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“FACTS” are so inconvenient to President Dumb's claims of “witch hunt”…


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Author Topic: “FACTS” are so inconvenient to President Dumb's claims of “witch hunt”…  (Read 17 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: July 14, 2018, 01:14:40 pm »


from The Washington Post…

If this is a ‘witch hunt’ it sure is finding a lot of witches

With the latest round of indictments, the claim that the Mueller probe is a ‘hoax’ becomes even more ludicrous.

By PAUL WALDMAN | 1:26PM EDT — Friday, July 13, 2018

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announces the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents in connection with hacking during the 2016 election. — Photograph: Reuters.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announces the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents in connection with hacking during the 2016 election.
 — Photograph: Reuters.


EARLY on Friday afternoon, the Justice Department announced that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III had indicted 12 Russian officials in connection with the Kremlin's effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election, making even clearer what we already knew: The Russian government had a comprehensive program intended to hurt the candidacy of Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump get elected.

The fact this has been treated as anything less than a profound national emergency — and that one of our two parties has argued again and again that it's no big deal — is something that should appall anyone who has even the slightest concern for U.S. national security.

It is notable that these indictments come a day after Republicans mounted a farcical hearing meant to advance the ludicrous notion that the entire Russia investigation is illegitimate because one FBI agent said disparaging things about President Trump in private text messages during the campaign. But here's part of what Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said during his news conference today:


Quote
The indictment charges 12 Russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere with the election. One of those defendants and a 12th Russian military officer are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering the elections, including state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and companies that supply software used to administer elections.

The indictment contains numerous intriguing details, including the fact that the Russian hacking of the emails of Clinton associates began on the same day that Trump publicly said, “Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails that are missing.”

We also learn from the indictments that “On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, received a request for stolen documents from a candidate for the U.S. Congress. The Conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate's opponent.” The candidate isn't identified, but it sure will be interesting to learn who it was.

So the hacking didn't come, as Trump has suggested multiple times, from China, some other country, or a 400-pound guy sitting on his bed. And throughout, Trump has accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin's ridiculous denials at face value, as though Putin would never lie to him (“I said, ‘Did you do it?’ And he said, ‘No, I did not. Absolutely not’. I then asked him a second time in a totally different way. He said absolutely not”).

Trump will be meeting Putin again on Monday — in private, with no staff allowed except translators. Here's what he said about the topic of Russia's involvement in our election at his press conference this morning with British Prime Minister Theresa May:


Quote
I will absolutely bring that up. I don't think you'll have any “Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me.” There won't be a Perry Mason here, I don't think, but you never know what happens, right? But I will absolutely, firmly ask the question.

He’ll “firmly ask the question,” and when Putin says that it never happened, Trump will once again accept and repeat that denial, because that's what he wants everyone to believe.

So for the benefit of those who continue to claim that the Russia investigation is a great big witch hunt with nothing to show for its efforts, let's remind ourselves of what it has produced to date:


  • Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is currently in jail awaiting trial on multiple charges relating to his relationships with a Russian oligarch close to Putin and the former leader of Ukraine, widely considered a Putin puppet.

  • Trump's deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, pled guilty to lying to the FBI and conspiracy to defraud the United States, and is now cooperating with Mueller.

  • Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, and is now cooperating with Mueller.

  • A Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with various Kremlin-connected figures and is now cooperating with Mueller.

  • Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian associate of Manafort, was indicted on obstruction of justice charges.

  • Richard Pinedo pled guilty to identity fraud for selling stolen identities to Russians connected to the Mueller probe.

  • Alex Van Der Zwaan, a Dutch banker and son-in-law of a Russian oligarch, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his work with Manafort and Gates, and was jailed briefly and then deported.

  • Thirteen individuals and three companies were indicted for their participation in a Russian scheme to conduct “information warfare” during the 2016 election in order to push voters away from Clinton and toward Trump, as well as undermining trust in the electoral system more generally.

  • And now, eleven Russian military officials have been indicted for hacking into the email systems of the Democratic National Committee and various people connected to Hillary Clinton, including her campaign chairman, then disseminating the materials in carefully timed releases meant to maximize the political damage to Clinton. One of those 11, plus another Russian official, have also been indicted for hacking into the systems of state election agencies.

And that's just so far. If the Mueller probe is moving toward a conclusion, it's hard to believe there won't be more indictments to come.

We still don't have a complete answer to how deep the cooperation between Russia and the Trump campaign went, though we have a great deal of evidence already that can support the charge that collusion did indeed occur. But whatever your perspective on that evidence — the meetings between Trump officials and Russians intended to obtain dirt on Clinton, the dozens of contacts with Russians that, for some strange reason, Trump officials were so keen to lie about in order to conceal — one thing that no one can plausibly say is that this is all just a witch hunt, there's no there there, and that the investigation should simply be shut down.

Anyone who makes that claim should be acknowledged for what they are: Someone whose desire to keep President Trump from political harm exceeds their concern about the national security of the United States. We know that's true of the president himself. And it also seems to be true of most of his party.


__________________________________________________________________________

Paul Waldman is an opinion writer for The Plum Line blog at The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, he worked at an advocacy group, edited an online magazine, taught at university and worked on political campaigns. He has authored or co-authored four books on media and politics, and his work has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines. He is also a senior writer at the American Prospect.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Rod Rosenstein announces indictment of 12 Russian agents

 • Mueller probe indicts 12 Russians with hacking of Democrats in 2016

 • Trump knew 12 Russians were being indicted. He still talked about a ‘witch hunt’ and being Putin's friend.

 • ‘What I'm about to tell you is off the record’: How a journalist scooped the deputy attorney general

 • 6 questions from the indictment of 12 Russians for hacking

 • Rod Rosenstein said just what we needed to hear

 • Timeline: How Russian agents allegedly hacked the DNC and Clinton's campaign

 • After being told of Russia indictments, Trump still aspired to be friends with Putin

 • How the Russians hacked the DNC and passed its emails to WikiLeaks

 • Charges against Russian intelligence officers intensify spotlight on Trump adviser Roger Stone

 • VIDEO: Opinion | Rosenstein deflected Trump's attack on the DOJ. But how long can he resist?


https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/07/13/if-this-is-a-witch-hunt-it-sure-is-finding-a-lot-of-witches
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Im2Sexy4MyPants
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2018, 06:24:23 pm »

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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2018, 06:40:40 pm »


Is Woodville full of stupid retards?

Or are you the only one?
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Im2Sexy4MyPants
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 08:47:47 am »

commie dogs are emotional buttplugs
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 12:29:42 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Putin must wonder what else America knows about Russia

Mueller's indictment is a message to Putin — and Trump.

By DAVID IGNATIUS | 3:19PM EDT — Sunday, July 15, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Qingdao, China, on June 10. — Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/TASS/via Getty Images.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Qingdao, China, on June 10. — Photograph: Mikhail Metzel/TASS/via Getty Images.

WHEN Russian President Vladimir Putin sits down at the table in Helsinki on Monday, he will surely have in the back of his mind some intelligence worries that have nothing to do with the U.S. president seated across from him.

Putin's elite spy world has been penetrated by U.S. intelligence. That's the implication of the extraordinarily detailed 29-page indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence (GRU) officers handed up by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigators on Friday. The 11-count charge includes names, dates, unit assignments, the GRU's use of “X-agent” malware, its bitcoin covert funding schemes and a wealth of other tradecraft.

Putin must be asking himself: How did the Americans find out all these facts? What other operations have been compromised? And how much else do they know?

“The Russians have surely begun a ‘damage assessment’ to figure out how we were able to collect this information and how much damage was done to their cyber capacity as a result,” says Jeffrey Smith, a former CIA general counsel, in an email. “They are probably also doing a CI (counter-intelligence) assessment to determine whether we have any human sources or whether the Russians made mistakes that we were able to exploit.”

Must the GRU assume that officers named in Friday's indictment are now “blown” for further secret operations? Should Russian spymasters expect that operations they touched are now compromised? What about other Russian operations that used bitcoin, or X-agent, or another hacking tool called X-Tunnel? Has the United States tracked such operations and identified the targets? Finally, how are U.S. intelligence services playing back the information they've learned — to recruit, exploit or compromise Russian officers?

“I suspect the senior officers of the GRU who were involved do not have bright futures,” says Smith. “Putin will never extradite them, but it would be great if they were to defect to the U.S. and tell us what they know.”

Looking at this case through a counterintelligence lens raises an intriguing new series of questions. In putting all the detail into the indictment, Mueller was giving Russian intelligence a hint of how much America can see. But this public disclosure may mask much deeper capabilities — perhaps a capacity to expose many more layers of GRU military-intelligence operations and those by the Russian civilian spy services, the FSB and the SVR. American intelligence agencies rarely tip their hand this way by disclosing so much in an indictment; clearly they did so here to send messages.

Explains one former CIA officer: “Given that we clearly had so much of the Russian internal communication and cyber footprints, they must be asking what else do we have? Do we have communications between the units and more senior officers in the GRU? With the General Staff? With the Kremlin? With Putin? Probably not the latter directly, but the Russians are very bureaucratic and it's hard for me to imagine there is not a clear trail of higher level approvals, progress reports, etc.”

Friday's indictment is a legal document. But it's also a shot across the Kremlin's bow. The message is: If you don't stop cyber-operations against the United States, we have the detailed information to identify and disrupt your intelligence services, officers, sources and methods. Mueller isn't asking Russia to stop; he's warning them of the consequences of going forward.

The indictment also sends a message to President Trump and members of his entourage who are potential targets of Mueller's probe: Here's a hint of what we know; how much are you willing to wager that we don't know a lot more about Russian contacts and collusion? For example, the indictment is a proffer of Mueller's information about contacts between GRU cut-out “Guccifer 2.0” and Roger Stone, Trump's friend and adviser. What else does Mueller have?

Seeing these details, we have new appreciation for the dilemma of FBI officials James B. Comey, Peter Strzok and the handful of others who saw the unfolding story of Russia's secret attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton and help Trump. As Strzok put it in his statement to a House committee on Thursday: “In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign.”

Strzok kept quiet about the conspiracy he was watching. Trump was elected president. But now, at last, with Friday's indictment, we see a bit of what Strzok and the other intelligence officials saw.

And here's a spooky final question: How much has the intelligence community told Trump about its operations against Russia? If you were one of the American intelligence officers who helped gather the information that's included in Friday's indictment, what would you think about the fact that Trump has asked for a private meeting first with Putin?


__________________________________________________________________________

David Ignatius writes a twice-a-week foreign affairs column for The Washington Post and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. Ignatius has also written eight spy novels: Bloodmoney (2011), The Increment (2009), Body of Lies (2007), The Sun King (1999), A Firing Offense (1997), The Bank of Fear (1994), SIRO: A Novel (1991), and Agents of Innocence (1987). Body of Lies was made into a 2008 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Ignatius joined The Washington Post in 1986 as editor of its Sunday Outlook section. In 1990 he became foreign editor, and in 1993, assistant managing editor for business news. He began writing his column in 1998 and continued even during a three-year stint as executive editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris. Earlier in his career, Ignatius was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering at various times the steel industry, the Justice Department, the CIA, the Senate, the Middle East and the State Department. His numerous honours and awards include the 2000 Gerald Loeb Award for Commentary; the 2004 Edward Weintal Prize; the 2010 Urbino International Press Award; the 2013 Overseas Press Club Award for Foreign Affairs Commentary; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Committee for Foreign Journalists; a Legion D'Honneur awarded by the French government; and as The Washington Post's foreign editor, Ignatius supervised the paper's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwai. David Ignatius grew up in Washington, D.C., and studied political theory at Harvard College and economics at Kings College, Cambridge. His numerous He lives in Washington with his wife and has three daughters.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Yes, special investigations can be witch hunts. The Mueller probe is not one.

 • Ahead of summit, pressure builds for Trump to act as firm check against Putin

 • ‘I hadn't thought’ of asking Putin to extradite indicted Russian agents, Trump says

 • Randall D. Eliason: The latest Mueller indictments provide a template for what could be coming next

 • The Washington Post's View: A timely reminder that Putin is no friend of ours

 • David Von Drehle: Mueller stood up to Putin. Now it's Trump’s turn.

 • David Ignatius: Better relations with Russia are a worthy goal. But at what price?

 • David J. Kramer: Putin is about to con Trump in Helsinki. Here's how.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/07/15/putin-must-wonder-what-else-america-knows-about-russia
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