Matt Taibbi says it all about Russiagate journalism disaster

In addition to Caitlin Johnstone's essay on the Mueller report release, I especially want to recommend Matt Taibbi's excellent piece, which is a comprehensive report on the entire Russiagate journalism debacle.

In case I transcribed the link incorrectly, Caitlin has a link in her article.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD
The Iraq war faceplate damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it.

Matt Taibbi

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Pluto's Republic's picture

Matt's chapter is a doozy. It is heavy with pronouncements — all of which we need to hear.

Like the first line:

Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
snoopydawg's picture

I read this yesterday and laughed because I've been tweeting just that..."Russia Gate is the new WMDs" so many times that my iPad writes it for me.

Then there's this article by Caitlin where she references the one she wrote two years ago. "Mock the Russia Gaters..mock them hard!

It has been obvious from the very beginning that the Maddow Muppets were being sold a lie.

How We Can Be Certain That Mueller Won’t Prove Trump-Russia Collusion

blockquote>We know from the Snowden leaks on the NSA, the CIA files released by WikiLeaks, and the ongoing controversies regarding FBI surveillance that the US intelligence community has the most expansive, most sophisticated and most intrusive surveillance network in the history of human civilization. Following the presidential election last year, anonymous sources from within the intelligence community were hemorrhaging leaks to the press on a regular basis that were damaging to the incoming administration. If there was any evidence to be found that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda, the US intelligence community would have found it and leaked it to the New York Times or the Washington Post last year.

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Mark from Queens's picture

He's been right on this all along.

Some great ones in this essay, as usual:

This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting “We don’t need to read the Mueller report” because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: “Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?”

The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like itself made galactic errors by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach, trying to be true to “history’s judgment” on top of the hard-enough job of just being true. Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming, the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.”

Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller’s final report might leave audiences “disappointed,” as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you’d have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.

There will be people protesting: the Mueller report doesn’t prove anything! What about the 37 indictments? The convictions? The Trump tower revelations? The lies! The meeting with Don, Jr.? The financial matters! There’s an ongoing grand jury investigation, and possible sealed indictments, and the House will still investigate, and…

Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.

Subscribe to his sub-stack series.

You know for what else Taibbi deserves so much credit?

The fact that he was compelled to find out Eric Garner's story.

He spent some time on Staten Island talking to Garner's family, friends and associates, as well as cops and sociologists. The result was a book in which he dignified a human being who was by all accounts warm, funny and the victim of both tough luck and an insane law enforcement/justice system that really does prey upon his ilk.

Garner, of course, has been frozen for all-time by the MSM who garishly played it on constant repeat so that he would be immortalized as the pathetic victim of a cold-blooded police murder in broad daylight. The documenter of which was another twisted story, he himself the victim of relentless police intimidation and incarceration afterward. If he hadn't had a bird's eye view and not filmed the horribly tragic and completely unnecessary attack of an un-resisting with asthma pleading for his breath, Garner's life most probably would have been relegated to just another pg 23 "unfortunate" incident of another black man "resisting arrest." The MSM as usual had no interest in delving into such subjects as the policies of Broken Windows policing, widespread police brutality and corruption, unaccountable repeat offenders in the ranks, etc, still less in who Garner was as a person.

Taibbi could have chosen to continue to be an expert on financial criminality and political chicanery and sought another big book deal that certainly would have paid more than this one. I don't even think many knew it even came out. I took it out of the library and couldn't put it down.

I didn't think it was possible for my admiration of him to grow after how much I already revere him and look forward to his writing. But after this book he gained a few more notches.

I Can't Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street

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"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

@Mark from Queens with opening my eyes on Obamacare. A friend who was rightly skeptical of it sent me an article from Taibbi and there it all was - a documented sell out to big insurance, et al.

"I Can't Breathe" was another great one from him.

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Alligator Ed's picture

In the early months of this scandal, the New York Times said Trump’s campaign had “repeated contacts” with Russian intelligence; the Wall Street Journal told us our spy agencies were withholding intelligence from the new President out of fear he was compromised; news leaked out our spy chiefs had even told other countries like Israel not to share their intel with us, because the Russians might have “leverages of pressure” on Trump.

The links to Caitlin Johnstone article are, as usual, excellent.

So we here at c99 are amongst the few who from the Russiagate outset, knew the issue was a manufactured phony. Now the proof is in. Unfortunately many Amurikkkan sheeples are still brain washed, with little capacity to undergo the required rinsing to wash the Demonrat drivel from their ossified brains.

Taibbi wrote a magnificent curriculum vita of the MSM, which in actuality is an early autopsy report leading to future and LIKELY repercussions taken against the "press". Included in that amorphous montage are the "social media" outlets like FakeBook and Twatter. It is almost certain that Trump will declare those "private" enterprises to be publishers, instead if news collectors. Such an action will make them directly liable for acts of defamation, including libel. Good grounds exist for that move. By censoring outright, shadow banning or otherwise regulating content, the social platforms exert powers of an editor, not just disseminators of content submitted by independent parties.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Alligator Ed

Lots of very incorrect information has been slung about at people for the last two years. Chris Steele is already being sued in the U.K. for some of the things he put in his dossier and I hope that string is attached to Sydney Bluementhal since he was very involved with its creation.

So we here at c99 are amongst the few who from the Russiagate outset, knew the issue was a manufactured phony.

A few people on Twitter have been posting the websites and people who never bought into Russia Gate and I've added my name and c99 to the lists. I think we should take a bow for our coverage of it here as well as the other things connected to it.

Well done, folks!

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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@snoopydawg

Thank you for posting our forum in that list!

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Alligator Ed's picture

@snoopydawg Ah, who could forget Sid Blumenthal? The scheming of a portion of the coup, in which Syd and one other, whose name escapes me, collaborated on one draft of what came to be conflated with the pee dossier. And neither know nor care how they did it; the deed was done by them.

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@snoopydawg It is nice to be in a group that, along with Caitlin and Matt, et al, saw this coming years ago.
Years.

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Taibbi addresses the original assertion that Russia hacked the DNC emails. He makes the point that,

It doesn’t take much investigation to realize the main institutional sources in the Russiagate mess – the security services, mainly – have extensive records of deceiving the media.

Later he says,

I didn’t really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now. I was told early on that this piece of the story seemed “solid,” but even that assertion has remained un-bolstered since then, still based on an “assessment” by those same intelligence services that always had issues, including the use of things like RT’s “anti-American” coverage of fracking as part of its case. The government didn’t even examine the DNC’s server, the kind of detail that used to make reporters nervous.

We won’t know how much of any of this to take seriously until the press gets out of bed with the security services and looks at this whole series of events all over again with fresh eyes, as journalists, not political actors. That means being open to asking what went wrong with this story, in addition to focusing so much energy on Trump and Russia.

The most important thing about his article is the documentation of so many bullshit stories thrown at the media by sources connected to our intelligence "community," no matter how many ways they describe themselves as consultants or former agents or contractors or sources thought of as reliable, or as Comey described the source of the entire Russia hacking claim, Crowdstrike, as "a high class entity." I hope Taibbi and others now start to question the whole premise.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Linda Wood

and the other information that said Russia interfered with the election. One of the biggest reasons why people believe that is because they heard that all 17 intelligence agencies agree that they did when it was actually 3 people who did. Clapper, Brennan and the dude in charge of the DNI. Why Trump hasn't fired him yet I don't understand.

Edit.. Clapper was head of the DNI and I still don't remember the other guy's name. Is he head of the NSA? Little help?

The government didn’t even examine the DNC’s server, the kind of detail that used to make reporters nervous.

As Bob in Portland wrote in his essay from last year (?) the only persons who looked at the computers were CrowdStrike and not the FBI. The link to his essay is in his current one and I hope people will read both.

Why didn't Mueller interview this guy? Or get the information on the DNC hack from the NSA? Or Christopher Steele who wrote the damn dossier?? Or a number of other people who were involved in this? Strzok, Page, McCabe and Julian Assange? Smile

If you want to do a serious investigation then talk to everyone involved in it.

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@snoopydawg

Director of the NSA, was willing only to claim "moderate" confidence in parts of the intelligence assessment, the parts that inferred that Putin wanted Trump to win. But I think he testified that he agreed with the assessment that Putin tried to influence the election.

Much more important to me is the fact that the NSA never supplied evidence of a hack of the DNC. The FBI, in instigating this whole mess, is relying on the word of a private contractor. It seems to me if there had been a hack the NSA would have been able to confirm it.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Linda Wood

The VIPS data and much much more including Assange has been available to him. He should read it. It would answer a lot of his questions. Along with the crooked history of CrowdStrike entwined with corrupt pockets of the Intelligence Agencies and Google, just waiting for an investigative journalist.

Matt was a late arrival, too. It took him quite a while to "move toward the Light." But then he did arrive with real flare! I mean he could have been a sad case like Marcy — wrong wrong wrong at every turn and making her readers dumber than she found them.

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@Pluto's Republic

...was one of my biggest disappointments about the entire matter, quite frankly, I had nothing but massive respect for her work up until this.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic

no siree Bob's your uncle she ain't.

Greenwald asked her if it was time for her to explain how she turned in a journalistic source to the FBI yet?

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Alligator Ed's picture

@snoopydawg The spokes on her wheels are broke--and she (along with Hilts everywhere) are nucking futs.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Linda Wood
Her then this country is more f'cked up than I realized:

In his letter, Barr states that Mueller concluded that, while Russia deliberately interfered in the 2016 election both by planting false stories in social media and by hacking into computers to “obtain” emails

But that this information is a given is another reason why this Russian stuff will never die. Has anyone seen any of the ads that Russian agency put on the internet? Some were of puppies, some were pictures of Jazus and others were the things we had been talking about for years such as the BLM, wealth inequality and just plain Jane American crap.

And then there's the fact that over 60% of the ads were place after the election was decided so Russia actually only spent $40,000 to steal the election from Her who had spent over a $1 billion. Gee maybe it was the $2 BILLION in free advertising that Her gave to Trump with her asinine pied piper campaign?

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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The thing that I particularly like is that he systematically went over many of the lies and half truths that have been printed and dismantled them. One problem after the conspiracy to invade Iraq (and that is what it was) is that the claims that were used to justify the invasion where not systematically examined after the invasion. People need to be called to account and their lies laid bare.

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...but I had to deal with a bit of an emergency around here, this weekend. Now, I don't feel so bad, because someone's covering it. Thank you!

A few takeaways...

1.) Taibbi is spot-on when he notes that, for all intents and purposes, the Russiagate story has--and the way the U.S. and British fourth estate have handled it--virtually destroyed any remaining shreds of credibility that the U.S. and British press maintained, post WMD/Iraq.

2.) The real story about Trump has always been the reality that he is an exceptionally sleazy businessman. More importantly, it was a well-known fact throughout Wall Street in 2008/2009--and for years prior, and many years thereafter, virtually to this day--that it was drug cartel money from countless sources, and Russian Mob money in NYC and Europe, as well (often one and the same), that saved the day for a myriad of players in the real estate industry, and a lot of major financial institutions throughout the western world, from as early as 2006, and for at least a few years, if not through to this day! (HSBC was caught, bigtime! And, Wachovia, essentially, remained afloat--primarily due to Tim Geithner--long enough to be absorbed by Wells Fargo; and there were countless other/similar stories, too; they just weren't publicized as much. See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE, etc., etc.)

3.) The Democratic Party is, basically, f*cked, from a public relations perspective. The neolibs, led by Clinton, et al, are going to be dealing with intense payback from the G.O.P., as a result; and this will last for, perhaps, decades. And, the Dims were warned: by many here at C99P, Taibbi, Greenwald, Johnstone, and so many others. But, they made their bed, and the media supported the charade, lock, stock and barrel.

4.) The one Hail, Mary! for Democrats? The Second Judicial District of Southern New York. They will be going after Trump--and they already are--in a massive way. And the Southern District's efforts, more than likely, have less to do with Russiagate, (or little if anything Trump's done since he became president) and everything to do with Trump's business practices and his public displays of philandering, and related cover-ups re: "all of the above." This all remains to be seen.

Adding the following three links to this comment, in addition to where I originally posted them, farther downthread...

See the following, from Newsweek, last month...
NEW YORK INVESTIGATORS COULD 'INDICT' DONALD TRUMP WHILE HE'S STILL PRESIDENT, WATERGATE PROSECUTOR SAYS, JASON LEMON, NEWSWEEK, 2/18/19 AT 2:44 PM EST

And, from the front page of today's/Sunday's New York Times...
Mueller Report Lands, Prosecutorial Focus Moves to New York, Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum, Benjamin Weiser and Maggie Habermas, New York Times (Page A1), Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Last, but not least, New York Magazine, this past Friday...
The Trump Investigations Are Far From Over, Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine, Friday, March 22nd, 2019

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Pluto's Republic's picture

@bobswern

...to the New York bubble Metro-Dems. Give them a couple of weeks to continue believing that their prescioussssss NYT hasn't been blowing smoke up their asses AGAIN for two years straight.

Meanwhile, it didn't take long for the tables to turn in the Capitol:

President Trump has called for an investigation into the "illegal takedown that failed" - after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia in the 2016 US election. "The most ridiculous thing i've ever heard." he said.

"It's a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest it's a shame that your president had to go through this for - before I even got elected, it began. And it began illegally. This was an illegal takedown that failed, and hopefully somebody is going to be looking at the other side."

Rep. Devin Nunes is reportedly making criminal referrals to Attorney General Bill Barr on FBI, DOJ officials who perpetrated this hoax.

  • Recall that Hillary Clinton's campaign paid an opposition research firm, Fusion GPS - who paid a former UK spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled a bogus dossier using Kremlin sources, which was then used against Trump both at the federal level and in court of public opinion.
  • Also recall that Maltese professor (and self-admitted Clinton foundation member) Joseph Mifsud seeded Trump aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. 
  • Papadopoulos would later drunkenly pass this information to Australian diplomat (and Clinton ally) Alexander Downer, whose report reached the FBI and launched operation crossfire hurricane. 
  • The FBI would then employ at least one spy to "infiltrate" (spy on) the Trump campaign. 

.

An hour later, the Dems on the Hill started squealing:

.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have received a four-page letter from Attorney General William Barr which concludes that "The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 Presidential election."

Less than hour after the release of the summary and the DoJ's clearance of obstruction allegations, top Democrat, and chair of the House Judiciary committee, Jerry Nadler, has decided to call Attorney General Barr in to testify. Nadler has got his eye on obstruction charges. But he's grasping at straws.

Mueller left Obstruction to the Attorney General to "determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime." But, Barr sees no obstruction - writing in conjunction with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that they "concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense."

Mueller's team of approximately 40 FBI agents issued over 2,800 subpoenas, executed "nearly 500 search warrants," and "obtained over 230 orders for communication records. They also issued 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses. 

.

It looks like they will all be too busy to do their government jobs. And that is likely a good thing.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic

...it's apples and oranges. But, the public won't pay attention to the difference. To them, it'll just be "another round of indictments" (there will be plenty of rightwing outrage about "more of the same bullshit"). If this plays out like Russiagate, others will take the fall. But, the subject matter is quite different. Mueller's misdirected efforts were all about Russiagate. The Second District's (New York) investigations are virtually/exclusively focused upon Trump's business and personal dealings; and, it's no secret that there's an abundance of low-hanging fruit available on those subjects. The local/NYC media has published plenty of factual news (I know, up 'til now, as far as the media's concerned, that's just been a concept; nothing to do with reality) as far those aspects of Trump's media coverage, and his life in general, are concerned.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@bobswern @bobswern Not to worry about SDNY taking a bite out of Trump. Our dual system of injustice will erase anything harmful to El Trumpo. Just like Killary, who no longer has the armor of invincibility.

Diablo

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic

Those news stories exist to soften the blow

@bobswern

...to the New York bubble Metro-Dems. Give them a couple of weeks to continue believing that their prescioussssss NYT hasn't been blowing smoke up their asses AGAIN for two years straight.

No way Fed prosecutors indict a sitting US President - let alone on local charges unrelated to his time in office. Nahgannahappen.

But still, can't cut the Russiagate addicts off cold turkey, now can we?

So I applaud NYC media outlets for setting up a political methadone clinic for all these poor unfortunates.

They're gonna need it.

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Peace Sells

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

I figure it will take about three weeks for them to notice and go, "Where's Putin?" Because the Times is certainly not going to publish a coherent retraction to two years of increasingly absurd propaganda. Not to put down New York. I'm a regular visitor and it is the nation's key Democratic coccoon. But they are not at all aware of the mood of the people in the center of the "awful continent," as Jack Kerouac called it.

By the same token, I'm trying to figure out which presidential candidates were not totally bamboozled by the Russia Hoax. I think that sort of disqualifies the gullible candidates for a major leadership role. The nation needs smart and savvy leaders that think independently.

Hmmm. I don't recall any Democratic dissenters over the Russian Collusion narrative. I'll have to go back and see if they have any quality candidates.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@Pluto's Republic will find any major candidates among the major Russiagate dissenters. Perhaps some muted occasional skepticism at best. I'm sure their handlers advised not to get too aggressive pushing the story, but also don't be too skeptical.

Dunno about say, a Tulsi Gabbard, the most likely to be a Russiagate skeptic, and whether she was an early and consistent one. She did however have a great tweet recently about how that story has put Trump on the defensive about Russia and made the world a more dangerous place:

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wokkamile

I think you're right. And I had a similar thought about candidate handlers. Candidates would be forced to pretend to fear Russia and hate Putin — they must pretend that they, too, were bamboozled — and grunt about Russia like thuggish know-nothings, while periodically calling someone else a traitor.

That sort of staggering ignorance suggests a very bad outcome for the people. They seem more than willing to extinguish one another so as to save their betters the bother.

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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
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gulfgal98's picture

@Pluto's Republic Of course I had to go to Russia Today to find it because there is an almost complete media blackout of Tulsi, other than to smear her.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

snoopydawg's picture

huge pile of stinking dawg poo?

the Russiagate story has--and the way the U.S. and British fourth estate have handled it--virtually destroyed any remaining shreds of credibility that the U.S. and British press maintained, post WMD/Iraq.

After the number of times people have found out that the intelligence agencies will fix facts to back up Their narrative they once again fell for another false flag story. And the number of people who they regurgitated their reputations from their graves . Bush was one of the first ones when all he did was to say something bad about Trump. I have a graphic with his picture on it that says "miss me yet?" with all the years Obama was president. "Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope Yep!" Because Trump is president!

John McCain. Robert F'cking Mueller. Brennan!! And countless other people who are war criminals are now acceptable to the Resistance.

Yep. As you say here there are real issues that Trump is going to facing once he leaves office, but most of them are not from things he has done since becoming president. And just like Manafort is guilty of tax fraud, money laundering and not registering as a foreign lobbyist there are many others who have and still are doing the same thing. Hey? Will Podesta ever be charged for his working with Manafort all those years?

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
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gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg at how many people have bought off into this very dangerous falsified political ploy.

Thank goodness for sane people in the alternative media who have been calling this out from the beginning, such as Taibbi, Greenwald, and notably Aaron Mate and Jimmy Dore.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

I'm being told elsewhere that the report hasn't been released yet - just the statement "no new indictments".
If that's the fact (and it sounds like it is) why is everybody - the Maddow crowd and the Hannity crowd and the Taibbi crowd alike - acting like it has?

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat

does not recommend prosecution for any crime, and if it leaves to the Justice Department whether or not to charge obstruction, and if the Attorney General doesn't appear to find a reason to charge obstruction, as his summary indicates, then it appears there is no basis upon which to impeach Trump or to indict anyone in his administration.

There may be a lot of juicy evidence in the report. But if it doesn't rise to the level of taking any legal action against Trump or his colleagues, it doesn't amount to anything.

And more to the point, it didn't find what it said it was looking for. If it had found Trump owed back taxes and falsified a tax return, through some tangent of investigation not related to collusion, maybe he would be impeachable for that. But it has not recommended indicting him for tax evasion or anything else, and specifically not for collusion.

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@Linda Wood

...ones that could indict Trump. In fact, it's more likely--and it's been widely stated as such, even by Rudy Giuliani within the past 5 or 6 weeks, via Newsweek--that the Southern District of New York will/may indict him (mostly for matters unrelated to Russiagate), even without judicial precedent.

See the following, from Newsweek, last month...
NEW YORK INVESTIGATORS COULD 'INDICT' DONALD TRUMP WHILE HE'S STILL PRESIDENT, WATERGATE PROSECUTOR SAYS, JASON LEMON, NEWSWEEK, 2/18/19 AT 2:44 PM EST

And, from the front page of today's/Sunday's New York Times...
Mueller Report Lands, Prosecutorial Focus Moves to New York, Ben Protess, William K. Rashbaum, Benjamin Weiser and Maggie Habermas, New York Times (Page A1), Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Last, but not least, New York Magazine, this past Friday...
The Trump Investigations Are Far From Over, Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine, Friday, March 22nd, 2019

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@The Liberal Moonbat

...in response to a follow-up comment from Linda Wood.

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Trump didn't have hookers pee on him?

Cuz I really wanted that part to be true! Smile

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gulfgal98's picture

I found this quote from Caitlin as one worth remembering. I wonder what ever happened to critical thinking skills in this country?

Most people who got swept up in the Russiagate fervor were manipulated by their disgust for Trump and their desire to get him out, no matter if it was true or not. I think the great lesson here is that you can’t out-manipulate the grand manipulators. You have to stick to the truth even when it appears to go against your own self interests because your ego has levers and it can be used to puppet you. If you always value the highest interest over your self interest then you can’t be played.

Matt Taibbi sums the current and potential future impacts of Russiagete very well in his piece.

The WMD mess had massive real-world negative impact, leading to over a hundred thousand deaths and trillions in lost taxpayer dollars. Unless Russiagate leads to a nuclear conflict, we’re unlikely to ever see that level of consequence.

Still, Russiagate has led to unprecedented cooperation between the government and Internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, all of which are censoring pages on the left, right, and in between in the name of preventing the “sowing of discord.” The story also had a profound impact on the situation in places like Syria, where Russian and American troops have sat across the Euphrates River from one another, two amped-up nuclear powers at a crossroads.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

ovals49's picture

@gulfgal98
and social media platforms embarking on self sensorship at the behest of government (Deep State) will likely remain and become ubiquitous. Those intentionally fostering manipulative disinformation campaigns understand this tendency very well. The embarrassment of being caught in a lie is of no import to the liars. The effect of the lie remains.

One would hope that such lies, once exposed, would be soundly condemned by our “free press” as the domestic propaganda that they are. This will never happen. Instead the disinformation will persist in the minds of a frighteningly large percentage of our population as the truth. How many Americans believe to this day that Sadam actually had WMD, but that we simply failed to find them, and that Kuwaiti babies were thrown out of their incubators on his orders?

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16 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

“And an uncomfortable truth is always superior to a comfortable fantasy.” Caitlin Johnstone

gulfgal98's picture

@ovals49 I must agree with your assessment. I keep coming back to American Exceptionalism which requires that we Americans must no longer use critical thinking skills when we read or hear something. That is what we are seeing here.

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4 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

@ovals49

that the Deep State never admits it was wrong or that it lied. And the most outrageous example of people continuing to believe a lie, even when the liar publicly states he lied, as in Oliver North's testimony, leaves us gasping in shock.

In Iran Contra, tons of criminal evidence were presented. There was no way out. So the Deep State came up with a sensational plan: have North agree to admit everything he did under a grant of immunity. So for days on end he testified under oath as to every illegal act he committed, none of which he could be prosecuted for because of his immunity: forging documents in order to steal thousands of missiles from U.S military bases, having them loaded onto planes he ran off with to Israel, selling the missiles to Iran's radical government, taking the proceeds to his 8 Swiss bank accounts, sending some of the money to the Contras, returning to the United States with planes loaded with "pharmaceuticals," etc, etc.

No matter how bad it was, his believers still believed he was doing the right thing as a military hero risking his ass for our nation's national security because bleh.

So I agree. Once you've been bitten by the cult bug, you're pretty much poisoned. But over all, public perception of the Reagan Bush cabal was lowered to the point where they were never trusted fully again by most people. The most the Deep State would admit to was represented by Reagan's remark that "Mistakes were made." But that fell completely flat, as it was supposed to.

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@ovals49

that I view a bit differently--the 'free press' (i.e., corporatist MSM) fully knows that the Russia Ruse is baloney.

HelpMollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

[One threat to so-called 'entitlements' is the House Dem Budget Committee Chairperson, who admits that he wants to strike a so-called "Grand Bargain" with Republicans. See C-Span video.]

Bad

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4 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

But hold on. I suspect the wounded beast will lash out until it is finally exiled and ignored.

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9 users have voted.

QMS's picture

for fraud? Are there no prosecutors or courts with enough authority any more. The ill eagles rule.

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3 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

ovals49's picture

@QMS
that established that the “press” (aka MSM) was allowed to disseminate known falsehoods, presented as fact, and incur no legal liability for doing so? If I am not mistaken it was a SC decision. The fact that this behavior elicits little to no moral outrage among the general public I find even more disturbing.

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3 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

“And an uncomfortable truth is always superior to a comfortable fantasy.” Caitlin Johnstone

@ovals49

lately some mainstream journalists stating that what they do, as a profession, is to write "stories." Watch for it.

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2 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@ovals49

I don't think it ever got out of Florida. Basically, Fox used its money and its clout to stonewall until the plaintiffs had to give up because they had neither money nor clout.

But the Big Lie that it was "OK" for "news" media to lie went far, far beyond.

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.