The Mueller investigation.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Quantum Quack, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I see my post was unclear. Sorry about that.
    I was referring to Mueller's investigation getting too close to disclosing the depth of Russian Mafia and syndicated crime in Russia. Collusion between Putin's government and those syndicates. Basically the Trump/Mueller investigation is opening a Pandora's box of insight into the significant corruption in that part of the world. If Mueller get's too close the Russians will dump Trump to protect their secrets. IMO
    Thus the Russians , not Mueller, could end this presidency in rather spectacular fashion.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
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  3. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    Fine. Where did the Russian trolls promote illegal activity? If you think that they have made some false allegations against Clinton, there are libel laws, not?

    Or do you simply want to make such a general argument, once there are some restrictions everywhere, it means the US can forbid every form of speech they don't like, but nonetheless, claim there is free speech?
    This is also certainly not a point in defense of the American law, and the point that in this case in Stalin time was free speech remains.

    Fine. Explain what particular actions they have done which make what they have done a felony. Your source tells me this (emphasis mine):
    So, the main emphasis of the indictment is speech, named "propaganda efforts" (which is just a derogative word for unwanted free speech). And "denigrating" is also only a bad word for a form of speech. So, your source
    Do you want to go back to formalities as an excuse? It hardly helps you. But let's look at number 8:
    Which pressure on the Russians? The US has nothing to pressure. As Putin has explained, Russia has possibilities to retaliate if America is going insane.
    Mueller's investigation has given nothing in this direction. Manafort is a completely Ukrainian corruption problem, Prochorov's troll farm has not shown anything indicating a connection with the government. Moreover, even if there is some, nobody in Russia would care. What Russians would care about would be corruption harming Russia. A hidden FSB-supported network fighting the US, even if with criminal methods, would be fine for all patriotic as well as nationalist Russians.
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Mueller doesn't reveal all the leads he has to follow nor the leads that get archived for later... My bet he is gathering an enormous amount of ancillary data as he goes about his investigation. Of course you are not that stupid and know this already.
    When Russians make use of foreign banking houses including those in the USA the USA can impose penalties I would imagine. I mean, what point would there be in keeping their laundered money and assets in Russia? ... and you claim they are patriots...!!!
     
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  7. ChucklesM Banned Banned

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    Robert Mueller is as honest and trustworthy as James Comey. Or Andrew McCabe. Or Barack Obama.
     
  8. ChucklesM Banned Banned

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    Reading comments about security, guns, business, government, economics, etc. from Democrats and Liberals is like reading “What Happened?” to learn what happened.
     
  9. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    4,096

    BTW, the US reaction to the Putin speech is interesting too:
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/vladimir-putin/new-russian-nuke-weapons-aren-t-new-may-not-be-n852286 titles
    Fine, no problem. The point is that the speech itself is, therefore, supported. Because it was also claimed by Putin that all theses things have been quite openly, even in the public, announced:
    what google translates into
    So, no surprise was even intended.
    Ready or not? Becoming ready is a long process, and so there is no simple answer. Moreover, what Putin has announced were quite a lot different weapon systems, and, of course, each of them is in a different state, and he has given, for all of them, some information about the actual state:
    So, for six different weapon systems six different states. For some of them, it follows from this information that they are not yet ready - so, for Sarmat, there is only the begin of the testing phase. A testing phase of complex weapons is something which needs years. And even if the tests have been successfully finished, some more time is necessary before the army really has the weapons in the necessary amount.

    Thus, both claims are not even in conflict with Putin's speech.

    Essentially, agreement here too. Except that the point of "defend against attacks from North Korea and Iran" means also designed to defend against Russian retaliation after a first hit from the US, which would be unable to destroy the Russian nuclear power completely, but to reduce it to a level of North Korea.
    The remaining point is cheap - that the Russians seem to have reused an old video for "Satan". Not really a point, Satan had multiple warheads too, so, to show that Sarmat has multiple warheads one can, of course, reuse this too.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    And far more trustworthy than "guess my position today" Trump.
     
  11. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Republicans control the House, Senate, and the Presidency and still only passed one bill, and that one adds to the debt to pay the rich.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    They were indicted. If you refuse to read my link with comprehension, read the damn indictment - it lists the charges.
    They were not indicted for their speech. You continue to mistake the evidence presented for the crimes indicted.
    That is quite silly of you - is this an example of the expertise in argument you think you possess?
    They were formally indicted for felony crimes, "felony" being a formal designation, which were formally listed, which in America means specifically - that's a requirement of American law.

    That indictment was handed down by a formally convened civilian grand jury, at the request - which could have been denied - of Robert Mueller, in his formal capacity as official head of a formal investigation established legally and formally by the Republican Congress of the United States.

    You appear to have no idea what crimes they were indicted for, despite having a list of them right in front of you, and apparently being quite interested in the subject. That seems a bit odd.

    This reads exactly like the postings of the Russian troll farm, and their automated bots. Exactly.
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    ¿You noticed?
     
  14. douwd20 Registered Senior Member

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  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Mods, Mods ?
    http://discworld.wikia.com/wiki/Guards!_Guards!
     
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    and you claim to be an expert on propaganda.... hee hee
    Homophobic Russia gets and uptick
    Putin claims he is serving Russian patriotism threatens to start arms race.. huff and puff

    Putin is running an election campaign....and seeks to avoid nationalist anti establishment uprising...
    Divert attention to Homosexuals - birth rate too low....
    and inspire nationalism and confidence in his leadership... huff and puff.
    "They didn't listen", he claims and guess what.. they still aren't....
     
  17. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    I have already read your link, it has told me nothing new. And your repetition of all the same shows me that you are unable to give any meaningful argument which shows that this indictment is compatible with free speech but Stalin's §58-4 not.
    You don't seem to get the simple point that it does not matter how the law is named. Unjust laws - and laws forbidding free speech are unjust - always hide their nature by misleading propaganda names, as well as derogatory descriptions for the actions which are forbidden.
    In fact, I think you have understood the point very well, and that's why you refuse to answer the basic and purely pragmatic question. I want to do what I'm allowed to do in a state with free speech, in particular, I would like to reach significant numbers of Americans with my postings, post information which could be characterized as derogatory about a number of candidates, I would like to do this at any time, and would be happy if this information would influence the decision of some American voters. Now I see, to my surprise, that there appears an indictment against some citizens of Russia, where doing such things is now part of the indictment for some felony, as evidence that they have done something evil:
    Of course, I see that there are also other things these guys have done, things which are quite irrelevant for me, given that I do not plan to use names of real peoples as pseudonyms and to open bank accounts with these pseudonyms. (But I also use sometimes pseudonyms, and I would never give any information about these pseudonyms to anybody because I think this is part of my privacy. Given that similar things also appear in the indictment, it would be interesting to learn if simply visiting the US in such circumstances would constitute a crime too.) All I want to know is if I have, without knowing this, already violated the same US law or not.
    If what I would like to do is legal, I would like to know what I have to do to prevent such indictments against me, or what I should not do, but what these guys have, according to the indictment, done.
    If what I would like to do is, in fact, illegal, I would like to know about this. The question if I would care about this is a different one, but I would like to know if I risk imprisonment if I simply visit the US.

    So, my question is: If I regularly (that means, also in times of election campaigns) post information about politicians, inclusive American ones, and this information is sometimes not in favor of them, thus, could be easily described as derogatory, if want to reach with this as much as possible people, would be happy if this influences their decisions, which includes their decisions of how to vote in elections, have some friends who share my political views, and cooperate with them doing this, does this possibly constitute a felony in the US or not? If I use for this purpose pseudonyms and consider information about my internet pseudonyms private information so that I don't give it to anybody, would I become a felony simply by visiting the US?

    If yes, fine, this tells me a lot about US law, and I would never travel to such a totalitarian country. If not, explain me the difference between this situation and what these guys have done, and why this difference is relevant to this particular law. That should be easy - find the text of that law they have violated, and show me the point in this law which these guys have violated, given the evidence as described in the indictment, but what I would not violate if I would behave as described above. It should be clear from the text of that law that this additional point really makes the difference between my completely legal behavior and that felony done by these evil Russian trolls.
     
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry to butt in but,
    I think I see your argument and I believe it would come down to remuneration or the receipt of income from doing so and from who.

    Compare:
    you, as a foreign private individual expressing an opinion (legal- Free speech?)
    &
    you, as a foreign professional troll employed for someone else's agenda. (illegal- not free speech - paid speech?)

    Does it make any difference to you? and why or why not?
     
  19. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

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    4,096
    Americans, what else do you expect? They have tried, they have failed, they will try again.
    The question is not if it makes a difference for me, but if it makes a difference for the US law. I think it does not matter. If doing something alone is fine, it is also fine if the firm is doing this in an organized way.

    Then, I have included "have some friends who share my political views, and cooperate with them doing this" into my request. The point is that this is usually sufficient to make the switch from a crime done by some individual and organized crime. In a state of law doing things in an organized way, in cooperation with others, is in itself not a crime - what a private person is allowed to do, it is allowed to do in cooperation with other people too. So, the organized form, with a firm organizing something and paying for doing certain things is an aggravating circumstance, it makes a wrongdoing eviler, but the evil thing should be already evil if done alone. That's why I guess if that is a felony if done by a firm, it is probably illegal (maybe not a felony, but less serious) already if done alone. But to avoid this side issue, I have added that "have some friends who share my political views and cooperate with them doing this" because this is almost everywhere also sufficient to add this aggravating circumstance of an organized crime. Criminal gangs do usually not register a firm "Mafia Inc.", and to prove that they are a criminal gang, it should be sufficient to show that a group of people had the same criminal intentions and cooperated doing these crimes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    You seem to have no idea what the charges are, or which laws are alleged to have been broken.
    There are no laws concerning speech involved here - forbidding it, permitting it, whatever.
    It appears as evidence of them having broken a law, sure. So?
    Lots of perfectly ok things people do while committing crimes - such as renting cars, or walking down the sidewalk at a particular time, or talking to the neighbors - can be evidence of having committed that crime.
    No. Nobody is being charged with anything like that.
    You describe no conspiracy to damage the United States as a country, you describe no wire fraud, and you describe no identity theft. Not even close. Why are you worried?
     
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Have you been following the Facebook/Twitter saga regards their responsibilities in all this?
    If you have then you will note that the law is extremely grey and even though they provided the vehicle for alleged Russian propaganda, their actual legal responsibility is extremely hard to work out.
    I believe this whole mess has taken most of the USA by surprise. That globalization (Internet)has opened a huge issue regarding international communications etc.
    Basically Putin ( Russians) and yet to be proved Trump, played USA citizens for fools and he/they did it really well.
    Playing someone for a fool is not illegal, and American pride has taken a serious hit.
    They are looking for someone to hold responsible.
    The actual laws required are yet to be conceived of, let alone legislated. (?) I believe Mueller is working with the laws he has and is well aware of their limitations.

    The point that makes or breaks Mueller's case will be the remuneration factor and agenda IMO.

    People being paid to troll are NOT expressing a free opinion.
    If you have been paid to troll and have an agenda to damage the USA election process, you would be charged with conspiracy to harm the USA. Remember that uhm person Julian Assange...How long has he been imprisoned in the embassy?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    18,683
    Say for example
    some smart arse kid launches a troll bot with a relatively sophisticated AI from Romania.
    His sole intent is to disrupt the Italian elections and cause as much harm to the process as possible, but is limited to just trolling and posting false allegations etc.
    He receives no remuneration for his activities and is operating alone.
    What laws has he broken? Many
    Will he go to jail? Most likely if proven and arrested (extradited to Italy)
    Maybe they would call it an act of cyber-terrorism, as a catch all, and just lock him up at leisure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Part of it has to do with people in groups, and part of it has to do with societal institutions like business and therefore press; while it is one thing to say, as many pundits and cable hosts will remind, that the Special Counsel knows more than we know, even more than we can imagine, it is worth reminding that Qatar is back in the news.

    It was a passing note some months ago:

    Or, hey, here's an underappreciated one: Remember that bit with Qatar not so long ago? How a bunch of emirates and Saudi Arabia suddenly threatened blockade if Qatar didn't turn on the Muslim Brotherhood, and when it came to President Trump to show some international leadership on behalf of a nation hosting our troops, he boasted that he triggered the crisis? Do you know what that was about? That would at least appear to be about Kushner Companies hemorrhaging at 666 Fifth Avenue↱, and not liking the terms of a half-billion dollar loan↱, intended to rescue the investment, offered by a Qatari firm. Everything about the Trump presidency seems unbelievable, yet here he is to make sure we must believe an astounding dose of it all.

    (Tiassa, #3469959/77↗)

    But, then, yesterday:

    As part of the scrutiny of Kushner's discussions with Turks, federal investigators have reached out to Turkish nationals for information on Kushner through the FBI's legal attache office in Ankara, according to two people familiar with the matter. Separately, Qatari government officials visiting the U.S. in late January and early February considered turning over to Mueller what they believe is evidence of efforts by their country's Persian Gulf neighbors in coordination with Kushner to hurt their country, four people familiar with the matter said. The Qatari officials decided against cooperating with Mueller for now out of fear it would further strain the country's relations with the White House, these people said.

    (NBC News↱)

    Superficially, the cycle we are witnessing feels as if it is accelerating. Like the Steele notes, word of which swept through Beltway political circles in June, 2016, and among the press in July; in October, Mother Jones got another lead, and then in January BuzzFeed released. And so many thing shave happened since, say, the Trump wiretapping twittery, that I would need to look it up to see which one it was, but his comms shop got hit three nights in a row right before the president lost his shit all over his predecessor, but the thing was none of them were exactly new. Stories swirling near the end of the election, that had fallen off the radar for fresh new outrages, were finally doubling back on Trump because the investigative reporters had spent the intervening months running themselves ragged.

    And that's what keeps happening. The Qatar story seemed so superficially blatant and clown-car clumsy as to be facially unbelievable. Except we kind of know better, and did back then, too. It was just a question of what the real story was, and whether the elements, that sound exaggerated to idiotic simplicity, were substantial enough to be more than a random coincidence. But Trump and the gang are not even relying on the standard noise of the business community.

    Because part of it also has to do with how governments behave.

    Remember, for instance, the bit about Anbang; when the Chinese government decided no, so did the Qatari billionaire whose terms required an agreement from someone else to loan the other half of the money. But we also heard about this, recently, with the Chinese government being among those we apparently caught musing about how to exploit Jared Kushner.

    But I say apparently because, much like the diplomatic communiques from Russians to their home offices, the Chinese government already has a pretty good sketch of what gets intercepted along the way.

    The underlying plot, here, has a wicked appearance↗ that Donald Trump is wrecking the American government, and, moreover, doing so for Vladimir Putin and Russia to step into the prestige and influence vacuum as we falter on the world stage.

    And that is what it is, but, really, even setting that unfortunate appearance aside, the Russians and Chinese and every other foreign government playing in this ugly game are not being caught out discussing these matters, but, rather, making certain someone hears.

    And that is how effing stupid the Trump administration and its clown cabal actually are. Ockham, presently, cannot rule out that part of the most straightforward explanation we can give is simply that Donald Trump does not understand how much trouble he cannot get out of.

    And there is also something larger happening, because I would point to what just happened in the state of Georgia, where everything would have been fine with a tax bill vote except for the Lieutenant Governor publicly attempting to extort a major corporation on behalf of an unrelated business lobby. Part of what hasn't set in about that story is that, yes, they really went and did that; what makes it so hard for people to wrap their heads around is that it was straight-up extortion in broad daylight, and come on, nobody really does that, right? And then the realization slowly sinks in: Yes, they went and did that.

    So part of this is something about particular bourgeois attitudes brazenly standing front and center, obliviously proud of themselves. It is almost as if they have been pitching grotesque fantasies about government corruption for so long that they have convinced themselves, now that they are in power, that this is actually how it goes; in this framework, they actually do not recognize their exposure for various reasons psychological that amount to functional inability to recognize how violative their behavior really is.

    But, yes, the Russians can end the Trump presidency. Or the Chinese. Or the Qataris. Whatever is up with Israel hasn't exploded into the headlines to such clusterdiddlingly clownish comportment, but I almost can't wait to find out what dumbass thing Jared went and did on the record in that part of his nebulous White House job.

    But the Trump party limo is filled with airheaded clowns far too stupid to avoid even the most basic exposure of committing impeachable offenses in contexts that diplomats have precisely no problem broadcasting homeward in such a manner as to be overheard.

    At some point, their only defense is going to be actual non-competency.

    Not incompetence.

    Non compos mentis. Their only defense is to claim stupidity as a disability preventing them from discerning right and wrong.

    The blockade of Qatar continues, by the way, albeit ineptly enough that Qatari officials are in D.C. last month, having announced in January they consider the blockade failed. Meanwhile, yes, the Trump administration makes such ridiculous notions as triggering an international diplomatic crisis as vendetta for family business so blatantly apparent.

    When it comes to the Special Counsel knowing more than I can imagine, it seems worth noting we might to imagine, and to some degree reasonably, the possibility that Robert Muller is already presenting evidence against Donald Trump to a grand jury.

    The Qatar episode could well be enough to end the Trump presidency.

    And if it does, that will be all well and fine with the Russians, too.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Lee, Carol E., Julia Ainsley, and Robert Windrem. "Mueller team asking if Kushner foreign business ties influenced Trump policy". NBC News. 2 March 2018. NBCNews.com. 3 March 2018. http://nbcnews.to/2H0cXnr
     

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