Saturday, May 26, 2018

Stone and Jones (updated)

In previous posts, I have argued that the Trumpers use death threats to keep people from talking -- which is why I remain at least semi-convinced that neither Paul Manafort nor Michael Cohen will turn. Want evidence that potential squealers are under threat? Start here.

Yeah, I know that Roger Stone loves to talk like a film noir tough guy. No, I don't think that he is personally going to do harm to anyone. Neither do I think that he would hire a hit man.

But ask yourself: Does he need to take action personally? The Russians certainly have the means to take out enemies.

Stone's excuse -- that his comment referred to a cancer which Credico allegedly has -- is transparently false. Credico says that he does not have cancer, and Stone's words clearly do not reference disease.
Credico also claims that around the time Stone was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee in September, Stone told him to “just go along with” his story.

Last November, the committee subpoenaed Credico, but he asserted his Fifth Amendment rights and was excused from testifying. This year, though, Credico began speaking out. In interviews with the Daily Beast, Mother Jones, and Yahoo News and for David Corn and Michael Isikoff’s Russian Roulette, Credico openly contradicted Stone’s claims that he was a source of information on Assange for Stone. These reports drew Stone’s ire.

“You are a rat,” reads one undated missive that Credico says Stone sent him. “A stoolie. You backstab your friends-run your mouth my lawyers are dying to Rip you to shreds[.]”
The message is obvious: The leaders of this conspiracy expect underlings to go along with the agreed-upon lies, or there will be serious repercussions. When Credico took the Fifth, he did so not because he feared jail; he feared something else.

Stone's threat is, arguably, a criminal act in and of itself. But it also indicates a deeper criminality: The innocent do not accuse former friends of being rats and stoolies.

Update: Julian Assange reportedly wants to speak with Adam Schiff -- not to any of the Republicans: To Schiff -- to prove that there was no collusion. The source for this story: Randy Credico. Strange that Assange would be in contact with Credico at the height of the Credico/Stone tiff.

Needless to say, nothing Assange says can be trusted. He'll probably proffer some bullshit about receiving information from a Clinton insider. If that were the case, we'd have had proof ages ago.

Update II. I just caught Credico talking about this to Ari Melber. Now I'm starting to think that the tiff between Stone and Credico is staged. As most of you know, Trump and Stone staged what I consider a fake "argument" as the campaign got underway, giving Trump some distance and plausible deniability as Stone went off to do his thing.

Alex Jones says that he is being investigated for espionage. Jones, a secret agent? Doesn't seem likely: He hasn't infiltrated any organizations, and I can't visualize him hiding microfilm in a dead drop. He sure as hell isn't going to bait any honeytraps.

More here, from the publication I will always lovingly call the Moonie Times...
The Federal Election Commission is expected to discuss Thursday whether to investigate if Russia colluded with far-right websites in order to boost President Trump’s 2016 campaign after news reports accused sites including Breitbart and InfoWars of receiving Russian support.

“We are witnessing the greatest witch hunt in U.S. history. The most transparent, the most fraudulent, the most upside-down, the most twisted compendium of fraud that I have ever seen in modern history,” Mr. Jones said at the start of the broadcast.

“I get up this morning and I learn from Ellen L Weintraub, commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, what I already knew from four months ago — I am under criminal espionage investigation by the FBI for taking money from Russians or Russian-owned companies,” Mr. Jones added.
I draw your attention to this Observer piece from last September. The headline: "InfoWars’ Alex Jones Stole Over 1,000 Articles From Kremlin-Backed Russia Today."
As reported by Buzzfeed News, InfoWars re-published over 1,000 RT articles within the past three years without the Kremlin-backed outlet’s permission. InfoWars’ plagiarism is evidenced by data from Buzzsumo, a social tracking website that monitors content as it is shared online. Although InfoWars included credits in the articles’ bylines, a representative from RT told Buzzfeed that they did not receive permission to perpetuate such content.
When Adam Schiff mentioned the Infowars/RT connection, Jones offered a memorable response.
“You want to sit here and say that I’m a goddamn, f*cking Russian. You get in my face with that I’ll beat your goddamn ass, you son of a b*tch. You piece of sh*t. You f*cking goddamn f*cker. Listen f*ckhead, you have f*cking crossed a line. Get that through your goddamn f*cking head. Stop pushing your sh*t.”
Jones, who considers himself a Christian, truly knows how to capture the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount.

Jones has staunchly defended the integrity of the recent Russian election.
I’m not a Russophile. I’m not an Anglophile. I’m an Americana guy. But I see Russia going in the direction of 1776, I see us going in the opposite direction.
Accuracy in Media -- nobody's idea of a left-wing organization -- argued back in 2014 that Jones was pushing Putin-friendly conspiracy scenarios. AIM called AJ "a reliable outlet for pro-Russian propaganda."

Let's take this deeper.
By his own admission, Jones communicated with the future head of RT America around the time of Paul’s 2008 run — at the same time his show was pushing for Paul and Anderson was flying Paul banners in the sky. More recently, Jones was interviewed on Russian TV by Alexander Dugin, a political analyst with close ties to the Kremlin.
Dugin is a stone-cold fascist. You should look at the comments on Dugin-friendly sites: His followers truly hate America and all Americans. They want this country to end.

Why would an "Americana" guy spend time with Dugin?

(The story at the other end of that link deserves your full attention; much of it looks into the links between Russian nationalists and the Ron Paul movement.)

More on the Jones/Dugin connection here...
The far right's crusade against national security adviser H.R. McMaster reached new heights last week, intensifying as Infowars founder Alex Jones invited an ultranationalist Russian political philosopher on his radio show to discuss "globalist" threats to US President Donald Trump's agenda.

Jones interviewed Aleksandr Dugin — who has been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and has close ties to Russian fascists and nationalists — as part of a segment attacking McMaster, who has come under fire from Trump's nationalist base for firing three National Security Council officials appointed by Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser.

"He is purging anybody who does not want to have, basically, a war with Russia," Jones said of McMaster.

Dugin agreed. "Globalists" like McMaster have made Russia "enemy No. 1," he said, because they need a battle to distract the public while they pursue their "satanic" plans and "destroy humanity."
The most important thing to understand about Dugin is that he a lover of the apocalypse. You can't instill fear in an opponent who welcomes the End of All Things.

(For much more on Dugin, see here.)

Jones has bragged about receiving praise from "Top Putin advisers." How would he know what Putin's top advisers are saying?

And then there's this...
Radio host and prominent Donald Trump ally Alex Jones was told by an RT host that Russian President Vladimir Putin asked him to "say hi to Alex.” Jones has claimed that he was told years ago that "Putin’s a big listener" and was previously informed that the “Russian government listens to" his show and the Kremlin partially “modeled” RT off of his Infowars network.
Jones recently appeared on Tsargrad TV, which was founded by Putin ally Konstantin Malofeev. The Russian tycoon is reportedly “one of Vladimir Putin’s favorite businessmen” and has “close ties to the Kremlin elite.” During the appearance, Tsargrad TV editorial director Alexander Dugin praised Jones as “a hero of this campaign” because he “told the truth while everyone else lied.” Dugin has been widely referred to as “Putin's Rasputin” because of his ties to and influence on the Russian president and his political apparatus. Jones himself bragged about appearing on “Vladimir Putin’s favorite TV show” and with “top Putin advisers.”

Jones has also recently claimed that he’s been praised by Putin himself. On his December 8 program, Jones hosted RT broadcaster Max Keiser. Slate profiled Keiser in 2013 and wrote that he’s “become an eccentric hero of a certain ultralibertarian, 9/11-conspiracy-espousing, gold-bug-loving corner of alternative media.”

Keiser and Jones spent time discussing Putin’s interest in Jones, with Keiser stating: “Vladimir Putin says to say hello, by the way.” Jones responded, “Wow,” and claimed that he was “told by the head of RT America, before they even launched it, like eight, nine years ago, Putin’s a big listener.” Jones then added that “years ago” he was told by unnamed people that “Putin wants to come on” and talk about hunting (the appearance appears to have not materialized).
Back in 2008, this anti-Jones blogger called AJ "Putin's meat puppet."
His latest escapade is to volunteer to become a wide-eyed apologist for Russian imperialism. His ingrained hatred of the Bush administration has led him to take the maxim “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to a dangerous extreme. Instead of applying the same suspicion to others which he applies to Bush and the Neocons, he naively assumes that anyone who is out to get Bush and his cronies must be a good guy. The problem is that your enemy’s enemy can still be an evil bastard, and that’s the truth he’s failed to recognize about Vladimir Putin and his expansionist Russian administration. He has apparently missed one of the big lessons which came out of World War II, that being opposed to the Nazis did not make Stalinist Russia any less evil.

It’s truly bizarre that Jones questions everything to come out of Washington or the Bush administration, but is willing to swallow every bit of Russian disinformation whole and basically let himself be hollowed out and welcome Putin’s controlling hand up his backside and let Putin’s lies spew from his mouth. The height of his irresponsibility came when he decided it was a great idea to appear on Russian propaganda TV to praise Putin and denigrate the United States, reinforcing and lending legitimacy to the Russian administration’s blatant lies about the Georgian conflict.
Does all of this add up to espionage? Dunno. But it adds up to something.

This much is certain: During the Cold War, anyone with similar Russian ties would have been entirely exorcised from all civilized gatherings.
I won't deny I want the apocalpyse too.

Dugin says "All is dead with Modernity. So it should end. We are going to end it." Those last six words were also spoken by Trump during his election campaign - quite a few times, I think. They were like a mantra.

In other news, the British Justice Secretary has promised to use prison labour to bring in the harvest, given that there will be fewer seasonal workers in the country who come from Poland and other East European EU countries. He says he will use prison labour to bring in the harvest. Is there a precedent for that in any country? Kampuchea maybe?
This is a great round-up. I'm using it as an object lesson for one of my Trumpist naive informants ...
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