"Given the Intelligence Community’s history of deception and politicization – and especially given the false assumption about the 17-agency consensus – there is every reason to be skeptical and to demand credible and verifiable evidence about the core charge that Russia did “meddle” in the U.S. election. " Rick Sterling
"There is a very plain pattern here of agencies promoting the notion of a fake “Russian crime”, while failing to take the most basic and obvious initial steps if they were really investigating its existence. I might add to that, there has been no contact with me at all by those supposedly investigating. I could tell them these were leaks not hacks." Craig Murray
Trump’s voters were not working-class voters, as was wrongly noted in The Atlantic magazine: The “billionaire developer is building a blue-collar foundation,” (“It’s time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class,” The Washington Post, June 5, 2017). The two social scientists who wrote the article found that “Trump supporters were mostly affluent Republicans”… “[O]nly a third of Trump supporters had household incomes at or below the national median of about $50,000.” And another surprise to those who want to lump Trump supporters together with those whom Trump egged on to violence at some of his campaign rallies lies in the undeniable fact that just about the same voters who supported Trump in November, supported him during the presidential primary season.
And those well-off Republicans who voted for Trump during the primary election season not only had more money, but also were “well” educated… wrong again! A full “70 percent of all Republicans didn’t have college degrees…” So, a conclusion can be reached that lots of Trump supporters had money in their pockets, but didn’t have college degrees
The reason why stopping North Korea’s nuclear and long-range missile program is a priority for the Trump administration is not because it truly believes North Korea will launch an ICBM at the United States. Rather, it’s that if North Korea succeeds in establishing an effective nuclear deterrent, then this could have serious geopolitical implications for U.S. policy, as other targeted nations may follow North Korea’s example to ensure their survival.
For this reason, the United States has branded North Korea a pariah state and sponsored harsh UN sanctions. North Korea faces a dichotomy between policy objectives. If it does not denuclearize, then it risks succumbing to the economic strangulation imposed by the United States. But if it abandons its nuclear program, it becomes far more vulnerable to military strikes by a hostile U.S. The lesson of Libya’s fate after it abandoned its nuclear weapons program is not forgotten. Moreover, it is exceedingly unlikely that the U.S. would lift sanctions on North Korea even after full denuclearization.
The United States declares that it will not engage in talks with North Korea unless it denuclearizes as a precondition while receiving nothing in return.  That position shuts down any possibility of diplomacy, and it is hard to visualize any way out of the current impasse as long as Washington clings to that attitude
In a Las Vegas debate last October, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said, “We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.”...
Whatever your take on the fact-checks, the media laundered and recycled a Clinton talking point without too much exploration of the intricacies through which the intelligence community reaches its conclusions. Until the New York Times wrote up a correction, that is.
Although our post-9/11 wars have probably killed at least 2 million people in the countries we have attacked, occupied or destabilized, U.S. forces have suffered historically low numbers of casualties in these operations. There is a real danger that this has given U.S. political and military leaders, and to some extent the American public, a false sense of the scale of U.S. casualties and other serious consequences we should look forward to as our leaders escalate our current wars, issue new threats against Iran and North Korea, and stoke rising tensions with Russia and China.
For progressives, the anti-Russia hysteria has not only bordered on McCarthyistic challenges to people’s patriotism but has diverted time and attention from the need to build opposition to Trump policies including the loss of net neutrality, increased military spending, reductions in environmental protection, plans to slash health-care for the poor to permit more tax cuts for the rich, and reduction in other budgets for education and social programs.
Since Trump’s November victory, there also have been accusations of “Russian interference” in European elections. But in each case, subsequent investigations showed the opposite. In Germany, France and the U.K., security services found no evidence to support the initial allegations. The French security chief dismissed the claims of the Macron campaign saying the hack “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone.”
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), including William Binney, a former technical director of the NSA, asserts that the DNC email release was caused by a leak not a “hack.” ...