The Mueller investigation in pictures

 

1. This Russian meme helped tilt the 2016 US Presidential vote to Donald Trump.

A Facebook ad that cost the equivalent of $1, generated 71 impressions and 14 interactions.

 

Speaking of memes, the DNC (Democratic National Committee) was selling these during the 2016 nomination for the Democratic presidential candidate.

Hillary Clinton memorabilia

Bernie Sanders memorabilia

 

Hey DNC – why this meme…

Cropped 1941 Nazi Germany anti-Jewish poster. University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

 

… and not this? Just asking.

Image by DonkeyHotey

 

2. Wikileaks’s denial of collusion with Roger Stone is used as evidence of collusion.

 

 

 

Natasha Bertrand (Feb 27, 2018, The Atlantic) wrote: “Private Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic show that Stone and WikiLeaks, a radical-transparency group, communicated directly on October 13, 2016 – and that WikiLeaks sought to keep its channel to Stone open after Trump won the election.” Nine paragraphs below, she says, “It is unclear whether Stone and WikiLeaks kept in touch, using Twitter or another platform, after the election.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The emails published by Wikileaks confirmed that the DNC rigged the nomination against Bernie Sanders.

 

Western media claimed that Russian outlet RT scooped the email releases because it had a special relationship with Wikileaks – and didn’t just know how to refresh the Wikileaks website.

Carl Bildt, Co-Chair European Council on Foreign Relations, member Board of Trustees of the RAND Corporation,  International Crisis Group and council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies

 

RT explained how to do journalism: “Members of [Clinton’s] team have also openly accused RT of involvement in the Podesta email hack due to its swift reporting on the WikiLeaks email releases, which have been shared publicly by the website around the same time every day over the past fortnight.”

Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul

 

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was given political asylum by Ecuador in 2012 and has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since then. He is in danger of being extradited to the US, where charges, including the possibility of US Espionage Act violation, have been laid against him.

 

3. Media frenzy

 

CNN’s Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb wrote on December 8, 2017, that Donald Trump Jr. had received an email on September 4 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked Wikileaks documents – evidence that he had a special contact in Wikileaks. However, the date on the email was September 14.

CNN made this correction: “The new details appear to show that the sender was relying on publicly available information. The new information indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported.”

 

4. You are treasonous if you meet with Russians – any Russians – if, and only if, you believe that meeting with Russians is not treasonous.

They met with Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak

 

Claire McCaskill, US Democratic Senator from Missouri. She met with Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, and lied about it.

 

And who is Robbie Mook?

Norman Solomon writing at Huffpost quoted from the book Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes:

“Within 24 hours of [Hillary Clinton’s] concession speech,” the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta “assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

Finally, let’s never forget this Jake Tapper interview with Carter Page.

 

5. The Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower meeting.

 

Natalia Veselnitskaya is the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump, Jr. on June 9, 2016. At the time, she was in the US representing a Russian client Denis Katsyv in the lawsuit brought by Bill Browder against the company Prevezon Holdings. She gave written testimony to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary about that meeting. Veselnitskaya had been researching Browder’s activities in Russia and had asked friends to put her in touch with US lawmakers so that she could present her findings to them. Apparently, the intermediary, music publicist Rob Goldstone, had inflated his contacts with the US political class, and the best he came up with was Trump Jr.

From Veselnitskaya’s testimony to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary

 

Alexander Mercouris speculates at The Duran on whether or not, because of the strange role of Goldstone, this meeting was a sting on Trump Jr.

 

6. Reputable sources?

 

In October 2016, after Wikileaks published the Podesta emails, the Russian news outlet Sputnik posted a story that mistakenly attributed to Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal a quote from Kurt Eichenwald that was critical of Clinton. After Eichenwald pointed out the error, Sputnik took down the story, but the story spread after Donald Trump used it in a campaign speech. As Glenn Greenwald puts it,

“Eichenwald, with increasing levels of hysteria, manically posted no fewer than three dozen tweets last night about his story, each time escalating his claims of what it proved. By the time he was done, he had misled large numbers of people into believing that he found proof that: 1) the documents in the WikiLeaks archive were altered; 2) Russia put forgeries into the WikiLeaks archive; 3) Sputnik knew about the WikiLeaks archive ahead of time, before it was posted online; 4) WikiLeaks coordinated the release of the documents with the Russian government; and 5) the Russian government and the Trump campaign coordinated to falsely attribute Eichenwald’s words to Blumenthal.”

The Sputnik writer, Bill Moran, sued Newsweek over two articles written by Eichenwald that accused Moran of colluding with Russia and the Trump campaign. The suit was settled and Newsweek deleted the articles, although you can find them in various places on the internet (but you might not be able to “picture a headquarters or person”).

Of course, if we take Eichenwald’s advice, we would miss these sorts of things …

 

 

7. As James Comey says, “So many questions.”

Here are two Comey will not ask.

How did a sitting president (Obama) use his Justice Department, secret services and FBI to spy on the presidential campaign of an opposing party?

Peter Strzok (FBI, former lead agent on Hillary Clinton’s email server investigation and Robert Mueller’s team), Lisa Page (former FBI attorneyy and special counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe), Bruce Ohr (Justice Department), Andrew McCabe (former FBI Deputy Director), James Comey (former FBI Director), James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence), John Brennan (former CIA Director), Loretta Lynch (US Attorney General under Obama), Susan Rice (National Security Advisor under Obama), Samantha Power (former US Ambassador to UN) …

How did these countries influence the US 2016 election?

Britain: Christopher Steele (former MI6, dossier author); Sir Andrew Wood (ex-British ambassador to Russia); Sir Richard Dearlove (former head of MI6); Joseph Mifsud (Maltese academic, director London Academy of Diplomacy); Bill Browder (ex-US citizen, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, instigator of Magnitsky Act) …

Australia: Alexander Downer (diplomat)

Ukraine: Alexandra Chalupa (Ukrainian-American, staffer then consultant for DNC), Serhiy Leshchenko (member of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau) …

 

8. For any head of state to abuse the powers of the state, to whatever end, is always wrong.

Contender for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, Tulsi Gabbard, wants to prevent new cold wars and end US policies meant to overthrow foreign governments. Her campaign challenges powerful state entities and corporations that profit from war. When asked how she would defeat Donald Trump, she said she would focus on “restoring to the presidency honor, integrity and courage.”

 

Make Orwell Fiction Again

Liberty Maniacs

 

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Russia and the Art of War

 

Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.

No ruler should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no general should fight a battle simply out of pique.

If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are.

Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.

But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life.

Hence the enlightened ruler is heedful, and the good general full of caution. This is the way to keep a country at peace and an army intact.

非 利 不 動 , 非 得 不 用 , 非 危 不 戰 。 主 不 可 以 怒 而 興 師 , 將 不
可 以 慍 而 致 戰 ; 合 于 利 而 動 , 不 合 于 利 而 止 。 怒 可 以 復 喜 , 慍 可 以 復
悅 , 亡 國 不 可 以 復 存 , 死 者 不 可 以 復 生 。 故 明 君 慎 之 , 良 將 警 之 , 此
安 國 全 軍 之 道 也 。

(孫子  第十二篇 Sunzi, The Art of War, Chapter 12, translated by Lionel Giles)

Tony Cartalucci cited this passage from Sunzi in his analysis of an alarming incident in a part of the world that seemed ready to explode.

“Western and Russian media sources have reported an alleged joint Israeli-French strike on Syria on September 17. The attack included Israeli warplanes and French missile frigates operating in the Mediterranean off Syria’s coast. Amid the attack, a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 14 service members aboard disappeared.

“The attack immediately prompted commentators, analysts, and pundits to call for an immediate retaliation to the unprovoked military aggression, warning that a failure to react would leave Russia looking weak. Some commentators even called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to step down.

“It is not to Russia’s advantage to sink French frigates or expose the full capabilities of its air defense systems to shoot down a handful of Israeli warplanes to satisfy public desires for immediate revenge or to protect nonexistent notions of Russian invincibility.

“Instead, it is to Russia’s advantage to simply win the proxy war in Syria. Just as in 2015 when calls for immediate revenge were made regarding a Turkish-downed Russian warplane, Syria, Russia, and Iran will continue moving forward – slowly and methodically – to secure Syrian territory from foreign proxies seeking to divide and destroy the country, springboard into Iran, and eventually work their way into southern Russia.

“Avenging serial provocations is infinitesimally less important than overall victory in Syria. The fate of Syria as a nation, Iran’s security and stability as a result, and even Russia’s own self-preservation is on the line. The awesome responsibility of those who have planned and executed Syria’s incremental victory over proxy forces backed by the largest, most powerful economies and military forces on Earth could greatly benefit from a public able to understand the difference between short-term gratification and long-term success and how the former almost certainly and recklessly endangers the latter.”

 

Got it.

 

Wonderland: the Trial of Carter Page

alice42a

On April 11, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed officials, that the FBI had obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in the summer of 2016 to monitor the communications of Carter Page, an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, on the belief that Page was acting as an agent of Russia. On April 12, Jake Tapper of CNN asked Carter Page this series of questions.

Tapper [at 1:24]: You were dealing with a man named Victor Podobnyy who was charged later with being an unregistered agent of a foreign government. So that was 2013. At the time did you have any idea that Podobnyy was a Russian spy?

[at 2:34]: My question more specifically is, OK you knew that he was Russian, but did you know that he was a spy?

[at 6:07]: There are a few questions that in the past you have declined to answer, so let’s give you another opportunity, I think you owe it to the American people, and frankly, you owe it to yourself, to clear your name, if you are innocent as you say you are, so the first one, who brought you into the Trump campaign?

[at 7:00]: But Carter, I mean, you want to clear things up, there’s nothing wrong about bringing a Russia expert on to a campaign, I’m just asking you, who brought you into the campaign? Was it Paul Manafort?

[at 7:32]: Well, I mean, I know you want to get out all this information, but then you refuse to answer. There’s nothing wrong with somebody bringing you into the campaign, I’m just trying to find out who it was.

‘There’s more evidence to come yet, please your Majesty,’ said the White Rabbit, jumping up in a great hurry; ‘this paper has just been picked up.’

‘What’s in it?’ said the Queen.

‘I haven’t opened it yet,’ said the White Rabbit, ‘but it seems to be a letter, written by the prisoner to—to somebody.’

‘It must have been that,’ said the King, ‘unless it was written to nobody, which isn’t usual, you know.’

‘Who is it directed to?’ said one of the jurymen.

‘It isn’t directed at all,’ said the White Rabbit; ‘in fact, there’s nothing written on the outside.’ He unfolded the paper as he spoke, and added ‘It isn’t a letter, after all: it’s a set of verses.’

‘Are they in the prisoner’s handwriting?’ asked another of the jurymen.

‘No, they’re not,’ said the White Rabbit, ‘and that’s the queerest thing about it.’ (The jury all looked puzzled.)

‘He must have imitated somebody else’s hand,’ said the King. (The jury all brightened up again.)

‘Please your Majesty,’ said the Knave, ‘I didn’t write it, and they can’t prove I did: there’s no name signed at the end.’

‘If you didn’t sign it,’ said the King, ‘that only makes the matter worse. You must have meant some mischief, or else you’d have signed your name like an honest man.’

There was a general clapping of hands at this: it was the first really clever thing the King had said that day.

‘That proves his guilt,’ said the Queen.

‘It proves nothing of the sort!’ said Alice. ‘Why, you don’t even know what they’re about!’

Jake Tapper continued, saying [at 8:02]: When you went to Russia last summer, did you ever talk to any Russian about the Trump campaign or about the Clinton campaign or about the 2016 election in general?

[at 8:29]: I didn’t ask Russian official, I just asked any Russian because obviously Russians as you know in Russia people are affiliated with private industry but they also do work with the government etc. So, but you did not talk to any Russian at all other than students and parents and scholars about the presidential election?

[at 8:58]: Well, I’m not talking about negotiations, but as long as you bring it up, I mean, have you ever conveyed to anyone in Russia tht you think President Trump might have been more willing to get rid of the sanctions that were imposed against Russia after they invaded and seized Crimea, which I know are sanctions that you oppose and think are ineffective. Did you ever talk with anyone there about maybe president Trump if he were elected, then-candidate Trump, would be willing to get rid of the sanctions?

[at 9:38]: You never said that to anybody that you think that if Donald Trump won he might be willing to get rid of the sanctions against Russia?

[at 9:46]: One of the matters the FBI is investigating as you know is whether any adviser to the Trump campaign at any point discussed the release of the hacked and fished and stolen documents from the DNC and from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Did you ever discuss any of those documents or the release of them or the timing of them when you were in Russia or with a Russian?

[at 12:11]: The US intelligence committee, uh community, says that Russia interfered in the US election, they interfered with disinformation, they interfered with stolen information, the Kremlin says it’s not true, there’s no evidence of it. You seem to side with the Kremlin. Why?

‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’

‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’

‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.

‘I won’t!’ said Alice.

‘Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’


The White Rabbit’s interruption and the trial of the Knave of Hearts, accused of stealing the tarts, is from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, Chapter 12, “Alice’s Evidence”. Available from Project Gutenberg.

ABCNews reported on July 7, 2016, on Carter Page’s Russian visit alluded to by Tapper, saying: “Page’s lecture today was to students from the New Economic School, a prestigious liberal-minded university in Moscow, where on Friday he will give a commencement speech at a graduation ceremony. In 2009, President Barack Obama also delivered a graduation speech at the school.”

You can watch Carter Page’s lecture here.

Justin Trudeau, same old, same old

 

On Thursday, you said: “There are continuing questions … about who is responsible for these horrible attacks against civilians, and that’s why I’m impressing on the United Nations Security Council to pass a strong resolution that allows the international community to determine first of all who was responsible for these attacks and how we will move forward. I think it’s important to make sure we have all the facts before we move forward in what is obviously an extremely important situation.”

On Friday, you said: “Canada fully supports the United States’ limited and focused action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against innocent civilians, including many children. President Assad’s use of chemical weapons and the crimes the Syrian regime has committed against its own people cannot be ignored. These gruesome attacks cannot be permitted to continue operating with impunity.”

You gave your unqualified support before you got all the facts. Nothing’s changed.

Yesterday’s McCarthy – our alternate reality

 

STYestEnterprise

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C. Image from Wikipedia

 

Guinan: “Families. There should be children on this ship.”
Picard: “What? Children on the Enterprise? Guinan, we’re at war!”
Guinan: “No we’re not! At least we’re not… supposed to be. This is not a ship of war. This is a ship of peace.”

(from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” episode 63, Yesterday’s Enterprise, February 19, 1990)

 

As the US House Intelligence Committee questions FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers on the “possible ties” between “associates” of Donald Trump and “agents of the Kremlin,” do you get the feeling that members of the U.S. political class and media are sweeping us into some bizarre reality?

Listen to this interview of Stephen Cohen (professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University) by John Batchelor, March 22, 2017, on “How the New McCarthyism grows stronger.”