HuffPo Yanks Article On Russiagate Hysteria By Award Winning Journalist Joe Lauria – So Here It Is

Award winning journalist and UN correspondent of 25 years, Joe Lauria, penned an outstanding article on the origins of “Russiagate” which he published to the liberal Huffington Post this week.

24 hours later, HuffPo yanked the article – leaving a dead link and a sad message in its place.

Perhaps the insights offered in the article didn’t quite conform to HuffPo’s approved narratives, or maybe it has something to do with Lauria’s new book “How I Lost By Hillary Clinton,” with a forward written by Julian Assange.

Considering Joe Lauria’s tenure as the Wall St. Journal’s UN correspondent of nearly seven years, as well as the Boston Globe’s for six – covering just about every major world crisis over the past quarter century, his unique perspective on the matter merits a read.

Reproduced below for your edification:

The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate

As Russia-gate continues to buffet the Trump administration, we now know that the “scandal” started with Democrats funding the original dubious allegations of Russian interference, notes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria

The two sources that originated the allegations claiming that Russia meddled in the 2016 election — without providing convincing evidence — were both paid for by the Democratic National Committee, and in one instance also by the Clinton campaign: the Steele dossier and the CrowdStrike analysis of the DNC servers. Think about that for a minute.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

We have long known that the DNC did not allow the FBI to examine its computer server for clues about who may have hacked it – or even if it was hacked – and instead turned to CrowdStrike, a private company co-founded by a virulently anti-Putin Russian. Within a day, CrowdStrike blamed Russia on dubious evidence.

And, it has now been disclosed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for opposition research memos written by former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele using hearsay accusations from anonymous Russian sources to claim that the Russian government was blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump in a scheme that presupposed that Russian President Vladimir Putin foresaw Trump’s presidency years ago when no one else did.

Since then, the U.S. intelligence community has struggled to corroborate Steele’s allegations, but those suspicions still colored the thinking of President Obama’s intelligence chiefs who, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “hand-picked” the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 “assessment” claiming that Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

In other words, possibly all of the Russia-gate allegations, which have been taken on faith by Democratic partisans and members of the anti-Trump Resistance, trace back to claims paid for or generated by Democrats.

If for a moment one could remove the sometimes justified hatred that many people feel toward Trump, it would be impossible to avoid the impression that the scandal may have been cooked up by the DNC and the Clinton camp in league with Obama’s intelligence chiefs to serve political and geopolitical aims.

Absent new evidence based on forensic or documentary proof, we could be looking at a partisan concoction devised in the midst of a bitter general election campaign, a manufactured “scandal” that also has fueled a dangerous New Cold War against Russia; a case of a dirty political “oppo” serving American ruling interests in reestablishing the dominance over Russia that they enjoyed in the 1990s, as well as feeding the voracious budgetary appetite of the Military-Industrial Complex.

Though lacking independent evidence of the core Russia-gate allegations, the “scandal” continues to expand into wild exaggerations about the impact of a tiny number of social media pages suspected of having links to Russia but that apparently carried very few specific campaign messages. (Some pages reportedly were devoted to photos of puppies.)

‘Cash for Trash’

Based on what is now known, Wall Street buccaneer Paul Singer paid for GPS Fusion, a Washington-based research firm, to do opposition research on Trump during the Republican primaries, but dropped the effort in May 2016 when it became clear Trump would be the GOP nominee. GPS Fusion has strongly denied that it hired Steele for this work or that the research had anything to do with Russia.

Couple walking along the Kremlin, Dec. 7, 2016. (Photo by Robert Parry)

Then, in April 2016 the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid its Washington lawyer Marc Elias to hire Fusion GPS to unearth dirt connecting Trump to Russia. This was three months before the DNC blamed Russia for hacking its computers and supposedly giving its stolen emails to WikiLeaks to help Trump win the election.

“The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee retained Fusion GPS to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his businesses, his campaign team and Russia, court filings revealed this week,” The New York Times reported on Friday night.

So, linking Trump to Moscow as a way to bring Russia into the election story was the Democrats’ aim from the start.

Fusion GPS then hired ex-MI6 intelligence agent Steele, it says for the first time, to dig up that dirt in Russia for the Democrats. Steele produced classic opposition research, not an intelligence assessment or conclusion, although it was written in a style and formatted to look like one.

It’s important to realize that Steele was no longer working for an official intelligence agency, which would have imposed strict standards on his work and possibly disciplined him for injecting false information into the government’s decision-making. Instead, he was working for a political party and a presidential candidate looking for dirt that would hurt their opponent, what the Clintons used to call “cash for trash” when they were the targets.

Had Steele been doing legitimate intelligence work for his government, he would have taken a far different approach. Intelligence professionals are not supposed to just give their bosses what their bosses want to hear. So, Steele would have verified his information. And it would have gone through a process of further verification by other intelligence analysts in his and perhaps other intelligence agencies. For instance, in the U.S., a National Intelligence Estimate requires vetting by all 17 intelligence agencies and incorporates dissenting opinions.

Instead Steele was producing a piece of purely political research and had different motivations. The first might well have been money, as he was being paid specifically for this project, not as part of his work on a government salary presumably serving all of society. Secondly, to continue being paid for each subsequent memo that he produced he would have been incentivized to please his clients or at least give them enough so they would come back for more.

Dubious Stuff

Opposition research is about getting dirt to be used in a mud-slinging political campaign, in which wild charges against candidates are the norm. This “oppo” is full of unvetted rumor and innuendo with enough facts mixed in to make it seem credible. There was so much dubious stuff in Steele’s memos that the FBI was unable to confirm its most salacious allegations and apparently refuted several key points.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (right) talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, with John Brennan and other national security aides present. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Perhaps more significantly, the corporate news media, which was largely partial to Clinton, did not report the fantastic allegations after people close to the Clinton campaign began circulating the lurid stories before the election with the hope that the material would pop up in the news. To their credit, established media outlets recognized this as ammunition against a political opponent, not a serious document.

Despite this circumspection, the Steele dossier was shared with the FBI at some point in the summer of 2016 and apparently became the basis for the FBI to seek Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against members of Trump’s campaign. More alarmingly, it may have formed the basis for much of the Jan. 6 intelligence “assessment” by those “hand-picked” analysts from three U.S. intelligence agencies – the CIA, the FBI and the NSA – not all 17 agencies that Hillary Clinton continues to insist were involved. (Obama’s intelligence chiefs, DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, publicly admitted that only three agencies took part and The New York Times printed a correction saying so.)

If in fact the Steele memos were a primary basis for the Russia collusion allegations against Trump, then there may be no credible evidence at all. It could be that because the three agencies knew the dossier was dodgy that there was no substantive proof in the Jan. 6 “assessment.” Even so, a summary of the Steele allegations were included in a secret appendix that then-FBI Director James Comey described to then-President-elect Trump just two weeks before his inauguration.

Five days later, after the fact of Comey’s briefing was leaked to the press, the Steele dossier was published in fullby the sensationalist website BuzzFeed behind the excuse that the allegations’ inclusion in the classified annex of a U.S. intelligence report justified the dossier’s publication regardless of doubts about its accuracy.

Russian Fingerprints

The other source of blame about Russian meddling came from the private company CrowdStrike because the DNC blocked the FBI from examining its server after a suspected hack. Within a day, CrowdStrike claimed to find Russian “fingerprints” in the metadata of a DNC opposition research document, which had been revealed by an Internet site called DCLeaks, showing Cyrillic letters and the name of the first Soviet intelligence chief. That supposedly implicated Russia.

Dmitri Alperovitch, the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of CrowdStrike Inc., leading its Intelligence, Technology and CrowdStrike Labs teams.

CrowdStrike also claimed that the alleged Russian intelligence operation was extremely sophisticated and skilled in concealing its external penetration of the server. But CrowdStrike’s conclusion about Russian “fingerprints” resulted from clues that would have been left behind by extremely sloppy hackers or inserted intentionally to implicate the Russians.

CrowdStrike’s credibility was further undermined when Voice of America reported on March 23, 2017, that the same software the company says it used to blame Russia for the hack wrongly concluded that Moscow also had hacked Ukrainian government howitzers on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

“An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election,” VOA reported. Dimitri Alperovitch, a CrowdStrike co-founder, is also a senior fellow at the anti-Russian Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

More speculation about the alleged election hack was raised with WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release, which revealed that the CIA is not beyond covering up its own hacks by leaving clues implicating others. Plus, there’s the fact that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declared again and again that WikiLeaks did not get the Democratic emails from the Russians. Buttressing Assange’s denials of a Russian role, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, said he met a person connected to the leak during a trip to Washington last year.

And, William Binney, maybe the best mathematician to ever work at the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern have published a technical analysis of one set of Democratic email metadata showing that a transatlantic “hack” would have been impossible and that the evidence points to a likely leak by a disgruntled Democratic insider. Binney has further stated that if it were a “hack,” the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Fueling Neo-McCarthyism

Despite these doubts, which the U.S. mainstream media has largely ignored, Russia-gate has grown into something much more than an election story. It has unleashed a neo-McCarthyite attack on Americans who are accused of being dupes of Russia if they dare question the evidence of the Kremlin’s guilt.

The Washington Post building in downtown Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Washington Post)

Just weeks after last November’s election, The Washington Post published a front-page story touting a blacklist from an anonymous group, called PropOrNot, that alleged that 200 news sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other leading independent news sources, were either willful Russian propagandists or “useful idiots.”

Last week, a new list emerged with the names of over 2,000 people, mostly Westerners, who have appeared on RT, the Russian government-financed English-language news channel. The list was part of a report entitled, “The Kremlin’s Platform for ‘Useful Idiots’ in the West,” put out by an outfit called European Values, with a long list of European funders.

Included on the list of “useful idiots” absurdly are CIA-friendly Washington Post columnist David Ignatius; David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s opposition research chief; and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The report stated: “Many people in Europe and the US, including politicians and other persons of influence, continue to exhibit troubling naïveté about RT’s political agenda, buying into the network’s marketing ploy that it is simply an outlet for independent voices marginalised by the mainstream Western press. These ‘useful idiots’ remain oblivious to RT’s intentions and boost its legitimacy by granting interviews on its shows and newscasts.”

The intent of these lists is clear: to shut down dissenting voices who question Western foreign policy and who are usually excluded from Western corporate media. RT is often willing to provide a platform for a wider range of viewpoints, both from the left and right. American ruling interests fend off critical viewpoints by first suppressing them in corporate media and now condemning them as propaganda when they emerge on RT.

Geopolitical Risks

More ominously, the anti-Russia mania has increased chances of direct conflict between the two nuclear superpowers. The Russia-bashing rhetoric not only served the Clinton campaign, though ultimately to ill effect, but it has pushed a longstanding U.S.-led geopolitical agenda to regain control over Russia, an advantage that the U.S. enjoyed during the Yeltsin years in the 1990s.

Time magazine cover recounting how the U.S. enabled Boris Yeltsin’s reelection as Russian president in 1996.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wall Street rushed in behind Boris Yeltsin and Russian oligarchs to asset strip virtually the entire country, impoverishing the population. Amid widespread accounts of this grotesque corruption, Washington intervened in Russian politics to help get Yeltsin re-elected in 1996. The political rise of Vladimir Putin after Yeltsin resigned on New Year’s Eve 1999 reversed this course, restoring Russian sovereignty over its economy and politics.

That inflamed Hillary Clinton and other American hawks whose desire was to install another Yeltsin-like figure and resume U.S. exploitation of Russia’s vast natural and financial resources. To advance that cause, U.S. presidents have supported the eastward expansion of NATO and have deployed 30,000 troops on Russia’s border.

In 2014, the Obama administration helped orchestrate a coup that toppled the elected government of Ukraine and installed a fiercely anti-Russian regime. The U.S. also undertook the risky policy of aiding jihadists to overthrow a secular Russian ally in Syria. The consequences have brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.

In this context, the Democratic Party-led Russia-gate offensive was intended not only to explain away Clinton’s defeat but to stop Trump — possibly via impeachment or by inflicting severe political damage — because he had talked, insincerely it is turning out, about detente with Russia. That did not fit in well with the plan at all.

Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist. He has written for the Boston Globe, the Sunday Times of London and the Wall Street Journal among other newspapers. He is the author of How I Lost By Hillary Clinton published by OR Books in June 2017. He can be reached at joelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.

Comments

BobEore Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:41 Permalink

Americans... sophiscated, educated, wise to the world...Americans, lack the fundamental tools of awareness in one area alone - but that one area of deficit is THE ONE where their collective futures are under most peril.If the "sophistication" of talmudic terror agit-prop remains outside the purview of occidental medias and those who depend upon them in order to form their understanding of the world...that is because the operations of Sraeli military-media aglomerations actually NOW ARE ...the occidental medias. A full spectrum dominance over every aspect of the daily 'news' cycle is in place. And that is the reason that the stunningly obvious ploy by which that same military-media colossus has pulled off it's biggest success since the collapse of the Towers.Picture this... and picture it good... till the sweat pours off your brow - cause its' critical to your survival as well as that of your country...Say you are an international criminal organization... loosely centered upon a joint fraternity of ethno-religious affinity which has multiple expressions... secular/orthodox/satanic/niilistic... whathaveyou... but all of which revolve around an ideology of supremacism. A "chosen people" ideology which for millennia has consistently regarded all those outside its' bounds as 'prey'...An organization remarkably pre-saged by the 'fictional' writings of an 'intelligence' insider named Peter Fleming. A "spectral" pirate empire which relies now as much upon the polished technological and business prowess of its members as the blunt weapons of intimidation which we are more used to linking to the "Mafiyas" among us."Cyber crime," "data collection" ... serial financial manipulations on a global scale, corruption and usurpation of western security services, added to the age ol prostitution drugs n alcohol profit centers.This! is "Russiagate" - stripped of the smoke n mirrors. The genius to create a false-flag storyline - Russian influence over US electoral politics so peurile so witless, so factionalist ...as to make the WHOLE IDEA OF (Russian*)influence in that arena... LAUGHABLE.  a JOKE.In order to......use your limitless influence and loot to............. influence US electoral politics... to the point of actually TAKING OVER the government of the usa. And nobody will pay any attention to it!Russian and eastern european talmudist mafiyas started moving out of the motherland roach motel in the 80s... spreading equally to Srael and Merika... from which 'points of light' they found inventive ways to steal funds and gain influence so as to educate their kids into every new and upcoming variety of gangster scam with the advantage of new technologies which would replace the need for hamfisted gulag type tuff guy enforcers with much more effective weapons of intimidation coercion and control.And now... mere decades later... from their HQ ... Unit 8200 in the Negev desert... they rule your lives down to minute detail. Without you having a clue... who owns your government, POTUS, military...debt... and so on.Russo-Sraeli talmidist mafiya... a SPECTRE come to real life in the form of a GOLEM-ized west being planned for extinction. They own pretty much everything you will read/hear/write about and repeat to others.And you will LAUGH at the absurdity of it all...all the way to that destination of every ride to tumbrils history has shown us to be the 'final solution'... to the pesky problem of us  witless goy cattle.

BobEore jeff montanye Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:35 Permalink

I also goofed up on the allusion to "Peter" - Ian Flemings younger, much less known brother... who from a strictly literary pov... was much the more important author of the two.Anyone who has the opportunity to read Peter's books on his trip thru "Tartary"... or Brazilian jungle adventure.... will be well rewarded, in the lush examples of just how far we (of the west) have fallen - in expression, adventurousness, and good ol John Bull "bottom" ... as the Iron Duke used to call it!

In reply to by jeff montanye

chunga Manthong Wed, 11/08/2017 - 11:58 Permalink

Gee I wonder who this Craig Murray talked to.Do you suppose it could be the dead staffer guy Donna Brazile says she was afraid for her life over?DOH! This still doesn't occur to any of the gumshoes at FBI, or congress, or Sessions, or Trump, or anybody up there in DC.Dilly Dilly!

In reply to by Manthong

jin187 BobEore Wed, 11/08/2017 - 11:34 Permalink

I stopped reading when you spelled "agglomerations" wrong. I stopped caring half a sentence before that, when you spelled "Israel" wrong.

Quit trying to use big words to make yourself sound more credible and intelligent. This isn't an essay for extra credit in Political Science 101. You aren't Tolkien. Everything you said can probably be condensed into one sentence.

Elites bad, sheeple good.

In reply to by BobEore

Zoltan Tue, 11/07/2017 - 23:58 Permalink

Excellent article.

Big picture on just how ridiculous the media has become.

Glad it didn’t go down the rabbit hole. Oh, wait.....

Z

besnook Wed, 11/08/2017 - 00:03 Permalink

huffnpuffers have become so ironic. i was posting on huffnpuffers when it first hit the net as a forum for any writer to be published. it was neither left or right back then. there was a great opportunity to post all the opposing political views to share the same forum for the first time in news publishing history. it was a great tuime because huffnpuffers posted everything except ad hominem attacks and threats. it was the first widely read internet site that allowed anti israel posts. then a jew invested millions and it turned into a site barely connected to reality with posters to match. it is the left version of brietbart, a political comedy aimed at the far reaches of political discourse more concerned with the message than the truth.

jeff montanye 44magnum Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:39 Permalink

glenn greenwald, jew and a founder of the intercept, does, imo, far better journalism than say rupert murdoch, goy and owner of  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_News_Corp and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_21st_Century_Fox… much less "prejudiced" to use the term zionist since it doesn't sweep up jews who are more part of the solution than part of the problem and it does include non jews who are more part of the problem than part of the solution.  for all the good info it has, radioislam, for instance, is sometimes at fault on this count.https://www.radioislam.org/islam/english/index_internet.htm

In reply to by 44magnum

jeff montanye 44magnum Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:44 Permalink

and it indicates where the real problem lies: the aggressive likud mossad apartheid state of israel that perverts the world in its quest to conquer palestine and the middle east generally, did 9-11 among other great crimes (jfk (helped), uss liberty, the wars in iraq, syria, ukraine, libya, etc.), and continues through aipac, etc. to steal the united states from its citizens.

In reply to by 44magnum

Victor999 besnook Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:54 Permalink

Funny the immediate impact a newly appointed Jewish chief editor can have.  It was a great publication before she took over.  I stopped commenting there within a few weeks of her taking over as it was clear the direction the Guardian was then taking. Whenever the Jews take over any source of media, it turns to shit almost overnight, pushing Jewish viewpoints and shutting down opposing thought.

In reply to by besnook

11b40 wide angle tree Wed, 11/08/2017 - 07:34 Permalink

Interesting comment regarding Russians.  I look at Russians, and they look like me.  Putin could easily be my brother, with his fair skin & hair, and his blue eyes.  We happen to both be Christians, too.  We have much in common, and could have so much more.  I think this article did an excellent job of telling us why our "leaders" won't let this happen.Then, when I look at our "allies" around the world, they don't look like me.  These places where we waste blood and treasure are places and peoples who really have nothing to do with us fundamentally.  Our foreign entanglements are driven by something that is very wrong on a base level.  I think that what that "something" is, is gradually being exposed to the world, despite a grand effort to keep it concealed.  One of the best short summery articles I have read to date.  Share it with your friends....or enemies, if you prefer.  

In reply to by wide angle tree

the artist 11b40 Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:01 Permalink

The pivot toward Russia is real and is inevitable. Shocking to some, it comes bundled with a pivot toward Iran and away from Saudi Arabia. The world at large does not percieve the great difference between Shia and Sunni Islam. I would take neither if given the choice but we live in a pragmatic world where the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Iran is pro-west (once you discount the cleric fanatics) and would easily integrate. Its time to remove the yoke placed upon them by the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Clinton Cabal. Russia is not our enemy and Iran is not our enemy. 

In reply to by 11b40

DjangoCat 11b40 Wed, 11/08/2017 - 11:42 Permalink

It is hard to share ZH with friends and enemies because of the ad blitz going on.  Unless they know how to cope, it can be an unpleasant experience.  I understand the concept though and more power to the Tylers.Also, ZH has been outed as a Russian collaborator and a nest of conspiracy theorists, so many of my contemporaries will not even look. Sad.

In reply to by 11b40