As we just discussed, some major news stories have recently dropped about what a horrible horrifying menace the Russian Federation is to the world, and as always I have nothing to offer the breathless pundits on CNN and MSNBC but my completely unsatisfied skepticism. My skepticism of the official Russia narrative remains so completely unsatisfied that if mainstream media were my husband I would already be cheating on it with my yoga instructor.

I do not believe the establishment Russia narrative. I do not believe that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 election. I do not believe the Russian government did any election rigging for Trump to collude with. This is not because I believe Vladimir Putin is some kind of blueberry-picking girl scout, and it certainly isn’t because I think the Russian government is unwilling or incapable of meddling in the affairs of other nations to some extent when it suits them. It is simply because I am aware that the US intelligence community lies constantly as a matter of policy, and because I understand how the burden of proof works.

At this time, I see no reason to espouse any belief system which embraces as true the assertion that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections in any meaningful way, or that it presents a unique and urgent threat to the world which must be aggressively dealt with. But all the establishment mouthpieces tell me that I must necessarily embrace these assertions as known, irrefutable fact. Here are five things that would have to change in order for that to happen:

1. Proof of a hacking conspiracy to elect Trump.

The first step to getting a heretic like myself aboard the Russia hysteria train would be the existence of publicly available evidence of the claims made about election meddling in 2016, which rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world. So far, that burden of proof for Russian hacking allegations has not come anywhere remotely close to being met.

How much proof would I need to lend my voice to the escalation of tensions between two nuclear superpowers? Mountains. I personally would settle for nothing less than hard proof which can be independently verified by trusted experts like the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Is that a big ask? Yes. Yes it is. That’s what happens when government institutions completely discredit themselves as they did with the false narratives advanced in the manufacturing of support for the Iraq invasion. You don’t get to butcher a million Iraqis in a war based on lies, turn around a few years later and say “We need new cold war escalations with a nuclear superpower but we can’t prove it because the evidence is secret.” That’s not a thing. Copious amounts of hard, verifiable proof or GTFO. So far we have no evidence besides the confident-sounding assertions of government insiders and their mass media mouthpieces, which is the same as no evidence.

2. Proof that election meddling actually influenced the election in a meaningful way.

Even if Russian hackers did exfiltrate Democratic party emails and give them to WikiLeaks, if it didn’t affect the election, who cares? That’s a single-day, second-page story at best, meriting nothing beyond a “Hmm, interesting, turns out Russia tried and failed to influence the US election,” followed by a shrug and moving on to something that actually matters.

After it has been thoroughly proven that Russia meddled in the elections in a meaningful way, it must then be established that that meddling had an actual impact on the election results.

3. Some reason to believe Russian election meddling was unwarranted and unacceptable.

The US government, by a very wide margin, interferes in the elections of other countries far, far more than any other government on earth does. The US government’s own data shows that it has deliberately meddled in the elections of 81 foreign governments between 1946 and 2000, including Russia in the nineties. This is public knowledge. A former CIA Director cracked jokes about it on Fox News earlier this year.

If I’m going to abandon my skepticism and accept the Gospel According to Maddow, after meaningful, concrete election interference has been clearly established I’m going to need a very convincing reason to believe that it is somehow wrong or improper for a government to attempt to respond in kind to the undisputed single worst offender of this exact offense. It makes no sense for the United States to actively create an environment in which election interference is something that governments do to one another, and then cry like a spanked child when its election is interfered with by one of the very governments whose elections the US recently meddled in.

This is nonsense. America being far and away the worst election meddler on the planet makes it a fair target for election meddling by not just Russia, but every country in the world. It is very obviously moral and acceptable for any government on earth to interfere in America’s elections as long as it remains the world’s worst offender in that area. In order for Russia to be in the wrong if it interfered in America’s elections, some very convincing argument I’ve not yet heard will have to be made to support that case.

4. Proof that the election meddling went beyond simply giving Americans access to information about their government.

If all the Russians did was simply show Americans emails of Democratic Party officials talking to one another and circulate some MSM articles as claimed in the ridiculous Russian troll farm allegations, that’s nothing to get upset about. If anything, Americans should be upset that they had to hear about Democratic Party corruption through the grapevine instead of having light shed on it by the American officials whose job it is to do so. Complaints about election meddling is only valid if that election meddling isn’t comprised of truth and facts.

5. A valid reason to believe escalated tensions between two nuclear superpowers are worthwhile.

After it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia did indeed meddle in the US elections in a meaningful way, and after it has then been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia actually influenced election results in a significant way, and after the case has been clearly made that it was bad and wrong for Russia to do this instead of fair and reasonable, and after it has been clearly proven that the election meddling went beyond simply telling Americans the truth about their government, the question then becomes what, if anything, should be done about it?

If you look at the actions that this administration has taken over the last year and a half, the answer to that question appears to be harsh sanctions, NATO expansionism, selling arms to Ukraine, throwing out diplomats, increasing military presence along Russia’s border, a Nuclear Posture Review which is much more aggressive toward Russia, repeatedly bombing Syria, and just generally creating more and more opportunities for something to go catastrophically wrong with one of the two nations’ aging, outdated nuclear arsenals, setting off a chain of events from which there is no turning back and no surviving.

And the pundits and politicians keep pushing for more and more escalations, at this very moment braying with one voice that Trump must aggressively confront Putin about Mueller’s indictments or withdraw from the peace talks. But is it worth it? Is it worth risking the life of every terrestrial organism to, what? What specifically would be gained that makes increasing the risk of nuclear catastrophe worthwhile? Making sure nobody interferes in America’s fake elections? I’d need to see a very clear and specific case made, with a ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ list and “THE POTENTIAL DEATH OF LITERALLY EVERYTHING” written in big red letters at the top of the ‘cons’ column.

Rallying the world to cut off Russia from the world stage and cripple its economy has been been a goal of the US power establishment since the collapse of the Soviet Union, so there’s no reason to believe that even the people who are making the claims against Russia actually believe them. The goal is crippling Russia to handicap China, and ultimately to shore up global hegemony for the US-centralized empire by preventing the rise of any rival superpowers. The sociopathic alliance of plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies who control that empire are willing to threaten nuclear confrontation in order to ensure their continued dominance. All of their actions against Russia since 2016 have had everything to do with establishing long-term planetary dominance and nothing whatsoever to do with election meddling.

Those five things would need to happen before I’d be willing to jump aboard the “Russia! Russia!” train. Until then I’ll just keep pointing to the total lack of evidence and how very, very far the CIA/CNN Russia narrative is from credibility.


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35 responses to “Five Things That Would Make The CIA/CNN Russia Narrative More Believable”

  1. The Red Menace is a sinister threat and a specter taking over our lives not unlike the alien pods in ‘The Body Snatchers”. In subliminal ways and means, we are being slowly co-opted until we become like them. First they infiltrated Hollywood with Red Buttons and Red Skelton to entertain and distract. Soon the enemy made its way into the sports world starting with Red Barber who ushered in larger units known as Red Sox, then Redskins until even the restaurant industry fell into line with Red Lobster and Red Robin. This chilling takeover began even longer ago when the commie enemy sought to own young minds with innocent nursery rhyme stories like Little Red Riding Hood. The cumulative effect of decades-long indoctrination of our has youth produced a vast network of sleeper cells across the continent. Those who have fallen prey to political monomania stretch across a banal segment of group-thinking jingoists and are known as…rednecks.

  2. I cannot help but wonder how much this vilification of Russia has to do with Putin being against GMOs and vaccines.

  3. Good presentation. I only wish that there were more details about the illegal, interference actions we pay taxes to support. For instance, USAID, CIA, NED, IRI (McCains playground), NDI, and others. Probably a billion dollars spent on nefarious politics and election interference in other nations in the last ten years.

  4. It’s absolutely amazing the twists of logic employed by the human brain to reduce one’s cognitive dissonance. We are after all rationalising animals, not rational ones.

  5. Reading this article, I now realize why you folks believe as you do.

    You are focusing on the election and not the potential criminality by Trump and his campaign. The election is over and has been for awhile now. You and Trump appear to be the only ones still litigating it.

    The potential criminality, on the other hand, could have profound consequences on the US now and well into the future. The investigation needs to get to the bottom of things. I care less about the final outcome of the investigation then I care about knowing the investigation ran its course and made definitive findings, one way or the other.

    Responding to Rob, the latest indictments lay the groundwork for future indictments of US citizens for conspiracy. The same facts that provide the foundation of the latest indictments will form the foundation of future indictments. If US people are indicted, they will be brought to trial, and the government will not hesitate to bring all the evidence, including its sources and methods, for the jury’s review. It is quite common to clear the courtroom during civil trials when sensitive trade secret information is discussed. I have no doubt that a judge in a criminal trial would do the same for “state secrets.”

    1. Arguing over the criminality of the latest US president is like arguing over who will be your next slave master. Most governments are, after all, the largest criminal organisation within a nation state. It doesn’t matter of its the blue, red, green, or purple team leading the gang, they’re all criminals interetsed in leveraging the system to their and their cronies’ benefit.

    2. “Reading this article, I now realize why you folks believe as you do.

      You are focusing on the election and not the potential criminality by Trump and his campaign.”

      Not me. I’m focussing on the escalation of tension between two nuclear superpowers that could result in a nuclear holocaust here in Australia and everywhere else on the planet, and quite frankly, I wish Americans and their allies would stop it. I’m worried about my children and grandchildren. I couldn’t care less about Trump’s criminality.

  6. Harry S Nydick Avatar
    Harry S Nydick

    This article goes hand-in-hand with the previous one, as well as with my comment there, Somehow, the U.S. intelligence system (now there’s an oxymoron, if ever there was one) believes that what’s good and reasonable for the U.S. gander is not good (or permissible) for the Russian gander.

  7. My only disagreement with the article is that it omits the real reason for the attempt to target and isolate Russia, the EU. The reason being is the reliance of the US on $ reserve status to finance its yawning trade/current account deficit and budget deficit. As oil and other commodities are still largely paid for in $, requiring other countries to hold $ which are recycled as investment and lending to the US as T Bonds. This allows the US to run a massive trade and budget deficit without the $ collapsing, capital flight and a sharp increase in imported inflation, (the exorbitant privilege).

    This explains long standing attempts by the US to drive a wedge between the EU and Russia. Russia is pivoting away from the $ after all when Iraq and Libya demanded payment for oil in Euro these leaders were removed. The EU was after all a larger economy than the US before the economic crisis, with mismanagement by the EU in using austerity leading to a sharper fall in GDP in the EU than in the US even though this was originally a US economic crisis.

    The EU and Russia supply what each other need., The EU as a developed mature economy with limited room for growth or productive investment, but with limited access to raw materials such as oil. Russia with abundant raw materials, technology requiring further development and massive room for expansion and need for investment. Russia is even has the 3rd largest (China has the largest reserves) reserves of Rare earth metals used for renewables. A close trading relationship between the EU and Russia trading in Euro rather than in $ would see the EU overtake the US in GDP and facilitate a sharper fall in US economic power as China and the US would overtake the US as the largest economies far faster.

    This is why a close trading relationship between the EU and Russia would be the end of US hegemony.

    This is why the attacks on Russia are in trade terms really an attack on the EU, when the US continues its mercantilist policy of using gunboat diplomacy and control of super national organisations such as the IMF, World Bank and the WTO to enforce preferential trade deals. In GDP terms Russia is not a threat to the US, and only is in a close trading relationship with the EU. This is also why it is absurd to suggest that Russia wants the break up of the EU, as what it wants is a close trading relationship with a prosperous EU that would be mutually beneficial. This is indicated by the massive investment in Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, which the US and its puppets such as Poland and the Ukraine oppose.

    It is the US not Russia that seeks to destabilise the EU, which is why the US supported the UK remaining in the EU as the enemy within working for the US destabilising the EU and forcing eastward expansion and in a more neo-liberal direction. In this Trump is off message, and why the neo-liberal US establishment hate him. Attempts to destabilise the Euro by the US occurred from its launch such as the bombing of Yugoslavia, with the US destabilising Eastern Europe to facilitate eastward expansion of NATO with expansion of the EU driving a wedge between Russia and the EU. These long standing tensions fed into short term ones such as to benefit the Clinton politicly and a desire to re-commence US asset stripping of Russia that occurred under Boris Yeltsin.

    Hell hath no furry like vested interest masquerading as principle, so if you want to know the real reason for US long standing animosity towards Russia follow the money.

    GDP (current US$)

    “‘Exorbitant privilege’ lends a hand to Trump’s trade tussle
    Nervous money flows to the US even if the source of nerves lies in the White House”
    FT John Authers July 14, 2018

    1. Those are some of the strategies, however one can peel the onion further by examining the powerful people and entities that stand to lose massively, when the Petrodollar becomes marginalized and alternative investment vehicles usurp the Banksters’ power to control the world’s financial system. The hegemonic U.S. protection racket will inevitably be defeated.

  8. I’d agree with the general flow here, but, even if an organism like the FBI CIA etc has lied a zillion times, it doesn’t mean that in this instance or that, they aren’t saying something true. Even Trump says true things now and then. The more basic thing is that (a) the US meddles in elections all over the place and when that doesn’t pan out and it is feasible it sends in the troops, (b) ergo all’s fair in love and war so… But beneath that is that as you say, US elections are a fraud from the outset, with rules that limit participation to Party A or Party B, all massively underlined by a captured propaganda system called “the news” etc etc.

    No, it is not worth a nuclear war to maintain this system. Preferable the US fall apart, sort of like the USSR did and for the same reasons, and break up into smaller less power entities.

    1. “Even Trump says true things now and then.” No, no, no! Trump, like Henry Kissinger who Sy Hersh says lies as other people breath, and Hillary (who only lies, mostly, for self protection and self promotion), and of course all the Great Americans of our patriotic Intelligence Agencies, these people are Great Men; Lying is their prerogative. They cannot be judged like the hoi polloi subject to simpleton rules and Laws.

      1. To assert everything Trump says is a lie is to weaken one’s case when he (very often) does lie. Occasionally he tells the truth, for instance when he says “I am Donald John Trump” it is true. To deny that makes you look bad and seriously undermines it when you call him on one of his endless lies.

  9. Marianne Flanagan Avatar
    Marianne Flanagan

    Well put. there has never been concrete proof-including the examining of the DNC server by the FBI. All the focus has been on the hacking without consequences for what was exposed.This is still a justification for the Clinton loss without any regard for the consequences.

  10. Samuel G Rothenberg Avatar
    Samuel G Rothenberg

    But Caitlin, let me play devils advocate. The emails released by Wikileaks were also the PRIVATE emails of John Podesta. If I am government official, which he was NOT, an I not afforded privacy? A private life? Does my taking a shit need to be exposed for all to see? My jerking off or sexual habits? Must everyone know exactly what my dick looks like?

    1. Only if you leave the curtains of your front picture window open, like Podesta did with his email password, “p.a.s.s.w.o.r.d.”

    2. Privacy in limited circumstances, such as the examples you list but not when/where it oertains to ‘company’ business. I find it incredibly ciminal, er, I mean hypocritical of government to be pushing for increased mass surveillance (for ‘security ‘ reasons, of course) of its citizenry while demanding increased privacy and closed-door meetings while engaged in public activities.
      Regardless of how the information was obtained, should the public not be privy to evidence that demonstrates the reprehensible behaviours of public officials who are, supposedly, representing the citizens? This fact is conveniently ‘forgotten’ by those who argue as you do.

    3. First, Remember when the country rolled over in 2001 for the patriot act, (written in advance by Joe Biden et al), and allowed terrorism to scare us into to sacrificing freedoms for security? Because that fucking cat is already out of the bag in the form of ubiquitous surveillance of an increasingly dystopian level, through devices the plebs don’t control or own (yay foss, go gnu/linux, emacs ftw), forming what is a real threat to national security through ease of blackmail and corruption style dirty business.

      NSA and friends already have all your dick pics and sex vids… it also has your location, your voice (alexa/siri/etc) your texts, your emails, your credit history, and I could go on and on… pretty soon you are probably going to be existing some three letters simulation so they can best form strategic propaganda…

      Second, that’s a strawman argument and no one is calling for that. Podesta was heavily connected to the public sphere and trying to abuse the cover of his personal life regarding his participation is many, many things, for much longer than just this recent big election… (Yes, DC and Wall Street really are that dark and thick as thieves… what you think GHW and Clinton really had it out for each other too don’t you? Sorta like Skull and Bones Kerry and Gdubs really had it out for each other too.)

      Wikileaks determined it was in the public interest and released it and IT WAS.

  11. Well what would you do if your empire was collapsing, you were so deep in debt you would never get out, interest rates are headed up as the banks are bailing (selling assets), your 911 plan was hanging out naked in front of everyone, you lost in Syria, you are losing in Iraq, Iran has the new Tesla area denial jamming technology , and your coup against Turkey’s president went south so they were against you now?
    There is a desperation in the air that is palpable that no one is talking about. You want to talk about this, go ahead. Things look pretty bleak for the Western deep military, industrial, banking, and media state.

  12. The truth was available a long time ago to anyone who cared to read or listen to two people directly involved in the publishing of the DNC material. There it was, and still is, in the public domain from the horse’s mouth. What more could you want! It was LEAK not a hack, and Craig Murray (a man of impeccable professional reputation) was the conduit between the LEAKer and Wikileaks. Of course this risible US enquiry didn’t trouble itself to talk to these people. Obviously they don’t want the truth, they want the propaganda which the MSM are more than happy to spread.

  13. Paul Schneider Avatar
    Paul Schneider

    Caitlin Johnstone for President…of the planet!


    Stephen Cohen for Vice President…

    “…And the world will live as one!”

  14. It’s always so good to read it all laid out so clearly – but will PM Malcolm Tremble or Foreign Minister the now botoxed Julie Bishop here in Australia pull back on their own total acceptance of the nonsense spilling out of the US – i don’t think so – too brain dead!

    1. Not brain dead, Jim, they know exactly what’s going on. They’re fully occupied keeping Australian in its place as a US colony.

  15. Guido Colacci Avatar
    Guido Colacci

    as usual, amerikkkans want to kill the messenger rather than believe the message. You hit the nail on the head Caitlin. As it has been stated and seen, we want to blame the Russians or Wikileaks for informing us that the DNC, Wasserman, and Clinton rigged the Primaries, with Bernie as a willing participant (which was proven by his speech at the DNC when he urged people to vote for Hillary and you could hear his wife whisper to him as he’s speaking “they don’t know that they can write you in ” and he chose to stay silent about that and continue to play the martyr). If people are too myopic and ignorant to understand that Trump was going to be president NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED in the election, that again, I have overestimated the intelligence of the majority of the amerikkkan people.

  16. Thank God there are same voices among the “more government” crowd. I personally advocate less government, but I read many views. It is amazing to me how many of my “liberal” friends and acquaintances are not steaming mad about the CONTENT of the DNC leaks, but are outraged that it happened. Really? They’re pissed that the truth was revealed because… Russia! Is it possible that the Libertarian Right and the Anti-War Left can get together on dismantling the MIC? And someone please explain in rational terms why it’s considered the height of lunacy to remind people that Seth Rich, and not a dozen Russian agencies, remains far and away the most likely source of the DNC server content? I happen to believe Wikileaks and Julien Assange on this one, as he has a long history of not lying.

  17. tanya marquette Avatar
    tanya marquette

    Some very valid points here but almost too many. I think the biggest thing is how the US has never gotten over the Russian revolution, 1917, with its Socialistic/Communistic ideology. The US has been trying to destroy Russia ever since. Of course the other point is that Russia huge with oodles of natural resources which the US covets. Such a large country, well organized makes for formidable competitor on the world economic plane.

    Was there collusion betw Trump and Russia. I have no doubt there was. But Trump is a pro-corporate fascist who hates democracy, sees himself as the furher. We have seen his wooing Russia for personal economic gains. We have watched him tear this country apart with his xenophobia and racism. We are watching him destroy all democratic institutions and programs supporting the philosophy of the likes of the Koch brothers who believe the public is on its own serving only one purpose: taxes for the funding the rich and cheap labor. He thinks he can get way with anything he wants. So the real issue is what Trump & Co are doing to the US, not what Russia is doing.

    1. Sounds like you’re mightily pissed that Trump beat Killary?

      Trumps another A$$hole US President but he’s best of both options.

      Australian Politicians as usual are too Gutless to tell USA to get F !

  18. Well, do you believe that two groups colluded, and continue to collude, to rig the elections?
    They are called the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party.
    Let me spell it out for you.
    I learned this in 3rd grade, so I’ll use it as an example. Go back and remember 3rd grade.
    In 3rd grade, as all grades, you elect a class President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
    The way it suppose to work, is you vote for whoever in your class you think is the best qualified person for each job. Other people do the same. The idea is, someone who is best qualified would be thought to be considered of such high opinion by several people, that more people than the random average will vote for them, and they will become elected.
    For example, if Joe is known to be very good with money, and several people have watched Joe responsibly handle money, more so than everyone else in the class, Joe should be more likely to get more votes over the random statistical average for Treasurer and become class Treasurer.
    That is how democracy is *suppose* to work.
    The best person, or the person best considered for the job, in the class would be elected Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, and President. That is the whole idea behind democracy.
    But now I will explain how it is completely undermined by political parties, and how they form instantly, and why democracy does not work.
    The snotty kids in the class, the ones that think they are richer or better than each other, all sit at the same table at lunch time. In my class, about half the kids considered themselves snotty, and the other half just kind of regular people or losers or indifference. Inside this snotty group of the class, there were some who were easy to spot as what I will call the “super snotty upper echelon” of this group. Maybe they looked better than everybody else, maybe they knew their family had more money than anyone else, maybe either or led to them growing up as a child to be a complete little snot.
    So as I said, this super eschelon all sits at the same lunch room table. And what they do is this. The collude with each other and decide, who is the top dog, who among them wants most or should be President, who should be Vice President, who wants to be Secretary, who wants to be Treasurer. And once this is decided amongst them, they agree to all vote for those people. Everyone in the group will vote for the same person for Treasurer in their group. And they will tell the people in the peripheral group of snotty people, the ones that want to climb the social ladder and get into the super snotty eschelon, who to vote for for each position.
    So after the ballots are collected and counted, by the super snotty and to a lesser extent the peripheral snotty people all voting as a block for the same person for each position, they have completely swept the election and put the people they decided in power. The random distribution, or rather, the voting for the best person for the job in the entire class population, has been completely usurped. They have effectively formed without knowing it, a Political Party. Oh every year they may swap up people in positions, depending upon people’s status in the group or interest in the position, and so it looks like there is candidate variation from year to year, but really, its not.
    And this is what you have in the United States. Two groups who continually rig the elections, year after year. Your elections are rigged, they have been rigged for the longest time, and they will continue to be rigged until you outlaw political parties, abandon the system as fundamentally broken, or stop en masse voting for candidates eschewed by both parties and stop being a dumbass follower or social climber, and instead start voting for the best person for the job. That will never happen, however, because by now everyone has become too brainwashed, likes to be on the winning side with their vote even though that confers no power to them personality, or is just absolutely and completely politically naive.
    So stop bitching about the political parties. Instead, start bitching at yourself. About how you could be so stupid, that you believed it was a fair and balanced system, when it was obvious to see what happens to democracy ever since 3rd grade…
    Instead, become your own leader. Make your own rules. You are your own authority. Fight visciously anyone who tells you want to do. Do no harm to others, they have a right to be left alone as you do. Raw freedom is the only real freedom…. everything else is bastardized bullshit. Raw, unadulterated freedom is not that hard to enjoy or to embrace, I do it every day, and once you’ve had a taste, you can never go back. You do not need anyone to tell you what your rights are. You tell you what your rights are. You do not need anyone else to defend them for yourself. You defend them for yourself.
    The state is your enemy, but the state does not really exist. It’s nothing more than a fiction in your own mind…

    1. Guido Colacci Avatar
      Guido Colacci

      I agree 100%!!!!

    2. If you’ve never read Murray Rothbard’s Anatomy of the State, it’s a must read that puts the con in historical context .

  19. Well said.

    But where is your threshold of dallying with the yoga instructor. Would it be a slight as forgetting to take out the garbage? Formidable. lol.

    Here is a commentary in a similar vein but from a slightly different perspective. And a remarkable interview between Aaron Mate and Michael Isikoff on The Real News.

  20. I couldn’t have put it better myself. Mueller is counting on these indictments never coming to trial, as that would lead to a most embarrassing discovery process. Either the U.S. government would have to reveal its sources, methods and actual evidence behind the indictments, or it would hide behind the screen of “state secrets,” which would seem to make its case both unwinable and preposterous.

  21. I’ve written comments to this blog before and something always seems to go wrong, the comment is never posted.

  22. I know nothing of “Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.” To me, Rachel Maddow is a “trusted expert,” along with DemocracyNow! and a few others. Because Glenn Greenwald has said things on DemNow that I found sensible, I also tend to trust him (though rarely make time to look at the Intercept)and, of course, you reference him often, or I would likely have little reason to trust what you say. But I have been following your blog with interest for months, and occasionally commented, and often found it to be provocative and sensible. But this post puts me in a quandary.

    In short, I don’t know who to trust. I’ve read enough of Noam Chomsky to know not to trust the U.S. Government about difficult issues, such as the Mueller investigation and the Russian “meddling” story.

    I have no understanding of hacking and likely would not understand any evidence presented to me without weeks of background study.

    If I assume that everything you have ever posted to your blog is accurate, what can I do with that belief? Am I to believe Trump–a proven liar–when he says “no collusion”? I would have to stop watching news, stop following Twitter, stop any and all thoughts of understanding the world I live in, and instead take up watercolors.

    The “Trump colluded with Russia” story seems true on the face of it, simply because of the Trump Tower meeting and the many things that Trump himself has said about Russia and done with Putin. Trump is making no attempt–it seems to me–to hide his apparent treason. Otherwise, I cannot make sense of his desire for press-free meetings with Putin. He even relies on translators supplied by foreign nations.

    It’s easier just to remain skeptical of Caitlin Johnstone, as I remain skeptical of every word out of Donald Trump’s mouth and twitter account, and every word spoken by his GOP enablers and MAGA supporters.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the claims you make are often extraordinary–which is the main reason I follow your blog!

    I’m not a stupid man. I’m not an uninformed man. But I seem to be confronted with a choice between living my life as I wish, and living my life as an unpaid investigative journalist.

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