The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate

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Will Trump Take on the Spooks?

 

By Ray McGovern and Bill Binney

March 28, 2017

 

The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate

 

Amid the frenzy over the Trump team’s talks with Russians, we may be missing a darker story that is taking on momentum – the accumulated power of the Deep State’s bulk surveillance capabilities to control the nation’s leaders.  Can the 4th amendment be revived?

Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.

This news presents Trump with an unwelcome but unavoidable choice: confront those who have kept him in the dark about such rogue activities or live fearfully in their shadow. (The latter was the path chosen by President Obama. Will Trump choose the road less traveled?)

What President Trump decides will largely determine the freedom of action he enjoys as president on many key security and other issues. But even more so, his choice may decide whether there is a future for this constitutional republic. Either he can acquiesce to or fight against a Deep State of intelligence officials who have a myriad of ways to spy on politicians (and other citizens) and thus amass derogatory material that can be easily transformed into blackmail.  …

(please click on the above link to continue)

“How to Think About Vladimir Putin:” A MUST READ

By Christopher Caldwell

How to Think About Vladimir Putin

 

FINALLY, a fact-based appraisal of Putin and his times – and from a senior editor of the conservative Weekly Standard.  The text is adapted from a speech Christopher Caldwell gave on February 15, 2017, at a Hillsdale College in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Christopher Caldwell is a graduate of Harvard College.  His work has appeared in the Claremont Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Book Review, the Spectator (London), Financial Times, and numerous other publications. He is the author of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, and is at work on a book about post-1960s America.

PLEASE, read it.

Cooling the Anti-Russian Hysteria

Ed Lozansky and Jim Jatras

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/22/russian-influence-in-elections-overblown/

 

What journalism has become:

 

Hatred is never a good thing.  Dislike of Trump, his team, and his policies, however, is readily understandable. In an ideal world, though, it should not color media reporting and result in the jettisoning of widely accepted (until now) standards journalism.

 

In topsy-turvy Washington, it is a sad day when the Moonie Times is more on point than its sister Gray Lady.  Even democracynow.org’s Amy Goodman, who used to be the paragon of sang froid, is now – like other HSHW (Hillary Should Have Won) folks – sang tres chaud).

 

Here’s Amy from earlier this morning after reporting House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes “claim” he has new information showing intelligence surveillance of some Trump people that was illegally leaked to the media.  (Note to Amy: It is not just a “claim.”)  Typically, the video clips democracynow.org chose to use gave as much time…. actually a little longer …to the committee’s ranking Democrat, “Russia-Did-It” Adam Schiff, who attacked Nunes.

 

Schiff is a smooth, slippery party hack.  Some may recall the two-minute “Q & A” Ray had with this Democratic Schiffwreck on January 25:

http://raymcgovern.com/2017/01/31/thats-bogus-ray-mcgovern-pwns-congressman-schiff-on-russian-hacking-fairy-tale/

 

But here’s the coup de grace – as if more were needed – showing how “progressive” journalism, too, is far from immune to bias – conscious or unconscious (surprise, surprise!).

 

After showing Schiff making his statement, Amy added (and displayed a slide showing that CNN claimed “People connected to the [Trump} campaign were in contact [with Russian officials] and it appeared they were giving the thumbs up to release information when it was ready.”

 

Readers of consortiumnews.com and of this site will easily spot what is wrong with that.  But how many others can?

 

This morning, ace pundits like Shimon Prokupecz are busy ringing changes on this same anonymously-sourced theme for TV viewers on, you guessed it, CNN.  It may no longer be necessary to watch those savants, if Amy Goodman is feeding off and regurgitating the same drivel from “unnamed U.S. officials” quoted by CNN.

 

If facts matter at all these days; if the media is still susceptible of embarrassment; if Nunes has the courage to release relevant documents and identify the culprits; and if enough Americans pay close attention (granted – a whole bunch of big “ifs”) … well, let’s see what happens.  (Hint: former CIA Director John Brennan is scheduled to testify before the committee next week.  Will anyone give odds on whether he actually shows up?)

 

Meanwhile, it seems increasingly clear that the Democrats, and other HSHW-ers, who remain unable to accept the reality that Hillary was a deeply flawed candidate, are squandering what credibility they have left.  This would not be all that bad, were it not for the likely sabotaging of whatever peace-dividend might otherwise come if President Trump were able politically to move toward an entirely possible, decent relationship with Russia.  The ones who would suffer from this, of course, would be the those identified by Pope Francis as “the blood-drenched arms traders” [who own and operate most of the Fawning Corporate Media].

But they do not own democracynow.org.

 

Watching CNN’s Carl Bernstein, the iconic investigative reporter from Watergate days, pronounce pompously last evening on the need for strong investigative reporting to see if there is any fire under the smoke enveloping Trump was – for those like Ray (who read every word of the Bernstein’s and Woodward’s reporting on Watergate, back in the day) – particularly sad.  Carl ought to doff his fancy shirt and tie and hit the pavement.  And he probably would do so, if he had the slightest prospect of finding something worth reporting – like back in the day.  How many months have already been devoted to the search for provable evidence.  And Obama himself telling us on January 18 that he does not know how the “Russian hacking” got to WikiLeaks?

 

But who needs evidence these days?  The smoke (and mirrors) — and the animus — are quite enough for today’s “journalists,” thank you very much.

RT International also interviewed Ray about House members’ medley on Moscow’s meddling.

March 20, 2017 (7 minutes)

 

Different enough from the interview with RT America earlier yesterday afternoon (see below) to post separately.  (And this time Ray did not mess up the pronunciation of Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee.)  And there was no “pre-interview interview” for RT International, either.

Ray is considering hewing to a policy of refusing “pre-interview interviews” when contacted by the likes of CNN.  But this may be academic, since he has not seen the inside of a CNN studio for over six years, ever since he took the extremist position that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is a journalist — not a “terrorist,” as CNN’s pundits and other guests had been saying:

(five minutes)

RT America talked with Ray, sans “pre-interview interview,” shortly after Monday’s hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

March 20, 2017 (six minutes)

 

Ray had been out of town, speaking mostly about his recent stay in the Middle East  He actually had a (senior) “Aha! Moment” when he first saw C-SPAN’s billing of the hearing: “Russian Election Interference.”

 

Wow?  Was the House Intelligence Committee finally getting around to investigating how Washington got Boris the Buffoon Yeltsin re-elected in 1996, enabling Western oligarchs to complete their plunder of Russia.  Were Americans going to learn how “Russian Election Interference” carried out by the U.S., the IMF, et al. boosted Yeltsin from a candidate with single-digit approval in early 1996 to an official (but disputed) 54.4% of votes cast later that same year?

This Time cover at the time, so to speak, reflects what happened:

Time cover, July 15, 1996

 

Dream on, Ray.  HPSCI would be holding an open hearing on its investigation into “Russian active measures (активные мероприятия) during the 2016 election campaign.”  активные мероприятия are bad things Russian intelligence does.  

 

Ray’s segment was preceded by a four-minute spoof by RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky who, among other things, drew attention to one of the key things Comey admitted at the hearing – namely that the Democratic National Committee would not let the FBI anywhere near their computers, so the Bureau had to rely on the contractor, Corwdstrike, for what amounted to second-hand “forensics.”  Crowdstrike had been hired by and was working for the DNC.  Hmmm.  Yaroshevsky addresses Crowdstrike at minute 1:46:

Propaganda and disinformation at the Comey hearing 

March 20, 2017 (four minutes)

The Missing Logic of Russia-gate

Robert Parry, March 20, 2017

The Missing Logic of Russia-gate

Back in the day, intelligence analysts, as well as investigative journalists, were wont to search out real facts and, when necessary, apply something called logic.  In addition to the leaps of imagination and the fallacies pointed out by Bob Parry, Ray for many months has been pointing out serious problems with the major premise upon which FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Rogers – and former officials like CIA Director John Brennan based their shaky syllogism.  In Ray’s view, it strains credulity beyond the breaking point that President Putin would prefer one presidential candidate to the other last year.  Not even the pundits once schooled in geometry seem to remember QED.

A presidential candidate who brags loudly about being unpredictable, and makes every effort to prove it; one who lashes out instinctively to retaliate for any slight – real or perceived.  Put yourself in Putin’s place, as he sized up President Trump.  Is this the kind of character you would as your main adversary with fingers on the nuclear codes?  Is that logical?  The major premise highly dubious, the syllogism falls apart.  Surely some pundits were required to take a course in Logic.  But, with those six-figure salaries to protect, it takes someone with courage – as well as a (sadly) uncommon moral sense – to risk offending The Establishment by calling rubbish rubbish.

As for rubbish, here’s Robert Parry’s most recent comment on what has become of The Gray Lady of the Establishment:

New York Times ‘Tinfoil Hat’ Conspiracy Theory

Robert Parry, March 19, 2017

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/19/nyts-tinfoil-hat-conspiracy-theory/