The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby stickdog99 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:59 am

JackRiddler » 25 Oct 2019 09:34 wrote:
a comment from chuck mcclenon» Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:49 pm wrote:What we lack is the specific individual Dr. Evil who is pulling the strings. But isn't a multi-header Dr. Evil both more plausible and more evil? But, as you say, even option #2 is far more corrupt and awesome than anything Donald Trump is capable of.


Radically untrue. Laughably so. But it illustrates the insanity of thinking #Russiagate is a #Resistance to Trump. By attacking a criminal and liar with a big criminal slander against him that he can refute, it has predictably functioned as though it were his reelection campaign. #Russiagate has thrown a blanket of "liberal" confusionism over the ongoing Trump-GOP push toward open fascism. It enables the regime's efforts to void any remaining rule of law, remove the nominal limits on executive power, and render the hope of democratic elections impossible. It has commandeered attention away from the awakening of social resistance and labor movements. The latter is a tacit point of consensus between the GOP and the neoliberal Democratic Party establishment.

As for the question on the origins of #Russiagate, the favorite option is obviously #2: It was improvised from existing material and ideas in development by multiple parties. Like most, they did not expect Trump to win the election. They were caught by surprise when the already justifiably hated Clinton machine rewrote the textbook on how not to run a "professional" election marketing campaign, and Comey came out with a last-minute hatchet job invoking the Weiner "findings." This opened a path for the Mercer/Bannon-directed Trump campaign to capture just enough votes, and for the GOP state machines to suppress just enough votes, so that the Dead Hand of 1787 (a.k.a. Electoral College) worked on their behalf.* It was in the wake of this shock that the full #Russiagate complex was put together by a bunch of spook-fools on their way to their cable news gigs, where they joined the promotional campaign. Taibbi captures the significance of the January 17 meeting.

* Sorry this stuff needs daily review, because so many false narratives have been crafted about the election: that it was a populist working class revolt; that it had nothing to do with racism or the Christianist right-wing base the GOP cultivated for decades;** and that "Take Their Oil" Trump, the servant of Saudi and Israeli interests who has escalated the wars on all fronts, was really an isolationist candidate because sometimes he contradicts his own ultraviolent daily-psycho rhetoric with protestations that he loves peace and beautiful babies, etc.

** - Which has largely morphed into a kind of Leader Death Cult. Oh we are so fucked.
.


Whatever its genesis, Russiagate (together with the trauma of Trump's "unthinkable" election, of course) has had the effect of turning millions of previously cursorily politically engaged "centrist" Democrats into political news addicts wholly convinced that any deviation from the Russiagate corporate media orthodoxy is yet further proof of Russia's omnipotent nefarious agency.

For example, one of their newest lines of attack against Bernie Sanders is that "he never acknowledged and publicly condemned all the 'help' the 'Russians' gave him in the 2016 election!"

It's hard for my brain to even unravel this accusation, but it has been leveled at me in good faith by several MSDNC addicts I know. And after responding by noting the absurdity of this accusation, I have been accused of being a Russian agent myself, just as anyone who questions this orthodoxy must be Q.E.D.

Sufficient hatred of Russians has thus become a purity test for Democrats.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby overcoming hope » Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:34 pm

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/p ... el-630080/

How a New Anti-Trump Art Installation Made Its Way to a Trump Hotel
Anarchist artist collective Indecline chose to taunt the president on his own property – with real rats and all

Image

Indecline started planning The People’s Prison six months ago in the hopes of mocking Trump from inside one of his very own ostentatious properties. “The statues were popular,” Indecline’s spokesperson tells Rolling Stone, “but we felt that doing this in his house was even more of a kick in the nuts than having just put those statues up on the sidewalk. When you see the video of us shaking hands with the hotel staff, tipping them, we come in all smiles, they carry our bags for usthe involuntary collusion, it’s such a hard-hitting diss on him.”

These Mad Lads are straight up taunting the prez with their dangerous rebel art!
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby overcoming hope » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm

BenDhyan » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:31 pm wrote:Finally and hopefully some serious light on the spygate origins...

Justice Dept. Is Said to Open Criminal Inquiry Into Its Own Russia Investigation

Oct. 24, 2019

The move is likely to open the attorney general to accusations that he is trying to deliver a political victory for President Trump.

WASHINGTON — For more than two years, President Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it. Now, Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into how it all began.

Justice Department officials have shifted an administrative review of the Russia investigation closely overseen by Attorney General William P. Barr to a criminal inquiry, according to two people familiar with the matter. The move gives the prosecutor running it, John H. Durham, the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents, to convene a grand jury and to file criminal charges.

The opening of a criminal investigation is likely to raise alarms that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies. Mr. Trump fired James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director under whose watch agents opened the Russia inquiry, and has long assailed other top former law enforcement and intelligence officials as partisans who sought to block his election.

Mr. Trump has made clear that he sees the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. That view factors into the impeachment investigation against him, as does his long obsession with the origins of the Russia inquiry. House Democrats are examining in part whether his pressure on Ukraine to open investigations into theories about the 2016 election constituted an abuse of power.

The move also creates an unusual situation in which the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into itself.

Mr. Barr’s reliance on Mr. Durham, a widely respected and veteran prosecutor who has investigated C.I.A. torture and broken up Mafia rings, could help insulate the attorney general from accusations that he is doing the president’s bidding and putting politics above justice.

It was not clear what potential crime Mr. Durham is investigating, nor when the criminal investigation was prompted. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mr. Trump is certain to see the criminal investigation as a vindication of the years he and his allies have spent trying to discredit the Russia investigation. In May, Mr. Trump told the Fox News host Sean Hannity that the F.B.I. officials who opened the case — a counterintelligence investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Moscow’s election sabotage — had committed treason.

“We can never allow these treasonous acts to happen to another president,” Mr. Trump said. He has called the F.B.I. investigation one of the biggest political scandals in United States history.

Federal investigators need only a “reasonable indication” that a crime has been committed to open an investigation, a much lower standard than the probable cause required to obtain search warrants. However, “there must be an objective, factual basis for initiating the investigation; a mere hunch is insufficient,” according to Justice Department guidelines.

When Mr. Barr appointed Mr. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, to lead the review, he had only the power to voluntarily question people and examine government files.

Mr. Barr expressed skepticism of the Russia investigation even before joining the Trump administration. Weeks after being sworn in this year, he said he intended to scrutinize how it started and used the term “spying” to describe investigators’ surveillance of Trump campaign advisers. But he has been careful to say he wants to determine whether investigators acted lawfully.

“The question is whether it was adequately predicated,” he told lawmakers in April. “And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”

...continues

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/24/us/politics/john-durham-criminal-investigation.html




Glenn Greenwald
@ggreenwald
I actually want to know whether the powers of the FBI, NSA, CIA & DHS were abused for domestic political purposes in 2016. I always thought concerns about US security state agencies was a staple of left-wing thought but it somehow got transformed into proof of right-wing fascism.

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This NYT story about the opening of a criminal probe into the origins of Russiagate sounds like it was written by the defense lawyers of the investigation’s targets.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby overcoming hope » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:24 pm

The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump
A merit-based system for hiring federal employees was created in reaction to the rampant corruption of the Gilded Age.
October 26

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/26/opin ... state.html

Glenn Greenwald
@ggreenwald
The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump," argues a @nytimes contributing writer today in an op-ed. By "Deep State," she means the permanent class of unelected "civil servants" in government.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby RocketMan » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:59 am

overcoming hope » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:24 am wrote:The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump
A merit-based system for hiring federal employees was created in reaction to the rampant corruption of the Gilded Age.
October 26

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/26/opin ... state.html

Glenn Greenwald
@ggreenwald
The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump," argues a @nytimes contributing writer today in an op-ed. By "Deep State," she means the permanent class of unelected "civil servants" in government.


Well, I think we can safely say that Peter Dale Scott's analytical concept is pretty much junked at this point. Thank you, alt-right cryptofascists and corporate media! :thumbsup

Such a shame, I finally finished Scott's Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. Pretty dense, heady stuff.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby stickdog99 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:37 pm

overcoming hope » 28 Oct 2019 03:24 wrote:The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump
A merit-based system for hiring federal employees was created in reaction to the rampant corruption of the Gilded Age.
October 26

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/26/opin ... state.html

Glenn Greenwald
@ggreenwald
The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump," argues a @nytimes contributing writer today in an op-ed. By "Deep State," she means the permanent class of unelected "civil servants" in government.


Ah, so they were talking about the shallow Deep State.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby alloneword » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:54 pm

This probably goes here...

Dmitry Orlov:
My Response to "Russia Russia Russia!" Panel at Politicon 2019
What a wondrous sight are the American Russophobes fluffing their plumage and in full cry! Be sure to shed a tear for them when they go extinct.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWE78owXPdU

Quite long, but worth leaving on in the background whilst you get on with something else, if only for the comedy value.

I learned a shocking amount about the depth and breadth of delusion that passes for 'informed opinion', plus something about Belarus. ;)
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:27 pm

Yeah, Orlov is entertaining up to a point, and of course correct about the Russia Russia Russia fanatics, but halfway through he flies some pretty fucked-up colors when he starts talking about how Russians are good conservative people who want their children to have a mother and a father and don't want to live in a Sodom and Gomorrah like the US with its depraved transsexuals, etc. etc. Which is not just fucked up, but full of shit.

Anyway, on to my main show today, ladies and gentlemen, here's the Great Patriotic heroine Fiona Hill:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIgE1S7GMVc

Hey, do you oppose fracking? Got a problem with the US "dominating" world petroleum extraction? That's because RT brainwashed you! You are one of Russia's useful idiots. Congressman Conaway (R-Frackstate-Texas) and Cold War intellectual Dr. Hill (Pipes student) fully agree that opposition to fracking is What Putin Wants.

The pursuit of impeachment to punish Trump's short delay in the sale of missiles to Ukraine (and for nothing else) seems almost designed to fail at its supposed goal. Remember, Obama (exceptionally, wisely) had refused to send heavy weapons of war to Ukraine. Contrary to the CNN headline under Hill's testimony, these arms shipments have nothing to do with the U.S. "defending itself."

Consider all the ways in which this particular route to impeachment, with its monomaniacal focus on the Ukraine matter, threatens to strengthen the Trump-GOP regime in 2020: It is certain to fail in the GOP Senate, which will first use it to batter the Democrats for months. It distracts from the election, and from the bread-and-butter issues (or anything else) that most voting Americans actually give a shit about. They get #Russiagate 2.0, an interminable stream of inside-baseball talk about one of Trump's lesser violations. It is, fatefully, a constant reminder of the legal but thoroughly corrupt payola of Biden and son -- on behalf of a fracking company! At least in regard to the incestuous system of self-service plunder by political elites, Republicans and Democrats only appear to live in different universes: they are each right about the other. Why do the Democrats want to encourage that appearance?

Consider all the serious crimes associated with Trump: his bribes to silence women with whom he had affairs, in violation of campaign finance law, to which his lawyer confessed; his money-laundering businesses; his now-defunct foundation; the naked use of office for emoluments by him and his family; the constant obstruction of justice on all things; the many incitements to physical violence from the presidential pulpit; the specific threats to opponents; and, most of all, the actions of the Trump-GOP regime in power. As with #Russiagate 1.0, the Democratic leadership, once again, has chosen an opposition strategy with the highest probability of backfiring on them. Why?

Lousy as it is if the goal is to oust rather than reelect Trump, the strategy does fulfill another function: Hill and most of the other star witnesses in the proceedings delivered a parade of disinformation about the US involvement in Ukraine. Of course the Democrats and Republicans differed on Trump's (self-evident) culpability for his amateur attempt to recruit the Ukrainian president as an accomplice to meddling in a US election. (Should Ukraine reopen the Burisma investigation? That's a different question.) But nearly all of the questioners were united in parroting the uniform propaganda for imperialism, interventionism, arms shipments and cold war with Russia as matters of patriotic faith. Only traitors, criminals, "conspiracy theorists" and Russian-influenced fools would question this.

Still it remains that the best interests of Americans and almost everyone else in the world would lie in the deescalation and resolution of the Ukraine conflict, and a relaxation of tensions among the nuclear great powers. Supplying Ukraine with missiles and moving to integrate it into NATO has the opposite effect. Understanding this fundamental point does not require you to approve of the Russian government. A majority of Ukrainian voters appear to agree, since they elected Zelensky with 72 percent of the vote, on a platform of negotiating with Russia. The ongoing impeachment game with its valorization of a hardline anti-Russian stance is among the factors blocking that.

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby PufPuf93 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:23 am

I posted this first at DU and surprisingly got 23 recs and no one jumped down my throat. Note that the "moderates" (Pelosi) want to stick to the Ukraine as an impeachment issue but the House Intelligence (chaired by Schiff) want to expand impeachment issues.

Democrats quietly debate expanding impeachment articles beyond Ukraine

My opinion is that the impeachment quest should not be limited to Ukraine issues. I could make some predictions but won't (like the moderates will eventually chose to expand impeachment beyond the Ukraine). I want to be consciously optimistic that Trump is impeached and then convicted and removed from office by the Senate.


Democrats quietly debate expanding impeachment articles beyond Ukraine

WAPO December 2, 2019


House Democrats are debating whether to expand articles of impeachment to include charges beyond abuse of power in the Ukraine controversy, setting up a potential internal clash as the party races to impeach President Trump by Christmastime.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee and other more liberal-minded lawmakers and congressional aides have been privately discussing the possibility of drafting articles that include obstruction of justice or other “high crimes” they believe are clearly outlined in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report — or allegations that Trump has used his office to benefit his bottom line.

The idea, however, is running into resistance from some moderate Democrats wary of impeachment blowback in their GOP-leaning districts, as well as Democratic leaders who sought to keep impeachment narrowly focused on allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely.

The debate is expected to play out in leadership and caucus meetings this week, as the House Intelligence Committee prepares to hand the impeachment inquiry to the House Judiciary Committee. The Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday night on its final report on Ukraine, allowing Judiciary to then work on writing articles of impeachment based on that document.

But the Judiciary Committee also has asked other investigative panels to send any findings of Trump-related misdeeds that they believe are impeachable. And many of the committee members are hoping articles will refer to and cite their own months-long investigation into the Mueller report, which described 10 possible instances of obstruction by the president.

more at: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... spartanntp
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby stickdog99 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:04 pm

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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby JackRiddler » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:42 pm

Jack Riddler elsewhere wrote:Impeachment fans, do I need to explain all that is wrong in this absurd passage from the written statement submitted to the Judiciary Committee by Pamela Karlan, the latest star of the show?

"To see why, imagine living in a part of Louisiana or Texas that’s prone to devastating hurricanes and flooding. What would you think if, when your governor asked the federal government for the disaster assistance that Congress has provided, the President responded, “‘I would like you to do us a favor.’ I’ll meet with you and send the disaster relief once you brand my opponent a criminal.”
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/r ... nt-hearing

1. Ukraine is not a state of the United States.

2. Ukraine is not under the authority of the US government (although Karlan talks as though it should be, or already is).

3. The 2014 coup d'etat and subsequent civil war in Ukraine - oh, sorry, I mean, recent events in Ukraine - were not due to natural disasters.

4. Sales of US missiles and other heavy arms are not disaster relief. (They are more like disaster causes.)

5. Although Trump's demand on the phone that Zelensky open an investigation against Biden's grifter son in exchange for delivery of US arms appears indeed to be one of the more minor of the many illegal acts and atrocities for which Trump is culpable, and although this call may have been related to the short delay in the delivery of weapons to Ukraine, the weapons were actually delivered without fulfillment of the supposed quid pro quo. Good luck explaining to most voters why this episode is bigger than Watergate, or more important than the food stamp cut or the other issues on which the Democrats could be crusading, and winning.

6. Okay, I am not a lawyer, and it's just a question, but does a Stanford professor called to Congress as an expert on constitutional law usually engage in rhetorical devices unworthy even of the lawyer from Breaking Bad?

How about the part, in the witness testimony, when she channelled GW Bush's famous dictum to justify the "War on Terror," that "we" must "fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here"?

Karlan: "It isn't just our national interest... that Ukraine remains strong and on the front lines so that they fight them there so we don't have to fight them here."

Video can be viewed via https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1 ... 2960908293

Are "we" in a war with Russia? Never forget that Obama refused to send missiles and heavy arms to Ukraine. Was he intentionally paving the way to the Russian invasion of the United States that, by Karlan's logic, will follow if Ukraine doesn't "fight them over there"?

Right after that, she says the US is promoting democracy worldwide. Coups and attempted coups in Bolivia, Honduras and many other places come to mind, but not for Karlan. Apparently the only thing that's ever undermined this exclusively noble effort badly enough to merit impeachment was Trump's "quid pro quo" call.

She concludes with the phrase Ronald Reagan made famous:

"... we are not doing our job of promoting our national interest of being that shining city on a hill."

Are we promoters, is that our job? Of what?! Who gave us this job?

This same shit cocktail keeps getting remixed and fed back to us, decade after decade. Up to thirty years ago, if I had a problem with US policy, I probably don't have to inform you how true-blue Republicans would respond: "Go back to Russia!" Now it's Democrats who have resorted to it.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby Elvis » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:48 pm

^^^ A good friend and I are currently having this argument/discussion. He actually sees US support of the coup as a lesser but necessary evil to counter Russian misdeeds. He largely blames 'Russia' for Trump's election and gets angry at any suggestion that Russia is responding in an expected way to US antagonism.

On one hand he says Russia needs help diversifying its economy, but on the other hand thinks it's okay to goad Russia into a war. This is the same fellow who in 1988 introduced me to Manufacturing Consent and was so giddy over its revelations. I have to remind him that the disinfoteers never retired, nor simply gave up because Carl Bernstein write a book.
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Re: The Russian Conspiracy as RI subject

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:52 am

Weaponizing the haters: The Last Jedi and the strategic politicization of pop culture through social media manipulation.
September 2018
Morten Bay

Political discourse on social media is seen by many as polarized, vitriolic and permeated by falsehoods and misinformation. Political operators have exploited all of these aspects of the discourse for strategic purposes, most famously during the Russian social media influence campaign during the 2016 Presidential election in the United States and current, similar efforts targeting the U.S. elections in 2018 and 2020. The results of the social media study presented in this paper presents evidence that political influence through manipulation of social media discussions is no longer exclusive to political debate but can now also be found in pop culture. Specifically, this study examines a collection of tweets relating to a much-publicized fan dispute over the Star Wars franchise film Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. The study finds evidence of deliberate, organized political influence measures disguised as fan arguments. The likely objective of these measures is increasing media coverage of the fandom conflict, thereby adding to and further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society. Persuading voters of this narrative remains a strategic goal for the U.S. alt-right movement, as well as the Russian Federation. The results of the study show that among those who address The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson directly on Twitter to express their dissatisfaction, more than half are bots, trolls/sock puppets or political activists using the debate to propagate political messages supporting extreme right-wing causes and the discrimination of gender, race or sexuality. A number of these users appear to be Russian trolls. The paper concludes that while it is only a minority of Twitter accounts that tweet negatively about The Last Jedi, organized attempts at politicizing the pop culture discourse on social media for strategic purposes are significant enough that users should be made aware of these measures, so they can act accordingly.

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... nipulation


Too lazy to check if this abstract was ever posed upthread (rather than just a pop summary of the article's existence.) I suppose it's good news it has been cited zero times.
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