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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Precisely.
    And that's why he wasn't running a risk of war by interfering in the 2016 Election.

    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    And neither did we. We were especially concerned as whom the coup plotters were and were they our friends or enemies. We monitored the Chechen Wars to the point where we had estimated civilian casualties of that war that Moscow to this date did not publish. We also knew who sided with Putin and who didn't. So, we did not drop the ball on this one. At this time, however, we knew far more of them than they did of us, mainly because they were too busy staying low, getting out of dodge, staying alive, or getting killed.
    Actually we did. Once the Soviet Union fell, Moscow became an instant backwater posting for CIA agents and Langley's Russia House was relegated to an Old Folks Home manned by supposed "fuddy-duddy Cold Warriors". Even as recently as the Obama-Romney presidential debate, Obama scoffed at Russia as being America's Number One Geopolitical Foe.

    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    That's not the point. The Russians used our Consitutional Rights against us - Free Speech. That is nothing illegal about publishing your thoughts or lying in public. Putin could have gone much further - openly buying votes for example but he had the sense to know where the line was and he would not/did not cross it - especially when all the intel he had said Clinton was going to win. He was as much surprised that Trump won as anyone. Therefore, he had the sense NOT to push his luck, especially when his intel told him anymore effort would be detrimental.
    Sir, Putin put exactly as much effort into interfering with the election process of the United States as he needed to in order to destabilize and sow doubt in that process. Such black propaganda efforts are age-old KGB tactics and goals.

    With Trump taking office, he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    You may not remember Pristina Airport but Putin and I do. Putin used the same legal justifications we did for Georgia and Chechnya. He also remembered an American General, in an unnecessary war started by an American President, was ready to punch through Russian lines to stop Russian Peacekeepers from landing at Pristina. The only thing that stopped it was a British General refusing to order Canadian troops to push through Russian lines. That President also happened to be named Clinton. WWIII is not out a bridge too far.
    Sir I remember Pristina Airport quite well. And nowhere in the historiography have I read how Bill Clinton was the one stabbing his finger on a map of the airport yelling "I don't give a damn how many Russians are there, punch a whole through their lines and take that damn airport!". All fingers instead point to overreach by a particularly asinine and insistent SACEUR, who was subsequently and justifiably sacked as a result of his idiocy.

    I'm sorry Sir, but your assessment of Hilary Clinton initiating a nuclear war against Russia for interfering in the U.S. election simply is not credible.

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    Plausible Deniability. Putin had it.
    Precisely.

    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    And despite all that, the Russian intelligence agencies never stopped their espionage activities on American soil.
    And neither did we. We were especially concerned as whom the coup plotters were and were they our friends or enemies. We monitored the Chechen Wars to the point where we had estimated civilian casualties of that war that Moscow to this date did not publish. We also knew who sided with Putin and who didn't. So, we did not drop the ball on this one. At this time, however, we knew far more of them than they did of us, mainly because they were too busy staying low, getting out of dodge, staying alive, or getting killed.

    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    I don't agree that Russian meddling in US elections would lead to a nuclear war. That's simply a bridge too far.
    That's not the point. The Russians used our Consitutional Rights against us - Free Speech. That is nothing illegal about publishing your thoughts or lying in public. Putin could have gone much further - openly buying votes for example but he had the sense to know where the line was and he would not/did not cross it - especially when all the intel he had said Clinton was going to win. He was as much surprised that Trump won as anyone. Therefore, he had the sense NOT to push his luck, especially when his intel told him anymore effort would be detrimental.

    You may not remember Pristina Airport but Putin and I do. Putin used the same legal justifications we did for Georgia and Chechnya. He also remembered an American General, in an unnecessary war started by an American President, was ready to punch through Russian lines to stop Russian Peacekeepers from landing at Pristina. The only thing that stopped it was a British General refusing to order Canadian troops to push through Russian lines. That President also happened to be named Clinton. WWIII is not out a bridge too far.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 17 Jul 21,, 22:38.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by zraver View Post

    Honest question, we have cash payments from the wife of the mayor of Moscow to Hunter Biden, pics of Joe meeting with other foreign "business" partners of Hunters, the request made to the Swedish House to make a key for Joe so he could meet privately with Hunter's Chinese "business" partners, Hunter's emails saying his dad was in on the take, the unreported income from Hunter shelling out cash to fix up Biden's home, the sudden inexplicable US reversal on Nordstream II, the virtual abandonement of Afghan interpreters including the deportation of at least one already here, kids in cages on the border, Mayorkas signaling Hispanics on the border are welcome, but Cubans fleeing a communist regime are not, the Biden Administration working with social media companies to control the discussion about covid on the internet, Hunters blow straw nose art, at a minimum hundreds of voters were double counted ballots in Fulton County GA, inflation is out of control, young families can't afford homes or find cars to buy..... the list goes on and on and you are still stuck on Trump? Biden is Potus..... He has been for several months, and his entire admin is shady and is a train wreck in fast forward speed..
    Honest answer: Until you can provide independently fact-checked sources every last thing that you said, I'm going regard that list as non-credible.

    And considering the last time you gave a list like that, it was just the usual "Here's Trump's Accomplishments" copy-and-paste nonsense and exaggerations that I've seen dozens of times from Trump's followers, I'm pretty sure that the above laundry list is equally non-credible. For starters, the very first item on that list is almost certainly bullshit, but you're parroting Trump's accusations and presenting them as fact.

    Furthermore, Trump has not gone away, the former Republican Party is still firmly in his grip and he has never been held accountable for the crimes he committed while in office, starting with his inciting of the January 6th insurrection that you care so little about. So yeah, I'm still "stuck on Trump".

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Of course, it was an exergeration. What the article described was an Act of War, ie Regieme Change, and from the intel available at the time, ie Clinton was going to win. Putin was NOT going to hand Clinton another dagger at his throat.
    Plausible Deniability. Putin had it.
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Yes they did. You forget Moscow went through 2 coiup attempts (1 successful - Yeltsin). Collapse of Soviet support Afghanistan. Two Chechen Wars (three if you count Beslan and Moscow Theatre) and that's just the internal stuff. Then, there was North Korea, China (Tianamen). For a very, very, very long time, Russian spooks were far, far too busy with themselves.
    And despite all that, the Russian intelligence agencies never stopped their espionage activities on American soil.

    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Oh, let's not forget before Putin came to power, it was basically a Mafia War in Russia. Spook lives literrally depended on whose side they chosed and not all chosed Putin. So, that statement is factually incorrect.

    Neither was he going to hand an Act of War into Clinton's hands. Troll farms and Social Media flooding is reliant on a fundamental Constitutional Right that we will all kill for - free speech and Putin exploited that. There was a line he would not cross that would result in real war (as in nukes flying) between him and Clinton.
    I don't agree that Russian meddling in US elections would lead to a nuclear war. That's simply a bridge too far.










    Leave a comment:


  • astralis
    replied
    As far as I'm aware, Hillary Clinton claims to this day that Trump stole the election and that she was the rightful President.
    which is, of course, why she called Trump to concede within 15 minutes of the race being called by AP, and then gave a concession speech the morning after the election calling Trump the President, offering her assistance, and telling her supporters that they owed Trump "an open mind and the chance to lead."

    Leave a comment:


  • Parihaka
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    BTW, the Steele Dossier (remember that?), has been debunked.
    How could I forget. The biggest piece of Russian disinformation of the whole 2016.


    Donald Trump’s journey into and out of the Oval Office was shaped by xenophobia, conspiracy theories—and xenophobic conspiracy theories. Trump launched his political career by spreading the “birther” lie about President Obama, and then became Obama’s improbable successor with an anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim presidential campaign. Upon losing the White House four years later, Trump, true to form, blamed his ouster on a vast election fraud conspiracy aided—according to flunkies Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell—by “communist money,” “Venezuelan” voting machines, as well as Chinese and Iranian hackers. The right-wing mob that attacked the Capitol to thwart the certification of Joe Biden’s victory last week was the apotheosis of Trump’s unhinged bigotry.

    Trump’s deranged coda was fitting for another reason: During his time in office, Democratic Party operatives and their allies in the media challenged the legitimacy of Trump’s 2016 victory with a xenophobic conspiracy theory of their own. Russia, it was claimed, not only installed Trump in the White House, but did so as part of an elaborate plot with his campaign. While Russiagate did not incite the hatred, violence, and harm of Trump’s MAGA and “Stop the Steal” movement, it was not without its own dangerous consequences.
    A “WELL-DEVELOPED CONSPIRACY OF COOPERATION”


    The first Manchurian Candidate rumblings about Trump surfaced in the summer of 2016. But the pivotal incident, which morphed into all-consuming Russia mania, came exactly four years ago this month, just days before Trump’s inauguration. On January 10, 2017, BuzzFeed News published the “Steele dossier,” the collection of DNC-funded reports alleging a high-level conspiracy between Trump and Moscow. The catalyst had come four days earlier, when then–FBI Director Jim Comey personally briefed Trump on the dossier’s existence. Their meeting was then promptly leaked to the media, giving BuzzFeed the news hook to publish the Steele material in full.
    op ArticlesREAD MOREDIRECT ACTION


    Despite its outlandish assertions and partisan provenance, Steele’s work product somehow became a road map for Democratic leaders, media outlets, and, most egregiously, intelligence officials carrying out the Russia investigation.

    According to Steele, Trump and the Kremlin engaged in a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation.” Russia had, Steele alleged, been “cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years,” dating back to the time when Trump was merely the host of The Apprentice. Russia, Steele claimed, handed Trump “a regular flow of intelligence,” including on “political rivals.” The conspiracy supposedly escalated during the 2016 campaign, when then–Trump lawyer Michael Cohen slipped into Prague for “secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers.”

    This purported plot was not just based on mutual nefarious interests but, worse, outright coercion. To keep their asset in line, Steele alleged, the Russians had videotaped Trump hiring and watching prostitutes “perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show,” in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room. This “kompromat” meant that the leader of the free world was not only a traitor but also a blackmail victim of his Kremlin handlers.

    If the Steele dossier’s far-fetched claims were not enough reason to dismiss it with ridicule, another obvious marker should have set off alarms. Reading the Steele dossier chronologically, a glaring pattern emerges: Steele has no advance knowledge of anything that later proved to be true, and, just as tellingly, many of his most explosive claims appear only after some approximate predication has come out in public form.

    Despite his supposed high-level sources inside the Kremlin, it was only after Wikileaks published the DNC e-mails in July 2016 that Steele first mentioned them. When Steele made the headline-consuming claim that “the TRUMP team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue” in exchange for Russian help, he did so only after a meaningless Ukraine-related platform change at the RNC was reported (and mischaracterized) in The Washington Post. When Steele claimed that former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was offered up to a 19 percent stake in the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft if he could get Trump to lift Western sanctions, it was only after the media had reported Page’s visit to Moscow.

    In short, far from having access to high-level intelligence, Steele and his “sources” only had access to news outlets and their own imaginations. It is for this reason that Russiagate’s key figures and incidents make no appearance in Steele’s dossier. Absent are George Papadapolous and Joseph Mifsud, whose conversations triggered the FBI’s collusion probe. Also MIA is the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian nationals about potential “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. The reason is obvious: These events did not get publicly reported until after Steele wrote his final, secret “intelligence report.”

    All of this was lost on the many credulous media outlets who served as de facto stenographers for Steele, his clients, and a series of unknown intelligence officials who, behind the safe mask of anonymity, assured the public of his credibility.

    David Corn, the veteran Mother Jones reporter who broke the Steele story in October 2016, approvingly cited an official’s assurance that Steele “has been a credible source with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive, and important information to the US government.” In addition to making the dossier publicly known, Corn, it later emerged, even personally provided the FBI with a copy.

    “Former C.I.A. officials described [Steele] as an expert on Russia who is well respected in the spy world,” The New York Times wrote on the day of the dossier’s release in January 2017. Steele, the Times added, is “considered a competent and reliable operative with extensive experience in Russia.” Steele, an NBC News headline declared, “Is a Real-Life James Bond.”

    As they vouched for Steele’s tradecraft, anonymous officials also fed media contacts a false picture that Steele’s dossier had been factually checked out. “US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier,” a CNN headline proclaimed in February 2017, weeks after the dossier’s publication. The FBI is “continuing to chase down stuff from the dossier, and, at its core, a lot of it is bearing out,” an unidentified “intelligence official” told The New Yorker later that month.

    MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was an early and particularly fervent believer in Steele’s sleuthing powers. Days before Trump’s inauguration, Maddow speculated that Putin might use the pee tape to blackmail Trump into withdrawing US forces near Russia’s border. Weeks later, after no such withdrawal materialized, and no underlying Trump-Russia conspiracy had been unearthed, Maddow assured her audience that “all the supporting details” in Steele’s reports “are checking out, even the really outrageous ones. A lot of them are starting to bear out under scrutiny. It seems like a new one each passing day.”

    Guardian reporter Luke Harding, who served as Steele’s unofficial media spokesperson, repackaged the former spy’s assertions for his best-selling book, Collusion. “One associate described him as sober, cautious, highly regarded, professional and conservative,” Harding wrote. “‘He’s not the sort of person who will pass on gossip. If he puts something in a report, he believes there is sufficient credibility in it.’”

    Even the revelation, in October 2017, that Steele’s “intelligence” had been paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign did nothing to stop the media adulation.

    In a glowing March 2018 profile of “the ex-spy [who] tried to warn the world about Trump’s ties to Russia,” Jane Mayer of The New Yorker assured readers that “a number of Steele’s major claims have been backed up by subsequent disclosures.”

    The media’s faith in Steele became so profound that even his most outlandish assertion was not just indulged but actively embraced. During the April 2018 rollout for the first of his two Trump-era books, former FBI director Jim Comey told ABC News that it’s “possible” that the pee tape exists. Comey’s innuendo was enough for New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait to declare himself a “Peeliever.” Urging his readers to join the club, Chait wrote, “I used to doubt that this episode really happened. I now believe it probably did.” Comey, New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg declared, “has started a long overdue national conversation about whether the pee tape is real.”

    This overdue national conversation received its warmest reception in news media boardrooms, where editors devoted precious journalistic resources to the Pee-Tape Pied Piper. Shortly before setting off the Steele saga with its publication of his dossier, BuzzFeed sent a reporter to Prague in a bid to verify it. After it faced a defamation lawsuit from Russians named in the document, BuzzFeed reportedly paid a private firm $4.1 million to verify portions of its contents.

    Racing to find a window in which the pee tape could have occurred, Bloomberg News pored over flight logs, while The Daily Beast scrutinized Trump’s time in Moscow. Their efforts, if not dispositive, were apparently persuasive. “Trump’s Pee-Tape Alibi Is Falling Apart,” Vanity Fair proclaimed. “It is another piece of evidence for the Peelievers,” an increasingly confident Jonathan Chait declared.


    According to Greg Miller of The Washington Post, colleagues at the newspaper “literally spent weeks and months trying to run down” material in the dossier, including Cohen’s alleged visit to Prague to pay off Russian hackers. “We sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty.”

    Other reporters claimed to have more success. In April 2018, McClatchy reported that Mueller’s team “has evidence” that Cohen visited Prague in 2016, just as Steele alleged. In December of the same year, McClatchy doubled down by reporting that Cohen’s cell phone sent signals that connected with phone towers in Prague. Cohen ultimately denied the claim under oath, and the Mueller report concurred by noting that Cohen “never traveled to Prague.” More than two years later, McClatchy has since added a tepid editor’s note, rather than a retraction.

    In conjunction with the near-uniform journalistic credulity, top Democrats and former intelligence officials used their positions of authority and media stardom to burnish Steele’s public image. Representative Adam Schiff went so far as to read some of Steele’s claims into the Congressional Record. Schiff and his colleagues also invoked a standard of evidence that would not survive a court hearing but was widely embraced in the prolonged media campaign to promote Steele’s claim. Capturing prevailing Steele dossier epistemology, former director of the CIA John Brennan told Meet the Press, “Just because they were unverified does not mean they were not true.”

    “Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted,” Senator Dianne Feinstein likewise declared. Democratic Senator Mark Warner was more circumspect, explaining that none of the dossier’s allegations has been “proven nor, conversely, disproven.” Speaking to Maddow in May 2018, James Clapper shared his view “that more of it has been corroborated with ensuing developments and what we’ve learned.” Asked by Maddow if there is “anything in the dossier that has been disproven,” Clapper answered confidently—despite being out of office for more than a year, “No.”


    While the media and political promotion of the Steele dossier was contemptible, its embrace by the FBI is an even bigger scandal. Rather than dismiss Steele’s work as a political hit job, the FBI used it as source material.

    The FBI’s interest in Steele’s dossier was extensive. The bureau maintained a lengthy spreadsheet to document its efforts to corroborate Steele’s fanciful claims. And when agents first sought the now-infamous surveillance warrant on Carter Page in October 2016, they took their cues right from Steele’s pages.

    The FBI told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that it “believes that [Russia’s] efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” the Trump campaign. Its source for this absurd “belief” was Steele, whom it described as “Source #1” and “credible.” In an act of circular reporting, the FBI also cited a Yahoo News article by journalist Michael Isikoff—who had also relied on Steele as a source. Although the FBI disclosed to the court that Steele was being paid to do opposition research, it did not disclose that Trump’s Democratic political opponents were footing the bill.

    Remarkably, the FBI did not just rely on Steele’s information, but even shared its own information with him. At an October 2016 meeting in Rome, FBI officials disclosed to Steele highly sensitive and even classified material. A damning Justice Department investigation, overseen by Inspector General Michael Horowitz and released in December 2019, found that FBI agents gave Steele a “general overview” of Crossfire Hurricane, including its specific—and, at the time, secret—probes of Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Michael Flynn. The Washington Post reported in February 2018 that Steele “would later tell associates” that he gleaned from the meeting that that the FBI “was particularly interested in” George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign adviser who served as the predicate for the entire investigation. The Post noted that “Papadopoulos had not surfaced in Steele’s research”—unsurprisingly, because media outlets like the Post hadn’t written stories about him when Steele’s “research” was being invented.

    According to the Horowitz report, the FBI was so eager to enlist Steele that it offered to pay him $15,000 “just for attending the October meeting” in Rome. It also pledged a “significantly” greater amount if he could collect information for the investigation.

    This arrangement was canceled just a month later, after the FBI discovered that Steele was still speaking to the media. But that did not end the FBI’s reliance on him. The FBI continued to collect information from Steele via an intermediary, former DOJ official Bruce Ohr. Worse, it continued to cite the Steele dossier in subsequent applications to renew the surveillance of Carter Page, never informing the FISC about Steele’s conflicts of interest.

    Even worse, the FBI continued to cite Steele even after establishing that his claims were baseless. According to the Horowitz report, Steele’s so-called “Primary Sub-source,” Igor Danchenko, personally informed the FBI in January 2017 that “corroboration” for the Steele dossier’s claims was “zero.”

    When Danchenko’s identity was revealed this July, it was clear why he rated his own information so poorly. Rather than being inside Russia with access to Kremlin sources, Danchenko was in fact a DC-based Russian expat with better access to Capitol Hill. Danchenko had formerly worked at the Brookings Institution, a prominent Beltway think tank. According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, one of Danchenko’s key sources turned out to be another Russian expat, public-relations executive Olga Galkina. Based in Cyprus, Galkina was credited with coming up with the claim about Cohen in Prague. A dispute with her employer, a web services company, apparently inspired Steele’s claim that one of its properties, Webzilla, was implicated in the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC.

    Even after learning all of this, the FBI went back to the FISC and obtained two more renewals of Foreign Intelligence Investigation Act authorizations to spy on Page. In its submissions, the FBI mentioned that it had spoken to Danchenko but left out the inconvenient discovery that his corroboration was “zero.”

    The April 2019 release of the Mueller report, which found no Trump-Russia conspiracy, dealt a major blow to Steele’s credibility. It also put an end to the breathless media promotion of his fanciful claims. The release of the Horowitz report in December 2019 was even more damaging. The revelation that the FBI misled the FISC about Steele’s claims has triggered high-level calls for reform and a $75 million lawsuit from Carter Page. The Justice Department has also invalidated the final two Page warrants, citing “material misstatements” by the FBI.

    While the Steele affair has triggered at least some government-level contrition and nominal reforms, the same cannot be said about the prominent media and political figures who promoted his ludicrous claims with equal credulity. A small number of corporate media voices, notably Erik Wemple of The Washington Post, have criticized the journalists who served as Steele’s stenographers. But Wemple’s columns are one of the few signs of accountability emanating from the media outlets who misled audiences into believing in the fictitious Trump-Russia plot.


    If there is no honest self-reflection to be had from the elite figures who spread Steele’s inventions, perhaps there can still be some lessons drawn for those subjected to the farce. For many liberals, Russiagate offered a comforting explanation for Trump’s improbable, painful victory. If Steele’s spy thriller could be proven true, then the Trumpian nightmare would surely come to an end. This was not only a welcome belief for anyone opposed to Trump but almost a requirement: Day after day, anti-Trump audiences were flooded with constant innuendo about Trump’s treasonous behavior and the false hope that Mueller was a step closer to proving it. To question Steele’s claims and other tenets of Russiagate orthodoxy was, for a long period, an act of heresy to the “Resistance.”

    Much like a riveting novel or television show, the Steele story also gave many liberals relief from the daily pain of having such a buffoonish, hateful figure in the Oval Office. But even with Trump now nearly gone, the conditions that gave rise to him, and the dangerous tendencies he represented, remain very present. As do the corporate apologists within the Democratic Party that created an opening for his rise. To ultimately defeat Trumpism, at least some of those who embraced him as a rebuff to the “swamp” will have to be reached.

    One place to begin might be by recognizing in ourselves similar qualities to those we’ve deplored in our political opponents. As dismaying as it has been to see MAGA supporters latch on to Trump’s election fraud lies, even to the point of violently attacking the Capitol, perhaps we can develop some insight into their mindset when we consider our own malleability. Trump voters heard liberals incessantly claim that Russia had duped the country into electing their candidate—a Kremlin asset compromised by a salacious videotape, financial leverage, and other unknown kompromat. Even in response to the Trump-fueled assault on Congress, a number of liberal voices, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, immediately brought it back to Putin.

    Steele himself personally believed that the aim of his work was to help undo the election. Fusion GPS, Steele told a London court in August 2018, was hired “to obtain information necessary” on “the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.” Based on this, Steele explained, the Clinton campaign “could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”

    Ultimately, Steele’s absurdities, and the overall Russiagate campaign that it fueled, did nothing to undermine Trump. If anything, Trump was handed the enduring gift of a conspiracy-crazed opposition—and, on the core collusion allegation that Steele fueled, his own ultimate exoneration. Just as dangerously, the widespread belief that Trump was a Russian puppet had major geopolitical implications: it helped stigmatize diplomacy with the world’s other top nuclear power, and incentivized liberal adherents to ignore the multiple, hawkish real-world Trump policies that escalated tensions with it. Far more Americans heard of Trump’s fictitious conspiracy with the Kremlin than they did, for example, of him undermining two crucial nuclear weapons treaties, the INF and New START, over Russian objections.

    When we now see MAGA followers consumed by their own election conspiracy theories, it behooves us to remember that, while there is no equivalence to the “Stop the Steal” mob violence, many liberals were misled in their own way for Trump’s entire four years. Beyond our mutual proclivity for embracing comforting delusions, we might acknowledge that we share something else with Trump supporters: party elites, Democrats and Republicans alike, who have turned to deranged, xenophobic fantasies rather than taking responsibility for their own election failures. For both party leaderships and their allied media outlets, Russiagate and its “stop the steal” successor have been highly profitable. On top of the immediate financial rewards and ratings boost, both “scandals” offer an even deeper institutional payoff: They distract the public from systemic dysfunctions in favor of fantastical conspiracy theories.
    If the Steele dossier has any lasting role in defeating what Trump represents, it would be to trigger some honest reflection about whose interests it served. And whose it hurt.

    As far as I'm aware, Hillary Clinton claims to this day that Trump stole the election and that she was the rightful President.

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Serious questions about the authenticity, especially since Western intel supposed to have these documents for months and would not authenticate them especially since they've already concluded Putin authorized a Romainian hacker group.

    New Russiagate Docs: Bombshell or Hoax? - Craig Unger - Spytalk

    BTW, the Steele Dossier (remember that?), has been debunked. I'm getting that feel here. It's too soap opera/sensational. We don't use words like "all possible force" in a non-time sensitive operation.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 17 Jul 21,, 07:59.

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  • zraver
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    The problem is that we've got two sides here: One side says that Donald Trump, his company, his family and his campaign did absolutely nothing improper vis--vis the Russians and the other side says that Trump was a full blown Manchurian Candidate puppet of Putin. Both are incorrect. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Trump obviously doesn't hold rank in the SVR, but his entire organization is up to its neck with the Russians.
    Honest question, we have cash payments from the wife of the mayor of Moscow to Hunter Biden, pics of Joe meeting with other foreign "business" partners of Hunters, the request made to the Swedish House to make a key for Joe so he could meet privately with Hunter's Chinese "business" partners, Hunter's emails saying his dad was in on the take, the unreported income from Hunter shelling out cash to fix up Biden's home, the sudden inexplicable US reversal on Nordstream II, the virtual abandonement of Afghan interpreters including the deportation of at least one already here, kids in cages on the border, Mayorkas signaling Hispanics on the border are welcome, but Cubans fleeing a communist regime are not, the Biden Administration working with social media companies to control the discussion about covid on the internet, Hunters blow straw nose art, at a minimum hundreds of voters were double counted ballots in Fulton County GA, inflation is out of control, young families can't afford homes or find cars to buy..... the list goes on and on and you are still stuck on Trump? Biden is Potus..... He has been for several months, and his entire admin is shady and is a train wreck in fast forward speed..

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Am I the only one who find it strange that the documents were printed with a dot matrix printer?

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    Sir, my post was basically saying what Astralis' post was saying, i.e. this was no exaggeration.
    Of course, it was an exergeration. What the article described was an Act of War, ie Regieme Change, and from the intel available at the time, ie Clinton was going to win. Putin was NOT going to hand Clinton another dagger at his throat.


    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    And that's not what his post was saying.
    By this point Trump was the frontrunner in the Republican party’s nomination race. A report prepared by Putin’s expert department recommended Moscow use “all possible force” to ensure a Trump victory.
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    I would say that it was quite important. The United States has always been the Main Enemy. The KGB/FSB/SVR never took their eye off the ball, unlike the West and the last dozen or so years the United States has absolutely enraged Putin.
    Yes they did. You forget Moscow went through 2 coiup attempts (1 successful - Yeltsin). Collapse of Soviet support Afghanistan. Two Chechen Wars (three if you count Beslan and Moscow Theatre) and that's just the internal stuff. Then, there was North Korea, China (Tianamen). For a very, very, very long time, Russian spooks were far, far too busy with themselves.

    Oh, let's not forget before Putin came to power, it was basically a Mafia War in Russia. Spook lives literrally depended on whose side they chosed and not all chosed Putin. So, that statement is factually incorrect.

    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    No, not "drop everything and subvert the U.S." important, but there was clearly a major Kremlin effort to the destabilize the United States and its democratic processes, Donald Trump was clearly a major tool (to say the least) in that effort and there was no way that a spymaster like Putin, with motive and a golden opportunity, was going to pass this by.
    Neither was he going to hand an Act of War into Clinton's hands. Troll farms and Social Media flooding is reliant on a fundamental Constitutional Right that we will all kill for - free speech and Putin exploited that. There was a line he would not cross that would result in real war (as in nukes flying) between him and Clinton.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    AP: Few AZ voter fraud cases, discrediting Trump’s claims

    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona county election officials have identified fewer than 200 cases of potential voter fraud out of more than 3 million ballots cast in last year’s presidential election, further discrediting former President Donald Trump’s claims of a stolen election as his allies continue a disputed ballot review in the state’s most populous county.

    An Associated Press investigation found 182 cases where problems were clear enough that officials referred them to investigators for further review. So far, only four cases have led to charges, including those identified in a separate state investigation. No one has been convicted. No person’s vote was counted twice.

    While it’s possible more cases could emerge, the numbers illustrate the implausibility of Trump’s claims that fraud and irregularities in Arizona cost him the state’s electorate votes. In final, certified and audited results, Biden won 10,400 more votes than Trump out of 3.4 million cast.

    AP’s findings align with previous studies showing voter fraud is rare. Numerous safeguards are built into the system to not only prevent fraud from happening but to detect it when it does.

    “The fact of the matter is that election officials across the state are highly invested in helping to ensure the integrity of our elections and the public’s confidence in them,” said Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat. “And part of that entails taking potential voter fraud seriously.”

    Arizona’s potential cases also illustrate another reality: Voter fraud is often bipartisan. Of the four Arizona cases that have resulted in criminal charges, two involved Democratic voters and two involved Republicans.

    AP’s review supports statements made by many state and local elections officials — and even some Republican county officials and GOP Gov. Doug Ducey — that Arizona’s presidential election was secure and its results valid.

    And still, Arizona’s GOP-led state Senate has for months been conducting what it describes as a “forensic audit” of results in Phoenix’s Maricopa County. The effort has been discredited by election experts and faced bipartisan criticism, but some Republicans, including Trump, have suggested it will uncover evidence of widespread fraud.

    “This is not a massive issue,” said Adrian Fontes, a Democrat who oversaw the Maricopa County election office during the 2020 election and lost his re-election bid. “It is a lie that has developed over time. It’s been fed by conspiracy theorists.”

    The AP tallied the potential cases after submitting public record requests to all Arizona counties. Most counties — 11 out of 15 — reported they had forwarded no potential cases to local prosecutors. The majority of cases identified so far involve people casting a ballot for a relative who had died or people who tried to cast two ballots.

    In addition to the AP’s review of county election offices, an Election Integrity Unit of the state attorney general’s office that was created in 2019 to ferret out fraud has been reviewing potential cases of fraud.

    A spokesman for Attorney General Mark Brnovich told the AP in April that the unit had 21 active investigations, although he did not specify if all were from last fall.

    A month later, the office indicted a woman for casting a ballot on behalf of her dead mother in November. A spokeswoman declined to provide updated information this week.

    Maricopa County, which is subject to the disputed ballot review ordered by state Senate Republicans, has identified just one case of potential fraud out of 2.1 million ballots cast. That was a voter who might have cast a ballot in another state. The case was sent to the county attorney’s office, which forwarded it to the state attorney general.

    Virtually all the cases identified by county election officials are in Pima County, home to Tucson, and involved voters who attempted to cast two ballots.

    The Pima County Recorder’s Office has a practice of referring all cases with even a hint of potential fraud to prosecutors for review, something the state’s 14 other county recorders do not do. Pima County officials forwarded 151 cases to prosecutors. They did not refer 25 others from voters over age 70 because there was a greater chance those errors — typically attempts to vote twice — were the result of memory lapses or confusion, not criminal intent, an election official said.

    None of the 176 duplicate ballots was counted twice. A spokesman for the Pima County Attorney’s Office, Joe Watson, said that the 151 cases it received were still being reviewed and that no charges had been filed.

    Pima County’s tally of referrals to prosecutors after last year’s election was in line with those in 2016 and 2018. Prosecutors filed no voter fraud cases after the 2016 election and just one after the 2018 election, and that case was later dismissed, Watson said Friday.

    But there were some new patterns this year, said deputy recorder Pamela Franklin. An unusually high number of people appeared to have intentionally voted twice, often by voting early in person and then again by mail. In Arizona, where nearly 80% of voters cast ballots by mail, it’s not unusual for someone to forget they returned their mail-in ballot and then later ask for a replacement or try to vote in person, she said. But this pattern was new.

    Franklin noted several factors at play, including worries about U.S. Postal Service delays. In addition, Trump at one point encouraged voters who cast their ballots early by mail to show up at their polling places on Election Day and vote again if poll workers couldn’t confirm their mail ballots had been received.

    The results in Arizona are similar to early findings in other battleground states. Local election officials in Wisconsin identified just 27 potential cases of voter fraud out of 3.3 million ballots cast last November, according to records obtained by the AP under the state’s open records law. Potential voter fraud cases in other states where Trump and his allies mounted challenges have so far amounted to just a tiny fraction of Trump’s losing margin in those states.

    The Associated Press conducted the review following months of Trump and his allies claiming without proof that he had won the 2020 election. His claims of widespread fraud have been rejected by election officials, judges, a group of election security officials and even Trump’s own attorney general at the time. Even so, supporters continue to repeat them and they have been cited by state lawmakers as justification for tighter voting rules across the country.

    In Arizona, Republican state lawmakers have used the unsubstantiated claims to justify the unprecedented outside Senate review of the election in Maricopa County and to pass legislation that could make it harder for infrequent voters to receive mail ballots automatically.

    Trump, in a statement, called AP’s tally an attempt to “discredit the massive number of voter irregularities and fraud” in key battleground states and said the “real numbers” will be released “shortly.” He did not provide any evidence to back up his assertions.

    Senate President Karen Fann has repeatedly said her goal is not to overturn the election results. Instead, she has said she wants to find out if there were any problems and show voters who believe Trump’s claims whether they should trust the results.

    “Everybody keeps saying, ‘Oh, there’s no evidence’ and it’s like, ‘Yeah well, let’s do the audit.’ And if there’s nothing there, then we say, ‘Look, there was nothing there,’” Fann told the AP in early May. “If we find something, and it’s a big if, but if we find something, then we can say, ‘OK, we do have evidence and now how do we fix this?’” Fann did not return calls this week to discuss the AP findings.

    Aside from double voting, the cases flagged by officials mostly involved a ballot cast after someone had died, including three voters in Yavapai County who face felony charges for casting ballots for spouses who died before the election.

    In Yuma County, one case of a voter attempting to cast two ballots was sent to the county attorney for review. Chief Civil Deputy William Kerekus told the AP that there was no intent at voter fraud and the case was closed without charges.

    Cochise County Recorder David Stevens found mail-in ballots were received from two voters who died before mail ballots were sent in early October. Sheriff’s deputies investigating the cases found their homes were vacant and closed the cases. The votes were not counted.
    ___________

    Funny how there's always little-to-no response from the "The election was fishy" people when their "theories" are so soundly debunked.

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  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Joe, you at least put some realistic inbterruptation here.
    Sir, my post was basically saying what Astralis' post was saying, i.e. this was no exaggeration.

    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    We've got Russian "experts" who made it sound that Putin ordered Russian intel to drop everything and throw everything they've got into getting Trump elected.
    And that's not what his post was saying.

    Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    By the intel we do have - Clinton was expected to win, troll farms, hacking, releasing sensitive emails. That was at best a Russian intel side project. Far more important intel operations were still going on - Syria, Turkey, UKR, Afghanistan to name a few.
    I would say that it was quite important. The United States has always been the Main Enemy. The KGB/FSB/SVR never took their eye off the ball, unlike the West and the last dozen or so years the United States has absolutely enraged Putin.

    No, not "drop everything and subvert the U.S." important, but there was clearly a major Kremlin effort to the destabilize the United States and its democratic processes, Donald Trump was clearly a major tool (to say the least) in that effort and there was no way that a spymaster like Putin, with motive and a golden opportunity, was going to pass this by.

    The problem is that we've got two sides here: One side says that Donald Trump, his company, his family and his campaign did absolutely nothing improper vis--vis the Russians and the other side says that Trump was a full blown Manchurian Candidate puppet of Putin. Both are incorrect. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Trump obviously doesn't hold rank in the SVR, but his entire organization is up to its neck with the Russians.

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  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Of course Putin was involved. Typical CYA action. At worst, Russian actions can be taken as a Declaration of War, ie Regieme Change. You think middle or even senior level spooks got the balls to do this without Putin's approval?

    Sure, it's like winning the lotto but it's still the Mafia Don's money. Are you going to spend his money to buy lottery tickets without telling the Don?

    Edit: Thinking about this. Do you even dare to buy lottery tickets without telling the Don? Especially when you know the odds?
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 16 Jul 21,, 19:00.

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  • astralis
    replied
    That was at best a Russian intel side project. Far more important intel operations were still going on - Syria, Turkey, UKR, Afghanistan to name a few.
    regardless of the level of priority, that this op required Putin-level approval (something which US intel has already ascertained) shows that the Russians certainly knew the sensitivities involved.

    and given how Trump won by a hair, any one factor could have been the straw that broke the camel's back. it's like winning the lotto: the effort one puts in is minimal, the chances are infinitely low, but hey -- someone wins a jackpot now and then.

    Leave a comment:


  • Officer of Engineers
    replied
    Joe, you at least put some realistic inbterruptation here. We've got Russian "experts" who made it sound that Putin ordered Russian intel to drop everything and throw everything they've got into getting Trump elected. By the intel we do have - Clinton was expected to win, troll farms, hacking, releasing sensitive emails. That was at best a Russian intel side project. Far more important intel operations were still going on - Syria, Turkey, UKR, Afghanistan to name a few.

    Leave a comment:

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