JackRiddler » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:13 am wrote:.Joe Hillshoist » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:52 am wrote:I didn't take much notice of Russia gate to be honest. It seemed like the sort of bullshit spoilt children come up with when they don't get their way.
Doesn't it seem it? It was!
Unfortunately, it was also a massive three-year psychological operation involving the corporate media in lockstep along a broad front (minus Fox & co.) in an often 24/7 campaign; the management and former management and many spinoffs of the major covert action and secret policing agencies and associated think tanks; the DNC, Clinton world, and the majority of the Democratic establishment; and a veritable cottage industry of hangers-on and grifters and just plain fan-geeks, which even had a local outlet. They propagated an attempted hegemonic narrative for explaining the 2016 election outcome and sustaining the New Cold War. Which, interestingly, failed, repeatedly, to get any traction with the vast majority of the American people, who didn't care; and then failed again in its second iteration, which was the Ukrainian Impeachment Gambit. It failed even though I'm not sure what was ever on the same scale, in the modern history of Western psyops. The "WMD=Saddam=9/11" operation of 2002-3 was just as lockstep (plus it had FOX & Co. on board and at the forefront), even more of a lie, and all-too successful in its main objective (invade and destroy Iraq and initiate a 20-year chaos war in the Middle East). But it was a very short operation by comparison, had near-zero traction outside the countries of the Bush war "coalition," and even within its heartlands was thoroughly exposed and debunked by general consensus within a year. You'd have to go back to Red Scares 1.0 (1917-20) and 2.0 (1945 forward) for anything quite on the same scale and duration.
And note that Red Scare 2.0 puts us at Stalin. Wasn't he really somewhat worse than Putin? (It's hard to argue: we don't have the same contexts. Maybe Putin, if we imagine him as a victorious White general in the Russian Civil War, would have been even worse than the Bolsheviks and the dictator they spawned. But that's not the point of my question.) And yet, we look back on the Red Scare and we recognize it was a Red Scare, it was propaganda for domestic and imperialist aims, it was never primarily about Stalin or the evils of "communism." It was a lie at its fundaments even when most of its adherents believed it, even when it deployed truth opportunistically or fought autenthically against injustices here or there. It was wrong-minded, wrong -hearted, wrong morally and disastrous for the world, Americans not excluded. It was not about Stalin, just as #Russiagate was not about Putin.DrEvil wrote:And I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my skepticism to the "Russia elected Trump" narrative, I think the US managed to get him elected on their own just fine, but I also think Russia tried to influence the election, because why wouldn't they? Trump was clearly the best choice for them, so it would be very much in their interest if he was elected. Their meddling in various European countries is well established so it would be naive to assume they didn't try the same with the US, their biggest competitor.
Yeah, that's all logical and intuitive and would have been defensible as a speculative or predictive argument ahead of 2016. But it does not remotely describe the empirically observable reality of the 2016 US election and the following years.
As presented by its adherents, the case for #Russiagate rested on two pillars. The first was a tiny clickbait-ad campaign (about $100 K in spending compared to at least $4 billion in presidential election spending), the content of which was barely even related to the 2016 US election, let alone designed effectively to influence it. It was conducted by a small private business in Petrograd. The fact that this laughable bullshit was still being fronted as a primary smoking gun for "Russian meddling" and ended up in the Mueller indictments after 3+ years is itself the smoking gun that the #Russiagate complex never had shit for evidence. The second charges, at least serious if dubious, allege that the Podesta phishing exploit (a feat within the reach of any beginner spammer-hacker) and the DNC leaks to Wikileaks were the result of a Russian state hacking. Nothing else ever alleged turned out to have any evidence or substance to it, including the supposedly super-evil meeting of Kush and a Trump son with a British record promoter and a minor Russian-American lawyer regarding Magnitsky Act lobbying in New York.
This is a past event, one subject to a long investigation by authorities with law enforcement powers -- led by Mueller, who the #Russiagate cult expected to provide the goods. You have to deal with the evidence, or lack thereof. It does not suggest that there was any kind of major Russian state interference operation in the 2016 US election.
You might ask, why shouldn't the Russians have done this, when it seems so logical to you? But what seems logical may not matter. Again, it is in the past. You have to show that they did anything, or at least point to strong indicators of their actions. A construct of the motive is insufficient even as circumstantial evidence.
The likely right question, therefore, is why didn't they interfere?
Maybe, in truth, they didn't want to risk the blowback.
Maybe they expected the same guaranteed Clinton victory that most other observers expected. Maybe it wasn't a priority for them, since they didn't expect the policy to be different even if Trump won. Maybe they expected they would have to negotiate with or confront the US regardless. Maybe they thought Clinton would make for a more stable negotiating partner? Maybe they figured they'd have New Cold War continuing in either case?
That all becomes logical if they had actually looked at the real-existing Trump, rather than the false image of Trump promoted by the #Russiagaters. Neither the Russians nor we should have had any trouble understanding that this guy, regardless of whatever policy calibrations he promised with respect to Russia, always was all about U.S. imperialism, obeisance to the MIC primacy, and continued global war. It doesn't matter whether he issued one or another tweet designed to rope in naive paleocons and sucker leftists with "America First" rhetoric. Unilateralist, sure, but isolationist? Antiwar?! Ha ha ha!
Maybe the Russians understood the US, Clinton, and Trump in 2016 better than the #Russiagaters have managed since then?
http://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/steele- ... 1586897258
Steele Dossier Disinformation Update
New evidence that the FBI was duped by Russian intelligence.
The Editorial Board
April 14, 2020 4:47 pm ET
Russia interfered in America’s 2016 election, as several government reports have established. The latest disturbing news is that Russia may have received an assist from no less than the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
That’s the takeaway of newly released portions of last year’s Department of Justice Inspector General report about the FBI’s investigation into Trump-Russia collusion. That report showed how the FBI abused its powers by misleading a secret court into granting surveillance warrants on the Trump campaign. Thanks to Congressional pressure, the Justice Department has now declassified footnotes showing that the FBI’s main source for its collusion allegations—Christopher Steele—may have been targeted as part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The FBI was warned of this threat but ignored it.
Mr. Steele was tasked by contractors for the Hillary Clinton campaign in spring 2016 with assembling a summary of Trump-Russia allegations. This document, which became known as the Steele dossier, was fed to the FBI and became the central evidence in its applications for warrants against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The FBI should have been wary of Mr. Steele’s reporting, having been warned he was connected to the rival campaign.
But the footnotes reveal the FBI was further warned that the investigator’s network had been infiltrated by Russian intelligence. The FBI received a report in 2017 outlining an “inaccuracy” in the dossier about the activities of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. “The [REDACTED] stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele’s reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was a part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.”
The footnote also says a report in 2017 told the FBI that claims involving Trump activities during a 2013 trip to Moscow were false and the result of Russian intelligence “‘infiltrat[ing] a source into the network’ of a [REDACTED] who compiled a dossier of information on Trump’s activities.” A separate footnote noted the FBI ignored a warning that a Steele contact was “rumored to be a former KGB/SVR officer,” while another footnote showed the FBI closed its eyes to Mr. Steele’s “frequent contacts” with Russian oligarchs.
The FBI has brushed off concerns it was manipulated, telling the IG that the bureau evaluated and dismissed the idea. The dates of the warnings listed in the footnotes remain redacted, so it is unclear when in 2017 the FBI received them. This is the same FBI that by January 2017 had tracked down Mr. Steele’s primary source, who admitted that most of what Mr. Steele reported was “rumor” and “hearsay.” Yet former FBI Director Jim Comey and his coterie pushed the disinformation on the secret court.
The footnotes also highlight the failings of special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed in May 2017 specifically to investigate Russia’s interference in the election. Yet his report barely noted the dossier. Asked about that omission during an appearance in Congress, Mr. Mueller said any dossier questions “predated” him. It’s now clear that Mr. Mueller and his team of Obama Justice Department holdovers—including deputy Andrew Weissmann—didn’t want to expose anything about the FBI and Justice mistakes and misinformation.
These footnotes have emerged thanks to the dogged pressure of GOP Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, but crucial information remains redacted. All the more reason for U.S. Attorney John Durham to dig deep in his own investigation of the origins of the FBI probe and finally give the country a full picture of who knew what and when.
liminalOyster » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:55 pm wrote:
for posterity, context: these "insane protests" are the April statehouse libertarian/trumpy/right fools protesting stay at home etc and following Trump's "LIBERATE" tweets
Grizzly » Sat Apr 18, 2020 10:58 am wrote:]
After this pandemic, this seems like decades ago...
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