by O Society April 1, 2019
Wish this was an April Fool’s joke, folks. But it isn’t. It’s all really real.
There’s nothing funny here. I mean what’s funny? Like a clown?
How is it funny? Does it amuse you?
Today, we’re going to take a trip in the WayBack Machine to 6 months ago.
This is what happened here at O Society back in October…
Mr. Peabody, turn the dials and throw the switch!
by O Society October 20, 2018
The real danger of Russiagate is there is no collusion. Remember how it started. This is the first the public heard of Russian election meddling on behalf of Trump. Hillary Clinton alerted us to it. Here is her own Public Service Announcement, just weeks prior to the election.
When Mueller’s report shows no evidence of Trump <–> Putin collusion, the problem is going to go way beyond cyberhacking and spying and blaming all our problems on Russia. The entire investigation is going to be viewed as a witchunt.
Welcome to Hell!
Operation “Get Trump” will fail. And when it fails, what I have feared most from the beginning is going to come to pass. Not only will Trump not be impeached – we are told over and over impeachment will deliver us from evil, aren’t we? – no, not only will Trump not be impeached, he’ll be re-elected. Betcha
Donald Trump will win in 2020. He’ll be martyred behind this two-year-long character assassination called “Russia-gate.” And Hillary Clinton will be at fault. She’ll have gotten Trump elected twice.
Oh yes, Trump has no character to assassinate. Just because you are a character doesn’t mean you have any character. This is irrelevant.
Remember his people – the Trumpets, yes Trump-Pets – live vicariously through Donald Trump. He was elected on resentment and schadenfreude.
Mi casa es su casa. Mi hatred es su hatred.
My Trump card is your Trump card.
And so it will be (barring some sort of fine print miracle). Trump’s martyrdom on the cross of Russia-gate assures him victory in 2020. We have Hillary Clinton and the great fake Putin persecution to thank for this.
Think I’m wrong? I’ve been saying this every day for two years, but you still think I am wrong, don’t you? Consider this:
Take the latest Top Presidents of All Time list, which you can see here. Nothing special about this particular edition. Feel free to agree or disagree with any of the rankings. That’s not the point. We are using this list to illustrate the point: Martyrs go to the top of the list.
Mmm hmm. These names and stories will be familiar…
15. Bill Clinton: martyred by the Monica Lewinsky impeachment
12. Barack Obama: first black president died every day anew for your racism
9. Ronald Reagan: literally took a bullet for America and lived
8. John F Kennedy: literally took a bullet for America and died
1. Abraham Lincoln: assassinated
You see the trend? They’re martyrs.
They all took one for the team. The highest honor there is belongs to those who took one for the team.
In other words, these may or may not be your favorite presidents of all time in terms of their achievements in office. That is irrelevant. What is relevant is America loves martyrs. All five of these presidents are put upon pedestals due to their martyrdom. All five are higher on this list than they would be without their martyrdom.
Is Bill Clinton really the 15th best president of all time? I say Clinton’s triangulation ruined the Democratic party. This is his real legacy.
But Democrats choose to remember his martyrdom at the hands of Newt Gingrich instead. That’s America! Good Ole Slick Willie. He’s basically the same guy as Donald Trump, except he has a vocabulary.
Is Ronald Reagan really the 9th best president of all time? I say Reagan’s trickle down neoliberal economics destroyed America. Reagan destroyed the middle class, and also engineered a coup against president Jimmy Carter, selling Iranians guns for hostages.
But who cares? There’s jelly beans in the bowl and John Hinckley to remember.
So be aware, Hillary Clinton just handed her “Putin puppet” a get out of jail free card for life.
Trump University fraud? Meh.
Trump family tax fraud for generations? Nobody cares.
Pee tapes? Rain off a duck’s back.
You see, Trump has been wrongly persecuted for the first two years of his administration.
Let me clarify: Trump is an idiot, a self-centered solipsist without one ounce of moral understanding in his twisted tiny charcoal heart. A monkey with a hand grenade. Crazy as bat guano. Nepotism, Cronyism, Fraud. It’s all there.
Trump is the orange brick resentful Americans threw through the White House window. Nothing more. Americans wear T-shirts when we throw bricks.
But he didn’t rig the 2016 US presidential election by colluding with Russia.
And this fact alone will be enough to get him re-elected in 2020. Because it’s what Dumb and Dumber chose to pin on him. Barring some sort of economic disaster (a stock market crash, mortgage crisis, etc) on his watch, Trump’s in like Flynn. Again.
And so, Trump will be bulletproof for ever more. No matter what is levied against him, he and his followers will respond rabidly “But Russia!!!”
Catch Trump with his hands in the cookie jar, on film, with a signed confession, and chocolate smeared from one corner of his grin to the other, and you know what they’ll say? Of course you do.
“But Putin!!! Whatabout Putin?!? It’s all fake news!”
Nothing will stick to Donald Trump again, ever.
Ever. No tax fraud obstruction justice genocide armageddon nothing nada zip.
This is what Hillary Clinton and Russiagate hath wrought.
And of course, if we take the WayBack all the way back to October of 2016, we see the prescient Joe Lauria recognized Russiagate for what it is from its very inception. A fraud perpetrated by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to hide her own failure. That’s correct. Joe told us in 2016, which is how I originally caught on to the theme of the hoax. Here at O Society, we’ve known Russia-gate is a hoax since inauguration day.
Award-winning journalist and UN correspondent of 25 years, Joe Lauria, penned an outstanding article on the origins of “Russiagate” which he published to the liberal Huffington Post this week (10/2016).
24 hours later, HuffPo yanked the article – leaving a dead link and a sad message in its place.
Perhaps the insights offered in the article didn’t quite conform to HuffPo’s approved narratives, or maybe it has something to do with Lauria’s new book “How I Lost By Hillary Clinton,” with a forward written by Julian Assange.
Considering Joe Lauria’s tenure as the Wall St. Journal’s UN correspondent of nearly seven years, as well as the Boston Globe’s for six – covering just about every major world crisis over the past quarter century, his unique perspective on the matter merits a read.
Reproduced below from the Wayback Machine:
by Joe Lauria Huffington Post
Nov. 5, 2016
If Hillary Clinton loses a very tight election her ace-in-the-hole could be Russia.
Corporate media reacted harshly when Donald Trump said in the last debate that he would wait and see what happens before accepting the election results. “I will keep you in suspense,” he said. Trump has alleged that the vote will be rigged.
If Trump loses by a razor thin margin we can expect a demand for recounts and possible legal challenges. Some of his more violent supporters have also threatened trouble.
But what if Clinton loses a close election? In the wake of Wikileaks and FBI revelations Clinton’s sizable lead has evaporated and a tight result is looking more and more possible.
On her campaign plane a few hours after the last debate Clinton was asked if she would pledge to accept the results. She ignored the question and instead launched into an attack on what Trump had said.
If Clinton should lose a squeaker, she has two options to try to overturn the election and make herself president—and both involve blaming Russia. She can try to influence America’s bizarre electoral college system, or get at least two allies in Congress to challenge its certification of the election.
Unknown to most people outside the United States, and to many within, the U.S. president is not chosen by a national popular vote. Instead the U.S. presidential election is really 50 separate state elections. The candidate that wins a state’s popular vote is awarded a number of electors based on population size.
These are actual persons who vote for president on behalf of the people. Slates of electors are chosen by both major political parties before the election. Whichever party wins a state’s popular vote gets the votes of that state’s electors. There are 538 electors and a candidate must get 270 electoral votes to be elected president. *
This system ignores the national poplar vote so that a candidate may win more votes nationwide but still lose the election. It has happened four times, the last being in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George W. Bush.
Several states, such as New York and California, usually vote Democratic, while others, such as many in the West and South, are normally in the Republican column. But there are states that could go either way, so-called swing states, and that’s where the most intense campaigning takes place.
According to one scenario, the four electoral votes in Maine could decide this election.
That’s why Trump campaigned there last week. Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that proportion some of their electors. One candidate could get one of the four electoral votes if he or she wins a congressional district.
Influencing the College by Blaming Russia
The Clinton camp’s accusation after the first WikiLeaks revelations, just before the Democratic Convention, that Russian intelligence was behind the leak was later amplified in early October by James Clapper, director of national intelligence, who blamed “Russia’s senior-most officials” for intending to “interfere with the U.S. election process” by authorizing the hack of the Democratic National Committee.
Clapper went significantly further, however, claiming a Russian company was behind attempted hacks of electoral computer systems in various states.
The Obama administration’s claim was widely accepted by the news media even though no evidence of Russian tampering was publicly given. With just days to go to the election the story has been revived by the pro-Clinton media. CNN Anchor Jake Tapper on Friday incorrectly said the U.S. was accusing the Russian government, not a company, of threatening election computers.
In the last debate, Clinton said the hack “has come from the highest levels of the Russian government. Clearly from Putin himself in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.” The 17 agencies were represented by Clapper. Clinton also offered no evidence.
If Clinton loses by a few electoral votes she could challenge the results by claiming Russia tampered with the election. The public has been prepared with unproven allegations widely disseminated by corporate media and widely believed.
With the media not previously demanding evidence of such a claim and if the intelligence agencies back her up, her only challenge might be to convince the needed number of Republican electors to change their votes to put her over the top.
There are only 26 states that require electors by law to vote for the candidate who won the state’s popular vote. Virginia has issued only an advisory to do so. The other 24 states have no such laws, freeing electors to vote their conscience and against their own party.
The swing state with the most electoral votes that doesn’t bind its electors by law is Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes. Other states in play such as Arizona, Utah, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and New Hampshire also have no laws to keep an elector from changing his or her vote. Ohio and Florida, the two biggest swing states, do bind the electors by law.
Clinton’s camp would be faced with turning a number of electors around to vote against the Republican candidate and switch their vote to her. Clinton has to convince them that a changed vote would uphold American democracy against the interference of a supposedly hostile state that threw the election for Trump.
Clinton has to convince such so-called “Faithless Electors” to vote against their state’s popular will. This has happened in seven previous elections. In each of them only one elector changed his or her vote. This occurred in 1948, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1988. But no Faithless Elector has ever decided a presidential election before.
The 2016 Election, one of the strangest in memory, could add to the craziness by becoming the first.
If she fails to convince enough electors to change their votes, there is one last chance for Clinton. At 1 p.m. on January 6, both houses of Congress meet to certify the election. However, an 1887 law allows any member of Congress to formally object to the result.
An objection must be put in writing and signed by at least one Senator and one Representative. The Joint Session is recessed and both Houses have two hours to separately consider the objection. Then each House votes on it. If both agree, the electoral votes are not counted.
There have only been two objections and both times, in 1969 and 2005, they were rejected.
If Clinton succeeds and the objections are accepted, vacating Trump’s electoral votes because of alleged Russian interference in certain states, it could bring him below the required 270 electoral votes. But it would not give Clinton 270 either.
If neither candidate reaches 270 electoral votes, the Constitution says the election is decided by a vote in the House of Representatives. Each state delegation gets one vote and a simple majority is required. The House is currently controlled by the Republicans. But many Republicans do not support Trump.
The House decided a presidential election only two times before. In 1800, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied with 73 electoral votes each. After 36 ballots over six days, the House chose Jefferson as the third president. In the 1824 election, Andrew Jackson received 99 electoral votes, 32 short of a majority, to John Quincy Adam’s 85, but the House chose Adams.
It would certainly be a long shot for Clinton to try either of these tactics to overturn a close loss to Trump. But given everything else that has happened in this election campaign, would anyone really be surprised?
*The system was a compromise between Congress and voters (at first only propertied white men) selecting the president. It also gave less populated Southern slave states a greater say in a presidential election. It was established in 1789, at a time when the Holy Roman Emperor was chosen by an electoral college. From 1849 to 1918 Prussian voters chose electors to decide on deputies for the House of Representatives in a system of indirect suffrage. The French and Irish Senates are today chosen by an electoral college. The Pope is still elected by a College of Cardinals
We’ve Built a Cottage Industry of This Stuff, Haven’t We?
As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know the “scandal” started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference.
By Joe Lauria Consortium News
October 29, 2017
The two sources that originated the allegations claiming Russia meddled in the 2016 election — without providing convincing evidence — were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers.
Think about that for a minute.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
We have long known the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.
And, it is now disclosed the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposes Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump’s presidency years ago when no one else did.
May Rasputin Bless You
Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele’s allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama’s intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “hand-picked” the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 “assessment” claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.
In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.
If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama’s intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.
Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured “scandal” that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political “oppo” serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.
Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the “scandal” continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. (Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies.)
‘Cash for Trash’
Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.
Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)
Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.
“The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week,” The New York Times reported on Friday night.
So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats’ aim from the start.
Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.
It’s important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government’s decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call “cash for trash” when they were the targets.
Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.
Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.
Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This “oppo” is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele’s memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)
Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.
Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump’s campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence “assessment” by those “hand-picked” analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama’s intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)
If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 “assessment.” Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.
Five days later, after the fact of Comey’s briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in fullby the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations’ inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier’s publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.
The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian “fingerprints” in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.
Dmitri Alperovitch, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike Inc., leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.
CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike’s conclusion about Russian “fingerprints” resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.
CrowdStrike’s credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.
“An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election,” VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.
More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there’s the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange’s denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.
And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic “hack” would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a “hack,” the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.
Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin’s guilt.
The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)
Just weeks after last November’s election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or “useful idiots.”
Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West,” put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.
Included on the list of “useful idiots” absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The report stated: “Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naïveté about RT’s political agenda, buying into the network’s marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These ‘useful idiots’ remain oblivious to RT’s intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts.”
The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.
More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.
Time magazine cover recounting how the U.S. enabled Boris Yeltsin’s reelection as Russian president in 1996.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.
That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia’s vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia’s border.
In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton’s defeat but to stop Trump — possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage — because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.