What Monroe Doctrine?

By Phil Giraldi, April 4, 2019

Remind every Marine you know — especially those who may now be headed south: Gen. Smedley Butler was awarded TWO Medals of Honor, when he — like Mad-Dog Mattis — apparently found it fun “to shoot people.”  Then he (Butler, not Mattis) came to his senses and realized he was being used.  Here’s Butler:

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher- ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.” 
General Smedley Butler. USMC  

Is Comey Running Out of Friends?

Wasserman Schultz In Hot Seat After Confession Most of the DNC Emails Published by WikiLeaks Were Sent AFTER DNC Realized They Were Being Hacked

By Joshua Caplan, November 7, 2017 

In yet another head-scratching move, a new report says Democrat operatives sent thousands of emails, many of which were published by WikiLeaks at a later date, despite knowing the DNC was under cyber attack from alleged ‘Russian hackers.’

The Daily Caller reports: DNC CEO Amy Dacey learned of the breach in late April 2016, but of the 27,000 DNC emails published by Wikileaks, fewer than 7,000 pre-date April 29. A Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of the published emails shows that the majority were written between May 5 and May 25 — after the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike was brought in to respond. [Emphasis added.]

The emails exposed dirty laundry that Democrats have said swayed the election in President Donald Trump’s favor.  The emails might never have seen the light of day had the DNC enlisted law enforcement to immediately lock down its system after first detecting problems in late April.

Dacey and chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz decided not to call in the FBI and instead, about five days after the hack, enlisted the company CrowdStrike *** (See below) to perform investigation and remediation without consulting the DNC’s board, according to Donna Brazile. CrowdStrike implanted itself May 5, within a day of being asked, according to The Washington Post. In the intervening days, 5,800 new emails were written and captured.

For weeks after the highly-paid firm responded, the breach continued unabated. More than 16,000 emails later published by Wikileaks were written after May 5.

“The fact that newly-written emails continued to be captured weeks after the DNC’s top staff was well aware it had been breached raises questions about why Wasserman Schultz and Dacey did not turn to the FBI, and whether the FBI could have immediately stemmed the flow,” writes Daily Caller report Luke Rosiak.

*** Remember that Comey,during Congressional testimony, described CrowdStrike as a “private party/high-class entity.” But could it perform basic computer security — not to mention forensics?  Good enough for government work, in one sense, we suppose.

But wasn’t CrowdStrike working for and paid by the DNC?  Strange … or maybe not so strange, if you think it through.

And when the full text of Mueller’s report hits the street in the next week or two, it will also be worth remembering that, giving testimony to a friendly Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said: “Bob Mueller is one of this country’s great, great pros.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/us/politics/senate-hearing-transcript.html

One can readily imagine Comey, Lynch, McCabe, Brennan, Strzok, Clapper, et al. sweating bullets at the possibility Muller has decided he must break the Omerta code — not out of any desire to surrender his own Deep State badge — but simply because there is far too much on the official record exposing Deep State machinations.

This would be no problem, of course, if Mrs. Clinton had won the election.  Comey himself has admitted that he “was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president.”  That’s what they all thought; and that probably explains their lack of care in keeping their activities off the written record and out of computers.  Elementary tradecraft goes out the window with these upper-echelon, “high-class-entity” charlatans, when they are sure that she, and they, are going to be the inevitable winners.

Mueller Exposes Spy Chiefs

Did our intel leaders have any evidence when they pushed the Russia collusion line?
By William McGurn, March 25, 2019

The Wall Street Journal’s McGurn joins colleague Beverley Strassel in posing the real questions. ( See: https://raymcgovern.com/2019/03/28/mueller-is-done-now-probe-the-real-scandal/ )

Text of McGurn piece:

Now that special counsel Robert Mueller has found that no one in the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, Democrats are busy moving the goal posts. But this is a distraction from the real reckoning that needs to come. 

The one we need is for all the intelligence officials—including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Central Intelligence Agency chief John Brennan, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s former Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe—who pushed the Russia conspiracy theory. The special counsel has just made clear they did so with no real evidence.

Mr. Mueller could have said he didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute. Instead he was categorical: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

This wasn’t for lack of trying on Moscow’s part. “Despite multiple offers” from Russia-affiliated individuals to help their campaign, Mr. Mueller reports, the Trump people didn’t take them up on it.

So why do 44% of Americans—according to a Fox News poll released Sunday—believe otherwise? Part of the answer has to be that the collusion tale was egged on by leading members and former members of the American intelligence community.

Intelligence professionals are trained to sift through the noise and distractions in pursuit of the truth. In this case, however, they went all in for a tale that the Russian government had somehow compromised Mr. Trump or his close associates. In peddling this line, their authority rested on the idea they had access to alarming and conclusive evidence the rest of America couldn’t see. Now it appears they never had much more than an unverified opposition-research dossier commissioned by Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Nevertheless, they persisted. Start with the FBI’s Mr. McCabe, who boasts that he is the man who opened the counterintelligence probe into Russia and President Trump. Today the question has to be: On what evidence was this extraordinary step predicated, apart from Mr. Trump’s saying things the G-man didn’t like?

As recently as three weeks ago, Mr. McCabe—sacked by the bureau for a “lack of candor”—told CNN that he still thought it “possible” President Trump was a “Russian asset.” Again, on what evidence?

Ditto for Mr. Clapper, who said he agreed “completely” with Mr. McCabe that Mr. Trump could be a Russian asset. He added only that he couldn’t be certain whether it was “witting or unwitting.” Coming from a former director of national intelligence, this is a grave accusation. But on what evidence?

Or consider Mr. Brennan. After a presidential press conference in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin in which Mr. Trump refused to acknowledge Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Mr. Brennan tweeted that the president’s behavior was “nothing short of treasonous.” Not “wrong,” not “outrageous,” but “treasonous.”

It wouldn’t be the last time he invoked the “t” word. Mr. Brennan also used it after the president pulled his security clearance last August. During a subsequent appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd suggested that a former intelligence chief might wish to be a little more circumspect with his accusations.

“You are the former CIA director accusing the sitting president of the United States,” said Mr. Todd. “It’s not a private citizen. A lot of people hear the former CIA director accusing the sitting president of the United States of treason—that’s monumental, that’s a monumental accusation.” Mr. Brennan said he regretted nothing, and cited for his judgment his training as an “intelligence professional.” 

Finally there’s Rep. Adam Schiff. As ranking member and now chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Schiff has been claiming for some time that there’s “plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight.” This past weekend on ABC’s “This Week,” he said there’s “significant evidence of collusion.” Does anyone else think there’s a credibility problem when the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee starts sounding like O.J. Simpson vowing to find the “real killer”?

In light of Mr. Mueller’s findings, there are only two ways to interpret these actions and statements from senior members of the intelligence community. The first is that they got played because they were incompetent. Anyone who reads the compromising texts between FBI master spy Peter Strzok and his FBI lover, Lisa Page, might well find the clown argument persuasive.

But there’s something even worse than an intelligence community that has been played. It’s an intelligence community that chose to play along simply because its members hated Donald Trump. For a full reckoning, America will need an accounting of the evidence used to launch that counterintelligence probe, the unmasking of officials, the leaks, and the likely abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.

The lesson here is this: Be careful what you wish for. Because the questions this special prosecutor has unleashed might yet yield federal criminal indictments. Just not for the people the fantasists of Russian collusion expected. 

William McGurn is a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board and writes the weekly “Main Street” column for the Journal each Tuesday. mcgurn@wsj.com

David Corn Digs Deeper Hole on Russia-gate

Trump Aided and Abetted Russia’s Attack. That Was Treachery. Full Stop: The scandal may not be a crime. It’s a betrayal.
By David Corn, Mother Jones’ Washington bureau chief and MSNBC analyst
March 24, 2019

Sherlock Corn is trustworthy, says Mother Jones.  His assessment is “clear and honest,” says Mother Jones.  And don’t worry: “Even though Mueller may be done investigating, Mother Jones is not. David and his team in Washington have been digging deep on the Russian connections and other corruption scandals since before the 2016 election, and we’re not stopping now,” write Sherlock Corn’s Watsons.

On the chance this poor excuse for journalism becomes a collector’s item, we reproduce it in full below.  But seriously, is it not unspeakably sad?  Will other pundits who got Russia-gate wrong follow Corn’s lead, might there remain some residual honesty/humility/willingness to admit when one is wrong about something important, as Corn’s colleague sleuth Michael Isikoff did (sort of). *** (See link at bottom.)  The next few weeks will tell.  Here’s apparently the best Corn can do at this point by way of an apologia pro maleficio suo:

Trump Aided and Abetted Russia’s Attack. That Was Treachery. Full Stop: The scandal may not be a crime. It’s a betrayal.
By David Corn

On Sunday afternoon Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Congress noting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” The message also noted that Mueller could not exonerate President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice, but that Barr himself had decided that the evidence Mueller developed was “insufficient to establish” that Trump had obstructed justice. Trump proclaimed it was “complete and total exoneration.” And Trump champions popped the cork and declared case closed, nothing to see, end of story, no need for further investigation, Trump did no wrong. 

Well, that is fake news. 

Barr’s note is clear that Mueller did not uncover evidence Trump and his gang were in direct cahoots with Russia’s covert operation to interfere with the US election and boost Trump’s odds. But the hyper-focus on this sort of collusion—as if Trump instructed Russian hackers on how to penetrate the computer network of the Democratic National Committee—has always diverted attention from a basic and important element of the scandal that was proven long before Mueller drafted his final report: Trump and his lieutenants interacted with Russia while Putin was attacking the 2016 election and provided encouraging signals to the Kremlin as it sought to subvert American democracy. They aided and abetted Moscow’s attempt to cover up its assault on the United States (which aimed to help Trump win the White House). And they lied about all this.

And, yes, there were instances of collusion—not on the specifics of the attack, but secret scheming between Trumpworld and Russia.

None of the evidence underlying this is in dispute. No matter what Mueller report contains, a harsh verdict remains: Trump and his gang betrayed the United States in the greatest scandal in American history.

The Moscow Project

Let’s start with Trump. Shortly after he leaped into the 2016 contest, Trump began pursuing a grand project in Moscow: a sky-high tower bearing his name. It could reap him hundreds of millions of dollars. His fixer,  Michael Cohen, was the Trump Organization’s point man in the negotiations.

Trump signed a letter of intent, and the talks went on for months through the fall of 2015 and the first half of 2016. At one point, Cohen spoke to an official in Putin’s office, seeking help for the venture. And throughout this period, Trump the candidate, when asked for his opinions on Russia and Putin, issued curiously positive remarks about the thuggish and autocratic Russian leader.

Trump willingly placed himself at the mercy of a foreign adversary—as it was preparing a covert operation to corrupt an American election.

Trump also claimed throughout the campaign that he had nothing to do with Russia—no business there, nothing. And when he was asked whether he knew Felix Sater, a wheeling-dealing developer and one-time felon who was the middleman for the Moscow project negotiations, Trump claimed he was “not that familiar with him.”

That was a lie.

The Moscow deal did fizzle at some point, but Trump had engaged in the the most significant conflict of interest in modern American politics. He was making positive statements about Putin on the campaign trail, at the same time he needed support from the Russian government for his project. Yet he hid this conflict from American voters and lied to keep it secret. (After the election, Cohen lied to Congress about this project to protect Trump, and that’s one reason Cohen is soon heading to prison.)

It’s deplorable that a presidential candidate would double-deal in this manner and deceive the public—insisting he was an America First candidate, while pursuing a secret agenda overseas to enrich himself. But Trump’s duplicity also compromised him.

Putin and the Russians obviously knew about this deal Trump was hiding from American voters. So at any time they could reveal it and expose Trump’s mendacity. He willingly placed himself at the mercy of a foreign adversary—as it was preparing a covert operation to corrupt an American election. And Trump literally and secretly signaled to the Kremlin—which was still facing harsh economic sanctions for Putin’s intervention in Ukraine—that he wanted to do business with it. Trump was betraying the public trust before being elected.

The Trump Tower Meeting

The betrayal continued after Trump became the de facto presidential nominee of the Republican Party. On June 9, 2016, Trump’s three most senior advisers—Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner—met with a Russian emissary in the Trump Tower in New York City. They had been informed that she would deliver them dirt on Hillary Clinton and that this was part of a secret Kremlin initiative to assist the Trump campaign.

The meeting, the Trump team has claimed, was a bust. There was no useful derogatory information. But by this point, the Russians had already stolen tens of thousands of emails and documents from Democratic targets and were, no doubt, pondering what to do with the swiped material. This meeting was another signal conveyed to Moscow: the Trump crew didn’t mind Russian meddling in the election and was even willing to covertly collaborate with Russia on dirty tricks.

Thus, Trump’s top men were encouraging a repressive regime to clandestinely intervene in American politics. And when this meeting was revealed, long after the election, Trump concocted a false cover story for Trump Jr. to issue: this get-together had been nothing more than a conversation about the issue of adoption in Russia. Why did they lie? It seems obvious: to cover up significant misconduct. 

The Hacked Emails

Trump’s collusion with Putin’s office regarding his secret Moscow deal and the Trump advisers attempt to collude with a secret Russian scheme to help their campaign were not directly related to the hack-and-dump operation mounted by Russia that targeted the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. Yet when that attack happened, the Trump camp did openly assist the Kremlin by denying this assault was underway.

After more than 20,000 emails and documents stolen by Russian hackers were released by WikiLeaks at the start of the Democrats’ presidential convention in July 2016, the Clinton campaign pushed the point that its candidate—and the American election—was being assaulted by Moscow. In response, Trump Jr. and Manafort publicly proclaimed this was nonsense and a lie being promoted by the Clintonites for political gain. (A month earlier, when the Democratic Party revealed it had been hacked by Russia, the Trump campaign accused them of cooking up a hoax.) 

If anyone had reason to believe the Russians were behind an operation seeking to disrupt the Democratic convention, it was Trump Jr. and Manafort. With the Trump Tower meeting the previous month, they had been informed Moscow was aiming to intervene in the election to harm Clinton and help Trump. And the Russians were presumably aware that Trump’s inner circle knew this. With their false denials, Trump Jr. and Manafort were assisting the Moscow cover-up. (The Russian government was claiming it had nothing to do with the hack-and-dump operation.) How else could the Russians interpret the actions of the Trump campaign other than as further encouragement and a sign of approval?

Not to mention that at this time, Trump himself publicly called on Russia to keep hacking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing.” That night, according to a Mueller indictment, Russian hackers for the first time tried to penetrate Clinton’s personal email. They knew to take a hint.

By echoing Russian disinformation—after being informed the Kremlin intended to mess with the presidential campaign  to assist Trump—the Trump campaign was making it easier for a foreign power to undermine a US election.

The Colluders

And there’s more: as this attack proceeded, the Trump campaign kept trying to secretly engage with Russia and Russian interests. The Mueller indictment of George Papadopoulos—the Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who met with various Russian cut-outs and who was told that Moscow had dirt on Clinton in the form of thousands of purloined emails—noted that during the summer 2016 he was trying to establish a back-channel connection between the campaign and Putin’s office. And Papadopoulos was doing this with the approval of senior campaign aides. Here was another clear signal to the Kremlin: Trump and his team had no problem with the Russian attack on the election and still desired a secret hook-up with Moscow. There was no need for Trump to conspire directly with Putin. He and his campaign were repeatedly flashing a green light at Moscow and aiding the Russian cover-up. 

Manafort, though, was directly conspiring. With Russians, including a Russian oligarch. On August 2, Manafort took time away from his duties as Trump’s campaign manager to meet at a ritzy cigar bar in Manhattan with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Ukrainian-Russian business colleague who, according to several Mueller court filings, has been assessed by the FBI to be an associate of Russian intelligence.

Though much of the details about this meeting have been redacted in the relevant court filings, it seems that the rendezvous was arranged at the behest of Oleg Deripaska, a Putin-friendly Russian oligarch. At this get-together, Manafort supplied Kilimnik polling data from the campaign. (Kilimnik, according to the New York Times, subsequently passed this information to two Ukrainian oligarchs, and it’s unclear if he shared it with others.)

At this meeting, the two discussed a supposed peace plan for Ukraine that would benefit Russia. And what’s known about the meeting suggests that Manafort was signaling to the Russians that the Trump campaign was amenable to a policy that would lift the harsh economic sanctions imposed on Russia. 

This meeting was occurring at a time when cybersecurity experts and American intelligence officials were being cited in news reports saying Russia was behind the cyberwarfare being waged against Democratic targets. Any private sign from Manafort that Trump was indeed keen to remove the sanctions—a position that Trump had publicly demonstrated sympathy for—would provide more encouragement for the Russians. (A week or so before this meeting, Manafort had declared he had no connections with Russians, which was a lie: throughout the campaign he used Kilimnik to communicate with Deripaska, with whom he had done business for a decade.)

Hobnobbing with the enemy, lying about it, and bolstering Moscow’s cover-up. Then Trump took it up a notch.

In mid-August, as the official GOP nominee, Trump received a classified intelligence briefing that included the intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow was the perp in the hack-and-dump operation. Yet for the rest of the campaign, Trump repeatedly downplayed or denied Russian involvement. He did this in public statements and at the debates.

This stance turned Putin’s attack into a political dispute. Top Republicans (and Trump-cheering pundits in the media) generally followed his lead and declined to rally against the Russian assault. This prevented the coalescing of a focused national response to Putin’s war on the election. 

That helped the Russians. Perhaps it emboldened them. On October 7, 2016, the Obama administration released a statement declaring Moscow culpable for the cyber-attacks on the Democrats. An hour or so later, the Access Hollywood video of Trump boasting of sexually assaulting women appeared. And shortly after that, WikiLeaks began releasing the personal emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that were stolen by Russian operatives. For weeks, WikiLeaks dumped a new tranche of Podesta emails on practically a daily basis and hobbled the Clinton campaign in the final stretch of the race. 

Despite this attack and the official Obama announcement, Trump stuck to his false line: the Russians should not be held accountable. An overseas foe was striving mightily to undermine a US election. Trump had been told this privately by US intelligence, and the US government had issued a public declaration. Yet Trump echoed and amplified Moscow’s denials. He was siding with the enemy.

A candidate seeking the job of defending the United States was facilitating an attack on the nation. And after winning the White House, Trump would keep on protecting Putin by dismissing Russian involvement and the significance of the attack.

If neither Trump nor a Trump emissary communicated explicitly with the Russians about the specifics of the operation, that is not the end of this scandal. Trump knew the attack was happening, and he helped. So, too, did Donald Trump Jr. and Manafort—and probably others within the campaign. This is the core of the Trump-Russia scandal.

By asserting that the issue is only whether or not he directly colluded with the Kremlin plot, Trump has diverted attention from the fact that he facilitated an assault on his own country. That may or may not have been illegal. But it was betrayal. It was treachery. 

Mueller’s job was to seek out possible crimes to prosecute. It was not to evaluate actions that did not rise to the level of criminality. Nor was it his charge to tell the public the whole truth.
Yet so much of the truth is already out there. And the bottom line was established before Mueller submitted his report: Trump committed what is probably the most significant political misdeed in American history. The public did not need the Mueller report to confirm this. The foundation of this scandal—Trump’s villainy—has for long resided within plain sight.

How much more dishonor can these charlatans do to the venerable Mother Jones? 

*** https://consortiumnews.com/2018/12/19/michael-isikoff-cuts-his-loses-at-russian-roulette/

On “Dissent Within VIPS” re “Russian hacking”

By Ray McGovern, March 27, 2019

Following is text of an email Ray wrote to Scott Horton following his interview of Ray on Tuesday, March 26. ( See earlier posting:  
https://raymcgovern.com/2019/03/31/who-got-it-right-on-russia-gate/ )

Dear Scott,

To correct a key point, for the record.

I recall saying during our interview yesterday that two former Technical Directors at NSA, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) members, relying on the principles of physics and forensic analysis had disproven “beyond reasonable doubt” the red herring that Russia hacked the DNC emails and gave them to WikiLeaks.  At which point you referred to dissent within VIPS on that key issue.

You need to be aware that, from the beginning, that dissent had no technical merit.  It was used for political purposes — which, of course, is a far cry from what intelligence analysis is all about.  Now, the “dissent within VIPS” is an urban legend — a mischievous one.  This is why I write.

In summer 2017, the HWHW (Hillary Would Have Won) virus was still so rampant at The Nation, for example, that the editors decided to throw Patrick Lawrence under the bus after commissioning and publishing his article, then telling the media his piece (based on our VIPS memo to the president of July 24, 2017) was “under review.” Then The Nation went even further in publishing technically dubious comments from “dissenters.”

Little more has been heard from the dissenters.  As happened from the very start of our drafting, their leader, Thomas Drake, still refuses to engage with our ex-NSA Technical Directors (his fellow NSA “alumni”) and does not respond to queries from others.  Should you wish to verify this, get in touch with Bill Binney and Tom Drake.

With the collapse of the Trump-Russia collusion story and vindication of what VIPSers have been saying for more than two and a half years, several people have asked us to write a “we-told-you-so-article.”  That’s not our style.

At the same time, the highly relevant technical evidence that has accumulated since summer 2017 shows VIPS to have been operating in the best tradition of intelligence analysis in placing trust in the most accomplished, objective, and reliable specialists with proven records in the precise areas at issue.  (This became a lot easier as VIPS specialists were able to refute the endless “but-what-if” evidence-less conjectures.  The dissenters faded into the woodwork.)

It was not clear to me, Scott, that you had read VIPS’ most recent memo, addressed this time to Attorney General Barr.  https://raymcgovern.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/.  I think it is must-reading.  As for the mischievous obfuscation enabled by the erstwhile dissenters, I shall include below an excerpt from an article written by Elizabeth Vos earlier this year. 

The Real Cost Of Russiagate

Though Russiagate may be summed up as a never-ending theatrical performance designed to hold attention rather than prove itself, that does not mean that the saga has had no tangible effects in the real world. Regardless of what one makes of the legitimacy of Russiagate or any one of its sub-narratives, we can all agree that it has wreaked havoc directly and indirectly on many fronts.

Journalist and award-winning author Patrick Lawrence wrote a ground-breaking article with The Nation in August of 2017, covering a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) memorandum to President Trump. The memo, and Lawrence’s article, indicated that the Guccifer 2.0 persona had published documents that were likely accessed locally, rather than hacked remotely.

The repercussions for Lawrence – professional, financial, personal – continued for many months. In an interview, Lawrence told Disobedient Media: “My working principle from the first is that disagreements and other such matters internal to a publication – any publication – shouldn’t be aired outside the newsroom door. When I was trained, you’d be summarily fired if you went public with such a stunt. I thought this at the time my article came out, and on that same principle, I won’t comment now.” Lawrence concluded: “I should add I have no reason to retract a single syllable of what I wrote.”

A hit-piece authored last year by Duncan Campbell [presented a] disastrously inaccurate depiction of the opinion of Bill Binney and other VIPS members.

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake was also quoted in the piece, comparing CIA veteran and VIPS co-founder Ray McGovern with George W. Bush’s politicization of intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

Most readers do not require the reminder that McGovern and other members of VIPS were strongly opposed to the faulty intelligence used by the Bush administration as a pretext for the 2003 war in Iraq. This history makes Drake’s comparison particularly odious …  Disobedient Media reached out to Drake for comment on this point and others, to which we received no reply by the time of publication.

McGovern spoke with Disobedient Media, saying: “I knew Tom Drake to be a straight shooter, an impression strengthened by our teamwork in Moscow presenting Ed Snowden with the Sam Adams integrity award that Tom himself had won two years before. I normally cut Tom some slack, in view of all he has been through. But when he belatedly took issue with the key VIPS memo of July 24, 2017 on “Russian hacking,” and made claims unsupported by evidence (claims strongly challenged by his fellow NSA “alumni” in VIPS), I, as chair of that memo, had to call him out of order. He reacted poorly and seems now to be in for further embarrassment.”

Disobedient Media also spoke with Bill Binney, who told this author:
“Tom has been a friend of mine for about 20 years. During that time he has demonstrated sound analytic judgment on technical issues with the exception of one. That is the issue of Russiagate and association with the Trump campaign and administration. In this case, I believe he has allowed himself to be diverted by the rather large hoard of emotionally motivated who are intent on associating the Russians with Trump to form the basis for impeachment. They have and continue to convict Trump based on statements made by large numbers of people – as if that were proof of anything. So, on this issue, a good chunk of the US population have lost their objectivity and instead of demanding proof based on observable facts (available to be inspected) they accept assertions generated by emotion. The true test will be in a court of law where all these assertions would be treated as hearsay and inadmissible as none are first-hand observers.”

When asked about the real-world implications of Russiagate thus far, Ray McGovern – who, as we remind our readers, is a former CIA analyst with decades of experience during the Cold War period – expressed deep concern, saying:
“I worry about what conclusions President Putin may draw from attempts to demonize him and to make Russia a pariah. Inflammatory rhetoric can be prelude to war. Worse still, the temperament and hubris of President Trump’s advisers are a far cry from the sage, sober advice Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson, for example, gave President Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Shattered, at this point, is any residual hope Putin may have harbored that Trump would be able to improve ties with Russia. Trump is not his own man. Putin, thus, must prepare for the worst. This is the most serious damage from the Russia-gate narrative so far.”

Patrick Lawrence also appraised the damage done by Russiagate in a piece published via Consortium News, writing: “Numerous sets of sanctions against Russia, individual Russians, and Russian entities have been imposed on the basis of this great conjuring of assumption and presumption.”

As described by McGovern and Lawrence, the tensions raised between two major nuclear powers is perhaps the most important real-world result of over two years of neo-McCarthyist fervor in the US. … Russiagate has been endlessly hyped to deflect from public outrage that rightfully erupted in response to overt election interference by the Democratic Party in the 2016 primary season. It has been used in an attempt to mask the failure of the Democrats and specifically Hillary Clinton as a Presidential candidate. …


Finally, Bill Binney is not known for tooting his own horn.  Besides, for obvious reasons, the mainstream — and most “progressive” alternative media — have shunned him.  (Even a few non-technical VIPS members failed to do due diligence on Binney before they joined the “dissenters.”)  Since you will not see Bill on MSNBC, or even Democracynow.org, here are three links to click on, should you be interested in knowing more:

1 —

Explanation of recent findings begins at minute 29:55.  The use of FAT — the File Allocation Table — for copying onto a storage devise before publication by WikiLeaks is discussed starting at minute 34:50

2 —

August 13, 2018, interview with Jimmy Dore discussing Binney’s additional findings on “Guccifer 2.0” in 2018

“Mueller’s Indictments Debunked By NSA Whistle-blower”

3 —

Full-length documentary about Bill, BANNED from a theater near you:

“A Good American”  Watch it for free on YouTube.

Best regards,


Who got it right on Russia-gate?

With Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s findings published, Scott Horton asked Ray to review the record and speculate on what may be in store, now that the “mainstream media” have been discredited.
Ray looks beyond the reassuring fact that VIPS’ reporting has been vindicated, and expresses concern that President Trump, feeling his oats and surrounded by “crazies” like Bolton and Pompeo, might decide to take advantage of the new situation to do something reckless (and perhaps even  Rapturous).  Might Trump-Bolton-Pompeo “collude” with Netanyahu to provoke Iran and then “retaliate” militarily — in the process helping Netanyahu win the upcoming election in Israel.
Scott and Ray pretty much cover the waterfront for 55 min. (You may wish to skip the one-minute introduction; and also the commercials between minutes 35:00 and 36:20.)