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Excerpt: "We've said it before and we'll say it again: there MUST be an investigation by an independent, bipartisan commission of Russia's ties to Donald Trump and his associates and that nation's interference in our elections. Emphasize independent and bipartisan."

President Trump with his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)
President Trump with his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. (photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)


We Must Know the Truth

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

16 February 17

 

This is the worst scandal involving the White House and a foreign power since Iran-Contra. Demand the facts.

e’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: there MUST be an investigation by an independent, bipartisan commission of Russia’s ties to Donald Trump and his associates and that nation’s interference in our elections. Emphasize independent and bipartisan. That commission must have full subpoena power to call witnesses and make them testify under oath or risk prosecution. Hearings must be held out in the open, and televised live for the nation and the world to see. That’s what a democracy is all about.

The resignation of national security advisor Michael Flynn and Tuesday night’s news of repeated contacts between Trump associates and Russian intelligence make such an inquiry even more imperative. On Friday, winging his way to Mar-a-Lago on Air Force One, Trump told the press he knew nothing about the previous night’s Washington Post report that Flynn had secretly discussed lifting sanctions against Russia with Russia’s ambassador to the United States. But on Tuesday, press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Trump had known about Flynn’s phone calls — and his lies about it — weeks ago.

Why was nothing done until the media broke the story? And why did Trump lie? As the National Lampoon joked back during the Watergate era, rephrasing the crucial questions aimed at Richard Nixon: “What did the president know and when did he STOP knowing it?”

Is it possible Trump and Flynn had been talking all along and keeping it to themselves? Who authorized Flynn to speak with the Russian ambassador on Trump’s behalf in the first place? The president himself or chief strategist Steve Bannon? Or someone else? Was Flynn a lone gun? Who can tell with all the lies?

And another thing: if the White House has known what was going on for weeks, why was Flynn still attending intelligence briefings as late as Monday? That’s what White House resident spin doctor Kellyanne Conway told the Today’s show Matt Lauer on Tuesday. Otherwise, Conway — who shortly before his resignation told the press that Flynn still had Trump’s confidence — was her usual duplicitous self. Why the media keep turning to her for answers no one can trust is yet another indignity inflicted on the American public in this unfolding saga.

And where are the Republican patriots willing to come forward and place country and democracy over party and a venal lust for power? Other than John McCain, they’ve been largely mum or simply said ta-ta and thanked Flynn for his service. Late Tuesday, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it’s “highly likely” the Senate intelligence committee will investigate Flynn’s discussions with the Russian ambassador, but does anyone really think a Republican-dominated inquiry, with strings pulled back stage by McConnell, will dig for the truth and let the facts fall where they will?

Jason Chaffetz, chair of the House Oversight Committee, says he won’t investigate the Flynn affair — “I think that situation has taken care of itself.” How about that for respecting the public’s need to know? And Rep. Chris Collins of upstate New York, the man with the dubious distinction of being the first member of Congress to endorse Trump’s candidacy, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday morning, “I think it’s just time to move on.” When asked why so many of his GOP colleagues were silent he suggested, “Well, [it’s] Valentine’s Day, and I guess they’re having breakfasts with their wives.”

Takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

There is nothing as dangerous to democracy — with its need for checks and balances of power to protect the integrity of our system — as one-party rule. Unless there are responsible Republicans who will break ranks and join the Democrats in calling for an independent and bipartisan joint commission to investigate these astonishing developments in a fair and impartial way — with televised hearings — one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest, assaults on democracy in our 240-year history will go unpunished except for a few culprits like Flynn.

Americans must know whether the candidate of one party worked with a foreign power to influence the election against his opponent.

We repeat: This noxious scandal requires an open, independent, bipartisan investigation with public hearings. Now. No patriot can settle for anything less.

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-5 # mashiguo 2017-02-16 10:13
"No patriot can settle for anything less."

No matter what issue the above sentence is applied to, it is the first sign of descent into total fascism.
 
 
0 # Charles3000 2017-02-16 11:27
That seems to be a very unusual definition of "fascism."
 
 
+4 # mashiguo 2017-02-16 14:19
Quoting Charles3000:
That seems to be a very unusual definition of "fascism."


from "the 14 defininng characteristics of fascism":

"1. - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia."

Who is this author to say what "no patriot" can settle for?

Because of your (admittedly justifiable) contempt for Trump, you are heading down the road of complete surrender. Beware: you yourselves will create what you claim most to fear.
 
 
+2 # dquandle 2017-02-18 00:11
"you yourselves will create what you claim most to fear."

yes indeed.

and the fact they are eagerly running towards it with eyes wide open, is what is most terrifying and appalling.
 
 
+2 # dquandle 2017-02-18 00:08
an unelected, utterly untouchable deep state, engineered in perpetuity by industrial and financial plutocrats and the military/ intelligence/in dustrial complex, engaged in a coup against an admittedly utterly revolting sitting president? Sounds like precisely a definition of a fascist coup to me.
 
 
+6 # Robbee 2017-02-16 13:03
Quoting mashiguo:
descent into total fascism(?)

- nay! rather! independent, bipartisan investigation with public hearings - is what democracy looks like!
 
 
+7 # HowardMH 2017-02-16 11:25
If the news about Flynn had not been published by the Washington Post and others Trump would have DONE NOTHING about Flynn. Even THREE intelligence agencies telling Trump weeks ago what was going on with Flynn and Russia did not have any effect on the Orange Headed Idiot.

Way to go Washington Post and others for finally bringing this issue to the front!!

Now where are the sponges in the congress? When are they going to start doing their job, or it definitely should be THEIR LAST TERM!!!
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2017-02-16 11:29
"Independent, bipartisan": does such a body REALLY exist.
I don't think so; anybody involved in politics at all can't be anything but biased in one direction or t'other.
 
 
+8 # economagic 2017-02-16 11:34
"[D]oes anyone really think a Republican-domi nated inquiry, with strings pulled back stage by McConnell, will dig for the truth and let the facts fall where they will?"

Does anyone really think that an "inquiry" conducted jointly by Democratic and Republican members of Congress will be "independent" of the toxic charade of the DC duopoly? We have, after all, seen such inquiries before -- several times.
 
 
+4 # pernsey 2017-02-16 13:24
If this was a dem they would already have started the hearings and investigation. Get this lunatic out of the White House he's dangerous!!
 
 
+1 # kath 2017-02-16 14:03
Shame on you Bill Moyers for ending a stellar career by falling for "The Russians are coming!" I have yet to see a report on this with any sourcing at all; sort of reminds me of the "It's a slam dunk, Iraq has WMDs" fiasco.
Donald Trump is fully capable of being a disaster on his own, without Russian aid (as a matter of fact, if the Russians were running him, don't you think he'd be at least a little smoother?)and in the battle between our miss-named intelligence community and our duly-elected president (like it or not) you have chosen the wrong side.
 
 
-2 # ericlipps 2017-02-16 22:52
Quoting kath:
Shame on you Bill Moyers for ending a stellar career by falling for "The Russians are coming!" I have yet to see a report on this with any sourcing at all; sort of reminds me of the "It's a slam dunk, Iraq has WMDs" fiasco.
Donald Trump is fully capable of being a disaster on his own, without Russian aid (as a matter of fact, if the Russians were running him, don't you think he'd be at least a little smoother?)and in the battle between our miss-named intelligence community and our duly-elected president (like it or not) you have chosen the wrong side.

O don't see how that's possible. That would imply there is a right side.

That said, don't think that the unlikelihood that the Russians ae "running" Trump means they aren't playing him. Nor does it mean their leaders didn't have (financial?) reasons for helping him reach the White House.
 
 
0 # dquandle 2017-02-18 00:02
"if the Russians were running him, don't you think he'd be at least a little smoother?"

excellent point.
 
 
+7 # Observer 47 2017-02-16 14:27
Bill and Michael,

I've respected your journalism for decades, but....where were you when the Dems rigged the primaries? Instead of speaking out for a fair nomination process, you simply supported Hillary. Makes your present position just a bit untenable, especially in light of the fact that Bernie Sanders probably would have defeated Donald Trump.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2017-02-16 21:00
"Where were you when the Dems rigged the primaries?"

Amen.
 
 
+8 # bdeja 2017-02-16 15:01
I wish that the Democrats had been so welcoming of Edward Snowden's, and others, whistle blowing as they have been with this CIA news dump. All were important and compellingly needed.
 
 
-5 # DongiC 2017-02-16 15:04
This dum-dum thinks he can speak well - he can't. Neither is he very smart nor can he write well. He covers his lack of expertise by lying and that is what he excels at. Such a character sews discord wherever he goes. Good luck, America, you will definitely need it.
 
 
+5 # Femihumanist 2017-02-16 15:06
"Independent bipartisan" is an oxymoron. We need "independent non-partisan". No political parties or even politicians involved. "Bi-partisan" or even "multi-partisan " would leave us with the same result as all the past commissions; that is, compromises on what to report and what to bury. Get truly independent people to investigate: historians, political scientists, code breakers, I don't know what else. I'm not an "expert" and I wouldn't be even if I had been a Senator for the past 50 years.
 
 
+5 # LandLady 2017-02-16 20:14
Kath is absolutely right that many of these comments have a bizarre "Russians Are Coming" tone.What exactly has Russia done to the U.S.that so many Americans feel they must insist that that country is our enemy? If we feel we must hate all Communist countries by definition, that says a lot more about us than about any Communist. Or has Russia attacked us? Threatened us? Spied? Yes, we all spy on each other. What have we done to Russia? Only joined in an INVASION of her mainland right after her revolution of 1917! Did Russia interfere with our recent election? Note that not a shred of evidence was ever offered for that accusation by our intelligence community that made it. All we got was the FBI and the CIA agree, so it must be true. Give me a break. Seasoned journalist Bill Moyers should know that the correct sentence of his should have been "that nation ALLEGEDLY" interfered in our elections." Or is he a professional part of the "rah-rah for war, any war will do" cheering section of the U.S. military-indust rial complex?
 
 
+2 # dquandle 2017-02-18 00:00
And Russia hasn't been "communist" for decades, thanks to US intervention in Russian elections, inserting the execrable Yeltsin in, who in turn, destroyed the country and turned it into the thoroughly pillaged kleptocratic paradise it is today
 
 
+5 # Dale 2017-02-17 08:49
With all the horrendous things that Trump is doing or sponsoring, I fail to understand why he is being attacked for possible Russian ties. Those who raise this as an issue overlook that it is the U.S. that consistently interventions in the elections and politics of other countries. Regime changes and bloody interventions have been practiced for decades. And now some of the Trump haters are using the old cold war smears of anti-communism. Shame. About the only hopefull expectation of the Trump regime is that the cold war can be ended. The sanctions against Russia came about as a result of neo-fascist coup in Ukraine carried out by the U.S. and NATO. Of course he will start a new one with China and carry on regime change anywhere and everywhere.
 
 
-2 # Robbee 2017-02-17 18:13
Quoting Dale:
With all the horrendous things that Trump is doing or sponsoring, I fail to understand why he is being attacked for possible Russian ties. Those who raise this as an issue overlook that it is the U.S. that consistently interventions in the elections and politics of other countries. Regime changes and bloody interventions have been practiced for decades. And now some of the Trump haters are using the old cold war smears of anti-communism. Shame. About the only hopefull expectation of the Trump regime is that the cold war can be ended. The sanctions against Russia came about as a result of neo-fascist coup in Ukraine carried out by the U.S. and NATO. Of course he will start a new one with China and carry on regime change anywhere and everywhere.

- that's exactly why robbee always says - "fuck rump if he can't take a joke!"
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2017-02-17 09:39
We are seeing a lot of hysteria about Russia, even though there are indications that it is a ruse being used to manipulate US.

For instance no one was worried about Russia a year ago, nor six months ago, then all of a sudden the stories were everywhere right before the election and, more significantly, after the election the stories went away! And now, here they are again, conveniently popping up as needed. Reminds me of the color alerts raised to red every time there was a story that embarrassed the Cheney administration.

Also suspicious, there are frequent breathless updates with 'new' information -- but the new information never gives any proof either. It's always a new opinion or information from an anonymous source with no proof available. I've seen five-year olds come up with better lies than this.

While it's very frustrating to watch Dems fall for this nonsense, it's also heartenening to read posts like those by kath, LandLady and Dale -- that show not everyone is a sheep waiting to be led to slaughter.
 
 
+4 # CDMR 2017-02-17 15:55
This is classic McCarthyism. Anyone who has had any connection with a Russian is suspect. All the charges are vague and made by unnamed sources.

No one seems to realize that Flynn's phone call with the Russian Ambassador was perfectly legal and a part of his job. It is no surprise that the Russian Ambassador brought up the sanctions. Why would he not?

I'm always amazed at what chumps the mass media take Americans for. They dump this McCarthyism crap on them and the American people lap it up just like ice cream. Will no one stand up and simply say that there is no story here.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2017-02-17 22:02
In the beginning reporters were outraged that Flynn had talked on the phone to Russia, but after a day or two with some people saying it seemed like a normal thing to do, THEN they started to say the REAL problem was how MANY times he called and the fact that the calls were at such a 'high level'.

If someone said THAT was normal they would come up with something else.

The manipulations seem so obvious and lame -- but people are buying it. No wonder the msm and oligarchs are following Goebbels playbook. It works like a charm

Theoretically one would think that our generations, being fairly experienced (indeed saturated) with media and technology, should be more sophisticated in its evaluation.

I guess there's still one born every minute.
 
 
+2 # dquandle 2017-02-17 23:57
Yes indeed "Democratic" McCarthyism at its worst. And we're supposed to believe the CIA and the "intelligence" community whose leaders came out and bald-faced lied to the entire American populace and to congress. But the "Democrats" didn't call for their prosecution. No Siree. Clinton and the Deep State military/intell igence neocons, who gave us murderous Nazi regime change in Ukraine, and gave Libya to ISIS, who supported and abetted the eternal Bush/Cheney/Oba ma wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, want war with Russia, and have always wanted war with Russia, and are bent on getting it whether she holds the White House or not. Hillary's icon Goldwater didn't manage to get armageddon in his time. She wants give it to him posthumously and has had feelers out to the cockroach community for a deal to leave the earth to them.
 
 
-3 # Jaax88 2017-02-17 12:48
Why all the bleeding hearts for poor little old Russia and Putin? I would like to know why America should not be concerned about the KGB trained thug Putin's military
activities and intimidation tactics? Make Putin prove he is on the up and up and has honest, peaceful and non-expansionis t intentions.

One thing Putin could do would be to abide with the nuclear treaties it already has and start to reduce its vast nuclear stockpile.
 
 
+3 # harleysch 2017-02-17 17:07
Jaax88 -- perhaps you missed the news that Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama authorized a $1 trillion upgrade of U.S. nuclear weapons; or that the Obama administration orchestrated a coup in Ukraine, that placed professed Hitler admirers in that nation's security forces and defense sector; or that the U.S. is proceeding with an ABM system in Rumania and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, while assuring Russia it was to protect against Iranian weapons -- which the Russians presume is actually targeting them, since we reached a deal with Iran.

It's not just Putin who needs to show he's on the "up and up" -- so must we. Putin has offered to work jointly with the U.S. to defeat ISIS. Why not let the U.S. military work with him on that? Given the U.S. role under Bush in creating the conditions for the emergence of ISIS, and the Obama administration' s funding of a civil war against Syria's elected government, which provided sophisticated weaponry to ISIS, it's time for us to show that we will cooperate for the common good.

Instead, non-stop slanderous, unproven attacks against Putin will not further those ends.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2017-02-17 22:10
Many Americans have missed the events you cite. The US press does not report it. Indeed, WaPo recently published a list of 'propagandists' who had in common their propensity for trying to bring these kind of truths to our attention. Can't have that.

Rather, if you could see or read much of the mainstream news here, you'd find they consistently say that RUSSIAN forces overthrew the Ukrainian government. They also do not report that we have expanded NATO to Russia's border and conducted extensive war games there.
 
 
+3 # dquandle 2017-02-17 23:47
Indeed, because "Democrats" prefer nuclear armageddon to working with Russia, ever since the dictator they inserted into Russia, Yeltsin,. in the "election" the US engineered there, who gave us the staggering, wildly corrupt kleptocracy that is modern Russia, went alcoholic smelly belly up, in the late 90's, after Clinton called his military attack on his own Duma an act akin to those of the US founding fathers. Just like their and the CIA's strategy of subverting democracy in Iran, with the monstrously vile Shah, ended up empowering the current theocratic fanatic regime there. Yet another instance of utterly failed US foreign policy, of destabilizing democratic tendencies, to yield tyrannies...
 
 
+1 # Observer 47 2017-02-18 14:39
Quoting Jaax88:
Make Putin prove he is on the up and up and has honest, peaceful and non-expansionis t intentions.


Why? Why should Putin have to do that? Because the US says so? What gives us the right to make such demands? As many regimes as the US has toppled, as many elections as it has influenced, as much superfluous weaponry as it has amassed, this country has no right to make demands on anyone else. The US is not honest or peaceful, and it does not have non-expansionis t intentions, so how could we possibly expect another country to prove possession of those characteristics ?
 
 
+3 # dquandle 2017-02-17 23:37
There is nothing as dangerous to democracy as when a group of "Democrats" come out full force in favor of essentially a coup, by the principal Deep State apparatus whose mission it has been for the past umpteen years to subvert and destabilize governments throughout the world. We have so called "progressives" coming out in support of the CIA, which has murdered and tortured hundreds of thousands of people, and started wars and subverted democratic processes for decades. They do this because they are opposed to Trump and didn't like the way the election went. This is mind bending and utterly frightening. The fact that this is being pushed by the "Democratic" apparatchiks who run that filthy and execrable party makes it all the more heinous. Any remnant that is left of the "democratic will of the people" is completely obliterated by this, by Democrats", by "progressives" who prefer a coup by organizations whose existence is bent on promoting terrorism throughout the world. They ally themselves with the utterly loathsome warmongering McCain and arch conservative Kristol on this. What a f-ing alliance: The "progressive Dems" with the the CIA, NSA, FBI, Kristol, McCain, + the filthy billionaires who backed Clinton, all het uo to start a nuclear war with Russia, while enacting the ultimate of anti-democratic "soft coups" here in the US. Trump need to be fought, incredibly hard, but not at the expense of allying with the central wellsprings of murderous evil in this country
 

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