trump said he barely knew who Sater was. But there is voluminous evidence that Sater, a Russian emigrant, was key to channeling Russian capital to Trump for years. Sater is also a multiple felon and at least a one-time FBI informant. Bayrock Capital, where he worked was located in Trump Tower and he himself worked as a special advisor to Trump. Again, read the Times article to get a flavor of his ties to Trump, the Trump SoHo project and Russia. For my money there's no better place to start to understand the Trump/Russia issue.

On its own, Trump's relationship with Sater might be written off (albeit not terribly plausibly) as simply a sleazy relationship Trump entered into to get access to capital he needed to finance his projects. Whatever shadowy ties Sater might have and whatever his criminal background, Trump has long since washed his hands of him. (Again, we're talking about most generous reads here.)

But now we learn that Sater is still very much in the Trump orbit and acting as a go-between linking Trump and a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian pitching 'peace plans' for settling the dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
Just how shady is Sater? This Miami Herald piece form 2012 is a must-read:
Now with the collapse of the posh Trump resort, lawyers are fighting to expose the background of the 46-year-old man who they allege stole millions from investors while he was given sweeping protections by prosecutors.

Sater is accused in a civil racketeering case of helping to hide millions from the failed Fort Lauderdale project — while paying $1.5 million to a former Mafia associate for his role in the deal.
Sater has dodged the legal repercussions of his acts by functioning as an informant for both the FBI and CIA.
While the court reels over the leaks, burned investors are angry about another issue: the judge’s decision to seal the racketeering charge — including Sater’s sentence.

Altschul, the lawyer for dozens of Trump tower buyers, said investors were deprived of knowing a key member of the development team had been steeped in financial crime with the mob.

“Do you honestly think they are going to invest in a project when you tell them that one of the people happens to have been involved with the mob? That’s insane,” he said.
Let's return to this piece.
Whatever Felix Sater has been up to recently, the key point is that by 2002, at the latest,19 Tevfik Arif decided to hire him as Bayrock’s COO and managing director. This was despite the fact that by then Felix had already compiled an astonishing track record as a professional criminal, with multiple felony pleas and convictions, extensive connections to organized crime, and—the ultimate prize—a virtual “get out of jail free card,” based on an informant relationship with the FBI and the CIA that is vaguely reminiscent of Whitey Bulger.
By then [2000] young Felix Sater was already well on his way to a career as a prototypical Russian-American mobster. In 1991 he stabbed a commodity trader in the face with a margarita glass stem in a Manhattan bar, severing a nerve. He was convicted of a felony and sent to prison. As Trump tells it, Sater simply “got into a barroom fight, which a lot of people do.” The sentence for this felony conviction could not have been very long, because, by 1993, 27-year-old Felix was already a trader in a brand new Brooklyn-based commodity firm called “White Rock Partners,” an innovative joint venture among four New York crime families and the Russian mob aimed at bringing state-of-the art financial fraud to Wall Street.

Five years later, in 1998, Felix Sater pled guilty to stock racketeering, as one of 19 U.S.-and Russian mob-connected traders who participated in a $40 million “pump and dump” securities fraud scheme. Facing twenty years in Federal prison, Sater and Gennady Klotsman, a fellow Russian-American who’d been with him on the night of the Manhattan bar fight, turned “snitch” and helped the Department of Justice prosecute their co-conspirators.22 Reportedly, so did Salvatore Lauria, another “trader” involved in the scheme. According to the Jody Kriss lawsuit, Lauria later joined Bayrock as an off-the-books paid “consultant.” Initially their cooperation, which lasted from 1998 until at least late 2001, was kept secret, until it was inadvertently revealed in a March 2000 press release by U.S. Attorney Lynch.

Unfortunately for Sater, about the same time the NYPD also reportedly discovered that he had been running a money-laundering scheme and illicit gun sales out of a Manhattan storage locker. He and Klotsman fled to Russia. However, according to the New York Times, which cited Klotsman and Lauria, soon after the events of September 11, 2001, the ever-creative Sater succeeded in brokering information about the black market for Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the CIA and the FBI. According to Klotsman, this strategy “bought Felix his freedom,” allowing him to return to Brooklyn. It is still not clear precisely what information Sater actually provided, but in 2015 U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch publicly commended him for sharing information that she described as “crucial to national security.”
A short while ago, Maxine Waters got on MSNBC and announced that Trump is saying "stupid" things about the media "because of info about to come out on Russia." She also advised people to follow the money.

Sater...?

Remember, the Orbis dossier said that election shennanigans were being covertly funded by Russia via a network of Russian emigres in New York. Sater and Arif are Russian emigres.
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Comments:
I reread the Trump "dossier" last night. Per it, Trump had little involvement in corrupt (presumably dangled) business deals in Russia but accepted a flow of money for his campaign. That's rather hard to believe given what we know about Trump's Soho project etc. The dossier notes. however, that Trump was happy to use Russia as a cover for where the real crimes lay, bribery and corruption involving China and associates. Sometimes one has to exclaim, "You mean there's MORE?"
 
Talk about your criminal immigrants! Projecting again. We all knew it when he charged Hillary with not having the "temperament" to be president.

"Maxine Waters got on MSNBC and announced that Trump is saying 'stupid' things about the media 'because of info about to come out on Russia.' She also advised people to follow the money." Wow.

Can't wait for this next shitstorm. It's everyone's dream that der Donald gets taken down quickly.
 
I'm not comfortable criticising Milo for being a rape victim, or for joking about same. In that same recording he says he thinks the age on consent laws are right as they are now.

That recording is from 2015. Why is it coming up now?

Well, it's coming from the Reagan Battalion. Which is run by Evan McMullin, a few months ago a candidate for president, and described on his Twitter bio as a CIA operative.

Things keep getting weirder.
 
It seems as though Trump is guilty of every accusation he lobbed against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

This, 100%.

He is everything he--and, to a great extent, the far Left--claimed Hillary was.

Someday, I wish that the media would offer up an apology to Hillary, like David Brock did in the late 1990s after he turned against the GOP and their smears of both Clintons. But I doubt that the media would ever do such a thing.
 
I think Josh Marshall must read your blog: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/learning-eye-popping-details-about-mr-sater
 
More dossier investigation/supporting info, this on the money flow from the Kremlin via RU diplomats. https://twitter.com/flightpathbook/status/833681445784842240

Trump Soho did rely on criminal cash, huge unexplained flows via Icelandic banks into Bayrock. All in public domain, try the NY Times story about the lawsuit settlement removing a criminal case.

I'm pretty sure Evan McMullin does NOT run the Reagan Battalion.
 
Milo Yiannopolous calls the very idea of consent "arbitary and oppressive". He clearly advocates sex between older men and children who have reached puberty, "cross-generational" sex as he agrees to call it. He says the men help the children "find out who they are" - meaning presumably that they turn their victims gay. In a table-thumping tone, he says that this shit particularly applies in the "homosexual world", i.e. to men with boys, not men with girls. What a disgusting fucker. Isn't there some law he can be locked up under?

I repeat: he calls the very idea of consent "arbitary and oppressive". Well without an idea of consent, there can be no concept or crime of rape, or of the age of consent.
 
b, it's pretty clear now that Milo wishes he had said something else. He's playing the "Here's what I MEANT to say" game -- and it's not going well.

I think that the "mentor" myth means a lot to some homosexuals. That myth explains why Gore Vidal was always so fascinated by the relationship between Billy the Kid and John Tunstall. And if you re-read Oscar Wilde's "love that dare not speak its name" speech, he seems to be talking about this kind of relationship, not about homosexuality per se.

As long as all parties are of age, I don't suppose any harm is done. Still, it's a little difficult for those outside of that subculture to understand the appeal of this imagery. Heterosexual men don't try to "mentor" the women in their lives, even when the women are younger.
 
By the way, it is cute to see Milo saying "Who ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?" This is a man who once embraced the idea that we now live in a post-fact culture. Why should we believe him when he says "I'm telling the truth NOW"?
 
Some more Trump cronyism links (including Jared Kushner) -- 1 2 3

Emptywheel also has a great post out on Stephen Miller and his call to the DOJ. Roll on police state.
 
Hahahaha haven't read something so ridiculous in a long time....looks like you know Hillary and all the others are about to go down huh?
 
Seems like Felix Sater was moved to respond to Adam Khan (who has documented in detail Trump's ties to Russia):

https://twitter.com/Khanoisseur/status/817505526627975168

You don't have to subscribe to Twitter to see tweets, but here is text of Sater's message:

"I have been reading your tweets. You are completely wrong about the things you write about me. And if you even remotely scratch below the surface you will see that for your self. Either way. Wish you a Happy, Healthy and Joyous 2017 to you and yours."

Khan's timeline is worth checking out.


 
I find Sater's "good wishes" chilling. Thanks, Kathleen: Will check it out.
 
Milo actually seems to be playing a game of "here's what I ACTUALLY SAID", while his critics are relying on no-one actually checking, for example his explicit support for current age of consent laws.
 
Yes, Stephen. Just like Nixon, who said "But it would be wrong" when he suddenly remembered that the mics were hot.
 
Hard to figure the twisted moral calculus that Milo uses to rationalize his attitudes. Michael Hughes' assessment of him as a "Catholic guilt evangelist" is intriguing with regard to his homosexuality:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/barrierbreaker/homosexual-wrong-something-somewhere-inside-says-yes-milo-yiannopoulos/

Also you might want to take a look at the strangely personal and emotional defense of Milo currently being mounted by University of Chicago professor Rachel Fulton Brown. Basically, she's comparing him to Jesus.

http://fencingbearatprayer.blogspot.com/





 
So Dump has multiple connections to underage sex trafficking... Likes to peep in on Teen Miss USA when they are dropping their panties. Hangs out with Jeffrey Epstein who trafficks in underage girls.... one of them apparently from his own Mar a Lago. Brags about liking girls on the young side like his pal Epstein. Travels to Russia in 2013 after saying all this shit. Wins U.S. presidency with Russian help and a cabinet full of fucks with Russian ties. Gets in office and immediately puts in place cabinet members who want to dismantle and destroy USA agencies and infrastructure they are put in charge of. LOL
 
Well, when you put it like that, Anonymous, it looks like Trump was right. He could shot someone dead in Times Square and no one would care.
 
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

From 4chan to Fourth Reich

I finally got around to reading this important piece on 4chan culture and its relationship to the Trump movement. The piece explains the appeal of the Pepe character: He's a perpetual loser, and thus a perfect mascot for young white male losers who have given up all hope. These losers hate women precisely because they know that no girl would ever want to sleep with them.

Enter Milo Yiannopoulos:
Yiannopoulos’ rambling “arguments” against feminism, are not arguments at all, as much as pep talks, ways of making these dis-empowered men feel empowered by discarding the symbol of their failure — women. As an openly gay man, he argues that men no longer need be interested in women, that they can and should walk away from the female sex en masse. For example in a long incoherent set of bullet points on feminism he states:
The rise of feminism has fatally coincided with the rise of video games, internet porn, and, sometime in the near future, sex robots. With all these options available, and the growing perils of real-world relationships, men are simply walking away.
Here Yiannopoulos has inverted what has actually happened to make his audience feel good.
This is familiar. Most older people on the left will recall how, in the 70s and 80s, some lesbians used the argot of feminism to seduce pretty young straight women. (And puh-leeze don't try to convince me that it didn't happen, because everyone knows that it did.)

While reading this article, my mind kept wandering to 1980 and the rise of Reaganism. People forget that Reagan had enormous appeal to college-aged voters, and that much of this appeal was based -- at least at first -- on what we would now call "the lulz."

As many of you know, I went to UCLA. In 1980, someone adorned the front door of the Daily Bruin with an outlandish poster of Reagan as a cowboy, standing in front of American flags, guns, horses, and the rays of heaven shining from above. The imagery was beyond corny. I am quite certain that the person who affixed that image to that doorway did so ironically -- as a form of parody display.

But guess what? Reagan ended up winning an obscenely hefty proportion of the youth vote in that election.

Ever since that election, I've despised the very concept of irony, because it provides an all-purpose excuse for would-be highbrows to embrace the low. Whenever I read a postmodernist art critic extol "irony" as the one true virtue, my mind flashes back to that Reagan poster on the door of the Daily Bruin. Or I visualize a smirking young man who eats shit at a formal dinner table in order to shock the bourgeois. He may tell you that he does it "for the lulz," but then he develops a taste for shit.

Thus, Reagan in 1980. Thus, Trump in 2016.

Superb as it is, the afore-linked article is also incomplete. A comment from someone named Richard J. Anderson fills in the rest of the picture; I take the liberty of republishing his words here. Don't skip or skim: This is important stuff.
I figured out the Project Chanology connection to the alt-right and GamerGate a while back and was thinking of writing something similar. There’s one piece of the puzzle that Dale misses, and that’s the infiltration of 4chan by white supremacist groups like Stormfront, in the wake of Project Chanology.

It wad Project Chanology that elevated 4chan from “curious internet shithole,” to “infamous internet shithole,” and white supremacists saw it as an easy place to recruit. The pre-existing “ironic” racism of /b/ certainly didn’t help, either, but Project Chanology showed that a loose group of trolls whose biggest accomplishment was rigging Time Magazine polls could be mobilized towards something bigger.

Though the white supremacist influx was most seen on /new/ and later /pol/, it infected other boards too. Inside of a couple years, I watched the /mu/ board go from discussion and sharing of music to regular discussion threads about how violent rap music is, and how ugly and crazy various female musicians are. (Grimes was a particular target, especially after her Tumblr post complaining about /mu/.) Other ex-Channers have made similar comments on other boards: how /lit/ started talking more about “degenerate culture”, or /x/ going completely off the rails.

Combine this with the NEETs that hang around on /r9k/, /adv/, and /soc/ desperate for advice on getting laid, and you have a population ripe for radicalization. GamerGate wasn’t the first push by the radicalized 4chan. For that, you have to look at Operation Lollipop, which attempted to disrupt black and feminist Twitter though multiple sock-puppet accounts. (The same tactics were used again during the “#NotYourShield” portion of GamerGate.)

What truly chaps my hide about all of this is how Christopher Poole (moot) takes no responsibility for what he has wrought, and indeed, was rewarded with a cushy job at Google instead.
Funny, isn't it? Before World War II, proto-Nazis spread ideas among young people via sports and nature exploration societies. After World War II, neo-Nazis in Germany and elsewhere tried to seduce a new generation by working within athletic groups.

But today's generation poses a problem. How to appeal to young males who would rather eat their own toes than play sports or go hiking?

The answer: Gamergate. The neo-fascist infiltration of the science fiction subculture provides another example.

This is our future: A Master Race of couch potatoes and basement dwellers and unlovable virgins.
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Comments:
With respect to lesbians seducing straight women, I give you an allegedly feminist novel that you probably didn't subject yourself to, "The Women's Room". I read it 35 years or so ago, so my recollection might be a little bit off, but I'm reasonably certain I'm close enough for our purposes.

There was one actual lesbian, who was, by the way, the only decent person in the book. There were various straight women who were treated poorly by men, most of whom dallied with the lesbian while she rebuilt their self esteem so they could go back and find another man. One woman became a political lesbian after her daughter was brutally raped. The protagonist divorced her doltish husband, then found a much better guy to mess around with (no lesbian therapy required because she was the main character) and then walked away from him when he expected her to move for his work. I had arguments with plenty of other women, especially lesbians, back then because I objected to what I saw as a very negative portrayal of lesbians as either doormats or women who just couldn't deal with men for a period of time.
 
Heinlein. Nothing new about fascists in sci-fi.

Apart from that, wrong on every count, and the linked articles written by ignorant idiots. Pepe isn't a loser. 4chan isn't made up of MGTOWs. Gamergate was nothing to do with 4chan, which banned all discussion of it, and was solely a reaction to gaming websites denouncing "gamers" in general.

The embarrassing "hello, fellow children" nature of the articles would be funny if it wasn't so libellous. 4chan will be happy, though, as it makes them look far more important than they are.
 
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Melania: Nice suit

There are a couple of competing theories about Melania Trump's lawsuit against the Daily Mail.

Theory 1. The suit is purely Melania's idea. She wants money of her own so she can live in luxury after divorcing the tangerine tyrant. Presumably, she signed a prenup which would leave her with very little if she divorced Trump right now.

Theory 2. The suit is Donald Trump's idea. It is the prelude to a larger scheme to cow the media by bringing lawsuit after lawsuit.

Rachel Maddow has hinted in a recent broadcast that she leans toward Theory 2 or some variant thereof. Although I strongly doubt Theory 1, it has gained a number of fans in recent days.

I'm glad that I didn't touch the rumor that Melania had worked as an escort. I had heard the story early on, and even made a few attempts to research the matter. (An "instant book" devoted to this theory showed up on Amazon Kindle. It turned out to be crap.)

Melania continues to seek redress from the Daily Mail. She seems to have settled her case against Webster Tarpley, a right-wing conspiracy blogger who -- I was surprised to learn -- lives here in Maryland.

Perhaps I should be grateful to the guy. When I learned that Tarpley liked the "Melania as escort" story, I immediately decided that it was crap.

I've always been chary of Tarpley because he had a fairly lengthy relationship with the LaRouchies, although I remain unclear as to the exact nature of his place in the organization. I'm also unsure as to whether the connection is ongoing. All I know is that he was hanging out at Casa LaRouche back in the 1980s, when they were up to some evil shit.

Tarpley's resume isn't all bad: He wrote a piece about the Aldo Moro case which I rather liked at the time, although I might have a different opinion if I saw it now. He also co-wrote a hostile bio of "Poppy" Bush which I considered over-the-top but useful. (The footnotes were copious and they usually went to decent sources.) In the early 1990s, that book received wide distribution in liberal-land for the simple reason that there was nothing else like it. I don't know why an actual liberal didn't write an anti-Bush book; such a volume would have sold fairly well.

But then Tarpley got involved with the 9/11 Twoofers, and you know what I think about those people. I also had a glance at his Obama books. Not my cup of tea party.

I don't think that Melania was an escort. Nevertheless, I doubt that she will prevail in her suit against the Daily Mail, because she is clearly a public figure, which places the bar for libel very high. Her claim to have suffered financial damage is not convincing.

That claim is predicated on plans to capitalize on her husband's office for financial gain -- a fashion line bearing the brand of the First Lady. Some would argue such a scheme constitutes a kind of whoring.

(Oh, go ahead and sue, Melania. I have nothing but a nice collection of oil paints and a diabetic rat terrier.)
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Comments:
Well, libel law in the UK is more stringent than in the USA, so she might have a chance if she sued in a UK court.
 
I know the LaRouch gang were a conspiracy of conspiracy theories, I once had one of the books they published, but I'm not sure what elese they got up to.

If she's suing the Mail, she should do it in Britain where the libel laws are much looser. Don't need to show intentional falsehood, or specific financial harm, they Mail will have to prove what they said was true rather than her proving it's untrue, and they have previously taken cases against all manner of foreign press where they have no reasonable jurisdiction, so the Mail certainly qualifies.
 
hm, yes, well, these speculations are just so much fantasy, are they not? so, why not?

as for melania, i simply cannot give the principles in this play to much credit beyond smacking down what they don't like, so hard to say who instigated all this. i have to say, prenup or no, she would never get much from the marmalade scarecrow because he in truth has so little; all leveraged debt will not even buy a cuppa.

as for said goldenrod's intentions to sue sue sue in order to shut down the press, that does not seem at all likely to me. IANAL, but i do know that (a) he has a tacky history of doing such things, to the likes of bill maher, (b) those vanity suits have not gone well for him, and (c) the down side for him would be the almost limitless discovery process. which it is hard to his attorneys doing anything other than avoiding like the plague.

that is one area of relief i feel in all this bluster about the press. and, lest we forget, his widely broadcast default intention had he lost in november was to start up a new network.

bannon knows precisely how to manipulate the masses. hard to imagine melania's suits have not been part of that scheme.
 
Since the election I suffered from a lot of physical and emotional ailments. I cry frequently. Can I bring a suit against someone for that, successfully. IMOI it's murder and someone has to pay for it.
 
Or can all people who voted for Hillary sue (on behalf of America) trump's voters. Class action thing. I am sure a nifty lawyer can find away.
 
Melania is not a very sympathetic character. Women don't like her much. She was treated as a Jackie imitator in the inauguration coverage. Having her recite the Lord's Prayer is a transparent effort to increase her likeability but she sounds like an immigrant whenever she opens her mouth and people are wondering why she gets to live in privilege while Trump is deporting other less good-looking people who are not sexual trophies. This suit isn't going to help make people like her more. She needs to find and do some good works for that, something to indicates self-sacrifice, beyond the bargain she made to live on Trump's money.
 
What the msm wants is to take 'potshots' at politicians with no repercussions.

There is no law that says the 'politician' can't fire back. Trump fires back hard.

The 'namby-pamby' msm can't get used to that. They overreact and say Trump wants to 'stifle' them.

What he wants is to take his own'potshots' back.
 
Nevertheless, I doubt that she will prevail in her suit against the Daily Mail, because she is clearly a public figure, which places the bar for libel very high

That's not true under UK law (as Philip notes above), which is why I'm surprised she filed the suit in New York rather than, say, London. It would be, as they say, a slam dunk in a British court.

Under US law, she'd have to show that there was actual malice - unless she has some evidence of that it's hard to see how she could win. Then again, winning might not be the point.
 
There's no backsies in politics.
 
What Trump wants is to have everyone including the media to agree with him at all times, turn a blind eye to all his lies and exaggerations and allow him to do as he wishes with no checks and balances.
Your attempt at normalizing the behavior of this con man is pathetic.
M
 
Reciting the "lord's" fucking prayer = likability? BARF.

And LaRouche? DEADLY cult that targets damaged college kids.

M, you are a bit strong, but this piece is triggering as hell.
 
Webster Tarpley was effectively ejected from the Truth Movement in 2007 after an incident that became known as the "Kennebunkport Warning". About that time a certain faction of irresponsible 9/11 researchers fell under the influence of a retired Army intel guy, Captain Eric May, who claimed he could predict when the next 9/11 was going to happen based on some kind of numerological analysis. They predicted a number of terrorist attacks, none of which ever happened.

Tarpley issued what he called the "Kennebunkport Warning" about an imminent false-flag terrorist attack. He had a number of Peace Movement figures at some kind of conference in Kennebunkport, and he claimed that he got four of them, including Ciny Sheehan, to sign on to his prognosticative statement. The peaceniks immediately claimed that he had misrepresented the document they were signing, and Tarpley called Ms. Sheehan "a wretched creature".

Tarpley was overwhelmingly dissed by the truth movement after that, and his colleagues Dr. James Fetzer and Dr. Kevin Barrett were largely dissed by responsible truthers as well. None of Captain May's predictions ever came to pass.
 
Anon, I'm very grateful to you for this inside account of Tarpley's interactions with the Twoofers -- and thank you for "keeping it neutral" regarding what I presume to be your own feelings on that matter.

Tarpley is pals with Fetzer? Yeesh. I should have known.

I wish I could devote a post to the information you've given me here, but...jeez. So much is happening right now! I just spent more than an hour writing what I consider an important piece on a pedophile ring allegedly run by a Trump associate. I'd love to keep that piece at the top of my blog for the next few days. But I may have to top it with another post tomorrow morning, because that's how fast events are unfolding these days.

It's maddening! Even *I* don't want to spend THIS much time reading the news...let alone writing about it...
 
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Insanity


In the image above, a billionaire asks for handouts.

What the hell is going on in this country?

This cryptic story implies that Comey just had a very grim, very secret meeting with senators on the intelligence committee. Is Comey finally delivering the goods on Trump? If so, why did the FBI Director do everything in his power to get Trump elected? Or is Comey going to concentrate his fire on leakers, as the vile David Nunes has requested?

Update: Sorry to interrupt in mid-rant, but Hot Air has done some truly marvelous tea-leaf reading. Marco Rubio has suggested in a tweet that Comey managed to turn around some or all of the Republicans. David Frum has suggested that the NYT or another major news organ will soon drop a bombshell. Trump must sense this: He's tripling down on his insane campaign to convince the country that everyone in the news media is a liar. Indications are that the intelligence committee and/or the media will be following the money trail.

Added note: Fox News -- yes, Fox -- offers a remarkable account of the Comey briefing, or what we know of it. 

And now, back to my rant as originally written...

How can the Republican mind rationalize the mutually contradictory claims that the leaks are real but the news based on those leaks is fake?

How can Republicans continue to justify the actions of a man who lets his unvetted Mar-A-Lago cronies in on matters that should be kept confidential? Trump ran on bullshit allegations about the alleged insecurity Hillary's email server, which didn't handle any secret material. (And no, she did not erase 30,000 emails.) Of course, you could never explain the truth to Trump's audience, because most of them don't even know what a computer server is.

Remember when Julian Assange -- the founder of freakin' Wikileaks -- was hypocritically scoring Hillary for the alleged insecure handling of classified information? Now Dear Leader uses insecure systems while letting his country club pals in on things they have no business seeing -- and his hard-core supporters are fine with that. Paradoxically, Trump claims to be aghast at the very idea of leaks, even though he owes his office, in part, to Julian Assange, the former King of Leaks.

The incoherence of Donnie's views are matched by the incoherence of his speech.  I've met a few actual schizophrenics in my time; they usually sounded more lucid than Trump did at that instantly-infamous press conference. We now know that his bizarre performance repelled his chosen replacement for Michael Flynn, Vice Admiral Robert Harward.

You've surely heard or seen these words already, but let's savor them again:
You know what uranium is, right? It’s this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things. But nobody talks about that.
This is literally the single stupidest utterance ever emitted by any American politician. Even Louis Gohmert could not have concocted such a verbal spectacular. "You know what uranium is, right?" I have the horrific feeling that, until recently, Donald Trump did not.

And then there was that exchange with the Jewish reporter -- a reporter who went out of his way to establish himself as friendly to Trump. Yet when this journalist asked What to do about anti-Semitism? Trump reacted as though the reporter was accusing him of being an anti-Semite.

(I've learned from hard experience that the words which right-wing conspiracy buffs hear will often differ from what was actually said. That's why one should never talk to such people.)

Trump ranted about how he is the least anti-Semitic, least racist person in the world, and never mind the fact that he brought a leader of the Alt-Right movement into the White House. The wicked flee when no man pursueth. And the guilty proclaim their innocence when no man questions it.

This is insanity. Insanity.

If I ran SNL, I'd open the show with Alec Baldwin (in character) doing a cover of "I am the Walrus" -- with Spicer, Conway and Death singing "Umpa Umpa" in the background. Nobody would be surprised if Trump's next tweet read "Semolina Pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower. Sad."

The problem goes way beyond Trump: Our entire culture has gone barking bonkers. Across the political spectrum, everyone has entered into an alternative universe in which old opponents become new allies. In truth, I'm not even sure what the spectrum is any more, since the rules of reality have become so deformed.

Take, for example, Louise Mensch, whose twitter feed has become THE go-to place for the latest on the Trump/Russia linkage. She's a British conservative, a former member of Parliament, an employee of Rupert Murdoch, and a one-time Alt Right fellow traveler with profound links to the intelligence community. In normal times, I would consider her part of the problem.

But she sure as hell has the right enemies. The Breitbarters bash her continually, having transformed her into one of their "paranoia pinatas." In their crazed attacks, they trotted out all of the usual cliches, such as "cuck," and "SJW." How clever.

Mensch says that the spooks came to trust her because she was a staunch critic of Snowden. Now she is working with them to expose Trump. Yet Trump (who thinks whatever Fox News tells him to think) has said that he wants to execute Snowden -- and his pal Putin may give him the chance to do so.

Back when things were normal, I ran the sort of blog that gave positive coverage to people like Annie Machon, not Louise Mensch. Hell, I once got mildly drunk on saki with Lou Wolf, editor of Covert Action Information Bulletin.

And yet...here we are.

Where, exactly, are we? How did we get here? And how can we go back to where we were?

Side note: One reason the Breitbarters hate Mensch is her feminism. Although she has been the target of a vicious cyberbullying campaign, she herself got in trouble for making some rather bullying comments about the looks of a reporter. Given these circumstances, am I allowed to confess that I think that Louise Mensch is really pretty? Just what are the rules here? Are there any rules left?

That's the theme of this entire post. What are the rules now? Are there any rules left?

Earlier today, an Australian reader submitted the following comment to the preceding post:
As an Australian I might add not only did the CIA fuck with one of our greatest Prime Ministers who was democratically elected and who in his short time made changes which have served our nation well and not forgetting we are a sovereign nation.. this affair has been canvassed for an American audience in the film "The Falcon and the Snowman" but they organised a coup in neighbouring Indonesia against Sukarno their democratically elected President leaving half a million people dead. There are blogs here confirming Anne Dulles - Obama's mother was centrally involved. This has given us a deeply autocratic military government to deal with - who also have a million man army but has seen both US European and Australian companies seriously rape the joint - look into the plight of West Papua if you want to understand the brutality and the desecration... So thank you CIA - Trump may well be a dead man walking if this is true and god only knows what sort of deal he'd make with Putin but if he gets a chance to fuck the CIA - and I mean seriously fuck with them - hold them responsible for what they have done then I'm liking him more and more...
My response:
Simon, much of what you say is quite true. I will be the first to admit that -- when viewed from an Olympian remove -- there is a kind of cosmic justice to what is happening to the U.S. right now, in that a government which has subverted and shaped so many other governments is now getting a taste of what it feels like.

Here's the thing: I don't live on Olympus. I live HERE. I can't see issues through the eyes of an historian looking back from the year 4000. I'm living right NOW. And I'm concerned that, with Trump in charge and destroying the EPA, we may not live to see 2100, let along 4000.

Now let's get to your most questionable claim. Obama's mother was named Stanley Ann Dunham, not Anne Dulles. You may not know this, but THIS blog was probably the first to detail the evidence that she may have had a relationship with CIA.

Since I wrote that series of articles (before the election of 2008), I've looked for further evidence to prove the idea. Hell, I even looked up her book about rural life in Indonesia. (And of course, I read bios of both of Obama's parents.)

I don't know of any evidence that Ann had any connection with the Sukarno coup per se. She did, however, marry a man who functioned as the point man connecting Suharto and American oil, and in my articles, I certainly raised questions about THAT.

I'm curious to learn about the "blogs" you cite. I suspect that you are referring to Wayne Madsen, who basically copied everything that I did without once citing me. (Check the chronology of our work and you'll see that I came first.) He added some material, but nearly all of it is dubious. I read his book on the subject, and it is TERRIBLE, brimming with extraneous items that have no relationship to his main thesis. As an old girlfriend of mine used to say: "That's not an essay. That's a brain dump."
While writing those words, I felt a twinge of nostalgia. I want to get back to the days when I was a critic of the wrongs committed by CIA and MI6. I want to get back to the days when I told people to read Lobster, not the tweets of Louise Mensch. I want to get back to the days when I felt comfortable discussing things like the Sukarno coup, the CIA's involvement in the removal of Gough Whitlam and a thousand cognate intelligence scandals, including the "fingerprints of intelligence" which I (and some others) have discerned on Barack Obama's resume.

If I had any confidence that Trump would reveal this hidden history and take steps to rectify the evils of the past, I'd be much less concerned about what's going on right now.

But Donald Trump is no do-gooder. He's an Alex Jones listener, not a William Blum reader. He doesn't want Truth and Reconciliation; he doesn't want peace and justice. He wants to transform the American military and intelligence community into ruthless attack dogs loyal only to him. Not to the country, not to any higher ideals: Just him.

Trump wants to transform the American intelligence community into something like the NKVD under Stalin. Worse, Trump is probably as crazy as Stalin himself was in his final days, when he was blathering on about the Doctors' Plot.

Like it or not, only the spooks can expose Trump. Let's hope they dethrone him before it's too late.
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Comments:
Some bits and pieces FYI, Joseph. James S. Henry has written an outstanding background piece on Trump's Russia connections.

Last June Trump sent Chris Christie on an errand to pick up Big Macs from McDonald's. And last Tuesday at the White House Trump invited guests to choose what they wanted from the menu. To Chris Christie -- "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf." Trump likes to own people. I have met a few like him. They are serious nut jobs.

And apparently white supremacist Stephen Miller is writing everything in the White House to do with immigration policy.

The new choice to replace Michael Flynn? -- it's either John Bolton or William Boykin. I can hardly wait.
 
Joe,
Please quit using the term "Alt-Right movement" to refer to the white supremacist, neo-nazi gang. Call them what they really are.
 
Louise Mensch is certainly quite good looking, yes. As a source, though, I'd stick with Moby.

She seems to be extremely paranoid about Bannon, thinking he runs ProPublica and impersonates White House leakers. She's also claimed the terrorist attack on a nightclub in Turkey was a Russian false flag. She should have stuck to writing "romance novels".

 
Regarding Trump's attack on the Othodox Jewish reporter: the transcript published by the New York Times certainly does not help.

QUESTION: So first of all, my name is (Inaudible) from (Inaudible) Magazine. I (inaudible). I haven’t seen anybody in my community, including yourself or any of the — anyone on your staff of being (OFF-MIKE).

Because (OFF-MIKE). However, what we’ve already heard about and what we (OFF-MIKE) is (OFF-MIKE) so you’re general forecast (ph) like 48 (OFF-MIKE). There are people who are everything (ph) happens through their packs (ph) is one of the (OFF-MIKE)...

(CROSSTALK)

 
Fox seems to have pulled its article that you linked to. Fortunately, I found it on the Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20170218235521/http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/18/amid-russia-concerns-comeys-closed-door-hill-visit-results-is-uncanny-silence-among-lawmakers.html
 
You might want to explain why authentic left luminaries like Glenn Greenwald and the only Dem worth voting for for president when he ran, Dennis Kucinich, say the exact opposite about whom is the most dangerous in the battle between the warmongering intelligence community and Trump.

 
Oh barf. A Kucinich nut. I met him. He's no Howard Dean. And anyone who actually dug into Kookinich's history knows...blech. Racist and opportunist. Let's use patriarchal terms: a hideous SHRIMPY troll no woman in the world would rate above a 2 (even when feeling generous) nabs a tall British doll. Who. fucking. hobnobs. with. Breatharians. Look it the fuck up. Breathefuckarians. That explains all.

Look, if you showboat support Kucinich, Nader, Sanders, Rand or Ron Paul, you are neither an independent or progressive thinker: you are a sexist blockhead. And worse: proud of it. Snort! Something in you is shrimpy indeed. Intellect, or something south of that. Bye, crawldaddy. Back into the mud with you.
 
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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trump's biggest secret

Folks, I think I've figured it out. I think I know THE big secret that the Trump administration is keeping from the public and Congress.

No, this secret has nothing to do with urine or hookers: Our society has become so debauched that Trump might survive the uproar even if Putin released the video. Hell, his approval ratings might even rise.

I'm talking about something else, something so horrible that, if it became known, not even the most demented disciple of Alex Jones could muster up a rationalization.

Trump's big secret should have been obvious for the past two weeks. Just for fun, I have decorated this very post with visual clues. Let's see if you can guess the Big Secret before I spell it all out.

As it happens, a previous post mentioned the key fact you need to know, but not in a way that turned on all the lights. I was still in darkness myself. The lights came on only when I listened to this Sam Seder interview with the marvelous Marcy Wheeler.

Hm. How to proceed...? What would be the most effective way for me to flip the "on" switch and lead you good people out of the same darkness I was in until this afternoon?

Let us begin by noting that each day's news cycle reveals more about the depth and scope of Team Trump's ties to Putin. Kurt Eichenwald has revealed that allied intelligence services have been listening in on  the Trumpers.
Moreover, a Baltic nation is gathering intelligence on officials in the Trump White House and executives with the president’s company, the Trump Organization, out of concern that an American policy shift toward Russia could endanger its sovereignty, according to a third person with direct ties to that nation’s government.
The Western European intelligence operations began in August, after the British government obtained information that people acting on behalf of Russia were in contact with members of the Trump campaign. Those details from the British were widely shared among the NATO allies in Europe. The Baltic nation has been gathering intelligence for at least that long, and has conducted surveillance of executives from the Trump Organization who were traveling in Europe.

These operations reflect a serious breakdown in the long-standing faith in the direction of American policy by some of the country’s most important allies. Worse, the United States is now in a situation that may be unprecedented—where European governments know more about what is going on in the executive branch than any elected American official.
These intelligence operations against the United States come as a result of allied concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s designs to damage NATO and whether Trump intends to follow a policy path that would embolden Russia. In addition, they are apprehensive about whether a newly strengthened Moscow would use its energy weapon—Western Europe obtains almost 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia—to push aggressive policies with little objection from the Trump White House.
Now let us turn to former NSA guy John Schindler, who has been tweeting some pretty ballsy stuff, such as his prediction that Trump will die behind bars:
IC thinks Trump is a traitor. I'll leave to actual lawyers to assess that, but it's quite a day in any democracy when the spies think such.
("IC" = intelligence community.) Is Schindler as plugged-in as his words suggest? Is he reliable? Some consider him dubious, but I think that his feed bears watching.

The following comes from his piece in yesterday's Observer:
Just a few days ago, I broke the story that the National Security Agency, the country’s most prolific and secretive spy service, was withholding highly sensitive intelligence from the White House, fearing that it might be compromised by members of Team Trump who possess unsettling links to Moscow.
The WSJ has independently confirmed this claim.
U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised, according to current and former officials familiar with the matter.
We've heard a lot about leaking in recent days. I think that the biggest leakers are high-level members of this administration. 

Right now, let's return to Schindler's piece in the Observer. Naturally, he goes over the Flynn affair, which this blog has already covered at some length. Schindler correctly points out that it made no sense for Flynn to offer a deal on sanctions without Trump's go-ahead.
As The New York Times reported, NSA intercepted numerous conversations between members of Trump’s inner circle and senior Russian intelligence officials, as well as other Kremlin power-players. Although NSA sources did not reveal the content of those calls—and even specified that to date, no signs of collusion in hurting Clinton’s campaign had been found—the appearance of something worse than mere impropriety was unavoidable.
"Something worse"? Damn straight.

Have you been able to guess what that "something worse" almost certainly is? Come on, people. Wake up.

Just take another look at the illustrations above, and then apply some simple deductive reasoning. Try to think like dear old Jim Angleton, the CIA's chief counter-intelligence officer in the 1950s and '60s.

Russian intelligence has reverted to its former practice of referring to the United States as the "Main Adversary." If you are Vladimir Putin, former KGB agent, what is the one thing you would love to learn from your Main Adversary?

Suppose Vladimir were to gain a pal in the White House. Suppose that pal had the highest security clearance. Suppose that pal were someone on the level of, say, Steve Bannon or Michael Flynn -- or Trump himself. What's the first thing that Putin would want such a pal to tell him?

I've already given you the answer.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MOLES, DUMMY!

The first thing Putin would want to know is: "Who are the American agents within the FSB?" Let's go to the chronology:

1. Trump took the office on January 20.

2. On January 31, the following appeared in Foreign Policy:
Sergei Mikhailov, allegedly detained at a board meeting last December, and his deputy, Dmitry Dokuchaev, were arrested by the Kremlin on Jan. 27 for treason and illegal hacking. Then, on Tuesday, Russian news agency Interfax, after hearing from unidentified sources, reported that they, along with Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of cybercrime investigations at Kaspersky Labs, and a fourth, as yet unnamed person, are suspected of passing along secret information to the CIA — or of passing it to someone who passed it to the CIA. The Kremlin, for its part, has refuted such claims through spokesperson Dmitri Peskov, who said, “…we categorically deny any assertions about the possible complicity of the Russian side in any hacker attacks,” adding, “All the suspects have been charged with high treason. This is the sole count in the case. There are no other accusations.”
Now go here:
For the first time in decades Muscovites in recent days heard that Russia’s most secret law enforcement agency had arrested one of its own top officers, and it happened in the middle of an official meeting. Like a scene out of some Brian de Palma movie, FSB officers grabbed their colleague and put a bag over his head—and afterward made little or no effort to keep what they had done a secret.

Sergei Markov, a member of the Public Chamber in the Russian parliament and adviser to the Kremlin, confirmed the incident to The Daily Beast.

“In early December, FSB Colonel Sergei Mikhailov, who was responsible for cyberwars and cyberattacks… was arrested by the FSB; yes, with a bag over his head,” he said.
When these stories first appeared, everyone thought about those arrested individuals purely in terms of the DNC hacks. Observers wondered: Did those four lead the hacking? Was Putin trying to cover his tracks? Was he signalling the Americans in some obscure fashion impossible for mere mortals to comprehend?

I now believe that we all overthought the matter. Although an appreciation for nuance and complexity is usually laudable, we shouldn't run the maze when we have a direct path to the truth. K.I.S.S. remains good advice: Not for the first time in the history of counterintelligence, the situation is actually a great deal more straightforward than everyone originally presumed.

The CIA painstakingly recruited these four people years ago. They were valuable American assets placed deep within the Russian intelligence structure. Then Trump got into office, and Bannon and Flynn got clearances. Suddenly, those four assets had bags placed over their heads and they were led off either to prison or doom.

I suspect that Bannon or Flynn or another Trumpkin simply gave them up.

Trump once said that his followers would forgive him if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. What if four American assets -- people working for our interests -- were consigned to the flames of Moloch as sacrifices to Donald Trump's ambitions? Would Trump's followers forgive that?

You may have already read this article, which discusses Bannon's leadership position within the Alt Right movement.
The Alt-Right Embraced Putin As Their Path to Power

The Alt-Right found itself banished to the margins of American society. They also found themselves believing that their values were more in line with Putin's. They agreed with Putin's crack down on gays and his anti-Western liberalism stances. They found that they shared Christian "Traditionalist Nationalist" or “Paleoconservative” views with Putin.
Steve Bannon on Putin:
When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism; he’s got an adviser who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that.

One of the reasons is that they believe that at least Putin is standing up for traditional institutions, and he’s trying to do it in a form of nationalism — and I think that people, particularly in certain countries, want to see the sovereignty for their country, they want to see nationalism for their country. They don’t believe in this kind of pan-European Union or they don’t believe in the centralized government in the United States. They’d rather see more of a states-based entity that the founders originally set up where freedoms were controlled at the local level.

* * *

[W]e the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s [Putin] talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism — and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing. I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors, and that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.
Evola was an intellectual founder of fascism. Bannon is too chickenshit to use the F-word, so he resorts to eupehmisms like "traditionalist" and "nationalist."

The Evola of our current era is Putin's friend and philosopher-in-chief, Aleksandr Dugin. We shall have much more to say about him.
The Russian ultra-nationalist dubbed "Putin's Rasputin" by Breitbart News when it was run by President Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has emerged as an unlikely foreign-policy fixer for the Kremlin.

Alexander Dugin, whose bushy beard gives him a passing resemblance to the Siberian mystic who bewitched the last czar's family, says he played a key but largely clandestine role in patching up Russia's relations with Turkey, an account confirmed by a senior figure in Ankara. And with people he calls ideological allies now in the White House, Dugin says he's bullish on better ties with the U.S., too.
Some of you may complain that my argument comes down to post hoc, ergo propter hoc: Trump gets into office; ten days later, four of our spies in Russia end up with bags over their heads. Cause and effect? Just because it happened after, should we presume that it happened as a result of?

My response: Chronology may not be causality, but in this case, it's really, really, really suggestive. The "bagging" of those four spies was without precedent in the history of espionage; so major an effect had to have an equally major cause. I've asked you to look not just at the timeline but also at Bannon's ideological linkage to Putin -- not to mention all of the other evidence of Team Trump's ties to Russian intelligence.

Some of you may argue that I have not offered the kind of evidence required in a court of law. Guess what? Counterintelligence officers don't play by those rules.

If the thesis presented here gains traction elsewhere, pro-Trump trolls will surely respond with their usual exercises in casuistry and name-calling. Those exercises will be a waste of time. In a spy-vs-spy case, public perception is immaterial. If I'm right, the Trumpers have gotten themselves into the kind of mess that can't be fixed by a propaganda campaign, because the key audience is propaganda-resistant.

If Bannon or one of the other Trumpers burned a group of important assets cultivated by our intelligence community, then they've pissed off the See-fucking-Eye-A. Dim they ain't. They cannot be bamboozled by the same tricks that fool the rubes who tune into Fox News and Alex Jones. Trolling and name-calling won't work on that community; neither will they be sidetracked by "nuanced" counterarguments based on academic hairsplitting.

I think that IC knows damned well what happened to those four burned agents. I don't think that the IC gives a damn about what you or I consider ironclad proof.

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the spook.

Schindler has predicted that Trump will die in prison. I wouldn't bet against that idea.

And I doubt that this guy can solve Trump's "spook problem." In a future post, we'll probably take a closer look at Stephen Feinberg, friend to Steve Bannon. For now, I'll leave you with this observation: When I look at photos of Feinberg, I hear that famous line from The Music Man -- "But he doesn't know the TERRITORY!"
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Finding out there are moles in your intelligence service doesn't mean you get rid of them. Perhaps they were kept in place before the election to feed disinformation to America, either to stop interference in Trump's rise to power, or to tell the CIA Trump is a Russian agent to destabilise America. They are now no longer useful, and have therefore been eliminated.
 
Thank you Joseph. Here is some more info on Evola and the alt-right. http://visupview.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-return-of-sith-lord.html
 
Thanks for Schindler's Twitter feed, I'll watch.

Listened to Alex Jones on Joe Rogan's podcast yesterday. Idiot Jones thinks The CIA is fully in Trumps pocket. Obviously the opposite is happening, they are taking him out. Phil Agee was hounded by the Agency for the rest of his life after he wrote his books on the CIA, revealing names of operatives/assets.
Heads will roll if this is the case.

 
I agree with your analysis and posted a comment to this effect today on the Hill.
 
Die in prison? More likely a prisoner exchange. Probably the 2015 campaigns and primaries were front loaded, Trump's free media exposure saturation made his victory certain. The NSA, et al., needed some serious rehabilitation, even becoming heroes and saviors, and they knew who they could put up who would screw the pooch. For a minute there, Trump was ready to claim that the spooks knew that 1968 candidate Nixon did worse when he secretly interfered with LBJ's Paris Peace Talks, offering North Vietnam a better peace, and that candidate Reagan did worse in 1980 when his folks interfered with Carter's efforts to free the hostages being held by the Iranians after they overthrew the Shah. But giving up assets, as you say, means he doesn't get a mulligan like those lesser monsters got.
 
So, if this dummy may try to nutshell: you think it was because of the bagged and grabbed assets that the intelligence community turned on Trump? Even if the media is too stupid or corrupt to dig into this, should they not at least ask der Donald that since the intelligence community does not trust him with classified material, does not that lack of trust mean he should resign as too untrustworthy to hold his office?

I know you've been connecting a lot of dots, but for the non-espionage savvy folks out here (I maybe the only one?) Do you think the M-KATE airplane is connected with the deal you wrote about before? This one:

"In other words, Russia loaned the money that came back to Russia as part of that deal.

Does that make sense to you? Me neither. I'm no business expert (and I would dearly love to hear from those who have such expertise) but it looks to me as though Russia has paid for the privilege of selling one-fifth of its most valuable commodity.

And why would the buyers wear masks on top of masks?"
 
I'm your M-Kate and Witness E commenter (the same one). Just to note that the dossier already describes the intelligence relationship as mutual - i.e. the Kremlin was getting intel in return, described in terms of reporting back on RU oligarchs/expats in the US. It would not be a stretch to consider your conjecture possible.

On the other hand, Schindler earlier posted that the roll-up of assets could be theatrical, and not to assume anything with certainty about them.
 
Does this mean that the entire Hillary Clinton email investigation was just a ruse by the FBI to create distraction so that the FBI and CIA Russian mole's would remain a secret, and safe?
Or does it mean that Snowden's files revealed who the moles were but Russia waited until after Trump was elected before removing them?
If the Russians knew who the moles were a couple of years ago, they could have been feeding their moles disinformation that helped elect Trump, and now they were not needed anymore.
 
It's quite the irony: Evola's followers were key pawns in the old Italian "strategy of tension," and today Dugin's followers are pawns in Putin's game. Whichever side of the geopolitical fence they're on, the people who make a such big fetish about "sovereignty" end up being the biggest dupes of all.

-Anon1234
 
19.5% of Rosfnet seemed like a stiff price to pay for the presidency straight up. The four assets make sense, including the dead spook who spilled to Steele. Given Trumps simple minded vulgarity, is it any more than a high wire theft - ala Hans Gruber.
 
Some fascist.
Evola refused to support Mussolini or Hitler. Considering them too "populist" rather than Traditionalist.
Try again.
 
Evola supported both Mussolini and Hitler. What he didn't do was hand out leaflets bearing their likenesses and tell people "Hey, everything these guys say is exactly right". Being an aristo elitist, he was nobody's follower when he shat out his diarrhoea prose. Anyway I don't think Hitler ever called himself a fascist, so if you want to oppose the use of the term "fascist" by those who generalise about movements and regimes that share similar characteristics, why mention him?

The US has no ancient traditions to found a "traditionalism" on. It's too young a country. If that weren't enough, only about a half of US citizens have both their parents and all their grandparents born in the US. US fascists such as Bannon and Ledeen won't be reading up on the ancient traditions of the Native "Americans". They look to European fascism for inspiration. It's quite interesting that Bannon is into Lenin too, so red fascism gets a look-in.

The statist form that Evola loved most of all was the "order": the SS rather than the NSDAP.

Trump is still protected by his own private security force in the White House, which is loyal to himself and the Trumpenfuhrer Organisation. That is something that should be looked at. It's not just that his family and company are still doing business. Unless anyone tells me differently, I will assume that his security guys haven't been disarmed. So we have gun-toting private company goons strutting around the fucking White House. So much for the famed "constitution" and its checks and balances. The constitution does NOT stand in the way of a dictatorship.
 
As an Australian I might add not only did the CIA fuck with one of our greatest Prime Ministers who was democratically elected and who in his short time made changes which have served our nation well and not forgetting we are a sovereign nation.. this affair has been canvassed for an American audience in the film "The Falcon and the Snowman" but they organised a coup in neighbouring Indonesia against Sukarno their democratically elected President leaving half a million people dead. There are blogs here confirming Anne Dulles - Obama's mother was centrally involved. This has given us a deeply autocratic military government to deal with - who also have a million man army but has seen both US European and Australian companies seriously rape the joint - look into the plight of West Papua if you want to understand the brutality and the desecration... So thank you CIA - Trump may well be a dead man walking if this is true and god only knows what sort of deal he'd make with Putin but if he gets a chance to fuck the CIA - and I mean seriously fuck with them - hold them responsible for what they have done then I'm liking him more and more...
 
Simon, much of what you say is quite true. I will be the first to admit that -- when viewed from an Olympian remove -- there is a kind of cosmic justice to what is happening to the U.S. right now, in that a government which has subverted and shaped so many other governments is now getting a taste of what it feels like.

Here's the thing: I don't live on Olympus. I live HERE. I can't see issues through the eyes of an historian looking back from the year 4000. I'm living right NOW. And I'm concerned that, with Trump in charge and destroying the EPA, we may not live to see 2100, let along 4000.

Now let's get to your most questionable claim. Obama's mother was named Stanley Ann Dunham, not Anne Sulles. You may not know this, but THIS blog was probably the first to detail the evidence that she may have had a relationship with CIA.

Since I wrote that series of articles (before the election of 2008), I've looked for further evidence to prove the idea. Hell, I even looked up her book about rural life in Indonesia. (And of course, I read bios of both of Obama's parents.)

I don't know of any evidence that Ann had any connection with the Sukarno coup per se. She did, however, marry a man who functioned as the point man connecting Suharto and American oil, and in my articles, I certainly raised questions about THAT.

I'm curious to learn about the "blogs" you cite. I suspect that you are referring to Wayne Madsen, who basically copied everything that I did without once citing me. (Check the chronology of our work and you'll see that I came first.) He added some material, but nearly all of it is dubious. I read his book on the subject, and it is TERRIBLE, brimming with extraneous items that have no relationship to his main thesis. As an old girlfriend of mine used to say: "That's not an essay. That's a brain dump."
 
Simon,
There are lots of things that do not get discussed openly or rationally in the US. American foreign policy over the years has given cause to religious/nationalistic movements around the world. The effects of these policies are swept under the rug and at times forgiven by the public as "the price of power'.
I am not excusing or making lite of what America has done in the name of national interest.
You just have to understand that at this moment, in blogs such as this, we are talking about our National identity. We are worried about the heart and soul of our nation. In order to fix or even contemplate our past mistakes, we need to get our house in shape first.
So, please allow us a little room to deal with our sometimes crazy, misinformed, ignorant, gullible, racist, gun toting, marginalized population and their wet dream of President.
As citizens, we do not always agree with our government, as I suspect is the case with your country's citizens. Why else would Australia back the US in every unfortunate misadventure and untrainable position.
M
 
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

WHAT A DAY! (Update. And it's a really WOW update.)

The big update: I've written a lot today. As in: A lot. I had no intention of writing more. And then...and then....

THIS.
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said.
The aides in question: Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger fucking Stone. The very three names predicted two or three posts down. (Note: I did not do the predicting. I merely hoped.)
All of the men have strongly denied that they had any improper contacts with Russian officials.
If you can't believe the King of the Dirty Tricksters, who can you believe? I hope that the FBI grilled Stone closely. And I hope that if he lied to the feebees in any way, however slight, he'll receive the same treatment meted out to Martha Stewart.

Remember: Just hours ago, Sean Spicer (or, as some call him, Melissa) was claiming that nobody from Team Trump had any contact with Russia before the election.

Here's a reaction from John Aravosis:
We are seriously at the point of wondering whether our president has committed treason. Whether he is a knowing agent of a foreign power, and for all intents and purposes a foreign “enemy” of the United States. There is no other way to frame this.

Hillary Clinton would have been facing impeachment charges at this point.

I just don’t even know what to say, this is so bad.
You want to do something about all of this? CLICK THIS LINK NOW.

Time to kick ass, my friends, because the Republicans still think that Trump is going to be useful to their crusade to screw over the American people.
"I just don't think it's useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We'll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we're spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense," Paul said.
That's Rand Paul, just in case you were confused. Actually, Paul is the one acting confused: He seems to think that the GOP will be allowed to focus on policy issues.

No, Mr. Paul. Not while we have a marmalade madman selling out the nation to a foreign power. Give up on Donnie, give us a President Pence, and you'll be amazed at how much easier your project will become.  

And now we return to the post as originally conceived...

This is my third post on the Flynn affair, which may go down as the most extraordinary spy scandal since Dreyfuss. I had not planned to write any more today, but this line of unreasoning deserves a response. The headline sums up the whole argument: "America's spies anonymously took down Michael Flynn. That is deeply worrying."

No. Nuh-uh.

Everyone knows that I'm (usually) a privacy advocate and a critic of many covert operations. But those concerns don't apply in this case.

Look at it this way: My late father worked on the space program back in the 1960s. Career-wise, he pretty much was Howard Wollowitz from Big Bang Theory, although temperamentally he was somewhere between Leonard and Sheldon. Obviously, my father had a security clearance. The FBI investigated him quite thoroughly; they also questioned him about co-workers who needed clearances. And properly so.

You know damned well that if my Dad had contacted the Russian ambassador in DC, the FBI would have found out. They probably would have acquired a transcript of the entire conversation. And properly so.

Now let us suppose, hypothetically, that my Dad did not just design equipment used by NASA. Let us posit that he had also worked on a 1964 political campaign (for any candidate) -- and at the same time was in contact with the Soviet ambassador, or, hell, any other Russian. The matter almost certainly would have spilled over into the newspapers. And properly so.

(Of course, we are speaking hypothetically; my father never would have talked to anyone from the USSR without permission. He was a patriot and proud to work on projects Gemini and Apollo. He never got involved with politics, although he was a great admirer of JFK.)

General Michael Flynn was the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a key adviser to Donald Trump. Can you honestly argue that the FBI was not justified in learning what Flynn had to say to the Russian ambassador? Can you honestly argue that the public had no right to learn that Flynn had -- at the very least -- rendered himself susceptible to blackmail?

Funny you should mention that... Trump's current troubles have given rise to some pretty good jokes. Here's my favorite:

What does Mike Pence say to his wife when he comes home each night? "Not yet, hon."

From Christo Grozev:
"Kim Jong Un's Brother murdered with poisoned needles" << sorry, Kim, good try but you can't compete with US politics at this point.
So. Are you people tired of winning yet?

Dan Rather has turned into someone I actually like:
We are still less than a month into the Trump Presidency, and many are asking that question made famous by Tennessee Senator Howard Baker those many years ago: “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” New reporting suggests that Mr. Trump knew for weeks. We can all remember the General Michael Flynn’s speech from the Republican National Convention – “Lock her up!” in regards to Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton had done one tenth of what Mr. Flynn had done, she likely would be in jail. And it isn’t just Mr. Flynn, how far does this go?

The White House has no credibility on this issue. Their spigot of lies – can’t we finally all agree to call them lies – long ago lost them any semblance of credibility. I would also extend that to the Republican Congress, who has excused away the Trump Administration’s assertions for far too long.

We need an independent investigation. Damn the lies, full throttle forward on the truth. If a scriptwriter had approached Hollywood with what we are witnessing, he or she would probably have been told it was way too far-fetched for even a summer blockbuster. But this is not fiction. It is real and it is serious. Deadly serious. We deserve answers and those who are complicit in this scandal need to feel the full force of justice.
Michael Moore has also turned into someone I like:
Let's be VERY clear: Flynn DID NOT make that Russian call on his own. He was INSTRUCTED to do so.He was TOLD to reassure them. Arrest Trump.
Precisely. That's the reason why this story won't go away: Nobody in his right mind believes that Flynn made that call all on his lonesome.

Some wild-n-wooly theorizin' is going on out there. My readers have sent in a couple of intriguing links.

1. A Putin link to Weinergate? This one's wild, but there are a few points of overlap between this theory and some of my own much-despised speculations.
It was the Comey letter that handed the election to Trump. Even if corrupt elements in the FBI Field Office in New York, penetrated by Russia, forced Comey’s hand – even if Russian hacker Nikulin did plant emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer – there had to be a “separate criminal case” in the first place for the NYPD and FBI to go looking, right?

But what if there wasn’t?

What if Vladimir Putin directed the entire attack – not via a “15 year old girl” from Gaston, North Carolina, but by a hardened group of adult hackers from that state who had penetrated the emails of Director Brennan of the CIA, and doxed and attacked hundreds of FBI and law enforcement personnel?

And what if, after making Carter Page’s recruiter Jeff Sessions Attorney General, Donald Trump repeated the trick by making the ‘prosecutor’ of those Carolina hackers Acting AG – then changing the order of succession at Justice to cement him as number two?
I looked into the underaged sexting allegation only briefly, but as I recall, there is some question as to whether the girl even exists. Some of you may recall "Betty and Veronica," the allegedly underaged girls who played a role in the first round of the Weinergate scandal. They turned out to be non-existent.

(You need not remind me that "sexting" the underaged is always wrong, even when the underaged personage is a fiction.)

2. Who the hell is Dimitri Rybolovlev? A reader alerted me to a whole new line of research that has somehow escaped my attention so far.
Contacts between Trump campaign staff and Russians of influence? Start by exploring research showing Dimitri Rybolovlev's plane (registration M-KATE) at same airport tarmacs at the same time as the DJT campaign plane in Las Vegas and then on November 3 at Charlotte NC. Not a lot of oligarch action in Charlotte NC often. Oh, and one other time - this past weekend M-KATE was at Miami while DJT was at Mar - A Lago. Rybo was the guy who paid 95 million AFTER the real estate crash for DJT's 45 mil Palm Beach house. It really smells of courier/bag man action

Then you have to move onto Wilber Ross, Russians and banking in Cyprus. Another topic.
Turns out that this is a genuine thing. Some links:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/1/5/1617288/-Is-Dmitry-Rybolovlev-Putin-s-Secret-Courier


http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028632196


http://aviationanecdotes.blog.tdg.ch/archive/2012/04/30/m-kate-not-the-british-royal-family.html

https://www.reddit.com/r/EnoughTrumpSpam/comments/5ot7ov/rconspiracy_currently_has_a_thread_going_about_a/
Why did the mainstream media not report this? He met with a Russian oligarch 5 days before the election. Why? The media went crazy over Bill Clinton & Lynch... but a Russian oligarch parks his plane next to Trump's in a small airport on the day Trump is scheduled to be there, and not a sound?

Need I also add, that this man, Dmitry Rybolovlev, has immense political power in Russia because of his wealth?

Need I also add that in 2008, he bought a mansion from Trump, which Trump made $60mill in profit off of? (Bought in 2004, $40mill, Sold for $100 mill). Was this all a way of laundering money? It wouldn't be the first time a foreign businessman does that in the West - the chinese do it all the time! If it was Clinton, we would have questions being asked.
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Comments:
and next week's will be ?
 
There is a revote petition that has made it to the Supreme Court.

I was wondering when people were going to remember Manafort. I wish someone would start asking about that plane...thanks for all this work!
 
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Thanks, Melissa. I NEEDED that laff. (Updated five times)

I just caught the tail end of Sean Spicer's press conference, in which he wowed the audience with his over-the-top impersonation of Melissa McCarthy. Funny stuff, but maybe he should tone it down. There's such a thing as too much surrealism, you know.

Does this guy actually expect us to believe that Michael Flynn gave sub rosa assurances to the Russians WITHOUT Donald Trump's approval and foreknowledge? Seriously? Even though everyone knows that a conversation like that serves no purpose whatsoever unless both parties understand that Flynn is speaking on behalf of Trump?

As it happens, I had a chance to discuss that very question with a retired lady who worked in a law office for many years. "Would that assurance have flown with any attorney you ever knew?"

"Not where I worked!" she answered.

I kept expecting Spicer to say "Live...! From New York...!"

For once, I agree with the conservatives: The NYT is publishing fake news.
President Trump was informed weeks ago that his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, had not told the truth about his interactions with Russia’s ambassador and asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation after concluding he could not be trusted, the White House said on Tuesday.
I presume that the NYT is accepting the White House's absurdist framing out of a sense of propriety. Or maybe it's just too easy for journalists to get caught up in the seductive illogic of the narrative, the way one does while reading Lewis Carroll. But in the real world, it's obvious that Donald Trump never needed to be "informed" that Flynn had lied, because Donnie knew all along. Donnie said "Do this," and it was done. The information that Sally Yates gave to Trump's counsel is that Flynn had been caught red-handed, that the jig was up.

I cannot freakin' wait for those transcripts to come out. I'm sure that they will drag Donnie Darko right into the middle of all this.

I also hope that those transcripts puncture Spicer's obvious lie about the lack of contact between Team Trump and Team Putin during the campaign. C'mon, that point has already been established.
One tantalizing and somewhat overlooked aspect of the Post story that did him in was the fact that Flynn hobnobbed with Kislyak during the campaign. The paper reported that the Flynn-Kislyak conversations "were part of a series of contacts between Flynn and Kislyak that began before the November 8 election and continued during the transition, officials said." And the paper noted, "Kislyak said that he had been in contact with Flynn since before the election, but declined to answer questions about the subjects they discussed."

This is the mystery that now needs an answer: What was Flynn talking about with the Russians during the campaign?
Another mystery: What makes the Trumpers think that this is going to go away? It's obvious that there are intercept transcripts -- probably more than one set, and probably involving more than one member of Team Trump. One of my readers (see comment appended to the post below) says that Flynn thought he was talking on a secure line, but the NSA had defeated Kislyak's "spell of protection." I haven't confirmed this scenario, but it sure as hell makes sense. If my reader is right, we are in for a quite a spectacle.

Y'know what's really galling? There are people in this country who actually believe that Donald had no idea that Flynn was making deals (in Trump's name) with the Russians. These same people also think that freakin' Pizzagate is real.

In this country, the main purpose of "conspiracy culture" is to hide actual conspiracies.

Added note: If the Trumpers were smart, they'd whip up some fake transcripts containing provably false details. This move would give them the opportunity to pretend that the whole affair is based on "fake news." (As Maxwell Smart would say: "Of course. The old Dan Rather Trick. That's the third time I've run into it this month.")

The real trick, of course, is to get a mainstream publication to fall for the phonies.

Added note II: Russia is deploying new cruise missiles that break an important Cold War-era treaty, all with Trump's apparent blessing. 

Let me repeat that. Russia is deploying new cruise missiles that break an important Cold War-era treaty, all with Trump's apparent blessing.

Whatever Vlad has on Donnie, it has to go way beyond wee-wee issues.

Added note III: This just came to my attention a day late. (I normally don't read HuffPo.) Not sure what to make of it.
Electronic music artist Moby claims to have accurate information regarding Donald Trump and his alleged ties to Russia.

On Monday, the musician wrote a post on Facebook outlining the information, which he says he learned after “spending the weekend talking to friends who work in DC.”

“The russian dossier on trump is real. 100% real. he’s being blackmailed by the russian government, not just for being peed on by russian hookers, but for much more nefarious things,” the artist wrote, adding, “the trump administration is in collusion with the russian government, and has been since day one.”

In his post, Moby also claims that Trump’s administration “needs a war, most likely with iran.” According to Moby, members of the right also have plans to get Trump out of the White House because “he’s a drain on their fundraising and their approval ratings.”

“Intelligence agencies around the world, and here in the u.s, [sic] are horrified by the incompetence of the trump administration, and are working to present information that will lead to high level firings and, ultimately, impeachment,” he wrote.
Makes sense, but how would Moby know? I don't know much about the guy. How plugged in can he be?

Added note IV: Wikileaks is pissed off that the Trump administration is being undone by...leaks. Yes. Freakin' Wikileaks. Does Julian Assange have any idea as to what a disgusting parody he has become? Does he have any appreciation of the irony on display here?
Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns after destabilization campaign by US spies, Democrats, press
Yes! It's all CONSPIRACY by those DEMON-RATS!

Added note V: I just had a look at Marcy Wheeler's twitter feed. One of her followers, General J.C. Christian, wisely noted: "Everyone has become James Jesus Angleton." To which Wheeler replied: "But without the good taste in literature. If we're reliving JJA, can we at least fund superb literature covertly?" (Some of you may not know that JJA was an aficionado of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot.)

There are those (I'm one) who think that JJA masterminded the plot against Kennedy. There are those who think that Richard Helms (JJA's chief enabler at CIA) masterminded the plot to expose the Watergate break-in.

Perhaps history is repeating itself. Perhaps one day we will learn just who at CIA decided: "This Trump thing has gone far enough."

Please note Marcy's superb new piece here. The Republicans are now trying to claim that the FBI had no right to read transcripts of an NSA tap on the Russian ambassador's phone. Nope. Y'see, back in December, the intelligence community was wondering why Putin did not respond (as expected) to Obama's sanctions.
Intelligence analysts began to search for clues that could help explain Putin’s move. The search turned up Kislyak’s communications, which the FBI routinely monitors, and the phone call in question with Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general with years of intelligence experience.

From that call and subsequent intercepts, FBI agents wrote a secret report summarizing ­Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak.
That is, in response to questions elicited by Putin’s response, analysts actually read the intercepts of the Flynn-Kislyak call, which led to further monitoring of the conversations. And contrary to what HPSCI Chair Devin Nunes is whining, FBI would have access to Flynn’s side of the call right away, because they would own the tap (and in any case, they’d get unminimized copies of anything from NSA).
Finally, remember that for a great deal of SIGINT, FBI wouldn’t need a warrant. That’s because Obama changed the EO 12333 sharing rules just 4 days after the IC started getting really suspicious about Flynn’s contacts with Russia. That would make five years of intercepts available to FBI without a warrant in any counterintelligence cases, as this one is.
Five years. CAN YOU DIG IT?

Think about it. The Russian ambassador thought that his line was secure, even though it wasn't. He thought that he could communicate freely. Do you really think that Donald Trump's name came up only in that chat with Flynn?

No. Kislyak surely was discussing the Trump situation with Putin or his lieutenants on a regular basis. And guess what? Those conversations are not protected, because nobody involved was a "US person." (That, as I recall, is the term used by the applicable legislation.) Those conversations can be published in the New York Times tomorrow, if the spooks should choose to divulge them.

If those communications are as damning as I suspect they are, then Donald Trump has been president only because our spooks allowed him to become president. What the spooks giveth, the spooks can taketh away.
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Comments:
Moby is wrong. Trump isn't even alleged to have been urinated on.

The missile seems to be almost identical to the American Tomahawk.
 
If Russia is violating a Cold War treaty perhaps it should be noted there is no more Cold War, except among Hillaryites...and Pence-like neocons, the latter of whom an optimist would hold Trump had to rely on to work with only until he could firmly grip power.
It should further be noted Bush and Cheney and other imperialists already reneged on their promises about where NATO would be positioned after the Iron Curtain fell.

All this liberal modernist imperialist Russophobia causes me to note the US likely exhausted its war enthusiasm long term in Iraq, another immoral failed war which Hillary supported and Trump early on opposed which Hillary defended her vote on while Trump was denouncing Bush-Cheney for lying us into.....

This public morale being exhausted, you don't really want to continue fomenting a neo Cold War in eastern Europe when it will only lead to anarchy on our own streets and make Putin laugh even louder at the karma's unwinding.
Better to let Russia, Ukraine and all other Euro parties work out a neighborhood understanding on their own while the US tends to its own challenge of pacifying the carnage here.
 
Is it okay now to stop fretting about a false flag dirty bomb? Much more plausible is an offense-oriented uncoverup, beginning with Mistakes Were Made and a simultaneous Night Of The Long Red Neckties.

That NYT paraphrastic, passive verbal phrase, "was informed", means the same as 'had the information' or 'knew'; it doesn't mean 'informed by someone', but it probably is employed to excite hunters and gatherers.
 
Congratulations on getting some Russian Troll Army commentators now.

Contacts between Trump campaign staff and Russians of influence? Start by exploring research showing Dimitri Rybolovlev's plane (registration M-KATE) at same airport tarmacs at the same time as the DJT campaign plane in Las Vegas and then on November 3 at Charlotte NC. Not a lot of oligarch action in Charlotte NC often. Oh, and one other time - this past weekend M-KATE was at Miami while DJT was at Mar - A Lago. Rybo was the guy who paid 95 million AFTER the real estate crash for DJT's 45 mil Palm Beach house. It really smells of courier/bag man action

Then you have to move onto Wilber Ross, Russians and banking in Cyprus. Another topic.
 
Ameilie, now is the time to worry like you've never worried before. Trump needs the national storyline to shift. Putin needs to keep Trump in office. I expect something major to happen within days. No matter what Alex Jones tells you, blame Trump's foreign supporters.

Anon: I did not know that about the plane. Will look into it.
 
As someone who once had a professional involvement in missile defense, I think somebody should explain to Mark Sumner that an IRBM and a "cruise missile" are very different things. Yes, they're both "intermediate range" and therefore covered by the INF treaty. The SSC-8 is a ground-launched cruise missile. The Russians have been trying to wriggle out of the INF for over a decade.

This statement is blatantly false (not surprising since it comes from the Great Cheeto):

But while President Obama remained in office, Putin held back the SSC-8 from deployment.

Both of the SSC-8 battalions that have apparently been deployed were put in place before Trump took office. In fact, the Russians declared their intention to withdraw from the INF and deploy these missiles back in October (back when Hillary was a shoo-in and shortly after they abrogated the plutonium disposal treaty). They've been testing the damned things since 2014.

The Russians have made noises about withdrawing from the INF since 2007 - mainly because China is not a party to the treaty and has been deploying various intermediate range weapons along the border with Russia. The Volgograd battalion, however, seems to be pretty squarely targeted at NATO (although the missiles, whose ultimate range is unknown, might be able to hit China from there).
 
Joseph - you might be interested in this: https://patribotics.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/the-carolina-conspiracy-putin-catfished-weiner-louise-mensch/

theory about Vladdie catfishing Weiner.
 
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Flynn's finale: Implications (Added notes)

In the preceding post, I predicted that Michael Flynn would weather his crisis.

Errrrr... Ummm.... Well....

So much for my tiny reputation as a prophet. My usual tactic is bet on the worst possible outcome in any given situation. If that strategy has finally failed -- good. The great thing about habitually predicting a horrible outcome is that when you're wrong, you feel terrific.

Flynn was forced to exit because the spooks eavesdropped on his chats with the Russians. They have him dead to rights; I presume that a truly delightful transcript has been floating around. The Trumpers could not get out of this one by screaming "FAKE NEWS!"

Hell, we all knew that there must have been communication between Moscow and Team Trump when Trump -- ever the blabbermouth -- offered those heavy-handed congratulations to Putin for his measured response to Obama's sanctions. Donnie always reveals more than he intends; that's his fatal flaw. 

Question: Why did nine intelligence community sources wait until very recent times to tell the WP about Flynn's damning communications? They knew much earlier.

Now let's take the story further. If the former head of the DIA practiced such lousy tradecraft in his communications with the Russians, then we may presume that others on Trump's team were just as careless. Take, for example, Boris Epshteyn, identified by one of my readers as a source for the Orbis dossier (and by the way, that dossier looks better and better with each passing day). If my reader's identification is correct -- and I suspect that this "guess" was something more than a guess -- the NSA probably listened in on his Russian phone frolics.

I'm starting to wonder: What did Obama know and when did he know it? Did he allow Trump to become president? If so, why?

Maybe Obama was not among those in the know. Maybe the intelligence community learned about what Trump was up to and decided not to tell the president. Why would they keep mum? Who made that decision? 

Regrets? He's had a few. Foreign Policy says Putin is starting to have second thoughts about Trump. That note has been sounded before -- in fact, it is sounded in the Orbis dossier.

The dossier reveals that, after Trump behaved in such an inane fashion following the Democratic National Convention, some on Team Putin decided that Der Donald was unreliable, so they weighed their options vis-a-vis Hillary. The only real dirt that the Russians had on her was the fact that her stated positions often conflicted with what she would say in behind the scenes. (File that one under D for "Duh." The same is true for nearly all politicians on that level.) The dossier hints that she was potentially amenable to a rapprochement with Russia.

Of course, there's a world of difference between "potentially amenable to a rapprochement with Russia" and "Hurrah! We have a puppet in the White House!" Putin went for the latter -- and now he's sorry. Or so says Foreign Policy.

That FP story is pretty damned important. Since you have to sign in to read it, I'll give you the most interesting bits:
Now that Trump is in power, political elites in Moscow have stopped cheering. They recognize that Russia’s position has become abruptly and agonizingly complex.

It’s true that Trump’s accession opens up the possibility of “normalizing” Russia’s relations with the West, beginning with a reduction or even elimination of sanctions. It also validates many of Russia’s ideological criticisms of the liberal order and may perhaps foreshadow policy reversals that Moscow has long hoped for: from Washington’s disengagement from the Ukraine crisis to its dissolution of the Cold War Western alliance. Russians also celebrate Trump’s unfiltered stream-of-consciousness diatribes as signaling a welcome end to America’s hypocrisy and condescension.

But Trump’s revolution is also ushering in a period of turmoil and uncertainty, including the likelihood of self-defeating trade wars. Still traumatized by the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia’s present leadership has no appetite for global instability.

With Trump in the White House, moreover, Putin has lost his monopoly over geopolitical unpredictability. The Kremlin’s ability to shock the world by taking the initiative and trashing ordinary international rules and customs has allowed Russia to play an oversized international role and to punch above its weight. Putin now has to share the capacity to keep the world off balance with a new American president vastly more powerful than himself. More world leaders are watching anxiously to discover what Trump will do next than are worrying about what Putin will do next. Meanwhile, using anti-Americanism as an ideological crutch has become much more dubious now that the American electorate has chosen as their president a man publicly derided as “Putin’s puppet.”

What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed.
(Emphasis added.) Woah.

To the best of my recollection, that's the first time anyone has mentioned the possibility of a presidential assassination in such a mainstream venue. Let's not kid ourselves: Neither "the Kremlin" nor FP is talking about a lone nut scenario. This article is saying that the Kremlin fears that American spooks will finally decide that enough is enough.

What if the CIA decides to party like it's 1963? What happens to Russia then? Last time a "lone nut" took out a president, the CIA's head of counterintelligence tried very hard to pin the blame on Moscow.

(By the way, if Donald Trump really wants to upset "the Deep State," he can release this document and a few more like it. Smoking gun stuff, if you know the context.)

Let us return to the FP piece:
His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington. Oddly, therefore, Putin has become a hostage to Trump’s survival and success. This has seriously restricted Russia’s geopolitical options. The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress.
Jeez, Vladimir! You should have thought of all that beforehand. Honestly, Mr. Putin, I was under the impression that you Russians were really good at chess. Don't you know that you have to think five or six moves ahead?
What is especially dangerous from the Kremlin’s perspective is that certain nationalistic circles in Russia are falling in love with Trump’s insurrectionary approach. In January, for the first time since Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012, Putin was not the most frequently cited name in the Russian media; Trump was. And although most of Trump’s Russian admirers, such as Alexander Dugin, are loyal to Putin personally, they also dream of purging the globalist elites who occupy the rooms adjoining their president’s.
"Globalist elites": That's code for "powerful Jews." I had heard that Dugin and Putin fell out. Maybe that rift was bogus, like the fake Trump/Stone spat. Whatever.

It is becoming clear that both Trump and Putin are replaceable players in an even larger game -- an international fascist movement of which Aleksandr Dugin may be considered the Chief Philosopher. As they say of Hydra in Marvel comics: "Cut off one head and two more shall take its place."

Added notes: I've been catching up with MSNBC's coverage. Looks like there is a transcript of Flynn's conversations with Sergey Kislyak; I have little doubt that it will pop up online soon. One question keeps coming up: How could Flynn not have known that his little chats were being intercepted? The guy was head of the DIA. How dense could he be?

Here's a possibility: Maybe Flynn and Kislyak thought that they were using a secure method of communication, and maybe they were wrong. There are rumors that the NSA no longer considers Tor much of an obstacle. Or -- who knows? -- maybe both of the rooms in which the two men sat were physically bugged. Maybe the two transcripts have been edited together, thereby conveying the impression that the NSA intercepted a digital communication.

It is even being reported that Flynn talked not just to Kislyak but also Putin himself. It also seems very likely that Sally Yates was fired because she offered a warning about all of this.

I just saw Brian Williams talk to a reporter -- I forget his name -- who indicated that Flynn is but Step One, and that we will probably soon have more. Names were mentioned: Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and even (YES!!) Roger Stone.

!!!YES!!!YES!!!YES!!!

Please please please please let there be a transcript of Roger Stone cutting slimeball deals with the Russians. Please please please please let it be the case that Alex Jones has been palling around with a traitor.

If that happens, dear friends, then I -- even I, agnostic that I am, cynic that I am -- will go to church for the first time since boyhood and offer tearful, grateful Hosannas to the All-Highest. And I promise not to duck out until someone asks for money.

Team Clinton's response to all of this is pretty funny. They're making Pizzagate jokes.

Josh Marshall says 
Tonight's revelations (by which I mean those which preceded Michael Flynn's resignation) make it even more clear that there is much more going on out of view than we realize.
Damn straight.
The role of Russia in the 2016 election and the President's relationship to Russia has been the un-ignorable question hanging over President Trump for months. Flynn's resignation does not come close to resolving it. It is highly likely that the Flynn/Russia channel was authorized by the President himself. There's much more to come.
In other words, Trump could be on his way out, and it could happen with surprising rapidity. Let's have no more dissing of the Orbis dossier; it has been and will be justified and verified. Even on that very first day, as I was putting the thing through OCR, I sent this text message to my ladyfirend: "If this is real, no way Trump survives it."

It is real. We are all living in a story about an MI6 agent who saves the world. Somewhere in heaven, Ian Fleming is smiling.
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Comments:
It's not essential to look six moves ahead in chess -- only to get the next one right. To achieve this it is important to bear in mind a fundamental analytical principle: structural defects tend to persist and are nearly always determinative of the final outcome. If you are a rook down and the positions are generally equal then you are done. No amount of "if he does this and then I do that" can redress the imbalance. The principle has universal application. Trump is unstable and is going to fuck up. He will piss off many. If we tie ourselves to him we are toast.
 
There is so much to consider here.

"Still traumatized by the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia’s present leadership has no appetite for global instability."

Crap. Russia, the US, Germany, Britain, and China are preparing for the form of "instability" called war.

"With Trump in the White House, moreover, Putin has lost his monopoly over geopolitical unpredictability. The Kremlin’s ability to shock the world by taking the initiative and trashing ordinary international rules and customs has allowed Russia to play an oversized international role and to punch above its weight."

"Monopoly over geopolitical unpredictability"? That's a lot of syllables, but who did the Arab Spring?

The US doesn't respect international rules (sorry, "rules and customs" - must keep that syllable count up), and Russia does not "punch above its weight". Russia eventually sorted out Chechenia and won in Georgia; the US fucked up in Afghanistan and Iraq but let some torture pictures out from Abu Graibh, managed to defend their compounds, and shone a torch in Saddam Hussein's mouth.

As for "shock the world", is Foreign Policy a tabloid or what? Russia wasn't the only player in the Ukraine, as anyone with a proper memory will recall. It was obvious that the Russians wouldn't allow a pro-US or pro-EU fascist Kiev-based government to take over Sevastopol and then invite the US navy in. The referendum in the Crimea was fair too. To talk of the annexation of the Crimea as if it were the USSR invading Hungary or Germany occupying Denmark is to talk shit.

"The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress."

"Of course" often hides a lack of argumentation. It's not at all clear why the Russian government should fear Trump's downfall.

However, a "tough anti-Moscow line" - no, sorry, I can't keep up the tabloid speak... But it's true that there could be a rapid deterioration in US-Russian relations and a military confrontation, probably in the Levant or the Baltic. The flashpoint in the latter is likely to be Kaliningrad. Russia could take out the electronics in the three states in about five minutes flat and would only need to invade to defend that exclave. Strengthened NATO fortification along the Baltic states' eastern borders would be far more inflammatory than the arrival of the Iskander missiles. War is viewed as inevitable, and Putin isn't going to be sobbing "Oh Donnie, and we trusted you".

There seems to be NO grown-up genuinely peace-respecting talk in any of the journals or media about MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF SECURITY CONCERNS in the Baltic region. The course is towards war and the strategists in all the world's great powers know it.

"And although most of Trump’s Russian admirers, such as Alexander Dugin, are loyal to Putin personally, they also dream of purging the globalist elites who occupy the rooms adjoining their president’s."

Of course that means Jewish power. They don't dream of any such thing. That really would be "punching above theie weight"!

If the Foreign Policy crew really wanted to gain respect, they might look at France. Dugin's pals Alain Soral and Dieudonné M'bala M'bala are backing the "left-wing socialist" Benoît Hamon. Rather than trying to help him become president, this is a more subtle "chess" move. Even those who can't see much further than the end of their noses realise that Hamon would be an ideal opponent for Le Pen in the runoff round. That's if there is one. Haaretz recently published an article saying there might not be. Attention should be focusing on the Netherlands and France.

 
I am still stunned that 45 had the gall to fill the front of the crowd at the CIA Memorial Wall with his trained monkeys, clapping and yelling at his idiotic remarks. The only thing that would have been more insulting would have been if he'd unzipped his pants and pissed directly on the wall.

Many of the stars on the wall were American officers tortured, then killed by the KGB. How are the professionals at the CIA going to feel about a real-estate con-man lecturing them on "national security" when they know, better than anyone, that the KGB/FSB got him elected?
 
Trump has said he won't remove sanctions unless Crimea is returned, which it won't be. Maybe it will be the Russians who have had enough. It might also smooth things out with Belarus, who are quickly leaving Moscow's sphere of influence, after their despot claimed Putin controls Trump.


 
Lost the source but I did read that Flynn did think he was speaking over encrypted app, used text messages to arrange encrypted calls, not good enough to defeat targeted monitoring of NSA but his problem has always been arrogance combined with stupidity. Transcripts will have been a surprise to him.
 
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