Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 18, 2017

The Special Council Inquisition - Bad For Trump - And All of Us

The Trump administration made a huge mistake by not preventing the just announced special council investigation into the alleged, but likely non-existing "Trump-Russia" connections:

The Justice Department appointed a special counsel Wednesday to investigate possible coordination between President Trump’s associates and Russian officials — a clear signal to the White House that federal investigators will aggressively pursue the matter despite the president’s insistence that there was no “collusion’’ with the Kremlin.

Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to take over the investigation as a special counsel, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel intensified after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey last week.

It is weird that the WaPo report above calls this "a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation". It further states that the White House was not informed about it until it had been made:

The White House did not learn of Rosenstein’s decision until just 30 minutes before the public announcement was made.

Anyway. This is bad and the Trump administration should have pulled all strings to prevent it. Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further. The order the Acting Attorney General wrote includes language which allows for nearly unlimited digging in "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” It will thereby continue until -inevitably- some dirt will be found that can be blown out of all proportion and lead to prosecutions or impeachment.

Robert S. Mueller is also a bad choice as a special council as he is a former colleague and friend of former FBI director James Comey who Trump recently fired. From 2013:

Forged Under Fire—Bob Mueller and Jim Comey’s Unusual Friendship

Both men were rising stars mentored and guided by Eric Holder in the 1990s during Holder’s time in the Justice Department under the Clinton administration.
...
Mueller, now 68, and Comey, now 52, would become close partners and close allies throughout the years ahead.
...

Both, Comey and Mueller, were involved in the dramatic hospital scene at the bed of Attorney General Ashcroft to stop Bush's illegal program of spying on U.S. citizens. The program in question stopped for a moment but the spying simply continued under a different legal justification.

The attempts to smear Trump and those around him over foreign connections have entered absurd territory. The lead headline at McClatchy today is a. old news, b. confusing the timeline only to further throw dirt into the direction of Trump:

Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent

One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.

The incoming Trump administration temporarily stopped the Raqqa campaign which the Obama administration had decided would be done with Kurdish forces. This was on January 17, only a few days before the Trump administration took over. The Obama administration itself had deliberated about the issue for over 8 month and its choice was not its preferred option:

Most of the shortcomings outlined by the Trump team were obvious to Obama’s advisers he added. In fact, the senior Obama administration official said, arming the Kurds was Obama’s Plan B, after it became clear that Plan A — using Turkish forces to take Raqqa — would not be feasible.

It is doubtful that Flynn's communication of the decision was influenced by money. Flynn had registered his lobbying under the Lobbying Disclosure Act with the Clerk of the House of Representatives effectively September 15, 2016. According to his later filling (pdf) at the Foreign Agent Registry, his consulting contract with the Turkish owned company had ended three month later, on November 15, 2016. The owner of the company Inovo, which had hired Flynn, is Ekim Alptekin, an ally of the Turkish President Erdogan. (Alptekin's lawyer ones asserted that the company had acted on behalf of Israeli gas interests. The two Israeli gas companies possibly involved both denied any such connection.) Alptekin himself denied any connection to Trump administration decisions and correctly noted that Trump had practically no chance of winning the election at the time Alptekin had hired Flynn who was then just one of many Trump advisors.

There is no reasonable relation between Flynn's lobbying for Turkish interest and the halt of the Raqqa campaign preparations. Attempts to drawn lines between the Turkish lobbying and Russian interests end up as convoluted rumor collections. With the Raqqa halt the Trump administration simply rejected to take responsibility for a military adventure (which had not even started) based on a dubious last-minute Obama decision. It wanted to review the issue and decide after its own assessment.

One has to ask why McClatchy is reporting this now? That Flynn had was lobbying for Alptekin's company was registered in September and first reported in November 2016. The temporary halt of the Raqqa campaign planing was decided on January 17 and reported on February 2 2017. Where then is the "news" value in this May 2017  McClatchy report?

A special council investigation will, of course, jump on such not-news reports like McClatchy's. He will dramatically invite witnesses and leak further rumors to the media - even when the basic facts show that there is nothing to it. Such investigations pursue death by a thousand cuts.

The Democrats, and especially progressives, work against their voters interest when they pursue a Trump impeachment which would let Vice President Pence take the White House:

Pence is a horror—fiscal sadist, misogynist, homophobe, lover of the carceral state.

Pence is way more conservative than Trump. With Republicans in power in Congress he could easily implement all the horrific policies he ever dreamed of.

But the borg and the Democratic leadership are not concerned about that:

Democrats cheered the [special council] announcement as a step forward in resolving the unanswered questions about Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election — and whether the president or anyone at the White House has interfered with the investigation.

Trump believes that better relations with Russia are important for the well-being of the United States, Pence would likely pursue an anti-Russian policy.

That, I believe, is the real issue here. There are no unbeseeming relations between Trump and Russia. Russia had little, if any, influence on the 2016 election. There was no "Russian meddling". But Trump's somewhat more friendly behavior towards Russia, which he campaigned for, is disliked by the-powers-that-are.

We can now expect a very long drawn special council investigation with lots of media leaks and reporting. It will drown out all other important issues. It will likely end badly for Trump and badly for peaceful global power relations.

Posted by b on May 18, 2017 at 07:07 AM | Permalink

Comments

1) Allow me to hail your work. I myself have done research on the Web, I know how much work it can be, and the speed at which you find relevant information and put it together is absolutely stunning.
2) To quote you, "It will end badly for Trump, badly for global power relations", and I add, badly for Western democracies. The gloves are coming off: we Westerners (USA, EU, etc) have democratic systems... as long as we vote as we are told. In other terms, ours is a wolf in sheep's clothing system, and the truth is we live in banana republics.

Our US-led system has never seen anything wrong about toppling elected leaders and sponsoring the worst dictators in places like Asia, Europe, the Middle-East or South America. They've done it for decades. Why did we ever imagine they would hesitate to do the same at home?

Posted by: Lea | May 18, 2017 7:50:13 AM | 1

I'm persuaded there's nothing there, so are you, b. Yet for obvious reasons, many are not. So Trump did the wise thing: he is cooperating with the only chance he has of putting this manufactured issue to bed.

Posted by: Berry Friesen | May 18, 2017 7:54:24 AM | 2

While special investigations can be pretty bad, I do not see a superior alternative. Investigations are part of the executive function of the government, at least in USA, and the executive power has too many temptations to meddle, temptations that Trump did not resist. On paper, the special prosecutor is accomplished and "non-partisan", one can quibble if they could not found someone with a higher numeral, like Robert S. Mueller IV (III means that both dad and grandad were Roberts, rather than alternate between two names like kings of Denmark who alternate between Christian and Frederik).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 8:01:12 AM | 3

Actually it is good for Trump.

As I understand it the task is to "oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters"

Mueller was appointed by Bush. As I understand it, he has to report to Rod Rosenstein, a Republican, who fired Comey.

The devil is in the "related matters" - which might be anything from the DNC leak to the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign.

Posted by: somebody | May 18, 2017 8:19:22 AM | 4

@2 bf, 'Trump did the wise thing: he is cooperating with the only chance he has of putting this manufactured issue to bed ...'

he didn't even know what hit him. his assistant attorney general gave him the news just 30 minutes before he released it to the media. anyone who thinks the rump is the engineer is dreaming. he's in the caboose, playing solitaire with the twits.

the show will go on. the rump will continue from somewhere in the white house at the length of his leash, blowing off steam as he goes, but the pressure in the boiler will continuously drop and the sound of his whistle will diminish, calling more and more lonesome night after night from the tracks along the twitter line. an endless line of dictators will stream through the white house, each duly proclaimed his new best friend.

people all over the world will begin to reduce as much as possible their exposure to all things american, especially the dollar.

Posted by: jfl | May 18, 2017 8:35:29 AM | 5

Circus maximus; minus the dead bodies (?)...

Posted by: V. Arnold | May 18, 2017 8:36:48 AM | 6

Trump's experience in dog-eat-dog BizWorld would have included worse scenarios than this Star Chamber gambit by the Swamp. And the Swamp is so politicised and corrupt that Team Trump will drown them in their own bs.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 18, 2017 8:42:08 AM | 7

Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further. This until, inevitably, some dirt will be found that can be blown out of proportion and lead to prosecutions or impeachment.

The dirt is already out there, all over the Net. (google: Bayrock Trump) And that is Trump’s extensive participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia. Whether this avenue of investigation will be pursued is another matter as it fails to provide evidence of collusion.
Trump’s business dealings in relation to Russia coming under increasing scrutiny and the recent agreement by FinCEN (specializes in money laundering) to turn over records to the Senate Intelligence Committee may be indicative of a turn in this direction.

Dutch Public Broadcasting has recently broadcast a two part series exploring some of the connections involving Trump’s business dealings with Russia:

THE DUBIOUS FRIENDS OF DONALD TRUMP: THE RUSSIANS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKLWloj2ohM (part 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LxtQ0CMzQQ (part 2)

also

The Curious World of Donald Trump’s Private Russian Connections
https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/12/19/the-curious-world-of-donald-trumps-private-russian-connections/


Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 8:54:19 AM | 8

b,

"Pence is a horror—fiscal sadist, misogynist, homophobe, lover of the carceral state."

They forgot "Israeli-firster" and this doesn't even scratch the surface. The only thing worse than having the U.S. with nobody in charge since election day is having a sniveling little psychopath like Pence in charge. I still think I'll be right about WW III - I was just one president too early.

God does have a sense of humor, and the joke is on the U.S.

Few tears will be shed. We had it coming for a long time now.

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 18, 2017 8:56:49 AM | 9

I disagree this is bad. This appointment should give Trump & Sessions cover to appoint a decent FBI Director and properly go after Hilary Clinton, John Podesta, Clinton Foundation and find out who had Seth Rich murdered.

Justice for Seth Rich.

Fire Clinton Corrupt Cabal Crony Andy McCabe and put him in the dock for the cover-up.

Do it Trump and don't stuff it up!

Posted by: Julian | May 18, 2017 9:09:11 AM | 10

"unbeseeming" ======>> unseemly

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 18, 2017 9:10:30 AM | 11

While there is always a danger that the trumpet will do something half assed like his cruise missile strike on Syria, as bad as that is and all, it has now become highly unlikely that Trump will be able to put together his war with Iran.
Neither will the neocons & neolibs on the hill as the worthless lot of them are gonna spend the summer of 2017 in interminible internecine political scandal mongering.
For all intents & purposes DC is gonna be paralysed for at least the next 6 months.
IMO, that is a good thing when pols spend their days trying to fuck each other up it diverts them away from their usual business of trying to fuck us up.
I realise there is a danger Pence could end up prez, but I don'ty see that as particularly likely.
First of all the trumpet has a better than even chance of beating this.
Sure it will leave him bleeding from every natural orifice plus a few new ones but given the man has demonstrated his unique ability for doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons consistently since inauguration that's not bad.

Pence is a first grade derp it is highly likely that as soon as the time comes when it appears the trumpet is screwed for all money pence will not be able to stop himself from making a move against a cornered trumpet. Now I dunno about others but I reckon a cornered trumpet is a very dangerous beast. the trumpet will squash him like a bug - bye bye mike.

Lastly as I insinuated in the previous point pence may be as cunning as a shithouse rat but he's not very smart. It will be like the Spiro T Agnew scene redux. As soon as someone peels back the veneer of self righteous respectability from the whitehouse it will be pence's crooked earners sticking out like dog's balls that they first scope. Pence will be gone quick smart so that the whores on the hill can manipulate some schmuck into the VP gig so if they do get the trumpet, the whores will own the executive.

The machinations are gonna be intense the possibilities infinite, but it is gonna keep the entire crooked crew flat out and off the world's backs.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 18, 2017 9:37:13 AM | 12

@8. 9

Speaking of "Israeli-firster" and “appoint a decent FBI Director”, it appears that in the latest iteration of Tales from the Crypt, none other than Joe Lieberman has been resurrected from the undead to become odds on favourite as the next FBI Director. The same uber-Zionist Lieberman who makes Pence look positively meek in regard to Israel, who sponsored the Iraqi War Resolution Act , and who along with fellow lunatics McCain and Graham comprised the more war act known as the Three Amigos.

Yep, things are really looking up.


Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 9:51:03 AM | 13

Does this idiocy ever stop? !
US with its deep state and media is really in a mess with this hatered against Russia and the sick witch hunt to find 1 piece of evidence to get rid of Trump.

This is McCarthyism all over it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

"McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.[1] The term refers to U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1947 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression as well as a campaign spreading fear of influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents".


somebody

How is this hysteria a good thing? There is no russian connection. Its a hoax and its scary how people buy this, eventually this will result in hot war.

Posted by: Anon | May 18, 2017 9:54:36 AM | 14

Re: Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 9:51:03 AM | 13

Well. If Trump is dumb enough to make Lieberman his next FBI Director he will have only himself to blame for his failed Presidency.

Given Lieberman's a well known swamp creature though I can't possibly see Trump making such a huge error so soon after making such a great decision - ie - Firing Corrupt Comey.

Take it to the bank - there is no chance Lieberman will be FBI Director.

NONE.

ZILCH.

ZERO.

Posted by: Julian | May 18, 2017 9:59:24 AM | 15

Posted by: Anon | May 18, 2017 9:54:36 AM | 14

Is there a law against doing business with Russia in the US? This is so transparent, it will not survive.

Posted by: somebody | May 18, 2017 10:00:27 AM | 16

Debsisdead@12 - "...Pence will be gone quick smart so that the whores on the hill can manipulate some schmuck into the VP gig so if they do get the trumpet, the whores will own the executive..."

Why would the powers that be want Pence gone, Debs? It has nothing to do with Pence's vision or skills. It has everything to do with how 'ownable' he is, and that guy (as you have observed) is very ownable. The perfect lapdog for the deep state. Spiro Agnew indeed.


"...IMO, that is a good thing when pols spend their days trying to fuck each other up it diverts them away from their usual business of trying to fuck us up..."

I'll humbly suggest you have not been watching closely enough. The shackles are being slipped over your ankles while you watch the juggling monkeys duke it out. The monkeys have little to do with anything - they're the entertainment and distraction. People fall for it every time. Why would it be different this time around?

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 18, 2017 10:09:19 AM | 17

@12 Debsidead -

Agree with what you say.

And agree with others that I don't see this Special Investigation as necessarily a bad thing. As others have posited, firstly, it'll keep the swamp creatures occupied fighting and snapping amongst themselves. This level of distraction is good for all concerned. Frankly, the less that Team USA can engage in mayhem either domestically or internationally, the better.

If Trump allows the undead Liebertoad to become FBI Director, then he's definitely screwed himself and deserves what he gets.

I think there's still a reasonable chance that Trump weathers the storm and can continue as POTUS at least to fulfill his term in office. Should he go for whatever reason, I do believe that Pence will be POTUS and would have a good chance of re-election in 2020. I truly hope and pray that never happens. You think Trump's bad? Ya ain't seen nothing yet.

Finally, I don't really believe that the USA PTB "hate" Russia or whatever. They are just USING Russia as convenient whipping boy to frame Trump and kick him out. The PTB really hate Trump and don't want him to be POTUS. I can't stand Trump; think he's a buffoon. But he was lawfully elected, and given the alternatives, I prefer to see him serve out his term in office. I think it's extremely dangerous ground to tred to want him impeached or whatever. Caveat: if Trump does something truly egregious and illegal, then I'll change my tune. At this point, however, I'm not seeing real grounds for impeachment.

Posted by: RUKidding | May 18, 2017 10:11:35 AM | 18

Thank you b!

I believe TPTSB's appointment of a special investigator serves as a counterweight to recent revelations of a direct Communication between Seth Rich and Wikileaks.

I.e. it's the age old strategy of obfuscation, smoke and mirrors: when adversaries find and present evidence against you, a counter-attack of at least the same proportions makes the perfect defense (with lamestream media shills on their side, this is gonna get ridiculous coverage). In this way they're killing 2 flies with 1 strike - taking the heat off of themselves and transforming Trump's offensive into a desperate attempt to save face and not get impeached.

Posted by: LXV | May 18, 2017 10:15:04 AM | 19

somebody

Forbidden to make business with Russia? Yes apparently it is. Since the election US media and the ongoing investigation on Russia have already put out according to themselves clear evidence of russian inluence. Have you missed this? How is this hysteria a good thing now?

Posted by: Anon | May 18, 2017 10:24:16 AM | 20

DiD @ 12 said:"IMO, that is a good thing when pols spend their days trying to fuck each other up it diverts them away from their usual business of trying to fuck us up."

Yep, I'm not shedding any tears for ANY Repub, even Mr. Trump. "What goes around, comes around", so, the "show" must go on. As the party of $ keeps the charade going, it diverts attention from REAL issues, like JOBS that pay above the minimum wage, for instance.

Posted by: ben | May 18, 2017 10:28:15 AM | 21

The tangled web of international business connections and deals runs across all so called'national interest' lines and any sanctions and such for the big boyz. The HSBC conviction and deferred prosecution being a prime example. This is but one small corner that may be revealed and no doubt Trump has business connections with the more shadowy Russian oligarchs as the casino-resort business has long ties with organized crime and the Russians of this bent would probably like a piece of that action by investing in a Trump development. It is one of my beliefs that a big portion of Trump's political ideology could be summed up as 'What is good for the casino resorts is good for America.' So a disappearing American middle class is 'not good,' and thus 'America needs to be made great again.' Three axioms prevail in deciphering today's world: cui bono, follow the money, and don't be distracted by the manufactured distractions. In this case a lot of roads lead back to the Clintons et al.

Posted by: BRF | May 18, 2017 10:29:59 AM | 22

I agree with somebody@4 and Julian@10, A special Council Investigation cannot limit its investigation to Trump and Associates, a proper investigation will go where the evidence leads, since Clinton and the DNC servers are also in the frame and should be even more investigated by Special Council since it is the DNC and it's MSM supporters complaints which have led the affair thus far. Seth Rich, for instance is alleged to have 44,000 emails and 17,000 attachments on his computor, which again have been alledged to have been shared with Wikileaks through its now deceased Director Gavin MacFadyen.Adding credence to this claim is Wikileaks 20,000 dollar reward for any information on who killed Seth Rich. This is a double edged sword which could blow Clinton the DNC and all their neferious machinations out the water.

Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2017 10:46:08 AM | 23

harrylaw

But this is not a new investigation, its the coninuation of the ongoing investigation about so called russian influence - comey had to go and this new guy will take over. This investigation which have been ongoing past months have nothing to do with Clinton whatsoever to do with.
Is this really news for people?

Posted by: Anon | May 18, 2017 10:52:54 AM | 24

I'll take the guess that this will initially look to be on the up-and-up, and then turn into a political Kenneth Star type of affair. It's all ugly. They really are swamp creatures.

Posted by: blues | May 18, 2017 10:57:15 AM | 25

Just read An article entitled Trump Escalates Syrian Proxy War over at Consortium News
Could not care less what happens to Trump, he brought it all on himself

Iran, Russia and China need to get their defenses ready as the guns will be turned in them when the US has finished tearing itself apart

Posted by: James lake | May 18, 2017 11:08:11 AM | 26

Of the four candidates interviewed yesterday , McFeeley is the only one I can see with any promise. He was appointed by Mueller and has worked under Rosenstein , and he's only 55, so he's got a good chance to make it through a ten-year term in good mental health.With Keating and Lieberman there's a fair chance that one or both will be drooling vegetables in ten years. I assume-no,I pray-that Mccabe's visit yesterday will serve as his exit interview.

BTW,for the OP,"council" in title and elsewhere should be "counsel", I believe.

Posted by: Marko | May 18, 2017 11:16:29 AM | 27

thanks b..

i agree with you and with paveway @17..

bottom line:
lobbying from saudi arabia /israel and with saudi arabia / isreal = good.

lobbying from or with russia = bad...

that's what the media told, and that is what the usa gov't seems okay with too. paid puppets on a string..

Posted by: james | May 18, 2017 11:22:02 AM | 28

Trump tweets: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel [sic] appointed!

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Zerohedge chimes in: "Of course, he does seem to have a point that after all the revelations of intentional evidence destruction (remember BleachBit), despite the known existence of a Congressional subpoena, intentional violations of the Federal Records Retention Act, secret Bill Clinton meetings with the Attorney General on Phoenix tarmacs and the passing out of immunity deals “like they were candy” by former FBI Director Comey, it does seem curious that no special counsel was ever appointed to look into Hillary’s case. Will Trump now insist that one be appointed?"

Unfortunately, the crimes Trump's committed as POTUS come under the category of Crimes of Empire for which no POTUS has ever been impeached. One possible outcome from this political war would be the rise of an alternative political party having no connections with the wreckage of the D or R parties. I propose it be named the 99% Party.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18, 2017 11:26:16 AM | 29

lol karlof1 - 99% party... it will get hijacked by israel and the saudis, lol...

Posted by: james | May 18, 2017 11:38:03 AM | 30

Interesting article by Jim Kavanagh up on Counterpunch. Any thoughts on this?

Posted by: runaway robot | May 18, 2017 12:43:00 PM | 32

It will likely end badly for Trump and badly for peaceful global power relations

for peaceful global power relations for sure, for Trump?...meh, there's no such thing as bad publicity for these goobers. it's just tactical exercises, and mindfuckery, lots of mindfuckery.

investigation? give me a break! can you remember the last time these pinheads ran a bona-fide investigation?

no, you can't.

Posted by: john | May 18, 2017 12:52:25 PM | 33

Well said: Donald Trump’s Seven Days in May - Judge Napolitano


Though the president has complained that Comey failed to investigate leaks of intelligence data from within his administration, The Washington Post effectively accused the president himself of becoming the leaker in chief by revealing to the Russians information so secret that only a handful of Americans legally possessed it. That information consisted of the name of a city in Syria from which spies had reported that the Islamic State group was plotting to plant bombs on commercial airliners.

What is so secret about that? Intelligence data almost always requires reading between the lines. Doing so here reveals the country from which the intelligence came, as there is only one friendly country that has sufficient intelligence resources in that city to develop local human spies. That country, which the president did not name but which we know is Israel, at first threatened to cut off providing intelligence data to the U.S. because of the president’s private revelations but later said that all is forgiven. So, the president told the Russians where to find Israeli spies in Syria.

The fact that these revelations were private is of legal significance. Under federal law, the president can declassify any secrets, even the most highly sensitive and guarded ones. He can do so by whispering the secret into someone’s ear or by formally removing the secret from its The Freedom Answer Boo... Andrew P. Napolitano Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $3.01 classified status. But because he did not do the latter, the secret is still a secret — yet The Washington Post has this material and may now legally reveal it.

How can a newspaper reveal a top secret that the president has not made public? If someone reveals the secret to the newspaper, it can. The person who did so in this case committed a felony, and the president is right to be angered over it. That person is probably a member of the intelligence community bent on frustrating or destabilizing or controlling the Trump presidency. Because that person gave it to the Post and because there is enormous public interest in knowing what Trump told the Russians, the Post is free to publish it.

All of this demonstrates that rogue intelligence agents can engage in their own form of agitprop — agitation propaganda. And they can cause political harm with it. Yet the questions of whether Donald Trump revealed top secrets to the Russians and, if he did so, whether it was intentional or not and whether it was harmful to national security are questions to which we are entitled to answers. And was Jim Comey fired for getting too close to the truth or not close enough?

Why do these questions keep coming?

Posted by: ProPeace | May 18, 2017 1:12:58 PM | 34

Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values.
golda meir was a goddess the fairest of them all beauty brains and more beauty.
a lion quite literally
as like many from the talmud in power it was born an innocent boy and became death in a kind of female form.
oded yinon never sleeps always moves forward.


US Coalition Jets Strike Assad Convoy In Southern Syria

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-18/us-coalition-jets-strike-assad-convoy-southern-syria

Posted by: menechem golani | May 18, 2017 1:32:30 PM | 35

who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information?

Just Rex Tillerson and McMaster (and the two Russians)
McMaster is in regular communication with Paul Wolfowitz.
Isn't it possible that McMaster is the mole, and then he has tried to hide his tracks by defending Trump publicly?

Posted by: plantman | May 18, 2017 1:54:26 PM | 36

runaway robot @32--

Article's conclusion: "Fast and furiously, in the course of a single news cycle, the game has changed: Donald Trump has been accused of betraying Israel. Impeachment is possible."

Seems quite possible, and the Zionists would love Pence as POTUS.

james @30--

You're becoming as cynical as me!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18, 2017 2:01:50 PM | 37

This whole " Trump is a traitor" thing is pure horsesh**, when, in reality, he's just a lying "business uber alles" scumbag, who'd sell his own mother down the river to make a little more money. In this day and age, that's no crime, "it's just business, so, get over it"!!!

Posted by: ben | May 18, 2017 2:10:34 PM | 38

@37 if he's betraying Israel then he's certainly not showing it publically. I just think they don't trust him and join in the 100s of millions of other people that dislike and distrust him

Posted by: aaaa | May 18, 2017 2:11:57 PM | 39

The 'Russia did it', in conjunction with the 'Trump is in bed with the Russians', narratives, both completely unsubstantiated, were chosen to be seized on as a red-herring to stick like a burr to, to milk for all they could be milked for, for a variety of reasons by the PTB. For example, there is still a handy residual fear of Russia in the States, and Putin has been relentlessly demonized, so let's make use of it, and Russia effectively opposes 'full spectrum dominance, etc', and the spooks and MIC depend for a living on a scary big boogieman.

But the main intent was to divert public attention from extremely serious revelations about the Swamp that is the Washington PsTB.

The leaked extreme pathology on display easily interpreted in the Podesta emails via Wikileaks, along with the Weiner computer 'treasure trove' of emails - and the latter reportedly turned the stomach of an experienced key member of the NYPD, and involved evidence or indications of many serious crimes, Clintons involved - and then the murder of Seth Rich for having been in effect a hugely important whistleblower via Wikileaks, this mass of evidence re the seamy sick side of the massive Swamp had to be buried, silenced.

And notice that Comey was notably silent on much of this, and couldn't manage to find enough stuff on Hillary to merit more than a mild 'she was careless' with classified material reprimand.

The attention of the public had to be diverted somewhere, so why not towards Russia, and Trump had to be defeated, because Trump is not a reliable charter member of the Swamp. No doubt he has had some unseemly forays into the swamp. But the swamp dwellers see him on their very personal private level as a deadly enemy, a terminal threat. Recall Hillary's "we'll hang" prediction.

The Russia did it meme has been a desperate 'endless talking point' attempt to first, cover up and deny and divert attention from pedogate and other satanic or seriously criminal stuff in Washington and among the elite, and second, to try to take down Trump. He who may actually try to do the right thing; is not reliably under control by the PTB.

Hard to know what are the implications and will be the outcome of the appointment of the former FBI director Mueller, to investigate a non event and other related stuff. Sounds like an infinite task. Maybe this new oddyssey will be featured in his obituary notice some day, overshadowing his hitherto main claim to fame: presiding over the non-investigation of the treasonous 9/11 false flag.

Posted by: canuck | May 18, 2017 2:29:06 PM | 40

Pence in charge of the White House (meaning Trump goes for some reason, and Pence takes over the presidency) will mean the Koch Brothers and their ilk are totally running the executive branch. And, with the judges put in place by Repub presidents, plus any Trump puts on the bench, most likely the judiciary will be Koched up as well.

Posted by: jawbone | May 18, 2017 2:47:14 PM | 41

The Dems are foolish retards, totally unredeemable.
They can't even see that the next time - if it ever happens again, of course - they get a Democratic president, he'll be hunted and put down in an even more brutal way than Trump is now. It'll be payback time for Trump voters, and classical GOP will gladly engage in the current abysmal level of propaganda mud-slinging.

That is, of course, assuming there's no civil war due to the removal of the legitimate regularly elected president - even if progressives think he's not, all his base will consider him as such for years, and impeachment would make things worse.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 18, 2017 2:48:24 PM | 42

It is to be feared that feeling the heat, the Donald might try to divert attention with some "action d'eclat" involving some invented enemy's treat. He could very well sting NK or Iran.

He could invent some "tonkin incident" in the persian Gulf... who knows?

Posted by: CarlD | May 18, 2017 2:49:28 PM | 43

CarlD

Correct, and in fact just hours now he attacked pro-Syrian forces in Syria.
So Trump attack Syria when he got problems with neocon, anti-russian groups at home. Meanwhile ISIS cheer, along with EU, Nato and the Media, what a sick mind the western world have.

Posted by: Anon | May 18, 2017 2:57:08 PM | 44

Within 24 hours of terrorist supporter McCain coming out publicly about not supporting any impeachment of Trump, Trump bombs Syrian and Iraqi anti-IS troops in Syria.

Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 3:03:45 PM | 45

36 - "who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information?"

There were two interpreter-scribes in there, both of whom made a transcript of the conversations. Putin's offer to turn over his was rebuffed, leading one to believe mischief is afoot on our side.

Posted by: Bart | May 18, 2017 3:10:02 PM | 46

As to a Deputy-AG appointing a Special Counsel w/o presidential approval, there is a purported "Chinese wall" between the Office of the A-G and POTUS to allow the A-G to act independently.

One can only pray that the present appointee doesn't turn out to be another Kenneth Starr.

Posted by: chet380 | May 18, 2017 4:06:23 PM | 47

According to Syria, the casualties of the attack are as follows:

A convoy of five T-62 tanks were hit by the U.S. Coalition
Two tanks were destroyed
A Shilka was damaged
Six military personnel were killed and another three were wounded
Convoy consisted of soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), National Defence Forces (NDF), Hezbollah, and Imam Al-‘Ali Battalions

Previously under the Obama administration, the US Air Force killed 62 Syrian Arab Army soldiers near Deir ez-Zor airport in a horrific war crime.

Making this event even more scandalous than the war crime which it all ready objectively is, is the fact that the attack occurred inside one of the ‘de-escalation zones’ (aka safe zones) established in Syria according to the Astana Memorandum. Russia, Turkey and Iran are guarantors of the agreement which has the backing of the United Nations, Syrian government and the apparent tacit approval of the United States.http://theduran.com/confirmed-america-attacks-syrian-arab-army-and-its-allies-a-crime-and-blunder/

Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2017 4:20:26 PM | 48

on the one side you have a lot of ignoramus's that don't like trump and on the other you have a whack of warmongers that don't like trump - israel, saudi arabia, financial industry, military industry, etc. etc.. then you have the media - bought and paid for by the same countries and corporations and what do you end up with? a lot of hostility towards trump - some of it valid, and lots of it for the ulterior motive of making war around the planet which indeed is happening in a more pronounced way today in syria with the usa bombing the syrian forces.. they have a un mandate to go after isis, but not syrian forces... the prognosis here is not good.. i get it about getting rid of trump, because these same forces lost on their warmonger horse hillary... they seem to sense they are not going to convert trump in the same fashion, so they have to take out trump to continue on here..

Posted by: james | May 18, 2017 4:23:35 PM | 49

Just in case, today's news is not depressing enough for you:

Joe Lieberman on track to become FBI chief?
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/joe-lieberman-fbi-director-under-serious-consideration/

What could go wrong?

Posted by: plantman | May 18, 2017 4:23:47 PM | 50

The Dems are foolish retards, totally unredeemable.
Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 18, 2017 2:48:24 PM | 42

I am more optimistic about possibilities of redemption. For example, Enlightenment was a reaction to XVII century in Europe that was spend on a series of very bloody religious wars, in proportion to population, XVII century was more bloody than XX. So particular types of myopic and stupidity do not last forever.

Second, it is not a particularly "partisan" condition. More like zeitgeist, I am afraid.

Within 24 hours of terrorist supporter McCain coming out publicly about not supporting any impeachment of Trump, Trump bombs Syrian and Iraqi anti-IS troops in Syria.

Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 3:03:45 PM | 45

If only the special counsel would add war crimes to his investigation. If they can drift from real estate deals to veracity of testimony about sexual contacts, war crimes are a bit more related to "improper foreign contacts". And, well, they are crimes.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 4:29:26 PM | 51

james

What strikes me is how far GOP seems to be totally uninterested in defending Trump and = their party, basically they are making GOP weaker and weaker. Some GOP seems to hate Trump even more than the Democrats!

Posted by: Anon | May 18, 2017 4:35:44 PM | 52


Joe Lieberman Emerges As "Frontrunner" For FBI Director Post

remember the dancing mossads of the 9 and 11 death cult ritual
time to sdance again
joey running the fbi
andrew mccabe hammer smashing more phones
Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein working like a demonic rabbi without guilderstein
Former FBI Director Mueller Appointed Special Counsel the man who covered up the israeli 911 arts projects covering up the biggest heists in history and butt buddy of papa bush baby bush and clintons crime families.
pity the children that are eaten by these demons


Posted by: menechem golan | May 18, 2017 4:41:04 PM | 53

Bob Mueller: Super Hero

(Oh wow, modern history completely revised!)

I awoke to Fake News stories this morning, about the former FBI director, Robert Swan Mueller III: utterly impeccable, fantastic previous performance, in fact, a paragon of performance virtue! ! ! (Does have quite the Deep State lineage, that Bob!)

The Nation is saved!

Or, maybe not . . . .

To recap old Bob's performances: the FBI never solved the case of missing nuke secrets at Los Alamos, but certainly put poor Mr. Wen Ho Lee through the ringer; they appear to have never investigated the valid allegations of former translator and whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds --- who was put under an official gag order for years; multiple contrived "counterterrorist" shams, when poor inner-city youths in Miami and Chicago (and elsewhere???) were set up --- then busted --- as probable terrorists; further deep penetration and compromising of the FBI by Chinese intelligence organizations, etc., etc., etc.

OK, under Bob Mueller's watch, the notorious international crime lord, Martha Stewart, was jailed! Bravo, Bobby, and I'm sure American slept more soundly with Ms. Stewart off the streets!

I recall the FBI, under the directorship of Mueller, as one severely dysfunctional outfit, i.e., business as usual. (Remember the congressional after-action report on 9/11? Remember how FBI middle managers, Frasca and Maltbie, rejected all terrorist warnings from field agents Sinder, Cowley and Williams, et al.? Remember how Frasca and Maltbie were then promoted???)

Yes, Bob Mueller does have a history of "public service" --- he was appointed chief of the DoJ's criminal division by President George H.W. Bush when that BCCI investigation was getting closer and closer to the White House and old Bob made sure that it got no closer!

And to insure that Treasury was in line during that period, Bush family cousin, John Walker, had been appointed the chief enforcement officer there --- the same John Walker, later appointed as a judge, who would have the future FBI director, James Comey, clerking for him.

Yes, Bob is the grandnephew of Richard Bissell, the CIA deputy director of plans, fired by President Kennedy before he was assassinated in Dallas.

Yes, Bob's wife's family name is Cabell --- and it was deputy director of the CIA, Gen. Charles Cabell, who was also fired by President Kennedy, and Cabell's brother, Earl Cabell, was indeed the mayor of Dallas on the day Kennedy had his brains splattered on a Dallas street!

Bob grew up in a wealthy family, we are told, so he needn't have served in Vietnam in combat. Yes, Bob's family wealth was on the Truesdale side of the family,that would be the same Truesdales who generations earlier were implicated in the bombing of competitors' oil refineries for the Rockefeller family, and later ended up with a Rockefeller-previously-owned railroad. Typical Horatio Alger-type story, no doubt. (I'm not suggesting anyone search into the family background of Bob --- those rich people are all saints, after all!)

I cannot comment on his military service, although it would be interesting to hear any former Marines' comments who served under him?

I recall that George W. Bush, who would late appoint Bob as the FBI director, was ahead of me a bit when he entered enlisted basic training and his name was still a joke at Lackland AFB when I went through there: the politician's son who went through enlisted basic training, then returned to Houston to miraculously, overnight, become an officer and jet pilot?!?!

Call me a radical progressive or call me a socialist --- but never, ever call me gullible and stupid! (And wasn't that Robert Swan Mueller III? And wasn't there a chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, around 1962 or early 1963, named Swan, when they lost millions of dollars there? Always wondered how the CIA paid for those assassinations in '63 and '68?)

Recommended viewing and reading:

The Tiger Trap by David Wise

Jounalists for Hire by Udo Ulfkotte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IClVKyb63m4&authuser=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pCk1qc4JvI

Posted by: tommy cockles | May 18, 2017 4:50:27 PM | 54

@39: "if he's betraying Israel then he's certainly not showing it publically. I just think they don't trust him and join in the 100s of millions of other people that dislike and distrust him"

aaaa, that's basically what the article karlof1 is referring to says: Not that Trump actually has "betrayed" Israel, but that Dershowitz wouldn't accuse Trump of that if the Israelis still trusted him.

Posted by: runaway robot | May 18, 2017 4:57:18 PM | 55

Anon

The real relations and divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They don't align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections anymore. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence & surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, they're all playing power-circle games. This is how the system has operated - Cheney ran it under Bush, Clinton ran it under Obama, it's all bureaucractic infighting. If you read about Soviet history you see the same thing:

The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region.

These are the functionaries and apparatchiks of a stagnating system, which is what's been going on in the U.S. for awhile now. Trump was just too much of an outsider to be accepted by the insiders, and his threats to change the status quo led to the current situation. Pence, they figure, will be far more amenable to control. Even though Trump has been going along with the standard Republican domestic agenda, he's just viewed as too unpredictable for their tastes. This is exactly how leadership selection in the old Soviet Union went on, too. And Trump is no master of bureaucratic infighting, unlike say, Putin. He's just flailing at this point.

I'm not concerned about it though, if the grossly corrupt federal government is locked up with this nonsense for the next four years, that's fine. Perhaps state governments can step up and work together to solve problems while Washington gnaws its own belly, that's about the best we can hope for.

Posted by: nonsense factory | May 18, 2017 4:58:30 PM | 56

What seems obvious to me is that the appointment of a special investigation defuses the issue for the moment and lets whatever findings are allowed to be brought forth to occur at some timely future date as part of some other wag the dog event.

Next.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 18, 2017 5:18:31 PM | 57

tc @54--

Thanks for that blistering bio. Seems most Deep State players have family ties to the cabal that hired General Butler to oust FDR only to become the nascent CIA's cadre.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18, 2017 5:32:42 PM | 58

Trump being neutered by Washington and increasingly likely being taken down points out the incredible naievity of the populus shouts of 'drain the swamp', 'term limits', etc. and the lone hero arriving in town like some sterotypical Western movie plot.

Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office.

Trump appears to be like someone curled up in a fetal position crying out to an angry mob beating him what else he needs to do for them to stop.

> Filling his admin with goldman sachs scum
> Bombing Syria and helping out IS and al Qaeda for the neocons
> Considering dual citizen garbage like Lieberman

and almost every other campaing promise he ever made.

And while this is happening Trump supporters are still patting themselves on the back with blather about the power of their 'memes'.

Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 5:37:02 PM | 59

Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 8:54:19 AM | 8
(Dutch anti-Trump smears)

The Dutch are just one of many tentacles of the Christian Colonial octopus/ Swamp Alliance.
All of Christian Colonialism's warmongering, banksterised, govt-toppling, movers and shakers (US, France, Germany, UK etc etc) are on board with the Get Trump conspiracy. One thing they have in common is that they all (including Oz) get their "News" from the Jew-controlled MSM and are anti-Palestinian and apologists for Jewish Colonialism in Palestine. The worsening facts-on-the-ground in "Israel" speak volumes about Christian Colonialism's support for the Israel Project.
"Israeli"-dominated News is the de facto bullshit/ talking-point manufacturer & coordinator for The West.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 18, 2017 5:37:28 PM | 60

@52 anon.. true! however the whole us political system seems like a race to the bottom.. trying to figure out who will get their first is not fun to watch! i like karlof1's idea of the 99% party.. i wonder if the usa will exist in a few years time?

and i agree with @56 nonsense factory comments to you as well..

lieberman - another israel firster warmonger as possible head of fbi.. makes sense, lol..

Posted by: james | May 18, 2017 5:39:09 PM | 61

I agree with somebody@4 and Julian@10, A special Council Investigation cannot limit its investigation to Trump and Associates, a proper investigation will go where the evidence leads ...
Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2017 10:46:08 AM | 23

Investigations going where the evidence leads sounds important but is utter B.S. Every fact in the world is connected to every other fact by some other intervening fact(s). A "proper investigation" begins with a suspicion that a particular act or omission has been committed and the investigation answers whether that particular act or omission was in fact committed.

Language in the remit that authorizes an open-ended investigation is a mandate to find something to pin on the target of the investigation, not an authorization for a "proper investigation." E.g., Kenneth Star's investigation began with a remit to investigate the suicide death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater real estate investments of Bill Clinton. But Star ultimately charged Bill Clinton only with perjury about having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, something that had only the most tenuous connection --- many would say no connection --- with his original remit.

Mueller's charge is to find something to pin on Trump, not to conduct a "proper investigation."

2 cents from someone who has done hundreds of investigation.

Posted by: Paul E. Merrell, J.D. | May 18, 2017 5:48:16 PM | 62

Mercouris at The Duran presents an excellent argument why nothing will be found and the investigation shut down after awhile, the reasoning being within the statement made appointing Mueller, http://theduran.com/counsel-mueller-disappoint-democrats-media/

Posted by: karlof1 | May 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM | 63

re the title of this thread The Special Council[sic] Inquisition-Bad for Trump-And All of Us

But perhaps good for pitchfork futures?

Posted by: Captain Cook | May 18, 2017 7:08:16 PM | 64

Trump is NOT a member of the club which is the Republican Hierarchy. Those are the real motherfuckers. They do not want him to be prez and he is not welcome in their club. Neither is Trump an official errand boy for the Deep State (many among both parties are official errand boys and girls). Again, Trump is not an official errand boy.

Trump has tried to appease the rotten motherfuckers. He really has. Trump is already ratfucking the middle class and the poor in accordance with their prescription. Trump will keep on trying to please them (See Joe Lieberhebrewratbastard).

No matter, they strapped Pence to his back, BECAUSE they want a malleable errand boy who will DO Exactly as he is instructed.

They don't want Trump - second guessing them. No hesitation.

The Middle East must fall as quickly as possible in accordance with the Yinon Plan. And America must NOT have a revived middle class. It cannot be made great again.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 18, 2017 7:16:54 PM | 65

Just so people know. . .

/~~~~~~~~~~
Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels, and the Role of Congress
Congressional Research Service
June 20, 2013
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43112.pdf

Congress may also have a legislative role in designing a statutory mechanism for the appointment of "independent counsels" or "special prosecutors," as it did in title VI of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Under the provisions of that law relating to the appointment of "independent counsels" (called "special prosecutors" until 1983), the Attorney General was directed to petition a special three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals to name an independent counsel upon the receipt of credible allegations of criminal misconduct by certain high-level personnel in the executive branch of the federal government whose prosecution by the Administration might give rise to an appearance of a conflict of interest. In 1999, Congress allowed the "independent counsel" provisions of law to expire. Upon the expiration of the law in June of 1999, no new "independent counsels" or "special prosecutors" may be appointed by a three-judge panel upon the application of the Attorney General.
\~~~~~~~~~~

So Robert S. Mueller is a "special counsel" but not a "special prosecutor" (I don't recall this mentioned here yet -- might have missed it). This means that it would require an act of congress (and probably 2/3rds of Congress) to appoint a new "special prosecutor". And so, they say, Trump could theoretically fire Mueller.

Posted by: blues | May 18, 2017 7:38:11 PM | 66

Things are not as they seem. IMO this is a carefully scripted plan by the Deep State to push Trump into Total War, not that he was not inclined to do so anyways. His Russian connections lead to mafia ties so deep he could lose everything under Rico. He knows this. Once the War begins the internet kill switch is thrown and the lights go out. Martial Law. Like in WWI, if you criticize the war you go to jail. A Deep State Dream.

I never did believe Trump with his billions would want to be in this for the long haul. He resigns at some point, keeps his fortune and the guy the Deep State and Dark Money (koch Brothers, etc) wanted all along takes over (Pence).

Trump was a Trojan Horse to get the Koch Brothers control. They probably had something on Trump to force him to run and avoid Rico charges. He lied his way into office , got some help from Comey and a mole in the DNC who has been taken out (blamed on Putin) and now will play out the script. Lets face it, we've all been had. Trump had Comey ousted for show and he will live the good life with a job well done. Deep State controlled MSM will have a new war to cover and maybe even a show of impeachment hearings before or during the war. Great for ratings and advertisements especially if they can shut down the alternative media on the internet which Martial Law or new laws being wriitten will allow. MIC and international Banks will be rolling in the dough. Everyone wins except those caught in the carnage down below (bottom 99%) and of course those nations we obliterate with Shock & Awe on Steroids (nukes)

Posted by: Pft | May 18, 2017 7:54:33 PM | 67

They will go on and on and on until they can find something to impeach Trump on. I with agree with comments that now Israel appears to have pitched in the outlook for Trump does not look good. The flip side of this is how Trump’s deplorables will react to the taking down of their man. The ongoing events have awakened and will awaken significant numbers of previously asleep people. People who are very angry, many of whom have guns. If these people start rioting the whole edifice will shake and anything could happen.

If they don’t riot the anger could find its outlet in mass targetted killings of the 1% by individuals or groups that are very difficult to track.

Posted by: Lochearn | May 18, 2017 7:55:12 PM | 68

>>>> karlof1 | May 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM | 63

Mercouris at The Duran is almost certainly correct that nothing will be found and there might be an attempt to shut down the investigation, but the Clintonists like their vozhd won't accept the results and this stupidity will continue. Who says Trump is a bad loser? Clinton and the Clintonists who still can't accept that she lost.

Posted by: Ghostship | May 18, 2017 8:00:36 PM | 69

Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office. Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 5:37:02 PM | 59

More precisely, Trump may have as any lackeys, well-wishing hacks (like Bannon), doting family members as he wants, but "institutional memory" has layers of aristocracy (born to expert meritorious service) and those who earned her spurs with aristocratic mentors and got accepted. There was a time when Bill Clinton was a literal hillbilly to our aristocrats, and Hillary, a girl from a good family who unfortunately strayed and married the rascal. But with hard work, quick wit, and good eye for the newest fashion (making liberalism more centric) he got accepted. The case of Obama is similar.

One can sneer at the aristocracy and "first generation meritocrats", but this is not XVIII-th century and the government is, by necessity, quite complex, and experts are necessary. If you send a non-expert to a key department, or to Presidential office, without good vision and good advise, he will get digested or spit out.

To some degree, the bureaucrats are apolitical and can follow the politicians. You want more reasonable penalties in the federal court? We can do it. You want to push them up to the max for your favorite categories -- we can do it. You want to squeeze financial wizards who make the economy moving (some people may call it fraud, but isn't it a form of capital formation?), the digestive juices of the system starts flowing. And so on.

Trump does not have any experts or thinkers of note that do not belong to the "meritocrats", i.e. the Washington establishment. Bannon is perhaps a thinker, but hardly of note. I even doubt that Trump has any good instincts, except that at occasion he had the childish gift of noticing that this or that has "no cloths". But the next thing a child does is throwing a tantrum for some petty reason.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 8:37:50 PM | 70

TIME magazine has just published a cover story on the Russian takeover of America: Inside Russia’s Social Media War on America. The cover image shows the White House turned into the Kremlin. I will list some of the key points below with quotes from the article:

1) Social media has become a danger to democracy.

The vast openness and anonymity of social media has cleared a dangerous new route for antidemocratic forces. “Using these technologies, it is possible to undermine democratic government.”

2) Democratic society must isolate itself from public opinion.

Russia may finally have gained the ability it long sought but never fully achieved in the Cold War: to alter the course of events in the U.S. by manipulating public opinion.

3) Russia spies on you.

The Russians “target you and see what you like, what you click on, and see if you’re sympathetic or not sympathetic.”

4) America is losing the cyberwar.

As Russia expands its cyberpropaganda efforts, the U.S. and its allies are only just beginning to figure out how to fight back.

5) Russia has clever algorithms that America lacks.

American researchers have found they can use mathematical formulas to segment huge populations into thousands of subgroups... Propagandists can then manually craft messages to influence them, deploying covert provocateurs, either humans or automated computer programs known as bots, in hopes of altering their behavior.

6) Russia has huge troll farms.

Putin dispatched his newly installed head of military intelligence, Igor Sergun, to begin repurposing cyberweapons previously used for psychological operations in war zones for use in electioneering. Russian intelligence agencies funded “troll farms,” botnet spamming operations and fake news outlets as part of an expanding focus on psychological operations in cyberspace.

7) You must trust mainstream media.

Eager to appear more powerful than they are, the Russians would consider it a success if you questioned the truth of your news sources, knowing that Moscow might be lurking in your Facebook or Twitter feed.

8) Russia invaded Ukraine in April 2014.

Putin was aiming his new weapons at the U.S. Following Moscow’s April 2014 invasion of Ukraine.

9) Hillary Clinton did not murder Seth Rich.

That story went viral in late August, then took on a life of its own after Clinton fainted from pneumonia and dehydration at a Sept. 11 event in New York City. Elsewhere people invented stories saying Pope Francis had endorsed Trump and Clinton had murdered a DNC staffer.

10) The evidence:

Russia plays in every social media space. The intelligence officials have found that Moscow’s agents bought ads on Facebook to target specific populations with propaganda. “They buy the ads, where it says sponsored by–they do that just as much as anybody else does,” says the senior intelligence official. (A Facebook official says the company has no evidence of that occurring.) The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner of Virginia, has said he is looking into why, for example, four of the top five Google search results the day the U.S. released a report on the 2016 operation were links to Russia’s TV propaganda arm, RT. (Google says it saw no meddling in this case.) Researchers at the University of Southern California, meanwhile, found that nearly 20% of political tweets in 2016 between Sept. 16 and Oct. 21 were generated by bots of unknown origin; investigators are trying to figure out how many were Russian.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 18, 2017 8:57:21 PM | 71

@51 piotr b 'Within 24 hours of terrorist supporter McCain coming out publicly about not supporting any impeachment of Trump, Trump bombs Syrian and Iraqi anti-IS troops in Syria.'

yeah. i saw that As Syrian Army Makes More Progress Against ISIS, US-led Coalition Strikes its Positions, US jets bomb pro-government Syria forces advancing on militant base

@54 tommy c

great 'stories of the rich and powerful' ...!

@56 nf ' if the grossly corrupt federal government is locked up with this nonsense for the next four years, that's fine ... Washington gnaws its own belly, that's about the best we can hope for. '

i agree with you ... of course it's the lessor of disasters, the same predicate of the us mis-election system carried over into, now, its mis-administration. seeming better than the alternative.

@blues 66, ' Trump could theoretically fire Mueller. ...'

remember 'impeach the coxsacker!'

what'll they say this time? 'coxsacker' is hard to beat.

@67 pft

you have a great imagination ... need an ink man and letterer. what a huge comic book! Rumpman' ... i'll bet you could find some color to work in from tommy c.

Posted by: jfl | May 18, 2017 9:01:57 PM | 72

Re menechem Golan @35: "golda meier was a goddess the fairest of them all." Ha, ha, ha! That's some funny stuff, man. We love you Tony. See more menechem g. @53 for more genius.

Posted by: Donnie | May 18, 2017 9:06:19 PM | 73

And to make matters worse Trump is looking at that duplicitous zleasy Zionist lizard Joe Lieberman to replace James Comey at the FBI because the swamp wouldn't be the same without Joe Lieberman. Trump just keeps on shooting himself in the foot.

Posted by: Circe | May 18, 2017 9:14:51 PM | 74

This is tragic. Corporate media and the intelligence community are united in making the Russia Federation the scapegoat for the crumbling of the West that is due to austerity, inequality and impoverishment. If a world war breaks out, that is it. Donald Trump used alt-right messaging to get into the White House but he and his third-rate staff haven’t the slightest clue of what gave rise to the deplorables in the first place and how to address the root despair of the western working class. They will blunder about in lost befuddlement until they vanish.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 18, 2017 9:19:08 PM | 75

@75 vv 'They will blunder about in lost befuddlement until they vanish.'

so true. but we'll still be here. our sheer numbers ensure that we will survive. i think it would be good if we worked together to prevent the reboot of the same old broken system after its blue screen flashes at death, just like a m$ machine. we know now exactly what will reboot if we don't.

Posted by: jfl | May 18, 2017 9:32:00 PM | 76

"Donald Trump used alt-right messaging to get into the White House but he and his third-rate staff haven’t the slightest clue of what gave rise to the deplorables in the first place and how to address the root despair of the western working class." VietnamVet

I do not know how highly rated the staff was, but it was sufficiently high. If the opponent has fourth-rate staff, it would be wasteful to use anything better than third-rate. Figuring what gave rise to the deplorable is a wasted effort, sociologist differ, and in politics the "root causes" matter only a little. And all authorities suggest to exploit the despair with soundbites and posturing. Granted, this is a platitude, but how to obtain compelling soundbites and posturing? I think that the best technique is based on so-called wedge issues. A good wedge issue should raise passions on "both sides" but not so much in the "center", mostly clueless undecided voters. Calibrate your position so it is a good scrap of meat for your "base" while it drives the adversaries to conniptions, the conniptions provide talking points and together, drive the clueless in your direction. Wash, repeat.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 10:04:50 PM | 77

for your convenient reference, there are 5 current investigations into Trump (per the Guardian)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/may/18/the-investigations-swirling-around-donald-trump-a-short-guide.

Mueller is only involved in one, the first ""An FBI counter-intelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible collusion in this effort by the Trump campaign""

By focusing his energy on the outrage and insult of this witchhunt, Trump may have painted himself into a corner from which all escape routes involve loss of face and a his most loyal base of support ... for example, releasing his tax returns/sources of income ...

His only apparent silver lining is that Flynn and Rice (although details are unclear) appear to be not-cooperating and declining to appear ... whether they will actually commit follow through and risk "contempt of congress" charges remains to be seen... but I suspect there's hidden agenda (like an immunity deal) rather than some principled stand at work.

Posted by: susan sunflower | May 18, 2017 10:24:50 PM | 78

Wow what a show.

Faux populist Obama was also politically weakened by crazy opposition.

Faux populist Obama was also forced FORCED! to do the establishment's bidding.

Could Trump be the Republican Obama? Are we all falling for essentially the same con? Few can wrap their heads around that possibility. Yet ...

> Sanders was a sheepdog.

> Hillary's campaign was lackluster.

> Comey (who protected Hillary) acted to ensure a Trump victory.

> Trump has now bombed Syria twice and will be feted in KSA.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2017 1:44:38 AM | 79

Paveway @9 et al

Fully workable as "god has an infinite sense of humor".The ultimate answer to "Why?".

Posted by: chu teh | May 19, 2017 2:09:14 AM | 80

Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further.
That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be Trump's dirt that washes up. If Seth Rich is proven to have leaked the emails to Wikileaks, the Russian hacking narrative evaporates, and the Ukrainian collusion to manipulate the election from the Democrat side is legitimately within the ambit of the investigation. We may yet see the Democrat Party prosecuted as a continuing criminal enterprise, and none too soon.

@71 Petri Krohn,
They describe the capabilities of US Internet advertisers, even worse post-net-neutrality, and project it onto Russia. Their desperation reeks.

Posted by: Jonathan | May 19, 2017 3:10:25 AM | 82

Jackrabbit

Obama was never in the "opposition", Trump is indeed in the opposition but the question is if he have the strength to stand up to these sick people in deepstate/msm. With attacks on Syria etc it doesnt look good but there is no comparsion to the wimp Obama.

Posted by: Anon | May 19, 2017 4:32:50 AM | 83

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any crazier in this Looking Glass War, with all the hysteria over Trump’s ultimate unpardonable sin - the revelation of an Israeli secret, this comes out (fwiw):

Intel Trump gave Russians came from Jordan, not Israel – report
http://www.timesofisrael.com/intel-trump-gave-russians-was-from-jordan-not-israel-report/

“Jordan, not Israel, was likely the original source of secret intelligence information given by US President Donald Trump to the Russians, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials …

The sources said the intelligence that Trump shared with the Russians came mainly from Jordanian spies. Jordan, they said, has developed human intelligence resources with agents on the ground, including some who have infiltrated militia groups .…When it comes to ISIL, unlike Jordan, Israel relies on its electronic surveillance collection and its intelligence sharing-arrangement with its Arab partners”


Posted by: pantaraxia | May 19, 2017 6:02:12 AM | 84

@84 pantaraxia.. i thought jordan was working for isis/israel, err i mean the usa.... i can't tell the difference.. times of israel - that is a reliable source, if ever there was one, lol...

Posted by: james | May 19, 2017 3:11:21 PM | 85

Pence is up to his eyeballs in this sh*t & is likely to be taken down as well. Wonder if Ryan will still be speaker once this stuff comes down (assuming it does)...

Posted by: darms | May 20, 2017 3:00:47 AM | 86

On the Mueller investigation:

"Politicians, journalists, academics, and even ordinary folks will be targeted by the government in the hunt for 'Putin’s puppets.'"

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/how-muellers-investigation-could-turn-raging-mccarthyesque-witchhunt/ri19884

Posted by: Anon | May 20, 2017 12:08:41 PM | 87

@ 85 james
re: times of israel - that is a reliable source, if ever there was one, lol...

“the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials”

Which part of this sourcing in the article did you not understand?

The more interesting questions are what is the purpose of releasing this information by a US puppet, who colluded in the release and how it plays into the 'Trump betrayed Israel’ hysteria.

Posted by: pantaraxia | May 20, 2017 1:24:57 PM | 88

Anon @83

I think you misread or misunderstood what I wrote.

My thesis is this: both Obama and Trump are faux populists and are part and parcel of a 'faux populist model of governance'. Elements of this model are:

1. a craven narcisstic egotistic Leader (Obama, Trump) that is a willing tool because he/she intends to capture a future payoff for himself. They signal their willingness via:

> forgiving past abuses ("no-drama Obama"; Trump's not prosecuting Hillary)

> constraining their own power: Obama's bi-partisanship (termed "11-dimensional chess" by critics), Trump's brashness/recklessness that gives his opponents fodder ("tapes" on Comey, etc.)

2. Establishment-friendly VP as insurance. Both Biden and Pence are seen as 'reliable hands' by TPTB.

3. crazy opposition that is intended to weaken a faux populist leader and energize apologists. I call them "enforcers". By crazy opposition, I mean

> Obama: 'birthers' and smears like "socialist muslim".

Trump: Russia probe; smears like "the new Hitler"

4. apologists that take as a given that the President wants to fulfill the promises, both spoken and unspoken, that he has made to the people.

PS I wrote about this on my blog.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:10:15 PM | 89

And, of course:

5. A compliant media
Other considerations:
> duopoly (illusion of choice);

> money-driven politics (George Carlin: its a big club ...);

> the focus on political personalities and divisive social issues;

> culture: an over-reliance on experts and adoration of celebrities.

This is a toxic mix because it sends the message that neither your vote nor your opinion matters so why waste your time seeking out truth?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:47:50 PM | 90

@88 pantaraxia.. i don't know that it matters either way... it is only interesting from the point of view of further obfuscation being created and moving away for the central fact that trump can share whatever info he wants to share.. now the irony here as i understand it, is nothing he shared was all that earth shattering - but no matter - witch hunt on trump must continue!

Posted by: james | May 20, 2017 3:33:32 PM | 91

in what's termed the second of a series, someone named jonathan marshall makes the crucial point about the various 'lobbies' in the usofa ...

How China Lobby Shaped America


In 1949, two members of Congress called for an investigation of the lobby’s “brazen power.” Rep. Mike Mansfield, a Montana Democrat who would later become Senate majority leader, accused Nationalist Chinese officials — who had fled the mainland for Taiwan that year in the wake of the communist revolution — of diverting U.S. aid to fund political propaganda in the United States.

Ironically, a timely dispensation of $800,000 from Nationalist Chinese officials in Taiwan to their New York office financed a successful campaign to squelch that proposed investigation.


... they are self-funding operations. once the money starts to flow a portion is set aside for kickbacks, bribes, and efforts to protect the mainstream funding itself. it is truly a parasitic operation that feeds on the fruits of its effort on others' behalf, and thus strengthens itself, becoming a stand-alone operation.

there are tens of thousands of people in ac/dc working in these operations, looking out for taiwan's interests, israel's interests, making sure that russia stays demonized ... all the various corporate issues ... but at base and before all else, looking out for number one.

a sort of 5th column of folks working on behalf of 5th columnists, subverting government in favor of the lucrative process of policy misdirection itself.

with a gang like that at the core of our government what, as they say, could go wrong?

Posted by: jfl | May 20, 2017 7:04:53 PM | 92

Y'all may remember that Trump's domestic business dealings had some Mob connections. I think Wm Engdahl, among other, reported on this. Well, if you google Trump and Russian Mafia you will see an entirely different idea as to what this attack on Trump might be about. I've not studied it, take no position. If I WERE interested, it's what I'd be looking at.

At this time, it seems to me a better use of one's time to avoid allowing the media to direct your time and attention, and instead to focus on deepening your knowledge of the international institutions' agenda for bringing about the last few steps to the NWO.

United Nations sustainable development agenda
www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. ... The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, build on the success of the

Posted by: Penelope | May 20, 2017 8:24:51 PM | 93

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