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Huffington Post removed Joe Lauria's powerful commentary about the origins of the "evidence" for Russiagate, from Crowdstrike and Fusion GPS, both paid by the Clinton campaign. We talk about the article, and widening censorship.Lauria is a veteran reporter who has written for the Boston Globe, Sunday Times of London and Wall Street Journal. The article we reference is here, and the petition to HuffPo is here.
We begin with Lauria's column, and its important observations about the role of two firms that include former top FBI officials and are central to the purported evidence of Russian hacking of DNC. Crowdstrike examined the DNC servers and rapidly concluded that Russians were responsible for hacking (not leaking) data; Fusion GPS hired former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to dig for dirt on Trump in Russia. It's now pretty clear that, despite claims from former DNI James Clapper and former FBI chief James Comey that the information was "unverified", that the dossier was used to get warrants from the FISA court to surveil Trump campaign operatives, and was the basis for parts of the January 6, 2017 intelligence "assessment" widely cited by Russiagate proponents.
We touch on NY Times reporter Scott Shane's admission in February that there's no public evidence to support the "assessment", and that it included inaccurate claims about the influence of RT, the Russian cable news channel. And we discuss the bigger picture of US-Russian relations affected by the scandal.
Then we discuss the censorship of Lauria's report by HuffPo, which has never explained its reasons for taking it down. And we talk about the wave of censorship and fear driven by the purge of "fake news", which often includes independent media outlets that don't subscribe to the official narrative.