Summary: Here are excerpts from Andrew McCarthy’s Ball of Collusion, showing how its revelations about RussiaGate can change how Americans see our government. We need only look, and set aside our partisan biases.
RussiaGate is a ball of confusion.
Some insights from Ball of Collusion:
The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency (2019).
By Andrew McCarthy.
He is a former Deputy US Marshall and Asst. US District Attorney.
Every new insight is an opportunity to change ourselves. This book overflows with powerful insights that can push us to change the course of American history, if only we will listen. Here are a few of them.
(1) RussiaGate is a parade of lies by government officials.
Lies by high officials and politicians are business as usual in America (see examples in the big list of lies). We fight wars because of their lies. They lie to cover up errors and crimes. Since we do not mind, why shouldn’t they lie? So, of course, RussiaGate was powered by lies of our senior intel and law-enforcement officials. They even lied to Congress (although Congress seems to prefer that to unpleasant truths). McCarthy documents important lies by three key officials.
- James Comey – Deputy Attorney General, Director of the FBI.
- John Brennan – Director of the CIA, Assistant to President Obama.
- James Clapper – USAF Lt. General, Director of the DIA, Director of National Intelligence. “Clapper, the Obama administration’s top intelligence official, could not keep straight why he lied to Congress.”
(2) Washington is a cesspool.
Many in the cast of RussiaGate had side deals with people in Russia. Showing fairness that is rare these days, McCarthy looks at both the Obama and Trump teams and documents the …
“the interplay of shady foreign wealth, American officials, and the lucrative Washington political industry that brings them together. It stinks. And it is a bipartisan odor.”
The “Resistance” describe the contacts of “their” people as sources and those of Trump’s people as agents or dupes of Putin. Supporters of Trump see Hillary’s corruption and close their eyes to the sleazy side of Team Trump. Of course, this kind of corruption is common in history. Imperial capitals are usually cesspools.
(3) Our news media are conduits for propaganda
The New York Times’ articles on RussiaGate won it the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Investigative Reporting. They are still proud of it. In August, Executive Editor Dean Baquet said “We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well.” McCarthy gives an example of their work. Here is origin story #1 for RussiaGate.
“Trump Adviser’s Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.’s Attention.” That was the page-one headline The New York Times ran on April 20, 2017. There followed a breathless report that ‘a catalyst for the F.B.I. was a July 2016 visit to Moscow by Carter Page. It was due to the Moscow trip by Page, dubbed a Trump ‘foreign policy adviser.’ that ‘the F.B.I. obtained a warrant for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’ during the stretch run of the presidential campaign.”
McCarthy explains how most key aspects of that story were proven false during the next few months. So the NYT rolled out origin story #2, confident that Americans live in the now and would have forgotten version #1.
“So imagine the dizzy spell seven months later …when the Times premiered its Origin Story 2.0, the Papadopoulos yarn, under the headline ‘How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt.‘ This time, with a mere six doughty journalists …, the Gray Lady explained that it was actually young George who triggered the FBI’s massive probe by – wait for it – a night of boozy blather in London. Papadopoulos, an unknown figure back when he had pled guilty a few weeks before the Times’s new blockbuster, was now elevated to ‘the improbable match that set off a blaze that has consumed the first year of the Trump administration.'”
This story too slowly burned away. But the elites that the NYT shills for were creative, and manufactured new stories. Each of which were eagerly believed by the “resistance.” Only our amnesia makes reading the newspapers bearable. Americans claim to be skeptical about the news, and some are. But most are skeptical only about stories that challenge their beliefs – and credulous about those that confirm them. So Leftists well know the sordid history of our intel agencies, but recoil with horror at Republican’s suspicions about the intel agencies’ claims of Russian hacking to influence the 2016 election – despite their providing no evidence.
This is another example of journalists’ bias or incompetence. The aptly named Politifact (aks Political-distorted Facts) said that Hillary was correct when she claimed that …
“We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election.”
Other news media echoed that claim (e.g., USA Today). But we have the DHS press release. It makes no such claim. It uses the vague term “the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident … “No official has said all 17 agencies concluded anything. It is not a formal National Intelligence Estimate, which is a true multi-agency product.
The wonderful aspect about RussiaGate has been its obviousness since the beginning. Our ruling elites have us so well trained that they no longer need even make much effort to hide their manipulations. Perhaps this will be the high water mark, and we will learn skepticism. That will put America on a path to a better future.
- Learning skepticism, an essential skill for citizenship in 21st century America. – “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”.
- Swear allegiance to the truth as a step to reforming America.
- We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today.
Excerpts from the book
- The introduction.
- “Hillary Ruins the Plan.“
- “A Brief History of Election Meddling.“
- “The Election Is Legitimate Only If the Democrats Win.“
- “The Bogus Story That Launched a ‘Collusion’ Probe.“
My series about this important book
- The final act of RussiaGate – in which we’re the stars.
- Some revelations from RussiaGate that can change America.
- Unmentioned dark lessons from RussiaGate.
- Reviewing Ball of Collusion.
For More Information
Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about RussiaGate, about the Mueller report, about ways to reform America’s politics, and especially these …
- A review of Russiagate, its propaganda and the hysteria.
- Secrets untold about the DNC hack, the core of RussiaGate.
- Debunking RussiaGate, attempts to stop the new Cold War.
- RussiaGate: fragments of a story large beyond imagining.
- The RussiaGate story implodes. The Left burns with it – by Glen Ford at the Black Agenda Report.
- Peter van Buren shows the path to RussiaGate.
- The best analysis of RussiaGate: its effects & results – By Emmet T. Flood, special counsel to the President.
- Craig Murray reveals the mysteries of Mueller’s investigation.
- The next step: finding the origins of the RussiaGate op.
Books revealing the Deep State
I strongly recommend reading The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government by Mike Lofgren (2016). See the Forward to it. See my review of it.
The American Deep State: Big Money, Big Oil, and the Struggle for U.S. Democracy by Peter Dale Scott, former Canadian diplomat and professor emeritus at Berkeley (2017). See his website.
29 thoughts on “Some revelations from RussiaGate that can change America”
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Law and order set America apart. Foreign companies used to find clever ways to subject themselves to. US jurisdiction because America was believed to have an honest justice system. It was mostly a facade, but fairer than most.
After Clinton committed perjury as president, I saw a huge increase in people lying in court. They used Clinton to justify themselves. After the Great Recession, I expected thousands to go to jail, like in the S&L scandal, but it didn’t happen. Instead they crooks got bailouts and 7 million lost homes.
We need a bunch of high level officials to go to jail for their RussiaGate activities. It is the only way to restore the rule of law. If it doesn’t happen, most people will accept that our democracy is done and who knows what will happen.
“After Clinton committed perjury as president, I saw a huge increase in people lying in court.”
That seems unlikely to me. I was an arbitrator during that period. Nice upper middle-class people. They lied frequently before and after the Monica revelations. Longer-term arbitrators said that had been true during their experience.
Most stories of people changing their behavior because of such incidents prove to be false. Changes in religion (does an oath matter), community structure (increased anonymity), and other such factors are far more important.
You just don’t know what you’re talking about.
Larry: I am not sure I understand “our partisan biases” which suggests both anti and pro Trump sides are equally biased. It seems to me as though there was one set of biases and those were from the Democrats and Never Trumpers. There was and is always the possibility that outside influences affect our elections – why wouldn’t they. The issue for me was that there never appeared to be any credible evidence that Trump was orchestrating anything or that he was being manipulated. A conspiracy with a veritable loose cannon like Trump strikes me as oxymoronic.
“which suggests both anti and pro Trump sides are equally biased”
You must be kidding. Trump’s supporters are often delusional in their opinions about our Clown president. Their beliefs about what he has done often bear little resemblance to what he has actually done (i.e., the standard GOP far-right schtick: tax cuts for the rich, more wasteful military spending, bigger deficits, attacking unions, deregulations to boost profits, etc).
RussiaGate has uncovered a pattern of sleezy behavior by people in Team Trump, going to the highest levels. They have not been agents of Putin, but certainly corrupt. RussiaGate also shows Trump as quite incompetent. Trump supporters often close their eyes to all this.
McCarthy, to his credit, documents all this.
I also believe that Trump, like Obama, was ill-equipped to be President and I know from the experiences of a friend who foolishly signed up for a Trump branded get rich quick scheme that he is sleazy and amoral. As I have argued to countless liberal friends and acquaintances, Trump is PT Barnum re-incarnated. He is a buffoon and showman.
The media’s way of responding to him gave his campaign the oxygen it needed to beat a flawed and dangerous Clinton. If they want to win in 2020, they need to focus more on what he promised but has not delivered. However, the presenting question/topic is about RussiaGate and here the biases are predominantly manifested by his opponents. Trump maybe guilty of many unpleasant things, but simply, based on the lack of evidence, not this thing.
“The media’s way of responding to him gave his campaign the oxygen it needed to beat a flawed and dangerous Clinton”
The great distinguishing characteristic of Americans is that we never ever assume responsibility. We’re just poor little babies preyed upon by evil wolves. Pitiful, a disgrace to our predecessors.
The news media highlighted Trump’s antics because the public loved to see them. If we were uninterested, they would not have done so. More precisely, all the major audiences – left, right, etc – loved to see Trump’s antics, so each of the news media serving them featured him.
More importantly, 63 million voted for Trump with full-knowledge of what he was. Note that neither candidate got a majority of the popular vote = and that only 58% of eligable voters bothered to do so.
Larry: I am not saying that trump supporters are not delusional. IMO Trump is an amoral buffoon and showman and is the second coming of PT Barnum. He, like Obama, was poorly equipped to be President. But the point at issue is Russiagate and I for one never saw any evidence that there was any “there” there, Nothing is impossible, but this always seemed like wishful thinking of Trump’s political opponents rather than reality.
Larry: Yes, Trump’s antics had a following – but I assume that many voters were like me and held our noses and voted for Trump rather than Clinton who IMO was more dangerous and would have been largely untouchable as President.
You are missing the point. Open your eyes.
“The media’s way of responding to him gave his campaign the oxygen it needed to beat a flawed and dangerous Clinton”
The news media shows and articles about Trump during the election got massive attention from the entire spectrum of audiences – from Left to Right. That’s why the news media ran so many of them. They are a business, just like McDonalds. They serve what we want.
You trumpian voters not only held your noses but covered your eyes. The one thing you monkeys won’t do, but should, is shut your mouths!
DJT is burning up a lot of his political capital in an effort to reset trade relations with China. That is definitely not the path of least resistance. It is, however, exactly what he told the voters he would do if elected.
How about this – Trump is all of the above: compulsively dishonest, a PT Barnum huckster, serially a womanizer, and a sincere American Patriot. That, BTW, is exactly how his supporters have seen him from the beginning and are more sure of it every day.
“Exactly what he told the voters he would do”
Trump has done little of what he promised, but – as you note – starting a trade war with China is unfortunately one of the exceptions. NYT: “Donald Trump Vows to Rip Up Trade Deals and Confront China”, 29 June 2016.
“compulsively dishonest, a PT Barnum huckster, serially a womanizer, and a sincere American Patriot”
We must like those characteristics, since they fit so many US presidents.
Since Professor Xavier is on a mission with the X-Men, we cant ask him which presidents were “compulsive” or “patriots.”
“That, BTW, is exactly how his supporters have seen him from the beginning.”
Do you have any evidence of that? Esp about “dishonest” and “PT Barnum huckster”?
I don’t know what comes next but only 1 chance in 3 it will be better.
I too don’t know what comes next. The future is always an unknown country.
I do know that our choices will make the future, and focusing on our actions is more productive than guessing about it.
Trump’s executive order to sanction countries that meddle in U.S. elections got nothing but blowback from the liberal press, Democrats, and Rinos that want nothing less than Putin’s head on a stick and Trump out of office and behind bars.
On the climate front, Trump’s the only one with the balls to stand up to the global green menace. #KAG
Comparing apples to oranges. Bob Dylan to antifa? One a non violent activist the other a threatening fighting sucker punching bunch of assholes. Yeah I get the connection. Not one bit.
What are you talking about? How is your comment relevant to this post?
“The wonderful aspect about RussiaGate has been its obviousness since the beginning. Our ruling elites have us so well trained that they no longer need even make much effort to hide their manipulations. Perhaps this will be the high water mark, and we will learn skepticism. That will put America on a path to a better future.”
I’ve been reading McCarthy’s excellent coverage right along, and I want to read this book. I can’t really dispute any of the points here, and I hope that useful lessons will be drawn from this. On the other hand, people don’t always draw the right lessons.
I believe one “lesson” drawn from the Russo-Japanese war was that the cavalry hadn’t really been all that effective against such things as machine guns and entrenchments because it used mere Asian ponies, whereas European cavalry horses, being more powerful would have made a real difference.
Reading about the decision to let Comey skate, I had the same feeling I got reading about Epstein’s demise. The people responsible were completely ineffectual or utterly corrupt, and it didn’t really make all that much practical difference which. I fear people will look at this and conclude that elections simply don’t matter. Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is not skepticism, but that despair is a sin.
“I hope that useful lessons will be drawn from this. On the other hand, people don’t always draw the right lessons.”
There are many kinds of mistakes. Experts sometimes draw wrong conclusions from events. But that’s not us, now. We just refuse to see events. That would create painful cognitive dissonance between our responsibilities – and our apathy and cowardliness. So far the latter have won every round. Democracy is a choice, but one whose burdens we appear unwilling to bear.
“Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is not skepticism, but that despair is a sin.”
That’s a great way of looking it things, I’ll have to keep it in mind.
At best this is conspiracy mongering by right-wing fanatics. But it is probably worse: cynical polemicists
profiting off the ignorant and the gullible. Either way, they are impairing our democracy and giving substantial aid and comfort to our enemies. Putin must be very happy.
Not only did Comey not commit a crime, he protected his country by exposing Trump’s corrupt intention to obstruct justice by pressuring Comey to go easy on Flynn. Trump repeatedly lied by denying what Comey revealed, but the contemporaneously recorded statements by Comey and other evidence convincingly proved to Mueller that Comey was telling the truth and Trump was, once again, lying. That the trumpians can’t figure this out isn’t surprising. But now they know Trump lied about having no business in Russia when he, in fact, was pursuing an ongoing Trump Tower Moscow deal. His campaign manager gave inside polling info to a Russian oligarch (FOP: friend of Putin) and, along with Don Jr. and Jared, met with Russians to get dirt on Hillary. Flynn talked with the Russians about sanctions relief and lied about it to the FBI. Trump and his team had more than 100 contacts with Russians before he became President. And Trump has repeatedly said he takes liar/killer/authoritarian Putin’s word over our own Intel agencies about Russian interference in our election. In fact, Trump repeatedly welcomed that interference and admitted he would welcome it again in 2020! After all that, you’d think the trumpians might begin to question their dishonest and ethically challenged leader. They continue to carry his water, but their bucket, like this book, has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese.
“he protected his country by exposing Trump’s corrupt intention to obstruct justice by pressuring Comey to go easy on Flynn”
Wow. Not much contact with reality there. Or in any of your other statements. But then, the news media has been lying for 2 years about all this.
Try reading the book, and you can follow the references to your hearts’ content. Books are your friends, and who knows what you will learn!
Your rhetoric is the stuff of CNN/MSNBC. Stay tuned.