Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 15, 2017

The Dangerous Precedents Of The Hunt Against Flynn ... And Trump

Kicking Flynn out of his office has hurt Trump. His standing is diminished. The efforts against Flynn, mainly by the "deep state" in the intelligence agencies, were designed to change Trump's declared foreign policy aims. They worked. Yesterday the White House spokesperson said:

President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to deescalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea.

Today Trump tweeted:

Donald J. Trump Verified account @realDonaldTrump
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?
4:42 AM - 15 Feb 2017

That is a position Trump had not preciously taken. "Return Crimea" is a no-no to any current and future Russian government. If Trump insists on this the prospective détente is already dead.

Several writers along the political spectrum point out that this show of raw power by the "intelligence community" is a great danger.

Damon Linker in The Week:

The whole episode is evidence of the precipitous and ongoing collapse of America's democratic institutions — not a sign of their resiliency. Flynn's ouster was a soft coup (or political assassination) engineered by anonymous intelligence community bureaucrats. The results might be salutary, but this isn't the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.
...
In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That's bad. But the answer isn't to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

Robert Perry at Consortium News:

Flynn’s real “offense” appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump’s idea of a rapprochement with Moscow – and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise – has been driving Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it.
...
The neocons and liberal hawks also hated Flynn because – as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency – he oversaw a prescient 2012 analysis that foresaw that their support for the Syrian insurgency would give rise to “a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria.”
...
Flynn’s resignation and its acceptance by Trump also prove that these tactics work and that “tough-guy” Trump is not immune to them.
...
The so-called permanent government of Washington and its complicit mainstream media – what some call the Deep State – have taught Trump a lesson and have learned a lesson, too. They now can be expected to redouble their march toward war and more war, ironically with progressives and leftists in tow.

Justin Raimondo at Antiwar:

Flynn was in the crosshairs of the War Party because he’s the most prominent of those around Trump who advocated for détente with Russia. Also, his somewhat loopy belief that Islam, per se, is a pernicious political ideology rather than a religion, made him a natural enemy of the pro-Saudi faction within the intelligence community, which had long worked with Riyadh to, among other things, overthrow the government of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.
...
The Flynn resignation is just the beginning. As one Politico writer put it, it won’t stop there. They’ll move on to new targets, and they won’t rest until they’ve bagged their real target: the President of the United States

Eli Lake for Bloomberg:

[F]or a White House that has such a casual and opportunistic relationship with the truth, it's strange that Flynn's "lie" to Pence would get him fired. It doesn't add up.
...
A better explanation here is that Flynn was just thrown under the bus.
...
Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.
...
In the end, it was Trump's decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. Nunes told me Monday night that this will not end well. "First it's Flynn, next it will be Kellyanne Conway, then it will be Steve Bannon, then it will be Reince Priebus," he said. Put another way, Flynn is only the appetizer. Trump is the entree.

Trump will now cave in on foreign policy: on Russia, on Syria and everywhere else the borg demands it. He has been put "on notice" and will either do as he is told to do or he will be the prey in an even bigger hunt.

It is alarming that the so-called left part of the U.S. policy is lauding the "deep state" for this open attack on the elected government. They are now justifying the methods that will one day be turned against themselves. Why do they fail to see this?

Posted by b on February 15, 2017 at 19:35 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Here's a notion: Trump had to give up Flynn in exchange for vetoing Elliott Abrams.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Feb 16 2017 5:50 utc | 101

Now T is now just as much as a puppet as Obama was. Would be very interesting to know how they do it.

Posted by: K | Feb 16 2017 5:52 utc | 102

More on the notion that Flynn was a trade for Abrams:

Trump said today in his press conference with Netanyahu that Flynn is a wonderful man who was treated unfairly by the media. So why did he have to go?
Posted by: lysias | Feb 15, 2017 3:10:51 PM | 9

So, perhaps in exchange for rejecting Elliott Abrams as #2 at State, Trump had to give up Flynn. Kind of like exchanging a knight (Flynn) for a bishop (Abrams) in a chess game. However, if Trump is really thinking of cutting business deals with Iran, rather than going to war with Iran, this is a master move, as he thus eliminates two of his major Iranophobes. Boeing and ExxonMobil may be pleased; hopefully the rather bug-eyed Iranian leadership can take a hint? Notice how thrilled McCain was when Flynn came out in favor of "putting Iran on notice"?
washingtonpost...2017/02/01...republicans-cheer-flynn-putting-iran-on-notice/
At the same time, by vetoing Elliott Abrams, Trump gained the support of the Rand Paul crowd; notice that Rand Paul editorial condemning Elliott Abrams?
. . .rand-paul-do-not-let-elliott-abrams-anywhere-near-the-state-department/

And on this:

Flynn's a casualty, for now, yet this possible over-reach/abuse may actually serve the Trump factions supposed objective of cleaning up the IC, if they 'doubled-down', so wouldn't, necessarily, count 'em out just yet.
Posted by: Outraged | Feb 15, 2017 3:21:53 PM | 12

Some people say "IC" is short for "Intelligence Community." I say it's short for "Internal Corruption." Brezhnev-style.

I wonder why he invited that Neocon tool Rubio to dinner at the White House today while King Netanyahu is in town? Rubio was seriously considering voting against confirming Tillerson because he felt Tillerson was too pro-Russia. What's Trump up to? Posted by: Circe | Feb 15, 2017 8:57:06 PM | 73

This fits into the picture of playing both ends against each other; so he gets rids of both Flynn and Abrams, which, as I'm sure you've noticed, are among the most pro-war-with-Iran groups. Ready to pay up on my 10:1 odds against Trump launching a war with Iran? I don't think Boeing or Exxon would be pleased with that.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Feb 16 2017 6:00 utc | 103

It's noteworthy that b's cited pundits hold contradictory views. So when even the pundits aren't quite sure what's going on then Trump is winning. It's also interesting that Public support for Trump reflects the election results. If that's an isolated/ marginalised position (in a democracy) then I'm Father Xmas. Trump is a negotiator. Setbacks are part and parcel of negotiations. There's nothing in Trump's history to support the notion that he surrenders at the first sign of trouble. In fact the opposite is true and the meme "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" fits Trump like a glove.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 16 2017 6:07 utc | 104

@89 The Real Donald

>Their minds are filled with racism, misogyny, envy, lust, hate, pride and covetedness. That's their 'politics', their code and creed. Disruption, obstruction, perversion. Just look at at what we got now! They are most definitely not 'nice people.'

1) These people were around before Trump, correct?

2) The number of people who take their bigotry out of their heads and harm others physically or kill in its name are small, very small. See also 1)

3) Trump is not pandering to the murderous impulses of violent racists. See also 1)

4) Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Mike Pence et al. and the Clintonite corporate wing of the Democratic party are all champing at the bit for war with Russia and Iran and more war generally. They have no plans to limit financial and corporate power. Quite the opposite.

5) Trump might not start any wars and might not run the economy further into the ground.

Put all those in a box, pull the lever and we get...

Conclusion: Given the viable alternatives, a Trump administration is currently the lesser evil. Trump and Clinton played by the same electoral rules. Love him, hate him or indifferent to him, Trump won the election.

End of story. Whine all you like and pretend he's Hitler, cry, concern troll and use minorities and women as cheap fodder for your delusions and fantasies but deposing Trump via an effective or actual coup d'etat and handing power to the apocalypse cultists will make things one hell of a lot worse.

Think it through you dumb fuck. Do you really think it'll go back to "like it was before"? And isn't that why Trump was elected in the first place? Why YES it is. You have a brain. Use it. THINK.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Feb 16 2017 7:14 utc | 105

The Trump administration has been a mess. He tweets one thing and his handlers then tell us that what he said is not what he meant. He gets facts wrong and offers his opinions on things, including reality shows, freely and aggressively, often offending people, countries and organizations. He just isn't likable. That being said, it is easy to claim a deep state conspiracy, which will probably just set off a counter conspiracy. Could it be Trump and his wealthy buddies are the economic illuminati banging heads with the political illuminati? Might as well bring back that classic word and conspiracy to add to the mix. Metaphorically, maybe we are in the matrix, because we all apparently are controlled by secret conspiracies. Clearly, there are huge power plays going on within and between parties, countries, etc. We probably as a collective would do better by searching for truth through empirical evidence and taking responsibility for our actions. It is clear our leaders are not doing this, but no need to follow such a poor lead.

Posted by: Alestra | Feb 16 2017 8:20 utc | 106

@103 Hoarsewhisperer

In fact the opposite is true and the meme "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" fits Trump like a glove.

If is Trump is so tough why doesn't take a firm stand on, say, détente with Russia? He is the "most powerful man in the free world" after all. Get up there and say "listen, I was elected on a ticket to bring prosperity back to the American people blahblah etc. etc. and to stop America sacrificing blood and treasure fighting wars abroad that make us less secure. Unlike my former opponent HRC I am not going to court WW3 with Russia. If that bothers some of you out there...Mrs. Clinton, Mr. McCain, Mr. Graham...TOO BAD, you weren't elected president. I was. OK, this is what I'm gonna do..."But instead he panders to the Saudis, whines about the media (free tip: they ain't gonna change) and he's already one man down...and for a trivial infraction at that. Can't wait until shit blows up in Israel.

So far he's keeping his "toughness" well hidden. Tough talking, employee-screwing business/scam artist guy from a privileged background and POTUS under siege are completely different realities.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Feb 16 2017 8:24 utc | 107

@89 The Realdonald, I just love the way you write and weave the images to tell a tale. The reference to Townes Van Zandt was nice, BTW my favourite version is by Gillian Welch and her man (forgot his name)

In this time it is hard to keep despair at arms length, you reflect that reality and ask us to wise up. I wish we would, but somehow the dunya is an examination that we are failing.

Posted by: midan | Feb 16 2017 8:27 utc | 108

For those who remember The Saker during the Maidan coup by the Israeli junta usurpers, read this allegedly The Saker, and then tell me that's the same person as back in Kiev.

Either The Saker is letting a Western political writer post under their name, or The Saker is doing 5 to 10 in a CIA rendition prison, and everything we read is Fake News.

"Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single-handedly saved the world. Where does all this leave us – the millions of anonymous ‘deplorables’ who try as best we can to resist imperialism, war, violence and injustice?"

Us? Deplorables? That's ain't 'The Saker'. It reads like Bannon building the paranoia Endtimes meme. Trump will be gone by June. Will Bannon then execute the Samson Option?

Posted by: chipnik | Feb 16 2017 9:01 utc | 109

The ' real Donald's assertion that so much of Russian history is a sort of Israeli ' conspiracy ' that helped the Bolsheviks slaughter 30 million Orthodox souls is not supported by the many critical histories of Soviet times . Russian police records show that approx. 830.000 political executions took place on Soviet territory between 1921 and 1954 - not the proverbial many millions - .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Feb 16 2017 9:12 utc | 110

I try hard to avoid using the Wikipedia (which certain people can edit) as a source, but sometimes there are few alternatives. Consider this:

/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allegations that the Reagan administration negotiated a delay in the release of the hostages until after the 1980 presidential election have been numerous but unproven. Gary Sick, principal White House aide for Iran and the Persian Gulf on the Carter administration’s National Security Council, claimed in his book October Surprise: America's Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan[149] that CIA Director William Casey and possibly Vice President George H. W. Bush went to Paris to negotiate such a delay. Many others have made the same allegations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis#October_Surprise_conspiracy_theory
\~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now -- Note that William Casey had not been appointed or nominated to his government position as Director of Central Intelligence until after Ronald Reagan had assumed office on January 20, 1981.

Of course, this was never reported or investigated by the Big Agency Media (BAM) at the time.

Why is a little phone call so much important that the treasonous trek to the far side of the world?

Posted by: blues | Feb 16 2017 11:02 utc | 111

Wikipedia has a very good lemma on the September 2016 Deir ez-Zor air raid:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2016_Deir_ez-Zor_air_raid

Crimea Traitor Trump was forgotten that criminal US act, when he shouted to the crowds a couple of weeks later:

“Russia broke the deal, and now they’re shooting, they’re bombing, something like that,” Trump told a rally in Prescott Valley, Arizona. “It should end and it should end fast.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-russia-idUSKCN1242I1

Posted by: From The Hague | Feb 16 2017 12:55 utc | 112

Step 2: "The Russian Crisis" as Trojan Horse for the Walls of Opposition...


"Former Trump adviser Roger Stone calls for investigation of alleged Russia links"

Stone, a lobbyist known as a master of the darker arts of politics, was a senior adviser to Trump at the start of his presidential run but was forced out early on, following a falling-out with others in the inner team. He told the Guardian that he would welcome an inquiry from the justice department into the Russian allegations: “I would relish the opportunity to testify in public under oath on this issue.”

He went on to describe claims that the Trump campaign and associates engaged improperly with Russian intelligence officials as “bunk” based on no proof. He said: “I can speak for myself, there was no collusion, I have no connection with the Russians, I’ve never taken anything from them, I don’t represent them, I’m not talking to some middle man. If the government has evidence that I was colluding with the Russians in Donald Trump’s campaign they should indict me immediately. And if they don’t they should send me a letter apologising, because this is an outrage and a smear.”

Link to roger-stone-trump-investigation-russia-intelligence

Posted by: x | Feb 16 2017 13:23 utc | 113

Iran is only the far side of the world to the tiny fraction of the world's population living in bliss in the Stenching City upon the Hill of Dung. To the rest, it's a pretty central place and the E1 is vanishing peripheral, probably the main cause of the Manifestness of it Destiny (oh, what a burden).

Posted by: Bill Person | Feb 16 2017 14:38 utc | 114

Matts doesn't want to take Putin up on offer to fight ISIS together with Russia.

http://www.salon.com/2017/02/16/mattis-us-not-ready-to-collaborate-militarily-with-russia/

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/02/16/mattis-us-not-ready-to-collaborate-militarily-with-russia.html

IOW. Thanks but no thanks. This Russia detente is not in the cards. Now can we move on to slamming Trumpster for everything else that he's done already that stinks and stop pretending anything has changed for the better when it just got ten times worse. Can we stop pretending the new boss is different from the old boss???

Can you please face reality already so we can discuss what's real instead of the illusion many of you have been peddling for months?!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 16 2017 14:49 utc | 115

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Feb 16, 2017 3:24:57 AM | 106
(If is Trump is so tough why doesn't take a firm stand on blah blah blah)

Tough means resilient. It doesn't mean overbearing, dictatorial or Rambo.

Reasons?
His trustworthy team is nowhere near complete, and that's just the major elements. The (trusted) people he appoints to leading roles will be responsible for vetting and hiring the multitude of minor elements of the team. Dunno how long it takes to assemble a Presidential Team, but "100 days" is probably a guide.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 16 2017 15:06 utc | 116

Circe @115:

... the illusion many of you have been peddling for months?!

Apparently Circe thinks that Trump as outsider and the 'war' against him are "illusions". Yet the following are all too real:

>> Trump's calling CNN, NYTimes, and WaPo "fake news";

>> Trump's saying that US has "killers";

>> Obama's opening NSA intercepts to other agencies so that they could target Flynn;

>> Millions raised in days for quixotic 'recounts';

>> Soros-sponsored protests.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2017 15:08 utc | 117

Trump's trustworthy team: MIC Inc., Wall Street and Zionists. Some team {{blech}}! Trump is a fraud, in over his head, a bloviator creating a monumental mess. He's destroying families, he's tearing them apart, he's stripping them of their healthcare; but taking real good care of the banksters on Wall by removing regulations that check their rampant greed. Real trustworthy...NOT.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 16 2017 15:14 utc | 118

Am i wrong in saying "but the west essentially received Ukraine minus Crimea and Crimea was home to the Black Sea Fleet / nuclear weaponry / what did you expect?" even though Ukraine has not officially gone to the EU yet... ?

Posted by: Au | Feb 16 2017 15:15 utc | 119

Jackrabbit, why don't you go and try to sell ice to the Eskimos; see if they'll buy? You can fool some of the sheeple some of the time...you're a Trump-tool; I get it, but don't try to pull the black is white, down is up routine; not everyone was born yesterday.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 16 2017 15:27 utc | 120

Why do they fail to see this?

The answer is extremely simple--look at the results of their activity. Any hint of success in anything they do? Dare I say that they are competent only in political intrigues? Right now it is not just Middle East of European Politics, it is US herself who is a disaster in the making, or, rather, in progress. Smart, competent people and organizations usually have the opposite effect on things they are doing--they succeed. If bankrupting, morally, economically and militarily, good ole' US is "success", then I am an alien from planet Zoltar. What is happening is a complete mad house.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Feb 16 2017 15:28 utc | 121

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-idUSKBN15U1IK
U.S. lawmakers push for answers on Trump team's Russia ties
A crisis over the relationship between President
aides and Russia deepened on Wednesday as a growing number of Trump's fellow Republicans demanded expanded congressional inquiries into the matter.
Trump sought to focus attention on what he called criminal intelligence leaks about his ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
Trump forced Flynn out on Monday after disclosures he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office, and that he later misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations. etc
There coming for Donald Trump.

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 16 2017 15:36 utc | 122

Hoarsewhisperer@116:

Your post and the one you answer from Temporarily Sane bring to mind the back and forth arguments going on when the Ukraine coup took place and those of Russian heritage in that country were being attacked by the most unsavory elements of the new regime. The cry was then, why doesn't Putin do something? And indeed, villages were being invaded by tanks, people shot on the streets, buildings burned - why doesn't somebody do something?

The larger issue we came to see was that this was exactly what those who aided the coup wanted to happen. It was bait laid for an unready neighbor to wade in and embroil itself in the conflict providing a further excuse for belligerent action on the part of NATO, which apparently already had plans for the occupation of Sevastopol.

Putin held back. He must have had a program ongoing similar to America's frantic preparations for entering the second World War. That would have been vital: many munitions factories were in Eastern Ukraine - that would have been a similar situation to Trump's having so many of the permanent features of the US state under neocon control. And it's why we get these conflicting messages, both from him and from his spokespersons.

I think your message is a good one. While indeed we have misgivings about how Trump seems to be vacillating in his own messaging, it's still early days. The way forward is the way back, but the way back has so many obstacles in the path that have to be cleared away. As there are even now still in Ukraine, where so many innocent lives were taken, not by Russia but by the practitioners of the ethnic cleansing this country, the US, supported.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 16 2017 15:39 utc | 123

@121 smoothie... that's how i see it too.. folks can try to come up explanations why all this is happening as it is to the trump presidency, but regardless of these rationalism's, the wheels have come off the usa's ability to lead or function in any normal sense. the empire is falling apart..

fwiw, i don't read it the same way as hoarsewhisperer here beginning @103 and etc..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2017 15:51 utc | 124

Outstanding piece by Brendan O'Neill:

https://medium.com/@burntoakboy/this-is-fascism-64b98579ed0e#.jvior5chq

Posted by: Carter | Feb 16 2017 16:01 utc | 125

Circe @120:

You can fool some of the sheeple some of the time...you're a Trump-tool
Is Kucinich* a Trump tool? He also believes that Trump faces a determined and dangerous opposition.

* You've said that you admire Kucinich and would support him in a future election.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2017 16:21 utc | 126

sabine @ 93 said: "so what is it, he is a genius who will now be killed of the deep state, or he is someone who should have never been there in the first place?"

Who knows? Good question though. Still early. I'm still waiting for the pro-worker in Mr. Trump to manifest into something concrete.

TS @ 104 said:" 4) Lindsay Graham, John McCain, Mike Pence et al. and the Clintonite corporate wing of the Democratic party are all champing at the bit for war with Russia and Iran and more war generally. They have no plans to limit financial and corporate power. Quite the opposite."

True, but again, I'm still waiting for Mr. Trump to manifest that his actions will be any different than this group of Corporate loving ass-kissers.

Alestra @ 105 said:" We probably as a collective would do better by searching for truth through empirical evidence and taking responsibility for our actions. It is clear our leaders are not doing this, but no need to follow such a poor lead.

TS @ 106 said:" So far he's keeping his "toughness" well hidden. Tough talking, employee-screwing business/scam artist guy from a privileged background and POTUS under siege are completely different realities."

Com'on Mr. Trump, your party owns every branch of the U$ Govt. now, please show us you'all can govern in favor of the middle and working classes like you promised.

America is STILL waiting..

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2017 16:22 utc | 127

james @ 124 said:"the empire is falling apart.."

From your thoughts to the universal ear. I wish it were so, but IMO, the Empire is only getting stronger. Until Mr. Trump can follow his promises to the American people with something other than deporting people, I'll continue to believe he has no intention of changing the Empire's drive towards global corporate domination.

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2017 16:35 utc | 128

Ever wonder about the so-called "Deep State?"

Here's one version: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/02/12/deconstructing-americas-deep-state/


Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2017 16:44 utc | 129

Carter @125:

When they say fascism, they mean democracy.
I disagree. IMO think when they say "fascism", them mean "nationalism".

Those who would bend the Empire to their will, see nationalism (e.g. 'America First') as a threat. They are quite happy with "democracy" as any Clinton voter will tell you: she won the popular vote!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2017 16:44 utc | 130

@ben, 128

but IMO, the Empire is only getting stronger

And that is why the Empire cannot win a single war it started, has the unprecedented financial A-bomb sitting on the top of it, is de-industrialized to the point of turning into the third world economy (FIRE) and is being, literally, blown from the inside. I guess you are right--it is 'getting stronger", especially in being a mad house department.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Feb 16 2017 16:47 utc | 131

The thought occurs to me this morning that the doubling-down on the "Russia is imperiling our democracy" meme was likely a coordinated front ramped up to justify the IC leaking the transcript of Flynn's conversation. Without "imminent threat" the unlawfulness and even self-defeating effect of this leak on actually prosecuting (and investigating) Flynn for anything makes this appear foolhearty. The silence of the Comey has received little attention although he may be called before congress to explain the whys and wherefores and expected outcome/resolution of this "investigation" which has remains properly "discrete" (largely secret).

The obvious question is less "what did trump know and when did he know it?" than "where was and is the FBI in "investigating" all these (apparently long-rumored and long-investigated) Russian ties?

Manafort -- obviously -- has not been indicted ... even though he has been long "convicted" of vague Russia-philic crimes and/or fellow-traveler associations for pushing Yanukovich to lean west towards the EU and NATO (to improve his reelection chances).

The muck is thick on the ground. Trump may be about to give a press conference... oh-joy (snerk)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 16 2017 16:51 utc | 132

A Conservative look at " Deep State":

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/deep-state-america/

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2017 16:53 utc | 133

@125 That is a good Brendan O'Neill piece, although he could have spelled out what the elements of fascism (historically) were.

Best definition of fascism, from its putative founder, Mussolini:
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
In World War II, the major warmongers, Italy, Germany and Japan, all had different flavors of this: the zaibatsus in Japan and the combines in Germany (IG Farben in particular) all played key roles in supporting the rise of the fascist state and its militant expansionary nature.

From this perspective, it is Hillary Clinton, with her many ties to Wall Street, who was more of a fascist threat; when the corporate media and Wall Street and arms dealers all throw their weight behind one candidate, and that candidate has a clearly aggressive foreign policy and a very dishonest approach to domestic policy, that's the candidate that presents the greater fascist threat.

Trump is better defined as a xenophobic nationalist, a demagogue rising a wave of populist anger at rising wealth inequality across the United States. There's no doubt that the Borg would like to absorb him and make him one of their own entirely, and much of his domestic policy agenda is right in line with theirs - but none of that changes the fundamental problems inside much of the United States, from crumbling infrastructure to widespread poverty to low-quality education and health services.

I think this is what the Trump-haters have a hard time grasping: even if Trump is a disaster, his destabilizing effect on the Borg's agenda is a far better situation than if their chosen champion, Hillary Clinton, was at the helm, leading us into World War III.
johnpilger.com/articles/why-the-rise-of-fascism-is-again-the-issue

Posted by: nonsense factory | Feb 16 2017 16:55 utc | 134

Statement about Crimea surprised me, that was a real teller. I expected some vague stuff about Syria (—by now one could say anything at all really without consequence, and Assad is not Putin.) Maybe twitter should ban DT for not respecting their charter, :) ? Mark (@ 2) points to previous statements, which were however not as stark.

telescope @ 8: If détente is dead, then Trump as a politician is dead. Yes. Trump’s support is only, a) some small faction of the PTB, insight? b) his voters, c) a few scattered outsiders, some of whom only support him as the President from various positions, d) lower level personnel in some instituted bodies, mostly in the ‘control’ biz.

If Trump can’t deliver anything to his voters he is toast. By ‘deliver’ the first point is not ‘creating jobs’ - most understand that can’t be immediately accomplished with a fairy wand - but showing strength, hubris, and resolve facing the opposition and valiantly occupying a dominant position, preferably by publically vanquising them on one ‘major’ issue after another, bis repetita.

His ‘base’ - I glom from far off - accepts or even rabidly endorses moves against ‘illegals’ (be they Mex or Syr refugees etc.) plus holds a strong ‘anti-muslim’ stance - ethnicism, racism, softened down to ‘cultural / civilisation values’, which is reserved for non-US muslims. (=> Inclusive nationalism.) Nevertheless, continuing in any way with the “Obama-Killary” foreign policy is perceived as nefarious, deadly by some, or even many.

When will they turn, if *ever*? How long might that take? And then what? Unfortunately, the opposition between the ‘left/right’ or ‘libtards, marxists, social justice warriors, lying Dems’ and ‘right thinking ppl’ is an overwhelming, and endlessly effective, distraction.

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 16 2017 17:05 utc | 135

nonsense factory @134:

... it is Hillary Clinton, with her many ties to Wall Street, who was more of a fascist threat
Bastardization of language is a hallmark of the Machevellian neolibcons. Examples: 1) Trump's 'America First' nationalism and Constitutionalism becomes "fascism"; 2) Hillary (Centrist) is a "progressive that gets things done!" Too many other examples to mention.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2017 17:07 utc | 136

Trump position on Israel-Palestinian issue is the same as .... Iran!
Iran has always claimed they prefer to merge the entity called Israel and the Palestinian lands into one single country with a new name. Based on that declaration Israel has accused Iran of calling for the destruction of Israel.
Iran has added that it would comply to the choice of the Palestinians. Trump said the same!

Posted by: virgile | Feb 16 2017 17:12 utc | 137

Kucinich appeared to be a principled champion of the common man until he took a ride on Air Force One with Oblamblam. When they landed, he'd changed his mind about demanding a Public Health Care Option aka "Public Option".

Kucinich at that point folded like a cheap suit. There would be no Public Option provided in the Health Care Reform Act written by and for the benefit of the big Health Insurance Cartel.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Feb 16 2017 17:17 utc | 138

Trump is slowly discovering the nature and the strength of the dangerous animals that live in the swamp he wants to drain...

Yes, Trump can drain the 'swamp' but he must do this first or get eaten by the alligators"

Posted by: virgile | Feb 16 2017 17:20 utc | 139

@ virgile | 137

Except execution is wildly different. Iran wants a single country with democracy, i.e. Palestinians as majority would rule the country. Israelis prefer entire territory of Palestine to be theirs BUT with Palestinians gone (deported or killed, they dont care which). As far as they are concerned, Jordan is the Palestine.

Trump is just repeating what Nutjobyahoo was always saying, and even when Trump mentioned the possibility of two-state solution, in his scenario Palestinians would be left with even less what they have now.

Obama at least pretended to care about Palestinians, Trump doesnt even pretend - he overtly supports genocide.

Posted by: Harry | Feb 16 2017 17:27 utc | 140

The USA and the EU have excellent relation with Turkey (a NATO member) while North of Cyprus in under an illegal Turkish occupation for 35 years. No country has recognized this artificial country that declared its 'independence' in 1983.

Crimea? Would the West be less hysterical if Crimea becomes an independent country similar to the Turkish republic of North Cyprus?

Posted by: virgile | Feb 16 2017 17:28 utc | 141

Presidential news conference about to start. Ostensible reason to announce the new nominee to be Secretary of Labor, after the original nominee withdrew after it became clear he couldn't get the votes in the Senate. But it will be interesting to see what Trump has to say about the leaks.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 16 2017 17:29 utc | 142

Trump has added more Goldman, Nutty Warmonger, Giant Agribiz, Public Ed Wrecking gators to the swamp than he has removed.

The Obamagator and The Hillarygator are gone, but the swamp system required their peaceful cooperation and departure.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Feb 16 2017 17:34 utc | 143

"The dilemma facing the United States... is encapsulated in the differing perspectives of two former leading exponents of geopolitical strategy, Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In a lecture given in 2016, Kissinger said that the “long-term interests of both countries (US and Russia) calls for a world that transforms the contemporary turbulence and flux into a new equilibrium which is increasingly multi-polar and globalized. Russia should be seen as an essential element of any global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.”

The “erosion of US military-technical advantages” by contrast alarms Brzezinski. Such erosion spells the end of America’s global rule. To Brzezinski, that is highly undesirable, as the result, he argues, would “most probably” be “global chaos.”

To understand that conceptual framework that led to the US led TPP and TTIP one has to go back to 1904. In that year, the Director of the London School of Economics, Sir Halford Mackinder gave a lengthy presentation to the Royal Geographical Society. In that seminal lecture Mackinder set out the framework of the future world.

At its centre was a unitary landmass that he described as the “world island.” The “heartland” of that land mass was, in Mackinder’s terminology, ‘Europe-Asia’, what we would nowadays call Eurasia. Who rules the heartland, he argued, rules the world island, and who commands the world island commands the world.

Other land masses, including Australia and the United States, were relegated to the status of “outlying islands.”

It has taken a century, but that vision is now being turned into reality. During that intervening century there were two great wars that had a devastating impact on Russia and China; colonial exploitation; and the ruthless pursuit of political, economic and military advantage. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 there was, for a relatively brief period, a sole superpower, the United States.

That the United States intended to retain its dominance was made abundantly clear in the 2000 Department of Defence (US) strategy paper, Joint Vision 2020. That document described the strategic objective as “full spectrum dominance”, by which it meant control of land, sea, air, space and cyber space to the exclusion of all others.

Peter Dale Scott described that objective as “arguably insane” but it has underpinned US foreign policy for that last several decades. By way of dramatic contrast, the text of China’s policies on Asia and the Pacific’s security cooperation released on 11 January 2017 represents the antithetical approach to geopolitical relations.

It was a necessary corollary of the full spectrum dominance strategy that the rise of any competing power(s) had to be opposed by all possible means. This has resulted in the bombing of recalcitrant countries; regime change often involving assassinations; invasions and occupations of countries; and economic dominance strategies that manifested themselves in agreements such as the TPP and the TTIP.

Kissinger and Brzezinski differ in their proposed solutions. Whereas Kissinger sees an alliance with Russia as advantageous, Brzezinski would prefer siding with China. Both men therefore effectively argue for a divide and rule strategy, with the desired end result being the retention of US global dominance, albeit tempered by the necessity of co-operation with one or other of the world’s global superpowers.

That ambition does not equate with the geopolitical realities of which the reemergence of China and the enormous potential of the OBOR and its associated economic and financial strategies to fundamentally reorder the geopolitical structure as foreseen by Mackinder more than 100 years ago."

http://journal-neo.org/2017/02/10/one-belt-one-road-a-new-geopolitical-paradigm/


Now that Trump has done an about face toward co-operations with China and aggravating conflict with Russia regarding Crimea, we see Brzezinski's vision immediately moving forward.

http://journal-neo.org/2017/02/15/trump-s-u-turn-promises-co-operation-with-china/

Posted by: No More Neos | Feb 16 2017 17:42 utc | 144

nonsense factory indeed shows how the sausages are made:

take out of context a sentence of some figure from the past

call it "the best definition", add some other non-sequiturs

produce a conclusion

With a rather arbitrary definition of "fascism" it is hardly obvious if that "fascism" is a threat. For example, certain Goldberg (whose opinions do not represent the majority of Goldbergs, AFAIK) noticed that some original fascists had some views which are nowadays classified as "progressive", hence liberals are fascists. For example, Hitler was a vegetarian, and many vegetarians are liberals. So what can we do about the threats of vegetarianism, interstate highways etc.? Corporations, and governments dominated by corporations, clearly pre-date fascism, and it is not very informative to put McKinley, Mussolini and Clinton in the same bag.

One could as well conclude that democracy is a mechanism that allows corporations (and trade associations like AMA or car dealers) to resolve their differences in a peaceful and predictable manner.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 16 2017 17:42 utc | 145

It's very likely that Trump will also announce at the press conference the appointment of New York financier Stephen Feinberg to lead a broad review of U.S. intelligence agencies. Washington Post:
Trump looking at New York billionaire to lead review of U.S. spy agencies
.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 16 2017 17:44 utc | 146

I like a gem from NYT today:

[A Dutch politicians is opposing "association of Ukraine with EU" with the help of info from a friendly "Ukrainian organization"] As Mr. Van Bommel recalled, it “was very handy to show that not all Ukrainians were in favor.”

Handy but also misleading: The most active members of the Ukrainian team were actually from Russia, or from Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, and parroted the Kremlin line.

[He, he. If you are "from Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine", you are a fake and a parrot. Yup.]

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 16 2017 17:47 utc | 147

Is anyone considering the possibility that Trumpian forces leaked the Flynn conversation?

The Logan Act popping up out of nowhere all of a sudden after lying basically dormant for 218 years?

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.

Can Obama, Kerry, Clinton be prosecuted under the Logan Act? And/or Imprisonment.

Stay tuned volken.

Posted by: ALberto | Feb 16 2017 17:55 utc | 148

Harry@140

I think the Palestinians should jump on Trump's wagon and immediately declare that they are in favor of a democratic one state solution. They would ask the US to overlook that execution
That would put Israel on the spot. Either it accepts it and then see the end of the Jewish state of Israel, or refuse it and then would be obliged by the USA to stop the settlements until the two states are negotiated.( that was John Kerry final conclusion)
Netanyhu had a hysterical laugh when Trump talked about a one state solution.
I think Trump is setting a trap to Israel.

Posted by: virgile | Feb 16 2017 17:57 utc | 149

apparently guardian: Deutsche Bank examined Donald Trump's account for Russia links and failed to find anything juicy, even if the loans were granted under questionable circumstances (hence the probe) but wait, wait, there's more -- the Americans are exerting influence lest this scandal die --

The internal review found no evidence of any Russia link, but Deutsche Bank is coming under pressure to appoint an external and independent auditor to review its business relationship with President Trump.

(I could swear there was a German article that found no evidence of undue Russian influence on their election process wrt upcoming elections Die Weit, Der Spiegel? ... It was given zero USasian coverage and I can't find it on google ... anyone?)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 16 2017 17:59 utc | 150

Thank you no nonsense factory for the well thought out posts. A reprieve from the growing dissension present in the comments section here @MoA..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 16 2017 18:01 utc | 151

Pepe Escobar's latest article, "The Strike Swamps Back" tempts me to agree with Circe that the Deep State wants Trump, and this is why Flynn was removed. He was a liability. He quotes a high level insider source, "X".

article: http://thesaker.is/the-swamp-strikes-back/

Posted by: David | Feb 16 2017 18:06 utc | 152

Mr. Hope and Change v.2.0 has finally showed his true colors and it isn't orange, but yellow. He caved on Flynn who might or might not of said something to the Russian Ambassador. When he needed to show spine, he showed his yellow back.

Face it, Americans are on our own and the only way out of this nightmare will take lots of lead and lots of blood. Or consign yourself, your family and grandkids to eternal slavery.

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Feb 16 2017 18:45 utc | 153

@149 "I think the Palestinians should jump on Trump's wagon and immediately declare that they are in favor of a democratic one state solution. They would ask the US to overlook that execution
That would put Israel on the spot." Excellent posting.

Posted by: Jocelyn Braddell | Feb 16 2017 18:56 utc | 154

Also a comment by the Angry Arab: Trump is the first US president who is open to the idea of the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of a secular democratic state in all of Palestine.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil

Posted by: Jocelyn Braddell | Feb 16 2017 19:03 utc | 155

The Progresive Dems identify with the violence organs because that is their function in the US power system. According the sociologist William Baumhof, most of the ruling capitalists are Republicans, but need to appeal to the people to make war and repression. That is the function of the Dem party, to Proclaim that they are on the side of the people, and lead them to war in the interests of the oligarchy that finances them.

In EVERY case in the 20th century when the Dem president has been re-elected, he has taken the US to war, usually after campaigning for election on a peace platform. In 1916, Wilson went to war after campaigning that 'he kept us out of war.' in 1940, Roosevelt campaigned on no foreign wars, and led the US into world war 2. Truman into the Korean war in 1950. Lyndon Johnson, after characterizing Goldwater as a war monger, led the US into the Vietnam war in 1964. Clinton led the US into the Yugoslav war in 1996. Obama into the Syrian

Posted by: folktruther | Feb 16 2017 19:07 utc | 156

155

Did you mean G. William Domhoff and his "Who Rules America?"

Posted by: Captain Cook | Feb 16 2017 19:38 utc | 157

wow - trump's press conference was an amazing spectacle.. I'm a little more relieved - he gave me the impression that he's not going to bend to any pressure afterall and ruined the MSM

Posted by: aaaa | Feb 16 2017 19:43 utc | 158

In many of the comments in this post there is lots of handwringing, speculations on Trump’s character less than one month of his taking office on January 20.

Never throw stones at a house made of glass. Do not accuse Russia’s FSB of inter-meddling USA 2016 elections.

Sen. Chuck Grassley need not have cite the 1940s; there are recents.

Senator Finally Admits The Truth: America's Hands Are Just As Dirty As Russia's
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-15/senator-finally-admits-truth-americas-hands-are-just-dirty-russias

Only 4 years ago, the French 2012 presidential elections.

WikiLeaks Releases Documents On Alleged CIA Spying On French Presidential Candidates

Link

The seven pages of documents appear to be classified orders for intelligence operatives to gather information regarding candidates’ political strategies and internal communications. WikiLeaks’ release of the documents comes amid growing tensions between Trump and the intelligence community over leaks of classified
information that have portrayed people close to Trump in a negative light.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I give kudos to Hoarsewhisperer @ 103, 116

So when even the pundits aren't quite sure what's going on then Trump is winning. It's also interesting that Public support for Trump reflects the election results. If that's an isolated/ marginalised position (in a democracy) then I'm Father Xmas. Trump is a negotiator. Setbacks are part and parcel of negotiations. There's nothing in Trump's history to support the notion that he surrenders at the first sign of trouble. In fact the opposite is true and the meme "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" fits Trump like a glove.


Rasmussen tracking poll has Trump's support at 55%, 2017.02.16

www.rasmussenreports.com

Memory is short as in a nano-second. Underestimating.
Those who expect Trump to quit are dreamers among the coffins deep in the cemetery. Trump slayed 16 seasoned politicians, the Bush and Clinton dynasties, 100 MSM journals had endorsed HRC – she had a 90% chance at the WH. Oh, and Newsweek’s 'Madame President' who recently tweeted on Flynn's resignation --Pizzagate comets!

I am tempted to ask Hillary; what does Flynn know? He may be stripped of his title but he will work in the background.

Be careful Hillary. Gitmo remains open.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

@ Chipnik @ 106.

Always read your interesting comments but really, Trump gone by June? And we will have Pence-Ryan! Oh dear.


I may not agree with Trump putting Isr..l’s Khazars first, but the Mcstain, Southern belle Graham and disloyal IC detractors are in for a big surprise.

I take a likkle comfort in Trump’s embrace of Bibi, in that there is a Mossad positive. Identify the leakers and co-conspirators aiding to undermine Trump’s presidency. In fact, the see-aye-a may just loose the support and cooperation of Mossad. I anticipate a cleansing of the BushRinos-Clinton-Obama loyalists.

Posted by: likklemore | Feb 16 2017 19:46 utc | 159

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/02/14/a-win-for-the-deep-state/

Posted by: okie farmer | Feb 16 2017 20:04 utc | 160

@154

I've seen some delusional statements regarding Trump; but that one gets first prize.

Do you honestly think Zionists are going to allow for a one-state with equal rights for all??? Honestly, I'm reeling at the level of bullshit. Do you realize that since the partition, Zionists have stolen more than half of the half Palestinians were entitled to? Do you think Zionists went through all that trouble to build all over the West Bank and insist everyone capitulate to the Jewish State racist meme only to allow for Palestinians to become the majority in a one state? It's sickening the amount of delusional bullshit people project on Trump; you need a shovel to get to the truth.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 16 2017 20:18 utc | 161

Jackrabbit @130

Nationalism = democratic nation states.

The Left has redefined fascism to attack democracy.

Posted by: Carter | Feb 16 2017 20:30 utc | 162

virgile @ 149: Great suggestion!

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2017 20:43 utc | 163

fwiw, I don't think that "hitting the campaign trail" is going to do diddly-squat to reassure foreign governments or domestic republicans or financiers ... his poll numbers and "ratings" may improve ... but they're "fake news" anyway according to him ... no, think retreating to his "comfort zone" and leaving the "business of governance" to the gang back home in the Oval Office is going to do little more than give him some personal validation and relief ... more vacation days.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 16 2017 20:53 utc | 164

ooh, just had a scary thought that this "hitting the campaign circuit" may well have been Bannon's idea ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 16 2017 20:57 utc | 165

Wall Street just closed for the day. It was the first day in a while that the stock market didn't make substantial gains. Market was mixed: S&P 500 down 2 points, DJIA up 8 points.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 16 2017 21:16 utc | 166

Give the leakers a medal! Trump wants to go after the leakers; he wants to throw them in prison, because he does nothing but LIE. If not for the leakers, many would still believe ZERO civilians were killed in Yemen because that's the statement this Administration gave to the press until an anonymous source leaked the truth! We would never know that Flynn LIED when he said he didn't talk about the sanctions. Other leaks were less significant but all point to a pattern of blatant deception by this Administration.

Bless the leakers for the risk they're assuming. Trump is a pants-on-fire Pinocchio!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 16 2017 21:16 utc | 167

@164 Susan Wallflower

well he did go for a "thank you tour" to the three states that helped him win the electoral vote.
and hey, whats not to like, sign a few executive orders on friday and make the live of many fucking miserable, you know the latinos, the poor, the underinsured, the single mothers, the women with unborn or preborn children parked in their uteruses - or should we call these women "hosts".

So yeah, he is gonna fish for love, cause he needs it. And he knows that his shitheel character aint gonna get no love from anyone but a fellow shitheel.

so tell us wehn is dear leader gonna save the world from world war three?

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 16 2017 21:18 utc | 168

Trump just said good relations with Russia would be a good thing because it would avoid the "nuclear holocaust" that is always possible between two countries armed as much as the U.S. and Russia are. And he's actually being criticized for mentioning the possibility of a nuclear holocaust. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/16/trump-raises-spectre-nuclear-holocaust-amid-questioning-russia/

No matter what Trump says, the anti-Trump idiots will find something to criticize in it.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 16 2017 21:26 utc | 169

he intends to do some fiddling while Rome burns, imho, in terms of his own power ...

my impression is that a number of republicans are now fence straddling ... the events of the last week (including Mar-a-Lago) may have shaken their patience and "confidence" that Trump can be reined in and/or will settle down to work. Having the deep-state pull a leak of this seriousness (leaking intercepted conversation with a foreign dignitary along afaict vague suggestions of multiple other leaks about other conversations)... most those folks may decide they'd rather deal with no-drama Pence ... sooner rather than later.

The alternative might be that he will use these rallies to fire-up his base in his defense (and against all naysayers) ... that could be more than a mistake, a disaster... Like the Clinton army, he's still too easily drawn into re-running the election (he won) ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 16 2017 21:31 utc | 170

@149 virgile.. re trap for israel.. i doubt it very much, although if trump were to really get behind his ''support for america'' sales pitch, that would be an excellent place to start..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2017 21:36 utc | 171

@168

so dear leader is gonna save the world from a nuclear holocaust with russia to kill the world in a nuclear holocaust with any of the other nations that have nuclear weapons?

this reminds me of the movie the second civil warhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Second_Civil_War which starts casue someone wants to bring in the orphans from a nuclear holocaust in Pakistan.

fuck me. I know the world is in deep shit, but i don't think that a nuclear holocaust would be the thing that is going to kill us.

I still hedge my bets on floods, fires, islands drowning in raising seawaters, crop failures etc etc etc, remember all the shit the pentagon postulated about in 2003 in their assesment of global warming.

To me the era of Trump is the beginning of resource wars. Water and oil. Nothing more nothing left. The rest is just bullshit to keep people apart from organising and creating better societies for themselves.

So know you have a fucking self-serving shitheel, who in his life has done never anything to benefit anyone but himself, running around pretending to save the future by wanting to go to business with russia?

He would have less of a hard time if just fucking once he spoke the truth, and as with many liars, if he were to speak the truth, not a one would believe him.

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 16 2017 21:36 utc | 172

ps - pat lang seems to agree with you though.. we'll see..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2017 21:38 utc | 173

So the Trumpster's off to Florida for a rally on Saturday. I in high school when JFK was shot so I've seen a few presidents but I ain't never seen a fucking rally before. Is it like a cult of personality or something?

I watched the presser today. Lotsa red meat for the beliebers. Wait till Saturday. It's gonna be jammin.


Posted by: peter | Feb 16 2017 21:43 utc | 174

yes, and Flynn's criminal "competing foreign policy agenda" was apparently to suggest that the Russians not over-react to the new Obama sanctions .... or something .... fodder for no-quid-pro-quo jokes, imho.

I loathe Trump, but this leak and this campaign is more threatening to "our democracy" than anything I've heard of wrt "Russian interference" via DNC leaks or "fake news" or much less "Trump's Russian financial ties" ...

Regime change -- by whatever method -- tends to result in dangerous power grabs by the rich and powerful, rarely some "emancipatory" new beginning ... Trump's reaction to this leak and the intelligence community is likely to be repressive ... see also "the press", see also "internet neutrality" ... Victory by bear-baiting doesn't end well.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 16 2017 21:57 utc | 175

Interesting analysis of today's Trump presser:

http://theduran.com/breaking-two-important-comments-donald-trumps-press-conference/

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 16 2017 23:36 utc | 176

By Mercouris.. forgot to add, sorry..

Posted by: Lozion | Feb 16 2017 23:38 utc | 177

@ 176 Susan

Regime change -- by whatever method -- tends to result in dangerous power grabs by the rich and powerful, rarely some "emancipatory" new beginning ... Trump's reaction to this leak and the intelligence community is likely to be repressive ... see also "the press", see also "internet neutrality" ... Victory by bear-baiting doesn't end well.


well so all is well then? By hook and by crook, the swamp wins and all the others get screwed.

Personally i find dear leader just plain disgusting, i find his entourage and the so called republicans equally disgusting in a very bodily sense.

But then any country that votes for someone who publicly admits to have no issues deproting millions cause race, banning millions more cause race, subjugating millions cause gender will only get what it deserves.

All this bullshit about Russia is just hogwash, Putin will do what Putin wants to do and nothing more nothing less.

In the meantime, people are being harassed at the boarder and forced to give away passwords to their electronic devices - citizens or not, women are being forced to either live without sex or breed until they die or their uterus gives up, gays can be bashed again daily cause why not?, lets not speak about those that are gender fluid, or not heterosexual in the most vanilla missionary style....but all of that can be forgive, cause dear leader is gonna stop world war three with Russia while the country drowns in a lake of oil leaks, lead in water, poisoned air, exploding water taps and shit.

priorities priorities.
And i especially loathe the ones that support that abomination of a human, because they clearly believe that what ever shit he rains down on his country will not affect them, cause male, heterosexual, white, old, rich bullshit.


Really it is interesting to see so many people discuss the mouse while ignoring the elephant. But maybe there are just many that have no issue with the US (and i mean the country/people) being reduced to third world level cause clearly the young ones and the babies of the country have it coming. Cause the past. Can't make that shit up.

Posted by: Sabine | Feb 16 2017 23:44 utc | 178

Outraged @86 & 99--

Interesting ideas. Trump announced he was going on the offensive versus the "intelligence community;" perhaps the Big Stick's coming out, especially his calling out the entire media's false Russia/Putin did it bull shit stories--his tone was fierce rising up from the transcript! Apparently, the Tillerson Lavrov meet was an amateurish bust, with Tillerson apparently never having read Minsk2, although the limited discussion dovetails with Trump's media assault, https://sputniknews.com/politics/201702161050766466-tillerson-lavrov-meeting-awkward-moment/

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 17 2017 0:28 utc | 179

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 16, 2017 7:28:14 PM | 180

Just watched the entire press conference on youtube. Trump will never be 'Presidential', yet he certainly got his message across clearly re the 'lying, dishonest, very Fake News' Media, with particular emphasis on the criminality of sensitive classified leaks. The open denunciation of the whole false Evil Russkies narrative as an obvious 'Ruse' was quite entertaining and openly dismissive.

Tillerson is out of his depth as he has no deputy confirmed and lacks experienced advisors or suatined lenghty assimilation through briefings, IMV. Not knowing the specifics of MinskII (IIRC contains no reference re Crimea) is poor form tho ... just showing the flag, making a public appearance, getting his feet(toes(?)) wet ... though positive in direct contradiction to the 'reported' noises from Mattis re 'no military co-operation' with Russia. Tillerson is third in line to Trump, far senior to Mattis as SecDef.

Trump clearly indicated otherwise to Mattis re Russia, especially emphasising ISIS again, if at all possible. Made noises didn't want war with any country ... tho still re-gurgitates the terrorism myths re Iran :(

Can cripple the supra-national/supra-legal NSA/GCHQ/CSE/ASD/etc inter-agency alliances by revoking the original 1952 Truman PDD(EO) & therefore return the functions to Military/UCMJ control. Requires no congressional approval, no legislation ... perchance, if they push too hard, he'll swipe that mere pen, with a flourish ;)

National Security Archive - The National Security Agency
Declassified - Document 2b: National Security Council Intelligence Directive No. 9, Communications Intelligence, December 29, 1952
- (Declassified memo PDF download)

Overview & context:
President Truman's memorandum revokes the provisions of NSCID 9 with regard to the composition, responsibilities, and procedures of the U.S. Communications Intelligence Board. It establishes the USCIB as an entity "acting for and under" a newly created Special Committee of the National Security Council for COMINT, consisting of the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.

More significantly, Truman's memo, along with a Department of Defense directive, established NSA, and transformed communications intelligence from a military activity divided among the three services to a unified national activity. (Note 3) Thus, the first sentence states that "The communications intelligence (COMINT) activities of the United States are a national responsibility."

The memorandum instructs the Special Committee to issue a directive to the Secretary of Defense which defines the COMINT mission of NSA as being to "provide an effective, unified organization and control of the communications intelligence activities of the United States conducted against foreign governments." Thus, "all COMINT collection and production resources of the United States are placed under his operational and technical control."

The directive provided the NSA director with no authority regarding the collection of electronic intelligence (ELINT)—such as intelligence obtained from the interception of the emanations of radarsor of missile telemetry. Responsibility for ELINT remained with the military services.

NSCID 9 of December 1952 replaces its 1950 predecessor as mandated by Truman's directive. Often using identical language to that in the Truman directive, it revises the responsibilities of the United States Communications Intelligence Board as well as defining the role of the newly created National Security Agency and enumerating the responsibilities of its director.

National Security Archive - The National Security Agency
Declassified - Briefing books 2005

Posted by: Outraged | Feb 17 2017 1:35 utc | 180

@171 suzy, 'he's still too easily drawn into re-running the election (he won) ... '

that's the only thing he can do 'well'. even b used to call him a genius ... at baiting the fascist fish. at 'governing' ... not so much.

the usa ... all entertainment, all the time. and it's 'pure' pornography.

@176, 'I loathe Trump, but this leak and this campaign is more threatening to "our democracy" than anything I've heard of ...'

certainly agree with you there. the dnc/nsa/cia combine against the people with ... half of them? ... and certainly all of the tnc media siding with the combine.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 17 2017 1:41 utc | 181

@135 nonsense factory
@137 Jackrabbit

Fair call to you both.

I would posit that what we have just witnessed in the last 8 years is indeed rule by the fascist left. And the left (or the twisted wreck it now is) hate it when told that it happened under their hero's watch, the Silver Tongued Assassin Barry'O.

When the unlimited chequbook of the NSA is enhanced beyond imagination, to a status of behemoth, by pairing it with the ultra efficiency of a global giant like google. Google, which knows what you had foe breakfast, is just one of a myriad of private entities brought to state bidding under Barry'O.

We should not delude ourselves, Trump's cabinet is reeking of 'same shit, different bucket' - except the exposés we're witnessing already so far of an empire in decay is something I didn't think I would ever witness in my lifetime. And sometimes pragmatism says 'fight fire with fire'

To the "Trump was chosen" brigade, good luck with your reality.

@Noirette, SmoothieX12 - enjoying your commentary the last few threads. Moar!

Posted by: MadMax2 | Feb 17 2017 2:21 utc | 182

Nationalism = democratic nation states.
The Left has redefined fascism to attack democracy.
Posted by: Carter | Feb 16, 2017 3:30:27 PM | 163

Yes.

And under Hellary, the powerful merger of Public State and Corporate State was to be complete. 5 big Media entities, beating the drums of Hellary's Wars...all the time.

At least with Trukp, the media I acting how it should - albeit way of the top - as a pushback against authority. One just needs the perspective of the last 28 years to know how out of hand and owned the media is.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Feb 17 2017 2:29 utc | 183

@129 ben.. i can see it that way too.. i just think the wheels are coming off the whole thing..

Posted by: james | Feb 17 2017 2:29 utc | 184

Trump's Press Conference

I think the most interesting question has fallen thru the cracks:

What did Flynn say, or not say, to VP Pence?

Think it through. If Trump was fine with what Flynn did (as he claimed at the presser), why would he be concerned about Flynn's not be 100% truthful or evasive with Pence???

IMO There's only one answer to that makes any sense. VP Pence demanded to know (yes, demanded) if Trump asked Flynn to ask the Russians to not respond to Obama's sanctions.

Think about it. Flynn MUST have known of Obama's executive order to share the NSA transcripts. So there's no reason for Flynn to be evasive or untruthful about what he had said to the Russian ambassador.

If true this implies:

1) Trump dodged a bullet;

2) Pence is not in the inner circle and is actually a risk.

Pence is a long-time friend of McCain's. They visited Iraq together more than 10 years ago in a controversial publicity-stunt visit that caused people to get killed. Pence endorsed McCain's campaign last fall over Trump's objection. Note: Pence was only brought on by Trump as a means of making peace with the Republican Party - (and he seemed to regret his choice the next day).

Pence as frenemy helps to explain what Jack (at SST) noted: "Pence was on one side of the first row whereas Bannon and Kushner were right in the middle of that first row. I'm sure the kremlinologists will have fun with that."

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

PS I've been saying for days that Trump HAD to dump Flynn because retaining him risked bringing down the Administration and that any appearance of a change in policy/tone should be discounted given Trump's need to secure his Administration. Mercouris now has the same view (see Lozion @177).

Trump could not have pushed back on his critics the way he did at this presser if he had not said goodbye to Flynn.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2017 3:04 utc | 185

Shout-out to ben who first called for Trump to take his message to the people (to prove his sincerity and to counter his critics).

That's exactly how Trump started his presser.

I think Trump's willingness to use the bully pulpit is one of the key difference with political puppets like Obama.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2017 3:09 utc | 186

Posted by: juliania | Feb 16, 2017 10:39:37 AM | 124
(I think your message is a good one.)

Thanks for your kind words.
I don't know how Trump's Presidency is going to unfold but I was inspired by the first words He uttered after being sworn in. You can read them for yourself over at Pat Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis. It's the basis of his 21st January blog entry and is a faithful reproduction of what Trump said. In my opinion (and Colonel Lang's) it's a short-list of promises, quite different from the mealy-mouthed & meaningless platitudes uttered by Obama for 8 years.
Considering the size of his support base (circa 50% of the population) he can't afford to break those promises. Imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 17 2017 3:29 utc | 187

wow - trump's press conference was an amazing spectacle.. I'm a little more relieved - he gave me the impression that he's not going to bend to any pressure afterall and ruined the MSM
Posted by: aaaa | Feb 16, 2017 2:43:42 PM | 159

Just watched that performance and I have to agree...Trump totally unmoved and doubling down. I guess it is safe to say that he is well and truly back on the front foot. Though, no one should be surprised, he's been unafraid for over 12 months.

Funny thing though, no mention of the IC now quite obviously in deep, deep shite on the national radio news on the hour (in a US lackey state) - in stark contrast to the mere hint of a potential slip up by Trump which is deemed newscycle worthy for 24 hours minimum. No, the 5I's shall not have the light of day shed upon them.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Feb 17 2017 4:10 utc | 188

You are welcome, Hoarsewhisperer.

Over at emptywheel's site I read this in a comment by Mister Lady on the Flynn episode, that it was quite possibly a red herring to deflect from the following partial excerpt below:

"...This all has to be viewed in the context of ICC’s imminent decision on referral of CIA torture to the Pre-Trial Chamber. UN Special Procedures have characterized CIA torture with the term of art “systematic and widespread.” That means it is a crime against humanity, that is, legally, what the Nazis did. The Nuremberg Principles get invoked and it’s open season on CIA torturers in any jurisdiction in the world, with no statute of limitations. Torture is unique because of US accession to the Convention Against Torture. The treaty body has indicated unsatisfactory response to urgent issues and could make public the results of a confidential investigation. Italy and Portugal are cooperating on the international criminal law obligation erga omnes to prosecute and extradite suspects. Two treaty bodies have insisted on command responsibility as a requisite for treaty compliance. CIA can’t just lock up a couple hillbillies. CIA heads are on the chopping block."

As I remember, the US doesn't recognize the ICC, but that bit about the Convention Against Torture is interesting - I'm not sure, maybe somebody can help on this, what the term "acession" means here - does it mean the US is a signatory?

Posted by: juliania | Feb 17 2017 4:31 utc | 189

@ Posted by: juliania | Feb 16, 2017 11:31:30 PM | 190

Yes. Ratified & therefore legally binding, & under jurisdiction as 'Crime against Humanity', ICC signatory or not, given the above. See:

Accession

"Accession" is the act whereby a state accepts the offer or the opportunity to become a party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other states. It has the same legal effect as ratification. Accession usually occurs after the treaty has entered into force. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, in his function as depositary, has also accepted accessions to some conventions before their entry into force. The conditions under which accession may occur and the procedure involved depend on the provisions of the treaty. A treaty might provide for the accession of all other states or for a limited and defined number of states. In the absence of such a provision, accession can only occur where the negotiating states were agreed or subsequently agree on it in the case of the state in question.

[Arts.2 (1) (b) and 15, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969]

What is the difference between signing, ratification and accession of UN treaties? (ask.un.org)

Note, IIRC, previous administrations have openly declared a willingness to utilize military force to protect &/or retrieve any US citizens/soldiers arrested/prosecuted under ICC authority (ICC unrecognized).

Posted by: Outraged | Feb 17 2017 5:06 utc | 190

Here is Trump's excuse at today's press conference for going after the leakers and it should give everyone pause.:

What happens when I'm dealing with the problems in the Middle East are you folks going to be reporting all of that very, very confidential information, very important...very...I mean at the highest level. Are you going to be reporting on that too?

Notice what Trump is doing here. He's not only threatening the leakers with criminal prosecution; he's warning the press if you print the leak you will be prosecuted as well.

Now let's take the example of the Yemen raid. The statement the administration put out to the media was riddled with deception and omission. It's only when an anonymous source leaked the truth to the press that the administration started to reveal facts about the mission and then put out a fake video to try to justify it and cover their ass for what went wrong.

So if Trump threatens both the leakers and the press with criminal prosecution; WE WILL NEVER GET THE TRUTH FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION AND IT WILL NEVER BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

So we know that Trump is continuing with Saudi collaboration in Yemen and proposing collaboration for safe zones in Syria. Trump has already insisted that he will not give the press a heads up for any future military operations; he repeated this at the press conference. Therefore, not only will we be in the dark, should he decide to launch some kind of offensive in Syria or Iraq, or collaborate with the Saudis in some black ops, but just imagine if they carry out a false flag or some kind of provocative manoeuvre to implicate Iran? How will we ever be able to prove deception with repressive secrecy and no transparency?

The fact that he wants to be secretive on military policy in the Middle East region, the fact that he threatens leakers and the press this way should give us great pause.

I don't trust him as far as I can spit. I detest his obsession with Iran. What he threatened in the press conference today that no one is picking up on is exactly what I predicted months ago: Trump's Presidency will be the most deceptive and opaque ever.

Americans have a right to know such things, especially after the fabrications justifying the Iraq War, and the world also has a right to know.

His threats to leakers and the press and the secrecy he wants to exercise regarding military missions reek of fascism.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 17 2017 5:17 utc | 191

Some things above top secret are and have been illegal to publish:

/~~~~~~~~~~
Trump needs some blood on the floor and they got plenty.

http://theduran.com/general-flynns-accusers-broke-law/

Posted by: x | Feb 15, 2017 11:56:32 AM | 123

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/02/the-flynn-defenestration-will-hamper-trumps-foreign-policy.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b7c8d65b16970b
\~~~~~~~~~~

/~~~~~~~~~~
The law which was broken is carefully explained by Glenn Greenwald who is a lawyer himself

Gen. Michael Flynn, was forced to resign on Monday night as a result of getting caught lying about whether he discussed sanctions in a December telephone call with a Russian diplomat. The only reason the public learned about Flynn’s lie is because someone inside the U.S. government violated the criminal law by leaking the contents of Flynn’s intercepted communications.

In the spectrum of crimes involving the leaking of classified information, publicly revealing the contents of SIGINT — signals intelligence — is one of the most serious felonies. Journalists (and all other nongovernmental citizens) can be prosecuted under federal law for disclosing classified information only under the narrowest circumstances; reflecting how serious SIGINT is considered to be, one of those circumstances includes leaking the contents of intercepted communications, as defined this way by 18 § 798 of the U.S. Code:

Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates … or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes … any classified information … obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

That Flynn lied about what he said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was first revealed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who has built his career on repeating what his CIA sources tell him. In his January 12 column, Ignatius wrote: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”

That “senior U.S. government official” committed a serious felony by leaking to Ignatius the communication activities of Flynn. Similar and even more extreme crimes were committed by what the Washington Post called “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls,” who told the paper for its February 9 article that “Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.” The New York Times, also citing anonymous U.S. officials, provided even more details about the contents of Flynn’s telephone calls.

That all of these officials committed major crimes can hardly be disputed. In January, CNN reported that Flynn’s calls with the Russians “were captured by routine U.S. eavesdropping targeting the Russian diplomats.” That means that the contents of those calls were “obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of [a] foreign government,” which in turn means that anyone who discloses them — or reports them to the public — is guilty of a felony under the statute.Some things above top secret are illegal to publish.
http://theduran.com/general-flynns-accusers-broke-law/
\~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by: blues | Feb 17 2017 6:33 utc | 192

@181 or, 'Tillerson is third in line to Trump, far senior to Mattis as SecDef.'

the organizational chart is a relic of the age of the rule of law. remember Secretary of State Kerry's ceasefire? and Secretary of War (cia mole) Carter's subsequent order to the IS, formerly US, AF and their 'accidental' massacre of 120 of the SAA? SecWar is now way out ahead of SecState, and if they feel tee-rex is a real problem, the cia'll whack him too when they whack tee-rump.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 17 2017 6:35 utc | 193

@193 blues, 'anyone who discloses them — or reports them to the public — is guilty of a felony'

another relic of the age of the rule of law. now depends who you are ... dnc/nsa/cia ... 'good guys' ... no problem. all others ... 'bad guys' ... big trouble. similar to the way things have always operated in thailand.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 17 2017 6:41 utc | 194

@193

Oh please, there are leakers in every Administration! Only Trump is threatening to prosecute them and the press as accomplices. You didn't bother to address how this Administration already lied and concealed information regarding the Yemen operation. You didn't address how such repression can lead to another Iraq casus belli.

As a matter of fact you're deflecting with a bunch of legal spiel as in pettifoggery. You'll defend just about anything he does or says.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 17 2017 6:47 utc | 195

{Quote} You didn't bother to address how this Administration already lied and concealed information regarding the Yemen operation. You didn't address how such repression can lead to another Iraq casus belli. {End quote}

No one thinks the Trump administration initiated the Yemen operation. In fact most opine that it was just another after-effect of the Obama administration.

I assume you are quite knowledgeable regarding the craft of pettifoggery.

"The government lied"! Eternal damnation absolutely assured!

Posted by: blues | Feb 17 2017 7:19 utc | 196

Plot thickens or something -- fbi says that when they interviewed Flynn he did not mention santions talk, when they asked him specifically, he said he didn't remember. They felt he was being honest and honestly did not remember ...
No mention of who else (if anyone) interviewed him versus that FBI interview then being compared to the transcripts of the calls (when obtained by the NSA not mentioned, but I recall reading the intercepts were found when they were looking backwards after the failure of the Russians to react to Obama's new sanctions??)
cnn.

Flynn changed story to FBI, no charges expected

By Evan Perez, CNN Justice Correspondent
Updated 2317 GMT (0717 HKT) February 16, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 01: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn answers questions in the briefing room of the White House February 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Flynn said the White House is "officially putting Iran on notice" for a recent missile test and support for Houthi rebels in Yemen. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Now Playing FBI not expected to file...
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, U.S. national security advisor, arrives to a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump today mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a "hallmark of our democracy." (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
Flynn's fall is tip of the iceberg
Flynn Kardashian split
These things lasted longer than Flynn ...
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn sits before U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a joint press conference at the White House on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. The two answered questions from American and Japanese press. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WH: Eroded trust leads to Flynn dismissal

Spicer: Trump asked for Flynn's resignation
Mitch McConnell
McConnell: Probe of Flynn is 'highly likely'
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn gestures as he arrives at Trump Tower, November 17, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Michael Flynn out as national security adviser
Mnuchin
Mnuchin: Current sanctions on Russia in place
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 01: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn answers questions in the briefing room of the White House February 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Flynn said the White House is "officially putting Iran on notice" for a recent missile test and support for Houthi rebels in Yemen. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Trump's national security adviser resigns
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 01: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn answers questions in the briefing room of the White House February 1, 2017 in Washington, DC. Flynn said the White House is "officially putting Iran on notice" for a recent missile test and support for Houthi rebels in Yemen. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)Now Playing
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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn sits before U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hold a joint press conference at the White House on February 10, 2017 in Washington, DC. The two answered questions from American and Japanese press. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WH: Eroded trust leads to Flynn dismissal

Spicer: Trump asked for Flynn's resignation
Mitch McConnell
McConnell: Probe of Flynn is 'highly likely'
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Mnuchin: Current sanctions on Russia in place
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Story highlights
Flynn was fired by President Donald Trump earlier this week
The FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers
Washington (CNN)The FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn regarding a phone call with Russia's ambassador, barring new information that changes what they know, law enforcement officials told CNN Thursday.

Flynn was fired by President Donald Trump earlier this week after it was revealed that he withheld information from Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the US. A US official confirmed to CNN last week that Flynn and Kislyak discussed sanctions, among other matters, during a December call.
Flynn initially told investigators sanctions were not discussed. But FBI agents challenged him, asking if he was certain that was his answer. He said he didn't remember.
The FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn't remember all of what he talked about, they don't believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say.

Further, then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates delayed notifying the White House until after Flynn was interviewed. At that point, FBI Director James Comey did not object to notifying the White House counsel.

An ugly aspect is how this has been used to solidify and expand on the Russian boogieman narrative ... and make whatever conversation occurred about the sanctions seem "significant" --- even OMG OMG OMG critical --- even gasp the stuff of accusations of "treason" -- FBI says they do not foresee "charges" ["Law enforcement officials" not named no mention of need to speak off the record]

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 17 2017 7:53 utc | 197

sorry about that -- many apologies -- it's late, I'm tired

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Feb 17 2017 7:54 utc | 198

Clinton is the target; the 'secret' service, the shooting range.

Link to smears-distract-clintons-crimes

Posted by: x | Feb 17 2017 8:13 utc | 199

About 'support bases' or % of the population supporting so and so, its more like 25% for clinton and 25% for trump and 50% did vote for either.

While there is greater cognition now of what I wrote about deep state faction vs deep state faction, there is still hardly any contextualisation of criticism against trump. Seriously, what would dear hillary be doing if she were potus?

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Feb 17 2017 8:23 utc | 200

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