Saturday, September 30, 2017

Wars have started on foundations as shaky as Russia Gate's. The intelligence community’s whispered “trust us, we’re the experts” simply isn’t good enough to declare the US at war with Russia-Daniel Herman, Consortium News, 9/29/17

9/29/17, "Russia-gate’s Shaky Foundation," Daniel Herman, Consortium News

"The Russia-gate hysteria now routinely includes rhetoric about the U.S. being at “war” with nuclear-armed Russia, but the shaky factual foundation continues to show more cracks, as historian Daniel Herman describes."...

"The intelligence community’s whispered “trust us, we’re the experts” simply isn’t good enough. If we don’t demand hard evidence, then we’re following the same path we took in 1898, 1915, 1950, 1964, and 2003. Let’s not go there." (end of article)


Skip Folden is among commenters


 Added: Following are excerpts from 3 Adam Carter articles:

"Skip Folden, one of the co-authors of the VIPS report, has sent a far more detailed report to the Office of Special Counsel (Robert Mueller), Office of the Attorney-General (As Jeff Sessions has recused himself, this has been sent to Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General) and, I believe more recently, to additional parties."

9/11/17, "Focus On The Decision-Makers - They Have Been Informed," by Adam Carter


As you've probably noticed, VIPS signatories (and associates supporting the new announcements and memos) are not backing down in a hurry. Ray McGovern was recently on Redacted Tonight and EIR magazine just hosted an event featuring both Ray McGovern and Bill Binney, available to watch on YouTube, titled "The Russian Hack Inside Job: Who's Trying To Destroy The Presidency And Start A World War With Russia?" [posted 9/9/17] (worth watching even just for Binney's explanation of the NSA's capabilties and why he's sure the NSA lacked actual evidence of a hack!)

There are good reasons these VIPS members are not backing down.

Not only do they have all the information that's been brought to light over the last 9 months by independent researchers, they also have direct experience of working in intelligence agencies and Binney, alone, knows all about the NSA's capabilities because he played a fundamental role in developing the NSA's data-gathering operations.

Critics Have NOT Debunked The Research and Analysis.

The framing from most critics recently has done little more than construct a straw-man to attack (typically by making it appear as though confidence of those calling for investigation is solely based on transfer speeds that were mentioned in the 7th conclusion in Forensicator's analysis). 

Most critics have chosen to ignore the mountain of circumstantial evidence gathered as well as some key pieces of verifiable evidence. 

*inconsistencies and anomalies with Guccifer 2.0's (G2's) behavior versus his stated intentions

*the consistent poor quality of G2's leaks (link) 

*predictable outcome in terms of headlines he would generate in the media (link) 

*his multi-part Russian-origin deception and that GRU/FSB and allies would not purposefully draw attention to Russia (link) 

*associating self to Wikileaks on day #1 and on various dates after that (including the day the DNC emails were published) (link) 

*creating a blog and luring in press with the Trump research (the timing of it in relation to CrowdStrike/DNC announcements and the nature of the first documents leaked) (link) 

*the linguistic analysis showing no syntactical traits of a Russian communicating in English (link) 

*the discredited breach claims (link) 

*the fact none of his hacks were verifiable

*the premise of a talented hacker adopting another hacker's name and sticking "2.0" on the end of it

*that every association between G2 and the APT28/29 malware and infrastructure ended up collapsing under scrutiny (link)

*the attempt to fool (with multimedia props) a reporter into thinking G2 was tied to a hacker with root access to DCLeaks

Critics have focused on the dissent that's come from other VIPS members, or focused on secondary sources such as the authors of articles about the VIPS memo, and their editors and publishers, rather than actually looking at the true scope of evidence involved.Some have even tried to throw experts at this, but, as I've made clear, estimates and assumptions, even coming from experts, are no substitute for actually testing theories and assumptions out.

Recent Activities and What Will Happen Next

Since the original report was sent out, Skip Folden, one of the co-authors of the VIPS report, has sent a far more detailed report to the Office of Special Counsel (Robert Mueller), Office of the Attorney-General (As Jeff Sessions has recused himself, this has been sent to Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General) and, I believe more recently, to additional parties that will be disclosed in the week ahead (along with further details about the contents of that report).

The new report covers more than any of the previous reports (going beyond what Forensicator and myself even have the means to assess). While I do not have full details yet and won't until it is published, I do know it should easily provide enough information to leave no doubt that further investigation is needed.


Both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees as well as the Senate Judicial Committee have now received the report, all with a copy of the cover letter that was sent to Mueller and Rosenstein.

That cover letter specifically asked for 1) Verification of the report’s findings, 2) Investigations resulting from the verifications, and 3) Prosecutions, as a threat to national security, any findings of collusion to mislead or misrepresent, the results of which could not only weaken our nation through political upheaval, but risk eventual war with Russia
due to the resultant downward spiral of relations.
The Odds Are Still Against Us - The Problems We Face

There's no point pretending otherwise, the odds are against us. The truth getting out about the Guccifer 2.0 operation has a significant impact on various things, among them:

There are billions of dollars and the reputations of many at stake. 

We have the USIC (United States Intelligence Community), mainstream media and much of the political establishment across both parties that are likely to oppose this aggressively.

We also face the prospect that Mueller will likely be resistant to putting any real pressure on Shawn Henry and Dmitri Alperovitch especially as the former had close ties with Mueller in the past.

This is fundamentally important as there are a LOT of questions that should be asked of these particular CrowdStrike executives - and there's a good chance they will never be grilled over this.

Without pressure, America might never get to know the truth about what is one of the biggest public deceptions. I've personally witnessed in my life, and one that I am absolutely certain of – and appalled by!

So, What's The Plan? 

I'm just asking everyone to familiarize themselves with the facts as much as possible, to keep an eye out for the report in the week or so ahead, look at how those who have received copies of the report (including any additional parties that are disclosed) react (or fail to).

There's a good chance they will start off by not even acknowledging receipt of the report in the hope all of this can be ignored. If we want to see a different outcome to that, it's important that as many people as possible know which decision-makers have received the report, the scope of the report and that it's important these things are investigated (which they should be – at least, if the RussiaGate investigations are actually being conducted in good faith).

If you feel strongly enough about the outcome (or lack of an outcome) and want all the evidence investigated so America has a chance of finding out the truth about Guccifer 2.0, all I ask is that you speak up about how you feel and share the upcoming news far and wide. 

Multiple parties now have details of the exculpatory evidence (produced throughout 2017, since the USIC wrote their assessments). This evidence far surpasses the evidence implicating Russia as far as Guccifer 2.0 is concerned, and some of it even debunks the assertions used to claim an association between Guccifer 2.0 and Russia.

VIPS, myself and a number of researchers that have contributed to the new findings over the past year could all do with your help in making sure this information goes public, and to make sure there is pressure placed on decision-makers to investigate what has been found, to act in good faith and to NOT betray the public's trust on this – even if that doesn't fit nicely with what they have told us so far!

To all who are willing to get the word out and put pressure on those that need encouragement to investigate things thoroughly - please know, in advance, that I'm extremely grateful for your help and support.

If you have any questions or concerns, I'm only an email away (see: home page)."


An initial version of this article had stated:

Office of the Attorney-General (Jeff Sessions)

This was changed to:

Office of the Attorney-General (As Jeff Sessions has recused himself, this has been sent to Rod J. Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General)"


9/19/17, "Phase #5 Complete," by Adam Carter, 

"Ambassadors and diplomatic staff of many embassies located in London (covering 150 nations) were sent the following communication:

Dear Honourable Ambassador,

I am writing to you as part of my effort to reach out to all governments around the world regarding what I fear is a genuine threat to world peace. It is a threat stemming from what, I regret to say, appears to be a partisan political deception campaign by a political party within the United States of America. This is a very serious issue and an issue that every country deserves to be properly informed about."


Comment: VIPS is Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity: Links to their memos 2/5/2003 through 7/24/2017...CrowdStrike's client list includes the Democrat National Committee, the Republican Party and the FBI. The FBI and DOJ awarded CrowdStrike $150,000 for IT work in July 2015. House Speaker Paul Ryan signed up with CrowdStrike on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee.


Added: Adam Carter on NY Magazine hit piece on The Nation article:

Aug. 12, 2017, "The First Attack Dog Steps Forward - New York Magazine (10 Aug 2017)," by Adam Carter,

"New York Magazine Has A Glitch

On Monday, 10 August, 2017, Brian Feldman, writing for New York Magazine, wrote a hostile review of an article featured in The Nation regarding new research, underreported evidence and analysis that, until recently, had apparently been given no attention by the mainstream press, intelligence agencies,
or intelligence committees (even though one of the major discoveries referenced was made at the beginning of the year, almost 6 months ago).
There are actually some legitimate reasons to criticize the article in The Nation, however, unfortunately for Feldman, he only mentions these minor flaws in passing and instead appears to opt for building strawman arguments, misrepresenting what was written through tactical omission and attacking the character of Patrick Lawrence. 

Feldman's Folly 

This was foolish, because, if he had attacked the inaccuracies
surrounding the "locked file" statements and sought to make a substantive argument against it, he'd have been on solid ground.

Fortunately, he's chosen to do something different which gives me the chance to clear up any misconceptions caused (that, again, are relatively trivial and make no difference to the ultimate conclusions about the validity of Guccifer 2.0's claims to be a hacker):

THE FACTS: Forensicator did NOT have a "key" to unlock anything that was "locked" in any literal sense and nothing was "cracked". The NGP-VAN archive he analyzed was publicly available and it's password publicly known in September of 2016.

This is the only thing in Lawrence's article that I spotted that was significantly different to the circumstances I'm aware of (and it's inconsequential to the evidence, analysis and conclusions made in any of the research carried out that Lawrence references in his article).

Which Controversial People Are Tweeting About It? 

Feldman's article starts by introducing the article in the context of who is tweeting about it,
picking Kim Dotcom, Jack Posobiec and Nick Short as his examples for some reason.

This in itself look like an effort to create perceptions based on association to the subject through conflation before the subject is even explained to an audience.

(A composition/division logical fallacy in use, attempting to create "guilt by association" to those Feldman's audience is likely to have a dim view of) 

Misrepresenting Goals and Purpose

Feldman proceeds to do what appears to be introducing the topic, however, he's actually setting up a false argument and priming the reader with an assumption that certain goals are being aimed at when they're not. 

"Conclusive proof, or even strong evidence, that the DNC emails were leaked by an insider and not by Russian-sponsored hackers would indeed be a huge story — among other things, it would contradict the near-unanimous opinion of U.S. intelligence agencies, and raise some very serious questions about their objectivity and neutrality."

Here, Feldman writes about proving whether the DNC emails were leaked by an insider or the Russians. That's actually irrelevant to the research and analysis that Lawrence references
in his article (that primarily focuses on the validity of the attribution placed on the Guccifer 2.0 persona supposedly being a GRU/FSB/Kremlin-linked operative). Feldman misrepresents the goals of the article, VIPS' interest and the goal of the researchers/analysts that all of this relates to.


He then tries to dismiss Lawrence's article based on how it fails to fulfil an objective Feldman has introduced (as opposed to the fact Guccifer 2.0 was a phony, which is what is really being explained): 

"But this article is neither conclusive proof nor strong evidence. It’s the extremely long-winded product of a crank,"

...and as a result of it not achieving a goal that Feldman has inserted via the previous paragraph, he uses this to justify calling Lawrence a "crank". To me this looks a lot like weak justification to use the most basic of propaganda devices, name-calling.

Degrading Perceived Validity and Misrepresenting Arguments

 Now we proceed to Feldman misrepresenting arguments and the basis of them...

Lawrence’s central argument (which, again, rests on the belief that Forensicator’s claims about “metadata” are meaningful and correct) is that the initial data transfer from the DNC occurred at speeds impossible via the internet.

We see "beliefs" and "claims" but this is misleading, it's not about believing someone, the primary source data is available in a couple of torrent files (in the public domain since September 2016 in files that are accessed through a protocol that validates the integrity of the data). The datasets that Forensicator produced from the archive contents can be regenerated by others and every step of the process up to the conclusions being reached has been checked over by several independent third parties.

What's worse is the omission here. Feldman has omitted the fact that in Lawrence's article it is explained that the transfer speeds, at that time, would have been impossible to get when transferring the files over long distances, even specifically mentioning "transoceanic" to clarify the context.

These are important qualifiers and Feldman completely omits these in the version he gives to his readers to give himself an argument he can actually dismiss rather than those actually being presented in Lawrence's article.

The crux of the whole thing — the opening argument — rests on the fact that, according to “metadata,” the data was transferred at about 22 megabytes per second, which Lawrence and Forensicator claim is much too fast to have been undertaken over an internet connection.

No, they don't claim that it's impossible to get those speeds over the Internet, that's a misrepresentation through omission of the qualifiers that were provided in Lawrence's article and willfully omitted by Feldman. It seems that Feldman doubles down immediately in an effort to hammer his distortions into the minds of his readers (who are starting to look like victims of manipulation at this stage).

Misrepresenting Evidence, Further Omissions and Criticizing A Misrepresented Claim  

If that’s your strongest evidence, your argument is already in trouble. But the real problem isn’t that there’s a bizarre claim about internet speed that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

1. The premise that Feldman is demanding evidence for and that he injected earlier in the article has nothing to do with the primary assertions covered in Lawrence's article.

2. It's NOT the strongest evidence showing that Guccifer 2.0 was a fake and Feldman has seen fit to omit that from his article too.

3. The only reason the claim is "bizarre" is because Feldman saw fit to omit critical qualifiers that were actually in Lawrence's article, so, while Feldman's misrepresentation of the argument was bizarre, the original argument was not.

It’s that Lawrence is writing in techno-gibberish that falls apart under even the slightest scrutiny.

I suspect Lawrence was trying to explain things in terms that don't require a high degree of technical knowledge to understand and get the gist of. Handily, Feldman gives me an example to demonstrate this to be the case with:

As an example: Lawrence writes that “researchers penetrated what Folden calls Guccifer’s top layer of metadata and analyzed what was in the layers beneath.” What on earth is that supposed to mean? We don’t know what “metadata” we’re talking about, or why it comes in “layers,” and all I’m left with is the distinct impression that Lawrence doesn’t either.

I'll explain:

Instead of just looking at timestamps ("metadata" / "top layer of metadata") of the files, Forensicator recorded timestamps of all files collectively, ordered everything by timestamp sequence, calculated relative differences and subsequently identified the transfer speeds involved from the derivative data set ("layer beneath").

Another part of the "layer beneath" comes from looking at timestamp resolutions, something not easily spotted unless you're looking for a sequence of timestamps that are rounded up to the nearest two seconds (or where you can see the microseconds of the timestamps to establish their resolution) - this pattern is an indication of FAT filesystem usage, something that is rarely seen except for where USB storage devices are used. (FAT disk partitions are a possibility but they're a technology that was starting to become redundant 20 years ago!)

Forensicator also went further to analyse gaps in transfer operations to determine the size of the original batch of files (of which the NGP-VAN archive's contents appear to only be a sub-set a fraction of the size).

Furthermore, he analyzed timestamp timezone formats and determined that file transfer operations were all carried out in the Eastern time zone. (Meta data integrity is given a lot of consideration in the research that Forensicator has done, some of which I've explained on a recent article I wrote recapping what has been discovered over the last 6 months.)

These are effectively all the hidden "layers" (derivative data and data that is typically concealed or unnoticed by people browsing through the files) that I believe Lawrence was trying to give a less jargon-filled explanation of.


Feldman uses a combination of strategic deceptions, misrepresents what he's arguing against, constructs strawman arguments and makes use of propaganda-devices in what, really, is a relatively short article. - in short, what he's done, is just produce a disgracefully sleazy hit-piece."


Added: Disobedient Media article discusses NY Mag attack piece and Adam Carter analysis:

8/13/17, "New York Magazine Attacks The Nation for Questioning Russian Hacking Narrative, Elizabeth Vos,

"A few days ago, New York Magazine published an article attacking Patrick Lawrence‘s coverage of new information from an anonymous analyst known as the Forensicator. Patrick Lawrence is a foreign correspondent at The Nation, the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in America. His [8/9/17] article mentioned Disobedient Media‘s report on analysis published by the Forensicator which suggests that files published by Guccifer 2.0 had been copied locally, not hacked ["it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak"] which has serious implications for the Russian Hacking narrative and for the DNC.

The New York Magazine‘s coverage of the issue was disconcertingly inaccurate. They characterize the Forensicator as having claimed that DNC information must have been leaked by an insider. The New York Mag wrote: “Yesterday, The Nation published an article by journalist Patrick Lawrence purporting to demonstrate that last summer’s pivotal DNC hack was, in fact, an inside job.”

However, the Forensicator’s work only purports that the Guccifer 2.0 files were copied locally, and that the information was not hacked.

The Forensicator‘s work never attempts to positively identify the perpetrators of the DNC leak or the identity of Guccifer 2.0. The Forensicator‘s analysis simply shows in a methodical and precise manner who it could not have been; namely Russian hackers supposedly behind the Guccifer 2.0 persona.

The author of the sardonic article, Brian Feldman, also took to Twitter to express his views on the subject:

In their coverage of this topic, The New York Mag ignores the voices of a well respected group of former intelligence officers known as VIPS, or Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, who published a memorandum sent to President Trump that cited the Forensicator’s work. That the Foreniscator‘s findings were the starting point for a memorandum sent by experienced intelligence veterans such as Bill Binney, Ray McGovern and Skip Folden as well as many others, speaks to the significance of the Forensicator‘s work.

The New York Magazine dismissed these highly credentialed individuals, instead focusing on some of the individuals who had tweeted The Nation’s article, in order to somehow discredit the contents of the article by association. Such a dishonest framing device does not address the contents of the analysis in any way, and represents a small fraction of those who have reported on this important analysis. This intellectual dishonesty continues when Lawrence’s work is called “the extremely long-winded product of a crank.”

The sarcasm which drips from the entire piece by the New York Magazine seems to be intended as an attack on the reputation of the author, Patrick Lawrence, and the publication, The Nation. Mr. Feldman spends little to no time making coherent criticisms of the article’s content and its cited sources.

Fascinatingly, the New York Magazine article not only fails to substantively counter the Forensicator or VIPS’s conclusions, it also does not provide any substantive evidence that the DNC was hacked. The piece also neglects to mention that authorities have never analyzed the DNC servers, instead relying on the word of the private company Crowdstrike.

Disobedient Media previously reported  the analysis of Adam Carter, which suggested that the Guccifer 2.0 persona may have been perpetrated by Crowdstrike in concert with the DNC to pre-emptively smear any DNC information published by Wikileaks. Crowdstrike has notable connections to the Atlantic Council, a think tank sponsored in part by controversial financier George Soros.

Adam Carter also published a response to the New York Mag article earlier today, which delves into the line-by-line misrepresentations in the piece. Carter writes: “Feldman misrepresents the goals of the article, VIPS’ interest and the goal of the researchers/analysts that all of this relates to.”

Ray McGovern, a cofounder of VIPS, has appeared on RT to speak about the implications of the Forensicator’s analysis, in addition to appearances with LarouchePAC and others.

Consortium News reported the memorandum published by VIPS, which corroborated some important aspects of the Forensicator’s analysis, and cited their work. Signatories on the document included William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical and Military Analysis, Skip Folden, independent analyst, retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, Ray McGovern, former U.S. Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst, and others, which are shown in full below, via the report by Consortium News."



Added: NY Mag article linked above:

8/10/17, "The Nation Article About the DNC Hack Is Too Incoherent to Even Debunk," NY Magazine, Brian Feldman


Yet another major Russia story falls apart, this one about '21 states.' Is skepticism permissible yet? Or is it still treason?-Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, 9/28/17

9/28/17, "Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?" Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

"Last Friday [9/22], most major media outlets touted a major story about Russian attempts to hack into U.S. voting systems, based exclusively on claims made by the Department of Homeland Security. “Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states in the run-up to last year’s presidential election, officials said Friday,” began the USA Today story, similar to how most other outlets presented this extraordinary claim.

This official story was explosive for obvious reasons, and predictably triggered instant decrees – that of course went viral – declaring that the legitimacy of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election is now in doubt.

Virginia’s Democratic Congressman Don Beyer, referring to the 21 targeted states, announced that this shows “Russia tried to hack their election”....

MSNBC’s Paul Revere for all matters relating to the Kremlin take-over, Rachel Maddow, was indignant that this wasn’t told to us earlier and that we still aren’t getting all the details. “What we have now figured out,” Maddow gravely intoned as she showed the multi-colored maps she made, is that “Homeland Security knew at least by June that 21 states had been targeted by Russian hackers during the election....targeting their election infrastructure.”

They were one small step away from demanding that the election results be nullified, indulging the sentiment expressed by #Resistance icon Carl [Rob?] Reiner the other day: “Is there anything more exciting that [sic] the possibility of Trump’s election being invalidated and Hillary rightfully installed as our President?”

So what was wrong with this story? Just one small thing: it was false. The story began to fall apart yesterday [9/27] when Associated Press reported that Wisconsin– one of the states included in the original report that, for obvious reasons, caused the most excitement – did not, in fact, have its election systems targeted by Russian hackers:

The spokesman for Homeland Security then tried to walk back that reversal, insisting that there was still evidence that some computer networks had been targeted, but could not say that they had anything to do with elections or voting. And, as AP noted: 

“Wisconsin’s chief elections administrator, Michael Haas, had repeatedly said that Homeland Security assured the state it had not been targeted.”"...

[Ed. note: Wisconsin conducted a statewide recount of 3 million votes which concluded on Dec. 12, 2016. Trump actually gained votes, per AP. The recount was paid for by Jill Stein's group. More on AP report at end of this post.]

(continuing): "Then the story collapsed completely last night. The Secretary of State for another one of the named states, California, issued a scathing statement repudiating the claimed report:

Sometimes stories end up debunked. There’s nothing particularly shocking about that. If this were an isolated incident, one could chalk it up to basic human error that has no broader meaning. 

But this is no isolated incident. Quite the contrary: this has happened over and over and over again. Inflammatory claims about Russia get mindlessly hyped by media outlets, almost always based on nothing more than evidence-free claims from government officials, only to collapse under the slightest scrutiny, because they are entirely lacking in evidence.

The examples of such debacles when it comes to claims about Russia are too numerous to comprehensively chronicle. I wrote about this phenomenon many times and listed many of the examples, the last time in June when 3 CNN journalists “resigned” over a completely false story linking Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci to investigations into a Russian investment fund which the network was forced to retract:

Remember that time the Washington Post claimed that Russia had hacked the U.S. electricity grid, causing politicians to denounce Putin for trying to deny heat to Americans in winteronly to have to issue multiple retractions because none of that ever happened? Or the time that the Post had to publish a massive editor’s note after its reporters made claims about Russian infiltration of the internet and spreading of “Fake News” based on an anonymous group’s McCarthyite blacklist that counted sites like the Drudge Report and various left-wing outlets as Kremlin agents?

Or that time when Slate claimed that Trump had created a secret server with a Russian bank, all based on evidence that every other media outlet which looked at it were too embarrassed to get near? Or the time the Guardian was forced to retract its report by Ben Jacobs – which went viral – that casually asserted that WikiLeaks has a long relationship with the Kremlin? 

Or the time that Fortune retracted suggestions that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN’s network? And then there’s the huge market that was created – led by leading Democrats – that blindly ingested every conspiratorial, unhinged claim about Russia churned out by an army of crazed conspiracists such as Louise Mensch and Claude “TrueFactsStated” Taylor?

And now we have the Russia-hacked-the-voting-systems-of-21-states to add to this trash heap. Each time the stories go viral; each time they further shape the narrative; each time those who spread them say little to nothing when it is debunked.

None of this means that every Russia claim is false, nor does it disprove the accusation that Putin ordered the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email inboxes (a claim for which, just by the way, still no evidence has been presented by the U.S. government). Perhaps there were some states that were targeted, even though the key claims of this story, that attracted the most attention, have now been repudiated.

But what it does demonstrate is that an incredibly reckless, anything-goes climate prevails when it comes to claims about Russia. Media outlets will publish literally any official assertion as Truth without the slightest regard for evidentiary standards.
Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility--so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked.

A highly touted story yesterday from the New York Times – claiming that Russians used Twitter more widely known than before to manipulate U.S. politics – demonstrates this recklessness. 

The story is based on the claims of a new group formed just two months ago by a union of neocons and Democratic national security officials, led by long-time liars and propagandists such as Bill Kristol, former acting CIA chief Mike Morell, and Bush Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff. I reported on the founding of this group, calling itself the Alliance for Securing Democracy, when it was unveiled (this is not to be confused with the latest new Russia group unveiled last week by Rob Reiner and David Frum and featuring a different former CIA chief (James Clapper) – calling itself – featuring a video declaring that the U.S. is now “at war with Russia”).

The Kristol/Morell/Chertoff group on which the Times based its article has a very simple tactic: they secretly decide which Twitter accounts are “Russia bots,” meaning accounts that disseminate an “anti-American message” and are controlled by the Kremlin. They refuse to tell anyone which Twitter accounts they decided are Kremlin-loyal, nor will they identify their methodology for creating their lists or determining what constitutes “anti-Americanism.” 

They do it all in secret, and you’re just supposed to trust them: Bill Kristol, Mike Chertoff and their national security state friends. And the New York Times is apparently fine with this demand, as evidenced by its uncritical acceptance yesterday of the claims of this group – a group formed by the nation’s least trustworthy sources.

But no matter. It’s a claim about nefarious Russian control. So it’s instantly vested with credibility and authority, published by leading news outlets, and then blindly accepted as fact in most elite circles. From now on, it will simply be Fact – based on the New York Times article – that the Kremlin aggressively and effectively weaponized Twitter to manipulate public opinion and sow divisions during the election, even though the evidence for this new story is the secret, unverifiable assertions of a group filled with the most craven neocons and national security state liars.

That’s how the Russia narrative is constantly “reported,” and it’s the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It’s because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties.

No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent. And the penalty for desiring to see evidence for official claims, or questioning the validity and persuasiveness of the evidence that is proffered, are accusations that impugn one’s patriotism and loyalty (simply wanting to see evidence for official claims about Russia is proof, in many quarters, that one is a Kremlin agent or at least adores Putin – just as wanting to see evidence in 2002, or questioning the evidence presented for claims about Saddam, was viewed as proof that one harbored sympathy for the Iraqi dictator).

Regardless of your views on Russia, Trump and the rest, nobody can possibly regard this climate as healthy. Just look at how many major, incredibly inflammatory stories, from major media outlets, have collapsed. Is it not clear that there is something very wrong with how we are discussing and reporting on relations between these two nuclear-armed powers?"


Added: Wisconsin has already received more intense scrutiny than any other state. In Wisconsin's statewide recount of 3 million votes that concluded Dec. 12, 2016, Trump actually gained votes. Two AP reports below, one says he added 131, another says he added 162 votes. Most Wisconsin counties were recounted by hand. "Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen says the recount revealed no evidence of any hacking."

12/12/2016, "The Latest: Trump celebrates adding 131 votes in Wisconsin," AP, Madison, Wisc.


"Republican Donald Trump’s victory in Wisconsin has been reaffirmed following a presidential recount that showed him defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton by more than 22,000 votes. 

Trump picked up a net 162 votes as a result of the recount that the Wisconsin Elections Commission certified Monday. Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested and paid for the recount that began Dec. 1." 


"President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in Wisconsin has widened by...131 votes following a statewide recount of nearly 3 million votes. 

Wisconsin certified results Monday of the recount requested and paid for by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. In the end, Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton by 22,748 votes.... 

Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairman Mark Thomsen says the recount revealed no evidence of any hacking. 

Stein said in a statement she was disappointed not all Wisconsin counties did a hand recount, although most did. Stein says the goal of the recount was never to change the outcome but to validate the vote and restore confidence in the voting system."


Comment: It seems the only way this election can be nullified is by evidence that's "secret," "confidential," or "classified."




Friday, September 29, 2017

Thanks to Politico for helping us drain the swamp. If it weren't for you we'd still be stuck with slime ball Tom Price. Keep up the good work!

9/29/17, "Price resigns from HHS after facing fire for travel," Politico, Dan Diamond, Rachana Pradhan, and Adriel Bettelheim 

"His exit comes after POLITICO revealed his extensive use of private jets and military aircraft for government business."

"HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned Friday in the face of multiple federal inquiries and growing criticism of his use of private and government planes for travel, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $1 million since May.

The White House said the former seven-term Georgia congressman, 63, offered his resignation earlier in the day and that President Donald Trump had accepted it."...


Added: As of 9/29/17, it's clear Trump never intended to "drain the swamp," though it had been a key promise of his campaign. Others knew in Dec. 2016 that Trump completely dropped the idea: 

12/21/2016, "Gingrich: Trump backing away from 'drain the swamp'," Politico, Louis Nelson 

"President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington of corruption, but now that he’s preparing to move into the White House, Newt Gingrich said the Manhattan real estate mogul is looking to distance himself from that message. 

I'm told he now just disclaims that. He now says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore, the former House Speaker and close Trump adviser said of the “drain the swamp” message in an NPR interview published Wednesday morning. “I've noticed on a couple of fronts, like people chanting ‘Lock her up,’ that he's in a different role now and maybe he feels that as president, as the next president of the United States, that he should be marginally more dignified than talking about alligators in swamps.” 

While Trump made his “drain the swamp” pledge a major part of his campaign message in the final weeks of the presidential race, his transition team was, in its early days after the election, packed with lobbyists for the pharmaceutical, chemical, fossil fuel and tobacco industries. Under pressure, Trump’s team instituted a rigid lobbying ban that prompted some to leave, but the group orchestrating the president-elect’s transition still relies heavily on GOP insiders.

Trump’s Cabinet and other high-level appointments seem to have deviated somewhat from his “drain the swamp” message. After attacking Democrat Hillary Clinton regularly throughout the campaign for being too close to Wall Street banks, Trump has put three former Goldman Sachs executives in prominent White House positions, including Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary, Steve Bannon as chief White House strategist and Gary Cohn as the director of the National Economic Council."...


Media ignores biggest news: the Never-Trump and Never-Republican Triumvirate controls the entire agenda in Washington: Rand Paul, Susan Collins, and John McCain won't allow Trump or the Republican Party to succeed on anything including tax reform-Wall St. Journal, Strassel

9/28/17, "The Never-Trump Triumvirate," Wall St. Journal, Kimberley A. Strassel

"What do Rand Paul, Susan Collins and John McCain have in common? Very little."

"The press corps is busy quizzing the president, the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader on their plans for tax reform. The question is why they aren’t chasing after the three people who actually hold all the power.

If the past eight months have proved anything, it is that all the 24/7 news coverage of Donald Trump’s antics, all the millions of words devoted to Paul Ryan’s and Mitch McConnell’s plans, have been a complete waste of space and time. In the end, control of the entire policy agenda in Washington comes down to three senators. Three senators whom most Americans have never had a chance to vote for or against. Three senators who comprise 8% of their party conference. Arizona’s John McCain, Maine’s Susan Collins and Kentucky’s Rand Paul. Forget Caesar, Crassus and Pompey. Meet the Never-Trump Triumvirate.

At least the House Freedom Caucus scuttles GOP legislation based on shared principles. Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have also led revolts against bills, again based on shared criticisms. But what do the Arizona maverick, the Maine moderate and the Kentucky libertarian have in common? Very little.

Well, very little save motivations that go beyond policy. And that is the crucial point that is missing from the endless analyses of the McCain-Collins-Paul defections on health care. The media has treated the trio’s excuses for killing their party’s top priority as legit, despite the obvious holes in their objections over policy and process. What in fact binds the three is their crafting of identities based primarily on opposition to their party or Mr. Trump. This matters, because it bodes very ill for tax reform in the Senate. Overcoming policy objections is one thing. Overcoming egos is another.

Mr. McCain, who is gravely ill with brain cancer, has decided his final legacy will be a return to the contrarian “straight talk” persona of old, which wins him liberal media plaudits. The Arizonan has never gotten over losing the presidency, and it clearly irks him that Mr. Trump succeeded where he failed. His personal disdain for the president is obvious, and his implausible excuses for opposing the Graham-Cassidy health-care reform are proof that this is personal. 

Ms. Collins is reportedly days away from deciding whether she’ll ditch the Senate gig and run for governor. That potential campaign has guided her every move for at least a year now—perhaps her entire career—and was clearly among her reasons last summer to abandon her party’s nominee and publicly excoriate Mr. Trump. It is a basic precept in Washington that Sen. Collins votes in whatever way best serves Sen. Collins. Right now that means being Never Trump.

Mr. Paul worked hard during his first Senate campaign to reassure Kentuckians that he was not his father, and it turns out that’s very true. Because even Ron Paul was to be found with his party’s House majority on issues that truly mattered, and largely saved his defections for the lost causes that produced 434-1 votes. Sen. Paul’s standards for “conservative” policy are as varying as the wind, and lately they blow toward whatever position can earn him the title of purest man in Washington.

The press was fixated this week on Mr. McConnell’s bad week, which is an easy piece to write. But it ignores the obvious reality that the Triumvirate seems to have never had any intention of letting its party succeed. After all, a senator who intended to stand firm on “regular order,” as Mr. McCain said, would have informed his colleagues of that demand at the beginning, rather than allow his colleagues to set up for another vote and then dramatically tank it (again) at the last minute.

A senator who voted for “skinny” ObamaCare repeal in the summer on the grounds that anything was “better than no repeal,” in the words of Mr. Paul, would not suddenly engineer an unreachable set of demands for his vote on an even better repeal.

The Senate has no lack of lime-lighters. Nor is it low on Trump critics. Think Nebraska’s Ben Sasse and Arizona’s Jeff Flake. The difference is that the clear majority of the critics aren’t allowing ambition or disdain get in the way of votes for better policy.

But this raises the question of whether the White House understands that the Triumvirate is also the prize on tax reform. Mr. Trump took a shot at Mr. McConnell this week, but the president needs to shift his focus to those who hold the actual power. Those dinner invites to Chuck and Nancy would be better reserved for Ms. Collins. Its internal conversations need to focus on what forms of flattery or policy or misery might appeal to the political motivations of Messrs. McCain and Paul, and get them on side. 

Because the Triumvirate made very clear during the health-care debate how it operates. Pretending it won’t do it again is to ignore reality."


5 among comments



Getting the majority in the Senate apparently wasn't enough.  We need a super majority to overcome the McCain, Collins, Paul....and Murkowski hold outs.  These people are not Republicans anyway.  They don't vote for their constituents.  They vote for their egos. McCain forgets that he stated that anyone who votes for Trump is crazy before Trump said he doesn't like anyone who was captured.  Trump was wrong to say that stupid thing, and McCain was wrong to denigrate millions of voters from his own party."....  


I recognize that these three are basically "Never Trumpers", but that's Mitch's fault. On the other side of the aisle if Chuck (Schumer) had three that were going to wreck a bill for their own purposes, he'd rip their soul out, publicly. Mitch is invisible. You have to beat Chuck off a microphone with a stick, Mitch can't find one."



Here's a suggestion that would diminish the triumvirate's present influence: Do away with the filibuster. 

Why would that reduce the power of McCain, Collins, and Paul to frustrate legislation? Simple. It would make it possible to entice one or two key Democrat Senators to cross the aisle on specific items of legislation that are important to their constituents. 

Right now, under the filibuster rule, most legislation requires corralling at least seven, and probably more, Democrats for legislation to advance. No Democrat Senator is going to stick his neck out to support, say, a tax bill, knowing that Senator McConnell has no chance of lining up another six to eight Democrats to join him.

But if one Democrat, or two, could offset the loss of a McCain, Paul, Collins, and even Murkowski, legislation might well start to move again. If Senator McConnell finally figures this out he might even retain his leadership role. If he doesn't, he should be replaced with a Senator who gets it."


"Leon Pesenson... 

In the end we are being faced with the same problem that Tories now have in the UK. Republicans will only be able to offer a better management of the welfare state unlike Democrats who only seek more state welfare as a solution to what ails the welfare state. We have an opportunity, not often presented, to roll it back to a degree, partly because Obamacare is failing rapidly and is not as entrenched in the national psyche, and Republicans are squandering that opportunity, mostly at the hands of people who are not really Republicans, but caucus with them." 



It is especially shameful that McCain puts his personal animosity ahead of doing good for we, the people.  We will not honor or celebrate his legacy; it is tragic."


Mexico City school that collapsed in last week's earthquake had been ordered to shut down in 2010 and 2014 because of irregular construction-WSJ



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Plea to international community to stop US stampede to WWIII. RussiaGate now at frenzied peak as it combines with US political class and media obsession to nullify Trump election based on non-existent or so-called 'confidential' evidence-Adam Carter, Phase 5

"Even after a year of inquiries, (Russia Foreign Minister) Mr. Lavrov said, “we did not see a single fact.Mr. Lavrov said he had asked his American counterpart, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, for evidence of Russian meddling in the election and was told it was confidential. Mr. Lavrov dismissed that contention as well.You know I cannot believe that,” he said. “Information is leaking all the time.”" 9/22/2017, "Russia Says ‘Small-Hearted’ Obama Administration Spoiled Ties," NY Times, Somini Sengupta, United Nations 

9/19/17, "Phase #5 Complete," by Adam Carter, 

"Ambassadors and diplomatic staff of many embassies located in London (covering 150 nations) were sent the following communication:

Dear Honourable Ambassador, 

I am writing to you as part of my effort to reach out to all governments around the world regarding what I fear is a genuine threat to world peace. It is a threat stemming from what, I regret to say, appears to be a partisan political deception campaign by a political party within the United States of America. This is a very serious issue and an issue that every country deserves to be properly informed about

I'm a private citizen of the United Kingdom. I have no affinity with any political party and no investment or stake in geopolitical outcomes beyond that of being a British citizen who opposes needless conflict, especially if it is instigated by deceit. 

At the end of December 2016, I started to investigate an online persona that identified itself as "Guccifer 2.0", an identity many believed – and many in America still do believe – to be a Russian hacker allied to the Russian security services, the GRU and/or the FSB. The Guccifer 2.0 online persona made unverified claims of being a source for the “DNCLeaks” – the leaked emails of seven Democratic National Committee officials that WikiLeaks published on 22 July 2016 – and deliberately left various ‘clues’ pointing to an apparent Russian identity. 

These ‘clues’ have been cynically exploited by vested political interests in the US to claim the Russian government used Guccifer 2.0 as a conduit to WikiLeaks of ‘hacked’ DNC materials in order to “subvert our democracy” in last year’s US election. 

There has been a great deal of misreporting, under-reporting and false assumptions made about Guccifer 2.0, and what makes this a serious issue is that these earlier press errors have gone uncorrected. Instead, most of the mainstream press has studiously ignored new evidence that contradicts the false narrative it has promoted over the past 15 months and instead continues to generate xenophobic hysteria over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election. 

In light of this refusal to report the new evidence, it appears the US mainstream press is manufacturing consent for war once again

In February 2017, a discovery was made that discredited the ‘Russian hacker’ theory. This discovery of independently verifiable evidence was made by carrying out a more thorough analysis of the metadata of digital files published on Guccifer 2.0’s own Wordpress website than anyone appears to have done in 2016. 

The mainstream press stayed silent; it took around 200 days before the first brief mention of this new evidence in the press. Since then, the ‘Russian hacker’ theory has been further invalidated by other ‘digital forensics’ evidence from various independent researchers and analysts. Again, instead of dealing with these new discoveries legitimately, most in the mainstream press have chosen to ‘cherry-pick’ a single aspect, distort that, and argue against it ‘strawman’-style, as a means to disregard 90%-95% of the research.


Since October 2016, the United States Intelligence Community (USIC), with assistance from mainstream media propaganda channels, has used warmongering rhetoric, alleged Russian government interference in the US election, and called that alleged interference an "act of war".

Anonymous officials in the USIC, cited by US mainstream press, have also made claims that strong evidence exists and have even stated they have intelligence showing that Russian President Vladimir Putin called for hacking the DNC. 

Nothing has ever been made public that supports such allegations. Indeed, the closest any USIC agencies have come to this is making assessments, none have produced hard evidence. Those assessments, at least as they relate to the Guccifer 2.0 persona, have been discredited by the newly discovered information. This, however, does not seem to have stopped the push for sanctions or for escalating military tensions, both of which continue within the US government.

Those entrusted to investigate the alleged Russian interference also appear to be completely ignoring the new evidence – evidence that does a lot to vindicate Russia. Ignoring evidence that suggests there may have been a domestic political scheme to frame Russia should be a concern to those who desire a peaceful and stable world for all. 

This could easily be an attempt to sustain a false pretext for war, a war between nuclear-armed nations that risks expanding into global war. 

Even more questionable, the assessments provided by various US intelligence agencies have, in part, been based on the reporting of private sector entities, one of which is CrowdStrike, the only entity the Democratic Party allowed to have access to its computer serverseffectively the ‘crime scene’ of the alleged cyber intrusion of which DNC claims it is the victim. 

CrowdStrike has multiple conflicts of interest here: its own contract with the Democratic Party; its affiliation with the Atlantic Council (which in turn has ties with NATO and anti-Russian individuals such as Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk); and some of its executives have made specious claims over the past year that now clearly need investigating, especially with regards to the relative timing of CrowdStrike’s public statements and the appearance of the Guccifer 2.0 persona. 

The person investigating these matters is Robert Swan Mueller III, someone whose history includes attempts to frame WikiLeaks and who is friends with one of the CrowdStrike executives who made specious claims about the DNC being hacked. I am concerned that he may not investigate this matter thoroughly and may ignore evidence that has recently been reported to him. 

A report outlining various pieces of evidence and raising concerns over the assessments given by several US intelligence agencies was sent to Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III as well as to the US House and Senate Intelligence Committees, the US House and Senate Judiciary Committees and the US Deputy Attorney General, Rod Jay Rosenstein. 


A copy of the report ("Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge") is available at: While the report does cite research that I have been involved with (and that I report on at:, it was actually produced and sent by Skip Folden, a US citizen, former IBM Program Manager for Information Technology for the US, and someone who worked at IBM for at least 25 years. 

Folden also co-authored an earlier report on this same subject with members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), a group of highly experienced veteran intelligence officials and whistleblowers that opposes conflict justified by flawed intelligence. VIPS is most famous for its 2003 memorandum blowing the whistle on the false assessment that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that led America into an illegal invasion of Iraq.

I don't want to see global chaos and conflict caused by deception. I want to make sure investigation of the “DNCLeaks” is not obstructed or conducted in bad faith. I feel there is a serious and credible threat to global stability that may arise if this matter is not investigated properly. 

My reason for writing to you is to request that you or your technical/technology advisers read the report linked to above and consider all the new evidence that has been discovered in 2017. If its implications cause you concern, I hope you will feel you now have sufficient facts to take the matter forward in your official capacity, in whatever way you judge to be most appropriate. 

If you wish to clarify any of the points made in this letter or the report, technical or otherwise, I will be happy to do so to the best of my ability.

Thank you. 

Yours sincerely, 

Adam Carter"


Added: See, Comey's "folks" told him that relying on DNC employee CrowdStrike was an "appropriate substitute" for failing to examine DNC servers themselves:

"Mr. Comey provided his most detailed explanation of the DNC lockout in March when he appeared before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was questioned by Rep. Will Hurd, Texas Republican.

Mr. Hurd: So, Director, FBI notified the DNC early, before any information was put on WikiLeaks....You have...never been given access to any of the technical or the physical machines that were, that were hacked by the Russians? [sic]

Mr. Comey: That’s correct, although we got the forensics from the pros [CrowdStrike] that they hired, which — again, best practice is always to get access to the machines themselves, but this--my folks tell me was an appropriate substitute.”

Why the FBI did not request a search warrant was not asked."...

7/27/17, "With Mueller investigation, FBI gets chance to physically inspect ‘hacked’ DNC computers," Washington Times, Rowan Scarborough

(Regarding this insulting headline: There was never going to be a "chance" for physical inspection of DNC computers. Nor has there ever been evidence that DNC computers were "hacked.") ed.


Added: Excerpts from two Alastair Crooke articles: 

8/26/17, "How the Deep State Ties Down Trump," Alastair Crooke, Consortium News

"President Trump has had his foreign policy hands and feet tied by the Russia (and Iran) Sanctions Act. He now has been rendered “helpless”: in respect to détente with Russia — gulliverized, spitefully, by his own party, working with the Democrats, to empty Trump's constitutional prerogatives in policy--and to seize them for Congress....

It seems that the American deep state is so frenzied in this way that its inhabitants can no longer see straight: they are ready to risk despoiling not just the "recalcitrant" abroad but America herself. And the way they are going about trying to “have her,” may well ruin the deep state too, as collateral damage."....


Second article:

"America’s ability to pursue or even to have a foreign policy is non-existent in the face of its internal civil war."..."Executive powers have been transferred to Congress:" 

8/6/17, "Playing Politics with the World’s Future," Alastair Crooke, Consortium News

"Finally...the U.S. Congress has produced a piece of legislation. And it passed with quasi-unanimous, bi-partisan support. Only its substance is not so much a deep reflection on the foreign policy interests of America, but rather, the desire to hurt, and incapacitate the U.S. President in any future dealings with Russia. (And never mind the worrying impulse towards conflict with Russia this entails, or its collateral damage on others).

The aim has been to see President Trump hog-tied, and “tarred and feathered” for his “risky behavior” on Russia. This aim simply has overpowered any other considerations--such as likelihood that the outside world will conclude that America’s ability to pursue or even to have a foreign policy is non-existent in the face of its internal civil war.  It is a key juncture. For an overwhelming majority of Democratic and Republican Senators and Congressmen, bringing down “The Donald” is all--and the devil take the consequences for America, in the world....

The U.S. President had little option but to sign the legislation, but that does not mean that diplomacy is completely blocked. As expected, he issued a Signing Statement (see here), in which, while accepting the mandate of Congress, Trump took issue with the new Congressional encroachments into his prerogatives (Article Two of the Constitution) in terms of foreign policy, and he reserved the right to decide on how the Congressional mandate might be implemented (i.e. in respect to the quadrilateral negotiations over Ukraine)....

As indicated earlier, Trump’s Republican base (unlike support from the Republican establishment) is not eroding, but rather is becoming angered and resentful. The more the MSM and the East Coast élites attack the deplorables’ “alt” news and websites – the greater the pushback, it seems....  

The point here is that the Republican [voters'] support for Trump’s desire for détente with Russia has not eroded one jot, whereas the “concern” of the Independents and even among Democrats is eroding somewhat."...


Added: Putin endorses Obama for President in 2012:

Putin praised Obama leading up to Nov. 2012 election, said Obama would provide more favorable resolution to missile defense, that Romney would widen rift. Putin gushes that Obama is "an honest person who really wants to change much for the better"-Reuters, 9/6/2012 

9/6/2012, "UPDATE 1-Russia's Putin defiant on Syria, says Romney "mistaken"," Reuters, Moscow

"Putin held out hope for an end to a dispute with Washington on missile defence if President Barack Obama were re-elected in November, telling Russia’s RT television he was an honest person who really wants to change much for the better”. 

Putin took aim at Obama’s Republican rival Mitt Romney, calling his criticism of Russia “mistaken” campaign rhetoric and suggesting a Romney presidency would widen the rift over the anti-missile shield the United States is deploying in Europe."...


Comment: As explained in above two Alastair Crooke excerpts, the entire US political class, ie both US political parties, is thrilled with the RussiaGate issue, has already used it to nullify Trump's election and the votes of 63 million Americans, and to gin up WWIII with Russia. Both House and Senate voted nearly unanimously in August on a bill stating Putin/Russia interfered in the 2016 election and must be severely punished. They also voted to remove Trump's authority to conduct foreign policy with Russia, effectively removing a Constitutionally provided Executive branch duty and transferring it to Congress. They did this without benefit of an amendment to the Constitution. In addition to humiliating the US president, they wanted to let US voters know that under no circumstances are us hicks allowed to decide who becomes president. They proved this by nullifying the election. Trump had campaigned on detente with Russia, that among other things, with the global terrorism problem, we needed more countries to work with us. Trump voters agreed, won the election, then had it taken away from them by the non-gridlocked political class. Shutting us up is the #1 obsession of these people. They're so frustrated with us now that World War III looks like an improvement--it would put us on a back burner for awhile. Of course, we're forced to pay all the bills for their wars.