Polarization: Why Mueller Can’t Fix This One


Social Media Map of Polarized American Polity

Fixer (def.)
1. A person who illicitly "cleans up" after crimes.
2. A person who "can get things done", usually illegal. An example of "getting things done" can be intimidating or getting rid of witnesses or evidence of a crime.

The Mueller investigation is likely doomed to fail if he can’t “fix” the existing conflict of counter-narratives in the dueling versions of “Russiagate.” Unless the Special Prosecutor’s Inquest succeeds in producing an overwhelming bipartisan consensus that Donald Trump was unfairly elected, and that Trump knowingly and willfully “colluded” with Russia, Robert Mueller will have failed to fix the scandal so that the episode is settled without further political conflict.

Achieving a political consensus is the hurdle that the Special Counsel must clear in order to succeed.

There is, at present, no such consensus emerging, just further political polarization. If America remains polarized, continued efforts to remove Donald Trump will result only in deeper hostilities along partisan lines, hostilities that spill over into violence.

Against a background of intense political polarization, rising social violence, acts of political murder, and widely perceived economic injustice, Democratic efforts to Impeach Trump risk a wider civil insurrection. That is the danger that Mueller was tasked to fix or disarm. Only a political consensus will deactivate the live bomb that is “Russiagate”.

Unless there is some huge surprise contained in the Special Counsel’s report – something that has not to this date been leaked or even hinted at -- it does not look like the fix will work this time for Robert Mueller. Without delivering a consensus that Trump essentially committed treason, and Hillary Clinton (along with the American people) was merely a victim of a treasonous plot, Trump will stay, and Mueller will have failed.

Unlike 9/11 and Iran-Contra, major scandals that Mueller had a key role as prosecutor or FBI Director in fixing (rightly or wrongly), there is no American political consensus that has emerged about Russiagate. Without the key element of agreement on a singular narrative that a specific foreign actor or set of unified actors “caused” an electoral miscarriage, there can be no political consensus in this episode.

Right now, there are two clashing narratives, one Democratic and the other Republican, about Russiagate, and until they are finally resolved one way of the other, Russiagate will remain politically contested.

The familiar Russiagate narrative (D-MSM version) is that figures within the Trump campaign knowingly worked with Russian sources through Wikileaks to sabotage the Clinton campaign by releasing the DNC/Podesta emails. Outrage at the revealed duplicity and dirty-tricks committed by the Clinton campaign to unfairly gain the Democratic nomination alienated enough voters so that they stayed home or voted third party on Election Day, which was the defining reason for Clinton’s failure. That’s one contested narrative.

The dueling R-Conservative media version of Russiagate also involves a conspiracy by a political campaign to employ assets and information obtained by foreign intelligence officers to sabotage a Presidential campaign. In this contesting narrative, however, it was MI-6 and Ukrainian officials who worked with the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and corrupt Justice Department and FBI officials – the Fusion-GPS conspiracy -- to set-up, spy on, and sabotage the opposing Presidential Campaign. That complementary version of the facts - and they have not been refuted as evidence - must be annihilated or it will spoil the consensus.

If one accepts the facts presented by both narratives, campaign laws and ethics rules were broken by both campaigns. If we disbelieve both sets of facts, Trump was elected fairly and should not be removed. In either case, that produces a political Net-Zero. That outcome militates in favor of sustaining the electoral status quo.

In fact, the two narratives can’t be reconciled by Mueller in any way that makes political sense to enough Americans to succeed at producing a political consensus as to the facts. Mueller hasn’t even begun to address the election meddling and dirty-tricks that resulted from Fusion-GPS and the Steele Memo. Without a vastly and improbable expansion of the Mueller probe, there will be a political stalemate. That could quickly become very dangerous under current political, social, and economic conditions in the United States.

Any effort by one side or the other to act can only be viewed as illegitimate by a sizable part of the polity producing pushback and a failure of normal legal mechanisms of government. At this point, under prevailing conditions, serious effort by either side to remove from office or penalize the other could provoke a violent reaction by extremists – under current conditions, that could quickly escalate to political Instability and Civil Conflict, according to the prevailing model that is employed by the CIA to predict regime change. See below. That outcome would present a clear failure on Mueller’s part.

The reason for that is that the country remains divided roughly down the middle along party lines on these questions. Political polarization was cited recently as the number one national security threat by a survey of 588 foreign policy opinion leaders, most viewing it as a greater danger than Russian influence in American elections. https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/415881-political-polarizat....

Furthermore, according to Pew Poll released in September, Mueller's investigation, itself, has become a polarizing force. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/24/views-of-muellers-invest... It is not surprising, therefore, that we now see the probe being wrapped up.

So long as America remains polarized into Democratic-Republican camps, Trump cannot safely be removed or forced to resign. Mueller knows this, surely, as do others at or near the top of the American state security and political apparatus. We are likely back where we were 30 years ago with Bill Clinton, Impeached along party lines in the House, but without the necessary 2/3 Senate Supermajority needed to Convict and remove him from office.

Impeachment, without concensus, will therefore only produce more extreme polarization, and polarization is the single greatest factor shown to lead to breakdown of a particular type of democratic government – partial democracies, a category into which the U.S. has measurably declined – a type of regime which has been shown to be most vulnerable to violent regime change and civil war, according to the prevailing model that is employed by the CIA and State Department to predict conditions indicating political instability and favoring Foreign Imposed Regime Change (FIRC). See, e.g.

A Global Model for Forecasting Political Instability - Harvard DASH, https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/33719894 , by JA Goldstone, TR Gurr, J. Ulfelder, et al. - ‎2010 - ‎Cited by 686 - “A Global Model for Forecasting Political Instability.” American Journal of Political Science 54 (1) (January): 190-208.

Forecasting Democratic Transitions and Breakdowns, Jay Ulfelder (SAIC Corp.), https://dartthrowingchimp.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/forecasting-democrati...

Forecasting Political Instability: Results from a Tournament of Methods ... https://www.ssrn.com/abstract=2156234,
by J Ulfelder - ‎Oct 5, 2012 - This report describes the design, and summarizes the results of, a forecasting “tournament” undertaken by the CIA-funded Political Instability Task Force at SAIC Corp.

and, see, generally, The Foreign Imposed Regime Change (FIRC) Model
http://oxfordre.com/politics/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.001.000...

Everyone should know this stuff. The rest is Kabuki Theater.

CONCLUSION

Unless the Special Counsel’s Report provides clear, convincing, and incontrovertible NEW evidence that Donald Trump, himself, knowingly and willfully took actions in concert with Russia that effectively sabotaged the Clinton Campaign, further efforts to Impeach him will likely fail. Unlike 30 years ago, democratic institutions in the U.S. are visibly weaker than they were during and after the Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton. They are nearly unrecognizable compared to what they were in 1974. Watergate isn't coming back.

Whatever NEW evidence is put forward by Mueller must be so overwhelming and ironclad in its factual and legal findings that it overcomes, eclipses and effectively suppresses the Republican counter-claim that the Clinton campaign utilized foreign intelligence assets – the Fusion-GPS-MI6 plot with the Ukrainian regime and allied oligarchs -- in its own effort to set-up, spy on, and sabotage the Trump Campaign.

Unless there is a dramatic change in the political balance of those conflicting narratives, continued efforts at Impeachment resulting in failure to Remove Trump as President will likely result in further failure of normal mechanisms of democratic governance in the United States. That would be a failed fix.

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Comments

Pricknick's picture

That is the reason for the current events in our government.
Keep the people entertained with useless shit while they take more and more away. If they can't entertain you, they'll throw a little fear into the mix and the people will lap it up. It's all a well greased game. Till the wheels run dry.
Overall, the majority of this country deserves the government we have and the rather bleak future ahead

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15 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick
Yes, the Spectacle is very entertaining.

As someone trained in Ted Gurr's Political Science department, it's gratifying to see the theory turn and bite its owners in the ass.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pricknick

Because there's nothing that they can do to change it. Most particularly, none of this is the fault of anybody under 40.

If you are 40, your first election you could vote in was in 1996. At that point, there was no political vehicle for change of any kind.

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5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

CS in AZ's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

In the summer of 1968, I was 9 years old. As I grew up during the 70s, we knew the revolution had been crushed, leaders had been assassinated, protesting students had been shot down by the national guard. Efforts to take over the democrats had been thoroughly gutted after the ‘68 convention. Those hippies gave their all, and see where it got them, and the rest of us.

I would like to know how any of this is my fault. Or theirs. People now into their 70s and beyond were on the front lines and they did a lot more than anything going on today as far as protesting and fighting back.

I am with you though, other than on the age line.

I don’t think we the people deserve this government. None of us. Born into a militaristic empire in which we have no power to effect change. Why would any human (or other critters for that matter) deserve that? Blaming the populace is one thing I really don’t understand. It’s based on a premise that we do have control and could stop them. I don’t believe that is true.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ

deserves it. I don't think anybody deserves what they're currently getting.

However, blaming people under 40 is particularly noxious (as well as being particularly popular lately), because the counter-revolution had already taken over the entire political system and media by the time they were able to take action at all. You might as well blame somebody tied up on the train tracks for causing an accident. For even younger people, 30 and under, you're talking people who could first vote in 2006. By that time, the legal system had joined the media and the political structure in the Deep State's stomach.

I think it's important to keep reiterating this history. And yes, I think it's even more noxious to blame people 40 and under, who were born into this tyranny, rather than blaming me and you, who were born in transition time, which is why we remember a different political reality than this one. (By the way, I think it is vitally important that we serve that function of cultural memory, and acknowledge the history that has happened from 1968 to the present, which includes the fact that we were freer and had more political agency before, and have had it taken away from us.)

In the 70s and 80s, the majority of voters in this country made a handful of terrible choices, the worst being the election and re-election of Reagan. I acknowledge that those people were tricked, and anyway, nobody really deserves to be placed under tyranny for a mistake--but the mistake should not be glossed over. It was a bad one, made for bad reasons, unworthy of the citizens of a republic. The fact that some of the voting population fought against this, just as some fought against the election and re-election of Nixon, doesn't free the majority from the responsibility for their decision. Those of you who have been in the good fight for your whole lives cannot relieve your peers of their responsibility for their terrible mistakes of the past.

Do I think this means that those people deserve to be in this tyrannical death machine? No. They didn't vote for a tyrannical death machine. But they deserve to be held accountable for what they did vote for, and it should be remembered that they had a freedom and an agency that nobody under 40 has ever experienced. My generation got a taste of that freedom (which is why we, too, have some responsibility for the status quo), before having it yanked away from them forever.

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

gulfgal98's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal we have been living under for decades. My rationale for this is that the two party system prevents any real change. And it never has to any great extent. The big difference now is that it is out in the open and the oligarchs who own both parties do not even care about throwing a bone to the rest of us like they have in the past.

I get damn sick and tired of hearing the blame game thrown around, whether it is blaming conservatives or blaming older voters or blaming blacks or whites or whomever. We are all in the sinking boat together and none of us has had a real say in how those in the highest levels of government address the real issues facing the vast majority of us.

The problem is that most of us have fallen prey to one form of propaganda or another. Yes, all of us. Some of us have become "woke" or more "woke" than others, but not one of us has the power to change things via the ballot box. This is why I keep preaching that we must reach out to one another regardless of geographic location, political identity, ethnicity, religious beliefs, age, or other factors that have been used to divide us. We still have far more in common than we have division. Every person wants to be able to earn a living wage, put food on the table, have safe shelter, have clear water and air, know that they will have health care without being bankrupted or denied, and be able to educate themselves and their children without going into debt.

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

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98

I'm preserving an accurate history of the republic and its fall.

The reason everybody takes it as an attack on a demographic category of people is that that's what 90% of political discussion is these days, so everyone is ready for a personal attack of that nature.

Note that I did not say: "Everybody over 60 is to blame for our current state." I said "Nobody under 40 bears any responsibility for this reality."

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

gulfgal98's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal that you were playing the blame game at all. The politicians and the media have been doing that for a long time. Look at dkos for a prime example. What I was trying to do is say that we have to find ways to reach out to those we have not seen as part of the 99%.

Mea culpa. I am very sorry that my words were careless.

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3 users have voted.

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

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98

what I said.

There are no problems between us.

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

or perhaps you're afraid of - that Mueller is tasked to fail, that his "investigation" is intended and designed to exacerbate exactly the crisis that you show - that the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party is trying to start a civil war (starting the day after Trump leaves office, when he will be arrested on a translucent charge by the incoming Democratic administration) that will be "won" by replacing a polarized democracy with a fascist dictatorship.
Imagine a 1917 style revolution with identity politics replacing Bolshevism.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

@doh1304 @doh1304
in fact supports the conclusion that the current opposition is doing its part to plunge the country into chaos for its own hoped-for partisan advantage. However, never has a genuine social revolution come from one of the ruling elite parties, only because a contending elite split and thus weakened the Old Regime bringing on a genuine revolution. Not afraid, at all.

If there's a genuine split, that's a good thing. Some kind of vastly destructive totalitarian capitalism is already here. Anything that derails that provides some hope.

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8 users have voted.
Wink's picture

find tRump guilty of
@leveymg
anything, but to string this out to your conclusion:
a stalemate.
The only conclusion to be drawn without investigating the other side of the story - the Clinton side. And, were he to do that would very likely find Her Heinous guilty up to her eyebrows.
So, the question to ask is, why isn't he investigating the Hillary side of this story - where the story came from?? Becuz we know he can investigate tRump for the next ten years and come up empty. After all, it's his job as The Fixer to make sure tRump stays right where he is.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

@leveymg
But not necessarily the most likely result. The McResistance is playing with fire and I think they know it and are hoping that there's dynamite in the room.

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6 users have voted.

A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@doh1304

"Hard-working Americans, white Americans, will not vote for Barack Obama."

Barack Obama's campaign team today accused Hillary Clinton's beleaguered staff of mounting a desperate dirty tricks operation by circulating a picture of him in African dress, feeding into false claims on US websites that he is a Muslim.

And then there's this:

It was in the context of discussions about her political future that Mrs. Clinton made the remarks on Friday to the editorial board of The Sioux Falls Argus Leader. She had said that some people whom she did not name were trying to push her out of the race, but she noted that historically many races had gone on longer than hers.

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right?” she said. “We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

She's been playing this game for the past ten years; all that changes is what side she's on.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wink's picture

@doh1304

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3 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@doh1304

The entire thing was constructed, launched, and focused on with obsessive mania by both political parties and the press.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@doh1304

of the working person, or at least was pretending to do so.

This is a revolution for the benefit of the rich white men at the top of the heap, wrapped in a candy coating of imagery and rhetoric of various justice movements of the past fifty years.

obamahug.jpg

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4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

CS in AZ's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Although I’ve known and understood in my mind for several years now the fact that the Obamas were con artists, I have to admit it still hurts to see her embracing him, and that smirk. On both of their faces.

I realize am still mad about being conned by Barack and Michelle Obama. It’s still hard to admit I believed them, or at least I believed in their good intentions. I knew he lied frequently but wrote that off as necessary to win in today’s political environment.

But underneath — when he stood in the rain crying about his grandmother who had just died... and about his mother’s death, and her fight with insurance companies... and how this needed to change. I believed him. I believed he got it. And that he cared. And I believed that Michelle was so down to earth and real, that he must be legit.

I was snowed and so hopeful and excited. Blah!!

That one picture, and the mask just falls off. Con artists. All of them. Never again will I fall for any of it, politics is a racket.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ

The right got fooled by Reagan; we got fooled by Obama.

There is a difference, in that Obama wasn't sold to me by racist and xenophobic means, nor by flattery designed to relieve me of self-examination as an American, examination of my country and its actions. But the wishful thinking is the same. I ignored evidence, his telecommunications immunity vote and his alliances; as a colleague of mine at the time said, "He's too close to Wall St." Of course, back then, I was still operating on the assumption that there was such a thing as "smart money;" I had the idea that a significant minority of the very rich didn't want to destroy the world, and that if we all joined together with them behind a sensible politician, something good might be done.

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1 user has voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

but I have the suspicion that in republican governed states that there is a possibility of election fraud. Maybe just 1-2%, but enough. What I'm concerned most about is the instant media feedback, that somehow we're wired to seek information in a certain way. As with obesity being linked to junk food, with instant biased information we are being fed intellectual junk food, and our minds are susceptible to this manipulation, same as twinkies. No real proof, just the constant feeling of being manipulated. Same as when any Disney commercial comes on. 50/50 just seems too pat.

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6 users have voted.

@Snode
look at the Californ8ia primary. And NY/NJ practically defined electoral fraud and corruption. Not to mention my native Chicago...

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10 users have voted.

Sanders-Gabbard 2020 !

lotlizard's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness  
The simple fact that solidly D-voting, D-controlled areas, particularly in the urban U.S. Northeast but historically also including the South, invariably produce a kind of machine politics second to none anywhere in the world in its degree of corruption.

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8 users have voted.

@Snode Fraud in Republican controlled states
Republican Election Fraud 1-2%. I have been saying that for a long time. I do believe that, and I am not into conspiracy. I believe the Democratic candidates have to rack up huge margins in those state in order to win.

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4 users have voted.

It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. Carl Sagan

A masterful analysis!

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4 users have voted.

Sanders-Gabbard 2020 !

@The Voice In the Wilderness
Hope you take something of value and mix it with yours. Come back and tell us what you think.

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3 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

He has a history of bungling cases and misplacing evidence. The purpose of the Mueller inquiry into alleged collusion between Donald Trump and Russia to win the 2016 Presidential election was actually not to investigate the mostly ludicrous-seeming charges in the Steele dossier, but to protect the institution of the FBI, former colleagues, as well as the national security surveillance system. Therefore the inquiry has to cover up the sinful origins of the collusion narrative itself — which was born in repeated abuses of power and subsequent crimes committed by US officials.

His two year cover=up could drag on for two more years, or until the nation stops contesting the "official" narrative of the Russian meddling Hoax.

Below is a small sample of Mueller's many accomplishments:

Summary Date Source
Robert Muellers FBI protected mobster Whitey Bulger and thwarted investigations into his activities. 03/01/2011 New American
Mueller sought and received funds from a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, to oversee an FBI effort to retrieve an American in Iran (Deripaska has since turned up in the Trump probe) 09/01/2009 The Hill
Despite knowing who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to a reporter, Mueller tasked a special counsel to investigate the Bush Administration for years, eventually ensnaring a non-leaker with a process charge 04/19/2018 The Federalist
When a Clinton White House official, Sandy Berger, was caught destroying and removing classified material, Mueller's FBI gave him a slap on the wrist 04/19/2018 The Federalist
Mueller's point man on the anthrax investigation was accused of misconduct in the Ruby Ridge standoff; was accused of leaking information about the anthrax probe to help the FBI politically 08/24/2002 The Washington Post
Despite personally authorizing the mass surveillance of innocent Americans, Mueller told the Senate no such surveillance occurred 01/29/2018 The Hill
At the FBI, Mueller repeatedly signed Foreign Intel Surveillance Court orders demanding phone companies turn over records on all Americans 01/29/2018 The Hill
The Electronic Freedom Foundation found that under Mueller, the FBI committee "tens of thousands of violations of federal law, regulations, or executive orders" 01/29/2018 The Hill
Under Mueller, the FBI inspector general said agents abused the PATRIOT Act to unconstitutionally spy on thousands of innocent Americans 01/29/2018 The Hill
Under Mueller, the FBI concealed evidence showing FBI agents warned headquarters pre-9/11 about suspicious Arabs in flight school (which went unheeded) 01/29/2018 The Hill
Mueller is accused of using the Russia probe to cover up FISA abuse in the Obama Administration 03/13/2018 Tablet
Mueller's chief investigator in the Russia probe, Andrew Weissmann, was frequently accused of bending the law to win convictions (which are often overturned) 10/19/2017 The Hill
When Mueller served in the DoJ's criminal division, he quashed an investigation showing FBI agents framed an innocent man with murdering his family 10/17/2017 Harvey Silverglate
Mueller, while serving as a U.S. attorney in Boston, once tried to entrap a defense attorney 10/17/2017 Harvey Silverglate
Mueller was tasked with negotiating the release of Edward Snowden from Russia; he made no progress 11/24/2017 The Los Angeles Times
When an internal FBI investigation into the counterterrorism unit Mueller created was effectively worthless, his associates had it buried 11/24/2017 The Los Angles Times
In 1979, Mueller bungled and ultimately lost the feds' case against 33 Hells Angels 11/24/2017 LA Times
Mueller bungled the FBI's high-profile anthrax investigation, spying on and falsely accusing two innocent Americans and ultimately refused to apologize 02/08/2018 The Federalist
Mueller conspired with Comey to help the latter assume the role of attorney general while John Ashcroft was hospitalized so they could help obstruct an anti-terrorism domestic surveillance program 05/21/2017 RealClearPolitics
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The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

I'm fine with "obstructing an anti-terrorism domestic surveillance program."

I guess it's proof that even inveterate fixers from the Bush faction can have one moment of enlightenment.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

with you about this:

I'm fine with "obstructing an anti-terrorism domestic surveillance program."

What if the anti-terrorism domestic surveillance program was aimed at terrorists supported by Saudi princes and the CIA?

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Linda Wood

that either Bush administration would create a policy designed to inflict surveillance on Saudi princes and their flunkies.

I always see those "counter terrorism" policies in the context of who was in power politically at the time, and the use to which they were putting the ideas of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Since the Bush administration was fraudulent from top to bottom and gained its dubious credibility from climbing atop rubble with a bullhorn after allowing thousands of civilians to be killed, either through incompetence, or, as I believe, malfeasance, afterwards using the concept of terrorism as a freaking rubber stamp to get whatever they wanted...well. You lived through it too, you know what I'm talking about. Those bastards can call their policies medicine all they want; we all know they were feeding us poison.

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5 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

He sure turns up a lot, don't he, Ma?

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4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic

investigating Noriega?

That's what made me first raise my eyebrows.

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

SnappleBC's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Thanks

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6 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

In the end, even at 6'8", I don't think he will measure up any better than Comey did.

That's a valuable graph and links. Thanks for posting it here.

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WindDancer13's picture

There! Fixed!

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6 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@WindDancer13

"Mangiare. Would that it were so."

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2 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

In order to actually win an election in many major U.S. cities (i.e.: Chicago, Boston, etc.), a challenger to an incumbent has to win by at least a three-point margin. I "learned" this basic fact during many years in Boston politics (working directly with none other than Tommy Menino years before he was elected to office). The mere fact that Mueller was a U.S. attorney there, and later supervised the Whitey Bulger clusterf**k, tells me all I need to know.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@bobswern

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Thanks for the welcome, CStM! Happy holidays!

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3 users have voted.

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

lotlizard's picture

So lackadaisical and reluctant to investigate — or, so intent and quick to dismiss — the many real discrepancies in the official account of 9/11.

Pretty telling when it comes to the nature of our leaders and elites, and the state of our institutions.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

That is the danger that Mueller was tasked to fix or disarm. Only a political consensus will deactivate the live bomb that is “Russiagate”.

It looks to me like that danger was deliberately created from above. Not that there weren't some extremists below ready to rumble, but not many more than usual, actually, which means that they rarely go above 30% of the population. The vast majority of people still wanted to be left alone to hope that their lot would be slightly better this year, or at least not get worse.

I don't think Mueller, or anybody professionally involved in promoting one side or the other of this argument, is trying to deactivate that live bomb. And he sure seems like he's involved in promoting one side to me. Does he look like an impartial guy only interested in the truth to you?

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
wide and not well defined powers available to him as head of the Criminal Division, as FBI Director, and now as Special Counsel in the broadest possible ways to preserve the Institution's powers to continue operating as it has. If, in his own view, the overriding interest of state, as he views it, requires him to bury evidence and avoid obvious lines of inquiry -- even if the guilty go free and exculpatory evidence is never released -- we've seen that suppression of the evidence and Obstruction of Justice is his operating method.

Under Robert Mueller's investigative and prosecutorial discretion, few truly powerful figures within government, particularly within the Intelligence services, have ever gone to jail despite a long line of criminal conspiracies attached to catastrophic policy failures. The secrets have remained safe, however, and it is the covert operations not the law that are really Mueller's concern. Where they clash, Mueller has always protected the state secrets, which are for him are the state institutional power that must be preserved, at all costs.

It does not seem to bother him too much that over the long run secret government with secret laws to protect secrecy has gravely weakened the United States. By allowing powerful figures to go unpunished that they often offend again, and thus we see so many BCCI-Iran-Contra figures appear again at the center of the multi-agency 9/11 coverup, then engineering the Iraq WMD fraud, and later the MENA regime change fiasco for which no one was ever held publicly accountable.

Now, we see clearly that the CIA and its allied agencies, foreign and domestic, are actually running a Star Chamber that spies on, manipulates and sabotages American elections. That is another secret that Robert Mueller will try to preserve under seal, even if it ultimately destroys the Republic. Unfortunately for Mueller, that cat is out of the bag.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@leveymg

I don't know if the Noriega thing was his first performance, but that was enough to leave a strong impression in my mind.

But I think that, paradoxically, the establishment now thinks that a limited civil war--or at least "unrest" that involves two factions of citizens killing each other--would be good for the establishment's survival. To preserve the establishment, set the ordinary people at each other's throats. That seems to be the thinking.

I don't know whether that's the creepiest thing, or if it's the disquieting fact that the establishment seems to feel quite confident it could control any such conflagration within bounds of its choosing. Hey, maybe they can, what do I know.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
and avoid or delay the ultimate consequences of its misuse in America. Nobody knows better than the CIA the dynamics of political polarization and violence leading to civil war and how that results in the fall of weakened regimes.

These things quickly get out of hand. The example of how easy it was to topple the Shah of Iran, and how difficult it has been once a a social revolution starts to reverse or control, I think should make it unlikely that elites would try anything similar here. The more realistic temptation is simply to weaken civil institutions, such as the Presidency, while reinforcing the more relevant instruments of state control - the NSA, CIA, DHS -- and to effectively take those agencies out of the control of elected officials.

The responses of the population can, as usual, be molded and pacified through Kabuki Theater.

You have an interesting handle and take on this.

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5 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@leveymg

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@leveymg @leveymg

rarely talked about:

By allowing powerful figures to go unpunished that they often offend again, and thus we see so many BCCI-Iran-Contra figures appear again at the center of the multi-agency 9/11 coverup, then engineering the Iraq WMD fraud, and later the MENA regime change fiasco for which no one was ever held publicly accountable.

Goodness, it's almost like he's protecting a group that has a particular political agenda.

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6 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

thank you for this important essay. I hope you're right about the power of political consensus, if what you mean is that removing Trump through impeachment would raise violence in this country to an unacceptable level, unacceptable to the powers, I mean.

But I have to admit I'm not so sure. I mean, the classic pattern in Fascist takeover is exactly the use of overwhelming force to stop violence by angry deplorables. Pence-Bolton? Yikes. I don't know.

I think what's going wrong for Mueller is that the curtains keep falling down in the Kabuki theater. He can't keep the story straight. Oddly enough, there are a few actual good thinkers in the Republican part of Congress who find it necessary to point out the holes in the FBI's behavior, whether because their constituents demand they go after Clinton, or because they have other fish to fry with the the Dems in Congress.

What's most interesting to me is that he hasn't gotten anything out of Deripaska (that blew up in his face,) Carter Page (that blew up in his face,) Papadopoulos (that blew up in his face,) Manafort (that blew up in his face,) or even, and most importantly Michael Flynn. What's come from the first four, essentially, is that they were all U.S. government assets. Surprise surprise. And Flynn is a national security whistleblower. Who knew? I knew. Most people who read about these things knew.

It may be that Mueller can only control the narrative as far as is possible for a half-day's news cycle because everything from Fox news to Consortium News is contradicting him within a few hours, which makes his job much more difficult than it was 10 years ago.

I guess what I'm saying is that the truth has a way of being there and that it is bringing the American people closer together, not farther apart, and that is a hopeful force for positive change.

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@Linda Wood @Linda Wood
harbor for capital, and has been since World War One when Europe wrecked itself and Britain went bankrupt. It would therefore be irrational for controlling elites to destabilize the U.S. political system through any radical change in traditional Institutions or to allow mass dissatisfaction and conflict to reach the point where civil strife and Insurgency in America are possible. Yet, that point is visibly approaching, and there are red flags going up all over the place.

Public confidence has been severely tested during the last forty years with endless rounds of seeming self-sabotage of foreign policy, naked financial system rip-offs, and visibly incompetent if not treacherous leadership. It's obvious that something fundamental has changed in America.

The best explanation, I think, elite splintering. A significant portion of the Uber wealthy now exist offshore, and they are actively dismembering the American Empire. Their assets are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. They believe themselves liberated from any particular nation-state, and as the world's last rogue superpower, the greatest value the U.S. now offers is as salvage.

Otherwise, America is a threat so far as it can't be steered to self-demolish in a series of controlled collapses.

The U.S. is an obsolete battleship with some of its cannons still firing that is being pushed into the breakers yard, where it will be cut up for scrap for export to Asia.

Mueller is Kabuki, part of the spectacle that distracts from the process of dismemberment.

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gulfgal98's picture

You have really hit the nail on the head.

@leveymg

The best explanation, I think, elite splintering. A significant portion of the Uber wealthy now exist offshore, and they are actively dismembering the American Empire. Their assets are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. They believe themselves liberated from any particular nation-state, and as the world's last rogue superpower, the greatest value the U.S. now offers is as salvage.

Sadly, this is exactly what is happening in the US.

the greatest value the U.S. now offers is as salvage

Our entire economic system as it benefited the average American has been outsourced. And the last bastions of middle class jobs (government and education) are now being rapidly privatized.

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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

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

@leveymg

the substantial, vital contributions you've made here, I agree with gulfgal98 that this may be your most outstanding. Thank you for raising all the points you've raised.

But I feel the specter of America as scrap doesn't reassure me that there's some value to the elites in keeping us alive. I think the only value we have is the Federal Reserve, which prints money for them. But they could do that by themselves.

In the current system, the out-of-control defense budget keeps them afloat. But when they are flirting with nuclear annihilation for us, we have to decide whether they're nuts, like John Bolton, or just practical and doing the math of a winnable nuclear war, like George Herbert Walker Bush, or just flirting because that's how they boost the defense budget. But NONE of these outcomes is a good thing for the American people.

Putin made the most sense recently by pointing out that the use of tactical nukes, as the U.S. is toying with, could lead to the annihilation of life on this planet, principally because the Russians couldn't know whether they were low-yield or high-yield as they were being launched. Our leadership is either bat-shit crazy or suicidal.

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1 user has voted.

@Linda Wood
A while back, I read some of Kahn's essays posted at the Hudson Institute. Kahn along with Kissinger is noted as one of the leading theorists of Thermonuclear Game Theory.

My takeaway from both is that it's not the degree of risk that is run in the Cold War, or the types of weapons in the arsenals, the important thing is that both sides clearly understand the other's intention is to continue play and not to end the game. Kissinger said something similar in his advise in negotiation is to always allow an adversary an acceptable alternative to unconditional surrender.

The same basic rule also applies to elite management of financial markets. To continue the game and avoid lockup is the thing, no matter how high the price or steep and hard the crash of share prices. In other words, the elites are playing a game with markets and nukes, and the rest of us are expected to continue paying whatever ticket prices they set. But, there are limits set by the ability of other players to stay in the game. There must always be other players, or the game ends.

If one side or the other were truly to win, the game would end, as would the world. Win-Win or Lose-Lose. There are no other conceivable outcomes.

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Trump Just Said His Friends in the Military, Police, and a Biker Group Might Get “Tough” on Democrats
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/03/trump-tough-people-military-...

By Jeremy Stahl
March 14, 20192:24 PM

Breitbart published an interview with President Donald Trump on Wednesday in which he suggested that his supporters in the military and police would rally to his side in a way that would be “very bad, very bad” if things get “to a certain point.”

Here’s the full quote in context, with the relevant portion highlighted in bold:

“So here’s the thing—it’s so terrible what’s happening,” Trump said when asked by Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle about how the left is fighting hard. “You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this invest[igations]—that’s all they want to do is –you know, they do things that are nasty. Republicans never played this.”

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To apply a celestial metaphor, will the American empire end with an all-consuming explosion as a Supernova, extinguishing life in all nearby star systems leaving behind a hot zone of inhabitability like the center of the Milky Way. Or does America end in exhaustion as just another dim white dwarf, having swollen and then collapsed into itself, like Great Britain? Is it better to burn out or just to fade away, as Neil Young once asked? Is there a political science model to predict such outcomes for empires, and how do people best survive in either case? Do they?

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