by William Skink
Jeremy Scahill’s latest podcast, titled Donald Trump and the Media Temple of BOOM!, takes a look at the fallout of the latest bombshell to fizzle in the Russiagate saga.
The transcript isn’t up yet, so I can’t quote exactly what he said, but the gist is these media fuck-ups help Trump, they validate the narrative of fake news (tarnishing good reporting that’s happening) and it’s all leading up to what Scahill is afraid will be a tremendous let down when Mueller’s investigation finally wraps up. If it ever does wrap up. And if the findings are ever shared transparently with the public.
More on why that is doubtful later in the post.
Scahill understands the damage the media is doing to itself. The damage needs to be acknowledged, not ignored. Greenwald has done a good job of holding mainstream media accountable for their embarrassing failures with Russiagate and has provided this handy list of the 10 most embarrassing ones.
A problem I have with Scahill and Greenwald’s framing of these media missteps is I don’t think they are missteps at all. If you understand that this is an information war and that mainstream/corporate media represents the consolidated interests of their parent companies (all 6 of them) then you will better understand what you are seeing and reading.
I think there is an operation being run against Trump and corporate media is playing a significant role. This might sound impossible, but I can both believe that to be the case, while also believing Trump is a dangerous demagogue adding accelerant to a dumpster fire.
Before Trump was inaugurated, Obama signed Executive Order 12333. This move empowered agencies like the FBI to sift through raw data. That means when the FBI interviewed Michael Flynn, sans lawyer, there’s a good chance they had a transcript of what Flynn said to the Russian Ambassador to the US at the time, Sergey Kislyak.
This interview came up last month in transcripts of a Congressional grilling of Comey. From trusty CNN:
In the interview, Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, pressed Comey on the purpose of the interview.
“It is not the FBI’s job, unless I’m mistaken, to correct false statements that political figures say to one another. So why did you send two bureau agents to interview Michael Flynn?” Gowdy asked.
“Because one of the FBI’s jobs is to understand the efforts of foreign adversaries to influence, coerce, corrupt the government of the United States,” Comey responded. “So they were sent there as part of that counterintelligence mission to try and understand why it appeared to be the case that the national security adviser was making false statements about his conversations with the Russians to the vice president of the United States.”
Gowdy also pushed Comey on comments he had made in a New York forum earlier this month, in which he told a moderator his decision to send two FBI agents to the White House without notifying the White House counsel’s office was something he “probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized administration.”
“I’m just kind of hung up on the phrase ‘gotten away with,’ ” Gowdy told Comey on Monday in the private Capitol Hill interview, according to the transcript.
“In an administration where the rhythm of the context between the FBI and the White House was more established, there would’ve been a strong expectation that we coordinate it through White House counsel instead of calling the national security adviser directly. That’s what I meant by it,” Comey replied.
The timing of the interview thrust Comey back into the spotlight over the Russia investigation, as he was quizzed on the Flynn interview the same week that Flynn was supposed to be sentenced by a federal judge, although that sentencing was delayed Tuesday. But memos detailing how the FBI had arranged the interview and the assessment afterward were released ahead of the sentencing date, raising new questions for Comey from Republicans.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday criticized Comey and the FBI for the interview following Flynn’s hearing.
“The FBI broke standard protocol in the way that they came in and ambushed Gen. Flynn and in the way that they questioned him and in the way that they encouraged not to have White House counsel’s office present,” she said at the White House press briefing.
Without partisan blinders on, it’s not hard to see how the swamp immediately mired Trump in a counter-insurgency effort launched by elements of the permanent deep state. You don’t have to some Breitbart wing-nut to see what’s happening.
Last month, two reports from the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public. Here is how the Grayzone Project describes the report and some initial Democrat reactions:
On December 17, two reports detailing ongoing Russian interference operations commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public. They generated a week’s worth of headlines and sent members of Congress and cable news pundits into a Cold War frenzy. According to the report, everything from the Green Party’s Jill Stein to Instagram to Pokemon Go to the African American population had been used and confused by the deceptive Facebook pages of a private Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.
Nevermind that 56% of the troll farm’s pages appeared after the election, that 25% of them were seen by no one, or that their miniscule online presence paled in comparison to the millions of dollars spent on social media by the two major presidential campaigns and their supporters to sway voters. This was an act of war that demanded immediate government action.
According to Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the reports were “a wake up call” and a “bombshell” that was certain to bring “long-overdue guardrails when it comes to social media”. His Republican counterpart on the committee, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, hailed the research papers as “proof positive that one of the most important things we can do is increase information sharing between the social media companies who can identify disinformation campaigns and the third-party experts who can analyze them.”
So, why didn’t these bombshell revelations detonate?
But the authors of one of the reports soon suffered a major blow to their credibility when it was revealed that they had engaged in what they called a “Russian style” online disinformation operation aimed to swing a hotly contested special senate election. The embarrassing revelation has already resulted in one of the authors having his Facebook page suspended.
The well-funded deception was carried out by New Knowledge, a private cyber intelligence firm founded by two self-styled disinformation experts who are veterans of the Obama administration: Jonathon Morgan and Ryan Fox.
It just gets worse from there.
Now, back to Mueller’s investigation. The presumed function of Mueller is that he is investigating Trump’s Russia connections, but I think Mueller has another function, and that is to keep the focus of attention from drifting too far toward the deep state’s “insurance policy” counter-insurgency efforts against Trump.
I recently ran across a very interesting piece on Mueller’s family history, which includes connections to two of the three CIA officials Kennedy fired after the Bay of Pigs failure:
Let me introduce you to the man of the hour in Washington, Robert Swann Mueller III. Robert was born into the upper crust in our American class system. At one point in his education in private schools John Kerry was a classmate. (Kerry was also a fellow Bonesman with the Bushes.) Mueller met his eventual bride, Ann Cabell Standish, at one of the dances they attended. They married in 1966, three years after John Kennedy’s assassination. If you have read much about the JFK assassination you would recognize her middle name. Her grandfather, Charles Cabell, had been second in command at the CIA when John Kennedy was elected President. In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy fired three men from leadership positions at the CIA: Director Allen Dulles, Cabell and Richard Bissell. Charles Cabell was Ann’s grandfather. Her grand uncle, Earle Cabell, was the mayor of Dallas at the time of Kennedy’s murder there. Recently declassified JFK documents revealed that Mayor Cabell was also an asset of the CIA at the time. Small world. You could say that Mueller married into the CIA, except that his great uncle was Richard Bissell. So between his family and his wife’s family Mueller had two of the three people that Kennedy fired before he was assassinated by a “lone nut”, as well as the mayor who hosted the assassination. The third man fired was Allen Dulles, who sat on the Warren Commission and managed to keep the CIA out of the investigation into JFK’s murder. Perhaps Dulles was a guest at the wedding.
You would have to be quite the coincidence theorist to think there’s nothing to these family connections.