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Manafort, Cohen trial outcomes portrayed as “cliffhanger” for Trump – but are they?

Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen helped perpetuate the myth of Russiagate, but this served the goals of the anti-Trump crowd.

Seraphim Hanisch

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On Tuesday, August 21, Paul Manafort was found guilty for eight of 18 counts of criminal activity charged against him. None of the charges were in any way related to President Trump, his campaign, or Russian agencies.

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On the same day, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts  related to campaign finance violations. Again, none of these had any relation to President Trump doing any collusion with Russia.

However, even the conservative media is forced to try to explain to its viewing public how this should not be taken as any sort of implication against President Trump, because, of course, CNN and the rest of the mainstream media is making as strong implications as possible, such as these:

CBS: (from their newspiece) – “Donald Trump personally directed Michael Cohen to commit a crime…”

CNN: Headline – “Two courtroom dramas leave Trump’s presidency on a cliffhanger

The New Yorker: Headline – “With the Manafort convictions and Cohen plea, President Trump has been implicated in a criminal conspiracy”

The Washington Post: Headline – “Michael Cohen says he worked to silence two women ‘in coordination’ with Trump to influence 2016 election.”

The New York Times: Headline – “Cohen, Manfort and Trump: What’s next?”

This pattern permeated most of the mainstream outlets on Tuesday as the plea and verdicts’ news were made public.

However, does this situation really represent danger for President Trump and his agenda, and does it present danger in view of the November midterms? These questions are, of course, the topic of concern for everyone who has a dog in this race. The mainstream media is betting on the success of this media attack, fresh on the heels of a united front style editorial blitz in which some 350 news publications printed op-eds and related pieces attacking the President for his rhetoric against the press.

At this point, the overall answer is probably difficult to see. Some facts are clear. Sean Hannity makes some of these most clear here:

HANNITY: Without a doubt,  let’s be straightforward here. It is wrong – there are lessons to learn from today:

  • Don’t ever knowingly lie to the FBI.
  • Do not lie on a bank loan application, ever, or commit bank fraud.
  • Pay your taxes.

But do we need Robert Mueller for all of this?

Think about this: How do you go from an investigation into Russia collusion in the 2016 election, and this is what we have? Taxes, from years and years ago? Bank fraud? Medallions? Lying to the FBI?

Where’s the Russia stuff? Would any of these people that we’re talking about tonight have been investigated or charged if not for their connection Donald Trump?… Is it not now, the witch hunt that the president has been saying – an attempt to turn the screws as Judge Ellis said about Manafort? To would-be witnesses, to find dirt on one man… so that they will sing and compose to either prosecute or impeach the President of the United States?

This is it? Robert Mueller, are you proud of this? did we need you for five hundred days for this? How did we go from ‘Russian collusion’ to this?

President Trump said the same in his interview clip, also shown in this video clip. He also hammered on this theme, and the witch hunt aspect of the persecution he has been getting ever since he won the election, in a campaign event in Charleston, West Virginia.

The investigation under Robert Mueller’s direction has still, to date, not found one piece of evidence to support the idea that the Trump campaign was involved in any sort of collusion or cooperative action with Russian agencies of any type.

It has found that there are some high-powered people who did criminal actions, as is the case here with Manafort and Cohen and others. But the move here appears to be to find President Trump “guilty by association”, in that since he had crooked people in his employ this must somehow mean the original allegation is true.

This is not the practice of law and justice in any real logical sense. It is entirely political in nature, because the anti-Trump people (the Democrat party, most Republicans and almost all of the media) know that the political landscape of the United States is in fact more and more of a “pure” democracy.

Rather than a representative Republic, which requires an informed and rational electorate, what we see here is increasingly the “bread and circuses” sort of activity that precludes control of the mob. The mob is easy to influence because although the US has an electoral system, the real election of choice now is to be made in the court, or field of public opinion.

In this regard, whoever says the thing that sticks the most will win. It doesn’t matter if there is any truth to it or not. Mueller and the Anti Trump people are very smart in the fact that they use this. The conservatives and Trump supporters are learning to play the game much better, but they do not control the field.

It is unclear so far how this will affect the campaign, but the anti-Trump rhetoric looks like it just got a boost.

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spoint

Isn’t Cohen a jew?

John R Balch Jr
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John R Balch Jr

Watch and See if What the New York’s US Attorney’s Office for the Southern Districts is going to try and do is use Michael Cohen to frame President Trump over paying these two Bimbos. Michael Cohen’s current Lawyer is a Hillary Clinton supporter and that is why he is saying and has been saying things he is about President Trumps part in this whole case even releasing the 30 second secret tape where one can only hear about 10 seconds of talk while the rest is noise. Michael Cohen whole plea deal was nothing more then a set up to… Read more »

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john vieira

The mainstream media continue to alienate ANYBODY with a shred of common sense or cognition. Since mid 2016 when their 24/7 vitriol against some “red headed idiot” as they were wont to describe the ‘candidate’ which actually piqued my curiosity as I had written them off at the time of their “rotten” reporting(?) on Kosovo. It took me all of two nights to realize that if I thought they were “rotten” then, surprise, they had graduated/promoted themselves to PUTRID….and they have not improved since …as a matter of fact their inanity and stupidity that is adored by the brainwashed is… Read more »

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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10 percent of American F-22 fighter jets damaged by Hurricane Michael

Part of the reason the F-22’s were left in the path of the storm is that they were broken and too expensive to fix or fly.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Note to the wise: When a hurricane comes, move your planes out of the way. Especially your really expensive F-22 fighter planes. After all, those babies are $339 mil apiece. Got the message?

Apparently the US Air Force didn’t get this message. Or, did they find themselves unable to follow the message?

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The Washington Times reported Tuesday that between 17 and 20 of these top-of-the-line fighter jets were damaged, some beyond the point of repair, when Hurricane Michael slammed ashore on Mexico Beach, Florida, not far from the Tyndall Air Force Base in the same state. The Times reports that more than a dozen of the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the extremely fierce storm:

President Trump’s tour Monday of devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael took him close to Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, where more than a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were damaged after being left in the path of the powerful storm.

The pricey fighter jets — some possibly damaged beyond repair — were caught in the widespread destruction that took at least 18 lives, flattened homes, downed trees and buckled roads from Florida to Virginia.

The decision to leave roughly $7.5 billion in aircraft in the path of a hurricane raised eyebrows, including among defense analysts who say the Pentagon’s entire high-tech strategy continues to make its fighter jets vulnerable to weather and other mishaps when they are grounded for repairs.

“This becomes sort of a self-defeating cycle where we have $400 million aircraft that can’t fly precisely because they are $400 million aircraft,” said Dan Grazier, a defense fellow at Project on Government Oversight. “If we were buying simpler aircraft then it would be a whole lot easier for the base commander to get these aircraft up and in working order, at least more of them.”

This is quite a statement. The F-22 is held to be the tip of the American air defense sword. A superb airplane (when it works), it can do things no other plane in the world can do. It boasts a radar profile the size of a marble, making it virtually undetectable by enemy radars. It is highly maneuverable with thrust-vectoring built into its engines.

However, to see a report like this is simply stunning. After all, one would expect that the best military equipment ought to be the most reliable as well. 

It appears that Hurricane Michael figuratively and physically blew the lid off any efforts to conceal a problem with these planes, and indeed with the hyper-technological basis for the US air fighting forcesThe Times continues:

Reports on the number of aircraft damaged ranged from 17 to 22 or about 10 percent of the Air Force’s F-22 fleet of 187.

The Air Force stopped buying F-22s, considered the world’s most advanced fighter jets, in 2012. The aircraft is being replaced by the F-35, another high-tech but slightly less-expensive aircraft.

Later in the tour, at an emergency command center in Georgia, Mr. Trump said the damage to the F-22s couldn’t be avoided because the aircraft were grounded and the storm moved quickly.

“We’re going to have a full report. There was some damage, not nearly as bad as we first heard,” he said when asked about the F-22s, which cost about $339 million each.

“I’m always concerned about cost. I don’t like it,” Mr. Trump said.

Still, the president remains a fan of the high-tech fighter jet.

“The F-22 is one of my all-time favorites. It is the most beautiful fighter jet in the world. One of the best,” he said.

The Air Force managed to fly 33 of the F-22s to safety, but maintenance and repair issues kept 22 of the notoriously finicky aircraft on the ground when the powerful storm hit the base.

About 49 percent of the F-22s are out of action at any given time, according to an Air Force report this year.

This is a stunning statistic. This means that of the 187 planes in existence, 90 of them are not working. At their cost, that means that over thirty billion dollars worth of military equipment is sitting around, broken, just in airplanes alone.

As a point of comparison, the entire Russian military budget for 2017 was $61 billion, with that budget producing hypersonic missiles, superb fighter aircraft and tanks. Russian fighter planes are known for being able to take harsh landing and take-off conditions that would cripple the most modern American flying machines.

It would seem that Hurricane Michael exposed a serious problem with the state of readiness of American armed forces. Thankfully that problem did not arise in combat, but it is no less serious.

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Saudi Arabia trying to squirm free of Khashoggi murder (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 2.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at Saudi Arabia’s possible admission to killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi…accidentally, while they were torturing the man inside the consulate in Istanbul.

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Via Zerohedge

Even before the publication of last night’s Saudi trial balloon hinting that the kingdom would soon acknowledge that the extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi – the insider-turned dissident journalist who walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and never walked back out – was the result of a “botched” kidnapping attempt carried out by “rogue killers” (despite reports that the US intelligence community knew that Khashoggi was being “targeted”), two realities had become increasingly clear. One: That the Saudis would avoid responsibility for the killing by pinning it on some unfortunate underling, and two: that there would be few, if any, lasting diplomatic repercussions.

And as more media organizations confirmed reports about Saudi’s plans to spin Khashoggi’s murder as a botched interrogation (we can only imagine what was said in that room to justify the use of such extreme violence), CNN calculated the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman in Riyadh for approximately 15 minutes early Tuesday, following his 12-hour-plus flight to the kingdom.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia lasted no more than 15 minutes, CNN estimates based on the time the top US diplomat’s motorcade arrived at the royal court and departed.

The motorcade arrived at the royal court at 11:42 a.m. (4:42 a.m. ET) and left 26 minutes later. There is a fair distance to walk from where the motorcade dropped Pompeo off to where he met the king.

While Trump said on Monday that Pompeo would travel to Turkey “if necessary”, the Saudi’s decision to “come clean” about Khashoggi’s death pretty much rendered Pompeo’s fact-finding mission unnecessary.More important are developments in Turkey, where the joint Saudi-Turkish “investigation” is turning its attention toward the home of the Saudi consul, where a black diplomatic van that departed the Saudi consulate just under two hours after Khashoggi entered was captured on camera disappearing into a garage. Some speculate that this is where the killers finished disposing of Khashoggi’s body. This comes after a “nine-hour” search of the Saudi consulate building that, according to leaks published in Al-Jazeera, turned up “evidence of tampering” by the Saudis. On Tuesday, Turkey’s foreign minister clarified that Saudi had yet to admit its role in Khashoggi’s disappearance and probable death.

Turkish investigators will carry out a search of the Saudi Consul General’s residence on Tuesday as the probe into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.

CCTV footage released to the media from the day the Washington Post writer vanished show movement of vehicles from the consulate building to the Consul General’s residence nearby.

As speculation mounts that the incident could unseat the increasingly authoritarian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (who has already marginalized or incapacitated nearly every threat to his rule), it’s looking more likely that neither the US nor the rest of the Western world will do much to punish the world’s most important oil exporter, which can “weaponize” the oil market seemingly on a whim.

Any punishment for this flagrant violation of human rights will need to come, therefore, from the private sector, which, according to Bloomberg, could sabotage MbS’s grand Vision 2030 plan, which aims to remake the Saudi economy via a flood of foreign direct investment:

The economic strategy of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS, is to make investment the main engine of economic growth instead of government spending, but the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could frustrate these ambitions. Foreign direct investment, a key part of the plan to reinvent Saudi Arabia’s economy, declined sharply in 2017 and is unlikely to return to previous levels, leaving the government’s target for 2020 beyond reach, according to analysis by Bloomberg Economics. Increased policy uncertainty and, after the Khashoggi incident, the risk of reputational damage to foreign companies working in Saudi Arabia won’t help.

 

 

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