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Friday, March 31, 2017

Flynn, Nunes, Ryan, Mensch: Updates

Flynn: The Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected Flynn's request for immunity. Donald Trump's tweet indicates that he has no problem with Flynn testifying.
Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!
Is Trump saying that he welcomes this testimony? Or is he simply trying to spin the request for immunity? If the former, Dems must remember Principle No. 1:  Always do the opposite of what Donnie says.

We don't have many clues as to Flynn's intent, but those that we do have lead me to believe that Flynn may not spill the beans on Trump. Perhaps he believes he can pull an Ollie North.

Younger readers may not recall the spectacle of North's Iran-Contra testimony, which turned the smartly-uniformed North into a media superstar. All of the right's many propaganda assets demonized any Dem who dared to question him, even when North lied and misled the committee. As a result of this exercise in Hollywooding, Ollie was able to generate the kind of public support for the contras that Reagan never could.

Maybe Flynn thinks he can recapture that magic.

Or maybe Flynn really does want to spill some beans. Occupy Democrats says that Trump trembles at the thought of Flynn revealing all -- and as a result, Trump is weighing the option of resignation. A lovely thought, but where's the evidence to back it?

Everything comes down to one question: Has Flynn completely broken with the Trump project, or is he still part of it?

Nunes. The previous post asked for a Theory of Ryan to explain what the Speaker did on the night when Devin Nunes performed all of that skullduggery. I think I have one.

Around the time Nunes gave that press conference, the far right media had a sharp uptick in stories indicating that Trump intends to indict Hillary or Bill or Barack or all of the above. The most prominent of these stories appeared in the tabloids, a reliable source for anyone who wants to learn the latest fantasy that Trump wants us to accept as reality.

Do you recall when Trump was spouting the nonsensical claim that Obama was behind the anti-Trump protests? That was just before the "tapp" tweet, as I recall.

Thus, I assumed from the beginning that a scheme was afoot to gin up some kind of show trial against Obama. If not a trial, then at least an investigation -- something to generate all sorts of juicy propaganda stories.

I think that Nunes was shown those intercepts for one reason: To prod him into launching a brand new, far-reaching probe of Obama. We still don't know what was in those documents. We still don't know if they were genuine, or if they were damaging to the former president. But we do know that Trump wants the world to stop asking "Did Donald Trump do something bad?" and to start asking "Did Barack Obama do something bad?"

Nunes cannot instigate an entirely new probe without permission from Paul Ryan.

Ryan would not give it.

So (in my latest proposed reconstruction of events) Nunes went back to the White House -- not at Ryan's request -- and told the Trumpers "Sorry, but Ryan wouldn't go for it."

That's when Trump made sure that whatzername -- the seemingly-drunk lady on Fox News -- called for Ryan's resignation on air. And then he issued a tweet to insure that Ryan understood the full implications: Do as I say or I'll come after you. That's how Trump rolls.

Look beyond Russia, Louise. For a while now, I've been a lonely voice screaming that the real scandal is not the help Trump received from Russia but the help he got from one faction of our own intelligence community. Finally, someone else has seen what I've seen. His name is Carl Deaker. He tried very hard to get Louise Mensch -- the queen of the "spooks against Trump" -- to admit to the plain and obvious.

It doesn't get any plainer than this:

SCL Group is owned by Robert Mercer, the power behind Steve Bannon and Donald Trump. Trump would not be president without Mercer and SLC, which owns Cambridge Analytica. I've linked to this important story about Cambridge Analytica in previous posts.
It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.)

Cambridge Analytica worked for the Trump campaign and, so I’d read, the Leave campaign.
Last December, I wrote about Cambridge Analytica in a piece about how Google’s search results on certain subjects were being dominated by rightwing and extremist sites. Jonathan Albright, a professor of communications at Elon University, North Carolina, who had mapped the news ecosystem and found millions of links between rightwing sites “strangling” the mainstream media, told me that trackers from sites like Breitbart could also be used by companies like Cambridge Analytica to follow people around the web and then, via Facebook, target them with ads.

On its website, Cambridge Analytica makes the astonishing boast that it has psychological profiles based on 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters – its USP is to use this data to understand people’s deepest emotions and then target them accordingly. The system, according to Albright, amounted to a “propaganda machine”.
Do you see Vladimir Putin in this picture? I don't.

I'm not saying that Putin did not do whatever he could to aid Trump's election: Clearly, he did. I'm not saying that Trump and his associates lack ties to Russia: Clearly, those ties are strong. I'm simply asking: Who played a larger role in the 2016 election, Robert Mercer or Vladimir Putin? Here's a related question: Who played a larger role in the 2016 election, former DIA head Michael Flynn or Vladimir Putin?

Carl Deaker tweeted that image to Louise Mensch and snarkily asked:
So it sounds as if Russian owned entity SCL Group works for NATO and British Gov
To which Mensch replied (insufficiently):
Not what that says. cc @GCHQ
Louise, Louise...are you going to carry water for the IC all your damned life? Are you so caught up in a puerile James Bond fantasy that you can't see the obvious? Which is your primary concern: Doing what your spooky friends tell you to do, or establishing truth -- even when the truth might embarrass your pals in the covert world?
The Trump-friendly tabloids are plaing it that trump "caught" the Russian spy.

Yeah. That headline hit my eye like a bullet as I stood in line at Wal-Mart. That particular propaganda campaign offers me some hope that Flynn really has turned on The Donald.

Has anyone checked out the twitter feed of Flynn the younger? You might find some clues there.

Sam Seder's producer did a funny imitation of Der junge Flynn today: "Here we are 70 days into the Trump presidency and date rape drugs are still illegal. #sellout."
This is one of those times Joseph, where I wish you would add your conclusion to your headline rather than bury it in the article only. I'm referring to..,"So (in my latest proposed reconstruction of events) Nunes went back to the White House -- not at Ryan's request -- and told the Trumpers "Sorry, but Ryan wouldn't go for it." (Joseph quote continued next paragraph)

That's when Trump made sure that whatzername -- the seemingly-drunk lady on Fox News -- called for Ryan's resignation on air. And then he issued a tweet to insure that Ryan understood the full implications: Do as I say or I'll come after you. That's how Trump rolls." - End quote.

Your conclusion makes perfect sense to me, but by not putting a shortened version in your headline, you basically give away excellent analysis without crediting yourself in the headline. You did the same thing last summer when you tied together Manafort, Devine, Stone and Paige I think it was. I actually emailed you back then to ask that you mention them in a headline, together, which I don't think you did then, and you're not doing it now.

Writing headlines is hard. They require brevity, and I'm no good at that.
Excellent blog - and excellent points.

Seems obvious to me that there is war on between different factions of the IC but that the "good" side (Louise's friends and others) are trying to minimize this rift and avoid drawing attention to embarrassing realities and history - such as "our" own micro-targeted propaganda/disinfo programs - particularly those active domestically.

For now I'll take what I can get if it rids us of the current regime. Grateful to you - grateful to Louise - grateful to the decent side of the spook world. Expect much shared responsibility for our present situation, but what else is new?

Please keep up the excellent work.
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