Monday, February 05, 2018

The memo makes clear why we don't trust corporate media

Well . . . we trust RT.

Are we the only ones, by the way, who've noticed that ROKU has removed the RT channel?

You can still watch RT via PLUTO -- a channel ROKU currently allows.

MSNBC is conjecture, hype and monologues.

CNN is Chis Cuomo attacking guests and refusing to allow them to complete their sentences.  Who knew that a Cuomo would exhibit such bad manners?

TV news has decided it knows best and there's no effort at balance.

This was very obvious on Friday when the memo was finally released.

Ajamu Baraka (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) explained ahead of the release:

The day before Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, the Russia-gate drama took an unexpected and dangerous turn with the vote by the House Intelligence Committee to release a now classified memo that alleges that senior members of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) may have misled the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) in order to secure a warrant to engage in what Republicans assert is a politically motivated effort that spied on the Trump campaign before he won the 2016 election and attempted to undermine his presidency.
Right-wing neoliberal Democrats who have engaged in a vigorous defense of the intelligence agencies of the U.S. state are concerned about the possible fallout with the public. They argue Republicans are deliberately undermining confidence in U.S. institutions by irresponsibly hurling allegations that support a growing public perception that the government and the individuals who populate governmental institutions are inherently corrupt.

Republicans now refer to this as “FBI-gate” and Democrats counter by appealing to the dubious belief that the FBI is some kind of neutral political force populated by people of unreproachable character—those who would never engage in the kind of crass partisanship being alleged by Republicans in Congress.

Then the memo was released.

And CNN and THE INTERCEPT -- two military-intelliengence combines/outlets -- rushed to distort the reality of it.

THE INTERCEPT's really good at distorting reality.  Via a counter-insurgency nut from Australia, they've taken to saying that ISIS never would have come about in Iraq if Bully Boy Bush hadn't invaded.  That's true, in the same way that it's true JFK would never have been assassinated if Joseph Kennedy and Rose Kennedy hadn't had sex.

The second claim, while true, ignores the reality of the plot to kill JFK just as the first claim ignores that Barack Obama gave Nouri al-Maliki a second term as prime minister and looked away during all of Nouri's crimes against the Iraqi people.

THE NEWSHOUR (PBS) allowed clowns Brooks and Shields to provide their usual skim the surface patter.

We read the memo -- more importantly, we forced friends to read the memo.  Yes, they were mainly on the left side of the spectrum (as are we) but they were shocked.  That shock was also registered by a non-political person who didn't even know what the FISA court was.  And she's almost forty so maybe the TV reporting could do a better job?

The memo portrays an agency (FBI) out of control and withholding important information from the FISA court in order to obtain warrants that would be denied if the information was honestly conveyed to the court. Eric London (WSWS) pointed out, "The memo details illegal conduct by a ruling class that governs by conspiracy. In an escalation of infighting between two equally reactionary sections of the ruling class, one section is letting the public in on a dirty secret."

Caitlin Johnstone (CONSORTIUM NEWS) added:

The part of the memo that has everyone talking today reads as follows: “Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.”
This refers to a surveillance warrant requested by the FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking permission to spy on the communications of Carter Page, a member of the 2016 Trump campaign. The controversy revolves around the claim that this surveillance warrant would never have even been requested if not for the clearly biased, Clinton-funded, and error-riddled Christopher Steele dossier which is acknowledged even by its former MI6 author to be 10 to 30 percent inaccurate.

Combine that with the fact that this has never been made clear to the public, and baby you’ve got yourself a scandal. The FBI knowingly using extremely tainted evidence from one presidential campaign to get permission to spy on another would indeed be a very big deal.

It really is outrageous how, during an election, the FBI attempted to interfere in it repeatedly and lied to do so.  This is a subversion of democracy.

Andre Damon (WSWS) observed:

The memo has undermined the aura of professional impartiality that the Democrats and their allied news outlets, the New York Times and the Washington Post, have sought to cultivate around the so-called “intelligence community.”
The real fear of the Democrats is that the exposure of the anti-Russia campaign will undermine the credibility of the FBI. “The selective release and politicization of classified information sets a terrible precedent and will do long-term damage to the intelligence community and our law enforcement agencies,” declared Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Friday.
Schiff added, “If potential intelligence sources know that their identities might be compromised when political winds arise, those sources of vital information will simply dry up, at great cost to our national security.”

But all such arguments about “national security” have been rendered absurd by the release of the document, which contains no sensitive information besides the wrongdoing of the FBI and the Democrats—including Schiff himself.

Justin Raimondo (ANTIWAR.COM) should have been a guest utilized by TV last week.  He got what the memo said, what it meant, and he conveyed it perfectly:

Page was never a “Russian agent,” and the FBI never proved that he was or is. Instead, they submitted that phony BuzzFeed “dossier” to the FISA court as “evidence” justifying their hot pursuit of him on more than one occasion. They did so without telling the judge who paid for the dossier (it was the Clinton campaign, as Trump claimed when this first came out) and they withheld other important details about its provenance – including that it was written by Christopher Steele, a “former” British intelligence agent who openly expressed a passionate desire to see Trump defeated. Nor had they verified the information in the dossier related to Page, because they “didn’t have time,” as former DNI chief James Clapper has said on numerous occasions.
Page was targeted and the information gleaned from listening in on his phone conversations, reading his email, and god knows what other sneaky intrusions, was leaked to the media in a concerted campaign to influence the outcome of the election. So, yes, there was “collusion” – except it wasn’t a pact between Putin and Trump but rather an alliance between Hillary’s campaign and the national security bureaucracy to get her elected. In effect, the top leadership of the FBI became an adjunct of the Clinton campaign – and, after Trump won, they executed a plan to frame him for “collusion” and oust him.

It all looks so cooked up and so outrageous.  Ray McGovern (CONSORTIUM NEWS) appears to suggest we microwave some popcorn and kick back:

As for Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, it is now abundantly clear why he went to ridiculous lengths, as did the entire Democratic congressional leadership, to block or impugn the House Intelligence Committee report.
Until the mid-December revelations of the text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page turned Russia-gate into FBI/DOJ-gate, Schiff had been riding high, often hiding behind what he said “he could not tell” the rest of us.

With the media, including what used to be the progressive media, fully supporting the likes of Adam Schiff, and the FBI/CIA/NSA deep state likely to pull out all the stops, the die is now cast. We are in for a highly interesting time over the next months.

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