The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:35 pm

Because it's, you know, OBVIOUS.

Glenn Greenwald in FB posting wrote:6 hrs ·

US support for overthrowing Maduro becomes the latest major Trump policy - after sending arms to Ukraine (which Obama refused to do), bombing Assad (which Obama refused to do do), pressuring Germany to stop buying Russian natural gas, sanctions on Russian oligarchs - where Trump is acting directly contrary to Putin's interests. It's the weirdest and weakest blackmail ever.

Every time Trump does something directly contrary to Putin's very significant interests - as he has done over and over - it somehow doesn't undermine the blackmail fantasy or conspiracy theory because that's the hallmark of deranged conspiracy theories: no evidence can undermine them.


On the contrary, Putin told him to do all this so that you think just that! Mwa ha ha!
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:36 am

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:22 pm

.

The latest threat to receive the neo-McCarthy treatment is Tulsi Gabbard. Exceptional broad-based smearage (such as on things she said when she was 22 and renounced many years ago) implies serious fear that her antiwar message may catch on, though there has been no sign of it so far. Still, she makes sparks and there is a lot of tinder. Discovery that she is a Russian-Russian-Russian was only a matter of time. The poverty and exhaustion of this approach is demonstrated by NBC turning, once again, to the US intel disinfo house at New Knowledge.

Text copied here without the many screenshots and twitter captures typical of Greenwald.

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/03/nbc ... atic-party

theintercept.com
NBC News, to Claim Russia Supports Tulsi Gabbard, Relies on Firm Just Caught Fabricating Russia Data for the Democratic Party

Glenn Greenwald

February 3 2019

NBC News published a predictably viral story Friday, claiming that “experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.”

But the whole story was a sham: The only “expert” cited by NBC in support of its key claim was the firm New Knowledge, which just got caught by the New York Times fabricating Russian troll accounts on behalf of the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race to manufacture false accusations that the Kremlin was interfering in that election.



To justify its claim that Gabbard is the Kremlin’s candidate, NBC stated, “analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted ‘chatter’ related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns.”

What NBC — amazingly — concealed is a fact that reveals its article to be a journalistic fraud: That same firm, New Knowledge, was caught just six weeks ago engaging in a massive scam to create fictitious Russian troll accounts on Facebook and Twitter in order to claim that the Kremlin was working to defeat Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones in Alabama. The New York Times, when exposing the scam, quoted a New Knowledge report that boasted of its fabrications: “We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the [Roy] Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.'”

That fraud was overseen by New Knowledge’s CEO, Jonathon Morgan. At the same time Morgan was fabricating Russian troll accounts and using them to create a fraudulent appearance that Putin was trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate, he was exploiting his social media “expertise” to claim that Russians were interfering in the Alabama Senate election. In other words, Morgan used his own fake Russian accounts to lie to the public and deceive the national media into believing that Kremlin-linked accounts were trying to defeat the Democratic Senate candidate when, in fact, the accounts he was citing were ones he himself had fabricated and controlled.

Even worse, Morgan’s firm is behind one of the recent Senate reports on Russian social media election interference, as well as the creation of “Hamilton 68,” the pseudo-data-driven dashboard constantly used by U.S. media outlets to claim that its enemies are supported by the Kremlin. (That tool has so been abused that even some of its designers urged the media to stop exaggerating its meaning.) During the Alabama race, Morgan — in a tweet he deleted once his fraud was exposed — cited the #Hamilton68 data that he himself manipulated with his fake Russian accounts to claim that Russia was interfering in the Alabama Senate race:

In response to this scam being revealed, Facebook closed the accounts of five Americans who were responsible for this fraud, including Morgan himself, the “prominent social media researcher” who is the CEO of New Knowledge. He also touts himself as a “State Dept. advisor, computational propaganda researcher for DARPA, Brookings Institution.”

Beyond Morgan’s Facebook suspension, the billionaire funder and LinkedIn founder who provided the money for the New Knowledge project, Reid Hoffman, apologized and claimed he had no knowledge of the fraud. The victorious Democratic Senate candidate who won the Alabama Senate race and who repeatedly cited New Knowledge’s fake Russian accounts during the election to claim he was being attacked by Russian bots, Doug Jones, insisted he had no knowledge of the scheme and has now called for a federal investigation into New Knowledge.





This is the group of “experts” on which NBC News principally relied to spread its inflammatory, sensationalistic, McCarthyite storyline that Gabbard’s candidacy is supported by the Kremlin.

While NBC cited a slew of former FBI and other security state agents to speculate about why the Kremlin would like Gabbard, its claim that “experts” have detected the “stirrings” of such support came from this discredited, disgraced firm — one that just proved it specializes in issuing fictitious accusations against enemies of the Democratic Party that they are linked to Russia. Just marvel at how heavily NBC News relies on the disgraced New Knowledge to smear Gabbard as a favorite of Moscow:

Experts who track inauthentic social media accounts, however, have already found some extolling Gabbard’s positions since she declared.

Within a few days of Gabbard announcing her presidential bid, DisInfo 2018, part of the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge, found that three of the top 15 URLs shared by the 800 social media accounts affiliated with known and suspected Russian propaganda operations directed at U.S. citizens were about Gabbard.

Analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted “chatter” related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns. The chatter discussed Gabbard’s usefulness.

“A few of our analysts saw some chatter on 8chan saying she was a good ‘divider’ candidate to amplify,” said New Knowledge’s director of research Renee DiResta, director of research at New Knowledge.

What’s particularly unethical about the NBC report is that it tries to bolster the credentials of this group by touting it as “the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election,” while concealing from its audience the fraud that this firm’s CEO just got caught perpetrating on the public on behalf of the Democratic Party.



The only other so-called expert cited by NBC in support of its claim that Russian accounts are supporting Gabbard is someone named Josh Russell, who NBC identified as “Josh Russel.” Russell, or Russel, is touted by NBC as “a researcher and ‘troll hunter’ known for identifying fake accounts.” In reality, Russell is someone CNN last year touted as an “Indiana dad” and “amateur troll hunter” with a full-time job unrelated to Russia (he works as programmer at a college) and whose “hobby” is tracing online Russian accounts.

So beyond the firm that just got caught in a major fraudulent scam fabricating Russian support to help the Democratic Party, that’s NBC’s only other vaunted expert for its claim that the Kremlin is promoting Gabbard: someone CNN just last year called an “amateur” who traces Russian accounts as a “hobby.” And even there, NBC could only cite Russel (sic) as saying that “he recently spotted a few clusters of suspicious accounts that retweeted the same exact text about Gabbard, mostly neutral or slightly positive headlines.”

In any event, NBC News, to smear Gabbard as a Kremlin favorite, relied on a group that it heralded as “experts” without telling its audience about the major fraud which this firm just got caught perpetrating in order to, on behalf of the Democratic Party, fabricate claims of Kremlin interference in the Alabama Senate race.

That’s because the playbook used by the axis of the Democratic Party, NBC,MSNBC, neocons, and the intelligence community has been, is, and will continue to be a very simple one: to smear any adversary of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party — whether on the left or the right — as a stooge or asset of the Kremlin (a key target will undoubtedly be, and indeed already is, Bernie Sanders).

To accomplish this McCarthyite goal, this Democratic Party coalition of neocons, intelligence operatives, and NBC stars will deceive, smear, and even engage in outright journalistic deception, as NBC (once again) just proved with this report.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby overcoming hope » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:43 pm

has anyone asked somebody into the Russia stuff to explain it simply in 5 minutes? If so how did that go? I did once and the first few sentences contained the word 'complicated'.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:41 pm

.

I wouldn't want to, but there is a simple five-minute version of it predicated on America the Imperfect but Good and on Putin as the Great Evil. He is a unique authoritarian dictator, rivalling even Hitler, who wants to restore the Russian empire to its Soviet heights and borders. He is uniquely smart, ruthless, and willing to gamble (qualities that few Americans understand). Once the State Department under Clinton supports the 2011 opposition protests in Russia, and especially after Euro Maidan deposes the "pro-Russian" Ukrainian regime and the oil price collapse follows in 2014, Putin initiates a covert war and unleashes his Borg-like minions of hackers and oligarchs to play total hardball. They prepare a cyber World War III (which of course the United States government had never imagined *fnordstuxnetfnord* and is completely unprepared for). They reinvent the previously innocent Internet as a place where people can be made to argue over nothing, and use it to exploit and exacerbate every possible division in American and Western societies and every possible deviation from the righteous neoliberal-technocratic-humanitarian-imperial path that makes America already so great that there's really no need for anyone to complain or do anything other than coronate Clinton and let the best-of-all-possible times continue to roll. They mainly want to help the populist-nativist right-wing parties and expect to do so by pushing all extremes. So they sow their new inventions of fake news and conspiracy disinfo on the unwitting left and right, setting white against black and vice-versa, stoking antagonisms between immigrants and nativists, making the NRA and Black Lives Matter into extremists. They prepare contingencies to shut down the US energy grid and hack their way into the US elections, apparently none of which anyone had ever thought of doing before. In 2015, they find an opening in the campaign of Trump, a money-laundering gangster on whom they already have ample kompromat through his dealings with Russians (which is possible) and through the pee tape. They establish contacts with the campaign, where they already have their kompromates Manafort and Flynn, to engage in a conspiracy to help Trump win by hacking the DNC and Podesta, releasing the resulting documents through their unofficial front Wikileaks while coordinating the timing with the Trump campaign. Then, inisidiously, they target Wisconsin and Michigan with hundreds of dollars of ads (having realized these were important states, which required deep inside information from the Trumpsters since no one else knew, including Clinton). They try to break in -- oh, hell, if I thought of it, I guess they DID break in -- to state election board systems. Once this succeeds and they are in control of the government through their puppet Trump, who helplessly man-loves his alpha Putin, they alternate between dictating US policy to make peace with Trump or, more often, directing Trump to oppose Russian policy preferences globally so as to cover up the fact that he is completely under their control.

That may be a hard narrative to sustain, but you must admit it's pretty simple. It takes a simplistic and audacious myth to fulfill so many functions at once, serving the propaganda needs of the Democratic Party establishment against the progressive wave and to explain its lack of popularity; of the US empire and its most rabid hardliners against the threat of loss of support and of insufficient resources to deal with global overreach and dissolution phenomena; of domestic neoliberalism by raising the specter of a foreign-sponsored "populism" that must be combatted instead; and of the corporate media to have a patriotic right-wing narrative against the right wing in power under Trump, and to designate a host of small-time competitors of many kinds as Russia Dupe Media. However, I think this narrative has failed miserably to take hold with the US majority, despite the lock-step of the non-Fox corporate media and the increasingly successful campaign to get the social media corporations to impose censorship measures. As I've written above, this is unprecedented for a US propaganda campaign on this scale.

Meanwhile, I think there are two big factors contributing to the confusion that results in some of the fans having admit that "it's complicated."

1. One is a small but relatively high-income consumer demographic of genuinely sincere people who became unhinged by Trump's election (as one might reasonably expect; it might have unhinged me when I was younger). They are willing to follow this narrative down every rabbit hole uncritically, in the hope that it's not really up to them to oppose the emergent American fascism, because they don't see a hope of that, and in the hope that, as Bowie sang, this is not America, noo, this is not, sha na na na. So they pray at the altar of St. Mueller, who will save them and restore the supposed prior democratic rule, and for the coming of a Beto or a Kamala but please not a Bernie or a Tulsi to be the god that smites the Trumpian devil. They are willing to follow enormously complicated conspiracy narratives.

2. The other factor is that many media producers and media-involved parties are looking for their very own angle to sell, no matter how obtuse, unlikely, idiotic or totally fabricated, because there is career advancement or political opportunity in putting out the scoop, and so far never a downside if it goes wrong. This is not a fully centralized, top-down system, it's a herd of cats with reporters' hats. As I've suggested, if you can THINK if a possible Russian perfidy, you can write a story about it, thanks to the central trope that they WILL do anything, so if YOU can think of it, THEY have thought of it also, and probably have already tried it, even if there is no evidence of it as yet. Every new #Russiagate story, including the obvious fabrications and exaggerations, is taken up by the rest of the media and goes viral. Exposure of fabrications is never punished but ultimately rewarded in a failing-up process. This has even been true of the exploits of PropOrNot/Hamilton 68, Luke Harding, Integrity Initiative, etc. New Knowledge didn't just fabricate Russia stories but went ahead and WAGED a false flag operation in Alabama using the same Russian disinfo tactics they can't actually prove the Russians ever did. They got caught but they're still placing stories on NBC and the report they wrote for the Senate is still cited.

The otherwise admirable Larisa Alexadrovna is an example of #1 above, although she likes to cosplay as #2. The formerly admirable Marcy Wheeler is an example of #2, although she cosplays as a #1. The forever dickish Luke Harding really wants to be a #2, dictating the story to all the enraptured #1s.

I've decided to call the basic formula Six Degrees of Any Russian. Ever sat down to dinner with one? Did a deal with one? They're ALL very close to Putin and working for the war effort, of course.

Meanwhile, there is very little upside in critiquing the #Russiagate narrative. Show any hesitation as a media figure or politician and you are liable to be the next target for accusations of being one of them.

.
Last edited by JackRiddler on Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Elvis » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:53 am

JackRiddler wrote: This is not a fully centralized, top-down system, it's a herd of cats with reporters' hats.



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

(Sorry, couldn't resist, but illustrates the point.)

Good explanation, thanks.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:56 am

I should add the metaphor refers to the hosts of more or less real reporters, bloggers, writers at secondary outlets like Politico (and even The Intercept, in Risen's case!) and attention-seeking tweeters not highly placed or behind anchor desks at corporate networks, or who have to come up with investigative material for the few remaining major print outlets that still produce their own primary material. The anchors do participate in something more centralized and top down. Most days you can see them mouthing the same words at the same time. Just that with Rachel Maddow it's a lot more words. Her vocabulary is a lot bigger than Wolf Blitzer's, so she's earned that. ;-)
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Grizzly » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:08 pm

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https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/429292-the-case-for-russia-collusion-against-the-democrats?amp


Now that both the House and Senate investigative committees have cleared Donald Trump of Democrat-inspired allegations of Russian collusion, it is worth revisiting one anecdote that escaped significant attention during the hysteria but continues to have U.S. security implications.

As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton worked with Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-President Dmitri Medvedev, to create U.S. technology partnerships with Moscow's version of Silicon Valley, a sprawling high-tech campus known as Skolkovo.

Clinton's handprint was everywhere on the 2009-2010 project, the tip of a diplomatic spear to reboot U.S.-Russian relations after years of hostility prompted by Vladimir Putin's military action against the former Soviet republic and now U.S. ally, Georgia.

A donor to the Clinton Foundation, Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, led the Russian side of the effort, and several American donors to the Clinton charity got involved. Clinton's State Department facilitated U.S. companies working with the Russian project, and she personally invited Medvedev to visit Silicon Valley.

The collaboration occurred at the exact same time Bill Clinton made his now infamous trip to Russia to pick up a jaw-dropping $500,000 check for a single speech.

The former president's trip secretly raised eyebrows inside his wife's State Department, internal emails show.

That's because he asked permission to meet Vekselberg, the head of Skolkovo, and Arkady Dvorkovich, a senior official of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear giant seeking State's permission to buy Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive U.S. uranium reserves.

Years later, intelligence documents show, both the Skolkovo and Uranium One projects raised serious security concerns.

In 2013, the U.S. military's leading intelligence think tank in Europe sounded alarm that the Skolkovo project might be a front for economic and military espionage.

"Skolkovo is an ambitious enterprise, aiming to promote technology transfer generally, by inbound direct investment, and occasionally, through selected acquisitions. As such, Skolkovo is arguably an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage - with the additional distinction that it can achieve such a transfer on a much larger scale and more efficiently," EUCOM's intelligence bulletin wrote in 2013.

"Implicit in Russia's development of Skolkovo is a critical question - a question that Russia may be asking itself - why bother spying on foreign companies and government laboratories if they will voluntarily hand over all the expertise Russia seeks?"

A year later, the FBI went further and sent letters warning several U.S. technology companies that had become entangled with Skolkovo that they risked possible espionage. And an agent in the bureau's Boston office wrote an extraordinary op-ed to publicize the alarm.

Skolkovo "may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation's sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application,"Assistant Special Agent in Charge Lucia Ziobro wrote in the Boston Business Journal.

The FBI had equal concern about Rosatom's acquisition of Uranium One. An informer named William Douglas Campbell had gotten inside the Russian nuclear giant in 2009 and gathered evidence that Rosatom's agents in the United States were engaged in a racketeering scheme involving kickbacks, extortion and bribery.

Campbell also obtained written evidence that Putin wanted to buy Uranium One as part of a strategy to obtain monopolistic domination of the global uranium markets, including leverage over the U.S.

Campbell also warned a major in-kind donor to the Clinton Global Initiative was simultaneously working for Rosatom while the decision for U.S. approval was pending before Hillary Clinton's department. Ultimately, her department and the Obama administration approved the transaction.

The evidence shows the Clintons financially benefited from Russia - personally and inside their charity - at the same time they were involved in U.S. government actions that rewarded Moscow and increased U.S. security risks.

The intersections between the Clintons, the Democrats and Russia carried into 2016, when a major political opposition research project designed to portray GOP rival Donald Trump as compromised by Moscow was launched by Clinton's presidential campaign and brought to the FBI.

Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS research firm was secretly hired by the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party through their law firm, Perkins Coie.

Simpson then hired retired British intelligence operative Christopher Steele - whom the FBI learned was "desperate" to defeat Trump - to write an unverified dossier suggesting that Trump's campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the election.

Simpson, Steele and Perkins Coie all walked Trump-Russia related allegations into the FBI the summer before the election, prompting agents who openly disliked Trump to launch a counterintelligence probe of the GOP nominee shortly before Election Day.

Simpson and Steele also went to the news media to air the allegations in what senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr would later write was a "Hail Mary" effort to influence the election.

Congressional investigators have painstakingly pieced together evidence that shows the Clinton research project had extensive contact with Russians.

Ohr's notes show that Steele's main source of uncorroborated allegations against Trump came from an ex-Russian intelligence officer. "Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.," Ohr scribbled.

Steele's dossier also relied on information from a Belarus-born Russian businessman, according to numerous reports and a book on the Russia scandal.

Steele and Simpson had Russian-tied business connections, too, while they formulated the dossier.

Steele worked for the lawyers for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and tried to leverage those connections to help the FBI get evidence from the Russian aluminum magnate against Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The effort resulted in FBI agents visiting Deripaska in fall 2016. Deripaska told the agents that no collusion existed.

Likewise, Simpson worked in 2016 for the Russian company Prevezon - which was trying to escape U.S. government penalties - and one of its Russian lawyers, Natalia Veselnitskaya. In sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Simpson admitted he dined with Veselnitskaya both the night before and the night after her infamous meeting with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Simpson insists the two dinners sandwiching one of the seminal events in the Trump collusion narrative had nothing to do with the Trump Tower meeting, a claim many Republicans distrust.

Whatever the case, there's little doubt the main instigators of the Clinton-inspired allegations against Trump got information from Russians and were consorting with them during the political opposition project.

This past week, we learned from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) that his committee came to the same conclusion as the House: There is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

But now there is growing evidence - of Democratic connections to Russia. It's enough that former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) believes a probe should be opened.

There is "obvious collusion the Democrats had through Glenn Simpson and through Fusion GPS, that they were talking directly to Russia," Nunes told Hill.TV's "Rising" in an interview to be aired Monday.

Collusion can be criminal if it involves conspiracy to break federal laws, or it can involve perfectly legal, unwitting actions that still jeopardize America's security against a "frenemy" like Russia.

There is clear evidence now that shows Hillary Clinton's family and charity profited from Moscow and simultaneously facilitated official government actions benefiting Russia that have raised security concerns.

And there's irrefutable evidence that her opposition research effort on Trump - one that inspired an FBI probe - was carried out by people who got information from Russia and were consorting with Russians.

It would seem those questions deserve at least some of the scrutiny afforded the Trump-Russia collusion inquiry that is now two-plus years old.

NOTE: This story has been updated from the original to correct that Uranium One is a Canadian company and to clarify that House and Senate investigating committees have cleared the president.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill's executive vice president for video.


Also, many embedded links...
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Grizzly » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:27 pm

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If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Jerky » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:01 am

Grizzly, do you honestly believe this crap?

Do you really think Trump has been "cleared" by the Senate and the House?

Are you playing Devil's advocate, here? Or are these true, heartfelt beliefs of yours?
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:56 am

@ Grizzly

Now that both the House and Senate investigative committees have cleared Donald Trump of Democrat-inspired allegations of Russian collusion



That’s not correct Adam Schiff is just getting started ....Devin Nunes is no longer in charge of the Congress coverup

All the people who lied to the Congress and Senate hearings are being called back.......investigations are not over....we haven’t even seen the money laundrying trump tax returns yet


Oh ok I see a big picture of Devin when I clicked on the article by John Will be talking about this with @MariaBartiromo on @FoxNews in the 10a EST hour today Solomon ......Mr Washington Times :D

Now I get it that was his UNinformed Opinion I guess he forgot the dems won the house back and are in charge now the real hearings are just beginning

Maybe someone should remind Solomon of the length and how much money his precious Benghazi Hearings cost


and btw

Trump's financial disclosures showed he held roughly $360 million in debt to the bank prior to his election as president, The Washington Post reported.

Last year, Deutsche Bank was fined roughly $630 million by New York and British law enforcement for its role in a Russian money-laundering scheme.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald ... ds-n948541



Sorry iminalOyster I know I told you I would stay out of your thread but reading Fox News Contributor Solomon it was not an easy thing to contain my rage :P
We will find it’s all connected UK/US election interference the Brexit debacle
All of it the work of a trans national crime syndicate who managed to figure out the wormhole needed to pit us against one another for their benefit
For money and power
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:39 am

JackRiddler » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:41 pm wrote:.

I wouldn't want to, but there is a simple five-minute version of it predicated on America the Imperfect but Good and on Putin as the Great Evil. He is a unique authoritarian dictator, rivalling even Hitler, who wants to restore the Russian empire to its Soviet heights and borders. He is uniquely smart, ruthless, and willing to gamble (qualities that few Americans understand). Once the State Department under Clinton supports the 2011 opposition protests in Russia, and especially after Euro Maidan deposes the "pro-Russian" Ukrainian regime and the oil price collapse follows in 2014, Putin initiates a covert war and unleashes his Borg-like minions of hackers and oligarchs to play total hardball. [...]


Dropping in to follow up on that. With the Mueller report filing anticipated very soon, AP has provided a complete summary of the #Russiagate story being hailed by some of the major obsessives, like Larisa H, as the all-time best intro. What can be said about it?

1. On this thread and a couple of others, we have deconstructed nearly all of the individual claims made as either just that -- constructs -- or fabrications, or wild exaggerations, or loose connections and reinterpretations of things that don't actually fit into the larger narrative of "Russian meddling," or decontextualized accusations (such as the Flynn attempt to influence Russia on behalf of Israel, as clearly stated in the admission of guilt, which was turned magically into yet more evidence of "Russian meddling"). One could do this for hours and hours with the following text. Almost every sentence demonstrates how impervious the spins of #Russiagate creed are to repeated debunking or relativization.

2. Its major omission is to ignore the even greater number of hysterical add-ons and debunked fabrications: the "Vermont electric grid attack," Harding's Ecuadoran lie about the non-existent Manafort-Assange meeting, the "New Knowledge" false-flag operation in Alabama that actually matched IRA's entire effort nationally, the daily Louise Mensch and Mensch-style condemnations of all those heretical to the faith, PropOrNot, Hamilton 68, the CIA-NSA-FBI report attacking RT, "Integrity Intiative," the Steele Dossier itself, etc. etc. etc. These demonstrate a set of well-funded, often large-scale top-down propaganda campaigns in motion for the entire time since 2016, and the willingness of the corporate media to lend credence to any accusation regarding "Russia," no matter how facially absurd.

https://apnews.com/2b8513d4a4224a559d7048edb396cdfd

apnews.com

Court records reveal a Mueller report right in plain view

By CHAD DAY and ERIC TUCKER


WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump was in full deflection mode.

The Democrats had blamed Russia for the hacking and release of damaging material on his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton. Trump wasn’t buying it. But on July 27, 2016, midway through a news conference in Florida, Trump decided to entertain the thought for a moment.

“Russia, if you’re listening,” said Trump, looking directly into a television camera, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” — messages Clinton was reported to have deleted from her private email server.

Actually, Russia was doing more than listening: It had been trying to help Republican Trump for months. That very day, hackers working with Russia’s military intelligence tried to break into email accounts associated with Clinton’s personal office.

It was just one small part of a sophisticated election interference operation carried out by the Kremlin — and meticulously chronicled by special counsel Robert Mueller.

We know this, though Mueller has made not a single public comment since his appointment in May 2017. We know this, though the full, final report on the investigation, believed to be in its final stages, may never be made public. It’s up to Attorney General William Barr.

We know this because Mueller has spoken loudly, if indirectly, in court — indictment by indictment, guilty plea by guilty plea. In doing so, he tracked an elaborate Russian operation that injected chaos into a U.S. presidential election and tried to help Trump win the White House. He followed a GOP campaign that embraced the Kremlin’s help and championed stolen material to hurt a political foe. And ultimately, he revealed layers of lies, deception, self-enrichment and hubris that followed.

Woven through thousands of court papers, the special counsel has made his public report. This is what it says.

RUSSIA, LOOKING TO INTERFERE

The plot began before Bernie Bros and “Lock Her Up,” before MAGA hats and “Lyin’ Ted,” before there was even a thought of Trump versus Clinton in 2016. It started in 2014, in a drab, concrete building in St. Petersburg, Russia.

There, a group of tech-savvy Russian nationals, working at an organization called the Internet Research Agency, prepared “information warfare against the United States of America.” The battleground would be the internet, and the target was the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Using a game plan honed on its own people, the troll farm prepared to pervert the social networks — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram — that Americans had come to depend on for news, entertainment, friendships and, most relevantly, political discourse.

It would use deception, disinformation and the expansive reach of the electronically connected world to spread “distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.” Ultimately, it would carry a budget in the millions, bankrolled, according to an indictment, by Yevgeny Prighozin, a man so close to the Russian president that he is known as Putin’s chef. (Prighozin’s company has denied the charges).

It was a long game. Starting in mid-2014, employees began studying American political groups to see which messages fell flat and which spread like wildfire across the internet. The organization surreptitiously dispatched employees to the U.S. — traveling through states such as Nevada, California and Colorado— to collect on-the-ground intelligence about an America that had become deeply divided on gun control, race and politics.

As they gathered the research, the trolls began planning an elaborate deception.

They bought server space and other computer infrastructure in the U.S. to conceal the true origin of the disinformation they planned to pump into America’s social media blood stream. They began preparing networks of fake accounts they would use like sock puppets to masquerade as U.S. citizens.

The Russian trolls set up accounts that appeared to be associated with Black Lives Matter, the Tennessee GOP, Muslim and Christian groups and the American South. By late 2015, as Clinton sparred with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination, and as American media still saw Trump as a longshot to emerge from a crowded Republican field, the Internet Research Agency began secretly buying online ads to promote its social media groups.

By February 2016, they were ready. A memo circulated internally. Post content about “politics in the USA,” they wrote, according to court papers, and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump— we support them).”

As disinformation scrolled across American computer screens, an entirely different Russian operation readied its own volley.

In March 2016, as Clinton and Trump began to emerge as the leaders of their respective parties, Russian military intelligence officers began setting a trap.

Hackers in Russia’s military intelligence, known as the GRU, started sending dozens of malicious emails to people affiliated with Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee.

Like Watergate, it was a break-in. But this time, the burglary tools were emails disguised to fool people into sharing their passwords and in turn provide hackers unfettered access to their emails. The goal was to collect as many damaging documents as possible that could be released online and damage Clinton’s candidacy.

In a few short weeks, the hackers had penetrated their targets and hit the motherlode: the private Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

___

A RECEPTIVE CAMPAIGN

While the Russians were hacking, a young Trump campaign adviser named George Papadopoulos received some startling news in London.

It was April 26, 2016. While traveling through Europe, he had connected with a Maltese academic. The professor, a middle-aged man with thinning gray hair named Joseph Mifsud, had taken a keen interest in Papadopoulos upon learning that he had joined the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser. To dazzle his young friend, Mifsud boasted of his high-level Russian connections and introduced him to a woman named Olga — a relative, he claimed, of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mifsud and Olga wanted Papadopoulos to arrange a meeting between Trump aides and Russian officials. Eager to ingratiate himself with the campaign, Papadopoulos brought up his newfound connections in a meeting with Trump and several high-ranking campaign officials, saying he could broker a Trump-Putin summit. When he raised the idea, his lawyers later said, Trump nodded with approval and deferred to another aide in the room, future Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said the campaign should look into it. Sessions would later say he remembered telling Papadopoulos that he wasn’t authorized to speak for the campaign.

When he walked into a London hotel for breakfast with Mifsud, Papadopoulos expected to discuss Russia’s “open invitation” to meet with Trump. But the conversation quickly turned to another subject. Mifsud confided in Papadopoulos that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton. What kind of dirt? “Thousands of emails.”

What happened next remains a mystery. Prosecutors haven’t revealed exactly where Mifsud got his information or what Papadopoulos might have done with it. The encounter, the first known instance of a Trump aide hearing of stolen emails, would later help kick-start the Russia investigation. But at the time, it was just one of many connections already established between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Unbeknownst to the public, Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen had been trying to broker a business deal in Russia for the Republican candidate. The proposal was for a Trump Tower Moscow. A letter of intent was signed. Cohen had discussed it with Trump and his children. Cohen had even gone so far as to reach out to the Kremlin directly for help, speaking with an official about ways to secure land and financing for the project.

While Cohen pursued the deal, another person with Russia ties joined the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort, a longtime Washington insider, had made millions as a political consultant for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. Over that time, Manafort developed a close relationship with a man named Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI says has ties to Russian military intelligence. Manafort also had worked for a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska who is close with Putin.

But in March 2016, Manafort was looking for a comeback. His business had dried up after Yanukovych was ousted and fled to Russia. The millions that Manafort had hidden from the IRS while enjoying a lavish lifestyle were largely gone. With the Trump campaign, Manafort saw an opportunity to get back on his feet. He and his protege, Rick Gates, quickly worked their way into the highest levels of the campaign, and they began trying to make sure old clients had heard about their new positions.

As Trump clinched the Republican nomination, Manafort and those around him began preparing for a general election battle against Clinton.

The Russians did, too. The Internet Research Agency boosted its support of Trump — and disparagement of Clinton. Using stolen identities and bank account information, the troll farm also began buying political ads on social media services, according to Mueller.

“Donald wants to defeat terrorism ... Hillary wants to sponsor it,” read one. “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote,” read another.

Meanwhile, hackers with the GRU secretly implanted malicious software — called X-Agent — on the computer networks of the DNC and the DCCC. It allowed them to surreptitiously search through the political operatives’ computers and steal what they wanted. As the hackers roamed the Democratic networks, a separate group of Russian intelligence officers established the means to release their ill-gotten gains, registering a website, DCLeaks.com.

By May, the Democratic groups realized they had been hacked. The DNC quickly hired a private cybersecurity company, CrowdStrike, to identify the extent of the breach and to try to clear their networks of malware. But they kept it quiet until they knew more.

On the Trump campaign, Papadopoulos continued to push for a Trump-Putin meeting, unsuccessfully.

At the same time, another Russian outreach found a willing audience in Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.

In early June, Trump Jr. exchanged a series of emails with a British publicist representing Emin Agalarov, a pop singer in Russia, whose father had partnered with the Trumps on the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Emin Agalarov and Trump Jr. had become friendly, and the publicist, Rob Goldstone, had become a common intermediary between the two wealthy sons.

Over email, Goldstone brokered a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. He said the lawyer had documents that could “incriminate” Clinton and they were being shared as part of the Russian government’s support of the Trump campaign. “Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. wrote back.

The meeting was held at Trump Tower in Manhattan on June 9. Trump Jr. attended along with Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. Participants in the room would later say the meeting was a bust, consumed by a lengthy discussion of Russian adoption and U.S. sanctions. To Trump Jr., the information wasn’t useful ammunition against Clinton. He was less concerned that it came from Russia.

Days later, on June 14, the DNC publicly announced it had been hacked, and pointed the finger at Russia.

By then, the Russian hackers had launched DCLeaks.com. According to Mueller , the DNC announcement accelerated their plans.

They created a fake online persona called Guccifer 2.0, which quickly took credit for the hack. Through Guccifer, the hackers masqueraded as a “lone Romanian hacker” and released caches of stolen material.

The efforts attracted the attention of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group led by Julian Assange from his exile within Ecuador’s embassy in London.

On June 22, 2016, the group sent a private message to Guccifer: “Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.”

Over the next several weeks, WikiLeaks requested any documents related to Clinton, saying they wanted to release them before the Democratic National Convention when they worried she would successfully recruit Sanders supporters.

We “think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary ... so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting,” WikiLeaks wrote.

Using Guccifer, the Russian intelligence officers transferred the files to WikiLeaks, hoping for a big online splash.

They wouldn’t have to wait long.

___

LEAKS AND CIGARS

July 22 was supposed to be a big Friday for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The former secretary of state was planning to announce Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. The party’s convention was just days away.

But at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time, WikiLeaks stole the limelight, releasing more than 20,000 stolen DNC emails.

The cascade of stolen material was almost immediately picked up by American news outlets, conservative pundits and Trump supporters, who in the wake of Clinton’s FBI investigation for using a private email server, were happy to blast out anything with “Clinton” and “emails” in the same sentence.

So was Trump. After publicly questioning that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic groups, he took to the stage in Florida to make his famous call to Russia, “if you’re listening.” He would later begin praising WikiLeaks.

Smelling a possible political advantage, the Trump campaign reached out to Roger Stone, a close confidant of Trump’s who is known for his bare-knuckles brand of political mischief. Stone had been claiming to have connections to WikiLeaks, and campaign officials were looking to find out when Wikileaks would drop its next batch of documents.

According to an indictment against Stone, after the first release of DNC documents, “a senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information” WikiLeaks had regarding Clinton’s campaign.

In August, Stone began claiming he had inside information into Assange’s plans. At the same time, he was privately sending messages to a radio host and a conservative conspiracy theorist — both of whom had claimed to have connections to WikiLeaks — seeking anything they knew. (No evidence has emerged that these messages made it to Assange).

That same month there was a meeting that went to the “heart” of the Russia investigation, according to a Mueller prosecutor. It involved Manafort, and it remains an enigma, at least to the public.

Court papers indicate Manafort had previously shared polling information related to the Trump campaign with Kilimnik, his old Russian pal. According to emails and court papers, Manafort — looking to make money from his Trump access — had also been in touch with Kilimnik about providing private briefings for the billionaire Deripaska. (There’s no evidence such briefings ever occurred).

Meeting with Manafort and Gates at New York’s Grand Havana Room cigar bar on Aug. 2, 2016, Kilimnik brought up a possible peace plan for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. What happened at that meeting is in dispute and much of it remains redacted in court papers.

But the Mueller prosecutor would note: The men left separately to avoid unwanted attention.

As the campaign entered the final stretch and Trump’s advisers waited for the next WikiLeaks dump, Russian trolls— who had gained hundreds of thousands of social media followers — were barraging Americans with pro-Trump and anti-Clinton rhetoric, using Twitter hashtags such as ”#MAGA” and ”#Hillary4Prison.”

By early October, Stone was looking for more. On Oct. 3, 2016, ahead of an expected news conference by Assange, Stone exchanged messages with Matthew Boyle, a writer at Breitbart who was close to Trump campaign strategist Steve Bannon.

“Assange — what’s he got? Hope it’s good,” Boyle wrote to Stone.

“It is,” Stone wrote back. “I’d tell Bannon but he doesn’t call me back.”

Hours later, Assange held a news conference in which he appeared to waffle on whether he would release additional documents about Clinton.

Bannon reached out to Stone: “What was that this morning???” Stone chalked it up to a “security concern” and said WikiLeaks would be releasing “a load every week going forward.”

By Oct. 7, the Trump campaign was embroiled in its own scandal. The Washington Post released audio of Trump bragging about sexually harassing and groping women. But within hours, WikiLeaks gave Trump’s team a break.

The first set of emails stolen from Podesta’s accounts popped onto WikiLeaks’ website. Stone’s phone lit up. It was a text message from a Bannon associate.

“well done,” it read.

___

A SERIES OF LIES

The first documented lie in the Russia investigation happened on Jan. 24, 2017, in the White House office of freshly appointed national security adviser Michael Flynn.

It was the Tuesday after Trump’s inauguration, and Flynn was settling in after a whirlwind presidential transition.

Since Trump’s victory in November, Flynn had become part of Trump’s inner circle — and the preferred contact between the Trump team and Russia. In late December, Flynn had asked Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., to reject or delay a U.N. vote condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Days later, as the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia for election-meddling, Flynn implored Kislyak not to escalate a “tit-for-tat” fight over punishment imposed on Moscow for election interference.

But on that Tuesday, when FBI agents asked Flynn about those conversations, he lied. No, he said, he hadn’t made those requests of Kislyak.

Days later in Chicago, other FBI agents confronted Papadopoulos as he had just stepped out of the shower at his mother’s home. Though his mother would later say she knew it was a terrible idea, he agreed to go to their office for questioning, where he misled them about his conversations with Mifsud, the Maltese professor.

Months later — after Mueller’s May 2017 appointment — Cohen lied to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project, saying it ended much sooner than June 2016. Cohen would later say he was trying to be loyal to Trump and match the public messaging of a president who had adamantly denied any business dealings with Russia.

Even when Trump aides tried to come clean and cooperate with Mueller’s team, they couldn’t keep their stories straight.

As he was working out a plea agreement with Mueller, Gates lied to investigators about his and Manafort’s Ukrainian lobbying work. Manafort pleaded guilty and agree to cooperate but a judge later determined he had also misled Mueller’s team about several matters, including about his interactions with Kilimnik. Those lies voided the plea deal.

The deceptions played out as Mueller methodically brought criminal cases. He indicted the Russian hackers. He did the same to the troll farm. He exposed Manafort’s tax cheating and his illicit foreign lobbying, winning at trial and putting the 69-year-old political operative at risk of spending the rest of his life in prison. And one by one, his team got guilty pleas from Flynn, Papadopoulos and others .

Most recently, he indicted Stone, accusing him of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his efforts to glean information about the WikiLeaks disclosures. Despite emails showing him repeatedly discussing WikiLeaks with Trump advisers and others, Stone told lawmakers he had no records of that sort. (Stone has pleaded not guilty.)

In the backdrop of all this is Trump and his family.

Mueller’s grand jury heard testimony from several participants of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting arranged by Trump Jr., but no charges have been filed.

The mercurial president himself has made no secret of his disdain for the Mueller investigation and his efforts to undermine it. Mueller has investigated whether any of Trump’s actions constituted obstruction of justice, but the special counsel hasn’t gone public with what he found.

And it’s unclear if he ever will.

___

Read AP’s coverage of the Russia probe: https://apnews.com/TrumpInvestigations
Last edited by JackRiddler on Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:02 am

But it gets two details wrong.


emptywheel

A lot of people are pointing me the AP story catching up to what I've been doing. Welcome to the party, @AP! But it gets two details wrong.


First, it claims that "Participants in the room would later say the meeting was a bust, consumed by a lengthy discussion of Russian adoption and U.S. sanctions."

It's true that participants in the room said the dirt offered was a dud (tho GRU was already releasing emails).
Image

But for the Russians in the room, the point wasn't dealing dirt. It was getting a commitment from Jr to deal with Magnitsky sanctions if Pop got elected. And four people in the room say they succeeded on that front.

Not a bust for Russia!!
Image

Also (I know I harp on this incessantly), it is not in dispute THAT Manafort & Gates gave Kilimnik polling data on August 2.
Image

Manafort's lawyers have offered about 4 different spins abt WHAT the poll data was (and vehemently deny Manafort ordered Gates to bring it), but they've conceded it was shared.

Plus, it's worth noting that a neutral third party has judged that Manafort's stories on this front are a lie.
https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1 ... 1786147841
We will find it’s all connected UK/US election interference the Brexit debacle
All of it the work of a trans national crime syndicate who managed to figure out the wormhole needed to pit us against one another for their benefit
For money and power
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:00 pm

Here's Cohen's testimony of February 27 - I let the machine read it to me and enjoyed it over breakfast. I bet that was faster and more fun than having to watch this stuff.

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper ... -ios-share
Last edited by JackRiddler on Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We meet at the borders of our being, we dream something of each others reality. - Harvey of R.I.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:10 pm

Here's a shameless bump to close out the page bottom. See my exciting Cohen testimony riff and big-picture summary at the top of the thread! Yay!
Last edited by JackRiddler on Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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