Is Europe Already At War?

On Saturday, The Western Journal reported the following:

A rise in tension between the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance and the Russian Federation has apparently been escalating for days in the skies above the Baltic and Black seas.

“NATO fighter jets stationed around the Baltic and Black Seas have scrambled multiple times over the past four days to track and intercept Russian aircraft near Alliance airspace”, a Friday NATO release reads.

Warning flags were first sent up on April 26 as multiple unidentified objects appeared on NATO radar arrays.

Fighters scrambled to intercept the unknowns and found Russian military aircraft tracking toward allied airspace.

A quick-reaction force is now on standby, ready to take to the sky at a moment’s notice. Aircraft securing the Baltic Sea region include fighters from Poland, Denmark, France and Spain.

The article notes:

Although NATO says the interceptions were operated in a “routine” and “safe” manner, the risks are clear.

“Russian military aircraft often do not transmit a transponder code indicating their position and altitude, do not file a flight plan, or do not communicate with air traffic controllers, posing a potential risk to civilian airliners,” NATO explained.

Of course, the danger to civilian airliners is minimal compared to what awaits if an interception between these two forces turns into a full-on engagement.

A fighter from any NATO member nation being attacked could trigger Article 5 of the alliance charter.

At this point, it is time to look at who benefits from a war between America and Russia. If it is a nuclear war, we all lose. If it is a non-nuclear war that weakens both countries, those who favor one world government win. America is a problem for the World Economic Forum. Americans like our freedoms and our prosperity (even in a recession, our quality of life is better than most other nations). There are as many questions about Vladimir Putin’s health as there are about President Biden’s health. The events in Ukraine need lots of prayers for wisdom for the leaders of Ukraine, NATO, America and Russia.

More Questions Than Answers

The war in Ukraine is horrible. Innocent civilians are the victims in any war. However, I am still struggling to figure out exactly what is happening here. Why are some of our political leaders trying so hard to get America involved? Does anyone actually believe that sending American troops to Ukraine would be a good idea? Why did Putin invade Ukraine? Is Putin really the mad brute the media is making him out to be–targeting civilians, etc.? I don’t know, but there are occasionally articles that make me wonder if we are being led down the garden path.

On Monday, The Conservative Treehouse reported the following:

Again, it must consistently be repeated – trust nothing from western or Russian state media about the issues in the Ukraine conflict. Everyone is shaping the war narrative to fit their agenda. Question everything you see and hear, wait to get the fulsome picture, and eventually the truth will surface.

An example today follows a U.S. and Western media claim that Russia arbitrarily targeted a shopping center in the capital city of Kyiv (Kiev). According to the narrative, this is an example of Russian military brutality and arbitrary shelling of civilians.

The article notes that the attack took place in the late-night-early-morning hours when the shopping center was closed to customers. So what is going on? The article posted a few pictures that explain a lot.

Here are some of the pictures:

Putting military equipment in civilian areas is not a new tactic. It does, however, result in the destruction of civilian areas. Someone much smarter than I once said, “The first casualty of war is truth.” We need to remember this as we view the reporting of the war in Ukraine.

For Your Consideration

The purpose of this article is to share information that is not covered in the mainstream media. Please consider what you are about to read and draw your own conclusions. At this point I should mention that America’s media is controlled by six corporations–News Corp, Time Warner, Comcast, Sony, Viacom and Disney. All are funded by two major hedge funds, BlackRock and Vanguard. These two major hedge funds and the mainstream media do not necessarily have America’s best interests at heart and do not necessarily tell the whole story in their reporting.

On Thursday, WND posted an article about the current war in Ukraine. The entire war in Ukraine is an atrocity. The victims are the innocent civilians of Ukraine. They are being used as pawns in a much larger game.

The article notes:

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine about three weeks ago, our corporate media has been cheering on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainians while demonizing Russia and Putin as another Hitler. What the media fail to cover and identify is the New World Order, or NWO, Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum and the role each played in provoking Russia in a much broader conflict between the New World Order and the nationalists.

Zelensky won the presidency in 2019 after being heavily bankrolled by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch by the name of Igor Kolomoiskly. Since his election, Zelensky has cleverly attempted to play the middle ground in a war between two superpowers.

In 2014, Ukraine’s democratically elected president, Victor Yanukovych, was toppled by our CIA in favor of a puppet who would serve the New World Order’s purpose for using the nation as a money-laundering hub.

Ukraine was hardly a democracy prior to the invasion. Opposition journalists are routinely jailed there. There is no freedom of the press in Ukraine. It is not by coincidence (and contrary to the paid for hire fact checkers) that the sons of Democrats in leadership positions (Biden, Pelosi, Kerry) either sat on the boards of energy companies in Ukraine or were doing business in Ukraine. When a new Ukrainian prosecutor, Kostiantyn Kulyk, opened an investigation into the business dealings of Burisma where Hunter Biden (with no energy experience) sat on the board, Joe Biden, as vice president, threatened to withhold financial aid to Ukraine and triumphantly bragged about it on camera. Imagine that! The very quid pro quo Democrats used to falsely charge President Trump is precisely what Biden is guilty of in Ukraine.

The article concludes:

When a chorus of uni-party legislators (Lindsey Graham, Maria Elvira Salazar and many others) deliberately and callously call for the assassination of Putin and for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, they are not taking their talking points from a feeble Joe Biden. Instead, they are taking their marching orders from George Soros who has called for America’s involvement in Ukraine as a call to war. It should be a warning to the rest of us. They are willing to sacrifice America in Phase II of the Great Reset in their quest for global dominance. Standing in opposition to them is another alliance consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).

This is not the first totalitarian movement seeking global domination, but unlike other evil movements in past years, today’s evil power grab carries the risk of global annihilation.

We would be wise to resist the call to war.

Obviously I left out a whole lot of information in the middle. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. If you are not up to date on the Great Reset, now is the time to do some research. America as it currently exists is a thorn in the side of those who want one-world government without freedom. Those who support the Great Reset have a timetable. President Trump interrupted that timetable. I sincerely doubt that they will let him do that again without putting up a major fight. It may be that Joe Biden is in office to bring America to a point so low that even President Trump can’t bring us back to where we need to be. Prayers for America are needed, and prayers for the innocent civilians in Ukraine caught in the crossfire are also needed. I truly wonder if there are any good guys in this fight.

America On The World Stage

Remember when the Trump administration managed to negotiate peace deals between Israel and many of her Arab neighbors? During the Trump administration, we were on the road to peace. Now, not so much.

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal posted an article about President Biden’s recent outreach to leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in an attempt to build support for Ukraine and tamp down oil prices.

The article reports:

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the U.A.E.’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan both declined U.S. requests to speak to Mr. Biden in recent weeks, the officials said, as Saudi and Emirati officials have become more vocal in recent weeks in their criticism of American policy in the Gulf.

…The Saudis have signaled that their relationship with Washington has deteriorated under the Biden administration, and they want more support for their intervention in Yemen’s civil war, help with their own civilian nuclear program as Iran’s moves ahead, and legal immunity for Prince Mohammed in the U.S., Saudi officials said. The crown prince faces multiple lawsuits in the U.S., including over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

It should be noted that in addition to being a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi was quite probably an active member of the Muslim Brotherhood (article here). I don’t support the brutal murder of Khashoggi, but I do think that facts have been omitted and slanted by the media in reporting the event.

The article in The Wall Street Journal concludes:

But the Saudis and Emiratis have declined to pump more oil, saying they are sticking to a production plan approved between their group, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, and a group of other producers led by Russia. The energy alliance with Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, has enhanced OPEC’s power while also bringing the Saudis and Emiratis closer to Moscow.

Both Prince Mohammed and Sheikh Mohammed took phone calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, after declining to speak with Mr. Biden. They both later spoke with Ukraine’s president, and a Saudi official said the U.S. had requested that Prince Mohammed mediate in the conflict, which he said the kingdom is embarking on.

Despite his claims to the contrary, President Biden has cut American energy production drastically. Until the restrictions that the Biden administration has put on energy companies and their drilling are lifted, the price of gasoline will not go down. The solution to the current high prices at the gas pump is for America to become energy independent again. Nothing short of that will solve the problem.

 

A Reasonable Perspective On Ukraine

I haven’t written a lot about Ukraine because I think there is a lot of false news floating around about Ukraine and I don’t want to be misled by something that looks real but isn’t. However, I trust the Center for Security Policy, so I am posted excerpts from their article on Ukraine. The article was posted on March 3rd.

The article reports:

The courageous leader of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, faces some harsh choices. But so does Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. Russia has taken many casualties, with more than 5,000 soldiers killed already. The Russian currency has all but collapsed and there is deep-seated anger in Russia against Putin and his war. Putin needs to wrap this war up fast, or he could be replaced by his adversaries in Russia.

Both Russia and Ukraine have asked for security guarantees –from NATO. Sorting out the NATO relationship is all important.

…A solution covers four main issues. The first is the future of the Donbass area; the second is NATO membership for Ukraine; the third is the Crimea; and the fourth involves nuclear weapons.

Perhaps the easiest solution is Donbass, which the Minsk Accords saw as becoming autonomous regions of Ukraine. Since Russia has now recognized the two breakaway areas (Donetsk and Luhansk) as independent states, it is more difficult now to find a way to a solution. Nevertheless, it is possible. One formula would be for the two breakaways to remain independent only while their status as autonomous Ukrainian areas is worked out, at which point it would be politically and economically expedient for them to become autonomous parts of Ukraine.

NATO, however, is a bigger issue for the Russians and for Ukraine. Ukraine believes, rightly or wrongly, that NATO guarantees their security (even though the support they have received from NATO has not achieved that goal at all). Russia believes NATO in Ukraine is a major threat to Russian security. How to solve this problem?

The article notes that the easiest solution to end the war would be for Ukraine to give up on the idea of joining NATO. That would solve at least part of the problem. Is that the problem or is the quest to reunite the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the real goal? I don’t know.

The article continues:

A straightforward solution is for NATO to give Ukraine a special type of membership whereby NATO would come to Ukraine’s help if it is attacked. But to assuage Russia, NATO would not put any troops in Ukraine nor any NATO bases, and would not try to convert Ukraine’s military infrastructure into the NATO system. NATO, of course, is not directly part of the Russia-Ukraine negotiations, but some sort of formula can be agreed (no NATO bases, infrastructure etc) in Ukraine, leaving aside Ukraine asking for special status under Article 5 (collective security) in the NATO treaty.

If NATO membership for Ukraine is actually the issue, that would be a possible solution.

The article concludes:

European leaders, especially Emmanuel Macron of France, have tried to find a way forward, which is more than can be said of Joe Biden, who has tried to exploit the Ukraine mess for domestic political reasons. Instead of Macron visiting Putin, maybe he should stop off in Washington and see if he can turn around thinking in the White House.

Meanwhile, Americans need to be very careful about believing what they are hearing from the mainstream media.

 

This Would Be Funny If It Were Not So Serious

On Tuesday, The Conservative Treehouse posted the following headline:

Russian Military Drills Conclude, Troop Withdrawal Begins, White House Proclaims the Stunning Strength and Brilliant Strategic Thinking of Joe Biden Averted Thermonuclear War

The article reports:

The previously planned Russian training exercises [Announcement Here] have been completed in Belarus – close to neighboring Ukraine. Today those troops began returning to their places of regular deployment as reported by the Russian Ministry of Defense in Moscow.

As a result, the Biden manufactured ‘wag the dog‘ scenario, a fabricated ‘Russia invading Ukraine‘ premise by the White House, U.S. Dept of State, Pentagon and intelligence apparatus, needs to come to an end quickly.

After pretending that Russia was going to invade Ukraine in an effort to manufacture a political win out of thin air, Joe Biden will declare today he saved the world.

The article concludes:

Yes, you can thank me in the comments section for saving Ukraine from the United States CIA construct and averting war. [ LOL ] But seriously, that inflated sense of CTH importance is less silly than Biden’s claims today. That’s how stupid this entire thing has been.

Yes, the White House is exactly that desperate.

The press is capable of creating the threat of war and capable of eliminating the threat of war (giving credit where they choose). That is what we have just witnessed.

 

A Weak American President Is A Danger To World Peace

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the escalation of military activity near the Black Sea.

The article reports:

ANKARA (Reuters)—The United States has canceled the deployment of two warships to the Black Sea, Turkish diplomatic sources said on Wednesday, amid concerns over a Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s borders.

Washington and NATO have been alarmed by the build-up near Ukraine and in Crimea, the peninsula that Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Last week, Turkey said Washington would send two warships to the Black Sea, in a decision Russia called an unfriendly provocation.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara had notified Turkey’s foreign ministry of the move, the sources said, but did not provide a reason. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency later reported that no new notices had been conveyed to Ankara for potential deployments at later dates.

U.S. officials said that Turkey may have misunderstood the initial notification and the deployment was never confirmed.

They said the United States frequently notifies Turkey for potential access to the Black Sea. But a request does not necessarily mean its ships will pass through, but rather ensures that if they choose to, they already have the required approval.

Russia, which warned Washington to stay far away from Crimea and its Black Sea coast, says the build-up is a three-week snap military drill to test combat readiness in response to what it calls threatening behavior from NATO. It has said the exercise is due to wrap up within two weeks.

Does anyone want to guess how many days or weeks it will be before Russia invades Ukraine.

The article notes:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Russia to pull back troops from Ukrainian borders.

Biden, in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, proposed a summit of the estranged leaders to tackle disputes and told Moscow to reduce tensions over Ukraine, the White House said.

The Conservative Treehouse also posted an article about the Russian buildup of military forces on the Ukraine border.

The Conservative Treehouse notes:

A Background Note – Additional leverage Putin holds goes back to the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to supply the energy needs of Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was warned by President Trump not to go forward with the pipeline that creates a geopolitical leverage for Russia. Merkel went ahead despite the warnings, and adding salt to the issue, Germany never upheld their NATO funding commitments (2% of GDP). This was a major source of contention between Trump and Merkel.

…And don’t forget… the number one asset of Russia is energy (oil and gas); JoeBama’s energy policy has effectively assisted the Russian economy. So there’s that…

America under President Biden is consistently moving in the wrong direction.

How The Russia Hoax Unraveled

John Solomon posted an article at Just The News today that details some of the research he has done over the last three years and also lists the twelve revelations that destroyed the carefully-crafted narrative that President Trump was colluding with the Russians.

This is the list. Please follow the link to the article for details and the sources:

1. Flynn’s RT visit with Putin wasn’t nefarious.

2.  (Flynn was) Not a Russian agent.

3. Case closed memo.

4. DOJ heartburn.

5. Logan Act threat wasn’t real.

6. Unequal treatment.

7. Disguising a required warning.

8. “Playing games.

9. No deception.

10. No actual denial.

11.) Interview Reports Edited.

12.) Evidence withheld.

The article also notes how John Solomon’s investigation began:

Shortly after my colleague Sara Carter and I began reporting in 2017 on the possibility that the FBI was abusing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Americans during the Russia investigation, I received a call. It was an intermediary for someone high up in the intelligence community.

The story that source told me that day — initially I feared it may have been too spectacular to be true — was that FBI line agents had actually cleared former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn of any wrongdoing with Russia only to have the bureau’s leadership hijack the process to build a case that he lied during a subsequent interview.

In fact, my notes show, the source used the words “concoct a 1001 false statements case” to describe the objections of career agents who did not believe Flynn had intended to deceive the FBI. A leak of a transcript of Flynn’s call with the Russian ambassador was just part of a campaign, the source alleged.

The tip resulted in a two-and-a-half-year journey by myself and a small group of curious and determined journalists like Carter, Catherine Herridge, Greg Jarrett, Mollie Hemingway, Lee Smith, Byron York, and Kimberly Strassel to slowly peel back the onion.

The pursuit of the truth ended Thursday when the Justice Department formally asked a court to vacate Flynn’s conviction and end the criminal case, acknowledging the former general had indeed been cleared by FBI agents and that the bureau did not have a lawful purpose when it interviewed him in January 2017.

Attorney General William Barr put it more bluntly in an interview Thursday: “They kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, to lay a perjury trap for General Flynn.”

To understand just how dramatic a turnaround Thursday’s action was, one has to go back to the headlines of 2017 fanned by the likes of The Washington Post, The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN and others and told by a host of former Obama administration officials and their Democratic allies in Congress.

Flynn was suspected of violating the Logan Act by talking with the Russian ambassador. He may have been compromised by a 2015 visit with Vladimir Putin at a Russia Today event. He lied to the FBI. He may have been an agent of Russia and involved in colluding to hijack the election. He betrayed his country.

All of that was alleged, it turns out, without proof. And then Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team pressured Flynn to plead guilty to falsely telling FBI agents that he did not discuss sanctions with Russia’s ambassador. It turns out that wasn’t true either.

Thank God for the honest reporters who were willing to pursue this story. They were a necessary part of finding out the truth.

The Case For Investigating The Trump Campaign And Presidency Just Keeps Getting Weaker

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News with the following title, “The 13 revelations showing the FBI never really had a Russia collusion case to begin with.”

I am going to list the revelations without the comments, so please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling to think that a political party in power can use such flimsy information to spy on the political campaign (and presidency) of the opposing party.

Here is the list:

1.) The FBI possessed information dating to 2015 in Steele’s intelligence (Delta) file warning that he might be the victim of Russian disinformation through his contacts with Vladimir Putin-connected oligarchs.

2.) Senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr warned the FBI in August 2016 that Steele held an extreme bias against Trump (he was “desperate” to defeat Trump) and that his information was likely uncorroborated raw intelligence.

3.) Steele’s work on the dossier was funded by Trump’s rival in the election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and the Democratic Party, through their opposition research firm, Fusion GPS.

4.) Steele told a State Department official in October 2016, 10 days before the FISA warrants were first secured, that he had leaked to the news media and had an election day deadline for making public the information he had shared with the FBI as a confidential human source.

5.) Steele was fired Nov. 1, 2016 for violating his confidential human source agreement by leaking to the news media.

6.) Information Steele provided to the government was proven, before the FISA warrants were granted, to be false and inaccurate.

7.) Steele was caught in October 2016 peddling a false internet rumor also being spread by a lawyer for the Democratic National Committee and a liberal reporter.

8.) The FBI falsely declared to the FISA court it had corroborated the evidence in Steele’s dossier used in the search warrant application, including that Carter Page had met with two senior Russians in Moscow in summer 2016

9.) The FBI interviewed Steele’s primary sub-source in January 2017, who claimed much of the information attributed to him was not accurate, exaggerated or rumor.

10.) The FBI possessed statements of innocence from Page collected by an undercover informer in August and October 2016, including that Page denied meeting with the two Russians and did not play a role in changing a GOP platform position on Ukraine during the Trump nominating convention.

11.) The CIA alerted the FBI that Page was a friendly U.S. asset who had assisted the Agency on Russia matters and was not a stooge for the Russian government.

12.) The FBI possessed exculpatory statements made by Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in which he told an undercover informer he and the Trump campaign were not involved in the Russian hacking of Clinton’s emails and considered such activity to be “illegal.”

13.) The FBI concluded in January 2017 that Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn was not being deceptive in his interviews with agents and likely suffered from a faulty memory and was not operating as an agent for Russia.

The only thing I can add to this is that this should NEVER happen again in America. The only way to prevent it from happening again is the put the people in jail who violated the civil rights of Americans by lying to the FISA Court.

Telling The Story Behind The Story

There is a new book that is going to be released today. The book is titled, The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History.” The book is written by Lee Smith, an investigative reporter.

There is an article posted at The Federalist which details some of the information in the book.

The article notes:

AFTER DONALD TRUMP was elected forty-fifth president of the United States, the operation designed to undermine his campaign transformed. It became an instrument to bring down the commander in chief. The coup started almost immediately after the polls closed.

Hillary Clinton’s communications team decided within twenty-four hours of her concession speech to message that the election was illegitimate, that Russia had interfered to help Trump.

Obama was working against Trump until the hour he left office. His national security advisor, Susan Rice, commemorated it with an email to herself on January 20, moments before Trump’s inauguration. She wrote to memorialize a meeting in the White House two weeks before.

The email is posted in the article.

The article also notes:

Meanwhile, Obama added his voice to the Trump-Russia echo chamber as news stories alleging Trump’s illicit relationship with the Kremlin multiplied in the transition period. He said he hoped “that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia.”

The outgoing president was in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss everything from NATO to Vladimir Putin. Obama said that he’d “delivered a clear and forceful message” to the Russian president about “meddling with elections . . . and we will respond appropriately if and when we see this happening.”

After refusing to act while the Russian election meddling was actually occurring, Obama responded in December. He ordered the closing of Russian diplomatic facilities and the expulsion of thirty- five Russian diplomats. The response was tepid. The Russians had hacked the State Department in 2014 and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2015. And now Obama was responding only on his way out.

The book credits Devin Nunes with figuring out what was going on and beginning to look into the scandal. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. It is an amazing timeline detailing what was actually going on in the waning days of the Obama administration and the beginning of the Trump administration.

Act II

The Mueller Report fizzled. Donald Trump is still President. The House of Representative is preparing for impeachment on possible charges of a cover-up where there is no crime. Most of the Democrat candidates running for President in 2020 support socialism, killing babies up until the moment when they are actually born, open borders, free healthcare for everyone (including those here illegally), and free college. What could possibly go wrong? Well, now is the time to get out the popcorn.

On Thursday, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at The National Review about the collapse of the Russian-collusion narrative.

Mr. Hanson points out a few obvious facts that made the narrative doubtful from the start:

One, the Washington swamp of fixers such as Paul Manafort and John and Tony Podesta was mostly bipartisan and predated Trump.

Two, the Trump administration’s Russia policies were far tougher on Vladimir Putin than were those of Barack Obama. Trump confronted Russia in Syria, upped defense spending, increased sanctions, and kept the price of oil down through massive new U.S. energy production. He did not engineer a Russian “reset” or get caught on a hot mic offering a self-interested hiatus in tensions with Russia in order to help his own reelection bid.

The article concludes by noting that the rats are deserting the sinking ship:

Comey is also in a tiff with his former deputy, Andrew McCabe. Both know that the FBI under Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media. But Comey says McCabe went rogue and did it. Of course, McCabe’s attorney shot back that Comey had authorized it. Comey also claims the Steele dossier was not the chief evidence for a FISA warrant. McCabe insists that it was. It’s possible that one might work with prosecutors against the other to finagle a lesser charge.

Former CIA director John Brennan has on two occasions lied under oath to Congress and gotten away with it. He may not get away with lying again if it’s determined that he distorted the truth about his efforts to spread the Steele dossier smears. A former CIA official claims that Comey put the unverified Steele dossier into an intelligence community report on alleged Russian interference. Comey has contended that Brennan was the one who did.

It’s possible that both did. Doing so would have been unethical if not illegal, given that neither official told President Obama (if he didn’t already know) that the silly Steele dossier was a product of Hillary Clinton’s amateurish efforts to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign.

In sum, the old leaky vessel of collusion is sinking.

The rats are scampering from their once safe refuge — biting and piling on one another in vain efforts to avoid drowning.

The really scary part of this is that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, we would know none of this, and using the government to spy on political opponents would have become a way of life in America. Unless the people responsible for using the government as a political weapon are brought to justice, using the government to spy on political opponents will become a way of life in America.

Collusion

On Sunday The Hill posted an article about Russian collusion. Just for the record, a number of legal experts have stated that collusion is not a crime, so I am not sure what all the fuss is about, but there has been quite a fuss.

The article states:

With Republicans on both House and Senate investigative committees having found no evidence of Donald Trump being guilty of Democrat-inspired allegations of Russian collusion, it is worth revisiting one anecdote that escaped significant attention during the hysteria but continues to have U.S. security implications.

As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton worked with Russian leaders, including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-President Dmitri Medvedev, to create U.S. technology partnerships with Moscow’s version of Silicon Valley, a sprawling high-tech campus known as Skolkovo.

Clinton’s handprint was everywhere on the 2009-2010 project, the tip of a diplomatic spear to reboot U.S.-Russian relations after years of hostility prompted by Vladimir Putin’s military action against the former Soviet republic and now U.S. ally Georgia.

A donor to the Clinton Foundation, Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, led the Russian side of the effort, and several American donors to the Clinton charity got involved. Clinton’s State Department facilitated U.S. companies working with the Russian project, and she personally invited Medvedev to visit Silicon Valley.

The collaboration occurred at the exact same time Bill Clinton made his now infamous trip to Russia to pick up a jaw-dropping $500,000 check for a single speech.

The former president’s trip secretly raised eyebrows inside his wife’s State Department, internal emails show.

That’s because he asked permission to meet Vekselberg, the head of Skolkovo, and Arkady Dvorkovich, a senior official of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear giant seeking State’s permission to buy Uranium One, a Canadian company with massive U.S. uranium reserves.

Years later, intelligence documents show, both the Skolkovo and Uranium One projects raised serious security concerns.

It may have raised concerns, but it is sad that the Department of Justice was so compromised at that point that they chose to do nothing about it. Does anyone really believe that Russia would have paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech without getting something in return?

The article also notes the involvement of Russia in the dirty dossier scandal:

The intersections between the Clintons, the Democrats and Russia carried into 2016, when a major political opposition research project designed to portray GOP rival Donald Trump as compromised by Moscow was launched by Clinton’s presidential campaign and brought to the FBI.

Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS research firm was secretly hired by the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party through their law firm, Perkins Coie.

Simpson then hired retired British intelligence operative Christopher Steele — whom the FBI learned was “desperate” to defeat Trump — to write an unverified dossier suggesting that Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the election.

Simpson, Steele and Perkins Coie all walked Trump-Russia related allegations into the FBI the summer before the election, prompting agents who openly disliked Trump to launch a counterintelligence probe of the GOP nominee shortly before Election Day.

Simpson and Steele also went to the news media to air the allegations in what senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr would later write was a “Hail Mary” effort to influence the election.

The article concludes:

Collusion can be criminal if it involves conspiracy to break federal laws, or it can involve perfectly legal, unwitting actions that still jeopardize America’s security against a “frenemy” like Russia.

There is clear evidence now that shows Hillary Clinton’s family and charity profited from Moscow and simultaneously facilitated official government actions benefiting Russia that have raised security concerns.

And there’s irrefutable evidence that her opposition research effort on Trump — one that inspired an FBI probe — was carried out by people who got information from Russia and were consorting with Russians.

It would seem those questions deserve at least some of the scrutiny afforded the Trump-Russia collusion inquiry that is now two-plus years old.

Someone needs to take the blinders off of Robert Mueller and turn him in the right direction. His investigation is the equivalent of the man looking for his keys under the street light because the light is better (despite the fact that he dropped his keys across the street).

Dennis Prager On Media Hysteria

Townhall posted an article today by Dennis Prager. The article deals with the current media hysteria over the fact that President Trump is accused of colluding with Russia.

Mr. Prager notes:

You and I are living through the greatest mass hysteria in American history. For many Americans, the McCarthy era held that dubious distinction, but what is happening now is incomparably worse.

For one thing, any hysteria that existed then was directed against the greatest evil in the world at the time: communism. Then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee notwithstanding, there really were Americans in important positions who supported communist regimes enslaving their populations and committing mass murder. McCarthy was on to something.

In contrast, the country is choking on hysteria over the extremely unlikely possibility — for which there is still no evidence — that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, and the absurdity that President Trump works for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Prager points out a few things the media is overlooking:

All this hysteria is built on next to nothing. At its core, it is an attempt to undo the 2016 election. The mainstream media refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton lost. They said she would win — handily. They predicted a landslide. How could they have possibly gotten it so wrong? Their answer is they didn’t; Trump and Putin stole it.

If truth mattered to the media, their ongoing narrative would be: “Democrats and the left still do not accept Trump victory.”

That is the truth in a nutshell.

The article lists some truths the media chooses to ignore:

If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that Obama sent Army meals to Ukraine and Trump has sent anti-tank missiles and other arms to repel the Russians.

If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that Obama watched Syria burn and Russia come to dominate that country, while Trump has bombed Syrian military installations, including one where Russians were killed.

If truth mattered to the media, every American would be reminded that it is Trump who has weakened Russia’s ally Iran, while Obama immeasurably strengthened it.

Instead the media scream “treason,” “impeachment” and the like 24/7; Hollywood stars curse the president; others curse his daughter or the first lady (one of the most regal in American history) and show President Trump in various death poses. Meanwhile, leftist mobs shout at administration officials and Republican members of Congress while they eat in restaurants, shop in stores and sleep in their homes.

The article concludes:

If you vote Democrat this November, you are voting for hysteria, lies, socialism and even the cheapening of the Holocaust.

But more than anything, a vote for Democrats in November is a vote for hysteria — the greatest and darkest in American history.

And that is where we currently are.

Swamps And Alligators

As the saying goes–“When you are up to your neck in alligators, it is hard to remember that your objective was to drain the swamp.” As we watch the deep state react to being backed into a corner, it is good to remember that expression.

Let’s try to put the ‘hair-on-fire’ reporting of the President’s statements at his press conference with Putin in perspective. First of all, we have seen in the short time that Donald Trump has been President that he tends to be polite in press conferences. We also have learned that he tends to be tough in private talks.

One of the hair-on-fire media statements is that Putin must have something on President Trump. He may, but I can guarantee he has a whole lot more on Hillary Clinton.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today that reminds us:

Last week we learned that a “foreign entity” may have been secretly receiving Hillary Clinton’s emails while she was Secretary of State, including many that contained classified information. And that the FBI apparently ignored this information during its “investigation.” The reaction by the press to this bombshell? Crickets.

At one point during Peter Strzok’s congressional testimony last week, Rep. Louie Gohmert made a stunning claim: FBI investigators were told that Clinton’s emails had been surreptitiously forwarded to a “foreign entity.” And the FBI investigators who were allegedly conducting a thorough, unbiased, professional probe into Clinton’s mishandling of classified materials ignored it.

Trump did business with Russia for years. It is quite possible some corners were cut. How does that stack up to information that could have been obtained from Hillary Clinton’s server–Clinton Foundation activities illegally related to State Department access, misuse of funds going into the Clinton Foundation, pay-for-play schemes, Uranium One information, etc. It seems to me that anything Putin may or may not have on President Trump pales in comparison to what Putin has on Hillary Clinton.

The following was posted at rightwinggranny on March 7, 2018:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: This brings us back full circle to the beginning. The question was originally: Why did she have the private server? She said convenience, obviously that was ridiculous…

It was obvious she was hiding something.

And think about it, she set it up in 2009, before becoming Secretary of State. So, she anticipated having exchanges that she would not want anyone to see. So, we’ve been asking ourselves on this set for a year almost, what exactly didn’t she want people to see?

Well, now we know.

And as we speculated, the most plausible explanation was the rank corruption of the Clinton Foundation, and its corrupt — I don’t know if it’s illegal, but corrupt relationship with the State Department.

And her only defense as we saw earlier– the Democrats are saying, well, there was nothing she did… that was corrupted by donations. You can believe that if you want, but there’s a reason that people give donations in large amounts, and that’s to influence the outcome of decisions. So, this — we are getting unfolding to us, exactly what she anticipated having to hide, and it is really dirty business.

The above quote is from October 2016. As usual, the late Charles Krauthammer was right on target.

ZeroHedge quotes a claim Vladimir Putin made in the press conference in Helsinki:

Vladimir Putin made a bombshell claim during Monday’s joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, Finland, when the Russian President said some $400 million in illegally earned profits was funneled to the Clinton campaign by associates of American-born British financier Bill Browder – at one time the largest foreign portfolio investors in Russia. The scheme involved members of the U.S. intelligence community, said Putin, who he said “accompanied and guided these transactions.”

Browder made billions in Russia during the 90’s. In December, a Moscow court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for tax fraud, while he was also found guilty of tax evasion in a separate 2013 case. Putin accused Browder’s associates of illegally earning over than $1.5 billion without paying Russian taxes, before sending $400 million to Clinton.

Is it possible that the hair-on-fire reporting on President Trump’s statement is simply to distract us from the questions about the $400 million donation to the Clinton campaign?

 

 

 

The Lies Just Keep On Coming

Breitbart posted a story today about The New York Times’ leak of the questions that Robert Mueller supposedly plans to ask President Trump. Hopefully President Trump will tell Robert Mueller to go pound sand. But, in case he doesn’t, there is an interesting back story on one of the questions. I really wonder if these are current questions, because they seem to be seeking evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. All reliable sources have stated that never happened–the Congressional report was recently released. But evidently Mueller is still looking.

One of the questions leaked is “What involvement did you have concerning platform changes regarding arming Ukraine?” Well, there is a presupposition there that is false. As the Breitbart article explains:

The conspiracy theory was debunked by Washington Examiner columnist Byron York in an extensive investigative article in March 2017 titled, “How pundits got key part of Trump-Russia story all wrong.”

York explained that the Republican platform not only retained its criticisms of Russian policy in the Ukraine, but that these were made even stronger during the process of drafting, including after instructions were allegedly received from “New York.”

This is the real story according to Byron York:

As it turns out, a look at the original draft of the platform — which has never been released publicly — shows that it always had tough language on Russian aggression in Ukraine. And not only did that language stay in the final platform — nothing was taken out — it was actually strengthened, not weakened, as a result of events at the convention.

Not long after the platform subcommittee meeting, the [Washington] Post’s “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine” story was published [here, in the opinion section], and a new conventional wisdom began to form: The Trump team, doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin, gutted the GOP platform’s position on behalf of Russia.

That is precisely the opposite of what happened. In the end, the platform, already fairly strong on the Russia-Ukraine issue, was strengthened, not weakened, as a result of the subcommittee meeting. The Trump campaign agreed to a platform condemning Kremlin belligerence, calling for continued, and perhaps increased, sanctions against Russia, for the full restoration of Ukrainian territory, for refusing to accept “any territorial change in Eastern Europe imposed by force, in Ukraine or elsewhere,” and pledging to aid Ukraine’s armed forces.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

It is odd that the Special Counsel, who presumably has access to the Washington Examiner and the underlying facts and witnesses, would taint his inquiry by including a debunked conspiracy theory among the questions to be put to the president.

The fact that Mueller did so — assuming the Times report is accurate — lends weight to claim that the investigation has become so partisan as to call its credibility into question.

It truly is time for Mueller to pack his bags and go home.

Russian Collusion Is Real–Just Not Where Robert Mueller Is Looking

The Daily Signal posted an article today about the collusion between Russia and some popular environmental groups in America.

The article reports:

New Yorkers who are missing out on the natural gas revolution could be victims of Russian spy operations that fund popular environmental groups, current and former U.S. government officials and experts on Russia worry.

Natural gas development of the celebrated Marcellus Shale deposits has spurred jobs and other economic growth in neighboring Pennsylvania. But not in New York, which nearly 10 years ago banned the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to produce natural gas.

Two environmental advocacy groups that successfully lobbied against fracking in New York each received more than $10 million in grants from a foundation in California that got financial support from a Bermuda company congressional investigators linked to the Russians, public documents show.

The environmental groups Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club Foundation millions of dollars in grants from the San Francisco-based Sea Change Foundation.

 “Follow the money trail, and this [New York] ban on fracking could be viewed as an example of successful Russian espionage,” Ken Stiles, a CIA veteran of 29 years who now teaches at Virginia Tech, told The Daily Signal.

The article explains why the Russians would be concerned about energy development in America:

Since the U.S. is now the top producer of natural gas in the world, and well positioned to export liquefied natural gas across the globe, Russia recognizes it gradually could lose influence in parts of the world where Moscow has been the dominant supplier of oil and gas, Stiles said in a phone interview.

“America’s natural gas revolution has huge geopolitical ramifications, so Russia’s motivation to try to block our natural gas development is easy to understand,” the CIA veteran said. “If you are worried about the Russian bear rearing its ugly head in the next several years, the way to stop that and put it back into its cage is to cut it off at the knees financially.”

“That’s what natural gas pipelines are all about and that’s what fracking is all about. We are providing affordable energy to average Americans at home and our allies overseas.”

The Russian economy depends on higher oil prices. Russia also uses energy to blackmail European countries into cooperation. America’s development of its own natural resources is a necessary balance to the Russian use of energy as a blackmail tool.

 

This Might Explain A Few Things

National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has been replaced by John Bolton. I am celebrating this change–John Bolton is a man of integrity replacing someone with a somewhat questionable resume.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday detailing some of H.R. McMaster’s previous work.

The article reports:

Outgoing National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster served for more than a decade as a consultant to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, a foreign-based think-tank that has received funding from hostile foreign governments to include Russia and China, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.

…IISS operates offices in the Bahrain, Singapore and Washington, D.C. It generally reflects a globalist “realist” Eurocentric view of foreign and military postures that’s at odds with Trump’s foreign policy. The think-tank was a major advocate of former President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

IISS receives funding from friendly Western sources such as aerospace firms and even the British army, but is also has received funding from the Russian Federation, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the governments of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the IISS website.

During McMaster’s time at IISS, the think tank also received $700,000 from George Soros’s Open Society and $140,000 from Ploughshares, the pacifist organization that aggressively pushed for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

The organization’s council — its board of directors — also is filled with people who have ties to the Kremlin, to the Qatari emir who has been accused of supporting terrorists, to people associated with the Uranium One scandal, and with a Russian investment bank that paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 for a single speech.

The article includes a few comments from former military officers on the appointment of McMaster:

“This is bizarre,” retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin said in an interview with TheDCNF. “If that kind of information was available to The Trump administration before they selected him, the question is: Would they have selected him for this very job?”

…Retired Rear Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, who served 35 years in the Navy, including a stint as commander of the Pacific Fleet, told TheDCNF McMaster’s consulting role at the think tank was “absurd.”

“It is really absurd that an active duty military officer, particularly one of flag rank, is a consultant to a foreign organization that is taking money and contributions from questionable countries that are known enemies of the United States,” Lyons told TheDCNF in an interview. “This to me seems to be outside the bounds of what we’re committed to. This is atrocious.”

“I’ve never seen this kind of thing before,” said Boykin, a 36-year veteran who served as under secretary for defense intelligence for President George W. Bush.

Boykin said he was convinced any commanding officer would have rejected McMaster’s proposed consulting work at IISS. “I cannot believe that the ethics people of the U.S. Army would approve of him doing that, and I can’t believe that any responsible person he worked for in the Army would have agreed to that.”

The article details some questionable activities of IISS and the secrecy surrounding its Bahrain conferences called the “Manama Dialogue.” I suspect the removal of McMaster is another blow against the deep state and might have a very positive impact on ending some of the leaks coming from the White House.

Some Perspective From Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at National Review today about Russia’s relationship to American politics. The timeline of the article begins about 2009.

The article begins with the following:

Start with two givens: Vladimir Putin is neither stupid nor content to watch an aging, shrinking, corrupt, and dysfunctional — but still large and nuclear — Russia recede to second- or third-power status. From 2009 to 2015, in one of the most remarkable and Machiavellian efforts in recent strategic history, Putin almost single-handedly parlayed a deserved losing hand into a winning one. He pulled this off by flattering, manipulating, threatening, and outsmarting an inept and politically obsessed Obama administration.

Under the Obama presidency and the tenures of Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Russia made astounding strategic gains — given its intrinsic economic, social, and military weaknesses. The Obama reaction was usually incoherent (Putin was caricatured as a “bored kid in the back of the classroom” or as captive of a macho shtick). After each aggressive Russian act, the administration lectured that “it is not in Russia’s interest to . . . ” — as if Obama knew better than a thuggish Putin what was best for autocratic Russia.

A review of Russian inroads, presented in no particular order, is one of the more depressing chapters in post-war U.S. diplomatic history.

The article lists the missteps of the Obama Administration regarding Russia. It notes that Russia successfully annexed Crimea with little response from NATO. Russia essentially took control of eastern Ukraine. Russia also exerted enough pressure to prevent America from supplying the Czech Republic and Poland the missile defense systems they had been promised.

The article reminds us:

Russia since 2013 had sought to interfere in U.S. elections with impunity, so much so that as late as October 18, 2016, on the eve of the anticipated Clinton landslide, Obama mocked any suggestion that an entity could ever successfully warp the outcome of a U.S. election. (“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections. There’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that it will happen this time, and so I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and make his case to get votes.”)

After a near 40-year hiatus, Russia was invited into the Middle East by the Obama administration. It soon became the power broker in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq and to some extent offered passive-aggressive support for Israel and Turkey — a position of influence that it retains to this day and that would now be hard to undo. It posed as a “helper” to the Obama administration with Iran and helped broker the disastrous Iran deal — and then used U.S. acquiescence to Iran to fuel the ascendance of the Iran-Hezbollah-Assad crescent.

Inviting Russia into the Middle East is not a recipe for peace. The article also cites other instances of Russia managing to create chaos in America. Please follow the link to read the entire article for the full picture.

The article concludes:

The verdict on Russia, the Obama administration, and the Clinton campaign is now becoming clearer. Russian reset resurrected Putin’s profile and hurt U.S. interests. It grew out of a partisan rebuke of the Bush administration’s perceived harshness to Russia and was later massaged to help Barack Obama’s reelection campaign by granting Russia concessions in hopes of a foreign-policy success that would lead to perceived calm. Russia deliberately inserted itself into the 2016 election, as it had in previous elections, because 1) it had suffered few if any prior consequences, 2) it wanted to sow chaos in the American political system, and 3) it saw a way to warp Clinton’s efforts to smear Donald Trump, first, no doubt to compromise a likely President Clinton, and, in unexpected fashion, later to undermine an actual President Trump.

 At very little cost, Russia has embarrassed American democracy, played the media for the partisans they are, completely discredited the Clinton campaign and name, and created a year of nonstop hysteria to undermine the Trump administration.

And it is not over yet.

I would disagree that the Russia has embarrassed American democracy–I think we have done that ourselves. The election of President Trump so unhinged the media and the Democratic Party that they forgot the rules of fair play. I understand that during political campaigns sometimes things go on that shouldn’t, but the Clinton campaign overstepped the bounds of running for office in ways that we have not seen before. At least during the Nixon administration when Nixon tried to use the government to collect information or government agencies as political weapons there were enough people in government agencies with integrity to tell him no. Evidently that is no longer the case.

 

 

Annoying Things Done By Politicians

Representative Adam Schiff released the Democratic memo about FISA surveillance on Saturday (when he assumed no one would be paying attention). The memo is an effort to deflect charges that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were weaponized for political purposes during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. The memo itself was a purely political move, and the release of the memo on a Saturday night was also a political move. The release of the memo is interesting bercause the memo does not help the Democrats’ case.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review explaining that the memo does more damage to the Democrats’ arguments than helps them. Because of his extensive legal background, Andrew McCarthy is the perfect person to dissect this memo.

The article is detailed, and I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to summarize it.

The article reports:

The memo concedes that the FISA-warrant application relied on allegations by Steele’s anonymous Russian hearsay sources that:

Page met separately while in Russia with Igor Sechin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and executive chairman of Roseneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and Igor Divyekin, a senior Kremlin official. Sechin allegedly discussed the prospect of future U.S.-Russia energy cooperation and “an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia.” Divyekin allegedly disclosed to Page that the Kremlin possessed compromising information on Clinton (“kompromat”) and noted the possibility of its being released to Candidate #1’s [i.e., Donald Trump’s] campaign. . . . This closely tracks what other Russian contacts were informing another Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

1) This was obviously the most critical allegation against Page. The Democrats attempt to make much of Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016, but the uncorroborated Sechin and Divyekin meetings, which Page credibly denies, are the aspect of the Moscow trip that suggested a nefarious Trump–Russia conspiracy. That’s what the investigation was about. Far from clandestine, the rest of Page’s trip was well publicized and apparently anodyne.

2) Democrats implausibly insist that what “launched” the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation was not Steele’s allegations but intelligence from Australia about George Papadopoulos’s contact with what Democrats elusively describe as “individuals linked to Russia.”

…Even if we assume for argument’s sake that these characters had solid regime connections — rather than that they were boasting to impress the credulous young Papadopoulos — they were patently not in the same league as Sechin, a Putin crony, and Divyekin, a highly placed regime official. And that, manifestly, is how the FBI and the DOJ saw the matter: They sought a FISA warrant on Page, not Papadopoulos. And, as the above-excerpted passage shows, they highlighted the Steele dossier’s sensational allegations about Page and then feebly tried to corroborate those allegations with some Papadopoulos information, not the other way around. (More on that when we get to Schiff’s notion of “corroboration.”)

The article also notes:

…because Page was an American citizen, FISA law required that the FBI and the DOJ show not only that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power (Russia), but also that his “clandestine” activities on behalf of Russia were a likely violation of federal criminal law. (See FISA, Section 1801(b)(2)(A) through (E), Title 50, U.S. Code.) It is the Steele dossier that alleges Page was engaged in arguably criminal activity. The Democrats point to nothing else that does.

Because of the way this whole story has been reported, I am not sure many Americans realize that the constitutional rights of one of their fellow citizens were violated by the FISA Court. All of us need to remember that this could happen to any one of us. We also need to note that if the use of the FBI and DOJ for political purposes is not dealt with and the guilty parties punished, we will see more of this behavior in the future.

The article continues:

How’s this for transparency? The FISA warrant application says that Steele, referred to as “Source #1,” was “approached by” Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, referred to as “an identified U.S. person,” who

indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s [i.e., Trump’s] ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a longstanding business relationship.) The identified U.S. Person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. Person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign. [Emphasis in Schiff memo, p. 5]

The first thing to notice here is the epistemological contortions by which the DOJ rationalized concealing that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for Steele’s reporting. They ooze consciousness of guilt. If you have to go through these kinds of mental gymnastics to avoid disclosing something, it’s because you know that being “transparent” demands disclosing it.

As I stated, it is a very long and detailed article. Please follow the link above to see the other problems with the Schiff memo.

 

And So It Begins?

Yesterday while the mainstream media had their panties all in a wad over something President Trump may or may not have said in a private meeting, The Daily Wire posted an article about the Uranium One scandal.

The article reports:

An 11-count indictment was handed out on Friday connected to the alleged Russian bribery scheme involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration, and Uranium One.

The charges are against Mark Lambert, who is the “former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad.” Lambert 54, of Maryland, was charged with “one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering,” the DOJ said in a statement.

The charges are connected to the alleged bribery scheme that involves “Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.”

TENEX is the commercial sales arm for Russia’s Rosatom, which took full control of Uranium One in 2013.

A report from October revealed that federal agents started collecting evidence in 2009 about Russian officials that were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering connected to the Uranium One deal

Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting. There is also a question of whether or not uranium left the country and how that happened. I suspect there is much more to come on this.

It’s Just Squirrelly!

I have been known to make up my own words when I consider them appropriate. On Friday, The Daily Caller posted a detailed piece on the timeline and stories surrounding the Uranium One deal. It is a rather long article, and I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire piece. I will try to hit the highlights here.

The article reports:

New FBI information about corruption in a Clinton-approved uranium deal with Russia raises questions about Clinton’s actions after the FBI broke up a deep-cover Russian spy ring in 2010.

For a decade, the FBI ran an operation called Ghost Stories to monitor and rip apart a deep-cover Russian agent network. Ghost Stories tracked a ring Russian spies who lived between Boston and Washington, D.C., under false identities. It was one of the FBI’s most elaborate and successful counterintelligence operations in history.

After the FBI arrested 10 of the spies in June, 2010, Secretary of State Clinton worked feverishly to return the Russian agents to Moscow in a hastily arranged, lopsided deal with Putin.

Obviously, she did not want the spies hanging around for further questioning.

The story continues:

The day the FBI arrested the Russian agents, on June 28, 2010, the day before the secretary of state’s husband, Bill Clinton, was to give a speech in Moscow. A Kremlin-connected investment bank, Renaissance Capital, paid the former president $500,000 for the hour-long appearance.

An unnamed Hillary Clinton spokesman told ABC News that there was “no reason to think the Secretary was a target of this spy ring.”

That was a lie.

The article concludes:

So here are the key facts: The FBI found that Russian intelligence had targeted Hillary Clinton before and during her time as secretary of state. Clinton’s spokespersons denied that this was so. Clinton opposed the Magnitsky sanctions on officials tied to Putin. After her husband received a half-million dollars in Moscow from a Kremlin-connected investment bank, Clinton moved with unusual speed to whisk the ring of 10 Russian spies out of the country and back to Moscow. She had the lopsided swap take place over a long summer weekend, before the FBI was finished with the spies, and before the spies could stand trial. While the FBI was separately investigating Russians involved with buying Uranium One, she approved the sale of American uranium to Russia’s nuclear weapons agency. Principals in the sale then plowed $145 million into her family foundation and projects.

Several questions come to mind. Precisely what did the FBI know about Russia’s spy service targeting Hillary Clinton and her inner circle? Why did Clinton deny through spokespersons that she had been a Russian target? Why did she work so feverishly to get the spies out of the United States and back to Russia? Why has the FBI leadership not been more vocal in touting one of its greatest counterintelligence successes ever? And why did nobody in the FBI leadership raise this issue during the 2016 Russian election meddling controversy?

The question in my mind is whether or not anyone will be held accountable for the transfer of uranium to Russia or the very strange donations from overseas that the Clinton Foundation received before and during the time that Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. It is also illustrative to note that when Hillary Clinton lost the election for President, much of the overseas money coming into the Clinton Foundation dried up. I truly believe that the Clinton Family is today’s version of Tammany Hall. It will be difficult to hold them accountable for any of their misdeeds.

An Amazing Historical Event

On Thursday, Legal Insurrection posted an article about the continuing attacks on President Trump. The title of the article is, “The Slow-Motion Coup d’Etat picks up steam.”

The article lists the attempts made by the political establishment to undo the results of last November’s election. Hopefully their efforts will result in a miserable failure. I did not start out as a Trump supporter, but I believe he won the election honestly (and probably by a wider margin than is reported due to illegal votes for Hillary Clinton). The attempts to find any excuse to remove him from office are shameful.

The article reminds us:

Chuck Schumer, for example, used the alleged fact of Donald Trump being under FBI investigation as an argument against confirming Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, even though Schumer (but not the public) knew from intelligence briefings that Trump was not personally under investigation.

All the while, the permanent bureaucracy, particularly in the intelligence community, started an unending and almost daily series of leaks meant to paralyze the administration.

Then FBI Director James Comey refused to tell the public what he privately told Trump on three occasions, that Trump personally was not under investigation, thereby aiding and abetting this false media attack on the administration. Comey then himself leaked non-public government information, after his termination, to manufacture an excuse to have a Special Counsel appointed. That Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, turns out to be a good friend of Comey, and is building a massive prosecutorial infrastructure in the attempt to find a crime.

At the same time, there has been unprecedented obstruction of Trump’s ability to staff his administration. Even non-controversial nominees are slow-walked by Democrats. Vast swaths of the federal bureaucracy remain under the sway of Obama holdovers and those who consider Trump illegitimate.

The purpose in all this has been to freeze and paralyze the Trump administration. If Trump could not be prevented from taking office, and cannot be physically removed from office, he will be prevented from functioning as president.

Those elected officials participating in this effort need to be removed from office.

The article lists numerous examples of career government employees working against the President and his policies. This used to be called treason.

The article concludes:

Not only is the Trump administration under unprecedented attack from outside, the foxes are inside the henhouse, and are gutting it from the inside out.

The attempt to unwind the 2016 election through paralyzing the Trump administration is a serious threat to our liberty. Our most basic of institutions, the transfer of power through elections, is under attack.

The actions of those people in government working against President Trump are not patriotic–they are treasonous and the people committing them belong in jail. It is up to the American voters to let those working to undermine a sitting President will not receive the support of the voters.

Using The Appropriate Weapon To Get The Desired Results

There are wars and there are wars. Sometimes a war does not involve guns or soldiers. In the world of computers and the internet, sometimes it simply involves a computer and a very smart person. Cyber-warfare is always a threat, but economic warfare is also a very powerful weapon. As a successful businessman, President Trump is well aware of that.

On Friday, Larry Kudlow posted an article at National Review explaining how President Trump is very effectively dealing with Russia. The American media did not give a lot of coverage to President Trump’s speech in Warsaw, but I am sure the speech got the attention of the Russian leaders..

The article reports:

A few years back, in one of his finest moments, Senator John McCain said on a Sunday talk show that “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.” It was right when he said it, and it’s even more right today.

…But with energy prices falling, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has essentially been in a recession over the past four years. With oil at $50 a barrel or less, Russian budgets plunge deeper into debt. It’s even doubtful the Russians have enough money to upgrade their military-energy industrial complex.

…Now, Russia still has a lot of oil and gas reserves. And it uses this to bully Eastern and Western Europe. It threatens to cut off these resources if Europe dares to complain about Putin power-grabs in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, the Baltics, and elsewhere.

But enter President Donald Trump. In his brilliant speech in Warsaw, Poland, earlier this week, he called Putin’s energy bluff.

President Trump made it clear that America was willing to become a supplier of energy to Europe. The moves that will make that a reality are already taking place.

The article concludes:

In short, with the free-market policies he’s putting in place in America’s energy sector and throughout the U.S. economy, the businessman president fully intends to destroy Russia’s energy-market share.

And as that takes hold, Russia’s gas-station economy will sink further. And as that takes hold, bully-boy Putin will have to think twice about Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltics. He’ll have to think twice about his anti-American policies in the Middle East and North Korea. And he’ll have to think twice about his increasingly precarious position as the modern-day Russian tsar.

And the world may yet become a safer place.

Trump has Putin over a barrel.

And that is how you take power without firing a shot. The free market wins again.

 

A Different Perspective On The Leaked NSA Report

Yesterday Bloomberg posted an article about the recently leaked NSA report about Russian hacking into the 2016 election. The article is fairly complex in its explanation of the electronics involved. I don’t totally understand what is being said, but I wanted to share the information.

The article reports:

The publication that revealed a classified National Security Agency report on alleged Russian attempts to hack U.S. election-related systems, treats the report  as possible evidence that Russia tried to rig the vote. More likely, however, the Kremlin expected the vote to be rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton.

According to the leaked report, the Russian military intelligence, GRU, ran a spear-phishing campaign targeting the employees of VR Systems, a voting hardware and software producer. At least one of its employee accounts was apparently compromised. Then, the hackers used the harvested credentials to trap local government officials in charge of organizing elections. Emails, coming credibly from a VR Systems employee, contained malware that would have allowed the GRU (although the report provides no clues as to how the attribution was made) to control the computers of these local officials. The NSA doesn’t seem to have determined whether the hackers managed that with any of their targets.

Logically I would have expected the Russians to support the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. As President, she would have been closely aligned with the policies of President Obama, who famously told Dmitry Medvedev, “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”  Also, Hillary Clinton was involved in a transaction that brought cash into the Clinton Foundation and allowed Russia to obtain 20 percent of America‘s uranium reserves. I would think that Putin would have been hoping that Hillary would be elected. She probably would have made a great blackmail target using information gained from her unsecured server.

The article continues:

I have written before that it’s not impossible to rig a U.S. presidential election (and was ridiculed for saying so). The rigging, however, would require a vast conspiracy spanning the entire country and involving local election officials — the kind that exists in Russia. Trump, with his cheap, hastily thrown together campaign infrastructure could have achieved nothing of the kind, but, as the election campaign drew to a close, he appeared to fear such an effort from Barack Obama’s Democratic administration.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. The author paints a picture very different from the picture being painted by the mainstream media.

The Real Bottom Line On RussiaGate

On Wednesday, The Hill posted an article about the scandal surrounding Russian influence during the 2016 presidential campaign and election.

The article reminds us of some recent events:

Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Adam Schiff have both castigated Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for his handling of the inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.  They should think twice.  The issue that has recently seized Nunes is of vital importance to anyone who cares about fundamental civil liberties.

The trail that Nunes is following will inevitably lead back to a particularly significant leak.  On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that “according to a senior U.S. government official, (General Mike) Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29.”

Remember–this case (or lack of it) is based on leaked information. The rights of a private American citizen were violated in the way the information about the Russian Ambassador’s phone call was distributed and leaked. What happened here is exactly what the Congressmen who opposed the Patriot Act feared would happen–the use of government apparatus to spy on political opponents. It’s here.

The article reports:

Regardless of how the government collected on Flynn, the leak was a felony and a violation of his civil rights.  But it was also a severe breach of the public trust. When I worked as an NSC staffer in the White House, 2005-2007, I read dozens of NSA surveillance reports every day. On the basis of my familiarity with this system, I strongly suspect that someone in the Obama White House blew a hole in the thin wall that prevents the government from using information collected from surveillance to destroy the lives of the citizens whose privacy it is pledged to protect.  

The leaking of Flynn’s name was part of what can only be described as a White House campaign to hype the Russian threat and, at the same time, to depict Trump as Vladimir Putin’s Manchurian candidate.  On Dec. 29, Obama announced sanctions against Russia as retribution for its hacking activities.  From that date until Trump’s inauguration, the White House aggressively pumped into the media two streams of information: one about Russian hacking; the other about Trump’s Russia connection. In the hands of sympathetic reporters, the two streams blended into one.  

In late December there were reports of Russians hacking into the electricity grid of a Vermont utility. The hype of Russian intervention continued. It turned out later that the story was totally misreported–an employee had mistakenly loaded some information into the utility’s computer system.

The article  concludes:

While the White House was hyping the Russia threat, elements of the press showed a sudden interest in the infamous Steele dossier, which claimed that Russian intelligence services had caught Trump in Moscow in highly compromising situations.  The dossier was opposition research paid for by Trump’s political opponents, and it had circulated for months among reporters covering the election.  Because it was based on anonymous sources and entirely unverifiable, however, no reputable news organization had dared to touch it.  

With a little help from the Obama White House, the dossier became fair game for reporters.  A government leak let it be known that the intelligence community had briefed Trump on the dossier.  If the president-elect was discussing it with his intelligence briefers, so the reasoning went, perhaps there was something to it after all.

By turning the dossier into hard news, that leak weaponized malicious gossip. The same is true of the Flynn-Kislyak leak.  Ignatius used the leak to deepen speculation about collusion between Putin and Trump: “What did Flynn say (to Kislyak),” Ignatius asked, “and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?” The mere fact that Flynn’s conversations were being monitored deepened his appearance of guilt.  If he was innocent, why was the government monitoring him?

It should not have been.  He had the right to talk to in private — even to a Russian ambassador.  Regardless of what one thinks about him or Trump or Putin, this leak should concern anyone who believes that we must erect a firewall between the national security state and our domestic politics.  The system that allowed it to happen must be reformed.  At stake is a core principle of our democracy: that elected representatives control the government, and not vice versa.

Laws were broken in releasing the transcripts of the conversations of General Flynn. It is time to get past the partisan divide and realize that this was a serious encroachment on the freedom of all Americans. Those responsible for spreading the information need to be dealt with severely.