Apr 192019
 
 April 19, 2019  Posted by at 1:18 pm Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Rembrandt van Rijn A woman bathing in a stream 1654

 

A dear friend the other day accused me of defending Trump. I don’t, and never have, but it made me think that if she says it, probably others say and think the same; I’ve written a lot about him. So let me explain once again. Though I think perhaps this has reached a “you’re either with us or against us’ level.

What I noticed, and have written a lot about, during and since the 2016 US presidential campaign, is that the media, both in the US and abroad, started making up accusations against Trump from scratch. This included the collusion with Russia accusation that led to the Mueller probe.

There was never any proof of the accusation, which is why the conclusion of the probe was No Collusion. I started writing this yesterday while awaiting the presentation of the Mueller report, but it wouldn’t have mattered one way or the other: the accusation was clear, and so was the conclusion.

Even if some proof were found though other means going forward, it would still make no difference: US media published over half a million articles on the topic, and not one of them was based on any proof. If that proof had existed, Mueller would have found and used it.

And sure, Trump may not be a straight shooter, there may be all kinds of illegal activity going on in his organization, but that doesn’t justify using the collusion accusation for a 2-year long probe. If Trump is guilty of criminal acts, he should be investigated for that, not for some made-up narrative. It’s dangerous.

 

Axios report[ed] that since May 2017, exactly 533,074 web articles have been published about Russia and Trump-Mueller, which in turn have generated “245 million interactions – including likes, comments and shares – on Twitter and Facebook.” “From January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) through March 21, 2019 (the last night before special counsel Robert Mueller sent his report to the attorney general), the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of ‘collusion’ coverage, most of it (1,909 minutes) following Mueller’s appointment on May 17, 2017,” MRC reports

What the Mueller report says is that 500,000 articles about collusion, and 245 million social media interactions in their wake, were written without any proof whatsoever (or Mueller would have used that proof). That doesn’t mean they may not have been true, or that they can’t be found to be true in the future, it means there was no proof when they were published. They Were All Lying.

The same goes for the Steele dossier. It holds zero proof of collusion between Trump’s team and Russia. Or Mueller would have used that proof. New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, CNN: they all had zero proof when they published, not a thing. Or Mueller would have used that proof. Rachel Maddow’s near nightly collusion rants: no proof. Or Mueller would have used that proof.

That there is no proof also means there has never been any proof. Why that is important, and how important it is, is something we’re very clearly seeing in the case concerning Julian Assange. That, too, is based on made-up stories.

I suggested a few days ago in the Automatic Earth comment section that the advent of the internet, and social media in particular, has greatly facilitated the power of repetition: say something often enough and few people will be able to resist the idea that it must be true. Or at least some of it.

If you look at the amount of time people spend in ‘their’ Facebook, the power of repetition becomes obvious. 245 million social media interactions. On top of half a million articles. How were people supposed to believe, in the face of such a barrage, that there never was any collusion?

Or that Assange is squeaky clean, both in person and in his alleged involvement in the collusion? There is only one way to counter all this: for people like me to keep pointing it out, and to hope that at least a few people pick it up.

That has nothing to do with defending Trump. It has to do with defending my own sanity and that of my readers. Of course it would have been easier, and undoubtedly more profitable, to go with the flow and load on more suspicions, allegations and accusations.

All those media made a mint doing it, and the Automatic Earth might have too. But that is not why we are here.

 

The Democrats, and the media sympathetic to them, now have seamlessly shifted their attention from Collusion to Obstruction. Which leads to a bit of both interesting and humorous logic: No Collusion? No Obstruction.

The Mueller probe would never have happened if it had been clear there was no collusion. But everyone and their pet hamster were saying there was. And there was the Steele dossier, heavily promoted by John McCain and John Brennan. Neither of whom had any proof of collusion.

The obstruction the anti-Trumpers are now aiming their arrows at consists of Trump allegedly wanting to fire Mueller and/or stopping an investigation that should never have been instigated into a collusion that never existed and was based on a smear campaign.

And now they want to impeach him for that? For attempting to stop the country wasting its resources and halt an investigation into nothing at all?

Know what I hope? That they’ll call on Mueller to testify in a joint session of Senate and Congress and that Rand Paul gets to ask him to address this tweet of his:

“Rand Paul: BREAKING: A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report… Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP.”

And why Mueller refused to go talk to Assange, who offered actual evidence that no Russians were involved. Or how about these stonkers:

“Undoubtedly there is collusion,” Adam Schiff said. “We will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues. That is, is the president or people around him compromised? … It doesn’t appear that was any part of Mueller’s report.”


Preet Bharara: “It’s clear that Bob Mueller found substantial evidence of obstruction.”

There’ll never be such a joint session, the Democrats want to play a home game in Congress. So there will have to be a separate session in the Senate. No doubt that will happen. Trump was right about one thing (well, two): 1) A special Counsel fcuks up a presidency, and 2) this should never happen to another president again.

Not that I have any faith in Capitol Hill, mind you. Because they will agree, and they will agree on one thing only, as Philip Giraldi stipulates once more:

Rumors of War – Washington Is Looking for a Fight

[..] even given all of the horrific decisions being made in the White House, there is one organization that is far crazier and possibly even more dangerous. That is the United States Congress, which is, not surprisingly, a legislative body that is viewed positively by only 18 per cent of the American people. A current bill originally entitled the “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019,” is numbered S-1189.


It has been introduced in the Senate which will “…require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.”

And that brings us back to Robert Mueller’s investigation into hot air, which, while it entirely eviscerates even the notion of collusion, still contains accusations against Julian Assange and ‘the Russians’.

Why does he leave those in, when there was no collusion? It’s dead simple. Because unlike accusations against Trump, he doesn’t have to prove them. Which is why I will not stop saying, as I first did some 10 weeks ago, that Robert Mueller Is A Coward And A Liar.

Again, this has nothing to do with defending Trump, it’s about defending and maintaining my own sanity and yours, and the rule of law.

As I said back then about Mueller refusing to talk to Assange, and James Comey in 2017 making sure the DOJ didn’t either :

Every single American should be alarmed by this perversion of justice. Nothing to do with what you think of Trump, or of Assange. The very principles of the system are being perverted, including, but certainly not limited to, its deepest core, that of every individual’s right to defend themselves. Just so Robert Mueller can continue his already failed investigation into collusion that has shown no such thing, and which wouldn’t have been started 20 months ago if we knew then what we know now.

Get off your Trump collusion hobby-horse, that quest has already died regardless, and start defending the legal system and the Constitution. Because if you don’t, what’s to keep the next Robert Mueller from going after you, or someone you like or love? It’s in everyone’s interest to demand that these proceedings – like all legal proceedings- are conducted according to the law, but in Mueller’s hands, they are not.

And that should be a much bigger worry than whether or not you like or dislike a former game-show host.

I’ve said this before as well: I’ll always defend Julian Assange, but I won’t defend Donald Trump. Is that clear now?

 

 

Home Forums They Were All Lying

This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  trickstergod 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #46786

    Rembrandt van Rijn A woman bathing in a stream 1654   A dear friend the other day accused me of defending Trump. I don’t, and never have, but it
    [See the full post at: They Were All Lying]

    #46788

    zerosum
    Participant

    They Were All Lying

    Does truth make our social/economic system function?

    What we believe, what we think, what we say, what we do, should be a positive re-enforcement for our well-being and survival.

    The truth…..

    does not require commandments or rule of laws

    has undisputed cause and effect

    #46789

    That painting 365 years ago must have been beyond scandalous. Rembrandt never cared much about these things.

    #46792

    lessof
    Participant

    I am an ex lifelong Democrat. I voted for Obama, but my grip was slipping on his 2nd term, (after the bank bailouts) and I lost my grip when the USA destabilized Libya. That act to me, was take poor brown peoples resources and create a bunch of refugees and slaves for the crime of attempted self determination. Deflect criticism by appearing to be a formerly oppressed minority president while doing evil. Same thing in the Honduras. I don’t care for Trump’s personality although he had quite valid points when he was running for president, but I have become VERY AFRAID of what the democratic party has become, and I’m not referring to AOC or , Ilhan Omar. We have so many other pressing problems, but the democrats have focused all of their attention on LIES for the past two years. I feel this was an attempted coup with just about everyone in the media and disturbing numbers in the government being complicit. Now Assange has been arrested, not a word from just about any of the media about how wrong this is. We really don’t have an independent media any longer. It’s sad, but I trust YOUTUBE more than CNN or MSNBC. I now wonder, how did some germans feel during the late 30’s, seeing the events unfold like they did with the rise of Hitler. I really worry about the direction this world is going. A few years ago, I forced myself to examine other points of view, not just the neoliberal left. I Feel now that we have one party in this country, and it is some kind of evil abomination.

    #46793

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    There was a soft coup to against Donald Trump from the moment it became possible that he could win the Presidency. It was based solely on the dodgy Steele Dossier and the CrowdStrike report that the DNC was hacked by the Russians. No factual support for these claims has ever been offered even by the Muller Report. It did state that Michael Cohen was never in Prague. The credentialled 10% can’t face the truth that there is an ongoing fight between global and nationalist oligarchs for control of the flow of money or that the underlying economic exploitation and the loss of trust by the 90% is what elected Donald Trump in the first place. The Democrats will huff and puff but the underlying truths won’t be addressed by the Biden/Buttigieg ticket. A Sanders/Gabbard ticket would address these issues but oligarchs of all strains will contest their election. The reelection of Donald Trump will likely ignite the nationalist/globalist conflicts into civil wars across the West. Today feels like the run up to the American Civil War and World War I for good reason.

    #46794

    zerosum
    Participant

    Got to control the oil in Libya. No. In this case its not called interference.

    The White House says President Trump has spoken to Libyan eastern commander General Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are attacking the capital Tripoli.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47992098

    #46795

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Barnum & Bailey got nothin on the galoots in control of the U.S..
    Presidents? Not for many decades. We got Marionettes, not leaders.
    Witting or otherwise; they lead the greatest production in U.S. history.
    That’s not even the worst of it; the bulk of the population is apathetic/confused/fooled; and the few who fancy themselves savvy and involved, still believe they can make a difference.
    They be the bigger fools by far…
    The fall from stratospheric heights can be nothing short of catastrophic.

    And your view of Trump has always been crystal clear to me…

    #46808

    Dr. D
    Participant

    I may look like I’m against Democrats but I’m not. We can’t have a system that has one side only, whichever side that may be, and the system is capable of, but not conducive to, multiple parties. So I beg the Democrats to think smart, get back to supporting ethics and the people, the working man, and get their soul back.

    I don’t think they can win elections until they do, and the nation is not served with half a rudder, listing to and fro.

    Lay off and go back to a system where if you lose, you catch them on the next election, and in the meantime, push policy that serves your constituents. Instead we had yesterday Omar (I think) saying she would love to pass a law or two, someday, if she can find one, but instead the overwhelming evidence means she has no choice but to impeach Trump instead. …I don’t think this will be a winning approach.

    #WalkAway #PleaseComeBack.

    “You all went so f**king far out you lost everybody,” Barr said.”

    #46817

    Tree Frog
    Participant

    VietnamVet – Trump was such an embarrassment to the sophisticated power elite and their courtesans in both style and policy. Both (soft) coup-worthy infractions of normalcy. Well. Trump seems to have been fully socialized into Blob conformance, if only in policy.

    Sanders is the only contender and – like Trump – is embarrassing for reasons of style and policy. With Mayor Pete, the power elite may have found their foil – but I think not.

    Your concern re (global) civil war is, I think, well founded. This really does feel like the last chance.

    This about Pete is long but informative.

    #46819

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    “What I noticed, and have written a lot about, during and since the 2016 US presidential campaign, is that the media, both in the US and abroad, started making up accusations against Trump from scratch.”

    Actually, the media weren’t making up accusations, they were reporting alleged facts regarding contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign and the Trump organization more broadly. Essentially, the media were conducting their own investigation into whether Trump was somehow in bed with Russia, and the Mueller Report actually confirms that what was reported by mainstream news outlets like the NY Times, the Washington Post, the WSJ, NBC News, the AP, etc. was correct. This suggests that the mainstream media, at least, had real sources and weren’t just making things up.

    “This included the collusion with Russia accusation that led to the Mueller probe.”

    The Mueller probe was not prompted by media accusations. It began as a counterintelligence probe prompted by George Papadopoulos boasting to an Australian diplomat that Russia had Clinton’s emails and was going to help Trump win the election. Mueller would never have been appointed but for Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

    “There was never any proof of the accusation, which is why the conclusion of the probe was No Collusion.”

    With the exception of Buzzfeed’s claim that Michael Cohen actually went to Prague, which they never retracted, the Mueller report confirmed all of the contacts between the Trump campaign and foreign actors (not just Russia) reported by the mainstream media, and then disclosed even more.

    The conclusion of the probe was not “no collusion,” which was Bill Barr’s spin, it was that there was insufficient evidence to establish there was an agreement directly between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to coordinate Russia’s disinformation efforts. Mueller did not investigate beyond that very narrow form of “collusion,” e.g., he did not look into Trump’s finances to determine whether he might be beholden to or compromised by Russia in some manner.

    “Even if some proof were found though other means going forward, it would still make no difference: US media published over half a million articles on the topic, and not one of them was based on any proof. If that proof had existed, Mueller would have found and used it.”

    As I said above, the proof existed, and Mueller found it and used it in his report. (I note that you are using the word “proof,” but I think you mean “evidence.”

    “If Trump is guilty of criminal acts, he should be investigated for that, not for some made-up narrative.”

    There’s no need for an investigation if you know a crime has been committed and the person who committed it. The purpose of an investigation is to determine whether a crime has been committed in the first place, and Mueller was only empowered to investigate a very narrow and specific form of conspiracy requiring a high level of proof due to its specificity. While the evidence Mueller lays out in his report is insufficient to prove that particular conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt, it more than suggests that Trump is corrupt and may well be compromised.

    In closing, it has been awhile since I’ve visited this blog, and I am sure I have missed other things you have written about the media’s coverage of Trump’s relationship with Russia, but my impression from this post is that you didn’t read much of the primary reporting (or maybe you did originally and then gave up). I agree that the coverage was often breathless and sometimes over the top (Maddow), but if Trump hadn’t spent so much time and effort trying to cover up his campaign’s contacts with Russia and then lying about it (Trump Tower meeting), the media wouldn’t have been so relentless. They smelled his fear and attacked.

    The bad news for you is that the “collusion” narrative is far from over precisely because Mueller did not investigate or determine whether there was some other basis for cooperation.

    #46820

    Da Booby
    Participant

    “If you look at the amount of time people spend in ‘their’ Facebook, the power of repetition becomes obvious. 245 million social media interactions. On top of half a million articles. How were people supposed to believe, in the face of such a barrage, that there never was any collusion?”

    True. But those who believed did not need a lot of convincing. These articles and these “social media interactions” didn’t so much convince as provide rationalization for what the audience already wanted to believe. And have no illusions, the audience was entertained, which is also why it doesn’t care that the whole thing was a charade.

    That no one in the mainstream media stood up and said, “Hold on! There’s no proof!” is itself proof-positive of their political bias and that of their audience.

    We need only read Neil Postman’s now-classic book Amusing Ourselves to Death. Though it’s about TV, its applicability to the internet world is chilling.

    Booby Books: “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman

    #46822

    Actually, the media weren’t making up accusations, they were reporting alleged facts regarding contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign and the Trump organization more broadly. Essentially, the media were conducting their own investigation into whether Trump was somehow in bed with Russia, and the Mueller Report actually confirms that what was reported by mainstream news outlets like the NY Times, the Washington Post, the WSJ, NBC News, the AP, etc. was correct.

    I can’t believe people would still claim this. Can’t you read?

    #46823

    Da Booby
    Participant

    People are going to believe what pleasures them. News is all entertainment now. See my post above.

    #46840

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    Ilargi,

    It has become clear that I have read far more of the straight journalism than you have, so not only can I read, I actually engage in that activity even when inconvenient..

    The fact that you accept the Glenn Greenwald’s fact-averse assertion that the media’s alleged accusations of Trump-Russia collusion is what started an investigation (an assertion that he made yet again this week) that Mueller only continued months later seems to be a testament to an inability to distinguish between straight journalism and news entertainment (aka op-ed pieces). We first learned from the Nunes Memo (did you read it?) over a year ago that news of Russian hacking of DNC servers led to an Australian diplomat coming forward to inform the U.S. that a Trump campaign official was bragging months prior about help they were receiving (or about to receive) from Russia. This was months before the Steele Dossier was given to the FBI and more months before the Steele Dossier was reported by mainstream media. Would any law enforcement officer nor want to investigate that lead, under the circumstances? And how can you be so ignorant of a fact that was confirmed for at least the third time in the Mueller Report?

    To be fair, you are not the only person who seems unable to distinguish between straight reporting, on the one hand, and opinion pieces, on the other, in part because the cable news networks more and more rely on “panels” that opine on the straight news. Bad on them.

    But for you, a person who is pushing a theory that was debunked over a year ago, to claim that I can’t read is extremely rich for two reasons. First, it seems clear that you don’t read the straight news for yourself, that you instead rely on opinion-based filters of it. If that were not the case (as it is for Glenn), you would realize the Mueller report validates that the “fake news” was nearly 100% right on the straight news facts it reported. Second, being able to read is less important than comprehending what you read, and Glenn’s fact-free (“lying”) assertions that the “Deep State” was behind the Mueller investigation should have alerted you to the fact that you needed to dig further. But you clearly didn’t. Glenn lives in Brazil. He is no longer a journalist but an op-ed guy. He has no contacts and no ability to develop the kind of evidence-based factual bases journalists must develop to get a story published because of liability concerns.

    All that said, I am willing to reconsider my position if you publish a detailed list of documented “lies”(with URLs) told by straight journalists from mainstream outlets like the NY Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, the WSJ, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, AP, Reuters, McClatchy, the New Yorker and The Atlantic. Remember, there is a huge difference between journalism (which attempts to publish facts) and opinion (kind of like this blog, but usually worse).

    I will give you a month for this task because I want you to do your homework and make sure you think you have an airtight case. That’s because I have no desire to insult or embarrass you, only to make you reconsider what you think you know. If you manage to turn the tables on me, so be it. I am not invested in what I think I know, only what the facts, fairly considered, show. And Greenwald is not a reliable guide as to that.

    Best regards.

    #46890

    trickstergod
    Participant

    Your “premise” would hold water except for one tiny fact: there is no such thing anymore as straight news. The NYT stated so shortly after Trump was inaugurated. Ilargi is correct – They Were All Lying.

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