The Washington Post's Shoddy Defense Of The Russiagate Investigation

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

An editorial in the February 2nd Washington Post headlines “The Nunes memo shows the opposite of what Trump hoped it would prove”, and its first argument is that “the memo reveals that there were preexisting [i.e., prior to the FBI’s investigation into the DNC's infamous Steele dossier, which even Steele himself acknowledged was probably 10% to 30% false] grounds to investigate, based on information about a different Trump associate. So the president cannot construe this memo as offering evidence that the Russia probe began corruptly.” 

However, the Nunes Memo isn’t alleging “that the Russia probe began corruptly.” 

It is instead arguing that when the FBI’s follow-on investigation reached the point where they would need permission from the FISA (or “FISC”) court in order to obtain evidence that might possibly implicate US President Trump in impeachable offenses, the FBI resorted to an ilegal tactic to win the court’s okay: hiding crucial material information from the FISA court. That’s the case the Nunes Memo is actually summarizing.

The FBI began its investigation into the Steele dossier after it had already begun its investigation — based upon then-credible grounds to investigate — regarding George Papadopoulos (a supporter of Trump and aspirant for a position in his Administration if Trump would win). 

There is no question that the initial FBI investigation began in July 2016 and had nothing to do with the Steele dossier; this is acknowledged even by National Review, a Republican publication that seeks Trump’s impeachment and replacement by Mike PenceNR notes that, “The investigation isn’t the fruit of the poisonous dossier (though the dossier did play a role); it existed before the dossier.” But the Nunes Memo doesn’t deny this, either.

However, unlike the Washington Post, even NR had the journalistic integrity to make clear that “if the evidence upon which the investigation was opened is sound, then the investigation is appropriate.” The Washington Post, obviously, did not. The Post simply started with the false assumption that the Nunes Memo argues “that the Russia probe began corruptly.” 

Then, NR says, “Ironically enough, the memo in fact confirms the necessity of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller,” and NR then ignores the legal conditions under which a Special Counsel may be appointed to remove a given investigation from the domain of the US Justice Department. These legal reuirements are extremely vague, but they do include "•(b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.” President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions yielded to political pressures — both from Democrats and from far-right Republicans (reminiscent of the close bonds that existed in the 1950s between the far-right Republican Joe McCarthy and his strong Democratic supporters Henry ’Scoop’ Jackson and Bobby Kennedy) — to start that anti-Russia and anti-Trump process; and there would likely have been considerable flak from those same political quarters if Sessions had not yielded to them on this matter, but there was no requirement for Sessions to do so. If he had not done so, then their attempt to replace Trump by Pence would have proceeded more slowly. The Nunes Memo alleges that even the possibility of the appointment of a Special Counsel wouldn’t have existed if the FISA court had not (unknowingly) allowed US national-security and intelligence-gathering laws to be broken. 

On 21 October 2016, the Obama Justice Department and its FBI sought from the FISA court a probable-cause to get its approval to obtaining all information that the Obama Administration (including its CIA, NSA, etc.) had acquired regarding contacts between Russia on the one hand and Trump and his team on the other — the court’s permission for the sitting President to gather this information against the man who was then running against that sitting President’s chosen heir-apparent. It was at this time that the Steele dossier became ‘evidence’ for the court — and the court was blocked from seeing the evidence that should have excluded the court from accepting Steele’s document as being evidence in this matter. After all, if even the Steele dossier’s author admitted publicly that his document was somewhere between 10% and 30% false, then to accept it as constituting ‘evidence’, is to accept what even the document’s author admits contains that much falsehood; and, to impeach a President on grounds like that would be an atrocity.

This is what the Nunes Memo is actually about. It’s about legal and illegal process.

Then, the Washington Post says, “Second, the memo indicates that the Justice Department sought its warrant against Mr. Page in October 2016 — after Mr. Page had left the Trump campaign. So the president’s campaign was not the intended target.”

That’s a non-sequitor; the possibility exists that both “Mr. Page had left the Trump campaign” and “the president’s campaign was … the intended target.” In order to explore whether or not that was actually so would require the type of investigation that the Nunes Memo purports to be summarizing.

The Post’s third argument is that the FISA court wouldn’t have renewed the approval three times if its initial grant of Obama’s spying against Trump hadn’t been legally and soundly based — including all the information that the Nunes Memo summarizes, and which had been hidden from that court.

The Post’s fourth and final argument (but followed by lots of subordinate and un-numbered points) is:

For the conspiracy narrative to hold any water, one would have to believe that officials appointed by a Republican president, including one confirmed by a Republican Senate, were part of a plot to bring down that same Republican president, and that they successfully hoodwinked FISA judges selected by the Republican-appointed chief justice of the United States. This hoodwinking would have continued after the nature of the dossier had been widely publicized and Mr. Page’s Russian connections publicly scrutinized. This is beyond improbable.

“Beyond Improbable” though the people who hire and fire at the Washington Post are obviously claiming it to be, the Nunes Memo cites and alleges powerful evidence that much of that did, in fact, happen.

The Memo's allegations and evidence will be seriously considered by all of America’s journalistic institutions, even if (as at the Washington Post) ignored by a great many of America's propaganda institutions (the ones that prefer a President Pence to President Trump, which include all Democratic Party outlets, and many Republican Party ones as well).

On February 3rd, the brilliant intelligence analyst W. Patrick Lang boldly attempted an analysis of what very possibly might explain all of this, though he presented it under the unfortunately obscure heading of "Habakkuk on ‘longtime’ sources:” and I consider it stunning.

In any case: anyone who believes ‘news’ media only because they’re famous (and despite the considerable evidence that they’re not to be trusted) is going to be a happy gull of either Democratic Party billionaires or Republican Party billionaires; and a country with a majority like that won’t be any democracy at all.

To boil this all down: the Nunes Memo summarizes a case that the campaign to replace Trump by Pence has used tactics which are illegal in the United States, and which should be illegal in any democracy.

The best summary that I have seen of the Nunes Memo is this (which also happens to be from Pat Lang), which also links directly to the best online source for the document itself (so, if after seeing that summary, you wish to see the document that’s being summarized, both are right there).

Comments

vato poco Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:13 Permalink

wellll, whores gonna whore. 

saaaaaaay, why DID Jeff Bezos - a very sharp bidnessman - drop all that money on a tattered relic of a dying industry anyway??

ThirteenthFloor Crawdaddy Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:31 Permalink

Like CBS and other major outlets they’re CIA assets.  Started with Project Mockingbird, even as early as 1952 with the Predisposition against USSR Program.  Brandee’ and Graham’s were dirty and well connected to CIA in many ways.

wanna know more CIA assets in media ?  This was 1977, and Bernstein worked at the Post.

http://carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

In reply to by Crawdaddy

AurorusBorealus Crawdaddy Wed, 02/14/2018 - 01:48 Permalink

The whore of Babylon is a reference to several things.  First, it refers to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar.  According to Herodotus, who visted Babylon during the reign of Artaxerxes, the temple to Ishtar in ancient Babylon was the center of prostitution in the ancient capital.  Every woman in Babylonia (the region of southern Mesopotamia of which Babylon was the center) was required, once in her life, to sell herself as a prostitute at the temple and donate the money to the priestesses.  Thus the street to the temple was ever lined with prostitutes, and men came from far to purchase the wares of these one-time amateur prostitutes.

 The temple was several blocks south of the courtyard of the royal palace, built by Nebuchadnezzar, where Artaxerxes wintered.  The courtyard of the royal palace in ancient Babylon was the economic heart of the ancient world.  Here is where joint-stock companies were formed with seal and charter of the Babylonian and later Persian kings (and archeologists have unearthed tens of thousands of economic records from the ruins of Babylon).  Here was the center (and origin) of banking, investing (along with Assyria), and the monetary system of the world up until the petrodollar.  It was the Babylonians and Assyrians who established the gold, silver, bronze standard of hard currency.  The courtyard of the palace in ancient Babylon was Wall Street to the ancient world.  So, it is no surprise that the greatest house of prostitution in human history was just down the way.

Now Ishtar was depicted by the Babylonians as a woman with a cup (hence the biblical imagery).  Often milk was flowing out of her breasts into the cup: a reference to ancient, pre-polytheistic, shamanism in which fertility rituals were necessary to "feed" the local spirits and produce abundance.  It is these anceint fertility rituals that gave rise to the cults of prostitution at the various ancient temples.  As the connections to shamanism vanished over the centuries, Istar came to be symbolized, from time to time, as a woman in flowing robes, holding aloft a torch.

This Babylonian image of a woman holding aloft a torch was adopted by the Romans to depict their goddess Libertas.  Libertas was later depicted, bare-chested, (like Ishtar) as the leader of the French revolution by the famous French painter, Jacques Louis David, in the immortal Liberty Leading the People.  Finally, in 1869, Libertas served as the model for the Statue of Liberty, which, ironically (or not), now sits in New York Harbor, about 6 miles from the only place in the world named Babylon: Babylon, Long Island.  Of course, New Yorkers ironically (or not) often refer to their entire city as Babylon, which is appropriate, since it is now home of Ishtar and is the center of the modern global financial system.

(Rev 17:18)  "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."  There can be no question about what city reigns over the kings of the earth in our time.  This became clear in 1929 when a crisis on Wall Street triggered a world-wide financial depression and became even more clear in financial crisis of 2008.  Of course the current "hammer of the whole earth" and mehlek (leader or king) of the literal city named Babylon is Donald Trump, is a New-York native.  The real Mother of Whores stands in the water, wearing flowing robes, just as the prophet described, and she rides the beast of the earth: 7 continents, 7 heads.

Now, you know the mystery of Babylon.  You will have to read my book if you want to know more "mysteries."
 

 

In reply to by Crawdaddy

I Write Code Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

WaPo is all about #shoddynews and #fakenews.

I mean, ZH was rumored to be a Russian front years before it was fashionable, so I'm sure we're all on a list for reeducation as soon as the FBI gets around to it, but as long as WaPo is still being printed I can't see that anything on ZH amounts to a hill of beans, or even a single bean.  Hey Putin I want a dollar for every comment I post here.

GeoffreyT I Write Code Tue, 02/13/2018 - 23:18 Permalink

Russian front? All's quiet on the Russian front...

That said, the false trope that ZHers were clandestine Russophile assets will, no doubt, please our paymasters in Teheran and Beijing.

Srsly though... it says a lot about the political class' ['s? WGAF] understanding of the outright fucking stupidity of the average schlub: the political parasites are pretty canny - they know that you can jingo up a Two Minutes' Hate without bothering to even look up who was the object of yesterday's two minutes.

Yesterday, China in the Spratlys or building sand islands in the South CHINA Sea was evidence that them ChiComs was a-gunna tuk ahr jahbs; the day before Kim Jong-Un was going to send female ninjas to cut everyone's cock off (or whatever); the day before that, Poootin was a Jedi-Mentat mastermind Go-Chess Hypermaster who was gonna make everyone vote to send themselves to the gulag; and on and on back to Amedinejad and his nook-lee-uh weapons of mass hysteria.

Mencken got it kinda right:

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

He was half-right because "keep[ing] the populace alarmed" is only a means to the actual aim - the actual aim of practical politics is to transfer unimaginably large amounts of wealth from the society at large, to a select group of absolute fucking scum who should be wiped off the face of the earth - politicians, senior bureaucrats and their felow-travelers and enablers.

 

(The reason I've used bold-caps for South CHINA Sea, is to give the geographically-illiterate a hint as to whereabouts it's located. It's nowhere near Galveston, nor is it anywhere other place that the US government has a genuine national interest - senior politicians getting hard cocks about how much of the planet they claim to control, is not a genuine national interest).

 

In reply to by I Write Code

NoDebt Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

I have noticed that as the scope of this investigation/counter-investigation has widened, the people who might potentially be brought up on charges has narrowed DRAMATICALLY.  Only mid-level functionaries are in any danger now.

Short version:  Hillary and Obama are absolutely safe now.  Neither will ever face prosecution.  Most of those in close orbit to them are safe now as well.  (To wit:  explain to me exactly what they would be charged with and by whom.)

This has devolved into pure political trench-level warfare.  I no longer give a shit what happens because there will be nothing like "justice" done here.  

 

HopefulCynical NoDebt Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:29 Permalink

I believe you are probably correct.

I also believe that the fucktards in the Swamp will be VERY surprised to find themselves hanging from lampposts all over DC.

I also believe that this is going to happen before very long - unless Obama, Clinton, Muller, Comey, McCabe and Rosenstein all go to Federal Pound Me in the Ass Prison, where they fucking belong.

The degree of rage amongst the populace is being hidden in the Marxist media - but we have the Internet now, so we don't need to rely on those shitgobblers any longer...

In reply to by NoDebt

BetterRalph NoDebt Wed, 02/14/2018 - 06:16 Permalink

Hillary didn't secure Classified data I don't know the Law Code but I saw it. It's out there, you need to look.

try uh "Hillary R. Clinton Part 01 of 05.pdf"   page 26 of 47    maybe some on pg 25 also eh..

But I seen the classified NDA with the corresponding and embracing USC or whatever codes they are called somewhere (I simply forget where I ain't a lawyer and I suck at numbers like that)

She mishandled SECRET products, and then tries to cover it up.  FBI/DOJ leadership takes over and covers it up.

She mishandled SAP products.

She's TOAST. Never to run for POTUS because of the mishandling Classified data.  DISQUALIFIED. she can't get a clearance.

IF that's not enough, the Clinton Foundation wasn't validly organized in 2010

SO blagh..... all these be

invalid audits; false registrations; undisclosed conflicts.

American India Foundation
International AIDS Trust
Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative INC
William J. Clinton Foundation
Bush Clinton Katrina Fund
Clinton-Glustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) and the "initiative"
William J clinton Foundation -UK
Clinton Global Initiative, Inc.
Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc.
Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund
Alliance for a Healthier Generation Inc
C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Clinton Health Access Initiative-UK

Not out of the woods, into the SUPERMAX.

In reply to by NoDebt

MuffDiver69 Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:25 Permalink

“It is instead arguing that when the FBI’s follow-on investigation reached the point where they would need permission from the FISA (or “FISC”) court in order to obtain evidence that might possibly implicate US President Trump in impeachable offenses, the FBI resorted to an ilegal tactic to win the court’s okay: hiding crucial material information from the FISA court. That’s the case the Nunes Memo is actually summarizing.

My brother is a patent lawyer but thinks like them only when necessary....the above quote is what he mentioned to me and is the only point of the short memo...at its core it’s what Dershowitz keeps explaining to his liberal friends and this boils down to the simple point even ones enemies have civil liberties and Page’s were treated like used toilet paper...The Democrats crossed a bridge in this crap....civil liberties was one of the few things they had going..oh well..

bobdog54 Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:27 Permalink

Why does the Post even get press, Bezos and his Post are shitbags so why give them the time of day.  Fucking traitors, lower than a snake’s belly, pond scum pieces of muzzi shit...

hooligan2009 Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:34 Permalink

why is the FISA court above suspicion?

this " a Special Counsel wouldn’t have existed if the FISA court had not (unknowingly) allowed US national-security and intelligence-gathering laws to be broken " is an assertion, which, in the cess pit of sex, lies and videotapes, is not one that necessarily holds true - in other words, this sentence could be written thusly:

" a Special Counsel wouldn’t have existed if the FISA court had not (KNOWINGLY) allowed US national-security and intelligence-gathering laws to be broken

Thom Paine Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:37 Permalink

NY Time, WaPo have totally destroyed their credibility over their extreme Hate Trump attacks on behalf of their owners.

We all know NY Times, WaPo, CNN are all Deep State operators and central function is to protect Deep State/Swamp corruption.

Oliver Klozoff Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:41 Permalink

"President Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions yielded to political pressures — both from Democrats and from far-right Republicans ... to start that anti-Russia and anti-Trump process; and there would likely have been considerable flak from those same political quarters if Sessions had not yielded to them on this matter, but there was no requirement for Sessions to do so. If he had not done so, then their attempt to replace Trump by Pence would have proceeded more slowly."

 

This too, was obvious from the start but excluding my own ravings, this is the first time I've read this in print.

 

Is it any wonder why Flynn lied to pence?

Oliver Klozoff Oliver Klozoff Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:55 Permalink

This also puts to rest any "12D Zen master Trump" nonsense.

He's human and makes mistakes. A lot of them revolve around the trust he places in people.

He bought pence's piety shtick, probably had to agree to priebus and sessions to get any cooperation from the deep repugs. It's tough to realize just how venal and base the washington swamp really is, yet somehow he has kept telling the truth despite the howlings of the deep state press machine.

Maybe that's all you need to be successful; just keep telling the truth, eventually truth wins.

In reply to by Oliver Klozoff

shimmy Tue, 02/13/2018 - 22:49 Permalink

Why does anyone really give a shit? Why do people in the alternative media keep writing about WaPo and other libtard companies that are biased and whining like little bitches? Do they think lefties are going to read their articles and have a change of heart and suddenly stop putting value in WaPo, CNN and the like? Do they think people from those companies are going to read the criticism and have a change of hear and suddenly not be so blatantly biased?

It's amazing what a joke things have become. You have all the triggered libtards because of ONE GUY being president and then you have the triggered righties and trumptards that go on about the triggered libtards. It's childish on both sides. 

BetterRalph Wed, 02/14/2018 - 05:55 Permalink

ACCESS DENIED.

why isn't WAPO in your blacklists already? WHO CARES what they say? They are not journalists, they are activists.

Go back to the fake news blacklist. Come on, you remember the nucleus from wikileaks. (go find it don't trust me)  stop reacting to *THEIR NARRATIVE* drive the narrative instead. List source modified from wikileaks, for my personal use and the beginning to get it up into squid and Iptables as a "fake news blacklist"

The New York Times The Washington Post CNN NBC News MSNBC CBS News ABC News Salon.com The Huffington Post Rolling Stone BBC News Sky News Financial Times Politico New York Daily News L.A. Times - USA Today US News & World Report CBC Gawker Newsweek Time Business Insider Daily Beast VICE - Yahoo News Daily Kos Young Turks - tytnetwork.com - 104.239.226.209 Slate NPR PBS Raw Story New Yorker Buzzfeed MoveOn - squid blacklist moveon.org Think Progress Media Matters Wonkette Center for American Progress Little Green Footballs The Economist VOX

 

(not from wikileaks)

The British media is majority leftwing including the Biased Bullshitting Corp BBC. All the TV news channels are leftie. But a few newspapers stay centre right (Express, Mail and telegraph) but the Times, Guardian and FT are all leftwing.

Squid devs should add "fake news blacklist" to squid, fact based, there's nothing subjective about it.

 

I literally rather spend my time talking about squid than WAPO

JoseyWalesTheOutlaw Wed, 02/14/2018 - 08:07 Permalink

The only reason this many groups would try to hard to remove The Don is he must be really bad for their business. The look on their face (congress) on Inauguration Day told the story. If The Don actually had the senate then he could do great work. The rhino's will not allow that even if Mitch change the rules the two ugly women senators from Alaska and Maine would stop anything. Trump is going to have to blow up the useless MF republican party before he heads out in 2020. JMO but he will NOT run again. Why should he. 

Expat Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:35 Permalink

What was illegal about the process?  And simply not saying something does not mean you condone that thing or deny that thing.   What is the point of this post?  Where in the Nunes memo does it say there is conspiracy to impeach Trump?

I knew you guys were sick and twisted fuckwits, but I though you had a shred of intelligence left.  I guess I am wrong.