The Frothing Right Prefers Oleg Deripaska as an FBI Asset to Christopher Steele

If John Solomon were still doing journalism, the lede of this piece would be that the FBI interviewed Oleg Deripaska in September 2016, even as the Russian operation to tamper in the election was ongoing.

Two months before Trump was elected president, Deripaska was in New York as part of Russia’s United Nations delegation when three FBI agents awakened him in his home; at least one agent had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Levinson. During an hour-long visit, the agents posited a theory that Trump’s campaign was secretly colluding with Russia to hijack the U.S. election.

“Deripaska laughed but realized, despite the joviality, that they were serious,” the lawyer said. “So he told them in his informed opinion the idea they were proposing was false. ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing,’ he told them.” The agents left though the FBI sought more information in 2017 from the Russian, sources tell me. Waldman declined to say if Deripaska has been in contact with the FBI since Sept, 2016.

Telling that story would make it clear that the FBI pursued an investigation into Russian tampering at the source, by questioning Russians suspected of being involved. Republicans should be happy to know the FBI was using such an approach.

But Solomon isn’t doing journalism anymore — even his employer now acknowledges that that’s true. After complaints about his propaganda (in part, attacking the Mueller investigation) he has been relegated to the opinion section of The Hill.

Not before his last effort to impugn Mueller, though, claiming that because the FBI used Deripaska as a go-between in a 2009 effort to rescue Robert Levinson, Mueller is prevented from investigating him now.

In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.


Deripaska’s lawyer said the Russian ultimately spent $25 million assembling a private search and rescue team that worked with Iranian contacts under the FBI’s watchful eye. Photos and videos indicating Levinson was alive were uncovered.

Then in fall 2010, the operation secured an offer to free Levinson. The deal was scuttled, however, when the State Department become uncomfortable with Iran’s terms, according to Deripaska’s lawyer and the Levinson family.

FBI officials confirmed State hampered their efforts.

“We tried to turn over every stone we could to rescue Bob, but every time we started to get close, the State Department seemed to always get in the way,” said Robyn Gritz, the retired agent who supervised the Levinson case in 2009, when Deripaska first cooperated, but who left for another position in 2010 before the Iranian offer arrived. “I kept Director Mueller and Deputy Director [John] Pistole informed of the various efforts and operations, and they offered to intervene with State, if necessary.”

FBI officials ended the operation in 2011, concerned that Deripaska’s Iranian contacts couldn’t deliver with all the U.S. infighting.

Even assuming Solomon’s tale — which is that offered by Deripaska’s lawyer — is factually correct, what this means is that the FBI used Deripaska as an asset, just like they’ve used Christopher Steele as a source. Of course, using ex-MI6 officer Steele, for the frothy right, is a heinous crime. But using a Russian billionaire, according to a propagandist who has been regurgitating Trump spin since he was elected, is heroic. Perhaps that’s why a Trump crony, Bryan Lanza, is also trying to help Deripaska’s company beat the sanctions recently imposed on him.

Of course, Solomon doesn’t consider the possibility that FBI and State balked in 2011 because Deripaska himself had proven unreliable. Which would explain a lot of what transpired in the years since. Nor does he consider — nor has the frothy right generally — the possibility that any damning disinformation in the Steele dossier ended up there in part via Deripaska.

Certainly, Deripaska’s own asset, Paul Manafort, seemed prepared to capitalize on that disinformation.

As the Mueller investigation has proceeded, we’ve gotten just a glimpse of how the spooks trade in information, involving allies like Steele and Stefan Halper, and more sordid types like George Nader (who appears to have traded information to get out of consequences for a child porn habit), Felix Sater (who claims, dubiously, to be offering full cooperation with Mueller based on years of working off his own mob ties), and even Deripaska.

Curiously, it’s Deripaska that propagandists spewing the White House line seem most interested in celebrating.

Update: Chuck Ross did a story based on Solomon’s report, and did note that the FBI questioned Deripaska in September 2016. But, fresh off complaining that I had called him out for doing this in another story, turns a story about Manafort and his long-time Russian associate into a story about the dossier (in which Deripaska is not named).

In September 2016, FBI agents approached Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to ask about allegations President Donald Trump’s campaign was colluding with the Russian government to influence the election, according to a new report.

Deripaska, who was at his apartment in New York City for the interview, waved the three agents off of the collusion theory, saying there was no coordination between the Trump team and Kremlin, The Hill reported Monday.

The agents, one of whom Deripaska knew from a previous FBI case, said they believed former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved in the conspiracy, an allegation made in the infamous Steele dossier.

Ross then continues on, dossier … dossier … dossier … dossier … dossier, including this claim not supported by any public evidence.

It is also an indicator of how they investigated some of the allegations made in the dossier.

By the time September 2016 rolled around, it had been two months since Deripaska go-between Konstantin Kilimnik emailed (probably via a PRISM service)  Manafort about paying off his debt to Deripaska by giving inside dirt on the campaign. There were meetings in NYC. In September 2016, Alex Van der Zwaan was actively covering up the ongoing efforts to hide Manafort’s involvement in Ukraine’s persecution of Yulia Tymoshenko, and doing so in the servers of a law firm going to pains to clear their name.

And all that’s before you consider what hasn’t been shared with Congress and leaked to the press.

Meanwhile, the only mention of Deripaska in the dossier by September was an undated July report claiming that Manafort was happy to have the focus on Russia because the Trump corruption in China was worse (and also suggesting that Manafort used Carter Page as a go-between with Russia); given reports about when Steele shared reports with the FBI, it’s not clear the Bureau would have had that yet. In any case, the more extensive discussion of Manafort comes later, after the Deripaska interview.

Had Manafort been a surveillance focus solely for the dossier (something that wasn’t even true for Page), you’d have heard that by now.

Every time Mueller submits a filing explaining how the Manafort Ukraine investigation came out of the Russia investigation, he has mentioned Deripaska. Trump’s own team leaked questions suggesting that Mueller is sitting on information that Manafort reached out to Russians asking for help (and Deripaska was among those we know he was in touch with).

And yet, after competently noting that the FBI interviewed Deripaska, Ross made the crazypants suggestion that any suspicion of Manafort would arise from the dossier and not abundant other known evidence.

94 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nice commentary, better takedown.

    A species is meant to recognize its own, that’s how it perpetuates itself. But when it fails to recognize its wider environment, it is doomed to extinction.

  2. JacobLadder says:

    I fail to see how Solomon is saying Mueller isn’t allowed to investigate Deripaska because he once recruited him for the Levinson rescue operation. Perhaps if you were doing honest blogging, the lede of your piece would be how three FBI agents showed up to persuade Deripaska to help them create a phony Russiagate narrative. Or isn’t this line obvious enough: ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing.’

    You might also want to be asking why Mueller omitted any mention of Deripaska in his Manafort indictment. Strange, huh?

    • bmaz says:

      Listen jackass, i have warned you before. The next time you accuse hosts here of dishonesty will be your last.

    • SteveB says:

      You “fail to see how Solomon says” “Mueller is not allowed to investigate Deripaska”

      See Solomon piece paras 2, 32 -35: where he questions (oh yeh) whether M has a conflict of interest re D and insinuates the answer is a big yeh.

      Not so much ‘fail to see’ more ‘willfully avoiding acknowledging for the purpose of this troll’

      Nb willfully = deliberately and with intent to disregard (the material fact or relevant law)


      • Trip says:

        Well, I give him/her props for pulling this out of his/her ass, like a magic trick:

        “how three FBI agents showed up to persuade Deripaska to help them create a phony Russiagate narrative”

        Because if THAT actually happened, like it wouldn’t be on Russian propaganda TV 24/7 and early on.

        • JacobLadder says:

          Excuse me? What part of ‘You are trying to create something out of nothing’ didn’t you get? I’m sorry, but this is the elephant in the room. Three agents show up to tell a Russian oligarch to go along with their tale of collusion — I guess because he’s been so cooperative in the past. Not only that, they suggest to him “keep an open mind” about things. What does that mean?

          Forget R-TV, this should be on every American news network not to mention every major newspaper. But of course we know it won’t be, for obvious reasons.

          So ignore this if you wish, but please, spare me the suggestion this is tin-foil stuff. It’s right there in the open.


          • Trip says:

            Because people being investigated NEVER minimize, feign ignorance, or or deny what they are accused of, right? That’s if this conversation was even verbatim. It’s unbelievable how dedicated you are to the propaganda


        • SteveB says:

          Oh I took that “argument” as a precis of what Solomon willingly recycled from Deripaska’s lawyer: so there is an question of ass provenance on that one!

    • emptywheel says:

      In his first two Manafort indictments.

      He has mentioned Deripaska and Kilimnik repeatedly though, including on Gates’ guilty plea. Keep up, would ya?

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Lots of things are strange on this blog lately. There used to be a JL on the O course. Easiest obstacle to overcome.

    Karl and Dick used to trot out their minions when criticism of Shrub cut too close to the bone. Nice to see not much has changed from one maladministration to the next. Only the body count is different.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Washington Times is considered an alt-right medium, something Mr. Solomon,  its former editor-in-chief, would know.   His damning with feint praise hit piece on Bob Mueller is in keeping with that background, though it was published by the Hill.  No surprise that his colleagues there were so consistently critical of Solomon’s “reporting” that he has been relegated to an opinion column.  Lowers the insurance premiums.

    Why would a careful reader consider Mr. Solomon’s story about Mr. Mueller to be either credible or discussed in appropriate context?  Dershowitz will give anybody a quote, and anybody can quote Turley and others and leave out context and opposing views.

    Mr. Solomon’s history is noteworthy.  Inaccurate, selective quotes, inadequate context that creates misleading impressions, obvious conservative bias, Sean Hannity’s BFF.  The only real question is why Solomon hasn’t been picked up by Faux News.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Solomon and Sara Carter know their roles: they’re easy marks for Republican oppo shoppos, who can provide a “journalistic” veneer for Laura Ingrate or Hannity.

  5. harpie says:

    New: Mueller: Secret Court Order Suspended Statute Of Limitations On Manafort Charge May 15, 2018 11:03 am 

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller obtained a secret order from a federal magistrate judge to suspend the statute of limitations on one of the charges he ultimately brought against Paul Manafort, a court filing revealed Monday evening. Mueller did not inform Manafort of the secret order until after the former Trump campaign chairman had requested that charge be thrown out, the filing said. […] Mueller also disclosed in the Monday court filing that, as recently as April 30 of this year, the government of Cyprus was still turning over documents related to the special counsel’s Manafort investigation. […]

    • harpie says:

      TPM from last week…Deripaska/Manafort/Cyprus:
      Why A Powerful Russian Oligarch Was Furious With Paul Manafort 5/7/18 [Editor’s note: The following article is an excerpt from investigative journalist Seth Hettena’s new book, “Trump / Russia: A Definitive History.”
      [quote] […] In April of 2008, Deripaska paid nearly $19 million to fund the acquisition of Chorne More, then paid Manafort an additional $7.35 million in fees. Years later, Deripaska learned that the purchase price of Chorne More was $1.1 million less than Manafort and Gates had led him to believe. Gates and Manafort had simply pocketed the difference, laundering it through accounts in Cyprus that the two men used as “their personal piggy banks,” the oligarch said in a lawsuit. […] [end quote]

      • Trip says:

        Like Deripaska isn’t the same kind of scumbag. They learned from the best, I’m sure. Everybody wants a cut.

      • SpaceLifeForm says:

        “In April of 2008, Deripaska paid nearly $19 million to fund the acquisition of Chorne More, then paid Manafort an additional $7.35 million in fees.”

        Steep underwriting fees.

        So many shells, so little money.

  6. Trip says:

    It sounds like Deripaska inserted himself in order to get a visa. The FBI/CIA did not seek him out, his Canadian friend made him part of the deal and suggestion. Then he promised to use his money, but once the Iranians heard that there was money, they wanted too much and the whole operation was aborted after someone else became in charge of the business dealings there. So maybe Deripaska contributed nothing at all, and was running a con about his helpfulness.  If the hostage takers wanted more than this supposed $25 million, who is to say whether that deal would involve Deripaska getting a cut? Something is very off about it. And he wanted to collect on his end of the bargain in 2009, but without the return of Levinson. That doesn’t sound like a solid relationship with the feds.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      “contributed nothing at all, and was running a con about his helpfulness”

      Gee, this sure sounds familiar. Bet SPB can relate.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Squire Patton Boggs

          The legal/lobbying group that may have been *told* to provide some cover for Cohen via their office.

          Tney are now working on disavowing all knowlege of their actions. Good Luck Jim.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Plus, who is to say the deal would have come off at any price.  Unpredictably seems to be the norm in such matters.

      • Trip says:

        That’s true. But the larger issue is that Deripaska wanted credit for ‘trying’, not succeeding. It’s not like there was anything in the NYT article which would lead you to believe that he was a ‘go to’ asset guy.

        The CIA/FBI hit desperation to find Levinson after they screwed up by not admitting he was being used as a contractor. By the female agent’s account, there was no money to continue to pay him, and he went rogue/freelance continuing to file reports and then naively went alone into a dangerous situation. At that point, when it all came out, they were accepting suggestions from the slimiest operators. Some could be standing assets and others might be a one time. “Okay, throw anything against the wall to get him back if you know these people” kind of a deal, which sounds like the Deripaska failed attempt.

        It sure doesn’t come across like the US was willing to invest time and money into Deripaska avenues. And it especially didn’t read that they were so chummy, that this guy Deripaska, close to the Kremlin, would be the guy they’d ask to make up shit which would not serve Putin’s interests. KWIM?

  7. harpie says:

    o/t These two stories came out today:

    1] Admin Blocked Publication Of Water Contamination Report Over Fear Of PR ‘Nightmare’  

    […] The report by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) was set to publish in January, disclosing that a dangerous level of toxic chemicals had contaminated water near military bases and other areas from New York to Michigan to West Virginia. The study would also reveal that the chemicals are riskier to human health at a level lower than what the EPA has previously deemed safe, Politico reported. […]

    2] Trump administration preparing to shelter migrant children on military bases  5/15/18

    The Trump administration is making preparations to warehouse migrant children on military bases, according to Defense Department communications, the latest sign the government is moving forward with plans to split up families who cross the border illegally. […]

    • Trip says:

      And Nikki Haley acted like a petulant 5th grader, reading her slanted report, and flouncing away like the perfect representative of this grossly immature and ill-conceived administration.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Over 60 dead, 2400 wounded.  When the facts are against you, theater is all you have left.  Blaming it all on the Palestinians doesn’t sound much like a neutral, good faith intermediary.  Trump and his family have gone all in for Bibi.  There must be a new golf resort going up on the Golan Heights, and a new Trump-branded spa on the Sea of Galilee.

        As for the apology owed McCain, it wouldn’t mean much, since neither Trump nor his staff would mean it nor would he or they promise not to do it again.

        Trump empowers this behavior – it reflects his own.  He loves it because it keeps him the center of attention.  Why is not relevant.  It’s not dementia or a mistake or confusion.  Trump feels that way about McCain himself. He is a world class shit and he hires people just like himself.

        The danger is that it shows there are few depths to which the GOP will not go to cover Trump’s ass. And anyone who criticizes the Don risks having the full weight of the GOP and its richest patrons arrayed against them come November. The Dems have a bit of an uphill battle confronting that sort of unified effort.

        • Trip says:

          The sad story is that so much energy is being exhausted on the non-apology to McCain. No doubt it was tasteless, classless and cruel, but that is par for the course. I’m not even sure McCain really cares, he knows who Trump is, and he has other more important battles to fight right now. The fact that this administration co-signs the murder of protestors is chilling and is all but avoided on MSM. At least Joy Reid and Richard Engle covered it for a significant portion. That was almost shocking (in a good way).

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            It’s enough to make you wonder whether it was an authorized leak from the WH, to distract from real news and to justify a warlock hunt by the Don.  He’s gotta keep feeding that paranoia.

    • Soldalinsky says:

      Is there any mention of the superfund blitzkrieg associated with the Gold King mine?  How about the dead zone from the Deepwater Horizon spill?




    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Warehouse the Kindern.  Until the soylent green factories are up and running, the ones with the new coat of arms?

  8. JacobLadder says:

    Hey guys, here’s another Russian connection just discovered, for you all to ignore or laugh off:

    James Comey’s friend, Columbia University professor Daniel Richman, leaked classified information that Comey gave him. During this leaking period, Richman was apartment-building neighbors with a partner at the law firm that strategized with Fusion GPS operative Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian plant who set up Don Jr. in Trump Tower.

    “Yes, he is my neighbor,” Amy Wenzel, a partner at Cozen O’Connor, confirmed in a phone conversation with Big League Politics, confirming that they spoke. They live near each other in a Brooklyn high-rise.

    That would be the same Natalia Veselnitskaya who met both before and after the Trump Tower meeting with Glenn Simpson. Which is another Russian connection you should all ignore.

    Happy ignoring!


      • JacobLadder says:

        Why, for drawing attention to the fact they were neighbors? But you’re right, we should get back to the normal news. Like Stormy.

        • Trip says:

          I have all kinds of neighbors. I don’t pick ’em. Not everyone lives in a bunker in woods, with no neighbors, like you.

    • bmaz says:

      You are fucking nuts. Please stop dropping this conspiracy  theory horse manure here. Seriously, STOP.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Interesting. Not because of the neighbor thing. But because of Cozen O’Conner.

      Bet Philly GJ is on this.

      • bmaz says:

        How much you want to bet? Because there is about zero chance any DA, much less Larry Krasner, is doing anything but laughing at this tin foil quackery.

        • SpaceLifeForm says:

          Krasner is truly a good American. He cares.

          River City, Blank Rome, Ponzi, Opioids

            • SpaceLifeForm says:

              LOL. So many to choose from.

              (at this point, my guess is at least 13 Active Federal Grand Juries, most River City based. Or by Ocean. Or both. My count is probably low)

              • bmaz says:

                No, but by my best count, there are four, at most, GJ’s considering any material parts of this equation. Frankly, think it is probably down to two.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      apartment-building neighbors with a partner at the law firm that strategized with Fusion GPS operative Natalia Veselnitskaya

      Oh, honey.

    • Bruce says:

      When did it become fact that Veselnitskaya is a Fusion GPS operative? Seriously dude, you’re crazy!

  9. Trip says:

    OT: Marcy, did you see this?

    They announced this guy as a suspect/target, but have no evidence to prosecute. They seem to be connecting use of Tor as suspicious in this regard. But the guy also had child porn, so that may have been his reason for hiding his identity. He’s disgusting, if guilty of child porn charges, but I have to wonder if they suspect him of the leaks because he complained about others in the CIA?

    U.S. identifies suspect in major leak of CIA hacking tools
    Joshua Adam Schulte, who worked for a CIA group that designs computer code to spy on foreign adversaries, is believed to have provided the agency’s top-secret information to WikiLeaks, federal prosecutors acknowledged in a hearing in January.

    But despite months of investigation, prosecutors have been unable to bring charges against the man, who is a former CIA employee being held in a Manhattan jail on unrelated charges.
    In other hearings in Schulte’s case, prosecutors have alleged that he used Tor at his New York apartment, but they have provided no evidence that he did so to disclose classified information. Schulte’s attorneys have said that Tor is used for all kinds of communications and have maintained that he played no role in the Vault 7 leaks.
    Schulte is in a Manhattan jail on charges of possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography, according to an indictment filed in September. He has pleaded not guilty.

    • greengiant says:

      Porn was on a server 50 to 100 other people had access to.  Charges not filed until 6 months after search. CIA and FBI again look very sad and weak.  See Sterling etc.  So serially bad that sometime a guilty perp will look innocent.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      See Jeffrey Sterling. Same thing. Attack those that try to point out internal problems.

      Schulte also claimed that he reported “incompetent management and bureaucracy” at the CIA to that agency’s inspector general as well as a congressional oversight committee. That painted him as a disgruntled employee, he said, and when he left the CIA in 2016, suspicion fell upon him as “the only one to have recently departed [the CIA engineering group] on poor terms,” Schulte wrote.

      [Why FBI is buying this, I do not know. That is the problem with Tor, bad leads. But extremely unlikely they even have any case at all. See Marcus Hutchins]

  10. SteveB says:


    Your posts have taken Solomon’s piece as a departure point:

    1 you denied the necessary implication of his article : that Mueller for legal or ethical reasons should be disqualified from investigating Deripaska

    2 you asserted as fact matters going beyond what the sources of the article were quoted as saying

    A no-one said “the FBI agents tried to persuade D to help create a phoney Russiagate narrative”

    B no-one said “the FBI agents told D to go along with their tale of collusion

    C no-one said ” they said to D ‘to keep an open mind about things’ ”

    Unless of course you are quoting someone other than Solomon’s article, and if so who?

    In the light of these matters IMHO, ass provenance may not be your biggest worry, as you seem in need of head/assGPS

    BTW a lawyer arranging a meeting for his client is an entry level test of whether the information they impart is objectively reliable and valuable.

    One might even say it’s the lowest rung,.

    • fnook says:

      Why are you accepting as true the “making something out of nothing” statement? That sounds like a deft parry to me, as opposed to a statement of fact. Why are you so eager to believe it?

      • SteveB says:

        Am I accepting that “something out of nothing” statement ( reported by Solomon  citing Deripaska’s lawyer as the source having been stated by Deripaska ) is true?

        Nothing I have said amounts to such an acceptance.

        I have no idea why you ask that question.



        In any event the post that began this interchange between the two of us fnook was intended to land in a mini thread above as a specific reply to JL to a specific comment which (not surprisingly given its tone and content) has disappeared from that sub-thread.  Maybe it would be best if my reply goes too, since it seems there is some confusion, possibly arising from the fact that my comment is detached from the context which gave rise to it.

  11. pseudonymous in nc says:

    So Amy Berman Jackson threw out Manafort’s motion to dismiss, which gets the DC circuit’s ruling and reasoning on the docket before the hearing in EDVA. The ruling finds Manafort’s activities squarely within the scope of the grant to Mueller, and also says that DOJ regulations don’t create justiciable rights. It reads like a very thorough and very gentle nudge to Judge Ellis: hey, copy and paste this and have an early weekend.

    • bmaz says:

      And it was a very strong and detailed decision finding against Manafort in every regard. She even went so far as to say Mueller would have been derelict if he didn’t pursue these allegations. It was an absolute spanking.

      • Rugger9 says:

        It makes one wonder what awaits Manafort in VA, but FWIW it seems one of these is enough to do the trick for flipping.

        Link for the DC case:

        Not that I want to harp on it too much, but what do the lawyers think will be the time to throw in the towel and give up the palace to the OSC?  I would guess the reasonable lines are running out and the ridiculous ones will make the judge mad (noting bmaz’s take on the verbiage) and that means no mulligans later when they might be needed.

        Also RudyG is drawing a line in the sand, any idea what the next “steps” will be aside from an attempt to fire Mueller / Rosenstein / Wray / etc.?  It doesn’t appear to me that there is much the palace can do other than this.  I don’t think the OSC budget is accessible to the Kaiser’s minions.

      • Frank Probst says:

        Would the DC decision and the EDVA decision end up in the same court of appeals if they have opposite findings?


  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    So, Trump, being the world’s greatest negotiator, refuses to call off US-S. Korean air exercises, involving over 100 military aircraft operating near N. Korea, going on just before his earth-shattering Singapore Summit.

    Wonder what the N. Koreans will do with that sort of provocative, ham-fisted, strategy-less diplomacy?  Or has John Bolton merely got his way?

    • Rugger9 says:

      The military aircraft are there anyway.  The exercise is an annual one with our allies (ROK and Japan) which has caused DPRK bluster and missile launches over the years but it’s a routine of sorts.  However, I would agree that the dates could have been postponed a month or so to “remove the excuse” for bypassing the summit.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        As routine as having a late night meal at the Waffle House.  What could go wrong?

        They are routine because we have practiced going to war with North Korea for decades. That’s the country South Korea and the US say they want to be at peace with. Routine diplomacy would be to suspend those things pending an outcome on talks. If, like Bolton, you want those talks to go nowhere, you forget to suspend them.

        Reminds me of the priorities of those WWI officers, who launched attacks on the morning of the Armistice, November 11, 1918.  They couldn’t stand the idea of walking peacefully onto a hilltop, if they could attack it a few hours earlier. Where’s the glory or payback in that?

        Needlessly killing a few men along the way was a small price to pay for that glory or payback – especially convenient when someone else pays it. That arrangement Mr. Trump has spent a lifetime making his own.

        • Rugger9 says:

          The Canadians who paid the price in the Amiens sector weren’t pleased, and it was pretty indefensible on any grounds.  The idea wasn’t so much glory as much as defining where the armistice line would be drawn (something seen again in 1953 in Korea).

          However, the Earl’s point about making other kids pay the price for palace glory is something the GOP has done forever.  Notice how almost all of Shrub’s warmongers were chickenhawks whose kids didn’t join up (BTW, Eric is still of age) for his pet war in Iraq.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Germany was prostrate, everyone on both sides was exhausted.  The attacks in the West, launched just before the effective time of the Armistice, were about ego, revenge and cheap glory, paid for by the needless loss of lives.  Truce line demarcation was an afterthought.

            Howard Zinn, a WWII bombardier, talks about something similar.  Just before the end of WWII, he was on a nearly thousand plane raid to destroy supposed Nazi submarine pens on the French Atlantic coast.  Unnecessary, ineffectual, more needless lives lost. 

            After the war, Zinn determined that the raid was launched on Royan because planners wanted to use up the stockpile of a new weapon – napalm. We paid for it, we might as well use it was one argument put forward, too, to justify the use of the atomic bomb.

      • harpie says:

        I would agree that the dates could have been postponed a month or so to “remove the excuse” for bypassing the summit.”

        True…and they weren’t delayed. The question is why. I think the answer is that
        this is how they want it to play out.

        We can’t go on ascribing to “ham-fisted, strategy-less diplomacy” that which is more easily attributed to greed, corruption and venality.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        If you want to change the way things are, you change your behavior.  Otherwise, you always do what you always did and you always get what you always got.

        That’s not the insight of Thoreau or the Dalai Lama.  Learning it doesn’t require spending $11.55 for Getting to Yes.  It’s Parenting 101.  Maybe that’s why the Don hasn’t a clue.  Maybe that’s why that hybrid of Gepetto and Cujo that the Don employs as his National Security Adviser ignores it.

  13. Rusharuse says:

    Daily mail reporting: Cohen asked Al-Rumaihi for millions of dollars to pass on to members of the Trump family..
    So, um yeah …
    Jacobsladder, dude you are getting close . . Alexander Downer and Rudy Guliani both like to crossdress (there are pics). Puts em in the same cage, la cage aux folles? There is more, lots more. Keep diggin.

  14. SpaceLifeForm says:

    So Rob Joyce has done his gig.

    Why did Bolton force this issue so quickly?

    Was it a result of the Warner decision to vote yes on Haspel?

    And why is Warner wondering why? Maybe he should reconsider his thinking on Haspel.

    Maybe he does not see the big picture.

    “I don’t see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats,” Senate Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted Tuesday.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Why did Bolton force this issue so quickly?

      Kiss up, kick down. Or as EW has noted, Bolton is like Cheney in that he wants to be the only person in the room and has the bureaucratic experience to cull any other voices.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Haspel is also another dog whistle to his Base that it is OK to be as crude, bigoted and violent as the Don.  Unlike the Don, who makes other people express his violence, his Base are likely to do such things themselves.  I’ll avoid the Waffle House for quite some time, but that’s probably not an adequate response.

  15. Trip says:

    Yesterday’s Nazi News:
    They, the disabled and poor, are part of the problem and not the (FINAL) solution. (Thanks Kushner, for bringing that up while Israel killed unarmed protestors)

    Oklahoma GOP candidate proposes euthanasia for disabled and poor to avoid food stamps
    The ones who are disabled and can’t work…why are we required to keep them?” the Chrisforgov account responded. “Sorry but euthanasia is cheaper and doesn’t make everyone a slave to the Government [sic].”..Obviously, I’m not saying the Government [sic] should put these people down,” the Chrisforgov account wrote, contradicting its earlier statement. “I’m just saying that we shouldnt keep them up.”
    “If they can take care of themselves without Government assistance, great,” the comment continued. “If not, let them starve and die. Easy as that.”

    So when do we put him down? He’s clearly emotionally stunted or has no emotional intelligence at all,  wants a government job, and intends to rely on government assistance for employment and benefits.

    This is the GOP.

    • harpie says:

      I can almost feel the steam coming out of my ears with this. HOW is this cretin EVEN possible?

      • harpie says:

        Why should we be required to support him on the government dole? If he can’t take care of himself without Government assistance, he should just starve and die…decrease the surplus population! Easy as that.


    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Now saying his FaceBook was hacked.

      Yeah, possible, but most likely just an idiot.

  16. sonofnewo says:

    Marcy, you still haven’t answered a very simple question:

    In your opinion, why did Stefan Halper and Alexander Downer each arrange private meetings with lowly George Papadopoulos in summer 2016?

    • bmaz says:

      You made this SAME EXACT demand yesterday in a different thread. Again, nobody here owes you anything, much less an answer to a your aggressive and repetitive demand out of nowhere.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If it’s that easy, answer it yourself.

      A better question is why was the lowly Papadopoulos within a country mile of the leading GOP presidential candidate’s campaign.  By all accounts, it was because of his Russian contacts, his malleability, and his disposability.  The surprise would have been if he had not been of interest to counter-intel services.

  17. harpie says:

    On Twitter:
    bmaz @bmaz “What a total miserable bitch this @bariweiss is being right now on @Morning_Joe sanctioning what the Israelis are doing slaughtering Palestinians. This is a sick human being.”
    A.J. @v_verite [Replying to @bmaz @bariweiss @Morning_Joe]
    “She claims Palestinians should accept their reality. The oppressed should accept oppression? Accept a state of hopelessness and despair?  Accept being encroached upon, fenced in, bullets in response to rock throwing? She knows nothing about the human condition.”
    The history of Israel in Palestine has been one long application of methods perfected by Mitchel and Jessen to induce “Learned Helplessness”.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Sure, like the Jews were forced to since medieval times (i.e. York, 1170 among many other examples, especially after the Black Death arrived); the Holocaust (which many of the palace’s supporters claim did not happen or was a good idea) was merely the latest chapter.  Read “Bible and Sword” by Tuchman for a primer on how modern Israel came about.

      This imperial solution is not a sustainable one, and I do not think the IDF can get enough guns and soldiers to make it so.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        With its own and the US arsenal to draw upon, that’s probably not true, especially now that Israel has found common cause with the Saudis over opposing Iran.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Weiss is employed by the NYT to edit its OpEd page, not to be a reporter.  She has spent a lifetime promoting her militaristic paradisiacal vision of Israel, which excludes Palestinians, among others.

      She is a high partisan, a Bolton-like advocate of a narrow set of Israeli interests.  An odd choice for both the NYT OpEd page and any news organization attempting objectively to analyze the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.  Were Edward Said alive, and had he been asked the questions Weiss was just asked, she would have used her OpEd page perch for weeks to defame and shut him up.

      Glenn Greenwald did a review of her background here.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    While EW is pouring through the most recent document dump, this quote from Margaret Mead, also cited by a commentator at Nakedcapitalism, seems apropos of many things today, including what we do here:

    ““Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed that’s all who ever have. ”

    ― Margaret Mead, The World Ahead: An Anthropologist Anticipates the Future

Comments are closed.