Jump to content
The Education Forum

Recommended Posts

Hi Paul - yes, for sure I can agree that Trump is a bully and that he probably is a crook to the same extent that the others in his business milieu are crooks. Totally agree that the constant focus on alleged Russian meddling is a big tactical mistake, not least because it diverts awareness from the real threats to the democratic process in your country. The corporate media’s decision to keep ratcheting anxiety and hysteria to ever higher levels, as seen this past week, risks provoking something like a psychotic break. I remember reading an observation from a historian a few months ago warning that the level of division and rancour within the federal government has not been seen since the years leading to the Civil War.

The FISA warrant issue I mentioned is back in the news cycle. The corporate media is vastly underplaying this facet and therefore many people are not aware of the issues (it is mostly discussed by people on the right, but Consortium News has also been covering it). In a nutshell, it appears that, in the Fall of 2016, politicized members of the FBI used opposition research paid for by the Democratic Party to justify and acquire access to NSA surveillance databanks directed at a member of the Trump campaign team, and using the “hops” revealed by Snowden, whereby anyone in direct contact with the targeted person is also added to the surveillance net, this seems to mean the Trump campaign was being directly spied on by agents of the government politically allied to the Democrats. After the election, Trump was briefed by the head of the NSA, Mike Rogers. After the meeting the Trump transition team abruptly moved from Trump Tower to a location in New Jersey. And inappropriate use of FISA warrants for domestic political advantage appear to stretch back at least to the start of 2016.

Here is a more detailed summary if anyone is interested:

https://themarketswork.com/2018/04/05/the-uncovering-mike-rogers-investigation-section-702-fisa-abuse-the-fbi/

 

And here is the late Robert Parry from Consortium News wondering if the Russian meddling narrative wasn’t merely politicized intelligence:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/23/new-cracks-in-russia-gate-assessment/

This past week I’ve actually read conservative Americans who say they are prepared to disavow the Patriot Act because they now agree with the civil libertarians who argued from the start that the sweeping surveillance powers were sure to be abused. It is the perfect moment for a bi-partisan grassroots pushback against the surveillance state, but many on the liberal side of the spectrum have been convinced by a phony politicized narrative and have circled the wagons in common cause with the Intelligence agencies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Jeff Carter said:

Hi Paul - yes, for sure I can agree that Trump is a bully and that he probably is a crook to the same extent that the others in his business milieu are crooks.

So Trump is just a normal crook?

Strikes me as an apology for overt fascism, frankly.

Quote

Totally agree that the constant focus on alleged Russian meddling is a big tactical mistake, not least because it diverts awareness from the real threats to the democratic process in your country.

Trump wants to have the same powers as Erdogan.

He pines for that level of control.

We've never had this kind of internal threat to democratic process as having this scum in power.

Quote

The corporate media’s decision to keep ratcheting anxiety and hysteria to ever higher levels, as seen this past week, risks provoking something like a psychotic break.

Looks like its Trump and his supporters/apologists who are having the meltdown.

Quote

 

I remember reading an observation from a historian a few months ago warning that the level of division and rancour within the federal government has not been seen since the years leading to the Civil War.

That's what Trump is instigating.  He figures if Hitler could take over with 1/3 popular support why not Trump?

Quote

The FISA warrant issue I mentioned is back in the news cycle. The corporate media is vastly underplaying this facet and therefore many people are not aware of the issues (it is mostly discussed by people on the right, but Consortium News has also been covering it).

Exclusively fascist propaganda makes one familiar with the issues?

Quote

 

In a nutshell, it appears that, in the Fall of 2016, politicized members of the FBI used opposition research paid for by the Democratic Party to justify and acquire access to NSA surveillance databanks directed at a member of the Trump campaign team

Pure fascist prevarication from beginning to end.  What a mind-boggling revision of history!

  "Politicized members of the FBI"?  It was the FBI who installed Trump in the White House, changed the entire late-stage of the campaign into a media assault on Clinton.

I'm surprised you're not aware of that, Jeff, it was in all the papers.

The FISA warrants were approved by 4 Republican judges, the head of the FBI was a Republican, the current head of the FBI is a Republican, the special counsel is a Republican, the assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation is a Republican.

Quote

 

, and using the “hops” revealed by Snowden, whereby anyone in direct contact with the targeted person is also added to the surveillance net, this seems to mean the Trump campaign was being directly spied on by agents of the government politically allied to the Democrats.

Reading fascist propaganda is bad for your health, Jeff.

All those Republican FISA judges are politically allied with Democrats?

Quote

 

After the election, Trump was briefed by the head of the NSA, Mike Rogers. After the meeting the Trump transition team abruptly moved from Trump Tower to a location in New Jersey. And inappropriate use of FISA warrants for domestic political advantage appear to stretch back at least to the start of 2016.

Here is a more detailed summary if anyone is interested:

https://themarketswork.com/2018/04/05/the-uncovering-mike-rogers-investigation-section-702-fisa-abuse-the-fbi/

 

And here is the late Robert Parry from Consortium News wondering if the Russian meddling narrative wasn’t merely politicized intelligence:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/23/new-cracks-in-russia-gate-assessment/

This past week I’ve actually read conservative Americans who say they are prepared to disavow the Patriot Act because they now agree with the civil libertarians who argued from the start that the sweeping surveillance powers were sure to be abused. It is the perfect moment for a bi-partisan grassroots pushback against the surveillance state,

Ah.  So you're calling for lefties like me who've always protested the surveillance state to join you in apologizing for an overt fascist?

No thanks.

Quote

 

but many on the liberal side of the spectrum have been convinced by a phony politicized narrative and have circled the wagons in common cause with the Intelligence agencies.

No, Jeff, we're circling our wagons against a white supremacist assault on the Constitution.

If you can't smell the fascism wafting off Trump and his supporters, tough break...

Every year the Congress passes the National Defense Authorization Act which contains a provision allowing the military to seize any individual and hold them indefinitely without any notifications. 

Every year Obama kicked in a signing statement declaring American citizens exempt from that provision.

That kind of power is Trump's highest ambition -- he'd never sign it away.

 

Edited by Cliff Varnell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever the truth is about Putin’s role, I agree with Cliff that you are wrong about the goals and methods of Trump and his followers. I don’t see any equivalence between Clinton and Trump. The witch hunt leveled at Hillary has gone on for 25 years. The level of evidence against the Clintons pales next to the evidence against Trump and the Congressional Republicans. Benghazi, Hillary’s emails amount to a hill of beans. Cliff is right - Trump is no ordinary crook. He’s the biggest danger to the US in my lifetime. 

Cliff, myself, others are all too well aware of the workings and crimes of our intelligence establishment, of the lies we have been told about so many important ‘deep’ events. When the right wing co-opted the term Deep State I knew we were in deep trouble. The evidence of crimes and calumny in this administration is self evident. 

Jeff - you’re right that this level of division hasn’t existed since the lead up to the Civil War. It got so bad that a southern congressman nearly killed a northernor in the Halls of Congress. I know which side I’m on, which side I would have taken in 1860. There was no moral equivalence when it came to slavery. It’s really shameful that a war which killed so many took place. If only those damned southerners would have seen the error in their ways. Today we have a Republican Party and a leader who embrace racism openly. They’ve cheated their way into power, and they’re allying themselves with those same forces of bigotry and hatred. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff - let me make a point a little clearer:

when a man like Trump goes after the FBI and Justice Department the way he has, it convinces me that his enemies are my friends. I don’t think the evidence against Trump is politicized. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Paul Brancato said:

Jeff - let me make a point a little clearer:

when a man like Trump goes after the FBI and Justice Department the way he has, it convinces me that his enemies are my friends. I don’t think the evidence against Trump is politicized. 

The dossier which is the impetus for the Russian collusion "investigation" was commissioned and paid for by Trump's political rivals. How is that not politicized, Paul?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Ty Carpenter said:

The dossier which is the impetus for the Russian collusion "investigation" was commissioned and paid for by Trump's political rivals. How is that not politicized, Paul?

Ty - when Buzzfeed published the dossier I read it. Unlike the press I found it believable, and it’s source credible. Since then the info therein has panned out. In order to defend against the Dossier Trump and co. chose not to argue it’s merits. Instead they chose a two pronged response - calling it fake news, and shoot the messenger. Is it the truth we are after? Ask yourself who is politicizing this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is my understanding that the overt move to institute a fascist political structure in the United States was the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001. Douglas Valentine has discussed how this legislation codified a security architecture first developed by the CIA’s Phoenix Program, expressed in America through Homeland Security and its networks of Fusion Centres. It is common now for US police forces to meet any unsanctioned political protest with the display of heavy weaponry and armoured vehicles. The militarization of the police to the degree it is now was largely carried out during the Obama administration. As was the huge increase of use of deadly force by police agencies - well over 1000 persons killed every year for a few years now.

It has been established that the NSA and its 5-Eyes partners basically scoop up all communication on the planet, including US persons, and store it in searchable databases. This blatantly unconstitutional activity is justified by assurances the strictest procedures are in place to prevent abuse of the system. The information released over the weekend confirms such assurances mean nothing. In the case of Page, an American citizen was subjected to state-directed surveillance based solely on unverified information. More troubling, that citizen had been connected to a presidential political campaign, and the unverified information had been gathered on behest of such campaign’s political opponents with the express intent of establishing information which could damage that campaign. Furthermore, the FBI agent in charge of the FISA warrant as been revealed as extremely partisan in favour of the political opponents, and had discussed ways of using his office to support them in and around the time of developing such warrant. And, according to established procedure, the approved surveillance was not limited to the subject of interest, but the net also included any of that person’s contacts and associates. Meaning that, in effect, a presidential campaign was subjected to state surveillance based solely on unverified and possibly prejudiced information. And permission to do that was effectively rubber-stamped by the supposed gate-keepers. That is far beyond the dirty tricks squads of Watergate days.

I understand your position that Trump represents a unique danger to your republic.  I’m not sold on the fascist/racist hyperbole - I.e. that Trump’s fascist and racist character is somehow leagues beyond what already exists. The fascism/ racism problem in the U.S. has a bipartisan institutional character, and as long as people insist on viewing the issue through a binary Democrat/republican  good/evil lens , then understanding the problem in sum and what to do about will remain unclear. What is needed is clear-minded critical thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Ty - when Buzzfeed published the dossier I read it. Unlike the press I found it believable, and it’s source credible. Since then the info therein has panned out. In order to defend against the Dossier Trump and co. chose not to argue it’s merits. Instead they chose a two pronged response - calling it fake news, and shoot the messenger. Is it the truth we are after? Ask yourself who is politicizing this. 

hi Paul - the information in the dossier has not panned out. The last official statement, by Clapper in early 2017, conceded that it remains unverified. Steele himself has been backtracking since facing a lawsuit by one of the persons named. Both Steele and persons from the FBI leaked material from the dossier to the media in September 2016, and the media reports generated were then portrayed in the FISA warrant request directed at Page as independent information corroborating the information in the dossier. (just like Cheney had his people brief reporters with phony Iraqi WMD information, and then cited the resulting news stories as further proof for his false claims).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

It is my understanding that the overt move to institute a fascist political structure in the United States was the passage of the Patriot Act in 2001.

Jeff, as a student of the JFK assassination you know there have been fascistic elements in the US ruling class for decades.

I find it interesting that you would say "the overt move to institute a fascist political structure in the United States" was in 2001 when one could just as readily argue it goes back to 1963 or 1947.

But there is no doubt that the patriot Act accelerated the expansion of fascism -- and there is no doubt Trump is hyper-accelerating a white supremacist theocracy.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

hi Paul - the information in the dossier has not panned out. The last official statement, by Clapper in early 2017, conceded that it remains unverified. Steele himself has been backtracking since facing a lawsuit by one of the persons named.

Citation please.

21 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

 

Both Steele and persons from the FBI leaked material from the dossier to the media in September 2016, and the media reports generated were then portrayed in the FISA warrant request directed at Page as independent information corroborating the information in the dossier.

Citation please.

21 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

 

(just like Cheney had his people brief reporters with phony Iraqi WMD information, and then cited the resulting news stories as further proof for his false claims).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is Steele conceding that information in his dossier is unverified:

https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/02/politics/donald-trump-spy-dossier/index.html

Here is CNN reporting, shortly after Clapper stated there had been no verification, that according to unnamed officials portions of the dossier had in fact been verified but they won’t say what portions or if the verified information was pertinent to the RussiaGate narrative:

https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/russia-dossier-update/

Here is confirmation that the persons behind the Steele dossier were key sources to the Isikoff Yahoo News article. The “senior U.S. law enforcement official“ who confirms the Steele allegations to Isikoff is likely an FBI source as it was the FBI which was directly involved:

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/yahoo-news-michael-isikoff-describes-crucial-meeting-cited-nunes-memo-231005733.html

This Yahoo article is directly referred to, and quoted, in Application 1 of the document released over the weekend (p21-23)

Here are some examples of Robert Parry’s excellent work on this story:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/29/the-sleazy-origins-of-russia-gate/

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/10/29/the-democratic-money-behind-russia-gate/

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/12/13/the-foundering-russia-gate-scandal/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Steele Dossier, according to the recent FISA warrant release, was not the only source. Everyone in mainstream press and government and ex Intelligence has tiptoed the validity of the info therein. The main point I would ask you is who is politicizing the info? And isn’t it the truth of what Trump, his kids, his former team, Putin et al did the important part? As I’ve said previously, I’m not crazy about framing the debate as Russian meddling. I’m much more interested in what the Trump team was up to. Intelligence community, Intelligent critics like Parry, CNN and Fox, all fall into the same trap. It looks to me like Putin has control of Trump, and I think it’s because of money laundering, not hacking emails. Election meddling, to use far too kind a word, really happened. We will see what part Russians played if we get trials. This isn’t like the Iraq War or the JFK assassination. It’s more like Watergate. People have been arrested, plead guilty to charges, agreed to cooperate. Something serious is going on, and if it’s just politics, as you and others intimate, then I know who I’m rooting for. Let the truth come out. 

Edited by Paul Brancato

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went back to page one of this debate. Jim’s position is quite nuanced. Where I disagree with him is in criticizing the timing of Mueller’s indictments right before the summit. Mueller’s message seems to be to be something like we’ve been telling you for over a year that Putin did something dirty, and you’re not listening. In the context of an ongoing investigation his meeting, especially behind closed doors, is ill advised. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She warned America that Russia hacked our voting rolls. Why is she in jail?

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/will_bunch/free-reality-winner-whistleblower-american-hero-20180724.html

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...