two more surveys of the collapse of the trump-russia collusion theory

The Democrats Anti-Russia Campaign Falls Apart (Updated)
Moon of Alabama, Mar 14 2017, updated Mar 16 2017

A while ago Matt Tabbi in Rolling Stone warned Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media:

If we engage in NYT-style gilding of every lily the leakers throw our way, and in doing so build up a fever of expectations for a bombshell reveal, but there turns out to be no conspiracy, Trump will be pre-inoculated against all criticism for the foreseeable future.

Sanity is finally winning over. After raising all kinds of shambolic rumors about “Russian interference” the “western” intelligence agencies are walking back their previous outrageous claims:

  • Former DNI Clapper admits that he has zero evidence for any Trump-Russia collusion;
  • The British Foreign Secretary now says there is “no evidence” of any Russian interference with British democracy;
  • The German secret services have no proof for any Russian disinformation campaign.

There is no evidence for any Russian interference in the Pindosi or any other election. No evidence has been shown, despite many claims, that Russia or its proxies hacked DNC + Podesta or collaborated with Wikileaks. Even the Demagogs now concede that the whole mountain of bullshit their anti-Trump and anti-Russian campaign created stinks to high heaven:

Some Demagogs on the Intelligence Committee now quietly admit, after several briefings and preliminary inquiries, they don’t expect to find evidence of active, informed collusion between the Trump campaign and known Russian intelligence operatives, though investigators have only just begun reviewing raw intelligence. Among the Intelligence Committee’s rank and file, there’s a tangible frustration over what one official called “wildly inflated” expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation.

Ardent Russia critics like Masha Geesen and former ambassador Michael McFaul now warn of irreparable damage the irrational anti-Russian campaign may cause. A NYT opinion piece points out that the reignited anti-Russian attitude goes back to the 19th century and was as wrong then as it is now. Claims that meetings between the incoming Trump administration and the Russian ambassador were nefarious are hard to hold up when members of the Clinton campaign also met him. Trump’s National Security Advisor Flynn was accused of colluding with Russia when in fact he was paid by Turkey to lobby for Erdogan. The disinformation campaign against Russia is falling apart for lack of any evidence. The media who ardently supported it have lost trust. As they obviously lied about Russia, how much truth are they telling on other issues? Tabbi’s warning was too late. The damage is done. “Western” relations with Russia have been hurt. But also hurt are the reputations of the media and of the Democratic party. Trump has been justified inh his rejection of that campaign. As Tabbi predicted, he now is “pre-inoculated” against other accusations, at least with his followers and those sitting on the fence. He has now the space to develop his original grand strategic idea of seeking amicable relations with Russia before getting embroiled in any other international dispute. Those relations are now developing on the ground in Syria, where cooperation between Russian and Pindosi troops is intensifying:

Moscow, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis added, has “kept us abreast of their operations” in Manbij.

Signs are that there is way more of that then the Pentagon admits. There have been several meetings at the highest levels of Russian and Pindosi military and whoever commands Pindo forces in Syria will surely have a direct line to the Russian ground commander to coordinate their moves. The Demagogs failed in their anti-Trump, anti-Russia campaign.

UPDATE:

The belligerent dude Hillary Clinton wanted as CIA boss now admits that the Christopher Steele dossier is total bullshit. We said so months ago. Clinton Ally Says Smoke, But No Fire: No Russia-Trump Collusion

Morell, who was in line to become DCI if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. … Morell said he had learned that former MI6 officer Christopher Steele paid his key Russian sources and interviewed them through intermediaries.

Morell said at an event sponsored by an intelligence web site called Cipher Brief:

On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke but there is no fire at all. There’s no little campfire. There’s no little candle. There’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.

The Daily Beast, one of the sites that intensively peddled the false anti-Trump/anti-Russia claims, is now warning somewhat against doing such:

Trump’s critics last year were horrified at the rise of “fake news” and the specter of a politics shaped by alternative facts, predominantly on the right. They need to be careful now not to succumb to the same delusional temptations as their political adversaries, and not to sink into a filter bubble which, after all, draws its strength not from conservative or progressive politics but from human nature.

Walnuts McCain explained in Congress what he means when he accuses someone of “working for Putin”:

Joe Gould @reporterjoe.@RandPauI just blocked @SenJohnMcCain’s UC request to add Montenegro to NATO & exited. McCain: “The sen from Ky is now working for Putin.”

You see, anyone disagreeing with the neocon McCain is by definition now “working for Putin”. It is no wonder then that Washington DC is full of Russian agents. A significant part of the electorate, the “millenials”, are not as dumb as the politicians believe. They wonder what all the fuss is about:

Amid an avalanche of news raising alarm about Russian meddling in the Pindosi election and ties between Pres Trump’s administration and Moscow, many younger voters are questioning how big a threat the former Cold War foe really is. … Interviews with more than 30 voters across the country show a major generational gap when it comes to views of Russia. According to younger voters, the view of Russia as an automatic threat that they hear from congress critturs like Lindsey Graham and Walnuts McCain is an outdated relic of the Cold War. … In interviews with McClatchy, many young adults said news accounts of Pindo-Russian relations in 2017, full of spies and secretive meetings with ambassadors, seemed like a Cold War thriller with no connection to modern reality.

The Demagogs’ Trump-Russia Conspiracy Campaign Collapses
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Mar 17 2017

Is sanity finally returning? After weeks of ranting and raving about Russian “interference” and Putin-Trump conspiracies, so-called ‘intelligence’ agencies and high-ranking Demagogs are quietly walking back their rhetoric and managing their base’s expectations. Simply put, there’s no ‘there’ there. ‘Moon of Alabama’ reminds us that a while ago Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone warned Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media:

If we engage in NYT-style gilding of every lily the leakers throw our way, and in doing so build up a fever of expectations for a bombshell reveal, but there turns out to be no conspiracy, Trump will be pre-inoculated against all criticism for the foreseeable future.

And now, as The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald writes, key Demagog officials are now warning their base not to expect much:

From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Demagog Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the Pindosi election, a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented. The principal problem for Demagogs is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies, just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected, that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

maddow2017-1489678100-540x511

Key Demagog officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence. The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is Obama’s former acting DCI Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that he was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the NYT but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming:

In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia,” saying:

On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all. There’s no little campfire. There’s no little candle. There’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.

He also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the “dirty dossier” originally published by BuzzFeed, saying that its author Christopher Steele had paid intermediaries to talk to its sources. He said:

It (the dossier) doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.

Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by former DNI Clapper, who told NBC Meet the Press last week that he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. Clapper stated unequivocally:

We had no evidence of such collusion.

Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on Jan 20. Perhaps most revealing of all are the Demagogs on the Senate Intelligence Committee, charged with investigating these matters, who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Demagog base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote:

There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation. Several committee sources grudgingly say it feels as though the investigation will be seen as a sham if the Senate doesn’t find a silver bullet connecting Trump and Russian intelligence operatives. One member said: “I don’t think the conclusions are going to meet people’s expectations.”

What makes all of this most significant is that officials like Clapper and Morell are trained disinformation agents. Clapper in particular has proven he will lie to advance his interests. Yet even with all the incentive to do so, they are refusing to claim there is evidence of such collusion. In fact, they are expressly urging people to stop thinking it exists. As the law recognizes, statements that otherwise lack credibility become more believable when they are made against one’s own interest. Media figures have similarly begun trying to tamp down expectations. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, which published the Steele dossier, published an article yesterday warning:

Expectation is so strong that Twitter and cable news are full of the theories of what my colleague Charlie Warzel calls the Blue Detectives, the left’s new version of Glenn Beck, digital blackboards full of lines and arrows. It is also a simple fact that while news of Russian actions on Trump’s behalf is clear, hard details of coordination between his aides and Putin’s haven’t emerged. Trump’s critics last year were horrified at the rise of “fake news” and the specter of a politics shaped by alternative facts, predominantly on the right. They need to be careful now not to succumb to the same delusional temptations as their political adversaries, and not to sink into a filter bubble which, after all, draws its strength not from conservative or progressive politics but from human nature. And those of us covering the story and the stew of real information, fantasy, and now forgery around it need to continue to report and think clearly about what we know and what we don’t, and to resist the sugar high that comes with telling people exactly what they want to hear.

For so long, Demagogs demonized and smeared anyone trying to inject basic reason, rationality and skepticism into this Trump/Russia discourse, by labeling them all Kremlin agents and Putin lovers. Just this week, the Center for Pindo Progress released a report using the language of treason to announce the existence of a “Fifth Column” in Pindostan that serves Russia, similar to Andrew Sullivan’s notorious 2001 decree that anyone opposing the GWOT composed an anti-Pindosi “Fifth Column.” Walnuts McCain listened to Rand Paul express doubts about the wisdom of NATO further expanding to include Montenegro and then promptly announced:

Paul is working for Vladimir Putin.

But with serious doubts and fears now emerging about what the Demagog base has been led to believe by self-interested carnival barkers and partisan hacks, there is a sudden, concerted effort to rein in the excesses of this story. With so many people now doing this, it will be increasingly difficult to smear them all as traitors and Russian loyalists, but it may be far too little and too late, given the high-pitched hysteria that has been deliberately cultivated around these issues for months. Many Demagog have reached the classic stage of deranged conspiracists, for whom any evidence that disproves the theory is viewed as further proof of its existence, and those pointing to it are instantly deemed suspect.

buzz1-1489678254-540x463

A formal, credible investigation into all these questions, where the evidence is publicly disclosed, is still urgently needed. That’s true primarily so that conspiracies no longer linger and these questions are resolved by facts rather than agenda-driven anonymous leaks from the CIA and cable news hosts required to feed a partisan mob. It’s certainly possible to envision an indictment of a low-level operative like Carter Page, or the prosecution of someone like Paul Manafort on matters unrelated to hacking, but the silver bullet that Demagogs have been led to expect will sink Trump appears further away than ever. But given the way these Russia conspiracies have drowned out other critical issues being virtually ignored under the Trump presidency, it’s vital that everything be done now to make clear what is based in evidence and what is based in partisan delusions. And most of what the Demagog base has been fed for the last six months by their unhinged stable of media, online, and party leaders has decisively fallen into the latter category, as even their own officials are now desperately trying to warn.

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