All posts tagged: Russiagate

Mueller-Dämmerung

CJ Hopkins If Nietzsche was right, and what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, we can thank the global capitalist ruling classes, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media for four more years of Donald Trump. The long-awaited Mueller report is due any day now, or so they keep telling us. Once it is delivered, and does not prove that Trump is a Russian intelligence asset, or that he personally conspired with Vladimir Putin to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, well, things are liable to get a bit awkward. Given the amount of goalpost-moving and focus-shifting that has been going on, clearly, this is what everyone’s expecting. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised. I was sure they were going to go ahead and fabricate some kind of “smoking gun” evidence (like the pee-stained sheets from that Moscow hotel), or coerce one of his sleazy minions into testifying that he personally saw Trump down on his knees “colluding” Putin in the back room of a Russian sauna. After all, if you’re going to accuse a …

Michael Cohen’s Disproven Testimony

Eric Zuesse Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen gave false testimony to Congress on Wednesday, February 27th, when he said that Trump had been phoned by Roger Stone in advance of the Wikileaks dump of Hillary Clinton’s emails and that Stone at that time told Trump that Stone had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange who had just told Stone that there would soon be a big dump by Wikileaks of damaging files from Clinton. On February 27th, Cohen told Congress: Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails. In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Mr. Trump responded …

“New Knowledge” and the same old same old

Most of us in the UK-based alternate media are familiar with the Integrity Initiative by now. A disinformation campaign funded by the foreign office through the (very dodgy sounding) Institute for Statecraft. Their job was to smear people opposing Theresa May’s government – be they foreign or domestic. Less well-known in this country is New Knowledge, a direct US-based parallel of the Integrity Initiative. They’ve been conducting “counter propaganda” and “social media experiments” in the US since 2015, but only just hit the headlines.

The Fetishization of the Corporate Media

CJ Hopkins So the corporate media have gone and done it again. As they have, repeatedly, for the last two and half years, they shook the earth with a “bombshell” story proving beyond any reasonable doubt that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, or at least committed an impeachable felony in connection with something to do with the Russians, or Ukrainians, or other Slavic persons … which story turned out to be inaccurate, or not entirely accurate, or a bunch of horseshit. This time it was BuzzFeed’s Jason Leopold, “a reporter with a checkered past” (i.e., a history of inventing his sources) who broke the “bombshell” Russiagate story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit. Leopold, and his colleague Anthony Cormier, reported that Trump had directed his attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about plans to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, thus suborning perjury and obstructing justice. Their sources for this “bombshell” story were allegedly “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation …

Disbelief, Magic Realism and Doublethink Alive and Well in 2018

James O’Neill In the Lyrical Ballads, a collection of essays and poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the latter coined the phrase “the willing suspension of disbelief.” It enabled the reader to overlook the logical improbabilities or fanciful concoctions to achieve “poetic faith”. A modern equivalent might be “magical realism,” a term conceived by the German writer Franz Roh in 1925. Magical realism was a style of fiction that painted a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements. Both terms are appropriate when one considers modern journalism, especially as applied to some of the major stories of 2018. Four events during that year illustrate the point. Crimea Although not strictly speaking a 2018 story, it nonetheless ran strongly through 2018, blending a number of sub stories, all with the common element of Russia bashing. Following the United States inspired and financed Maidan coup in February 2014, the Crimeans decided to hold a referendum as to whether or not they would remain part of Ukraine (to whom they were ‘gifted’ …

The Guardian’s Reputation In Tatters After Forger Revealed To Have Co-Authored Assange Smear

Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media Regular followers of WikiLeaks-related news are at this point [December 3, 2018] familiar with the multiple serious infractions of journalistic ethics by Luke Harding and The Guardian, especially (though not exclusively) when it comes to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. However, another individual at the heart of this matter is far less familiar to the public. That man is Fernando Villavicencio, a prominent Ecuadorian political activist and journalist, director of the USAID-funded NGO Fundamedios and editor of online publication FocusEcuador. Most readers are also aware of The Guardian’s recent publication of claims that Julian Assange met with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on three occasions. This has now been definitively debunked by Fidel Narvaez, the former Consul at Ecuador’s London embassy between 2010 and 2018, who says Paul Manafort has never visited the embassy during the time he was in charge there. But this was hardly the first time the outlet published a dishonest smear authored by Luke Harding against Assange. The paper is also no stranger to publishing stories based on …

OffG in the New Year

And so the year ends. 2018 is a closed book. The final sentence dotted, a new chapter started. It was a bleak year, politically, for many of us – but not entirely without hope.

UPDATED: The “Secret Meetings” of Paul Manafort & Julian Assange

Kit Knightly Luke Harding and Dan Collyns, writing in the Guardian, have claimed Paul Manafort (jailed former-campaign chief to Donald Trump) met with Julian Assange, the illegally detained founding editor of WikiLeaks, in the run-up to 2016 Presidential election. You can read an archived version their article here, just in case The Guardian “amends” their claims in the future (Update – The Guardian has already edited their article to scale back their language. Called it). Other “news” outlets have, rather predictably, jumped all over it. WikiLeaks have categorically denied any such meetings took place: Remember this day when the Guardian permitted a serial fabricator to totally destroy the paper's reputation. @WikiLeaks is willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor's head that Manafort never met Assange. https://t.co/R2Qn6rLQjn — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 27, 2018 What the article says So, is there any truth to the claims? Well, certainly not on the weight of Harding’s article. There is no evidence cited, except for the testimony of anonymous “sources”. Sources have said Manafort went to …

Britain on the Leash with the United States – but at Which End?

James George Jatras, October 13, 2018, via Strategic Culture The “special relationship” between the United States and the United Kingdom is often assumed to be one where the once-great, sophisticated Brits are subordinate to the upstart, uncouth Yanks. Iconic of this assumption is the mocking of former prime minister Tony Blair as George W. Bush’s “poodle” for his riding shotgun on the ill-advised American stagecoach blundering into Iraq in 2003. Blair was in good practice, having served as Bill Clinton’s dogsbody in the no less criminal NATO aggression against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999. On the surface, the UK may seem just one more vassal state on par with Germany, Japan, South Korea, and so many other useless so-called allies. We control their intelligence services, their military commands, their think tanks, and much of their media. We can sink their financial systems and economies at will. Emblematic is German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s impotent ire at discovering the Obama administration had listened in on her cell phone, about which she – did precisely nothing. Global hegemony means …

The Hitlergate Hearings

OK, so, that was a close one. For a moment there, I was starting to worry that the Democrats weren’t going to take back the House and rescue us from “the brink of fascism.” Which, if that had happened, in addition to having to attend all those horrible stadium rallies and help the government mass murder the Jews, we would have been denied the next two years of Donald Trump-related congressional hearings and investigations that we can now look forward to … I’m going to go ahead and call them the Hitlergate Hearings.

Whither Russiagate?

Philip Giraldi Two years have passed since the 2016 presidential election. Allegations that foreign interference had influenced the result, perhaps decisively, began to surface even as the last ballots were being counted. Against all odds underdog Donald J. Trump had been elected president and the Establishment, which denigrated him throughout the campaign, had to find a scapegoat to explain their failure to elect the preferred candidate. The scapegoat turned out to be Russia. The Robert Mueller led inquiry into the election has been running since May 2017. It has been tasked with determining whether the Trump campaign colluded corruptly with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the election. It has worked hard to delegitimize the president without that being its stated objective and has had a certain measure of success in doing just that. But apart from a couple of low-level convictions for perjury, Mueller has come up with nothing that convincingly demonstrates that Moscow had some kind of plan to disrupt the elections and thereby damage American democracy. There was, to be …

NYT Admits “no evidence” of Russian Collusion.

The headline says it all really – it’s not exaggeration or spin on our part. For months, years even, we’ve been told that Trump is “the Siberian candidate”, or “Putin’s puppet” and “Russia’s Weapon”. The evidence was never supplied, but those who questioned the claim were mocked, derided and ignored. None of that matters now…because today, in the New York Times, these words were published: …no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.” For proof, and just in case they take it down, here’s the screen cap they took over at Moon of Alabama: Right there in black-and-white. There are other words, of course, thousands of them, a quarter of a novel. All designed to blow smoke over this para and give the opposite impression without actually lying. But none of the others matter: these 20 words prove Russiagate is fake, and that the NYT knows it and just hopes its readers don’t catch on. That para is basically a full on admission …

Trump Deathwatch

The latest “Trump Deathwatch” began on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. It began in a courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, when Paul Manafort, sleazebag beltway operator and former chairman of Trump’s campaign, was pronounced guilty by a jury of his peers on ten counts of various types of fraud — tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to disclose thirty-one foreign bank accounts which he was using for the purposes of fraud. Or maybe it began in another courtroom, this one miles away in New York City, when, almost at the exact same moment, Michael Cohen, Trump’s ex-lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight unrelated charges of fraud and campaign finance violations, the latter charges stemming from “hush money” paid to two of Trump’s former bimbos.

5 timely reminders that the media think you are an idiot…

The corporate media think we are stupid. All of us. They have as much respect for our intellect or ability to reason as they do for the truth. This is displayed, in size 20 font, on the front page of every newspaper every single day. They paint a picture of an absurd world, and expect us all to nod along with it, blithely accepting their stories as true, no matter what laws of reason – or even physics – they bend to suit their purpose.

The world in the newspaper and on the television is not real in any true sense of the word. Merely a crazy fun-house mirror reflection of the truth. Important features shrunk to nothing, tiny flaws blown up out of proportion. Apparently solid shapes that – on inspection – are nothing but strange plays of light and shadow.

With that in mind, let’s remind ourselves of the kind of completely bonkers things we’re all expected to believe.

America’s latest witch-hunt

The current Maria Butina indictment in the US reminds one of Voltaire’s famous saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. I do not share Maria Butina’s fondness for guns or for the National Rifle Association’s aggressive lobbying for easy public access to guns. Nor would I put up my hand to attend National Prayer Breakfasts in the US. But she seems to be an innocent victim of current Washington elite Russophobia.

The “Nunes” memo

Embedded from googledocs

US boasts about interfering in sovereign nations while sanctioning Russia for allegedly doing the same

Imagine Vladimir Putin admitted on camera to telling President Nieto of Mexico “fire your state prosecutor or you don’t get the loan we promised you.” Imagine he joked about this overt interference in another sovereign country, imagine he revelled in it as a sign of his country’s power and supremacy. What would the mainstream media headlines be? How many times would the clip be played on CNN, the BBC and Sky News? How many people in the world would not be aware he had said these words? Proof at last that Russia is meddling in the affairs of other nations. Well, how many of those news outlets played this on a loop for their viewers? [starts at 51m] Here’s the transcript: BIDEN: I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t…. I said, nah…we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re …

VIDEO: Aaron Maté asks Luke Harding “What collusion?”

Everyone is now pretty familiar with Luke Harding’s devastating encounter with Aaron Maté of the Real News. But it can stand a lot of repeating. So we are airing it here. Luke was clearly not prepared for an interview with someone interested in establishing facts and questioning his assumptions. It quickly becomes apparent his facts are few and his assumptions unable to withstand even the slightest objective analysis. In fact he is revealed for what he is – a shallow pseudo-journalist with edges of paranoia and some genuine areas of insanity whose fantasies are routinely indulged by an establishment media that finds his extreme russophobia and ability to believe his own brazen lies very very useful. For interest compare this interview with the kind of easy ride Harding usually gets. The transcript was provided for us by ChrisG Aaron Maté: This is the real News, I’m Aaron Maté. 2017 is almost over, but Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is not. In fact, the Washington Post reports that Mueller’s probe could last another year, through …

When The Unthinkable Becomes Quotidian: Thermic runaway and Strangelovian palaver

by Phil Rockstroh The effects of humankind created climate chaos are proving to be more devastating than even the grimmest predictions. Today’s wealth inequity is worse than in the Gilded Age. Around the world, the U.S. empire wages perpetual war, hot and cold, overt and covert, including military brinksmanship with the nuclear power, the Russian Federation. Speaking of the latter, the U.S. media retails a storyline that would be considered risible if it was not so dangerously inflammatory i.e., L’affaire du Russia-gate, wherein, according to the lurid tale, the sinister Vladimir Putin, applying techniques from the Russian handbook for international intrigue, Rasputin Mind Control For Dummies, has wrested control of the U.S. Executive Branch of government and bends its policies to his diabolical will. Ridiculous, huh? Yet the mainstream press promulgates and a large section of the general public believes what is clearly a reality-bereft tale, as all the while, ignoring circumstances crucial for their own economic well-being; their safety, insofar as a catastrophic nuclear exchange; and the steps required to maintain the ecological criteria …

Michael Flynn’s Indictment Exposes Trump Team’s Collusion With Israel, Not Russia

by Max Blumenthal, via Defend Democracy Press When Congress authorized Robert Mueller and his team of lawyers to investigate “links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” opponents of the president sensed that sooner or later, hard evidence of Trump’s collusion with the Russian government would emerge. Seven months later, after three indictments that did little, if anything, to confirm the grand collusion narrative, Mueller had former National Security Council advisor Michael Flynn dragged before a federal court for lying to the FBI. The Russia probe had finally netted a big fish. As the details of the Flynn indictment seeped out into the press, however, the bombshell was revealed as another dud. To the dismay of many Trump opponents, nothing in Flynn’s rap sheet demonstrated collusion with Russia. Instead, the indictment undermined the Russiagate narrative while implicating another, much more inconvenient foreign power in a plot to meddle in American politics. According to plea agreement Flynn signed with Mueller, Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI about …