Summary: The moment of truth approaches for RussiaGate as Mueller prepares to close his investigation. Will the hysteria crash and burn, like that about the Salem Witches or Satanic Child Abusers? Or will Mueller produce decisive evidence that he has successfully concealed? Here is the answer.
“Mueller report PSA: Prepare for disappointment.”
By Darren Samuelsohn at Politico.
The bottom line: “Be forewarned that the special counsel’s findings may never be made public. …That’s the word POLITICO got from defense lawyers working on the Russia probe and more than 15 former government officials with investigation experience spanning Watergate to the 2016 election case.”
For a brutally clear summary of the RussiaGate drama, see Caitlin Johnstone.
“So that’s it then. An obscene amount of noise and focus, a few indictments and process crime convictions which have nothing to do with Russian collusion, and this three-ring circus of propaganda and delusion is ready to call it a day.
“This is by far the clearest indication yet that the Mueller investigation will end with Trump still in office and zero proof of collusion with the Russian government, which has been obvious since the beginning to everyone who isn’t a complete fucking moron. For two years the idiotic, fact-free, xenophobic Russiagate conspiracy theory has been ripping through mainstream American consciousness with shrieking manic hysteria, sucking all oxygen out of the room for legitimate criticisms of the actual awful things that the US president is doing in real life. Those of us who have been courageous and clear-headed enough to stand against the groupthink have been shouted down, censored, slandered and smeared as assets of the Kremlin on a daily basis by unthinking consumers of mass media propaganda, despite our holding the philosophically unassailable position of demanding the normal amount of proof that would be required in a post-Iraq invasion world.
“As I predicted long ago, “Mueller isn’t going to find anything in 2017 that these vast, sprawling networks wouldn’t have found in 2016. He’s not going to find anything by ‘following the money’ that couldn’t be found infinitely more efficaciously via Orwellian espionage. The factions within the intelligence community that were working to sabotage the incoming administration last year would have leaked proof of collusion if they’d had it. They did not have it then, and they do not have it now. Mueller will continue finding evidence of corruption throughout his investigation, since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish, but he will not find evidence of collusion to win the 2016 election that will lead to Trump’s impeachment. It will not happen.” This has remained as true in 2018 as it did in 2017, and it will remain true forever.
“None of the investigations arising from the Russiagate conspiracy theory have turned up a single shred of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 election, or to do anything else for that matter. All that the shrill, demented screeching about Russia has accomplished is manufacturing support for steadily escalating internet censorship, a massively bloated military budget, a hysterical McCarthyite atmosphere wherein anyone who expresses political dissent is painted as an agent of the Kremlin and any dissenting opinions labeled “Russian talking points”, a complete lack of accountability for the Democratic Party’s brazen election rigging, a total marginalization of real problems and progressive agendas, and an overall diminishment in the intelligence of political discourse.”
The #RussiaGate hysteria will go into American history along with similarly mad episodes, such as the Salem Witch Trials and the Satanic Abuse trials. A large fraction of Americans belief these stories, despite they near-total lack of supporting evidence. Even better, the stories have grown – as legends do – to bizarre extremes. My favorite is by bien pensant liberal Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine: “Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart – Or His Handler?” – “A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion.”
Best of all, the RussiaGate theories go back to the Steele dossier. That in turn consists of stories given to Christopher Steele by Russians. The most important were Source A (described by Steele as “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure”) and Source B (“a former top-level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin”). They tell about one of the greatest Russian intel coups ever – an FSB (successor to the KGB) operation suborning a US president. Would Putin be pleased at this betrayal of State secrets? Why would these Russians risk their freedom, even their lives? Nobody has given a plausible explanation of why these Russians would ruin this project.
Our horde of journalists do not even ask the question. As Eric Hoffer said in The True Believer (1951), disinterest in inconvenient questions is a hallmark of the true believer. But experts raised this issue, although they ignored it. For example, see the remarks by Michael Morell. He was a former Acting CIA Director who endorsed Hillary Clinton, and was considered a likely CIA director if Clinton won, NBC reports his remarks about this oddity.
“I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries. And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris.
“And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, ‘hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,’ because they want to get paid some more. I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier.”
“As Steele is no doubt aware, there is no such thing as an ex-FSB officer. All Russian intelligence officers, whether currently or formerly employed, if in Russia, operate under the same tough security regime. The selling of secret information by them is espionage, pure and simple. Selling it to someone connected to an adversary intelligence service greatly compounds the crime.
“Sources A and B (through their intermediaries) knew that they were dealing with an ex-MI-6 man who could use their betrayal of secrets against them. The only safe way for A and B to provide the requested dirt would be to clear it with the security regime at the FSB. This precaution, a required step in such exchanges, would mean that the dirt in the dossier, whether true or false, was curated by the FSB and spoon-fed to Steele. If so, the FSB was the surreptitious provider of this part of the Steele dossier.”
So RussiaGate might a major scandal about a Russian intelligence operation attempting to change the course of American history. First, by supporting Clinton in 2016. Then later, by crippling the Trump Administration. It required the cooperation of the Democratic Party and American journalists (all operating in their own narrow self-interest). That would have been a prescient op by the Russian government, since Trump has done what Clinton would not: drastically boosted US military spending and begun to withdraw from arms control treaties (the latest: Trump’s ending the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force treaty) – initiating an arms race Russia cannot afford.
Republicans went mad during the Obama years, obsessed about baseless rumors regarding Obama’s birth certificate and the exciting but bogus stories of Benghazi Benghazi BENGHAZI! Now it is the Democrat’s turn.
Lost in all this are the major policy issues of our time. Perhaps most importantly (i.e., important to conceal) is the bipartisan consensus on so many key issues: global military interventions (the forever war), massive domestic surveillance, open borders, support for Wall Street, and many more.
Can a people govern themselves who are so disinterested in truth and so easily manipulated? I doubt it. But we can change.
Here is the problem, and a solution: A picture of America, showing a path to political reform.
For More Information
If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the about Russiagate, about ways to reform America’s politics, about propaganda, about journalism, and especially these…
- A nation lit only by propaganda.
- The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions.
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- We can’t reform America without a new news media.
Two dclassic books about propaganda
The first and in many ways still the best: Propaganda by Edward Bernays (1928).
Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky (1997). One of his best.