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The Turnaround

By James Howard Kunstler
November 29, 2019

Ray’s comment: What a hopeful, instructive, readable take from Kunstler on all this!  It will be unbelievably good news if the truth prevails and Deep State miscreants are brought to justice.  Unbelievably = not yet believable.

With the MEDIA now the key element in the MICIMATT (Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-MEDIA-Academia-Think-Tank) complex, it will take something of a miracle for the truth to get out, much less to prevail.  That is, unless we all do more than we have been doing so far to give truth a chance and stop cowering at the prospect of being labeled defenders of the clowns in the White House.

Most consequential: whether the whole truth gets out or not, the disingenuous Dems seem doomed by their own dishonesty and ineptitude.  ( See, for example, Scott Ritter’s latest: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/27/scott-ritter-the-whistleblower-and-the-politicization-of-intelligence/ )
If the Establishment media can suppress Ritter’s excellent piece of investigative journalism, as they have over the past four days … well, just sayin’.

That sayin’ and said, Kunstler’s piece is well worth a close read:

________________

The Turnaround

At yesterday’s Thanksgiving table, fifteen adults present, there was not one word uttered about impeachment, Russia, Ukraine, and, most notably, a certain Golden Golem of Greatness, whose arrival at the center of American life three years ago kicked off a political hysteria not witnessed across this land since southern “fire eaters” lay siege to Fort Sumter.

I wonder if some great fatigue of the mind has set in among the class of people who follow the news and especially the tortured antics of Rep. Adam Schiff’s goat rodeo in the House intel Committee the past month. I wonder what the rest of congress is detecting among its constituents back home during this holiday hiatus. I suspect it is that same eerie absence of chatter I noticed, and what it may portend about the nation’s disposition toward reality.

The dead white man Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) famously observed that “all truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident.” America has been stuck in stage two lo these thirty-six months since Mr. Trump shocked the system with his electoral victory over She-Whose-Turn-Was-Undoubted, inciting a paroxysm of rage, disbelief, and retribution that has made the Left side of the political transect ridiculous, and repeatedly, ignominiously so, as their fantasies about Russian “collusion” and sequential chimeras dissolve in official proceedings.

The astounding failure of Mr. Mueller’s report did nothing to dampen the violent derangement. There was no rethinking whatsoever about the terms-of-engagement in the Left’s war against the populist hobgoblin. The solidarity of delusion remained locked in place, leading to Mr. Schiff’s recent antics over his false “whistleblower” and the enfilade of diplomatic flak-catchers tasked to ward off any truthful inquiry into events in Ukraine.

But then, with the Thanksgiving shut-down, something began to turn. It was signaled especially in the Left’s chief disinformation organ, The New York Times, with a week-long salvo of lame stories aimed at defusing the Horowitz report, forthcoming on December 9. The Times stories were surely based on leaks from individuals cited in the IG’s report, who were given the opportunity to “review” the briefs against them prior to the coming release. The stories gave off an odor of panic and desperation that signaled a crumbling loss of conviction in the three-year narrative assault on the truth — namely, that the US Intel Community organized a coup to overthrow the improbable President Trump.

From this point forward, the facts of the actual story — many of them already in the public record, one way or another, and sedulously ignored by the news media — will be officially detailed by federal authorities outside the orbit of the coupsters, and finally beyond the coupsters’ control. The facts may include the uncomfortable truth that Mr. Mueller and his helpers were major players in the bad-faith exercises of the Intel Community against the occupant of the White House.

I’m not so sure that the Resistance can keep up the fight, since their enemy is reality as much as reality’s mere personification in Mr. Trump. 

The violent opposition Schopenhauer spoke of in his three-stage model was just procedural in this case, moving through the courts and committees and other organs of the state. I don’t think the Left can bring the fight to the streets. They don’t have it in them, not even the ANTIFA corps. The hard truths of perfidy and treachery in the upper ranks of government will rain down in the weeks ahead, and when they do, there’s an excellent chance that they will be greeted as self-evident. The Times, the WashPo and the cable news networks will have no choice but to report it all. My guess is that they will display a kind of breathlessly naïve wonder that such things are so. Most remarkably, they might just assert that they knew it all along — a final twitch of bad faith as the new paradigm locks into place.

I expect that we will see something else happen along with that: a loud repudiation of the Democratic Party itself, a recognition that it betrayed the mental health of the nation in its lawless and demented inquisitions. I expect that sentiment will extend to the party’s current crop of candidates for the White House, to the delusional proposals they push, and perhaps even to the larger ethos of the Wokester religion that has programmatically tried to destroy the common culture of this country — especially the idea that we have a duty to be on the side of truth.

Do Pelosi & Other “Adults in the Room” Actually Want 4 More Years for Trump?

With impeachment proceedings on the way, it’s useful to remember that House Intel. Committee chair Adam Schiff has a broken rudder called credulousness, an occupational hazard in his line of work. See, for example, https://raymcgovern.com/2018/11/24/adam-schiffs-incredible-incurable-credulity/ Is it possible that Schiff actually believed Brennan & al. who used him as “useful idiot.” Result: 4 more years. Yuk

Mueller Agonistes: Over-the-Hill Marine Can’t Take the Hill

https://sputniknews.com/radio_the_critical_hour/201907251076352252-mueller-saga-continues-will-his-testimony-help-or-hurt-democrats/
July 24, 2019 (56 minutes)

Dan Lazare, Adjamu Baraka, and Ray joined Dr. Wilmer Leon’s “The Critical Hour” Wednesday afternoon to comment on Robert Mueller’s testimony to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees right after Mueller was finished (in more ways than one).  Ray, who shares with Mueller the dubious distinction of having reached the “age of statutory senility,” expressed some sympathy for hangdog, forgetful, senior-moment-afflicted Mueller amid the elder-abuse to which he was subjected.

It became quickly — and sadly — clear that Mueller genuinely could not remember — or, at times, did not even seem to be aware of — some of the most salient points in his own embarrassing report, after supposedly working on it for two years plus.  And his faltering came, after he had asked for and gotten an extra week to cram for his big test(imony).  The bulk of “The Critical Hour” was devoted to more substantive issues, with interesting insights from Dan Lazare and Adjamu Baraka, as well as Wilmer Leon and Ray, on the just-completed testimony.

To objective observers, it was entirely predictable that the not-very-bright Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler and his Intelligence Committee counterpart Adam Schiff would be shooting themselves in the foot by insisting that Mueller testify.  He was not a good witness — for either side — and that is a huge understatement.  As for the benighted Mueller personally, he should have called in sick, as Ray had been suggesting for weeks.

With the Democrats, it was still more of the gift that won’t stop giving — giving, that is, to Trump and his prospects for a second term.  The emotionally and physically crestfallen, often stumbling witness was a far cry from the lusted-after Deus ex Mueller the Democrats had been hoping would magically appear and rescue the ruse.  As the hours of testimony droned on, that became abundantly clear.

During the short breaks in Mueller’s testimony to the Judiciary committee, NBC commentators could not disguise their chagrin.  Deeply disappointed Russia-gate drone Chuck Todd called Mueller’s performance a “disaster,” complaining that Mueller had “no color, no contrast.”  Andrea Mitchell bemoaned Mueller’s lack of assertiveness and called him “frail.”  It was duly noted that he appeared tired, that he will be 75 in just two weeks, and that the investigation clearly had taken its toll on him.

Were it not in complete disarray, the law profession would own up to the embarrassment — the misfeasance — displayed by this hero with clay feet.  It is nothing short of scandalous that no one, Democrat or Republican, asked Mueller to provide tangible evidence that Russia hacked into DNC computers or that there was any evidence, other than Mueller’s say-so, that the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg was a Russian government operation. The Congressmen and women on Judiciary are all lawyers.  They know that a prosecutor can easily convince a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, as the saying goes in legal circles.

And yet, no one asked for any proof, beyond Mueller’s ipse dixit, that “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” as stated in his report.  Are they all so afraid of being seen to be “in Putin’s pocket” that they shrink from asking the questions any lawyer should ask?

Thus, CNN is able to get away with this kind of drivel:

Washington (CNN) The biggest takeaway from Robert Mueller’s appearances on Capitol Hill is … that Russians are still interfering in US elections.  “They’re doing it as we sit here,” Mueller told lawmakers. (See: https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/24/politics/russia-trump-election-interference/index.html .)

Impeachment was mentioned, and during the interview Ray made the point, once again, that there were plenty of high crimes and misdemeanors to warrant proceeding full speed ahead to impeach President Trump, and that the Dems need to jettison the made-up stuff on Russia-gate that even Mueller was a weak reed in trying to support try as he may.  God knows there is already enough to impeach the man on.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, is again putting politics ahead of the Constitution.  Ray had a front-row seat watching Pelosi and John Conyers ignore their duty under the Constitution 12 years ago, when Pelosi made the fateful decision not to impeach George W. Bush: (See: “Don’t Be Afraid, Nancy, IMPEACH” https://www.opednews.com/articles/Don-t-Be-Afraid-Nancy-IM-by-Ray-McGovern-CIA_Democrats_Impeach-Trump_Nancy-Pelosi-190111-574.html .)

Those interested in a more fact-oriented approach to all this, could do a lot worse than skimming through a couple of the articles linked below:

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/22/ray-mcgovern-a-non-hack-that-raised-hillarys-hackles/

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/16/ray-mcgovern-sic-transit-gloria-mueller/

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/12/concord-management-and-the-end-of-russiagate/

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/08/ray-mcgovern-ex-fbi-cia-officials-draw-withering-fire-on-russiagate/

https://raymcgovern.com/2019/07/06/vivisection-of-robert-mueller-after-general-surgery/

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/06/17/fbi-never-saw-crowdstrike-unredacted-or-final-report-on-alleged-russian-hacking-because-none-was-produced/

Mueller Exposes Spy Chiefs

Did our intel leaders have any evidence when they pushed the Russia collusion line?
By William McGurn, March 25, 2019
https://www.wsj.com/articles/mueller-exposes-spy-chiefs-11553555713?shareToken=ste40676078a4f4ce0961ed80452c10136&reflink=article_email_share

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

Evidence Mounts: DNC Emails Got to WikiLeaks via a LEAK, Not a HACK **

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/02/why-the-dnc-was-not-hacked-by-the-russians.html#more

By Bill Binney and Larry Johnson

A reasonably bright high schooler, after just one careful reading, will be able to understand this new-ground breaking article by VIPSers Binney and Johnson. But most sophisticates in Washington — including the many presstitutes pushing Russiagate — will pretend not to understand, or will simply ignore it.  Dumb Dem. partisans like Robert Reich are likely to again call Bill Binney a “conspiracy theorist.”  (Reich, of course, is not dumb; he is super smart on economics but, sadly, a slave to his party’s party line — and a bind follower of Adam Schiffwreck on Russia-gate.)

More important: why do you suppose Robert Mueller has refused to interview Binney and others in VIPS, who have been pointing out the technology fallacies of Russia-gate for more than two years.

And why did Mueller not interview WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray.  Both have first-hand knowledge of these matters; both have offered to testify.  Will Mueller prefer to complete an incomplete investigation?  And why did President Barack Obama brand “inconclusive” what the Intel chiefs told him were conclusive judgments regarding how the DNC emails go to WikiLeaks? ***

**   https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/06/the-dubious-case-on-russian-hacking/

***  https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/20/obama-admits-gap-in-russian-hack-case/

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

By David Stockman, December 3, 2018
http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/hey-mr-trump-tear-down-that-deep-state-wall-of-secrecy-part-1/

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

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

(See:  https://raymcgovern.com/2018/11/24/adam-schiffs-incredible-incurable-credulity/ )

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:

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/09/18/justice-dept-likely-to-slow-walk-declassification/

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:  https://raymcgovern.com/2018/09/21/trump-flinches-again-lets-himself-be-slow-walked-see-item-immediately-below-by-deep-state-throws-devin-nunes-and-other-committee-chairs-under-the-bus-unless-until-he-changes-his-mind-again/ )

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.

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:

https://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.

NSA Veteran Bill Binney Spreads Some Truth Around

 Former NSA Technical Director William Binney gave an excellent interview to WBAI radio’s Randy Credico on January 31. What Bill has to say should be REQUIRED LISTENING for those who feel a need for a cogent explanation, in understandable, non-technical language, of how NSA has been playing fast and loose with the Bill of Rights. Bill says the snooping has progressed to the point where the initials NSA now stand for “New Stasi Agency,” because NSA has become the East German Stasi (secret police) on steroids. Those who have seen the 2006 Academy Award winning “The Lives of Others” (Das Leben der Anderen) are likely to have a fuller understanding of the scarcely believable capabilities of today’s NSA and the effects that Stasi-like monitoring are already having on society. (For those who have not seen this film, it may be time you do.)

 

Randy Credico’s questions tease out the brutally succinct comments that are “typical Bill Binney,” dealing with questions – some of them naive — raised over recent months and years. Why should I care about “parallel construction?” for example; or “What, me worry? I have nothing to hide.” Binney tackles these head on. Ray uses some of the highlights – like “parallel construction” for further comment below:

 

http://nuarchive.wbai.org/mp3/wbai_170131_170002randyCrelof.mp3

Binney’s segment runs from minute 33:30 to 58:20. (It is preceded by an interesting interview of UK Ambassador Craig Murray – also worth a listen.)

 

Bulk collection, enabled by technology advances and “authorized” by secret “legal authorities,” effectively neuters the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, while violating the 1st (right to free association) and the 5th (right against self-incrimination), as well. Forget the large file rooms full to the ceiling with stacks of the paper folders used by the old Stasi and J. Edgar Hoover. Today’s data is accurate, timely, complete – and much easier to share and to store. Mind-boggling as it may be, NSA can “collect all,” and scan, read, store it all, as well. And it does.

 

Binney makes reference to then FBI Director Robert Mueller’s acknowledgement six years ago that the U.S. was collecting and storing information on U.S. persons. In March 2011 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Oversight Committee Mueller said: “We put in place technological improvements relating to the capabilities of a database to pull together past emails and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search.” And that’s not all Mueller acknowledged.

 

Parallel Construction

 

Under “parallel construction,” NSA shares data from its 4th Amendment-violating, bulk-collection to enable law enforcement to play fast and loose with the 5th amendment as well. Illegally acquired bulk collection is shared not only with the police, but also with the FBI, CIA, IRS, DHS, DEA et al. Using the data as tip-off, law enforcement then undertakes to use law-conforming police tactics to arrest, try, convict. Those aware of the illegal provenance of the tip-off evidence are prohibited from telling the accused, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges, or jury about the information initially used to “construct” an ostensibly legal case.

 

Thus, as Bill points out, perjury is a major part of “parallel construction,” as well as infringement on the 5th amendment right to due process. He describes the program as “a perjury program run by the Department of Justice,” and notes that the indiscriminate, bulk collection of the wherewithal for the “parallel construction” was “approved” by a secret interpretation of Executive Order 12333, Section 2.3(c) which reads: Information obtained in the course of a lawful foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, international narcotics or international terrorism investigation”

 

Parallel construction itself, though, is hardly a secret. Reuters revealed it in 2013. Ray wrote about it in June 2014 after he had a unique opportunity before a large audience at Georgetown University to ask former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who had been in charge of the “parallel construction” program, how he could legally justify it. Mueller explained that “various authorities” had been granted. The user-friendly audience moaned at Ray’s impertinent question. He was asking the FBI Director on what basis he justified violating the Constitution and the law; Mueller’s explanation citing “various authorities” seemed good enough for the vast majority of the audience.

 

How NSA Can Secretly Aid Criminal Cases

 

See Something, Say Something; “New Stasi Agency”-style.

 

Binney comments on current NSA procedures requiring workers to tattle on one another if they see, or think they see, an insider threat. This does not make for a good working atmosphere among colleagues, Bill quips. As for ex-NSA whistleblowers, some current employees of NSA who have tried to contact people like Tom Drake have been summarily fired. Bill explained that this is why he avoids trying to make any such contact, lest it risk the jobs and livelihood of former colleagues.

 

Ray knows only a few still “on the inside,” so this is not a major problem for him. Many of his fellow retirees who are “back on contract” have not returned his calls or emails for many years now. Sadly, this includes a former colleague and friend who, with other CIA alumni, took part in the founding meeting of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (See: samadamsaward.ch.) and in presenting its first annual award in 2003). This colleague/friend is even older than Ray, but may be still “back on contract,” so he will remain nameless.) Another former colleague, now a senior CIA official, told Ray that, having bumped into him and exchanged pleasantries at wake for an analyst in Ray’s branch in the 70s, he now “had to report the contact to Security,” since Ray is now a “journalist.”

 

Storage

 

For those familiar with how much data can be put on a thumb drive, minds will boggle at how much more storage space is being built – like would you believe 2.5 million square feet right there with NSA and Fort Meade?

 

The Sam Adams Award

 

On January 22, 2015 in Berlin, Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence gave William Binney its 14th annual award, presenting him with the traditional Sam Adams corner-brightener candlestick holder in symbolic recognition of his courage in shining light into dark places.

 

 

His award citation read, in part:

 

“Bill Binney represents the patriotic side of a duel between two unequal adversaries: an exceedingly powerful and ruthless state and Bill, an official who would not break his solemn oath to defend its Constitution. … On both sides of the Atlantic we hear the mantra: ‘After 9/11/2001 EVERYTHING CHANGED;’ just like ‘everything changed’ after the burning of the Reichstag in Berlin on 2/27/1933. That event led many Germans into what the writer Sebastian Haffner called “sheepish submissiveness” — with disastrous consequences.

 

“As a young German lawyer in Berlin at the time, Haffner wrote in his diary one day after the Reichstag fire that Germans had suffered a nervous breakdown. ‘No one saw anything out of the ordinary in the fact that, from now on, one’s telephone would be tapped, one’s letters opened, and one’s desk might be broken into. What was missing, wrote Haffner, was ‘a solid inner kernel that cannot be shaken by external pressures and forces, something noble and steely, a reserve of pride, principle, and dignity to be drawn on in the hour or trial.’

 

“These traits were NOT missing in Bill Binney. Nor were they missing in Edward Snowden, whose patriotic risk-taking opened the way for Bill and his colleagues to expose the collect-it-all fanatics and the damage they do to privacy everywhere.”

 

However, we learned at the award ceremony in Berlin that, ironically, it was the other way around; it was Binney who “opened the way” for Snowden – something low-key Bill knew but kept quiet about. It fell to Ed Snowden himself, as he was streamed into Bill’s awards ceremony, to set the record straight: “Without Bill Binney there would be no Ed Snowden,” he said.

 

Ed explained that it was Binney’s outspoken condemnation of NSA abuses that helped embolden Ed to blow the whistle and make available to Bill and others documentary evidence showing how close the American people were/are to what Ed called “turnkey tyranny.”

 

Waxing biblical, one might put it this way: Binney begat Snowden; Snowden begat – well, it’s hard to be sure. It does seem altogether possible, though, that Snowden begat the insider(s) who leaked to WikiLeaks the emails showing how Mrs. Clinton and the Democratic National Committee stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders; paid the Saudis back handsomely for their huge contributions to the Clinton Foundation; and told Wall Street it had nothing to fear from her “inevitable” presidency. It is a safe guess that Ed Snowden’s willingness to risk everything to show how close the U.S. is to “turnkey tyranny,” has already inspired – and will “beget” – still other whistleblowers.

Are There More Truth-Tellers?

 

Surely, there are some courageous patriots – and potential whistleblowers – still in the ranks of NSA and other intelligence agencies today. They, like Binney and Snowden – not to mention other courageous colleagues like Kirk Wiebe, Thomas Drake – may honor their oath to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies foreign and domestic and take some risk to thwart the slide toward Stasi-type tyranny.

 

A good way for them to begin would be to tell us what to think about former President Barack Obama’s parting shot about “Russian hacking.” Although the “mainstream media” missed this, at Obama’s last press conference (Jan. 18), he admitted that: “the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked. (Emphasis added)

 

So Obama went out the door with inconclusive conclusions and admitted that there remains a gaping gap between “Russian hacking” and WikiLeaks. It appears that NSA does not know who gave the emails to WikiLeaks. Is Binney correct in saying that NSA would certainly know about anything “hacked” and sent over the blanket-covered network? Does this prove that leaking was involved, and not hacking – by the Russians or anyone else? This, after all is what Bill Binney – and Ambassador Craig Murray, a friend of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, and Assange himself – have been saying for many months.

 

Ray has been pointing out that, in professional intelligence analysis of highly technical issues, appropriate weight is traditionally given to highly experienced technical experts with a proven record for reliability – as opposed to reporters from, say, the New York Times. Thus, it remains a puzzle why even solid analysts like James Carden wait – as he did in an otherwise excellent recent article – until paragraph 45 (of 50) to mention Binney as author of what Carden labels “an alternative theory” on the Russian hacking story. Carden quotes from a Jan. 5 op-ed in the Baltimore Sun in which Binney says: “It is puzzling why NSA cannot produce hard evidence implicating the Russian government and WikiLeaks. Unless we are dealing with a leak from an insider, not a hack.”

A Reprise of the Iraq-WMD Fiasco?

 

Just before Mr. and Mrs. Obama got on the departing helicopter, Ray made a stab at decoding the ex-president’s Delphic remark, two days before, in: “Obama admits gap in Russian Hack Case.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/20/obama-admits-gap-in-russian-hack-case/

But Ray is no longer an “insider,” and technically (no pun intended) neither is Bill Binney. Bill quit NSA in 2001, as soon as he learned that the programs he devised were being changed to enable gross violation of Americans’ 4th Amendment right to privacy. Bill can give interviews to alternative media and appear in documentaries (see below), and Ray can be skunk at picnics – as when he asked questions of congressmen like Adam Schiff, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee (See the following two-minute clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdOy-l13FEg ), but, again, neither Bill nor Ray are “insiders” like the ones in whom Schiff says he places great confidence.

 

Needed: Another Patriot

 

Will an inside whistleblower rise to the occasion and clarify the evidence – or lack of evidence – regarding the all important gap – or a link — between Russian hacking and WikiLeaks? And, please, this time let’s not resort to the Rumsfeld aphorism that worked so well with the “WMD” in Iraq – “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

 

This is not to beat a dead horse; the horse is very much alive. Extremists like Sen. John McCain have characterized Russian hacking as an act of war, and a very strange bi-partisan assortment of neocons’/Republican Russia-haters’/Hillary-defeat-explainers’ knives are out for Mr. Putin – and for President Trump. California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is now suggesting impeachment proceedings based on the evidence-free notion that Trump assisted the Russian hacking that eased him into the presidency.

 

A Decent Newspaper Gets Burned; Kahl’s Kool Aid

 

The only recent sign of hope came this morning, when Germany’s leading newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, revealed that Bruno Kahl, head of the German Intelligence, was aping his U.S. counterpart, CIA Director John Brennan, late last year in claiming that the BND had evidence that Russia manipulated the voting for Trump, adding that the Kremlin is interfering in similar ways in Germany. Kahl read from the same script as Brennan and the U.S. “mainstream media,” telling the Sueddeutsche in November: “The perpetrators are interested in delegitimizing the democratic process as such.”

 

Apparently, the Sueddeutsche felt burned when it learned the truth after drinking Kahl’s Kool Aid and publishing it in November. Today the SZ was the first to publish the conclusion of a yearlong joint inquiry by the German equivalents of the CIA and FBI, which have been searching for evidence of Russian interference in Germany’s domestic affairs. “We have not found any smoking gun,” a German cabinet source told the newspaper.

 

Like the almost dead horse in Washington, however, the German steed remains kicking. Chancellor Angela Merkel has sent the two spy agencies back to the drawing board. Her office has ordered a new inquiry, this one led by a joint “psychological operations group,” to investigate Russian news agencies’ coverage in Germany. Ray did a short interview on this earlier today: (See: https://youtu.be/A8vjhA9oGzk )

 

The “Sources and Methods” Canard

 

As for the facile, all-too-familiar excuse – used by Adam Schiff, for example – that one cannot risk compromising “sources and methods,” there are many effective ways to protect them and still disclose key information, when the situation requires. Ronald Reagan, for example, insisted that a TOP SECRET encoded communication between Libyan operatives responsible for a lethal bombing in Berlin be divulged, in full knowledge the U.S. intelligence capability to intercept and decrypt such communications would be blown (for higher national purpose). See:

A Demand for Russian ‘Hacking’ Proof

 

If potential whistleblowers need still more inspiration/courage, it will be readily available this month, as movie theaters begin to show “A Good American,” featuring Bill Binney and a handful of his courageous colleague whistleblowers – playing themselves. ( agoodamerican.org/ ) Oliver Stone has given the film high marks, describing it earlier as a “powerful prequel to SNOWDEN.” (Note to NSA employees: remember not to use your own credit card to purchase a ticket.)

 

We have now wandered a bit from the Bill Binney’s interview on WBAI last week. It may be appropriate to close with a 200 year-old warning from Goethe, a quote that Bill managed to slip into that interview:

 

“No one is more a slave than he who thinks himself free, but is not.”

 

“Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein*.

Giving Hypocrisy a Bad Name – Again

Ray points out some of the falsehoods in the House Intelligence Committee’s report that defames Edward Snowden for exposing the kind of unconstitutional activities to which this supposed “oversight” committee had turned a blind eye.  The report analyzes Ed’s life and plumbs his possible motives, but misses the operative one – his oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution (including the 4th Amendment) from ALL enemies foreign and domestic.  

(6 minutes)

 

Members of Congress, of course, take the same oath, but many of them don’t seem to remember that.  There is little sign that leaders of this House committee care much about the 4th Amendment – or about several others, for that matter.  That goes especially for ranking member Adam Shiff, who sees a Russian under every email.  (See this, for example (reposted from below):

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson takes apart Adam Schiff, who is ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee – a Schiff without a port – or a rudder; a “ranking” captain reeking of Red Bait.

http://theduran.com/fox-news-tucker-carlson-demolishes-this-us-congressman-who-claims-that-tucker-carlson-is-now-under-the-control-of-putin/

December 7, 2016 (8 minutes)

Tucker Carlson: No Holds Barred on Mueller and the Democrats

“Bogus!”

By Ray McGovern

On July 25, the day after Mueller appeared, Carlson’s 8-minute commentary might as well have been labeled: “Have we now had our full of Schiff?” ***
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFc2H1Ja5Rs

Two days later Carlson went a bit deeper, probing the reaction of Democrats to the so-called “Mueller report,” including Mueller’s sorry performance on July 24 and the neuralgic issue of impeachment. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvVnXVZYJMQ(7 minutes)

*** I have had my full of Schiff for over two and a half years, after having a two-minute personal encounter with him. Those interested in “Schiff and Ray” on camera can click on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdOy-l13FEg

Those wishing more background can fill in the SEARCH button on raymcgovern.com, or simply click on the following two links:

https://raymcgovern.com/2017/01/25/ray-was-face-to-face-with-adam-schiff-ranking-member-house-intelligence-committee-this-morning-january-25-2017/

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