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    House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Russia

    'Golden Showers,' WikiLeaks, Hacking - Congress Embraces Conspiracy Theories

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    Cassandra Fairbanks
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    On Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on “Russia’s global efforts to undermine democratic states,” and conspiracy theorists of all sort are guaranteed to enjoy it.

    Much of the hearing focused on the US presidential election, and claims that Russian “propaganda” impacted the outcome.

    “Russia has pumped tens of millions into disinformation and propaganda targeting the US and Europe,” committee chairman Ed Royce said in a statement. “For too long, the US response to Russian aggression has been weak and ineffective – and that has to change. This hearing will allow us to examine ways to better counter Russia’s weaponization of information and other hostile acts.”

    For hours, speakers droned on about an alleged “cyber attack” on the US election, primarily citing Russian media, such as RT and Sputnik News.

    In a bizarre statement, California congressman Brad Sherman specifically asked if the Trump campaign colluded with Russian hackers, or if the President is not responding aggressively due to being grateful that the Kremlin intervened on his behalf. 

    “The key issue is did the Trump campaign collude with Russian hackers in the cyber burglary of the Democratic National Committee and related entities, and a related question is whether Trump’s gratitude is preventing an appropriate response to Russia’s interference with democracy,” Sherman stated, “or whether his fear of what they might have on him is preventing that appropriate response.” 

    To dig for proof of his conspiracy theories, Sherman called for a special “9/11 style commission,” sanctions, and a special prosecutor to investigate the campaign.

    Sherman then cited the unsubstantiated “golden showers” dossier, compiled by a former officer in Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Christopher Steele, which was paid for by Trump’s Republican and Democratic opponents. Buzzfeed, the organization which published the dossier, has faced massive criticism, backlash, and even a lawsuit for their sloppy handling of the unproven claims contained within it.

    The dossier claims that there was a video of a urine party, hosted by Trump, and secretly filmed by Russian intelligence agencies, although there is no evidence to support that any such recording exists.

    The former spy is currently being sued by Aleksej Gubarev, the CEO of XBT, who was also named in the dossier. The tech mogul is also suing the publisher BuzzFeed in federal court.

    The allegations in the report have been dismissed by both Trump, who has referred to Steele as a “failed spy,” and by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Even Buzzfeed has acknowledged that none of the allegations could be confirmed.

    “Nothing in the dossier has been disproved. Parts of it have proved to be true, and I hope to god that parts of it are not true, particularly the salacious parts,” Sherman said with a smile. “The Trump administration has just called the whole report garbage, but they haven’t denied specific parts of it, except in one case that I’m aware of, and that is the report says that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer met with Russian officials in Prague.”

    “He responded by tweeting the front of his passport,” Sherman said, dramatically holding up an enlarged color printout of Cohen’s tweet. “Now, obviously the front of the passport doesn’t teach us anything, but it causes us to want to look inside the passport.” 

    Ambassador Daniel Brooks Baer responded with an anecdote about how he does not think he received a stamp from Prague in his passport when he traveled there. 

    There were a few adults in the room, however, including Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who did not hold back in his mockery of conspiracy theories about a “sinister plot” from Russia to “look out for their own interests.”

    “We keep hearing sinister words after sinister words, especially this last thing — oh how sinister it is that he just showed the top of his passport,” Rohrabacher said with a chuckle. “Give me a break! Come on!”

    Rohrabacher then took aim at a comment by Sherman inferring that it is somehow strange or uncommon for representatives of US presidential campaign organizations to meet with foreign diplomats or ambassadors.

    “No, it’s not uncommon for people to meet with foreign ambassadors and foreign diplomats, and how sinister is it that people met with the Russian ambassador?! I’m sure that if they were going to plan something really rotten regarding the United States they would go to the ambassador, the Russian ambassador, rather than some political operatives that they have running all over the place,” Rohrabacher stated. “This has reached the absurd level of attacks and let us note that in order to get Russia — what we are doing now is destabilizing our own democracy with that type of nonsense!”

    The California representative argued that the “unrelenting hostility” toward Russia will eventually lead the US into a war, and that is not something anyone wants.

    “I don’t know about anyone else, but I was very happy when Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War by reaching out to Russia,” Rohrabacher added.

    New Jersey Republican Representative Albio Sires, for his part, nearly let his emotions overtake him, as he demanded to know if anyone in the room had any doubts that Russian President Vladimir Putin was working directly with WikiLeaks, in another claim that has no evidence to back it up.

    As the Congressional hearing was underway, Breitbart News suggested that “the fix is in,” as the list of witnesses scheduled to appear at a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Open Hearing on “Russian Active Measures” features only tech experts hired by the DNC.

    The only experts that the committee has scheduled to testify come from CrowdStrike, who has become a primary source of claims that Russia hacked the US election. Many experts not on the DNC payroll have adamantly disputed the company’s claims, but those independent experts, without political skin in the game, have not been not called upon to dispute the  CrowdStrike’s claims.

    Related:

    Despite Media Push, 71% of Americans Don’t Believe Russia Hacked the DNC
    Russia 'Hacked' Election for Trump, But No Need to Count the Ballots?!
    Not Proven Russia, Any State Actor Hacked DNC – Trump
    Hacked Emails Reveal NATO Pushed Obama Administration to be Tough on Russia
    White House: Narrative on Russia-Trump Connections Repeated With No Evidence
    Tags:
    Congress, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Dana Rohrabacher, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, Brad Sherman, United States, Russia
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    • Сomment
    • avatar
      nonyank
      Remeber, in the US you are guilty until proven innocent....that's the reality, it's like laws, they apply often only until challenged in court where they typically FAIL!
    • avatar
      jake195
      If they want to get rid of you first you are a Russian collaborator and if that does'nt work then you are a pedophille.
    • siberianhusky
      Do the politicians in Washington know that they are destroying the government in America with this adolescent bickering and infighting?
    • nuclearstarr
      Congress is just another bought-and-paid-for branch of the military industrial complex.
      The US is not a democratic republic. It is a democracy theme park, where the levers and handles are not attached to anything. Voting is just an exercise done to give the people the illusion that "their vote counts".
    • avatar
      l.
      it is interesting to see each time wikileak is entering on the scene, it is an attack against USA or Europe.....
      Strange ?
    • avatar
      jasin reply tol.(Show commentHide comment)
      l., Yes. Something very wrong about Wikileaks.
    • avatar
      double bonus
      [The California representative argued that the “unrelenting hostility” toward Russia will eventually lead the US into a war, and that is not something anyone wants.]

      The problem is that all the Nuclear War movies from the 1980's focused on Berlin as being the beginning of WWIII. So, when the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, everyone thinks the Cold War is over. But, we have this other boundary in Asia called the DMZ at Panmunjom in Korea; which is still there, and there was only
      an armistice, but no peace treaty signed there in 1953..

      So, if you count from 1917 to 1989 as 72 years, then add 72 years to 1949, you get 2021 as the point of something happening again at the DMZ. It doesn't take an artificial US Media war against Russia to justify military spending. The Korean War still hasn't ended yet! Maybe the US should be preparing for that, instead of wasting all this time and effort on the Middle East. All that does is bring more unwanted Muslim Migrants to Europe and the USA.
    • avatar
      jas
      As the Congressional hearing was underway, Breitbart News suggested that “the fix is in,” as the list of witnesses scheduled to appear at a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Open Hearing on “Russian Active Measures” features only tech experts hired by the DNC.
      --
      We need to know the names of the never-Trumpers behind this so we can get rid of some of them in 2018.
    • avatar
      jas
      This is an incredibly serious charge and the Democrats are allowed to harass Trump without showing any evidence. They claim it is Trump's job to disprove their lies. Not a big surprise. Many of us knew that the US Congress was full of liars and crooks who are letting the US infrastructure collapse as they play their games.
    • avatar
      elsa.zardiniin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, Right. Playing their games, exactly. Pity most probably nobody in Washington DC. read this, below, or believed in it, if by any remote chance, they read it. Last paragraph, here:

      www.whatdoesitmean.com/index2258.htm
    • avatar
      michael
      obviously they have nothing better to do until their next psychiatric appointments
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      They have been making these claims, with no proof, for too long. Their witch hunt has brought them nothing but an investigation based on sick wishful thinking and dirty politics. They are making fools of themselves in the process.

      They can't prove any of this so they want to rewrite the justice system and expect Trump to prove they are liars. If they keep this game up, it will eventually backfire on them when he does just that, and exposes every liar in this web of deception.
    • avatar
      beydetyin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, have you noticed Wikileaks never releases anything about Israhell that we don't already know? Assange says zero on 911 and Truther's are conspirators, he has a lot of praise for Terrorist Yahu etc etc. They are a mossad Op.
    • avatar
      Donny
      I can't wait for the next hearing.
    • avatar
      jas
      We'll see how many of these congressmen are still in office in 8 years. My guess is that a lot will be gone.
    • Frank Marion
      You folks do realize the people in dc aren't playing with a full deck.
    • avatar
      Erik Tretein reply tol.(Show commentHide comment)
      l., People leak information because they are morally bothered by what is going on and they want to stop it. Which implies: 1) something is going on. 2) That something is nefarious. 3) There is a lot of opportunities for someone with a sense of morals to do something about it. That last point infers that there is SO MUCH nefarious stuff going on, that the government cannot prevent a leak.

      These leaks hurt the US only because what the US is doing IS BAD. If the US was not doing bad stuff, even if information was leaked, who would care?
    • avatar
      sakisselin reply tosiberianhusky(Show commentHide comment)
      siberianhusky,
      I am quite sure that the politicians are aware of what they are doing and that the "plan" is that ultimately Washington/U.S. will be ruled by the billionaires who, in turn, will simply make more and more money and piss on the "common" folk.
    • Alan Reid
      What did captain Willard say " The bullshit piled up so fast you needed wings to stay above it "
      The North American Media cesspool is doing everything in it's power to prove that everything it reports is crap. I have just allowed accidental exposures to their dung and even at that small and limited view i can see that all the reporting is so biased that trying to sort out the real from the lies is just going to cause stress to enter my life. Good thing i cut off the cable and sent my TV to the E-waste company. My condolences for those still eating that dung.
      Thanks for the Info Sputnik! I hope you do as well as i think you will in the days to come, In the media your voice is heard more than you might think. Keep that stick in their ribs, keep them eating crow.
    • Abinico Arts
      Ever since Russia banned GMOs they have been paying a heavy price.
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