The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Belligerent Savant » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:05 am

.
Satire is dead, or rather, is utterly indistinguishable from what passes for NEWS today.

It still lives here, though! Well done: I managed to chortle at your posts, AND you inspired me to come out of my self-imposed sabbatical.

Oh, and: my neighbors are Russian... and a co-worker of mine? She's Russian too. They're infiltrating. Masquerading as US.

Masterful strokes by those crafty россиян. And so effective!


[/goes back to lurk mode]



JackRiddler » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:43 am wrote:.

Has Russia Infiltrated Rigorous Intuition?

:shock2: :shock2: :shock2: :ohwh :ohwh :ohwh :starz: :starz: :starz: :shock: :shock: :shock:

(why don't we have a :brrrrrrrrr: emoji?)

Sorry, I meant to say, HOW BADLY Has Russia Infiltrated Rigorous Intuition?

I didn't mean to question the premise that it HAS, or to imply that there is any answer other than YES, which only a Conspiracy Theorist and Trump supporter would do.

So it's time we asked!

I was reminded to do so just now, after reading about how making fun of #Russiagate is exactly what...

RUSSIANS DO!!!

How comes it that some people here DENY RussiaRussiaRussia?!

Maybe I'm one of THEM!

It's time for me to come clean!

Full disclosure: In my life, I have MET SEVERAL RUSSIANS.

In fact, one of my greatest failed love affairs began at an old Berlin venue known as the... Russian Disco! A known hang-out for RUSSIANS. Including Russian women who might be called hot, like Maria Butina, who may have seduced all of America into voting Trump.

Now the woman I'm talking about wasn't Russian, but she could have been!!!

I remember on that night the venue was projecting footage from 1950s American newsreels as part of an ambient show that, in its implications, among other things, made U.S. politicians look really dumb! Why were those Russians in the Russian Disco playing OUR newsreels?

And do you know who the Russian president was, that very night already? I don't have to tell you!11!!1!

:brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr:

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:28 pm

Speaking of parodies,

here we go here we go, the inevitable is here.

As an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist New Yorker forced to grow up with Trump in the news, I first conceived of him one day being tried for his crimes under capitalist law sometime in the late 1980s. So I am really angry at assholes who have tainted the open-and-shut case (the criminal business model from the git-go) with fabrications inserted for no reason other than... Russophobia and to... scam the most incompetent Democratic campaign in history, help manufacture justifications for imperialism and xenophobia, get higher military budgets, increase geopolitical tensions and the odds of nuclear war.


https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... 347833002/

Reporter who broke Steele dossier story says ex-British agent's claims 'likely false'
William Cummings USA TODAY
Published 5:04 PM EST Dec 18, 2018


A reporter, who was among the first to report on former British intelligence agent Michael Steele’s dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, said in an interview some of the dossier’s “more sensational allegations” are “likely false.”

Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, said Saturday during an interview on conservative commentator John Ziegler's "Free Speech Broadcasting" podcast that "Steele was clearly onto something" in his probe into the campaign's Russian connection but evidence has not surfaced to support some of his specific assertions.

Steele was correct to suspect "that there was a major Kremlin effort to interfere in our elections, that they were trying to help Trump's campaign, and that there were multiple contacts between various Russian figures close to the government and various people in the Trump campaign," Isikoff said.

More: Senate reports find millions of social media posts by Russians aimed at helping Trump, GOP

But he said when "you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them, and, in fact, there's good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven and are likely false."

"It's a mixed record at best," he said. "Things could change. Mueller may yet produce evidence that changes this calculation but based on the public record at this point, I'd have to say that most of the specific allegations have not been borne out."

Steele was contracted by the research firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump, first for a conservative website and later for the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. His work helped spark the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which in turn led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Among the dossier's unsubstantiated claims is a salacious one that Russian intelligence had compromising film of Trump with prostitutes.

Ignoring Isikoff's statement that there was evidence of ties between his campaign and Russian officials, President Donald Trump thanked the reporter for his "honesty" in a tweet Tuesday.

Trump asserted incorrectly that Isikoff's opinion means "the FISA WARRANTS and the whole Russian Witch Hunt is a Fraud and a Hoax which should be ended immediately. Also, it was paid for by Crooked Hillary & DNC! "

Republicans on Capitol Hill and conservative commentators have questioned the legitimacy of Mueller's probe and the entire Russia investigation because the FBI relied on the dossier's allegations to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But four federal judges separately signed off on the warrants and there has been no evidence to show investigators acted improperly in obtaining them.

Redacted versions of the warrant applications show that the FBI did base its request in part on Steele’s information, whom they said had given them reliable information in the past. It also cited Page’s links to Russian intelligence officials. Isikoff's reporting, which used Steele as a source, was also mentioned.

More: FBI releases FISA records on Carter Page surveillance

"But here is what is true, Mr. President," Isikoff replied to Trump in a tweet linking to his 2018 book "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump," which he co-authored with Mother Jones reporter David Corn.

“During the campaign, Trump had encouraged Russia’s hacking and dumping – of which he was the chief beneficiary,” the book concludes. “Whether or not the investigations would ever turn up hard evidence of direct collusion, Trump’s actions – his adamant and consistent denial of any Russian role – had provided Putin cover. In that sense, he had aided and abetted Moscow’s attack on American democracy.”

Isikoff made his remarks during a discussion with Ziegler about a claim made by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen said Trump was in the room during a discussion with National Enquirer publisher David Pecker about how the newspaper could help kill negative stories about the then-candidate.

Ziegler suggested the National Enquirer story was the "real scandal" out of the Trump campaign because it revealed that a tabloid might possess material that could theoretically be used to blackmail a sitting president.

"The irony here is Steele may be right but it wasn't the Kremlin that had the sexual kompromat on Donald Trump, it was the National Enquirer," Isikoff said. He added that Pecker could be a key witness for House Democrats when they take control of that chamber next month.

Contributing: Brad Heath

Published 5:04 PM EST Dec 18, 2018

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:34 pm

said in an interview some of the dossier’s “more sensational allegations” are “likely false.”



Judge Sullivan, who has seen the redacted info in the pleadings, asks if Mueller's team considered chargin' Mike Flynn with "TREASON."

The Steele Report, Revisited

How much of the infamous document ended up being corroborated elsewhere? A whole lot.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/201 ... rated.html


As a raw intelligence document, the Steele dossier, we believe, holds up well so far. But surely there is more to come from Mueller’s team. We will return to it as the public record develops.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/steele-doss ... rospective
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:16 pm

.

This is getting better and better.

$4700


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emxUdrVVR8s

$4700 $4700 $4700

Who says you need money to affect American politics?

. meanwhile, a cross post .

JackRiddler » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:32 pm wrote:Breaking News!

The biggest assist given to Trump was #Russiagate.

This incredible distraction from actual Trump crimes now begins to unravel in public.

Sorry that so many people naively believed in it, but I can't believe anyone did at R.I. You are suckers.

Professional spooks manufactured a Russophobic, pro-war, Clinton-exculpating conspiracy theory, in the process largely diverting and demobilizing the vital, actual resistance to a genuinely fascist turn in US politics. Disgusting.

In reality, #Russiagate HELPS TRUMP, exactly like I told you from the start:

- Out of all the accusations raised against him, his criminal family business, and criminal milieu, some of which date back decades, he is targeted for pretty much the only crimes he hasn't actually done and can credibly deny.

- In the face of all the reasons for the disaster of 2016 that need to be addressed urgently, including a vast machinery of election fraud and civil rights violations that sustains the GOP despite its demographic decline, #Russiagate manufactures the laughably false distraction of a foreign enemy seizing the minds of the nation by magical means.

- Despite all the barbaric, cruel innovations and new lows of the Trump government as a regressive peak in the long series of imperialist, hyper-capitalist and ecocidal governments, he is targeted for the handful of policy proposals (such as deescalation of tensions with Russia, assuming it was ever meant seriously, which is a very big if) that would have represented progress over the status quo.

But the law in its majesty comes down on its patsies. After six years in what is tantamount to imprisonment, Julian Assange is likely to spend a lot more time in prison for made-up connections to #Russiagate than Trump ever will.

And here we are. Regarding the Russia stuff the Mueller investigation is going to be the dud it was always going to be -- in part because it pursues elite targets against whom manufacturing charges is harder than might have been the case with, say, Black Panthers.

But at least many real criminal charges are also being pursued through the dozens of other investigations against the Trump Org and GOP campaign complex that also arose, partly thanks to discoveries in the Mueller investigations unrelated to Russia. No objections from me regarding the latter. As I've said repeatedly, Stormy Daniels is a much bigger threat to Trump than, I dunno, take your pick: unpaid intern and self-important grifter George Papadopoulos?


https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... 347833002/

Reporter who broke Steele dossier story says ex-British agent's claims 'likely false'

William Cummings USA TODAY
Published 5:04 PM EST Dec 18, 2018


A reporter, who was among the first to report on former British intelligence agent Michael Steele’s dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, said in an interview some of the dossier’s “more sensational allegations” are “likely false.”

Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, said Saturday during an interview on conservative commentator John Ziegler's "Free Speech Broadcasting" podcast that "Steele was clearly onto something" in his probe into the campaign's Russian connection but evidence has not surfaced to support some of his specific assertions.

Steele was correct to suspect "that there was a major Kremlin effort to interfere in our elections, that they were trying to help Trump's campaign, and that there were multiple contacts between various Russian figures close to the government and various people in the Trump campaign," Isikoff said.

More: Senate reports find millions of social media posts by Russians aimed at helping Trump, GOP

But he said when "you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, we have not seen the evidence to support them, and, in fact, there's good grounds to think that some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven and are likely false."

"It's a mixed record at best," he said. "Things could change. Mueller may yet produce evidence that changes this calculation but based on the public record at this point, I'd have to say that most of the specific allegations have not been borne out."

Steele was contracted by the research firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump, first for a conservative website and later for the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. His work helped spark the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which in turn led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

etc etc

We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

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I am by virtue of its might divine,
The highest Wisdom and the first Love.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:34 pm

www.counterpunch.org

Russophobia and the Specter of War

By Carl Boggs

December 19, 2018 @ 2:10 am


Could global warming pose the greatest threat to the future of life on the planet? Quite possibly, if we believe the international (and scientific) consensus, despite a widening stratum of debunkers, deniers, and skeptics. What about the prospects of thermonuclear war between the United States and Russia, two countries armed to the max and seemingly moving toward the brink of military conflict? Where does that rate? If the question is asked of most any Beltway denizen, the response might be something along lines of “sounds frightening, but right now we have other priorities, and we can’t lose sight of the Russian threat”.

As American political life continues to deteriorate, matters of war and peace rarely merit attention amidst the sound and fury of manufactured news, moral posturing, personal scandals, and tweeting exchanges. Good for TV ratings and maybe partisan advantage, decidedly less so for addressing issues of political relevance. Now we have two years of frenzied Russiagate and its attendant neo-McCarthyism. That the intensifying hostility directed by one nuclear power toward another might bring the world closer to a war that could end all wars seems bizarrely remote to a political class obsessed with little beyond its own power and wealth, faintly camouflaged by identity politics; the “unthinkable” remains, well, unthinkable.

As anti-Russia hysteria spreads, speech taboos harden; any discourse at odds with tightening official political/media consensus brings immediate blowback, smear-mongering, and (where possible) silencing. It is so obvious that Vladimir Putin is a ruthless, aggressive monster that any dissenting view must be the product of either insanity or Russian propaganda. In this one-dimensional world the recent appearance of Stephen F. Cohen’s important book, War with Russia?, comes with special urgency, Cohen being one of the few public intellectuals to challenge the onslaught of Russophobic narratives churned out relentlessly by the political/media establishment. And he remains virtually alone in going so far as to write about very real specter of nuclear catastrophe.

Longtime scholar of Soviet/Russian studies, Cohen has for years resisted the tide of mindless Russia bashing that gathered steam first, with the 2014 Ukraine events, and then with Trump’s unacceptable rise to the White House. For his informed and dispassionate analysis of Russian history and politics, Cohen has been denounced as “Putin’s number one American apologist”, charged by some for having been “duped” by that great Russian mastermind. Appearing recently on CNN with Anderson Cooper and the neocon warmonger Max Boot, Cohen’s stubborn refusal to see Putin as the worst of all tyrannical evils triggered Boot, who proceeded to attack Cohen for decades of apologetics, followed by a dire warning: “Russia is attacking us right now”. Such is the state of American media discourse that Boot had no need to furnish evidence of any such “attack”, and Cooper was not about to demand it.

Cohen’s book – a lengthy collection of recent essays – convincingly demolishes every fictional narrative behind Russiagate, the same arguments ritually presented as earth-shattering news at CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere across the corporate media. In contrast to earlier cycles of anti-Soviet hysteria, including 1950s McCarthyism, the newer variant comes not from the extreme right but mainly from liberal Democrats and their allies in the “intel community”, warfare state, and media culture. With an abundance of logic and facts, Cohen eviscerates the familiar myths and lies: Putin the maniacal dictator, Russia the imperial aggressor, Ukraine the model democracy, Trump’s love affair with Putin, and of course Putin’s notorious “attack on our democracy”.

In fact the new Cold War is entirely an American creation, starting in the early 1990s and continuing along multiple fronts: NATO expansion to Russian borders, economic sanctions designed to “cripple” the Russian economy, neo-fascist coup in Ukraine promoted in Washington, American withdrawal from the 1972 ABM nuclear treaty, groundless accusations that Moscow conspired to rig the 2016 U.S. presidential election, ongoing economic and military threats. Nothing of the sort has been carried out by the Russian side.

Cohen shows how the new Cold War and Russiagate effectively constrain President Trump’s flexibility to defuse or at least manage U.S.-Russia conflict. Any Trump move toward cooperation with Russia – vital to international nuclear sanity – will now surely bring accusations of “collusion”, even treason, reflected in the silly media outrage at Trump’s rather innocuous July summit meeting with Putin in Helsinki. Room for maneuver has perilously narrowed, negating prospects for détente of the sort historically achieved by the likes of Nixon and Reagan (with the Soviets, no less). The danger of such global hostilities hardly require elaboration.

The reigning assumption is that Putin – virtually alone among world leaders – cannot be a legitimate participant in normal international diplomacy; mere contact with Russian elites can nowadays be regarded as criminal. U.S. partnership with Communist dictator Josef Stalin during World War II apparently met criteria for a working partnership, while the popularly-elected Putin is disqualified, forever discredited as “former KGB thug”. The political/media establishment routinely castigates Putin as a tyrant, imperialist, racist, anti-Semite, and wanton murderer of political enemies though, as Cohen demonstrates, these charges fail to pass close scrutiny. Since no clear ideological rationale exists for all the Russia bashing – the Communist regime disappeared nearly three decades ago – the new Cold Warriors are forced to rely strictly on personal demonization.

Cohen writes that “The other fallacious sub-axiom is that Putin has always been ‘anti-Western’, specifically ‘anti-American’, has always viewed the United States with ‘smoldering suspicion’ – so much so that he eventually set in motion a ‘Plot Against America’.” A more careful reading of Putin’s years in power tells a different story. A Westernized Russian, Putin came to the presidency in 2000 following the tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, hoping for a “strategic friendship and partnership” with the U.S. Amazingly, if one believes his speeches and interviews, Putin still embraces that vision even today.

Cohen takes up the problem of sanctions that Washington has clumsily and repeatedly imposed on Russia, with at best limited success – though a common view in Moscow is that sanctions amount to economic warfare. That “warfare” actually has a protracted history, going back to the first stirrings of the Bolshevik regime. It is worth asking what might have been gained from such punishment, aside from needlessly cementing hostile relations with a Eurasian nuclear power? Nothing much constructive. Cohen points out that, “Historically, sanctions were not problem-solving measures advancing American national security but more akin to temper tantrums or road rage, making things worse, than to real policy-making.” One geopolitical outcome, in recent years, has been to push the Russians closer to China and Iran. Beyond that, sanctions have worked to Putin’s favor as his efforts to persuade “oligarchs” (business elites) to repatriate tens of billions of dollars from offshore enterprises has finally borne fruit.

The very logic of U.S.-imposed sanctions, moreover, is fraudulent: the Ukraine crisis was, more than anything, provoked by regime change sponsored by American neocons. Punishing Russia for its “attack on American democracy” makes even less sense, as “In reality, there was no ‘attack’, no Pearl Harbor, no 9/11, no Russian parachuters descending on Washington [contrary to Boot’s twisted fantasy] – only the kind of ‘meddling’ and ‘interference’ in the other’s domestic politics that countries have practiced almost ritualistically for nearly a hundred years.” Cohen adds: “Whatever ‘meddling’ Russian actors did in 2016 may well have been jaywalking compared to the Clinton administration’s highly intrusive political and financial intervention on behalf of Russian president Yeltsin’s reelection campaign in 1996.” Not to mention brazen and repeated U.S. regime-change interventions, often with military force, since World War II.

One result of Russiagate and the new McCarthyism is that, in the virtuous land of freedom and democracy there are nowadays declining levels of both. At present, in Cohen’s words, “there remained, for the first time in decades of Cold War history, no countervailing forces in Washington – no pro-détente wing of the Democratic or Republican parties, no influential anti-Cold War opposition anywhere, no real debate.” Congress, the media, academia, think tanks – all seem engulfed, to varying degrees, in the same Russophobia.

From the outset Russiagate was an elite strategy having little to do with the “left” or “extreme left” of FOX News lore – although, sadly, plenty of leftish liberals and progressives have joined a cynical scheme promoted at the summits of power, where the imperial warfare state always requires a diabolical enemy. Indeed vilification of Putin attracts relatively little public attention, much less fear. After years of media-fueled tales of terrible Russian deeds, Cohen refers to a 2018 Gallup poll showing that 58 percent of Americans want to “improve relations with Russia”, compared to 36 percent who do not.

In an essay titled “Russiagate and the Risk of Nuclear War”, Cohen observes that Beltway elites remain strangely indifferent to the threat of nuclear catastrophe. Could a Doomsday scenario end up as the ultimate collateral damage, the legacy of relentless anti-Russia fanaticism? Cohen writes: “We might fault Trump for being insufficiently strong – politically or psychologically – to resist warfare demands that he prove his ‘innocence’, but the primary responsibility lies with Russiagate promoters who seek obsessively to impeach the president: politicians and journalists for whom a porn actress, Stormy Daniels, seems to be a higher priority than averting nuclear war with Russia.” Could there be a more depressing commentary on the current state of American political culture?

It is finally worth asking: exactly who are the extremists, aggressors, and warmongers seemingly invested in the new Cold-War brinkmanship? Does Putin have troops stationed on American borders? Is he waging economic combat against the U.S.? Has he staged a coup in Mexico? Has he nullified any treaties? Is he threatening to destroy Washington, D.C.? Do we find incessant anti-American hysteria across the Russian public sphere? For the moment, according to Cohen, “Putin still appears to be, in words and deeds, the moderate, calling Western leaders ‘our partners and colleagues’, asking for understanding and negotiations, being far less ‘aggressive’ than he might be.”

It turns out that Russophobia is riddled with its own contradictions – the most obvious being two incompatible views of the Russians: they are genetically corrupt, backward, and dysfunctional, unable to maintain a vital economy, yet are simultaneously global “puppet-masters” (John Brennan’s words) capable of rigging the outcome of a distant and high-tech American election. Further, since both Putin and Trump are reputed to be rather thick-headed and out of control – Trump now relegated to special “idiot” status, deserving impeachment — it is truly shocking to be informed how they could so brilliantly and secretly collude, and with such marvelous results.

According to the eminent McCarthyite Brennan, himself a big supporter of the Ukraine coup (never described in the media as “former CIA thug”), Trump’s abominable behavior is nothing short of “treasonous”, unprecedented in the annals of the American presidency. Cohen is on target to note that “Brennan’s views are those of Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover in their prime.” The difference, of course, is that Brennan is rewarded with a lucrative job at MSNBC and celebrated as truth-teller, while McCarthy was eventually ostracized by Republican colleagues, censored by the Senate, denounced by President Eisenhower, and politically destroyed.

Cohen’s main arguments now seem more rather than less resonant – a bad sign for the trajectory of U.S.-Russia relations and, more ominously, for hopes the new Cold War will never turn into something even hotter than climate change while media attention is fixated elsewhere. We are not likely to see editorials in the New York Times warning about the perils of disintegrating U.S.-Russia relations. Or special features on CNN. Or lectures about the threat of nuclear war from Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough, or Don Lemon. Just more earth-shattering revelations from the Mueller probe and a litany of scandals heroically brought to light by legions of vigilant Russiagate sleuths.

Writing in The Doomsday Machine, Daniel Ellsberg lays out in great detail the advancing likelihood that strategic nuclear systems – above all those of the U.S. and Russia – will, sooner or later, experience some kind of fatal calamity: not only through deliberate attack but from the very real possibility of false alarms, accidents, computer hacks, or even unauthorized launches. In recent years fail-safe protections have been disastrously weakened or compromised, at a time of sharpening antagonism between the two biggest nuclear states. The result of an “event”, Ellsberg writes, would likely be several hundred million dead, global fires raging for months, lethal worldwide radiation, and “nuclear winter that would starve to death nearly everyone living.” That could be the terrible fate of humanity if Russophobia the new Cold War are allowed to follow their confrontational logic.

The undeserving target of personal smears, Stephen F. Cohen ought to be recipient of extraordinary tribute for his determined (and largely thankless) efforts to counter the barrage of endless myths, lies, and threats fueling anti-Russia hysteria that, if not soon subverted, could take the U.S. and rest of humanity along the road to unprecedented disaster.

URL to article: https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/19 ... er-of-war/
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby mentalgongfu2 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:09 am

Maybe the east Coast is different. Maybe Russia is being pushed as the enemy there. Here in the Midwest, the only time I ever see it brought up anymore is here, as a foil. If someone is pushing this narrative, they aren't pushing it very far or very well into Heartland territory, because it never comes up in my conversations.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:15 pm

mentalgongfu2 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:09 am wrote:Maybe the east Coast is different. Maybe Russia is being pushed as the enemy there. Here in the Midwest, the only time I ever see it brought up anymore is here, as a foil. If someone is pushing this narrative, they aren't pushing it very far or very well into Heartland territory, because it never comes up in my conversations.


Interesting observation, but I think it has little to do with geographic region, except insofar as certain industries (the media) tend to be concentrated in coastal cities.

Here in New York, Russia rarely comes up in everyday conversations, including those that touch upon politics. You've seen the polls (probably upthread but have definitely been posted on RI) showing that something like 0.76% of the U.S. population agree Russia is one of the primary issues of concern to Americans.

People really don't care, and it's true even here at the center of the global media shit-storm. Somehow, despite the corporate media distortions, they are still more people concerned and informed about issues of health care, wages and education. Which makes a lot of fucking sense now, doesn't it? In New York, immigration is obviously a big concern.

Russia is pushed successfully as the enemy in only one set of overlapping spheres, which is in the online and broadcast corporate media, the national security services and "community," and the public political establishment (a fairly large share of party politicians, though not a majority of them).

The vast majority of the action is online, and it is in online consumption of corporate media stories that adherents then reproduce daily on their social media feeds. I have about a half-dozen of them on FB, they are active way above the average in posting politics, and every day I know what their concerns will be thanks to the All-Russiagate News on NPR. Sometimes I think they are more, but then I count the actual ones who are Russia-engulfed and it's a handful.

It's been pretty incoherent if you actually delve into the various often unrelated strands used in building #Russiagate. The actual "meddling" case is incredibly weak so you get a lot of obedient invocations of the original CIA-FBI-NSA and Homeland claims about the DNC-Podesta hacks, all derived from the Motherboard article and Crowdstrike (the godhead that will not be questioned) or just sophistry. Plus surely true details about hotel deals that didn't work but happened to involve RUSSIANSOMG, and then some mid-level mobster-lawyer dummy lied about it when the FBI came after everything he owned or had ever done. Or you have convincing accounts of Turkish or Israeli meddling that is somehow mutated into RUSSIANSOMG. This is mixed in with the panic about the Sanders coloring book and the $4700 in Google ads and other feats of modern propaganda that got 62 million Americans to vote pretty much as they would have anyway.

That makes for a tiny but extremely well-networked minority. For one example, see what just one devoted #Russiagate adherent can accomplish on one message board of about 20-30 regular contributors over the past year. PM me for the link to this message board, if you visit it most days you'd think #Russiagate believers were in the majority and Russia was their primary concern in life.

The campaign is in a state of perpetual agitation, and sufficiently concentrated in urban areas to stage demonstrations, such as we saw in the aftermath of the Sessions firing. These can be characterized as "large" (thousands participating! just times it by five to get to 10K!) or, compared to the major Trump era mobilizations such as the womens' marches, rather minor. Here again the corporate media doing their job: in covering such things, they don't call it the #Russiagate believers, rather they will label participants as far bigger groups: liberals, Democrats, the left. In turn, the radical left (my peoples) mostly fall for that. They will ignore the way the corporate media equate liberals and the left, and then say, look at these fucking liberals and Democrats, this is the shit they believe in. On the right, same thing except accepting the synonymization: look at these fucking liberals and leftists and Democrats and Clinton-Obama Socialist Muslims: this is the shit they believe in. Even though, again, it's a tiny minority playing the #Russiagate side. But a committed and loud one, and amplified.

But again, out in the real world - not just the heartland but the streets of your big coastal cities too - like no one's thinking about this. I've remarked about it upthread, that you've probably never had a top-down all-forces propaganda campaign put in this much effort and succeed in swaying so few people to even pay attention.

If you compare it to prior major all-in campaigns using modern psychological technique and with full corporate media support - e.g., The Saddam 9/11 WMD Attack Attack of 2003, or "America Held Hostage," or "Let's Go Make the World Safe for Democracy" - it's remarkable for how little attention it gains. We've perhaps reached a saturation point for the effectiveness of major media brainwashes, where they are just not going to break through the general noise of 50,000 other electronic diversions and real problems that people have, until it's about martial law or cities on fire. Brennan, Maddow and Morgan Freeman, Schiff and the Bush Mob Retirement Circle can call this Pearl Harbor and 9/11 all week long, 52 weeks a year, but people won't pay attention until there's an actual 9/11 attached.

The weakness of this also serves as kind of a self-refuting proof of how unimportant the supposed "Russian meddling" in the social media was. Not, by the way, that I wish to dismiss any illegal and unethical activity that may have been done as irrelevant, just because it was ineffective, or just because it represented 1 one-millionth of the total illegal-unethical activity in the systemically unethical media system.

After all, attempted murder is also considered a crime. The difference is that after an attempted murder no one is running around grieving and bewailing the victim who wasn't actually harmed by it, or making up other victims whom no one even tried to kill.

.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:53 pm

.

Black Agenda Report editor Margaret Kimberly on the Integrity Initiative and New Knowledge, and their boost to the ongoing revival, in a new form, of the Cold War trope that Martin Luther King et al. were... COMMUNISTS.

Regrettably, the head of the NAACP just took up the findings about the supposed Russian influence on Black Lives Matter et al. via social media with a call for a "one-week boycott" of Facebook (whatever in the world that could mean). While it sounds like something a long time coming, as this sympathetic interview with him on DN! today shows, the basis for it and the putative aims do not make much sense.

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/12/20 ... k_platform


Freedom Rider: UK and US PSYOP Collusion

Margaret Kimberley, BAR editor and senior columnist 19 Dec 2018

Russiagate hysteria is an international conspiracy, with British spooks spreading lies on three continents. Now Black Americans are slandered as “dupes” of Moscow.

“There was foreign meddling in the 2016 election but it came from British spooks like Christopher Steele and undercover operatives, not Russian agents.”



For more than two years the corporate media, elite think tanks, NATO leaders, and most Democratic Party politicians have insisted that Russia interferes in American and European elections. The charge doesn’t withstand scrutiny but the lies are repeated. There is proof that surveillance state meddling in the affairs of democratic nations is real, but Russia isn’t the culprit. It is the United Kingdom and the United States who lead in skullduggery and meddling with the rights they claim to uphold.

Thanks to the Anonymous hacker community the work of the Integrity Initiative has been exposed to the public. The Integrity Initiative is a British “charity” founded in 2015. Its mission is to “bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.” That mission is suspect in and of itself, a phony trope meant to cover up its own imperialist wrong doing. The Integrity Initiative is an arm of the British government and has received more than $2 million in funding from the British Foreign Office and Defense department. It has also raised money from NATO, Facebook and rightwing foundations.

“The United Kingdom and the United States who lead in skullduggery and meddling with the rights they claim to uphold.”

The Integrity Initiative is a means of undermining the sovereignty of the British people by manipulating them with lies. It engaged in numerous efforts to libel Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and prevent him from ever being elected prime minister. Corbyn has been accused of Soviet era espionage, anti-Semitism and anything else his enemies choose to use against him. Academics and writers who spoke out against UK involvement in attacks on Syria were likewise targeted by The Timesand other influential British media. The reporters involved were part of this Integrity Initiative campaign. The attacks are consistent and are obviously coordinated at a very high level.

Integrity Initiative director Christopher Donnelly is a former member of the British Army Intelligence Corps. He also helped to create the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, and served as an advisor to several Secretaries General at NATO. After the NATO instigated coup against the elected Ukrainian government Donnelly recommended placing mines in the Sevastopol harbor, an obvious provocation.

“The Integrity Initiative is a means of undermining the sovereignty of the British people by manipulating them with lies.”

When Integrity Initiative isn’t planning to start wars it plots to interfere in the affairs of other countries through orchestrated “clusters” of journalists and academics. The Spanish cluster quashed the appointment of a new defense secretary through the use of a coordinated social media campaign. They were also involved in subverting the Catalan independence vote.

Clusters are operating not just in the UK and Spain but in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway and Lithuania. After Julian Assange revealed the extent of interference in Spain the cluster targeted the Ecuadorean government to end his asylum.

There is evidence that the Integrity Initiative sent an operative into the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. An Englishman named Simon Bracey-Lane got much media attention for volunteering in the Sanders Iowa caucus campaign. Bracey-Lane is now a research fellow at the Institute for Statecraft, the Integrity Initiative’s parent company. There was foreign meddling in the 2016 election but it came from British spooks like Christopher Steele and undercover operatives, not Russian agents.

“Clusters are operating not just in the UK and Spain but in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway and Lithuania.”

The only Americans aware of the Integrity Initiative are those who use social media to gather information outside of the corporate media bubble. The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC haven’t covered this story. They repeat what Robert Mueller says about crooked and amateurish Trump allies who cheat on taxes or pay off porn stars. They repeat flimsy evidence of Russian collusion while America’s allies in the UK cheat their own citizens of their rights. It is miraculous when the people are able to find out anything they need to know.

These miracles occur when Wikileaks or Anonymous steal secrets the powerful want to keep hidden. Americans wouldn’t know about the existence of the FBI Counter Intelligence Program if a group of activists hadn’t stolen the documentary evidence. That is why the leakers and the hackers deserve support from anyone who wants to live in a truly democratic society.

“Americans wouldn’t know about the existence of the FBI Counter Intelligence Program if a group of activists hadn’t stolen the documentary evidence.”

While British spies operate covertly, their American counterparts work in the open as they make a profit off of their disinformation campaigns. The story of a Russian troll farm swaying Americans to vote for Donald Trump was relegated to old news but it was resurrected by a Silicon Valley surveillance state operation.

New Knowledge is a tech firm created with venture capital cash and founders who are former operatives from the National Security Agency, U.S. military, and State Department. New Knowledge was hired by the Senate Intelligence Committee and tasked with finding out the extent of supposed Russian influence on social media.

As expected, they produced a report claiming not only that the Russians meddled in the election but that African Americans were the most targeted group . This is a rehash of the discredited story that click bait ad selling schemes amounted to espionage. It also confuses with claims of millions of online interactions that are a drop in the bucket in comparison with American political sites.

“Phony concern for black people is the last refuge of many scoundrels.”

Of course phony concern for black people is the last refuge of many scoundrels.Now that there has been no evidence presented of Russian government collusion with Donald Trump, the rehashing will be more frequent. The Democratic Party and the corporate media cannot let this story die. They depend upon it and they must keep covering up their own lies. Russiagate is the gift that keeps on giving.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and their establishment supporters are responsible for the Donald Trump presidency. They were more concerned with covering up her scandals, attracting Republican voters and raising corporate money than they were about getting out the black vote that they always rely upon for victory. Despite raising more than $1 billion they presided over one of the worst debacles in American political history. Any outrage about the Trump presidency must be pointed in their direction.

No one should fear terms like conspiracy theory when there are proven conspiracies operating at the highest levels of government and media. There are no coincidences when certain people suddenly come under attack. There is every reason to be paranoid because collusion is quite real. But thestories we’re told about it are the most fake news of all.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com . Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:19 pm

More on the racist shit-show of the Integrity Initiative report.

Why does this stuff even need to be said?!


https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/21 ... -russians/

Failed Neoliberal Policies Caused Low African American Turnout in 2016 – Not Russians

by JEREMY KUZMAROV

The New York Times and other “liberal” media persisted this week with their yellow journalism regarding Russia, giving great publicity to two reports asserting that Russian trolls targeted African American voters over social media in their alleged attempt to elect Donald Trump.

The reports were issued by a Cyber Security firm, New Knowledge, and Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford University and Graphix, who were both commissioned by the Senate Foreign Intelligence Committee.

Based on review of 10.4 million tweets, 1,100 YouTube videos, 116,000 Instagram posts, and 61,500 Facebook posts published from 2015 through 2017,


Such big numbahs! Ooooooh!

And I'm sure they rigorously traced every single one to a REAL RUSSIAN Russian personally connected to He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, as they all are!

Search for site:youtube.com returns 3.140 BILLION posts, currently. Given the raging growth, I'd guess it was more like 2 billion in Nov. 2016.


the New Knowledge report concluded that the Russians had tried to dissuade African Americans from voting for Hillary Clinton.

In some cases, the trolls tried to mislead people into texting their votes. In others, they encouraged voting for third-party candidates like Jill Stein or giving up on voting all together, with messages that read “F*CK THE ELECTIONS.”

The Times and other media reported these findings as explosive, though acknowledged that there is no way of proving that the trolls swayed any voters.

Some of the content is in fact laughable and would be viewed by anyone as a joke, such as a photo of Jesus wearing a Make America Great cap.

The New Knowledge report furthermore appears to be filled with unverified claims and exaggerations.

For example, it claims that Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA) reached 126 million Facebook users, which distorts the estimate of Facebook’s General Counsel Colin Stretch.

He testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October that 126 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two-year period,” which extended past the election for a full-year.

[See D. Gareth Porter, “33 Trillion More Reasons Why the New York Times Gets it Wrong on Russia-Gate,” Consortium News, November 2, 2018.]

Thus only an estimated 29 million Facebook users may have got at least one story in their feed during the election period.

Facebook’s Vice President acknowledged that people read only about 10 percent of the stories in their News Feed every day, so most in turn went unread.


Really, 10 percent? FB is so full of bullshit, but that's understandable business sense. Couldn't credibly claim much higher, 10 percent sounds low enough.


Black voter numbers in reality had nothing to do with Russia, but rather deep disillusionment with the Democratic Party and the failure of its neoliberal policies.

During Obama’s presidency, black median income decreased by 10.9 percent to $33,500 compared to a 3.6 drop for whites to $58,000.

Black unemployment also reached a twenty-seven-year high and the number of black children living in poverty eclipsed whites for the first time since the census began collecting data in 1974.

The reason for these outcomes has much to do with Obama’s conservative economic policies and close connection to Wall Street.

One of his first acts, disgracefully, was to cut $73 million for historically black colleges. Though the Affordable Care Act cut uninsured health-care rates in the black community by a third, his program to buy toxic bank assets excluded subprime borrowers who were mostly black. Only 1.7 percent of small business administration loans went to blacks compared with 8 percent under Bush.

Obama further sold out black residents of Flint, Michigan after their water was poisoned in a fraudulent scheme by the Republican Governor’s business associates and extended provision of military weaponry to police prone to brutality against blacks.

The Democrats nominee in 2016 Hillary Clinton was also of the Wall Street pro-military wing of the party, who did little to inspire confidence among black voters.

Many remembered how her husband Bill helped devastate inner city communities by expanding the War on Drugs, gutting welfare, and contributing of the outsourcing of jobs through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Through their fixation with Russia, the Times and other media outlets are helping to revive a Cold War political climate while neglecting to inform readers about the true source of our political malaise.

Their strategy may very well be part of a plutocrat campaign to divide, coopt and undermine emergent progressive movements of the left which represent our only hope for a decent future.

More articles by:JEREMY KUZMAROV
Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018).


Repeating that post about what these numbers actually mean:

JackRiddler » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:17 pm wrote:.

APOLOGY TO MY READERS

After gathering the following facts, I must beg you all to forgive me for repeated use of a potentially offensive phrase.

2016 spending on U.S. digital advertising: ~$72 billion ($72,000,000,000).

2016 spending on U.S. television advertising: ~$71 billion ($71,000,000,000).

Estimated total spending on U.S. presidential election in 2016, including candidate campaigns and dark-money: ~$2.4 billion ($2,400,000,000).*

Spending on Facebook advertising by company called IRA, Petrograd, in 2015-2017: ~$100,000.

Estimated IRA spending for Facebook ads before the 2016 U.S. election, assuming it was one-half: ~$50,000.

Note: The last represents the item that the U.S. corporate media has called "Russian election meddling," and is often blamed for the victory of Trump and unprecedented "divisiveness" in American society. Employees of IRA have been indicted by the Mueller investigation in abstentia, on charges that they sought to manipulate the U.S. election as foreign agents.

Total posts on Facebook by IRA in 2015-2017: ~80,000.

Total posts delivered by Facebook to its American accounts in 2015-2017: ~33 trillion (33,000,000,000,000).

(See source in comments.)

Ratio of 33 trillion to 80,000: 413 million to one (413,000,000:1).

Personal estimate of total posts by me on Facebook in 2015-2017: ~2,000. (God what a fool. I realize these were not ads, so my "reach" was insignificant compared to the IRA's.)

And thus my apology:

Clearly, my frequent use of the potentially offensive phrase, "a fart in a shitstorm," to describe the Petrograd company's click-bait operation during the U.S. election - as well as its similarly sized activities on Twitter, relative to the total volume of traffic there - may have been exaggerated.

That depends on the volume of the fart (numerator) as well as of the shit-storm (denominator).

There is one more missing statistic that would also make for a relevant comparison, but has not been investigated recently by American authorities, or comprehensively estimated by academics:

Spending and actions to interfere in U.S. elections and policy illegally by foreign states, state agencies, and interests from countries other than Russia, including but not limited to Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, other Gulf states, Britain, China, Poland, Germany, France, other EU states, Japan, Taiwan, Colombia, Canada, South Korea, and anti-government groups from Venezuela and Iran: ???

Scattered reports and possibly deceptive common-sense observation would suggest that several of these have long exceeded the alleged influence operations of Russia by a substantial factor, but without setting off alarms comparable to the post-Trump Russia panic.

Finally, we will avoid the issue of U.S. state and corporate influence on elections in Russia and other countries, which of course goes back more than a century and has undermined democracy and wreaked havoc with societies hundreds of times. This proves the hypocrisy of the Russia Panic, and in some minds justifies foreign interference in U.S. elections, but I do not believe the latter to be so. It is an appropriate subject for a follow-up.

[snip]

* - does not include in-kind gifts of hundreds of free hours of air-time by U.S. news networks to the candidacy of Donald Trump.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Jerky » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:22 pm

Kuzmov's little game of three card Monty up there might be amusing, or even considered definitive and/or revealing by the sub-moronic likes of, say, Jimmy Dore, but considering everything he fudges to the point of nonsense and purposefully leaves out, it in itself is so obviously misleading that it might as well have come from RT, Sputnik, or even the Kremlin. Hell, even THOSE outlets might have considered it too stupid to run with!

Besides which, maybe go ask the Rosenbergs how much money it costs, or what percentage of the total extant social media real-estate one needs to occupy, in order to royally fuck with the whole wide world in such a way that there can never be any going back.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:54 pm

Image

edit: (Meryl Streep as Ethel and Pacino as Cohn. From Mike Nichols Angels in America. )
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Cordelia » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:01 pm

^^^One of my favorites. Reminds me of the scene in which the terrific actor Jeffrey Wright’s flamboyant nurse quietly steals the scene from Pacino’s morphine/AIDS addled Roy Cohn.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSnUw4k9jZM

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby overcoming hope » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:23 pm

The press was dazzled by his ever-shifting charges of the number of Communists in the State Department. But as one accusation after another collapsed for lack of evidence, McCarthy began to lose face. A month after his original charge, he announced to the press, "I am willing to stand or fall on this one. McCarthy said that he was about to expose "the top Russian agent in the U.S," indeed, "Alger Hiss's boss in the espionage ring at the State Department." McCarthy told reporters that four Russian spies had landed on the Atlantic Coast by submarine and had reported directly to this man. He was Owen Lattimore, director of the School of International Relations at John Hopkins University.

[...] An individual was being compelled to defend his honor and his patriotism against charges which appeared to have popped into his accuser's head almost out of whimsical malice-baggy-suited Soviets, feet no doubt still wet, high-tailing it from a submarine to faculty row at John Hopkins to Owen Lattimore's house.

pg 330
Edward R Murrow, An American Original
Joseph E. Persico

The above reminded me of the Guardian story about Assange meeting Manafort, but as I'm typing this it dawns on me that this time it is a journalist smearing someone which seems much worse.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:51 pm

Cordelia » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:01 pm wrote:^^^One of my favorites. Reminds me of the scene in which the terrific actor Jeffrey Wright’s flamboyant nurse quietly steals the scene from Pacino’s morphine/AIDS addled Roy Cohn.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSnUw4k9jZM

I’m just the shadow on your grave.


Oh yeah, He was so great in this. I remember him really being consistently outstanding back then. Funny how, to bring it full circle to the topic at hand, it turns out he's a full-on Louise Mensch re-tweeting, #BernieRussia hashtag using #resistance bro.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Jerky » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:00 pm

God bless Jeffrey Wright! A magnificent actor with balls and wit to match.

I'm no fan of Ms Mensch's, but Jeffrey's Twitter interactions with "haters" is a big part of the reason why I love him so much. ;-)

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