After Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered a public statement standing by the findings of his final report, liberal commentators began reading between the lines. How long before Putin is accused of getting to Mueller?
Mueller delivered his public statement on Wednesday, and offered very few surprises. His final report, which cleared President Donald Trump of colluding with Russia in 2016 and found insufficient evidence to bring obstruction charges against the president, “speaks for itself,” Mueller said. The Special Counsel also stated that Attorney General William Barr has already “made the report on our investigation largely public,” and that he would not testify on anything beyond the publicly available information.
So a bland statement of Justice Department policy? On the surface, yes. But that didn’t stop Democrats from clamoring for further investigations, or viewing Mueller’s declination to prosecute as a dog-whistle for impeachment.
Journalist Mark Ames joked that “Putin has a Mueller pee tape,” a reference to one particularly lurid tale presented in the ‘Steele Dossier.’ Ironically, the Steele Dossier – though completely uncorroborated – was used by the FBI to justify surveilling the Trump campaign and played a central role in kick-starting the investigation that Mueller eventually took over.
Ames added: “If Maddow doesn’t air a segment tonight claiming Putin has a Mueller pee tape, it can only mean one thing – Putin has a Maddow pee tape.”
Actually, the idea that Maddow would air such a segment on Mueller is not a far-fetched one.
In the two years since Mueller took over the ‘Russiagate’ investigation, Maddow has flung dung-heaps of conspiratorial Russian nonsense at viewers every night. There was her warning that the Kremlin could “flip the off switch” on the US power grid and freeze Americans to death last winter, the suggestion that Trump personally paid for the services of “Russian hackers,” and the insistence that Vladimir Putin would use the (then debunked) ‘Pee Tape’ to force Trump to withdraw US troops from Eastern Europe (the exact opposite happened).
Of course, Maddow is not the only peddler of Russian hysteria out there. Nor is MSNBC the only outlet to do a little mind-reading in its coverage of Mueller’s statement.
“He seems to think that the president committed a crime,” one talking head offered on Wednesday, adding that perhaps “future prosecutors” should re-examine the president’s conduct once he leaves office.
CNN correspondent Sara Murray weighed in with her own Mueller lip-reading: “Mueller was telling everybody ‘Look at what I’m saying, I couldn’t do it (prosecute), because the law would not allow me to, but, even if the law did not allow me to charge him, I still could not clear him and I am telling you that.”
No idea is too wild or unbelievable for Maddow or the CNN talking heads to entertain. Tune in, but bring the tinfoil hat and the rubber sheets.
By Aaron Klein
Disgraced ex-FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director turned anti-Trump activist John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence and Trump critic James Clapper are the subjects of a dispute over which top Obama administration officials advocated for the infamous Steele dossier to be utilized as evidence in the Russia collusion investigation.
The argument erupted into the open with a Brennan surrogate being quoted in the news media opposing Comey not long after Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney to investigate the origins of the Russia collusion claims.
A former CIA official, clearly defending Brennan, shot back at the assertion, instead claiming that it was Brennan and Clapper who opposed a purported push by Comey to include the dossier charges in the ICA.
The dossier was also cited as evidence in three successful FISA applications signed by Comey to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The first was signed in October 2016; the second and third were renewal applications since a FISA warrant must be renewed every 90 days.
The dossier, authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, was produced by the controversial Fusion GPS firm. Fusion was paid for the dossier work by Trump’s main political opponents, namely Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.
“Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report,” the official told Fox News.
“They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA,” the official added. “The intelligence analysts didn’t include it when they were doing their work because it wasn’t corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn’t used and it wasn’t included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document.”
The official was addressing the reported email from Comey fingering Brennan as insisting that the dossier be utilized in the ICA report on Russian interference.
Discussing the issue during a segment on Fox News, former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy said on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that “Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I’ve seen.”
One day earlier, Gowdey stated on Fox News, “Whoever is looking into this, tell them to look into emails” from December 2016 concerning both Brennan and Comey.
Gowdy told Fox News, where he is now a contributor, that his comments on the matter were based on sensitive documents that he reviewed while he served as chairman of the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.
Contrary to the ex-CIA official’s assertion that the dossier was not included in the intel community’s ICA Russia report, there have been testimony and media statements involving key players saying that it was part of the overall assessment.
Last December, Comey outright contradicted Brennan’s own testimony that the anti-Trump dossier was, as Brennan put it, “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
In testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, Comey stated that material from the Steele dossier was indeed utilized in the IC report. Internally, the FBI referred to the dossier as “crown material.”
“So do you recall whether any quote, crown material or dossier material was included in the IC assessment?” Gowdy asked Comey at the time.
“Yes,” Comey replied. “I’m going to be careful here because I’m talking about a document that’s still classified. The unclassified thing we talked about earlier today, the first paragraph you can see of exhibit A, is reflective of the fact that at least some of the material that Steele had collected was in the big thing called the intelligence community assessment in an annex called annex A.”
Annex A in the report was titled, “Russia—Kremlin’s TV Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US.”
The annex, like the rest of the report, contains the following disclaimer:
This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.
Comey went on to describe a conversation that he said he had with Brennan about how to include the dossier material in the IC assessment:
Gowdy: Do you recall the specific conversation or back and forth with then-Director Brennan on whether or not the material should be included in the IC assessment?
Comey. Yes. I remember conversation — let me think about it for a second. I remember there was conversation about what form its presentation should take in the overarching document; that is, should it be in an annex; should it be in the body; that the intelligence community broadly found its source credible and that it was corroborative of the central thesis of the intelligence community assessment, and the discussion was should we put it in the body or put it in an attachment.
I’m hesitating because I don’t remember whether I had that conversation — I had that conversation with John Brennan, but I remember that there was conversation about how it should be treated.
Comey’s descriptions are at direct odds with a statement Brennan made during May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in which Brennan claimed the dossier was “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” on alleged Russian interference. Brennan repeated that claim during numerous news media interviews.
Comey is not the only former top official involved in the IC report to say that the dossier played a role in the report’s conclusions.
As RealClearPolitics.com documents, former NSA Director Rogers wrote in a classified letter that the dossier played a role in the IC’s assessment and a dossier summary was included in an initial draft appendix:
In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier — described as “the Christopher Steele information” — was “added” as an “appendix to the ICA draft,” and that consideration of that appendix was “part of the overall ICA review/approval process.”
Meanwhile Clapper, who served as director of National Intelligence under the Obama administration, conceded during a previous CNN interview that the IC assessment was able to corroborate “some of the substantive content of the dossier,” implying that the dossier itself was a factor.
“I think with respect to the dossier itself, the key thing is it doesn’t matter who paid for it,” Clapper said. “It’s what the dossier said and the extent to which it was — it’s corroborated or not. We had some concerns about it from the standpoint of its sourcing which we couldn’t corroborate.”
“But at the same time, some of the substantive content, not all of it, but some of the substantive content of the dossier, we were able to corroborate in our Intelligence Community assessment which from other sources in which we had very high confidence to it,” he added.
It was Clapper’s agency that released the Intelligence Community report.
The purported inclusion of the dossier may help to explain why Rogers’ NSA assessed the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin favored Trump and worked to get him elected only with a classification of “moderate confidence,” while the FBI and CIA gave it a “high confidence” rating.
The dispute comes as U.S. Attorney John Durham has been charged by Barr with conducting a probe of the origins of the Russia investigation. In addition to ICA report tactics, Durham’s probe is likely to also focus on the use of the dossier in obtaining a FISA warrant to spy on Page.
John Brennan Fueled the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory
Regardless of his role in the ICA assessment and the dossier, Brennan was still a central player in fueling the anti-Trump dossier that spread unsubstantiated, conspiratorial claims of collusion with Russia.
As Breitbart News previously documented, Brennan helped lead official classified briefings to then-President Obama and President-elect Trump on the discredited dossier even though the questionable document was funded by Trump’s primary political opponents.
Those two classified briefings were subsequently leaked to the news media and set in motion an avalanche of anti-Trump news media coverage on the dossier’s wild allegations.
Brennan’s CIA also co-authored the questionable ICA report saying Russia’s intentions for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election included the goal of ensuring Trump was victorious over Hillary Clinton. An extensive House report later accused the CIA and the two other agencies that co-authored that report of politicizing intelligence and other analytical failures.
And, as Breitbart News documented, Brennan reportedly convened a highly compartmentalized unit of CIA, FBI and NSA analysts to conduct operations related to what eventually became the allegations of Russian interference and controversial claims that Putin worked to elect Trump. The secretive unit was reportedly housed in the CIA’s headquarters.
By Joshua Caplan
The White House said Wednesday that it is rebuffing the House Judiciary Committee’s request to hand over documents regarding topics broadly focused on 2016 Trump presidential campaign figures.
“The White House will not participate in the Committee’s ‘investigation’ that brushes aside the conclusions of the Department of Justice after a two-year-long effort in favor of political theater pre-ordained to reach a preconceived and false result,” a letter sent by White House counsel Pat Cipollone reads, according to ABC News.
Democrats launched a sweeping probe of President Trump in March, an aggressive investigation targeting eighty-one individuals and entities requesting records as part of their investigation ”into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration.”
Cipollone wrote that Nadler’s investigation is “duplicative” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into now-debunked collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and requested that the committee seek a more “narrow” scope.
“Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized “do-over” of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice,” argued the White House general counsel.
Former Trump campaign chief Stephen K. Bannon and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are among several figures and groups that have provided documents or responses to the panel.
President Trump has previously denounced the probe, tweeting that Nadler and other Democrats “have gone stone cold CRAZY. 81 letter sent to innocent people to harass them. They won’t get ANYTHING done for our Country!”
Nadler has said that the document requests, with responses to most that were due by March 18, are a way to “begin building the public record.”
“Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” the New York Democrat said upon launching the probe. “Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee.”
In a letter to the White House and State Department, the House intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform panels sent broad requests for details about President Trump and Putin’s private meetings by phone and in person. In addition to document requests, the committees are asking to interview interpreters who sat in on meetings, including a one-on-one session in Helsinki, Finland, last summer.
The State Department pledged to “work cooperatively with the committees.”
The AP contributed to this report.
“…if I speak out more, he’ll just say it’s rigged…”
In his recently updated and expanded book on former President Obama, “Obama: The Call Of History,” The New York Times’ Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker addresses several hot-button topics, including why Obama failed to adequately address Russian meddling ahead of the 2016 election and his response to “buffoonish showman” Donald Trump shocking the world by defeating Hillary Clinton, a response that involved “multiple emotional stages.”
The reason Obama didn’t act more decisively and rebuke Russia more directly, says Baker is that he feared that it might “escalate” the Russian interference campaign. This cautious approach, Baker suggests, flows out of Obama’s “don’t do stupid sh**” foreign policy philosophy, an approach for which Obama has been criticized in the past.
But fearing the escalation of the campaign wasn’t the only reason Obama didn’t act more forcefully, says Baker: Obama reportedly once admitted that “if I speak out more, he’ll just say it’s rigged.”
According to Baker, in one meeting Obama — who was convinced like most of the political establishment that Clinton was going to win — said confidently that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “backed the wrong horse” by supposedly helping Trump’s campaign.
As the Daily Mail notes, it was only after the election, which Trump won in stunning fashion, that Obama finally took action against the Russians as punishment for the meddling his administration had known about for months. Obama’s decision to expel a bunch of Russian diplomats conveniently fed into the “collusion” narrative that had already gotten rolling and which the election’s loser, Clinton, helped promote.
The Daily Mail also draws attention to another juicy passage in the book which reveals new details about Obama’s response to Trump’s upset victory over the woman who was supposed to protect Obama’s legacy.
Accoring to Baker, Obama watched the Marvel film “Dr. Strange” on election night with Michelle and Valerie Jarrett. At one point, Baker writes, Obama received an update on his phone and said, “Huh. Results in Florida are looking kind of strange.”
While Michelle went to sleep early, Obama stayed up and witnessed Trump’s devastating defeat of Clinton, which Baker suggests Obama found unthinkable because he thought there was “no way Americans would turn on him.”
According to Baker, Obama phoned Clinton at 1 a.m. and advised her to concede quickly, advice she didn’t take. In response, she supposedly said, “I’m sorry for letting you down.”
Obama and his team, Baker says, did in fact feel that Clinton had let them down. “To Obama and his team … the real blame lay squarely with Clinton. She was the one who could not translate his strong record and healthy economy into a winning message.”
After putting all its eggs in the Russiagate conspiracy-theory ‘basket’ only to be let down by the contents (or lack thereof) of the Mueller report, MSNBC – and its top attraction, Rachel Maddow – are hemorrhaging viewers.
Russian-collusion high priestess Rachel Maddow’s nightly news show has slipped from number one in cable news to number six since Special Counsel Robert Mueller turned in his report on Friday, hemorrhaging half a million viewers in the space of a week. An MSNBC insider spilled the beans to the Daily Beast, assuring them that no one at the network was panicking.
“It was obviously a big couple of nights for Fox,” they said. MSNBC’s second-top-rated program, ‘The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,’ was also down half a million pairs of eyes.
#Resistance media reactions to Mueller’s “no more indictments” recommendation have varied wildly, from desperate pleas to “wait and see” what’s in the full report to claims that Mueller himself was compromised, or asking the wrong questions, all along. Maddow herself seems to have chosen the “denial” route:
“Can we expect President Trump and the Trump White House to finally accept the underlying factual record that Russia did in fact attack us?” she asked on Monday, interpreting the report summary of Attorney General William Barr, which found no evidence to suggest Russian collusion, as proof that the Russian menace was even more menacing than previously believed.
Maddow’s privileged status as Queen of the Russiagaters has largely insulated her from the standard journalistic responsibilities of telling the truth, fact-checking, and otherwise maintaining a reality-based narrative, but the Beast cited “many producers” at MSNBC who had noticeably backed away from other fiery preachers of the Russiagate gospel, like Malcolm “Russia has been plotting to invade the US for 20 years! Also memes are cruise missiles“ Nance.
Despite the temporary ratings death spiral, network insiders took the long view, speaking of a “pivot to 2020” and keeping the faith that the Trump administration would provide plenty of raw meat for its pundits in the coming months.
And Trumpworld has already begun distributing that meat, blasting a memo to all TV news producers on Monday night that was half victory lap, half threat.
“At this point, there must be introspection from the media who facilitated the reckless statements and a serious evaluation of how such guests are considered and handled in the future,” the missive chided, mentioning some of the worst offenders – including former CIA director John Brennan and Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez – by name.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Democratic candidate for president and establishment-punching bag Tulsi Gabbard is taking heat on Twitter for daring to suggest that the Russiagate scandal could be pushing the US and Russia toward a dangerous new Cold War.
Gabbard tweeted that “short-sighted” politicians and media pundits who spend their time accusing Donald Trump of being in cahoots with Russia were helping bring about a new arms race because the accusations have led Trump to do“everything he can to prove he’s not [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s puppet — even if it brings us closer to nuclear war.”
In a sane world, journalists, pundits and even Gabbard’s fellow Democrats all understood exactly what she meant and took her point on board. Except, this is Twitter we’re talking about, so of course, she was eviscerated.
One of the first to pop in with a response was former CIA agent John Sipher who accused the Hawaii congresswoman of helping Russia and “playing their game.” Sipher himself once had his own moment of Twitter fame, back when he tweeted the classic question: “How can one not be a Russophobe?
Some media folk got in on the action, too. CNN National Security analyst Susan Hennessey bravely stepped up with the bold take that Gabbard’s call for calm and better relations was “absurd.”
Washington Post columnist and fellow CNN analyst Josh Rogin accused Gabbard of blaming only Democrats and journalists for bad relations with Russia, while Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake had an interesting spin on things, suggesting Trump was playing “seven dimensional collusion.”
Then there were those that questioned Gabbard’s status as a Democrat, because she “doesn’t sound like” one. Presumably, in the age of Russiagate, Democrats are all supposed to be advocating for nuclear war?
Some were interested in the candidate’s contact with Russian nationals, asking the all-important questions like, how many Russians has she met on her trips abroad — and crucially, how many does she “still maintain contact” with today?
Some tweeters did take Gabbard’s side, however. Journalist Glenn Greenwald took aim at the likes of Hennessey who“mock” those who want to avoid heightening tensions with Russia as “treasonous weaklings.”
Independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone tweeted that the negative reaction to Gabbard’s tweet was a good example of how “narrative supersedes fact” and that while it was “undeniable” that Trump has escalated Russia tensions, pundits and Democrats who cling to the collusion story are still unwilling to believe it.
In an ironic twist, Trump himself retweeted a comment which seemed to be in support of Gabbard’s point, suggesting that Russiagate was designed to “bait” the US into taking a tougher line against Russia and created “a more dangerous world as a consequence.”
New York City’s incoming attorney general Letitia James speaking at an anti-Trump rally in 2017 © Reuters / Mike Segar
New York’s incoming Attorney General has threatened President Trump with legal warfare, saying she will “use every area of the law” to investigate the president and his family.
Democrat Letitia James tied her campaign to the anti-Trump #resistance early on, accusing the president of money laundering and promising to find out “whether he’s engaged in conspiracy and whether or not he’s colluded, not only with Putin, but also with China, as well.”
The familiar message clearly has found a receptive crowd, as James defeated Republican challenger Keith Wofford last month.
Speaking to NBC News on Tuesday, James kept up her anti-Trump crusade. “We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,”James said. “We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”
As for the specifics, James promised to look into Trump’s real estate holdings in New York City, as well as the much-publicized meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in 2016. President Trump reportedly told Special Counsel Robert Mueller last month that he didn’t know the meeting had taken place, CNN reported.
“Taking on President Trump and looking at all of the violations of law I think is no match to what I have seen in my lifetime,” James told NBC.
Whatever about the real-estate probe, James’ investigation into the Trump Tower meeting, and into “conspiracy” and “collusion” is unlikely to turn over any new evidence. Mueller has been investigating Trump’s alleged connections to Russia for over a year-and-a-half now, and has thus far come up empty handed.
Still, James told NBC that she believes Mueller is “closing in on this president” and that “his days are going to be coming to an end shortly.”
James may have spoken with #resistance fervor on NBC, but her pledge to investigate Trump is not a radical move for a New York Attorney General.
Her predecessor, Barbara Underwood, already has dozens of cases pending against Trump, including an investigation into his charity and lawsuits to block the rollback of net neutrality and environmental regulations. Underwood, in turn, has continued the anti-Trump pushback of disgraced former AG Eric Schneiderman, whom she replaced in May after he resigned over sexual assault allegations.
Underwood continued Schneiderman’s investigation of Trump’s charity, the Trump Foundation, accusing the charity in a lawsuit last year of “unlawful political coordination” with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Schneiderman had also overseen an investigation into Trump University for alleged illegal business practices.
On Twitter, James’ fighting words were celebrated by the anti-Trump crowd, but decried by conservatives. “When Letitia James says she is going to investigate someone to look for a crime, that is a crime,” said one. “It goers (sic) against the Constitution.”
By Neil Clark
Yesterday, I received a death threat. I reported it to Twitter Support, but they said there was no violation of its rules on abuse.
It’s another example of the double standards of the social media giant and how, if you don‘t have officially-approved ‘victim’ status, you won’t get protection.
The account’s name is ‘ironstowe’. His Twitter title is ‘Not My President.’ At 22.40 on December 10, he sent me the following tweet from New York, USA.
The message was quite clear. Saddam was killed. Bin Laden was killed. Putin will be killed and then it’ll be the turn of ‘the likes’ of me.
The tweet came in response to one of mine in which I reminded people of what we were told about Iraqi WMDs in 2002/3, and compared the hysteria then with the anti-Russian hysteria today. It had quite impact, getting over 1,170 retweets and almost 2.5k likes.
But clearly ‘ironstowe’ didn’t like it, despite the politician he claims to be a ’big supporter’ of, Barack Obama, being a critic of the Iraq War.
His tweet spoilt what should have been a happy day for me as it was my wedding anniversary. Receiving it caused me great distress and made me very angry.
But as shocking as the communication was, it’s the response of Twitter that is the most outrageous part of the whole story. I reported the tweet, as indeed did many of my followers, but Twitter said, just a couple of minutes later, that having reviewed my report “carefully”, they found that “there was no violation of the Twitter Rules against abusive behavior”. I wrote back to appeal, but their response was the same. They weren’t interested.
Yet, the Twitter rules they linked to in their email to me clearly states, in the section marked ‘Violence,’ that “You may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people.”
This is exactly what ironstowe did. But he escaped censure and is still tweeting today as if nothing had happened.
Just imagine if an account holder from Russia had sent such a tweet to a journalist from CNN. I’ve absolutely no doubt that they’d have been suspended within minutes. Think of all the so-called ‘Russian bots’ who have been culled in recent months just for being Russians. Think of the anti-war commentators who have been suspended or banned from Twitter, for doing far less than ‘ironstowe‘.
It’s not the first time I’ve been sent threats via Twitter and the company has failed to act. Less explicit, but no less chilling was one I received from ‘HoagsObjects’/America 1st’ on September 24. I had tweeted earlier that day in support of Russia’s decision to supply S-300 air defence missiles to Syria to protect it from Israeli attacks. ‘HoagsObjects’ menacing response was “I hope to meet you in person one day.”
I reported the tweet, but again, Twitter said there was no violation. ‘HoagsObjects’ pinned tweet, by the way, declares “Truth! Palestine never existed.”
In the summer, I was the subject of another disturbing tweet from Idrees Ahmad, a lecturer at the University of Stirling, tweeting under the handle @im_PULSE.
It read: “It’s July 2018, Neil Clark hits his head against a sharp object, and sh*t oozes out”.
Among those who ‘liked’ the tweet was the shady black-list compiling ‘PropOrNot’ organisation, who also retweeted it, and the Kent-based troll account Don Quixote’s Horse’ @Quixote’s Horse, which smears foreign policy dissidents while courageously blocking them so they can’t respond.
Again, Twitter did nothing. It’s clear that its rules are only applied selectively. Narratives are the important thing.
Ahmad is a strong supporter of Western-backed regime change in Syria. I oppose intervention. If an opponent of Western policy had sent Ahmad the same tweet, I’ve little doubt they’d have been booted off the platform post-haste. Just imagine too if a left-wing supporter of Jeremy Corbyn had sent such a disgusting tweet to a Blairite Labour MP. It would have been all over the newspapers. But I’m not a member of the officially-designated ‘victim’ groups. I am a critic of Western foreign policy, a socialist and a regular on RT. So I’m fair game.
Political censorship appears to be taking place under the guise of ‘implementing‘ Twitter rules, while genuine offenders are given a free pass.
Asa Winstanley reports that the Electronic Intifada was ordered by Twitter to delete a tweet linking to a story about Israel’s commando raid into Gaza last month.
In August, the anti-war writer Caitlin Johnstone had her Twitter account temporarily suspended for violating the rules “against abusive behavior” for a tweet about the pro-war Senator John McCain. Her tweet read: “Friendly public service reminder that John McCain has devoted his entire political career to slaughtering as many human beings as possible at every opportunity, and the world will be improved when he finally dies.”
You might agree/disagree with the sentiment Caitlin expressed, but it was clearly not a death threat, unlike ironstowe’s tweet to me.
Another person to be banned permanently from Twitter recently is Peter Van Buren, a former State Department whistleblower. He tweeted: “I hope a MAGA guy eats your face” to journalist Jonathan Katz, who had called him “a garbage human being”. Katz reported him for “promoting violence.”
But was van Buren’s tweet any worse than the one ironstowe sent to me, and for which he escaped with impunity?
Twitter loses credibility if its rules are not applied equally across the board. Politics should not come into its policing policies.
Being a supporter of US Empire, the state of Israeli military actions, or regime-change operations in Syria shouldn’t mean you’re exempt from disciplinary procedures. And being an anti-war activist who opposes neocon policies shouldn’t mean you get no protection or are given a ‘red card’ when you’ve done nothing wrong. I would welcome a discussion with Jack Dorsey on these important issues.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!