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Title: Does Russia Really Matter?
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docjim
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(Date Posted:07/13/2017 11:35 AM)
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Does it really matter?

Does it really matter if Trump’s three most senior campaign staff, including his son, Donald Jr., His son-in-law Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Russian agent (spy) days after Trump won the Republican nomination?

After all, Donald Jr. was new to politics and may not have appreciated that considering a foreign adversary as a campaign supporter willing to help defeat Clinton was maybe closer to treason than reason. Why would Junior even think that Russia might have interests other than helping the United States?

And, as Trump Junior has said, at first, it was just a meeting about adoptions of Russian children. That is, until it became a meeting about damaging information about Hillary Clinton when Junior’s e-mails reached the New York Times.

Even if Junior forgot this meeting ever occurred until the media discovered it took place in Jared Kushner’s security application, that is perfectly understandable. After all, there were several meetings with Russians throughout the Trump campaign, so who can be expected to remember one with the other two campaign advisors closest to the president?

And even if the meeting did take place to see if the Trump campaign could accept the help of the Russians, there was no collusion because, as Junior reported honestly, the emails setting the meeting were totally false and nothing about Clinton was discussed in the secret meeting without notes. And we can believe that because, after lying about the purpose of the meeting when first asked (Russian adoptions story), Junior told the truth when the NYT revealed his e-mails. That has to count for something. 

Then too, collusion is not really a crime is it? So the worst possible case here is that the Trump presidential campaign, beginning with this meeting after Trump’snomination, partnered with the Russian government to destroy Clinton and win the presidency for Donald Trump. Successfully as it turned out. And were it not for silly campaign laws about not accepting exchanges of value from foreign entities, and common law issues like obstruction of justice, there would just be a nothingburger here, nothing to see at all.

Unfortunately for Junior though, receiving information that could be valuable in winning the presidency would likely violate the election law. So it is a darn good thing that the meeting about damaging Clinton information was not about that at all, right?

The greater bit of bad luck might be what this meeting means to the President and his chances to avoid very serious charges of obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI Director Comey.

First, to believe the president innocent of removing Director Comey to protect himself and his son and son-in-law from the Russian/Trump investigation, one would have to suspend reason and imagine the President knew nothing of Russians meeting with his campaign.

The president has said “No one on my campaign met with Russians,” but of course that has been proven false long before this week. So one would have to once again suspend disbelief if the president would suggest he had no knowledge his son andson-in-law and campaign manager met with Russians in Trump Tower while Trump was in town, immediately after his nomination.

Given the small, close knit, tightly held Trump campaign, and given this Presidents’ need to control all events, it is impossible to imagine he did not know about this meeting. And if Trump did know about this meeting then firing Comey was obstruction of justice to prevent an investigation that would find his guilt incolluding with the Russian government to win the election, since following this meeting the Russians did interfere and Trump did win.

Or maybe you would rather believe the meeting was about orphans, flowers, and the many joint interests of Russia and Trump about free speech.

Op Ed

Drjim893

7/14/17

 

 

 

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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:07/13/2017 12:03 PM)

Amateur night is not reassuring.  Still, if Hillary is a bag of sh*t why should the voters not be informed?
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Reply To docjim
(Date Posted:07/13/2017 4:43 PM)

Reply to docjim (07/13/2017 8:35 AM)

Does it really matter?

Does it really matter if Trump’s three most senior campaign staff, including his son, Donald Jr., His son-in-law Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Russian agent (spy) days after Trump won the Republican nomination?

After all, Donald Jr. was new to politics and may not have appreciated that considering a foreign adversary as a campaign supporter willing to help defeat Clinton was maybe closer to treason than reason. Why would Junior even think that Russia might have interests other than helping the United States?


The honorable opposition has been digging for quite a while and, well, this is it?  Baby trump met with a lawyer?  Why do we believe the lawyer was a spy?

As for the treason accusation, we're not at war with russia.
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The advantage of insinuations over hard arguments is that they bypass critical thought. No one can respond precisely to a charge that is utterly vague or to accusers who will envelope any reply in a poisonous fog of further insinuations. ~ David Warren, The Guardian

There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time and that captures an important point. The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. ~ Glenn Harlan Reynolds

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.”
― H.L. Mencken

docjim
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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:07/13/2017 10:05 PM)

Alaska,

Under other circumstances I might agree that Junior represents not much. But when Junior is accompanied by Jared and Manafort he comprises Trump's inner circle and suggests Trumps knowledge of the meeting.

As for treason, let others decide whether a technical definition is more true than cooperating with a foreign government to win the US presidency is worthy of the term. 


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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:07/14/2017 2:24 PM)

The 'technical' definition of treason in this country is pretty clear.

I heard today that the lawyer is no longer the issue.  There was a another player at the meeting, a former KGB guy who is now a lobbyist.  Now, that's a bit troubling but what the main issue there is, I suggest, is that it appears baby trump and the two others were deliberately trying to hide the fact.

Hiding shit makes you look guilty even if the shit you're hiding is nothing.
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The advantage of insinuations over hard arguments is that they bypass critical thought. No one can respond precisely to a charge that is utterly vague or to accusers who will envelope any reply in a poisonous fog of further insinuations. ~ David Warren, The Guardian

There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time and that captures an important point. The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. ~ Glenn Harlan Reynolds

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.”
― H.L. Mencken

tommytalldog
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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:07/15/2017 3:47 AM)

Reid Interrogation System 101: you have to ask the right questions. If he was never asked then he never "volunteered" the information.
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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:04/16/2018 1:29 AM)

The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder review – chilling and unignorable

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/15/the-road-to-unfreedom-russia-europe-america-timothy-snyder-review-tim-adams

Sun 15 Apr 2018

This persuasive book looks at Putin’s favourite Russian political philosopher and the template he set for fake news.


Even presidents who don’t believe in history need a historian to rely on. When asked, in 2014, by a delegation of students and history teachers for his chosen chronicler of Russia’s past, Vladimir Putin came up with a single name: Ivan Ilyin.

Ilyin is a figure who might have been easily lost to history were it not for the posthumous patronage of Russia’s leader. Putin first drew attention to him – Ilyin was a philosopher, not a historian, a Russian who died in exile in Switzerland in 1954 – when he organised the repatriation of Ilyin’s remains for reburial in Moscow in 2005. Ilyin’s personal papers, held in a library in Michigan, were also brought “home” at the president’s request. New editions of Ilyin’s dense books of political philosophy became popular in Kremlin circles – and all of Russia’s civil servants reportedly received a collection of his essays in 2014. And when Putin explained Russia’s need to combat the expansion of the European Union, and laid out the argument to invade Ukraine, it was Ilyin’s arguments on which the president relied.

Timothy Snyder begins his pattern-making deconstruction of recent Russian history – which by design, he argues, is indistinguishable from recent British and American history – with a comprehensive account of Putin’s reverence for the work of Ilyin. Like much of Snyder’s analysis in this unignorable book, the framing offers both a disturbing and persuasive insight.

Ilyin, an early critic of Bolshevism, had been expelled by the Soviets in 1922. In Germany, where he wrote favourably of the rise of Hitler and the example of Mussolini, he developed ideas for a Russian fascism, which could counter the effects of the 1917 revolution. As a thread through his nationalist rhetoric, he proposed a lost “Russian spirit”, which in its essence reflected a Christian God’s original creation before the fall and drew on a strongly masculine “pure” sexual energy (he had been psychoanalysed by Freud). A new Russian nation should be established, Ilyin argued, to defend and promote that ineffable spirit against all external threats – not only communism but also individualism. To achieve that end, Ilyin outlined a “simulacrum” of democracy in which the Russian people would speak “naturally” with one voice, dependent on a leader who was cast as “redeemer” for returning true Russian culture to its people. Elections would be “rituals” designed to endorse that power, periodically “uniting the nation in a gesture of subjugation”.

To establish that dystopian state, Snyder argues, Putin’s regime has deliberately pursued two of Ilyin’s central concepts. The first demanded the identification and destruction of the enemies of that Russian spirit to establish unity; alien influences – Muslim or Jewish, fundamentalist or cosmopolitan – were intent on “sodomising” Russian virtue (sexual imagery is never far away in the Kremlin’s lurid calls to arms). If those enemies did not exist they would have to be invented or exaggerated. After the terror attacks on Russian institutions – the Moscow theatre siege and the Beslan school massacre – Chechen separatism was used as a reason to bring first television and then regional governorships under state control. Those policies were led, Snyder documents, by Vladislav Surkov, the former postmodernist theatre director who was Boris Yeltsin’s deputy chief of staff and then Putin’s lead strategist. Surkov directs a policy, borrowed from Ilyin, which he calls “centralisation, personification, idealisation”. With Surkov’s management, “Putin was to offer masculinity as an argument against democracy”, Snyder suggests; he was to associate, specifically, for example, gay rights and equal marriage with an attack on the Russian spirit.

In this culture war, disinformation was critical. Russian TV and social media would create a climate in which news became entertainment, and nothing would quite seem factual. This surreal shift is well documented, but Snyder’s forensic examination of, for example, the news cycle that followed the shooting down of flight MH17 makes essential reading. On the first day official propaganda suggested that the Russian missile attack on the Malaysian plane had in fact been a bodged attempt by Ukrainian forces to assassinate Putin himself; by day two, Russian TV was promoting the idea that the CIA had sent a ghost plane filled with corpses overhead to provoke Russian forces.

The more outrageous the official lie was, the more it allowed people to demonstrate their faith in the Kremlin. Putin made, Snyder argues, his direct assault on “western” factuality a source of national pride. Snyder calls this policy “implausible deniability”; you hear it in the tone of the current “debate” around the Salisbury attack: Russian power is displayed in a relativist blizzard of alternative theories, delivered in a vaguely absurdist spirit, as if no truth on earth is really provable.

The second half of Snyder’s book explores how Russia has sought to export this policy to those who threaten it, primarily through a mass disinformation war, a 2.0 update of Sun Tzu’s “confusion to our enemy” principle, with the aim of dividing and polarising pluralist democracies – in particular the EU and the US – against themselves

Snyder is very astute at joining the dots in how Russian propagandists, human or digital, sought to spread fake news to undermine faith in the democratic process, at the same time giving overt support to European separatists and Russia TV regulars such as Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage. He details how, for example, Russian “news” sources spread the idea that the Scottish independence vote had been “rigged” by “establishment forces” with the aim of undermining faith in democratic institutions in Britain before the EU referendum. We are still awaiting, of course, the full disentangling of Donald Trump’s complex relations with Putin’s government, and the many links between his campaign organisation and Russian operatives. As with Luke Harding’s book Collusion, however, there is more than enough here to keep Robert Mueller busy for a long while yet.

One unavoidable conclusion of this depressing tale lies in the acknowledgment that Putin’s strategy has been so successful in shaking faith in the sanctity of fact and expert knowledge. A measure of that assault comes when you examine your reaction to this meticulously researched and footnoted book as you read it. Timothy Snyder is professor of history at Yale. His book Bloodlands, about the fallout of second world war atrocities on the eastern front, won the prestigious Hannah Arendt prize and was described by the late, great Tony Judt as “the most important book to appear on this subject in decades”. And yet as he unfolds this contemporary sequel, you might well hear, as I did from time to time, those sneery voices now lodged in your head that whisper of “liberal elitism” and “fake news” and “MSM” and “tempting conspiracies”, and which refuse ever, quite, to be quieted. How did we get here? Snyder has a good idea.

(Message edited by WRS10 On 04/16/2018 1:30 AM)
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Re:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:04/16/2018 12:03 PM)

 i don't care about russiagate. there is that globalization  thing. shouldn't be a surprise that american businessmen would want to do business with russia since it has tons of resources that the west wants.

and trump has been nasty towards russia. challenge them in the middle east. and imposing sanctions on them. doesn't sound like he is on Putin's payroll.
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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:05/26/2018 3:40 AM)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARfhrejl8d0


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Re:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:06/02/2018 1:45 PM)

 russia matters because war mongers need a boogieman. 
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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:06/02/2018 8:10 PM)

It is interesting that after all this time they have come up with, essentially, nothing and the horrifying possibility (for them) shrapnel hitting mrs clinton.
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The advantage of insinuations over hard arguments is that they bypass critical thought. No one can respond precisely to a charge that is utterly vague or to accusers who will envelope any reply in a poisonous fog of further insinuations. ~ David Warren, The Guardian

There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time and that captures an important point. The more powerful the government becomes, the more people are willing to do in order to seize the prize, and the more afraid they become when someone else has control. ~ Glenn Harlan Reynolds

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.”
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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:07/06/2018 2:11 PM)

We should be so thankful to the brave dumpster divers who came across the dumped instrument;

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/ames ... 80936.html


The couple fighting for their lives after being poisoned with a nerve agent may have been contaminated after “dumpster diving” for items in skips and outside charity shops, according to a friend.

Counter terrorism police are scouring the homes of Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45, amid fears they stumbled on a container holding the military-grade Novichok poison after it was discarded by a Russian hit squad................>

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RE:Does Russia Really Matter?
(Date Posted:07/13/2018 5:08 PM)

Bump;

Fatal Novichok dose 'came from bottle' in victim's house


Novichok that poisoned a couple in Wiltshire came from a small bottle found in the home of one of the victims, police say.

A bottle was found in a search at Charlie Rowley's Amesbury house and was tested by scientists at Porton Down, the Metropolitan Police said.

Mr Rowley, 45, remains in hospital in Salisbury in a serious but stable condition after falling ill on 30 June.

His partner Dawn Sturgess, 44, died last weekend.

Scientists at the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory are still trying to establish whether the deadly substance found at Mr Rowley's house came from the same batch of Novichok that contaminated Sergei and Yulia Skripal in March..............>



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