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Monday, August 01, 2016

Conspiracies

I keep hearing Trump supporters (including Julian Assange) say words to this effect: "It doesn't matter how the emails became known. What matters is what they contain."

Bullshit.

It's an oddity of history that we still don't know with certainty the reason for the Watergate break-in. But even if the burglars had found photos of George McGovern having carnal relations with a moose, only one thing would have mattered: IT WAS A FREAKIN' BURGLARY.

The 1972 CREEP crew included Roger Stone, the man who is now heading up the Trump operation, albeit unofficially. (Stone cannot have an official role due to the rather unfortunate publicity he received during the 1996 campaign.)

Every day we see further evidence that Putin and Assange cut a deal with the Stone/Manafort/Caputo/Devine conspirators.

Until recent times, this blog has not been anti-Putin. Furthermore, I've always said that the United States has unwisely intervened in the elections of many nations, and that we would do better to tend to our own affairs.

If I were to look at the situation from an Olympian remove, I might be able to say: "The U.S. is now receiving the same treatment we have meted out so often. What we did unto others in the past is now being done to us. Turnabout is fair play."

But I can't take the view from Olympus. I live here.

And I'm sure as hell not going to stand for it if Vladimir Putin schemes to install someone like Donald Trump in the White House.

Those damned emails. Nobody in his right mind believes Trump when he says that he was merely being sarcastic about inviting Russia to spy on the US. People do not joke about such things. You can tell from Trump's tone of voice and his body language that he was not joking. Donald simply got blabby, as is his Trumpian wont.

Oddly, those "30,000 missing emails" of which Trump spoke may not be missing at all. See here. Several other news stories convey the same information -- although, oddly, there was no follow-up.

Was anything on Hillary's private server classified? The Trumpian hordes would have you think so, even though only a few items bore a classification stamp, and did so mistakenly. For example, there was a classification stamp on an email concerning a note of congratulations to the newly installed leader of Malawi.

Big freakin' deal.

For months, the Republicans tried to scare us: "The RUSSIANS could have compromised that email server!" As if this is sufficient reason to give the Oval Office to Donald Trump -- Vladimir Putin's boy-toy.

Are they kidding?

In a similar vein, a few Trump supporters have responded to the Khan family by noting that Hillary voted for the authorization of military force. But she did so (along with many other Dems and all Republicans) based on a series of lies told by a Republican administration.

It's not as though Trump is a new kind of peacenik Republican. If he were, he would not have the support of arch-neocon Michael Ledeen. Ledeen, who will probably have a role in a Trump administration, wants one thing above all else: War with Iran. Trump seems willing to provide that war. He certainly wants to deep-six the deal with Iran, a move which I consider a step toward conflict.

Let's return to Hillary's private server: No actual state secrets were compromised. None. This well-informed comment explains why:
Key point on the email server and classified information:

State.gov is not a classified email system. NO classified information is to be on state.gov email. Everyone knows this and everyone assumes that if the email is on state.gov, the contents are not classified.

All classified messaging at State is on CLASSNET. You cannot email from CLASSNET to state.gov or hrc@whatever. Everyone knows that classified info belongs on CLASSNET only.

So when anyone mentions her private server and classified information, the sender and receiver in the email chain did not believe what they were sending/receiving was classified.

As far as Russia having access to Clinton’s server: remind people that Russia DID hack the State.gov email system and had access to it for months. State finally had ‘government agencies’ (NSA) come in to clean it.
Now let's talk about the DNC email breach. It's obvious that Trump knew about this ahead of time In the days between the Republican and Democratic conventions, Trump kept making rather insistent and on-the-nose references to the supposedly shabby way that the DNC treated Sanders. I knew right then and there that a scheme was afoot; Donald's statements were simply too obvious.

Then we learned about the Russian hack.

But what did it really come to? In truth, nothing in those emails justifies the delusion that Sanders was mistreated. Quite the opposite: Now that we have had a look at all of that insider communication, we've seen zero evidence for any of the BernieBot delusions about the DNC.

Nothing in those stolen emails substantiates the BernieBot allegations of vote fraud. Nothing in those stolen emails substantiates the BernieBot version of what occurred in Nevada.

The debates? They helped Hillary, as we have demonstrated in previous posts. The argument that they aired on Saturdays as part of an anti-Bernie conspiracy makes as little sense as Trump's equally-inane argument about the upcoming debates with Hillary.

At any rate, we do not have any emails in which Wasserman-Schultz says: "Let's hold the debates on Saturday. We don't want too many people to see it when Bernie clobbers Hillary, as surely he will."

No-one has pointed to a single email which proves that the DNC as an organization treated Bernie unfairly. As we've seen in previous posts, Bernie actually received favorable treatment.

It is true that a number of people working at the DNC did not like Bernie Sanders personally, and that these people let their feelings be known in various communications. So what? Jeffrey Toobin has it exactly right:
What was so terrible about the e-mails? In one, a D.N.C. staffer raised the possibility of Sanders being asked about his religious views, though it appears nothing came of the suggestion. In another, D.W.S. referred to a Sanders campaign official who had criticized her as a “damn liar.” A third showed her explicitly criticizing Sanders himself, saying he had “no understanding” of the Democratic Party. (This might be because Sanders has never been elected as a Democrat but, rather, always as an independent who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate.)

Do these e-mails strike anyone as appalling and outrageous? Not me. They strike me as . . . e-mails. The idea that people might speak casually or caustically via e-mail has been portrayed as a shocking breach of civilized discourse. Imagine! People bullshitting on e-mail!

But that is what people do on e-mail. They spout off, sound off, write first, and think later.
Bottom line: Wasserman-Schultz should never have resigned.

The DNC hack did accomplish one important propaganda purpose: It allowed the astroturfers to determine how the emails should be perceived -- and in this election, perception is all. We now know that Putin is behind the astroturf.

From Business Insider:
Russia's troll factories were, at one point, likely being paid by the Kremlin to spread pro-Trump propaganda on social media.

That is what freelance journalist Adrian Chen, now a staff writer at The New Yorker, discovered as he was researching Russia's "army of well-paid trolls" for an explosive New York Times Magazine exposé published in June 2015.

"A very interesting thing happened," Chen told Longform's Max Linsky in a podcast in December.

"I created this list of Russian trolls when I was researching. And I check on it once in a while, still. And a lot of them have turned into conservative accounts, like fake conservatives. I don't know what's going on, but they're all tweeting about Donald Trump and stuff," he said.

Linsky then asked Chen who he thought "was paying for that."

"I don't know," Chen replied. "I feel like it's some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing. You know, that's how I started thinking about all this stuff after being in Russia."
Bottom line: Putin wants America to be run by an idiot -- run into the ground. Putin wants the BRICS alliance to have the same sway over the world that the United States had after the Second World War.

More immediately, Putin wants a free hand in Ukraine. His motives are clear and comprehensible.

Assange's motive is equally obvious. At some point, Trump must have told him (via an intermediary, no doubt) that if he (Trump) wins, all charges against him (Assange) will be dropped. 

Again: If I were able to look at the situation from the lofty heights of Mt. Olympus, I might admire Putin's cheekiness. But I can't look at it that way, for one simple reason: I live here. And I sure as hell don't want to live in a country ruled by a despicable fool like Donald Trump.

Casting a Stone at the Khan family: Previously, I said that "any consultant would have told [Trump] 'Look, just say a few nice words about the Khan family and then change the subject.'" When I said "any consultant," I was thinking of Roger Stone. Why (I wondered) didn't he advise Trump to take the high road? Surely Stone knew better...?

Turns out I was wrong. Never underestimate the Devil's capacity for deviltry...
While Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence was posting a Facebook statement claiming Donald Trump “cherishes” the Khan family, a close confidant and advisor to Trump was calling the grieving father a “Muslim Brotherhood agent helping Hillary.”
The link Trump friend Roger Stone tweeted goes to a conspiracy theory website, that claims Khan’s son was killed before a secret mission was finished.

“Is it likely that Khan’s son was killed before his Islamist mission was accomplished? Only another type of investigation will determine that,” the author writes. “Do they ever mention how many soldiers have died because of Muslim traitors? Do they ever bring up how many Christians in the US military were killed? Yet the modernists and homosexuals continue to attack Christians.”
Wow. Roger Stone actually got behind that? Roger Stone, the self-confessed "libertine" who learned his trade from Roy Cohn? Roger Stone, who...

Well, let's talk about the guy's sexual history another time. Suffice it to say, Stone is himself a master conspirator. And yet here he is, pretending to be a crusader against conspiracy.

In this case, he has become an advocate for the stupidest and most offensive conspiracy I've heard in ages. Stupider than birtherism. Stupider than the one about "crisis actors" at Sandy Hook. Stupider, even, than Alternative Three.

And I have no doubt that Alex Jones is going to be repeating this hideous nonsense before another 48 hours have passed.

Many people believe that racism produced Donald Trump, but I think otherwise. Our obsession with conspiracies did that job. Twenty years of "conspiracy culture" has created a climate of paranoia, and fascism is born of fear. Roger Stone exemplifies the message I've been trying to send for at least twenty years: Yes, some conspiracies are real -- and the right-wing conspiracy theorists are the true conspirators.
Comments:
First, what is it about Stone that made you think he'd know better? Second, that the younger Khan was on an anti-US scary Islamabam mission is far less a conspiracy than it is an outright smear and lie. Somebody invented it whole cloth. It's not a theory some cobbled together from snippets of questions being whispered between people in the know. It's just a deliberate lie.
 
I said years ago, including in comments here, that I thought the renamed KGB owned a big share in Wikileaks.
 
Welcome back!

I've had a tough time telling whether your previous pro(non-anti)Putin rhetoric was sincere or just playing devil's advocate to the Hippocrates among the West(us). The Nashi inspire me in that kids can give-a-damn, but when viewed closely they really are some reincarnation of the Nazi youth party. What strange times. Must be especially difficult for ambitious people in 'our' agencies trying to 'change the world for the better' by fermenting coups while being lobbied against by their own citizens. Your luxury is to get to criticize both, lucky bastard! :-)
 
[Bottom line: Wasserman-Schultz should never have resigned.]

Debbie had to resign for the good of the party. Had she stayed the Democratic Convention would have been all about Bernie's followers protests and disruptions.
 
>>>"It doesn't matter how the emails became known. What matters is what they contain."

Bullshit.

Sorry I didn't read past that point but what if this had nothing to do with Clinton and the emails were released by Daniel Ellsberg?

Same answer? Bullshit?

Just wondering cause some people appear to just say BS to anything negative about the Candidate they like...no matter what, it is the instant response without even thinking about it.

 
DailyPUMA has been ridiculing the entire email "scandal" for the past month or two.
 
A lot of us have thought that Trump just doesn't have the money, at least not the ready money, to have lent tens of millions of dollars to his campaign.

You may be interested in Bill Palmer's idea that the money may be loans from Russia. - http://bit.ly/2aqnSWC
 
Insulting the parents of a fallen soldier seems absolutely cretinous.

Either Roger Stone has lost it, or else he knows his market very very well. I actually met someone (online) who thought the Sandy Hook massacre was fake. Might we be overestimating the intelligence of a large part of the US public?

Assange isn't getting criticised by anyone in the mighty Wikileaks organisation.

 
The real question is WHY some people become enamored of conspiracy theories. I have a few possibilities, but I am sure there are more:

1. The desire to have a feeling of self-importance, I know something that other people don't, therefore I am more important than they are.
2. Future Shock, the world no longer works the way it shouldes, therefore I will reorder the world so that it makes sense.
3. Schizophrenia, the world is out to get me so I have to figure these things out so that I am safe.
4. My life sucks and it isn't my fault, it must be the Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, Blacks, people who live in the city, people who live in rural areas, clowns, whatever. It is their fault and they are doing stuff behind my back and I have to figure it out.
Like I said, there are no doubt other theories, but I really would like to know what causes people to go off the deep end. There were people ready to follow Jim Jones, Sabbatai Tzvi, the Heavens Gate crew and other lunatic notions. Why?
 
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