Saturday, June 24, 2017

When Will The Drip, Drip, Drip Of Putin-Gate Drive Trump From Office?


Trump is obsessed with Putin-Gate-- and for good reason. He knows what he’s done. He knows it’s just a matter of time before Mueller exposes him. So he tweets away when no one’s around to keep him calm and he screeches and rages at the White House TV sets, even in front of witnesses. Now he’s blaming his chief White House lawyer, Donald McGahn for not containing Putin-Gate before it got so messy and so embarrassingly public. In it’s June 12 poll, PPP reported-- and other polls have corroborated-- that most voters think Trump has obstructed justice and is dishonest and do not trust the congressional Republicans to get to the bottom of Putin-Gate.

The special report that Greg Miller wrote for the Washington Post Friday night probably sent him into another breakdown-- Obama’s Secret Struggle To Punish Russia For Putin’s Election Assault. “Early last August,” wrote Miller, “an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried ‘eyes only’ instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides. Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives-- defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump… The post-election period has been dominated by the overlapping investigations into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia before the election and whether the president sought to obstruct the FBI probe afterward. That spectacle has obscured the magnitude of Moscow’s attempt to hijack a precious and now vulnerable-seeming American democratic process.”
Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.

But at the highest levels of government, among those responsible for managing the crisis, the first moment of true foreboding about Russia’s intentions arrived with that CIA intelligence.

The material was so sensitive that CIA Director John Brennan kept it out of the President’s Daily Brief, concerned that even that restricted report’s distribution was too broad. The CIA package came with instructions that it be returned immediately after it was read. To guard against leaks, subsequent meetings in the Situation Room followed the same protocols as planning sessions for the Osama bin Laden raid.

It took time for other parts of the intelligence community to endorse the CIA’s view. Only in the administration’s final weeks in office did it tell the public, in a declassified report, what officials had learned from Brennan in August-- that Putin was working to elect Trump.

…[I]n late December, Obama approved a modest package combining measures that had been drawn up to punish Russia for other issues-- expulsions of 35 diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds-- with economic sanctions so narrowly targeted that even those who helped design them describe their impact as largely symbolic.

Obama also approved a previously undisclosed covert measure that authorized planting cyber weapons in Russia’s infrastructure, the digital equivalent of bombs that could be detonated if the United States found itself in an escalating exchange with Moscow. The project, which Obama approved in a covert-action finding, was still in its planning stages when Obama left office. It would be up to President Trump to decide whether to use the capability.

In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century, an unprecedented and largely successful destabilizing attack on American democracy. It was a case that took almost no time to solve, traced to the Kremlin through cyber-forensics and intelligence on Putin’s involvement. And yet, because of the divergent ways Obama and Trump have handled the matter, Moscow appears unlikely to face proportionate consequences.

Those closest to Obama defend the administration’s response to Russia’s meddling. They note that by August it was too late to prevent the transfer to WikiLeaks and other groups of the troves of emails that would spill out in the ensuing months. They believe that a series of warnings-- including one that Obama delivered to Putin in September-- prompted Moscow to abandon any plans of further aggression, such as sabotage of U.S. voting systems.

…Beset by allegations of hidden ties between his campaign and Russia, Trump has shown no inclination to revisit the matter and has denied any collusion or obstruction on his part. As a result, the expulsions and modest sanctions announced by Obama on Dec. 29 continue to stand as the United States’ most forceful response.

“The punishment did not fit the crime,” said Michael McFaul, who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia for the Obama administration from 2012 to 2014. “Russia violated our sovereignty, meddling in one of our most sacred acts as a democracy-- electing our president. The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack. And U.S. policymakers now-- both in the White House and Congress-- should consider new actions to deter future Russian interventions.”

The Senate this month passed a bill that would impose additional election-- and Ukraine-related sanctions on Moscow and limit Trump’s ability to lift them. The measure requires House approval, however, and Trump’s signature.

…The FBI had detected suspected Russian attempts to penetrate election systems in 21 states, and at least one senior White House official assumed that Moscow would try all 50, officials said. Some officials believed the attempts were meant to be detected to unnerve the Americans. The patchwork nature of the United States’ 3,000 or so voting jurisdictions would make it hard for Russia to swing the outcome, but Moscow could still sow chaos.

…Obama confronted Putin directly during a meeting of world leaders in Hangzhou, China. Accompanied only by interpreters, Obama told Putin that “we knew what he was doing and [he] better stop or else,” according to a senior aide who subsequently spoke with Obama. Putin responded by demanding proof and accusing the United States of interfering in Russia’s internal affairs.

In a subsequent news conference, Obama alluded to the exchange and issued a veiled threat. “We’re moving into a new era here where a number of countries have significant capacities,” he said. “Frankly, we’ve got more capacity than anybody both offensively and defensively.”

There were at least two other warnings.

Trump immediately tried to undo everything Obama did to sanction Russia. But he got caught and was forced to slow down… a bit. Putin got his primary objective-- the weakest, most easily controlled and most unfit, ineffective and ignorant leader in American history.

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At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it drives the drumpfsterfire from office, it should also drive the democrap party into oblivion.

In 1968, Nixon committed treason by secretly negotiating with the North Vietnamese to torpedo the Paris peace talks between the LBJ admin and the NV (and their Russian sponsors). He managed to stop all talks so that he could run as the antiwar-ish candidate against the hawk HHH. LBJ learned of the treason and did... nothing.

In 1980, Reagan committed treason by negotiating with the Iranians to KEEP American hostages rather than finalize negotiations for their release (reports were that the release was pending) with Carter's admin. The hostages ended up spending an extra few months in captivity so that fucking Reagan could have the hostage crisis as an issue in the election, helping him win. Again, Carter learned of the treason and did... nothing.

So in 2016, after the DNC defrauded Bernie of the nom and awarded it to the predetermined bank whore and virulent Russophobe (who had a hand in the neo-Nazi coup in the Ukraine), obamanation learned of the Russian plot and actions (as they had occurred so far) and did.... nearly nothing.

Yeah, what Russia did was ballsy and shitty and putin deserves to be punished severely.
It's pretty clear that some of the drumpfsterfire's people, some picked by putin precisely for his purposes, colluded with putin to launder money for the election, negotiate easing of sanctions before they were the elected government, and more. The orange imbecile publicly pleaded with putin to hack the dnc and $hillbillary.

Keeping people in captivity to win an election is as despicable as I can imagine.
Keeping a war hot to win an election is even more despicable.
... but of course that's what the Rs are.

But knowing about these things and doing nothing? IMO, even worse.

Maybe obamanation (probably with $hillbillary's buy-in) thought the election was a shoo-in and he didn't NEED to do anything. But that even makes his inaction even worse -- as in cynical.

In each case, the treason should have immediately been exposed to daylight (we still had a press in '68 and even in '80) and the elections should have been postponed until the full effects were known. Nixon and Reagan and their teams should have all died in fed max prison instead of enjoying 16 years between them in power (and 12 more for their acolytes after) to ratfuck 330 million americans and billions around the world. Drumpf should now be making little rocks out of big rocks, as should everyone on his team.

Committing treason is unforgiveable. But what then do you call it when those sworn to uphold the law and constitution willfully and with full malice refuse to do so, especially when they're such slam-dunk cases?

At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as the recent study determined that the general public has almost no influence over the passage of legislation, so too can it be said that public opinion no longer has any influence over the removal of public officials.

Had HER! won, she would be getting impeached, but the real reason is analogous to the troubles Obama had. Obama merited opposition strictly because of the 50% of his DNA that remains unapproved in America. HER! would have been opposed primarily due to her gender, similarly to recently deposed female leaders in Argentina and South Korea (and maybe soon to Theresa May in the UK). I don't claim to be an expert on any of these cases, but it appears to me that this is where the real misogyny exists.

But because Trump poses as a macho while Xtian male, he will be defended from Justice due to being a member of the Old Boys Network. He plays golf with scions of the people who firmly declared "The Public be damned!" []

At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Yes, politicians protect each other no matter what, apparently even regardless of party. Disgusting. Perhaps they do so because they hope that when they do the same, i.e.,commit treason, they will be let off of the hook, too. Their disrespect for the citizens of this country is beyond belief. Why did Obama do nothing to inform the American people of what was going on? It is now clear that he shares responsibility for Trump and the huge mess we are in. Politics above country.

Whistleblowers are key to democracy and should be protected when they reveal critical information to the people. We have a right to know what is going on! We are the ones who pay for it and suffer the consequences for it. Our politicians should not be above the law or the Constitution.

At 5:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd suggest His Hairness (aka "Trump") is hardly the only person/entity obsessed with so-called Putin/Russia-gate.

Amazon recently bought the WaPo and then received a contract from CIA worth twice the amount paid for the newspaper.

So the WaPo, when not trying to monopolize fake news (remember "Propornot" fiasco), must be considered the public mouthpiece of the CIA.

To suggest that the CIA and Robert Mueller are the answer to the country's problems is magical thinking.

John Puma


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