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The Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Hacking or Collusion
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The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said:

We feel very confident that the ICA’s accuracy is going to be supported by our committee.

Burr’s statement is an example of “confirmation bias” which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one’s own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of “hand-picked” analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that’s been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23,… the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what’s the point?

Let’s take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in “feeling confident” in the ICA’s accuracy.

From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors’ lack of objectivity. There’s a considerable amount of speculation about Putin’s motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It’s a bit shocking that professional analysts– who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security– would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It’s also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here’s more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn’t think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It’s beyond me. The report’s greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they’d realize that it’s nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA’s authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report’s credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

“We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA,” said Burr. “We’ve spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together.… We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation.” Burr added that the committee’s review included “highly classified intelligence reporting,” and they’ve interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. (“Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It”, The Nation)

That’s great, but where’ the beef? How can the committee conduct “100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts” without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee’s job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That’s the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem:

“There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I’m not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven’t any.”

Think about that. After “100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages” there’s not the slightest hint of collusion. It’s mindboggling. Why isn’t this front page news? Why haven’t the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they’ve hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr’s admission doesn’t mesh with the media’s “Russia did it” narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it’s not just collusion we’re talking about here, there’s also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here’s a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators’ Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn’t really make sense, does it? Don’t they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn’t the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn’t a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn’t that rule apply to Russia?

Let’s cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don’t want to get to the bottom of it. It’s that simple. That’s why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He’s biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don’t bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn’t been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there’s 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were “leaked” by an insider, not “hacked” by a foreign government. McGovern’s work squares with Assange and Murray’s claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled “Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge” also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation’s Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled “A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack” which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there’s California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of “a computer drive or other data-storage device”) that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn’t you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee’s behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington’s aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the “Full Spectrum Dominance” theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one’s geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.


1/ Senate Intelligence Committee briefing on Russia investigation, CSPAN

2/ Intelligence Community Assessment, January 6, 2017

3/ A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack, Patrick Lawrence, The Nation.

4/ Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence

5/ Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge, Skip Folden

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

(Republished by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Donald Trump, Russia 
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  1. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign,,,

    Mike, excellent piece, once again. I have been convinced of the ridiculousness of the Russian-hacking/collusion narrative/scandal since it was created in 2016. You are part of a very small group on non-mainstream media that have shed light on this issue.

    I am a firm believer that people see what they believe, not the other way around. I’ve shown your work and that of Robert Parry of Consortium News to some attentive, let’s call them “anti-Trump” friends. All are well read, but still firmly convinced of the credibility of mainstream media, I think. One is even a reporter for the Boston Globe.

    I don’t think they even read what I give them. Even though they know I’ve never steered them wrong, they are just so firmly convinced that Trump has to be guilty of something that they disregard my opinion as deranged because there must be something wrong with someone in Massachusetts who would defend Trump (and by association Putin).

    This story will die for lack of evidence and I, for one, will never forget those in the media and Congress that pushed this witch-hunt – but the American people will forget (even the reasonable ones). That is the sad and uncomfortable reality.

    I think there needs to be a renewed push to look deeper into Clinton’s private email server and what was going on there. I’m pretty sure she was running illegal gun-running operations in Syria and Libya with the knowledge of Barack Obama. Kinda like Iran-Contra. Remember that one? I mean, she could have been hiding love letters to Harvey Weinstein, who knows, so let’s clear that up.

    As soon as Trump is in the clear with this one he needs to flip the tables and go on the offensive. Not doing that in January was a bad idea.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
    , @Anon
  2. Beckow says:

    Where is this going? At some point in the next few years there will be a ‘damning’ report that will regurgitate what has already been endlessly publicised: VIP’s meet each other (the horror!), somehow DNC emails got published, Facebook sold ads to ‘Russia-linked’ users, and Pokemon Go, whatever. That will be described in sinister terms and RT will be thrown in. How dare RT not to have the same views as CNN?

    But what then? Let’s even say that Trump is removed – he is at this point so emasculated that keeping him in the White House is the most stabilising thing the establishment could do. Is Congress going to declare a war on Russia? Or more sanctions? Are they going to ban RT? Break diplomatic relations? None of that makes sense because any of those moves would be more costly than beneficial, some dramatically so. Therefore nothing will happen.

    All that will remain is permanent bitterness towards Russia, and vice-versa. And much reduced ability to do what the West has done for 75 years: heavy interference and media campaigns inside foreign countries to influence elections. If ‘meddling’ is so bad, the biggest meddlers – by far – will be less able to meddle. So how is this hysteria helping?

    Sanity in public life is a precious thing. Once abandoned, all kinds of strange things start happening. Yeah, Pokemon GO – Putin was personally naming the characters to ‘sow division’. It sounds like something Stalin would accuse his ‘cosmopolitan’ enemies of doing. This is really embarrassing.

  3. Why does this article only have two comments so far?

    This article was posted yesterday–it should have many more comments by now.

    This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).

    If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.

    But if I am not wrong–and especially if my comment is prohibited–I will forever consider Mike Whitney a coward and an enemy.

  4. utu says:

    Incorrect parsing of reality. It was not about getting Trump but it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration.

  5. Wally says:

    The best piece Whitney has done.


  6. Capn Mike says:

    I think you’re pretty much whacko.

    This comment should demonstrate that.

    Maybe people are just so TIRED of Russiagate.

  7. Roberts is bizarre and Razib Khan can be a bit cantankerous but why do you say “expelled”?

    I agree that 3 Comments, as there are before this one, is unusual but why would you suspect Whitney of defensive refusal to countenance differences of opinion?

  8. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    If the Senate can ‘assess,’ so can I!

    I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can’t prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

  9. @Johnny Rico

    I have been convinced of the ridiculousness of the Russian-hacking/collusion narrative/scandal since it was created in 2016.

    I, too, smelled a rat and figured that it was all BS right from the get go. So much so that I haven’t followed it a bit. In fact it’s so ridiculous on its face, that I have not and probably will not, waste time reading the article even though MW is a good guy, an unimpeachable source, a true journalist, and a fine writer.

    Bless you, Mr Whitney, for having the energy to document what is no doubt a pack of lies from the usual suspects.

    I stumbled on this yesterday, and it suggests, to no one’s surprise, that it’s always deja vu all over again. You’d think our “high IQ” masters would show a little originality once in a while, and that we, “Low IQ” as we are, would finally learn that it’s all BS from the get-go.

    Note the date.:

    THESE books all belong to that literature of Katzenjammer which now flourishes so amazingly in the United States… they all embody attempts to find out what is the matter with the Republic. I wish I could add that one or another of them solves the problem, or at least contributes something to its illumination, but that would be going somewhat beyond the facts.

    -H.L. Mencken, Autopsy (4 Reviews), , September 1927, pp. 123-125 – PDF

  10. @Thorfinnsson

    This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).

    While I agree with you about the latter two, and have written them off accordingly, along with Mercer, who I suspect “edits” (really, “purges” ) her comments too, I highly doubt that MW falls into the same categories as those mentioned. At least MW doesn’t use the word, “insouciant” 3 or 4 times in every article!

    If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.

    The article isn’t so much unpopular as the subject is wearying. It’s the same crud all over again,obviously false, and I suspect virtually everyone knows it. It’s utterly boring and I give MW a lot of credit for having the persistence to even face the mindless mess, let alone think and write about it. He really is to be admired for that.

    I’ve always thought it was a distraction as usual from other much more more important things but utu has a better take on it.

    … it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration. [ed note:And Flynn is gone too.]

    I think that’s a “Bingo!” and I also think you better formulate an apology and plan on getting on yer knees to deliver it! 😉

    PS: I’m curious as to why you think this is of much interest at all. (Aside from utu’s take.)

  11. We don’t know who this author really is but, once again, what’s interesting is that so many people are still so scared of an investigation which is supposedly producing “no evidence” (leaving aside Trump Junior’s evidence, of course). If all this was a load of nonsense, why make such a fuss about it? If there’s nothing to this, an “effort to support a theory”, however “determined” will come up with nothing. The frantic attempts to kill off Russiagate suggest that those who are making such attempts know, or believe, that there actually is something to it which has not yet come to light. Probably something pretty dirty by the sound of it. What if some part of the US intelligence services took part in the manipulation of the election, either in collusion with the Russians or posing as Russians, and Putin can prove it? That would certainly explain the plethora of retired intelligence agents who are so assiduously defending a foreign government. If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course.

  12. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia.

    Really? Only “now”?!

    I thought it was pretty much clear from the beginning.

  13. This report is as bogus as the “9/11 Commission Report”. Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome. In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some “evidence” about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves.

  14. TG says:

    Indeed, well said.

    But what is missing is that this “Russian Hacking” story was not nonsense, it worked.

    After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us.

    Having served its purpose, the Russian ‘hacking’ stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater.

    The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted.

    Mission accomplished.

  15. Flavius says:

    Mike – good article.
    The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years.
    If it can be gotten wrong, the Borg will get it wrong; it will be gotten wrong at the worst possible time; it will move on to get it wrong again. These are three things that you can absolutely count on.

  16. Joe Hide says:

    Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying.

  17. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Johnny Rico

    What is truly astonishing is the degree to which people in the US government are not afraid (ashamed) to look stupid. Stupid! – As if they have been paid to be the committed opportunists they are.

    Here is a striking illustration to the establishment’ total – and demented – corruption:
    “The Israeli city of Herzliya is named after Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, and it has hosted a meeting of the Empire’s Who’s Who over the past several days. For a while, Herzilia truly became the see of the Empire’s inner core of heavy hitters. …. the main topic at the conference was the upcoming war with Iran. Richard Perle delivered the keynote: “If the Israeli government comes to the conclusion that it has no choice but to take action, the reaction of the U.S. will be the belief in the vitality that this action must succeed, even if the U.S. needs to act with Israel in the current American administration”.
    … – if anyone has ANY doubts left that the Empire will totally ignore the will of the American people as expressed in the last election and strike at Iran, this conference should settle the issue.”

    Unlike the imagine “Rooskies’ influence,” the Israeli influence is factual:
    (Non-Israeli) speakers at Herzliya conference included:
    Matthew Bronfman, Chair of the Budget and Finance Commission, World Jewish Congress, and member of the World Jewish Congress Steering Committee, Amb. Nicholas Burns US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Prof. Alan Dershowitz Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Senator John Edwards Head of the One America Committee and candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Gordon England US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dr. Marvin C. Feuer Director of Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC, Newt Gingrich Former U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City and candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, General the Lord Charles Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE. Former Chief of the Defense Staff and Chief of the General Staff of the British Army, Amb. Dr. Richard Haass President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Stephen E. Herbits Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress, Amb. Dr. Robert Hunter President of the Atlantic Treaty Association and Former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO. Senior Advisor at the RAND Corporation in Washington (also serves as Chairman of the Council for a Community of Democracies, Senior International Consultant to Lockheed Martin Overseas Corporation), Amb. Dr. Richard H. Jones United States Ambassador to Israel (also served as the Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor and Coordinator for Iraq Policy), Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman Director, Israel and Middle East Office, American Jewish Committee (also served in the IDF Intelligence Directorate for over 25 years), Christian Leffler Deputy Chief of Staff of the European Commissioner for External Relations and Director for Middle East and Southern Mediterranean, European Commission, Senator John McCain U.S. Senator (R) from Arizona and candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Dr. Edward L. Morse Chief Energy Economist, Lehman Brothers, Dr. Rolf Mützenich Member of the German Federal Parliament (SPD) and member of the Committee on Foreign Policy of the Bundestag (and Board Member of the “Germany-Iran Society”), Torkel L. Patterson President of Raytheon International, Inc., Richard Perle Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (previously served as Chairman of the Defense Policy Board and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy), Amb. Thomas R. Pickering Former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (previously served as Senior Vice President of Boeing), Jack Rosen Chairman of the American Jewish Congress (and member of the Executive Committee of AIPAC and of the Council on Foreign Relations), Stanley O. Roth Vice President for Asia, International Relations of the Boeing Company (member of the Council on Foreign Relations), James Woolsey Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and many others.”

  18. So what ?
    Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics:
    Christopher Lasch, ‘The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations’, 1979, 1980, London

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  19. Thorfinnsson says:

    “Why does this article only have two comments so far? This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).
    If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.”

    Mike Whitney says: The writers at Unz merely contribute their articles to the publisher (Ron Unz), We don’t control or have the power to delete comments posted on the website. Nor would I. Writers thrive on comments as it indicates the popularity of a particular piece.

    My sense is that people are just tired of the Russia hacking nonsense and no longer think it is interesting.

    I am frankly surprised that Ron “headlined” the article because I told him I thought people had lost interest. But, to his credit, Ron published it, which, to me, indicates that he feels it is a serious problem when the government deliberately tries to deceive the American people.

    And that’s really what this story is about, sectors of the deep state and their allies in the media regard the American people as an adversary that must duped into supporting policies that are destructive to their real interests.

  20. Wally says:
    @Michael Kenny

    IOW, you’re dumping your original claim of Russian – Trump collusion and now trying too spin an alternative.

    ‘If, what if, maybe, woulda’, coulda’, shoulda’.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  21. @Wally

    wally, he does have a point. if there was no collusion, why fight the investigation so much? that is like a suspect running out of the country after being released on bail(not even half as bad but I hope I got my point across). trump would look super clean and confident if he attacks the investigation as political but allows it, telling americans he got nothing to hide. trump would have earned serious points for reelection with something that simple.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Bro Methylene
  22. Murali says:
    @Michael Kenny

    By saying “plethora of retired intelligence agents are defending a foreign government” are you casting doubts about their patriotism/integrity ? Also what time frame do you consider needed for normal course?

  23. Well, that means they gotta look for more.

    It’s like Cool Hand Luke has to dig again and again.

  24. Pericles says:
    @Mike Whitney

    Russia collusion does lack credibility, but you’re still doing us a great service by following the twists and turns of this beheaded snake. The details are worth reading about, even if there isn’t much to argue about regarding the conclusion. So thanks for that.

  25. edNels says:
    @Mike Whitney

    Good article about a sorry subject.
    It ties into Ron Unz’s American Pravda series pretty well.

    I am frankly surprised that Ron “headlined” the article because I told him I thought people had lost interest. But, to his credit, Ron published it, which, to me, indicates that he feels it is a serious problem when the government deliberately tries to deceive the American people.

    [‘…when the government deliberately tries to deceive the American people.’]

    and seemingly,and seamlessly, employ Pravda light media without much concern, not much down side.
    Generally Comments about comments are a little removed from the subject of the article at issue, and are often peripheral and worthless, but comments about the LACK OF COMMENTS… that’s a bridge farther.
    Of course the Russia Gate hoax is wearying, but isn’t it more than tiresome, or boring? when it goes on and on, and makes plain enough that: ” government deliberately tries to deceive “!?
    Or the”Parties” acting aloof from believable accountability as is more in the open now who in effect have usurped the people. Who?

  26. Biff says:

    Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust.

    You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff.

    • Replies: @Eagle Eye
  27. Beckow says:
    @Michael Kenny

    “If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course.”

    Innocent of what? What is it exactly that Russia supposedly did? Let me list a few things that are still perfectly legal in our world (that would include US, I hope):

    – having an opinion, even if that opinion is not the same as NY Times/CNN/US State Dept
    – expressing this opinion publicly, even spending money to spread that opinion
    – supporting the side in an election that you prefer – even in other countries (everybody does this all the time, Obama flew to UK to campaign against Brexit)
    – publishing negative stuff about those you dislike (or who dislike you), e.g. their emails, accounts, etc…
    – spending money to spread your views – even on ‘US-owned’ platforms that are otherwise operating all over the world, e.g. Facebook has 700 million active users, they cannot all be in US
    – laughing or celebrating if what you preferred won (champagne for Trump)
    – meeting with foreigners from a country not in a state of war with you, or – God forbid! – meeting with their ambassador.

    None of the above is either unusual or illegal. It might not look good to some people, but it is what international life has consisted for at least 200 years. If you call that ‘meddling’, you just might be too naive for the world as it is.

    What is the ‘natural course’ for the investigation? If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc… what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco?

    Putin named Pokemon GO characters after BLM victims to stir up racial hatreds in US. How does one answer that? Where would you even start dealing with people who are capable of this level of nonsense?

  28. MBlanc46 says:
    @Michael Kenny

    How long does it have to “come up with nothing” before it’s legitimate to say, “There’s nothing there”?

  29. @Michael Kenny

    Do you apply your “presumption of guilt” to every accused person, or just to those about whom you have a derangement syndrome?

    By the way, Michael, I have belatedly attached a reply to your comment on John Derbyshire’s thread: If Catalonia, Why Not California, Texas, or New England?

  30. Russian hacking is a lie made up by the Zionists who control America and whose interests lie in trying to destroy Russia in what ever way they can for the benefit of ISRAEL.

  31. MEexpert says:

    I think you are wrong about Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. He had mentioned in one of his articles that he will be on some assignment (I don’t remember exactly what) and will not entertain any comments for a while because he won’t have time to moderate them. He has never shied away from comments before.

    • Replies: @Avery
  32. Avery says:

    {…. because he won’t have time to moderate them. He has never shied away from comments before.}

    Not true.

    Dr Roberts closed off comments, because he was being inundated with irrelevant, irrational negative posts and spam.

    Worst of all, an imposter managed to elude all the checks and firewalls of and post a comment under Dr. Roberts’ name threatening posters who disagreed with him.
    I think that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Also, Dr. Roberts is not a young man and it takes a lot of effort and energy just to read the comments, that after you have spent a lot time and energy writing the article itself. Takes lots of background research, checking and verifying sources, etc. Hard, energy sapping work.

    It was prominently announced by Dr Roberts and that comments will no longer be allowed for PRC, so… harm, no foul.

    I read his articles: if he doesn’t want comments, it’s fine with me.
    Does’t take away from the substance – or lack thereof – of his articles.
    I take it as-is.

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  33. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) ?

    What does he gain by this?

    Trump’s victory over Hillary has driven the Democrats crazy.

    It’s hardly original, but it appears to be a tossup regarding which Congressional Delegation won and which one lost.

    Since 2008, if not before, the Republicans have been quite comfortable losing on matters of ‘principle’. As constituted, they are incapable of putting forth an agenda and acting on it. It could have been inferred by their behavior from 2008-2016 — but not it has been demonstrated.

    Further, they hate Trump. He doesn’t inspire trust or confidence in even his core supporters. The Democrats get to sit back and take shots at his antics on a daily basis. The Republicans have to at least pretend to support him and try to restrain themselves from openly criticizing him.

    The Republican Congress has to wonder on a daily basis how winning can possibly feel so bad.

    Of course there is nothing. If they find so much as a parking ticket, however, there is the possibility of building it out to a perjury allegation, obstruction of justice, or conspiracy to obstruct justice.

    Once you have a special prosecutor and a congressional committee — plus a virtually unlimited budget, no time constraints — it can go on forever.

    Even in the McCarthy period, the USSR had an opinion. They also had an affiliated US Communist Party which was legal. They had a newspaper, The Daily Worker. They had a presidential candidate, Gus Hall. But RT can’t have an opinion?

    The establishment lost the election. They aren’t happy and won’t shut up about it. And it includes a lot of Republicans.

    I apologize for not covering any new ground. But what I call a ‘zombie’ idea that simply won’t die regardless of any set of facts is too big a symptom to simply ignore.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  34. DaveE says:
    @Mike Whitney

    I agree with you; people are just bored stupid with the entire scam.

    Although, I must say, I think the title of this piece might have alienated some readers, as it initially did me.

    I was expecting, naively, some announcement that Mueller had thrown in the towel or something equally unlikely. So the simple fact that my expectations weren’t met produced a knee-jerk reaction: fake news, move on.

    MW’s past record convinced me to read further and I’m glad I did. This was a fine piece.


  35. D3F1ANT says:

    We ALL know this Russia debacle is just a scam. Even the Democrats and Mueller know…because they’re the ones perpetrating the scam! But we’re all supposed to pretend something might come of it! Hillary is actually a corrupt official…go after HER!

    • Replies: @Anon
  36. @jilles dykstra

    Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics:

    When was truth ever an issue in USA politics?

    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
  37. @Mike Whitney

    …sectors of the deep state and their allies in the media regard the American people as an adversary that must be duped into supporting policies that are destructive to their real interests.

    The anti-Federalists also made similar claims in their arguments against ratification of the constitution.

    Here’s Patrick Henry refuting the claims of the “federalists” who used, among other things, the fabricated threats of wars in their effort to dupe their fellow delegates into signing.

    I address my most fervent prayer to prevent our adopting a system destructive to liberty. Let not gentlemen be told that it is not safe to reject this [new]government. Wherefore is it not safe? We are told there are dangers, but those dangers are ideal; they cannot be demonstrated.

    – Patrick Henry, Foreign Wars, Civil Wars, and Indian Wars—Three Bugbears, June 5, 7, and 9, 1788

    Also note that even the labels, “federalist” and “anti-federalist” are exactly the opposite of what they should be, and this was intentionally done, by the pro-constitution gang to mislead the people.

    The term federalists is therefore improperly applied to themselves, by the friends and supporters of the proposed constitution. This abuse of language does not help the cause; every degree of imposition serves only to irritate, but can never convince. They are national men, and their opponents, or at least a great majority of them, are federal, in the only true and strict sense of the word.

    -Maryland Gazette and Baltimore Advertiser, March 7, 1788. The true identity of the author is unknown.

    The point is that the government we have is built on deception and it and its agents should be considered purveyors of lies until proven innocent or if good sense obviates the need for further proof.

    • Replies: @utu
  38. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile, in the “liberated” Ukraine certain Jewish-Ukrainian citizens are busy making gesheft for the expense of the state of Ukraine:
    “According to Ukraine’s central bank, some £4.2bn was siphoned out of Privat bank by two of Ukraine’s most powerful offshore [Jewish] oligarchs, Gennady Bogolyubov and Igor Kolomoisky. Amazingly, only two media outlets have even bothered to report on the story, This is Money in the UK and The Times in India. So, on the one hand there are the minions of the IMF and other financial interests, and on the other the embedded institutions such as the general prosecutor’s office and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) of Ukraine seeming to back the ‘oligarch’ corruption plays. What’s worse, it was Americans like Senator John McCain who backed the practices of Ukraine mafiosos like Bogolyubov and Kolomoisky from the start.”

  39. utu says:
    @jacques sheete

    Also note that even the labels, “federalist” and “anti-federalist” are exactly the opposite of what they should be, and this was intentionally done, by the pro-constitution gang to mislead the people.

    I would not be surprised if similar deception was used when the creation of Federal Reserve Bank was being lobbied for. This deception probably has some name. Wolf in sheep’s clothing is close but there should be something better to describe this deception.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  40. @Mike Whitney

    Their problem is that the article, before it was headlined, was relegated to the bottom of the list since I believe your name puts you at the end of the list of authors.

    I would know since I look for my favorite writers in this list and have watched this for three days.

    Nobody saw it.

    • Replies: @Johnny Rico
  41. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    It’s ‘pore over’ not ‘pour over’. Sigh.

  42. MEexpert says:

    Thanks for clarification. I did remember his comments about not taking readers’ comments. I wouldn’t call him coward though.

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @jacques sheete
  43. @anon

    trump won, RNC did not 🙂 that is why most if not all of the ppl who controls RNC are not happy about it.

  44. Avery says:

    Roberts is no coward.
    Rather, he is at a stage in his life that he doesn’t need the additional hassle of dealing with posters.

    This sentence that the individual wrote above is one example:

    {But if I am not wrong–and especially if my comment is prohibited–I will forever consider Mike Whitney a coward and an enemy.}

    Yeah, ‘coward’ and ‘enemy’ (!) if the author doesn’t like your post and flushes it.
    Some people take this stuff way too seriously.

    • Agree: MEexpert
  45. Wally says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    “Fight the investigation”? Really?

    If Trump was worried or ‘fighting the investigation’ he would simply fire Mueller, it’s perfectly within his rights to do so.

    Y’all forgot about that.


    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  46. @jacques sheete

    Good question.
    But what Lasch shows that Watergate made it possible to tell blatant lies.
    This was new, he writes.

  47. @utu

    I would not be surprised if similar deception was used when the creation of Federal Reserve Bank was being lobbied for.


    The use of the word, “Federal,” is deceptive. It implies that it’s a bank of the “federal” government (and the US government itself is not a federal one in any reasonable sense of the word) thus obscuring the fact that it’s a private bank run by a select clique of what appears to me to be a sort of financial mafia. So use of the word is misleading on not one, but two levels.

    As for “Reserve,” that gives it the impression that it’s backed up by something of worth when in truth there isn’t anything, and there are not reserves at all. Notice that “greenbacks” used to be backed by gold, then they were called “silver certificates” which were supposedly redeemable for silver but that joke couldn’t be carried on, so that pretense was dropped and the name changed to “Federal Reserve Notes,” which amounts to a promise of nothing and the worth of which is that of the used tissue paper itself.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  48. @jacques sheete

    The other devious thing about the “federal reserve” banking system is that at heart it’s really a sophisticated, government protected Ponzi scheme variant because it’s granted the amazing power to conjure credit out of nothing, and those who get the credit first, get the most bang for their buck. As in a Ponzi scheme,the first in get the moola while the last get left holding a worthless if not altogether empty bag.

    This credit creates inflation, but that doesn’t happen instantly. Inflation grows slowly, and those to whom the initial credit is extended “sell” that credit to others and this takes time. Because of the inflation, each successive borrower gets less bang for the same bucks.

    As a result, he big losers are those downstream such as consumers, savers, and small lending institutions.

    Try explaining that to someone sometime. They’ll either leave befuddled or mock you or both. Either way, they’ll invariably put their faith in the system, and the leviathan grows.

    • Replies: @Wally
    , @Beckow
  49. @MEexpert

    I wouldn’t call him coward though.

    Definitely not a coward. I would say petulant and exasperated, and I can sympathize with both!

  50. Wally says: • Website
    @jacques sheete

    Well stated, on point. Thanks.

  51. @Wally

    yeah, really. 🙂

    firing mueller? that would make my not even half as bad example become 200% correct 🙂 he might as well just hold a press conference and shout he pleads guilty 🙂

    a politician is being investigated for collusion with a foreign power, and you think since that politician have the power to fire the investigators, it is within his right? :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

  52. Beckow says:
    @jacques sheete

    You are right, but what would be an alternative? The reality is that credit-based monetary systems are both necessary and help to increase consumption, and thus economic activity.

    We cannot go back to gold/silver/land based monetary systems, that would contract economic activity dramatically. It would impoverish most people even more than the current system.

    The reason US can get away with having a paper-based virtual currency that it can create almost at will (within reason), is that US is the designated and acknowledged safest wealth repository in the world; a giant, resources-rich Switzerland protected by two oceans. So the faith in ‘dollar’ is there. Notice that whenever sh..t happens elsewhere, wealth escapes to US – it is the safest choice available.

    I agree that Washington elite has been abusing this privileged position, and they are doing it more and more. Let’s see what the limit is. But even when we reach that limit, an alternative will have to exist for the system to change. Unless you just prefer a collapse and chaos.

  53. The depressing thing is not that this asinine, puerile fiction of an “investigation” is being staged.

    It’s that anyone, I mean anyone with an IQ over 80 can hear these meaningless words like “hack the election” and take them seriously. It isn’t even a coherent sentence.

  54. Eagle Eye says:

    Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust.

    What is truly remarkable is the extent to which Russia did NOT attempt to influence the U.S. elections, despite a massive MSM effort to present “evidence” of Russian “hacking.” (The intention of using the word “hack” is, of course, to convince Jeannie Sixpack that evil Russkies “hacked” her local polling station.)

    Meanwhile, reported and under-the-table donations to the Clinton camp from foreign donors were probably in the hundreds of millions.

    For example, Germany admitted to some \$5,000,000 to the “Clinton Foundation.”

    Merkel BACKED Hillary: Clinton Foundation received £4M German taxpayer cash pre-election

    Governments, of course, have at their disposal countless methods of making untraceable payments, so the actual amount of German money paid to the Clinton camp was probably in the tens of millions.

    The same reasoning applies to all major EU countries.

    Non-European nations (Saudi Arabia, China, etc.) do not even pretend to have public transparency, but payments from those countries were no doubt substantial.

  55. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile, Ukrainian Nulandistan is on the march: “Neo-Nazis stage hateful torch-lit march – MSM says nothing.”
    “…the Nazi groups themselves claimed that 10,000 of their brethren turned up to the streets of Kiev. Men holding torches and flares, carried the insignia of 1940s era Nazi groups while shouting hateful slogans including “death to Russians”. The international response to this atrocious display of fascism has been resoundingly silent while the western mainstream media has said nothing. This is especially true when compared with international media coverage of a torch lit rally of the US based far-right which took place over the summer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
    While there are many theories as to why the wider international community, including the EU has not spoken out against the neo-Nazi march, the most logical explanation is that because the US and EU helped the current fascist regime in Kiev come to power, they simply do not want to acknowledge the ugliness which is allowed to flourish under such a regime. When Ukraine dropped chemical weapons on Donbass, the west didn’t care (VIDEO).
    Western complicity in bringing a violent fascist regime to power in Kiev also helps explain why little is being said about the ticking nuclear time-bomb in Ukraine, where multiple nuclear facilities are in danger of total failure, something which could lead to a new Chernobyl type of disaster.”

  56. @Astuteobservor II

    The NSA has the ability to record and listen to all cellphone and e-mail traffic in the USA, and possibly the world. If the NSA or any other “intelligence” agency had any incriminating evidence against Trump, they would have broadcast it to the world in the summer of 2016, when Trump won the Republican nomination. That was over a year ago!

    What is wrong with you and “Thorfinnson”? Can’t you think without the aid of people like Don Lemon and Rachel Maddow? Are you brain-damaged?

    And who are these presumably powerful people who are “fighting so hard” against the so-called “Russiagate” investigation? Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro? And why isn’t the FBI investigating real crimes for which there is actual, existing evidence?

    Aren’t you ashamed to display your dishonesty and hypocrisy in public?

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  57. @Bro Methylene

    first chill, like chill. 🙂

    If the cia is as powerful as you make it out to be, why in the hell would it disclose this evidence to the public? a controlled puppet is infinitely more useful 🙂

    relax, don’t pop veins. popping veins is not good for your cognitive thought process 🙂

    I, in no way said anything about trump’s guilt one way or another 🙂 if your veins didn’t popped something important, you would know that 🙂

  58. Bart says:

    I love all those Robert McNamara style metrics: “We’ve spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together.…”

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