December 27, 2017 in Columnists, News by RBN Staff

by: Harley Schlanger

Dec. 22 — The urgency of defeating the efforts of special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct a coup against elected U.S. President Trump, on behalf of British and Wall Street imperial interests, can be seen in the attempt by neocons both within the administration and outside, who insist that the U.S. must continue the policy of geopolitical confrontation with Russia and China, which was supported by his opponents.  In the last days, there are further indications that it is Trump’s continuing commitment to strategic collaboration with Russia and China that precipitated “Russiagate,” and not “meddling” in the U.S. election by Russian President Putin, nor “collusion” by Trump with Putin to steal the election, that has made him a target of unprecedented vitriolic attacks, lying media stories, and a corrupt “investigation” which his opponents hope will lead to his ouster.

Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump aggressively targeted both the Bush Republicans and the Obama-Hillary Clinton Democrats as supporters of endless wars, which have resulted in millions of casualties and the waste of trillions of dollars, while America has become less safe.  He launched devastating attacks against the Bush administration, accusing President George W. Bush of “lying” to get the U.S. into a war with Iraq, and against Obama and Clinton, for the policy of “regime change” in Libya and the attempt to oust Syrian President Assad, at the risk of a war with Russia.  He also blasted the deployment of U.S. and NATO troops eastward, targeting Russia, saying he was convinced that it would be “great” if the U.S. and Russia would be friends and allies, especially in the war against terrorists.  He said at several campaign events that he would have no neocons in his administration.

The war-weary American people responded to his attacks on the neocon wars, by electing him President.  The neocons responded to his election by launching Russiagate!

The release this week of a National Security Strategy document reveals that neocons within Trump’s administration are trying to steer the administration into confrontation with both Russia and China.  The document identifies both nations as pursuing policies directly counter to U.S. interests.  In the introduction, the document claims that “China and Russia challenge American power, influence and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.  They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

Later, the document asserts that Russia and China “want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.”  In a passage which is a thinly-veiled attack on the Belt-and-Road Initiative, China is singled out as seeking “to displace the United States in the Indo-Pacific Region, expand the reaches of its state-driven economic model, and reorder the region in its favor,” while Russia is accused of seeking “to restore its great power status and establish spheres of influence near its borders.”  President Xi’s “win-win” approach, embodied in his New Silk Road policy, which would replace geopolitical confrontation with pursuit of common goals, is falsely characterized as a plan to dominate its neighbors economically, with military threats to back it up.  In commenting on the document, Trump’s National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster explicitly endorsed geopolitics in a speech delivered to the U.K.-based think tank Policy Exchange, stating “Geopolitics are back with a vengeance, after this holiday from history we took in the so-called post-Cold War period.”  He identified both Russia and China as strategic adversaries.  It is reported that the document reflects the views of McMaster and two assistants who participated in drafting the paper, Nadia Schadlow, a deputy assistant for National Strategic Strategy, and Dina Powell, deputy National Security Adviser and a Goldman Sachs alumnus.  Both Schadlow and Powell served in the administration of George W. Bush.

Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp LaRouche identified this language as an attempt to return the U.S. to the “neocon geopolitical confrontation” approach of the two previous administrations, and pointed to sharp denunciations by Russian and Chinese officials, which identified the document as an example of “old, outdated thinking.”  But Mrs. LaRouche also pointed out Trump, in releasing the document, was less confrontational, as he said he will “attempt to build a great partnership with those [Russia and China] and other countries….”  The document also represents a restatement of Trump’s commitment to oppose regime change, stating, “We understand that the American way of life cannot be imposed on others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress.”  She identified the divergent points of emphasis as indication of an ongoing internal battle, noting that Trump recently had a very successful trip to China and has spoken repeatedly of his “great” personal relationship with China’s President Xi, and has had several recent very productive discussions with Putin.

It should be noted that the confrontational language in the report echoes comments of former top Obama officials, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who were part of the “Get Trump” team from the outset, signing on to the infamous, still-unsubstantiated assessment released by the intelligence community on January 7, 2017, that concluded, “with high confidence”, that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential campaign.  On leaving their posts, both continued to attack Trump as naive for believing he can work with Russia.  On June 7, 2017, in Australia, Clapper claimed that it is in Russia’s “genes to be opposed, diametrically opposed, to the United States and western democracies.”  The two joined forces again on CNN’s “State of the Union” on November 12, 2017, to slam Trump and Russia.  Brennan said that Trump is “intimidated” by Putin, and that Russia is “a threat to our democracy.”  Clapper chimed in, adding that “Putin is committed to undermining our system,” and that Trump, by rejecting that view, “poses a peril to this country.”

At the same time the National Security Strategy document was released, Newsweek magazine ran a cover story in its December 21 issue with the headline, “Putin is Preparing for World War III.”  The article has the usual Fake News characterization of Putin as a paranoid authoritarian dictator who uses the threat of encirclement and war to cover up for his economic failures.  For example, it states that the Kremlin is mobilizing because “it is convinced war is imminent.”  It includes a quote from a former British Ambassador to Russia (naturally, who wishes to be an anonymous source), who said “Russia is engaged in a strange sort of unilateral arms race.”

This attempt to scare its readers is not a new tactic by Newsweek.  In August 2016 it reported, “Europeans Are Quietly Preparing for War with Russia.”

An even more hysterical fantasy appeared in the German mass tabloid Bild Zeitung on December 20, citing two unnamed NATO officials who charged that the Zapad 2017 military exercise was a rehearsal for a full scale Russian military assault on Europe.  According to this story, the Russians plan to occupy three Baltic states, while attacking by air key infrastructure in Germany, Sweden and Finland, the latter two nations being pushed hard to play a more active role in NATO.  The article says the goal of Russia in launching such an attack is to paralyze NATO, while preventing reinforcements in the East.  This article appears as there is a concerted effort to boost defense spending in Europe, along with the promotion of a European Union “defense union.”

The move toward more aggressive war propaganda in the Trans-Atlantic region comes at a point when the Mueller witch hunt is being seriously undermined by exposes of corruption within its ranks.  The revelations of the role of top FBI Counterintelligence official, Peter Strzok, are particularly damaging, as they demonstrate conclusively that Strzok is at the center of a “web of corruption” which includes the highest levels of British intelligence, the Clinton campaign, and the FBI.  The effort to contain the damage by supporters of Mueller, by belittling the evidence of corruption as a “conspiracy theory”, fell apart last week, as Congressional Republicans have become emboldened, in questioning leading FBI officials.  What is emerging in ongoing Congressional hearings is a picture that shows that Strzok was brought into the operation begun by James Comey, Clapper and Brennan to smear Trump with allegations that he was in a conspiracy with Putin to become President.  Comey’s team, with Strzok at its head, was engaged in the smear campaign to prevent Trump from winning the election.

The most damning evidence is a text message sent by Strzok to his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which was discovered by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ).  In the message, Strzok wrote to Page on August 15, 2016, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office that there’s no way Trump gets elected, but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.  It’s like an insurance policy….”  Andy’s office refers to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a close ally of the Clinton political machine, meaning that the FBI hierarchy was directly involved in a scheme to sink Trump’s campaign; the “insurance policy” obviously refers to using the Russiagate story, which was just then being developed by Strzok’s team, to remove Trump, should he win the election!

It was at this same time that Strzok and other top FBI officials were brought into collaboration with “former” MI6 official Christopher Steele, who produced a dossier alleging that Putin had sexual blackmail material against Trump.  Steele’s dossier, produced for Fusion GPS “opposition research” company, was funded by the Clinton campaign, likely with full backing from leading elements of British intelligence, whose GCHQ had begun tracking Trump in the summer of 2015, long before he laid waste to a field of 17 Republican opponents.  Despite more than a year of attempts to corroborate Steele’s allegations, McCabe admitted, in part through not answering questions in a Congressional hearing, that they have not been able to do it!

There are many other pieces to this story, including that of Strzok’s role in exonerating Clinton for her use of a private server, his role in the set-up which led to Michael Flynn’s plea to a single count of “lying to the FBI”, and top DOJ official Bruce Ohr’s meeting(s) with Steele, while his wife was employed by Fusion GPS.  These are coming out due to the work of Republican Congressmen, with more hearings to come.  A sample of some of the responses from Congressional investigators to these revelations gives a flavor of how things are turning against Mueller’s prosecutorial thuggery and the FBI’s systemic corruption.

On December18, Rep. Trey Gowdy (South Carolina) responded to the Strzok revelations by saying the anti-Trump messages sent back-and-forth with his mistress show an “unprecedented” level of bias.  “It is devastating” that they spoke of developing an “insurance policy in case Donald Trump won.  What I hope is that insurance policy was not a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.  This was a level of bias that you rarely see.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (California), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, followed his committee hearings by asking, “I hate to use the word corrupt, but they’ve become at least so dirty that who’s watching the watchmen?  Who’s investigating these people?  There is no one.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), who has been demanding subpoenas be issued so that all those involved can be interrogated, is especially focused on the Steele dossier, and whether it was used to obtain warrants from the secret FISA Court to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign.  In reviewing the role of Strzok and Ohr, he said, “Everything points to the fact that there was an orchestrated plan to try to prevent Donald Trump from becoming the President of the United States.”

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who recently spoke directly to Trump about what has been turned up involving “conflicts of interest” and “outright corruption”, said “…it’s time for Bob Mueller to put up or shut up.  If there’s evidence of collusion, let’s see it.”  He said, in reference to the meeting in “Andy’s room”, that it is disgusting that a “bunch of bureaucrats can sit around and scheme about how to deprive the American people of their duly elected President.”

One other element of Mueller’s prosecutorial fraud came to light last week, which was his team’s seizure of tens of thousands of emails from Trump’s transition team, despite the legal ruling by the General Counsel for the General Services Administration (GSA), Richard Beckler, that these were private, and should remain in the hands of the GSA.  When Beckler was hospitalized, Mueller’s operatives seized the records, without receiving a court-approved subpoena.  Shortly after his hospitalization, Beckler passed away.

The seizure of these documents was the subject of a biting op ed by constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley in {The Hill} on December 18.  Turley, who is no fan of Trump, nevertheless correctly identified Mueller’s action as “legally unprecedented and strategically reckless,” warning that the use of “tainted” evidence could lead to the overturning of any conviction that Mueller might get.  Turley described this as an abuse of law, following in the footsteps of the notorious former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, writing that “Hoover’s attitude toward the use of federal power lingers [within the FBI] like a dormant virus.  Too often investigators interpret uncertain legal questions as a license for action.”  Turley specifically identified Mueller’s lead prosecutor Andrew Weissman as one whose record includes “major reversals in past prosecutions for exceeding the scope of the criminal code or questionable ethical conduct.”

Turley’s comments, along with those of Fox News legal commentator Jeanine Pirro, represent a sharp break into the open in major media, reflecting the turn against Mueller’s operations.  Pirro called Mueller’s team a “criminal cabal”, which should be taken out in “cuffs” (handcuffs).  They are acting as a “core group of arrogant, corrupt and lawless individuals that felt that they, and not we, should decide a presidential election.”

As these quotes from Congressman and legal experts show, there is now finally a willingness to break through the cover-up and get at the truth about Russiagate, that it has been a story concocted, from the beginning, with no evidence, to either contain Trump, or get rid of him, in defense of an old crumbling order, and that the real “meddling” in the election by a foreign country came from Britain, in coordination with the Clinton campaign and the FBI.  But that is not enough.  It is now time that the deeper issue behind Russiagate is exposed, and that issue is the unwillingness of the promoters of the neocon unilateral world order to give up their power.  The endless wars, and endless bailouts they have imposed are necessary for them keep the world embroiled in deadly, useless geopolitical conflicts, which inflict misery on the majority of the world’s people, while allowing them to loot with impunity.

Donald Trump’s election victory showed that the American people were tired of this immoral, bankrupt order.  Now citizens must mobilize to shut down Russiagate, to free Trump to bring the United States into the New Paradigm of cooperation and development initiated by President Xi Jinping of China, with full support from Russia’s President Putin.  The era of geopolitics must be put to an end, if the annihilation of mankind is to be prevented.  Shutting down the Mueller investigation, and jailing the corrupt officials behind it, would be a good first step in that direction.  Toward that end, LaRouchePAC activists delivered this week, to every U.S. Senate office and to many committee staffers, the report which first exposed Russiagate as a fraud, “Robert Mueller is an Immoral Legal Assassin.”  As Lyndon LaRouche commented, “the gate has been opened” — it is now the time to move!