Friday, February 28, 2020
Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 presidential election was predicated largely on the claim Russian intelligence had hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers ahead of the November election. Russia’s guilt is such an article of faith among our political class that a Republican-controlled Congress imposed sanctions on Russia and President Trump signed on, substantially worsening relations with an important and potentially dangerous nation.Michael Thau is a contributor to American Greatness. He's currently working on a book about the fake Russian hack of the DNC. He also blogs...
Since those sanctions were imposed, Mueller’s team confirmed the Russian espionage they were meant to punish. Since its publication last year, the Washington establishment has treated the Mueller report almost as a sacred document.
Outside the Acela Corridor, however, one finds more skepticism.
A lot of ordinary folks just can’t stop wondering why the DNC wouldn’t let any federal investigators examine their servers. Only CrowdStrike, an independent contractor on the DNC’s payroll, was allowed to do so. CrowdStrike executive Robert Johnson appeared on “60 Minutes” to address concerns that his firm hadn’t been completely forthcoming with its findings. But he only succeeded in raising more questions by claiming that the “FBI got what it needed and what it wanted.”
Even if the self-proclaimed “hard-hitting” investigators at “60 Minutes” couldn’t be bothered to spend 30 minutes researching such an important story, Johnson himself had to know he wasn’t telling the trut
On no less than three occasions before President Trump fired him, FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress about the DNC’s strange unwillingness to let his agency examine their servers in a case they were simultaneously hyping as akin to “an act of war.” Comey testified that the DNC rejected the FBI’s “[m]ultiple requests at different levels” to collect forensic evidence.
A week before Comey testified in January 2017, the DNC had already tried palming off Johnson’s lie and were sternly contradicted the very next day. A senior FBI official told The Hill that his agency “repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise.” According to The Hill’s source, far from getting everything the bureau wanted, “the FBI [had] no choice but to rely upon” CrowdStrike.
Johnson also must know the FBI isn’t even the only federal agency who ran into a brick wall when they took the DNC’s hysterical spiel about Russian espionage seriously. Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress he couldn’t even get the DNC to discuss the case with anyone from his agency, even though election security falls under its official purview. The homeland security chief was so disconcerted that he twice told Congress he “should have brought a sleeping bag and camped out in front of” the party’s headquarters.
But Congress never got the chance to ask anyone from CrowdStrike about the peculiar circumstances surrounding its “investigation.” For some strange reason, the executives representing the only entity to inspect the DNC servers refused to discuss the matter under oath.
The crack team of investigative journalists at “60 Minutes” also somehow failed to uncover that, just six months after accusing the Russians of hacking the DNC, CrowdStrike issued a report accusing the very same alleged Russian hackers of having penetrated into some Ukrainian artillery software that was so riddled with errors they were forced to retract it. Perhaps the “60 Minutes” team was too busy telling the rest of us how awesome they are to learn that other actors were known to have been in possession of the malware to which CrowdStrike claimed Russian intelligence had exclusive access since 2015.
Among other problems with the technical aspects of CrowdStrike’s story, the malware which the company claims was used to broadcast Ukrainian artillery positions to the Russians turned out not even to “use GPS nor does it ask for GPS location information.” Jeffrey Carr, the cybersecurity consultant who exposed CrowdStrike’s bogus accusations against the Russians, wryly noted, “[t]hat’s a surprising design flaw for custom-made malware whose alleged objective was to collect and transmit location data.”
“60 Minutes’” gaslighting only succeeded in confirming that the program’s self-proclaimed reputation as fierce and thorough investigators is a joke. And it underscored ordinary folks’ concerns about the DNC’s refusal to cooperate with federal officials.
Moreover, a bunch of not-so-ordinary folks who know a thing or two about computers think there’s a simple explanation for the DNC’s unwillingness to let outsiders have a peek at the evidence: There isn’t any. The Russian hacking that’s caused so much division and turmoil at home and abroad never really happened. It was all a ruse concocted by CrowdStrike.
One such skeptic is an anonymous journalist and computer aficionado who goes by the pseudonym “Adam Carter.” Carter has spent the last few years cataloging evidence, unearthed by himself and others, that CrowdStrike engaged in a disinformation campaign, inventing not just a fake Russian hack but also a fake hacker called “Guccifer 2.0.” Much, but by no means all, of Carter’s evidence is technical. And he’s unquestionably found an inconsistency in the Russia narrative that ought to raise doubts in even the most computer-illiterate congressman’s mind.
Julian Assange’s Warning
But first, why on earth would a private contractor hired by the DNC engage in such tactics? For motive, we need to go back to June 12, 2016, when Wikileaks founder Julian Assange made an announcement that was sure to strike panic in the hearts of Hillary Clinton and her closest advisers:We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton . . . We have emails pending publication.A little less than three months earlier, on March 19, hostile actors had gotten ahold of all the emails in campaign chairman John Podesta’s main Gmail account. You may have heard that Podesta’s emails were “hacked,” but they weren’t. There were no faraway cyber-nerds searching for some vulnerability in the DNC network. He fell for a common “spear phishing” scam. A fake email from Google arrived, saying he needed to change his password and providing a link. The link was also fake. Instead of changing his password, Podesta gave it away—along with all of his campaign emails.
The Clinton campaign learned of Podesta’s blunder almost immediately and must have feared that the emails Assange was threatening to release were his. Moreover, on that date, a lot of the revelations contained therein would have been very salient—and not in a good way.
Just six days before, with Clinton still 570 delegates short of the 2,382 needed to win the Democratic nomination, the Associated Press angered Bernie Sanders and his supporters by claiming that she’d already won. The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, USA Today, and The Washington Post all followed suit, declaring Sanders’ loss a fait accompli.
But it wasn’t.
The AP had arrived at its numbers by polling unpledged superdelegates, who couldn’t vote until the convention and were free to change their minds until then or even to deceive the AP.
Sanders supporters had been angry about the role superdelegates played in the nominating process for months. Sanders himself complained about it just one week before Assange’s announcement and a day before the media started writing his campaign’s obituary:My problem is that the process today has allowed Secretary Clinton to get the support of over 400 superdelegates before any other Democratic candidate was in the race.The next day’s headlines prematurely declaring Clinton’s victory brought Sanders’ supporters long-simmering anger to a boil. His spokesman blasted the corporate media’s “rush to judgment”:Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then.For the rest of the week, the big election story was whether Sanders would exit the race gracefully and encourage his followers to forgive, forget, and rally round Hillary Clinton. But just 12 hours after Assange’s announcement, Sanders emerged from a meeting with his top advisors, refusing to concede and reiterating his determination not to let the media gaslight his candidacy into a lost cause:[W]e are going to take our campaign to the convention with the full understanding that we’re very good in arithmetic and that we know who has received the most votes up until now.The Immensity of Podesta’s Blunder
John Podesta’s blunder had the potential to destroy Hillary Clinton’s already precarious reputation with voters regardless of their feelings about Bernie Sanders. In some of the emails, Podesta had revealed that Clinton’s most senior advisors—including Podesta himself—denigrated her abilities and her ethics, commented on her poor health, made disparaging remarks about Catholics, Muslims, blacks, and Latinos, and complained that Clinton wanted “unaware and compliant” voters.
Many of Podesta’s emails also contradict claims made in defense of the private email server Clinton used as secretary of state. Others reveal that the FBI investigation into the matter was anything but unbiased. At a minimum, the emails prove Clinton’s campaign knew from the beginning that she was breaking the law.
It’s easy to forget how serious an issue Clinton’s unsecured server was when Assange issued his warning. James Comey’s surprise announcement exonerating her was still three weeks away, on July 5, 2016. A few weeks earlier, the State Department had sharply rebuked Clinton for violating department rules, generating unpleasant headlines such as, “Hillary Clinton’s email problems just got much worse.”
A June 1 Morning Consult poll found that about half of voters thought her private email server was “illegal, unethical and a major problem.” Even a quarter of Democrats agreed. There’s little question that Assange’s threat would have made the poll disturbingly salient to Clinton and her top advisers.
But, given Sanders’ supporters’ cresting anger on the very day Assange issued his warning and Clinton’s need for their enthusiastic support to prevail against Trump, her team would have been more concerned about emails revealing her disdain for the kind of voters who flocked to Sanders and some of their most beloved progressive policies.
How would Sanders’ passionate and ideological followers react upon learning, at the very height of their anger, that Clinton secretly opposed gay marriage and supported fracking? The Democratic nomination was almost within her grasp and those revelations alone might have made it impossible for Sanders to graciously concede and put the weight of his campaign behind hers.
All the more so when his followers discovered that she and other top campaign officials routinely mocked both Sanders and them. Making matters worse, if Assange released Podesta’s emails they would also find out that CNN contributor Donna Brazile had given Clinton at least three questions in advance for her debates with Sanders. And an extraordinary number of emails confirm Sanders supporters’ long-standing complaints that the DNC and the mainstream media had been colluding with Clinton to torpedo his candidacy from its inception.
But perhaps the most troubling of Podesta’s emails would have been those containing passages from speeches Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs and other big-money outfits at $225,000 per appearance. In these speeches, Clinton downplayed Wall Street’s role in the 2008 recession. She even assured the wealthy bankers enriching her that they themselves ought to be the ones writing any legislation necessary to make sure such a crash didn’t reoccur.
Clinton’s Wall Street benefactors also heard her confess to being “obviously” out of touch with the struggles of middle-class voters. She further admitted to having distinct public and private positions on political issues. Finally, though it wouldn’t bother many of Sanders’s followers, moderate voters wouldn’t be happy to learn that Clinton assured her wealthy patrons that she secretly favors open borders.
Like the controversy over her private email server, Clinton weathered this storm so well that it’s hard to remember how much her unreleased speeches alarmed Sanders’ supporters, to whom she was little more than a corporate shill. Sanders himself had been mocking the extraordinary sums Clinton’s Wall Street patrons had paid to hear her speak and suggesting that they must have been getting more than just talk for their money in his own stump speeches for months:If you’re going to give a speech for $225,000 it’s gotta be really, don’t you think an extraordinarily brilliant speech, I mean why else would they pay that kind of money? . . . Must be a speech written in Shakespearean prose. So I think, if it is such a fantastic speech, the secretary should make it available to all of us.To make matters worse, three weeks before Assange’s announcement, Clinton released a mandatory financial statement that brought her Wall Street speeches to the forefront of campaign news, yielding disastrous headlines like, “How corporate America bought Hillary Clinton for $21M” and “The massive scale of the Clintons’ speech-making industry.”
A few days later, reporters even annoyed President Obama at a G7 summit in Japan by pestering him about whether she ought to release her speeches. On June 1, just 11 days before Assange’s warning, a Morning Consult poll had 64 percent of voters saying she needed to do so, including two-thirds of independents and even almost half of Democrats.
Many readers have likely forgotten the many serious political storms Hillary Clinton was navigating in the week preceding Assange’s June 12 announcement and how desperately she needed to placate Sanders’ increasingly angry supporters. If you weren’t too distracted by the Russian hacking narrative, however, you probably remember some of the above revelations from Podesta’s emails that would have made doing so impossible had Assange not given Clinton’s camp so much time to prepare.
By October 7, when Wikileaks finally began releasing Podesta’s emails, Democrat voters had been taught to tune them out by angrily reciting the mantras “Putin” and “Russia.” They were warned by CNN that it was illegal for folks who didn’t work for CNN or some other CNN-approved corporation to so much as look at the Podesta’s emails. Trump couldn’t push Wikileaks’ disclosures because doing so immediately rebounded back at him, raising worries he might be “Putin’s puppet,” rather than reflecting poorly on Clinton.
Clinton Uses the Russian-Hacking Narrative to Great Effect
Whether Adam Carter is right that the Russian DNC hack was a ruse designed to deflect the damage if it turned out Assange’s warning meant he had Podesta’s emails, there’s no question Clinton and her surrogates were instantly prepared to use it that way.
Within hours of WikiLeak’s October 7 release, Podesta himself made a transparent attempt on Twitter to tie the disastrous revelations caused by his own bone-headed blunder to a dastardly Russian scheme perpetrated on Trump’s behalf:While I’m in pretty good company with Gen. Powell & Amb. Marshall, I’m not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump.Clinton had avoided any situations in which she’d have to take questions as much as possible throughout the campaign. So she forestalled publicly addressing any of the disclosures in Podesta’s emails until her third debate with Trump, 12 days after they appeared.
She was asked about the secret preference for open borders she’d revealed in a speech to a group of Brazilian bankers and the $225,000 they paid for the privilege of hearing about it. After a few nonsensical words claiming that she’d meant open borders for electricity, not people, Clinton quickly shifted to her real defense:But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. What is really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government. Clearly from Putin himself in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election. So, I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this, and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election.A more transparently rehearsed attempt to deflect the damaging revelations in Podesta’s emails by branding them with the words “Wikileaks,” “espionage against Americans,” “Putin,” and “Donald Trump” would be impossible.
So, by the time Assange released them on October 7, tainting the publication of Podesta’s emails as a Russian scheme perpetrated out of love for Donald Trump was demonstrably the Clinton campaign’s go-to strategy. But a Washington Post story about the DNC hack published just two days after Assange’s June 12 warning shows the strategy was prepared much earlier.
CrowdStrike’s Perplexing Announcement
The June 14 Washington Post article marks the first time the DNC went public about the alleged Russian hack. It includes the detail that the Russians stole a file of Trump opposition research; which, though no ordinary readers could have known it at the time, would turn up months later when Wikileaks released Podesta’s emails.
Indeed, this detail is also the article’s big takeaway, as it’s mentioned in both the lead sentence and even its headline: “Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump.”
The story extensively quotes CrowdStrike president Shawn Henry, who previously was in charge of FBI cyber operations. Henry just so happens to have been promoted to that position by none other than Robert Mueller when he ran the agency. CrowdStrike’s founder and Chief Technology Officer, Dmitri Alperovitch is also featured prominently. Though born in Russia, his family fled the country when he was fourteen and Alperovitch is now a senior member of the vehemently anti-Russian Atlantic Council.
All information for the Washington Post story was provided voluntarily by CrowdStrike and the DNC. According to Alperovitch, the DNC “decide[d] to go public…about their incident and give us permission to share our knowledge.”
So, why on June 14, 2016, had the DNC wanted everyone to know the embarrassing fact that the Russians had penetrated their servers and the content of one particular pilfered file?
Alperovitch says the DNC wanted to “help protect even those who do not happen to be [CrowdStrike] customers.” It’s hard to understand how telling the world Russia had stolen a file of Trump opposition research from the DNC servers did anything to help those not fortunate enough to be able to rely on CrowdStrike. But, even if sense could be made of the philanthropic motives Alperovitch ascribed to the DNC, they must have had more self-interested ones to, once again, publicly connect Hillary Clinton’s name to lost emails and unsecured servers while her already existing troubles concerning such matters were still a very live issue.
Clinton’s team must have suspected that Assange had Podesta’s emails and they certainly knew the file of Trump opposition research was among them. So announcing that the Russians had stolen it two days after Assange’s warning is, in hindsight, either an incredible coincidence or the first step in a strategy designed to taint the damaging information in Podesta’s emails with Russian perfidy.
But CrowdStrike and the DNC weren’t the only ones calling attention to that file of Trump opposition research in the days following Julian Assange’s fateful warning.
The Russian Spy Who Was Wasn’t
The day after CrowdStrike’s announcement, a new actor dramatically took the stage announcing himself as “Guccifer 2.0.” His name was supposed to pay tribute to a hacker who’d gone by the nom de guerre Guccifer, famous for having plagued Hillary Clinton.
Guccifer 2.0 expressed his intention to take up his imprisoned namesake’s mantle by boldly claiming to be the very hacker whose existence Alperovitch and Henry had just announced on the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post!
And, to prove it, he posted 230 pages of Trump opposition research on his newly minted blog and emailed copies to Gawker and The Smoking Gun.
If you hadn’t known it was all real, you might have thought all this sensational news coincidentally emerging on the heels of Assange’s warning was coming from a script.
We’re supposed to think that G2 (as he’s called for short) was a Russian spy passing documents he hacked from the DNC servers to Wikileaks. In fact, though hardly anyone is aware how crucial the allegation is, G2’s alleged role as WikiLeaks’ source is the only evidence we’ve ever seen that the DNC emails WikiLeaks published really did come from Russian intelligence.
But if G2 really is a Russian spy, Putin ought to be pitied rather than feared.
When he debuted claiming to be the hacker featured on the front page of the previous day’s Post, G2 made no attempt to deny he was a Russian spy. Anyone reading his first blog post also familiar with the Washington Post story was given no reason to doubt G2 was an agent of Russia as Alperovitch and Henry had claimed. Would a real Russian spy connect himself to a report outing him as a Russian spy without denying it?
Why on earth would he connect himself to such a report at all?
Would a real Russian spy trying to hide his nationality end the second sentence in his first blog post with “)))”, the symbol Russians use in place of our “lol.” G2 did.
Would a real Russian spy on a secret mission to sabotage Hillary Clinton reveal his purpose by naming himself after someone famous for having already done so? The story in the previous day’s Washington Post hadn’t given any indication whatsoever that Clinton was his target. Why was G2 so anxious that we know?
And, why would a Russian spy using WikiLeaks as a clandestine front announce that he’d sent the documents he’d stolen to WikiLeaks? G2 gave the whole game away in that very first blog post:I’ve been in the DNC’s networks for almost a year . . . The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to Wikileaks. They will publish them soon.Is it at all credible that a spy sent by Vladimir Putin on a secret mission to control the outcome of the U.S. presidential election would start a blog a day after his espionage had been reported in the Washington Post in order take credit for and inform the public of some crucial facts about his operation that hadn’t been exposed; like identifying both his target and his secret accomplice?
Shawn Henry, Dmitri Alperovitch, James Comey, James Clapper, and Robert Mueller are all asking you to believe that it is.
Mueller uses absurdly expurgated quotes from alleged communications between G2 and WikiLeaks to prove he was the source of their DNC emails. If Mueller’s insidious gaslighting hadn’t caused so much damage, his neglecting to mention that G2 announced he was WikiLeaks’ source in his very first blog post would be comical. Mueller is, of course, also silent about the other 11 occasions in his brief time in the public spotlight on which G2 made public statements explicitly connecting himself to WikiLeaks.
Mueller also wants you to believe that G2 immediately denied he was Russian—by no means Mueller’s only blatant lie.
G2 first denied being Russian only when explicitly questioned about his nationality in an interview six days after his debut. But by then it was too late. No one believed him because it had already emerged that there were “Russian fingerprints” all over the documents he’d released. Odd enough by itself, given the “superb operational tradecraft” attributed to him by Alperovitch and the fact that he was conducting one of history’s most significant clandestine operations.
Russian intelligence must run hundreds of cyber operations every year that go entirely undetected. Yet, when agents are sent directly by Vladimir Putin himself to control the outcome of the U.S presidential election, they announce their presence to the world and leave a half-dozen clues that identify them as Russian spies which are found before they even have time to deny it.
But it gets worse.
Putin Must Not be Sending His Best
The first evidence of Russian involvement was found within hours of G2’s June 15 debut. Someone at Gawker opened the metadata in the files he sent and, what do you know? Sitting there plain as day for anyone to see was the name of Soviet secret police founder Felix Dzerzhinsky!
Even though the name is hardly a household word in the United States, it was still impossible to miss its significance since it just so happened to be written in the Russian alphabet. All that was missing was a link to Wikipedia to save anyone the trouble of googling, “Феликс Эдмундович.”
The five files G2 sent out when he debuted all later turned up in Podesta’s emails—absent any Russian names in their metadata, of course. The metadata in the versions released by G2, however, shows that the Russian spymaster’s name appeared because their content was cut and pasted from somewhere else into a Russian template from Microsoft Word with “Феликс Эдмундович” set as the username.
Editing the documents couldn’t have served any legitimate purpose since the files G2 released were identical in content to the versions that later turned up in Podesta’s emails. Moreover, the needless cut-and-pasting, which also caused Russian error messages to appear in various places just in case no one bothered looking at the metadata, was done the very same day G2 released the files!
Is it at all credible that a Russian spy sent by Vladimir Putin on a secret mission to control the outcome of a U.S. presidential election would go to the trouble of editing documents he was sending to the press as a Word file with a famous Russian spymaster’s Russian name set as username, causing it to appear in the metadata? Would he cut and paste the documents’ content into a Russian template, causing Russian language error messages to pop up when the journalists to whom he was sending them tried reading the files? Is it credible that he’d do all that the same day he sent the documents out even though he didn’t alter their content at all and, hence, had no reason whatsoever to edit them?
Shawn Henry, Dmitri Alperovitch, James Clapper, James Comey, and Robert Mueller are all asking you to believe that it is.
In fact, they’re insisting that you do.
Even had G2 altered the content of the files, it’s preposterous to suppose that a Russian spy on the most serious mission imaginable would be so careless as to leave clues revealing his identity to a Gawker reporter within hours of his sending them to her. But, since the content of the documents wasn’t altered at all, the procedures which caused the “Russian fingerprints” to immediately appear could only have been designed to do exactly that.
If we weren’t so desperate for sensational news, a Gawker reporter finding evidence that G2 was a Russian intelligence agent in the files he’d sent her mere hours after his debut by itself would have raised enormous red flags.
But, believe it or not, that’s not all Henry, Alperovitch, Comey, Mueller, and their intelligence community cohorts expect you to swallow.
G2 also chose to use a company based in Russia to cloak his IP address. Even then, there are plenty of email providers that would conceal the Russian IP address. Yet G2, who Hillary Clinton suggested “clearly” took orders directly from KGB prodigy Vladimir Putin, somehow chose one that didn’t.
If G2 had simply done nothing, there would have been nothing connecting Wikileaks to Russian intelligence and no one would have been the wiser. Instead of doing nothing, he went out of his way to create the only evidence we’ve seen that any of the emails Assange released in the run-up to the 2016 election came from Russian intelligence.
Yet, somehow, we’re supposed to believe he was sent by Putin on a mission to sabotage the Clinton campaign. Apart from G2’s self-undermining announcement that Clinton was his target, neither the Trump opposition file nor any other file he ever released contained anything damaging to her.
So, on top of all the other completely preposterous nonsense, a Russian spy intent on getting Trump elected released 230 pages of damaging information on Trump but nothing negative about Hillary Clinton.
Viewed in quick and haphazard slices, G2’s debut may look like a collaboration between Putin and Assange. But Russian spies trying to hide their identity don’t openly confess to crimes the Washington Post attributed to Russian spies the day before.
Nor do they use Russian emoticons.
Nor do they publicly announce their mission and name their accomplices.
Nor do they send documents to reporters containing clues that they are Russian spies which are discovered within hours.
And they most certainly don’t go out of their way to plant such clues.
And when Russian spies release 230 pages of negative information about Trump, you can bet that it’s Trump, and not his enemies, they are trying to harm.
When we widen our view, the only question becomes who Alperovitch, Henry, Mueller and their cohorts are grossly insulting more: Russia’s intelligence agencies or the American public’s intelligence.
Where Did Guccifer 2.0 Get the Trump File?
Hindsight together with Adam Carter and crew’s hard work shows that G2, rather than trying to harm Clinton, worked to manufacture a fake connection between Assange and Russian intelligence. This fake connection could later be used by Clinton as a shield to immediately deflect the avalanche of damaging information in Podesta’s emails on to Trump should Assange release them. The moment he did, the fake connection allowed her to claim he’d done so at Putin’s behest and, therefore, that Putin not only wanted Trump in the White House but had perpetrated dirty Russian espionage designed to put him there.
Putin had attacked not just her campaign but all of America on Trump’s behalf, Clinton scolded. That was the real story voters needed to focus on, not all the proof of her corruption and incompetence Julian Assange had tried to bring to their attention. In fact, it was every American’s patriotic duty to ignore they’d been given irrefutable evidence in her own words and those of her closest advisors that she was grossly unfit for office. Not ignoring it would make you complicit in a filthy Russian attack on America and likely a piece of vile Russian-loving scum yourself.
It was a message perfectly designed to appeal to the tolerant souls without a trace of bigotry in their loving hearts who make up the Democratic Party’s base.
The Washington Post headline announcing that the Russians had hacked a Trump opposition file from the DNC set the stage for its delivery. But the article made no mention of Assange or Wikileaks. Alperovitch and Henry could say they’d found Putin’s minions infesting the DNC servers. That was no problem since Comey was running the FBI and he could be counted on to say whatever words they decided to put in his mouth.
But nothing they could plausibly claim they’d discovered examining the DNC servers would be able to connect the little Russian devils they were going to say they found there to Assange.
So, considered alone, the Washington Post story they would use to get the ball rolling had zero potential to discredit anything he might release.
G2 forged the crucial link to Assange the next day by taking credit for the Russian hack Alperovitch and Henry had announced in the Washington Post and saying he’d turned over the spoils to Wikileaks. The fact that he released the Trump opposition research file mentioned in the Post’s headline confirmed that he really was the hacker CrowdStrike’s executive duo had credited with stealing files from the DNC and not some prankster merely pretending to be. If Assange did release Podesta’s emails, as the Clinton campaign surely must have feared he would, the fact that the Trump opposition file G2 released was among them could also be used to directly connect G2 to their theft if narrative reinforcement became necessary.
Absent G2 bringing Wikileaks into the picture, the Washington Post story would have informed voters of an embarrassing Russian DNC hack of some Trump opposition research, without any mitigating way to connect those Russians to Julian Assange and thereby taint anything he might publish.
So the information released to the Post serves no purpose and, indeed, could have only harmed the DNC, unless Alperovitch and Henry knew G2 would immediately enter the fray to shift attention away from the poor internet security that had allowed Russian spies to breach the DNC servers and towards speculation about their connection to Wikileaks.
But there’s another more conclusive reason to think that G2 had to be working with CrowdStrike and Hillary Clinton.
Remember, on June 15, Guccifer 2.0 emailed the Trump opposition file along with four other documents to Gawker and The Smoking Gun and posted them on his blog. But, apart from the Russian fingerprints he planted, every one of those files was found among Podesta’s emails when Assange released them four months later.
So, how did G2 get ahold of five files from John Podesta’s Gmail account? That’s what Adam Carter wants everyone to start asking.
Given how hard G2 worked to discredit Wikileaks, it’s impossible he got the files from them.
Since G2 manifestly isn’t the implacable foe of Hillary Clinton he pretended to be, it’s unlikely that he hacked the DNC servers as claimed. Indeed, since none of those first five files G2 released appeared in the DNC emails later published by WikiLeaks, we’ve no reason to suppose they were even on the DNC servers to be hacked.
We know they were attached to emails in Podesta’s Gmail account; which would mean they were on Google’s servers. None of them were sent to him from a DNC email address, nor did he send any of them to one, nor were they copied to any. So we have no reason to think they were on the DNC servers at all. Moreover, Carter and other experts say the methods G2 claims he used to hack the DNC make no technical sense and couldn’t have worked anyway.
Even putting aside that CrowdStrike’s announcement that the DNC servers had been hacked makes no sense unless they knew G2 would emerge to bring WikiLeaks into the picture and the question of how G2 got ahold of files the Clinton campaign knew would appear as attachments to Podesta’s emails when they were released, it’s grossly implausible that G2’s operation wasn’t coordinated with CrowdStrike. The effort G2 made to make it look like Assange had gotten anything he might publish damaging to Clinton from Russian intelligence would be bizarre if he were just some random stranger who decided to step in and help out Clinton in her time of need.
Moreover, even if that very unlikely hypothesis somehow turned out to be true, Alperovitch, Henry, Mueller, Clapper, Comey, and a host of others would still be guilty of perpetuating G2’s hoax as a means to falsely substantiate that the DNC had been hacked by Russia and the spoils passed to Assange.
And the fact that they used a hoax to substantiate the Russian DNC hack and Assange’s DNC emails having been passed to him by Russia, indicates that both of those claims must also be hoaxes. Of course, it would be an incredible coincidence if Alperovitch and Henry perpetrated a hoax and G2 came along and perpetrated a different hoax which just so happened to be exactly what the CrowdStrike executives needed to make theirs successful.
But the fact that G2 somehow got ahold of files from John Podesta’s Gmail account seems inexplicable, given everything else we now know, unless someone very high up in the Clinton campaign gave them to him because that person knew those files were stolen with John Podesta’s emails and would be released along with them. G2’s having released them together with all the clues he’d planted indicating he was with Russian intelligence would provide a means to reinforce the idea that Podesta’s emails had been stolen by Russia should it become necessary.
Given everything we know, G2 couldn’t have been in possession of files the Clinton campaign knew would turn up in John Podesta’s stolen emails unless he was part of a CrowdStrike disinformation campaign designed to protect Hillary Clinton from the consequences of Podesta’s blunder.
But even if G2 just happened to come along and perpetrate a hoax that perfectly met Hillary Clinton’s needs, Alperovitch, Henry, Mueller and the rest would have still used that hoax to deceive Americans into believing that Julian Assange is a Russian puppet and Trump owes his 2016 victory to Russian espionage.
The absurdity of anyone claiming that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian spy and the way in which the narrative that the WikiLeaks releases were part of a Russian plot to help Trump, means that everyone who promoted the story was pushing a monstrous lie.
It also means that Robert Mueller’s two-year, $32 million investigation, the sanctions Congress placed on Russia, and all the unbelievably nasty political strife Americans have suffered since Trump was elected were all predicated on the very same monstrous lie.
Let’s hope our political class notices and the culprits are finally punished.
The monstrous lie has reigned for far too long.
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Friday, February 21, 2020
Thursday, February 20, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020
James Wolfe was confronted about his leaking by the FBI in December of 2017. At the same time the FBI were investigating Wolfe and the SSCI, the FBI was also investigating Wikileaks and Julian Assange. This matters because it shows what the mindset was within the DOJ in late 2017 and early 2018.
In both examples, Wolfe and Assange, the actions by the DOJ reflect a predisposition to hide the much larger background story:
• A prosecution of Wolfe would have exposed a complicit conspiracy between corrupt U.S. intelligence actors and the United States senate. Two branches of government essentially working on one objective; the removal of a sitting president. The DOJ decision protected multiple U.S. agencies and congress.As soon as Robert Mueller was going to release his Russia report, the EDVA shut down Assange with the DOJ indictment; in a similar way the DOJ shut down Wolfe with a weak plea agreement.
• A non-prosecution of Assange would have exposed a complicit conspiracy between corrupt U.S. intelligence actors and a host of political interests who created a fraudulent Russia-collusion conspiracy with the central component of Russia “hacking” the DNC. If Assange were allowed to show he received the DNC emails from a leaker, and not from a hack, the central component of the Russia interference narrative would collapse. The DOJ decision protected multiple U.S. agencies and Robert Mueller.
Again, the key takeaway here is the timing. Both DOJ operations were taking place at the same time (Fall 2017 through spring/summer 2018). Both hold a similar purpose.
What we can see from both DOJ operations is an intentional effort by Main Justice not to expose the epicenter of a multi-branch effort against the White House.
Some people within the FBI were obviously participating along with people within the DOJ. However, not all Washington DC FBI agents/officials were involved. We know there were genuine investigators, at least in the Wolfe case, because their investigative evidence shows Wolfe was leaking classified information. If they did not present the investigative evidence that proves Wolfe leaked, quite simply we wouldn’t have it to show you.
Unfortunately, in hindsight we can see something internally within the DOJ happened because the FBI evidence against Wolfe was buried. Some high-level group inside the DOJ in Washington DC, in the Summer of 2018, was making decisions on what NOT to do.
These two events highlight corruption within the DOJ that existed despite the presence of AG Jeff Sessions, and apparently with the participation of DAG Rod Rosenstein.
The decisions in the Wolfe case are critical. That’s the fork in the road. If the Wolfe prosecution had continued it would have undoubtedly surfaced that key government officials and politicians were working together (executive and legislative).
The ramifications of the Wolfe case are stunning. Had the prosecution continued it’s very likely a seditious conspiracy would have surfaced.
♦ I often field a question: If you know this; if all of this information is in the public sphere; then why didn’t any member of the media cover it?
Here’s the answer: They couldn’t…. At least they couldn’t cover it and still retain all of the claims they had been making since March 2017 when journalist Ali Watkins gained a fully non-redacted copy of the Carter Page FISA application and first renewal.
Politico, The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and The Washington Post are all implicated in the James Wolfe leak to Ali Watkins. They had the FISA information since March 2017, yet those media outlets were disingenuously falsifying their reporting on the actual content of the FISA application despite their actual knowledge.
Remember all of the media denials about what Devin Nunes wrote in the “Nunes memo”? Remember the media proclaiming the Steele Dossier was not part of the FISA application?
How was the media fifteen months later (July 2018) going to report on the Wolfe leak to Watkins without admitting they had been manufacturing stories about its content for the past year-and-a-half?
It was in the media’s interest NOT to cover, or dig into, the Wolfe story.
Additionally, from both the DOJ and Media perspective, coverage of the Wolfe leak would prove the senate intel committee (SSCI) was, at a minimum, a participating entity in the coup effort. That same SSCI is responsible for oversight over the CIA, FBI, DOJ-NSD, ODNI, DNI, and all intelligence agencies.
Worse yet, all officers within those agencies require confirmation from the SSCI (including Chair and Vice-Chair); and any discussion of the Wolfe leak would highlight the motive for ongoing corruption within the SSCI in blocking those nominations (see John Ratcliffe).
There was a clear fork in the road and the DOJ took the path toward a cover-up; which, considering what the DOJ was simultaneously doing with Mueller and the EDVA regarding Assange, is not entirely surprising.
Was that decision wrong? Oh hell yes, it was corrupt as heck. .
Were the decisions done with forethought to coverup gross abuses of government? Yes.
Where the DOJ is today is directly connected to the decisions the DOJ made in 2017 and 2018 to protect themselves and internally corrupt actors from discovery.
It is often said: “the coverup is always worse than the crime.” This is never more true than with these examples, because where we are today… now miles down the path of consequence from those corrupt decisions… is seemingly disconnected from the ability of any institutional recovery. That’s now the issue for Bill Barr.
If Bill Barr wanted to deal with the issue he would not be telling President Trump to stop talking about the corruption; instead he would be holding a large press conference to explain to the American people about that fork in the road.
That type of honest sunlight delivery means taking people back into the background of the larger story and explaining what decisions were made; with brutal honesty and without trepidation for the consequences, regardless of their severity and regardless of the friends of Bill Barr compromised by the truth.
Here’s a big reason why Bill Barr should take that approach: We Know.
We know; the DOJ trying to hide it doesn’t change our level of information.
Regardless of whether Bill Barr actually admits what surrounds him, there are people who know… We know…. You know…. AG Bill Barr shouting ‘don’t tweet‘ into the microphone like the Wizard of Oz doesn’t change the fact the curtain has been removed.
Turn around Bill, it’s time to come clean.
Saturday, February 15, 2020
As “moderate” Democrats rush to disqualify Bernie Sanders, they might want to notice how much their hero Pete Buttigieg has in common with his one-time hero… Bernie Sanders.
So mayor Pete is a Red Diaper baby! This explains a lot … ”
So writes Charlie, a longtime reader of mine and of The American Spectator. Please note that Charlie didn’t call Pete a red, but a red-diaper baby. There’s a difference. And either way, it’s a point that isn’t irrelevant and should be dealt with and laid out carefully.
Charlie sent me that email back in October and urged me to write about the subject. Given Mayor Pete’s surge in the polls, and given my repeated run-ins with the said “red-diaper” background Charlie is referring to, I finally decided to put something together.
Joseph Buttigieg and Antonio Gramsci
As for that red-diaper background, Charlie is referring to the work of Pete Buttigieg’s father, Joseph Buttigieg, who was the world’s foremost expert (certainly the English-speaking world) on the famous Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Joseph, who died in January 2019, was no less than the founder of the International Gramsci Society, a fact hardly a secret and acknowledged warmly on the website of the International Gramsci Society. It’s so unmissable that the first thing that displays when you open the website is Joseph’s photo with a memorial tribute. In fact, as someone who regularly checks that website, I can tell you that Joseph’s photo has been the lead on the screen for a full year and counting. He was very important to them.
Before considering Pete’s possible place in some of that, a few words on Gramsci.
At the age of 35, in 1926, Antonio Gramsci was arrested in his native Italy by Mussolini and spent the last 11 years of his life in prison, where he would write, write, and write — compiling a master volume of 33 Prison Notebooks. Of these notebooks, compiled mainly between 1929 and 1935, two of them, Notebooks 16 and 26, deal explicitly with culture — that is, Gramsci’s Marxist thoughts applied to culture. Those two notebooks are titled, respectively, “Cultural Topics I” (completed in 1933–34) and “Cultural Topics II” (completed in 1935). Moreover, even as Notebooks 16 and 26 deal with “Cultural Topics” I and II, culture is a consistent theme throughout the Prison Notebooks.
Gramsci looked to culture, particularly through his theory of “cultural hegemony.” If the fundamental transformers of the radical Left truly wanted to win, then they needed to first seize the so-called “cultural means of production”; that is, culture-forming institutions such as the media and universities. Gramsci himself foresaw societal transformation coming about by what others have characterized as a Gramscian “long march through the institutions.” (There is debate over who first used the phrase, but most current sources credit West German Marxist writer and student activist of the 1960s named Rudi Dutschke.)
Not until leftists came to dominate these cultural institutions would they be able to convince enough people to support their Marxist revolution. “This part of [Gramsci’s] thesis was like manna from heaven for many left-wing Western intellectuals,” writes Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute. “Instead of joining a factory collective or making bombs in basements, a leftist professor could help free society from capitalist exploitation by penning essays in his office or teaching students.”
The heirs of Gramsci, like the ideological progeny of Marx and Lenin and the Frankfurt School, insisted on the need to question everything, including moral absolutes and the Judeo-Christian basis of Western civilization. There was no traditional institution off limits to the cultural Left. In fact, so “critical” was the cultural-Marxist left of anything and everything that it would brand itself as “critical theory.”
Critical theory has become common in academic English departments in particular. It was this tendency to criticize everything, to tear down everything, that has made this particular brand of Marxism so dangerous. Accordingly, Gregg calls Gramsci perhaps “the most dangerous socialist in history.”
Again, Gramsci’s massive paper trail, his primary body of work, was the Prison Notebooks. That brings us to Joseph Buttigieg, and even to Pete.
The definitive English translation of Gramsci’s work is Joseph Buttigieg’s translation of his vast Prison Notebooks (Quaderni del carcere), published by Columbia University Press. Joseph Buttigieg produced three thick volumes, each around 700 pages in length. In each of the volumes, Joseph begins with acknowledgments in his preface. And each time, he concludes by giving special thanks to his wife, Jennifer Anne Montgomery, and to his son Pete. Importantly, this seems a little more than the typical sentimental thanks a writer would give to a family member.
In the preface to Volume II, for instance, Joseph finishes, “The greatest debt of all I owe to J. Anne Montgomery and Peter Paul Buttigieg (who also helped with the compilation of the index of this volume) for the countless ways in which they have enabled me to realize this work.”
That seems no minor thing. Pete helped compile the index, which was no small feat. Again, this is a massive three-volume set published by Columbia University Press. Little Pete wasn’t scribbling this thing in crayon during breaks from the Lego table and “Thomas the Tank Engine” episodes. This was a substantial effort that would have involved Pete compiling the names of every leading light of Marxism, socialism, oftentimes atheism, and even anarchism, with names ranging from the obvious likes of Marx and Engels to Mikhail Bakunin and Benedetto Croce — with Marx literally having more citations than any other figure in the index.
Pete’s work here was clearly a help to his old man; his dad said there were “countless ways” that Pete “enabled” him “to realize this work.”
Joseph says the same in the final paragraph of the preface of Volume III of his edited collection of Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks. In fact, he strengthens his previous acknowledgment: “Above all, I owe an immense debt of gratitude to J. Anne Montgomery and Peter Paul Buttigieg, who have enabled every aspect of my work.”
Sure, our imagination could run wild here, and we could exaggerate Pete’s role to the point of error. After all, writers all the time thank their family with effusive statements like “I could not have done this without them.” Joseph’s acknowledgment should be seen at least in large part in that spirit. But it would also seem a mistake to understate it. I don’t think we can shrug it off as irrelevant.
Pete’s Way Home
So, what does Pete, in turn, write about his father?
As for Pete’s own written work, in 2019 he published his memoirs, titled Shortest Way Home. In that autobiography, he writes quite a bit about his father, who had emigrated to America from the Mediterranean island of Malta. His dad and mom arrived in South Bend, Indiana, in May 1980, their U-Haul pulling up to their new home on College Street, where Pete’s Marxist father had been hired by the English Department at Notre Dame. Yes, Notre Dame had hired a man that Pete himself refers to as a “nonreligious Mediterranean intellectual” and “a man of the left.”
It is hardly shocking that an English department would hire a Marxist. Again, it may surprise readers unfamiliar with the academic asylum to know that the most radical departments in universities are English departments, the modern homes and breeding grounds of the cult of “critical theory.” When you hear of a university celebrating, say, the birthday of Karl Marx, you can bet your wallet the guilty offenders are not in the poli-sci or history or economics departments but rather the English department.
It is shocking, however, that Notre Dame would hire a Marxist, given the Catholic Church’s longtime, strident rejection of communism dating back to at least 1846 (two years before the publication of the Communist Manifesto) with the publication of Qui Pluribus. The Church would alternately denounce communism as everything from a “satanic scourge” and “virulent infection” to a “pestilence” and “filthy medley of errors” orchestrated by “the sons of darkness.” In 1949, the Church issued a papal decree to excommunicate communists and even laity who supported Marxists or read their literature. Apparently, Notre Dame decided to take a different approach. No doubt, Notre Dame, notably under the often-perplexing leadership of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, who ran the university from 1952 to 1987, here decided to thumb its nose at a century and a half of Church teaching on the subject. Under Hesburgh, the university happily filled its halls with leftist professors. In fact, Pete in his memoirs notes that the Humanities faculty at Notre Dame while his dad was there was “overwhelmingly liberal,” even as “most students were conservative.” He recalls that his dad joined liberal faculty members’ “protests” of the Reagan administration, including speaking out “against the Reagan administration’s covert support for human rights abusers in Latin America during the popular president’s visit to campus.”
Still, one wonders if Notre Dame’s brass knew just how far to the left Joseph Buttigieg was at the time of his hiring in 1980.
Then again, Notre Dame would have known this unmistakably by the 2010s, many years after Joseph published his magnum opus on Antonio Gramsci. What did Notre Dame do then? Incredibly, it made Joseph Buttigieg, internationally recognized Gramscian Marxist, director of the prestigious Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, with, as Pete notes in his memoirs, an office in the “resplendent Main Building, topped by the Golden Dome itself, where the president sits in an oak-paneled office suite.” This is the historic building on campus. Joseph Buttigieg, as director of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, got a prized office in a ground-floor corner with an outside window from which (says Pete) Knute Rockne himself once sold football tickets in the 1930s.
The Notre Dame president under whom that happened was Fr. John Ignatius Jenkins, who makes Fr. Hesburgh look like a fire-breathing right-winger.
For those familiar with the implosion of higher education, Christian and secular, Catholic and non-Catholic, and with the outright rejection of the Catholic mission and identity by so many Catholic colleges that long ago stopped being authentically Catholic, the elevation of an overt Marxist–atheist like Joseph Buttigieg to such a position seems rather scandalous. It’s even more troublesome in Notre Dame’s case because Notre Dame is not only the most famous Catholic college in America but, in Notre Dame’s defense, also remains a fairly authentic Catholic college, albeit shakily clinging to the Magisterium despite some rocky leadership. Many conservative and faithful Catholics like to dump on Notre Dame and criticize it for not being really Catholic, but that’s unfair. In truth, there are many solid Catholics there, including on faculty. It’s very mixed. But even then, to promote someone as radical as Pete’s dad to head the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program is really alarming.
Bear in mind that it was Fr. Jenkins who scandalized the Notre Dame faithful by awarding Barack Obama an honorary degree in 2009, in direct and flagrant violation of the Catholic Church’s explicit instruction that pro-choice politicians not be granted such awards. Jenkins regaled not only Obama but also Joseph Buttigieg: “Joe was a superb scholar, an inspirational teacher and a pioneering leader as the inaugural director of the fledgling Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program,” Jenkins said in January 2019.
That Jenkins statement came at the time of Joseph’s death and was thus expected to be kind. Still, the press release stood as a good example of Jenkins’ and the university’s ignoring if not sugarcoating Buttigieg’s real beliefs. Jenkins never once dared use the word “Marxist” or “communist.” The Notre Dame president benignly told his campus community that Buttigieg had been an editor and translator of “Gramsci, the Italian philosopher, writer, and politician.”
Heck, sounds like a cross between Dante and Aquinas — eh, Fr. Jenkins?
Jenkins rattled off Joseph Buttigieg’s many positions of prominence at Notre Dame: director of the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars program, director of the university’s Stamps Scholars Program, faculty member in the English department, fellow in the university’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies (odd placement for an English prof), and fellow in the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.
Joseph Buttigieg was a veritable rock star at Notre Dame.
For the record, I know this is the world of academia we’re dealing with here. If yet another university wants to pad its universities with “critical theorists,” well, hey, that’s what they do. But the point here is that one should never expect such a far-left pedigree of a leading professor at America’s most famous Catholic university, and, more important to my focus in this article, Pete’s dad was on the extreme left.
Alas, Fr. Jenkins, of course, has another motive with such a statement. He’s speaking to university alumni and donors. In no way would he boldly ask well-off alumni to fork over dollars to support a program run by a Gramscian Marxist. They are to be coddled and even duped. At least the comrades at the website of the International Gramsci Society have the integrity to characterize Joseph accurately.
Faith and Education
Speaking of the Catholic faith, Pete touches on this as well in his memoirs.
In his teen years, says Pete, he actually learned the Catholic Church’s doctrine on matters like sexuality and abortion, both of which stand fully in contrast to Pete’s own views. He learned the Church’s teachings not at home but at St. Joseph High School in South Bend, where he was sent at the age of 14. That being the case, his radicalism on these issues today cannot be blamed on a failure in Catholic education. They surely must have come at least in part from home. His father earlier in life had been Catholic — a Jesuit — but left the faith. His mother was a Methodist who took a liking to the Episcopal Church, which is the direction where Pete eventually went.
Pete seemed to have never religiously identified with a particular church or denomination until he went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, which led him to Anglicanism and the Episcopal faith when he returned to the United States. He married (another man) as an Episcopalian, one of the first faiths to sanction same-sex marriage. Pete has been a member of the Episcopal Church for at least the past decade.
Prior to Oxford, Pete’s father further influenced his leftism by encouraging his son as a freshman at Harvard to take a course with Sacvan Bercovitch, a left-wing literature professor. If the name “Sacvan” seems strange, so is its genesis: Bercovitch, notes Pete, was “a son of Canadian Jewish radicals [who] had named him after the anarchist martyrs Sacco Vanzetti” — two heroes to the communist Left. “Sac” for “Sacco” and “Van” for “Vanzetti.” Hence, “Sacvan.” (Can you imagine?) Pete quickly became Sacvan’s research assistant.
We can see his father’s hand through all of this. Pete was the sole radical son of Joseph.
Bernie Sanders: Young Pete’s Inspiration?
Beyond his memoirs, maybe the most telling item to yet emerge from young Pete’s past writings is a stunning essay he wrote in high school that won the teenager nothing less than the annual Profiles in Courage award bestowed by the JFK Library. Take a million guesses at who the young Pete nominated for his Profile in Courage? Incredibly, he actually profiled Bernie Sanders, and specifically pointing to Sanders’ socialism. It’s stunning to see. Look at what Pete wrote in that essay:One outstanding and inspiring example of such integrity is the country’s only Independent Congressman, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.That’s the thinking of an extremely unusual high schooler who obviously was raised with some really radical ideas.
Sanders’ courage is evident in the first word he uses to describe himself: “Socialist”. In a country where Communism is still the dirtiest of ideological dirty words, in a climate where even liberalism is considered radical, and Socialism is immediately and perhaps willfully confused with Communism, a politician dares to call himself a socialist? He does indeed. Here is someone who has “looked into his own soul” and expressed an ideology, the endorsement of which, in today’s political atmosphere, is analogous to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Even though he has lived through a time in which an admitted socialist could not act in a film, let alone hold a Congressional seat, Sanders is not afraid to be candid about his political persuasion.
After numerous political defeats in his traditionally Republican state, Sanders won the office of mayor of Burlington by ten votes. A successful and popular mayor, he went on to win Vermont’s one Congressional seat in 1990. Since then, he has taken many courageous and politically risky stands on issues facing the nation. He has come under fire from various conservative religious groups because of his support for same-sex marriages. His stance on gun control led to NRA-organized media campaigns against him. Sanders has also shown creativity in organizing drug-shopping trips to Canada for senior citizens to call attention to inflated drug prices in the United States.
While impressive, Sanders’ candor does not itself represent political courage. The nation is teeming with outspoken radicals in one form or another. Most are sooner called crazy than courageous. It is the second half of Sanders’ political role that puts the first half into perspective: he is a powerful force for conciliation and bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill. In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy wrote that “we should not be too hasty in condemning all compromise as bad morals. For politics and legislation are not matters for inflexible principles or unattainable ideals.” It may seem strange that someone so steadfast in his principles has a reputation as a peacemaker between divided forces in Washington, but this is what makes Sanders truly remarkable. He represents President Kennedy’s ideal of “compromises of issues, not of principles.”
This was the year 2000. Bear in mind that absolutely no one in America was even thinking about Bernie Sanders at this point, apparently with the exception of a young Pete (and no doubt his father). If you had surveyed 300 million Americans in the year 2000 and asked them to choose their person for a Profile in Courage, not a damned one would have named Bernie Sanders. No way. Not one. Except Pete Buttigieg. One wonders if the leftists at the JFK Library awarded Pete strictly on novelty alone. (For the record, John F. Kennedy would roll over in his grave to see that a Profile in Courage award was giving to a young man from St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend, son of a Notre Dame professor, praising a socialist. But then again, JFK long ago rolled over in his grave at the leftward lunge of his family.)
To think that a kid from South Bend would pick the obscure socialist “Independent” from Vermont is unusual. Young people today wouldn’t know this, but the notion that Bernie Sanders in 2000 could one day be a presidential candidate let alone leading the Democrat pack is utterly unthinkable.
That Pete would pick Bernie is just bizarre, and so richly ironic given that the two now top the Democratic field — and that Pete is being portrayed as the Democrats’ vaunted “moderate” alternative to Bernie in 2020.
There’s no question that this, too, shows the household influence of a Marxist father. But the most lasting impact surely came on the cultural front.
Remember that Joseph Buttigieg’s primary interest as a Marxist, like Antonio Gramsci’s, was cultural. And his son Pete is very much a cultural leftist, a cultural radical. If Mayor Pete is the “moderate” in the Democrat bunch, it would be (at best) on perhaps certain matters of national security, foreign policy, economics, government, but it’s most certainly not on cultural issues. He’s an extremist on abortion (see here and here, among others) and, obviously, on the full swath of so-called “LGBTQ” issues. He’s also a radical in his interpretation of Scripture and religion.
Joseph Buttigieg and Antonio Gramsci and the Gramsci Society applied Marxism first and foremost to culture rather than traditionally to class and economics. It would be no surprise at all if Pete, perhaps following his father, was more “moderate” on certain economic and government issues and yet was an extremist on cultural issues. That’s precisely where the Gramsci school has been.
And yet, having said that, this is not to say that Mayor Pete is today a Marxist or a Gramscian Marxist or a cultural Marxist at all. But it is to say that Mayor Pete surely would have been exposed to and influenced by those ideas through his father. Who wouldn’t?
Much of this reminds me of a young Barack Obama — likewise influenced by Marxists as a young man, from Frank Marshall Davis (an actual member of Communist Party USA) to his far-left mother — who would in his 40s run for the presidency as something fresh and new, not daring to mention those radical roots and how they might have helped shape him. And just like Obama, Pete will be protected from talking about those roots by a loving media, leaving conservatives alone to raise the matter and to be vilified for doing so. (Well, at least they can’t call us racists this time around — but I’m sure “homophobe” will do.)
Like so many people who grew up in Marxist households, Pete could easily today be a non-Marxist but still carry with him certain residual effects of a leftist upbringing. This is true of so many political figures. Look at the last two Democrat presidential nominees: Obama had the radical influences of Davis and his mother; Hillary Clinton was heavily influenced by a left-wing, social-justice youth pastor and also by the teachings of Saul Alinsky, which she studied.
People are products of their environments. That’s common sense. But it’s a common-sense reality that liberals will want to reject and scream about when it helps explain — or exposes — the extremism of people on their side. People like Mayor Pete.
Mayor Pete is a red-diaper baby. There have been thousands if not millions of them in America over the last hundred years. Books have been written about them or by them. I know a bunch of them personally: David Horowitz, my friend Mike Shotwell, the excellent historian of communism Ron Radosh, all of whom have written candidly and at length about their leftist upbringings. Sympathetic voices such as Judy Kaplan and Linn Shapiro have done books with titles like Red Diapers: Growing Up in the Communist Left, profiling dozens of red-diaper babies (Carl Bernstein is one of those profiled in their book), most of which ended up becoming non-Marxists. People ought to be capable of discussing these things rationally and without anger and overheated emotion, including where and how those upbringings influenced people’s later political–ideological views and where they did not.
And that’s where we stand right now with Mayor Pete. A fair question for someone to ask him would be where and how his father’s Gramscian Marxism influenced his political–ideological views and where it didn’t. My guess, however, is that those questions will not get asked of Mayor Pete by a sympathetic liberal media, just as they weren’t ever asked of Obama by a sympathetic liberal media. Instead, that media will lash out at those who dare to ask those questions.
No, this doesn’t mean that Pete is a commie, a closet member of Communist Party USA, or that he, say, served as a presidential elector to the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (as Bernie Sanders did). But it surely helps explain Pete’s obvious cultural radicalism, which no doubt was something he would have first observed under the red-diaper roof of his father.
Friday, February 14, 2020
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Are DNC insiders weaponizing ‘election security’ to seize control of 2020 primaries behind the smokescreen of Russiagate paranoia?
Google and a dodgy “election security” nonprofit are reaching out to Democratic campaigns with free security tools, even offering to activate them. After the Iowa debacle, campaigns should be wary of DNC insiders bearing gifts.
Election security nonprofit Defending Digital Campaigns (DDC) has partnered with Google to offer free Titan security keys to Democratic presidential campaigns. Not only will these benevolent guardians of the democratic process let the candidates have the keys, part of Google’s Advanced Protection security program, free of charge - they’ll even install and activate the new security systems themselves! What could go wrong?
Candidates would be wise to think twice about accepting the seemingly-generous offer, or any other “free election security” bait, especially after the disaster of the Iowa caucuses. That vote collapsed not because of a foreign hack, but because Shadow Inc., an organization staffed almost entirely by former Hillary Clinton operatives, sold Iowa Democrats a difficult-to-use app that mangled vote counts. While Shadow was supposedly “vetted for cybersecurity and technical considerations” by “third-party experts,” many of the security “experts” peddling their services to the Democrats are veterans of the same Clinton and Obama campaigns as Shadow’s staff. And of course the 2020 Democratic National Committee, which insisted Iowa use an app to report results instead of calling them in by phone for security reasons, is positively bristling with insiders left over from 2016.
Defending Digital Democracy, the “security experts” Iowa Democrats were already paying to train volunteers in electoral “worst case scenarios,” is - unsurprisingly, given the name - run by the same Clinton and Romney staffers who sit on Defending Digital Campaigns’ board, Robby Mook and Matt Rhoades. Founded by former Obama Pentagon Chief of Staff Eric Rosenbach and advised by top Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, DDD has been “protecting” elections with the help of CrowdStrike founder (and Russiagate Patient Zero) Dmitri Alperovich since 2017. The Fear of Russian Meddling industry appears to be one big happy family, none of whom, it seems, have ever heard of paper ballots - one sure-fire way to avoid outside interference in an election.
The links between the various groups are extensive and complex enough to fill several articles, but looking at their financial backers is instructive. Shadow and DDC were both bankrolled by LinkedIn co-founders - Reid Hoffman provided the startup capital for Shadow’s parent corporation Acronym, while DDC’s treasurer and largest donor is Allen Blue. Hoffman also provided the financing for “disinformation experts” New Knowledge’s phony Russian bot operation in Alabama in 2017, which - if its own numbers are to be believed - handed the traditionally-red state’s open Senate seat to Democrat Doug Jones by weaponizing fear of Russian meddling.
There’s no stronger proof that all this “election security” talk is mere pageantry than in the DNC’s appointment of former Clinton campaign director John Podesta to the 2020 convention’s Rules Committee. Podesta has no business being anywhere near election security - it was his inability to recognize “phishing” that led to the Clinton campaign’s emails being spread all over the internet by Wikileaks in the runup to the 2016 election. Podesta, like Mook, has been aggressively pushing the threat of Russian election interference ever since, absent a shred of proof that the dreaded “meddling” is coming from anywhere but inside the country.
Some naive individuals might question whether party insiders would really try to steal another primary after the catastrophe of 2016 handed Trump his victory. But those responsible for that trainwreck were never punished, defending themselves in court with the rationale that party bylaws allowed them to pick candidates in smoke-filled rooms should they so desire. Moreover, nothing has come of the revelation former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign paid $40,000 to Shadow before the company’s app nearly handed him victory in Iowa, or that parent company Acronym’s CEO is happily married to a Buttigieg staffer. Worse, last week it emerged that Buttigieg staffer Emily Goldman has signed on to the Nevada Democratic Party as “voter protection director” - a full-time position - now that Nevada has dropped the Shadow app for its own caucus.
Yet calls for DNC chair Tom Perez to resign, motivated by all these scandals and more, have fallen on deaf ears. Knowledge of the metastasizing conflicts of interest within the party has merely circulated on social media to the point where few in its progressive wing believe a fair election is possible. Inviting Google - which was 100 percent in the bag for Clinton in 2016, according to whistleblowers and researchers alike - and yet another Russia-obsessed, insider-heavy “election security” group to install free “protection” in one’s campaign infrastructure is inviting the local foxes to install security for one’s shiny new henhouse. Unless a candidate is secure in being the establishment’s pick, they would be wise to leave this Trojan horse outside the gates.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Rudy Giuliani Discusses the Evidence of Corruption The DOJ and Congress are Intentionally Ignoring….
Rudy Giuliani has spent over a year gathering evidence of wide-scale corruption, money laundering and fraudulently created political operations deployed against Donald Trump.Also...
Unfortunately, because of the successful defense strategies of an alliance of interests: Obama White House officials, democrats, republicans, media and current DOJ officials to include AG Bill Barr, Mr. Giuliani has been alinsky’d – isolated, ridiculed, marginalized and controversialized. A once great corruption investigator, prosecutor, New York City mayor and presidential candidate, is now reduced to hosting a podcast.
As a direct result of the DC protective agenda, ie. marginalize the messenger, nothing Giuliani has uncovered will be used, discussed or acted upon by any officials in/around the institutions of government; including the DOJ. However, Giuliani discusses the evidence with Fox News host Jesse Watters.
Saturday, February 8, 2020
Where's the Church Committee when you need it? The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (created by the Church Commission to act on its' behalf) has become the beating heart AND grand protector of the Deep State. Which just goes to prove the lifecycle of the Myth of the Administrators is still pertinent:
EROSION OF THE MYTH OF ADMINISTRATORS OF THE COMMONS
"Indeed, the process has been so widely commented upon that one writer postulated a common life cycle for all of the attempts to develop regulatory policies. The life cycle is launched by an outcry so widespread and demanding that it generates enough political force to bring about establishment of a regulatory agency to insure the equitable, just, and rational distribution of the advantages among all holders of interest in the commons. This phase is followed by the symbolic reassurance of the offended as the agency goes into operation, developing a period of political quiescence among the great majority of those who hold a general but unorganized interest in the commons. Once this political quiescence has developed, the highly organized and specifically interested groups who wish to make incursions into the commons bring sufficient pressure to bear through other political processes to convert the agency to the protection and furthering of their interests. In the last phase even staffing of the regulating agency is accomplished by drawing the agency administrators from the ranks of the regulated."
Who is AnotherAcronym...
Friday, February 7, 2020
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Preventing Private/ Individual knowledge from becoming Public/ Common/ Mutual Knowledge. Is the Emperor naked yet?
The man who sat out the Iowa Caucuses, wins!
Monday, February 3, 2020
[T]he whole thing is rigged. And the Democrats, and particularly the Bernie Sanders supporters, should understand, you're playing in a rigged game.
Michael Bloomberg, who really now you're seeing an oligarch come in here, an oligarch that has committed $2 billion not to make himself president, $2 billion just to defeat Donald Trump.
And here's the thing.
BARTIROMO: You don't think he wants to be president?
BANNON: I think he — look, he knows he's not going to beat Donald Trump. He knows he's not going to win the nomination.
BARTIROMO: You said he wants to be something else, not...
BANNON: He's — he's basically doing a leveraged buyout of the Democratic Party, is what he's doing.
He's an LBO of the Democratic Party to control the Democratic Party to select who their candidate is going to be and use his capital, OK, and organization and technology to defeat Trump.
And that's why this is very dangerous. Now you are seeing an oligarch actually step over, has no chance at all to actually defeat Trump as a presidential candidate, do something that's much more dangerous to this republic.
That's why it's got to be followed. And it's serious. Remember, he can apply and capital like nobody else. He's worth 70 — over $70 billion now.