Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Yes Collusion

It's a bit off topic for this blog, but astonishingly, something like half of all Americans believe that the Mueller investigation found "no collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russia. That is false, and of course they have not read the report. The problem is that Mueller has been rather cryptic in his public statements, the Attorney General misrepresented the report and the corporate media went along with the scam for two weeks before anybody had a chance to actually read even a redacted version,  and the Orange Resident himself keeps screaming "No collusion, No collusion," which his cult takes as truth even though everything he says is a lie.

I'll outsource to Bob Cesca. You need to read the whole thing (it isn't terribly long) and then perhaps actually read the Mueller report. You may end up with a somewhat different point of view. But I'll pull some quotes to give you the general outline.

[L]oyalists continue to repeat the “NO COLLUSION!' lie with very little push-back. The all-caps falsehood gains momentum every time Trump repeats it. Likewise, Bill Barr’s March 24 letter and his subsequent public remarks erroneously confirmed Trump’s lie before anyone, including Congress, was allowed to actually read the report.
The lies were thicker than Trump’s AquaNet during a must-see one-hour interview special with George Stephanopoulos, originally broadcast this past Sunday night. During an awkwardly staged conversation in “The Beast,” Trump’s presidential limousine, the president insisted to Stephanopoulos that Mueller literally reported “no collusion.” Predictably, this is a lie. . . .
 Mueller clearly writes, “In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of ‘collusion.’”
Mueller instead looked for a criminal conspiracy in which the Trump people and the Russian government entered into an agreement, “tacit or express,” to mutually participate in skewing the 2016 election toward Trump. Therefore, “the Office's focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law.” . . .

Mueller writes on page 9: “... the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.” Simply put: there was evidence of conspiracy but not enough evidence to seek a criminal indictment. Mueller added that Trump campaign officials lied to investigators, which “impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.” The lies and the cover-up, drawn from mob tactics, flummoxed Mueller’s work.
On page 9, Mueller also writes that “the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.” These “links” are roughly more than 100 clandestine meetings between Trump officials and Russians listed and described in Mueller’s report — meetings nearly all of these officials repeatedly lied about. . . .

Throughout 2017 and 2018, as we devoured bombshell after bombshell about these meetings, most of us defined what we observed as the non-legal term “collusion.” In fact, it’s a fairly reasonable semantic jump from “links” to “collusion,” especially when we factor in Mueller’s reporting on Paul Manafort’s meetings with reputed former Russian GRU agent Konstantin Kilimnik, during which the men discussed everything from influencing the president to backstop Putin on Ukraine, to delivering proprietary internal polling data on “battleground states” Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to Kilimnik — the latter being one of the most shocking items in the report, given that those three states tipped the Electoral College in Trump's favor. . . .

Finally, there’s a significant portion of the equation entirely missing from the Mueller Report, perhaps the most important element in this entire saga: Whether the president is compromised by Russia, the question at the heart of the mysterious counterintelligence investigation currently underway at the FBI.  . . .

To boil this down: The Russians know where Trump’s money comes from; they know how Trump won the election; they know what Trump’s people said in all those meetings — wouldn't it be a shame if that information was leaked to the Wall Street Journal. A threat like this alone could be enough to keep Trump in line with the Kremlin’s interests. Hence, Trump’s ongoing and impeachable collusion with Russia. ...

Once again, Trump is treating his most faithful disciples like suckers who continue to swallow the lies of a well-documented con man with decades of history. The complexities of the report as well as Bill Barr’s artful preemptive obfuscation aided in this deception, assuring that the “no collusion” lie would travel around the world several times before the truth got its pants on.


10 comments:

Don Quixote said...

Well-stated. We are living now in a propaganda-driven state, headed toward tyranny.

And while we're at it:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2282329101846360&set=a.624409124305041&type=3&theater

Yes, Shitler and his extremists (Bolton, etc.) would illegally attack Iran, a country whose name they can't pronounce correctly, in order to sow their hatred and keep Shitler out of jail.

And also, while we're at it, yes, Dick Cheney was behind 9/11. And I'm not a conspiracy theorist. Just a logician.

Cervantes said...

Well, I don't exactly agree with the latter statement. Osama bin Laden and his followers were behind the 9/11 attack.

However, I do agree wit the LIHOP theory -- let it happen on purpose. Cheney was well aware of the intelligence saying that an attack was imminent and did nothing about it. Chimpy himself, when he received the intelligence briefing, said "Okay, now you've covered your ass," and ignored it. And the Project for a New American Century did indeed assert that something like a new Pearl Harbor was needed to mobilize the nation behind their project of conquest in the Middle East. So yeah, they wanted it to happen, they let it happen, they welcomed it, and they exploited it. So that's certainly bad enough.

Bin Laden was already blowback from the CIA operation during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, one of the people Ronald Reagan called the Freedom Fighters.

Dr Porkenheimer said...


And also, while we're at it, yes, Dick Cheney was behind 9/11.


Oh, Sweet Jesus...

I guess we're clear now who we're dealing with...

Cervantes said...

Many people remain skeptical about the official account of the 9/11 attack, for good reason. In particular the involvement of members of the Saudi royal family is likely known to U.S. intelligence and has been suppressed. The portion of the commission report dealing with that question was classified and has never been released. GW Bush's closeness to the (now deceased) Saudi king is well known, they were in fact photographed holding hands as though they were the inspiration for Laughter in the Rain.* All that doesn't mean Dick Cheney was the mastermind, but I can understand why people have all sorts of hypotheses. The RFK and MLK assassinations are other instances in which it is reasonable to suspect that we haven't been told the truth. But what the truth is, I do not know.

*Great song by Neil Sedaka.

Don Quixote said...

I don't agree that Jesus is sweet, and since there are plenty of architectural engineers who feel the same way. Much evidence was destroyed and spirited away. At any rate, don't get off topic: We have a sitting president who is as much a Manchurian candidate as the one in the film was. Bought, supported, and owned by Putin, a sociopathic murderer. I say we're living in a propaganda-driven state because--can you imagine such a person being allowed anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue even fifty years ago, much less allowed to run the joint?

Dr Porkenheimer said...


Democrats are running the show in the House and have the power to impeach. Instead, they complain that a sitting president can't be indicted and all the while they have the power to do just that.

For all the whining and baseless weasel-talk about what a crook Trump is, the pearl-clutching, hair-on-fire harangues and accusations...House Democrats do *nothing*.

Nothing...just talk-talk.

To the public, it's starting to look like McCarthyism.

Cervantes said...

Well many people feel that way but right now the Senate will not convict, so there's a question of "what's the point"? I think we'll see more public hearings and more public discussion of this question and we'll see where it goes.

Dr Porkenheimer said...


It's pretty clear by the (in)actions of the House that there is no "there" there. If there were, they would impeach and force the Republicans into a corner with the evidence.

What this is really all about is noise before an election. It's all BS.

Cervantes said...

I publish the above only to point out how utterly absurd it is. Kerry Eleveld discusses the actual debate among Democratic members of congress. There's a mountain of serious wrongdoing on the part of the Resident, this is all about judgments of the political consequences of impeachment. As Eleveld says, "The Democratic voters who remain most acutely opposed to initiating impeachment proceedings usually make one of two arguments: 1) duty aside, impeaching Donald Trump is useless since the GOP-led Senate will never convict and therefore Trump will remain in office; 2) impeaching Trump is a political trap that will backfire in 2020." This judgment is wrong, in Eleveld's opinion, but that's what is causing the hesitation.

Chucky Peirce said...

Two thoughts on the question of impeachment that I haven't seen discussed.

1) If Trump is actually tried by the Senate any Republican senator from a relatively moderate state will be put in an impossible situation. Should he (or she):
a) Do the right thing, vote to convict, and lose the base, or
b) Vote to acquit and prove to reasonable voters that (s)he's a spineless POS?

It is possible that enough would value their good name to choose a), and convict him. Thus:

2) With Trump gone the GOP could pick Mike Pence to run in 2020 as the incumbent. The base would love him, and he is smart enough to avoid alienating undecided voters. It would be easy to run against the schemers who Crucified Our President.

We would then be facing 8 long years under a President competent enough to cause even more damage than even Trump was capable of.

The horror! The horror!