Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 17 Jul 2018
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters

Light Saber

Putin deals blow to Deep State, says Mueller's indictment of Concord Management is for the courts to settle

Trump Putin summit
© Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
President Donald Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018.
Russian President Putin today in his press conference with President Donald Trump destroyed the Mueller investigation. He pointed out numerous items, including that he provided the US information on the Russian company Mueller indicted, Concord Management, and that the courts should decide the fate of the Mueller investigation and not the Deep State.
I'd like to add something to this. After all I was an intelligence officer myself. And I do know how dossiers are made up. Just a second. That's the first thing.

Now the second thing. I believe that Russia is a democratic state and I hope you're not denying this right to your own country. You're not denying that the United States a democracy. Do you believe the United States is a democracy? And if so, if it is a democratic state then the final conclusion in this kind of dispute can only be levered by trial, by the court, not by the, executed by the law enforcement.

For instance the Concord Company that was brought up is being accused of interference but this company does not constitute the Russian state and does not represent the Russian state and I brought several examples before. Well, you have a lot of individuals in the United States, take George Soros for instance, with multi billion capitals but it doesn't make him, his position, his posture, the posture of the United States. No it does not. Well it's the same case. There is the issue of trying a case in the court and the final say is for the court to deliver. We're now talking about the individuals and not about particular states.

Comment: See also:


Not again! 'Summitgate' and the campaign vs. 'peace'

PutinTrump handshake
© alliance/Sputnik/S. Guneev
Not surprisingly, Trump's meetings with NATO and Putin are being portrayed as ominous events by Russiagaters.

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton, and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War.

As Cohen pointed out in previous discussions, US-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits are a long tradition going back to FDR's wartime meeting with Stalin in Tehran in 1943. Every American president since FDR met with a Kremlin leader in a summit-style format at least once, several doing so multiple times. The purpose was always to resolve conflicts and enhance cooperation in relations between the two countries. Some summits succeeded, some did not, but all were thought to be an essential aspect of White House-Kremlin relations.

As a rule, American presidents have departed for summits with bipartisan support and well-wishes. Trump's upcoming meeting with Russian President Putin, in Helsinki on July 16, is profoundly different in two respects. US-Russian relations have rarely, if ever, been more dangerous. And never before has a president's departure - in Trump's case, first for a NATO summit and then the one with Putin - been accompanied by allegations that he is disloyal to the United States and thus cannot be trusted, defamations once issued only by extremist fringe elements in American politics. Now, however, we are told this daily by mainstream publications, broadcasts, and "think tanks." According to a representative of the Clintons' Center for American Progress, "Trump is going to sell out America and its allies." The New York Times and The Washington Post also feature "experts" - they are chosen accordingly - who "worry" and "fear" that Trump and Putin "will get along." The Times of London, a bastion of Russophobic Cold War advocacy, captures the mainstream perspective in a single headline: "Fears Grow Over Prospect of Trump 'Peace Deal' with Putin."

Comment: Cohen offers an informative dissect of the political climate in the US where an extremist mindset has overtaken mainstream, as in those who vengefully need to be 'right' at all costs including going to war over coming to peace.


Israel briefs US media on an Iranian archive heist by Mossad agents

Iranian file warehouse
© CNN/youtube.com
The Mossad raided this Iranian building to steal alleged nuclear weapons program documents.
Leading US media have reported new details about a Mossad operation to break into an archive of nuclear-related documents in Iran, which the Israeli PM showcased in April as proof of Iran's evil intentions.

The two articles published on Sunday by the New York Times and the Washington Post, both of which contain over 2,000 words, offer new details of the Mossad operation. The mission had previously been reported when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pushing the Trump administration to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Israeli officials briefed the two newspapers last week on the details of the operation and handed over some of the documents stolen by Israeli agents from the Iranian warehouse.

According to the NYT report, the Mossad operation on January 31 was made possible by the fact that the building was not guarded overnight. Iran had used the facility to store documents relating to its nuclear research since the 2015 deal was signed.

Israeli agents used a seven-hour window to disable alarms, break through two doors, and cut open 32 pre-selected Iranian-made safes with blowtorches to steal materials weighing half a ton. The report says the Israelis knew which safes to crack and which not to, implying that they had help on the inside. The operation was compared to the Ocean's Eleven heist film by Israeli officials.

Comment: Were the warehouse and contents legit or something else? Giving credit to the legendary Mossad for its clandestine expertise, the idea that it filmed this set-up for two years (see below) and knew exactly what archives to capture, could just as easily have been a grand con job set up by Israel with actors and props - a facility Iran knew nothing about. Or, as Israel insists, the real deal - revealed at the most effective and self-serving time.

From the New York Times:
6 Hours, 29 Minutes: The Mossad mission took place on the night of January 31, with the agents arriving at the archive's site about 10:30pm. Iranian guards were scheduled to arrive at their posts at 7am and the agents were warned to complete their mission before 5am. When they made their exit, they were carrying some 50,000 pages and 163 CDs detailing the Iranian nuclear plans. They no doubt had inside help. They knew the workings of the alarm system and exactly which safes to target.

The archive captures the program at a moment in time - a moment 15 years ago, before tensions accelerated, before the United States and Israel attacked Iran's nuclear centrifuges with a cyberweapon, before an additional underground enrichment center was built and discovered.

The warehouse the Israelis penetrated was put into use only after the 2015 accord was reached with the United States, European powers, Russia and China. That pact granted broad rights to the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit suspected nuclear sites, including on military bases.

So the Iranians, Israeli officials said in interviews, systematically went about collecting thousands of pages spread around the country documenting how to build a weapon, how to fit it on a missile and how to detonate it. They consolidated them at the warehouse, in a commercial district with no past relationship to the nuclear program, and far from the declared archives of the Ministry of Defense. There were no round-the-clock guards or anything else that would tip off neighbors, or spies, that something unusual was happening there.

What the Iranians did not know was that the Mossad was documenting the collection effort, filming the moves for two years, since the relocation began in February 2016.


'Knows nothing about treason': Brennan is called out for anti-Trump grandstanding

John Brennan
© Leah Mills/Reuters
Former CIA Dir. John Brennan
Ex-CIA chief John Brennan was among the first on Twitter to slam President Trump for his press conference performance with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Brennan has a history of questionable political decisions himself.

After the much-anticipated Helsinki summit on Monday, Presidents Trump and Putin faced the press. Trump declined to goad his Russian counterpart on allegations of election meddling, and took Putin's denial at face value. Brennan called this decision "nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic," Brennan added, "he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"

Brennan's comments were echoed by the vast majority of the US political and media establishment, always keen to stir up tension with the big bad Russians. To some observers, though, Brennan's tweet was all noise and no substance.
"Whenever John Brennan opens his mouth or tweets he removes all doubt about his ignorance," said Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett. "He clearly knows nothing about treason. The U.S. is not at war with Russia."

Comment: 'Tweetery' has brought the nation to a fast-paced, non-verbal war of ad libs, sound bites and quick retaliatory repartee instead of constructive and comprehensive discussion and analysis. Brennan is a case-in-point of tweeting vengeance with neither justification, facts nor discernment. Do tweets really change minds or are they, in Brennan's case, a means of 'ventilation'?

See also:

Stock Down

IMF warning: US trade war may cost global economy $430B

Cargo Ship Maersk
© Brendan McDermid/Reuters
The risk of current trade tensions escalating further is the greatest near-term threat to global growth, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook report.

"Our modeling suggests that if current trade policy threats are realized and business confidence falls as a result, global output could be about 0.5 percent below current projections by 2020," the IMF said, adding that the cost to the global economy could reach $430 billion.

Growth remains generally strong in advanced economies, according to the IMF, which warns it has slowed in many of them, including in the United Kingdom, Japan and countries in the euro area.

Comment: Will the current climate remain a tempest in a teapot or increase to a hurricane in the economic ocean? Trump's initiation of his brand of 'alternate economics' gives him the driving edge - so far. Too far? Some think so.


Iran sues US at International Court of Justice for leaving JCPOA

Javid Zarif
© Oliver Hoslet (EPA-EFE)
Iranian FM Javid Zarif
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has confirmed that Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States over the reimposition of sanctions against Tehran by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, claiming the move violates the nuclear treaty Tehran signed with the United States and five other world powers.

Confirmation by the court on July 17 came a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter that the case was filed at the ICJ to hold the United States
"accountable for its unlawful reimposition of unilateral sanctions. Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of U.S. contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations," Zarif tweeted. "It's imperative to counter its habit of violating international law."

Comment: One can negotiate by bringing everything to the table and pounding out an agreement or by backing each side into the farthest of corners. It is a choice.
See also:

Arrow Up

Trump reports NATO meeting 'great', Putin meeting 'even greater', all else is 'fake news'

The Trumps
© unknown
He may have been called an ally-betraying Putin-loving traitor by the US liberal media, but Donald Trump is not making any apologies after his European tour that culminated in ground-breaking talks with the Russian president.
"While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way - the Fake News is going Crazy!" Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
In a message twenty minutes previously, the US president said the mainstream media was not reporting the extra funding commitments he secured from other members of the alliance to bolster collective defense.
"I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me. NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money!" tweeted Trump.
Trump had also been complimentary about his face-to-face talks with Vladimir Putin, during which the American leader appeared satisfied with the Russian president's assurances that the Kremlin did not meddle in the 2016 US election. The US president also praised military cooperation between the two countries, and vowed to better relations that he accused his predecessors of letting lapse.

Comment: In a saner time in America, the positive outcomes would be welcomed with plaudits and relief. Such a shame we could be forced to have peace, whether we like it or not.

Better Earth

No cold war II - because Trump

Cold War poster
Beginning his joint press conference with Vladimir Putin, President Trump declared that U.S. relations with Russia have "never been worse."

He then added pointedly, that just changed "about four hours ago."

It certainly did. With his remarks in Helsinki and at the NATO summit in Brussels, Trump has signaled a historic shift in U.S. foreign policy that may determine the future of this nation and the fate of his presidency.

He has rejected the fundamental premises of American foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and blamed our wretched relations with Russia, not on Vladimir Putin, but squarely on the U.S. establishment.

In a tweet prior to the meeting, Trump indicted the elites of both parties: "Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!"

Trump thereby repudiated the records and agendas of the neocons and their liberal interventionist allies, as well as the archipelago of War Party think tanks beavering away inside the Beltway.

Comment: See also:


Trump brushes off charges of Russian election meddling during meeting with Putin

Putin Trump
President Trump expressed doubt about the accuracy of U.S. spy agencies and prosecutors that accuse Russia's government of intervening in the 2016 U.S. election to help him win.

Trump, speaking at a joint press conference in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin, defiantly said he retains an open mind about possible Russian culpability.

"I have President Putin, he just said it is not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be," Trump said.

Later, Trump said, "As you know, the whole concept of that came up perhaps a little bit before, but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election, which frankly they should have been able to win because of the Electoral College."

Trump opened the press conference saying Putin had an "interesting idea" relating to alleged Russian interference, potentially referring to a subsequent Putin offer to facilitate interrogations of 12 Russian officials indicted last week for allegedly hacking Democratic emails.

Comment: First it was 'collusion'. Then that fell apart and became election tampering, which they tried to say 13 indicted Russians ago. That also fell apart. Now there are 12 new indictments, which will most likely fall apart as well. But in the process they've managed to expose the DNC as a bunch of crooks and even admitted themselves there was no collusion! So when Trump says "I don't see any reason why it would be [Russia]", he's not acting on blind faith. Anyone else with 2 firing neurons can also see it wasn't Russia.


Russian prosecutor general: Russia wants to question Chris Steele, Michael McFaul, top politicians for aiding criminal Bill Browder

© Reuters
Bill Browder in the US Senate
Russia's prosecutor general will demand interviews with American congressmen, security services staff, and other high-profile individuals as it seeks to involve the US in its investigation into convicted financier Bill Browder.

Moscow accuses Browder of illegally taking $1.5 billion out of Russia and fabricating evidence that led to the passing of the sanctions-imposing Magnitsky Act. As part of the investigation, the prosecutor general wants to speak to ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, author of the notorious Trump dossier, and former ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul, who campaigned on behalf of Browder.

Other persons of interest on what Russia said was an incomplete list included David Kramer, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and president of think tank Freedom House, and the billionaire Ziff brothers, who are described as "Browder's long-standing partners in crime."

This was announced by Aleksandr Kurennoy, the head of the mass media department of the prosecutor general's office in Moscow, who said that Russia was ready to share its findings with US law enforcement agencies "on even terms."

The announcement follows hot on the heels of a proposal made by Vladimir Putin during his press conference with Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday, in which he offered to "meet US authorities half-way" and allow the Mueller investigation into Moscow's election meddling to interview suspects in Russia, "on the condition" that Russian investigators could speak to suspects in the Browder investigation.

Comment: For the low-down on Browder, Alex Krainer's book has the full story: Grand Deception: Truth About Bill Browder, the Magnitsky Act and Anti-Russian Sanctions. See also: