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The Trump-Russia Investigation Thread: Mueller Goes Terminator Edition

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Another Trump business has been referred to a state AG for trial. The Trump golf course in NJ apparently was not just using illegal immigrant labor, but was forging fake documentation for them. While also abusing them and threatening to turn them in if they complained or quit.
 
Exclusive: Russian Ex-Spy Pressured Manafort Over Debts to an Oligarch - Time, December 29, 2018, 8:00 AM EST

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
A months-long investigation by TIME, however, found that [Victor] Boyarkin, a former arms dealer with a high forehead and a very low profile, was a key link between a senior member of the Trump campaign and a powerful ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his only interview with the media about those connections, Boyarkin told TIME this fall that he was in touch with Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in the heat of the presidential race on behalf of the Russian oligarch. “He owed us a lot of money,” Boyarkin says. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.”

The former Russian intelligence officer says he has been approached by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Boyarkin’s response to those investigators? “I told them to go dig a ditch,” he says. Peter Carr, the spokesman for the Special Counsel’s Office, declined to comment. Through his spokesman, Manafort likewise declined to comment on his alleged connections with Boyarkin.

...

Montenegro, a tiny Balkan nation on the Adriatic Sea, was an important testing ground for Manafort’s relationship with Deripaska. The oligarch had invested heavily in that country, buying control of a vast aluminum smelter in 2005 that accounted for roughly half of Montenegro’s exports and a sixth of its entire economy. The following year, he decided to support the Montenegrins’ drive to become an independent country. That meant breaking away from its more powerful neighbor, Serbia – and convincing the world to recognize Montenegro as an independent state.
This is the very definition of compromised.
 

Wakko

Well-known member
Hey Aaron, please read this - it's (also) about you, and it's written by the Pullitzer Prize-winning Glenn Greenwald:
Veteran NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation
That an entire generation of Democrats paying attention to politics for the first time is being instilled with formerly right-wing Cold Warrior values of jingoism, über-patriotism, reverence for security state agencies and prosecutors, a reckless use of the “traitor” accusation to smear one’s enemies, and a belief that neoconservatives embody moral rectitude and foreign policy expertise has long been obvious and deeply disturbing. These toxins will endure far beyond Trump, particularly given the now full-scale unity between the Democratic establishment and neocons.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Hey Aaron, please read this - it's (also) about you, and it's written by the Pullitzer Prize-winning Glenn Greenwald:
Veteran NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation
How good is The Intercept as a source (and no, simply having a Pullitzer Prize doesn't mean you can wave off anything) because this sounds like it has a nasty ax to grind. That and trying to create murky waters for the investigation.
 
Hey Aaron, please read this - it's (also) about you, and it's written by the Pullitzer Prize-winning Glenn Greenwald:
Veteran NBC/MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation
Wtf is he talking about? Nationalism is going to die in America because of Trump embracing it. If he worked with the Russians, then he would in fact be a traitor as would anyone who knew and supported him. Where the fuck does he get the idea that jingoism is a thibg with millenials at a time when everyone else is ranting about how they are discarding the very idea of America the Best Nation?
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Wtf is he talking about? Nationalism is going to die in America because of Trump embracing it. If he worked with the Russians, then he would in fact be a traitor as would anyone who knew and supported him. Where the fuck does he get the idea that jingoism is a thibg with millenials at a time when everyone else is ranting about how they are discarding the very idea of America the Best Nation?
Yeah, the entire article looked and sounds like the man has a major ax to grind... which isn't good from a journalistic standpoint.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
Wtf is he talking about? Nationalism is going to die in America because of Trump embracing it. If he worked with the Russians, then he would in fact be a traitor as would anyone who knew and supported him. Where the fuck does he get the idea that jingoism is a thibg with millenials at a time when everyone else is ranting about how they are discarding the very idea of America the Best Nation?
My sweet summer child. Nationalism isn’t going to die in the US unless you people get a civil war as devastating as a world war, because nationalism is one of the only things agreed upon by almost everyone in the country there: the propaganda is working less and less abroad, but it is still going very well inside the borders. Kinda like in North Korea in spirit, but with a much higher living standard.

Nationalism is there to stay.
 

Wakko

Well-known member
How good is The Intercept as a source (and no, simply having a Pullitzer Prize doesn't mean you can wave off anything) because this sounds like it has a nasty ax to grind. That and trying to create murky waters for the investigation.
It makes no sense to ask me how good a source it is, since it was me who suggested it to you. One thing to know though is that The Intercept's articles can vary a lot based on who writes them - the authors have a lot of freedom. My personal opinion - even those articles that I don't agree with seem to have an above-average standard of quality when compared to other US media. The article I suggested is from Glenn Greenwald, and I like Greenwald a lot. I've never read a dishonest article from him and his work with Snowden was of enormous importance and benefit to the whole world. But it's up to you, if you really want to get around in politics (you wrote that you want to go into politics, right?), to do some research on The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald and especially William Arkin, because he's the one who matters in this case. Was his letter about NBC/MSNBC some form of vendetta, or was it his honest opinion? And how much is his opinion worth anyway? My suggestion to you wasn't in the sense "here, believe this," but rather "here's something to consider." Things are either hard science, or something to consider.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
My sweet summer child. Nationalism isn’t going to die in the US unless you people get a civil war as devastating as a world war, because nationalism is one of the only things agreed upon by almost everyone in the country there: the propaganda is working less and less abroad, but it is still going very well inside the borders. Kinda like in North Korea in spirit, but with a much higher living standard.

Nationalism is there to stay.
You... aren't looking into the US culture enough. While outside it looks like we're very nationalistic, when you peel off the layers there is this oxymoron like state of being both proud and critical of the state... at least outside of FOX 'News' and friends.
... and that is where he gets discredited. Snowden isn't a hero, he's a villain because we're entering an era where small groups or individuals getting towards (or already on the verge of) vastly disproportionate abilities to kill and destroy for their cause. The moral calculus -and thus evolution both in the literal and metaphorical sense- demands that things like privacy die because to not do so means you might end up dead because of ideas... more specifically ideas where your group doesn't deserve to exist anymore or to settle an ethnic grudge that happened centuries ago at the earliest or worse.

A conversation from this might become a derail but I'll make my stance clear: whether we like it or not, privacy is going to die either by being metaphorically put behind the shed and shot quietly one night or die a messy death because some idiot with more ideology than sense decided to try to bring their utopia or try to kill off humanity. This also applies to economics (the Automation Revolution has effectively put the final nail on the coffin for what we know as economics) among other fields.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
You... aren't looking into the US culture enough. While outside it looks like we're very nationalistic, when you peel off the layers there is this oxymoron like state of being both proud and critical of the state... at least outside of FOX 'News' and friends.
Yeah, no. I’ve lived there long enough. There’s little criticism of the nation, mostly of the government, and that is, when you find people who do not hold themselves beholden by the huge taboo of talking about politics in meatspace.
 
Mueller grand jury extended for up to 6 months -CNN

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Mueller grand jury extended for up to 6 months -CNN
Washington (CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller's federal grand jury has been extended for up to six months.

The grand jury, based in Washington, DC, was seated for an 18-month term that began in July 2017 and was set to expire in the coming days.
Under federal rules, the court is able to extend a grand jury's term for another six months if it is "in the public interest."
From what I understand, if the judge presiding over the Grand Jury believes the evidence makes it prudent, s/he can extend the term for the Grand Jury as appropriate. This means that there is more prosecution on the way.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis

... this is too peculiar. At this point I'm not going to be surprised that the Millennial and their children at least will be chanting 'Russia must be Destroyed' like Cato the Elder had against Carthage when this shitshow is over. That and start making radical changes that turn anyone over a certain age into destitute hobos like in a Sliders episode.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member

... this is too peculiar. At this point I'm not going to be surprised that the Millennial and their children at least will be chanting 'Russia must be Destroyed' like Cato the Elder had against Carthage when this shitshow is over. That and start making radical changes that turn anyone over a certain age into destitute hobos like in a Sliders episode.
No, that’s just you and the hyperactive online crowd. The rest of your country tunes politics out of their mind.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Trump is far from the most nationalist/extremist president we've had. In more ways than one, Bush was worse than Trump. At least Trump is trying to pull us out of Syria. If it didn't die with Bush, it won't with Trump.

Not exactly, Trump rode on a lot of nationalist and xenophobic groups within the GOP... as far as I can tell. They're a major part of his base.

Bush... Bush Jr. gets a lot of flak that he didn't deserve at times. The worst Bush Jr. is, well, being the Modern Grant: wanting to help people but has a very crap selection of friends and advisers.
 

Wakko

Well-known member
Snowden isn't a hero
Snowden is absolutely a hero for the majority of the global population and his integrity is unassailable.

A conversation from this might become a derail but I'll make my stance clear: whether we like it or not, privacy is going to die either by being metaphorically put behind the shed and shot quietly one night or die a messy death because some idiot with more ideology than sense decided to try to bring their utopia or try to kill off humanity. This also applies to economics (the Automation Revolution has effectively put the final nail on the coffin for what we know as economics) among other fields.
This is pure defetism - to accept the dystopia before it even happens. To practically welcome it. I don't know how old you are and what you remember from before 9/11, but for me more than half of my life happened before that, and to accept the horrible "countermeasures" to terrorism, before looking very hard on its causes, that's not the way to fight for better future. As you formulate it, Bin Laden has won and America has been defeated.
 
Trump is far from the most nationalist/extremist president we've had. In more ways than one, Bush was worse than Trump. At least Trump is trying to pull us out of Syria. If it didn't die with Bush, it won't with Trump.

It’s not that he’s too nationalist. It’s that he’s using that word to describe himself while being overwhelmingly hated by the up and coming generation of voters and the word is going to be linked to massive corruption and treason in their minds.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
This is pure defetism - to accept the dystopia before it even happens. To practically welcome it. I don't know how old you are and what you remember from before 9/11, but for me more than half of my life happened before that, and to accept the horrible "countermeasures" to terrorism, before looking very hard on its causes, that's not the way to fight for better future. As you formulate it, Bin Laden has won and America has been defeated
Plus look at how much economic, human and diplomatic capital were wasted in these Middle-Eastern adventures, destroying in one swoop the US supremacy to let China catch up to it. Be glad, for few generations live through the end of an empire.
 
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Wakko

Well-known member
Plus look at how much economic, human and diplomatic capital were wasted in these Middle-Easter adventures, destroying in one swoop the US supremacy to let China catch up to it. Be glad, for few generations live through the end of an empire.
I don't think it's over yet, not even close. The US has a lot of resources with which it can do a lot of damage still, before the people there even start considering that they may get very badly hurt themselves. You surely do remember the Murrica Strong! crowd from SB, they would confidently argue that they're basically invincible, 100 years ahead of everybody else and lasers and energy shields are on Musk's ToDo list for 2019 (Q1). And it's not just common people there who think like that, most of their "analysts" and "political scholars" and "weapons experts" and other people with actual input into official policy are of the same kind, while their diplomatic core does not exist anymore. I think the real shitstorm is still ahead.
 

Rufus Shinra

Well-known member
I don't think it's over yet, not even close. The US has a lot of resources with which it can do a lot of damage still, before the people there even start considering that they may get very badly hurt themselves. You surely do remember the Murrica Strong! crowd from SB, they would confidently argue that they're basically invincible, 100 years ahead of everybody else and lasers and energy shields are on Musk's ToDo list for 2019 (Q1). And it's not just common people there who think like that, most of their "analysts" and "political scholars" and "weapons experts" and other people with actual input into official policy are of the same kind, while their diplomatic core does not exist anymore. I think the real shitstorm is still ahead.
One can hope that shitstorm will be internal, or aimed mostly at China rather than us, then. :)

But, yep, the systemic delusion in which they live, that makes it inherently impossible for so many to acknowledge that reality disagrees with their fantasy of military power, is fascinating and among the prime causes for their problems.
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Snowden is absolutely a hero for the majority of the global population and his integrity is unassailable.
No. He. Isn't. Now start your own thread before we derail this one.
This is pure defetism - to accept the dystopia before it even happens. To practically welcome it. I don't know how old you are and what you remember from before 9/11, but for me more than half of my life happened before that, and to accept the horrible "countermeasures" to terrorism, before looking very hard on its causes, that's not the way to fight for better future. As you formulate it, Bin Laden has won and America has been defeated.
No, I understand human nature far better now than I have previously, and that is give humans an inch, they'll drag you through at least five blood soaked miles. Locke is the best case scenario for about 99.99% of humanity. In order to ensure civilization, you must go with the moral calculus or die. To quote Wetapunga from a discussion on privacy that I did on SB:
Wetapunga said:
The fear mongering in this thread



Dictatorships rely on secrets, denial of information and concentration of force; when the government is as exposed as the people it becomes very difficult for them too amass the power needed too become a dictatorship without being overthrown before they reach critical mass. A dictatorship always relies on a force of loyal enforcers smaller than the populace they try too oppress, when the movements and organization of this force are impossible too mask it becomes much easier too avoid and out maneuver them. With equal degree of omni-surveillance available too both sides it becomes a numbers game which the populace inevitably wins.

Secret organizations coming in the dark of night too drag away dissenters and throw them into a dark hole only works if the organizations are secret and they can't be tracked




Look it's a technological inevitability that a Panopticon will arise, so we should have a rational discussion (not FEAR FEAR FEAR DOOM) about how society and government should adapt too having a fair and free society in a post-privacy world


There are certainly an enormous number of benefits too a society that can see and record everything. Disasters, crime and accidents become far easier too control and reduce; emergency services can be dispatched the second someone is in trouble; corruption, blackmail and bribery become impossibly hard too pull off without reprisal. Constant monitoring of infrastructure, energy use, transportation, ect allows for vast increase in efficiency of all systems. Diseases and toxins can be tracked in real time, outbreaks that would cause great epidemics isolated quickly and all potential vectors shutoff and tested/cleaned.

The knowledge in the back of your mind that you are potentially being watched and judged will cause people too act more civil too each other, or understand why someone is so upset if you can trawl back through their recent past (family abuse is annihilated in this post-privacy world, bullying, harassment you ain't getting away with that shit)



There is a fuckload of positives too an omnisurveilance society, yet you people seem to be obsessed with it being a terrifying dystopia
____
Governments already have to dedicate silly huge budgets too information security in crucially sensitive departments like intelligence, and already it is shown too be quite permeable relying more on employee compliance than an airtight information security system.

The vast majority of the government apparatus cannot afford such information security measures, it relies on thousands upon thousands of ordinary citizens working office jobs; how do you get anyone too work for you at a cost effective wage if you have too demand they are completely stripped of all electronic devices (which already are practically a part of people, in coming decades they will be basically an indispensable part of a persons being) just too work in a government department?

Governments are made up of people, unless you reduce everyone too mindless automatons or have a gun too their head at all times you aren't going too have a productive and cost effective workforce that is information tight. The only government departments that have scary effective info security are the ones like the CIA and NSA which have enormously drawn out vetting processes and pay their people HUGE salaries with bonuses and pensions too keep them happy and quiet, there is no way that the government can afford too pay everyone in the bureaucracy that handles information the wages of intelligence department workers, and certainly cannot have such complex hiring processes.


In the modern world government policy is already leaked as fast as it is created and the minutes of meetings end up available too people who are interested. The increasing pervasiveness of digital data recording and processing will make it much easier and faster for leaked tidbits of information too be collated together into a coherent picture and built into a story of government scandal


The government can certainly keep some things secret from the people in a surveillance society, with great effort and expense. But what is infeasible is the government keeping secrets on a large enough scale that it can have a secretive government apparatus large and effective enough too openly oppress the people for the evilz. The larger the government group the more difficult it is too keep information from leaking, and the rest of government that cannot afford too hide in super secret evil plotting bunkers will have adapted too operating in open non-secretive politics, their political advantage of full openness makes them very hard too nail down with blackmail and they will gain political support by crusading against the secretive totally not plotting evilz part of government sucking up so much public funds in its effort too hide from the public.

When the parts of government actually busy doing the governing and public relations shit have accepted full openness, they are not going too tolerate secret little government cartels, they become a brilliant target for demonstrating how open and trustworthy you are too the voting public. A poltician that has accepted openness and embraced it will be a terrifying force too fight as another politician/government entity with secrets, especially if secret plotting department relies on the open no-secrets politicians are in charge of dividing up the budget.
____
Being a monster is entirely relative, we are deep in the dark world of moral relativity in this discussion; black and white morality in decision making becomes impossible


If technology advances too the point where rogue individuals or small groups can be an existential threat too orders of magnitude more people than belong too the group; via weapons of mass destruction, bio plagues, ecosystem crashers, climate sabotage, ect... then the moral calculus balances out too determine that preventing the destruction or grievous harm of vast numbers of people justifies certain actions that seen abhorrently immoral in their own right


It's basically the Trolley Problem but on a Nation State -> Civilization -> Species level depending on how dangerous the threat is.


If technology has developed too the point that small groups can cause vast destruction, then either civilization and the species is doomed; or civilization will adapt too contain and control such threats... by whatever means necessary



Omnipresent surveillance is at least the most morally neutral of countermeasures, it is passive and can detect such problem groups before they can become a major threat and authorities intervene in the most morally just way possible (arrests and psychological treatment) Groups that actually manage too build a threatening weapon will likely be spotted before they can deploy it in an effective manner and the Panopticon system can help authorities manage the emergency response causing the least harm possible too the innocent and the guilty alike.
____
The thing is that technology is shifting the balance of risk; biological weapons formerly took years of work and enormously expensive facilities, trial and error, and as a result only States could implement them. With genetics now programmable on computers, the developing field of digitally simulated biology, genetic strings being written in a computer, printed and inserted into cells too create new species... this is only the beginning. The technology and resources required too create a super-plague has gone from state level down too merely company level, and it is inevitably going too fall further too the point that very small groups of individuals can create highly dangerous engineered organisms with equipment and knowledge available too civilians.

There are plenty of omnicidal nuts out there, the people who advocate culling humanity as a cure too environmental exploitation of 'Mother Nature' Would you trust these sorts with the ability too cook up plagues?


So you are confidently asserting that threats too civilization can never come from anything less than full nation states How could you possibly justify this claim, history is rife with small groups or individuals that caused great catastrophes through their own selfish philosophically driven actions; even if the ultimate destructive force was the war machines of nation states it was non-state-aligned individuals who tipped the balance from rational diplomatic confrontation too armed conflict
Now, I will not continue this discussion here.
 

IndyFront

Prime Shitlord
Not exactly, Trump rode on a lot of nationalist and xenophobic groups within the GOP... as far as I can tell. They're a major part of his base.
And George W. Bush did not? This nationalism and xenophobia did not suddenly pop into existence out of literally nothing the moment Trump announced his candidacy. You do know that Trump has launched presidential campaigns before, and did not win, right? Something had to come before Trump, yes?

Bush... Bush Jr. gets a lot of flak that he didn't deserve at times.
So much wrong. Don't know where to begin. Guess I'll start with "lot of flak"?

Do you define a "lot of flak" as:

In October 2002, former U.S. President Bill Clinton warned about possible dangers of pre-emptive military action against Iraq. Speaking in the UK at a Labour Party conference he said: "As a preemptive action today, however well-justified, may come back with unwelcome consequences in the future.... I don't care how precise your bombs and your weapons are, when you set them off, innocent people will die."[90][91] The majority of Democrats in Congress voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, although a majority of Democrats in the Senate voted in favor of it. Sen. Jim Webb wrote shortly before the vote, "Those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade."[92]

In the same period, Pope John Paul II publicly condemned the military intervention. During a private meeting, he also said directly to George W. Bush: "Mr. President, you know my opinion about the war in Iraq. Let's talk about something else. Every violence, against one or a million, is a blasphemy addressed to the image and likeness of God."[93]


Anti-war protest in London, September 2002. Organised by the British Stop the War Coalition, up to 400,000 took part in the protest.[94]
On 20 January 2003, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin declared "we believe that military intervention would be the worst solution".[95]Meanwhile, anti-war groups across the world organised public protests. According to French academic Dominique Reynié, between 3 January and 12 April 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against war in Iraq, with demonstrations on 15 February 2003being the largest.[96] Nelson Mandela voiced his opposition in late January, stating "All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil," and questioning if Bush deliberately undermined the U.N. "because the secretary-general of the United Nations [was] a black man".[97]

In February 2003, the US Army's top general, Eric Shinseki, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it would take "several hundred thousand soldiers" to secure Iraq.[98] Two days later, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the post-war troop commitment would be less than the number of troops required to win the war, and that "the idea that it would take several hundred thousand U.S. forces is far from the mark." Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Shinseki's estimate was "way off the mark," because other countries would take part in an occupying force.[99]

Germany's Foreign Secretary Joschka Fischer, although having been in favour of stationing German troops in Afghanistan, advised Federal Chancellor Schröder not to join the war in Iraq. Fischer famously confronted United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the 39th Munich Security Conference in 2003 on the secretary's purported evidence for Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction: "Excuse me, I am not convinced!"[100]

There were serious legal questions surrounding the launching of the war against Iraq and the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war in general. On 16 September 2004, Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, said of the invasion, "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view, from the Charter point of view, it was illegal."[101]

In November 2008 Lord Bingham, the former British Law Lord, described the war as a serious violation of international law, and accused Britain and the United States of acting like a "world vigilante". He also criticized the post-invasion record of Britain as "an occupying power in Iraq". Regarding the treatment of Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib, Bingham said: "Particularly disturbing to proponents of the rule of law is the cynical lack of concern for international legality among some top officials in the Bush administration."[102] In July 2010, Deputy Prime Minister of the UK Nick Clegg, in an official PMQs session in Parliament, condemned the invasion of Iraq as illegal.
?

The worst Bush Jr. is, well, being the Modern Grant: wanting to help people but has a very crap selection of friends and advisers.
How can you be so histrionic about certain other things while so horribly understating of others? Bush Jr. was one of the most populist, biggest right-wingers to ever set foot in the Oval Office ffs. Makes his father look like a saint by comparison.
 

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