May 16th, 2017

Talking to the Russians: Trump vs. the WaPo

Will the real truthteller please stand up?

In the game of “To Tell the Truth” that we keep playing in the real world of the Trump presidency, whom do you trust more to tell the truth: Donald Trump or the WaPo?

If you answered “neither” you would be right, in my opinion. I certainly don’t trust either.

But, whom do you trust more to tell the truth? Or perhaps I should phrase it this way: whom do you distrust less?

The fact that it’s still a difficult question to answer, no matter how it’s phrased, spells volumes. Which brings us to the current story, the one that Democrats think will really sink Trump, absolutely and positively, and pave the way for the impeachment they’ve been planning since Election Night, when it became clear that the seemingly impossible—a Trump victory—had nevertheless occurred. That story is, as you probably already know (unless you’ve just returned from Planet Xenon), the WaPo’s claim that reliable sources say that Trump improperly revealed some extremely classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week, at a White House meeting.

So, did he or didn’t he? Many people have analyzed the information (here, for example). And today, someone I trust more than both Trump and the WaPo—National Security advisor H.R. McMaster—said that the WaPo story was untrue:

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster denied the story through a written statement and in front of the press. Then today he went before the press again and told reporters that Trump did not compromise any sources or methods to the Russians. He described the discussion as “wholly appropriate.”…

McMaster reminds the press that Tillerson and Powell were in the room as well and no one thought the information was inappropriate. He also said that it’s “wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information necessary to advance the security” of our country.

The information he talked about was about operations already going on and known to the public.

I am almost certain, however, that in the minds of the vast majority of my liberal friends and relatives (and that constitutes almost all my friends and relatives), the offense of “divulging secrets to the Russians, in whose pocket he is firmly ensconced” has been added to their long list of Trump’s impeachable crimes. The WaPo knows exactly what it’s doing, and it will continue to print any rumor it finds that could hurt Trump, and many people will find it all not just credible but obviously true.

The bigger questions are (1) will more be revealed later that sheds any light on this particular incident?; and (2) who/what does the middle third of the electorate believe on this, the third that is neither reflexively anti-Trump nor reflexively pro-Trump?

48 Responses to “Talking to the Russians: Trump vs. the WaPo

  1. Oldflyer Says:

    Well, the Trump antagonists are attacking on several fronts. I have already seen criticism of the fact that he even met with the Russian Foreign Minister. Of course, since Sec of State Tillerson was earlier hosted by Vladamir Putin, these same people would scream about disrespect if Trump has stiffed the Russian during his visit to the U.S.

    I am so sick of anonymous sources. McMaster put his credibility on the line. Good enough for me.

    I should think that there would be some traps laid for the WH leakers; along the lines of feeding information selectively to suspected individuals, and see what get in the public arena. It simply must be brought under control. On another level it is time to test the limits of the First Amendment when the press publishes classified information and will not reveal its sources. I do not think the Constitution intended to shield criminal activity.

  2. Liz Says:

    I believe McMaster. I sense that he is honorable enough that he would have interrupted Trump to avoid disclosure. And, he did mention that Trump was not briefed on the methods and sources. Trump doesn’t need to know everything on how we do things, until there is something very significant and then I would expect disclosure to him.

    And, WaPo has been issuing too many Comey stories in the last week that have proven to be false.

    I saw that Israel has issued a statement that they have no problem with sharing intelligence with the USA. They were the first ones that I thought of as the source of the laptop bomb threat.

    But, this story is keeping stories like the DNC chap(Seth Rich) that was murdered and his possible sending info to Wikileaks. And the killing and creating many Syrians by Assad. And very few people have commented on the recent EOs on Federal cybersecurity (10 pages long!) and the one on the establishment of a commission on election integrity.

    I’ve seen some stories about Session’s memo on charging & sentencing. But, they concentrate on the impact of drug crimes. If people don’t like the tough sentences, then Congress needs to change the law. I read the memo and thought of Clinton’s handling of classified info.

  3. blert Says:

    McMaster was the LEAKER, himself.

    The Washington Compost went off script…. took McMaster’s info off into the wrong direction.

    McMaster’s latest public pronouncements are his attempt to quash the Compost’s hysteria.

    The story is, fundamentally, a HOAX.

    It’s Fake News.

    It’s primary purpose is to quash the Seth Rich murder scandal.

  4. Frog Says:

    As best I can tell, there is nothing to the entire Russian story. Nothing. There is no authoritative evidence the Russian gov’t hacked the DNC and Podesta emails, none that I can find. As best I can tell, the Russia story was cooked up by Podesta, who is indeed a clever and very poisonous anti-American viper, after his emails were divulged by Wikileaks. As a distraction, a very clever one, because after all Trump had once said something that showed some respect for Putin (as a serious adversary) with whom a negotiation might become necessary.

    The FBI investigation slogs on. Two Congressional committees are slogging on. This is a profound and very harmful distraction, impeding the proper functioning of the Administration. More successful than Podesta could ever have hoped for.

    And even Neo doesn’t know whom to trust. Why McMaster? He “reminds the press” there were others in the room.
    Nooo, cannot trust Trump. He is guilty until proven innocent. At this rate, he will be subject to a false, fraudulent impeachment attempt. And we wonder why he’s pissed off? I’m pissed off too.

    The Dems should just put on hoods and white robes and start burning crosses. Stop with the phony righteousness already. Fools like McCain and Graham will hood right up with them.

    This is governing by Democrat-induced demagogic paranoia.

  5. Liz Says:

    – oops – cremating, not creating…

  6. Cornhead Says:

    MSM might as well preface every story and newscast as follows: This corporation and its employees are part of the Resistance and will stop at nothing in order to remove Trump from office.

    Just put it under the masthead of NYT and WaPo.

  7. ken Says:

    Looks like Russia is succeeding at destroying America at last with a little help from its friends;the left and the media again as always.

  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    OK, my chromebook will not pull up this post. It’s locked into yesterday but… only on this site. Other sites are fine. This, my android tablet is fine.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    Geoffrey Britain:

    Every now and then small glitches still rear up, but they seem to resolve themselves rather quickly. Sorry if there’s any ongoing problem. In the next month, I’m going to be looking into ways to improve things, including a possible change of blog theme (template). More about that later.

  10. Molly NH Says:

    it s my understanding that the Prez is at liberty to de classify any little bitty bit of info he wants to, he was elected for his JUDGEMENT after all,
    Hitlery though she can de classify and erase 33,000 emails that belonged to the people of the USA and “what’s the big deal”?

  11. RohanV Says:

    I trust the WaPo to have a kernel of truth to the story (which is neither pro- or anti-Trump), and shade it and spin it so it becomes anti-Trump.

    Like in this scandal, there were probably several pieces of information that the Trump team deliberately decided to share with the Russians for joint cooperation against ISIS. One of the pieces was from a non-American source.

    So the leaker says that Trump shared the info with the Russians (true, that was their plan), and then implies that this was not the right thing to do because it could have possibly compromised the source in theory. The WaPo takes this and heavily insinuates and gets anonymous sources to speculate that Trump ran his mouth and gave up intelligence that he shouldn’t have.

    This kind of thing is hard to deny because the one actual fact reported, that Trump gave this info about the ISIS plot to the Russians, is probably true. The insinuations surrounding that, though, like compromising sources, etc. are probably false.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo asks of whom we trust, Trump or the WAPO?

    There’s no question in my mind, Trump. Trump for all his faults is a patriot. The WAPO are traitors. Not that they think of themselves as traitors, though I doubt if more than a very few take any pride in being an American. Of course how could they, given America’s racist, imperialist past? That is of course how they think.

    No, they’re no different than Benedict Arnold who likely thought the founders were traitors and that he was only acting as a loyal British citizen.

    I am NOT a fan of McMaster, profoundly disagreeing with his view of Islam but I have no reason to think he is the mole by Trump’s side. But that there is a mole(s) is certain. Too many private meetings with only a few people in the room for that not to be the case.

  13. Ike Says:

    Let’s see. The President met with the Russian Foreign Minister, in the presence of the Secretary of State, McMaster, and at least one other high-level White House or State Department person. Very shortly after the meeting, this reporter from the Washington Post wrote and the WaPo published his story that the President revealed classified information to the Russians. Every person who was at that meeting, as near as I have read and remember, have denied that classified information was released. While some of the chattering class has been discussing the danger to our spies and other intel sources, the author of the article says that wasn’t what it was about. Question 1: Who is the leaker? Wasn’t that meeting’s contents classified? Certainly, some WH employee or staffer breached the confidence of his or her employment, at a minimum. Question 2: Who was Mr. Miller’s source? The usual unnamed but knowledgeable source. Now, after all the lies that we know about from such sources that have been published, how much credence can or should we place in this story. Question 3: If the scandal isn’t that the President revealed the agent in the field, he has the authority under the law to release such material and so there is no story or scandal or “impeachable” offense. Question 4: How long is it going to be before the President and the WH and the administration in general starts answering this kind of lying and leaking by criminal investigations of the reporters involved and the sources involved, plus a loud shout of “B… S…” in public in strongly worded terms? Enough all ready. Time to clean house at the White House and to enforce the laws against unauthorized release of classified info by news folks and federal employees. Nothing else is going to stop this nonsense.

  14. parker Says:

    My 2 cents is to never trust the msm-dnc axis of evil. Trump is a jokers are wild personality, and the domestic axis of evil is flinging mud in an attempt to make something stick.

  15. Big Maq Says:

    “who/what does the middle third of the electorate believe on this, the third that is neither reflexively anti-Trump nor reflexively pro-Trump” – Neo

    To recast this question:

    Will the people, who might swing one way or the other electorally, give more credibility to trump or to the dems / msm on this issue?

    How about neither?

    A p*ss poor place to be for a man who campaigned on his “unique competency” over all the other “stupid” politicians.

    Certainly puts the lie to the “master persuader” meme that dilblert perpetrated during the election.

    GOP just need to collaborate where they can with this POTUS to get a conservative agenda passed, and hope the rest of this kind of sh…tuff doesn’t distract more than the level it has to date.

  16. Big Maq Says:

    “OK, my chromebook will not pull up this post. It’s locked into yesterday but… only on this site. Other sites are fine. This, my android tablet is fine.” – GB

    Been having similar and other intermittent glitches – various platforms.

    Look forward to Neo’s new blog theme.

  17. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “and (2) who/what does the middle third of the electorate believe on this, the third that is neither reflexively anti-Trump nor reflexively pro-Trump?”

    One should never discount the cumulative effect of Big Lies told often enough.

    “Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd, evil and self-serving men.” R. A. Heinlein

  18. Big Maq Says:

    @GB – true to some extent, but what is trump (the man with the biggest megaphone in the world) doing to combat that?

    The msm has extremely low credibility, so that ought to be a low hurdle to overcome.

    Whatever he is doing, if anything coherent, it is not working.
    .

    Aside from his other qualities, sometime I think trump has an extreme case of ADHD.

    He neither spends enough time to absorb information to be relatively versant in key facts and arguments, and he has no patience to focus and plan a coherent path and stick to it – thus, is ad hoc, on the fly, instinctual in his approach.

    This might have been obscured by a compliant “conservative” media, but it seems to be becoming clearer that this or something like it is at play, and is a serious weakness in the most consequential leadership role in this country.

  19. Ray Says:

    The WAPO long ago turned itself into Pravda for the democrats. Those aren’t reporters at the WAPO but democrat apparatchiks pretending to be reporters.

  20. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Big Maq,

    I agree that the Trump administration could do a far better job on the propaganda front. I’m greatly concerned that Trump is being hamstrung by many of the people around him. Rather than assisting him, they are hindering him. Trying to direct him rather than finding a way to implement his agenda.

    But as with all of us, he’s his own worst enemy, unfortunately more than most. Some of his strengths are also his weaknesses.

    But there was no alternative to him once he won the nomination. Nor do I think Pence would do better.

  21. Frog Says:

    Big Maq would do better. Always has, always will.

  22. expat Says:

    I wonder whether the firing of Comey had something to do with his unwillingness to investigate for leakers.

    From what I read, it was the NYT that mentioned Israel as the info source. I also read that they were the info source about Stuxnet. Someone needs to take these papers down a bit. And they can take CNN with them because they spread their propaganda throughout the world.

    One question: was what Trump talked about worse than what Bradley Manning leaked? Isn’t he getting out of jail tomorrow? Leaking didn’t seem to bother Obama too much.

  23. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Big Maq,

    Arguably, Trump is somewhat reminiscent of Reagan in one particular of their styles. Reagan was a big picture, principle guy. Trump is instinctual. Both agree that the way to stop an enemy is, as Reagan put it; “we win, they lose”. Both men rely on their assistants to find a way to implement their boss’s agenda.

    But there appears to be a fundamental split in Trump’s advisers on how to get done what Trump wishes to accomplish. My perception is that the establishment wing is prevailing and that results in the status quo continuing. Thus little of substantive reform and ineffectiveness in contesting the left.

  24. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Expecting one man to ride in on a horse and be the Savior King of patriotic Americans, was in itself weakness and doomed to failure. The Deep State wasn’t made by one man and it won’t be destroyed by one man. Nor will the Leftist alliance’s 1000 factions and 1000 hydra heads, beheaded by some American king.

  25. Ann Says:

    Sure, there’s media bias, but it still makes me feel very uneasy when I read Trump’s off-hand remarks and tweets about North Korea, and this feeling has been greatly heightened by learning of his now off-hand comments about intelligence sources.

  26. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Well Ann, Hillary would have left you feeling much safer as your cocoon headed toward the falls.

    You worry about Trump, while the ‘resistance’ plots to steal what remains of your liberty from you. Willfully blind to the real danger.

  27. Big Maq Says:

    “One question: was what Trump talked about worse than what Bradley Manning leaked?” – expat

    Let’s wait for the dust to settle a bit before we assume that trump actually leaked anything vs “loose talk” without considering the consequences.

    But, if he did, the point is not just what he leaked this time. The question is then raised, “What about NEXT time?”

    If he didn’t, or it just doesn’t ever become clear, and if our foreign allies think he MAY have, then that has serious consequences, too.

    Not sure how trump extricates himself from this, as it is fully in character for trump to be sloppy with what he says.

    putin must be laughing his a$$ off.

  28. Big Maq Says:

    “My perception is that the establishment wing is prevailing and that results in the status quo continuing.” – GB

    My perception is quite the opposite, often times, and quite situational, and maybe even depending on who has his ear at what point in the day.

    If trump had a foundational view and some consistency around that, we’d maybe be able to determine who seems to be “prevailing”.

    These distractions he is creating are a major head wind for anything the GOP might want to get done – regardless of who is “prevailing”.

    Ryan and McConnell must be thinking WTF? 10 times a day, as they have tried / try to shepherd AHCA, budget, and tax reform (all big changes) through Congress.

    Nobody has any room to sell these proposals, as they all have to answer questions about the latest from trump.

  29. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Big Maq,

    You have to give up the crack man! 😉

    Seriously, I base my assessment upon the people at the top with which Trump is surrounding himself. Like the RINO CoS Priebus who has semi-control of access to Trump, SecDef Mattis, NSA McMaster and Deputy NSA Dina Powell.

    Remember that trope that your friends are an indication of your character? Well to some degree, the people who advise a Pres. indicate something about that President as well. In Trump’s case his naivete, lack of grounding in principle and nepotistic tendencies.

    Judge for yourself:
    “Mattis says al-Qaeda terrorists “defame Islam”
    ———————————————–
    Then consider NSA McMaster, in his very first meeting with his staff, informed them that he did not want to hear the term “Radical Islamic Terrorism” because it was counter-productive given that terrorist groups are not Islamic. That Islam is… a religion of peace. Sound familiar?

    “MCMASTER TRIED TO BRING IN CIA OFFICIAL WHO LIED ABOUT BENGHAZI “PROTEST”

    “The house needs to be cleaned. Instead McMaster and Mattis have put themselves in charge of bringing in some of Obama’s worst people. Mattis’ attempt to move in Anne Patterson, the Muslim Brotherhood’s greatest American ally in Egypt, is so mindboggling in its inappropriateness that you have to conclude that someone else is calling the shots on that network.

    And it isn’t President Trump’s people. And McMasters keeps doing things like this.

    Over the weekend, a personnel dispute within the National Security Council between the national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, and senior White House aides Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon was eventually brought to President Trump himself. As Politico reported Tuesday evening, Trump overruled McMaster, who had sought to move the NSC’s senior director of intelligence programs to another position, reportedly after “weeks of pressure from career officials at the CIA.” Some of those CIA officials, THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned, were pushing for one of their own to take the job in Trump’s White House.”

    “Trump’s Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell Close with VALERIE JARRETT AND HUMA ABEDIN” President Embracing Friends of Those Who Seek To Overthrow Him

    Give a read to those stories, think about Trump’s recent and current actions: “Trump to Give ‘Inspiring’ Speech on Islam, ‘Agenda of Tolerance’ in Saudi Arabia”

    “Briefing reporters about Trump’s agenda today at the White House, McMaster lauded it as a “historic trip.”

    The president will have coffee with King Salman after touching down in Riyadh followed by a royal banquet and bilateral meetings.

    The day after he arrives, Trump “will meet and have lunch with leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries where he will deliver an inspiring, yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and his hopes, the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam to dominate across the world,” McMaster said.”

    BTW, why, in the name of heaven, is the National Security Adviser… suddenly acting as the administration spokesman and speaking on State Department policy?

    Draw your own conclusions as to who is prevailing and then get back to me.

  30. AesopFan Says:

    Molly NH Says:
    May 16th, 2017 at 4:34 pm
    it s my understanding that the Prez is at liberty to de classify any little bitty bit of info he wants to, he was elected for his JUDGEMENT after all,
    Hitlery though she can de classify and erase 33,000 emails that belonged to the people of the USA and “what’s the big deal”?
    * *
    Just as a thought experiment, since Pres. Obama could declassify and disseminate whatever he wanted, AND we know he corresponded with SoS Clinton using her non-governmental email address, if I were a Dem operative, I would therefore declare EVERYTHING she handled to be officially de-classified.
    Nothing to see here….

  31. AesopFan Says:

    Ymar Sakar Says:
    May 16th, 2017 at 6:26 pm
    Expecting one man to ride in on a horse and be the Savior King of patriotic Americans, was in itself weakness and doomed to failure. The Deep State wasn’t made by one man and it won’t be destroyed by one man. Nor will the Leftist alliance’s 1000 factions and 1000 hydra heads, beheaded by some American king.
    * * *
    True what you say.
    Ideally, the Man-on-the-horse, having been selected by other Patriots, would have their assistance in his Quest.

    There aren’t enough people working the drains to get it all done.

  32. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    May 16th, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    “Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd, evil and self-serving men.” R. A. Heinlein
    * *
    Everything I know about politics, I learned by reading The Dean.

    Seriously, I wonder sometimes if my ideological outlook was shaped by reading Heinlein, beginning in grade school; or if I gravitated to his work because of natural proclivities.

  33. AesopFan Says:

    Ike Says:
    May 16th, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    ..
    Question 4: How long is it going to be before the President and the WH and the administration in general starts answering this kind of lying and leaking by criminal investigations of the reporters involved and the sources involved, plus a loud shout of “B… S…” in public in strongly worded terms? Enough all ready. Time to clean house at the White House and to enforce the laws against unauthorized release of classified info by news folks and federal employees. Nothing else is going to stop this nonsense.
    * * *
    Stop the employees and the news folks have nothing to print. Obama took some flak for going after leakers and reporters, but I’m essentially on his side over that.
    Of course, he used leaks to get out his own priorities, but that sort of double-standard ought to be shut down as well.

    If it’s classified, it ought to stay classified.
    If someone thinks some information “wants to be free”, then be ready to go to jail and fight it out in the courts.

    FWIW, and IIRC: Churchill, prior to becoming Prime Minister in WW2, had a network of agency moles who were feeding him secret intel on the government’s handling of foreign affairs, which is how he was able to hit the ground running when he got the chance.

  34. AesopFan Says:

    The PJMedia story at Neo’s link makes a statement which echoes my thoughts pretty much there’s one of these OMG-11ty-what-he-said-to-someone!!!! stories:

    “Okay, remember the emphasized part, and let’s move to the next paragraph:

    “The Washington Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities.”

    So, now what we know is that these anonymous sources were so alarmed about what Trump told the Russians that they immediately got in touch with Washington Post reporters and … revealed the same information to them?

  35. AesopFan Says:

    Here’s JE Dyer corroborating me (but with much greater authority and experience on her end, of course):
    http://libertyunyielding.com/2017/05/16/clear-attempt-sabotage-u-s-relations-intel-leakers-tell-media-trump-not-tell-russians/

    “The gist of the original story was that President Trump, in speaking to the visiting Russians last week about an ISIS “laptop plot,” revealed highly classified details that would have allowed the Russians to determine what the source of some of the intelligence was. The WaPo article made reference to the sensitive intelligence of a foreign ally, and to Trump disclosing the city in which the intel was gained.N.B. — WaPo could only have gained this impression from people who weren’t there, but who are bound by oath to not reveal exactly the sort of intelligence they allege Trump revealed.)
    This morning, McMaster stated in no uncertain terms that not only did Trump not make these disclosures — Trump didn’t even know the source of the intelligence, or the city it was obtained in. Thus, the president could not possibly have exposed the information as alleged in the WaPo piece.
    ..
    There is nothing unusual about this latter point. Presidents are selective about when and why the source of intelligence matters to them. Most of the time, they have too many other things to think about to probe the matter. They understand the scope and general nature of national capabilities, but it’s only in very specific cases that they care about sources — or that their officials highlight sources to them, for some reason.

    In this case, General McMaster made clear that Trump didn’t know the details WaPo‘s source alleges he exposed, and therefore, he couldn’t have exposed them.

    This is good news. Bottom line: Trump didn’t expose sensitive information about intelligence sources and methods. (Keep that in mind. Trump has not exposed anything.)

    But the leakers who ply the mainstream media with sensitive national intelligence in order to defame Trump have now come out to expose that information themselves.

    In the New York Times this morning, an article alleged that Israeli intelligence was the source, citing “a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information.” The NYT article then went on to blithely speculate about how that disclosure could damage U.S. relations with Israel — and, my goodness, just before Trump’s first visit there as president, to boot.

    Hard on the heels of the NYT piece, the Wall Street Journal came out with one stating even more categorically that the source was Israel. Just so you won’t miss it, apparently, the authors made “Israel” the very first word of the story:
    ..
    And, of course, the WSJ piece goes on to speculate about how this will damage U.S.-Israeli relations. Both pieces (NYT and WSJ) also allude to the damage it will do to America’s intelligence partnerships with all our allies.

    Apparently, the news choreographers behind this orchestrated leak campaign think we’re stupid. Trump didn’t cause this damage.

    They did.

    If you don’t think at this point that there’s a “deep state” or “shadow government” trying to sabotage Trump, well, bless your heart. The actors in the deep state — if it’s actually true that Israel is the source of the intelligence about the “laptop plot,” and that they had direct knowledge of that — have just committed an indisputable felony by telling that to the media.

    If America’s relations with Israel, and with our intelligence partners in general, are damaged out of this, it’s the leakers who are at fault. That could not be established more clearly.

    I don’t want you to forget that it’s the responsible officials in the government who are at fault here. The media complicity is disgusting, but the clear felony is what the government officials did.

    But there appear to be trustworthy officials still in DOJ and the FBI. Fear of how the media and Democratic leaders will spin it must not stop Trump from identifying the leakers and prosecuting them. I think Trump will have to reach past the major MSM outlets to make his case to the people. But there is a legitimate, law-based case to be made, and a path of law to follow. Revealing national secrets and imperiling national interests is what the leakers have done — not the president.

    Pretending that going after those leakers might be illegitimate, as Trump’s opponents are likely to do, would be a supreme exercise in self-deceit, at best. At worst, it would clearly be the argument of a faction with only evil intentions, determined to destroy the rule of law and thwart the legitimate operation of government.”

  36. AesopFan Says:

    Here’s some tips from Mollie Hemingway on staying sane in the Trump-Derangement era:
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/05/16/tips-for-reading-washington-post-stories-about-trump-based-on-anonymous-leaks/
    “For context, it’s worth noting that breaking news is frequently wrong. In the aftermath of a terrorist attack or an active shooter, responsible journalists pass around a guide for how to monitor breaking news.

    Perhaps we need a similar guide for how to handle breaking news that comes from the Washington Post. It turns out we can keep many of the tips:

    In the immediate aftermath, news outlets will get it wrong.
    Don’t trust anonymous sources. If democracy dies in darkness, anonymity is not exactly transparent or accountable. Unless someone is willing to to put his or her name with a leak, be on guard. Pay attention to how well the reporters characterize the motivations of the anonymous leaker. All leakers have motivation. Does the paper seem to have a grasp on how the motivation affects the veracity of the leak?
    If someone is leaking national security information in order to support the claim of a national security violation, be on guard.
    If someone is claiming a serious national security crisis but not willing to go public with the claim and resign in protest of same, be on guard.
    Compare sources willing to put their name and reputation on the line.

    Big anti-Trump news brings out the fakers.
    Pay attention to the language that the media uses. Is a story about something unimportant being written in such a way as to make it seem more important?
    Beware confirmation bias. Everyone has the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. Be on guard that you don’t accept critical or exonerating evidence to match your political preferences.
    Pay attention to how quickly and fully editors and reporters correct stories based on false information from anonymous sources. If they don’t correct at all, it’s an indication of a lack of respect.”

  37. AesopFan Says:

    https://www.aei.org/publication/the-media-hypocrisy-over-trumps-intelligence-leak/

    “What the Times describes, if true, is indeed a disaster.

    But it’s hard to take seriously their sudden concern over the “disaster” of exposing sources and methods – including the identity of intelligence partners – from the same news outlets that regularly, and intentionally, published highly classified intelligence in recent years, based on leaks from the Obama administration. The Times and other news outlets regularly published “disastrous” stories which damaged US national security and exposed the involvement of US partners.

    Consider just a few illustrative examples:”

    Thiessen gives supporting details, which I assume most of us are familiar with, but the list is stunning in its breadth and depth (all caps because they are section heads).

    EXPOSURE OF US-ISRAELI ROLE IN “STUXNET” ATTACK ON IRAN.
    EXPOSURE OF NSA ABILITY TO ACCESS TERRORIST COMPUTERS NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET.
    (actually, I had missed this one)
    EXPOSURE OF THE IDENTITY OF THE PAKISTANI DOCTOR WHO HELPED US FIND BIN LADEN.
    (on at least one article I saw, someone is crying about the poor source being tortured by ISIS – purely hypothetically of course; the doctor was real)
    EXPOSURE OF SAUDI DOUBLE AGENT IN YEMEN.
    “Mike Scheur, the former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, said the leaking about the nuts and bolts of British involvement was despicable and would make a repeat of the operation difficult.”
    EXPOSURE OF LIBYAN COOPERATION IN CAPTURE OF AL QAEDA LEADER – WHICH LED DIRECTLY TO THE RETALIATORY KIDNAPPING OF THE LIBYAN PRIME MINISTER.
    EXPOSURE OF A SECRET US DRONE BASE IN SAUDI ARABIA.
    (the only thing that surprises me is that the MSM revealed an Obama operation; just who is working for whom in this swamp?)
    EXPOSURE OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS ACTIVITIES AGAINST AL-QAEDA IN AFRICA.
    “The Burkina Faso foreign minister, caught by surprise by the leak, is quoted as pleading, “This cooperation should be very, very discreet. We should not show to al-Qaeda that we are now working with the Americans.

    Too late.

    Trump may have stumbled badly in his meeting with the Russians, but he has a long way to go before he does the kind of damage that President Obama and his team of intelligence sieves did – with the help of The New York Times and other news outlets now crowing over his error.”

  38. AesopFan Says:

    I should have know I saw it at PLB:
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/05/hysteria-mounts-over-trumps-intel-sharing-with-russia.php

    “Regarding President Trump’s disclosure of classified intelligence to Rusia, Jules Suzdaltsev of Vice tweets:

    Just so we’re all on the same page: an allied informant is likely being tortured to death as we speak, thanks ONLY to Trump’s big mouth.

    Suzdaltsev has no idea whether an allied informant is being tortured. Indeed, since the location of the informant (if there is one) was not disclosed, except reportedly to Russia, there’s little reason to believe that ISIS or any other terrorist group has identified the informant.

    But that’s not the main fallacy in Suzdaltsev’s tweet. The main fallacy is that, unless Russia is torturing the informant or it shared Trump’s intel with ISIS (both of which are extremely unlikely), it’s not Trump’s big mouth that’s primarily to blame for the supposed torture. Primary blame would reside, instead, with (1) the person[s] who leaked the story to the Washington Post and (2) the Post for running the story.”

  39. AesopFan Says:

    *should have known

  40. AesopFan Says:

    Here’s an off-the-beaten-path source with some interesting “side-bars” to the main story.
    (sorry about the language; you have to go with the sources you have….)

    https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/theres-major-fuckery-afoot-with-the-washington-post-and-i-think-i-know-why-fc32e574d49f

    Some days it’s slow news, some days Chelsea Manning gets released from prison while the CIA-funded Washington Post fans the flames of more Russia nonsense, the New York Times pushes more Syrian war propaganda insisting that Assad is literally Hitler, and evidence finally surfaces of Seth Rich’s connection to WikiLeaks. Julian Assange recently forecast a Niagara-like deluge of leaks following FBI director James Comey’s sacking by the Trump administration, and if today’s revelations are a taster of the meal that’s coming, you’d better not fill up on bread.

    The Washington Post, if you need a refresher, was purchased in 2013 by Jeff Bezos, who as the fifth wealthiest person on planet Earth has billions upon billions of reasons to want to maintain the status quo that has made his extreme financial dominance possible. That same year, Bezos was awarded a $600 million contract (more than twice what the Post cost him) with the Central Intelligence Agency, a conflict of interest which Bezos’ paper to this day never discloses per universal journalistic protocol when reporting on US intelligence. Prior to the purchase, Bezos had proved his loyalty to America’s unelected power establishment by booting WikiLeaks from Amazon’s computer servers in 2010. Since the purchase, WaPo has become the single most virulently pro-establishment outlet in the top-tier corporate media, as well as a preferred outlet for leaks from the CIA, and has been shamelessly lying about Russia ever since the 2016 elections.

    So I think it’s understandable if people want to take it with a teensy weensy grain of salt when this glorified CIA trade rag tells us that anonymous sources say Donald Trump is colluding with those darn Russians again. In fact, I think it’s understandable if, knowing what we know about the CIA’s massive surveillance systems, we all found the timing of this release to be highly suspicious. After all, the fact that it’s getting harder and harder to dispute that the DNC emails WikiLeaks published were indeed a leak and not a hack does put a major damper on the “Russia hacked the election” narrative that corporate propaganda outlets like WaPo have been hammering the American consciousness with day in and day out since July of last year. Seth Rich being the leaker effectively kills the entire Russian hacking narrative, and thus the entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative that was built upon it, and thus all the manipulations which were built upon the collusion narrative. Could the CIA have known in advance that this propaganda-killing narrative was about to hit the airwaves? Of course. Would they have wanted to distract America in order to ensure the continued manufactured consent for escalations with Putin and regime change in Syria? Yes. Did they? Come on.

    You guys want to know something really creepy? While I was cheerfully bashing WaPo as I normally do, a reader pointed out that The Nation had just removed one of its articles from 2013, in which it reported on the controversy surrounding Bezos, WaPo, and the CIA. That article has been a great resource for people like me who like to spread the word about this stuff, because it was the only semi-mainstream outlet that had reported on it. That article has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity ever since CIA leaks to the Washington Post got the ball really rolling on the anti-Russia hysteria late last year, but it was gone. When readers tried to access the article, this was the message that they got:
    (That Page Can’t Be Found)
    <b.It seemed very suspicious for such an important article about the intelligence community’s ties to the Washington Post to go missing at the same time WaPo decides to stir up Russia collusion nonsense using anonymous sources again; reader James Foster of Indiana University reported that he’d just used that very article for a college paper last week. So I kicked up a bit of a social media fuss:

    A bunch of readers joined in, but The Nation never responded to all the noise we were making. Not that it would have made a difference if they had, because what they did end up doing made the whole thing so much creepier: they put the article back, but with today’s date, time stamped just a few minutes prior to when the first reader discovered it had been restored.…This article is from 2013. Click this hyperlink here to see an archive of the page that someone made in December of last year, still with the 2013 date. They went all that time without messing with the article, then on the day the CIA-tied Washington Post runs what is almost certainly a deep state psy-op, they start dicking around with it.”

    Nothing like a little conspiracy theory to while away the time.

  41. AesopFan Says:

    Sometimes I feel like I am aspiring to Drudge-hood, but it’s really just because I like to read political essays to see how many different ways the same points can be made, and occasionally see some new ones.

    http://amgreatness.com/2017/05/16/russia-story-shows-media-killed-journalism/

    “Speaking about media lies earlier this year, I wrote that, “When Trump or his surrogates misspeak, they cause confusion. [The media is] there to correct them. But when the media gets it wrong, people’s lives are ruined.” I should have added, when the media lies, people can die.

    I wish I could say with certainty that either McMaster was right or the media was right. But the media has destroyed its credibility with constant misrepresentations and overtly partisan attacks too many times. The media has moved away from speaking truth to power. We are now in a bizarre position where we must either choose to accept the words of those in power or to accept the claims of those who wish they were in power.

    The media has destroyed journalism and replaced it with Leftist partisan hackery. We are all now paying the price for this fact, by losing basic trust in once respected institutions.”
    * * *
    The media never spoke truth to power.
    They speak the truth only if it furthers their own agenda, regardless of who was in power.

  42. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Putin has offered to share transcripts of his ambassador’s conversations with Trump.

    Media: WE WERE NEVER AT WAR WITH PUTIN, PUTIN HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUR GREATEST AND MOST TRUSTWORTHY ALLY

  43. Big Maq Says:

    “BTW, why, in the name of heaven, is the National Security Adviser… suddenly acting as the administration spokesman and speaking on State Department policy?

    Draw your own conclusions as to who is prevailing and then get back to me. – GB

    I have, and gave that to you. Get back to you?… hardly.

    But, you give a salient point. Why, indeed?

    I’ve mentioned here rather numerous times that trump is lacking woefully in the “competency” that he campaigned on so strongly.
    .

    “I base my assessment upon the people at the top with which Trump is surrounding himself. Like the RINO CoS Priebus who has semi-control of access to Trump, SecDef Mattis, NSA McMaster and Deputy NSA Dina Powell.

    That is only one factor, not to say that all those folks are the “establishment” anyway. For instance, haven’t heard many hard core pro-trumpers express concern with SecDef Gen Mattis.

    Rather than focusing on a narrow set of things that fit my view, my focus is on the whole of trump’s actions – of which there are plenty of direct quotes and newspaper quotes to give.
    .

    trump hasn’t corralled support from much beyond his core, for a long term sustainable support for change and the maintenance of those changes.

    He is the man with the biggest megaphone / the bully pulpit / the official and “Real” POTUS twitter account.

    He is the defacto GOP party leader. He gets to set the agenda, the strategy, the organization, the communication, etc, etc, etc..

    Bottom Line: trump OWNS the office and all the responsibilities and powers that comes with it.

    He OWNS the path to success or to failure. Period.

    Blaming others for his woes seems misplaced by several orders of magnitude, especially after trump promised that “only I” could get things done.
    .

    Like I said above, if trump had some consistency, some underlying set of principles we could suss out, then we’d have a baseline to determine who is “prevailing”.

    But since he is so mutable and “flexible” there is no way to tell who is “prevailing”.

    Perhaps it is the other way around, and trump is “prevailing” over any of the others’ attempts to sway him consistently in one direction?

    Maybe he just doesn’t fully listen to any one or anyone, as he is convinced that he is smarter than all of them (after all, he said so, many times on the campaign trail, and has reinforced that lately – of which there is plenty to quote, btw)?

  44. Big Maq Says:

    @Aesopfan – we here get that the msm are biased, some show it more boldly so nowadays.

    But, the media don’t hold all the power, do they?

    If that were true, we’d surely have hrc as POTUS.
    .

    Oh, and the race against hrc is over, right?

    So, do we still need to be making comparisons to her, as if two possible wrongs make a right?

    (You do realize that justifying trump’s “declassification” of intelligence is, by implication, saying that trump DID release intelligence to the russians – so now the question is, Was it planned? And, was it wise?

    I was looking for more evidence one way or another before concluding that trump did release intelligence, but many on the right are in such knee jerk defense mode that they feel they need to, post hoc, work backwards to justify trump’s actions – which likely never had that kind of consideration, nor effort towards such, applied in advance).
    .

    trump has more opportunity to get his message out than ever.

    He practically invented the “how to” on using twitter to reach beyond the msm filters and go direct to the people.
    .

    Not everything is a conspiracy in this world.

    Maybe it is simply that trump is incompetent and not the man, the savior, so many hoped he be.

    That spells much trouble in getting the things we want done, of which there is plenty yet.

    Will trump learn from the lastest, or will he continue on as he has?

  45. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “He is the defacto GOP party leader. He gets to set the agenda, the strategy, the organization, the communication, etc, etc, etc..” Big Maq

    If you think that the RINO GOP is supporting Trump’s agenda, strategy, organization and communications… you are on crack.

    They are doing all they can to passively obstruct Trump’s agenda with the sole exception being judiciary appointments.

  46. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    It doesn’t matter, from the standpoint of propaganda… that the charges against Trump are baseless. What matters is that the continual, repetitive lies are cumulatively forming a Big Lie that in time will create the needed momentum toward Trump’s impeachment. Failing that, the Left will settle for hamstringing Trump’s governance as much as possible.

    “I wonder sometimes if my ideological outlook was shaped by reading Heinlein, beginning in grade school; or if I gravitated to his work because of natural proclivities.” AesopFan

    For me it was both. I was a big fan growing up. Then as a young adult, like most I gravitated toward liberalism, though I remained an independent. In the late 90’s I began my own journey toward conservatism-classical liberalism and a small ‘l’ libertarianism with a renewed-deepening of my appreciation for Heinlein.

  47. Big Maq Says:

    @GB – that would all be a solid argument IF trump wasn’t also a huge liar and seemingly incompetent (or is that incontinent –
    verbally, twitterly) himself.

    In a democracy such as ours, bringing support for one’s position and policies is critical to success.

    Seems trump hasn’t tried very hard to do so.

    We can blame the msm or the so-called “establishment” all we want.

    But, it was entirely predictable.
    http://neoneocon.com/2016/08/30/is-there-evidence-for-a-monster-trump-vote/#comment-1616668
    http://neoneocon.com/2017/01/20/reflection-on-president-trump-words-and-action/#comment-2166269

    What we are seeing now is some of that “chaos” I mentioned long ago that a candidate like trump brings to fruition.

    Few wanted to acknowledge that, or tried to talk it down, but it is there.

  48. Big Maq Says:

    Forgot to add the obvious to the top line… and, IF trump had a consistent set of principles / governing philosophy.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
Read More >>






Monthly Archives



Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge