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I'm shocked no one else seems to have pointed out Trump-Putin-Wikileaks ties to explain latest Wikileaks release: https://t.co/JTUdOnMQM1
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) March 9, 2017
Because if you had done a keyword search you would have found:
Reality Conforms to My Expectations: Today’s Wikileaks Release
Earlier today a couple of you asked me what I thought of the Wikileaks release. I wrote the following in two related comments. I’m highlighting the relative parts and I’ve edited the non-essential portions out from the original comments.
Wikileaks is a distro arm, and has been for a while, of the Russian government. Given that some of what was dropped – and please remember I am, like everyone else with a clearance, not allowed to actually look at anything Wikileaks posts because I don’t need to know it whether its spilled onto the unclassified Internet or not, so I’m working off of other people’s reporting – claims that the CIA has the ability to make its cyber activities look like Russian Intelligence’s cyber activities. And that this is the stuff being pushed heavily by the known Russian governmental propaganda outlets, their fellow travelers, and sites/individuals that seek to shield the President from all criticism… It is important to remember that there is a remarkable amount of overlap, in terms of time and language, between what is reported and tweeted and distroed by other social media by RT and Sputknik towards the US on this stuff, what is then reported and tweeted/retweeted and distroed by other social media by FOX News personalities (Hannity, the Fox and Friends lack of brains trust), right wing radio talkers (Levin, Hewitt, etc), Breitbart, WND, etc, and then, ultimately the President and a number of folks in and around his inner circle. This pattern has been going on and remarked on for months and is quite bizarre.
I think what you’re going to see, and I want to clarify from above, that the claim will be that the CIA did the hacking into the DNC and RNC on Obama’s request, but made it look like Russia and made it looked like Russia was helping the President’s campaign. That’s the only reason you start talking about the CIA having the ability to make its hacking tools and malware look like Russia’s. This will be in order to discredit the charges of Russian hacking and a Russian campaign of active measures in support of the President’s campaign.
Hopefully that makes more sense.
For the record, he did write a very nice piece on the subject at FP. However, a simple key word search would have spared him some ribbing on twitter. I’m not the only one who quickly came to the conclusion that this is what we would see happen. Largely, and unfortunately, because there is a very obvious pattern to follow.
Show off ;- )
But we love you, you’re our show off, keep it up.
“No one else”??? Christ. Is he blind or just willfully stupid?
This can’t be called journalism any more. We need a new word.
Adam L Silverman
@hovercraft: He’s a sharp guy. He should know better. At the time I made my comment responses on Tuesday – about 1 in the afternoon or so, there were at least five tweets I’d seen from knowledgable folks across the political spectrum speculating this would happen. In the actual comments to the thread where I was asked, I caveated that first comment (part of what I removed for clarity), that I’d seen others making similar responses. By the time I did the post that night it was all over twitter.
The Internet, how does it work?
Adam L Silverman
@hovercraft: Also, I couldn’t bring myself to write about today’s bomb threats against a Jewish children’s museum. Maybe when I get back from the gym. Those posts are starting to get depressing.
Adam L Silverman
@Yarrow: He was lazy in this. He probably scanned his usual sources, or had his assistant do it, came up with nothing, and went to town.
Adam L Silverman
@WereBear: He’s not a journalist. He’s a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. And he writes a column at FP.
@Adam L Silverman:
I have been reliably informed that it is, in fact, a series of tubes. And if you would care to debate that fact you will need to engage the services of a medium to perform a seance.
@Adam L Silverman:
Go work it off, it’ll still be here when you get back, ugh.
Sadly this is becoming the new normal, as long as the White House is the bastion of ant-Semites and racists this will continue. Saying you condemn the attacks whilst harboring the likes of Bannon is meaningless, actually worse than meaningless, it’s a wink and a nod, to carry on.
@Adam L Silverman: I was basing that on “column writer” thanks. :)
@Corner Stone: And, lately, the tubes are connected to clouds. Also thermostats and refrigerators.
My libertarian techbro friend (yes, I have one!) got really mad at me when I started laughing hysterically at his “did you hear about Wikileaks and the CIA” bit last night. He was reduced to sputtering and GG-patented “reverse McCarthyism!” charges when I called Wikileaks “the newest propaganda arm of Russia Today!”
Maybe I should point *him* to your article. On the other hand, for the sake of our continued amity, maybe I won’t. He always finds a way to argue with me over what I consider irrefutable points – and vice versa – so maybe I just need to remember, “once a libertarian techbro, always a libertarian tech bro”.
Or in other words…”forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”
@Adam L Silverman: They’re starting to get email bomb threats in Toronto and Vancouver.
@Adam L Silverman: Reposting from TaMara’s thread about Maggie. This is not exactly your beat but sort of related.
I have a request.
ACA repeal is very important but can we also have an FP about General Kelly’s plan to separate mothers from their children to deter border crossings? And also a discussion of his other grotesque initiatives.
And their chilling effect on not just the affected immigrants but anyone who could be mistaken for them. In fact any non-Christian non white person.
@Miss Bianca: You cannot wake up some one who is pretending to be asleep is what my grandma used to say.
Tourism industry winning!
Just to add something to the stew, Friend of Trump Nigel Farage visited Julian Assange today. Of course, Farage is also a Friend of Marine Le Pen, and she has an election coming up, in which no doubt leaks about the opposition would be useful. And they’re all Friends of Putin.
@Yarrow: At least 2 of my acquaintances have postponed their travel plans. Husband kitteh has cancelled his plans to go to India this April. And M-I-L’s plans for a visit are in limbo right now.
No one is a Muslin or an immigrant either, all these were touristy visits.
@Yarrow: POLL: 46% of Germans interested in traveling to US say they won’t because of President Trump(GfK SE poll)— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) March 8, 2017
My wife and I are doing a week in Toronto to replace our Memphis/St. Louis/Kansas City trip that we cancelled because we just didn’t couldn’t spend our money in red states this year. We’re also doing a New England cruise so no problems there.
@Adam L Silverman:
Agree, I think of him as the foreign policy version of Josh Barrow, I disagree with him on a lot of stuff but he’s not insane and his take is interesting and sometimes persuasive.
What if anything do you make of this:
Did Nigel Farage Serve as Roger Stone’s Intermediary?
by Martin Longman
……………Yesterday, The Smoking Gun wrote up an extensive article on their contacts with Guccifer 2.0, the “online persona that U.S. officials say was created by Russian government officials to distribute and publicize material stolen during hacks of the DNC………..
The main focus of their article was Roger Stone, however, who had significant online contacts with the Guccifer 2.0 persona, called him a hero, and defended him extensively against accusations that he wasn’t who or what he claimed to be. It’s a fascinating article, and it just became much more urgently interesting this morning after BuzzFeed News reported that they essentially busted Nigel Farage coming out of a meeting with Julian Assange today in Ecuador’s London embassy.
It’s an interesting read, and possibly another bread crumb on how Putin “hacked our election” with the full knowledge of the presidents campaign. The trail is getting closer to the penthouse.Nogel Farage, bag man, who knew.
I’m gonna go with “trapped in a bubble”. The problem isn’t that nobody is saying what he’s saying, just that nobody he pays attention to had said it yet.
@hovercraft: it’s that and the fact that his ‘condemnations’ are mild rebukes at best…he might as well have a chryon running at the bottom of the screen during the 15 seconds he’s making a statement that says “keep up the good work.”
Yeah, I’m doing this Disneyworld trip and then my money stays in blue states. Sorry, red state friends. I know it’s going to suck for you since you’re hostage in those states, but since they keep saying they don’t want my dirty liberal money, I’m going to stop giving it to them.
Provided that it could and would be reversed, I’d love to spend a couple hours as a “libertarian tech bro” and have all these special insights into how the world works, despite all evidence to the contrary. Maybe I could get a souvenir Bitcoin on my way back to reality? Who knows…
And those tubes are full of cats.
Well of course that’s the most important thing going on right now, and just to make sure we keep our eyes off the real story.
Sessions considers special counsel, but not for Trump
03/09/17 12:55 PM—Updated 03/09/17 01:02 PM
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that he would be open to bringing in an outside counselor to investigate the practices of his Department of Justice predecessors under former President Barack Obama.
Sessions was asked about such an arrangement during an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who suggested that Sessions might ask outside counsel to look into the department under Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch.
According to the published transcript, Hewitt argued that the Obama era was “a bad eight years” for the Justice Department, specifically pointing to “the IRS case, the Fast and Furious case, Secretary Clinton’s server.” Hewitt, who didn’t appear to be kidding, asked, “How about an outside counsel, not connected to politics, to review the DOJ’s actions in those matters with authority to bring charges if underlying crimes are uncovered in the course of the investigation, and just generally to look at how the Department of Justice operated in the highly-politicized Holder-Lynch years?”
Sessions said he’s eager to “restore the independence and professionalism of the Department of Justice,” adding that he and his team would “consider” outside special counsel.
Hewitt argued that the IRS matter was a particular point of concern, to which the A.G. added that the story remains “a matter of real concern to me.”
Even by 2017 standards, this is remarkably misguided.
The chutzpah on these people knows no bounds.
@hovercraft: This made me larf.
There’s an app for that…
@schrodingers_cat: People I know on green cards, including white men, have postponed travel indefinitely because they aren’t sure if they can get back in the country. These are people from countries generally considered allies.
And yet I don’t know if it will ever make a ticky’s worth of difference to Republican voters. My sister-in-law’s sister (I have no idea what that makes my relationship to her) proudly posted on FB yesterday how she chose to go shopping and made sure to buy an Ivanka Trump blouse before she went in to work, in the hopes of “pissing off at least one liberal.” Women (and men) went on strike, marched, wore red, avoided shopping, all in an attempt to raise awareness of equality issues. Her reaction was wanting to make a liberal upset.
How do you deal with that kind of pointless, generalized rage? She’s got a good job and is paid a comparable wage to her male counterparts. Why the need to try to make someone else angry?
Seriously; it has nothing to do with policy or security or patriotism; it’s about “winning” over their fellow Americans and if it requires them to eventually learn the Cyrillic alphabet, I think they’re fine with it, as long they can point at liberals and say “nyah nyah.”
Or “nyet, nyet,” as the case may be.
She posted a photo of the blouse. It’s not attractive.
@Yarrow: There’s a lot of white people who aren’t really white. If you know what I mean.
Adam L Silverman
@hovercraft: Not time for the gym quite yet, but that was my plan.
@Yarrow: And this is important because Germans are mostly White, which is all White Supremacist Americans care about. Trump’s policies are horrific to the kind of people that President Bannon holds up as superior. Interesting. Let’s see what happens when our tourism numbers really start to decline.
@hovercraft: good grief! Banana, meet your republic.
Their Trump support is supposedly based on the idea that Trump is less hawkish than Clinton.
They believed something Donald Trump said in that campaign. Good God. We’re probably talking months before Trump invades somewhere or other, if he isn’t secretly bombing something already. How could anyone believe him? He lied PUBLICLY and DAILY for two years.
The fact that he’s dumb enough to think that’s plausible is scary. What the hell is wrong with these people trying to clean up this mess right in front of our eyes, all the while telling us there’s nothing to see here. Sadly it’s working so far, the rubes still think we’re the “red” America hating commies, but they love them some Putin and his best buds Julian and Ed, my head hurts.
@Nicole: And yet the mainstream media keeps telling people like me that we need to be doing outreach to hostile people like your S-I-L. Why in heavens would we have to do that when they are such nasty folks whose only aim is to piss us off? Let them suffer with the rest of us for voting in an unqualified Bigot into the White House. And our side will continue to resist to piss them off and show Trump and his sycophants that he doesn’t have universal support.
Adam L Silverman
@Doug R: I’ve seen reporting on those. Its a not so well kept secret that for decades that the Christian Identity folks, which is the sect of racialized charismatic Christianity (Church of Jesus Christ Christian) adhered to by a lot of the Klan and white supremacist and white nationalist and other extremists were going back and forth across the US-Canadian border. If you go back to the early 90s and watch the documentary Blood in the Face, based on the book of the same name, there’s interviews with a couple of the leaders from the Canadian side who fled south to the US and some of the followers as well. And the major biker gang in Easter Canada is heavily white supremacist.
Are you talking about a Google search?
Adam L Silverman
@schrodingers_cat: Let me think a bit about the best way to approach that. If you don’t see something by Monday, send me an email to remind me. How’s that.
@Patricia Kayden: Tourism numbers have already started to decline. Lots of articles if you do a search. I’m keeping an eye out for first quarter earnings results from travel and tourist related businesses – hotels, airlines, etc. Also projections forward. Summer is tourist industries make a lot of their money and I am expecting projections to be down.
But of course tourism jobs aren’t real jobs. Real jobs are only factory jobs.
@Jeffro: You know, the funny thing is – on a personal level, dude is great – he is a good neighbor, a staunch and loyal friend, has a great sense of humor, and has patiently and generously provided me with countless hours of tech help, for free, that has saved my bacon at work more than once. It’s just that he CANNOT see how it is that his particular set of circumstances – being born white and male, and with a skill set greatly in demand that has provided him with a career and money beyond the reach of most Americans – ENABLE him to believe what he believes. Libertarianism – or Jeffersonian democracy, whatever you want to call it – only works for a small subset of people who share his particular set of circumstances. I only pray he doesn’t get the sort of rude awakening in terms of a personal catastrophe that is probably the only thing that would change his mind about the necessity and efficacy of the “nanny state.”
I was supposed to visit Microsoft / Redmond this year on a business trip. It is very likely that I’ll stay in Austria instead.
My appetite for a non-friendly interaction with cbp is zero.
Adam L Silverman
@Yarrow: It should give one pause when the Germans are unwilling to travel to your country because they have problems with your immigration and border control policies. Just saying.
Adam L Silverman
@Barney: Saw that earlier. And to be more accurate they’re all funded by Putin. Would be interested to find out if they’re also funded by the Mercers.
@schrodingers_cat: Re: Kelly
When your official statements read like outtakes from Hansel and Gretel, it’s time to rethink your life choices.
@Adam L Silverman: Starting to?
@hovercraft: Oh, FFS!! How can these people DO this. How can they look at themselves in the mirror??
You know, my heart and Villago Delenda Est’s do not beat as one on all the issues, but I am starting to edge a little closer to his “wipe ’em out. Every.last.one” mentality with every passing day. And that scares me.
@otmar: Yep. Anecdotally I’m hearing a lot of the same thing.
@Adam L Silverman: Heh. I have mentioned a couple of times that my neighbor works for a global company but headquartered in the US. The Germans have postponed indefinitely any projects with them and trips to the US because of perceived instability. They do not want their people traveling here.
Obviously my neighbor is just one person I’ve talked to, but the survey kind of backs it up. People don’t want to come here and they may not want to do business with us. At the very least they’re just waiting to see what happens. We’re unstable. That’s not good for business.
Boot is yet another neoconservative who I will put aside my differences with for the good of the country. Frum is still my favorite of that breed, however, since his Twitter snark is the best, and he seemed ready to ditch the GOP as far back as 2010, when Shitgibbon was nothing more than a failed casino developer and scam artist.
If you can’t get positive attention, you will settle for negative.
I think that might work for the word “action” too. Though, of course, that is seriously messed up,
One day, Republican will be the term for a mental disorder marked by resentment, irrational behavior, spite, and self-harm. Hasten the day!
You don’t, I’m sorry to keep saying this, but those people are beyond reach, she’s not voting or shopping for anything positive, she’s doing so in order to spite other people, random strangers she’s never met, motivated her to leave her house and do spend her hard earned money to piss them off. I have more respect for the hardcore forced birth brigades or the anti gay rights people, they are wrong, but they are voting for something they believe in, they may be trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of us, but they believe in something. This S-I-L once removed is voting out of hate, she’s beyond reach.
@Miss Bianca: Join us on the Dark Side. We have cookies. And also plans to recycle their remains after wiping them out.
Put Tweety at the top of that list, Hillary was just too hawkish, at least Twitler wouldn’t get us involved in anymore Middle East misadventures, he would at least focus on rebuilding America’s infrastructure.
So whether there was collusion or not the Russian government and Wikileaks wanted Trump elected.
And the main focus of these Right wing nationalists is immigration. Not true in the US- the main focus of Trump is directing more money to rich people and privatizing everything, but immigration is a big piece of Trumpism.
So how does Russia benefit from restricting immigration?
@Yarrow: Last year my cousin from Delhi was here for about 10 days. She was in NYC for a week and then visited us over the weekend. She spent a fair bit buying gifts etc. People like her will spend their tourist dollars elsewhere.
One of the front-page posts yesterday was about US Marines landing in Syria. So much other shit is going on that I think the post got a little lost.
I am once again grateful that a minor medical issue kept my nephew from going into the Marines this summer, and I am now urging him to get back on medication for his ADHD so he will be undraftable if push comes to shove.
Don’t blame you, I have to say this is the first time I’m beginning to wish I lived abroad.
@Kay: American prestige and international standing in the toilet is a win-win for Putin.
Adam L Silverman
@hovercraft: Boot’s a sharp guy. Writes interesting books. Don’t agree with a lot of his take. Some of that is experiential as I’m a practitioner and he isn’t. Does not, however, mean he shouldn’t be read and taken seriously.
As for the Stone theory. I’ve seen it. Stone has (at least) twice stated that he had a direct contact to Wikileaks. Last Fall during the campaign, when he was intentionally bragging and last weekend when he seems to have unintentionally shot his mouth off while in a twitter feud.
As for the Guccifer 2.0 connection that Smoking Gun reported on: I think its possible, but I don’t know how plausible. The evidence they provide is two or three retweets/tweet replies. The overall report is interesting as a historical backgrounder on Stone and his career, but I’m not sure there’s enough evidence in it to state that he was the connection/one of the connections with Guccifer 2,0 (aka GRU cyber operations).
There is enough coming out, largely because I think several people are starting to panic – Page, Gordon, Stone too (he was never tough he was always a mean bully – there’s a difference) – and are falling all over themselves and each other trying to avoid jeopardy. It has now been confirmed, his denials notwithstanding, that the Trump campaign sent Page to Moscow for those meetings late last Spring/early Summer and that Lewandowski authorized it. This indicates that 1) the connections were in place before Manafort was formally brought on board and 2) the connections are deeper and farther reaching. What we don’t know yet is what all was actually going on. We have a lot of circumstantial evidence. It can be credibly put together into a compelling narrative. But at this point it is still a circumstantial narrative. I fully expect when all is said and done that Farage will be more than waist deep in this stuff. And since Bannon is tied to and promotes Farage’s activities, as well as LePen’s and Wilders’ and their counterparts in Germany and Austria and Italy, I think the Breitbart-Mercer-Cambridge Analytica component is going to be quite interesting.
I think Russia benefits by making the US a less attractive place for people to escape to. IIRC, they’ve been losing population to emigration for a while now.
But, really, Russia just wants to be top dog again, and they don’t care about the petty little internal squabbles here in the US that let them do that. If it became expedient tomorrow for Russia to support the Democrats, they would.
They are counting on the fact that we don’t fight dirty like they do, we lack the killer instinct. That needs to stop we should all get on VDE’s train, we have to, it’s the only way to save us all.
He’s such a dope. Hillary would have ignored infrastructure because she’s a girl. You could dupe him by putting on a hard hat. Wear it to the studio.
Eisenhower built the interstate. He was a goddamned general. One of the reasons they built it was national defense.
We have low quality elites, like Chris Matthews. They’re not smart.
White, male, ‘hot’ skill set…and a weird and stupid belief that somehow such a thing as ‘perfect information’ is or could ever be available to humans, so that they not only make perfect personal decisions but do so in advance.
Even folks who work hard have a very difficult time seeing themselves as ‘lucky’ or privileged in any way, or that someone else’s investments/hard work may have played a role in their success. Libertarians are just another variant on this.
But are they made from real Girl Scouts?
The connection to the clouds works because, as we all know now, there is no such thing as climate change.
@Adam L Silverman: Page strikes me as the weakest, easiest-to-flip link. Would love to see him give up a few folks.
Low birth rate, low life expectancy, vodka among other things, and emigration.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Miss Bianca: Don’t mock or confront, make him explain
“Tell me, if wikileaks is so into transparency and freedom, why is it they never touch these kleptoacries(sp?) like the Russian Federation?”
Make them breach their only mental defenses.
Plus farming, ranching, mining, and timber production. Only jobs that produce tangible goods count as real.
The Moar You Know
@hovercraft: That’s for damn sure. Our last set of school board candidates told their backers they’d rather lose than go negative, all the while having been slammed for YEARS by the GOP member (now two – one more and they own it) who has gone so far as to imply they actively condone and facilitate child molestation.
When you keep going high, you run out of oxygen and die, crashing into the ground at 120 mph with a self-satisfied grin on your dumb face.
@Adam L Silverman:
Thanks as always.
It should be interesting, the drip, drip, drip will not stop, and it will continue to drive Twitler nuts. He enjoyed the never-ending e-mail bullshit, now he gets a taste of it himself. Karma.
I don’t think I believe that it’s all white nationalist fervor or “power” or whatever. Power to what end? Where’s the financial benefit? If you look at immigration from the standpoint of a free trader it’s labor and the ability of labor to move. It’s just like moving a good. You import steel and then you import engineers. You can’t move agriculture out of California so instead you bring in labor. Same for construction or education- anything “place based”. So how do they benefit if we all restrict the ability of labor to move?
Adam L Silverman
@ruviana: I pay attention to this stuff for professional reasons. So I’ve got a pretty decent ability to compartmentalize.
Since it’s an open thread, Scott Pruitt is getting me really steamed up about the ramp-up in climate change denier count (and denial) in the emerging leadership of the EPA.
Some links in the last day:
E.P.A. Head Stacks Agency With Climate Change Skeptics
E.P.A. Chief Doubts Consensus View of Climate Change
EPA chief’s climate change denial is easily refuted by the EPA’s website
This packing of the top levels of the EPA administrative ranks with climate change “skeptics”, AKA People Who Are Threatening Our Future And Our Children And Grandchildren For Short Term Profit , will be pretty hard to fix even if the Russia stuff causes the implosion of the Trump administration.
 Delaying remediation to provide time to cash out from the Carbon Bubble before it pops. So what if missed opportunities for climate change remediation kill hundreds of millions of poor people in the developing world; megadeath (gigadeath) is the price of such profit.
Power for the sake of Power. Its not long term thinking, its short term hedonism.
I think the immigration stuff is an epiphenomenon. Putin wants a bunch of right wing troglodytes in charge throughout the West because they’re most likely to accommodate his wishes. They all happen to share similar narrow-minded nationalist viewpoints, including dislike of outsiders, and that makes them unfriendly to immigration.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: It’s an approach. I’ll keep it in mind.
It’s just weird to me how all these bros are suddenly so into Russia. As if, because the American intel community has led the US into making some horrendous blunders on the world stage, somehow that makes an anti-American Russia some sort of bastion of humanitarian virtue?
My own knee-jerk anti-American-imperialism has been gradually segue-ing, over the course of the Obama years, into a ferocious need to believe in the essential worth of the best American ideals. Christ in the Balkans, am I becoming what is laughingly known as a “patriot” in my latter years? I would never have believed it possible.
Adam L Silverman
@Kay: He benefits by the internal disruptions and political problems caused by both changing what is to be enforced and by changing the how of the enforcement. Part of the strategic objective is to make America, as the premier example of liberal democracy, look unappealing and hypocritical in order to weaken the post WW II and post Cold War global system.
@Miss Bianca: We can’t guarantee that those girl scouts may or may not have been boy scouts at some point prior to baking.
Except that here in CO – as in many other western states – we are dependent not only all of the above, but *also* tourism jobs. It’s the rare person who can’t see the need to try to perserve as many of all these types of jobs as possible.
Soylent Green Thin Mints?
There is no financial benefit, and the white power idiots know there’s no financial benefit. It’s all about being socially dominant. As I keep saying, they want to return to the days when the poorest, most ignorant white sharecropper could force a college-educated black dentist to defer to him and step off the sidewalk under penalty of death. That’s the power they want, not economic power. Social power over everyone else, while everyone else cowers in terror of having a cross burned on their lawn if they resist, or worse.
Adam L Silverman
@Mnemosyne: 1) There isn’t going to be a draft anytime soon – it would be political suicide for elected officials (this causes other, personnel and citizenry problems, but that’s a discussion for another day). 2) This is not a significant escalation, despite what is being described. LTG Townsend, the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve Commander (Commander XVIII Airborne Corps) is doing exactly the same thing that his predecessor LTG MacFarland (Commander III Corps) did with a handful of Marine artillery batteries in Iraq last year before III Corps rotated home and XVIII ABN Corps rotated in. I can state with 100% certainty that LTG Townsend is fully cognizant of the risks of increasing the footprint of Coalition Forces in Syria, especially US Forces.
I try to be generous in thought and deed. But these people are trying to kill us. I’ve run out of patience.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@hovercraft: Shows you how in the Bubble Sessions is, absence of proof is just proof of a bigger conspiracy in Sessions mind. Conservatard logic: Obama is liberal, liberals are evil, evil is Satan, so the reason no one can detect Obama’s numerous crimes is diabolical aid.
So is he bringing in a Freman Constitutional Judge as the Very Special Prosecutor?
As someone else posted the other day, Chris Rock called it when he told us where all of the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric ends up. That train is never late.
@Adam L Silverman:
But why would Right wing nationalists in Europe and the US go along with that? They ARE the post world war big shots. Russia took themselves out so they have something to gain. What does France gain? France almost inevitably loses clout and prestige. Why tie your boat to Russia?
Adam L Silverman
@Jeffro: Gordon’s a retired Navy Commander. He’s raised his hand and taken the oath. He knows exactly how much trouble he could be in. Hence the tap dancing.
@jacy: Soylent Red-State. Marketing shot down green as too eco-friendly.
Because they believe the wrong side won WW II. Seriously.
Forgot to mention; climate change denial is arguably another Russia Connection.
Q: Who benefits from climate change denial?
A: Russia, among others. More profit from fossil fuel (and lots of natural gas for when people are starting to get worried) and plenty of very cold territory that will become warmer.
I have a son who is a Marine recruiter. Thank goodness he’s colorblind, so he is restricted from combat and worked on the communication side. (Even thought he was stationed on a base in Afghanistan when he was active duty, which was damned scary for me…..)
Adam L Silverman
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Assange was raised in a cult. He’s not a libertine. He’s not a libertarian. He’s not a classic liberal. He’s an authoritarian. Having everyone’s secrets and being able to just post them whenever gives him power over everyone. He doesn’t ever have to hold office to demonstrate his power.
@Adam L Silverman:
I will feel better for other reasons if he gets his ADHD properly treated, but that treatment making it impossible for him to be drafted is definitely a longer-term perk.
Sessions will turn out to the catastrophic Trump appointee. It’s sort of doubly horrible because you can’t blame Sessions wholly on Trump. Sessions was elected.
He’s not one of the incompetents and misfits Trump pulled out of the far Right swamp. He was already there. The little weasel was just biding his time, waiting for a far Right nationalist to take power.
Gen Joseph Votel, Trump bootlicker.
Donald Trump definitely did not screw that pooch. No matter what your lying eyes might claim otherwise!
Adam L Silverman
@Kay: They don’t understand nationalism in that sense. They reject multilateralism. They reject the current global order. They perceive them as threats to sovereignty that dilute their national cultures – civil, political, social, religious, and economic. They see the world and every interaction in it as zero sum. The LePens and Farages and Wilders of Europe would have no problem in a united Europe if each of them individually was the tyrant that had united it and subjugated everyone who isn’t French or English or Dutch to their whims.
They’re white supremacists. They think that white people ruling every country and oppressing non-whites is the way things are supposed to be. They have more loyalty to that ideology than to any country.
Cheri Jacobus is another anti-Trump conservative I’ve been reading. She’s even better than Frum. She’s more than anti-Trump, she’s anti-just about everything Trump and the GOP is doing.
Which is stupid, because we’re constantly moving toward an economy of technology and service jobs. The world has moved on. Just ask the producers of buggy whips and whale oil lamps…..
@Mnemosyne: When all you have going for you is your genotype…
In my experience (I live in the Bay Area and have a handful of tech industry-affiliated dudebro type acquaintances) there is also a belief among that set that the GG/Snowden and related topics of surveillance and drones are literally the only issues that actually matter, and so long as the US government is allegedly doing things they don’t approve of, we might as well be Pol Pot’s Cambodia. A few I knew came to hate Obama because of his perceived betrayals on these things, and their hatred blotted out the sun. Health care? Who the fuck cares, the civilians in Pakistan we’re droning to death on purpose don’t get health care!! Iran deal? Who fucking cares, we’re using drooooonesss!!! Dodd-Frank? None of this matters if the NSA might be spying on someone right now. Obama’s an inhuman monster!!!
It was so tiresome. But I’ll grant that I was relieved to see that none of them that I know of went full-Bernie or Bust or Stein. Mostly they said they were only voting Hillary for the Supreme Court. Whatever works, dudebro.
I should add I enjoyed telling these people that Saint Bernie was on the record (repeatedly) as favoring the use of drones, but maybe just a little less than Obama did. Explodey heads resulted.
@Kay: विनाशकाले विपरित बुद्धि*
When destruction is imminent, stupidity prevails.
@WereBear: When all you have is a white prick, every problem is a hole waiting to be filled.
Adam L Silverman
@TenguPhule: Not really. GEN Votel has bigger fish to fry – like staying in place so he can shape the strategy – as in keep it where it is. The CENTCOM Commander is the single worst assignment in the US military. You have the most active Area of Operations. And by active I mean lots of bad things are always happening in it. And everyday you’re on with the President giving him bad news. GEN Votel’s previous assignment was as the SOCOM Commander. During that assignment he got on the phone with the President every day and told him all the cool stuff that SOF was doing around the world (none of which we ever hear about unless/until something goes wrong like it did in Yemen). The key for GEN Votel, as it is for GEN Thomas who is now the SOCOM Commander, is to be able to continue to do what they’re doing. Which is working, slowly, but surely, against ISIL. This is the by, with, and through strategy that emphasizes having the Iraqis in the lead in Iraq and the Syrian rebels – both Syrian Arab and Syrian Kurdish – in Syria with the Coalition providing support. That support – training, forward observer controllers, supporting fires – direct and indirect, air strikes, close air support evac (CASEVAC), assistance with logistics planning – is vital to achieving success by empowering our local allies so they own the battlefield victory. This was the flaw in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. We got to by, with, and through the Iraqis or Afghans far, far too late. The Iraqis and the Syrians need to own the outcome of the fight against ISIL because it then allows us them to own the next fight, which is the post conflict winning the peace. Where we will still be assisting them by, with, and through. This will, however, require large amounts of State Department and USAID and US Agriculture Department and other parts of the US Interagency help.
Publicly badmouthing the President before Congress isn’t going to get him anywhere but retired. Give this a read, it is a good take:
@Bill Arnold: someone put a post on FB with Pruitt’s proposed budget cuts. Horrendous. We need a big push back on this issue.
Frum got far more tolerable when he realized he did not need to start and/or end every piece or TV appearance with anti-Obama nonsense. I don’t know if he spent his first year or two in exile from the Wurlitzer hoping he’d get invited back into the club and needed to have sterling Obama-hate credentials just in case, or what. But it was nauseating. He finally moved on from that in the past year or so as the Trumpocalypse barreled towards us.
I still think he’ll try to hop right back on the GOP train the moment they have a plausibly non-insane person as their standard-bearer (if that day ever comes) – in a parallel dimension he’s glowingly talking about President Kasich’s brilliant statesmanship. But for now he’s a fine ally-of-convenience to have.
@Kay: T is the logical conclusion of the hatred and nihilism cultivated and nurtured by Rs.
@Adam L Silverman:
It did seem a lot like the same old same old from last year.
There is one big difference and that is Obama vs Trump. There was an article about Trump’s plan to give the generals more freedom in their operations vs what Obama allowed. The article noted that one of the reasons Obama kept such tight control was to avoid mission creep. Between Trump not having the foggest idea what he is doing, Bannon’s war on Islam, and just a more flexible set of rules the risk of mission mission creep seems to have gone up even if
I also wonder since Trump has no patience and wants to win bigly does he lean on the generals in Washington who then lean on the generals in Syria/Iraq.
Slightly related is the raid in Yemen. Since it has been reported that the Seals knew that they had lost the all important element of surprise, why didn’t they simply pull out before engaging the enemy? Or where they under pressure (from Washington or maybe self imposed) to continue with the raid to please the new boss?
@Adam L Silverman: Sounds good, thanks!
Don’t worry, General Votel investigated and determined nothing went wrong. All according to plan! No further investigations needed!
@Adam L Silverman:
I will note the rather Milky Way Galaxy size hole in your premise there.
I’m wavering between a Mr. Burns’ “Exccccellent!” and Palpatine’s “Good! Let the hate flow through you!” here.
Welcome to the dark side. Remember, you were driven here. It was not your choice.
@Yarrow: I wonder if Obama’s State Department would have put out a Travel Advisory for Trump’s Amerika.
Adam L Silverman
@D58826: What is being done is Coalition assistance for shaping the coming operation against Raqqa. The Rangers are, at their core as a special force within the Infantry, path breakers, blockers, and tacklers. That’s what they are there to help the Syrians that other US and Coalition SOF have been training. The Marine artillery is their for Fires to soften up ISIL before the Syrian rebel forces we’re allied with – Arab and Kurdish – do their thing.
As for pushing decision making down. This comes up with every change of Administration. President Bush 43 did it one way. President Obama another. My guess is once LTG McMaster and the NSC, in conjunction with SecDef Mattis and the Joint Chiefs finish their reviews and promulgate a final policy, the President will do it another still. But it is almost always a combination of 1) the following (insert list here) are decisions that can be made by the theater commander, 2) the following (insert list here) are decisions that can be made by the Geographic Combatant Commander, 3) the following (insert list here) are decisions that can be made by the SecDef, and 4) the following (insert list here) are decisions that must be made by the President. All that ever changes is what is in each list.
I am, obviously, not on the ground with LTG Townsend and his people. I can tell you that LTG Townsend understands his mission and the strategy. As does his immediate land force subordinate the Combined Joint Land Force Component Commander (C/JFLCC) MG Martin (Commander 1st Infantry Division). As does his immediate superior GEN Votel. Barring a Declaration of War or a new AUMF from Congress, and neither are likely, I do not expect to see a major change in the strategy in terms of how it is actually being applied. There may be changes in language because the President wants those, but LTG Townsend stated in a news interview about a month ago that the strategy is working and he expects the military defeat of ISIL in both Iraq and Syria within 6 months, though it may take a bit longer.
As for the Yemen raid: I don’t know. I’ve seen the reporting that 1) they had lost the element of surprise and 2) that the Intel on who was going to be onsite at the objective was incorrect. The problem is the SeALs didn’t know the latter until it was too late.
He was too racist to become a judge during the REAGAN era.
that’s the beginning. middle.end of the story of Attorney General White Citizens Council.
@Turgidson: In the Bay Area isn’t the question of regulating (or not) Uber, AirBnB, and such, a top-five issue among “tech libertarians”?
Thru the Looking Glass...
Oh Hell… LePen isn’t just a friend… seems likely that the National Front is a wholly owned subsidiary of Russia…
Adam L Silverman
@TenguPhule: Its always a hole in that premise. The sad reality is the folks needed most for Conventional Phase V/Unconventional Phase VII Operations, Reconstruction, have the least resources and we have almost no way of getting personnel to take these assignments. The same civil service rules that provide us with a non-partisan, professional civil service also inhibit us from temporarily moving civil servants around as needed during crises.
Mike in DC
It would be interesting to look at the pattern of revelations in the Russia story to see if one could predict the next set of revelations.
@Adam L Silverman: Hope your right. I’m just afraid that Trump will say or tweet something that blows the entire thing up. Remember the old WWII saying -‘loose lips sink ships’. Imagine what the would have made of ‘loose tweets’
Thru the Looking Glass...
I don’t have any problem w/ that… as far as I can tell, ‘they’ are out to do the same to us and right now, they’ve got the upper hand… they have no intention of letting up… they’ll crush anyone who gets in their way… they think they’ve got total control of the country forever at this point, or at least hope they do… some of the little gestures they make, little signs they give off that they might not be aware of – tells in poker parlance – make me believe they’re not quite sure they’ll get away w/ it… like meeting in secret so we don’t know what’ll happen next… or starting out to do something, like give away a trillion dollars worth of Federal land (OUR national wealth) and then stopping…
I suspect we’ll see all kinds of silly BS over the next couple of years… like passing laws w/ wording that says, ‘And this law can NEVER be revoked or modified… really ridiculous crap that won’t fool anyone but themselves…
And what happens if Donnie and Vlad have a falling out and Putin plants a shiv in Donnie’s back?
I think a bit of levity is in order. From Sports Illustrated –
Isn’t he the guy that talks to God? Maybe God isn’t a baseball fan:=)
Alain the site fixer
@SenyorDave: please pop me an email via the form, I have some questions I’d like to ask but no need in public.
Suffragete City elftx
I do too while holding my nose. She was all too willing to push Adelson’s bullshit stories on the Horrors of Online Poker. If not mistaken she has some kind of lawsuit going against the campaign or someone involved with it. So I quietly crack up at how they eat their own.
I’m well aware, having grown up in Loveland. The problem is that there’s a thought process that treats only jobs that produce tangible goods as real and worthy, while professional and service jobs are treated as second class. Those people will prefer destructive natural resource extraction over tourism even when tourism produces more jobs and economic growth because they perceive the service jobs involved in tourism as somehow not real work.
@Adam L Silverman: There’s also the fact that Trump is doing his best to Disappear all of those agencies entirely. I understand the new work week at State for the employees is to send out resumes to interested parties because there is literally nothing else for them to do.
@Roger Moore: Well, can’t disagree with your premise, I’m afraid. And it’s a fact that tourism jobs, by and large, like most service-industry jobs, do tend to have crappier pay and benefits packages than say, mining jobs. But in the long run, it’s tourism and not extraction that turned Telluride, Crested Butte, and other mountain towns into meccas when they had been officially listed as ghost towns in the 60s and 70s. Don’t see that dynamic changing back to extraction any time soon – in fact, the current residents of Crested Butte have been wildly resisting the resumption of mining at Red Lady for some time now – the rich folks don’t want a mine fucking up their property values, and the hippies are agin it for environmental reasons.
@Miss Bianca: this “move” by Sessions is/ will be an attempt to remove all persons not willing to protect his and drumpfs a$$e$ from prosecution…
What would be the trigger to make him flip? Who would he confess to? Congressional Democrats don’t have the skills or wherewithal to get him a safe house, nor start legal prosecutions.
I agree with your assessment and believe it will get way worse before it gets better on many different fronts.
I don’t necessarily think that people like Max Boot or even many people in publications like WAPO or NYT fully grasp where we are and the complete danger and chaos ahead. Their worlds were so firmly held — their views about the world and belief in the systems that gave them their lives, livelihoods, and recognition – they literally cannot imagine it different and will hold on to the emotional ties to that world for a long time. That delay in acceptance of our profoundly dangerous situation across so many parts of our system — political, cultural, economic — is why everything and everyone seems stuck in my opinion — unable yet to mount a full “immune” response to the threat. Like when Ebola first invades your body, the first thing it attacks are the centers of your immune response — the centers that recognize you have been invaded and mount a broad response. Ebola actually deactivates that response — .
Very few foresaw the absolute evil we are fully grasping now. I would say that as bad as I thought it would be, I really never thought I would see what is unfolding before us with a speed that again, adds to my perception of paralysis. Sure, I am writing congress people, marching, participating where I see the opportunity — but it doesn’t seem enough and I don’t know if we will be able to organize a major, coordinated response until we are much more deeply affected. We also are learning about our enemy — something we did not have enough information about until the last few months. We have literally never been here before in this way and we were completely unprepared. We have to develop tools and processes to help people wake up without alienating them with our exasperation and desperation. We have to find the messages and supports that work and spend way less time asking them why they didn’t wake up sooner. If they are arriving at the fire with buckets and/or water, lets welcome and thank them for their help and ask them to help bring others along as we all keep working.
Each day, truly, I am amazed at what is burning…
@Miss Bianca: I was probably thinking that GG has already twiitted about Adam Silverman’s McCarthyism when it was all along a CIA/Obama plot to leak embarrassing stuff about Hillary before the election and then try to frame Trump and Russia for because, well because, because? Yea, there is no motive that would make sense unless it is in GG’s mind all a plot to embarrass him pushing Conservative Anti-Hillary memes all election and ignoring what flaming fiasco a Trump-McConnell-Ryan administration would become.
@Adam L Silverman:
What I don’t get is there were a lot of people were providing cover for them after they won. Why not dial back and lay low? The story would simmer, but probably die out just to become another part of Washington lore, like Nixon’s dirty tricks or Reagan’s back-channel dealings with Iran. Why start meeting with Assange again, dumping CIA hacks, and engaging in bad lying exactly 2 weeks before the Congressional hearings start?
I guess I’m answering myself, but I assume Trump jumped the gun somehow with his early Am tweets?
I hope that the volume of their deeds and the sloppiness we have seen along with the speed, will ultimately be their undoing, once we catch up. I suspect we are going to have to use tools within the system such as our elected officials as well as out the box spying and not a little explicit sabotage. This IS war…
@Kay: Russia apparently is a country that leans white supremacist. They are hoisting their norms own anti-immigration values on us. And those norms are being greedily lapped up. Putin does not like liberal democracy and open borders is a norm of the latter.
A reporter asked Trump about the Wikileaks data dump and he had nothing to say – just a smile that was more of a smirk, really. It was chilling.