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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mueller is no messiah. Plus: Louise Mensch and her "sources"

Things are moving so fast that yesterday's post reads like last year's news. Oh, for the gift of a slow news day!

Ivanka, why not start with your Dad's Russian pals? From Ivanka's twitter feed:
Human trafficking is a pervasive humanitarian epidemic both domestically and abroad. Together we are working to combat this critical issue.
This is infuriatingly hypocritical. The worst human trafficker in history is Semyon Mogilevich, close Putin friend, leader of the Red Mafiya and supplier to terrorists of illegal Russian nukes. His organization uses underaged prostitutes to compromise western leaders and intelligence services. Trump's pal Felix Sater is linked to Mogilevich's group; the FBI has identified Sater's father as a key underboss in that organization.

The ties between Mogilevich and the Trump circle are complex. You may wish to start your research here and here.

Mueller. I'm sure you already know that we now have -- finally -- a special prosecutor: Former FBI head Robert Mueller. Although I am grateful for this development, it is far too soon to proclaim that the Republic has been saved.

The talking heads on teevee applaud this choice because Mueller served under both Republicans and Democrats. They've forgotten about the many campaign-season stories which said -- correctly, I think -- that today's real divide is not so much Republican vs. Democrat as Outsider vs. Establishment.

Mueller is Mr. Establishment. The man who headed the FBI during 9/11 carries much more baggage than the teevee talking heads will admit. If you favor the Establishment, that baggage will be invisible to you. If you hang out with Outsiders, you can see it clearly.

Dunno about you, but I really, really, really don't want to spend the upcoming weeks and months rehashing all of those ancient 9/11 conspiracy theories. Although I haven't yet worked up the courage to check up on the Infowarriors, I suspect that they have already started to demonize Mueller.

(This is a sore spot for me because, for some reason, the so-called truthers always considered me an important "get." Every time a 9/11 nutjob would proclaim that he or she has NEW NEW NEW information -- facts and figures that would surely turn me around, if only I would listen to it with an open mind -- all they ever gave me were the same old conspiracy cliches. You know: The melting temperature of steel; Larry Silverstein saying "pull it." That crap.)

The demonization of Mueller will provide cover for Trump, should he ever seek Mueller's removal. Politically, Trump may be in a position to do so after the mid-terms.

Another likely demonization target: Rod Rosenstein. The "smear Rosenstein" campaign has probably started already. As soon as he has the political space to do so, Trump will replace him with someone willing to replace Mueller.

Not only that. Both the Special Prosecutor's office and the Intelligence Committee inquiries will rely on FBI manpower for the actual work. Soon enough, Trump will appoint Joe Lieberman or some similar fiend to head the FBI, and the whole thing will go to hell. Manpower will be reduced; seasoned agents will be replaced by rookies (or by Giuliani's pals); documents will disappear. That's when the Trumpers will proclaim "Nothing to see here." Then they will do their damnedest to turn the nation's attention to the crimes of Evil Hillary, Evil Obama, Evil Podesta and Evil Susan Rice.

In my last post, I called Trump a wrinkled tomato dying on the vine. Today, I'm thinking that he can stay attached. Dirty tricks won the election; dirty politics can keep him in office.

Do I sound downbeat? Hey, it's me. People come here for the thoughts of a natural-born contrarian; if the Group Mind says "X," I'll say "Not X" just to be a shit about it. The sight of all of those beaming, relieved liberal faces on teevee naturally sent my thoughts in the opposite direction: We're doomed.

Louise Mensch. What are we going to do with her? Malcolm Nance has turned against her, the Jester (whose name I refuse to spell in that idiotic "cute" hacker fashion) has dissed her, her tweets are no longer respected by well-known people, and she has become (shall we say) a very controversial figure on once-friendly terrain like Democratic Underground.

Despite my continuing crush on her, I think that she shares with Donald Trump a crippling psychological disability: A phobic reaction to humility. She cannot admit error. Like many other slap-happy optimists, Mensch feels that saying "I'm sorry" or "Oops" would harsh her buzz. Mensch and Trump both refuse to understand that there can be long-term tactical advantages to self-deprecatory wit and the occasional mea culpa.

I'm certain -- well, 95% certain -- that there is no secret indictment against Trump. I'm 100% certain that Orrin Hatch has not received security briefings to prepare him for his imminent entry into the Oval Office. If Mensch's sources told her such things, her sources lied.

She's starting to remind me of a pre-Alex Jones conspiracy peddler named Sherman Skolnick, a name which some of you will know. Throughout much of the first Bush presidency, Skolnick would tell his listeners that "a group of generals are on their way to Washington to arrest George Bush for treason" -- a word which Skolnick always pronounced TREEEEzun. (Of course, generals don't arrest leaders; they conduct coups.) This went on for months. Skolnick kept assuring us that those generals were "on their way to Washington" -- yet they kept making that wrong turn at Albuquerque, just like Bugs and Daffy.

Skolnick had "sources" for this nonsense. One of them turned out to be a spooky fellow named Gunther Russbacher, best known for telling tall tales about the October Surprise of 1980. Gunther concocted a ridiculous story about George H.W. Bush flying to Paris in an SR71. In the original version of his tale (yes, I've heard the tape), he claimed that Ronald Reagan flew an SR71!

As most of you know, I believe that the October Surprise was one conspiracy theory based on reality. As I've said in a previous post:
The October Surprise thesis has been confirmed by:

* French intelligence chieftain Alexandre de Marenches
* Former Russian prime minister Sergei V. Stepashin
* Israeli secret agent Ari Ben-Menashe
* Former Iranian president Abolhassan Bani-Sadr
* Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
* Former Israeli prime minister Yitshak Shamir.

I doubt that you could ever have gotten those six guys to agree on anything else. They probably would not have agreed that the sun is hot. But they all said that, to their personal knowledge, the October Surprise thesis describes actual events. After a certain point, we have to consider the matter resolved beyond intelligent debate.
Here's the problem: During the brief window when this theory might have had some history-changing political potency, those six men had not yet spoken up in public. At that time, the sourcing was a lot worse -- and some of those sources, like dear old Gunther, turned out to be rats.

A more sophisticated October Surprise "rat" contacted former Reagan White House staffer Barbara Honegger early in her inquiry. (She wrote the first book on the topic.) Identifying himself only as "Razin" -- pronounced Ra-ZEEN -- this source claimed to have insider information about the secret deal between Reagan and the Iranians in 1980. It was all very mysterious and exciting.

It was also bullshit.

"Razin" turned out to be one Oswald LeWinter, who was literally looking at a box of Raisin Bran when he thought up his pseudonym. LeWinter (who died in 2013) was a CIA asset who considered himself a disinformation specialist. This article tells much of the story...
On that occasion LeWinter told Robert Parry how he had undermined the work of the investigative author Barbara Honegger on the alleged plot to delay the release of US hostages in Iran in order to favour the election of Ronald Reagan. It involved using tactics that would recur throughout his career.

“I managed to pass on some information to her which had factual elements in it, but also elements that with a little bit of digging could be discovered to be questionable,” Parry quoted him as saying. “The story would lead some investigators to spend time and effort running into blind alleys, with the result that eventually the whole story would be discredited.”
As you might have guessed, the congressional investigation into the October Surprise was basically the Oswald LeWinter show. When he confessed in public to being a fabricator (but not to being a CIA fabricator), he brought the whole inquiry tumbling down. That's disinfo-tainment!

The above-linked article notes that LeWinter was imprisoned on a drug smuggling charge in 1985. The judge who put him away, oddly enough, was Donald Trump's sister, Marianne Trump Barry.
Saul Bellow wrote her a letter of recommendation on his behalf. “He is personally charming and good-natured, nothing of the criminal psychopath about him. He simply suffers from a serious misunderstanding of what is appropriate in the career of a literary man...”
Boy, did he ever. (Then again, there's precedent.)

LeWinter claimed that he joined the Agency in 1966. Perhaps so; perhaps no. Although I'm pretty sure that he did develop Agency ties, I believe that his career as a rat began more modestly. I used to be on friendly terms with a guy who briefly knew LeWinter at a time when LeWinter was parading around under another alias. (He pretended to be a general.) My friend found out that LeWinter had been a college professor during the heyday of the SDS and the anti-Vietnam protests. Since he was considered one of the "hip" professors, student radicals would hang out with him and share their secrets over wine and reefer. Any interesting tidbits of information were, of course, passed right on to the FBI.

One day, we will all learn the names of Louise's sources. It's inevitable. No matter what she says now, I'm telling you: It's inevitable.

I'm pretty sure that at least one of her sources is the spiritual heir to Oswald LeWinter. For now, let's call him Little Razin.
I'm beginning to want you to lie to us. Can't the dutch documentary stuff save us? Where's that M-Kate follow the dots cartoon?

Lieberman is being dangled in front of us...I heard my mom yelling at the TV, "No, no!" when she saw him.
Special "Council", not Special Prosecutor. Less independent. And overseeing the investigation into the possible election meddling. That's limited...
Mueller's better than nothing and a whole lot better than many. It's most significant that he was FBI chief. It's like Hamlet's father's ghost showed up again. As the 18th-century father advised his daughter when she was to go out into the world: "Horse stealers are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen". Ergo, no POTUS will ever again outright fire a Director of the FBI.
I don't think Mensch is hard to figure out. She has some solid info with some nonsense which she mixes together to draw overly broad conclusions. She's been right too many times to dismiss entirely, but you have to be very careful before drawing any definitive conclusions. As you say, she also refuses to ever admit a mistake and picks fights with people just for expressing skepticism (I don't have to respond because you're #TeamDeza!).

On another note, Deza has become one of my least favorite words. Though it has a real meaning, it now gets thrown around at arguments people don't like. It's devolved into a lame ad hominem.
Yep, every unthinking person who is led by the nose by what's on their TV screen is a dedicated opponent of "disinformation" nowadays. Or if that's got too many syllables, they might use the alt-right I<3Trump term "fake news". It is extremely hard to get through to such people when they are standing on their heads and they don't have a clue that an understanding of the difference between true and false is something you have to fight to achieve, and to continue to fight for. Any left wing person who uses the term "fake news" really ought to reflect and try to sort their head out.

Imagine posting on Twitter about "deza"! What the fuck is Twitter except part of the new infostructure that is ever more mendacious and schizo?
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