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The Clash of the Titans — How Greece became the target of an epic struggle

The key to understanding Greece’s role in the Eurozone crisis, and to Greece’s eventual liberation from that crisis, is its pivotal role in the competing gas pipeline projects that are being planned by Moscow and Brussels in southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.

Haneul Na'avi

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Greek-EU relations parallel the epic battle of Hesiod’s Theogony, in which Kronos (Saturn/ restriction) overthrows his father Uranus (innovation) to become ruler of the Cosmos, and then devours his five children save for Zeus (Jupiter/ expansion) to prevent their future uprising.

Similarly, the trade bloc has done the same by devouring Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, and Greece in order to cement dominion over Europe, using the global financial crisis as an impetus.

1. “[…] the son from his ambush stretched forth his left hand and […] and swiftly lopped off his own father’s members…”

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ struggle with the bureaucratic Cerberus known as the European Troika—the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)—failed after he betrayed former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who sought radical fiscal options to rescue Greece’s economy.

Tsipras later signed the 2015 Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding, which claimed to “tackle tax evasion, fraud and strategic defaulters”, but in reality, shackles the country to another immovable €85 billion bailout and imposes a neoliberal, graduated privatisation scheme.

Unsurprisingly, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was the architect of Greece’s calamity, where in 2001 he feloniously hid Greece’s debts using complex credit default swaps in order to meet Eurozone requirements set by the Maastricht Treaty, but the spell did not last long.

Salon reports:

“After the 9/11 attacks, bond yields plunged, resulting in a big loss for Greece because of the formula Goldman had used to compute the country’s debt repayments under the swap. By 2005, Greece owed almost double what it had put into the deal, pushing its off-the-books debt from 2.8 billion euros to 5.1 billion.

“[…] as interest rates plunged and the swaps turned out to cost far more, Goldman and the other banks refused to let the municipalities refinance without paying hefty fees to terminate the deals.”

Since then, Hellenic ministers have desperately sought options to revitalise its economy whilst battling austerity, but even rational measures to save it have come under fire from Brussels.

In 2008, Greek ministers tried to bail out its national industry Hellenic Shipyards before selling it to a German enterprise, which was later declared an “illegal move under Brussels law”.

EU technocrats imposed “a six million euro upfront penalty on Greece’s cash-strapped government, to be followed by a daily levy of 34,974 euros,” the Express highlighted.

“[…] Greece will be required to pay 34,974 euros to Brussels every day until it has recouped all of the 250 million euros it used to bail out Hellenic Shipyards”.

The country continues to battles a Hydra of problems, and despite slow gains, very few options remain within the EU framework. Fortunately, it is not alone and there is still hope.

2. “[…] and these goddesses never cease from their dread anger until they punish the sinner with a sore penalty…

The Eurozone debacle raises eyebrows regarding the Troika’s real intentions, as scapegoating continues to pervade mainstream media headlines without explaining the attacks and bailouts.

Paradoxically, underneath the miasma of lies and finger-pointing, a truth emerges: The Eurozone’s power rests in keeping Greece within its geopolitical orbit at all costs, and does so by exploiting Greek debt and “corruption”, which it consciously ignored in 2001.

Greece is one of the most geopolitically strategic energy transit hubs in Europe, which two multinational energy corporations—The European Commission Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) and Gazprom’s TurkStream Pipeline, fully understand.

BP expressed it in this way

“[The SGC] is arguably the global oil and gas industry’s most significant and ambitious undertaking yet […] – [involving] seven governments and 11 companies”.

Investors plan to construct the 550 km-long Trans Adriatic Pipeline through Greece, starting at Kipoi to connect to the Turkish Trans Anatolian Route (TANAP), and proceed to Albania and Italy.

World Policy echoed in 2014.

“Athens is vital to the success of the project, since the largest part of the pipeline crosses through Greece.”

Azerbaijan has been exploiting its Shah Deniz gas reserves in the Caspian Sea since 2006 and serves as the SGC’s main oil rig, and along with Western vassal state Georgia, and earns significant transit revenues via the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCPX).

Unfortunately, Azerbaijan depends on disputed reserves, and other stakeholders—neighbouring Russia, Kazakhstan, and Armenia—are members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and expect the largest share, which further complicates matters.

Stratfor mentioned in a report.

“[…] there are disputes between the five bordering states over where to demarcate the maritime borders and how to split up the energy resources.  This has created a tense geopolitical environment in the region, with the Caspian Sea serving as an important area of competition between Russia and the West.”

Furthermore, Iran has also expressed interest in joining the EEU, compounding the EU’s troubles. 

The Tehran Times highlighted.

“President Vladimir Putin […] has expressed hope that a free trade zone can soon be established between Iran and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.”

To date, Russia has had difficulty incorporating Greece into the TurkStream project after Western sanctions followed the Kiev coup and MH17 sabotage, forcing EU member states into a common position policy, which has severely limited Greece’s political decision-making.

After Kyiv received a $17.5 billion IMF stabilisation package, it officially became a vassal state of the Eurozone, and unfortunately, the Soviet-era Druzhba pipeline, the world’s largest pipeline network, lost its southernmost flank.  Additionally, Kiev refuses to pay back its $3 billion debt to Russia.

Sanctions also forced Gazprom to divert its attention from the defunct South Stream pipeline to the TurkStream, bypassing Bulgaria and Ukraine after they rejected the project due to EU pressure.

RT commented.

“Last year, Russia scrapped South Stream because of objections from the EU over its construction. It was to supply gas to Southern Europe via Bulgaria, avoiding Ukraine.”

3. “Therefore he kept no blind outlook, but watched and swallowed down his children…”

Greece shares its concerns with other Southern European countries seeking to diversify their energy security, but have found it painstakingly difficult to accomplish. Christopher Coats of the London School of Economics goes into explicit detail:

“The EU’s current approach to energy policy limits itself to issues of connectivity, energy security and the harmonisation of member states’ fragmented markets, and it is unlikely that the EU will seek to incentivise new hydrocarbons exploration and production.’ […] However, [its] weakened financial standing has made funds increasingly elusive.”

He continues:

“Governments found quick targets for spending cuts in the state subsidy systems for renewable energy as the 2008 crisis took hold. Such cuts slowed interest in the sector, making it a far less attractive investment and hindering future planning […] Spain went from being a global leader of solar development and installation to a pariah of foreign investors in a matter of months.”

Rather than compensating countries for lost green initiatives, the Commission simply demanded austerity. Despite this, EU parliamentarians continue to enjoy generous salaries and benefits.

Furthermore, the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement, which targets anthropogenic climate change, adds further bureaucratic obstacles to hydrocarbons exploration.  The Institution of Civil Engineers implied that according to it

“governments and investors will need to manage an orderly transition away from a fossil fuel dominated economy.”

A 2009 European Commission document states

“Second Strategic Energy Review” (COM/2008/781), reiterates this strategy, demanding to “identify and remove barriers to investment, including by means of streamlining of planning and consultation procedures or by appointing European coordinators, in particular for projects which improve interconnection.”

Greece, therefore, cannot exist independently, as the EU desperately seeks to prevent Athens from pivoting eastward, which challenges the Commission’s objectives.  World Policy continued.

“[It] relies on the stability that Greece can offer as a mediator country […] thus bypassing Russian gas supplies.”

Together, these legislative barriers favour EU agendas at the expense of state rights. Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis remarked about his interest in the Turk Stream.

“Greece is interested in building a gas pipeline, we are ready to take part in it, but everything depends on Europe.”

EU pundits have also voiced concerns over Greece’s pivot to Russia, insinuating that it could form an interregional coalition to strengthen non-EU energy partnerships. Professor Konstantinos Filis replied during an interview.

“It will try to form a common EU bloc with other member states that share the same position […] such as Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Cyprus and Hungary.”

4. “Him did vast Earth receive from Rhea in wide Crete to nourish and to bring up.”

Fortunately, the ongoing Moscow-Ankara-Athens detente has yielded positive results.

Western attempts to court Turkey have backfired, especially after denying Ankara EU accession, Germany’s Bundestag recognised the Armenian genocide, and later, military coups occurred in Ankara and Istanbul, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames on US-asset Fethullah Güllen.

After the Turkish SU24 shoot-down in November 2015 as part of the conflict in Syria Russia froze production on the Turk Stream, but new developments now point to reconciliation; notwithstanding several demands from the Kremlin.

On August 31st Gazprom highlighted

“a working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and [Turkish Energy Minister] Berat Albayrak, took place today in Istanbul, [and that] negotiations on Russian gas supplies to Turkey will continue.”

Conversely, Greece and Russia have begun their long-awaited rapprochement in late May, when President Putin and PM Tsipras offered their groundbreaking joint statement in Athens.

Dubbed the historical Year of Russia held in Greece and the Year of Greece held in Russia, both figureheads communicated their hopes of new ambitious joint projects in agriculture, science, tourism, security and technology.

Over the years, trade between the two countries fell sharply, and measures to correct this were discussed at the 2015 Russian-Greek Intergovernmental Commission, along with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Sochi, Russia.

The SPIEF RosCongress Foundation explains:

“Foreign trade between Russia and Greece totalled USD 866.7 million over January–April 2015, with Russian exports amounting to USD 793.1 million (a drop of 42.3%), and imports from Greece standing at USD 73.6 million. Russia’s trade surplus with Greece stood at USD 719.5 million.”

Reflecting on this shortcoming, Greek Minister of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping, and Tourism Giorgos Stathakis boldly stated

“As all of you are fully aware, we currently stand at the centre of a storm, but we are a seafaring people, so we are not scared of storms”.

Secretary General for International Economic Relations of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yiorgos Tsipras added.

“[…] we have recognized that it is easy to talk to our Russian colleagues. We are ready to move beyond the problems facing us and create new opportunities.”

5. “[…] And through your devising we are come back again from the murky gloom and from our merciless bonds…”

The most salient opportunity was, of course, revitalising cooperation in the energy sector. Tsipras addressed.

“We expressed our satisfaction with the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Russian Energy Institute and Greece’s Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) as well as an agreement between Hellenic Petroleum and Rosneft.”

Just before the visit, Vladimir Putin clearly stated in an Ekathimerini article that Greece was

“Russia’s important partner in Europe.  Issues relating to southern routes of energy shipment to the European Union states are still on the agenda.”

This was apparent a year ago in Moscow, where Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis stated Greece would

“…..receive significant financial dividends for the pipeline’s operations [after signing a Russian-Greek MoU on the Turk Stream].”

Most importantly, it would provide Greece with a portion of 63 billion cubic metres per annum, immense compensation in transit fees, as well as creating jobs.

The Ekathimerini article continues

“[…] construction will start in 2016 and be completed by 2019”.

This is the path that Greece must pursue—an independent one with like-minded partners for growth and prosperity.

The rest of Southern Europe should follow suit to promote jobs, lower energy prices, and pay off outstanding debts to the Eurozone.

To do this, Mediterranean states (Turkey included) must create a common platform for dialogue, with clear goals and channels to mediate disputes, outside of the EU framework.

No matter what, there will be a pipeline running from Athens to Rome, constructed by either Moscow or Brussels, but only one benefits Greece long-term.

Greek ministers should prioritise the Turk Stream and reclaim its bargaining power within the “EU framework”.

Greece must be allowed into the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to finance the project and remove Western currencies from controlling its financial decisions.

Putin should facilitate their entry into the AIIB to counteract Goldman Sachs and the EU bureaucracy.

Greece, like Zeus, must face its enemy without fear to restore order. Conversely, the EU, like Kronos, has empowered its greatest fear through its authoritarian reign.

Greece and her siblings must grab the BRICS emetic and set themselves free.

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THIS speech by Vladimir Putin is what started the anti-Russia hysteria (VIDEO)

Russian President spoke about Western assault on Christianity and traditional values in 2013 – just before anti-Russian troubles began

Seraphim Hanisch

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Sometimes it is possible to lose clear sight of the reality of politics because of the optics and all the “noise” associated with differing points of view. For the average American partaker of mainstream network news (and lately this applies to cable news outlets as well), the viewing public still tends to absorb the tone and rhetoric of the day. These people, often without any personal critical thought, simply go and echo it to their friends and neighbors, and even back to the news media or polling agencies. This has certainly been the case regarding Russia.

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Case in point: An opinion piece on the Fox News website, by Dan Gainor makes note of the absolute media carnage (not too strong a word in this case) concerning the reaction of the political establishment and almost ALL media outlets (including Fox) to President Trump’s conciliatory tone struck with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit, one week ago today.

We have excerpted from his piece, adding emphasis:

A raging epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome broke out among reporters covering the summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, as journalists gave the American president hellish reviews for his performance in Helsinki at a joint news conference.

No reporters knew what actually transpired in the main event of the day – the private meeting between the two presidents. So journalists put themselves in the position of critics, grading President Trump’s news conference performance…

…USA Today reported in a front-page story: “Every nation has an infamous traitor. … And now, after a news conference Monday in Finland, the term is being used in relations to the 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump, master of the political insult, finds himself on the receiving end.

The New York Daily News screamed “OPEN TREASON” on its cover page with a cartoon showing Trump holding Putin’s hand and holding a gun in his other hand and shooting Uncle Sam in the head. Really.

CNN host Fareed Zakaria wasn’t satisfied with “treason” as a descriptor. “I feel like treasonous is too weak a word, because the whole thing has taken on an air of such unreality,” he said.

Zakaria had lots of company: CNN analyst Max Boot, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, and, of course, former CIA Director John Brennan, who now works for NBC and MSNBC.

CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said “the spirit of what Trump did is clearly treasonous,” and declared that the president “came off as being a puppet of Putin.”

The list of network reactions in Mr. Gainor’s article is very long and deserves a careful read. But all of those reactions and more led to this point:

The hellish outrage over the Helsinki news conference had its desired effect … for now. Newsweek posted a story on an opinion poll that declared: “According to a new Ipsos poll, 49 percent of Americans said Trump was “treasonous” during the summit and ensuing press conference, with only 27 percent disagreeing.”

In other words the viewing, listening and reading public did absorb this very unified tirade. One of the most unusual aspects of this which we have reported on here, is that the media’s unity included many conservative elements. In all but a few cases, most notably that of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, even very respected conservative voices still bought into “Russian meddling” as though this were some sort of issue. It really isn’t, because as even some of these hosts acknowledged, “everyone does it.”

But as to why this is happening, the explanation really has to do with the establishment reaction to a speech that President Putin himself gave several years ago about the situation in the West. It is this speech that spurred most of the sanctions and actions taken against Russia. It is NOT the “invasion” of Crimea or the 25 invasions of Ukraine that were reported during the years 2014-2016. It is the alignment that the Russian President noted in the West, and Russia’s refusal to follow that same path.

Blackpilled offered this video clip and a translation of the speech in English. We offer that clip and the relevant part of the speech’s transcript here.

It is of tantamount importance to understand that this is the main factor in all the opposition against President Trump, because his presence threw a major monkey wrench into “the plan.”

Two things of note: 1. The narrator of the video here offers a translation that is slightly different than the one offered on the Kremlin’s own website. The link to the relevant page is included here.

2. The narrator of “BlackPilled is incorrect in attributing this speech as being given “shortly after Trump was elected.” The actual speech was given at the Valdai conference in 2013. If we consider this, and the timeline of events following – such as the Sochi Olympics and the concurrent list of “scandal after scandal” concerning Russia, then the pieces fall into place:

From the site Kremlin.ru, emphasis added:

Another serious challenge to Russia’s identity is linked to events taking place in the world. Here there are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilisation. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.

The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote paedophilia. People in many European countries are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliations. Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation. And people are aggressively trying to export this model all over the world. I am convinced that this opens a direct path to degradation and primitivism, resulting in a profound demographic and moral crisis.

What else but the loss of the ability to self-reproduce could act as the greatest testimony of the moral crisis facing a human society? Today almost all developed nations are no longer able to reproduce themselves, even with the help of migration. Without the values embedded in Christianity and other world religions, without the standards of morality that have taken shape over millennia, people will inevitably lose their human dignity. We consider it natural and right to defend these values . One must respect every minority’s right to be different, but the rights of the majority must not be put into question.

At the same time we see attempts to somehow revive a standardised model of a unipolar world and to blur the institutions of international law and national sovereignty. Such a unipolar, standardised world does not require sovereign states; it requires [slaves].”

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‘Treasonous’ Trump in the Conspirators’ Crosshairs

Every effort will continue to be made to ensure no concrete progress can be made on whatever was discussed in Helsinki while maintaining the 24/7 drumbeat of demonization.

Jim Jatras

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At least the White House can be happy that the resident Hitler-in-Chief’s inhuman separation of innocent migrant children from adults caught illegally crossing the US border with Mexico matters to nobody anymore.

Everyone’s moved on. “Children in cages” is yesterday’s news.

The issue now is treason, a crime carrying the death penalty.

On that score America and the entire world owe former CIA Director and onetime communist voter John Brennan a debt of gratitude for pointing out that President Donald Trump’s expressing the slightest hint of doubt about conclusions reached by the US Intelligence Community is both impeachable and treasonous.

Brennan didn’t just make that up, you know. It’s in the Constitution of the United States, right there in black and white:

Article II, Section 1: “The executive Power shall be vested in an Intelligence Community of the United States of America.”

Article III, Section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist in doubting the Intelligence Community in any way, shape, or form.”

There you have it, it’s an open and shut case of treason, committed in full view of the global public within feet of Russian President Vladimir Putin – who, as the crack journalists of our intrepid Fourth Estate have now revealed through their diligent investigative work, was once an officer in the Soviet  KGB!  Trump’s unmasking, through his very own perfidious words, now adds “traitor” to all the other terms of opprobrium already justly appertaining to him.

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We all know what happens to traitors, don’t we?

A day later Trump hastily sought to cover up his treachery with the lame suggestion that he had inadvertently dropped the semi-syllable “-n’t” during his Helsinki press conference with his Russian “handler.” (Actually, that “wouldn’t/would” dodge is pretty cute. Who thought it up – Steve Miller? Sarah Huckabee Sanders? Trump himself? Genius! One can almost hear them brainstorming over what explanation would most insult the limited intelligence of their critics.)

But try as he might, Trump can’t escape. His media pursuers have caught on to his Houdini routine:

‘President Donald Trump’s attempt on Tuesday to backpedal on his disastrous remarks siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the stone-faced president read from a monotone prepared statement but deviated several times from it, was eerily reminiscent of the way he handled his infamous false equivalence in response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer.

‘After accepting Putin’s denial instead of affirming U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, Trump on Tuesday tried to reverse course. Reading from prepared remarks, he said that he accepts the intelligence agencies’ conclusion and claimed that he misspoke during Monday’s press conference. (He added ‘that perhaps “other people” were responsible, and reverted to his usual talking point that “there was no collusion” between his campaign and Russia, which appeared to be unscripted.) [ … ]

‘Many reporters, commentators and other political observers made similar observations, noting that Trump could quickly reverse himself again, just as he did in his response to the events in Charlottesville.’

Indeed, just the day after his “stone-faced,” “monotone” semi-contrition, Trump was right back at it, colluding with fellow Putin-puppet Tucker Carlson on Fox News. (Even worse, the Trump-Carlson duo even blasphemed against the holiest of holies of US national security, Americans’ willingness to risk nuclear annihilation in World War III over tiny, corrupt Montenegro.)

Not only did this two-man, latter-day analogue to the Gunpowder Plot belittle the supposedly proven fact of Russian hacking of the 2016 election (which nonetheless is still disbelieved by almost 40% of Americans!), they took the opportunity to inject a note of – you guessed it!  racism:

‘Carlson used literal white supremacy to defend Trump’s news conference.

‘“I mean I’m not a shrink, so I don’t fully understand it. I mean I don’t think Russia is our close friend or anything like that. I mean, of course, they tried to interfere in our affairs; they have for a long time. Many countries do. Some more successfully than Russia, like Mexico which is routinely interfering in our elections by packing our electorate,” Carlson said, suggesting Mexican immigrants who become naturalized citizens and vote are somehow illegitimate voters.

‘Former FBI Director James Comey criticized Trump for sitting down with Hannity and Carlson.

‘“Having sold out our nation on an international stage, Mr. Trump will now explain it all to Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson? I’m guessing RT and [Sputnik] were unavailable.’

But aside from Carlson, virtually all of Trump’s supposed defenders (mostly on Fox News) agreed entirely with the President’s accusers that questioning the intelligence community was totally impermissible.

Indeed, both his defenders and even Trump himself have tried to deflect criticism by citing the myriad ways in which his Administration has been “tough” on the Russians: sanctions, expelling diplomats, striking Syria twice, and most of all reveling in the slaughter of Russian contractors in Syria.

This reflects a troubling fact that undermines optimism that the Helsinki summit will herald a change for the better in the US-Russia relationship. The fact is, Putin is master in his own house but Trump is not.

There is no order or instruction Trump can give that he can be sure will be carried out, either by the Pentagon or the intelligence community – and certainly not the Justice Department, which blatantly tried to sabotage the summit with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s issuance of avacuous indictment of 12 GRU officers. As described by former CIA intelligence officer Michael Scheuer:

‘Why should any American worry about the unending, manic claims that Russia interfered in the 2016 election? This story, after all, has been made up and perpetuated by aspiring traitors like Clapper, Hayden, Tapper, Acosta, Hillary Clinton, Comey, John Podesta, Maddow, McCabe, Brennan, Page, Strzok, Wray, the reporting staffs of the Washington Post and the New York Times, the Council on Foreign Relations, and most of all, by the foreign-born Obama.

To believe this crew’s statements about anything at all is to believe that John McCain and Lindsay Graham can open their mouths without lying us into yet another interventionist war. […]

‘In the face of what Jefferson surely would call a “long train” of perfidy, treason, obsessive avarice, and murder by the national government, one must ask why would any commonsensical American fail to see that the Russian-meddling narrative is transparently an attempt by Obama leftovers and the seething, quite mad Neocons to push the United States into a new Cold War with Russia, one that would lead to a hot war, as well as a means of keeping themselves out of the slammer and off the gallows.

‘Indeed, there is not a loyal American citizen who has a single credible reason to believe any intelligence-based claims made by the Obama administration, or the Obama leftovers in Trump’s administration, about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The citizenry’s only fair-minded conclusion is that Obama ordered his intelligence and military lieutenants to stand down on responding to “Russian hacking” in summer, 2016, because no such hacking occurred.

Certainly, the two indictments of Russians – written by Obama acolytes led by Rosenstein, Strzok, and old-man, disgrace-to-the-Marines Mueller and his merry band of Trump-hating attorneys — are clearly dreamed-up travesties that would disgrace a first-year law-school student and get him the boot therefrom.’

The bottom line is that, even after Helsinki, Trump remains besieged inside his own Administration. It cannot be said with any assurance that there is a single high official, including Trump’s own appointees, who agrees with the President’s desire for rapprochement with Russia.

Congress is almost entirely against him, as evidenced by a virtually unanimous Senate vote on a nonbinding resolution against treaty-based law enforcement cooperation with Russia (as discussed by the two presidents) and talk of fast-tracking more sanctions legislation.

Even in areas theoretically under Trump’s full control, most importantly his constitutional command of the military, there is pushback. One early deliverable of the summit should be US-Russia cooperation in Syria to help wind down that war.

But General Joseph Votel, who leads U.S. Central Command, was quick to point out that he’s received no instructions and that under prohibitory legislation enacted in 2014 no such cooperation would be legal without Congressional action to create an exception – which will not be forthcoming.

In a rule of law state, law enforcement should be politically neutral. In most countries it’s not, with those in power using police, prosecutors, and courts as weapons against the opposition. Only in America, and only since Trump’s election, has anyone seen the bizarre phenomenon of election losers abusing law enforcement against the winner.

Even as Trump talks optimistically of a second summit with Putin in Washington in a few months, the criminal Deep State conspiracy against him rolls on with the complicity of top appointees like Rosenstein.

Every effort will continue to be made to ensure no concrete progress can be made on whatever was discussed in Helsinki while maintaining the 24/7 drumbeat of demonization. (There’s even an attempt to force Trump’s interpreter in Helsinki, Marina Gross, to divulge what transpired in private between the presidents. Gross herself may draw suspicion on account of an unconfirmed report that she may actually speak Russian…)

For his part, Trump must seek support from the only direction he can: the tens of millions of “Deplorables” who voted for him. The more the media, the Democrats, and the GOP establishment trash him, the more they are convinced he is on the right track. By doubting the truth of Russian hacking and our sacred NATO obligation to every insignificant country few ordinary Americans could find on a map, he has increasingly mainstreamed those notions with his base.

Trump’s only way forward is continuing to be the wrecking ball he was elected to be. Twitter and his ability to change the subject with outrageous and “impermissible” utterances and actions are his main weapons. In that vein, as long as he’s being accused of treason, he might as well make the most of it:

Mr. Trump, fire Rosenstein and let the chips fall where they may.

Via Strategic Culture

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James Clapper rats out his former boss Barack Obama (Video)

Trump-Russia witch hunt started with order from former US President Barack Obama.

Alex Christoforou

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All roads in the Trump-Russia witch hunt lead to Barack Obama…at least that is what his former intelligence czar James Clapper admitted to fake news, CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper admitted in a CNN interview Saturday that former President Obama instigated the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump and his inner circle of advisors and staffer.

Speaking with Anderson Cooper, Clapper mad the stunning admission…

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

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Via Zerohedge

Recall in May, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) fired off a letter to the Department of Justice  demanding unredacted versions of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former bureau attorney Lisa Page, including one exchange which took place after Strzok had returned from London as part of the recently launched “Operation Crossfire Hurricane”  referring to the White House “running” an unknown investigation.

Strzok had been in London to interview Australian ambassador Alexander Downer about a drunken conversation with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who – after reportedly being fed information – mentioned Russia having Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Strzok: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: “the White House is running this.” My answer, “well, maybe for you they are.” And of course, I was planning on telling this guy, thanks for coming, we’ve got an hour, but with Bill [Priestap] there, I’ve got no control….

Page: Yeah, whatever (re the WH comment). We’ve got the emails that say otherwise.

With Clapper’s admission that Obama was in the know the whole time, it looks like Peter Strzok’s text message stating “the White House is running this” was spot on.

House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo that the American public needs to see an unredacted version of the Carter Page FISA application.

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