Thursday, August 16, 2018

Manafort, the latest Clinton smear, and more. Plus: A special message to a special reader.

The defense didn't even try to defend Paul Manafort on some charges, yet everyone on Team Manafort seems smug and confident. Something wicked this way comes. Either a pardon is in the bag (the likely outcome) or a jury tampering scenario is playing out.

We haven't seen a major jury tampering scenario since the heyday of John Gotti. (Can anyone out there name a more recent case?) That was back in 1987; the fixer was a Yugoslavian gangster who headed the Westies, a traditionally Irish criminal organization. Ah, multiculturalism!

The very concept of jury tampering in the Manafort case will strike most people as absurd. That's why I'm warming to the notion. These days, absurdity is often the safest bet.

More on Craig Unger's new book. You can read the first chapter here. (My thanks to a reader for the link.)
But as this book will show, over the last four decades, President Donald Trump and his associates have had significant ties to at least 59 people who facilitated business between Trump and the Russians, including relationships with dozens who have alleged ties to the Russian Mafia.

It will show that President Trump has allowed Trump‐branded real estate to be used as a vehicle that likely served to launder enormous amounts of money—perhaps billions of dollars—for the Russian Mafia for more than three decades.

It will show that President Trump provided an operational home for oligarchs close to the Kremlin and some of the most powerful figures in the Russian Mafia in Trump Tower—his personal and professional home, the crown jewel of his real estate empire—and other Trump buildings on and off for much of that period.
The excerpt then goes on to tell the story of a mafia underboss named John “Sonny” Franzese.
Yet somehow the most enduring part of his legacy, one that will forever have its place in American history, is virtually unknown today. Through his son Michael, Sonny Franzese supervised a gasoline‐tax‐evasion scam that turned into a billion‐dollar enterprise lasting for six years, until the FBI broke it up in the mid-80s. The scandal also had far‐reaching geopolitical consequences in that it gave the newly arrived Russian Mafia its first major score in America and positioned it to play a vital role in Donald Trump’s rise to power, such a vital role that it is fair to say that without the Russian Mafia’s move into New York, Donald Trump would not have become president of the United States.
Read the rest.

Brennan. The right is smearing the guy as a commie, which is hilarious, although it is based on a weird truth: As a naive young college student, Brennan voted for Gus Hall in 1976, as a protest against both Gerry Ford and Jimmy Carter. He (Brennan) never joined the Communist party and never wrote or said anything that favored Marxist thought. He was quite open about all of this when he applied for work with the government, and he has candidly told the story ever since.

The only people who would seriously think that John Brennan favors Marxism are the same right-wing fruitcakes who would call me a commie because I voted for Jimmy.

John Brennan did not betray his country to Russia; Donald Trump did. Brennan's recent article in the NYT proves the point handily, although I wish he had written a much longer article discussing the evidence.

The latest smear. It has been a while since the fascist and/or Russian trolls have tried to use this humble blog as a platform for injecting a new anti-Clinton smear into left-wing circles. The last time this sort of thing occurred was during the gestative period of Pizzagate. The smear-meisters don't try to worm into places like Kos, but they think they have a shot at Cannonfire. Should I be honored, amused, or insulted?

Here's the smear, appended as a comment to my last Q-centric post (the one that pointed out that the Alex Jonesians and Q-believers are, according to scientific research, more likely than others to have pedophile tendencies):
Hi Joseph,

what is your two cents on this latest mystery since you're looking into pedo stuff? you always do a great job getting to the bottom of this, thank you for blog over the years...

I thought Bill Clinton was into women, not boys....

this coverage on youtube:

[More at link]

Investigative Journalist Found Dead in D.C. Hotel Room Weeks After Reporting Bill Clinton to FBI & DHS for Allegedly Raping Boy

Posted on August 14, 2018 by Investigative Bureau

Investigative Journalist Jen Moore was found dead in a suburban Washington D.C. hotel room Monday, according to police and shocked and distraught friends and colleagues.

What a brilliant signature! "concerned" with a small c. I love it! The primary link goes to True Pundit, described here:
True Pundit — a dubious site known for numerous false stories that counts Donald Trump Jr. as a fan and played a major role in spreading Pizzagate — published a piece with the headline “IG Report Confirms True Pundit BOMBSHELL on Hillary’s Emails; Details Comey Was Briefed on Clinton-Linked ‘Sex Crimes Against Children’ Evidence on Weiner Laptop.” The article claimed the report vindicated the site’s November 2016 piece that spread the hoax (former national security adviser Michael Flynn shared that piece on Twitter in 2016). True Pundit’s latest piece has been promoted on social media by various people including prominent conspiracy theorist Liz Crokin, with the hashtags “Pizzagate” and “QAnon”; Matt Crouch, a far-right figure who is being sued by the former family spokesperson of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich; Marco Gutierrez, who ran “Latinos for Trump” during the 2016 campaign and is a former Republican congressional candidate; veteran and author Boone Cutler; and Infowars’ Jerome Corsi, despite Infowars previously apologizing for spreading Pizzagate. The article was also promoted on the Pizzagate forum of far-right message board Voat.
In other words, the Pizzagate prevaricators are at it again. In this case, the smear involves the allegation that the Evil Clinton Conspiracy offed a journalist who had discovered SHOCKING EVIDENCE that Bill rapes boys.

I have an idea as to who might be behind these smears. Russians may provide the manpower and money, but "they don't know the territory," as the old song says. There's an American group at work here. I'm just starting to get a clearer picture of this group -- and of their elderly leader (or mentor, or inspiration).

At this point, I hope the readers will forgive me if I -- rather cryptically -- address one person who, I suspect, may be in the reading audience.

Mr. Burch...? Is that you? Or do I have the honor of addressing the younger Burch?

I've been studying your work. I'm a fan. Seriously. Although I have no tolerance for fascist ideology -- quite the opposite! -- I do admire audacity. 

This latest smear has your hallmarks, Mr. Burch. (I here address the elder Burch.)

One of the few previous writers who has paid close attention to you says that you have long demonstrated a certain fascination with pedophilia and homosexuality. There are some -- not me, of course, but some -- who would suspect that the concept of projection play a role in this obsession.

In this light, I would note that you once worked for a certain publication which counted, on its editorial board, a fellow named Eustace Mullins. Dear old Eustace! I followed his work for years, ever since the early 1990s, when his writings began to circulate on the left in southern California. (In that time and place, lefties were so naive.) Having read Kaminsky's book, I knew all about the "Israel Cohen" hoax, which Mullins never retracted, and which still sees some circulation on the internet.

Since you and Mullins were both listed as "editors" for the same publication, I'm guessing that you learned much from the guy. Eustace may have pulled a few legs, but you would yank 'em clean off. (The Rodin caper, for example. I'm still trying to figure that one out.)

Back in the VHS days, I possessed several videos featuring dear old Eustace. In one taped lecture, he claimed that the Trotskyist communists took over the Republican party and the Leninist communists took over the Democratic party. He named specific years for both takeovers. I laughed so hard, my gut ached. Literally!

He also name-dropped Gore Vidal in interesting ways. May I be frank? Eustace Mullins gave the impression that he considered himself the Gore Vidal of the goosestepper set.

May I be franker? Eustace Mullins also gave the impression of being, shall we say, a bit light in the loafers. Later, I read a book -- was it Dennis King's work on LaRouche? -- which came right out and claimed that Mullins was gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But he spoke to an audience filled with people who believe that there is something wrong with that. Such a situation offers the quintessence of drama.

(Of course, he had a number of barely-closeted predecessors: George Sylvester Viereck and Ernst Roehm are the two most obvious examples. Love of Adolf seems to be the other love that dare not say its name.)

The reason I'm asking you about all of this, Mr. Burch, is simple. You knew the guy. Isn't it awfully difficult for a gay man to be in that world?

Given your own demonstrated interest in such matters, I thought maybe you would be the guy to ask.

I'm still working on my little movie about you, Mr. Burch. Hope you like it! Like me, you won't be in this world much longer, but I'll see to it that you are remembered.
For people like me, the often overlooked history of US white supremacists and Russia:

Is it necessary to discredit Brennan right now only because Trump needed to distract from Omarosa's tapes and book? If Omarosa has Trump sweating bullets, and Brennan needed to be discredited, isn't there something she can unload publicly that corroborates how money from the Rosneft deal went into Trump's operation or anecdotes that explain how that CIA FISA investigation evidence has been tampered with? Perhaps she has something on tape that might be lead investigators toward charges of obstruction of justice?

What was uncovered in the counter-intel operation run by Brennan's CIA to investigate Russian influence peddling (and funding) of the Trump campaign after the operation obtained FISA warrants in Trump Tower? How is information Omarosa may have on tape going to shed light on those CIA (not FBI!) FiSA warrants and/or the significance of the frequent server activity between a Russian bank and servers in Trump Tower and at Spectrum Health? Who's guarding the evidence the CIA collected in the FISA warrants or is it strangely incomplete?

"It was set up after the director of the CIA, John Brennan, received a recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into Trump's campaign coffers, the BBC's Paul Wood reported. The recording was apparently passed to the CIA by the intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States."

"On October 15, the task force was reportedly granted a warrant by a judge in the FISA court — named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks that may have been implicated in the money transfer,

What happened to the recording from Baltic Intel? Why was the CIA slow to appreciate the significance of UK and Baltic intel on Russian money feeding into the Trump campaign?

"John Brennan, the former director of the CIA, also received a recording of a conversation last year from one of the Baltic states' intelligence agencies suggesting that money from the Kremlin had gone to the Trump campaign, the BBC reported."

""Source E," according to recent reports by the Wall Street Journal and ABC, is Sergei Millian."

"Millian, who attended several black-tie events at Trump's inauguration last month, denies this"

Joseph, how's the chapter on Ms. Manigault Newman coming along? Isn't she another Trump babe (if Trump were a woman, would he be Omarosa?). He liked to keep her around even when others wanted her gone. She embodies his values in female form. She makes Shera and Karen look like milquetoasts.
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