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Monday, March 13, 2017

Mensch, murder and Manafort

I want to direct your attention to the interview with Louise Mensch at the beginning of this video. It's fascinating, yet her basic point does not make a whole lot of sense.

She claims that when Donald Trump tweeted about "wiretapping," he was really talking about an approved FBI investigation of a foreign bank. The tweets, says Mensch, revealed the presence of this investigation, and thus constitute "obstruction of justice" -- an impeachable offense.

Say what?

In the first place: Like it or not (and I like it not), Donald Trump has the authority to declassify anything he likes. (Such as Lee Harvey Oswald's long-hidden tax returns, which may reveal that he was getting money from a CIA source. Just throwin' that one out there....)

In the second place: The semi-official story on those tweets is that Trump reacted in his usual blowhard fashion after reading a Breitbart article by a conspiracy theorist. That piece was itself based in part, um...the reportage of Louise Mensch. Seems to me that you can't accuse the president of obstructing justice if he has simply offered his opinion on a published news item.

(As readers know, I believe that those tweets were actually part of an elaborate trick. Perhaps I'm wrong; perhaps I'm right. We shall soon see.)

Mensch's twitter feed is addictive, yet something about her bothers me..

The elevation of Trump has changed my views on many things, but I'm still an old (liberal) dog and I don't care for some of these new tricks. The same progressives who, not long ago, idolized Ed Snowden have suddenly decided to idolize Mensch, who considers Snowden a malefic Putin puppet. Does she offer proof for her Theory of Snowden? No, she does not. Like Alex Jones, Mensch considers her conspiracy theories "proven" simply by asserting that it is so.

Steve Bannon, the acid king. Everyone's talking about Bannon's acid-drenched hot tub...
And then shit gets weird. The Post obtained a February 2015 email from Bannon's former landlord that read: "[E]ntire Jacuzzi bathtub seems to have been covered in acid."


The landlord also noticed that padlocks had been installed on interior doors (creepy), while other doors were totally removed (also creepy).
Some have mused that Bannon used acid to dispose of a body, a scenario which apparently figured in an episode of the television series Breaking Bad. (I've never seen that show.) Mythbusters demonstrated that -- contrary to the Breaking Bad depiction -- hydrochloric acid cannot do the job. My very preliminary research indicates that sulfuric acid would work better. Perhaps one of my more chemically-inclined readers can address this topic with greater expertise?

(If you speak from personal experience, perhaps you should hold your tongue altogether.)

I'm sure that many people would agree that Bannon looks like the kind of guy who might, y'know, keep a few sex slaves behind padlocked doors, and maybe, y'know, dissolve the occasional corpse in sulfuric acid. Please understand: I'm not saying that he has actually done such things. No no no no. By no means am I stating or implying that this man has ever broken any local, state or federal laws. I'm simply saying...

...well, there's no need to for me say anything, is there? Just LOOK at him!

Manafort the murderer? I'm sure you recall Paul Manafort, the Roger Stone partner who played a prominent role in the Trump campaign until he was undone by the Russian connection. Paul Manafort's own daughter (in some "liberated" emails) has accused her father of arranging murders during his hijinks in Ukraine...
Last month, an anonymous hacker website published roughly 300,000 text messages that were supposedly sent between Manafort's daughters, Andrea and Jessica, and the accusations in the apparent conversations are harsh.

"You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly," Andrea Manafort apparently wrote to her sister in March 2015, referring to their father's alleged role in the February 2014 police shootings in Kiev that killed over 100 pro-Western protesters in the weeks leading up to Yanukovych's escape.
In another text to her sister, Andrea Manafort supposedly claimed that their father was behind the "strategy" that Yanukovych allegedly implemented in order to have his security forces kill dozens of protesters in Kiev's Independence Square.

"Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered," Andrea Manafort supposedly wrote to her sister, referring to their father.

"He has no moral or legal compass," she added.
If this is true -- and I have no reason to doubt it, at present -- then nearly everything I wrote about the event at the time demands revision. More here:
In the same 2015 conversation with her sister, Andrea allegedly suggests to Jessica that their father used covert methods to send messages to Ukraine.

"I was there when it happened. I saw him on his shady email," she allegedly wrote. "They don't write emails. They log on and write in the drafts So it's never transmitted over any servers."

In another alleged exchange with Jessica, in June 2016, Andrea plays down her father's involvement in the hacks of the Democratic Party emails.

"Pretty crazy about all the email hacking huh?" the texts read. "Dad must be over the moon."

"Oh i saw." is the reply. "The russians."

"Well it wasn't dad's doing. It was hackers," Andrea allegedly writes back. "No clue who the hackers were. Fbi is looking into it."
The "draft messages" trick is one that I've read about before. David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell used a similar method, as you may recall. The trick has even been used to transmit malware. Journalists employ the same gambit.

For more background on Manafort's shady dealings in Ukraine, see this Fusion story from August 17, 2016:
Selling Yanukovych was no small feat. As a young man, he had served two terms in prison for street robberies and other crimes; he later robbed the country blind during a three-year stint as prime minister, when in the name of state “privatizations” he’d turned the economy over to Akhmetov and other oligarchs. “This guy was a street gangster, but Manafort gave him fashion advice and bought him nice suits,” an American political consultant with experience in Ukraine told Fusion. “Manafort had to take a criminal and make him look presidential.”
I was about to say that something similar happened in this country -- but did it? Republicans would deny that Donald Trump ever engaged in criminality, while Democrats would deny that Trump ever looked presidential.

So: Trump's closest adviser kept padlocks on interior doors and acid in his tub. Trump's former campaign manager (and partner to his best friend) stands accused of murder -- by his own daughter. Trump has been linked to any number of wise guys, including Felix Sater and Tevfik Arif, who has been accused of running underaged prostitutes. Trump's pal Jeffrey Epstein was convicted of raping underaged girls. Trump, while serving as president, is allowing his name to be used on a line of escorts and massage parlors.

Remember when the Republicans wanted us to think that Whitewater was a big effing deal...?
Canadian academic Ivan Katchanovski has done a study on the Maidan shootings. His conclusion was that the shootings were primarily from buldings controlled by Right Sector and Svoboda forces. See also here.
travis, this was my belief as well. But (presuming those emails to be genuine, a presumption that seems reasonable at this point) an insider's "confession" from Manafort's daughter takes precedence over an academic study. Remember, she was not speaking for public consumption here.

There was a time I might not have scoffed at Spunik as a source. That time was before Putin backed Trump, Wilders and Le Pen.
Regarding acid, the scene in Breaking Bad has him using hydrofluoric acid, which melts through the bath altogether. Did a good job on the body, though. Not sure how accurate to real life.

Manafort's daughters' text messages (not e-mails), 300,000 is alot. Even by young girl standards, that seems like a lot. Too many.

But I don't think the messages say what they seem. They don't say how she knows these things, so she could just as easily have heard that her dad's boss was behind it on the news as from him. She also says that his strategy was to "to send those people out and get them slaughtered". So that implies he was behind the victims who were killed, although of course people on both sides were shot, not behind the killers. Otherwise it would be "send those people out and get them to slaughter".
I do not believe the Maidan deaths were false flag.

On the Bannon acid wash, my impression is that this third wife spent more time at that house than Bannon (read the recent WP piece). She was caught smuggling drugs and a phone into prison to a boyfriend, and sounds like she had a bit of a drug problem herself so I wondered if the bath was related to drug production? No idea if plausible, outside my area of expertise.
You just have to ignore anything Louise says on impeachment. That's her big fixation: Finding evidence of a crime that will support an impeachment. Only she has a half-baked understanding of what impeachment really is. (Actually, an impeachable offense is anything that 218 House members agree it to be; it doesn't even have to be a crime.)
Presidents may declassify anything at their discretion.

The claim I've heard now is that it requires he issue an EO ahead of that declassification. I haven't confirmed that is true, but various natsec bloggers loosely associated with Mensch seem to agree.

Trump may not know about this at all, and the circumstances of that spontaneous tweeting on the weekend make it almost certain he didn't execute an EO ahead of time.

I doubt that his ignoring this technicality, even if it is an actual requirement, is a viable cause for impeachment. It might even be fixable with a retroactive EO.

Remember when the Republicans wanted us to think that Whitewater was a big effing deal...?

Oh yeah. And they investigated the s*&! out of it, and turned up nothing. Funny about that...

But Joseph, at least you remember--because it seems a lot of people have forgotten, including many on the Left. Hell, some of them were claiming that Hillary had Vince Foster killed!
Le Pen? What a joke from the typical faux neo lib American who believes Clinton was acceptably "progressive."

Fact is, old line French socialists are asserting, if Leon Blum were alive he'd vote Le Pen who has more socialism in her platform than the mannequin "liberal" rival.

Check out Hopsicker's reporting on Bannon's penny stock activity in Florida.
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