zaterdag 10 februari 2018

Fake News by Omission: the Haiti Example



Fake News by Omission: the Haiti Example

“I’m happy to have a president that will bluntly speak the truth in negotiations,” Eric Prince commented on Breitbart News. “If the president says some places are shitholes, he’s accurate.”  Thus did Mr. Eric Prince pay homage to Mr. Donald Trump. Prince of course being the renowned founder of Blackwater, the private army which in September 2007 opened fire in a crowded square in Baghdad, killing 17 Iraqi civilians and seriously wounding 20 more.
Speaking of Haiti and other “shitholes”, Prince declared: “It’s a sad characterization of many of these places. It’s not based on race. It has nothing to do with race. It has to do with corrupt incompetent governments that abuse their citizens, and that results in completely absent infrastructure to include open sewers, and unclean water, and crime. It’s everything we don’t want in America.”
Like the US media, Prince failed to point out that on two occasions in the recent past when Haiti had a decent government, led by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, which was motivated to improve conditions, the United States was instrumental in nullifying its effect. This was in addition to fully supporting the Duvalier dictatorship for nearly 30 years prior to Aristide.
Aristide, a reformist priest, was elected to the presidency in 1991 but was ousted eight months later in a military coup. The 1993 Clinton White House thus found itself in the awkward position of having to pretend – because of all their rhetoric about “democracy” – that they supported the democratically-elected Aristide’s return to power from his exile in he US. After delaying his return for more than two years, Washington finally had its military restore Aristide to office, but only after obliging the priest to guarantee that he would not help the poor at the expense of the rich – literally! – and that he would stick closely to free-market economics. This meant that Haiti would continue to be the assembly plant of the Western Hemisphere, with its workers receiving starvation wages, literally! If Aristide had thoughts about breaking the agreement forced upon him, he had only to look out his window – US troops were stationed in Haiti for the remainder of his term.
In 2004, with Aristide once again the elected president, the United States staged one of its most blatant coups ever. On February 28, 2004, American military and diplomatic personnel arrived at Aristide’s home to inform him that his private American security agents must either leave immediately to return to the US or fight and die; that the remaining 25 of the American security agents hired by the Haitian government, who were to arrive the next day, had been blocked by the United States from coming; that foreign and Haitian rebels were nearby, heavily armed, determined and ready to kill thousands of people in a bloodbath. Aristide was pressured to sign a “letter of resignation” before he was flown into exile by the United States.
And then US Secretary of State Colin Powell, in the sincerest voice he could muster, told the world that Aristide “was not kidnaped. We did not force him onto the airplane. He went onto the airplane willingly. And that’s the truth.” Powell sounded as sincere as he had sounded a year earlier when he gave the UN a detailed (albeit imaginary) inventory of the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Iraq, shortly before the US invasion.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was on record, by word and deed, as not being a great lover of globalization or capitalism. This was not the kind of man the imperial mafia wanted in charge of the Western Hemisphere’s assembly plant. It was only a matter of time before they took action.
It should be noted that the United States also kept progressives out of power in El Salvador, another of Trump’s “shithole” countries.
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The decision to blame Russian meddling



Why ‘Russian Meddling’ is a Trojan Horse

Prior to the 2016 presidential election, if one were to ask what single act could seal a new Cold War with Russia, align liberals and progressives with the operational core of the American military-industrial-surveillance complex, expose the preponderance of left-activism as an offshoot of Democratic Party operations and consign most of what remained to personal invective against an empirically dangerous leader, consensus would likely have it that doing so wouldn’t be easy.
The decision to blame Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss was made in the immediate aftermath of the election by her senior campaign staff. Within days the received wisdom amongst Clinton supporters was that the election had been stolen and that Donald Trump was set to enter the White House as a pawn of the Russian political leadership. Left out was the history of U.S. – Russian relations; that the largest voting bloc in the 2016 election was eligible voters who didn’t vote and that domestic business interests substantially control the American electoral process.
Graph: The Democrats’ choice to blame external forces, e.g. Russian meddling, for their electoral loss in 2016 ignores evidence of that none-of-the-above is the people’s choice. The largest voting bloc in the 2016 election was eligible voters who chose not to vote. In contrast to the received wisdom in political consultant circles, choosing not to vote is a political act. The U.S. has the lowest voter turnout in the ‘developed’ world for a reason. Source: electproject.org.
More than a year later, no credible evidence has been put forward to establish that any votes were changed due to ‘external’ meddling. As the Intercept has reported, since the election progressive candidates seeking public office have been systematically subverted by establishment Democrats in favor of those with connections to big-money donors. And the Democratic Party leadership in congress just voted to give Mr. Trump expanded spying powers with fewer restraints. Congressional Democrats are certainly behaving as if they believe Mr. Trump was duly elected. And more to the point, they are supporting his program.
The choice of Russia would seem bizarre if not for the history. Residual propaganda from the first Cold War— itself largely a business enterprise that provided ideological cover for American imperial incursions, had it that substantive grievances against the American government, in the form of protests, were universally the product of ‘external’ enemies intent on sowing discord to promote their own interests. This slander was used against the Civil Rights movement, organized labor, anti-war protesters and the counterculture of the 1960s.
Therefore, the choice by the Clintonites to invoke a new Cold War by bringing Russia into the American electoral mix is not without a past. Students of history may recall that in the early 1990s Mikhail Gorbachev was given assurances by senior members of George H.W. Bush’s administration that NATO would not be expanded to Russia’s border in exchange for Russia’s help re-integrating East and West Germany. It was Bill Clinton who unilaterally abrogated these assurances and moved nuclear-armed NATO to Russia’s border.
In 2013 the Obama administration ‘brokered’ (Mr. Obama’s term) a coup in the former Soviet state of Ukraine that ousted the democratically elected President to install persons favorable to the interests of Western oligarchs. At the time Hillary Clinton had just vacated her post as Mr. Obama’s Secretary of State to prepare for her 2016 run for president, but her lieutenants, including Victoria Nuland, were active in coordinating the coup and deciding who the new ‘leadership’ of Ukraine would be.
An analogy would be if Russia moved troops and weaponry to the Mexican border with the U.S. after giving assurances that it wouldn’t do so and then engineered a coup (in Mexico) to install a government friendly to the interests of the Russian political leadership. One needn’t be sympathetic to Russian interests to understand that these are provocations. Given U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles, the provocations seem more reckless than ‘tough.’ Then consider Mr. Obama’s, later Trump’s, move to ‘upgrade’ the U.S. nuclear arsenal toward ‘tactical’ use.
This is to suggest that it certainly makes sense that the Russian political leadership would want to keep American militarists, a/k/a the Clintons and their neocon ‘crazies,’ out of White House. But as of now, the evidence is that the Russians changed no votes in the 2016 election. As far as inciting dissent— the charge that protests were organized by Russian ‘interests,’ not only does this reek of prior misdirection by the FBI and CIA, but there is no evidence that any such protests had an impact on the outcome of the 2016 election.
Given Mr. Trump’s belligerent (unhinged) rhetoric toward North Korea, if enhancing geopolitical stability was the Russians’ goal, Mr. Trump must be a disappointment. Unfortunately for Mr. Trump’s critics (among whom I count myself), there is a lot of ‘theory’ from American think tanks that supports crazy as a strategy. And it was after Mr. Trump’s provocative posture toward North Korea became widely known that senior Democrats voted to give him additional NSA powers with fewer restrictions.
The most cynically brilliant outcome of the ‘blame Russia’ campaign has been to neuter left activism by focusing the attack on Donald Trump rather than the interests he represents. As evidence, the proportion of Goldman Sachs alumni in Mr. Trump’s administration approximates that in Mr. Obama’s and what was expected for Mrs. Clinton’s. If the problem is Donald Trump, then the solution is ‘not Trump.’ However, if the problem is that the rich substantially controlAmerican political outcomes, how would electing ‘not Trump’ bring about resolution?
As it is, within days of the 2016 election Mr. Trump, his supporters plus the political opponents of Mrs. Clinton were recast as stooges of the Kremlin. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had required loyalty oaths from their stalwarts. But even a loyalty oath wouldn’t prove that one isn’t a stooge of the Kremlin. And the larger problem with the theory (of Russian meddling) is that the U.S. electoral system was already thoroughly corrupted by economic power.
As students of the scientific method know, you can’t ‘prove’ a negative. Condoleezza Rice used this knowledge in 2003 to sell the George W. Bush administration’s calamitous war against Iraq through the charge that the proof that Saddam Hussein had an ongoing WMD program is that he hadn’t handed over his WMDs. As history has it, Mr. Hussein couldn’t hand over his WMDs because he didn’t have any to hand over. How then would critics of Mrs. Clinton ‘prove’ they weren’t / aren’t acting on behalf of foreign interests?
The answer lies with Democratic Party loyalists. Much as Bush – Cheney supporters were impervious to logical and evidentiary challenges to the rationales given for the war against Iraq, Clintonites believe what they believe because they believe it. For those with an interest and some knowledge of empirical research, read the myriad articles touting ‘proof’ of Russian meddling and find a single instance where such proof is provided. Or with an eye toward not being the half of Republicans who still believe that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, bring the proof forward if it exists.
Here is the disclaimer taken from the National Intelligence Estimate (link here).
The National Intelligence Estimate, initially claimed to be based on input from 17 intelligence agencies, later reduced to selected representatives from three of the agencies (NSA, CIA and FBI), provides no proof for claims of Russian meddling and states quite openly that it is conjecture. Amongst these agencies, one (NSA) is known for illegally spying on Americans and lying about it to congress, the second (CIA) provided fraudulent ‘evidence’ to drag the U.S. into a calamitous war against Iraq where it ran illegal torture camps and the third (FBI) has such a checkered history that is was called ‘Gestapo’ by former U.S. president Harry Truman.
Here is James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, lying to congress about NSA spying. Here is Trevor Timm in the Columbia (University) Journalism Review explaining the many ways former head of the NSA and CIA Michael Hayden has lied to congress and the American people. Here is a brief history of COINTELPRO and FBI attempts to disrupt and discredit the Civil Rights movement. At the time that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was accusing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of being a communist (link above), the term approximated being an agent of Russia.
(Here is a compendium of links related to claims made in this piece: Promise by U.S. that NATO wouldn’t expand to surround Russia. Bill Clinton expands NATO to Eastern Bloc to surround Russia. Barack Obama admits U.S. role in Ukraine coup. James Clapper committingperjury. Victoria Nuland discusses overthrowing the democratically elected government of Ukraine and installing U.S. puppets. Backstoryof CIA and Robert Sheer that supports argument Propornot is government operation with ties to Ukrainian fascists.)
There is circumstantial evidence that the first list of ‘Russian-linked’ websites published by the ‘credible’ media, that of Propornotpublished in the Washington Post (in their ‘Business’ section) to which a disclaimer was subsequently added, was the work of Ukrainians with links to the CIA. The Propornot website (link above) is worth visiting to get a sense of how implausible the whole enterprise is. On it former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Ronald Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts, is listed prominently as a puppet of the Kremlin. And deep-research political website Washington’s Blog made the honor roll as well.
More recently, the New York Times cited the German Marshall Fund as an authority on Russian meddling. The German Marshall fund (U.S.) is headed by Karen Donfried, a former Obama Administration official and operative for the National Intelligence Council. The National Intelligence Council supports the Director of National Intelligence. Here (again) is James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, lying to congress about NSA spying. Derek Chollet, Executive Vice President of the fund, is the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Obama administration and a senior member of Hillary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff.
The question for the Left is why liberals and progressives would align themselves with Hayden, Clapper, the FBI, CIA and NSA, and suspect organizations like Propornot and the German Marshall Fund when most have spent their entire existences trying to undermine and shut down the Left? The (near-term) cynical brilliance of the Democrats’ strategy is through revival of the Cold War frame of national interests that was always a cover for imperial business schemes. As the Intercept articles (links above) have well- uncovered, this is all just business for the Democrats anyway. Can you say class warfare?
Assuming for a moment that not everyone is playing the Democrats’ one-dimensional checkers, if the Russian political leadership really intended to ‘undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order,’ as the NIE puts it, it is doing Mrs. Clinton a disservice to suggest that she wasn’t up to the job. From the Clintons’ 1994 Crime Bill to deregulating Wall Street to support for George W. Bush’s calamitous war against Iraq to the U.S. / NATO destruction of Libya, Mrs. Clinton has ‘undermine(d) the U.S.-led liberal democratic order’ just fine.
Likely not considered when the Russian meddling hypothesis was originally put forward is what happens next? The initial charge that America’s ‘sacred democratic tradition’ was soiled when the Russian political leadership hacked the election has run up against the apparent fact that no votes have been found to have been changed. The charge that AstroTurf protests organized by the Russians led to dissent smells a lot like the last half-century of FBI / CIA lies against / about the Left. And the charge that narcissistic plutocrat Trump has been ‘compromised’ misses that he was already compromised by the circumstances of his birth and upbringing. This is the problem.
The Democrats, in their wisdom, have given a gift to the U.S. intelligence ‘community’ that provides political cover for closing down inconvenient commentary and disrupting inconvenient political organizations. A political Left with a brain would be busy thinking through strategy for when the internet becomes completely unusable for organizing and communication. The unifying factor in the initial ‘fake news’ purge was criticism of Hillary Clinton. Print media, a once viable alternative, has been all but destroyed by the move to the internet. This capability needs to be rebuilt.
Bourgeois incredulity that Donald Trump still has supporters could be seen by an inquisitive Left through a lens of class struggle. Yes, his effective supporters are rich, just as the national Democrats’ are— the term for this is plutocracy. But back in the realm of human beings, rising deaths of despair tie in theory and fact to the wholesale abandonment of the American people by the political class. An inquisitive Left would be talking to these people, not at them. The Russian meddling story is a sideshow with a political purpose. But class struggle remains the relevant story.
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Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

The Noble Reporter in His Splendor

God’s Knights of the Pen and Bottle: The Noble Reporter in His Splendor

Everything goes to hell. It warms a curmudgeon’s heart. I remember when, as God intended, reporters were bright and profane drunks with no respect for anything. This philosophical end-point was natural for men steeped daily in the lying, thieving, corruption, bribes, shysterism, misery, and unrelenting stupidity that are public life. Ashen-souled, cynical, with a wonderful acerbic sense of humor that would have dissolved a meat axe, they lacked illusions, about anything. If a reporter thought he saw glimmerings of human decency in a politician or a lawyer, he would have his eyes checked.
News weasels were rough-edged, often talented, splendid company and, usually, ugly. Mencken, who looked like a fire plug with leprosy,  was the archetype, combing all of these wis;oyord in profusion, plus a monumental capacity for good whiskey.
Mencken, dog-butt ugly, frequently soused, politically incorrect as a lynching. Would be jailed today.
By and large they were men of what might be called a robust character, of the sort associated with pit bulls, and sometimes were  more combative than quieter people would like. You can’t be diplomatic or spiritual or contemplative  or anything of that sort and get s story from someone who doesn’t want you to get it because he is thinking of jail time. It is  especially in competition with a snapping pack of dyspeptic scriveners trying to  get the same story first. When assembled in hordes, they resembled Mongol barbarians thundering across the steppes. See below.
Some, especially overseas,  had odd pasts. There was my friend Paul Vogel of UPI Saigon who, the legend held had been in a catholic seminary somewhere but disappeared over the horizon on a motorcycle  with a bottle of gin in one hand and somehow ended up in Hanoi teaching English before joining up with UPI. Most of this has to be apocryphal, such as driving a motorcycle with one hand, but probably no stranger than the truth, whatever that was. Paul spoke several dialects of Vietnamese so well that on the phone he was accepted as native. This is impossible, but I saw it. Anyway we spent afternoons in his apartment above UPI drinking bam de bam and swapping lies.
In Washington you found a more polished sort who were gentlemen or could be if needed–Mike Causey, Wes Pruden, Ralph Hallow– but savvy and smart and of the Pre-Princetonian era. It was only later that we got prissy delicates who probably drank designer water in fern bars instead of sour mash.
Anyway, what brought these reflections on was my stumbling across  the following from a previous life. Think of them as being like the Qum Ran Scrolls or something from a cave wall in Lascaux:
The Washington Times, 1982
Bouncing across southern Lebanon is a convoy of 125 reporters, photographers, and TV crazies in 25 rented Subarus, the assembled war corespondents of the western world. Somehow I don’t think this is how Ernie Pyle did it. We look like a traffic jam in Tokyo. Photographers dangle acrobatically from windows. Three TV cameras protrude like poorly thought-out plumbing from the car ahead, intently filming a wrecked jeep. A Brazilian TV crew has crawled onto the roof of its car. Arabs stare, deeply puzzled. They have seen any number of armies roaring about, but nothing so quintessentially mad as this.
For six days I have been living in hotels on Israeli borders with this horde. It is like living in a cageful of histrionic tarantulas. Nowhere but in a war zone have I seen such bellicose, courageous, rude, egotistical, preposterously masculine, faintly reptilian rogues, all working hard at being Marlboro Men. A fellow with a codpiece concession could coin money. Heaven knows what the Arabs would think of that.
We pull into Nabatieh, a village. The Israeli escorts eye the anarchic bull-headed mob like snappish sheep dogs. They know that everybody here wants to escape and get his Subaru blown out from under him at the front. A war correspondent feels slighted by fate if he is not almost blown up every day or two. To a large degree, they believe they are the actors in this scene, the armies being mere props. They look forward to sitting in dark foreign bars in the manner of Hemingway at his most excessive and saying, “Yes, bit of a tiff in ’82, got my bloody Subaru shot out from under me, ought to bullet-proof the things….happens, you know.”
Some Palestinian prisoners are on display for us in a courtyard, so that we can see how beneficently the Israelis treat their captives. The journalists alight in a pack and race toward the alarmed prisoners. The TV guys jog along in pairs, one carrying the camera and the other with a suitcase full of batteries or something. Waving their microphones like the tendrils of some underwater beast, balancing cameras on high so see over those in front, they shout incomprehensible questions at the bewildered Palestinians.
The numerical superiority of the press and its lamentable assertiveness combine, as usual, to dominate the scene. One hundred twenty-five irritated reporters–“Hey, hey, outa the way, buddy, I got pictures to take. Hey you….” engulf and then digest a dozen Christian militiamen on a pair of armored personnel carriers. Nabatieh is now a Press Event. The public will never see this absurd performance, however. Every photographer will carefully frame out the other newsmen, giving the salable impression that he alone was out there in no man’s land.
Bored, I stand with some other reporters next to an Israeli jeep. A framed picture of Yasser Arafat is tied to the bumper. I grin, knowing a GI gag when I see one, but a camera crew begins jogging toward us with its suitcase. The TV types have detected A Visual in ol’ Arafat. The Israeli frantically snatches the picture away: If that goes on the satellite to 500 million viewers, right above the license plate of his jeep, he will have a central position before a firing squad.
The reporters are grousing about the TV clowns and how they don’t know what news is and how they’re always in the way. This is true. Of the major ethnic groups of the news racket, TV types are the most truly pestilential-comparatively. They carry more electronics than the space shuttle, all wired together with their microphones. They need absolute quiet, nobody else in the picture, a lot of time to set up and a long time to shoot. Reporters usually think TV people should be chained in their hotels during a war, and also between wars. This is wisdom.
Finally the Subaru Bureau remounts and heads home. For any other class of people, driving out of a small town would be done in comity and safety. But no. Everybody jumps in his car as if beginning a Grand Prix, backs fiercely into the crowd and spins the tires viciously trying to be first in the convoy. The idea is to be first to the telephones on reaching the hotel. For this they are perfectly willing to run down seven or eight colleagues and a few slow Arabs, and bash into an armored personnel carrier.
Again we bump across southern Lebanon, cameras protruding, Arabs puzzling, a Japanese used-car lot on the move.

Steele Dossier full of ‘Russian dirt’ – or British?

Is the Steele Dossier full of ‘Russian dirt’ – or British?

GCHQ, Britain’s version of the NSA, was spying on Trump and providing agencies in the US with sensitive intel

Submitted by author via Strategic Culture
With text messages between US Justice Department (DOJ) conspirators Peter Strzok and his adulterous main squeeze Lisa Page now revealing that then-President Barack Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing,” it now appears that the 2016 plot to subvert the rule of law and corrupt the US organs of state security for political purposes reached the very pinnacle of power. To call the United States today a “banana republic” increasingly may be seen as a gratuitous insult to the friendly spider-infested nations to our south.
Still, don’t expect to see Barry Hussein Saetoro doing the perp walk anytime soon or even being deported back to Kenya. Don’t expect to see orange prison suits on Strzok, Page, former FBI Director James Comey, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and others implicated in putting a political thumb on the scales to, first, get Hillary Clinton elected, and then, when that failed, to neuter Donald Trump’s presidency with a phony Russiagate probe.
Officials’ getting “former-ed” is one thing, their getting prosecuted quite another. (Just imagine if a GOP administration had similarly skewed the supposedly non-political law enforcement and intelligence services for partisan reasons. We’d have Watergate on steroids. The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN would be calling for hanging, drawing, and quartering.)
Indeed, it’s not even clear the Russiagate investigation itself will be impacted. After all, the narrative may have flipped on one variable – from Trump campaign collusion to Democratic and FBI collusion – but the constant remains the same: Russia. Trump’s defenders are as insistent as his detractors that the real culprit is Russia! Russia! Russia!
Sean Hannity of Fox News has been hyperventilating that the entire Steele Dossier, lying at the black heart of the mess consists of “phony, fake-news Russian propaganda” and “Russian intelligence lies” from British MI6 (supposedly “former”) spymaster Christopher Steele’s “Russian sources.” Even level-headed observers like Paul Sperry and Patrick Buchanan characterize the file as a “Kremlin-aided smear job” and “Russian dirt [that] Steele was spoon-fed by old comrades in the Kremlin’s security apparatus.”

Christopher Steele is not Russian

But what do we really know about Steele’s claimed sources? Not much.
Sure, maybe Vladimir Putin personally whispered every word of the dossier into Steele’s ear. Or maybe Steele invented his supposed sources from whole cloth: your clients are paying for sleaze, you give them sleaze.
Or anything in between: maybe Steele consulted some imaginative Russian cranks with only a marginal, and most likely adversarial, relationship to the Russian authorities, whose “inside knowledge” Steele padded to justify his fee. (Steele claims he didn’t pay his “sources” – assuming they exist at all – but that’s no more worthy of credit than anything else he says.)
As analyzed by Russia expert Stephen F. Cohen:
‘Where, then, … did Steele get his information? According to Steele and his many stenographers – which include his American employers, Democratic Party Russiagaters, the mainstream media, and even progressive publications – it came from his “deep connections in Russia,” specifically from retired and current Russian intelligence officials in or near the Kremlin. From the moment the dossier began to be leaked to the American media, this seemed highly implausible (as reporters who took his bait should have known) for several reasons:
– ‘Steele has not returned to Russia after leaving his post there in the early 1990s. Since then, the main Russian intelligence agency, the FSB, has undergone many personnel and other changes, especially after 2000, and especially in or near Putin’s Kremlin. Did Steele really have such “connections” so many years later? [JGJIs it credible that the head of MI6’s Russian branch is on a first-name basis with top Kremlin insiders? Turn the identities around and ask whether the chiefs of the US section of Russian or Chinese intelligence are on intimate speaking terms with the US president’s top advisers or with the leadership of the CIA or FBI. Hardly.]
– ‘Even if he did, would these purported Russian insiders really have collaborated with this “former” British intelligence agent under what is so widely said to be the ever-vigilant eye of the ruthless “former KGB agent” Vladimir Putin, thereby risking their positions, income, perhaps freedom, as well as the well-being of their families?
– ‘Originally it was said that his Russian sources were highly paid by Steele. Arguably, this might have warranted the risk. But subsequently Steele’s employer and head of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, wrote in The New York Times that “Steele’s sources in Russia…were not paid.” If the Putin Kremlin’s purpose was to put Trump in the White House, why then would these “Kremlin-connected” sources have contributed to Steele’s anti-Trump project without financial or political gain – only with considerable risk?
– ‘There is the also the telling matter of factual mistakes in the dossier that Kremlin “insiders” were unlikely to have made, but this is the subject for a separate analysis.
‘And indeed we now know that Steele had at least three other “sources” for the dossier, ones not previously mentioned by him or his employer. There was the information from foreign intelligence agencies provided by Brennan to Steele or to the FBI, which we also now know was collaborating with Steele. There was … a“second Trump-Russia dossier” prepared by people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their “findings” with Steele.
And most intriguingly, there was the “research” provided by Nellie Ohr, wife of a top Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, who, according to the Republican memo, “was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife’s opposition research.” Most likely, it found its way into Steele’s dossier. (Mrs. Ohr was a trained Russian Studies scholar with a PhD from Stanford and a onetime assistant professor at Vassar, and thus, it must have seemed, an ideal collaborator for Steele.)’
The reference to “people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their ‘findings’ with Steele” dovetails with another intriguing suggestion from former Clinton insider Dick Morris, who knows the modus operandi of the Clinton lie generator better than anyone else.
On the Fox News “Ingraham Angle” show, Morris suggested to host Laura Ingraham that the bulk of the dossier was invented by veteran political dirty tricksters and Clinton-machine hatchet men Max Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, who then engaged “former” spook Steele, because of the Brit’s known relationship with the FBI, as their conduit to give their garbage credibility. (Never underestimate the residual “colonial” mentality of Yanks to find any sort of gibberish convincing if delivered with a British accent, as confirmed by the ubiquity of posh Brit voices in American advertising.)

Andrew Wood is not Russian

But Steele isn’t the only limey link to #Dossiergate. In late 2016, after Trump’s election victory, Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia, told US Senator John McCain about the existence of compromising material on Donald Trump, according to Wood’s account to BBC4.
Wood then set up a meeting between Steele and David Kramer, an associate of McCain’s. It’s unclear whether McCain already knew about the dossier at that point or whether Wood alerted the Senator to its existence.
For what it is worth – not much – Wood states that McCain had obtained the documents from the Senator’s own sources. “I told him I was aware of what was in the report but I had not read it myself, that it might be true, it might be untrue.
I had no means of judging really,” and that he served only to inform McCain about the dossier contents: “My mission was essentially to be a go-between and a messenger, to tell the Senator and assistants that such a dossier existed,” Wood told Fox NewsWood elsewhere relates that McCain was “visibly shocked” at his description and expressed interest in reading the full report. That doesn’t sound as though McCain had already obtained the dossier from his “own sources” but, rather, that Wood was the instigator.
So which is it? Did McCain already know about the dossier, and if so how did it “happen” to get raised with a British diplomat? Conversely, was the initiative from Woods to induce the Senator – known to be a strong Trump critic as well as for his hostility to Russia – to pass the dossier on in Washington? Keep in mind that the dossier had already been used to secure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor Carter Page, a peripheral asteroid in the Trump orbit, and that Trump had already been elected.
By this time the conspiracy’s purpose had shifted from preventing Trump’s victory to tying down his incoming administration, especially with respect to blocking any opening to Moscow as Trump said he intended to do. What better way to set the cat among the pigeons than for a supposedly totally non-political British diplomat (certainly no intelligence officer, he!) to quietly peddle the material from Steele (whom Wood called a “very competent professional operator … I do not think he would make things up.”) to the right man in Washington?

GCHQ is not Russian

Finally, while it’s clear the dossier served to get a FISA warrant for American services to spy on the Trump campaign and later the transition team, US agencies’ might not have been the only eyes and ears monitoring them. Amid all the hubbub over Michael Wolff’s slash-and-burn Fire and Fury, little mention (other than a heated denial on the floor of the House of Commons, from the notoriously truth-challenged former prime minister Tony Blair, and from the relevant British agency itself!) has been made of the suggestion that the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) – Britain’s version of the NSA – was spying on Trump and providing their sister agencies in the US with additional data.
Keep in mind the carefully worded deflection last year from James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI), that “there was no wiretap against Trump Tower during the campaign conducted by any part of the national intelligence community… including the FBI,” thus begging the question of whether Trump was spied on not by a US “national” agency but by one of the Anglosphere “Five Eyes” agencies – most likely GCHQ – which then passed the information back to their American colleagues. With Steele’s and Wood’s involvement, and given the virtual control of America’s manifestly corrupted agencies of their counterparts in satellite countries like the United Kingdom, involvement by GCHQ and perhaps other “friendly” foreign agencies cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Madame Prime Minister is not Russian

To be sure, in 2016 the majority opinion in Russia was that Donald Trump’s election would be preferable to Hillary Clinton’s for the simple reason that the former openly advocated better relations with Moscow while the latter was a notorious warmonger. But there was also a strong minority view, especially among more pro-Western elements of the Russian establishment, that Hillary – “the devil you know” – was preferable to rolling the dice on an unpredictable and unknown quantity. Plus, Hillary was delightfully corrupt, with the Clinton Foundation an open invitation for many foreign powers to buy influence.
There was no ambiguity in the position of the British government, however. In 2016 Prime Minister Theresa May, like her German counterpart, made little effort to hide her disdain for the “just plain wrong” Trump and her preference for Hillary Clinton, whom she expected to win (as did most other observers). Why should anyone be surprised that her MI6 and GCHQ minions would share the same views and perhaps acted on them to provide some helping “hands across the water” to their US counterparts whose anti-constitutional conspiracy now stands exposed?

Confronting Israel Is Important

Why Confronting Israel Is Important The Jewish state is no friend By  Philip Giraldi Global Research, August 14, 2018 Url of this articl...