Trump’s Timidity is Letting Comey Off the Hook

By Ray McGovern, December 4, 2018

A gutless performance, except for the three House oversight committee chairs who had the courage to live up to their Constitutional responsibility and expose the machinations of the Deep State and, inevitably, its key accomplice — the media.  The chairs are about to be knocked over, now that those sitting on them have been “thrown under the bus.”

Hey, Mr. Trump! Tear Down That Deep-State Wall Of Secrecy

By David Stockman, December 3, 2018

Excerpts; Then Ray Commentary

“The Deep State thrives and milks the public treasury so successfully in large part because the Imperial City’s corps of permanent policy apparatchiks like Comey and Brennan (and thousands more) pretend to be performing god’s work. So doing, they preen sanctimoniously to the adoration of their sycophants in the mainstream media, claiming to be above any governance or sanction from the unwashed electorate…

“The president has the unquestioned constitutional power to both appoint and fire his own cabinet, sub-cabinet and upwards of 3,000 Schedule C policy jobs; and also to declassify (See below) anything lurking behind the Deep State’s massive wall of unjustified secrecy if he deems it in the public interest.

“Accordingly, Trump could have and should have fired Jeff Sessions long before he did and Rod Rosenstein even before that. After all, it is the spinelessness of the former and the Deep State treachery of the latter, that launched the hideous Mueller witch-hunt in the first place and that keeps it going from one absurdity to the next ridiculous over-reach. …

“The Brennan Report—The Foundational Document of the RussiaGate Witch-Hunt

(also known as the “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 6, 2017)

“Still, we have to wonder why ** Trump doesn’t get the joke. Long ago he could have declassified everything related to the foundational RussiaGate document. That is, the [widely-praised-for-partisan-political-reasons but evidence-thin guesstimate] of January 6, 2017, ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections’.

[“Handpicked” Authors = Handpicked Conclusions]

“The report … is now well-understood to have been written by outgoing CIA director John Brennan and a hand-picked posse of politicized analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA. It was essentially a political screed thinly disguised as the product of the professional intelligence community and was designed to discredit and sabotage the Trump presidency.

“As presented to the President-elect and released to the public in declassified form, it is all gussied-up with caveats, implying that the real dirt is in the “highly classified” version of the report. Except that’s just the typical Deep State hide-the-ball trick: When it can’t prove its “assessments” and “judgments”, it claims the evidence is top secret.”

For a preview of what to expect when the House Intelligence Committee changes hands next month, check out soon-to-be chair, Adam Schiff, telling Ray three days after Trump’s inauguration that he could not share with Ray the evidence of “Russian hacking.”

And as for Schiff’s ability to separate fact from friction, this clip shows astonishing gullibility on Schiff’s part.

(See: )

Maybe Trump Does Get It; That It’s No Joke

**Stockman writes, “We have to wonder why Trump doesn’t get the joke.”  Ray suggests that, as President Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director, Stockman did not have to pay much heed to the Deep State, so long as he did not demur on the obscenely excessive budgets given to the FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA, and the Pentagon.

With President Trump it’s a different kettle of fish — piranhas.  Trump has ample reason to fear that the Deep State is out to get him because it is.  And by this point he seems to have internalized quite enough fear that it would be dangerous to take on the intelligence community.  Needless to say, the stakes are exceedingly very high — for both sides. Even if, as seems likely, Trump dismissed the usual warnings as to how things work in Washington, he could hardly have missed Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s attempt to ensure that Trump knows what he should be afraid of.

Trump: Not Afraid? Then ‘Really Dumb’

On Jan. 3, 2017, three weeks before Trump took office, Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, that President-elect Trump was “being really dumb” by taking on the intelligence community and doubting its assessments on Russia’s cyber activities:

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told Maddow. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Schumer’s words came just three days before then-National Intelligence Director James Clapper and the heads of the FBI, CIA, and NSA descended upon the president-elect with the misnomered “Intelligence Community Assessment” — a rump, evidence-free embarrassment to serious practitioners of intelligence analysis, published that same day, alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin had done what he could to get Trump elected.

Adding insult to injury, after the January 6, 2018 briefing of the president-elect, FBI Director James Comey then asked the others to leave, and proceeded to brief the Trump on the dubious findings of the so-called “Steele dossier” — opposition research paid for by the Democrats (and, according to some reports, by the FBI as well) — with unconfirmed but scurrilous stories about Trump cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow, etc., etc.

‘This Russia Thing’

It seems to have taken Trump a few months to appreciate fully that he was being subjected to the classic blackmail-type advisory previously used with presidents-elect by the likes of J. Edgar Hoover. Indeed, likely as not, this may be what Trump (his own worst enemy when he opens his mouth) had in mind when he told Lester Holt in May 2017 that he had fired Comey over “this Russia thing.”

In fresh news today, Comey has dropped his unprecedented legal maneuver to have a court quash a subpoena for him to appear for a closed-door deposition to the the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee.  Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, R, VA, had decried Comey’s use of “baseless litigation” and called it an “attempt to run out the clock on this Congress,” a reference to the very short time left before Democrats take control.  Goodlatte added that a transcript of the closed-door deposition will be released “as soon as possible after the interview, in the name of our combined desire for transparency.”

The closed-door deposition is now scheduled for Friday, December 7, the 77th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  By all appearances, the committee has the goods on Comey. And, most important: The Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA); so the until-now secret FISA application “justifying” surveillance of Carter Page is almost sure to come up.

But don’t look for any surprise attack on Comey this December 7 from Judiciary Committee members, vulnerable though he is .  With just a few days left before Congress adjourns, House Republicans, like their President, have pretty much let the clock run out on them.  Few will see much percentage at this late date in “taking on the intelligence community.” Trump has already pretty much thrown them under the bus.

Congressional Timidity Rivaling Trump’s?

On September 17, 2018 President Trump boldly ordered “immediate declassification” of Russia-gate materials, including FISA-related material.  (See:

Four days later he backed down, explaining that he would leave it to the Justice Department’s inspector general to review the material, rather than release it publicly.

(See: )

What’s in the FISA application?  House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes knows. In July he expressed hedged confidence “that once the American people see these 20 pages, at least for those that will get real reporting on this issue, they will be shocked by what’s in that FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] application” to surveil Carter Page, an American citizen, and member of Trump’s campaign team.

The leadership of the three House committees with purview over Russia-gate matters — Judiciary, Intelligence, and Government Operations — changes next month when the Democrats take over the House.  So while, earlier, Friday seemed to be shaping up as a key day for Comey — and for getting answers to questions on Russia-gate — what is likely to emerge will land with an anticlimactic thud. Even if the committee is able to expose additional misdeeds not already known, nothing much is likely to happen before Christmas.  And after that, the three committees and their aborted work will be history.

The dominant mainstream media narrative about Russia-gate — ignoring FBI-gate — will hop happily into the new year.  And no congressional “oversight” committee will dare step up to its constitutional duty, despite a plethora of documentary evidence on FBI-gate.  And why? Largely because “they” of the Deep State “have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Most important of all, any significant improvement in relations with Russia will remain stymied.  And the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think Tank) complex, with its Deep-State enforcer, will have won yet another round.  Merry Christmas.

Never, Ever Forget the Guardian/Politico Psyop Against WikiLeaks

“The claims made by Luke Harding and the Guardian [that Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange] will never be proven true, and they know it. … Their fake story was then passed along by news outlets everywhere, including an MSNBC panel which hilariously kept informing its readers that if this Guardian report is confirmed it would be the first ever actual evidence linking Trump to WikiLeaks in a meaningful way. …
“We must keep bringing up the undeniable fact that the Guardian published false claims about a longtime target of western intelligence and defense agencies, then was backed up by a longtime insider from one of those agencies who was permitted to publish anonymously in an ostensibly unrelated outlet [Politico]. …”
Johnstone embeds a link to a tweet by Max Blumenthal referring to, well, typical MSNBC; namely, Ari Melber presenting “Collusion Bombshell” [re alleged Manafort meeting Assange].  Melber’s “expert” panel of three comes on at minute 4:15. Collectively, they proceed to exhaust the subjunctive mood (in its contrary-to-fact mode).
The following day Melber tweeted the following applause from MSNBC’s PR people:
“More Americans watched Chris, Rachel and Lawrence last night than *any other* news channels — Congrats to them and thanks for watching the reporting on MSNBC.”
Small wonder “most Americans” haven’t a clue about what’s really going on.

The RussiaHoax Fiasco Will End Soon With Dueling Court Cases & a Big Fat Constitutional Crisis

What if the US judicial system just can’t manage to clean up the mess it has made?
By James Howard Kunstler, November 30, 2018
Watergate had tragic Shakespearean overtones, with Nixon as King Lear, but Russia-Gate — perhaps the last gate America goes through on its giant slalom run to collapse — is but a Chinese Fire Drill writ large. The reason? In 1973, we were still a serious people. Today, the most lavishly credentialed elite in history believe the most preposterous “stories,” or, surely even worse, pretend to believe them for political advantage.
Now, an epic battle of wills is setting up as Robert Mueller’s investigation concludes its business and its primary target, the Golden Golem of Greatness, girds his loins to push back. Behind the flimsy scrim of Russia collusion accusations stands a bewildering maze of criminal mischief by a matrix of federal agencies that lost control of their own dark operation to meddle in the 2016 election.
The US intel community (CIA, NSA, FBI, etc), with the Department of Justice, all colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the intel agencies of the UK and Australia, to derail Mr. Trump as a stooge of Russia and, when he shocked them by getting elected, mounted a desperate campaign to cover their asses knowing he had become their boss. The Obama White House was involved in all this, attempting to cloak itself in plausible deniability, which may be unwinding now, too. How might all this play out from here?

One big mystery is how long will Mr. Trump wait to declassify any number of secret files, memoranda, and communications that he’s been sitting on for months. My guess is that this stuff amounts to a potent weapon against his adversaries and he will wait until Mr. Mueller releases a final report before declassifying it. Then, we’ll have a fine constitutional crisis as the two sides vie for some sort of adjudication.

Who, for instance, will adjudicate the monkey business that is already on-the-record involving misdeeds in the Department of Justice itself? Will the DOJ split into two contesting camps, each charging the other? How might that work? Does the Acting Attorney General Mr. Whitaker seek indictments against figures such as Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, et al. Will he also rope in intel cowboys John Brennan and James Clapper? Might Hillary find herself in jeopardy — all the while on the other side Mr. Mueller pursues his targets, characters like Mr. Manafort, Michael Cohen, and the hapless Carter Page?
Or might Mr. Mueller, and others, possibly find themselves in trouble, as spearheads of a bad-faith campaign to weaponize government agencies against a sitting president? That might sound outlandish, but the evidence is adding up. In fact the evidence of a Deep State gone rogue is far more compelling than any charges Mr. Mueller has so far produced on Trump-Russia “collusion.” An example of bad faith is former FBI Director James Comey’s current campaign to avoid testifying in closed session before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees — he filed a motion just before Thanksgiving. Mr. Comey is pretending that an open session would be “transparent.”
His claim is mendacious. If he were questioned about classified matters in an open session, he would do exactly what he did before in open session: decline to answer about “sensitive” matters on the basis of national security. He could make no such claims in a closed session. The truth is, his attorneys are trying to run out the clock on the current composition of the house committees, which will come under a Democrat majority in January, so that Mr. Comey can avoid testifying altogether.
There are other dicey matters awaiting some kind of adjudication elsewhere. For instance, who is going to review the chain of decisions among the FISA judges who approved of warrants made in bad faith to spy on US citizens? Perhaps the shrinking violet, Mr. Huber, out in the Utah Prosecutor’s Office of the DOJ, is looking into all that. He’s been at something for most of the year (nobody knows what). He has to answer to Mr. Whitaker now, or the permanent AG who replaces him. And why is Mr. Trump dragging his heels on nominating a permanent AG? I suppose the FISA court matter will fall to the Supreme Court, but how does that process work, and how long might it take?
The potential for a stand-off exists that will confound any effort to untangle these things, and I can see how that might lead to an extraordinary crisis in which Mr. Trump has to declare some form of emergency or perhaps martial law to clean out this suppurating abscess of illegality and sedition.
That can only be the last and worst resort, but what if the US judicial system just can’t manage to clean up the mess it has made?

Ray in discursive conversation with Scott Horton

November 21, 2918
A laid-back discussion, starting with several damning revelations in James Clapper’s memoir, especially regarding his role in greasing the skids for war on Iraq, and lots else. Scott has follow-up questions to Ray’s piece on the collapse of what may be left of Clapper’s credibility:

The first minute (intro) can be skipped.  Same for the advertisements that come between minutes 25:37 and 27:28.

Karen Kwiatkowski Wins 2018 Sam Adams Award for Integrity

Award Ceremony on December 8 in Washington, DC

INVITATION:  Saturday evening we will show Rob Reiner’s “Shock & Awe;” then present the 2018 Integrity Award to One of Its Stars

She tried to stop “shock and awe” attack on Iraq 15 years ago. Now patriot Karen Kwiatkowski is featured in “Shock and Awe,” a film directed by Rob Reiner.

YOU ARE INVITED to honor Karen Kwiatkowski, PhD, Lt Col, USAF (ret.), for her integrity and courage before the Iraq War. Karen is this year’s winner of the annual Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award.  (SAAII website:
Date:  Saturday, December 8, 2018

Time:  6:30 PM Showing of film, “Shock and Awe”
8:00 PM Presentation 17th annual Sam Adams Award
Ceremony will include remarks by Larry Wilkerson, 7th SAAII awardee (in 2009)

Place: The Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Road, NW, Washington, DC 20009

FREE: But RSVP, if you can, to give us an idea of how many to expect; email:

ALL WELCOME: Lots of space in main conference room

BACKGROUND: As many are aware, dishonest (not “mistaken”) intelligence greased the skids for the widespread killing and maiming in the Middle East that began with the Cheney/Bush “Shock and Awe” attack on Iraq. The media reveled in the unconscionable (but $$$ lucrative) buzzword “shock-and-awe” for the initial attack.  In retrospect, the real shock lies in the awe-some complicity of virtually all “mainstream media” in the leading false predicate for this war of aggression — weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Only one major media group, Knight Ridder, avoided the presstitution, so to speak.  It faced into the headwinds blowing from the “acceptable” narrative, did the investigative spadework, and found patriotic insiders who told them the truth.  Karen Kwiatkowski, who had a front-row seat at the Pentagon, was one key source for the intrepid Knight Ridder journalists.  Karen tells us that her actual role is accurately portrayed in the professional actress in the movie.

Other members of SAAII were involved as well, but we will leave it to them to share on Saturday evening how they helped Knight Ridder accurately depict the pre-war administration/intelligence/media fraud.

Intelligence Fraud

More recently, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper added a coda to pre-Iraq-War intelligence performance.  Clapper was put in charge of imagery analysis before the Iraq war and was able to conceal the fact that there were were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In his memoir, Clapper writes that Vice President Cheney “was pushing” for imagery analysis “to find (emphasis in original) the WMD sites.”

For the record, none were found because there were none, although Clapper — “eager to help” — gave it the old college try.
Clapper proceeds, in a matter-of-fact way, to blame not only pressure from the Cheney/Bush administration, but also“the intelligence officers, including me, who were so eager to help that we found what wasn’t really there.”
And, oh, yes; those Clapper-produced “artist renderings” of “mobile production facilities for biological agents”? Those trucks “were in fact used to pasteurize and transport milk,” Clapper admits nonchalantly.  When challenged on all this while promoting his memoir at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, DC, (See:  ), Clapper gave not the slightest hint that it occurred to him that his performance was somewhat lacking.Media: Consequential Malfeasance

As for the self-licking ice cream cone that “mainstream media” have become, and how they overlook little peccadillos like feeding at the government PR trough and helping Cheney and Bush attack Iraq, well — now, now — let’s not be nasty.  Here’s how Jill Abramson, NY Times Washington Bureau Chief from 2000 to 2003 while the Times acted as drum major for the war, lets Bob Woodward off the hook for his own abysmal investigative performance.

Reviewing Woodward’s recent book on the Trump White House, Abramson praises Woodward’s “dogged investigative reporting,” notes that he has won two Pulitzer Prizes, and adds, “His work has been factually unassailable.”  Then she (or more probably an editor judging that to be more than a little over-the-top) adds this in parenthesis: (His judgment is certainly not perfect, and he has been self-critical about his belief, based on reporting before the Iraq War, that there were weapons of mass destruction.)

Are we to believe the Abramsons, Woodwards, et al. of the media elite simply missed the WMD deception.  (Hundreds of insiders knew of it, and some were willing to share the truth with Knight Ridder reporters.)  Or did the media moguls simply hunker down and let themselves be co-opted into helping Cheney/Bush start a major war?  The latter seems much more likely: and transparent attempts to cover up for one another, still, is particularly sad — and consequential.  Having suffered no consequences (for example, in 2003 Abramson was promoted to Managing Editor of the NYT), the “mainstream media” appear just as likely to do a redux on Iran.

This is why there will be a premium on honest insider patriots, like Karen Kwiatkowski, to rise to the occasion and try to prevent the next war.  Bring along your insider friends; they need to know about Karen and about Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

Please do come and join us in congratulating Karen Kwiatkowski and the other SAAII members who also helped Knight Ridder get the story right.  (Those others shall remain unnamed until Saturday.)  And let insiders know about this; they are not likely to hear about all this otherwise.)

And again, if convenient, RSVP to


Ray McGovern
Member, SAAII

Assange Never Met Manafort

Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant Lies From MI-6 [the UK’s CIA]
By Ambassador Craig Murray, November 27, 2018

The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.
Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified “Russians” to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort’s plea deal was over.

The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these “Russians” are in the visitor logs.
This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.  [Ray can verify this detail from the visits he has made to Julian at the embassy.]
There were no exceptions. For an exception to be made for Manafort and the “Russians” would have had to be a decision of the Government of Ecuador, not of Wikileaks, and that would be so exceptional the reason for it would surely have been noted in the now leaked supposed Ecuadorean “intelligence report” of the visits. What possible motive would the Ecuadorean government have for facilitating secret unrecorded visits by Paul Manafort? Furthermore it is impossible that the intelligence agency – who were in charge of the security – would not know the identity of these alleged “Russians”.
Previously Harding and the Guardian have published documents faked by the Moreno government regarding a diplomatic appointment to Russia for Assange of which he had no knowledge. Now they follow this up with more documents aimed to provide fictitious evidence to bolster Mueller’s pathetically failed attempt to substantiate the story that Russia deprived Hillary of the Presidency.
My friend William Binney, probably the world’s greatest expert on electronic surveillance, former Technical Director of the NSA, has stated that it is impossible the DNC servers were hacked, the technical evidence shows it was a download to a directly connected memory stick. I knew the US security services were conducting a fake investigation the moment it became clear that the FBI did not even themselves look at the DNC servers, instead accepting a report from the Clinton linked DNC “security consultants” Crowdstrike. [Emphasis added]
I would love to believe that the fact Julian has never met Manafort is bound to be established. But I fear that state control of propaganda may be such that this massive “Big Lie” will come to enter public consciousness in the same way as the non-existent Russian hack of the DNC servers.
Assange never met Manafort. The DNC emails were downloaded by an insider. Assange never even considered fleeing to Russia. Those are the facts, and I am in a position to give you a personal assurance of them.
I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services.
I am not a fan of Donald Trump. But to see the partisans of the defeated candidate (and a particularly obnoxious defeated candidate) manipulate the security services and the media to create an entirely false public perception, in order to attempt to overturn the result of the US Presidential election, is the most astonishing thing I have witnessed in my lifetime.
Plainly the government of Ecuador is releasing lies about Assange to curry favour with the security establishment of the USA and UK, and to damage Assange’s support prior to expelling him from the Embassy. He will then be extradited from London to the USA on charges of espionage.
Assange is not a whistleblower or a spy – he is the greatest publisher of his age, and has done more to bring the crimes of governments to light than the mainstream media will ever be motivated to achieve. That supposedly great newspaper titles like the Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post are involved in the spreading of lies to damage Assange, and are seeking his imprisonment for publishing state secrets, is clear evidence that the idea of the “liberal media” no longer exists in the new plutocratic age. The press are not on the side of the people, they are an instrument of elite control.

Adam Schiff’s Incredible, Incurable Credulity

Putin henchman ready to assassinate Medvedev by pillow
(hat tip to Rosie Memos @almostjingo for tweeting)Rep. Adam Schiff, who takes the chair of the House Intelligence Committee in January, has a nose for hot tips about his bete noire, Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as a strong bent toward credulousness.  On October 23, 2018, Schiff solemnly told a young audience at the old Hillary Clinton/John Podesta Center for American Progress Action Fund that he had been told that Putin has one of his henchmen follow Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev around with a pillow to smother him in his sleep if he ever gets out of line.

No, the video contains no hint that Schiff was speaking tongue in cheek.  Perhaps worse, no one in the audience laughed (where do they recruit such credulous young folks?).

Be sure to scroll down for images of the pillow-carrier caught in action. :-))  He apparently has no reason to fear “identification,” since, according to Schiff’s source, “Medvedev is nothing.”

On a more serious note, it was 22 months ago that I challenged Schiff as the “Russian hacking” accusations were proliferating. ( See: ) In the 2-minute clip, Schiff recites language highly relevant today as the Deep State tries desperately to brand Julian Assange a “known participant” — that is, an active conspirator with Russia, and not merely Russia’s “useful idiot.”

Some of our “Justice” officials today apparently think they can detour around 1st amendment hurdles if they can dredge up, or manufacture, “evidence” enabling them to use the Espionage Act of 1917 against Assange.

At think tanks like the Center for American Progress, hope springs eternal.  Impatience too.  As poor Schiff knows, Mueller has been at it for a year and a half — and FBI super-sleuth Peter Strzok for a half-year before that, after which he complained to FBI lawyer/girlfriend Lisa Page that “there is no big there there.”  But when Schiff takes the chair in January, God knows what they’ll find!

Meanwhile back at the ranch, President Donald Trump and his chief advisers give no indication they are aware of what to expect, if Trump continues to allow the Justice Department to slow-walk his order to declassify crucial documents that could — in a lawful world — land ex-FBI Director James Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former CIA Director John Brennan, et al. behind bars.
The stakes are very high.  By all indications Trump is afraid — and not only of pillows.

Those wishing more background on the rudderless Schiff may wish to click on:
  — or —