Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 01, 2017

Flynn's Devastating Confessions: Trump Colluded With Israel, Tried To Fulfill Campaign Promises

The anti-Trump "resistance" campaign alleges that the Russian government tried to "influence" the U.S. election. It insinuates that Trump "colluded" with the Russians in these alleged attempts. It has no evidence for any of its claims. The intent of this campaign is to handicap the Trump administration as much as possible and to prevent better U.S. relations with Russia.

A witch hunt was launched in which the Mueller investigation in the alleged election manipulation as well as Congress hearings are used to throw as much dirt as possible into the direction of the Trump administration to then see what might stick. 

While retired army-general Michael Flynn worked for the Trump campaign he was also a lobbyist for a rich person near to the Turkish government. He made $600,000 off that gig. The Trump campaign did not know about this. Flynn also attended an anniversary celebration for Russia Today in Moscow. He had been hired as a paid speaker for the occasion and his speaker agency charged $40,000 for it.

Flynn was fired from the job as National Security Advisor 24 days after Trump#s inauguration. He had been stupid enough to announce that he wanted to reform the CIA and the other intelligence agencies. Those agencies made sure that such would not happen.

Flynn was questioned by the FBI in connection with the Mueller investigation into alleged Russian influence on the 2016 election campaign. He lied to the FBI about some diplomatic contacts he had made on request of the then incoming Trump administration. The FBI managed to prove that he had lied. In the U.S. lying to the FBI is a serious crime. (I am not aware of other country that has such a stupid rule.) Flynn was offered a plea deal. He is supposed to tell Mueller what Mueller wants to hear in exchange for a lower penalty for his "crime" of lying to the FBI.

But look what the real issues were Flynn lied about:

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and authorities indicated in court he was acting under instructions from senior Trump transition officials in his dealings with the diplomat.

Flynn contacted the senior Russian diplomat in Washington DC. He was surely aware that the NSA and CIA notice and listen in to all such contacts. Flynn had no reason to believe that such contacts were out of norm because they ain't. Incoming administrations need such contacts to prepare their polices.

There are two different issues about which Flynn contacted the Russian ambassador:

In one of the conversations described in court documents, the men discussed an upcoming United Nations Security Council vote on whether to condemn Israel’s building of settlements. At the time, the Obama administration was preparing to allow a Security Council vote on the matter.
...
Mr. Mueller’s investigators have learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel, according to two people briefed on the inquiry. Investigators have learned that Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, took the lead in those efforts. Mr. Mueller’s team has emails that show Mr. Flynn saying he would work to kill the vote, the people briefed on the matter said.

The Security Council vote was on December 23 2016. The Israeli government lobbied the incoming administration to influence that vote in the Israeli government's interest. The Trump administration in-waiting could not influence the Obama administration which had decided to abstain. It contacted the Russian ambassador to influence the Russians to block the vote in the UNSC. The Russian's did not do such.

The "collusion" here is between the Israeli government and the Trump campaign. The "influence" is two part. A successful Israeli attempt to influence the incoming Trump administration and an unsuccessful attempt by Trump people to influence the Russian UNSC vote. The issue has absolutely zero to do with the U.S. election.

Now onto the second issue:

In the other discussion, according to court documents, Mr. Flynn asked Mr. Kislyak that Moscow refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions announced by the Obama administration that day against Russia over its interference in the presidential election. And Mr. Kislyak told Mr. Flynn that Russia “had chosen to moderate its response,” the documents said.

The following day, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said Moscow would not retaliate against the United States in response to the sanctions.

Mr. Trump praised the Russian leader in a Twitter post.

“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart!” Mr. Trump wrote.

Throughout his election campaign Trump had loudly argued for better relations with Russia. He said it would be easier to solve global problems if the U.S. and Russia cooperate.

The Obama administration had a generally hostile attitude towards Russia. It walked the relations towards a new cold war. Clinton's loss of the election which she blamed, without evidence, on Russia amplified his moves. According to the book 'Shattered', which describes the Clinton campaign, the decision to blame Russia for her loss was made a day after Trump's victory:

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and 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.

At the end of 2016 Obama sanctioned Russian officials over allegedly influencing the U.S. campaign. No evidence was ever presented that such "influencing" was attempted or happened. Obama just willfully tried to worsen the relations with Russia.

The incoming administration tried to prevent more damage in the relations between the U.S. and Russia by contacting the Russian ambassador. It was a smart and well reasoned measure. There was no "collusion" in this. The "influence" was again from the Trump campaign into the direction of the Russian government, not the other way around. It had nothing to do with the election.

The Clinton fan-boys and girls seem happy with the Flynn's plea deal and are fretting about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. But how this is supposed to show that something nefarious was going on is not discernible.  How the issues Flynn lied about (for whatever stupid reason) are supposed to prove "Russian influence" on the election or "collusion" with Trump during the election campaign is beyond me.

Posted by b on December 1, 2017 at 01:53 PM | Permalink

Comments

I just donated on the basis of this article. I've followed the blog and put my money where my mouth is. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: Les | Dec 1, 2017 2:19:33 PM | 1

thanks b.. i know that it has been said clinton and team want to blame their loss of the election on russian meddling and i know a lot of usa people buy into this... who profits from a cold war with russia? as you point out above - the move on flynn to contact russia was made for israel.. is it israels intent to sour the dynamics between the usa and russia? i just don't buy into it being all about clinton losing the election.. sure, she would have rubber stamped all sorts of crazy ass shit for the saudis and israel, but is that it? it has to be more then the clinton lost and they were out to get russia memo.. who else benefits from putting a spoke in the wheels of a favourable relationship between the usa and russia?

and, as i pointed out yesterday - supplying energy to europe seems to be a part of this.. from the mouth of heather nauert at yesterdays usa daily press briefing - "So our position on this would be that Europe is certainly working to try to diversify where it gets its energy. I’ve spoken with some of your colleagues before, people from that part of the world as well, and recognizing that there should be and could be more sources of energy. We have seen in the very cold winter months where Vladimir Putin – which is where a lot of your energy comes from in particular in Poland – where he will turn down, turn off those energy supplies, causing costs to go up and causing people to lose heat on occasion. So we know that Europe is working to diversify its energy sector overall. It’s also assessing projects that would undermine some of these efforts."

is this an exxon thing? get russia??

Posted by: james | Dec 1, 2017 2:33:30 PM | 2

In your dreams b

Posted by: peter | Dec 1, 2017 3:00:15 PM | 3

https://www.rt.com/news/411678-eu-parliament-saudi-embargo/

Posted by: Mina | Dec 1, 2017 3:05:08 PM | 4

Again, stellar reporting by b....thank you

So where are the reporters that are suppose to ask why Russia is being targeted but not Israel?

I hope the elite lose global control because of their infighting and a war crimes tribunal is established to prosecute America's war crimes......hell, America just said it is ok to keep selling cluster bombs

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1, 2017 3:08:19 PM | 5

Mercouris at The Duran just published an article on this very topic that's close to b's analysis. Certainly, in no way does Flynn's arrest/confession prove any RussiaGate allegation. Indeed, Flynn was fired by Trump for the very offence for which he was arrested: Lying to the FBI, http://theduran.com/michael-flynn-lying-fbi-russias-help-israel/

Now Mueller will focus on collusion between the Zionist Abomination and Kushner.

What I find intriguing is Obama's doublecross of Nuttyahoo as the approval of UNSC 2334 damns the Zionists in every respect by declaring Israeli settlement activity unlawful, all Israeli settlements built since the 1967 Six Day War illegal, and specifically ruled out recognizing Jerusalem as its capital.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 1, 2017 3:17:22 PM | 6

ALL what it is CIA punishing its own assets and operatives dominating US government. ALL three branches in a form of Russia,sexuall abuse, white supremacy, terrorism or corruption themes similarity to MbS in SA consolidations already tremendous power.

All who are found guilty for Messing up Hillary's coronation and failed to conduct another lobotomy over American sheeple smoothly and by numbers are now punished and in a tradition or Nazis, Stalinist and Maoist kangaroo trials forced to admit guilt of some sort and out soap operish conspiracy theory to CIA liking.

The revoking journalistic credentials from RT by congress is part of this escalation of cleansing media from those seen as ineffective or detrimental for CIA purposes.

Posted by: Kalen | Dec 1, 2017 3:18:06 PM | 7

I agree with James @2 that this whole RUSSIA!!!! hysteria is not all about HRC's loss in the (s)election. US policy against Russia had already begun visibly deteriorating in 2013, when Putin took advantage of Secretary Kerry's seemingly off-handed remark that the US would not bomb Syria if President Assad gave up his chemical weapons.

Russia got Assad to agree within a day, and the US bombing program was put on hold. It would take the miraculous appearance of ISIL to give the US the excuse to begin bombing Syria. Coincidentally, President Obama had also been insisting that Iraq'a President Maliki "has to go," and he refused. But son of a gun, ISIL suddenly drove their parade of shiny new Toyota's to Baghdad and Maliki agreed to resign.

Then, US sanctions began in early 2014 after Russia reacted to the coup in Ukraine by agreeing to allow Crimea to rejoin Russia and providing some level of support to the people of Eastern Ukraine.

Finally, when Russia intervened militarily in Syria in 2015 to prevent yet another "regime change" by the US/NATO, the US went "full Hitler" on Putin.

Russia, with its vast natural resources has been on the hit list to guarantee AAZ Empire's global hegemony for decades. Zbigenew Brzezinski laid it all out in his 1997 book, "The Grand Chessboard." Henry Kissinger described it in multiple books and articles going back to the 1980s. President of US National Endowment for Democracy, Carl Gershman threatened Putin directly in a Washington Post editorial during the coup in Ukraine.

The Russia/Trump collusion narrative strikes me as theater, meant to divert our attention from what's really going on, and to drive the US public into bickering with one another.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 1, 2017 3:25:50 PM | 8

@ karlof1 who wrote: ".......and specifically ruled out recognizing Jerusalem as its capital."

I can't find the link now (fake news?) but I read somewhere today that Trump is rumbling about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by next week. I can't conceive of such a move being rational on any level because if Trump were to do so, one or more from his base of support will take him out., to say nothing of the international implications.....actually I hope he does it so we can bring this putrid boil of social organization to a head.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1, 2017 3:25:54 PM | 9

So he lied about talking with multiple foreign nationals, this is a crime apparently?!

Mueller doesnt seems to be quite ok mentally, when will this witch hunt end?

Posted by: Test | Dec 1, 2017 3:27:01 PM | 10

Flynn was stupid to lie about something the FBI had knowledge of, but as Harry Truman said about generals being stupid "that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three quarters of them would be in jail." So what was the effect of the actions Flynn took and his lying about them? The government claims it had a big effect, a "material impact."

Flynnn's admitted lies to the FBI on January 24 2017 concerning telephone calls which Flynn made in late December 2016, and which the FBI had transcripts of, all taking place after the election, had a terrible effect on the election investigation.
...from the government charge sheet:

Flynn's false statements and omissions impeded and otherwise had a material impact on the fBI's ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the Campaign and Russia's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 1, 2017 3:34:31 PM | 11

What is most amazing to me is how little money it takes to buy off people who are running the supposed Evil Empire, especially the dunces around the current dunce president. For about 640000 USD, two different countries bought the favor of a general! Whatever sinister plans these people have it seems are all related to stuffing their pockets with money and very little else.

Posted by: Almand | Dec 1, 2017 3:39:51 PM | 12

b:

"How the issues Flynn lied about (for whatever stupid reason) are supposed to prove "Russian influence" on the election or "collusion" with Trump during the election campaign is beyond me."

A form of "gish-galloping"?

Noun
(uncountable)
1. A rhetorical technique in which a dishonest speaker lists a string of falsehoods or misleading items so that their opponent will be unable to counter each one and still be able to make their own counterpoints
Origin
After Duane Gish.

A continuing barrage of not clearly related negatives becomes blurred into themrussians is bad sonsabitches through a blizzard of irrelevancies shown again by Flynn lying here with date of, and purpose of, ignored/obscured to serve the general propaganda.

In short, forget the details, do no thinking, accept general BS, ignore empowerment in the new alliance of the middle east emerging from the Syria conflict, and say "yes, sir" to anything we want to do re more war and regime change.

Trump is figuring out he will just be "friendly" toward Putin while ignoring any significant change in cooperation.


Posted by: Sid2 | Dec 1, 2017 3:45:01 PM | 13

@2 james

Yes, but I would go further. I think the elites calculated that the only way of keeping the empire would be to bring Russia under its filthy skirts. Access to all that geostrategic landmass, massive resources and a pincer on China with no easy way out for the Chinese. They must rue the day they had Russia at their mercy.

I believe the plan was to bait Russia into a full-bloodied invasion of Ukraine, crash the oil price through the Saudis, and re-enact Afghanistan 1980s, with a fine cocktail of neo-Nazis, jihadists, Kolomoisky’s brigades and the usual crew of CIA, Mossad, US UK and France special forces. Fortunately, Putin didn’t bite.

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 1, 2017 3:52:35 PM | 14

@8 daniel.. thanks for articulating the wider environment back a number of years.. we see this much the same way...

and on other news....
EU resolution calls for arms embargo against Saudi Arabia, accuses it of war crimes - finally... lets see how this develops.. poodles with backbones? who whudda thunk it?

Posted by: james | Dec 1, 2017 3:54:43 PM | 15

@14 lochearn.. yes - but that has all been very obvious to anyone paying attention the past few years.. they want russia to play war and russia ain't playing.. i agree with you...

Posted by: james | Dec 1, 2017 3:56:25 PM | 16

This from Mueller's report (link at no. 11 above) a) does not clarify how circumstances re Flynn "impeded" etc. the investigation and b) uses language that assumes Russia interfered (unfortunately repeated by b in his report):

At the time of the interview, the FBI had an open investigation into the Government of Russia’s (“Russia”) efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Campaign and Russia, and whether there was any coordination between the Campaign and Russia’s efforts.

General assertions and sloppy language like this (instead of adding the qualifier "alleged" with "efforts") indicates Mueller as propagandist, and confuses the issue toward non-thinking acceptance.

Posted by: Sid2 | Dec 1, 2017 4:21:48 PM | 17

b, why would you think the Clinton fan club boys “the Borg “ is needing, or looking for material to “prove” something? On the contrary IMO in this system that the fully own, they don’t need nor they are looking for material to prove anything to anyone all they needed and got was a big headline material which they got. The headline is “ Flint pleads guilty for lying to FBI which can have up to 5 years prison term. This is the country of headlines, one needs to watch CNN and read NYT and WP to find out how corrupt this clusters of tyrannies the shining zizi city on the hill is.

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 1, 2017 4:28:06 PM | 18

Getting along with Russia is a crime according to deep state. No talk accepted is the conclusion of this hysteria.

How can Trump survive against these fake news accuations that goes on daily against him? Not only the Flynn fake news but also ...

Rex Tillerson is not leaving role as secretary of state, Trump says
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/12/01/rex-tillerson-is-not-leaving-role-as-secretary-state-trump-says.html

Posted by: Test | Dec 1, 2017 4:30:20 PM | 19

Absolutely outstanding article which dovetails perfectly with the one currently up at The Duran.

I was going to donate money over the weekend anyway....but this sort of investigative journalism (and even more importantly the geopolitical parsing of hidden threads and connections) has made me promise myself to give you a little more.

Don't always agree with what you write but I can never ever fault the honesty and logic behind your coverage.

Keep it up....and stay safe!!

Posted by: Skeletor | Dec 1, 2017 4:31:29 PM | 20

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 1, 2017 3:52:35 PM | 14

Nailed it.

While this is the main news in the back ground repugs will pass a so-called tax reform bill that kills us serfs in the New Amerika. This same bill was going to be used by obomber but they could get the votes then.

Yes the last thing deep state wants is to be friends with Russia, they want to own it again.

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 1, 2017 5:20:59 PM | 22

Reuters is now reporting this headline

"Trump likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital next week: official"

The putrid boil is coming to a head!!!!!!!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1, 2017 5:23:55 PM | 23

@ psychohiorinan 9: the guardian names the 'anonymous' trump official that all other coverage i'd seen had omitted:

"Their calls came as one of Trump’s advisers on Israel and the Middle East, David Friedman, told the Jerusalem Post that Trump would follow through on his promise.

‘It was a campaign promise and there is every intention to keep it,” Friedman said. ‘We are going to see a very different relationship between America and Israel in a positive way.

could it get more positive? well, i guess so...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/09/israel-donald-trump-netanyahu-jerusalem

Posted by: wendy davis | Dec 1, 2017 5:28:39 PM | 24

@psychohistorian: (blush) sorry for the typo. i hadn't gotten a preview screen.

Posted by: wendy davis | Dec 1, 2017 5:31:33 PM | 25

@ wendy davis who had trouble spelling my moniker.....grin

no worries and thanks for the collusion of my news

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1, 2017 5:34:36 PM | 26

Daniel @8 reminds us that historical context in this case is very important. I wrote the other day that the BRI is a hybrid war weapon, but BRI was preceded by Nursultan Nazarbayev's (President of Kazakhstan) 1994 speech at Moscow State University proposing the formation of an Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which preceded Xi's initial BRI announcement in October 2013. Well before 2013, Putin had adopted EAEU as his own, and we would be well served to revisit Putin's 2007 speech at the Munich Security Conference and the reactions it garnered. Just when Russia and China decided to combine forces to accomplish their visions? Probably prior to the formal announcement of the SCO's formation in 2001. Imperial planners seeking Full Spectrum Dominance surely noted these events as challenging their primary doctrine and sought ways to derail Russia and China's plans. My key point here is that the BRI--and its associated support systems--is the tool that will hasten the demise of the Outlaw US Empire since it in no way can compete on a level playing field, particularly with its dollar no longer the world's #1 reserve currency or commerce currency, and that what we're witnessing is the hybrid world war being waged to forestall that demise.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 1, 2017 5:41:04 PM | 27

Flynn contacted the Russian Ambassador regarding their UNSC vote.

Did he conduct diplomacy for the US without authorization? Was he a foreign agent lobbying on behalf of either Russia or Israel? It doesn't matter in the least because, after months of investigation, he was charged with nothing of the sort.

The 'lying to the FBI' charge sounds very serious outside the US, but that only applies to the little people here. Nobody like Flynn is ever going to prison for that, and he would be pardoned by Trump well before that anyway. Sure he acts contrite and all, but Flynn despises the Clinton/DNC mafia-shielding, treasonous FBI. He's laughing at this - and it's all part of a grander scheme where he gets to see the FBI exposed for what they are.

What people are missing here is what possible legal proof the Muller investigation had about Flynn's private (phone) conversations with Mr. Kislyak? Is this all a charade meant to set a precedent for acknowledging mass unwarranted NSA phone taps and the use of them in court? If the NSA or whomever has them, then why have they never been used before as evidence? Why now to support Flynn's farcical 'crime' of lying to the FBI?

I'm inclined to look hard at the emerging tin-foil hat explanations because they make so much sense. The scenario goes something like this:

The entire prolonged Russia-gate investigation is simply cover for making a case against the entrenched Clinton/DNC mafia and their crimes under the realization that they infest the intelligence agencies and Department of Justice. It's useless for Trump to demand their investigation because they already 'own' the evidence, access to it and the entire investigative process in the Justice Department. He would get nothing, over and over again. He knows it and they know it.

Is Trump surrounded by ex-generals because they own him, or because he owns/trusts them and they command the respect of the Pentagon cockroaches? Flynn was certainly a borg outsider. I think the others will follow Trump's orders regardless of or despite their political views. If the Clinton/DNC crimes extend to treason, then I think they can be tried under the military court system instead of Clinton/DNC-friendly civilian courts.

OK, sure... SuperTrump swoops in to save the country from the Clinton/DNC parasites that are running their own little mafia-like parallel government. I can always dream a little before North Korea nukes us with CIA-supplied nukes (and we somehow start WWIII with everyone) right? Give us tin-foil-hatters that much!

As a side foiler note, I felt something like tremors in the US Midwest yesterday. That's in the middle of the North American Craton - a continent-sized tectonic rock that hasn't cracked in 600 million years. It couldn't have been an earthquake. Anyone get nuked out there yesterday?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 1, 2017 6:05:36 PM | 28

Obama addressed AIPAC after he sewed up the Dem nomination in June 2008, and he mentioned Jerusalem.

. . .Let me be clear. Israel's security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper — but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided. . .here

Israel has made it clear that its "secure, recognized and defensible borders" (as stated under UNSCR 242) are Palestine's borders.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 1, 2017 6:30:27 PM | 29

Flynn surely knew his call was listened in on. Why would he lie about two very benign things. Surely helping Israel is looked upon as a good thing and asking Moscow to refrain frombtakibg actions against the US (escalation) hardly is on the same level as Reagans team asking Iran to keep hostages until after the election.

Worthy of mention is one if the CIA architects of US policy on the Middle East and Islamic world from the late 70's on has been hit with an arrest warrant in Turkey for attempting a coup on behalf of his buddy Guillen. Graham Fuller interestingly enough had a son in law who resided in his home and was the uncle of the Boston Bombers. He was also one of the proponents of destabilizing Syria in the early 80's by getting Saddam to invade Syria

Posted by: Pft | Dec 1, 2017 7:19:37 PM | 30

The Scalp-Taking of Gen. Flynn

What is arguably most disturbing about this case is that then-National Security Adviser Flynn was pushed into a perjury trap by Obama administration holdovers at the Justice Department who concocted an unorthodox legal rationale for subjecting Flynn to an FBI interrogation four days after he took office, testing Flynn’s recollection of the conversations while the FBI agents had transcripts of the calls intercepted by the National Security Agency.
. . .
Yates’s legal theorizing was so elastic and speculative that it could be used to justify subjecting almost anyone to FBI interrogation with the knowledge that their imperfect memories would guarantee the grounds for prosecution based on NSA intercepts of their communications.

Basically, the Obama holdovers concocted a preposterous legal theory to do whatever they could to sabotage the Trump administration, which they held in fulsome disdain.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 1, 2017 7:33:47 PM | 31

"I believe the plan was to bait Russia into a full-bloodied invasion of Ukraine, crash the oil price through the Saudis, and re-enact Afghanistan 1980s, with a fine cocktail of neo-Nazis, jihadists, Kolomoisky’s brigades and the usual crew of CIA, Mossad, US UK and France special forces. Fortunately, Putin didn’t bite.
Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 1, 2017 3:52:35 PM | 14."
I agree with you 100%; yes, they need to crush Russia yet again so they can get to looting, something they are so very good at.

Posted by: frances | Dec 1, 2017 7:36:36 PM | 32

The intent of this campaign is to handicap the Trump administration as much as possible and to prevent better U.S. relations with Russia.

Let'em! The more they do it, the more Russia goes East.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and 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.

This is hilarious. I believe but don't believe this version.

I believe it in the sense it illustrates the correct sequence of facts that led to the concrete narrative Clinton used against Trump after the results became official.

I don't believe it in the sense it doesn't tell the whole story. As b has already stated, Obama had just come from a brutal proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. The Wolfowitz doctrine (1992) is the dominant doctrine in the deep state and the mainstream politicians of the USA. So this anti-Russia sentiment didn't come from a dadaist exercise: it was already deep entrenched in the American psyche.

My opinion is that the reason the Russia narrative was built so chaotically and improvised because Clinton really didn't think she would lose the election. But once in the WH, she would do an anti-Russia government, as well as an anti-China government -- after all, she's the mother of the infamous Pivot to Asia.

Posted by: VK | Dec 1, 2017 7:46:11 PM | 33

Thanks b for a mighty piece of writing. Can I hazard the view that Flynn's so called crime is minute compared to $hillary's national security crimes and her email server. Mueller is whitewashing for $hillary and creating pathetic diversions in going after Flynn.

The private email server mismanaged by $hillary and splat river IT company are an enormous crime of the most significant proportion and leave any BS allegations of Russian meddling as mindlessly irrelevant to the USA.

I am deeply suspicious of the this Flynn/Mueller story and I wonder if the USA legal system enables space for a public interest legal entity to join the action and put both Mueller and Flynn to the task of cross examination. Guilty pleas at court let perpetrators who have made deals off the hook and that goes for both sides of this prosecution. I guess I am too optimistic but where are the left or right public interest legal entities when you need them.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 1, 2017 7:51:10 PM | 34

General Flynn has recieved a sweetheart deal from the Prosecutors because they think the investigation will go to the top of this administration. One of Flynns lies concerned UNSC Resolution 2334 to be voted on 23 December 2016.
a. On or about December 21, 2016, Egypt submitted a resolution to the United Nations Security Council on the issue of Israeli settlements (“resolution”). The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote on the resolution the following day.

b. On or about December 22, 2016, a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team directed FLYNN to contact officials from foreign governments, including Russia, to learn where each government stood on the resolution and to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution.

c. On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN contacted the Russian Ambassador about the pending vote. FLYNN informed the Russian Ambassador about the incoming administration’s opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution

d. On or about December 23, 2016, FLYNN again spoke with the Russian Ambassador, who informed FLYNN that if it came to a vote Russia would not vote against the resolution.
A senior Trump transition team member said Kushner instructed Flynn to try and nobble the Resolution, did Trump instruct Kushner or did Kushner do it alone? Either way both are in trouble, this was not the act of an incoming administration ensuring a smooth transition, this was a blatant act to kill an important OBama initiative on Israeli settlement building and a clear breach of the Logan Act…
(1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government’s position.[2] The Act was passed following George Logan’s unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, and was signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799. The Act was last amended in 1994, and violation of the Logan Act is a felony.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 1, 2017 7:51:18 PM | 35

If it wasn't an arsehole like Flynn I would be a bit het up by someone getting charged with a crime such as 'lying to the FBI'. What sort of tyranny permits such a law? Everyone has the right to decline self incrimination and when you think about it there is no response to FBI questions that would avoid self incrimination which doesn't constitute lying to the FBI.
"I can't remember" the response I prefer, would definitely constitute a breach, as would "No comment" - you do have a comment just not one you want to tell them.

"I cannot answer that question on the grounds it may incriminate me' is definitely a lie when there is no may about it, answering the query would mos def incriminate you.
That leaves one possible response "I cannot answer because it would incriminate me".
The sieve which is the publicity hungry FBI is always gonna 'leak' any answer which includes "would incriminate me" so in a nutshell this law is just another amerikan tyranny, but as I said Flynn is an arsehole nearly as big an arsehole as his former boss, so no point in getting to hot about this instance - not when at any time there are likely hundreds of decent humans in exactly this same unfathomable conundrum.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 1, 2017 8:14:18 PM | 36

re Flynn's supposed crime which he supposedly needed to lie about:It is worth noting that both events used in the Mueller prosecution took place after the election had already concluded, which prompts the question: wasn't Mueller's charge to uncover how Russia colluded to help elect Trump, and not how Trump was looking to de-escalate the abysmal diplomatic relations between Obama and Putin?
So AFTER Trump won the election and was President-elect he started laying ground work for building relations and somehow this impede the investigation into Russian interference in the election??
I love the timing. Last night, Judicial Watch announced the release of the FBI emails that showed they covered for Hillary. Today, we get this.
And re:UNSC Resolution 2334 to be voted on 23 December 2016, Flynn's discussions were in support of Israel, nothing to do with Russia. Further, from what I understand although he spoke to Russia, they didn't change their planned vote. So he did a favor for Israel by speaking to Russia and nothing came of it. What are we Muller???

Posted by: frances | Dec 1, 2017 8:37:43 PM | 37

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html

"In recent years there has been an increasing number of incidents involving attempts by foreign governments, or their agents, to influence the conduct of American foreign policy by techniques outside normal diplomatic channels."

This was during Kennedy's time, and the miscreant wasn't Russia. Fascinating article w Kennedy quotes.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 1, 2017 8:47:02 PM | 38

If you need the world to end so your messiah can make his appearance then doing everything they do do makes perfect sense. A tribe is trying to blow up the world in line with their interpretation of the old testament prophets. Get used to it. They will co-opt others of this bent when the day comes.

You are all fucked. You you and you. It ain't whether you believe in a god or not. It's all about whether a tiny fraction of the earth's population have a forced suicide of everyone else psyhopathology.

Time to pin the tail on the donkey

Posted by: gut bugs galore | Dec 1, 2017 9:01:47 PM | 39

/~~~~~~~~~~
ZeroHedge -- Kushner Is "Senior Official" Who Ordered Flynn To Contact Russia -- Dec 1, 2017
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-01/kushner-said-have-ordered-flynn-contact-russia

When commenting on the Flynn plea deal with Mueller, we said that while hardly evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, especially since all events took place after the election, the real question is who was the "senior member of the transition team" that instructed Flynn to call Russia. Now, according to Bloomberg's Eli Lake we may have the answer: none other than Jared Kushner, who as Lake says, "could be one of the next dominoes to fall."

[....]

If that is the extent of Mueller's charges, it's nothing and Trump walks away scott free. As Lake notes, "if that's all there is, then the whispers of collusion will look foolish. Nonetheless, it may be enough to take out not only Flynn, but also the man who married the president's daughter."

Of course, if Kushner is the last casualty of all this, it is likely safe to say that not many tears will be shed.
\~~~~~~~~~~

So then, if it was "none other" than Trump's son in law Jared Kushner (so not Trump himself) who "instructed Flynn to call Russia", then Trump was not responsible for that "instruction", so Trump (but not Kushner and Flynn) is off the hook. So that would pretty much lead to a dead end for the whole Mueller project.

Posted by: blues | Dec 1, 2017 9:12:26 PM | 40

@ gut bugs galore with the ending line:

Time to pin the tail on the donkey

Thanks for the chuckle. It comes to me after a half hour of practicing my voice lessons with the purpose of being able to sing the Disturbed version of The Sound of Silence...check it out if you are not familiar with the updated version of a 60's protest song here

the last verse

And the sign said The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 1, 2017 9:17:27 PM | 41

Good one, b! Here's another from Iran-Contra legend Robert Parry: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/01/the-scalp-taking-of-gen-flynn/

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Dec 1, 2017 9:35:40 PM | 42

I've always suspected Obama signed his executive order that took control of the internet, all telephony data Networks and the IP addresses that identify them. With that control he could set up virtual private networks (VPN) pretending to be any actor in the world.

Every news Network that has reporters out in the field report back by logging in to a virtual server on their laptop. Google VPN and you'll get 100 ads for you to join. With a VPN you can surf anonymously under an IP number that's registered in any city in the world that offers that service. It is my contention that either the FBI or the CIA had set up virtual Networks using Russian IP numbers. That may be why Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn't let the FBI look at what the Awan brothers had going on within the DNC server logs. The Brothers may have set a VPN up over there. The purpose would be to hack other networks leaving Russian footprints. That Avenue has yet to be explored.

Posted by: Spear Chuck | Dec 1, 2017 10:12:57 PM | 43

@44 seamus.. thanks for that robert parry article...

Posted by: james | Dec 1, 2017 10:38:34 PM | 44

@ blues #40
It doesn't matter who told Flynn to do something in December 2016. The election was over, and Flynn's lies had no effect on the election nor on the investigation into the election. Paraphrasing my Bluegrass guru Bill Monroe, they ain't no part of nuthin'.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 1, 2017 10:38:36 PM | 45

@8 Daniel

Thank you for the perspective -and also to others who've agreed and even amplified the scope of this western hatred for Russia. Russia is the convenient scapegoat whom it always serves everyone's interests to denigrate. And all this "bickering" in this piece of theater mostly illustrates the lack of imagination of any of these corrupt players, here in the waning of the US imperial role.

There are some who say the western hatred of Russia goes as far back as the Church of Rome and its millennial desire for rule over the Orthodox Church. I believe that layer of interest is real, but I'm not expert on rabbit holes, and I don't know which layers rule over other layers.

I do think the loss of Crimea has enraged the Zionists beyond anything we comprehend. I love the words you used to describe the fact that "Russia allowed Crimea to return to it." This is exactly what happened. Far from wanting territory, Russia understands the budgetary cost of enlarging its commonwealth, which is one huge reason why she doesn't take in Donbass or the Ukraine.

The Zionists had wanted Crimea for a long time. There was an article at Fort Russ a year or two ago that told how Stalin was approached to make a Jewish home on the Black Sea, including Crimea, and that he was sympathetic towards this in the beginning but that over the years that these discussions unfolded, he came to have a change of heart - or else came to see through the people he was dealing with - and at any rate foiled this plan completely. Sorry I can't be more specific. And all this was before the creation of Israel, for the most part at least, I think.

But the Zionists always wanted Crimea, and after all it is one of the jewels of the world map. We know that in 2013, a year before the Maidan, the US Navy was seeking bids to renovate a naval building in, I think, Sevastopol, which it obviously intended to move into. Sheik Imran Hosein has spelled out clearly how the Zionists had worked towards Crimea for so long, and when Putin snatched it from their grasp, it was the first major defeat handed to Zionism in the more than hundred years of its activities.

~~

Again, thank you for your description of the accession. Russia allowed the people of Crimea to reunite with their heartland. Exactly so, and said as soft as it deserves, as warmly and filled with brotherly and sisterly love as we saw it happen.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 1, 2017 11:07:10 PM | 46

James 15
EU parliament has no power at all.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 1, 2017 11:07:53 PM | 47

@ Grieved #46
Very interesting, the US Navy renovating a school in Sevastopol. Thanks.
Sep 5, 2013
Renovation of Sevastopol School #5, Ukraine
Solicitation Number: N33191-13-R-1240
Agency: Department of the Navy
Office: Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Location: NAVFAC Europe and Southwest Asia
https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=2bb691b61c59be3a68180bd8c614a0cb&tab=core&_cview=1

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 1, 2017 11:33:14 PM | 48

Regarding US enmity toward Russia, it is essential to the continued existence of the vast US enterprise of the US Army, half a million strong. If there was no Russia threat the US Army would have little reason to exist. The dream (as in the Soviet era) is that a Russia attack through the Fulda Gap will be heroically countered by brave Americans in tanks. The dream lives on, the hope persists.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 1, 2017 11:41:09 PM | 49

Hey, Don Bacon @29

Do you know the folk/protest singer David Roviks? He did a fine little diddy called “Israeli Geography 101.” Not one of his very best, but worth 3 minutes of our time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kclUjTG4rIk

His "Saint Patrick's Battalion" is a real gem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idKD47x0JaM

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 2, 2017 12:35:17 AM | 50

@30 pft.. i wanted to thank you for drawing my attention to graham e fuller - the guy turkey has an arrest warrant out for in connection with the gulen angle..

he has a website and was teaching recently at sfu - university in vancouver.. apparently he is, or was very recently living in the same area.. i was reading some of his blog and i dig his views on a number of things.. check this one out - Washington Does Have a Clear ME Policy—It’s Just the Wrong One

it is quite good! here is just one passing comment in the above article where he articulates all that the usa is doing wrong..
-Support Saudi Arabia on nearly all issues. Never mind that the Saudi state is responsible for the export of the most radical, dangerous and ugly interpretations of Islam anywhere and is the prime promoter of extremist Islamist ideas across the Muslim world.

Posted by: james | Dec 2, 2017 12:38:25 AM | 51

karlof1 @27 et al.

Here’s Putin’s brillaint 2007 Speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQ58Yv6kP44

And his most excellent, and less patient UN Address from 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q13yzl6k6w0

I have plenty of complaints about President Putin, but he is clearly a great Statesman and Russian patriot.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 2, 2017 12:39:08 AM | 52

@48 Don Bacon

In case it's of any use, to you and all of us who like concrete facts, here is the Fort Russ article about Stalin and Crimea from 2015:

"In January 1924, the talks were already about the "Autonomous Jewish government, federated with Russia", a draft decree on the establishment in the Northern part of Crimea of a Jewish Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was prepared. Jewish Telegraph Agency (ETA) on February 20, 1924, published the appropriate announcement abroad."

-- How Stalin played the Americans with the "Crimean California" project

My purpose is to show that the hatred of Russia goes back a very long time. Yes, Russia must be the enemy because this interest or that interest needs an enemy, but this is not the cause of the hatred of Russia. Each generation of particular interests that needs to have an enemy or scapegoat inherits the enduring whipping boy of Russia, because she has been lusted after and despised equally for a thousand years by the entirety of Mediterranean culture - which comprises all the foes: the global banking families, the Church, the European colonialists, perfidious Great Britain, and the US.

Mediterranean. It means the mid-point of the earth. The center of the world. And Russia has always fallen outside of it. There is no other reason needed to hate Russia than this. It falls outside, and stays outside, and while happy to talk refuses to come in.

The hatred of Russia is ancient. And the geo-political arguments for this antagonism are ancient and enduring also - they are very real, from a Mediterranean viewpoint. Today's theater simply makes use of this ancient scapegoat resource.

It's even more pathetic than we thought. While at least the Zionists were trying to conquer, plunder and destroy Russia, the Arkansas mafia can think no further than using it as a smokescreen to hide all their trailer-park crimes and murders.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 2, 2017 2:08:14 AM | 53

How could this hysteria be allowed to be kept going?

"Michael Flynn is being sacrificed on the altar of public opinion to keep Russia-gate dreams alive for Christmas"
http://russia-insider.com/en/michael-flynn-new-martha-stewart-robert-mueller-not-russia-gates-santa-claus/ri21792

The only thing they could get is someone talked with another person to support Israel AFTER the election! But the stupid sheep in the west/MSM buys it, this show the propaganda of today if anything - trying to create a made up reality of Russia/Trump conspiracy.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 2, 2017 4:32:01 AM | 54

The logic of the whole nonsense is beyond any thinking person.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 2, 2017 5:07:12 AM | 55

Strange, even Fox jumps on the collusion-bandwagon.

Why Flynn’s guilty plea is bad news for Team Trump
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/01/why-flynn-s-guilty-plea-is-bad-news-for-team-trump.html

Posted by: Anon | Dec 2, 2017 5:12:22 AM | 56

"But I recognize that the actions I acknowledged in court today were wrong, and, through my faith in God, I am working to set things right." I don't know about the USA, but people in the UK will find this kind of religiosity either hilarious or hypocritical or in bad taste. We don't do God, except in the most discreet way, eg the odd pic of our PM going to church on Sunday. The last politician to make an issue of his faith, Tim Farron, has left the scene after an uncomfortable spell as Lib Dem leader.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Dec 2, 2017 6:35:41 AM | 57

Grieved 53
Let us not forget the many Roman armies that perished fighting in distant Persian lands .
Sadly it is not just a question of Scythian lands and the Mediterranean

Posted by: ashley albanese | Dec 2, 2017 6:44:33 AM | 58

Robert Parry, Consortium News: "The first item in the complaint alleges that Flynn did not disclose that he had asked the Russian ambassador to help delay or defeat a United Nations Security Council vote censuring Israel for building settlements on Palestinian territory."

I started to think that however dangerous precedent was created by the entrapment technique, it appeals to my sense of poetic justice. Indeed, our officials do not even have to think when they "carry water for Israel", which hinders subsequent recollection. Where are Vietnamese style re-education camps when we need them?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 2, 2017 8:23:00 AM | 59

RE bug guts galore and psychohistorian,

Yes the relentless path towards global destruction continues while the intentionally dumbed-down population is distracted with neon Gods and the warnings of scientists are met with the Sounds of Silence

http://www.nucleardarkness.org/warconsequences/hundredfiftytonessmoke/

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 2, 2017 9:39:01 AM | 60

"who profits from a cold war with russia?"

I've given up even asking this question when idiotic nationalism is involved. Sometimes nobody profits at all, and everyone is just fine with that. I don't understand it, at a deep level.

Posted by: Odysseus | Dec 2, 2017 10:26:27 AM | 61

karlof1, at 6. I was going to post Mercouris article after reading b’s post.

Don’t forget that Obama has been as US Prez. as anti-Israel as it is possible to be, and Netanyahu and Obama loathed and despised each other. Culmination in the Kerry-Lavrov Iran ‘nuke’ deal, a horror for Israel. ex. Here Kerry defends..

https://www.rt.com/news/411316-kerry-egypt-bomb-iran/

Obama was, as Alexander M. explains, attempting to box in Trump, but not only: the whole situation gave Obama an oppo to get that thing UNSC 2334 voted in, as on his way out and under cover (he is a coward.)

What is striking as well, is that Flynn’s effort(s) in favor of Israel were very minor, even minsucule and ‘pro forma’. I’m sure that to get that thing shelved much more could have been done. Flynn only asked a small favor, ‘between equals’ thru official channels (> an ambassador) - all a very benevolent, boring, form of corridor politics, standard within the system. What is interesting in fact is that he, Flynn, didn’t do more and apparently asked for ‘favors’ that he should have known Russia could not / would not provide.

Trump and Co. (Kushner..) are seen as favoring Israel … it is more complicated. MSM.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-team-said-finally-drafting-its-middle-east-peace-plan/

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/11/israel-us-trump-mideast-initiative-palestine-abbas-peace.html

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 2, 2017 10:58:03 AM | 62

welcome, psychohistorian @26. at least i hadn't spelled my own name wrong. ;-) didn't you used to comment at NC?

Posted by: wendy davis | Dec 2, 2017 11:20:30 AM | 63

@Odysseus #61
The US profits from a new cold war with Russia politically and militarily.
>The US politically keeps a tight rein on western Europe (via NATO) and expansion into eastern Europe, while eliminating any chance of alliance between economically powerful countries (Germany, France) and Russia. That would be a serious threat to US world financial domination.
>The military threat from Russia, and the personalizing of it -- Bad Vlad -- which often accompanies "threats to the USA" are the main drivers for the US to keep and even expand its ground forces, which were threatened by the pivot to Asia-Pacific where the half-million strong US Army would have little or no reason for being. The US benefits grandly from foreign military sales to its "NATO partners" especially with expansion of NATO.
>In both cases there's a financial benefit to the US.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 2, 2017 11:25:44 AM | 64

@ Odysseus @61. not deep, but NATO and the entire military/industrial/congressional/edutainment complex profits, as do weapons dealers galore. and now NATO has official members, 'under our umbrella' nations, friends of NATO, as well as 'potential members', all of whom are encouraged to pony up 2% or more of their gdp to...NATO.

Posted by: wendy davis | Dec 2, 2017 11:25:45 AM | 65

@Daniel #50
Thanks for that on Rovics, he's new to me and very good.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 2, 2017 11:33:48 AM | 66

@ wendy davis who asked if I used to comment at NC

I was there from the beginning and one year even helped her collect credit card donations. I got called "crazy pants" by her because I continued to write about "those that shan't be named"......whomever they are that own the tools of private finance and have for centuries. And kept calling, like I do here for the instantiation of public finance and the elimination of all private finance.

I now refer to the site as ALMOST NC and never go there

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 2, 2017 1:23:29 PM | 67

@53 grieved.. i continue to work thru the book by margaret macmilliam - paris 1919... here's a washington post review from 2002.. essentially the leaders of the usa/uk and france were not sure how to respond to the Bolsheviks.. they were conflicted on how to engage them.. russia had played an important role in ww1 in stopping germany, but they had knocked off the royalty - tsar and were in the process of replacing it with something that scared the west - a type of labour union but more and different.. the inability to integrate russia continues to this day.. i guess it has to do with russia being unwilling to bow down to a financial system that favours only a few.. that is my best guess..

@61 Odysseus.. thanks for taking up my question @2... i guess it would be easy to blame it on ethnocentrism.. and, i agree with don bacons comments to you @64..

Posted by: james | Dec 2, 2017 1:39:12 PM | 68

=>> psychohistorian | Dec 2, 2017 1:23:29 PM | 67

What the hell is "NC"???

I am so sick and tired of all the f**ckin acronyms!!!

Posted by: blues | Dec 2, 2017 1:41:45 PM | 69

@ Shakesvshav | 57

I don't know about the USA, but people in the UK will find this kind of religiosity either hilarious or hypocritical or in bad taste.
___________________________________________________

FWIW, I do know about the USA. Ostentatious, even bumptious public God-bothering isn't required, but politicians (and other celebrities) are free to indulge in it if they feel it will further their careers.

Or, alternatively-- as in the present case-- when they feel it may save their careers. This is the "damage control" application of smarmy public piety.

I can't really estimate its effectiveness, but this is pure demagoguery. There is typically a correlation between how fervently a public figure invokes religion and spiritual life and the religious identity of their constituency. In a nutshell, an Elected Misrepresentative seeking support among conservative Christian constituencies-- or, again, seeking understanding and mercy from a constituency during scandals and career crises-- will go to the "Godly" well as often as necessary.

One passing example comes to mind: one-time presidential candidate John Edwards was nominally disgraced, or at least forced to abandon his political career, after it was revealed that he had engaged in an extramarital affair and fathered a child with his mistress. This indiscretion was regarded as egregiously heinous because his wife was suffering with terminal cancer while Edwards was having the affair.

Fast-forward to 2012: Edwards was acquitted of federal charges of violating campaign finance laws. When he appeared before the cameras after the verdict, a smiling, seemingly confident Edwards affirmed that his public career was far from over. "God hasn't finished with me yet," he piously explained with a smile.

All that said, discerning Amerikans indeed find this kind of religiosity hilarious, hypocritical, and in bad taste. ;)

Posted by: Ort | Dec 2, 2017 2:05:34 PM | 70

@ blues who I offended by continuing the use of wendy davis acronym for NakedCapitalism web site.

Sorry. It was not my intention and thought others would know or not care.....and as you read I am no longer a supporter of her disinformation and don't want to send others there.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 2, 2017 2:28:58 PM | 71

The true purpose of Obama's December 2016 sanctions on Russian diplomats was not to punish Russia for interfering with the presidential elections. It was to provoke a symmetric retaliation from Russia, so that U.S.-Russia relations would continue on their downward spiral.

Flynn's crime was not undermining the sanctions, but undermining their intended effect, the Russian counter sanctions.

I wrote this on February 17, 2017:

DID AMERICA JUST GO DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE?

The 'Russia scandal' surrounding the sacking of General Flynn only makes sense in the upside-down bubble of Alice in Wonderland. The U.S. media and their delusional readers believe in a number of fallacies.

1) The United States is at war with Russia.
2) Donald J. Trump is not the legitimate president of USA. He needs to be removed by impeachment or assassination. When he is gone Hillary will be Madam President and everything will be fine.
3) Russia illegally made Trump president.
4) The purpose of Obama's last sanctions on Russia was to provoke retaliation. Flynn undermined Obama's foreign policy by advising Russia not to retaliate.
5) Flynn broke the Logan Act and was guilty of treason when he advised Russia not to retaliate.
6) The NSA did the right thing when they illegally spied on Flynn. In fact it was legal and routine. A police state is a good thing!
7) The FBI did the right thing when they started a criminal investigation on Flynn's "Russia ties", even though no reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing ever existed.
8) The CIA did the right thing when they leaked the secret transcript of Flynn's secret communication to the press. The public has the "right to know". A police state is a good thing!
9) Flynn lied when he did not immediately volunteer the content of his secret communications. Americans should have no privacy, especially government officials and diplomats.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 2, 2017 4:31:55 PM | 72

The story about interference in the 2016 presidential elections by Cambridge Analytica seems to have died a death since it first came out back in January. If anybody threw the election to Trump, Cambridge Analytica seems far more likely than the Russians. Although from a geopolitical point of view blowing the shit out of an office block in central London is far less exciting than "going" to Moscow.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 2, 2017 5:12:23 PM | 73

Damned it! My hypocrisy gauge just broke. The needle bent, running over the 'max hypocrisy' mark.

Those things are neither cheap, nor easy to be replaced nowadays. Oh, well...

Jest apart I wonder whether there is any other term than "Meddling in another Nations internal affairs" for what the Israelis do in the US. With impunity at that.

But hey, feed the sheeple the delusional cocktail of Russia hysteria - that's what they are programmed for to accept without second guessing.

Flynn is not better, nor worse than any other of the pathetic puppets pretending to run this Nation. They are all stooges for the establishment/Plutocrats and it must be seen as a constant Merrie-Go-Round of the bull shit dished out by the owner's fulfillment agents.

Plus, if choosing between 'incompetent' and 'corrupted', Flynn would own both attributes. A Nazi security advisor that acts like an adolescent in matters of highest importance in regards to the 'real national security? Okay, if the US is the vassal state of Israel, then we should all move on and accept this event as normalcy. Nothing to see here, keep walking.

On the other hand, I am wondering if any of the self proclaimed 'patriots' figure out who is calling the proverbial shots in their beloved fatherland, will they not raise their voices and demand a resounding "cease and desist" from the big brother in the tiny Middle Eastern Nation?

Posted by: notheonly1 | Dec 2, 2017 5:46:57 PM | 74

@ psychohistorian 67

thank you for responding; i wasn't aware of the kerfuffle, but always liked your comments there. (at Naked Capitalism, lol.) yves doesn't brook dissenting opinions much (see: brexit), nor does lambert strether, ish. not long ago she'd suspended all commenting on every essay (whoa, nellie) then relented i dunno how many months later.

she'd posted a lame-ass obomba-defending economist on trnn on the trump tax reform bill this a.m., i stuck up ones by jack rasmus and wsws.org for good measure.

Posted by: wendy davis | Dec 2, 2017 5:50:42 PM | 75

The hits keep coming, as Russia scores goal against USA.
>news report (Stars and Stripes):
The U.S. military is shifting its stance in Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday, as the program to arm the Kurdish opposition comes to a close and is replaced by increased support to local police and security forces.
Mattis said the Pentagon is "changing the composition of our forces" in Syria to reflect the collapse of the Islamic State group there and a renewed emphasis on finding a diplomatic path to peace.
Speaking to reporters on his plane at the start of a five-day trip to the Middle East, Mattis said the shift in American forces will support the diplomatic process.
His comments came on the heels of the announcement last week that the U.S. would stop actively providing arms to Syrian Kurds, known as the YPG. Officials have acknowledged that the U.S. will likely begin taking back large military vehicles and heavy weapons from the Kurds, now that major combat operations to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State group are over.
It's not clear, however, whether the move to provide arms has completely stopped already, or is in the process of ending.
As part of the changing U.S. military role, an artillery unit of about 400 Marines is leaving Syria this week, taking their howitzers with them.
Their exodus still leaves well more than 1,000 U.S. troops in the country. Although the Pentagon will only publicly acknowledge about 500 U.S. forces in Syria, there were at least 1,700 there throughout much of the year as the battle for Raqqa raged on. ...here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 2, 2017 6:56:25 PM | 76

@ wendy davis about my past blog stomping grounds

This comment is a SHOUT OUT to our host for the best geopolitical site with managed comments!!!!!

You continue to do a magnificent job running this place b and are a true hero to humanity....thank you!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 2, 2017 7:52:44 PM | 77

=>> psychohistorian | Dec 2, 2017 2:28:58 PM | 71

It is nauseating to contemplate that anyone would spend more than five minutes on the 100% cult neolib, politically corrupt website:

"Naked Capitalism is not for the fainthearted":
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/

This shameless academic cult of purveyors of neodemocratism demand that the ignorant backwater peckerwoods should be provided benefits in return for paying off their gigantic student loans (by getting $15 at Walmart).

Posted by: blues | Dec 2, 2017 11:40:53 PM | 78

Yes, Grieved @46. The people of Crimea had held several referenda to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. The first was immediately after Ukraine seceded from the USSR in 1991. But each time, Russia refused to abide by the wishes of the people of Crimea, no doubt to avoid international condemnation, and also because they'd secured the long-term lease for their naval base anyway.

But following the coup, President Putin realized he was damned if he did, (and the people of Crimea would be damned if he didn't.... like the people of Odessa were just several weeks later) and he'd already been damned if he didn't.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible.." seems an apropos adage.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 3, 2017 12:24:58 AM | 79

Great job B, I'm gonna contribute when I get paid next week. I hate Hilary and Obama more and more everyday. Slime and Bile should be their names or maybe Piss and Shit. Any comment on the Israeli airstrike on Syria?

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Dec 3, 2017 1:34:28 AM | 80

@ Ghostship #73
thank you very much for that incredible link. As I watch corporate television it becomes more and more apparent that everything emanating from their programming is carefully tailored to elicit a desired response. Just as Chomsky told us all those years ago in Manufacturing Consent

this is really awesome in that they don't even have to bother with focus groups or do silly polling which annoys most people anyway and you can never be sure if the answers given are truthful, here you can base the person's likely choice on information they have freely given without fear or accountability....after all, how much trouble can you get in for "liking" something like philosphy?

I guess we are well and truly f@#ked and sadly due to our own lack of curiosity fully deserve it.

Posted by: dan of steele | Dec 3, 2017 5:43:50 AM | 81

@dan of steele, @ghostship

Cambridge Analytica is selling snake-oil. Their data analysis does not give the insights they claim. It does not win elections. Candidates and the mistakes of their competition do.

No, Big Data Didn't Win the U.S. Election

Election tech: The truth about Cambridge Analytica's political big data

Posted by: b | Dec 3, 2017 10:44:54 AM | 82

People who put others down as being susceptible "sheeple" and victims of profiling etc. (unlike themselves of course) miss the point that Trump didn't use any of that to win, he simple appealed to the dire economic conditions especially lack of employment.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 3, 2017 11:14:36 AM | 83

"Flynn had no reason to believe that such contacts were out of norm because they ain't. Incoming administrations need such contacts to prepare their polices." Then why lie? Surely he knew of the Russia witch hunt, and he knew of the FBI investigation into such. Besides the impact his lies may or may not have had on the investigation, why did he lie? Or, before we know that, I suppose we have to know exactly what that lie was. It isn't enough to say "generals lie all the time". There was undoubtedly a witch hunt going on, which we all knew about by the time Trump was inaugurated. As someone who has doubted "collusion" between the Trumps and the KGB, it seems Flynn clearly did not have to lie about either of those issues. He's either covering, or he's setting his own trap.

Posted by: Fabrizio | Dec 3, 2017 3:20:39 PM | 84

Don Bacon @83--

"... he simple appealed to the dire economic conditions especially lack of employment."

Yep, then he went right along with the GOP controlled Congress to exacerbate the dire state of employment and to destroy what small safety net exists in Medicare and Social Security. As I've noted before, Trump did the same as Obama--promised one thing during campaign then elected turned 180 degrees to do the exact opposite.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 3, 2017 3:38:10 PM | 85

Don Bacon @83. It is certainly true that many people believe they are immune to propaganda, and especially subliminal messaging because they know happens. Of course, that's absurd. First, how would one consciously know what their subconscious was absorbing? No one can.

And more broadly, propaganda is often quite obvious to people who are not part of the target audience. That's why USAmericans cold laugh at Soviet propaganda, and even USAmericans of today can look at US propaganda from WW II and laugh at or even be ashamed at our portrayals of the buck-toothed, coke-bottle glasses wearing Japs" and the Neandertalish "Hun." Even though we're still USAmericans today, we are no longer that WW II American target audience.

But effective propaganda is essentially invisible to the target audience. That's why Trump supporters can identify the lies on MSDNC, and Trump haters worship it.

Cambridge Analytica got in some trouble because they broke British laws in promoting Brexit, so after bragging about how effective their campaign there and for Trump were, they back-peddled and denied both what they'd said they did, and how well their micro-targeting works.

An interesting concept to consider is that we who have realized that the MSM is mostly for propaganda have ourselves become a new target audience. What sort of propaganda do the businesses that spend $ Billions studying the human mind create for us? Because there should be no doubt they have put a lot of work into developing and testing it.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 3, 2017 9:50:09 PM | 86

but why would Flynn lie to the FBI about that in the first place?
why not just tell the truth?

Posted by: anon | Dec 3, 2017 9:59:58 PM | 87

@86. "What sort of propaganda do the businesses that spend $ Billions studying the human mind create for us?"

Good question. I suspect there is a new sort of propaganda aimed at skeptics and outsiders. You think the MSM is biased do you? Think it's all bullshit do you? Ah, you must be a conspiracy theorist. Time for your meds.

Posted by: dh | Dec 3, 2017 10:28:06 PM | 88

@88 dh.. they already tried that with conspiracy theorist, to which the corollary is coincidence theorist.. take yer pick.. you are either one, or the other...

these businesses that spend that kind of money will find it only works on some, and not all folks.. it's probably another waste of money, probably paid for the military and financial industry..

Posted by: james | Dec 3, 2017 11:37:55 PM | 89

which reminds me - if you didn't read it when i posted it previously dh - this reminds me of the answer, lol..
Why Kremlin Trolls Always Win

Posted by: james | Dec 3, 2017 11:40:47 PM | 90

James, I have many very negative comments to make about the multi-billion dollar annual Marketing/PR/Propaganda industry, but foolish in their research and development and marketing campaign spending? Not so much. Sure they make errors, but its very ubiquitousness in everything from molding us into consumers and creating the desires for their profitable products as well as the mindless mirroring of MSM narratives evidenced by most everyone with whom we discourse gives us strong hints for just how effective they are.

I'll add one more thought. Believing one is immune to some degree simply makes one an easier target for a higher level of propaganda. Feeling cocky about identifying the propaganda aimed at those who naively believe the MSM or politicians or other 'celebrities' likely makes one even more easily misled by sources that seem to share our perceptions.

Psychologists have known for over a century that people are most easily misled by sources they trust. After all, if one already doubts a source, it's easy to critically access information provided by it. Truly critical thinking might only come into play when applied to things we believe we already know.

And this is what I mean when I ask what sort of propaganda is being presented for those of us who already mistrust the main sources, and even many of the "alternative" ones. For I have no doubt we are all victims of it.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 4, 2017 2:19:34 AM | 91

NC is hardly neoliberal propaganda, i got here today through an NC link to this article. They post articles by a range of writers, but usually highly critical of the efforts to smear trump by russiagate, and highly critical of neoliberalism.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 4, 2017 6:39:05 AM | 92

Let's examine the actual undisputed facts of the global situation ever since Trump's inauguration. Within America, a virtual civil war being fought without guns - yet. The prevailing opinion that the media, institutions, and government cannot be trusted is a great blow to democracy and the very fibre of American society. I hazard that if one were to poll the US, Putin may be ahead of Trump in admirational ratings. In the middle east, Russia has increased it's influence and prestige ten-fold at the US expense. In the asia pacific likewise. Internationally, the US is seen as an untrustworthy partner that reneges on it's word and treaties. Economically, despite sanctions, Russia has secured partnerships that have only strengthened it's position. Militarily also, the US primary position is in doubt, with Russian participation in alliances and strategic partnerships limiting American initiatives. From the North American continent itself, to Latin and South America, Europe (talk of a European Defence Mechanism), Caucasus, Philippines and the far east, even Africa - the position of the US has been weakened. Nowhere has the US registered gains or enhanced it's position. NATO is increasingly pressured from within by the systematic alienation of Turkey and European scepticism. Sino-Russian initiatives, both political and economic, have replaced traditional US ones, and are enjoying ever-greater acceptance within spheres which were aligned with US interests. At no time has the US seen such a catholic demise in such a short time. If Putin were POTUS, the results could hardly have been more satisfactory. There is much, much more to this Russiagate story than absurd cyber narratives, but the real story probably cannot be revealed without compromising US assets.....

Posted by: SPYRIDON POLITIS | Dec 4, 2017 10:55:14 AM | 93

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