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Strzok-gate

Attempted putsch of intelligence agencies against Trump:
 Peter Strzok use of Steele dossier for establishing surveillance on members of Trump Team and derailing Sanders

FBI Mayberry Machiavellians pushed Sanders under the bus by swiping Hillary "emailgate" dirt under the carpet, then used a dirty trick with dossier created by FBI contactor Fusion GPS to launch Russiagate investigation, put members of Trump team under surveillance, and eventually managed to appoint the Special Prosecutor to paralyze Trump administration and possibly depose Trump

News Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Steele dossier FISA Memo scandal Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Brennan elections machinations
Trump vs. Deep State Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" James "We are not weasels" Comey FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga FBI contractor Fusion GPS Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration
Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap? How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Michael Flynn removal from the Trump team DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Clapper role in putsch
MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution Wolff revelations and slander of Trump administration US and British media are servants of security apparatus Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Rosenstein key role in putsch against Trump: the appointment of the special prosecutor gambit NeoMcCartyism Anti Trump Hysteria MSM as fake news industry
The Deep State  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite NGOs and think tanks as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Neoconservatism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
History of American False Flag Operations National Security State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Color revolutions CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations   Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy
  The officials who exchanged the messages — senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page — once worked for Mueller’s team and were key players in a prior investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

... Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team in late July when his bosses found out about the texts.

The Washington Post, Dec 13, 2017

Yesterday, it was reported the ‘Steele Dossier’ was used as the underlying foundation for the DOJ and FBI to seek FISA Court Approvals to monitor the communications of the Trump campaign.

In essence, as of yesterday, [it was established that] the FBI used Clinton opposition research -- via Fusion GPS -- on candidate Donald Trump, to generate surveillance authority over her political opponent.

The Last Refuge, Jan 11, 2017


Introduction

From Mayberry Machiavellians point of view, separation of powers is divisive, tolerance a luxury, fairness is another word for weakness, and cooperation unnecessary. The term means extreme ruthlessness and putting the attainment and preservation of power ahead of any other consideration. Plenty of maxims that are also tossed about frequently in media are to be found in Machiavelli's book: "the end justifies the means," "it is better to be feared than loved," "if you fight the prince, kill the prince" to name a few.

The term "Strzok-gate" suggests that a part of FBI top brass (and a faction of Department of Justice, including Loretta Lynch, AG, Sally Yates, deputy AG, and Bruce Ohr, associate deputy AG), are guilty of bias, corruption, and attempt to interfere with the US Presidential elections. In view of this we now can completely reexamine Hillary Clinton's private email server scandal( aka "bathroom server", see How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal). It now is clear that they pushed Sanders under the bus, depriving him of the chance to became the candidate from the Democratic Party.

Therefore at the core of Strzok-gate is derailing Sanders candidacy in 2016 Presidential elections as well as fueling artificial Russiagate witch hunt. Now we have a couple of facts that suggest that this so called DNC hack, was actually a leak and most probably was a vicious false flag operation.

  1. The key idea of Russiagate is the claim that it was mysterious Russian hackers who downloaded damaging email that had shown utter level of corruption and bias of DNS and Hillary Campaign as well as total control of DNC by Clinton operatives.
  2. The second  part of Russiagate was unleashing neo-McCarthyism campaign based on specially created for this purpose fake document  called "Steele dossier".  The initial purpose was probably creating a pretext for establishing  surveillance on  the members of Trump team (as "insurance" for blackmail in case of Trump victory; McCabe  after all came from the unit which was fighting Russian organized crime in NYC (which is ethnically is by-and-large Jewish and Caucasian). And as such clearly knows the methods really well. But later it acquired its own momentum and became the way to whitewash Hillary Clinton political fiasco and blame it on Putin like some  kind of "Deus Ex Machina" that can save the power of the corrupt to the core Clinton wing of Democratic Party from the anger of voters, switching this anger on Russians.  In New York Andrew McCabe has close contacts with MI6 (Steele) and Justice Department (Bruce Ohr).  Among  their joint achievements was retribution on FIFA for not voting for the USA to host World Football Championship, which let to resignation of FIFA President  and several convictions in National football associations in Latin America.  In which Steele played an important role. Like in saying "For friends everything, for enemies the law". We now see all those players in Steele dossier saga, and this is probably not accidental. Christopher Steele, Andrew McCabe and Bruce Ohr probably know each other for years.

From what we know as of January 2018 the operational part of Stzrok-gate consists of at least following overlapping operations (listed not exactly in chronological order)

  1. Swiping under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal and thus derailing Sanders candidacy (which at this point looks like a provable crime committed by "FBI Mayberry Machiavellians")
  2. False flag operation with  organizing Russian lobbyist Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr.
  3. False flag operatin by FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike with DNC leak saga -- blaming it on Russians. It is quite probable that the "intrusion" was a false flag operation  which involved FBI, Crowdstrike and elements on CIA and was directed against Sanders and Trump.  It helped to save Hillary candidacy and ensure her becoming the candidate from Democratic Party in 2016 Presidential elections.
  4. Creation of falsified Steele dossier by FBI contractor Fusion GPS and British intelligence services
  5. Obtaining FISA court warrant using Steele dossier by FBI Mayberry Machiavellians
  6. Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
  7. "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections
  8. Unleasing witch hunt against Trump in neoliberal MSM
  9. Attempt to instigate the Electoral college revolt
  10. Attempt to instigate violate demonstrations on the capital during inauguration
  11. Michael Flynn removal from the Trump team (as a former head of military intelligence agency he was the most dangerous for plotters member of Trump team)
  12. Coordinated set of damaging to Trump leaks by senior intelligence officiials such as Comey
  13. Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit
  14. Neutering Flynn using entrapment and indictment on  falsified charge by Peter Strzok
  15. Hyping to the stratosphere Trump Tower meeting as proof of "collision"  (using Wolff'f book as a pretext)
  16. Using "mentally unstable" meme to discredit Trump and  his administration. As Peter Van Buren said "His opponents are trying to use the 25th Amendment as a backdoor to impeachment, but that’s more Maoist than American." As John Grudlos noted on January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am 
    In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the “zersetzung” tactic. The idea was to *induce* a “personal crisis” through clandestine harassment, including at the hands of acquaintances secretly recruited by the Stasi. In other words, ... trying to cause *real* mental illness by relentlessly gaslighting selected individual dissidents until they cracked.

Judging from this list Peter Strzok has a lot to answer for and first of all for undermining the remnants of republic and democracy and turning the USA into what Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarism":

“One cannot point to any national institution[s] that can accurately be described as democratic... surely not in the highly managed, money-saturated elections, the lobby-infested Congress, the imperial presidency, the class-biased judicial and penal system, or, least of all, the media.”
Wolin showed us all the realities of and remnant of the US democracy after conversion of the USA from the republic to empire.  But he missed the key role of intelligence agencies in this process. Looks like powerful intelligence agencies are incomparable with both republican form of government and the democracy (even in emasculated form offered by two party system).

In this case it is clear that FBI undermined  even few remnants of the republican form of government (governance by elected officials, instead of appointees of some clique, junta, unelected committee of some Party, or  members of royal family) which survived the onslaught of neoliberalism.  Also it looks like the "Deep state" is effectively strangulated  democracy even in this very limited two party form,  as we can see from FBI actions in Sanders case.  And Sanders was definitely a member of the elite, not some random guy from nowhere.

The second part f Strzok-gate -- fueling McCarthyism hysteria -- is no less dangerous. It successfully pushed the country on a very dangerous path -- the war path advocated by neocons and MIC.  As Biney aptly said on Jan 1, 2018  ( https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/01/the-still-missing-evidence-of-russia-gate/  ):

 "Ultimately, my main concern is that it could lead to actual war with Russia.  We should definitely not be going down that path.  We need to get out of all these wars.  I am also concerned about what we are doing to our own democracy.  We are trampling the fundamental principles contained in the Constitution.  The only way to reverse all this is to start indicting people who are participating in and managing these activities that are clearly unconstitutional."
IMHO the current neo-McCarthyism campaign that was deployed to solve some internal problems within the Democratic Party (rejection by electorate and subsequent political fiasco of Hillary Clinton)  is a very dangerous tool. You can't blame Trump victory on Russia. It is a sign of systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA, somewhat similar to the crisis of Marxism the USSR experienced before dissolution.  Rust Belt voters rejected Hillary and that was it.

In such crisis the elite is de-legitimized and often resort to dirty tricks to regain the lost legitimacy. A war is one  such  trick. Neo-McCarthyism campaign is another. Of course Russia in far from being a saint and bear responsibility for unleashing the civil war in Donbass (and generally destabilizing Ukraine -- it is a curse to be a  neighbor our of such a large and powerful country; Canadians and Mexicans probably think the same ;-) , but what currently we see in major  MSM looks to me like a classic witch hunt with the implicit goal to whitewash humiliating for neoliberal Democrats (Clinton wing of the party) defeat and blame it on the external force (Putin looks really like "Deus Ex Machina" for Democrats ;-)

We can view Strzok-gate as an important, if not critical part of this dirty game.

The summary of charges against Strzok and FBI

Wikipedia, which for this topic can be viewed as CIApedia provides a  good summary of charges (which are supported by available facts and thus represent opinion of any skeptical observer of Strzok-gate):

In the wake of the publication of Strzok's messages, Fox News intensified its anti-Mueller rhetoric, and its political commentator Jesse Watters said that the investigation now amounted to a coup against President Trump, if "the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes".[46][47][48][49][50] One guest on Fox's talk and news show Outnumbered, Kevin Jackson, speculated that Strzok's messages were evidence of a plot by FBI agents to make "an assassination attempt or whatever" against President Trump, which other Fox hosts quickly contradicted and said was not "credible".[51]

Fox News figures referred to the investigation as "corrupt", "crooked" and "illegitimate", and likened the FBI to the KGB, the Soviet-era spy organization that routinely tortured and summarily executed people.[46] Political scientists and scholars of coups described the Fox News rhetoric as scary and dangerous.[46] Experts on coups rejected that Mueller's investigation amounted to a coup; rather the Fox News rhetoric was dangerous to democracy and mirrored the kind of rhetoric that occurs before purges.[46]

The text messages were featured in the Fox News Channel's rhetoric criticizing Mueller's investigation and urging President Donald Trump to fire Mueller.[48] Sources close to the White House told Politico that such rhetoric was intended to give Trump political cover to issue pardons to those involved in Mueller's investigation.[52]

As we can see there are four main charges which we will reformulate as following:

  1. This was a coup against Sander and Trump and for Sanders FBI succeeded in eliminating him from the Presidential race, effectively changing the outcome of 2016 Presidential Elections as Sunders have had higher chances of defeating Trump than "corrupt warmonger" Hillary and Trump election bid was fortified by disgruntled Sanders supporters who voted for him instead of Hillary.
  2. This is Beria-style witch hunt against Trump. The investigation was weaponized to destroy Trump presidency for partisan political purposes and was instrumental in unleashing Russiagate and neo-McCarthyism campaign in the  USA.  Russiagate itself is a fiction, a fabrication created for specific purposes,  as Strzok himself admitted in one of his test messages to Lisa Page. Lavrentiy Beria quipped "Show me a man and I will find you a crime". Not that Trump is angel (and for any real estate developer, actually for any CEO of a large corporation, you can dig a dirt if you have unlimited financing from the state)  but using Beria-style methods against him makes the situation  even worse.  In this  case Manafort counter-lawsuit is a very important development.  Essentially, the possibility of the gambit resulting by the appointment of the Special Prosecutor blocks any possibility to occupy the position of the POTUS for anybody who is not supported by intelligence agencies making them the kingmakers, the Praetorian guard that controls the President, instead of protecting him
  3. End justifies the mean approach: the investigation methods were "corrupt", "crooked" and "illegitimate", which makes the FBI to look like the KGB.  Steele dossier is a criminal attempt which used a foreign power (GB) for explicit purposes to undermine Trump. Crowdstrike investigation of DNC servers probably was a false flag operation. The entrapment of General Flynn suggest determination to find dirt on Trump using "end justify the means" approach. 
  4. Mueller investigation is irrevocably compromised and the best way out is to fire Mueller to avoid Stalinism style "show trials". From the very beginning Rosenstein action was a political action directed to depose Trump by illegal means. His deliberate failure to limit the scope of investigation suggests that he along with a several other NeverTrumpters belongs to the branch of FBI Mayberry Machiavellians located in the Department of Obstruction of justice ;-). The set of people Mueller recruited for the investigation suggest that Mueller understands his task as "depose Trump" assignment as well. Dirty methods used against General Flynn (entrapment) only increase our confidence that this is the case.

The origin of the term Strzok-gate

The term "Strzok-gate" was used by Alexander Mercouris as the title of his article  in Duran written Dec 10, 2017 Strzok-gate and the Mueller cover-up. Which covers only one part of the story -- the launching of Russiagate using Steele dossier as a pretext which eventually resulted in appointment of the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump.

He missed the other, in my opinion, more important part: Strzok role in pushing sanders under the bus and thus really changing the dynamics of the US Presidential election. In a way FBI "the gang of three" (Comey, McCabe and Strzok) acted as kingmakers, which in a way secured Trump victory by promoting rabid warmonger with health problems as a candidate from Democratic Party.

Here the term was re-invented independently, but the priority belongs to Alexander Mercouris.

We well briefly discuss five issues that are encompassed by the term Strzok-gate, as used on this page. Please understand that very few facts are known so some discussions might be incomplete and/or incorrect. Also I do not have time to follow all the events. this is an amateur work which was done in my own free time.

Here are the five issues that I think needs to be known and discussed:  

  1. Corruption in performing private email server investigation by pro-Clinton wing of FBI.  Look like "the gang of three" was not only hell-bent on "saving the country from Trump" but also "saved" the country from election of Sanders.  That's the most important part of Strzok-gate where  "the gang of three" really influenced the US Presidential election, because indictment of Hillary would result in Sanders becoming the candidate from Democratic Party. Otherwise the level of corruption in DNC was firm guarantee of Hillary coming on the top.  We now know that DNC was just a lapdog of Hillary campaign Apparatchiks.
  2. Using Steele dossier as a ram to obtain court order to spy on Trump and/or his associates in order to get dirt on them (aka "insurance" in remote case of their victory).
  3. Using Steele dossier to fuel "Russia-gate" witch hunt (in close cooperation with CIA Brennan and Clapper)
  4. Trying the unleash a witch hunt criminalizing any contacts with Russians in order to blackmail some former Trump associates (Flynn removal) and implicate Trump in Russian ties.
  5. "Appointment of the special Prosecutor" gambit.  When that first initiated firing of Comey and  they use it as a pretext to appoint the Special Prosecutor (who in this case should be called the Grand Inquisitor" ;-) That includes criminal "Comey leaks".  As Lawrentiy Beria quipped long ago "Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime." That's essentially a scope that Rosenstein (who should be viewed as a co-conspirator of the FBI "gang of three") assigned to Mueller.   Rod Rosenstein & Mueller Investigation Claims That It’s Limited Don’t Stand Up National Review

    Pressed by Wallace, Rosenstein was reduced to tautology: Mueller is not engaged in a “fishing expedition,” you see, because “the special counsel is subject to the rules and regulations of the Department of Justice, and we don’t engage in fishing expeditions.”

    I see. This, er, explanation put me in mind of a defense lawyer I once encountered while prosecuting a terrorism case. The defendant, he explained, could not be a terrorist because the lawyer’s firm did not represent terrorists. Pretty compelling, no?

    Unfortunately, Wallace did not engage the DAG on the fundamental flaw in his appointment of Mueller. Rosenstein maintains that DOJ officials (presumably including himself) are subject to “the rules and regulations of the Department of Justice.” Yet, those rules and regulations expressly mandate that there be a basis for a criminal investigation or prosecution before a special counsel is appointed. The appropriate scope of the investigation is not supposed to be something to which the DAG and the special counsel agree in off-the-record conversations. It is governed by what is supposed to be the specified predicate for a criminal investigation without which there should be no special-counsel appointment in the first place.

    Don’t take my word for it. The regulation, 28 CFR Sec. 600.1, states that the Justice Department may appoint a special counsel when it is “determine[d] that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted,” and that the Justice Department’s handling of “that investigation or prosecution of that person or matter” in the normal course “would present a conflict of interest for the Department” (emphasis added). The regulation does not permit the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel in order to determine whether there is a basis for a criminal investigation. To the contrary, the basis for a criminal investigation must pre-exist the appointment. It is the criminal investigation that triggers the special counsel, not the other way around.

    Rosenstein, instead, appointed a special counsel and unleashed him to sniff around and see if he could come up with a crime.

    It is specious to claim, as Rosenstein does, that his citation of the Russia counterintelligence investigation is a sufficiently definite statement of the scope of the investigation. As we have frequently pointed out, a counterintelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation. There need be no suspicion of crime before a counterintelligence probe is commenced. The purpose of the latter is to collect information about a foreign power, not to investigate a suspected crime. As shown above, however, the need to probe a specific suspected crime is, by regulation, the prerequisite for appointing a special counsel.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450230/rod-rosenstein-mueller-investigation-claims-its-limited-dont-stand

"Insurance" against Trump victory as the central issue of Strzok-gate

Please understand that public knows very little about Strzokgate and probably will never know much; and this page is just a summary of open sources. Based on available open sources the idea of "insurance" for the Mayberry Machiavellians at FBI looks like the central issue of Strzok-gate.  What kind of insurance Peter Strzok meant is currently unclear. Most probably some dirty trick or false flag operation (As of December 2017 we have facts that allow to view Russiagate as a false flag operation) to discredit Trump.  It can be several steps at once. Any combination of:

There are a couple of YouTube videos that provide some additional insights into Strzok-gate, which I would recommend to watch:

Strzok worked on secret matters of espionage involving China and Russia and was involved in creation of 17 agencies memo

Summarizing it is very interesting that approximately July 2017 Strzok served as the deputy head of FBI counter-intelligence, and worked on secret matters of espionage involving China and Russia.

Making him the major  counterpart for CIA and  specifically Brennan.

He probably also participated in creating of the infamous "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections  pushed by Brennan and Clapper.  Which in turn played a significant role in the appointment of the special prosecutor, the gambit against Trump played in May 2017.

Peter Strzok role in suppression of Hillary Clinton "emailgate" scandal
and helping Hillary and her team to avoid prosecution

An important known fact about Peter Strzok is that he was the top investigator of Hillary "emailgate" scandal swiped the dirt under the carpet. Which allowed Comey to exonerate her just before Democratic Convention ( Anti-Trump FBI Agent Changed Language Of Hillary Email Scandal From Grossly Negligent To Extremely Careless )

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the source said. The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter.

If this was not an interference in the US Presidential election by the US intelligence agencies, do not know what it.

As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also was a liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.

Starting on July 10, 2015, Strzok led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.[11] During the investigation, Strzok changed then-FBI Director James Comey's draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" (which is a criminal offense when related to dealing with classified information) to "extremely careless".[6]

A source familiar with FBI supervisory agent Peter Stzrok’s involvement in the Hillary Clinton server investigation confirmed CNN’s report that he changed ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless.

Strzok and his team helped review newly discovered Clinton emails days before Election Day.[11]

Peter Strzok reviewed and cleared the Anthony Weiner-Huma Abedin emails in RECORD TIME before the election and said he FOUND NOTHING.

Strzok was conducted interviews with Hillary Clinton and members of her team involved in emailgate.  They all got immunity from prosecution from FBI. Granted immunity to her close cycle (Mills and Abedin) was extremely important for shutting down the investigation. 

This change of Comey's statement definition of Hillary actions from "gross negligence" which is a criminal action if you work with classified documents to "extreme carelessness" was critical in exonerating Hillary and,  taking into account the level of corruption of DNC, in throwing Sanders under the bus.  

Leading role in unleashing Russiagate witch hunt

In July 2016 Strzok signed a document opening the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[6][12]  That's open road to use of Steele Dossier as a pretext to wiretapping of Trump team during the elections

It has also been revealed that Strzok was the FBI agent who interviewed both Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's two top aides.  Mills and Abedin made misleading statements to the FBI in that interview but went unpunished.

All Clinton  associates were given immunity from prosecution by FBI. 

Another important know  fact is that Strzok gave Hillary Clinton a unique "get out of jail" chance by editing Comey's statement. He changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the sources said.

The federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for "gross negligence."

Strzok role in Steele dossier saga and placing members of Trump team under surveillance

Strzok played important role in using Steele dossier as a pretext to wiretapping of Trump team during the elections.  James Rosen suggests he has CIA connections as well. It would be strange if he has none, just based on his job description at FBI.

CNN reported  that Strzok was the FBI official who signed the document officially opening an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to sources familiar with the matter. As the No. 2 official in counterintelligence, Strzok was considered to be one of the bureau's top experts on Russia.

Most probable he was just a hired gun who received certain "recommendations" as this was part of the efforts of Obama administration to find dirt on Trump and derail his election campaign ( see also Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations? ):

And likely there were others.

Steele dossier which was created by former MI6 agent probably with at least tacit approval and support of MI6 and this is a matter that  affects both British-Russian British-USA relations and in such matters Steele could not make any decision on his own, no matter how greedy and beholden to Hillary Clinton he was.   This is like bombing Kremlin and expecting that Russian will not notice.

As Daily Mail noted Russian embassy issues dark tweet about Christopher Steele scandal Daily Mail Online

'MI6 officers are never ex'

... Downing Street refused to be drawn on whether the government had offered any assistance to Steele.

So it was British government agency which approved hatchet job to discredit  Trump and ensure Hillary Clinton victory (in which GB government was very interested).  Look How BBC presented it on Mar 30, 2017: Trump Russia dossier key claim 'verified'. Guardian took a very similar stance Christopher Steele believes his dossier on Trump-Russia is 70-90% accurate US news The Guardian. So British establishment rallied behind the author of the dossier.  The fact that Luke Harding published book on the topic also confirm that suspicion that this was at least partially the government-sponsored operation in which Steele played the role of patsy.  For British government that  stated in Hillary victory and later in removing Trump are sufficiently high to scarifies the relations with Russia (which already reached a very low point, close to the worst possible without declaration of war).

When the dossier was created it quickly found its way to Strzok desk (birds of feather think similarly, do no they)

As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.

House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, D-Calif., has sought documents and witnesses from the Department of Justice and FBI to determine what role, if any, the dossier played in the move to place a Trump campaign associate under foreign surveillance.

Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was "documentary evidence" that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.

In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning, sources said.

While Strzok's removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators. The denial of access to Strzok was instead predicated, sources said, on broad "personnel" grounds.

When a month had elapsed, House investigators – having issued three subpoenas for various witnesses and documents – formally recommended to Nunes that DOJ and FBI be held in contempt of Congress. Nunes continued pressing DOJ, including a conversation with Rosenstein as recently as last Wednesday.

Did FBI paid Steele additional money for the dossier is currently unclear.

Was Trump tower meeting an attempt of entrapment by FBI?

The meeting took place in June 2018. If was organized by FBI contractor Fusion GPS (which might also has CIA ties via some associates and is in the center Steele dossier scandal and Strzokgate) and as such might be an attempt of entrapment.

Natalia Veselnitskaya was initially denied entry into the United States, only to be allowed in under "extraordinary circumstances" by Obama's Homeland Security Department and approved by former AG Loretta Lynch so she could represent Fusion GPS client Denis Katsyv's company, Prevezon Holdings - and attend the meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. - arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone.

It is really interesting and not well know fact that it was a Fusion GPS associate British (beware of Brit setting up meetings ;-)  "music publicist" Rob Goldstone (who was a tabloid journalist in the past) was the person, who set up this meeting misrepresenting Natalia Veselnitskaya as a person connected with Russian government  who might have goods on Hillary. Natalia own interests were more modest -- to lobby against Magnitsky act. That's why meeting was so short. And this Fusion GPS associate was strangely active before the  meeting travelling to Russia (probably collecting dirt for Steele dossier in Moscow musical circles  ;-):

Goldstone’s posts indicate that he was in Moscow 10 days before the 9 June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower, and then returned to spend most of that July in Russia and Azerbaijan.

As WaPo stated Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Trump’s outside counsel, alleged that ( The Washington Post July 11, 2017)

the meeting had been set up under false pretenses and implied that Veselnitskaya’s association with Fusion GPS was relevant to the alleged deception.

“Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier,” Corallo said in a statement.

Even before Trump’s legal team suggested the Veselnitskaya meeting was a dirty trick to set up the younger Trump, pro-Trump media outlets had been calling on federal and Senate investigators to look into the activities of the firm, which is run by two former journalists and has done research for both Republicans and Democrats alike.

What is really funny that later " William Browder, the chief of Hermitage Capital ... filed the complaint against Fusion GPS and several other entities he alleges were working on behalf of the Russians."  William Browder is suspected to be the former  agent on MI6, much like Christopher  Steele was. As Josh Rogin wrote ( The Washington Post July 11, 2017) :

Browder told me the he will testify that the fact Veselnitskaya was trying to convince Trump campaign officials and family members to change U.S. policy on Russia clearly shows she was acting as an agent of the Russian government.

... ... ...

Fusion GPS has said that it was working for the law firm BakerHostetler, which was representing Prevezon, a Russian holding company based in Cyprus, in its defense against Justice Department allegations that Prevezon laundered money stolen in the fraud Magnitsky uncovered. Veselnitskaya was Prevezon’s lawyer. Fusion GPS started working on the case in 2013 and the case settled in May with no admission of guilt by Prevezon.

... ... ...

Prevezon is owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv. His father, Pyotr Katsyv, was vice premier and minister of transport of Moscow region from 2004 to 2012. Katsyv’s deputy minister was Alexander Mitusov, Veselnitskaya’s ex husband.

Another funny story is that " Veselnitskaya’s meeting with Donald Trump Jr. is not mentioned in Steele dossier that Fusion GPS produced for its American political clients." Despite all super-duper connection the Christopher Steele supposedly has had on the highest levels of  the Russian government ;-). Such a James Bond II.

Bannon  was not part of Trump organization at this  time (he joined the campaign only on Aug 17, 2016, two month later), so why he uttered such suicidal (self-immolating as Karl Rove put it) comments about the meeting he has no first-hand information about is completely unclear. Rage can do such things even if one has no first hand knowledge of the event. Wolff decided to milk the Trump administration and write the book only in Feb 2017.  So it is natural that he decided to spice the book with this quote, which was probably made after Bannon ouster is September 2017.

There were eight persons in this very short meeting. One was the translator, as Natalia Veselnitskaya does not speak English (big problem for a Russian agent sent to infiltrate Trump campaign; I do not thing Russian FSB, or whatever agency charged with such things,  is that stupid  ;-).  

Another funny thing about this meeting is that presence of Rob Golstone guaranteed that all information from this meeting goes directly to FBI and Clinton campaign.  So are supposed to believe that Russians with (according to Russiagate hysteria) all-seeing and super-capable intelligence agencies did not know who he was and whom he represented.

Actually a couple of hours of Google browsing on this topic convinced me that the main audience of neoliberal MSM such as CNN, MSNBC, WaPo, NYT, etc are brainwashed dummies, who are incapable or too lazy to do a couple of Google searches ;-)

Which later became artificially inflated as a proof of "collision" with Russian of Trump team. As widely used in "Russiagate color revolution" against Trump propaganda. As CNN reported  (Trump Tower Russia meeting At least eight people in the room - CNNPolitics, July 15, 2017):

The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort included at least eight people.

The revelation of additional participants comes as The Associated Press first reported Friday that a Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin said he also attended the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. CNN has reached out to Akhmetshin for comment.

So far acknowledged in attendance: Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Akhmetshin and publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting. A source familiar with the circumstances told CNN there were at least two other people in the room as well, a translator and a representative of the Russian family who had asked Goldstone to set up the meeting. The source did not provide the names.

WH aides exposed to scrutiny over Russia meeting response

Akhmetshin is a registered lobbyist for Veselnitskaya's organization, which has focused on lobbying Washington to overturn the Magnitsky sanctions, according to lobbying records. The Magnitsky Act allows the US to withhold visas and freeze the assets of Russians thought to have violated human rights. Veselnitskaya founded a group purporting to seek the removal of Moscow's ban on the adoption of Russian children by US citizens, which it put in place in retaliation for the Magnitsky Act. She has also sought to repeal that law.

In early Jan 2018 the bank for opposition research firm Fusion GPS handed over financial records on Friday, after a Federal judge struck down the firm's attempt to conceal the records from the House Intelligence Committee the previous day.  At issue are 70 financial transactions from 2016, however Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) demanded "complete" records going all the way back to Aug. 2015 Fusion filed for an injunction - claiming Nunes issued the subpoena illegally, it was overly broad, and it was a violation of the 1st amendment.

The request also covers a period in which Fusion was paid $523,651 by a law firm for a Russian businessman whose company, Prevezon Holdings, Ltd. settled with the U.S. Justice department for $5.9 million. The Russian's attorney for this settlement was none other than Natalia Veselnitskaya of Trump Tower meeting fame.

Federal District Court Judge Richard Leon, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote a scorching denial to Fusion's request - concluding that Nunes legally issued the subpoena, it wasn't overly broad, and that the transactions are not covered by the first amendment.

In late November, The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross reported that heavily redacted Fusion GPS bank records unsealed Tuesday reveal DNC law firm Perkins Coie paid Fusion a total of $1,024,408 in 2016 for opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump - including the 34-page dossier.

Ross also reported that law firm Baker Hostelter paid Fusion $523,651 between March and October 2016 on behalf of a company owned by Russian businessman and money launderer Denis Katsyv to research Bill Browder, a London banker who helped push through the Magnitsky Act -- named after deceased Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky who helped Brower to avoid taxes in Russia via criminal schemes. 

Katsyv was busted for a high level embezzlement and money laundering scheme, sanctioned by Russian Officials, in which large sums of money were stolen from the Russian government and invested in New York real estate. Some of the missing funds were traced to Katsyv's firm, Prevezon Holdings Ltd., which settled with the Justice Department in 2017 - paying $5.9 million in fines. Nunes' Subpoena cover banking records from the period in which Katsyv utilized Fusion GPS services.

How Natalia can be an agent of the Russian government, when in fact she was the lawyer for a company stealing from the Russian govt...?

So 'the Russians' in this story could well be DNC and their real money people, like the hedge funds guy and the hotel heiress.

Taras Bulba Jan 6, 2018 10:35 PM
A couple of points on the Browder matter, which in an era of anti-Russian hysteria, seems to taken on a life of its own and resulted in the passage of the Magnitsky Act by our "diligent" congress:

Entrapment  of general Flynn

Strzok participated  in the Jan 24, 2016 interview with then-national security adviser Michael Flynn. Later Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.[14] Which taking into account Flynn biography and Mueller scope of investigation can be classified as a deliberate entrapment.  Here how Tim Suereth described this deliberate mafia-style behaviour (Was Flynn Framed? ,

When Flynn was interviewed at the White House by the FBI on January 24th , he had no idea he was entering an interrogation. He was initially contacted by Deputy FBI Director Andrew Macabe, by phone, to tell him that there were some FBI agents on their way over and that they had clearance to get through the gate. Flynn thought that the agents were coming over to do some additional training of security protocols around the White House that had been going on through the previous week so he was completely unprepared for the interrogation. He did not realize he was even being interviewed until a few minutes into a conversation with the FBI agents at his office. He did not have an attorney present, or was given the opportunity to have one. Instead, FBI agent Peter Strzok was successful in confusing and rattling General Flynn until he got the lie he was looking for.

A former U.S. intelligence official told Hannity.com , "with the recent revelation that Strzok was removed from the Special Counsel investigation for making anti-Trump text messages it seems likely that the accuracy and veracity of the Flynn's interview as a whole should be reviewed and called into question. The most logical thing to happen would be to call the other FBI Special Agent present during Flynn's interview before the Grand Jury to recount his version. How logical is it that Flynn is being charged for lying to an agent whose character and neutrality was called into question by the Special Counsel."

The FBI surveillance of General Flynn began out of an illegal unmasking of Trump associates and presidential campaign staff by Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice during the 2016 election, and due to the now discredited DNC funded Dodgy Dossier. So the Obama administration illegally surveil the incoming NSA Advisor and then use it to set up a perjury trap for Flynn who is engaged in perfectly legal and patriotic activity. #entrapment#BSIndictment#set- up.

In no way talking to Russia ambassador on a recoded line can be qualified as "collision" with foreign government. Only drunk idiot can assume that former director of intelligence of the army agency did not understand the limits of such conversations. 

In other words FBI deliberately pushed Flynn under the bus, entrapping him by interviewing him about details of the meeting, which NSA wiretapped in full. That makes pursuing accusation  against Flynn for lying to FBI a walk in the park: you can always claim that missing or embellished details are a lie.  This is a disingenuous but effective tactic. 

Leading role in Robert Mueller investigation

According to Wikipedia, in June 2017, Strzok became the top FBI agent working for Robert Mueller's 2017 Special Counsel investigation looking into any links or coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. Which means that he became the key figure in color revolution against Trump launched by Clinton's neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party along with supporting parts of US intelligence agencies, as well as some Republicans, especially neocons.

 On December 1, 2017 general Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to FBI (Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller - CNNPolitics ). Which was direct result of Strzok efforts.

He worked only for two month in this role.  After his  texts to Lisa Page was discovered by Inspector General, he was quietly removed by Mueller in late July 2017. Rosenstein was informed bout the texts. But it looks like Mueller failed to inform Rosenstein and House committee on intelligence about this important event.

Around the same time he was demoted in FBI to pushed into HR department (which gives his substantial influence in recruiting like-mined new members of FBI).

In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning.

Who is Peter Strzok?


By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section, a subordinate section of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.[4] He led a team of a dozen investigators to examine Hillary Clinton's emails, including reviewing emails discovered just a few days before Election Day, and helped to draft public statements about it.[21]

For example, while working on a team to draft a statement for then-FBI Director James Comey, he changed the description of Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent", which could be a criminal offense, to "extremely careless".[4]

Peter Strzok - Wikipedia

Partially based on Wikipedia page.

 Peter P. Strzok II (born in 1970, currently 47 year old) was until July 2017  the key figure in Clinton Email investigation and Trump Russiagate investigation as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and second in command of counterintelligence.  He is the central figure of so called Strzok-gate scandal.

After high school in Minnesota, Strzok graduated from Georgetown University in 1991, and in 2013 (12 years later) received a master's degree there.[8]  It in unclear in which  area and I hope it was not law, but the linguistic department with major in Russian language.  But his  wife is a lawyer, so he is probably a lawyer too. Strzok then became an officer in the U.S. Army. Only after that he became an counter-intelligence research specialist in the FBI.[9] He was probably recruited at the university.

He jointed FBI in mid-1990s and that means that  he was with FBI around 20 years. Which is not that much for such a complex area as counter-espionage. The impression is that he was yet another "FBI politician", a ruthless careerist with the goal of climbing the executive ladder.

His job requires coordination and constant contacts with CIA, as moles are often exposed by CIA channels (often by turncoats recruited by CIA, as was the case with Anna Chapman ). Despite being only 47 years old he is "considered one of the most experienced FBI counterintelligence investigators" NYT.[10].  This experience did not prevented him from having extra-marital affair within the agency. Which somewhat discredits the claim that he was experienced counter-intelligence professional as at this point he could be blackmailed by any other intelligence agency including  CIA to do their bidding.  At the time of his affair he Strzok is married to Hodgman, 49, who was named to her position with the SEC in October 2016 and has $229,968 salary in 2016 (FederalPay.org).

The claim that he is "considered to be one of the Bureau's top experts on Russia" ( CNN ) is strange. I wonder how this possible.  Especially in view of existence of so many children of Russian émigrés who understand both the language and culture (Alperovich from Crowdstrike is a good example here).  Otherwise you need to spend at least five years in Russia under diplomatic cover, as Russia is, in a way, a different civilization distinct from Anglo-Saxon civilization. In any case Russia is very difficult country to understand without strong cultural ties or family history. And without the ability to read Russian documents  that value of such a specialist is minimal, if exists at all. Another typical way is being stationed in Russia for several years as a foreign correspondent of one on the major newspapers. Several prominent British Russophobes with ties to MI6 after being recruited at the university followed this particular career path (see, for example  Luke Harding: a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book )

Despite being  a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter (judging from his texts to Lisa Page ) he was assigned by Comey (or McCabe) as the top investigator both Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server, and allegations of collusion of Trump team with Russians in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election

Which give James Comey famous bon-mot "we are not weasels"  a new meaning. At this point weasels might really object, as this was apparently more like a can of worms ;-). All those tidbits  leaked In December 2017 to unsuspecting public so far paint a picture of FBI as a highly politicized and dysfunctional organization without strong internal controls, which is as far from dispassionate pursue of justice as one  can get.  Hillary Clinton (aka The Queen) was definitely above the law for FBI brass.  

Removal from Mueller investigation

While he  jointed knowing that the investigation is fake, he did not last long. In late July or early August 2017, Strzok was removed from Mueller's team and moved to a human resources position at the agency. that happened because  Michael E. Horowitz reported to Mueller about the text messages transmitted between Strzok and Lisa Page, who worked at the FBI for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe emerged, which put into question his impartiality.  The text messages appeared to be anti-Donald Trump in nature,[16][17] and also contained personal information concerning to the Justice Department.[4]

Lisa Page with whom Strzok has an affair was assigned to Mueller's investigation as a trial attorney until she left in late September 2017.[18][19]

Subject of ongoing investigation

Michael E. Horowitz, the Inspector General (IG) of the Justice Department, has an ongoing probe into how the FBI handled the high profile investigations.[10][22] Fox News reported that a source close to the probe says it will examine Strzok's participation in various other politically sensitive matters, and that the probe should be done by "very early next year."[23] The IG's probe began in January 2017, and Horowitz expects to issue a report in March or April of 2018 at the latest.[10]

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has agreed to allow the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to interview Strzok.[24] They have also agreed to give that committee the more than 10,000 text messages between Strzok and Page once they are redacted.[25]

Personal life

Strzok is married to Melissa Hodgman, who became an associate director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in October 2016.[26][27][28]

Has had an affair with Lisa Page, FBI attorney. She was also assigned to Mueller's investigation (probably to compensate for Strzok bias against Trump ;-) as a trial attorney until she left in late September 2017.[18][19]


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[Feb 21, 2018] Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing!

Feb 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Partisan | Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

[Feb 20, 2018] Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing!

Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Partisan | Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

[Feb 19, 2018] Nunes FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Nunes chances to bring perpetrators to justice are close to zero. The Deep State controls the Washington, DC and can withstand sporadic attacks.
It is an extremly courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview.
Notable quotes:
"... Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday. ..."
"... He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial." ..."
"... The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory. ..."
"... On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.) ..."
"... At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ..."
"... One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. ..."
"... On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." ..."
"... It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed. ..."
"... I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls. ..."
"... I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. ..."
"... Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually. ..."
"... The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people. ..."
"... But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip. ..."
"... It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites. ..."
"... The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead. ..."
"... Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. ..."
"... Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort. ..."
"... Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence! ..."
"... In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office. ..."
"... Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have ..."
"... Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out? ..."
"... While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has stated that "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," and could face legal consequences for alleged abuses of the FISA court, reports Ray McGovern.

Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday.

Attkisson said she had invited both Nunes and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) but that only Nunes agreed. She asked him about Schiff's charge that Nunes' goal was "to put the FBI and DOJ on trial." What followed was very atypical bluntness -- candor normally considered quite unacceptable in polite circles of the Washington Establishment.

Rather than play the diplomat and disavow what Schiff contended was Nunes' goal, Nunes said, in effect, let the chips fall where they may. He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial."

Die Is Cast

The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory.

This was not supposed to happen. Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? Back when the FISA surveillance warrant of Page was obtained, just weeks before the November 2016 election, there seemed to be no need to hide tracks, because, even if these extracurricular activities were discovered, the perps would have looked forward to award certificates rather than legal problems under a Trump presidency.

Thus, the knives will be coming out. Mostly because the mainstream media will make a major effort -- together with Schiff-mates in the Democratic Party -- to marginalize Nunes, those who find themselves in jeopardy can be expected to push back strongly.

If past is precedent, they will be confident that, with their powerful allies within the FBI/DOJ/CIA "Deep State" they will be able to counter Nunes and show him and the other congressional investigation committee chairs, where the power lies. The conventional wisdom is that Nunes and the others have bit off far more than they can chew. And the odds do not favor folks, including oversight committee chairs, who buck the system.

Staying Power

On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.)

At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose -- or the more things change, the more they stay the same -- but that would be only half correct in this context. Yes, scoundrels will always take liberties with the law to spy on others. But the huge difference today is that mainstream media have no room for those who uncover government crimes and abuse. And this will be a major impediment to efforts by Nunes and other committee chairs to inform the public.

One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. In a sense, this provides what might be called a "confidence-building" factor, giving some assurance to deep-state perps that they will be able to ride this out, and that congressional committee chairs will once again learn to know their (subservient) place.

Much will depend on whether top DOJ and FBI officials can bring themselves to reverse course and give priority to the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. This should not be too much to hope for, but it will require uncommon courage in facing up honestly to the major misdeeds appear to have occurred -- and letting the chips fall where they may. Besides, it would be the right thing to do.

Nunes is projecting calm confidence that once he and Trey Gowdey (R-Tenn.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, release documentary evidence showing what their investigations have turned up, it will be hard for DOJ and FBI officials to dissimulate.

In Other News

In the interview with Attkisson, Nunes covered a number of other significant issues:

The committee is closing down its investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign; no evidence of collusion was found. The apparently widespread practice of "unmasking" the identities of Americans under surveillance. On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." Asked about Schiff's criticism that Nunes behaved improperly on what he called the "midnight run to the White House," Nunes responded that the stories were untrue. "Well, most of the time I ignore political nonsense in this town," he said. "What I will say is that all of those stories were totally fake from the beginning."

Not since Watergate has there been so high a degree of political tension here in Washington but the stakes for our Republic are even higher this time. Assuming abuse of FISA court procedures is documented and those responsible for playing fast and loose with the required justification for legal warrants are not held to account, the division of powers enshrined in the Constitution will be in peril.

A denouement of some kind can be expected in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Skip Scott , February 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

Thanks Ray for another great article. One can only hope that Nunes is successful. However, like you say, the MSM is now complicit with the "Deep State", so the fight for justice becomes much harder. One also has to remember Schumer's "six ways from Sunday" applies equally to the congress as it does to the president. I hardly ever watch TV news, but recently I've been subjected to it, and I've seen a deluge of fluff pieces on our so-called Intelligence Agencies. I would love to see Trump give a speech (instead of a tweet) directly to the American people letting them know what rascals like Brennan, Clapper, et al have been up to.

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

This may be the best broadcast tv journalism in many years, read Sharyl Attkisson's story, "Stonewalled" (I will link the commentary page to that book for thorough readers). And thank you Nat, Ray McGovern & CN

https://www.amazon.com/Stonewalled-Obstruction-Intimidation-Harassment-Washington/dp/0062322850/ref=sr_1_1/140-4375232-2286101?ie=UTF8&qid=1519058613&sr=8-1&keywords=stonewalled#customerReviews

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm

An excellent and very timely article by Ray McGovern. Lawlessness, greed, complete subservience to Wall Street Finance and other Powers, insanity, and utter inhumanity prevails in present day Ruling Establishment in Washington. Obama, "the hope and change" Con Artist for whose election, being democrats we worked so hard in 2008 turned to be the biggest perpetrator of this lawlessness and responsible for fanning the flames still further in starting a new Cold War.

It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed.

Howard Dean just said yesterday that Nunes and people like him belong in jail. Now can you believe it, how low these so called liberal democrats have come to? Looking at the pictures of Adam Schiff, Howard Dean, and others in their company, I literally feel sick in the stomach. And one asks the essential question: "did not their parents teach them any honesty or moral principles in young age?".

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

But what he said is very confusing. First he says that Congress has no way to prosecute the DOJ/FBI for wrong doing then at the end he says Congress will need to prosecute the DOJ/FBI if necessary. Either Congress has the ability to prosecute the DOJ/FBI and issue indictments and set up Grand Juries or they don't.

Somebody needs to find out, Constitutionally, what the solution is when the DOJ/FBI at the highest levels become the criminals. WHO has the power to indict/convict these individuals??

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

A special prosecutor (Mueller's position) is appointed by the Pres or AG.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

From what I've heard expressed by a few FBI people, you don't come before a court, but a judge, one person, and they are known to rubber stamp almost everything. So they should be investigated too.

Realist , February 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. We would not know now what he actually wanted to accomplish.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Yes, neither party nor the mass media shows concern for the Constitution or for the people. As the propaganda agency, the mass media are primarily responsible. The zionist/WallSt/MIC oligarchy have consolidated control over mass media, secret agencies, and elections, but not without factions.

Michael , February 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

Michael I hear ya. Yes, there is a civil war of sorts going on in DC, and yes it would be a wonderful thing to rid our bureaucracy of all the slim that is in it, but taking Jiminy Cricket's good advice to heart would be so much more fruitful to if you and I would only sing;

'When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you"

Now that song will be stuck in my head all day .got any Journey? Joe

Coleen Rowley , February 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm

It's true that people generally do not care when bad practices, policies or violence is inflicted on others and not on themselves. Of course that's stupid because it's just a matter of time before "blowback" occurs (as the CIA euphemistically labeled how doing unto others eventually boomerangs back on perpetrators). Going back to the Church Committee and how that bit of accountability finally happened, it only got off the ground when Frank Church and other Senators found THEMSELVES in the crosshairs of FBI Cointelpro; CIA's "CHAOS" and NSA's "Minaret" surveillance. http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/09/25/secret-cold-war-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-senators/ (To this day, only 7 of the 1000 or so Americans targeted by the NSA during the Vietnam War have been discovered but their identities are telling.)

The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

" the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones"

"blowback" is doing a lot of work in that sentence, if you're referring specifically to "post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes". Whenever the incidents have had a political agenda attached, it's more often than not been of the domestic right-wing variety. And of course, all of them have been facilitated by easy civilian access to hardware that was originally developed by the military (ours and the Soviets) to efficiently kill/incapacitate large numbers of enemy fighters.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm

BobS fails to understand that blowback encapsulates more than "revenge". "Forever war" and all Colleen mentions that goes with it has had societal impact because violence is glorified as a "solution" and feelings of suspicion and antagonism become part of the dark undertow.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Well said, Colleen. Let us hope that Nunes is not merely acting the part. I wonder whether the greatest secrets of domestic spying are now so compartmentalized and controlled that only those most dependent upon their agency could blow the whistle.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

This is not to be compared to spying on citizens, which is unacceptable, but they tried to undermine a presidency, whether you like Trump or not, and at the same time it allowed them to push their cold war agenda. I remember Clinton's campaign manager coming out right after the e-mail dump that said the Russians did it. And didn't Obama send a lot of those Russian ambassadors packing? They should be investigated, as should the FISA court itself. Perhaps if Trump didn't have this charge of colluding with Russia he might have been able to be more diplomatic on that score. Now, they made sure he would never be getting along with Russia. What they have now is a bunch of Russians acting on their own that allegedly interfered in our elections and created political discord, which is absurd, since the democrats are mainly responsible for this nonsense, as is the FBI and DOJ. I was a democrat, but no more.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Annie, you are right on that. However, Coleen Rowely has also made some very good observations in her comments. But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:42 pm

I wouldn't completely discount the idea that Nunes' sense of responsibility has been activated by being a close witness to what is blatant wrongdoing. But then my cynicism is still tempered by the belief that sometimes people are compelled to do what's right just because it's what's right. Silly me.

Virginia , February 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

Me, too, Michael, to " dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a 'mere' $250 billion annually."

Thanks to Ray McGovern for another good article with link to interview. Good to hear they will finally be closing the Mueller investigation (Nunes was straightforward about that, no there there) and will likely be investigating the FBI and DOJ.

Applause goes to David Nunes. Keep up the good work.

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm

But I see where Trump asked for nearly one TRILLION dollars for the military and got it.

Pandas4peace , February 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

Where can we get access to Seymour Hersh's "recent explosive investigations" even if they are written in German?

Cherrycoke , February 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

There is more at the bottom of the page.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Try this link: http://raymcgovern.com/?s=hersh+welt or simply search on consortiumnews.com webpage.

ray

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

"On June 25th 2017 the German newspaper, Welt, published the latest piece by Seymour Hersh, countering the "mainstream" narrative around the April 4th 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in Syria."

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Ranney,

Please have a look at this: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

Consortiumnews.com publishes and comments on everything Pulitzer Prize winning Sy Hersh does. The problem is that he is BANNED from English-language pubs -- simply banned and even kept off erstwhile "liberal" TV and radio programs. Amy Goodman, for example, has ALWAYS had Sy on when he had a new story until this one. She would not touch it; these days prefers to go with the "White Helmets" of this world. O Tempora, O Mores. Sad.

So, in sum, the problem is a very basic one. Sy does not publish until he has nailed down every significant detail and, since he is so well plugged in with many longtime, trusted sources to sift through, that takes a while for a bit story -- as all of them are. And when he is ready to publish, he hears folks whisper "Leper" as he gets close to an editorial office. It really IS that bad. We owe the op-ed editor at die Welt our thanks.

Btw: The Consortiumnews.com main page has a SEARCH button that I find very handy. Try to search on Seymour Hersh. Same goes for easily searchable raymcgovern.com, my website.

Ray

David Otness , February 19, 2018 at 5:37 pm

The London Review of Books has been publishing Hersh's work. That's one source.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

David,

Not for his latest of last June. See explanation of LRB cave in at: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

The ostracizing of Sy Hersh is a major -- if highly depressing -- story in and of itself. But he is irrepressible. I do not think he is going to silently steal away any time soon.

Ray McGovern

Kim Dixon , February 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

Can anyone imagine the Neocon WashPo, or the NYT (or CBS, or CNN, or ) committing actual journalism, as this story progresses?

That, and the DNC's commitment to the DNC to the Russia Did It!™ canard, will ensure that real revelations go nowhere.

It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites.

The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

You got that right! I live in the 5 college area in Massachusetts. Plenty of those types around here playing activists. They fit your description. I can't stand to be in the same room with any of them. They may as well be from Mars.

Nancy , February 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

I agree. The average working person has more common sense than the so-called intelligent, educated class. I suspect their views reflect the fact that they are very comfortable, financially, with the status quo, and don't want any real change.

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. When you allow people to do whatever they want in secret with no oversight, you can expect them to abuse their power. The basic question all this leads to is "who is running this country and making crucial decisions about war and peace, or fascism and democracy"?

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort.

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Here's where Mueller's investigation didn't go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-2_Bc_7Pos

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks BobH, that's an excellent rant, thanks for passing it along.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:58 am

The only way any trail that Nunes could even begin to make magically appear to happen before our weary eyes will happen only, and I say only, will appear because it will be good for tv ratings. Enforcing Constitutional law, I mean who does that anymore? Why today in our nation's capital we have congressional people asking the opposite of what Ben Franklin warned us good citizens about as the swamp critters are saying, 'Constitution how can we lose it'. You know this Ray that these crooks and crookettes in DC think that the U.S. Constitution is so passé and so anciently colonial that they hear Jefferson saying, 'ignore this stupid document, I was drunk with Adams and Franklin when I wrote it. It was all a big mistake.' Or something like that, but Constitutional law we don't need no stink'n Constitutional law, now get back to your part time work. (Whip cracking sound)

Hey Ray this whole fiasco does what is most important in this new American century, this fiasco is entertaining and the ratings are going through the roof so with that what more could a red blooded good American ask for now pass the tv remote.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:29 am

Paul Craig Roberts may have nailed this thing: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/18/cbs-contradicts-muellers-report/

blimbax , February 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Paul Craig Roberts wrote,

Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence!

If we take Roberts' statement at face value, he may have inadvertenly mischaracterized Rosenstein's statement. According to Roberts, Rosenstein said there is no evidence of an effect on the election, but it does not follow from that that Rosenstein is saying that there is no evidence of interference. There may have been "interference" that had no impact. And, of course, there is the question, just what is meant by "interference" in this context?

I share the frustration many commenters have about the entire "Russiagate" narrative, but I think it is important to be careful in how we evaluate these statements. It may all be a "nothinburger," but it is important to describe things carefully and correctly. Otherwise, one ends up inadvertently setting up a straw man for someone else to knock down.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:25 pm

I share the stress you do blimblax that you and all who stay on this Russia-Gate pay-ops suffer, but the way this crooked nail investigation has been going, mostly distorted by the press coverage, your argument about the interpretation of Rosenstein's words to the general public will be like splitting hairs with bald people . they just won't get it, and why, because I'm not sure the vast amount of Americans get it now. They got turned off along time ago back when the FBI didn't produce Trump performing his much heard about Steele Dossier acclaimed Water Sports in his Moscow Obama's Presidential Suite sick, yes, but it's the truth. No pictures, no believe you.

Personally I have never doubted any Russian influence in the way of statements, or essays, but this contribution of opinion is to be expected from any well thinking country, or nation if you'd rather of the world. Plus the Russians spending wasn't even close to any real fraction of what both U.S. Presidential candidate spend on their campaigns, get real.

In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office.

We could argue to how Trump,should be questioned, or even brought up on impeachment charges, but not for this particular Russia interference into our so well guarded American democracy. In fact we Americans don't need any Russian help at bringing our American democracy down, because we Americans already did that with the Patriot Act as among a few many other things. Joe

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

Here is a rant by Charles Hugh Smith: http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/02/russian-meddling-gagging-on-irony.html

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Neither Dems nor GOP truly care about the First Amendment. Ray won't write about that. I have, re the Mueller indictments: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm

That was a terrific read, and so is this: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

Enjoy. Joe

Bill , February 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

Somehow many Democrats are convinced that the FBI/DOJ did nothing wrong with regards to the FISA warrants. And they're still convinced that Trump colluded with Putin. Nothing will change their minds, it's hopeless.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 4:17 pm

It is indeed surreal to watch people who classify themselves as the left undermining the left by supporting the very agencies whose sole purpose from their inception is to destroy the left.

As David William Pear put it at OpEd News, "I don't think even Orwell has a scene like this: anti-authoritarian dissidents endorse more authoritarian means to weed out authoritarians resulting in authoritarians having more control to weed out dissidents."

I have a headache.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

The Deep State is very, very deep, and we're "Knee Deep in the Big Muddy" (Pete Seeger). Anybody knows the US Deep State was thoroughly entrenched by Reagan's time. It's overdue not to let this deep state corruption harden to concrete. I support neither party until there is a course correction, and Nunes makes valid points in support of a correction. Thanks, Ray.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Thin skinned too, eh Ray?
You're right, of course- Russia analysts at the CIA did stellar work in the 1980s.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

No BobS it's you with your thickhead that doesn't get it. Keep it up BobS, because eventually you are going to say something funny. Take care. Joe

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Ray continues to engage in two-siderism. He ignores digging into legit critiques of Mueller, as I have. http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Charles Misfeldt , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Will Nunes or any conservative go after the thousands of illegal acts perpetrated by conservatives??? NO! Nunes, along with every conservative traitor in America (republican or democrat) needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The conservative agenda is not moral or constitutional.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Considering their disregard for law as well as their worship of authoritarianism (exercised against the proper targets, of course), I'd say it's more than "self-enrichment" that drives conservatives, both ancient and modern.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Perhaps that is an issue, but I am unclear precisely what is wrong in Nunes position that he is relying on Gowdy, an undeniably sharp, precise, prosecutor, to review the examined material. Watching both Nunes and Gowdy in sessions, I would have probably, and gladly, made the same decision. It also make sense politically that they cover for each other, one person is expendable and takes the heat – Nunes, while the other – Gowdy, an upward star of the party, who probably ran the whole investigation anyway, keeps his hands clean.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

The always partisan "upward star" Trey 'BENGHAZI!!!' Gowdy announced his retirement from congress last month due to his being "sick of hyper-partisanship". And let me show you this bridge I'm selling

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm

In fact, I would greatly enjoy a discussion on weapons transfers from Libya to Erdogan to Al – Qaeda via Clinton. This is actually one of my favorite topics. So have it.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm

So what is your argument, that we should be loyal to our crime family and not theirs?

Or do you think Hillary, "We came, we saw, he died" or Mueller, of nothing to see here on 9/11 notoriety are the sort of people we should be defending.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have. Why else are we in such a mess? Both GOP and Democrats have not served the people, so we should therefore give up trying to address any abuse?

Antiwar7 , February 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out?

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm

So you are privy to the briefings in question. Just because Reagan bloated the military budget doesn't mean he was being fed false intelligence by McGovern.

On the other hand, it is well publicized that Cheney twisted arms at Langley and Tenet obliged and Rummy worked the Iraq angle as well. We also had the Downing Street Memo and the Powell fiasco and Valerie Plame. Ray was right to be indignant.

Jerry Alatalo , February 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success

Drew Hunkins , February 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Good point Mr. Alatalo. The Saudi-Zio Terror Network gets away with murder, literally and figuratively and of course the Saudi-Zio Terror Network NEVER, EVER interferes in ANY elections in the United States, no never.

(sarcasm)

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Related news: Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack", https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-18/kim-dotcom-let-me-assure-you-dnc-hack-wasnt-even-hack (Kim Dot Com claims personal knowledge on who took the DNC emails (Seth Rich) and his lawyers wrote to Mueller twice, offering his testimony, but never heard back from Mueller).

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Thank you Paul E. Merrell, J.D. I have been convinced from the beginning of all of this that this was the line to Wikileaks. Now if we could only get a real investigation into Seth's murder.

Stop Bush and Clinton , February 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

"We found that they broke a vast number of laws, did surveillance of a competitor with a warrant based on fake evidence, all adding up to treason worse than Watergate. But we think that no reasonable prosecutor would file charges .." -- The FBI

[Feb 19, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don't Know

Highly recommended!
Mueller was the person responsible for investigation of 911. That fact alone tells you all as for what we can expect.
Notable quotes:
"... NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC ..."
"... There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin ..."
"... Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective ..."
"... Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept) ..."
"... There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm ..."
"... Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security ..."
"... Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony. ..."
"... Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss. ..."
"... How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions. ..."
"... Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party. ..."
"... That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment. ..."
"... It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots". ..."
"... This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary. ..."
"... I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe. ..."
"... tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally. ..."
"... BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats. ..."
"... Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics. ..."
"... The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media. ..."
"... It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT. ..."
"... So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining. ..."
"... Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"? ..."
"... Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House. ..."
"... You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you? ..."
"... Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Cara Marianna says: February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Here's what we know:

  1. NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC
  2. There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin
  3. Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective
  4. Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept)
  5. There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm
  6. Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security

Read number six again and think about it. The U.S. is ready and willing to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against any nation it accuses of undermining our cyber security - no proof necessary. The Democratic establishment, which has spent the past year engaging in baseless Kremlin-baiting (and very little else), is directly responsible for this insanity.

Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony.

Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Who gives a shit really?

How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

As I open the online edition of The Nation this morning, there are two lead stories. One of them tells how Trump is planning to evict 5 million poor people from public housing. A very important story.

The second story by Bob Dreyfuss is probably the 10,000th one I've seen about the Russia probe. The public housing story is obviously much more important and substantial, yet the Democrats have been focusing almost exclusively on the flimsy Russia probe. Not even the pressing need to regulate assault rifles has really grabbed their full attention, even in the wake of the latest dreadful Florida high school massacre. In perusing the news stories this Sunday morning, the Russia probe continues to hold first place in coverage by a big margin.

Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party.

That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

Amen, Caleb
It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots".

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

FYI
tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm

There is nothing illegal or unethical about any individual of government supporting one candidate over another. BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media.

Richard Phelps says: February 18, 2018 at 2:52 am

There is one issue that no media is talking about regarding the "memos". Trump is clearly a "person of interest", if not a suspect in some parts of the investigation. Given Trump's entanglement how is it not an absolute conflict of interest for Trump being the person who decides what memos get to be public and what redactions must be made.

Imagine a judge being a suspect in a crime or a major stockholder in a corporate civil suit. S/he would never be allowed to make any rulings on what evidence the jury gets to see or anything about the case. Some non-interested 3rd party needs to make those decisions.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Quit feeding this beast.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

The other interesting and fun fact not mentioned anywhere. Three Names won by 3 million votes. Crafty Ruskis.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This investigation by Mueller is just beginning. In other words, and to use the vernacular, "We "ain't seen nothing," yet."

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm

You are right. This is nothing but bullshit and it may be just the beginning. The Democrats have an endless supply of donkey-shit.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

Since when have you been so trusting of our FBI & CIA, Carla? From what we've experienced together from the Gulf of Tonkin onward, I'm a wee-tad taken aback. Please read the ex-foreign intelligence officer's twitter posting that I posted above.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'. It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you?

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

Yes David, I'm still a skeptic. In fact, I think this move to indict 13 suspects, that have a snowball in Hell's chance of ever being tried, is simply a dog and pony show to placate the public. Debrief yourself, read Binney's report and listen to Stephen F Cohen's latest, here on the Nation.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state.

As if Hill, who stole the primaries actually ran a competent campaign.

[Feb 19, 2018] Kim Dotcom Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn t Even A Hack Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... All fucking Kabuki. All of it. ..."
"... The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative. ..."
"... They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration. ..."
"... This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"

by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:51 3.4K SHARES

Kim Dotcom has once again chimed in on the DNC hack, following a Sunday morning tweet from President Trump clarifying his previous comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In response, Dotcom tweeted " Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds! " alluding of course to Trump's "400 pound genius" comment.

Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The local transfer theory of course blows the Russian hacking narrative out of the water, lending credibility to the theory that the DNC "hack" was in fact an inside job, potentially implicating late DNC IT staffer, Seth Rich.

John Podesta's email was allegely successfully "hacked" (he fell victim to a phishing scam ) in March 2016, while the DNC reported suspicious activity (the suspected Seth Rich file transfer) in late April, 2016 according to the Washington Post.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.

On May 19 2017 Dotcom tweeted "I knew Seth Rich. I was involved"

Three days later, Dotcom again released a guarded statement saying "I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK," adding:

"I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment."

Dotcom knew.

While one could simply write off Dotcom's claims as an attention seeking stunt, he made several comments and a series of tweets hinting at the upcoming email releases prior to both the WikiLeaks dumps as well as the publication of the hacked DNC emails to a website known as "DCLeaks."

In a May 14, 2015 Bloomberg article entitled "Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare In 2016 ": "I have to say it's probably more Julian," who threatens Hillary, Dotcom said. " But I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her ."

Two days later, Dotcom tweeted this:

Around two months later, Kim asks a provocative question

Two weeks after that, Dotcom then tweeted "Mishandling classified info is a crime. When Hillary's emails eventually pop up on the internet who's going to jail?"

It should thus be fairly obvious to anyone that Dotcom was somehow involved, and therefore any evidence he claims to have, should be taken seriously as part of Mueller's investigation. Instead, as Dotcom tweeted, "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. "

chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!

SethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUU

Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

All fucking Kabuki. All of it.

The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative.

Meanwhile they keep enacting the most Pro Deep State/MIC/Police State/Zionist/Wall Street agenda possible. And they call it #winning

----

pathetic.

bigkahuna -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

"Had to be a Russian mole with a computer stick. MSM, DNC and Muller say so."

They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration.

This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice.

StarGate -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Don't forget the "hack" analysis of Russian owned "Crowdstrike" since the FBI did and continues to, refuse to analyze the DNC computers.

KuriousKat -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Isn't Alperovitch the Only Russian in there?.. When you rule out the impossible...whatever remains probable.. probably is..

wildbad -> IntercoursetheEU Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:05 Permalink

Kim is great, Assange is great. Kim is playing a double game. He wants immunity from the US GUmmint overreach that destroyed his company and made him a prisoner in NZ.

Good on ya Kim.

His name was Seth Rich...and he will reach out from the grave and bury Killary who murdered him.

NumberNone -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

There are so many nuances to this and all are getting mentioned but the one that also stands out is that in an age of demands for gun control by the Dems, Seth Rich is never, ever mentioned. He should be the poster child for gun control. Young man, draped in a American flag, helping democracy, gunned down...it writes itself.

They either are afraid of the possible racial issues should it turn out to be a black man killing a white man (but why should that matter in a gun control debate?) or they just don't want people looking at this case. I go for #2.

Socratic Dog -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:09 Permalink

Funny that George Webb can figure it out, but Trump, Leader of the Free World, is sitting there with his dick in his hand waiting for someone to save him.

Whatever he might turn out to be, this much is clear: Trump is a spineless weakling. He might be able to fuck starlets, but he hasn't got the balls to defend either himself or the Republic.

verumcuibono -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

Webb's research is also...managed. But a lot of it was/is really good (don't follow it anymore) and I agree re: SR piece of it.

I think SR is such an interesting case. It's not really an anomaly because SO many Bush-CFR-related hits end the same way and his had typical signatures. But his also squeels of a job done w/out much prior planning because I think SR surprised everyone. If, in fact, that was when he was killed. Everything regarding the family's demeanor suggests no.

verumcuibono -> NumberNone Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:41 Permalink

MANY patterns in shootings: failure in law enforcement/intelligence who were notified of problem individuals ahead of time, ARs, mental health and SSRIs, and ongoing resistance to gun control in DC ----these are NOT coincidences. Nor are distractions in MSM's version of events w/ controlled propaganda.

Children will stop being killed when America wakes the fuck up and starts asking the right questions, making the right demands. It's time.

KJWqonfo7 -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

Kim is awesome to watch, I remember his old website of pics of him on yachts with hot girls and racing the Gumball Rally.

verumcuibono -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:28 Permalink

I don't think you know how these hackers have nearly ALL been intercepted by CIA--for decades now. DS has had backdoor access to just about all of them. I agree that Kim is great, brilliant and was sabotaged but he's also cooperating. Otherwise he'd be dead.

StarGate -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

Bes is either "disinfo plant" or energy draining pessimist. Result is the same - to deflate your power to create a new future.

Trump saw the goal of the Fed Reserve banksters decades ago and spoke often about it. Like Prez Kennedy he wants to return USA economy to silver or gold backed dollar then transition to new system away from the Black Magic fed reserve/ tax natl debt machine.

The Globalist Cabal has been working to destroy the US economy ever since they income tax April 15th Lincoln at the Ford theater. 125 years. But Bes claims because Trump cannot reverse 125 years of history in one year that it is kabuki.

Pessimism is its own reward.

[Feb 18, 2018] Here s how Mueller s latest indictment further discredits the Trump Dossier by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies. ..."
"... Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump" ..."
"... In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory ..."
"... Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it ..."
"... This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was). ..."
"... The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it. ..."
"... Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016. ..."
"... Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment. ..."
"... I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018. ..."
"... This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted. ..."
"... Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing. ..."
"... With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | theduran.com

As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies.

Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump"

There will be understandable disappointment in many quarters that the latest indictments delivered by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, once again failed to nail Donald Trump. Although the charges levelled against 13 Russians and three Russian entities are extraordinarily serious, they do not directly support the central claim that Trump and senior campaign aides colluded with Moscow to rig the vote.

The Times of London meanwhile has admitted that the latest indictment contains "no smoking gun"

The Department of Justice, however, offered no confirmation to those still smarting from the election in Nov­em­ber 2016, who believe that, in the absence of Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House today. Friday's allegations offered no evidence that the outcome had been affected. Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6, said yesterday that Donald Trump's victories in the key swing states were his own.

There was further comfort for Mr Trump, which he was quick to celebrate with a tweet. The investigation uncovered no evidence "that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity". That includes, so far, anybody involved in the Trump campaign. If there is a smoking gun it has yet to emerge, though Robert Mueller's investigation will grind on. Presi­dent Vladimir Putin is a malign and dangerous mischief maker. It has not been proved that he is an evil genius with the ability to swing a US election.

In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory.

Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it

This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks.

Belief in this conspiracy dies hard, and an interesting article in the Financial Times by Edward Luce provides a fascinating example of the dogged determination of some people to believe in it. Writing about Mueller's latest indictment Luce has this to say

Mr Mueller's report hints at more dramatic possibilities by corroborating contents of the "Steele dossier", which was compiled in mid-2016 by the former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele -- long before the US intelligence agencies warned of Russian interference. Mr Steele, who is in hiding, alleged that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee. Mr Mueller's indictment confirms that account.

Likewise, Mr Mueller's indictment confirms the Steele dossier's claim that Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups. Among the entities run by the IRA were groups with names such as "Secured Borders", "Blacktivists", "United Muslims of America" and "Army of Jesus".

What is fascinating about these words is that none of them are true.

Christopher Steele is not in hiding.

The actua l Trump Dossier does not allege "that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee".

Bernie Sanders is mentioned by the Trump Dossier only in passing. By the time the Trump Dossier's first entries were written Bernie Sanders's campaign was all but over and it was already clear that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency.

Jill Stein is mentioned – again in passing – only once, in a brief mention which refers to her now infamous visit to Russia where she attended the same dinner with President Putin as Michael Flynn.

Nor does the Trump Dossier anywhere claim that "Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups".

On the contrary the Trump Dossier is focused – exclusively and obsessively – on documenting at fantastic length the alleged conspiracy between the Russian government and the campaign of the supposedly compromised Donald Trump to get him elected US President.

Supporters of the Russiagate conspiracy theory need to start facing up to the hard truth about the Trump Dossier.

At the time the Trump Dossier was published in January 2017 little was known publicly about the contacts which actually took place between members of Donald Trump's campaign and tranisiton teams and the Russians during and after the election.

Today – a full year later and after months of exhaustive investigation – we know far more about those contacts.

What Is striking about those contacts is how ignorant the supposedly high level Russian sources of the Trump Dossier were about them.

Thus the Trump Dossier never mentions Jeff Sessions's two meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak, or the various conversations Michael Flynn is known to have had with Russian ambassador Kislyak, some of which apparently took place before Donald Trump won the election.

The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was).

The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016.

This despite the fact that the Trump Dossier's first entry is dated 20th June 2016 i.e. eleven days later, so that if this meeting really was intended to set the stage for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – as believers in the Russiagate conspiracy theory insist – a well informed Russian source with access to information from the Kremlin would be expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier have anything to say about George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who had the most extensive contacts with the Russians, and whose drunken bragging in a London bar is now claimed by the FBI to have been its reason for starting the Russiagate inquiry.

In fact George Papadopoulos is not mentioned in the Trump Dossier at all.

This despite the fact that members of Russia's high powered Valdai Discussion Club were Papadopoulos's main interlocutors in his discussions with the Russians, and Igor Ivanov – Russia's former foreign minister, and a senior albeit retired official genuinely known to Putin – was informed about the discussions also, making it at least possible that high level people in the Russian Foreign Ministry and conceivably in the Russian government and in the Kremlin were kept informed about the discussions with Papadopoulos, so that a genuinely well-informed Russian source might be expected to know about them.

By contrast none of the secret meetings between Carter Page and Michael Cohen and the Russians discussed at such extraordinary length in the Trump Dossier have ever been proved to have taken place.

Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online.

The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment.

The only conclusion possible is that if the Trump Dossier's Russian sources actually exist (about which I am starting to have doubts) then they were extraordinarily ignorant of what was actually going on.

That of course is consistent with the fact – recently revealed in the heavily redacted memorandum sent to the Justice Department by Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham – that many of the sources of the Trump Dossier were not actually Russian but were American.

John Helmer – the most experienced journalist covering Russia, and a person who has a genuine and profound knowledge of the country – made that very point – that many of the Trump Dossier's sources were American rather than Russian – in an article he published on 18th January 2017, ie. just days after the Trump Dossier was published.

In that same article Helmer also made this very valid point about the Trump Dossier's compiler Christopher Steele

Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012.Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story.

Given that Steele was outed by Russian intelligence in 2006, with his intelligence operation in Russia dismantled by the FSB that year, it beggars belief that ten years later in 2016 he still had access to high level secrets in the Kremlin.

What we now know in fact proves that he did not.

I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018.

This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted.

For my part I owe Helmer an apology for not referencing his 18th January 2017 article in my article of 6th February 2018. I should have done so and I am very sorry that I didn't.

I have spent some time discussing the Trump Dossier because despite denials it remains the lynchpin of the whole Russiagate scandal and of the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing.

Despite Edward Luce's desperate efforts to argue otherwise, Mueller's latest indictment far from corroborating the Trump Dossier, has done the opposite.

With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate?

[Feb 18, 2018] Flynn guilty plea might be thrown out of court by the newly appointed Judge Sullvan who will vacate the guilty plea due to prosecutorial misconduct and failure on the part of the DOJ to furnish the defense with exculpatory evidence

Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Peter41 -> borderdog Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:13 Permalink

Hillary's butt is fair game after Mueller finishes up his bull-crap "probe" with nothing to show for it except "process" indictment/pleas by people uninvolved in the Dem's collusion with Russia, or with this sham series of indictments. Mueller will be gone by that point, and a real prosecutor (Trey Gowdy or someone equally talented) will pursue the truth, get to the bottom of the Dem sponsored perversion of the 2016 election, convict the guilty and have their butts thrown in jail.

BTW, the Flynn guilty plea will go away when the prosecution is thrown out of court by the newly appointed Judge Sullvan who will vacate the guilty plea due to prosecutorial misconduct and failure on the part of the DOJ to furnish the defense with exculpatory evidence (e.g. the FISA warrant allowing eavesdropping on the basis of a phony Russian dossier paid for by Hillary's campaign, engineered by a British former spy (Christopher Steele) and facilitated by the Seattle law firm representing Hillary's campaign (Perkins Coie), which was a conduit for the cash spent to obtain phoney Russian oppo material accusing Trump of various alleged perversions. This will happen soon, and will be a further embarrassment for the stunningly benighted Mueller.

[Feb 17, 2018] Now we know that Brennan single-handedly opened Russiagate investigation and even boasted about that. That means that he is the real godfather of Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... The other question is to what extent Strzok and McCabe can be considered as Brennan allies, or maybe even Brennan agents of influence within FBI. It is not that plausible that those two guys ventured into "va bank" operation of spying on Trump by themselves. From recovered texts, it is clear that Strzok opinion about Hillary was pretty low. ..."
"... "It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians." ..."
"... Links from Crowdstrike "analysis" (which most probably was a false flag operation to implicate Russians and cover the leak of emails to a USB drive) also might lead to Brennan. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

likbez , 15 February 2018 at 11:33 PM

TTG,

Your logic is suspect in this particular case.

First of all the "Intelligence community" here means predetermined conclusions by specifically handpicked for this purpose by Brennan team, consisting of a dozen or so analysts. Which included Peter Strzok and, most probably, Andrew McCabe.

The key operation launched after election nicely fits the scheme of a color revolution (which are CIA specialty in tandem with the State Department ;-) In this context, the role ICA was to launch the media frenzy (to use controlled MSM as attack dogs to de-legitimize the elected government accusing it of some mortal sin such as corruption, collision with Russia (or other chosen scapegoat country), plunging the standard of living and economics of the country, racism and suppression of ethnic minorities, etc) is a classic recipe from Gene Sharp book https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/30/gene-sharp-dead-arab-spring-political-scientist ).

That goal was successfully achieved -- unprecedented neo-McCarthyism campaign, along with the allegations of "collision with Russia" by Trump and his team were both in full bloom by January 2017.

David Stockman provided the names of the principal conspirators of the color revolution listing Brannan as the No. 1 ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/russiagate-witch-hunt-stockman-names-names-deep-states-insurance-policy)

Here are the names and rank of the principal conspirators:
John Brennan, CIA director;
Susan Rice, National Security Advisor;
Samantha Power, UN Ambassador;
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence;
James Comey, FBI director;
Andrew McCabe, Deputy FBI director;
Sally Yates, deputy Attorney General,
Bruce Ohr, associate deputy AG;
Peter Strzok, deputy assistant director of FBI counterintelligence;
Lisa Page, FBI lawyer;
and countless other lessor and greater poobahs of Washington power, including President Obama himself.

And this MSM witch hunt was in turn a step stone toward "Appointment of the Special Prosecutor" gambit (for which Rosenstein was used possibly with help of intimidation), the most important goalpost so far achieved by plotters.

Your interpretation of the visit of Brennan to Reid is probably wrong. Information about Steele dossier was of secondary importance. His goal was to recruit an influential Congress ally who shared the agenda "Trump should go" and who can help with the forthcoming color revolution steps based on dossier and ICA. Reid subsequent steps of propagating Steele dossier were just a part of larger effort.

Barack Obama biography and his very strange relations with Brennan raises a lot of interesting questions one of which is: To what extent Obama was dependent/controlled by CIA and to what extent he was the part of the color revolution plot. He definitely took unprecedented (and dangerous for him personally) steps to de-legitimize Trump and implicate Russians before leaving the office ("unmasking" campaign by Rice and Powell, exclusion of Russian diplomats and confiscation of Russian property made of the basis of Steele falsification and the burning desire to "get" Trump )

The other question is to what extent Strzok and McCabe can be considered as Brennan allies, or maybe even Brennan agents of influence within FBI. It is not that plausible that those two guys ventured into "va bank" operation of spying on Trump by themselves. From recovered texts, it is clear that Strzok opinion about Hillary was pretty low.

Now we know that Brennan single-handedly opened Russiagate investigation and even boasted about that. That means that he is the real godfather of Russiagate. According to the Washington Times:

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians."

Links from Crowdstrike "analysis" (which most probably was a false flag operation to implicate Russians and cover the leak of emails to a USB drive) also might lead to Brennan.

The same is true about Fusion GPS. And even Steele himself, who, as we now know, got some information collected by the duo of Shearer-Blumenthal via State Department. So it is plausible that none, or very little of the dirt on Trump published in the dossier belongs to Steele. He might simply be used for the legitimization purpose of already collected by somebody else dirt; I read somewhere that he produced the "initial" dossier memo used for FISA court in record short period; something like three days). The story with prostitutes urinating on the bed in a Moscow hotel really smells with Blumenthal. It's his methods of dealing with Hillary political opponents. BTW he is the author of "birth certificate hypothesis" and "birther movement" (of which Trump became a part much later, after Obama victory) and due to this was rejected by Ralph Emmanuel when Hillary tried to get him into Obama WH ( http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/does-clinton-have-a-blumenthal-birther-problem/article/2602090 )

Mike Whitney asked several important in this content questions ( http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/is-john-brennan-the-mastermind-behind-russiagate/ ):

But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge?

I'm wondering why it's that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing.

[Feb 17, 2018] When Spies Turn into TV Experts by Philip M. GIRALDI

Notable quotes:
"... In September 2016, the two men reportedly were involved in obtaining information on Page and it has also been suggested that Brennan sought and obtained raw intelligence from British, Polish, Dutch and Estonian intelligence services, which might have motivated FBI's James Comey to investigate the Trump associates. Brennan and Clapper, drawing on intelligence resources and connections, might have helped the FBI build a fabricated case against Trump. ..."
"... Currently the senior officials who were so hostile to Donald Trump have decided against going quietly into their generously rewarded retirements. Morell has long been a paid contributing "expert" for CBS news, Hayden has had the same role at CNN, and they are are now being joined by John Brennan at NBC. ..."
"... Brennan, an NBC "senior national security and intelligence analyst," is an Obama-Clinton loyalist who can be relied upon to oppose policies and actions undertaken by the Trump Administration, admittedly not a bad thing, but he will be doing so from a strictly partisan perspective. ..."
"... Brennan has behaved predictably in his new role. In his first appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday he said that the Steele dossier did "not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was presented to President Obama " which is a lie. He denounced the release of the so-called "Nunes memo" by the House Intelligence Committee because it was "exceptionally partisan," which is true, and because it exposes secrets, which it does not. ..."
"... Brennan, who was hated by much of the CIA's rank-and-file during his tenure as director, does not have much of a reputation for truth-telling. He lied about how the Agency under his leadership tried to spy on and disrupt the Senate's investigation into CIA torture. ..."
"... Of course that makes Brennan turning into a TV "expert" even worse. It marks the completion of Operation Mockingbird http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... ..."
"... US corporate media is now 100% propaganda, 1% truth (the 1% being where the truth actually is what they would have you believe it is -- the little overlap between truth and propaganda) ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

"Brennan, who was hated by much of the CIA's rank-and-file during his tenure as director, does not have much of a reputation for truth-telling."

Once upon a time in the United States there was a general perception that organizations like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were both apolitical and high-minded, existing only to calmly and professionally promote the safety and security of the nation. Directors of both organizations often retired quietly without fanfare to compose their memoirs, but apart from that, they did not meddle in politics and maintained low profiles.

There was a widespread belief at CIA that former officers should rightly retire to a log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains where they could breed Labrador retrievers or cultivate orchids.

But the relative respectability of America's national security agencies largely vanished in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist incidents. It was learned that both the CIA and FBI had made fatal mistakes in their investigations of the al-Qaeda group, putting in question their effectiveness, and the leaders of both organizations began to focus on pleasing their political masters. The appearance of CIA Director George Tenet at the United Nations supporting lies promoted by Secretary of State Colin Powell was a low point, but there were many more to follow.

In September 2016, the two men reportedly were involved in obtaining information on Page and it has also been suggested that Brennan sought and obtained raw intelligence from British, Polish, Dutch and Estonian intelligence services, which might have motivated FBI's James Comey to investigate the Trump associates. Brennan and Clapper, drawing on intelligence resources and connections, might have helped the FBI build a fabricated case against Trump.

Currently the senior officials who were so hostile to Donald Trump have decided against going quietly into their generously rewarded retirements. Morell has long been a paid contributing "expert" for CBS news, Hayden has had the same role at CNN, and they are are now being joined by John Brennan at NBC.

Brennan, an NBC "senior national security and intelligence analyst," is an Obama-Clinton loyalist who can be relied upon to oppose policies and actions undertaken by the Trump Administration, admittedly not a bad thing, but he will be doing so from a strictly partisan perspective. And the danger is that his tag as former DCI will give him a certainly credibility, which, depending on the issue, might not be deserved or warranted. To be sure CIA interests will be protected, but they will be secondary to commentary from a partisan and revenge seeking John Brennan who is out to burnish his own sorry reputation. He looks perpetually angry when he is on television because he is.

Brennan has behaved predictably in his new role. In his first appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday he said that the Steele dossier did "not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was presented to President Obama " which is a lie. He denounced the release of the so-called "Nunes memo" by the House Intelligence Committee because it was "exceptionally partisan," which is true, and because it exposes secrets, which it does not.

Brennan, who was hated by much of the CIA's rank-and-file during his tenure as director, does not have much of a reputation for truth-telling. He lied about how the Agency under his leadership tried to spy on and disrupt the Senate's investigation into CIA torture.

He was also the driving force behind the Obama administration "kill list" of U.S. citizens selected for assassination. Concerns that Brennan will represent the Agency's viewpoint on NBC News are largely irrelevant as the network should have instead considered his credibility and judgment before hiring him.


Source: Strategic-Culture

> Stop Bush and Clinton 2 days ago

... ... ...

The CIA is very much effective - it just doesn't do what we're told it does.

Of course that makes Brennan turning into a TV "expert" even worse. It marks the completion of Operation Mockingbird http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... .

US corporate media is now 100% propaganda, 1% truth (the 1% being where the truth actually is what they would have you believe it is -- the little overlap between truth and propaganda) .

[Feb 17, 2018] Who Is Lying John Brennan or James Comey by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... Another compelling fact is that the NSA only signed on as having "moderate confidence" in the conclusions and analysis presented in the document. That's a weasel word for "not sure." If there actually existed solid intel from reliable sources do you think that the NSA would insist that it only had "moderate confidence." Given my experience on working such issues the answer is a resounding, "hell no!" ..."
"... Finally, there is the dog that did not bark. It was a canard to claim, as Clapper did in October 2016, that "17 intelligence agencies" agreed there was Russian meddling. That was a lie. No document had been circulated and cleared on by all "17 agencies." ..."
"... Here is the bottom line. John Brennan is a proven liar and this whole charade about having some sensitive, well placed source giving us the inside dope on Putin is a new fraud and raises further questions about his credibility. ..."
"... UPDATE--More mindless idiocy courtesy of Robert Mueller. His indictment of Russians for meddling in the US election is a goddamn joke. Seriously? This kind of activity has been going on between Russia and the US for 60 plus years. Anyone remember Radio Free Europe? Voice of America? (And I can't disclose what we were doing covertly to meddle in Soviet/Russia politics, but we were). ..."
"... This is a clever move on Mueller's part - indict a bunch of Russians who (some) already have been arrested by the Russians and therefore are in no position to defend themselves against a US indictment. I suppose Brennan doesn't care that a bunch of Russians recruited as CIA assets get dumped on their own resources. Good luck recruiting any more Russians to help you! ..."
"... How nice and simple and tidy. '13 Russians'... has nice ring to it... will make a great propaganda movie. Seriously though, will this face saving result in any way encourage the Dems to pick a new strategy for "success" the Republicans? Or will they simply triple down on dumb? ..."
"... Yet, somehow, a few Russian trolls posting online claims that were indistinguishable from most of the "normal" election rhetoric is a threat to our democracy ..."
"... Imho, a far bigger threat to our elections is the massive amounts of money involved, and the funding of candidates by oligarchs. But the msm seems confortable with that. ..."
"... And it goes without saying that one of the most immediate threats to our democracy generated by Russiagate are the ongoing attempts to silence alternative dissent to the status-quo and label it as coming from Russianbots. ..."
"... Sounds even more desperate than simply dumb to me. Comey and his kins seem so pressed by (the lack of) facts and the overall incoherence of their ludicrous tale that they finally see no other choice than resorting to the ultimate weapon in store : direct scolding and shaming of ordinary citizen bold enough to object HRC's wrongdoings, past, present and future. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sorry to belabor the point of the Deep State conspiracy, but the tenacious insistence of TTG in clinging to Democrat talking points and refusing to step back and objectively look at the facts demands an answer.

He is upset because I refused to post his comments to my last posting. He does a masterful job of seizing on an issue, such as John Brennan's briefing to key members of Congress sometime in August 2016, and insisting that this proves that Brennan was on the up and up. What I did not put on paper was the fact that I have spoken to one of the members of Congress briefed by Brennan and the content was not as advertised. Everyone did not get the same brief.

But let's go back and look at what Brennan was leaking to the press about this supposedly damning intelligence. If it really was as clear cut and damning, as TTG and others seem willing to believe, then we are faced with having to conclude that the Obama Administration, including Obama himself, endangered America's security or that the info was based on innuendo and conjecture.

Let's keep the timeline straight:

  1. The FBI learns from Christopher Steele in early July that the Russians reportedly are in cahoots with Donald Trump, who also happens to have a golden shower fetish. The FBI opens a counter intelligence case.
  2. John Brennan supposedly receives intelligence from a different source that Vladimir Putin is not only meddling in the US election in order to sow chaos but to get Donald Trump elected.
  3. Brennan then, at the urging for Barack Obama, supposedly briefs this incredible material to members of Congress.

Okay, so TTG wants us to believe that all members of the Congressional leadership got the same briefing and that it had nothing to do with the Steele memo. This is total bullshit. Let's go to the record.

We know that Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau .

What did John Brennan tell Reid? Well, we only have to look at the letter that Reid sent to Comey two days later (27 August 2016) to understand the content of what Brennan briefed. Reid states:

This last point comes directly from the Steele dossier. There is no other source for it. Yet, Reid was not briefed by Comey or anyone from the FBI on the matter. He was only briefed by John Brennan.

I can hear TTG howling now. "Oh no," he'll insist, "Brennan surely had an independent source from the Steele dossier." Really?

Then how do you square the circle that James Comey, in his testimony before Congress in June of 2017, said that the dossier was "UNVERIFIED and salacious?" If the CIA actually had info corroborating the claim in the Steele dossier that Carter Page was acting as an agent of Trump and conspiring with the Russians then Comey would have had access to such information. In fact, if there actually were at least two sources confirming that Page was in Russia and collaborating with Putin on behalf of Trump, then Comey would have at least been able to say that part of the dossier was VERIFIED. He did not.

Do I think James Comey is a liar? Not on this point. I believe that if he had one shred of evidence corroborating one part of the dossier then he would have testified to that fact. He would not have said, "unverified and salacious." He would have said, "yes, some key parts but I cannot discuss that in open session."

But I do not have to rely on mere inference. I know from a source well placed in the intelligence community that Brennan was peddling the Steele memo and had no independent alternative source for such information. In fact, the intel backing up the audacious claims of Brennan and DNI Chief James Clapper was so weak that only a hand picked group of analysts were allowed to review and write up their analysis of that material.

Here again, I do not need to rely on inference. The only document supposedly coordinated in the intelligence community was the one published in January 2017 at DNI Jim Clapper's direction. TTG should know better, given his experience in the intel community, what charade and fraud this document is because only three agencies cleared on it (note, the term "clearance" refers to the process of relevant personnel from each of the named agencies certifying the language and content of the analysis).

It was a cooked, pre-determined document. Rather than let the analysts who were the actual substantive experts on the issues work on the document, DNI's Jimmy Clapper testified :

before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that "the two dozen or so analysts for this task were hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies."

I know for a fact that a senior CIA analyst with special expertise on the GRU and Russia, who normally would be part of such a drafting process, was excluded. And it was not because the analyst lacked the appropriate clearance.

Another compelling fact is that the NSA only signed on as having "moderate confidence" in the conclusions and analysis presented in the document. That's a weasel word for "not sure." If there actually existed solid intel from reliable sources do you think that the NSA would insist that it only had "moderate confidence." Given my experience on working such issues the answer is a resounding, "hell no!"

Finally, there is the dog that did not bark. It was a canard to claim, as Clapper did in October 2016, that "17 intelligence agencies" agreed there was Russian meddling. That was a lie. No document had been circulated and cleared on by all "17 agencies." The reality is that one would never have all 17 clear on such a document because not all have expertise or even access to the intel that such a judgment would be based on. However, two agencies with direct and important expertise were excluded from coordinating on the DNI fraud--DIA and State's INR. Both agencies have experienced analysts with substantive knowledge. Don't believe for a minute that the "intel" (which only inspired moderate confidence in the NSA) was so sensitive that analysts with TS SCI clearances at DIA and INR could not see nor comment on such material.

Here is the bottom line. John Brennan is a proven liar and this whole charade about having some sensitive, well placed source giving us the inside dope on Putin is a new fraud and raises further questions about his credibility.

So, if TTG wants to rely on Brennan as a solid source, that is his right as a free citizen. But buyer beware. Brennan's story does not add up.

UPDATE--More mindless idiocy courtesy of Robert Mueller. His indictment of Russians for meddling in the US election is a goddamn joke. Seriously? This kind of activity has been going on between Russia and the US for 60 plus years. Anyone remember Radio Free Europe? Voice of America? (And I can't disclose what we were doing covertly to meddle in Soviet/Russia politics, but we were). And here is Mueller's conclusion:

anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election.

God help America. We've lost our damn minds.


Ishmael Zechariah , 16 February 2018 at 02:57 PM

PT,
re"God help America. We've lost our damn minds."

I am of the opinion that the parasites infesting the US body politic have now infected the nerve centers and the brain.
God help the World. Things are reaching a breaking point all over.
Ishmael Zechariah

eakens , 16 February 2018 at 03:05 PM
The problem is not whether the meddling did or did not happen, it's that the general populace here has no curiosity, and thus have lost their ability to think for themselves, and decide between what seems right, let alone the difference between right and wrong. We have institutional disregard for critical thinking here, and the fallout is that you have people who can be easily swayed by soundbites, 140 character twitter posts, and the onion type rags.

If they want to have a congressional hearing on something, it should be why a sitting member of congress thinks the Island of Guam might tip over if the Military continues to build on it.

We have lost our minds, but that is the question that needs answering. Maybe then you can find evidence of foreign interference.

Fred , 16 February 2018 at 03:06 PM
Publius,

In the Mueller indictment it also notes (page 23) that "Trump is Not my President" NYC, Novermber 12 2016, was a Russian idea. So by Meuller logic the Resistance is a Russian idea. How many members of congress should get expelled over being Putin's puppets?

Is this all he has to show for millions of dollars and how many damned months of investigation? How about all the NGOs that get foreign donations? When the hell are they going to get investigated for "defrauding" the United States? Better not ask, that would violate the narrative . God help us.

Anna , 16 February 2018 at 03:14 PM
Russian meddling -- Finally some "evidence" for the gullible: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/special-counsel-robert-mueller-indicts-13-russians-hacking-during-us-election
"Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton."
-- Really? Somehow the righteous Mueller and Rosenstein have missed very important Intel:
Comment section: "Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group [?!!] that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users. As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time. ... The group's protest was the fourth [4th!] consecutive anti-Trump rally in New York following election night, and one of many across the country." http://thehill.com/policy/technology/358025-thousands-attended-protest-organized-by-russians-on-facebook
-- And then there was a pink-pussy D.C. riot and the DisruptJ20 protest group riot against Trump. Have Mueller and Rosenstein had a sudden onset of dementia and forgotten the mass protests? Who was financing and organizing the logistics for the anti-Trump protests? Was there any investigation of the organizers of the protests against the elected POTUS? http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/what-i-saw-at-the-anti-trump-riot-in-dc/article/2612548
http://www.businessinsider.com/pussy-hats-womens-march-washington-trump-inauguration-2017-2
BillWade , 16 February 2018 at 03:23 PM
It sounds like the indictment makes 13 Russian trolls into felons. How many trolls do we have? Where do they work, will other governments decide they are felons as well? This isn't a "nothingburger", it's a "veginothingburger". Hasn't President Trump now been exonerated as well, "unwittings" versus "colluders"?
james , 16 February 2018 at 03:39 PM
thanks pt... good overview.. i want to reiterate you last words here -

"God help America. We've lost our damn minds."

is this what happens when a country goes overdrive with propaganda? the propaganda ends up eating away at the host country itself and causes a complete collapse of it's own sanity..

Keith Harbaugh , 16 February 2018 at 03:52 PM
Okay, let me try again.
I tried to post what appears below the line
to PT's post http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/pieces-of-the-coup-puzzle-fall-into-place-by-publius-tacitus.html
but it was not accepted.
Given PT's reference to RFE/VoA in the post above,
let me repeat the question:

------------------------

I have read numerous accounts of how the U.S. has attempted to influence political developments in:

Back during the Cold War we were told that the USSR would try to block or jam
VoA/RFE broadcasts from reaching their citizens.

So, my very sincere question is:
Just how did U.S. efforts to influence the population of the USSR via the broadcasts of VoA/RFE
differ from the alleged efforts of Russia to support
what the media calls far-right parties and policies in the U.S. and Europe?

A Pols , 16 February 2018 at 04:05 PM
So these 13 Russians are accused of trolling and planting rumors?

Since the same thing is being done by Americans and, yes, Israelis, it seems ludicrous to suggest this is really "meddling" in the election. More like "feeding red meat to grey dogs" in the sense of stoking the fires of internecine culture wars already ongoing in this country.

If we actually end up arresting any of these individuals there will be tit for tat since there are still American financed NGOs operating in Russia whose personnel can be easily arrested on similar charges of promoting chaos and discord. Maybe the Germans can rent us that famous Berlin Bridge where "spies" were exchanged in various cold war movies.

Richardstevenhack , 16 February 2018 at 04:24 PM
See my comment in TTG's thread about who these "Internet Research Agency" people actually are. Scott Humor over at The Saker dug deep into these people and determined that they are actually anti-Russian Russians who were allegedly proven in court to be CIA spies!

I link to Scott's piece in the TTG thread. Hell, might as well link it here, too:

A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls": https://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

This is a clever move on Mueller's part - indict a bunch of Russians who (some) already have been arrested by the Russians and therefore are in no position to defend themselves against a US indictment. I suppose Brennan doesn't care that a bunch of Russians recruited as CIA assets get dumped on their own resources. Good luck recruiting any more Russians to help you!

It's a measure of Mueller's desperation, nothing more.

Valissa , 16 February 2018 at 04:52 PM
"Russians Did Not Alter The Outcome Of The Elections": Highlights From Rosenstein's Press Conference

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/russians-did-not-alter-outcome-elections-highlights-rosensteins-press-conference

To summarize: in 2014, 13 Russians launched a campaign to interfere with the US political system by "disparaging" candidates. This continued until ultimately Trump was elected, meanwhile, "there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians'] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."
----------------

How nice and simple and tidy. '13 Russians'... has nice ring to it... will make a great propaganda movie. Seriously though, will this face saving result in any way encourage the Dems to pick a new strategy for "success" the Republicans? Or will they simply triple down on dumb?

BillWade , 16 February 2018 at 05:46 PM
Aren't the economic sanctions imposed upon Russia due to Russian meddling in our elections? Might it not be prudent for Putin to round the 13 yokels up and put them on the next flight to NY (with lots of publicity)?
iowa steve , 16 February 2018 at 05:47 PM
During the campaign any voter using social media could come across literally hundreds of posts effectively proclaiming "Hillary is trash" and "Trump is trash".

Or for that matter the voters could see much the same by reading the campaign literature in their mailboxes, or listening to speeches on television.

Yet, somehow, a few Russian trolls posting online claims that were indistinguishable from most of the "normal" election rhetoric is a threat to our democracy.

Imho, a far bigger threat to our elections is the massive amounts of money involved, and the funding of candidates by oligarchs. But the msm seems confortable with that.

And it goes without saying that one of the most immediate threats to our democracy generated by Russiagate are the ongoing attempts to silence alternative dissent to the status-quo and label it as coming from Russianbots.

bluetonga , 16 February 2018 at 07:17 PM
"anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election"

Sounds even more desperate than simply dumb to me. Comey and his kins seem so pressed by (the lack of) facts and the overall incoherence of their ludicrous tale that they finally see no other choice than resorting to the ultimate weapon in store : direct scolding and shaming of ordinary citizen bold enough to object HRC's wrongdoings, past, present and future.

I this vein, I also read in earlier comment threads speculations regarding a new, very cunning objective of the putative Russian attackers : getting willfully spotted in order to spread chaos within the US politics and doubt within the heart of citizen. Frankly this sounds a wee bit far-fetched, like machiavelous 2.3 with Putin and the Kremlin gang upgrading to 4-D chess politics. Wouldn't it have been bold enough for them to bet on the universally predicted loser Trump? What sense does it make to interfere ostenteously when precisely their vowed nemesis is bound to win? How would that have tarnished her victory if she had won despite their meddling? Doesn't hold any water to me, but desperation stimulates imagination, and truly, confusion. Contenders of this view seem well engaged in a perillous intellectual twister game.

Besides, such an account shows very little appreciation for the intelligence and critical thinking of American voters. I bet that if many came to distrust their institutions, it is out of their own experience and reflexion rather than out of foreign engineering.

Delusion, desperation, confusion, stupidity, whatever. But for sure the seams are creaking.

Alves , 16 February 2018 at 07:20 PM
The funny thing is that it looks like the Russian government jailed several people from IRA last year. It would be prudent to look into it and try to figure out what is going on for real.
plantman , 16 February 2018 at 08:04 PM
One comment on the Timeline...

You say: "Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau.

Well, now that's pretty convenient timing, don't you think? After all, Trump didn't become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

Yeah, Right , 16 February 2018 at 08:32 PM
"anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election."

So the US-side-of-things isn't even a "conspiracy" any more, it has become a "collaboration" of dupes?

What next?

Is Mueller going to accuse Trump-followers of the heinous sin of "not being with the program"? Or of "bucking the system"?

Goddammit! Hillary was meant to be the winner. All the scales were tipped in her favour. How dare there be any other result! Heads. Must. Roll!!!

GeneO , 16 February 2018 at 09:20 PM
Publius Tacitus -

Regarding your claim that Mueller concluded "unwittingly collaborated":

According to the text of the indictment that our host, Pat Lang, posted Mueller made no such conclusion. I note you did not put it within quotation marks.

Is there a separate indictment floating around out there with those conclusions?

Fred said in reply to Valissa... , 16 February 2018 at 09:24 PM
Valissa,

You mean Robby Mook is going to blow through $3 Billion next time out and still lose?

Publius Tacitus -> GeneO... , 16 February 2018 at 09:38 PM
You need to do a better job of reading
"Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities," the indictment said.
GeneO said in reply to Publius Tacitus ... , 16 February 2018 at 10:15 PM
Publius -

You are reading into that something I do not see.

Unwitting? I am sure there were unwitting Clinton fans also pushing TDS memes that were not true.

So call me blind if you want, but where does it say "collaborated"?

wisedupearly Ceo -> Publius Tacitus ... , 16 February 2018 at 10:25 PM
To PT: still no collaboration.
Valissa said in reply to Fred... , 16 February 2018 at 11:47 PM
Haha... https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/04/whos-blame-clinton-campaign-aides-throw-robby-mook-bus/ According to this article Mook is to blame for Clinton's loss. Nary a mention of any Russians.
Dabbler said in reply to Publius Tacitus ... , 17 February 2018 at 03:47 AM
With all due respect (and I read you assiduously), GeneO raises a valid point. Mueller's text, paraphrased accurately, says that some of the Russians contacted Trump campaigners with the intent to seek a collaboration. That's all it says. Nothing is said about a collaboration having been achieved with anyone or any organization

At the conclusion of your original essay, you augment Mueller with your own interpretations and words: "anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have"; "been a collaborator with the 13 Russian"; and "who cost Hillary the election". You wrap your added words around two words that Mueller did use, "unwittingly" and "specialists". By doing this, you concoct a statement that summarizes what you read into the indictment, likely what you regard as Mueller's unspoken message.

Having done this, you present the blend of your several words and Mueller's two words as Mueller's conclusion. In this, you stretch a bit too far. "Anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have 'unwittingly' been a collaborator with the 13 Russian 'specialists' who cost Hillary the election" is your conclusion, not Mueller's. To have prefaced the conclusion with something like "Here is what I think Mueller really means" would have been acceptable, and the supposition very likely might have been accurate. To say "And here is Mueller's conclusion" is disingenuous.

Publius Tacitus -> GeneO... , 17 February 2018 at 04:05 AM
GeneO, It is not "MY CLAIM." I'm quoting from Politico. Please learn to read and comprehend. I don't suffer fools well.

Here is the specific quote:
"Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators found those Russians communicated with "unwitting" Trump campaign officials and other political activists before and after the 2016 election."
https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/rod-rosenstein-americans-listed-mueller-indictment-were-unwitting-pawns-russian

LondonBob said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 17 February 2018 at 06:19 AM
Well it is an organisation that has received a lot of publicity in the West for awhile so it is an odd choice, I would have thought they would want a less public organisation for any IO.

Comey was telling the truth, he was still in the delusional belief he could weasel out of it and continue on as FBI chief.

Peter AU , 17 February 2018 at 06:36 AM
PT, in the latest, US indictment against a number of Russians, as its only example, cites a US placard holder on the birthday of JFK as evidence of "Russian interference". Jeez, JFK was a Russian?
what a friggin shambles the empire has become.
Bill H -> eakens... , 17 February 2018 at 10:30 AM
Yes indeed. As I said before in another thread. If the election is "disrupted" by voters altering their votes due to Russians posting on Facebook, then the problem is not that Russians are posting on Facebook, the problem is that voters are altering their votes based on posts they read on Facebook. There is little point in correcting the former problem without correcting the latter and vastly more serious problem.

The indictment accuses Russia of attempting to "diminish the public's faith in democracy," or some such thing. I really don't think our own voting public needs Russia's help in doing that.

J -> Bill H ... , 17 February 2018 at 11:51 AM
Nope, our crooked Politicians AND Intelligence/Law Enforcement entities are doing a good job of diminishing the public's faith. I don't know how many of my fellow Americans I have talked to have said to round them all the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement and eradicate them from the earth permanently. That is why we see more and more the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement understanding well their simmering public anger, and because of their fear of the angry public that they have created the surveillance grids (has nothing to do with misnomer terrorism), their legislation/laws that further restrict the public's ability to fight back against their crooked ways.

Diminished public faith, that's putting it mildly.

Sid_finster , 17 February 2018 at 02:32 PM
Mueller had a year and an unlimited budget, and all he has to show is an episode of "MTV's Catfish".

But that's not the point. The point is to distract from Deep State malfeasance, and use russiagate on domestic dissent.

Do you know whether that meme you are sharing didn't originate from.. RUSSIA!

different clue , 17 February 2018 at 03:26 PM
The Democrats remember how well the Republicans ( with help from Truman and others)
made Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. So the Democrats have decided to try making their own 2.0 version of Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. They will spend the next several-to-many years running their Reverse McCarthyism 2.0 operation.

They will accuse any Bitter Berners rejectful of yet-one-more-Clintonite of witless dupe-ness. If that doesn't win us over, they will accuse us of Russian subversive Fellow-Traveller-ism. If that doesn't win us over, they will accuse us of being Russian agents.

Of course they will try doing this to Republicans as well. If the Republicans complain, the Democrats will say such complaints are proof of Republican secret-Russian-agent subversionism; while quietly thinking to themselves " payback time for
McCarthy and HUAC").

DianaLC , 17 February 2018 at 04:00 PM
Thanks,PT, as usual.

I have no connection to intelligence agencies. I'm a mere citizen. I've been spending the last few days making cold calls to registered party members here in CO, trying to get them interested in the caucuses that are coming up. Remember how the caucuses became an issue when Trump was running?

Almost no one responded that they were going to attend. Several said they were so sick of politics they would definitely not attend. I'm beginning to believe that I and our precinct captain and her husband will be the only ones there.

What a sad state our country is in. Your last line is true, to a great extent, but I have to add to it. Yes, we need God to help American. And, yes, many Americans seem to have lost their mind. But what makes me sadder is that most of us who have not lost our minds are losing our belief that we could ever make a difference, to make things better.

[Feb 17, 2018] That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

Notable quotes:
"... Well, now that's pretty convenient timing, don't you think? After all, Trump didn't become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

plantman 16 February 2018 at 08:04 PM

One comment on the Timeline...

You say: "Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau.

Well, now that's pretty convenient timing, don't you think? After all, Trump didn't become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

[Feb 17, 2018] A federal judge has ordered Mueller to hand over all related documents to Flynn. If there is exculpatory evidence then Flynn could withdraw his plea and Mueller censured

Notable quotes:
"... I did read the indictment of the Russians and to my non-lawyer eyes, it read more like a political document rather than a criminal indictment. ..."
"... The charges seem very silly to me. And if ever there is a trial with these defendants challenging the prosecution I can see how they can win. But of course no one would pay any attention to the trial as the indictment is the desired endpoint that the media and the Democrats want. In comparison to the foreign money and influence operations of the zionists, the Saudis and of course many British politicians and their media during the last election, the operation by these Russians charged was more nonsensical. It would be absurd on the face of it that a bunch of Russian trolls could influence the election in any meaningful way. ..."
"... With respect to the potential conspiracy at the FBI, DOJ, and the IC, can Mueller really investigate his own colleagues and personal friends? I think he is a card carrying member of the Borg elite ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack

Sir

I agree with you that the questions you posed should be answered.

An interesting point in all this high stakes drama is that a federal judge has ordered Mueller to hand over all related documents to Flynn. If there is exculpatory evidence then Flynn could withdraw his plea and Mueller censured.

I did read the indictment of the Russians and to my non-lawyer eyes, it read more like a political document rather than a criminal indictment. Mueller provided both sides reinforcement of their talking points. Hillary and the Democrats can confirm she lost the election due to a bunch of Russian trolls who spent a few million dollars and upended her billion dollar campaign war chest. Trump gets to confirm that there was no collusion.

The charges seem very silly to me. And if ever there is a trial with these defendants challenging the prosecution I can see how they can win. But of course no one would pay any attention to the trial as the indictment is the desired endpoint that the media and the Democrats want. In comparison to the foreign money and influence operations of the zionists, the Saudis and of course many British politicians and their media during the last election, the operation by these Russians charged was more nonsensical. It would be absurd on the face of it that a bunch of Russian trolls could influence the election in any meaningful way.

With respect to the potential conspiracy at the FBI, DOJ, and the IC, can Mueller really investigate his own colleagues and personal friends? I think he is a card carrying member of the Borg elite.

[Feb 17, 2018] DNC "hack" hoax should be investigated as that involves screwing with the investigation of a Federal crime and has counterintelligence implications and could lead to lots of indictments

Notable quotes:
"... We need a separate, really non-partisan investigation for the rest of the list. I think it would be possible to find competent investigators outside of the more politicized agencies who could be vetted for any political bias before being assigned. Investigation is investigation - you just need a place to start and a list of people to talk to. Facts then shake out. ..."
"... If Mueller does not look sufficiently into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this, let us hope that the Congress and the Administration together can force into existence a Special Counsel with all of the powers and staff and funding that Mueller currently has/ will have. . . . to look into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this. ..."
"... If such a counsel would look into the "letting Clinton off the e-mail hook" aspects of all this and esPECially into the "who shot Seth Rich" and "e-mails . . . hacked or leaked?" aspects of all this, so much the better. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Richardstevenhack , 17 February 2018 at 03:07 PM

I agree that the list should be investigated - especially the DNC "hack" hoax as that involves screwing with the investigation of a Federal crime and has counterintelligence implications and could lead to lots of indictments.

However, as someone else pointed out in the last thread, Mueller's only remit was to find evidence of Russian government "meddling" in the election and/or "collusion" with Trump and the Trump campaign - which he has not found yet and is highly unlikely to find. The 13 indictments are a joke in that regard.

We need a separate, really non-partisan investigation for the rest of the list. I think it would be possible to find competent investigators outside of the more politicized agencies who could be vetted for any political bias before being assigned. Investigation is investigation - you just need a place to start and a list of people to talk to. Facts then shake out.

different clue , 17 February 2018 at 03:07 PM
If Mueller does not look sufficiently into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this, let us hope that the Congress and the Administration together can force into existence a Special Counsel with all of the powers and staff and funding that Mueller currently has/ will have. . . . to look into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this.

If such a counsel would look into the "letting Clinton off the e-mail hook" aspects of all this and esPECially into the "who shot Seth Rich" and "e-mails . . . hacked or leaked?" aspects of all this, so much the better.

[Feb 17, 2018] Rosenstein unaccountably failed to mention yesterday Mueller's having landed a really, really big fish on February 2, the unwitting colluder and witless Ricard Pinedo (age 28), a small town scammer who operates a fake ID business out of Santa Paula

Looks like now Rosenstein is a marked man.
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Newmarket

All very good questions and one more either related to, or subsumed within #s 3 and 6 is whether Steele/MI6 are "targetable" for having meddled in the 2016 election.

Rosenstein unaccountably failed to mention yesterday Mueller's having landed a really, really big fish on February 2, the unwitting colluder and witless Ricard Pinedo (age 28), a small town scammer who operates a fake ID business out of Santa Paula, CA, a 80% Hispanic farm worker town in boondocks California. Pinedo plead guilty to one count of identify fraud and had, apparently, profited to the extent of some $10,000 or so from the sale of identify and banking information on-line with only a minimal amount sourced from any of the 13 defendants in the indictments. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-richard-pinedo-mueller-investigation-20180216-story.html. The MSM, apparently, like Mr. Mueller has decided not to make a big deal out of the Pinedo indictment for reasons which remain the subject of speculation.

[Feb 17, 2018] The DOJ Inspector General report will be out in March. After one look at a draft of the report, Randall Wray fired McCabe. And remember, the DOJIG has all of the Strzok e-mails, including the ones the FBI "inadvertently destroyed."

Feb 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jay Jay , , February 16, 2018 at 8:16 am

The DOJ Inspector General report will be out in March. After one look at a draft of the report, Randall Wray fired McCabe. And remember, the DOJIG has all of the Strzok e-mails, including the ones the FBI "inadvertently destroyed." Hopes -- and fears -- are high that this report will expose all of the Russiagate corruption in complete detail. If so, even mainstream media stars won't have a place to hide. They went all in too long ago and pushed the story way too hard.

So to answer Yves's questions: yes, there is deep fear that a receding tide is about to reveal a lot of naked swimmers and that yes, it will be a tsunami.

[Feb 16, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don t Know

Steele dossier became hot potato for anti-Trump color revolution plotters. That's why probably 13 Russians were extracted from the back pocket
Feb 16, 2018 | www.thenation.com

In a recent interview, James Clapper, who served as President Obama's director of national intelligence, said explicitly that the Intelligence Community Assessment itself had nothing whatsoever to do with the dossier. "We briefed, John [Brennan, then CIA director] and I, briefed the president-elect [Trump] at the time, on January 6. He viewed what we presented to him, which had very high confidence levels in what we presented him, which by the way, a point I'll make, had nothing to do with the dossier. We did not draw on the dossier. The dossier, the infamous dossier, was not a part of our Intelligence Community Assessment," said Clapper. "His first reaction to it was that this caused a question about the legitimacy of his election."

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'.

It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine.

Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories.

Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it.

How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies.

Whatever floats your boat.

[Feb 16, 2018] The idea that these "selected" analysts really understand "Russian thinking" and "Russian interests" is highly questionable. The bottom line remains that Russia had ZERO POSSIBILITY of actually influencing the election in favor of Trump at any point up the night of the election itself. Moreover in no way this is in Russia's interests, whether they got caught or not.

Feb 16, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Richardstevenhack -> The Twisted Genius ... , 15 February 2018 at 11:43 PM

And IIRC Scott Ritter ripped that report a new one as being totally speculative and without an ounce of fact behind it.

After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/after-nine-months-only-stale-crumbs-in-russia-inquiry/

Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/exposing-the-man-behind-the-curtain_us_5877887be4b05b7a465df6a4

Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in 'Russiagate' Case
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/leaked-nsa-report-is-short-on-facts-proves-little-in-russiagate-case/

The idea that these "selected" analysts really understand "Russian thinking" and "Russian interests" is highly questionable. The bottom line remains that Russia had ZERO POSSIBILITY of actually influencing the election in favor of Trump at any point up the night of the election itself.

And the Russians would know that. And they also know that despite the US' more extensive efforts to influence Russian elections that the US has no chance of influencing the upcoming election. Which means they understand this fact better than you do.

Richardstevenhack -> Clueless Joe... , 15 February 2018 at 11:49 PM
It's an interesting theory, but it pales in probability to the likelihood that Russiagate is actually a disinformation operation run by the CIA.

It also fails to take into account the inevitable hiking of US hostility to Russia which Putin has shown zero evidence of wanting to have happen and which would be the obvious result of such a plan. Which as I say is precisely why he wouldn't do it because it is in no way in Russia's interests, whether they got caught or not.

This is far more logical than the ICA and TTG's notions that Russia's interests would be served by trying to do the impossible and actually mess with a US election.

And of course, there have been NO "solid clues" to any of this - just innuendo and unsupported assertions by a pack of liars including Clapper, Brennan, and others.

[Feb 16, 2018] Christopher Steele The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election by Peter Van Buren

Steel role in propagating information should not be overestimated. The key here was probably Brennan, not Steele.
Scott Ritter: Steele's entire business model is built on the framework of an MI-6 anti-Russian information operation.
Notable quotes:
"... Steele, who is British, did far more than simply provide opposition research to the Democratic National Committee. He was able to make sure it reached the most influential people possible in politics, media and government to shape and influence the growing narrative of the 2016 presidential election. In other words, as a skilled professional intelligence officer, Steele ran a full-spectrum information operation against the United States. One could even call it information warfare. ..."
"... This is what separates his work creating the dossier (which a decent journalist with friends in Russia could have done) from his work insinuating the dossier into the highest reaches of American government and political society. For that, you need a real pro, an intelligence officer with decades of experience running just that kind of operation. Looking for foreign interference in the 2016 election? Let's take a closer look at Christopher Steele. ..."
"... Steele admits he briefed journalists off-the-record starting in summer and autumn 2016. His most significant hit came when in September 2016, journalist Michael Isikoff broke the story of Trump associate Carter Page's alleged connections to Russia. Isikoff did not cite the dossier or Steele as sources, and in fact denied they were when questioned. ..."
"... At the same time, Steele's info reached influential people like Sen. John McCain, who could then pick up a newspaper and believe he was seeing the "secret" info from Steele confirmed independently by an experienced journalist. And how did McCain first learn about Steele's work? At a conference in Canada, via Andrew Wood , former British Ambassador in Moscow. Where was Wood working at the time? Orbis , Christopher Steele's research firm. ..."
"... A copy of the dossier even found its way to the State Department , an organization which normally should have been far removed from U.S. election politics. A contact within State passed information from Clinton associates Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer (both men also played active roles behind in the scenes feeding Clinton dubious information on Libya) to and from Steele. The Grassley memo suggests there is was a second Steele document, in addition to the dossier, already shared with State and the FBI, but not made public. ..."
"... While seeding his dossier in the media and around Washington, Steele was also meeting in secret with the FBI (he claims he did not inform Fusion GPS, his employer), via an FBI counterintelligence handler in Rome. Steele began feeding the FBI in July 2016 with updates into the fall, apparently in the odd guise of simply a deeply concerned, loyal British subject. "This is something of huge significance, way above party politics," Steele commented as to his motives. ..."
"... Steele reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him $50,000 to continue his "research," though the deal is believed to have fallen through after the dossier became public (an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele did in fact operate as a fully paid FBI asset.) Along the way, the FBI also informed Steele of their separate investigation into Trump staffer George Papadopoulos, a violation of security and a possible tainting of Steele's research going forward. ..."
"... The Nunes memo also showed then-associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr back-channeled additional material from Steele into the DOJ while working with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and her replacement, Rod Rosenstein. Ohr's wife Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier, on Steele's project. Ohr's wife would be especially valuable in that she would be able to clandestinely supply info to collaborate what Steele told the FBI and, via her husband, know to tailor what she passed to the questions DOJ had. The FBI did not disclose the role of Ohr's wife, who speaks Russian and has previously done contract work for the CIA, to the FISA court. ..."
"... In that time, he maneuvered himself from paid opposition researcher to clandestine source for the FBI. Steele then may have planted the spouse of a senior DOJ employee as a second clandestine source to move more information into DOJ. In the intelligence world, that is as good as it gets; via two seemingly independent channels you are controlling the opponent's information cycle. ..."
"... Meanwhile, there is informed speculation Steele was more than a source for the FBI, and actually may have been tasked and paid to search for specific information, essentially working as a double agent for the FBI and the DNC. Others have raised questions about Steele's status as "retired" from British intelligence, as the lines among working for MI6, working at MI6, and working with MI6 are often times largely a matter of semantics (for the record, Steele's old boss at MI6 calls the dossier credible; an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele shared all of his information with MI6.) ..."
"... So, putting talk of Russian meddling aside for a moment, is it not fair to ask if what Christopher Steele was doing could be construed as foreign influence in an American election? ..."
"... Information operations is the bread and butter of MI-6. My experience with "Mass Appeal" in 1997-1998 underscores the degree to which planting stories in the media for the purpose of manipulating public opinion toward a specific objective served as a major component of MI-6 operational planning from top to bottom. ..."
"... Steele was part of a Russia team in the mid-2000's which was knee deep in conducting information operations against Putin's Russia; the entire Litvenenko episode was part and parcel of that effort. Steele was the MI-6 Case Officer who helped shape public opinion after Litvenenko's death. Keep in mind that Litvenenko was arrested in March 1999 his information was dated, and any new sources were from the Russian expat community, driven by anti-Putin oligarchs and guided by MI-6. Steele and Orbis assumes control of these sources in 2009; Steele's entire business model is built on the framework of an MI-6 anti-Russian information operation. Peter is spot on when he describes the Steele dossier as an information operation in the MI-6 model, whether MI-6 was directly involved or not. ..."
"... I think we should 'start' by accepting that this is a ludicrous pile of fabrications. You don't have to be an 'expert' at anything to smell this out. Being intelligent and not born yesterday are all the qualifications needed. ..."
"... And then there's the shadowy and still unexplored role of Britain's intelligence agencies–see the chapter titled "What Were the Brits Up To?" in Rogue Spooks: The Intelligence War on Donald Trump. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

His dossier was more than opposition research, it was part of a full-spectrum information operation.

Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the "Steele dossier," it's important to look at how Christopher Steele was able to guarantee that the information in it would play a significant and ongoing role in American politics.

Steele, who is British, did far more than simply provide opposition research to the Democratic National Committee. He was able to make sure it reached the most influential people possible in politics, media and government to shape and influence the growing narrative of the 2016 presidential election. In other words, as a skilled professional intelligence officer, Steele ran a full-spectrum information operation against the United States. One could even call it information warfare.

This is what separates his work creating the dossier (which a decent journalist with friends in Russia could have done) from his work insinuating the dossier into the highest reaches of American government and political society. For that, you need a real pro, an intelligence officer with decades of experience running just that kind of operation. Looking for foreign interference in the 2016 election? Let's take a closer look at Christopher Steele.

Steele's skill is revealed by the now familiar Nunes and Grassley memos, which show he used the same set of information in the dossier to create a collaboration loop, every intelligence officer's dream, which is his own planted information used to surreptitiously confirm itself, right up to the point where the target country's own intelligence service re-purposed it as evidence in the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court.

Steele admits he briefed journalists off-the-record starting in summer and autumn 2016. His most significant hit came when in September 2016, journalist Michael Isikoff broke the story of Trump associate Carter Page's alleged connections to Russia. Isikoff did not cite the dossier or Steele as sources, and in fact denied they were when questioned.

Isikoff's story didn't just push negative information about Trump into the public consciousness. It claimed U.S. intel officials were probing ties between a Trump adviser and the Kremlin, adding credibility, suggesting the feds themselves felt the info was worthwhile. Better yet for Steele, Isikoff claimed the information came from a "well-placed Western intelligence source," suggesting it originated from a third-party and was picked up by Western spies instead of being written by one. Steele, either as a source himself or via colleagues passing around his information, saw to it the dossier information reached journalists at Mother Jones , the BBC, Guardian and others. An article by Harold Blum in Vanity Fair laid it out in April of last year:

It wasn't long before, as The New York Times would write, the memos by the former spy "became one of Washington's worst-kept secrets, as reporters . . . scrambled to confirm or disprove them."

At the same time, Steele's info reached influential people like Sen. John McCain, who could then pick up a newspaper and believe he was seeing the "secret" info from Steele confirmed independently by an experienced journalist. And how did McCain first learn about Steele's work? At a conference in Canada, via Andrew Wood , former British Ambassador in Moscow. Where was Wood working at the time? Orbis , Christopher Steele's research firm.

A copy of the dossier even found its way to the State Department , an organization which normally should have been far removed from U.S. election politics. A contact within State passed information from Clinton associates Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer (both men also played active roles behind in the scenes feeding Clinton dubious information on Libya) to and from Steele. The Grassley memo suggests there is was a second Steele document, in addition to the dossier, already shared with State and the FBI, but not made public.

While seeding his dossier in the media and around Washington, Steele was also meeting in secret with the FBI (he claims he did not inform Fusion GPS, his employer), via an FBI counterintelligence handler in Rome. Steele began feeding the FBI in July 2016 with updates into the fall, apparently in the odd guise of simply a deeply concerned, loyal British subject. "This is something of huge significance, way above party politics," Steele commented as to his motives.

The FBI, in the process of working Steele, would have likely characterized him as a " source ," technically an " extra-territorial confidential human source ." That meant the dossier's claims appeared to come from the ex-MI6 officer with the good reputation, not second-hand from who-knows-who in Russia (the FBI emphasized Steele's reputation when presenting the dossier to the FISA court). Think of it as a kind of money laundering which, like that process, helped muddy the real source of the goods.

The FBI used the Steele dossier to apply for a FISA court surveillance warrant against Carter Page. The FBI also submitted Isikoff's story as collaborating evidence, without explaining the article and the dossier were effectively one in the same. In intelligence work, this is known as cross-contamination , an amateur error. The FBI however, according to the Nunes memo, did not tell the FISA court the Steele dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee as commissioned opposition research, nor did they tell the court the Isikoff article presented as collaborating evidence was in fact based on the same dossier.

Steele reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him $50,000 to continue his "research," though the deal is believed to have fallen through after the dossier became public (an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele did in fact operate as a fully paid FBI asset.) Along the way, the FBI also informed Steele of their separate investigation into Trump staffer George Papadopoulos, a violation of security and a possible tainting of Steele's research going forward.

The Nunes memo also showed then-associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr back-channeled additional material from Steele into the DOJ while working with Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and her replacement, Rod Rosenstein. Ohr's wife Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the dossier, on Steele's project. Ohr's wife would be especially valuable in that she would be able to clandestinely supply info to collaborate what Steele told the FBI and, via her husband, know to tailor what she passed to the questions DOJ had. The FBI did not disclose the role of Ohr's wife, who speaks Russian and has previously done contract work for the CIA, to the FISA court.

Ohr's wife only began work for Fusion GPS in September/October 2016 , as the FBI sought the warrant against Page based on the Steele dossier. Ohr's wife taking a new job with Fusion GPS at that critical juncture screams of the efforts of an experienced intelligence officer looking to create yet another inside pipeline inside, essentially his own asset.

For the operation's audacity, it was impressive: Steele took a dossier paid for by one party, and drove it deep into the Washington political machinery. His work formed in part the justification for a FISA warrant to spy on a Trump associate, the end game of which has not yet been written.

In that time, he maneuvered himself from paid opposition researcher to clandestine source for the FBI. Steele then may have planted the spouse of a senior DOJ employee as a second clandestine source to move more information into DOJ. In the intelligence world, that is as good as it gets; via two seemingly independent channels you are controlling the opponent's information cycle.

Steele further manipulated the American media to have his information amplified and given credibility. By working simultaneously as both an anonymous and a cited source, he got his same info out as if it was coming from multiple places.

The Washington Post characterized Steele as "struggling to navigate dual obligations -- to his private clients, who were paying him to help Clinton win, and to a sense of public duty born of his previous life." But The Washington Post has no idea how intelligence officers work. Their job is to befriend and engage the target to carry out the goals of their employer. When they do it right, the public summation is a line like the Post offered: you never even knew you were being used.

Meanwhile, there is informed speculation Steele was more than a source for the FBI, and actually may have been tasked and paid to search for specific information, essentially working as a double agent for the FBI and the DNC. Others have raised questions about Steele's status as "retired" from British intelligence, as the lines among working for MI6, working at MI6, and working with MI6 are often times largely a matter of semantics (for the record, Steele's old boss at MI6 calls the dossier credible; an intelligence community source tells The American Conservative Steele shared all of his information with MI6.)

As for the performance of the DOJ/FBI, we do not have enough information to judge whether they were incompetent, or simply willing partners to what Steele was up to, using him as a handy pretext to open legal surveillance on someone inside the Trump circle.

So, putting talk of Russian meddling aside for a moment, is it not fair to ask if what Christopher Steele was doing could be construed as foreign influence in an American election?

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. He Tweets @WeMeantWell


KevinS February 15, 2018 at 12:19 am

"The FBI used the Steele dossier to apply for a FISA court surveillance warrant against Carter Page. The FBI also submitted Isikoff's story as collaborating evidence, without explaining the article and the dossier were effectively one in the same."

Have you (or anyone else here) seen the application? I am not aware that is has been declassified.

Lenny , says: February 15, 2018 at 12:26 am
Carter Page Touted Kremlin Contacts in 2013 Letter

http://time.com/5132126/carter-page-russia-2013-letter/

The letter, dated Aug. 25, 2013, was sent by Page to an academic press during a dispute over edits to an unpublished manuscript he had submitted for publication, according to an editor who worked with Page.

"Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda," the letter reads.

john , says: February 15, 2018 at 12:49 am
Doesn't the FISA court grant 99.5% of requests? A rubber stamp might have a higher failure rate. I doubt the info in the brief had much to do with anything. Still they re-upped the warrant 3x right? So that was based on what? I think something they saw/heard
Peter Van Buren , says: February 15, 2018 at 10:21 am
Commenters seem to have missed the point; Steele did everything he was paid for and then some. The fact that the universe of factors still elected Trump is immaterial to this relative success. In addition, the final chapter has not yet been written. There are people actively using Steele's work trying to bring Trump down. Stay tuned.
Allen , says: February 15, 2018 at 10:29 am
This article is a waste of time, not because it is inaccurate -- the federal government was weaponized and wielded by President Obama and Hillary Clinton a long time ago. No, it is a waste of time because those who hate Trump will continue to hate him and will believe any bad thing anyone says about him, regardless of facts. It's not about facts for them, it's about their feelings.

As I've said here before, if Trump cured cancer tomorrow, the headline at NYT and WaPo would read TRUMP PUTS DOCTORS OUT OF WORK!

Lenny , says: February 15, 2018 at 11:05 am
The Steel dossier which was not released during the campaign was an information operation but the coordinated leaks by Assange was not?

Comey ranting and raving about Clinton's emails before the elections but staying mum about the investigation into the Trump campaign was an effort by the deep state to get Hillary elected?

The Trump campaign had more contacts with Russians than the diplomatic staff at the US embassy in Moscow, but Hillary Clinton is the on who colluded with the Russians?

How much money is Putin paying you ?
Have you no shame or decency left in your bones? You and others who carry water for this abomination that is defiling the WH and degrading our democratic norms?

Will Harrington , says: February 15, 2018 at 11:07 am
ARK 712

You make quite a claim, considering that ALL of the history of the United States is modern history and we are only barely into the second year of the Trump administration. So, does this make you a sycophant for the people who claim to be resisting fascism while not having a clue what fascism is? Come on, use real arguments. Steele is the issue in this article so citing a couple of guilty pleas that don't really touch on the issue is not dealing with the article, it is a red herring. Personally, considering the blatant ways we interfere in other countries, I can't help but hear this as hypocritical whining. If Putin did order interference in our elections (and I would, if I were him) then the real problem seems to be that the Russian government is much better at playing this game than the sad bunch of incompetents that pass themselves off as our elite governing class.

Scott Ritter , says: February 15, 2018 at 11:24 am
Information operations is the bread and butter of MI-6. My experience with "Mass Appeal" in 1997-1998 underscores the degree to which planting stories in the media for the purpose of manipulating public opinion toward a specific objective served as a major component of MI-6 operational planning from top to bottom.

Steele was part of a Russia team in the mid-2000's which was knee deep in conducting information operations against Putin's Russia; the entire Litvenenko episode was part and parcel of that effort. Steele was the MI-6 Case Officer who helped shape public opinion after Litvenenko's death. Keep in mind that Litvenenko was arrested in March 1999 his information was dated, and any new sources were from the Russian expat community, driven by anti-Putin oligarchs and guided by MI-6. Steele and Orbis assumes control of these sources in 2009; Steele's entire business model is built on the framework of an MI-6 anti-Russian information operation. Peter is spot on when he describes the Steele dossier as an information operation in the MI-6 model, whether MI-6 was directly involved or not.

Johann , says: February 15, 2018 at 1:16 pm
At some point, the Democrats are going to have to admit they were duped by the Russian sources. The dossier fit exactly what they believed of Trump like a tee, and so it had to be true, except it wasn't. They were ecstatic and ran with it, even before they tried to verify it. When someone wants something very badly, they are easy to scam. The Russian agents who fed them that load of BS are now watching US TV, drinking vodka, and laughing their a__es off. They were wildly successful in creating political discord in our country, which was their objective. As usual, the democrats were their useful idiots, just like during Soviet times.
Johann , says: February 15, 2018 at 1:19 pm
The democrats may think it was patriotic for the Obama admin to use the intelligence agencies against their political opponents, but they are beyond stupid. Do they really think Trump or some future president won't do the same against them? Time to reel in our surveillance state. As usual, our greatest danger is our own government.
SteveK9 , says: February 15, 2018 at 2:06 pm
'Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the "Steele dossier".'

Why do we have to start here? I don't think there is any point to 'leaving it aside'. The document is obvious rubbish to anyone with two gray cells to rub together.

I think we should 'start' by accepting that this is a ludicrous pile of fabrications. You don't have to be an 'expert' at anything to smell this out. Being intelligent and not born yesterday are all the qualifications needed.

Ken Zaretzke , says: February 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm
"Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty and are working with a team of prosecutors to ensure that what is publicly known to meet the legal threshold for criminal activity to be ensured."

You need to read this article. http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456379/michael-flynn-guilty-plea-questions-raised-about-fbi-robert-mueller-investigation

And then there's the shadowy and still unexplored role of Britain's intelligence agencies–see the chapter titled "What Were the Brits Up To?" in Rogue Spooks: The Intelligence War on Donald Trump.

Peter Van Buren , says: February 15, 2018 at 3:54 pm
"Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the "Steele dossier "

Space precludes going through the dossier line-by-line, and there is little to nothing in it that can be fully confirmed or disproven anyway based on publicly available information. Indeed, it was written just that way.

But the truth of the contents didn't matter; what mattered is what Steele could make people believe, whether those were journalists or the FBI.

OzPerch , says: February 15, 2018 at 9:00 pm
This is excellent work. Normally American conservatives suffer from a habitual Anglophilia, and they lionize vicious creatures like Winston Churchill. Perhaps this attempted coup against Trump is causing them to take a second look at the "special relationship", which has involved the US in one illegal war after another and given the neocons, who got their start in the Democratic Party, a foothold in the GOP.

[Feb 15, 2018] On Tuesday the Senate intelligence committee grilled leaders of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DIA and NGA over the contents of the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Feb 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon | Feb 14, 2018 9:47:45 AM | 10

I guess this is an open thread. . . .from The Cipher Brief--

On Tuesday the Senate intelligence committee grilled leaders of the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, DIA and NGA over the contents of the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

[comment: Not surprisingly, the assessment identified other countries as threats to world peace, but not the United States.]

DNI Dan Coats warned the U.S. is under cyberattack, by hacking campaigns backed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, as well as terrorists and transnational criminals. He listed North Korea as presenting the most volatile and confrontational weapons of mass destruction threat. He said terrorists like ISIS, al Qaeda and Hezbollah would continue to be dangerous. And he warned that Russia, China and Iran are all trying to find ways to expand their reach, from land to sea to space.

Coats also mentioned a key warning from the Worldwide Threat Assessment: "The risk of interstate conflict, including among great powers, is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War.

The most immediate threats of regional interstate conflict in the next year come from North Korea and from Saudi-Iranian use of proxies in their rivalry." . . . here

[Feb 15, 2018] Another response to Publius Tacitus concerning those meddlesome Russians - TTG

This was clear a color revolution against Trump and Brennan was the key player. Which means that he might be guilty of sedition.
"Intelligence community" below means handpicked by Brennan a dosen of so analysts, which included Peter Strzok and probably Andrew McCabe.
Notable quotes:
"... "In other words, if the Russians really were in a full court press beyond their normal propaganda activities, then the intelligence community should have been galvanized to collect more information and should have briefed the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees. That did not happen. Key Republican leaders DID NOT, I repeat NOT, receive such a briefing. For example, Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, did not get briefed by Brennan or any of his minions on this ..."
"... "Brennan started briefing the Gang of Eight individually beginning with Reid. He finished all individual briefings on 5 Sep 2016 commenting that it proved difficult to get appointments and talk with certain Republicans. Obama also sent Comey, Jeh Johnston and Lisa Monaco to brief the "Gang of Twelve" that included the chairmen and ranking minority members of Homeland Security and Intelligence to seek bipartisan support to respond forcefully to the Russians in early Sep 2016. McConnell reacted forcefully to stifle the intelligence and any forceful response saying "he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics."" ..."
"... "Again, in consultation with the White House, I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September [2016], I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members." ..."
"... "Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member." ..."
"... The whole Trump/Putin narrative has lost steam. It has descended into an incomprehensible storm of "he said, she said." Unless Democrats, Mueller or the intelligence services can finally produce some kind of smoking gun, I doubt that Americans will just tune out. Advantage Trump. ..."
"... The whole adventure reminds me of the campaign against Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They could only 'get' Clinton because he shot himself in the foot with Monica. Of course, Trump, being Trump, is perfectly capable of doing the same thing. ..."
"... In any event, the longer this bullshit goes on with the innuendo, leaks, counter leaks, memos, and ridiculous histrionics the greater the level of transparency of the entire process and investigations will be necessary to assuage the "losing" side of this debate. And even granted that, it's doubtful there is a happy ending at the end of this particular rainbow. But some clear and convincing cards need to be thrown on the table soon, regardless of what they show. ..."
"... All in all, if there are solid clues, I'd wonder first if Russians aren't framed, and barring that, if their key goal isn't to cause paranoia inside the USA and make people doubt their whole political system. ..."
"... So what are we the people supposed to do with this....beat the bushes for another 3 years to see if something pops up? How is that fair to the people who voted for Trump and think he should be left to rule according to the results of the balloting? ..."
"... At what point does the onus fall on the prosecution to produce hard-evidence or shut the hell up?? Seriously. Or are you okay with a president being put under the microscope for 4 years with no probable cause, and no proof of criminal wrongdoing? ..."
"... Where did Mother Jones get that info on Russian bots? Why according to the article from the German Marshal Fund: http://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/publications/methodology-hamilton-68-dashboard ..."
"... So Germany working to influence Americans is OK. Russians no. Yep. No influencing US elections via activities camouflaged as NGOs doing their good deeds. Never happen here. It's not like millions in donations to the Cxxxxxn Foundation, such as the $25 million donation of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) - surprise! protected by Canadian law from releasing thier donor identities (see the NYT linked below)- or the multi-million donations of the Kindom of Norway, Kindom of Saudi Arabia, the Commonwealth of Australia and a slew of others would provide that organization with fungable assets that could be used in the USA to influence government policy or influence those voting for representatives who determine US government policy. ..."
"... Democracy dies in darkness. If this is actually worse than Watergate then declassify it all and hold public hearings - with no immunity for anybody. ..."
"... https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/30/us/politics/canadian-partnership-shielded-identities-of-donors-to-clinton-foundation.html ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Another response to Publius Tacitus concerning those meddlesome Russians - TTG

In the latest posting by Publius Tacitus concerning this subject, he made the following claim.

"In other words, if the Russians really were in a full court press beyond their normal propaganda activities, then the intelligence community should have been galvanized to collect more information and should have briefed the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees. That did not happen. Key Republican leaders DID NOT, I repeat NOT, receive such a briefing. For example, Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, did not get briefed by Brennan or any of his minions on this subject."

I took issue with this interpretation of events in a response to a question posed by Fred.

"Brennan started briefing the Gang of Eight individually beginning with Reid. He finished all individual briefings on 5 Sep 2016 commenting that it proved difficult to get appointments and talk with certain Republicans. Obama also sent Comey, Jeh Johnston and Lisa Monaco to brief the "Gang of Twelve" that included the chairmen and ranking minority members of Homeland Security and Intelligence to seek bipartisan support to respond forcefully to the Russians in early Sep 2016. McConnell reacted forcefully to stifle the intelligence and any forceful response saying "he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.""

I got it mostly right, but upon further research I discovered I was wrong about the 5 September date. It was 6 September. Publius Tacitus still took issue with this insisting "Brennan did not brief all of the Republicans." I offered further proof of my claim in two comments which Publius chose not to publish. That is his prerogative as a guest writer here. I've decided to continue the discussion in this post. That is my prerogative as a guest writer subject to the final decision of Colonel Lang, of course. Both Publius and I must abide by those decisions.

I offer the testimony of John Brennan given before the HPSCI on 23 May 2017 to bolster my case that Brennan did brief the "Gang of Eight" on the intelligence community's initial findings that Russia was interfering with the 2016 elections.

"Again, in consultation with the White House, I PERSONALLY briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership; specifically: Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11th August and 6th September [2016], I provided the same briefing to each of the gang of eight members."

"Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case [that means the FBI], involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member."

This particular transcription of Brennan's remarks was done by a darling of the deep state conspiracy crowd, sundance. Sundance was also kind enough to provide a video of Brennan's remarks. Note that Brennan names those he briefed and that list included Nunes. Sundance accepts Brennan's account of these meetings and, in fact, uses those remarks to beat Comey over the head over a related issue.

As long as I'm writing a post, I might as well address a couple of other points raised by Publius Tacitus. There was no "formal lack of response by the intelligence community." Prior to the briefing of the "Gang of Eight," Brennan established an intelligence task force of a couple dozen analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI to focus on the issue of Russian interference. This is probably the same team that wrote the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. The establishment of this task force was preceded by intelligence obtained by the CIA through some kind of SIGINT, HUMINT or bilateral (FVEY) operation that detailed Putin's direct involvement in the cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US election. This intelligence also captured Putin's instructions on the operation's eventual objectives, to defeat or at least damage Clinton, and help elect Trump. Brennan sent this intelligence directly to Obama by courier prior to the "Gang of Eight" briefings. I remember the widespread outcry when the existence of this intelligence came out. It appeared to blow an apparent US penetration of Russian government secure communications. Maybe it did. But Brennan's call to FSB director, Alexander Bortnikov, on 4 August 2016 warning him to knock it off probably tipped off the Russians long before the public outing of the intelligence as did Obama's face to face warning to Putin at the G20 Summit that he knew what Putin was doing and warned him to knock it off.

In addition to this intelligence, the IC had at that time intelligence from Estonia (and maybe others) about Page's June trip to Moscow, the Dutch observation of Cozy Bear activities and the report from Australia about Popadopoulis' drunken ramblings in a London bar. None of that came from the Steele dossier. All of that is conveniently ignored by the deep state conspiracy theorists. All the information Reid referenced in his letter to Comey probably came from his briefing by Brennan, but we can reasonably disagree on the role or non-role of the Steele dossier.

In my earlier response to Publius Tacitus, I noted the forcefulness of McConnell in preventing a public release of intelligence about Russian meddling or a public response to that meddling. At that point in time, the Republican desire to keep this issue quiet can be seen as a reasonable maneuver of political electioneering or healthy skepticism. However, perhaps there's more to it than that. There are dueling conspiracy theories swirling around this whole Russia thing. Nunes was close to Flynn and was on the Trump transition team. I think he's too close to this to not recuse himself altogether, rather than this half-hearted recusal he currently claims. His continued efforts to derail the Mueller investigation smacks of conspiracy in my mind.

We still need to wait for the Mueller investigation to run its course and hope that the results will be released to the public. We need that and the results of the ongoing FBI IG investigation. Until then we'll continue to gleefully argue our respective points in a vacuum. Unless your comments are unusually abrasive and contribute nothing to the conversation, I'll publish them.

TTG

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/05/23/massive-contradiction-john-brennan-completely-contradicts-fbi-director-james-comey-on-congressional-notification/

Posted at 05:32 PM in Russiagate , TTG | Permalink

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plantman , 15 February 2018 at 06:00 PM

Well argued, but I respectfully disagree....
and, regrettably, your argument sounds like a defense of the disgraced and untrustworthy John Brennan, who deserves a recap from author Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian:

"Brennan, as a Bush-era CIA official, had expressly endorsed Bush's programs of torture (other than waterboarding) and rendition and also was a vocal advocate of immunizing lawbreaking telecoms for their role in the illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program

Obama then appointed him as his top counter-terrorism adviser . In that position, Brennan last year got caught outright lying when he claimed Obama's drone program caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year .

Brennan has also been in charge of many of Obama's most controversial and radical policies, including "signature strikes" in Yemen – targeting people without even knowing who they are – and generally seizing the power to determine who will be marked for execution without any due process, oversight or transparency .." ("John Brennan's extremism and dishonesty rewarded with CIA Director nomination", Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian)

So, Brennan supported kidnapping (rendition), torture (enhanced interrogation techniques) and targeted assassinations (drone attacks). And this is the man we are supposed to trust about Russia???

You fail to mention that deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe stated under oath that the dossier was used to "improperly obtain" FISA warrants to spy on a member of the Trump camp or that the investigation has yet to produce even one scintilla of hard evidence in 18 months or that the media deliberately circulated stories they knew were uncorroborated nonsense in order to damage the president they never wanted.

I suggest you go back and reread the ODNI that Brennen put out with the help of his hand-picked team of analysts. I think you might be surprised in retrospect how weak the case against Trump really is...

GeneO , 15 February 2018 at 06:07 PM
TTG -

Well researched and well done. But please do not expect to cure paranoia with facts.

james , 15 February 2018 at 06:10 PM
thanks ttg.. it is nice to have 2 strong opponents battling it out, for us to possibly gain greater understanding here!

i am curious if you can shed more light on this quote from your post? "Obama's face to face warning to Putin at the G20 Summit that he knew what Putin was doing and warned him to knock it off."

that sounds very subjective to me... is there a transcript or recording of it? otherwise - it is total conjecture with nothing to substantiate it.. thanks..

m robert , 15 February 2018 at 06:19 PM
The "full spectrum information operation"by British operative Christopher Steele( working with MI6 ) and US "security and Intell services" ie : John Brennan points to an attempt at a unconstitutional coup against a duly elected President. Why? To maintain the British/US establishment policy of geopolitical confrontation with Russia & China and the policy of "regime change wars "; a policy candidate Trump voiced opposition to.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/christopher-steele-the-real-foreign-influence-in-the-2016-election/
Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election?
His dossier was more than opposition research, it was part of a full-spectrum information operation.
By PETER VAN BUREN • February 15, 2018

https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-or-intelgate/

Russiagate or Intelgate?
The publication of the Republican House Committee memo and reports of other documents increasingly suggest not only a "Russiagate" without Russia but also something darker: The "collusion" may not have been in the White House or the Kremlin.
By Stephen F. Cohen FEBRUARY 7, 2018

Richardstevenhack , 15 February 2018 at 07:25 PM
"some kind of SIGINT, HUMINT or bilateral (FVEY) operation that detailed Putin's direct involvement in the cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US election. This intelligence also captured Putin's instructions on the operation's eventual objectives, to defeat or at least damage Clinton, and help elect Trump."

I call drivel.

Absent the presentation of "some kind of" said intel, Brennan is lying and conducting a disinformation campaign.

There is no chance that Putin is dumb enough to believe that his Russian intelligence services had the capability of swinging the election to anyone, let alone Trump whose victory, I remind those with - as Publius put it in his thread - "memory on the level of an Alzheimer patient" - was completely dismissed by everyone until it happened.

So we're supposed to believe the Russians knew better?

Hogwash.

When Brennan goes down for this disinformation campaign, I expect TTG to post a thread here with his mea culpa.

JohnH , 15 February 2018 at 07:33 PM
The whole Trump/Putin narrative has lost steam. It has descended into an incomprehensible storm of "he said, she said." Unless Democrats, Mueller or the intelligence services can finally produce some kind of smoking gun, I doubt that Americans will just tune out. Advantage Trump.

The whole adventure reminds me of the campaign against Bill Clinton in the 1990s. They could only 'get' Clinton because he shot himself in the foot with Monica. Of course, Trump, being Trump, is perfectly capable of doing the same thing.

JohnH , 15 February 2018 at 07:34 PM
Correction: I believe Americans will just tune out. Advantage Trump.
J -> JohnH... , 15 February 2018 at 07:54 PM
I concur.
The Twisted Genius -> plantman... , 15 February 2018 at 08:00 PM
plantman,

If you expect me to argue that Brennan is not a typical scheming bureaucratic hack, you'd have to wait a long time. I dislike him as I dislike most of his contemporaries, but I bear him no personal grudge. The purpose of the ICA on Russian interference was not to make a case against Trump. It was to make a case against Russia. I don't think it contained anything referring to any kind of collusion. You're conflating two very different, albeit related, subjects.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 15 February 2018 at 08:00 PM
pl,

Yes, I meant the DOJ IG report.

The Twisted Genius -> Richardstevenhack ... , 15 February 2018 at 08:21 PM
Richardstevenhack,

Reread the ICA on "Russian activities and intentions." It lays out the evolution of Russian thinking over the course of the election season. Russian actions were logical and in Russia's interests. They were not dependent on Trump's election victory.

The Porkchop Express -> The Twisted Genius ... , 15 February 2018 at 09:05 PM
This is a point that is rarely addressed or gets lost amongst all the vitriol. The Russians absolutely could have been (and almost assuredly were) involved in instigating and generally fuckery with respect to our elections and Trump could be squeaky clean as far as collusion/obstruction/etc... One does not preclude the other.

In any event, the longer this bullshit goes on with the innuendo, leaks, counter leaks, memos, and ridiculous histrionics the greater the level of transparency of the entire process and investigations will be necessary to assuage the "losing" side of this debate. And even granted that, it's doubtful there is a happy ending at the end of this particular rainbow. But some clear and convincing cards need to be thrown on the table soon, regardless of what they show.

On a lighter note, Karl Sharro wrote an entertaining piece last year about all this--more so to those on here with direct ME experience:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/america-you-look-like-an-arab-country-right-now-214678

Clueless Joe , 15 February 2018 at 09:08 PM
If there was some Russian meddling and hacking going on, I have to wonder if getting caught wasn't part of the plan. The key goal not being to put Trump in the White House, but to make sure each party would be at each others' throat and claims of foreign influence, possible treason and very dubious if not fake election results would poison the inner political life of the USA for the next 4 years. Basically, sowing seeds of mistrust towards the various authorities and the whole political process itself, to weaken the US system as a whole.

I base this hypothesis on reasoning similar to Richardstevenhack. Putin knows he can't win elections by internet and IT shenanigans; GOP or dems would use it already and would be far more effective than faraway Russia if it were the case. He's also smart enough to expect to be caught if such a massive endeavour was underway. On the other hand, going in without taking enough care not to get spotted and making sure the US agencies notice would indeed mean the operation was designed to be uncovered, and that was its purpose.

All in all, if there are solid clues, I'd wonder first if Russians aren't framed, and barring that, if their key goal isn't to cause paranoia inside the USA and make people doubt their whole political system.

plantman , 15 February 2018 at 09:38 PM
TTG....

I thought it might help to quote the first part of the "Key Judgements in the Intel Community Assessment:

Key Judgments

Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow's longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

 We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence." (end quote)

The report was supposed to provide proof-positive that Russia meddled, but facts or evidence are excluded in the 40 page document.

So what are we the people supposed to do with this....beat the bushes for another 3 years to see if something pops up?
How is that fair to the people who voted for Trump and think he should be left to rule according to the results of the balloting?

At what point does the onus fall on the prosecution to produce hard-evidence or shut the hell up?? Seriously. Or are you okay with a president being put under the microscope for 4 years with no probable cause, and no proof of criminal wrongdoing?

Tell me, how long should this investigation be allowed to continue without any proof?

Fred , 15 February 2018 at 09:38 PM
TTG,

"... cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the US election." Which other nations are doing the same thing? Which ones were doing so on behalf of the other candidate and why aren't those campaigns under investigation?

I learned from Mother Jones that a Democratic Senator met with lawyers that represent a Russian Oligarch close to Putin (he isn't recusing himself either) and that Russian "bots" are active. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/02/donald-trump-joins-with-russian-bots-to-trash-mark-warner-on-twitter/

Where did Mother Jones get that info on Russian bots? Why according to the article from the German Marshal Fund:
http://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/publications/methodology-hamilton-68-dashboard

So Germany working to influence Americans is OK. Russians no. Yep. No influencing US elections via activities camouflaged as NGOs doing their good deeds. Never happen here. It's not like millions in donations to the Cxxxxxn Foundation, such as the $25 million donation of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada) - surprise! protected by Canadian law from releasing thier donor identities (see the NYT linked below)- or the multi-million donations of the Kindom of Norway, Kindom of Saudi Arabia, the Commonwealth of Australia and a slew of others would provide that organization with fungable assets that could be used in the USA to influence government policy or influence those voting for representatives who determine US government policy.

"Nunes was close to Flynn and was on the Trump transition team. I think he's too close to this to not recuse himself altogether..."
Guilt by association? How many other transition team members should be removed from doing thier jobs for being "close to Flynn"?

"We still need to wait for the Mueller investigation to run its course and hope that the results will be released to the public. "
How many years will that be?

Democracy dies in darkness. If this is actually worse than Watergate then declassify it all and hold public hearings - with no immunity for anybody.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/30/us/politics/canadian-partnership-shielded-identities-of-donors-to-clinton-foundation.html

[Feb 15, 2018] Tucker: Claims of the Steele dossier are completely absurd

Notable quotes:
"... It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | www.youtube.com

It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side.


Jack Novak , 1 day ago (edited)

Lois Dye , 1 day ago Dark Circles , 1 day ago BongoMunkey , 1 day ago Darrin Rychlak , 1 day ago SusanBailey AmazingEstate , 21 hours ago Knight Oyin , 22 hours ago pigboykool , 1 day ago Chris Shiherlis , 1 day ago avalanche344 , 1 day ago Lightwish Light , 1 day ago Purpurowy Diaboł , 10 hours ago Purpurowy Diaboł , 10 hours ago Shara Kirkby , 14 hours ago jo phoenix , 17 hours ago ameighable , 18 hours ago Jerry Cunningham , 18 hours ago dAn , 1 day ago

[Feb 15, 2018] Trump's War on the Deep State by Conrad Black

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And the dossier, a pastiche of falsehoods from gossips in the Kremlin, has been exposed as a smear job paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee ..."
"... The hunters are the prey and Trump will prosecute, sack, or intimidate the deep state. But it is there, can arise quickly and can be very dangerous. Forewarned is forearmed. ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | nationalinterest.org

...Donald Trump went to war against the entire political class: all factions of both parties, the bureaucracy, the national media, the lobbyists, Hollywood and Wall Street. He said the whole system was rotten and had failed the nation: hopeless wars that accomplished nothing except the wastage of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, the extension of Iranian influence and an immense humanitarian crisis, a flatlined economy, a shrinking workforce, increasing poverty and crime, oceans of debt, large trade deficits from trade agreements that exported unemployment to the United States and the unmonitored influx of millions of illiterate peasants from Latin America.

... ... ...

For the first nine months of the new administration, there was the constant confected threat of impeachment. The phantasmagorical imbecility that Trump had somehow colluded and connived with the Russian government to rig the election was the excuse of the hapless Clinton and her Trump-hating echo chamber in the national media for the election result.

The deep state was almost the whole state, and it pitched in to sabotage the administration. For nearly that long, the Republican leaders sat on their hands waiting to see if he would be impeached or not. His nominees were a long time in being confirmed. There were leaks of White House conversations, including with foreign leaders -- outright acts of insubordination causing Trump, a decisive executive, to fire some fairly high officials, including the malign director of the FBI, who then informed Congress that he had leaked a self-addressed memo (probably illegally, as it was technically government property), in order to have a special prosecutor named to torment the president over the fatuous Russian allegations, although Comey testified that Trump himself was not a target or suspect and the Russians had not influenced the outcome of the election. (This was a sober position compared to the wholesale fabrications of the Democratic vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, that a thousand Russian agents had swarmed the key battleground states and had delivered Wisconsin to Trump.)

The president has strengthened the White House staff. The FBI and Justice Department have been ripped apart in their partisanship and misuse of the dossier on which the collusion argument and the surveillance of the Trump campaign were based. And the dossier, a pastiche of falsehoods from gossips in the Kremlin, has been exposed as a smear job paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, and the whole impeachment movement has collapsed. The hunters are the prey and Trump will prosecute, sack, or intimidate the deep state. But it is there, can arise quickly and can be very dangerous. Forewarned is forearmed.

Conrad Black is a writer and former newspaper publisher whose most recent book is Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full (PublicAffairs, 2007).

[Feb 15, 2018] Tucker You have to be a moron to believe Steele dossier

Impressive dissection of Steele dossier
Notable quotes:
"... It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side. ..."
"... Watch Jerome Corsi and James Kalstrom great video's about all the felony crimes Barry's DNC/DOJ/FBI were involved in including the dossier. ..."
"... to deflect the Seth Rich /WikiLeaks affair...and the Keystone Kops have been tripping all over as well as tripping up themselves ever since trying to "make it happen"...and if it was not for almost the "entire" mainstream media 'covering' for them many more people would actually realize that they are the biggest 'comedy' in town... ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | theduran.com

What kind of a moron would believe the Steele dossier on Trump and Russia? Lots of Democrat and hollywood elite morons and lots of morons at MSNBC and CNN.

It's so transparently partisan, outrageous and full of fictitious claims, the dossier reads like a parody of a badly written spy novel.

Amazingly, the dossier is what the FBI used to justify spying on American citizens.

Tucker Carlson easily debunks the many claims that Democrats in Congress repeatedly cited as reason to stop the normal functioning of government, so that millions of tax payer dollars can be spent trying to figure out if Trump has been a Russian spy for the last 10 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29vHVcXVN_M


Melotte 22 , February 14, 2018 5:48 PM

It is funny to watch how they are divided (republicans and democrats) on domestic issues but they are as one on aggressive and militaristic foreign policies. Bomb, invade, bomb... rinse and repeat. No objection from either side.

Joseph Sobecki , February 14, 2018 1:29 PM

Watch Jerome Corsi and James Kalstrom great video's about all the felony crimes Barry's DNC/DOJ/FBI were involved in including the dossier.

john vieira , February 15, 2018 1:06 AM

No need to convince me Tucker...have been calling them morons with regards to "Putin did it" since the ex "moron in chief"...who by the way is now a certified fifth columnist with the blessing of the treasonous mainstream media...insinuated as much after the "loser" lost....to deflect the Seth Rich /WikiLeaks affair...and the Keystone Kops have been tripping all over as well as tripping up themselves ever since trying to "make it happen"...and if it was not for almost the "entire" mainstream media 'covering' for them many more people would actually realize that they are the biggest 'comedy' in town...

Vierotchka , February 14, 2018 1:28 PM

I can only concur.

[Feb 14, 2018] BuzzFeed Suing DNC For Proof They Were Hacked Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of). ..."
"... If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier. ..."
"... The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy ..."
"... Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked? ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

BuzzFeed is suing the cash-strapped Democratic National Committee (DNC) to force them to hand over information related to the "Steele Dossier" that might help the news outlet defend itself against a lawsuit lodged by a Russian businessman who was named in the document. Three separate lawsuits have been launched against BuzzFeed in connection to the January 11, 2017 publication of the dossier, which states that Russian tech executive Aleksej Gubarev used his web hosting companies to hack into the DNC's computer systems.

The dossier, without substantiation, said Gubarev's U.S.-based global web-hosting companies, XBT and Webzilla, planted digital bugs, transmitted viruses and conducted altering operations against the Democratic Party leadership.

While one key name in the dossier was blackened out by BuzzFeed, Gubarev's was not. He alleges that he was never contacted for comment, suffering reputational harm in the process. - Foreign Policy

As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of).

"As part of the discovery process, BuzzFeed is attempting to verify claims in the dossier that relate to the hacking of the DNC," said BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenhal in a statement. "We're asking a federal court to force the DNC to follow the law and allow BuzzFeed to fully defend its First Amendment rights."

Last month, the DNC claimed that providing the requested information would expose the DNC's internal operations and harm the party politically (it's always someone else's fault, no?).

"If these documents were disclosed, the DNC's internal operations, as well as its ability to effectively achieve its political goals, would be harmed ," said DNC lawyers.

If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks.

Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier.

The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy .

At FTI, Ferrante launched what's now been a months-long stealth effort chasing down documents and conducting interviews on the ground in various countries around the world. His team directed BuzzFeed lawyers to subpoena specific data and testimony from dozens of agencies or companies across the country and assembled a cyber ops war room to analyze that dat a, according to sources familiar with the work.

Considering that much of the Steele dossier came from a collaboration with high level Kremlin officials (a collusion if you will), one has to wonder exactly what channels Ferrante and FTI have tapped in order to access such information.

Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked?

[Feb 14, 2018] Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

Highly recommended!
Feb 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Clyde, February 14, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT

@Ozymandias

"It's worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony."
It's also worth noting that sometimes the judge is in on it.

For the Trump Admin surveillance warrants the FISA judge was probably Contreras. So goes the rumor. He was probably in on it or halfway in on it. All the major players in DC know each other and trade favors.

And Gen Mike Flynn is in the process of getting his case dismissed. The only thing left to determine is how much the Federales will have to reimburse him for his lawyers fees, which are a million plus.

FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras EXPOSED – twitter.com

Rudolph Contreras was the FISA Judge who issued a warrant to spy on Carter Page because of a Yahoo News article and a Phony Probably have already. He needs to go

Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

https://www.infowars.com/recused-judge-in-flynn-prosecution-served&#8230 ;

Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of

Federal FISA Judge Recuses Himself From Michael Flynn Case

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/12/07/federal-fisa-judge&#8230 ;

Blows the whole FISA Court to hell in a hand basket and Judge Contreras is getting the hell out of dodge. This a helluva mess for the FISA Court and it's victims. Rule 5. Authority of the Judges. (b) Referring Matters to Other Judges.

[Feb 14, 2018] The Anti-Trump Coup by Michael S. Rozeff

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis. ..."
"... Its foundation was laid in 2016 by accusations of Russian interference in the election. The coup began in earnest as soon as the election in November 2016 made Trump the winner. ..."
"... On Jan. 14, 2017, a news report states that the CIA set up a task force in 2016 to investigate possible Russian funding of Trump's campaign. The task force included the FBI, the Treasury, and Justice Departments, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA). ..."
"... On February 24, 2016, ex-CIA chief Hayden said he'd be "frightened" of a Trump presidency. He said, "I would be incredibly concerned if President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign." A news report told us "Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges." ..."
"... There is ample evidence in the form of sharp public bickering between Trump and these two CIA chiefs, present and the past, that the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump's campaign as a weapon against Trump and his possible election. The motive behind the investigation was not to ensure a clean campaign free of Russian influence but to work against Trump's election chances. The CIA was dismayed by what appeared to them to be a possible president who was aiming to work with Putin and not against him. ..."
"... The excuse was an allegation that three of Trump's associates had received campaign money from the Kremlin. This allegation came from a Baltic state and it was processed by the CIA and made into something worthy of following up. We read that the task force " was set up after the director of the CIA, John Brennan, received a recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into Trump's campaign coffers, the BBC's Paul Wood reported. The recording was apparently passed to the CIA by the intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States." ..."
"... According to this, John Brennan is the key player in the anti-Trump movement. He wants to see Trump's presidency brought to a quick end or otherwise neutered and made compliant to rule by the CIA. By their control over information and its interpretation, the leaders of the CIA have gained considerable power within the government. They've enhanced this by developing operational forces in the field. ..."
"... As occurred during the propaganda campaign that preceded Bush 2's attack on Iraq and as in the Ukraine case noted above, we again observe murky foreign sources that are given credence and validity by the CIA. The public and media have no viable way of checking on the story of Kremlin money except perhaps through off the record sources. Such stories can't be traced through public hearings without subpoena power and a will to wash a lot of dirty linen in public. They are perfect for propaganda and cover-ups. ..."
"... On January 3, 2016, Charles Schumer said that Trump was "being really dumb" for arguing against the assessments of the intelligence community on Russian hacking. He adds ominously: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." ..."
"... On January 15, 2017, we read "CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday had a stern parting message for Republican Donald Trump days before he assumes the U.S. presidency, cautioning him against loosening sanctions on Russia and warning him to watch what he says. Brennan rebuked the president-elect for comparing U.S. intelligence practices to Nazi Germany in comments that laid bare the friction between Trump and the intelligence community he has criticized and is on the verge of commanding." ..."
"... In 2016 Trump and the CIA became foes of one another because of vast policy differences. Past and present CIA directors went public against Trump. They instigated a series of reports and leaks to discredit Trump and to link his campaign to Russian meddling in the election. They went after several of his aides, causing Paul Manafort to resign. After the election, they produced new anti-Trump material and managed to get his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to resign. This adds up to an attempted coup that has had some success. ..."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.lewrockwell.com

...

Q. Who is behind the coup attempt ?

A. Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis.

Q. When did the coup attempt begin?

A. Its foundation was laid in 2016 by accusations of Russian interference in the election. The coup began in earnest as soon as the election in November 2016 made Trump the winner.

Q. What evidence points to the CIA's role in the coup attempt?

A. A news report from September 5, 2016, reports that "U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence, and congressional officials said."

On Jan. 14, 2017, a news report states that the CIA set up a task force in 2016 to investigate possible Russian funding of Trump's campaign. The task force included the FBI, the Treasury, and Justice Departments, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Q. Why did the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump's campaign?

A. Why did the CIA not set up a task force to investigate Hillary Clinton's activities during and after being Secretary of State in response to receipt of mammoth amounts of foreign money that were laundered through the Clinton Foundation? The reason is that she was the candidate favored by the CIA leadership and Trump was not.

Early in 2016, Trump was raising very strong doubts in the intelligence community that he'd govern as they saw fit.

On February 24, 2016, ex-CIA chief Hayden said he'd be "frightened" of a Trump presidency. He said, "I would be incredibly concerned if President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign." A news report told us "Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges."

A month later, Hayden opined that Trump was a larger threat to national stability on security matters than Hillary Clinton.

On April 11, 2016, we learn that CIA Director "Brennan said on NBC News Sunday that he would not allow enhanced interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, even if a future president ordered it." Trump wasted no time responding: "Donald Trump is taking on CIA Director John Brennan on torture, saying Brennan's pledge not to allow waterboarding is 'ridiculous.'"

On July 13, 2016, Brennan testified that he'd consider quitting rather than obey a president's order to reinstate waterboarding, something that Trump had suggested. Another article says that even before that date, "[Brennan] has already expressed his distaste for Trump."

There is ample evidence in the form of sharp public bickering between Trump and these two CIA chiefs, present and the past, that the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump's campaign as a weapon against Trump and his possible election. The motive behind the investigation was not to ensure a clean campaign free of Russian influence but to work against Trump's election chances. The CIA was dismayed by what appeared to them to be a possible president who was aiming to work with Putin and not against him.

Q. But wasn't the CIA doing the right thing to investigate possible Russian funding of the Trump campaign?

A. The idea of Russian funding of Trump's campaign was absurd. This investigation had no reason to be started other than a goal of smearing Trump and preventing a Trump presidency. It was absurd because foreign money given to American political campaigns is illegal and everyone knows it. Trump would not jeopardize his campaign for some trivial amount of money nor would his campaign officials; and a large amount would easily be spotted through the banking system. It was also absurd because the Kremlin would not operate and does not operate in this way. It would not risk being found out blatantly violating American law in this way, as that would greatly diminish its credibility. "Doing the right thing" for the American system was strictly a plausible and disingenuous device.

Q. If the investigation was absurd, what leads or allegations did the CIA have to set it up?

A. The excuse was an allegation that three of Trump's associates had received campaign money from the Kremlin. This allegation came from a Baltic state and it was processed by the CIA and made into something worthy of following up. We read that the task force " was set up after the director of the CIA, John Brennan, received a recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into Trump's campaign coffers, the BBC's Paul Wood reported. The recording was apparently passed to the CIA by the intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States."

According to this, John Brennan is the key player in the anti-Trump movement. He wants to see Trump's presidency brought to a quick end or otherwise neutered and made compliant to rule by the CIA. By their control over information and its interpretation, the leaders of the CIA have gained considerable power within the government. They've enhanced this by developing operational forces in the field.

As occurred during the propaganda campaign that preceded Bush 2's attack on Iraq and as in the Ukraine case noted above, we again observe murky foreign sources that are given credence and validity by the CIA. The public and media have no viable way of checking on the story of Kremlin money except perhaps through off the record sources. Such stories can't be traced through public hearings without subpoena power and a will to wash a lot of dirty linen in public. They are perfect for propaganda and cover-ups.

John Brennan has the CIA initiate an investigation on a flimsy basis and gets away with it. We know from his public statements at that time and later that he's thoroughly anti-Trump and anti-Russia. This is why such an investigation went forward. Brennan had nothing to lose. If he found some dirt on Trump or his associates, he'd discredit Trump and lose him votes. If he didn't find anything, the investigation itself would still raise suspicions about Trump and provide Hillary Clinton and her aides with anti-Trump ammunition. In fact, her campaign did use the alleged Russian connection against Trump.

Q. What else do we know of Brennan's differences with Trump?

A. On Sept. 11, 2016, Brennan disagreed with Trump publicly: "CIA Director John Brennan pushed back against Donald Trump's claim that he could read disapproval of President Barack Obama's policies in the body language of the intelligence officers who gave him a confidential national security briefing."

On November 30, 2016, we read that Brennan expressed another difference with Trump: "The director of the CIA has issued a stark warning to President-elect Donald J. Trump. Tearing up the Iran nuclear deal would be 'the height of folly' and 'disastrous.'"

On January 3, 2016, Charles Schumer said that Trump was "being really dumb" for arguing against the assessments of the intelligence community on Russian hacking. He adds ominously: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

On January 15, 2017, we read "CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday had a stern parting message for Republican Donald Trump days before he assumes the U.S. presidency, cautioning him against loosening sanctions on Russia and warning him to watch what he says. Brennan rebuked the president-elect for comparing U.S. intelligence practices to Nazi Germany in comments that laid bare the friction between Trump and the intelligence community he has criticized and is on the verge of commanding."

Q. What became of the allegations against the three associates of Trump?

A. The three accused men each strongly denied allegations of being paid by the Kremlin. On October 15, the FISA court granted a warrant to intercept communications from two Russian banks. The investigators were looking for evidence that money passed from Russia to the three Trump associates. No such evidence was found.

On January 19, 2017, the continuing investigation by "American law enforcement and intelligence agencies" was confirmed, and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, was mentioned:

"The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect's past and present advisers have had with Russia . Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia's Federal Security Service, one of the officials said."

Mr. Manafort has done nothing illegal, we learn. He has merely done some business in Ukraine and Russia. He merely came into contact with people with suspected links to a Russian intelligence outfit. They weren't even known spies. Mr. Manafort has fallen victim to suspicion by association two or three times removed even from guilt by association.

The other two being investigated are Carter Page and Roger Stone, and we learn that they too are innocent of wrongdoing.

"The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department's financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said."

So, we know that a concerted effort has been made to investigate three of Trump's close aides. We know that the CIA was the instigator and that it used its typical murky and unverifiable tips to gain credibility. Finally, we know that this inquiry has produced no evidence of any illegal activities of Trump or his aides.

Q. What other evidence is there of an attempted coup against Trump?

A. On Oct. 7, 2016, there was released the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security". This brief statement on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies linked the Russian government to hacking: "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations." It stated its belief "that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

On Nov. 30, 2016, an outfit named PropOrNot with links to the U.S. intelligence community published a report that named 200 websites as propagators of Russian propaganda: "Russia Is Manipulating US Public Opinion through Online Propaganda".

On Dec. 9, 2016, it was reported that "The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency "

Dec. 29, 2016, arrived the FBI-DHS report: "Grizzly Steppe – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity". This was widely denounced as lacking even persuasive circumstantial evidence, never mind direct evidence of Russian involvement.

On Jan. 10, 2017, the Golden Showers report was leaked, accusing Trump of having been compromised by Russian agents and therefore subject to blackmail. This report had been circulating for weeks in intelligence and media circles. It had supposedly been written between July and December by former British MI-6 agent, Christopher Steele.

Once again we observe that a spurious anti-Trump report is purported or arranged to have a foreign origination; but that it is carried to the public by means of the CIA and leaks within the U.S.

On February 13, 2017, the coup perps drew fresh blood when Michael Flynn resigned, despite no evidence of wrongdoing. Their success is attributable to their use of wiretapped phone calls and to leaking these to the media. Since intelligence agents have access to these calls that the NSA collects, we once again observe that intelligence circles are active in seeking to undermine Trump. This is consistent with the conclusion that a coup attempt is ongoing.

Q. Could you summarize, please?

A. In 2016 Trump and the CIA became foes of one another because of vast policy differences. Past and present CIA directors went public against Trump. They instigated a series of reports and leaks to discredit Trump and to link his campaign to Russian meddling in the election. They went after several of his aides, causing Paul Manafort to resign. After the election, they produced new anti-Trump material and managed to get his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to resign. This adds up to an attempted coup that has had some success.

Q. What happens next?

A. The future is guesswork. We will be surprised at what happens, but here are some guesses. The coup attempt will not cease. There is nothing presently opposing it unless Trump is counterattacking behind the scenes, of which there is no evidence. Trump will eventually sense the coup's efficacy and devise ways to stop it. The anti-Trump media will keep the pot boiling. They will need new stories to exploit. Anti-Trump elements in the CIA can be expected to come up with new, dubious and devious revelations aimed at discrediting Trump's handling of foreign affairs. We can expect former intelligence officials to speak out against Trump at critical times and to recruit allies who will add what appears to be an even more independent criticism of Trump. The coup may transform into an effort to control Trump's policies from outside his administration.

Michael S. Rozeff [ send him mail ] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline .

[Feb 14, 2018] The FBI and the President – Mutual Manipulation by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trump's behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their attack on Trump's early campaign promise to find common ground in improving economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi terrorists. ..."
"... The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged eyebrows with any and all Russians! ..."
"... The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented. Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible. The FBI's anti-communist crusade led to the purge of thousands of trade unionists from the mid-1940's onward, decimating the AFL-CIO. They blacklisted actors, screen writers, artists, teachers, university academics, researchers, scientists, journalists and civil rights leaders as part of their sweeping purge of civil society. ..."
"... President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale. Trump's violation of international law includes collaboration and support for Saudi Arabia's tyrannical invasion and destruction of the sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israel's ethnic war against the Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering, sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China ..."
"... Domestically, Trump's response to the FBI's blackmail has been to replace the original political leadership with his own version; to expand and increase the police state powers against immigrants; to increase the powers of the major tech companies to police and intensify work-place exploitation and the invasion of citizens' privacy; to expand the unleash the power of state agents to torture suspects and to saturate all public events, celebrations and activities with open displays of jingoism and militarism with the goal of creating pro-war public opinion. ..."
"... Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order ..."
Feb 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Few government organizations have been engaged in violation of the US citizens' constitutional rights for as long a time and against as many individuals as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Seldom has there been greater collusion in the perpetration of crimes against civil liberties, electoral freedom and free and lawful expression as what has taken place between the FBI and the US Justice Department.

In the past, the FBI and Justice Department secured the enthusiastic support and public acclaim from the conservative members of the US Congress, members of the judiciary at all levels and the mass media. The leading liberal voices, public figures, educators, intellectuals and progressive dissenters opposing the FBI and their witch-hunting tactics were all from the left. Today, the right and the left have changed places: The most powerful voices endorsing the FBI and the Justice Department's fabrications, and abuse of constitutional rights are on the left, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and famous liberal media corporations and public opinion makers.

The recently published Congressional memo, authored by Congressman Devin Nunes, provides ample proof that the FBI spied on Trump campaign workers with the intent to undermine the Republican candidate and sabotage his bid for the presidency. Private sector investigators, hired by Trump's rival Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, worked with pro-Clinton operatives within the FBI and Justice Department to violate the national electoral process while flouting rules governing wiretaps on US citizens. This was done with the approval of the sitting Democratic President Barack Obama.

The liberals and Democrats and their allies in the FBI, political police and other elements of the security state apparatus were deeply involved in an attempt to implicate Russian government officials in a plot to manipulate US public opinion on Trump's behalf and corrupt the outcome of the election. However, the FBI, the Justice Department and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller have produced no evidence of collusion linking the Russian government to a campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton's candidacy in favor of Trump. This is despite thousands of interviews and threats of long prison sentences against former Trump campaign advisers. Instead, they focus their attack on Trump's early campaign promise to find common ground in improving economic and diplomatic ties between the US and Russia, especially in confronting jihadi terrorists.

The liberal-progressive FBI cohort turned into rabid Russia-bashers demanding that Trump take a highly aggressive stance against Moscow, while systematically eliminating his military and security advisors who expressed anti-confrontation sentiments. In the spirit of a Joe McCarthy, the liberal-left launched hysterical attacks on any and every Trump campaign adviser who had spoken to, dined with or exchanged eyebrows with any and all Russians!

The conversion of liberalism to the pursuit of political purges is unprecedented. Their collective amnesia about the long-term, large-scale involvement by the FBI in the worst criminal violations of democratic values is reprehensible. The FBI's anti-communist crusade led to the purge of thousands of trade unionists from the mid-1940's onward, decimating the AFL-CIO. They blacklisted actors, screen writers, artists, teachers, university academics, researchers, scientists, journalists and civil rights leaders as part of their sweeping purge of civil society.

The FBI investigated the private lives of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, even threatening their family members. They illegally spied on and infiltrated civil liberties organizations, and used provocateurs and spies in anti-war groups. Individuals lives were destroyed, some were driven to suicide; important popular American organizations were undermined to the detriment of millions. This has been its focus since its beginning and continues with the current fabrication of anti-Russian propaganda and investigations.

President Trump: Victim and Executor

President Trump has pursued an agenda mirroring the police state operations of the FBI – only on a global scale. Trump's violation of international law includes collaboration and support for Saudi Arabia's tyrannical invasion and destruction of the sovereign nation of Yemen; intensified aid and support for Israel's ethnic war against the Palestinian people; severe sanctions and threatened nuclear first-strike against North Korea (DPRK); increased deployment of US special forces in collaboration with the jihadi terrorist war to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria; coup-mongering, sabotage, sanctions and economic blockade of Venezuela; NATO missile and nuclear encirclement of Russia; and the growing naval threats against China .

Domestically, Trump's response to the FBI's blackmail has been to replace the original political leadership with his own version; to expand and increase the police state powers against immigrants; to increase the powers of the major tech companies to police and intensify work-place exploitation and the invasion of citizens' privacy; to expand the unleash the power of state agents to torture suspects and to saturate all public events, celebrations and activities with open displays of jingoism and militarism with the goal of creating pro-war public opinion.

In a word: From the right to the left there are no political options to choose from among the two ruling political parties. Popular political movements and mass demonstrations have risen up against Trump with clear justification, but have since dissolved and been absorbed. They came together from diverse sectors: Women against sexual abuse and workplace humiliation; African-Americans against police impunity and violence; and immigrants against mass expulsion and harassment. They staged mass demonstrations and then declined as their 'anti-Trump' animus was frustrated by the liberal-democrats hell-bent on pursuing the Russian connection.

In the face of the national-political debacle local and regional movements became the vehicle to support the struggles. Women organized at some workplaces and gained better protection of their rights; African-Americans vividly documented and published video evidence of the systematic brutal violation of their rights by the police state and effectively acted to restrain local police violence in a few localities; immigrant workers and especially their children gained broad public sympathy and allies within religious and political organizations; and anti-Trump movements combined with critics of the liberal/democrat apparatus to build broader movements and especially oppose growing war-fever.

Abroad, bi-partisan wars have failed to defeat independent state and mass popular resistance struggles for national sovereignty everywhere – from North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Syria, and Venezuela and beyond.

Even the fight within the two-headed reactionary party of the US oligarchy has had a positive effect. Each side is hell-bent on exposing the state-sponsored crimes of the other. In an unprecedented and historic sense, the US and world public is witness to the spies, lies and crimes of the leadership and elite on prime time and on the wide screen. We head in two directions. In one direction, there are the threats of nuclear war, economic collapse, environmental disasters and a full blown police state. In the other direction, there is the demise of empire, a revived and renewed civil society rooted in a participatory economy and a renewed moral order .

[Feb 14, 2018] Is John Brennan the Mastermind behind Russiagate by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA. ..."
"... Most disturbing is the fact that Steele reportedly received information from friends of Hillary Clinton. (supposedly, Sidney Blumenthal and others) ..."
"... These are just a few of the questions Steele will undoubtedly be asked if he ever faces prosecution for lying to the FBI. But, so far, we know very little about man except that he was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don't even know if Steele's alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not. ..."
"... Some analysts think the whole thing is a fabrication based on the fact that he hasn't worked the Russia-scene since the FSB (The Russian state-security organization that replaced the KGB) was completely overhauled. Besides, it would be extremely dangerous for a Russian to provide an M16 agent with sensitive intelligence. And what would the contact get in return? According to most accounts, Steele's sources weren't even paid, so there was little incentive for them to put themselves at risk? All of this casts more doubt on the contents of the dossier. ..."
"... What is known about Steele is that he has a very active imagination and knows how to command a six-figure payoff for his unique services. We also know that the FBI continued to use him long after they knew he couldn't be trusted which suggests that he served some other purpose, like providing the agency with plausible deniability, a 'get out of jail free' card if they ever got caught surveilling US citizens without probable cause. ..."
"... Since then, GOP lawmakers have been quietly buzzing about allegations that an Obama-era State Department official passed along information from allies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that may have been used by the FBI to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russia. ..."
"... Regular readers of this column know that we have always believed that the Russiagate psyops originated with Brennan. Just as the CIA launched its disinformation campaigns against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, so too, Russia has emerged as Washington's foremost rival requiring a massive propaganda campaign to persuade the public that America faces a serious external threat. In any event, the demonizing of Russia had already begun by the time Hillary and Co. decided to hop on the bandwagon by blaming Moscow for hacking John Podesta's emails. The allegations were never persuasive, but they did provide Brennan with some cover for the massive Information Operation (IO) that began with him. ..."
"... It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. ..."
"... It all started with Brennan. After Putin blocked Brennan's operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia. The "election meddling" charges (promoted by the Hillary people) fit perfectly with Brennan's overall strategy to manipulate perceptions and prepare the country for an eventual confrontation. It provided him the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time. The temptation must have been irresistible. ..."
"... But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? ..."
"... Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Blumenthal, Abedin, Mills, Podesta, Strzok, McCabe whoever might have been mastermind or mere footsoldier in the drama, one cannot escape the fact that the Capo di tutti capi is Barak Hussein Obama, even if only on the "Buck stops here" principle. ..."
"... Last September Brennan began a two-year stint as a distinguished fellow for global security at Fordham Law School. Brennan is a 1977 college graduate of this Jesuit institution which undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a career of duplicity and malfeasance ..."
Feb 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

The report ("The Dossier") that claims that Donald Trump colluded with Russia, was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The company that claims that Russia hacked DNC computer servers, was paid by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. The FBI's counterintelligence probe into Trump's alleged connections to Russia was launched on the basis of information gathered from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The surveillance of a Trump campaign member (Carter Page) was approved by a FISA court on the basis of information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The Intelligence Community Analysis or ICA was (largely or partially) based on information from a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign. (more on this below)

The information that was leaked to the media alleging Russia hacking or collusion can be traced back to claims that were made in a report that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

The entire Russia-gate investigation rests on the "unverified and salacious" information from a dossier that was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaign. Here's how Stephen Cohen sums it up in a recent article at The Nation:

"Steele's dossier was the foundational document of the Russiagate narrative from the time its installments began to be leaked to the American media in the summer of 2016, to the US "Intelligence Community Assessment" of January 2017 .the dossier and subsequent ICA report remain the underlying sources for proponents of the Russiagate narrative of "Trump-Putin collision." ("Russia gate or Intel-gate?", The Nation)

There's just one problem with Cohen's statement, we don't really know the extent to which the dossier was used in the creation of the Intelligence Community Assessment. (The ICA was the IC's flagship analysis that was supposed to provide ironclad proof of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.) According to some reports, the contribution was significant. Check out this excerpt from an article at Business Insider:

"Intelligence officials purposefully omitted the dossier from the public intelligence report they released in January about Russia's election interference because they didn't want to reveal which details they had corroborated, according to CNN." ("Mueller reportedly interviewed the author of the Trump-Russia dossier -- here's what it alleges, and how it aligned with reality", Business Insider)

Bottom line: Despite the denials of former-CIA Director John Brennan, the dossier may have been used in the ICA.

In the last two weeks, documents have been released that have exposed the weak underpinnings of the Russia investigation while at the same time revealing serious abuses by senior-level officials at the DOJ and FBI. The so called Nunes memo was the first to point out these abuses, but it was the 8-page "criminal referral" authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham that gave credence to the claims. Here's a blurb from the document:

"It appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele's personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information. But there is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility."

There it is. The FBI made a "concerted effort to conceal information from the court" in order to get a warrant to spy on a member of a rival political campaign. So –at the very least– there was an effort, on the part of the FBI and high-ranking officials at the Department of Justice, to improperly spy on members of the Trump team. And there's more. The FBI failed to mention that the dossier was paid for by the Hillary campaign and the DNC, or that the dossier's author Christopher Steele had seeded articles in the media that were being used to support the dossier's credibility (before the FISA court), or that, according to the FBI's own analysts, the dossier was "only minimally corroborated", or that Steele was a ferocious partisan who harbored a strong animus towards Trump. All of these were omitted in the FISA application which is why the FBI was able to deceive the judge. It's worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony.

Most disturbing is the fact that Steele reportedly received information from friends of Hillary Clinton. (supposedly, Sidney Blumenthal and others) Here's one suggestive tidbit that appeared in the Graham-Grassley" referral:

" Mr. Steele's memorandum states that his company "received this report from REDACTED US State Department," that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who "is in touch with REDACTED, a contact of REDACTED, a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to REDACTED."

It is troubling enough that the Clinton campaign funded Mr. Steele's work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility." (Lifted from The Federalist)

What are we to make of this? Was Steele shaping the dossier's narrative to the specifications of his employers? Was he being coached by members of the Hillary team? How did that impact the contents of the dossier and the subsequent Russia investigation?

These are just a few of the questions Steele will undoubtedly be asked if he ever faces prosecution for lying to the FBI. But, so far, we know very little about man except that he was a former M16 agent who was paid $160,000 for composing the dubious set of reports that make up the dossier. We don't even know if Steele's alleged contacts or intermediaries in Russia actually exist or not.

Some analysts think the whole thing is a fabrication based on the fact that he hasn't worked the Russia-scene since the FSB (The Russian state-security organization that replaced the KGB) was completely overhauled. Besides, it would be extremely dangerous for a Russian to provide an M16 agent with sensitive intelligence. And what would the contact get in return? According to most accounts, Steele's sources weren't even paid, so there was little incentive for them to put themselves at risk? All of this casts more doubt on the contents of the dossier.

What is known about Steele is that he has a very active imagination and knows how to command a six-figure payoff for his unique services. We also know that the FBI continued to use him long after they knew he couldn't be trusted which suggests that he served some other purpose, like providing the agency with plausible deniability, a 'get out of jail free' card if they ever got caught surveilling US citizens without probable cause.

But that brings us to the strange case of Carter Page, a bit-player whose role in the Trump campaign was trivial at best. Page was what most people would call a "small fish", an insignificant foreign policy advisor who had minimal impact on the campaign. Congressional investigators, like Nunes, must be wondering why the FBI and DOJ devoted so much attention to someone like Page instead of going after the "big fish" like Bannon, Flynn, Kushner, Ivanka and Trump Jr., all of whom might have been able to provide damaging information on the real target, Donald Trump. Wasn't that the idea? So why waste time on Page? It doesn't make any sense, unless, of course, the others were already being surveilled by other agencies? Is that it, did the NSA and the CIA have a hand in the surveillance too?

It's a moot point, isn't it? Because now that there's evidence that senior-level officials at the DOJ and the FBI were involved in improperly obtaining warrants to spy on members of the opposite party, the investigation is going to go wherever it goes. Whatever restrictions existed before, will now be lifted. For example, this popped up in Saturday's The Hill:

"House Intelligence Committee lawmakers are in the dark about an investigation into wrongdoing at the State Department announced by Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Friday. Nunes told Fox News on Friday that, "we are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation. That investigation is ongoing and we continue work toward finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation."

Since then, GOP lawmakers have been quietly buzzing about allegations that an Obama-era State Department official passed along information from allies of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that may have been used by the FBI to launch an investigation into whether the Trump campaign had improper contacts with Russia.

"I'm pretty troubled by what I read in the documents with respect to the role the State Department played in the fall of 2016, including information that was used in a court proceeding. I am troubled by it," Gowdy told Fox News on Tuesday." ("Lawmakers in dark about 'phase two' of Nunes investigation", The Hill)

So the State Department is next in line followed by the NSA and, finally, the Russia-gate point of origin, John Brennan's CIA. Here's more background on that from Stephen Cohen's illuminating article at The Nation:

" .when, and by whom, was this Intel operation against Trump started?

In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama's head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time, "in triggering an FBI probe." Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele's dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his "suspicions" and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey may have joined them actively somewhat later .

When did Brennan begin his "investigation" of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article, by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding "suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

In short, if these reports and Brennan's own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate." ("Russiagate or Intelgate?", Stephen Cohen, The Nation)

Regular readers of this column know that we have always believed that the Russiagate psyops originated with Brennan. Just as the CIA launched its disinformation campaigns against Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadhafi, so too, Russia has emerged as Washington's foremost rival requiring a massive propaganda campaign to persuade the public that America faces a serious external threat. In any event, the demonizing of Russia had already begun by the time Hillary and Co. decided to hop on the bandwagon by blaming Moscow for hacking John Podesta's emails. The allegations were never persuasive, but they did provide Brennan with some cover for the massive Information Operation (IO) that began with him.

According to the Washington Times:

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians."

It all started with Brennan. After Putin blocked Brennan's operations in both Ukraine and Syria, Brennan had every reason to retaliate and to use the tools at his disposal to demonize Putin and try to isolate Russia. The "election meddling" charges (promoted by the Hillary people) fit perfectly with Brennan's overall strategy to manipulate perceptions and prepare the country for an eventual confrontation. It provided him the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, to deliver a withering blow to Putin and Trump at the very same time. The temptation must have been irresistible.

But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge?

Soon the investigative crosshairs will settle on Brennan. He'd better have the right answers.


El Dato , February 13, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT

Deepstate ain't gonna go quietly.

Watch out for distractions in the national or international sphere.

(Btw, Russia warns via RT of an upcoming false flag attack using chlorine in Syria. Can't get an even break.)

Anon Disclaimer , February 13, 2018 at 10:02 pm GMT
That the whole media can be in service of a such a fraud and beam their relentless lies across millions of TV screens even in a democracy like America goes to tell you that the Power ultimately decides what is 'fiction' and 'non-fiction'.

Why else would most of Big Media be spreading all these lies about Russia Hacking or 'Russiagate' when the only real 'gate' is Deepstategate and Jewishhategate. The anti-Trump hysteria is nothing but an act of arson set by Jewish globalists who hate him.

The Alarmist , February 14, 2018 at 12:32 am GMT
Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Blumenthal, Abedin, Mills, Podesta, Strzok, McCabe whoever might have been mastermind or mere footsoldier in the drama, one cannot escape the fact that the Capo di tutti capi is Barak Hussein Obama, even if only on the "Buck stops here" principle.
nsa , February 14, 2018 at 5:12 am GMT
Planting stories in the kept lugenpresse then citing the resulting articles as evidence is a common technique of the national security state. Anyone remember DickiePoo Cheney (the man with no heart) planting bogus weapons-of-mass-destruction stories with "reporter" Judith (the jooie) Miller whose stuff was dutifully published in the rapidly anti arab Jew York Times. DickiePoo then cited the stories as evidence that Iraq needed to be invaded and destroyed. This kind of propaganda is quite effective and very long lasting to this day something like 60% of the american public still believe Saddam had a hand in the 911 false flag operation and probably future history books will agree.
JNDillard , February 14, 2018 at 5:32 am GMT
Investigative reporting at its best. Thank you, Mike Whitney. Every member of Congress should read this.
Dan Hayes , February 14, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
Last September Brennan began a two-year stint as a distinguished fellow for global security at Fordham Law School. Brennan is a 1977 college graduate of this Jesuit institution which undoubtedly laid the groundwork for a career of duplicity and malfeasance .

His appointment is in the grand tradition of Jesuitical sucking up to the powers-that-be.

An especially egregious example of this would be the current Jesuit "Bishop of Rome" (his preferred parlance) playing footsie with communist China. And in the process throwing faithful Chinese under the proverbial bus – just being chalked up as collateral damage!

The beat goes on.

Toby Keith , February 14, 2018 at 6:07 am GMT
@The Alarmist

Every President after Kennedy has been a kosher puppet. Obama masterminded nothing, and it's a very Hasbara thing to suggest he did.

[Feb 12, 2018] Vault 8 and false-flag allegations: The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man

Informative YouTube video
Notable quotes:
"... In today's podcast, we hear how Vault 8 has succeeded Vault 7 among WikiLeaks dumps (but it's still all CIA all the time from Mr. Assange and company). GCHQ expresses concerns about Kaspersky anti-virus products. ..."
"... The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man, or rather, that Russia wants to work mischief with the United States ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.youtube.com

In today's podcast, we hear how Vault 8 has succeeded Vault 7 among WikiLeaks dumps (but it's still all CIA all the time from Mr. Assange and company). GCHQ expresses concerns about Kaspersky anti-virus products.

Media reports suggest that NSA is in the middle of a big mole hunt. Equifax begins to tally up the costs of its breach.

The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man, or rather, that Russia wants to work mischief with the United States...

[Feb 12, 2018] A CIA Cyber False Flag by Federico Pieraccini.

Notable quotes:
"... Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA , whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post ..."
"... In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT ..."
"... Now what is revealed through Wikileaks' publications in Vault 7 is the ability of a subsection of the CIA, known as Umbrage , to use malware, viruses, trojans and other cyber tools for their own geopolitical purposes. The CIA's Umbrage collects, analyzes and then employs software created variously from foreign security agencies, cyber mafia, private companies, and hackers in general. ..."
"... These revelations are yet more reason why countries targeted by Washington, like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, should get rid of European and American products and invest in reducing technological dependence on American products in particular. ..."
"... This article first appeared on Strategic-Culture.org and was authored by Federico Pieraccini. ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | wearechange.org

Article via Strategic-Culture

New revelations from Wikileaks' 'Vault 7' leak shed a disturbing light on the safeguarding of privacy. Something already known and largely suspected has now become documented by Wikileaks. It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies.

Reading the revelations contained in the documents released by WikiLeaks and adding them to those already presented in recent years by Snowden, it now seems evident that the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA , whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post . It is a clear overlap of private interests that conflicts with the theoretical need to declare uncomfortable truths without the need to consider orders numbering in the millions of dollars from clients like the CIA.

While it is just one example, there are thousands more out there. The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and détente between the United States and Russia. In terms of news, the Wikileaks revelations shed light on the methods used by US intelligence agencies like the CIA to place blame on the Kremlin, or networks associated with it, for the hacking that occurred during the American elections.

Perhaps this is too generous a depiction of matters, given that the general public has yet to see any evidence of the hacking of the DNC servers. In addition to this, we know that the origin of Podesta's email revelations stem from the loss of a smartphone and the low data-security measures employed by the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT and other media (not directly linked to the Kremlin), finally enjoy a major presence in the mainstream media. The biggest problem for the Washington establishment lies in the revelation of news that is counterproductive to the interests of the deep state. RT, Sputnik, this site and many others have diligently covered and reported to the general public every development concerning the Podesta revelations or the hacking of the DNC.

Now what is revealed through Wikileaks' publications in Vault 7 is the ability of a subsection of the CIA, known as Umbrage , to use malware, viruses, trojans and other cyber tools for their own geopolitical purposes. The CIA's Umbrage collects, analyzes and then employs software created variously from foreign security agencies, cyber mafia, private companies, and hackers in general. These revelations become particularly relevant when we consider the consequences of these actions. The main example can be seen in the hacking of the DNC. For now, what we know is that the hacking – if it ever occurred – is of Russian origin. This does not mean at all that the Kremlin directed it. It could actually be very much the opposite, its responsibility falling into the category of a cyber false-flag. One thing is for sure: all 16 US intelligence agencies are of the view that "the Russians did it". That said, the methods used to hack vulnerabilities cannot be revealed, so as to limit the spread of easily reusable exploits on systems, such as the one that hosted the DNC server. It is a great excuse for avoiding the revelation of any evidence at all.

So, with little information available, independent citizens are left with very little information on which to reliably form an opinion on what happened. There is no evidence, and no evidence will be provided to the media. For politicians and so-called mainstream journalists, this is an acceptable state of affairs. What we are left with instead is blind faith in the 16 spy agencies. The problem for them is that what WikiLeaks revealed with Vault 7 exposes a scenario that looks more likely than not: a cyber false-flag carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency using engineered malware and viruses made in Russia and hypothetically linking them back to hacking networks in Russia. In all likelihood, it looks like the Democrats' server was hacked by the CIA with the clear objective of leaving Russian fingerprints and obvious traces to be picked up by other US agencies.

In this way, it becomes easier to explain the unique views of all 16 spy agencies. Thus, it is far more likely that the CIA intentionally left fake Russian fingerprints all over the DNC server, thereby misleading other intelligence agencies in promoting the narrative that Russia hacked the DNC server. Of course the objective was to create a false narrative that could immediately be picked up by the media, creating even more hysteria surrounding any rapprochement with Russia.

Diversification of computer systems.

The revelations contained in the Wikileaks vault 7 ( less than 1 % of the total data in Wikileaks' possession has been released to date) have caused a stir, especially by exposing the astonishing complicity between hardware and software manufacturers, often intentionally creating backdoors in their products to allow access by the CIA and NSA. In today's digital environment, all essential services rely on computer technology and connectivity. These revelations are yet more reason why countries targeted by Washington, like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, should get rid of European and American products and invest in reducing technological dependence on American products in particular.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/9678427951402854?pubid=ld-4970-8393&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwearechange.org&rid=duckduckgo.com&width=550

The People's Republic has already started down this track, with the replacement of many network devices with local vendors like Huawei in order to avoid the type of interference revealed by Snowden. Russia has been doing the same in terms of software, even laying the groundwork to launch of its own operating system, abandoning American and European systems. In North Korea, this idea was already put into practice years ago and is an excellent tool for deterrence for external interference. In more than one computer security conference, US experts have praised the capabilities of the DPRK to isolate its Internet network from the rest of the world, allowing them to have strong safety mechanisms. Often, the only access route to the DPRK systems are through the People's Republic of China, not the easiest way for the CIA or NSA to infiltrate a protected computer network.

An important aspect of the world in which we live today involves information security, something all nations have to deal with. At the moment, we still live in a world in which the realization of the danger and effect of hacking attacks are not apparent to many. On the other hand, militarily speaking, the diversification and rationalization of critical equipment in terms of networks and operability (smartphones, laptops, etc) has already produced strong growth in non-American and European manufacturers, with the aim of making their systems more secure.

This strengthening of technology also produces deleterious consequences, such as the need for intelligence agencies to be able to prevent the spread of data encryption so as to always enjoy access to any desired information. The birth of the Tor protocol, the deployment of Bitcoin, and apps that are more and more encrypted (although the WikiLeaks documents have shown that the collection of information takes place on the device b efore the information is encrypted ) are all responses to an exponential increase in the invasion of privacy by federal or American government entities.

We live in a world that has an enormous dependence on the Internet and computer technology. The CIA over the years has focused on the ability to make sure vulnerable systems are exploited as well as seeking out major security flaws in consumer products without disclosing this to vendors, thereby taking advantage of these security gaps and leaving all consumers with a potential lack of security. Slowly, thanks to the work and courage of people like Snowden and Assange, the world is beginning to understand how important it is to keep personal data under control and prevent access to it by third parties, especially if they are state actors. In the case of national security, the issue is expanded exponentially by the need to protect key and vital infrastructure, considering how many critical services operate via the Internet and rely on computing devices.

The wars of the future will have a strong technological basis, and it is no coincidence that many armed forces, primarily the Russian and Chinese, have opted in recent years to training troops, and conducting operations, not completely relying on connectivity. No one can deny that in the event of a large-scale conflict, connectivity is far from guaranteed. One of the major goals of competing nations is to penetrate the military security systems of rival nations and be able to disarm the internal networks that operates major systems of defense and attack.

The Wikileaks revelations are yet another confirmation of how important it is to break the technological unipolar moment, if it may be dubbed this way, especially for nations targeted by the United States. Currently Washington dictates the technological capacities of the private and government sectors of Europe and America, steering their development, timing and methods to suit its own interests. It represents a clear disadvantage that the PRC and its allies will inevitably have to redress in the near future in order to achieve full security for its vital infrastructure.


This article first appeared on Strategic-Culture.org and was authored by Federico Pieraccini.

[Feb 12, 2018] 'Russiagate' Delusion Dies - Who Is 'Bill' Priestap Zero Hedge

Feb 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

E.W. "Bill" Priestap is the head of the FBI Counterintelligence operation. He was FBI Agent Peter Strozk's direct boss. If anyone in congress really wanted to know if the FBI paid for the Christopher Steele Dossier, Bill Priestap is the guy who would know everything about everything.

FBI Asst. Director in charge of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap was the immediate supervisor of FBI Counterintelligence Deputy Peter Strzok.

Bill Priestap is #1. Before getting demoted Peter Strzok was #2.

The investigation into candidate Donald Trump was a counterintelligence operation. That operation began in July 2016. Bill Priestap would have been in charge of that, along with all other, FBI counterintelligence operations.

FBI Deputy Peter Strzok was specifically in charge of the Trump counterintel op. However, Strzok would be reporting to Bill Priestap on every detail and couldn't (according to structure anyway) make a move without Priestap approval.

On March 20th 2017 congressional testimony, James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.

FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so. *Very important detail.*

I cannot emphasize this enough. *VERY* important detail . Again, notice how Comey doesn't use Priestap's actual name, but refers to his position and title. Again, watch [Prompted]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HlXXZQgh72Y

FBI Director James Comey was caught entirely off guard by that first three minutes of that questioning. He simply didn't anticipate it.

Oversight protocol requires the FBI Director to tell the congressional intelligence "Gang of Eight" of any counterintelligence operations. The Go8 has oversight into these ops at the highest level of classification. In July 2016 the time the operation began, oversight was the responsibility of this group, the Gang of Eight:

Obviously, based on what we have learned since March 2017, and what has surfaced recently, we can all see why the FBI would want to keep it hidden that they were running a counterintelligence operation against a presidential candidate. After all, as FBI Agent Peter Strzok said it in his text messages, it was an "insurance policy".

REMINDER – FBI Agent Strzok to FBI Attorney Page:

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office that there's no way he gets elected – but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."

So there we have FBI Director James Comey telling congress on March 20th, 2017, that the reason he didn't inform the statutory oversight "Gang of Eight" was because Bill Priestap (Director of Counterintelligence) recommended he didn't do it.

Apparently, according to Comey, Bill Priestap carries a great deal of influence if he could get his boss to NOT perform a statutory obligation simply by recommending he doesn't do it.

Then again, Comey's blame-casting there is really called creating a "fall guy". FBI Director James Comey was ducking responsibility in March 2017 by blaming FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap for not informing congress of the operation that began in July 2016. (9 months prior).

At that moment, that very specific moment during that March 20th hearing, anyone who watches these hearings closely could see FBI Director James Comey was attempting to create his own exit from being ensnared in the consequences from the wiretapping and surveillance operation of candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, and eventually President Donald Trump.

In essence, Bill Priestap was James Comey's fall guy. We knew it at the time that Bill Priestap would likely see this the same way. The guy would have too much to lose by allowing James Comey to set him up.

Immediately there was motive for Bill Priestap to flip and become the primary source to reveal the hidden machinations. Why should he take the fall for the operation when there were multiple people around the upper-levels of leadership who carried out the operation.

Our suspicions were continually confirmed because there was NO MENTION of Bill Priestap in any future revelations of the scheme team, despite his centrality to all of it.

Bill Priestap would have needed to authorize Peter Strzok to engage with Christopher Steele over the "Russian Dosssier"; Bill Priestap would have needed to approve of the underlying investigative process used for both FISA applications (June 2016, and Oct 21st 2016). Bill Priestap would be the person to approve of arranging, paying, or reimbursing, Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier used in their counterintelligence operation and subsequent FISA application.

Without Bill Priestap involved, approvals, etc. the entire Russian/Trump Counterintelligence operation just doesn't happen. Heck, James Comey's own March 20th testimony in that regard is concrete evidence of Priestap's importance.

Everyone around Bill Priestap, above and below, were caught inside the investigative net.

Above him: James Comey, Andrew McCabe and James Baker.

Below him: Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Jim Rybicki, Trisha Beth Anderson and Mike Kortan.

Parallel to Priestap in main justice his peer John P Carlin resigned, Sally Yates fired, Mary McCord quit, Bruce Ohr was busted twice, and most recently Dave Laufman resigned. All of them caught in the investigative net . Only Bill Priestap remained, quietly invisible – still in position.

The reason was obvious.

Likely Bill Priestap made the decision after James Comey's testimony on March 20th, 2017, when he realized what was coming. Priestap is well-off financially; he has too much to lose. He and his wife, Sabina Menschel, live a comfortable life in a $3.8 million DC home; she comes from a family of money.

While ideologically Bill and Sabina are aligned with Clinton support, and their circle of family and friends likely lean toward more liberal friends; no-one in his position would willingly allow themselves to be the scape-goat for the unlawful action that was happening around them.

Bill Priestap had too much to lose and for what?

With all of that in mind, there is essentially no-way the participating members inside the small group can escape their accountability with Mr. Bill Priestap cooperating with the investigative authorities.

Now it all makes sense. Devin Nunes interviewed Bill Priestap and Jim Rybicki prior to putting the memo process into place. Rybicki quit, Priestap went back to work.

(page 5 pdf)

Bill Priestap remains the Asst. FBI Director in charge of counterintelligence operations.

It's over.

I don't want to see this guy, or his family, compromised. This is probably the last I am ever going to write about him unless it's in the media bloodstream. I can't fathom the gauntlet of hatred and threats he is likely to face from the media and his former political social network if they recognize what's going on. BP is Deep-Throat x infinity nuf said.

The rest of this entire enterprise is just joyfully dragging out the timing of the investigative releases in order to inflict maximum political pain upon the party of those who will attempt to excuse the inexcusable.

Then comes the OIG Horowitz report.

Then the grand jury empaneled (if not already); and while Democrats attempt to win seats in the 2018 election, arrests and indictments will hit daily headlines.

Oh, lordy...


Slippery Slope Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

Russia-gate was made up by Hillary. Still no proof of Russian collusion or hacking.

The poor progressives can't believe 62 million Americans voted for Trump.

Hillarys Server -> Slippery Slope Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:26 Permalink

The thing often ignored is that if Trump did actually pee on Obama and Michael's bed in Moscow he would have gotten 63 million American votes.

oncefired -> Hillarys Server Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:38 Permalink

Agreed, but then where would he sleep? Is there like a Guest Room with these Suites? Do Billionaires get 3 bedroom Suites?

Jim in MN -> oncefired Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

Trump doesn't really sleep. He'd just go up on the roof and fire up some tweets.

FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:18 Permalink

Just for some clarification. Since Russia didn't "hack" the election, is it ok to trust Russia from here on? I'm I suppose to put my guard down and consider Russia my good buddy? What's the message here?

Oldwood -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:19 Permalink

Trust no one. Without transparency there can be no trust.

FreeEarCandy -> Oldwood Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:23 Permalink

Thanks! I just wanted to make sure we all understand and not take this too far.

Jim in MN -> gregga777 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:55 Permalink

Russia is unimportant in all of this. The fact is that the globalist neolibcon scum attempted a coup. It wouldn't have been any different if Russia had never existed. They made up lies and turned the police state on a US candidate. There is no greater crime in our Republic.

Russia, Elbonia, Alpha Centauri....so fucking what? It's simply cover for high treason.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:06 Permalink

Fine. Let them be charged with sedition. In my mind there is little difference but to see these people indicted and do perp walks and be either executed or sent to federal prison along with having all their assets seized? Bring it. If I had done 1/100th of what these people have done I would have spent 30 years-to-life in Leavenworth.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> gregga777 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:59 Permalink

I would love to see that witch hung with piano wire after being charged with treason and sedition. Along with Obama, Lynch, Holder, Comey, Brennan, and that one other weasel I forget his name.

dognamedabu -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:41 Permalink

The American people (and people of the west) and the Russian people shouldn't trust either of their respective oligarchy.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> dognamedabu Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

Exactly. The Russian people are not my enemy. They are trying to survive just like the rest of us peasants, peons, and serfs.

FreeEarCandy -> fockewulf190 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:00 Permalink

How would one know if what we have here is 2 crime families battling out? I mean, Hillary and Trump were good friends at one time. I'm just a bit interested in knowing why they parted ways. If I were a cat my curiosity would have killed me by now. But I'm still here and old habits are hard to break.

gregga777 -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:39 Permalink

A little bird was late flying south for the winter. It got caught in an early winter storm and fell out of the sky half frozen into a barnyard. A cow just happened to be passing by and dumped a steaming cow pie on the little bird. The warmth from the cow pie revived the little bird and it began happily singing. Whereupon a cat dug it out of the cow shit and ate it.

The moral of the story?

The person that shit on you isn't necessarily your enemy. The person who dug you out from under the shit isn't necessarily your friend.

President Donald J. Trump is working his own agenda. So far his agenda is far superior to Hitlery "the Rotten Rodent" Clinton's agenda. Just don't forget about the lesson that the little bird learned too late.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> gregga777 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:56 Permalink

I come from a family that told stories and added your tale to my list. First time hearing it! Memorable tale in so many ways. Those are the best kind!

Life is complicated and it is hard to tell friend from foe but it isn't hard to discern that Trump has wrested away power from the true beasts. We are still in peril. I don't see a happy ending, simply a respite.

tmosley -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:33 Permalink

No, we are supposed to have global thermonuclear war with them exterminating all life on Earth.

If you say otherwise you are a Putin shill!

brianshell -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:41 Permalink

Trust, but verify.

Dun_Dulind -> FreeEarCandy Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:44 Permalink

No. I might begin to wonder who in our political offices are actually Russian operatives working the long game. Honestly, does anyone really think the Russians support either/any of our political parties except the ones they can influence?

Mini-Me Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:20 Permalink

How long can this dipshit, Mueller, pretend that he is "investigating" a bogus Russian collusion narrative? It's embarrassing.

just the tip -> Mini-Me Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:21 Permalink

as long as the deep state says to.

gregga777 -> Mini-Me Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:41 Permalink

Nothing stopped his other pretend investigations like 9/11.

SoDamnMad -> Mini-Me Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

Dipshit Mueller can investigate at $36,000 a day as long as you have Ctl-P at the Fed.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 -> SoDamnMad Mon, 02/12/2018 - 01:02 Permalink

I will rejoice the day the US empire implodes, the Federal Reserve is banished, the CIA and FBI are shut down. It cannot happen soon enough. I grew up poor so being poor doesn't scare me. Being ruled by power hungry and insane bureaucrats, does.

wcole225 Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:27 Permalink

Very little in life would make as happy as seeing the Kenyan and or the Chappaqua hag in cuffs. Probably won't happen so I'll settle for Trump gloating and tweeting his ass off as the underlings are carted off and Schiff for brains and the MSM are standing by slack jawed and speechless

Billy the Poet -> RozKo Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:36 Permalink

crooks still B crookin.

True, but to keep things in perspective isn't it likely that the Ukraine would be better off if they hadn't had that nasty coup?

tmosley -> One of We Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:35 Permalink

No bunks needed, just an open cart and a gallows.

just the tip Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:30 Permalink

this article is framed as we can stop digging because we have hit bottom. and it would not be the first time this guy at CTH has done this. in fact, he does it all the time. and nothing comes of it. nada.

imo, his perception of this priestrapon is about 180 degrees out of whack. his wife, mentioned in the article, is CEO of nardello & co. the largest detective agency in deecee.

https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapI

i have stated this previously here at ZH, but my guess is, if you walk up and down the halls of their deecee offices, you will walk past seth rich's murderers. you won't know it of course. of course. i also bet that between this nardello office and fbi HQ, there is quite a bit of human resource sharing and transference of information. IYKWIMAITYD

Dancing Disraeli -> just the tip Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:40 Permalink

It's also possible that SR was killed by a couple of know-nothing MS13 hirelings, who were then quickly dispatched.

just the tip -> Dancing Disraeli Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:59 Permalink

you make a good point, but perhaps i didn't make my point clear enough.

seth rich was murdered in the hospital the day of the shooting. i.e., he was shot in the early morning hours on his way home. he was murdered several hours later, midday, as he lay in a hospital. and while possibly some novices, did the shooting, and botched it, a clean up team was sent in to "finish the job".

Jim in MN -> just the tip Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:48 Permalink

EXACTLY. All these articles that stop with the FBI are either deliberately or incompetently missing the point.

There was a White House coordinated, Nixon style Committee to Repulsively Enforce the Election of Her Fury (CREEFH). They perpetrated an attempted coup against the duly elected President of the United States. There are records, there were meetings, none of it was done by chance or for fun. For the Republic to survive, the top level has to be brought down . Obama, Biden, Kerry. Lynch and the rest just cheap whores in the end. Even, ironically, Her Fury herself. Just a pantsuit.

But a pantsuit that's brought down a former President and the entire remaining hope of the romantic Left, not to mention the neolibcon globalist traitors as a group.

Do not be distracted, or placated. The FBI are just goons.

youshallnotkill Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:31 Permalink

At the time Nunes was in daily contact with Flynn, who as everybody should know, had to take a deal and plead guilty. Of course the head of counterintelligence held back information that could have tipped of the target of the investigation. This is a nothingburger.

Billy the Poet -> youshallnotkill Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:40 Permalink

At the time Nunes was in daily contact with Flynn, who as everybody should know, had to take a deal and plead guilty. Of course the head of counterintelligence held back information

What makes you think that Nunes and Flynn were in daily contact in July 2016? You're the one serving up nothingburgers.

James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.

FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so.

[Feb 12, 2018] I am wondering why it is that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... How did Simpson know with such confidence what the "Intelligence Community" was "saying", and who were Simpson's and Steele's sources in the "Intelligence Community"? Rooney failed to inquire. Instead, he and Simpson exchanged question and answer regarding the approach Simpson and Steele made to the FBI when they delivered their dossier. In the details of that, Simpson repeated what he had already told the Senate Judiciary Committee. ..."
"... Another reported version of the FIFA contract is that Steele, Burrows and Orbis were hired by the British Football Association to collect materials on FIFA corruption, and provide them to the FBI and other US investigators, and then to the press. The scheme's objective was reportedly to advance the British bidding for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 by discrediting the rival bids from Russia and Qatar. Click to read . Were MI6 and CIA sources mobilized by Orbis to feed the FBI with evidence the US investigators were unable to turn up, or was Orbis the conduit through which disinformation targeting Russia was fed to make it appear more credible to the FBI, and to the media? ..."
"... US Congressional investigators have so far failed to notice the similarities between the FIFA and the Trump dossier operations. Early this month two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that they have called for a Justice Department and FBI investigation of Steele for providing false information to the FBI. The provision of the US code making lying a federal crime requires the falsehoods occur "within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States." Simpson has testified that when Steele briefed the FBI on the dossier, he did so at meetings in Rome, Italy. ..."
"... With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there is some evidence that Clinton and Co. actually wanted to run against Donald Trump, and tried to get their allies to manipulate the Republican primary in favor of a Trump victory (hence all the free corporate media coverage of the Donald). The dossier, fabricated or not, seems to have been one of many 'ace in the holes' that the Clinton campaign thought they could use to discredit Trump (including the Access Hollywood tape, etc.) in the general election. If so, this strategy really blew up in their face – they thought they could manipulate the process, so they could ignore the Rust Belt concerns, and that's what handed Trump the presidency. ..."
"... If the Clintonites were to admit this, however, they'd have to step down from party leadership and let the Sanders Democrats take over, and that's what this is really all about now, their effort to prevent that outcome. ..."
"... And I say "fed to him" when I'm in a generous mood, giving him the benefit of the doubt, because usually I am of the opinion that he's either a really crappy CIA agent posing as a journalist or just a garden variety rat f*!@er. A black job political operative, stitching together a few almost-believable "facts" and out-and-out fabrications with squishy words like "collusion" and "ties." ..."
"... The London experts believe the Senate Committee transcript shows Simpson and Steele were hired for the black job of discrediting the target of their research, Trump; did a poor job; failed in 2016; and now are engaged in bitter recriminations against each other to avoid multi-million dollar court penalties. ..."
"... A source at a London firm which is larger and better known than Steele's Orbis says "standard due diligence means getting to the truth. It's confidential to the client, and not leaked. There are also black jobs, white jobs, and red jobs. Black means the client wants you to dig up dirt on the target, and make it look credible for publishing in the press. White means the client wants you to clear him of the wrongdoing which he's being accused of in the media or the marketplace; it's also leaked to the press. A red job is where the client pays the due diligence firm to hire a journalist to find out what he knows and what he's likely to publish, in order to bribe or stop him. The Steele dossier on Trump is an obvious black job. Too obvious." ..."
"... A bigger bombshell, which of course none of them mentioned, is that Simpson, with his client's consent, was secretly briefing Clinton-friendly reporters on information from Steele's memos, and they used it to write stories based on "unnamed sources." He even admitted that he didn't verify the information before feeding it to the media, said he didn't feel he needed to, because it came from a trustworthy source. Where have we heard that before? ..."
"... I'm wondering why it's that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing. It's well-established that the State Department often acts as a cover for the CIA, and the agency under Secretary Clinton had a strong anti-Russia faction that's on the record as meddling in Ukraine's presidential election. And how much doubt could there be that both Clintons kept the CIA connections they made while in office? ..."
"... Then there was the whole "Grizzly Steppe" report just before Trump's inauguration, presented as a consensus among "17 intelligence agencies" that the Russians "hacked the election" to help Trump win. ..."
"... I'm not 100-percent convinced that U.S. intelligence was behind the dossier, but it's enough of a possibility that I'm not writing it off as some nutty "conspiracy theory." ..."
"... Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I'm wondering why it's that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing. ..."
"... In fact I am fairly certain that it is the case, although from what I understand the FBI and MI6 were also involved. ..."
Feb 12, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

According to Simpson, "foreign intelligence services hacking American political operations is not that unusual, actually, and there's a lot of foreign intelligence services that play in American elections." He mentioned the Chinese and the Indians, not the Israelis. The Mossad, Simpson did tell the Committee, was his source for his belief that Russian intelligence has been operating through the Jewish Orthodox Chabad movement, and the Russian Orthodox Church. "The Orthodox church is also an arm of the Russian State now the Mossad guys used to tell me about how the Russians were laundering money through the Orthodox church in Israel, and that it was intelligence operations."

There are just two references in the Committee transcript to the CIA. One was a passing remark to imply the Russians cannot "break[ing] into the CIA, [so instead] you are breaking into, you know, places where, you know, an open society leaves open."

The second was a bombshell. It dropped during questioning by Congressman Thomas Rooney (right), a 3-term Republican representative from Florida with a career as an army lawyer. Rooney asked Simpson: "Do you or anyone else independently verify or corroborate any information in the dossier?"

Simpson replied by saying, "Yes. Well, numerous things in the dossier have been verified. You know, I don't have access to the intelligence or law enforcement information that I see made reference to, but, you know, things like, you know, the Russian Government has been investigating Hillary Clinton and has a lot of information about her."

Then Simpson contradicted himself, disclosing what he had just denied. "When the original memos came in saying that the Kremlin was mounting a specific operation to get Donald Trump elected President , that was not what the Intelligence Community was saying. The Intelligence Community was saying they are just seeking to disrupt our election and our political process, and that this is sort of kind of just a generally nihilistic, you know, trouble-making operation. And, you know, Chris turned out to be right, it was specifically designed to elect Donald Trump President."

How did Simpson know with such confidence what the "Intelligence Community" was "saying", and who were Simpson's and Steele's sources in the "Intelligence Community"? Rooney failed to inquire. Instead, he and Simpson exchanged question and answer regarding the approach Simpson and Steele made to the FBI when they delivered their dossier. In the details of that, Simpson repeated what he had already told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Rooney then asked what contact had been made with the CIA or "any other intelligence officials". Simpson claimed he didn't understand the question at first, then he stumbled.

Source: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180118/106796/HMTG-115-IG00-20180118-SD002.pdf -- page 61 .

What Simpson was concealing in the two pauses, reported in the transcript as hyphens, Rooney did not realize. Simpson was implying that noone from Fusion GPS, his consulting company, had been in contact with the CIA, nor him personally. But Simpson left open that Steele had been in contact with the CIA. Rooney followed with a question about "anyone", but that was so imprecise, Simpson recovered his confidence to say "No". That was a cover-up -- and the House Intelligence Committee let it drop noiselessly.

Intelligence community sources and colleagues who know Simpson and Steele say Simpson was notorious at the Wall Street Journal for coming up with conspiracy theories for which the evidence was missing or unreliable. He told the Committee that disbelief on the part of his editors and management had been one of his reasons for leaving the newspaper. "One of the reasons why I left the Wall Street Journal was because I wanted to write more stories about Russian influence in Washington, D.C., on both the Democrats and the Republicans eventually the Journal lost interest in that subject. And I was frustrated that was where I left my journalism career."

When Simpson was asked "do you -- did you find anything to -- that you verified as false in the dossier, since or during?" Simpson replied: "I have not seen anything -- ". Note the hypthen, the stenographer's signal that Simpson was pausing.

"[Question]. So everything in that dossier, as far as you're concerned, is true or could be true?"

"MR. SIMPSON: I didn't say that. What I said was it was credible at the time it came in. We were able to corroborate various things that supported its credibility."

Sources in London are divided on the question of where Steele's sources came from -- CIA, MI6, or elsewhere. What has been clear for the year in which the dossier's contents have been in public circulation is that the sources the dossier referred to as "Russian" were not. For details of the sourcing . The subsequent identification of the Maltese source Joseph Mifsud, and the Greek-American George Papadopoulos, corroborates their lack of direct Russian sources. Instead, the sources identified in the dossier were either Americans, Americans of Russian ethnic origin, or Russians with no direct knowledge repeating hearsay three or four times removed from source.

So were the allegations of the dossier manufactured by a CIA disinformation unit, and fed back to the US through the British agent, Steele? Or were they a Simpson conspiracy theory of the type that failed to pass veracity testing when Simpson was at the Wall Street Journal? The House Intelligence Committee failed to inquire.

One independent clue is what financial and other links Simpson and Steele and their consulting firms, Fusion GPS and Orbis Business Intelligence, have had with US Government agencies other than the FBI, and what US Government contracts they were paid for, before the Republican and Democratic Party organizations commissioned the anti-Trump job?

The House Committee has subpoenaed business records from Fusion, but Simpson's lawyers say they will refuse to hand them over. The financial records of Steele's firm are openly accessible through the UK government company registry, Companies House. Click to read here .

Because the Trump dossier work ran from the second half of 2015 to November 2016, the financial reports of Orbis for the financial years ending March 31, 2016, and March 31, 2017, are the primary sources. For FY 2016 and FY 2017, open this link to read.

The papers reveal that Orbis was a small firm with no more than 7 employees. Steele's business partner and co-shareholder, Christopher Burrows, is another former MI6 spy. They had been hoping for MI6 support of their private business, but it failed to materialize, says an London intelligence source. "Chris Burrows is another from the same background. They all hope to be Hakluyt [a leading commercial intelligence operation in London] but didn't get the nod on departure."

They do not report the Orbis income. Instead, for 2016 the company filings indicate £155,171 in cash at the bank, and income of £245,017 owed by clients and contractors. Offsetting that figure, Orbis owed £317,848 -- to whom and for what purposes is not reported. The unaudited accounts show Orbis's profit jumped from £121,046 in 2015 to £199,223 in 2016, and £441,089 in 2017.

The financial data are complicated by the operation by Steele and Burrows of a second company, Orbis Business Intelligence International, a subsidiary they created in 2010, a year after the parent company was formed. Follow its affairs here .

According to British press reports , Orbis and Steele were paid £200,000 for the dossier. Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee the sum was much less -- $160,000 (about £114,000). Simpson's firm, he also testified, was being paid at a rate of about $50,000 per month for a total of about $320,000. If the British sources are more accurate than Simpson's testimony, Steele's takings from the dossier represented roughly half the profit on the Orbis balance-sheet.

British sources also report that a US Government agency paid for Orbis to work on evidence and allegations of corruption at the world soccer federation, Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA). Indictments in this case were issued by the US Department of Justice in May 2015 , and the following December . What role the two-partner British consultancy played in the complex investigations by teams from the Justice Department, the FBI and also the Internal Revenue Service is unclear. That Steele, Burrows and Orbis depended on US government sources for their financial well-being appears to be certain.

Another reported version of the FIFA contract is that Steele, Burrows and Orbis were hired by the British Football Association to collect materials on FIFA corruption, and provide them to the FBI and other US investigators, and then to the press. The scheme's objective was reportedly to advance the British bidding for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022 by discrediting the rival bids from Russia and Qatar. Click to read . Were MI6 and CIA sources mobilized by Orbis to feed the FBI with evidence the US investigators were unable to turn up, or was Orbis the conduit through which disinformation targeting Russia was fed to make it appear more credible to the FBI, and to the media?

US Congressional investigators have so far failed to notice the similarities between the FIFA and the Trump dossier operations. Early this month two Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that they have called for a Justice Department and FBI investigation of Steele for providing false information to the FBI. The provision of the US code making lying a federal crime requires the falsehoods occur "within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States." Simpson has testified that when Steele briefed the FBI on the dossier, he did so at meetings in Rome, Italy.

Now then, Part I and this sequel of the Simpson-Steele story having been read and thoroughly mulled over, what can the meaning be?

In the short run, this case was a black job assigned by Republican Party candidates for president, then the Democratic National Committee, for the purpose of discrediting Trump in favour of Hillary Clinton. It failed on Election Day in 2016; the Democrats are still trying.

In the long run, the case is a measurement of the life, or the half-life, of truth. Giuseppe di Lampedusa wrote once that nowhere has truth so short a life as in Sicily. On his clock, that was five minutes. He didn't know the United States, or shall we say the stretch from Washington through New York to the North End of Boston. There, truth has an even shorter life. Scarcely a second.


nonsense factory , January 22, 2018 at 3:35 pm

"The primary reason I generally don't believe in conspiracies is that they can usually be better explained as the result of sheer incompetence and hubris."

I divide conspiracy notions into two categories: grand mal and petit mal . The former are generally implausible due to the large number of participants involved and while occassionally attempted, they are typically exposed pretty quickly. They may still have significant effects – for example, there was a large conspiracy to sell the Iraqi WMD story to the public, involving top levels of the British and American governments and a good section of the corporate media. That's the grand mal version.

Petit mal is your typical small criminal conspiracy. The FBI, for example, almost always includes 'conspiracy to commit mail fraud' on the list of federal charges.

With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there is some evidence that Clinton and Co. actually wanted to run against Donald Trump, and tried to get their allies to manipulate the Republican primary in favor of a Trump victory (hence all the free corporate media coverage of the Donald). The dossier, fabricated or not, seems to have been one of many 'ace in the holes' that the Clinton campaign thought they could use to discredit Trump (including the Access Hollywood tape, etc.) in the general election. If so, this strategy really blew up in their face – they thought they could manipulate the process, so they could ignore the Rust Belt concerns, and that's what handed Trump the presidency.

If the Clintonites were to admit this, however, they'd have to step down from party leadership and let the Sanders Democrats take over, and that's what this is really all about now, their effort to prevent that outcome.

Rhondda , January 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm

I pay pretty close attention to this topic and I must say I sometimes wonder if the Russians haven't sold the rope to the American political elite. I read all 311 pages of Simpson's testimony. I was struck that much of what he was "fed" by Steele confirmed his "OMG Russia corruption" biases.

And I say "fed to him" when I'm in a generous mood, giving him the benefit of the doubt, because usually I am of the opinion that he's either a really crappy CIA agent posing as a journalist or just a garden variety rat f*!@er. A black job political operative, stitching together a few almost-believable "facts" and out-and-out fabrications with squishy words like "collusion" and "ties."

From the embedded link in Helmer's text above: http://johnhelmer.net/glenn-simpson-chases-his-shadow-into-a-black-hole/

London due diligence firms say the record of Simpson's firm Fusion GPS and Steele's Orbis Business Intelligence operations in the US has discredited them in the due diligence market. The London experts believe the Senate Committee transcript shows Simpson and Steele were hired for the black job of discrediting the target of their research, Trump; did a poor job; failed in 2016; and now are engaged in bitter recriminations against each other to avoid multi-million dollar court penalties.

A source at a London firm which is larger and better known than Steele's Orbis says "standard due diligence means getting to the truth. It's confidential to the client, and not leaked. There are also black jobs, white jobs, and red jobs. Black means the client wants you to dig up dirt on the target, and make it look credible for publishing in the press. White means the client wants you to clear him of the wrongdoing which he's being accused of in the media or the marketplace; it's also leaked to the press. A red job is where the client pays the due diligence firm to hire a journalist to find out what he knows and what he's likely to publish, in order to bribe or stop him. The Steele dossier on Trump is an obvious black job. Too obvious."

Emphasis mine.

3.14e-9 , January 22, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Rhondaa writes:

I read all 311 pages of Simpson's testimony. I was struck that much of what he was "fed" by Steele confirmed his "OMG Russia corruption" biases.

Same here, but not just about what he was fed by Steele. Simpson claimed to have done some of his own research and said it was consistent with what he got from Steele.

I'm about three-quarters of the way through the transcript of Simpson's interrogation by the House Intelligence Committee, and I've read all 312 pages of the Senate Judiciary Committee transcript, which bears little resemblance to what was reported in the major media – shocking, I know.

Among the "bombshells" the mainstream reported was "proof" that it wasn't the dossier that launched the FBI's investigation of Trump, and therefore the dossier couldn't have been used as justification for a FISA warrant. A bigger bombshell, which of course none of them mentioned, is that Simpson, with his client's consent, was secretly briefing Clinton-friendly reporters on information from Steele's memos, and they used it to write stories based on "unnamed sources." He even admitted that he didn't verify the information before feeding it to the media, said he didn't feel he needed to, because it came from a trustworthy source. Where have we heard that before?

Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I'm wondering why it's that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing. It's well-established that the State Department often acts as a cover for the CIA, and the agency under Secretary Clinton had a strong anti-Russia faction that's on the record as meddling in Ukraine's presidential election. And how much doubt could there be that both Clintons kept the CIA connections they made while in office?

Then there was the whole "Grizzly Steppe" report just before Trump's inauguration, presented as a consensus among "17 intelligence agencies" that the Russians "hacked the election" to help Trump win.

I'm not 100-percent convinced that U.S. intelligence was behind the dossier, but it's enough of a possibility that I'm not writing it off as some nutty "conspiracy theory."

integer , January 23, 2018 at 4:16 am

Few in the NC commentariat, at least from what I saw, had any problem accepting that the DNC and the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, so I'm wondering why it's that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing.

FWIW this NC commenter has never had any problem believing that this may be the case. In fact I am fairly certain that it is the case, although from what I understand the FBI and MI6 were also involved.

Adding: Heh. I posted this before looking at Rev Kev's link to the Raimondo article, which comes to the same conclusions. Interesting times!

Scott1 , January 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm

I believe that Seth Abramson or someone put photographs to the Steele dossier showing people in the places & at the times delineated in the Steele dossier. From the very first Steele said he would not & could not reveal his sources. It was from the first indicated that it would be to the FBI & CIA to discover. He said he believed that his sources were credible.

When I was studying Intelligence services the CIA was said to be the private army of the CIA. These days I don't know exactly who the CIA works for, or answers to. I certainly don't think well of the CIA believing they are wrapped up working for their Front businesses more than focusing on the mission of spying in the interests of the American people. Of private intelligence companies I get what I can from IHS Jane's. That the CIA lost 20 assets, human beings, in China for incompetent secret communications methods would lead professionals to withhold as much of identities as possible.

For awhile there I believe Steele was worried about his own health.

David Corn at Mother Jones was reticent to break the story. So now what I see to look for is what Steele said needed to be done, & that being what Mueller is doing at the behest of the DOJ.

The US has been at war, albeit Hybrid war since the imposition of sanctions for their violations of international law as regarded the annexation of Crimea & the attack on the Ukraine. Sanctions are Economic Warfare.

That the US feels the right to engage in warfare of any kind Economic or Hot over violations of International Law leads me to believe that the UN will fail to prevent the apocalyptic riot. But that as regards Trump becomes neither here nor there, correct?

The Rev Kev , January 23, 2018 at 12:29 am

Justin Raimondo has weighed in on this story at https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/01/22/russsia-gate-implodes/ and he does not sound like a happy camper.

John Gilberts , January 24, 2018 at 12:25 am

William Binney, former NSA technical official and whistleblower, comments on the FISA memo, that has apparently just been released. Obviously, a major development in 'Russia-gate'.

William Binney Exposes Secret FISA Memo
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48650.htm

[Feb 11, 2018] Should Russiagate be renamed to Brennan-gate? If recent reports and Brennan's own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... John Brennan, formerly Obama's head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele's dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his "suspicions" and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey, distracted by his mangling of the Clinton private-server affair during the presidential campaign, may have joined them actively somewhat later. ..."
"... The question therefore becomes: When did Brennan begin his "investigation" of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article , by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding "suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents." ..."
"... In short, if these reports and Brennan's own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate. ..."
"... According to Steele and his many stenographers -- which include his American employers, Democratic Party Russiagaters, the mainstream media, and even progressive publications -- it came from his "deep connections in Russia," specifically from retired and current Russian intelligence officials in or near the Kremlin . From the moment the dossier began to be leaked to the American media, this seemed highly implausible (as reporters who took his bait should have known) for several reasons: ..."
"... would these purported Russian insiders really have collaborated with this "former" British intelligence agent under what is so widely said to be the ever-vigilant eye of the ruthless "former KGB agent" Vladimir Putin, thereby risking their positions, income, perhaps freedom, as well as the well-being of their families? ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... And most intriguingly, there was the "research" provided by Nellie Ohr, wife of a top Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, who, according to the Republican memo, "was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife's opposition research." Most likely, it found its way into Steele's dossier. (Mrs. Ohr was a trained Russian Studies scholar with a PhD from Stanford and a onetime assistant professor at Vassar, and thus, it must have seemed, an ideal collaborator for Steele.) ..."
"... Was Russiagate produced by the primary leaders of the US intelligence community, not just the FBI? If so, it is the most perilous political scandal in modern American history, and the most detrimental to American democracy. And if so, it does indeed, as zealous promoters of Russiagate assert, make Watergate pale in significance. ..."
"... If Russiagate involved collusion among US intelligence agencies, as now seems likely, why was it undertaken? ..."
"... Did Brennan, for example, aspire to remaining head of the CIA, or to a higher position, in a Hillary Clinton administration? ..."
Feb 07, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Originally from: Russiagate or Intelgate By Stephen F. Cohen (The Nation)

The publication of the Republican House Committee memo and reports of other documents increasingly suggest not only a "Russiagate" without Russia but also something darker: The "collusion" may not have been in the White House or the Kremlin.

... ... ...

In order to defend itself against the memo's charge that it used Steele's unverified dossier to open its investigation into Trump's associates, the FBI claims it was prompted instead by a May 2016 report of remarks made earlier by another lowly Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos, to an Australian ambassador in a London bar. Even leaving aside the ludicrous nature of this episode, the public record shows it is not true. In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama's head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time , "in triggering an FBI probe."

Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele's dossier. Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his "suspicions" and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey, distracted by his mangling of the Clinton private-server affair during the presidential campaign, may have joined them actively somewhat later.

But when he did so publicly, in his March 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, it was as J. Edgar Hoover reincarnate -- as the nation's number-one expert on Russia and its profound threat to America (though, when asked, he said he had never heard of Gazprom, the giant Russian-state energy company often said to be a major pillar of President Putin's power). The question therefore becomes: When did Brennan begin his "investigation" of Trump? His House testimony leaves this somewhat unclear, but, according to a subsequent Guardian article , by late 2015 or early 2016 he was receiving, or soliciting, reports from foreign intelligence agencies regarding "suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

In short, if these reports and Brennan's own testimony are to be believed, he, not the FBI, was the instigator and godfather of Russiagate. Certainly, his subsequent frequent and vociferous public retelling of the Russiagate allegations against Trump suggest that he played a (and probably the ) instigating role. And, it seems, a role in the Steele dossier as well. Where, then, Cohen asks, did Steele get his information? According to Steele and his many stenographers -- which include his American employers, Democratic Party Russiagaters, the mainstream media, and even progressive publications -- it came from his "deep connections in Russia," specifically from retired and current Russian intelligence officials in or near the Kremlin . From the moment the dossier began to be leaked to the American media, this seemed highly implausible (as reporters who took his bait should have known) for several reasons:

And indeed we now know that Steele had at least three other "sources" for the dossier, ones not previously mentioned by him or his employer. There was the information from foreign intelligence agencies provided by Brennan to Steele or to the FBI, which we also now know was collaborating with Steele. There was the contents of a " second Trump-Russia dossier " prepared by people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their "findings" with Steele.

And most intriguingly, there was the "research" provided by Nellie Ohr, wife of a top Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, who, according to the Republican memo, "was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife's opposition research." Most likely, it found its way into Steele's dossier. (Mrs. Ohr was a trained Russian Studies scholar with a PhD from Stanford and a onetime assistant professor at Vassar, and thus, it must have seemed, an ideal collaborator for Steele.)

We are left, then, with a vital, ramifying question: How much of the "intelligence information" in Steele's dossier actually came from Russian insiders, if any? (This uncertainly alone should stop Fox News's Sean Hannity and others from declaring that the Kremlin used Steele -- and Hillary Clinton -- to pump its "propaganda and disinformation" into America. Such pro-Trump allegations, like those of Russiagate itself, only fuel the new Cold War, which risks becoming actual war any day, from Syria to Ukraine.) And so, Cohen concludes, we are left with even more ramifying questions:

[Feb 11, 2018] Corn's article exposed as a lie the information at the heart of the FBI and DOJ's FISA warrant application, simultaneously invalidating any information attributed to Steele, as well as all information that relied upon Steele's now-tainted information for corroboration

Notable quotes:
"... The FBI asked Steele if he was the source for the Isikoff report, something Steele denied. This was a lie. ..."
"... In documents submitted to a British court, Steele acknowledged that he was the source for the Isikoff article, something Simpson confirmed in his congressional testimony. ..."
"... Steele, the much-admired former British intelligence officer, had committed the ultimate sin an FBI confidential human source can commit---he lied to his handlers. ..."
"... James Baker ..."
"... The House intelligence committee majority memo specifically notes that Steele had lied to the FBI about his contact with Isikoff. ..."
"... Chuck Grassley, together with Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the subcommittee on crime and terrorism, which referred Steele to the DOJ on suspicion of lying to the FBI about the dissemination of information by Steele to the media. The referral contained a top-secret memorandum prepared by the judiciary majority staff that would, from its classification, appear to be derived from information relating to statements made by Steele to the FBI about the Isikoff article. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

The problem with the Isikoff report is the similarity between it and a July 20, 2016, report Steele prepared and provided to the FBI during their meeting in Rome. The FBI asked Steele if he was the source for the Isikoff report, something Steele denied. This was a lie.

In documents submitted to a British court, Steele acknowledged that he was the source for the Isikoff article, something Simpson confirmed in his congressional testimony. The Steele lie played an important role in shaping the information the FBI and DOJ provided in support of their Oct. 21, 2016, FISA warrant application targeting Page. The Isikoff article was submitted to the FISA court as corroborating evidence, along with a statement attributed to Steele denying that he was the source of the information used by Isikoff.

Steele's lies caught up with him when, on Oct. 31, 2016, David Corn wrote an article in Mother Jones titled "A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump," with a subtitle asking, "Has the bureau investigated this material?" Steele, the much-admired former British intelligence officer, had committed the ultimate sin an FBI confidential human source can commit---he lied to his handlers. Describing Steele (whom the article did not name) as a "credible source with a proven record of providing reliable, sensitive and important information to the US government," David Corn wrote that "the former spy told me that he was reluctant to be talking with a reporter. He pointed out this was not his common practice. 'Someone like me stays in the shadows,' he said. But he indicated that he believed this material was important, and he was unsure how the FBI was handling it. Certainly, there had been no public signs that the FBI was investigating these allegations."

The problem for the FBI was that it had used Steele's information to support its investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, mainly in the form of sworn affidavits submitted in support of a FISA warrant derived from the FBI's interactions with Steele. Corn's article exposed as a lie the information at the heart of the FBI and DOJ's FISA warrant application, simultaneously invalidating any information attributed to Steele, as well as all information that relied upon Steele's now-tainted information for corroboration. This included both Isikoff's appended article and the Papadopoulos information. As of October 2016, the FBI had yet to interview Papadopoulos. Without corroboration of the information Steele provided in his June 20, 2016, report, turned over to Gaeta on July 5, 2016, the counterintelligence investigation Strzok headed would have not been able to act on the information the Australian government provided concerning alleged barroom conversations between Papadopoulos and Downer. The "emails" allegedly alluded to by Papadopoulos that Mifsud claimed Russia possessed would have had no "hook" to corroborate them. The emails WikiLeaks released in July 2016 that triggered Strzok's investigation had either not been written at the time Papadopoulos spoke with Mifsud in April 2016 or had not yet been compiled by the malware alleged by the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike to have been behind the theft of the DNC emails.

Void of the Steele dossier as corroboration, the Papadopoulos-Mifsud conversation, as reported by Downer, simply had no legal legs to stand on, and as such would have been unusable in support of a FISA warrant application. Underscoring the seriousness the FBI attached to this issue, James Baker , the FBI's general counsel, met with Corn prior to the 2016 election. Corn specifically denies that Baker was a source for his article on Steele. The only other explanation for a Baker-Corn meeting would be for the FBI's general counsel to confirm Steele as Corn's source in support of the FBI's subsequent decision to sever relations with Steele, including the forfeiture of the $50,000 payment Steele was to have received for his work.

The FBI's decision to suspend and then sever its confidential human source relationship with Steele is reflected in the House intelligence committee majority memo, as is the FBI's decision to not give Steele the payment that had been authorized for his work on behalf of the FBI, reflected in the three October memorandums previously cited.

The House intelligence committee majority memo specifically notes that Steele had lied to the FBI about his contact with Isikoff. This helps explain the Jan. 18, 2018 , letter from the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, together with Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the subcommittee on crime and terrorism, which referred Steele to the DOJ on suspicion of lying to the FBI about the dissemination of information by Steele to the media. The referral contained a top-secret memorandum prepared by the judiciary majority staff that would, from its classification, appear to be derived from information relating to statements made by Steele to the FBI about the Isikoff article.

The role the FBI general counsel played in investigating the link between Steele and the media brings to light another important facet of the complex web woven by Steele in marketing his Fusion GPS-funded opposition research as "intelligence." Corn, in his Mother Jones article, cites communications between Sen. Harry Reid and FBI Director James Comey, in which Reid refers to "explosive information" in the possession of the FBI pertaining to Page's alleged meetings in Moscow in July 2016 with "sanctioned" Russian officials. The specificity of the information cited by Reid strongly mirrors the information contained in Steele's July 26, 2016, report detailing his sub-sources' allegations about Carter's purported meeting with Russian officials. Reid's communication with Comey closely tracks with a top-secret briefing provided to Reid by former CIA Director John Brennan, in which the information about Page was shared.

[Feb 11, 2018] A very strange story of Page surveellance extentions by Scott Ritter

Notable quotes:
"... The bottom line is that the memo exposed the ugly truth that, at least in the case of Page, the FBI and DOJ, on multiple occasions, deliberately lied to or otherwise misled the FISA court in an effort to violate Page's Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure, or that the FISA court is, in fact, little more than a rubber-stamp entity incapable of adequate oversight of the enormous responsibilities it has been entrusted with---or both. ..."
"... WSJ confirms Carter Page was cooperating with FBI before he entered campaign ..."
"... 'What's notable here that seems to have evaded previous notice is that instead of being a Russian agent of influence, Page at the time he spang briefly into a prominent role within the Trump campaign in early 2016, was already an FBI informant, something the Russians would obviously know. This becomes even more crucial later that summer after Page returned from a business trip to Moscow when he was repeatedly named in the James Steele "dirty dossier" as a close confident of Russian energy officials and bankers. Page actually appears to have all the hallmarks of an FBI informant, or an agent provocateur, who was planted into the Trump campaign as part of an intelligence operation. Only, it seems apparent, the intelligence service he was actually serving was American rather than Russian. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

This presupposes that the FISA renewal left unchanged the information linked to Steele that underpinned its initial application. By January 2018, however, the FBI had terminated its relationship with Steele based on the deceit of the former British intelligence officer. As such, all Steele's reporting should have been recalled as unreliable, as well as any corroborating information that could be linked to Steele in any way (such as the Isikoff article, the Papadopoulos investigation and the CIA's information as briefed to Sen. Reid). Any sworn affidavit and application used in support of a FISA renewal that sustained the Steele reporting would have been misleading at best, and most probably false, making anyone whose signature appears in any certifying capacity open to charges of making a false statement---including both Comey and Yates.

The next application for renewal occurred in April 2017. This one would have been signed off by Comey and then-acting Attorney General Dana Boente, who took over from Yates after she was fired by Trump in January 2017---shortly after she signed off on Page's FISA warrant renewal application.

What is interesting about the April 2017 application is that the level of public scrutiny of the Steele dossier engendered by BuzzFeed's publication of it in January 2017 would seem to have at least raised the issue of Steele's credibility as a source, something that should have been reflected in the FISA renewal application.

Moreover, by the time of the renewal application, Page had met with the FBI over the course of 10 hours in March 2017, when he was questioned in depth about his interactions with Russia. Following past practice, the FBI agents conducting the interview would have relied upon FISA material to try and catch Page in a "perjury trap," where it could be proved that he made a false statement to a federal agent. No such charges have been filed, strongly suggesting that Page was honest and forthright with the FBI. To what extent, if any, the Steele dossier factored in the April 2017 application for renewal, and whether the FBI informed the FISA court about the 10 hours of questioning it conducted with Page, is not known. Nor is the context, if any, the FBI provided to any intercepted communications that would raise them to the level needed to sustain a renewal of a FISA warrant.

The final FISA renewal application was submitted and approved in July 2017. This one was signed off by McCabe and acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. By this time, the media had run with numerous stories about Page being the subject of a FISA warrant, and Page himself had appealed to both Rosenstein and Mueller to make public the application used to grant his FISA warrant. Page was unemployed, his professional life ruined by the public revelations about allegations that he had colluded with the Russians and was under active FBI investigation, the totality of which could be linked back to the information Steele provided the FBI.

And yet somehow, in the face of overwhelming evidence of Page's innocence, the FISA court saw fit to grant yet another renewal of its warrant.

... ... ...

The bottom line is that the memo exposed the ugly truth that, at least in the case of Page, the FBI and DOJ, on multiple occasions, deliberately lied to or otherwise misled the FISA court in an effort to violate Page's Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure, or that the FISA court is, in fact, little more than a rubber-stamp entity incapable of adequate oversight of the enormous responsibilities it has been entrusted with---or both.

Scott Ritter spent more than a dozen years in the intelligence field, beginning in 1985 as a ground intelligence officer with the US Marine Corps, where he served with the Marine Corps component of the Rapid Deployment Force at the Brigade and Battalion level. In 1987 Ritter was hand-picked to serve with the On Site Inspection Agency, where he was responsible for carrying out the provisions of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed by American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev. Ritter served as a Deputy Site Commander of a specialized inspection team stationed outside a Soviet missile factory. For his work, Ritter received two classified commendations from the CIA. After Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Ritter was assigned to a special planning cell that reported directly to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, where he helped plan the employment of Marine Corps combat forces in response to Iraq's actions. He was later deployed to Saudi Arabia, where he served on the intelligence staff of General Norman Schwartzkopf .


truthynesslover , February 9, 2018 1:29 PM

It gets better.......Carter Page was an FBI informant.

WSJ confirms Carter Page was cooperating with FBI before he entered campaign

'What's notable here that seems to have evaded previous notice is that instead of being a Russian agent of influence, Page at the time he spang briefly into a prominent role within the Trump campaign in early 2016, was already an FBI informant, something the Russians would obviously know. This becomes even more crucial later that summer after Page returned from a business trip to Moscow when he was repeatedly named in the James Steele "dirty dossier" as a close confident of Russian energy officials and bankers. Page actually appears to have all the hallmarks of an FBI informant, or an agent provocateur, who was planted into the Trump campaign as part of an intelligence operation. Only, it seems apparent, the intelligence service he was actually serving was American rather than Russian.

That is significant for another very important reason – according to the Washington Post, the FBI obtained a FISA warrant last summer to spy on the Trump campaign under the pretext that Page was alleged to be a Russian agent.

https://www.washingtonpost.... ...

coronaoutgloria2 , February 8, 2018 9:09 PM

First!! the agony of those democrats (union rights, civil liberties, protection of the poor etc.) is understood in the light that there is no democratic party. where have you been?? the clintons and all their charm have wrecked it. bernie sanders is nothing but 'clinton lite'. look at the record and enlighten yourself. if hellary were elected in 2016 we would be in trouble more so than trump. fascism is crawling beneath the feet of both these miscreants but hellary had the mechanism of the deep state. they failed to elect her. forget about the rules and know that, now, trump is the deep state's favorite boy (look his people). trump has failed to gain the media's favoritism but that will change. given what the FBI has done (if there is no punitive action) we will have slipped another gear into grinding fascism. we are reaching an overt state. Scott Ritter did well writing about the bungling of the FBI but that is not new. Some people are welcomed to lie to agents some are not.
But most of all do not forget what Scott Ritter did in the investigation of WMD prior to Bush (deep state) and the Iraq war. Nobody listened because they did not know how.

Kronosaurus , February 7, 2018 3:14 PM

If Ritter has the correct analysis then we are all royally screwed. The Dems will be burned for a generation, Trump will be vindicated and we will all have to drag our sorry butts to Trumps military parade and lick his shoes. I am so depressed after reading this. I hope Ritter is wrong and overlooking that he may not have all the facts himself. I find it hard to believe the FISA courts would renew three times when public skepticism was in the air. That would be a major scandal. The problem is that the GOP won't get religion and start distrusting the police state they helped create. They will ignore the fact that they just passed legislation bolstering the FISA courts and go back to locking up the plebes and shielding their big money benefactors.

What's funny about this is that this piece is way more solid then the "memo". That alone makes you wonder. I'm not sure what it means. I await the counter memo with much interest.

mulga mumblebrain Kronosaurus , February 8, 2018 12:51 AM

The Nunes memo is just a precis of good deal of information, and even that is but a part of the evidence of the Demonazi, and elements of the FBI and Justice Department, conspiracy to stop Trump. If Trump is capo di tutti capi in Thanatopolis DC, it is Clinton and her incompetent fellow conspirators' fault.

truthynesslover Kronosaurus , February 7, 2018 5:24 PM

The dems deserve to be burned to the ground........next stop republicans

truthynesslover Kronosaurus , February 8, 2018 1:59 PM

Trump ran against the GOP and neo-cons like Bush.

Democrats are now the Neo-con party and far more dangerous.

Neo -cons wanted Hillary and its why they are going after Trump.Trump was never supposed to win.Trump was a anti-gop candidate.So republicans are the anti -war party now.

Ironinc no?

How Donald Trump blasted George W. Bush in S.C. -- and won ...

▶ 2:03

https://www.cnn.com/2016/02...

Feb 21, 2016At a CNN town hall in Columbia on Thursday, Trump stopped short of repeating the claim that George W. Bush ...

Breaking taboos: Donald Trump and Bush's WMD 'lie'

| USA | Al Jazeera

▶ 8:50

www.aljazeera.com/.../break... ...

Feb 22, 2016In the Republican debate in South Carolina last weekend, presidential candidate Donald Trump declared live ...

Donald Trump in 2007: Bush's War Was Based On Lies, Iraq Will ...

https://www.realclearpoliti... ...

Sep 11, 2015In 2007 in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Donald Trump spoke about the Bush administration and the Iraq War ...

RoloTomassi truthynesslover , February 8, 2018 8:48 AM

These people--and all these folks in law enforcement and corporate hierarchies and the list goes on and on--they LIE. They manipulate. Newsflash, that is human nature, despite all of the bogus, idealistic posturing made in these comments and in the world at large.

But my point is that these same people play by a set of rules that they defined for themselves, and now the conservative faction wants special treatment for their buffoon Trump. They need to suck it up and take their medicine. Trump is a vile, unintelligent cretin and a criminal, and I really don't care if the means by which they remove him doesn't rise to the level of your or others supposed BS-idealism.

The U.S. government is an unethical $hit show driven by the most heinous form of capitalism ever imagined, so what the hell do you expect? Do try to get in touch with reality and put down your tome of rightwing talking points.

truthynesslover RoloTomassi , February 8, 2018 2:05 PM

LOL!!

Im a left Sanders voter.Trump is literally doing what you say you want and your too bias to notice.

Newsflash........Trump is bringing to the forefront just how corrupted our system is.The $shitshow has just started........even MSNBC cant ignore the treason of the FBI and DOJ any more.

And did you miss Trump tweet about the wallstreet crash?

Didnt he call out the fact wallstreet bets against the US economy?

Trump tweeted Wednesday:

"In the 'old days,' when good news was reported, the Stock Market
would go up. Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!"

Didnt Trump just make an important criticism of capitalism?.....I think he did.Sorry you missed it.

truthynesslover Calvinius , February 7, 2018 7:55 PM

The entire corporate media is coming down with the Russia ruse....

from James Petras:

The Logic behind Mass Spying: Empire and Cyber Imperialism
https://petras.lahaine.org/...

The Deeper Meaning of Mass Spying in America
http://petras.lahaine.org/?...

The Two Faces of a Police State: Sheltering Tax Evaders, Financial Swindlers and Money Launderers while Policing the Citizens
http://petras.lahaine.org/?...

The Rise of the Police State and the Absence of Mass Opposition
http://petras.lahaine.org/?...

The Great Transformation: From the Welfare State to the Imperial Police State
http://petras.lahaine.org/?...

[Feb 11, 2018] British spy who meddled in US elections disappears

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... former British MI-6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele was a no-show on Monday at a London courthouse. ..."
"... "There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility ," reads the unredacted document that refers Steele for criminal prosecution in the US. ..."
"... "it appears that either Mr. Steele lied to the FBI or the British court, or that the classified documents reviewed by the Committee contain materially false statements." pic.twitter.com/KQ2OmVjOMI ..."
"... Fray-Witzer said, "Certainly with respect to Mr. Gubarev, Webzilla and XBT there has never been a single scrap of evidence about them in the dossier." ..."
"... Fray-Witzer stressed in that hearing that the British government "has not asserted" Steele's claims. The attorney has said Steele "is asserting he can't speak about things. We have pointed out that he's spoken to anyone who is willing to listen, every journalist, and the FBI." ..."
"... This second dossier went from Clinton "hatchet man" Cody Shearer, who gave it to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, before it was routed to Christopher Steele ..."
"... Published accounts in the Guardian and the Washington Post have indicated that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research, and Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign. – Washington Examiner ..."
"... Zerohedge ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | theduran.com

Fox News reports that former British MI-6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele was a no-show on Monday at a London courthouse.

Steele was expected for a long-requested deposition in a multi-million dollar civil case brought against Buzzfeed, which published a salacious and unverified "Trump-Russia" dossier.

Zerohedge reports

Steele may have skipped out over concerns that he would be asked questions about his contacts with various media outlets in connection with at least two dossiers he had a hand in assembling and disseminating -- for which he stands accused by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) of misleading the FBI about his contacts with journalists at various news outlets during the 2016 election.

"There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility ," reads the unredacted document that refers Steele for criminal prosecution in the US.

12) The Issue at Hand

"it appears that either Mr. Steele lied to the FBI or the British court, or that the classified documents reviewed by the Committee contain materially false statements." pic.twitter.com/KQ2OmVjOMI

-- TrumpSoldier (@DaveNYviii) February 5, 2018

13) We have the statements from the British Court documents but until the #GrassleyMemo is released we cannot identify the contradictions that Grassley found!
British Court Document (pgs 4-20) PDF> https://t.co/ljP02AAuyG pic.twitter.com/w1zl5JOudX

-- TrumpSoldier (@DaveNYviii) February 5, 2018

It therefore stands to reason that Steele wanted to avoid any uncomfortable questions which might apply to ongoing investigations in US House and Senate. Separately, records obtained and reviewed by Fox News from related civil litigation in Florida reveal that Steele maintains that even showing up for a deposition would "implicate state secrets in London."

According to Fox News , Evan Fray-Witzer, a Boston-based attorney representing Russian tech tycoon Aleksej Gubarev in multi-million dollar civil litigation, described Monday's U.K. court actions to Fox News. "My understanding is that Mr. Steele's lawyers spent a good deal of time arguing why they thought he (Steele) should not be required to sit for a deposition and that ultimately the court took the entire matter under advisement."

Gubarev is suing the British-based Steele's company Orbis Business Intelligence because the dossier claimed Gubarev's companies, including XBT Holdings and Webzilla, used "botnets and port traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data."

Fray-Witzer said, "Certainly with respect to Mr. Gubarev, Webzilla and XBT there has never been a single scrap of evidence about them in the dossier."

Congressional testimony and ongoing Fox News reporting revealed that Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence were paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson to write and promote the dossier among select journalists when it was opposition research funded in part by the Democratic National Committee. As Fox News has reported based upon review of British court records, Steele promoted and met with five media outlets repeatedly between the spring and fall of 2016. At the same time, Steele also was meeting with the FBI in Rome, according to reports.

Meanwhile, records obtained and reviewed by Fox News from related civil ligitation in Florida reveal that Steele maintains that even showing up for a deposition would "implicate state secrets in London."

Fray-Witzer stressed in that hearing that the British government "has not asserted" Steele's claims. The attorney has said Steele "is asserting he can't speak about things. We have pointed out that he's spoken to anyone who is willing to listen, every journalist, and the FBI."

Zerohedge further reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee's January 4 criminal referral of Steele also reveals that the former British spy was involved in a second anti-Trump opposition research dossier. This second dossier went from Clinton "hatchet man" Cody Shearer, who gave it to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, before it was routed to Christopher Steele. It is unknown what happened to the document after that.

According to the referral, Steele wrote the additional memo based on anti-Trump information that originated with a foreign source. In a convoluted scheme outlined in the referral, the foreign source gave the information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave the information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele. Steele wrote a report based on the information, but the redacted version of the referral does not say what Steele did with the report after that.

Published accounts in the Guardian and the Washington Post have indicated that Clinton associate Cody Shearer was in contact with Steele about anti-Trump research, and Obama State Department official Jonathan Winer was a connection between Steele and the State Department during the 2016 campaign. – Washington Examiner

Shearer's brother served as an ambassador during the Clinton administration, and his late sister was married to Strobe Talbott, the chief authority on Russia in President Bill Clinton's State Department, according to ProPublica.

Recalling that the dossier was published by Buzzfeed after the election, we're sure that much like the rest of the swamp; Clinton, Obama, Comey, McCabe, Mueller, Rosenstein, Strzok, Page, and the rest of the gang – Christopher Steele thought Hillary would win, and none of this would have ever come to light – Zerohedge

6.14 miles this morn from Home 2 Dome for my bday. 1 hr 23 mins. Left at 4:15AM pic.twitter.com/TukSOe6sIE

-- ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) September 17, 2015

[Feb 11, 2018] Is the Steele Dossier Full of 'Russian Dirt' -- or British by James George Jatras

If Sidney Blumenthal was the source that it was probably CIA which injected information that got to Steele via MI6.
Republican congressional investigators appear to be zeroing in on Blumenthal, and the role he may have played in feeding information that Trump dossier author Christopher Steele later presented to the FBI in its investigation of the Trump campaign.
The prospect of Blumenthal -- a long-time Clinton operative -- feeding information for an FBI investigation on the Trump campaign has caused alarm among Republican lawmakers in charge of oversight of the FBI and the Justice Department. According to the WaPo, the report was written by Cody Shearer, a former journalist with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who gave it to Blumenthal, who gave it to State Department official Jonathan Winer, who gave it to Steele, who then gave it to the FBI. Shearer's report claimed a source inside the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) spy agency alleged that Trump had financial ties to influential Russians and that the FSB had evidence of him engaging in compromising personal behavior.
Notable quotes:
"... Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation . ..."
Feb 09, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org
With text messages between US Justice Department (DOJ) conspirators Peter Strzok and his adulterous main squeeze Lisa Page now revealing that then-President Barack Obama "wants to know everything we're doing," it now appears that the 2016 plot to subvert the rule of law and corrupt the US organs of state security for political purposes reached the very pinnacle of power. To call the United States today a "banana republic" increasingly may be seen as a gratuitous insult to the friendly spider-infested nations to our south .

Still, don't expect to see Barry Hussein Saetoro doing the perp walk anytime soon or even being deported back to Kenya. Don't expect to see orange prison suits on Strzok, Page, former FBI Director James Comey, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and others implicated in putting a political thumb on the scales to, first, get Hillary Clinton elected, and then, when that failed, to neuter Donald Trump's presidency with a phony Russiagate probe.

Officials' getting "former-ed" is one thing, their getting prosecuted quite another. (Just imagine if a GOP administration had similarly skewed the supposedly non-political law enforcement and intelligence services for partisan reasons. We'd have Watergate on steroids. The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN would be calling for hanging, drawing, and quartering .)

Indeed, it's not even clear the Russiagate investigation itself will be impacted. After all, the narrative may have flipped on one variable -- from Trump campaign collusion to Democratic and FBI collusion -- but the constant remains the same: Russia . Trump's defenders are as insistent as his detractors that the real culprit is Russia! Russia! Russia!

Sean Hannity of Fox News has been particularly hyperventilative that the entire Steele Dossier lying at the black heart of the mess consists of "phony, fake-news Russian propaganda" and "Russian intelligence lies" from British MI6 (supposedly "former") spymaster Christopher Steele's "Russian sources." Even level-headed observers like Paul Sperry and Patrick Buchanan characterize the file as a " Kremlin-aided smear job " and " Russian dirt [that] Steele was spoon-fed by old comrades in the Kremlin's security apparatus ."

Christopher Steele is not Russian

But what do we really know about Steele's claimed sources? Not much.

Sure, maybe Vladimir Putin personally whispered every word of the dossier into Steele's ear. Or maybe Steele invented his supposed sources from whole cloth: your clients are paying for sleaze, you give them sleaze. Or anything in between: maybe Steele consulted some imaginative Russian cranks with only a marginal, and most likely adversarial, relationship to the Russian authorities, whose "inside knowledge" Steele padded to justify his fee. (Steele claims he didn't pay his "sources" -- assuming they exist at all -- but that's no more worthy of credit than anything else he says.)

As analyzed by Russia expert Stephen F. Cohen:

Where, then, did Steele get his information? According to Steele and his many stenographers -- which include his American employers, Democratic Party Russiagaters, the mainstream media, and even progressive publications -- it came from his 'deep connections in Russia,' specifically from retired and current Russian intelligence officials in or near the Kremlin . From the moment the dossier began to be leaked to the American media, this seemed highly implausible (as reporters who took his bait should have known) for several reasons:
- Steele has not returned to Russia after leaving his post there in the early 1990s. Since then, the main Russian intelligence agency, the FSB, has undergone many personnel and other changes, especially after 2000, and especially in or near Putin's Kremlin. Did Steele really have such "connections" so many years later? [JGJ: Is it credible that the head of MI6's Russian branch is on a first-name basis with top Kremlin insiders? Turn the identities around and ask whether the chiefs of the US section of Russian or Chinese intelligence are on intimate speaking terms with the US president's top advisers or with the leadership of the CIA or FBI. Hardly.]

- Even if he did, would these purported Russian insiders really have collaborated with this "former" British intelligence agent under what is so widely said to be the ever-vigilant eye of the ruthless "former KGB agent" Vladimir Putin, thereby risking their positions, income, perhaps freedom, as well as the well-being of their families?

- Originally it was said that his Russian sources were highly paid by Steele. Arguably, this might have warranted the risk. But subsequently Steele's employer and head of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, wrote in The New York Times that "Steele's sources in Russia were not paid." If the Putin Kremlin's purpose was to put Trump in the White House, why then would these "Kremlin-connected" sources have contributed to Steele's anti-Trump project without financial or political gain -- only with considerable risk?

- There is the also the telling matter of factual mistakes in the dossier that Kremlin "insiders" were unlikely to have made, but this is the subject for a separate analysis.

And indeed we now know that Steele had at least three other 'sources' for the dossier, ones not previously mentioned by him or his employer. There was the information from foreign intelligence agencies provided by Brennan to Steele or to the FBI, which we also now know was collaborating with Steele. There was a ' second Trump-Russia dossier ' prepared by people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their 'findings' with Steele. And most intriguingly, there was the 'research' provided by Nellie Ohr, wife of a top Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, who, according to the Republican memo, 'was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife's opposition research.' Most likely, it found its way into Steele's dossier. (Mrs. Ohr was a trained Russian Studies scholar with a PhD from Stanford and a onetime assistant professor at Vassar, and thus, it must have seemed, an ideal collaborator for Steele.)
The reference to "people personally close to Hillary Clinton and who shared their 'findings' with Steele" dovetails with another intriguing suggestion from former Clinton insider Dick Morris, who knows the modus operandi of the Clinton lie generator better than anyone else. On the Fox News "Ingraham Angle" show, Morris suggested to host Laura Ingraham that the bulk of the dossier was invented by veteran political dirty tricksters and Clinton-machine hatchet men Sid Blumenthal and Cody Shearer , who then engaged "former" spook Steele, because of the Brit's known relationship with the FBI, as their conduit to give their garbage credibility. (Never underestimate the residual "colonial" mentality of Yanks to find any sort of gibberish convincing if delivered with a British accent, as confirmed by the ubiquity of posh Brit voices in American advertising .)

Andrew Wood is not Russian

But Steele isn't the only limey link to #Dossiergate . In late 2016, after Trump's election victory, Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia , told US Senator John McCain about the existence of compromising material on Donald Trump, according to Wood's account to BBC4. Wood then set up a meeting between Steele and David Kramer, an associate of McCain's. It's unclear whether McCain already knew about the dossier at that point or whether Wood alerted the Senator to its existence.

For what it is worth -- not much -- Wood states that McCain had obtained the documents from the Senator's own sources . "I told him I was aware of what was in the report but I had not read it myself, that it might be true, it might be untrue. I had no means of judging really," and that he served only to inform McCain about the dossier contents: "My mission was essentially to be a go-between and a messenger, to tell the Senator and assistants that such a dossier existed," Wood told Fox News. Wood elsewhere relates that McCain was "visibly shocked " at his description and expressed interest in reading the full report. That doesn't sound as though McCain had already obtained the dossier from his "own sources" but, rather, that Wood was the instigator.

So which is it? Did McCain already know about the dossier, and if so how did it "happen" to get raised with a British diplomat? Conversely, was the initiative from Woods to induce the Senator -- known to be a strong Trump critic as well as for his hostility to Russia -- to pass the dossier on in Washington? Keep in mind that the dossier had already been used to secure a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor Carter Page, a peripheral asteroid in the Trump orbit, and that Trump had already been elected. By this time the conspiracy's purpose had shifted from preventing Trump's victory to tying down his incoming administration, especially with respect to blocking any opening to Moscow as Trump said he intended to do. What better way to set the cat among the pigeons than for a supposedly totally non-political British diplomat (certainly no intelligence officer, he!) to quietly peddle the material from Steele (whom Wood called a "very competent professional operator I do not think he would make things up .") to the right man in Washington?

GCHQ is not Russian

Finally, while it's clear the dossier served to get a FISA warrant for American services to spy on the Trump campaign and later the transition team, US agencies' might not have been the only eyes and ears monitoring them. Amid all the hubbub over Michael Wolff's slash-and-burn Fire and Fury, little mention (other than a heated denial on the floor of the House of Commons , from the notoriously truth-challenged former prime minister Tony Blair , and from the relevant British agency itself !) has been made of the suggestion that the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) -- Britain's version of the NSA -- was spying on Trump and providing their sister agencies in the US with additional data. Keep in mind the carefully worded deflection last year from James Clapper , former Director of National Intelligence (DNI), that "there was no wiretap against Trump Tower during the campaign conducted by any part of the national intelligence community... including the FBI," thus begging the question of whether Trump was spied on not by a US "national" agency but by one of the Anglosphere "Five Eyes" agencies -- most likely GCHQ -- which then passed the information back to their American colleagues. With Steele's and Wood's involvement, and given the virtual control of America's manifestly corrupted agencies of their counterparts in satellite countries like the United Kingdom, involvement by GCHQ and perhaps other "friendly" foreign agencies cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Madame Prime Minister is not Russian

To be sure, in 2016 the majority opinion in Russia was that Donald Trump's election would be preferable to Hillary Clinton's for the simple reason that the former openly advocated better relations with Moscow while the latter was a notorious warmonger. But there was also a strong minority view , especially among more pro-Western elements of the Russian establishment, that Hillary -- " the devil you know " -- was preferable to rolling the dice on an unpredictable and unknown quantity. Plus, Hillary was delightfully corrupt , with the Clinton Foundation an open invitation for many foreign powers to buy influence .

There was no ambiguity in the position of the British government, however. In 2016 Prime Minister Theresa May, like her German counterpart , made little effort to hide her disdain for the "just plain wrong" Trump and her preference for Hillary Clinton, whom she expected to win (as did most other observers ). Why should anyone be surprised that her MI6 and GCHQ minions would share the same views and perhaps acted on them to provide some helping " hands across the water " to their US counterparts whose anti-constitutional conspiracy now stands exposed?

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

[Feb 11, 2018] Confirmed Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal helped spread Russia collusion fever before the election by William A. Jacobson

So State Department took part is creating Steele dossier
Notable quotes:
"... Winer has published an Op-Ed at WaPo in which he confirms his involvement with Blumenthal, though he downplays its significance, Devin Nunes is investigating me. Here's the truth. ..."
"... I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material. ..."
"... In late September, I spoke with an old friend, Sidney Blumenthal, whom I met 30 years ago when I was investigating the Iran-contra affair for then-Sen. Kerry and Blumenthal was a reporter at The Post. At the time, Russian hacking was at the front and center in the 2016 presidential campaign. ..."
"... While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele's reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature. ..."
"... What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele's but appeared to involve different sources. ..."
"... On my own, I shared a copy of these notes with Steele, to ask for his professional reaction. He told me it was potentially "collateral" information. I asked him what that meant. He said that it was similar but separate from the information he had gathered from his sources. I agreed to let him keep a copy of the Shearer notes. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | legalinsurrection.com

The Clintons created a media and law enforcement echo chamber of Russia collusion. Earlier this week we wrote about the possible involvement of Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal in feeding information to Christoper Steele, author of the infamous Clinton/DNC funded dossier. That dossier formed a key part of the FBI's presentation to the FISA court to obtain a warrant to surveil Carter Page.

One of the key links in the Blumenthal-Steele stories was former State Department employee Jonathan Winer :

Devin Nunes has a new target: Jonathan Winer, the Obama State Department's special envoy to Libya, and longtime Senate aide to John Kerry. Winer received a memorandum written by political activist Cody Shearer and passed it along to Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence official who had compiled his own dossier on Donald Trump.

The release of last week's House Intelligence Committee memo accusing the FBI of surveillance abuses marked the end of the first phase of Nunes's investigation into the probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, the committee chair told Fox News on Friday, the probe is moving into "phase two," which involves the State Department. His focus is on the dossier compiled by Shearer, and passed along by Winer, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

That Blumenthal was the source of the information passed on to Winer appeared to be confirmed by Trey Gowdy in an interview with Martha McCallum, Trey Gowdy suggests Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal fed info to Steele weeks before election:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., strongly implied to Fox News Tuesday night that Clinton family confidant Sidney Blumenthal was a key link in a chain of information that helped create the controversial Trump-Russia dossier.

Gowdy told Fox News' "The Story" that "when you hear who one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before.'"

When host Martha MacCallum asked if he was referring to Blumenthal, Gowdy answered, "That'd be really warm. You're warm, yeah."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TX3-G39GjiE?start=563&feature=oembed

Winer has published an Op-Ed at WaPo in which he confirms his involvement with Blumenthal, though he downplays its significance, Devin Nunes is investigating me. Here's the truth.

In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials. He did not provide details but made clear the information involved "active measures," a Soviet intelligence term for propaganda and related activities to influence events in other countries.

In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the "dossier." Steele's sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign.

I was allowed to review, but not to keep, a copy of these reports to enable me to alert the State Department. I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.

In late September, I spoke with an old friend, Sidney Blumenthal, whom I met 30 years ago when I was investigating the Iran-contra affair for then-Sen. Kerry and Blumenthal was a reporter at The Post. At the time, Russian hacking was at the front and center in the 2016 presidential campaign. The emails of Blumenthal, who had a long association with Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been hacked in 2013 through a Russian server.

While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele's reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know, Cody Shearer, that alleged the Russians had compromising information on Trump of a sexual and financial nature.

What struck me was how some of the material echoed Steele's but appeared to involve different sources.

On my own, I shared a copy of these notes with Steele, to ask for his professional reaction. He told me it was potentially "collateral" information. I asked him what that meant. He said that it was similar but separate from the information he had gathered from his sources. I agreed to let him keep a copy of the Shearer notes.

Given that I had not worked with Shearer and knew that he was not a professional intelligence officer, I did not mention or share his notes with anyone at the State Department. I did not expect them to be shared with anyone in the U.S. government.

But I learned later that Steele did share them -- with the FBI, after the FBI asked him to provide everything he had on allegations relating to Trump, his campaign and Russian interference in U.S. elections.

The Clintons created a media and law enforcement echo chamber of Russia collusion.

Hillary's campaign and the DNC paid for the Steele dossier. Other Clinton operatives, such as Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, were spreading similar accusations and sharing information with Steele. Steele was also feeding accusations to the media. Employees of the FBI and possibly other agencies who hated Trump used that information both before and after the election.

In assessing the threats that Hillary and Trump posed to our liberty, respectively, in October 2016 I wrote that Hillary represented the greater threat because Hillary was "a systemic threat."

I was right.

[Feb 11, 2018] Hacker Targets Clinton Confidant In New Attack

Notable quotes:
"... However, based on screen grabs made by "Guccifer," the hacker specifically zeroed in on Blumenthal's extensive correspondence with Hillary Clinton, sorting Blumenthal's account so as to single out all e-mail sent to Clinton. Additionally, "Guccifer" further sorted the mail to list (and presumably download) all Word files attached to e-mails sent to Clinton. ..."
"... It is unknown what plans "Guccifer" has for these documents, which include foreign policy and intelligence memos that Blumenthal sent to Clinton while she served as Secretary of State. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.thesmokinggun.com

The 64-year-old Blumenthal -- who was unaware that he had been hacked by "Guccifer"--worked as an assistant and senior adviser to Clinton for about 3-1/2 years, ending in January 2001. He worked as a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and has remained one of her closest confidants.

By breaching Blumenthal's account, "Guccifer" was able to access his correspondence (dating back to at least 2005) with an array of Washington insiders, including political operatives, journalists, and government officials. As with the hacker's other victims, it is unclear how Blumenthal's account was illegally accessed or why he was targeted.

However, based on screen grabs made by "Guccifer," the hacker specifically zeroed in on Blumenthal's extensive correspondence with Hillary Clinton, sorting Blumenthal's account so as to single out all e-mail sent to Clinton. Additionally, "Guccifer" further sorted the mail to list (and presumably download) all Word files attached to e-mails sent to Clinton.

It is unknown what plans "Guccifer" has for these documents, which include foreign policy and intelligence memos that Blumenthal sent to Clinton while she served as Secretary of State.

Blumenthal told TSG that when he attempted to access his e-mail yesterday morning, he could not successfully log in. He then contacted an AOL representative and was told that his account had been compromised. Blumenthal said that he subsequently reset the password and regained control of his account.

In e-mail screeds, "Guccifer" seems to subscribe to dark conspiracies involving the Federal Reserve, the Council on Foreign Relations, and attendees of Bohemian Grove retreats. "the evil is leading this fucked up world!!!!!! i tell you this the world of tomorrow will be a world free of illuminati or will be no more," the hacker declared.

Over the past few months, the list of "Guccifer" hacking victims has included several Bush family members and friends ; Powell; U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski ; a senior United Nations official; Rockefeller family members; former FBI agents; security contractors in Iraq; a former Secret Service agent; and John Negroponte, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. A majority of these breaches have involved AOL e-mail accounts.

[Feb 11, 2018] Report Clinton Confidant Sidney Blumenthal Spread Birther Rumors in 2008 (Updated)

Feb 11, 2018 | www.weeklystandard.com

There are plenty of reasons why, after years of spreading the conspiracy theory, Donald Trump should not be given a pass after his sudden public disavowal of previous claims that President Obama was born in Kenya. However, the media are zeroing in on Trump's assertion Hillary Clinton is responsible for starting birtherism. In fact, the Washington Post declared it categorically false in the lede of their story on Trump's press conference this morning:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday acknowledged for the first time that President Obama was born in the United States, ending his long history of stoking unfounded doubts about the nation's first African American president but also seeking to falsely blame Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for starting the rumors.

Not so fast. Just yesterday, James Asher, the former Washington bureau chief for the news agency McClatchy , tweeted that longtime Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal was spreading the conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya while he was a senior Clinton campaign advisor in 2008, long before Trump ever parroted the claim:

That Blumenthal would have done this seems in keeping with what was reported about Blumenthal's actions at the time :

Almost every day over the past six months, I have been the recipient of an email that attacks Obama's character, political views, electability, and real or manufactured associations. The original source of many of these hit pieces are virulent and sometimes extreme right-wing websites, bloggers, and publications. But they aren't being emailed out from some fringe right-wing group that somehow managed to get my email address. Instead, it is Sidney Blumenthal who, on a regular basis, methodically dispatches these email mudballs to an influential list of opinion shapers -- including journalists, former Clinton administration officials, academics, policy entrepreneurs, and think tankers -- in what is an obvious attempt to create an echo chamber that reverberates among talk shows, columnists, and Democratic Party funders and activists.

Among the "fringe right-wing" attacks Blumenthal was sending out were actually from respectable conservative publications such as City Journal , National Review , and, yes, The Weekly Standard. This is more than a little ironic because Blumenthal is often credited with coining the phrase "vast right-wing conspiracy," arguably the most famous phrase Hillary Clinton ever uttered.

But Blumenthal also dabbled spreading much less reliable reports, such as conjecture about Obama's "communist mentor" Frank Marshall Davis. Further, Blumenthal's reputation for dishonesty and underhanded tactics is well-established. It is generally accepted that he lied to the media and publicly smeared Monica Lewinsky and other Bill Clinton accusers when he worked in the White House. Christopher Hitchens, no card carrying member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, testified before Congress toBlumenthal's lies and wrote a book about it .

When you combine the report Blumenthal was saying Obama was born in Kenya with the fact that Clinton campaign did circulate a memo outlining plans to attack Obama's "lack of American roots," it doesn't seem far fetched that the Clinton campaign played a much bigger role in midwifing birtherism than they or the media would like to admit.

Clinton later tried to bring Blumenthal with her to the State Department (a plan the Obama administration nixed, probably at least in part because they were familiar with Blumenthal's lengthy record of trashing Obama). She then put him on the payroll at the Clinton Foundation, and he was found in Clinton's emails engaging with her as Secretary of State in an ultimately unsuccessful scheme to profiteer off of war-torn Libya as a result of his involvement with a private military company. Clinton and Blumenthal's relationship is obviously close and has existed for decades. IIf the report Blumenthal was spreading birtherism in 2008 is accurate, it would be very hard for Clinton to evade some responsibility for the birther rumors getting out of control.

[Feb 11, 2018] Speculation Swirls Around Clinton Confidant Sidney Blumenthal as Source for Second Trump Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... According to the Guardian , Steele provided 'a copy [of the Shearer report] because it corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.' If the reporting here is accurate, that's quite a coincidence -- that Cody Shearer and Christopher Steele were hearing the same things from different sources at pretty much the same time. A closer look at timelines and sources might be revealing. If Sid and Cody are behind the original Russian dossier sources, that would be big news indeed. ..."
"... "It's an astonishing, convoluted and somewhat circular chain of custody in which a Clinton source, that is Shearer and Blumenthal, gives it to the former, to the State Department where she used to be Secretary of State, who gives it to Christopher Steele, who's being paid by the Clinton campaign, who then gives it to the FBI," the Washington Examiner 's Chief Political Correspondent Byron York said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show Wednesday. ..."
"... Blumenthal has a known history of smearing opponents of the Clintons. ..."
"... During Bill Clinton's impeachment crisis, as one of Clinton's special advisers, he spread rumors that one of independent counsel Kenneth Starr's prosecutors abused young boys at a Christian summer camp and that Monica Lewinsky was stalking the president, according to the Observer . He also spread rumors that Colin Powell's wife suffered from clinical depression and was unfit to be a first lady, according to publication. ..."
"... Shearer went from a journalist decades ago to foreign policy freelancer – once trying to broker some sort of peace deal in Bosnia, although he was not a U.S. official, – and working with Blumenthal to supply intelligence on Libya to Clinton when she was secretary of state. According to investigative journalist Sara Carter, Shearer worked in the 1990s for President Bill Clinton. ..."
"... Nonprofit investigative journalism outlet ProPublica described Shearer as "a longtime Clinton family operative -- his brother was an ambassador under Bill Clinton and his now-deceased sister was married to Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott -- who was in close contact with Blumenthal." ..."
"... According to Judicial Watch's Morin, Shearer "has a long history of dirty tricks." ..."
"... "He's been linked to Whitewater-era efforts to dirty up Bill Clinton critics; to shakedown politics involving the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian tribe; and to fronting for Bosnian Serb butcher Radovan Karadzic," he wrote. ..."
"... Even less known about Jonathan Winer. Winer served as the State Department's Special Envoy for Libya and Senior Advisor for MEK resettlement, according to the State Department website. ..."
"... According to CNN , Winer worked with Steele from 2014 through 2016. Steele reportedly provided Winer with reports related to the conflict in Ukraine and Russia as a courtesy. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.breitbart.com

The Washington Post on Tuesday reported that Steele gave the FBI a report in October 2016 that he received from a State Department employee about Trump and Russia.

According to the Post , the report was written by Cody Shearer, a former journalist with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who gave it to Blumenthal, who gave it to State Department official Jonathan Winer, who gave it to Steele, who then gave it to the FBI.

Shearer's report claimed a source inside the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) spy agency alleged that Trump had financial ties to influential Russians and that the FSB had evidence of him engaging in compromising personal behavior.

A lawyer for Winer, Lee Wolosky, told the Post his client told the Post his client's actions were "grounded" in concerns that a candidate for the presidency may have been compromised by a hostile foreign power. Wolosky did not say why Winer gave the report to Steele instead of the FBI.

The Guardian , which has ties to ex-British spy Steele, also reported recently that Shearer wrote a report that was given to Steele. Shearer had also shared his report with "select media organizations before the election," according to the British paper.

Blumenthal and Shearer's names were first tied to the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign in a letter sent last month by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the Democratic National Committee.

Grassley and Graham wanted the DNC to disclose any communications with Blumenthal and Shearer from March 2016 to January 2017. Earlier this week, the two GOP senators released a redacted memo that described the transmission of a report from a Clinton friend to Steele:

"One memorandum by Mr. Steele that was not published by Buzzfeed is dated October 19, 2016. The report alleges [redacted], as well as [redacted]. Mr. Steele's memorandum states that his company "received this report from [redacted] U.S. State Department," that the report was the second in a series, and that the report was information that came from a foreign sub-source who 'is in touch with [redacted], a contact of [redacted], a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to [redacted]."

They added, "It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele's work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility."

Since the names are redacted by the FBI, they cannot be disclosed publicly by those who have seen them. Lawmakers who have seen the unredacted versions have danced around who they are.

When asked on FOX News's The Story, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told anchor Martha MacCallum that she was "really warm" if she believed that Blumenthal was part of the chain of information to Steele described by Grassley and Graham.

"I'm trying to think how Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time," he said on Tuesday.

MacCallum then asked, "Sidney Blumenthal?" Gowdy responded , "That'd be really warm. You're warm. Yeah."

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also mentioned Blumenthal and Shearer's role on Fox & Friends on Tuesday.

"What it looks like is, they paid Steele to put together the dossier and told him what to put in," he said.

Micah Morin, chief investigative reporter at Judicial Watch, questioned whether Shearer and Blumenthal were also behind the dossier's sources. He wrote :

According to the Guardian , Steele provided 'a copy [of the Shearer report] because it corresponded with what he had separately heard from his own independent sources.' If the reporting here is accurate, that's quite a coincidence -- that Cody Shearer and Christopher Steele were hearing the same things from different sources at pretty much the same time. A closer look at timelines and sources might be revealing. If Sid and Cody are behind the original Russian dossier sources, that would be big news indeed.

"It's an astonishing, convoluted and somewhat circular chain of custody in which a Clinton source, that is Shearer and Blumenthal, gives it to the former, to the State Department where she used to be Secretary of State, who gives it to Christopher Steele, who's being paid by the Clinton campaign, who then gives it to the FBI," the Washington Examiner 's Chief Political Correspondent Byron York said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show Wednesday.

Blumenthal has a known history of smearing opponents of the Clintons.

During Bill Clinton's impeachment crisis, as one of Clinton's special advisers, he spread rumors that one of independent counsel Kenneth Starr's prosecutors abused young boys at a Christian summer camp and that Monica Lewinsky was stalking the president, according to the Observer . He also spread rumors that Colin Powell's wife suffered from clinical depression and was unfit to be a first lady, according to publication.

As a former journalist, Blumenthal also used his media contacts to give the Clintons a heads up about forthcoming stories, and advised the Clinton campaign in 2008 to target then-candidate Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan.

After Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel refused to allow Blumenthal to join the Clinton State Department, he became a Clinton Foundation consultant, earning at least $120,000 a year. He continued to advise her in a number of areas, according to emails released by the State Department.

Less is known about Shearer. According to a recent article in the Washington Times , he was dubbed "Mr. Fixer" for Bill and Hillary Clinton and was a "workmate" of Blumenthal.

Shearer went from a journalist decades ago to foreign policy freelancer – once trying to broker some sort of peace deal in Bosnia, although he was not a U.S. official, – and working with Blumenthal to supply intelligence on Libya to Clinton when she was secretary of state. According to investigative journalist Sara Carter, Shearer worked in the 1990s for President Bill Clinton.

Nonprofit investigative journalism outlet ProPublica described Shearer as "a longtime Clinton family operative -- his brother was an ambassador under Bill Clinton and his now-deceased sister was married to Clinton State Department official Strobe Talbott -- who was in close contact with Blumenthal."

According to Judicial Watch's Morin, Shearer "has a long history of dirty tricks."

"He's been linked to Whitewater-era efforts to dirty up Bill Clinton critics; to shakedown politics involving the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian tribe; and to fronting for Bosnian Serb butcher Radovan Karadzic," he wrote.

As the Times has noted, for whom Shearer produced his anti-Trump report is unclear.

Even less known about Jonathan Winer. Winer served as the State Department's Special Envoy for Libya and Senior Advisor for MEK resettlement, according to the State Department website.

According to CNN , Winer worked with Steele from 2014 through 2016. Steele reportedly provided Winer with reports related to the conflict in Ukraine and Russia as a courtesy.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), who led efforts to show that senior FBI and DOJ officials relied on the dossier to get a surveillance warrant on a former Trump campaign adviser, has said there will be a forthcoming memo on the State Department's role in the FBI's investigation of Trump, but has not said when that might be released.

[Feb 11, 2018] Republican investigations put Blumenthal in spotlight

Notable quotes:
"... Steele also gave the dossier to Winer, who flagged to his superiors at the State Department, according to the source. Kerry was eventually briefed on its existence, and that it wasn't known how much was true. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.cnn.com

How Shearer's notes got to Steele

Shearer, an independent journalist, decided to investigate potential Trump-Russia connections after seeing stories about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, the source said.

Shearer's so-called dossier is actually a set of notes based on conversations with reporters and other sources, according to the person who spoke to CNN, and he circulated those notes to assorted journalists, as well as to Blumenthal.

Blumenthal then passed the notes to Jonathan Winer, who was a State Department special envoy for Libya under former Secretary of State John Kerry, the source said. Winer had a previous relationship with Steele, and he passed it along to Steele in order to get his assessment.

Carter Page struggles to explain how he could advise both Kremlin and Trump team

Related Article: Carter Page struggles to explain how he could advise both Kremlin and Trump team

Blumenthal, according to the source, did not know that Winer would consult Steele on the Shearer document, and said Winer made that decision on his own.

After Winer gave Steele the notes from Shearer, Steele wrote that he found it interesting and it tended to corroborate some of what he found, but he also noted that it was uncorroborated, the source said.

Shearer's notes, a copy of which were obtained by CNN, make uncorroborated allegations involving Trump and Russia, and they cite unnamed Russian intelligence and Turkish sources.

Steele provided Shearer's notes to the FBI in October 2016.

What are the GOP allegations? Steele was being paid for his research by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was hired by a law firm on behalf of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. A key allegation in last week's Nunes memo was that Steele's political connections to Democrats were not told to the FISA court, and Republicans are charging that Shearer's involvement could show Steele was receiving information from Clinton associates that went into the dossier he gave to the FBI. The criminal referral from Grassley and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham -- which was unclassified with some redactions this week -- states that Shearer's notes went to Steele through an official at the State Department and another person who was a "friend of the Clinton's." "It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele's work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele's allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility," the senators wrote in the criminal referral, which does not accuse Steele of wrongdoing but urges the Justice Department to investigate the matter. Winer worked with Steele from 2014 through 2016, according to another source familiar with their interactions. Steele provided Winer with reports related to the conflict in Ukraine and Russia as a courtesy, which was not unusual and considered one source among many used for assessing the situation on the ground in Ukraine, the source said.

Former CIA Director Brennan says Nunes 'abused his office' Steele also gave the dossier to Winer, who flagged to his superiors at the State Department, according to the source. Kerry was eventually briefed on its existence, and that it wasn't known how much was true.

Senior State Department officials showed the dossier to Kerry once it was clear the document was in wide circulation around Washington, according to the source. Kerry was not briefed on the Shearer document, the source said. Lee Wolosky, an attorney for Winer, said in a statement that Winer was "concerned in 2016 about information that a candidate for the presidency may have been compromised by a hostile foreign power." "Any actions he took were grounded in those concerns," Wolosky said.

"Today's attacks are nothing more than a further attempt to undermine the independence and credibility of special (counsel Robert) Mueller's ongoing investigation into those and related issues." What are Republicans saying? Republicans haven't come out and accused Blumenthal of any wrongdoing, but they've hinted in public appearances that raw intelligence may have been distributed for partisan purposes. Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chairs the House Oversight Committee and is a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, discussed Nunes' State Department investigation a Fox News interview Tuesday, saying he was "troubled" by the role the State Department played. Gowdy read the classified FISA documents that the Justice Department gave congressional committees access to on the condition that only one member of the majority and minority would view them. "When you hear who the source, or one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh, my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before. Where could he possibly have been?'" the South Carolina Republican said.

Gowdy: Memo has no impact on Russia probe "A domestic source. I'm trying to think of Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time," Gowdy continued. "Sidney Blumenthal?" Fox News' Martha MacCallum asked. "That would be really warm," Gowdy concluded. Nunes made headlines over the weekend when he predicted more memos would be coming from his committee, but he says that the investigation into the State Department has already been in the works. "We have an active investigation into the State Department. That has been ongoing for a while now," Nunes told Fox News' Sean Hannity.

Nunes has repeatedly declined to discuss his investigations with CNN, saying he doesn't discuss committee business "in the halls." Graham declined to discuss Blumenthal's role in the committee's investigation into Steele, but said the State Department is one element of it. "There's some connections outside the Department of Justice and the dossier that we're looking at. One of them goes to the State Department," Graham told CNN. "It's clear to me he was using the dossier for political purposes and that should have been more alarming than it was."

Who are the players?

Blumenthal is no stranger to congressional investigations, playing a role in the House Benghazi Select Committee investigation that was led by Gowdy. Blumenthal testified behind closed doors as part of the Benghazi investigation, and he provided the committee with emails he exchanged with Clinton , who was secretary of state when the 2012 Benghazi attack occurred. Blumenthal sent Clinton dozens of emails while she was secretary of state on various foreign policy topics, some of which were unsolicited and others that were requested by Clinton.

A former journalist, Blumenthal has known the Clintons for more than 30 years, and he worked in the Clinton White House as senior adviser from 1997 to 2001. He's been by the family's side during difficult moments, including President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.

[Feb 11, 2018] What the FBI-FISA Memo Really Tells Us About Our Government by Ron Paul

Notable quotes:
"... First, the memo demonstrates that there is a "deep state" that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump's repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion dollar yearly military budget. ..."
"... Imagine if candidate Trump had kept his campaign promises when he became President. Without the "Russia threat" and without the "China threat" and without the need to dump billions into NATO, we might actually have reaped a "peace dividend" more than a quarter century after the end of the Cold War. That would have starved the war-promoting military-industrial complex and its network of pro-war "think tanks" that populate the Washington Beltway area. ..."
"... Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims. It is clear that the FISA abuse detailed in the memo was well known to Republicans like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes before the memo was actually released. It was likely also well known by Democrats in the House. But both parties suppressed this evidence of FBI abuse of the FISA process until after the FISA Amendments Act could be re-authorized. They didn't want Americans to know how corrupt the surveillance system really is and how the US has become far too much like East Germany. That might cause more Americans to call up their Representatives and demand that the FISA mass surveillance amendment be allowed to sunset. ..."
"... Finally, hawks on both sides of the aisle in Congress used "Russia-gate" as an excuse to build animosity toward Russia among average Americans. They knew from the classified information that there was no basis for their claims that the Trump Administration was put into office with Moscow's assistance, but they played along because it served their real goal of keeping the US on war footing and keeping the gravy train rolling. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

February 5, 2018 600 Words 10 Comments Reply

The release of the House Intelligence Committee's memo on the FBI's abuse of the FISA process set off a partisan firestorm. The Democrats warned us beforehand that declassifying the memo would be the end the world as we know it. It was reckless to allow Americans to see this classified material, they said. Agents in the field could be harmed, sources and methods would be compromised, they claimed.

Republicans who had seen the memo claimed that it was far worse than Watergate. They said that mass firings would begin immediately after it became public. They said that the criminality of US government agencies exposed by the memo would shock Americans.

Then it was released and the world did not end. FBI agents have thus far not been fired. Seeing "classified" material did not terrify us, but rather it demonstrated clearly that information is kept from us by claiming it is "classified."

In the end, both sides got it wrong. Here's what the memo really shows us:

First, the memo demonstrates that there is a "deep state" that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump's repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion dollar yearly military budget.

Imagine if candidate Trump had kept his campaign promises when he became President. Without the "Russia threat" and without the "China threat" and without the need to dump billions into NATO, we might actually have reaped a "peace dividend" more than a quarter century after the end of the Cold War. That would have starved the war-promoting military-industrial complex and its network of pro-war "think tanks" that populate the Washington Beltway area.

Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims. It is clear that the FISA abuse detailed in the memo was well known to Republicans like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes before the memo was actually released. It was likely also well known by Democrats in the House. But both parties suppressed this evidence of FBI abuse of the FISA process until after the FISA Amendments Act could be re-authorized. They didn't want Americans to know how corrupt the surveillance system really is and how the US has become far too much like East Germany. That might cause more Americans to call up their Representatives and demand that the FISA mass surveillance amendment be allowed to sunset.

Ironically, Chairman Nunes was the biggest cheerleader for the extension of the FISA Amendments even as he knew how terribly the FISA process had been abused!

Finally, hawks on both sides of the aisle in Congress used "Russia-gate" as an excuse to build animosity toward Russia among average Americans. They knew from the classified information that there was no basis for their claims that the Trump Administration was put into office with Moscow's assistance, but they played along because it served their real goal of keeping the US on war footing and keeping the gravy train rolling.

But don't worry: the neocons in both parties will soon find another excuse to keep us terrified and ready to flush away a trillion dollars a year on military spending and continue our arguments and new "Cold War" with Russia.

In the meantime, be skeptical of both parties. With few exceptions they are not protecting liberty but promoting its opposite.

[Feb 10, 2018] WOW! Trey Gowdy Strongly Implies Sidney Blumenthal Was A Source For Steele's Anti-Trump Dossier

Feb 10, 2018 | www.thegatewaypundit.com

Outgoing Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) strongly implied to Fox News host Martha MacCallum Tuesday evening that Clinton confidant, Sidney Blumenthal, was a source for Christopher Steele's anti-Trump dossier.

MACCALLUM: So weeks before the election, somebody in the Obama State Department was feeding information from a foreign source to Christopher Steele?

GOWDY: When you hear who the source, or one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, "Oh, my gosh. I've heard that name somewhere before. Where could he possibly have been?"

MACCALLUM: A foreign source?

GOWDY: A domestic source. I'm trying to think of how Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time.

MACCALLUM: Sydney Blumenthal?

GOWDY: That would be really warm.

DJJudd @juddzeez

Trey Gowdy just heavily implied that Sydney Blumenthal was a source for Christopher Steele's oppo dossier on Fox News:

7:28 PM-Feb 6, 2018

Partial transcript via POLITICO:

During an interview on Fox News, Gowdy was asked by Fox News' Martha MacCallum about whether "weeks before the election, somebody in the Obama State Department was feeding information from a foreign source to Christopher Steele."

"When you hear who the source, one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, oh, my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before. Where could it possibly have been," Gowdy replied.

When asked whether it was a foreign source, the South Carolina Republican said it was domestic.

"I'm trying to think of how Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time," Gowdy said.

When asked whether it was Blumenthal, Gowdy said: "That would be really warm. You're warm."

In a letter released Monday, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested Clinton contacts fed information to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele. "Another connection to the second dossier, according to several sources who spoke to this reporter, is close friend and advisor to Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal," reported Sara Carter.

Carter previously reported Blumenthal was grilled by the FBI in 2016 in connection to the Steele dossier.

Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the discredited Steele dossier, is still investigating alleged ties between President Trump and Russia, Carter reported last month.


ShriekingHysteric , February 6, 2018 8:48 PM

Trey is getting a bad rap methinks.

Look at what he had to deal with in the Benghazi hearings, exactly the same as Trump has had to put up with.

There was an astonishingly corrupt and deceitful Dem party with a fully compliant media totally in the Dem's corner, covering their tracks and supporting their shrieks, double standards and outright lies.

Give him a break!

Julie -> ShriekingHysteric , February 6, 2018 9:01 PM

SORRY, Gowdy has NOT near had to endure what President Trump has gone through. No one has.

I don't trust him. He thinks Mueller is a good man. Mueller is so corrupt.

He thinks Mueller's investigation on Trump should continue.

constitutionminded -> Julie , February 6, 2018 9:10 PM

I believe that Gowdy is correct. Pres. Trump can't shut down the Mueller investigation. Think of what a sh*t storm that would be in the media and how they would spin it. Mueller hasn't found diddly squat in a year and he never will. Let it play out and be proven that there is nothing there and then come down hard on the previous administration and it's players. When Mueller fails the democrats will be broken.

Cuffs Julie , February 7, 2018 10:41 AM

He's the President, for Pete's sake. Why would he subject himself to Mueller who's accountable to no one, has an unlimited budget & time frame & is ripping through taxpayer money like its water & after all this time has revealed squat.
Mueller is a tick on the ear of our republic.

Dave S. constitutionminded , February 6, 2018 9:38 PM

Mueller NEEDS to be HANGED too!! His main job has been to destroy whatever evidence he can find

[Feb 10, 2018] Gowdy hints Sidney Blumenthal leaked info to dossier author Steele by Samuel Chamberlain

Steele dossier sage becomes more twisted with each passing day. CarterPage now looks like FBI informant. Fusion GPS as FBI front. And Sidney Blumenthal as source of most information contained in Steele dossier (essentially they need Steele only to rubber stamp the info to hide the actual source).
Sydney Blumenthal first appeared on the radar screen during Clinton emailgate scandal, when emailed that he has written to Hillary were revealed. In them he supplied Hillary with some information about Libya that could only be obtained via intelligence sources.
This is the crucial info: Last month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made a criminal referral regarding Steele to the FBI. The referral, parts of which were declassified Monday, included a reference to "a foreign source [who] gave information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele."
As NavyBean aptly remarked in his comment "We need more Trey Gowdy's and less Schiff's and Schumers."
Notable quotes:
"... Gowdy told Fox News' "The Story" that "when you hear who ... one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before.'" ..."
"... When host Martha MacCallum asked if he was referring to Blumenthal, Gowdy answered, "That'd be really warm. You're warm, yeah." ..."
"... Last month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made a criminal referral regarding Steele to the FBI. The referral, parts of which were declassified Monday, included a reference to "a foreign source [who] gave information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele." ..."
"... "I'm pretty troubled by what I read in the documents with respect to the role the State Department played in the fall of 2016 with including information that was used in a [FISA] court proceeding," Gowdy said. "I am troubled by that." ..."
"... "The dossier has nothing to do with the fact that someone tried to hack into the [Democratic National Committee] server," he said. "The dossier has nothing do with the meeting George Papadopoulos had in Great Britain. The dossier has nothing to do with [Donald Trump Jr.] meeting at Trump Tower [with a Russian lawyer]. The dossier has nothing to do with allegations of obstruction of justice." ..."
"... The whole phrase would be: "a foreign sub-source who is in touch with Cody Shearer, a contact of Sidney Blumenthal, a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to Steele." But I'm kinda skeptical of the Shearer piece. Blumenthal's name is definitely in there, though. ..."
"... Gowdy is saying in a nation based upon the Rule of Law, the government cannot operate under the "ends justifies means" philosophy, especially when it is used by the in-power party to target the opposition party. And, yes, we throw out cases all the time when law enforcement agencies violate the constitutional rights of defendants. I have argued those rights as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. I share Trey's concern about political operatives using law enforcement agencies a a political tool. ..."
Feb 06, 2018 | www.foxnews.com

EXCLUSIVE – Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., strongly implied to Fox News Tuesday night that Clinton family confidant Sidney Blumenthal was a key link in a chain of information that helped create the controversial Trump-Russia dossier.

Gowdy told Fox News' "The Story" that "when you hear who ... one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before.'"

When host Martha MacCallum asked if he was referring to Blumenthal, Gowdy answered, "That'd be really warm. You're warm, yeah."

Gowdy, who is among a host of Republican lawmakers not running for re-election is November, played a key role in the drafting of a recently declassified memo detailing alleged surveillance abuses by the federal government. The memo took specific issue with the FBI's use of information from the dossier, which was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele and claimed to reveal deep ties between President Trump and Russian officials.

Last month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., made a criminal referral regarding Steele to the FBI. The referral, parts of which were declassified Monday, included a reference to "a foreign source [who] gave information to an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton, who then gave information to an unnamed official in the Obama State Department, who then gave the information to Steele."

In another section, the referral stated that Steele received information from "a foreign sub-source who is in touch with (redacted), a contact of (redacted), a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to (redacted).'"

Gowdy told MacCallum that "there is a State Department component" to the dossier that "needs to be investigated."

"I'm pretty troubled by what I read in the documents with respect to the role the State Department played in the fall of 2016 with including information that was used in a [FISA] court proceeding," Gowdy said. "I am troubled by that."

However, Gowdy admitted that special counsel Robert Mueller would have been called in to investigate Russian actions during the 2016 election "regardless of whether or not there's a dossier."

"The dossier has nothing to do with the fact that someone tried to hack into the [Democratic National Committee] server," he said. "The dossier has nothing do with the meeting George Papadopoulos had in Great Britain. The dossier has nothing to do with [Donald Trump Jr.] meeting at Trump Tower [with a Russian lawyer]. The dossier has nothing to do with allegations of obstruction of justice."

Gowdy also addressed his decision to leave Congress, saying it was "just the right time." "I won't ever run for office again," he promised. "When you leave politics, to me, it's important that you leave. And I'm at peace with that."

john9hoffman
Trey Gowdy is a real American Patriot!
aa1238
I dunno about you, but I downloaded the pdf file from the Senate Judiciary website. Then I went to a pdf editor with text, and typed in the names "Cody Shearer", "Sidney Blumenthal" and "Steele" in the redacted spaces. They were a PERFECT FIT ON THE PAPER.

The whole phrase would be: "a foreign sub-source who is in touch with Cody Shearer, a contact of Sidney Blumenthal, a friend of the Clintons, who passed it to Steele." But I'm kinda skeptical of the Shearer piece. Blumenthal's name is definitely in there, though.

dwginsc -> belfastbob1

Gowdy is saying that the American federal government's law enforcement agencies are lying to the American judiciary to use foreign intelligence resources to investigate political opponents based upon false or significantly biased information. I will let you guess have many constitutional rights and federal laws are violated by those actions.

Gowdy is saying in a nation based upon the Rule of Law, the government cannot operate under the "ends justifies means" philosophy, especially when it is used by the in-power party to target the opposition party. And, yes, we throw out cases all the time when law enforcement agencies violate the constitutional rights of defendants. I have argued those rights as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. I share Trey's concern about political operatives using law enforcement agencies a a political tool.

Staubach12 -> belfastbob1

blefastbob,

I think you need to read up on what has transpired. Carter Page has never been found guilty of a crime, nor ever charged with a crime, nor has he been accused of anything. The FBI investigated Page because he had been identified as a potential target for an attempt by Russia to recruit him. But the FBI concluded in 2015 that the Russian agencies that had targeted Page had not progressed far enough in their attempt before they were caught and shut down. In other words, Page was never accused of wrongdoing and was cleared by the FBI in 2015. Despite the fact the FBI closed the book on Page, the Hillary campaign, using the fake dossier and using Page as a scapegoat, obtained a FISA warrant to spy on Page in order to spy on the Trump campaign. This is why this is such a serious offense and probably the biggest political scandal ever.

TyJuanOwen

Would this by chance be the same Clinton family friend Sidney Blumenthal who traveled to war-torn Libya to assist the Clinton's in profiting from Libyan oil reserves, Gadhafi's gold and silver reserves, and illegal arms sales while allowing US Ambassador Stevens to be murdered in order to silence him? THAT Sidney Blumenthal???

TyJuanOwen -> Warlock Woods

I suppose Sidney Blumenthal traveled to Libya to sip on cocktails and lounge upon the beach? And I'm sure that you can offer us a valid source of the formerly "dead broke" Clinton's current $200 million bank account?

OldestSeaDog

Ignore all those that are either George Soros employees or those that are here to rile up those that actually care about this country.

Ignoring them is the only way to stop their garbage of attempting to pull attention away from the crimes the previous administration and Hillary Clinton were part of. These people attended the same meeting to discredit and disavow any and all things about the memo. The much repeated words "cherry picked" should have been a clue to everyone there is a major effort to install propaganda into anything that is not flattering to the previous administration and Hillary Clinton. Not sure even George Soros has the money to pay for this, likely a collection of many billionaires or PACs or FOUNDATIONS are funding this disinformation.

Ignoring them is the only way to shut them down. My understanding of how they are paid is they get bonus if they get a response from you. Ignore no matter how vile they become.


[Feb 10, 2018] That Mueller picked Dumb-Strzok and his mistress, senior FBI attorney Lisa Page -- not to mention so many other widely known supporters/defenders of Mrs. Clinton -- to run his investigation is a perfect example of the overweening, unbridled arrogance

the MSM deification of Mueller reminds me much of their similar glorification of J Edgar Hoover at that time.
Notable quotes:
"... Given the state of the law and the Russia-gate cheerleading media -- both mainstream AND progressive -- Mueller's demonstrable malfeasance of the past has not yet put a dent in the "universally respected" honorific the New York Times has bestowed on him. Not yet. ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Ray McGovern , February 9, 2018 at 11:57 am

Well done, Coleen and Nat,

Against the background of the excellent article Coleen wrote last June on Mueller:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/06/russia-gates-mythical-heroes/

and one I wrote earlier, having had a chance to question Mueller personally before a large audience at Georgetown University:

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/05/18/how-nsa-can-secretly-aid-criminal-cases-2/

well, in the Bronx, we would call Mueller a crook; in Manhattan, a white-collar criminal.

Given the state of the law and the Russia-gate cheerleading media -- both mainstream AND progressive -- Mueller's demonstrable malfeasance of the past has not yet put a dent in the "universally respected" honorific the New York Times has bestowed on him. Not yet.

What may do him in, rather, is the same tragic flaw that did in the main actors of the Greek tragedies of two and a half millennia ago. The Greeks called it hubris.

That Mueller picked Dumb-Strzok and his mistress, senior FBI attorney Lisa Page -- not to mention so many other widely known supporters/defenders of Mrs. Clinton -- to run his investigation is a perfect example of the overweening, unbridled arrogance that led to the downfall of many a Greek hero.

Appearance of bias be damned.

And did no one notice how Mueller' best friend forever Comey immediately admitted that the reason he had one of his sidekicks leak sensitive information to the NY Times was that he wanted a special counsel picked toot sweet. And who would that, toot sweet, turn out to be? his old joined-at-the-hip partner in crime, Bob Mueller (thank you, Jesus!)

The supreme irony is that the "universally respected" Robert Mueller is now hoisted by his own petard of hubris. The newness about Nunes -- and rowdy Gowdy -- is their willingness to take on Mueller's closest friends, despite media charges that Republicans are trying to sabotage his investigation. In reality, Mueller has done a pretty good job of that himself, thank you very much.

I'm not a politician; cannot gauge whether it a good or bad idea that Mueller, Rosenstein, et al. be fired for cause (with respect to Rosenstein, signing deceptive FISA applications is a felony). I would guess it would be best politically to leave Mueller there to stew in his own juice.

In my view, if Mueller had an ounce of integrity, he would resign -- if only because of the incredibly partisan way in which he staffed his investigation. Is he perhaps waiting for his old FBI buddies to dig up some dirt on Nunes and Gowdy? I would not put that past him, given his checkered career (see, again, Coleen's excellent article of last June).

Be prepared for things to get still uglier.

Once again, hats of to Coleen Rowley -- and Nat Parry. Like father, like son.

Ray McGovern

Bob Van Noy , February 9, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Mr. McGovern I was just reading some of Fletcher Prouty's on-line posts from the past. I have long admired him. Your background and ethics remind me of his. Many thanks

[Feb 10, 2018] CIA Paid $100,000 To Shadowy Russian For Dirt on Trump, Including Sex Video by Chuck Ross

This suggests that Steele dossier was CIA operation with British MI6 as transfer mechanism and Steele as a cover. And implicates Brennan. So this is next level of leaks after "Stormy Daniel"...
Another NYT leak out of a set of well coordinated leans from anonymous intelligence officials ;-)
Poor Melania...
Notable quotes:
"... But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times. ..."
"... If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries. ..."
"... More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what. ..."
"... Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down. ..."
"... the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy ..."
"... How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind ..."
"... You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS? ..."
"... "U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds. ..."
"... Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it... ..."
"... Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us. ..."
"... 'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot. ..."
"... i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump. ..."
"... Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth." ..."
"... And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works ..."
"... So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw? ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Chuck Ross of Daily Caller

When they said "Russian collusion", few expected it to be between the CIA and a "shadowy Russian operative." And yet, according to a blockbuster NYT report, that's precisely what happened.

* * *

The CIA paid $100,000 last year to a Russian operative who claimed to have derogatory information about President Trump, including a video tape of the Republican engaged with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. If the video showed Trump, it would support claims made in the infamous Steele dossier, the salacious opposition research report financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times.

American spies made contact with the Russia early in 2017 after he offered to sell the Trump material along with cyber hacking tools that were stolen from the NSA that year, according to The Times. U.S. intelligence officials told The Times they were so desperate to retrieve those tools that they negotiated with the operative for months despite several red flags, including indications that he was working in concert with Russian intelligence.

Another red flag was the Russian's financial request. He initially sought $10 million for the information but dropped the asking price to $1 million.

After months of negotiations, American spies handed over $100,000 in cash in a brief case to the Russian during a meeting in Berlin in September.

The operative also offered documents and emails that purported to implicate other Trump associates, including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But The Times viewed the documents and reported that they were mostly information that is already in the public domain.

The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers, showed the video purported to be Trump to a Berlin-based American businessman who served as his intermediary to the CIA. But according to the Times, the footage and the location of the viewing raised questions about its authenticity.

The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. The Russian also showed the video to his American partner at the Russian embassy in Berlin, a sign that the operative had ties to Russian intelligence.

The Russian stonewalled the production of the cyber tools, and U.S. officials eventually cut ties, according to The Times. After the payout in Berlin, the man provided information about Trump and his associates of questionable veracity.

The Americans gave him an ultimatum earlier in 2018 to either play ball, leave Western Europe, or face criminal charges. He left, according to The Times, which interviewed U.S. officials, the American intermediary and the Russian for its article.

The Times' U.S. sources -- who appear to paint the American side in a positive light -- said that they were reluctant to purchase information because they did not want to be seen buying dirt on the president.

The officials also expressed concern that the Russian operative was planting disinformation on behalf of the Russian government. U.S. officials were worried that the Russian government has sought to sow discord between U.S. intelligence agencies and Trump. The revelation that the CIA purchased dirt on him would likely do the trick.

The Times report also has other new details.

Four other Russians with ties to the spy world have surfaced over the past year offering to sell dirt on Trump that closely mirrors allegations made in the dossier, according to the article. But officials have reason to believe that some of sellers have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

The Times also provides new details on Cody Shearer, a notorious operative close to the Clintons. Shearer was recently revealed to have shopped around a so-called "second dossier" prior to the campaign which mirrored the sex allegations of the Steele report.

According to The Times, he has criss-crossed Europe over the past six months in an attempt to find video footage of Trump from the Moscow hotel room. Shearer claimed to have information from the FSB, Russia's spy service, that a video existed of Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

He shared a memo making the allegations with his friend and fellow Clinton fixer, Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal in turn passed the memo to his friend, Jonathan Winer, a Department of State official. Winer then gave the information to Steele who provided it to the FBI in October 2016.

Steele also provided information to Winer, who wrote up a two-page memo that was circulated within the State Department.

Trump has denied allegations that he used prostitutes in Moscow. He has called the dossier a "hoax" and "crap."

* * *

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that "according to the @nytimes, a Russian sold phony secrets on "Trump" to the U.S. Asking price was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time. I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out - DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Of course, if Trump really wants to "drain the swamp", any such decision would have originate with him. Tags Politics Commercial Banks

InjectTheVenom -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

DRAIN. THE. SWAMP.

Billy the Poet -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:04 PM Permalink

Release the pee pee video now! No one pee peed in the $100,000 video in question. The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. And how can anyone be more fascinated by the prospect of pee pee than by the fact that US intelligence agencies were buying bad information from extremely shady foreigners in an attempt to overthrow the President of the United States?

caconhma -> Billy the Poet Feb 10, 2018 12:42 PM Permalink

Trump is the swamp. If zio-Banking Mafia did not have enough dirt of Trump, he would not be elected.

gatorengineer -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

Trump is starting to assume that the people are dumber than Obowel did. Earth to Don, you sir have the drain pump, you sir have surrounded yourself with Swamp creatures.... You sir are.............

Arrowflinger -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:18 PM Permalink

According to this, the Russians stole the hacking tools needed to cut through the Swamp levee, which were developed by the NSA, and now the CIA cannot buy them back. Now, since the USA wanted its Swamp, the Russians are more than happy to let the USA drown in its swamp.

What a country!

gatorengineer -> Arrowflinger Feb 10, 2018 1:06 PM Permalink

Anyone have a link for the Qanon posts. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks since he left 8chan where he was posting. I don't want the Youtube BS, I just want the link... anyone got one. Its strangely not googleable... LOLZ.

El Oregonian -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:53 AM Permalink

If you think that the CIA is a U.S. intelligence agency working on the best interests of the United States, you better wake up and smell the treason. They only work for the best interests of themselves.

Bula_Vinaka -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:10 PM Permalink

They are parasites and nothing more.

BurningFuld -> Bula_Vinaka Feb 10, 2018 12:40 PM Permalink

Here is a question. Why does the CIA not come out and clear the air re: Trump?

I mean they were even paying people to come up with dirt. He is now your president and the country is a fucking mess. Should the CIA not come out and say we tried but we got nothing? They do have the ability to fix all this Trump shit and yet crickets.

Ahmeexnal -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:03 PM Permalink

CIA is the covert dirty dealing arm of the VATICAN.

MarshalJimDuncan -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

ooohh... they release this questionable information for all to hear and paid a lot of money for it too. this fucking government is a joke

Posa -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:56 PM Permalink

And the best interests of clients. The CIA started out is the muscle for the Dulles Brothers clients who were being booted out of various countries they were super-exploiting. The Agency hasn't looked back since.

Alfred -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:59 PM Permalink

Seems wrong to call them 'intelligence' agencies. There must be a more descriptive name we can use... Anyone?

Guitarilla -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 12:35 PM Permalink

Nobody got whizzed on. That lurid fantasy came soley out of the head of Hillary Clinton, given to Blumenthal, passed around and made to look like it came from Russia.

DownWithYogaPants -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

CIA killed Kennedy. This pretty much removes all doubt. They are willing to do anything.

Killtruck -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:51 PM Permalink

"Oswald killed Kennedy. That's it."

It IS remarkable the stuff people believe when all logic goes against it. Like Oswald firing magic bullets from an old Italian Carcano...and jet fuel melting steel beams...and a building collapsing through the path of greatest resistance into its own footprint after NOT being hit by an airplane...and Kennedy being shot from behind, but his head snapping backwards from the impact...and Oswald picking the worst possible shooting location, but in front of Kennedy were two intersecting highways going in any direction...and terrorist passports floating gently down from the sky.

It sure is remarkable.
#letsroll

possible band name
OswaldandtheMagicBullets

Able Ape -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:57 PM Permalink

What was Oswald's reason to kill JFK? And yeah, he picked the very building he worked at to commit the crime. He wasn't THAT stupid!...

Posa -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

RFK and Nixon knew immediately the assassination of JFK was a CIA hit job because they had CHAIRED those hit squad operations themselves for Cuban Operations. They saw the CIA- Cuban hit squad fingerprints all over the kill. RFK had personally fired Wm Harvey, Dulles' chief of assassinations. However, RFK was silenced because he and Jack had been tag-teaming Marilyn Monroe.

The reason JFK was killed was a) his openly stated determination to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces so they could no longer operate as a dangerous, renegade private army; and b) in the Spring of '63 JFK delivered his famous American U address calling for the end of the Cold War...

Oswald was always a patsie... the WC documents how his rifle was inoperable... scope needed parts just to be be sited and take aim... even after parts installed the rifle attributed to Oswald remained highly inaccurate... Military sharpshooters couldn't even hit stationary targets reliably.

mobius8curve -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

If there is a video you can be sure it was manufactured using these tools:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_Nx404VLzw

Lawlessness is arising exponentially:

https://sumofthyword.com/2017/01/18/the-mystery-of-lawlessness/

oDumbo -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:19 PM Permalink

Drain the swamp! Townsquare justice for Odumbo and Hitlery! George Soros to bathe in the Amazon River with 1 million Piranha Fish until it completely disappears. Drain the evil Dumorat swamp. Drain the banana republic CIA and FBI. Our tax dollars and constitution did not pay for this shit.

Kelley -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:34 PM Permalink

With today's technology, the CIA is most likely working on a fake video for you right now. They might release it on Vimeo or Netflix to cover the costs and give themselves plausible deniability. To add a finishing touch they will make a fake video of Julian Assange claiming he is releasing it. You'll be in hog heaven. Which is where folks like you go just before being slaughtered by your owners and turned into spam.

shovelhead -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:55 PM Permalink

10 Million...

1 million...

Ok, How about $9.99

algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

Move along. Nothing to see here ...

DosZap -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:40 AM Permalink

What a load of camel dung, if there was a sex tape of Trump w/Russian hookers, it would have been out while he was RUNNING for the job, FAKE NEWS.

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

silvermail -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:55 AM Permalink

I propose impeachment to any US president for eating, drinking and visiting toilets!

TheWholeYearInn Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

What's the difference between prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room, or prostitutes in the FBI/DOJ?

Global Hunter -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

I can't confirm price, so I will go with hotter (can't really confirm that either but Slavic chicks usually seem hot to me).

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

turkey george palmer -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:09 PM Permalink

Fuckin eh right. That's probably the closest thing .

A Sentinel -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:21 PM Permalink

Damn good point. And the dates are off too. A 6+/- month zh article about the dark web had the nsa software downloadable long before 2017.

Gee. Why would someone date that hack into 2017? What was different between 2016 and 2017?

SMH Trying to figure that out.

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

Winston Churchill -> buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 12:02 PM Permalink

More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what.

Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down.

H-O-W Feb 10, 2018 11:46 AM Permalink

The more we learn,

The more it looks like the Russians set this up perfectly.

They know these scumbags better than we do!

buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 11:48 AM Permalink

the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy.

Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

Good point in the last sentence. If someone is going to "drain the swamp" it is going to have to be the president of the United States. I think I'm correct that he can fire anyone that works in the executive department for cause. He can also order investigations or hire people who will launch real investigations.

Mr. President, if you want to "drain the swamp," drain it.

P.S. You can start with an audit of The Fed.

desertboy -> Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

That last sentence assumes a rather critical fantasy.

Anunnaki -> Thordoom Feb 10, 2018 12:24 PM Permalink

The Tripod of Evil

  1. Deep State
  2. Presstitutes
  3. Corporate Democrats
Dre4dwolf Feb 10, 2018 12:11 PM Permalink

If there was a video it would of been leaked during the election, they have nothing that sticks on the guy.

All the evidence thus far states

Obama Hillary the FBI, DNC, CIA all spied on Trump and colluded with foreign governments (U.K. , Ukraine , Russia) to try and dig up dirt to use against Trump (and they more or less failed).

They turned over every rock they could, look at that stupid hot-mic video in the bus, how many hours of video did they have to go through to dig up that crumb? they went back searching through 30+ years of content and thats all they could come up with.... some locker room talk lol

People have to just face it.

Your government was and still is corrupt and its a weaponized system of control, Your government colluded with the enemy in a desperate attempt to stop Trump from becoming president. Your government started a sham "Russia investigation" to cover up its own crimes. Your government applied a different standard of justice to the clintons than it would have to you or anyone else.

To date ZERO evidence has been brought forward that Trump or anyone in his campaign did anything wrong, and the only people that have done anything wrong so far were picked by "the swamp" to fill positions..... all the others fell into petty perjury Traps on meaningless topics and insignificant factoids.

Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind buying this and thus, Obama and Hillary?

navy62802 -> Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS?

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

Isn't it lovely to find out that your money and mine is being used by government agents to give us the government they want?

It's sort of like a thug robbing you and using part of your money to pay another thug to rough you up from time time to time if you ask any questions with the thugs believing it's for our own good.

Thanks, Hillary, for looking out for us. You and your best buds are the best. Such bighearted givers! Meanwhile, give our regards to your partner in slime Obama, although it must pain you to have been bested by 'Beavis' who thinks so much of himself to balance out how little he impresses anyone who knows him.

desertboy Feb 10, 2018 12:20 PM Permalink

"U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds.

Consuelo Feb 10, 2018 12:22 PM Permalink

Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it...

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

As taxpayers can we sue the CIA for misusing our funds? Pretty sure that buying sex videos for commercial release isn't part of the CIA's lawful mandate even at bargain prices.

indaknow Feb 10, 2018 1:13 PM Permalink

Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us.

It's not going to work.

hooligan2009 Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

my sauces tell me that pink pussyhat wearing hollywood types have been called in because they have a doppelganger for trump and access to 30,000 sexually abused victims that can act as Russian prostitutes for just ten bucks each. snapchat has a trump emoji that can be transplanted onto any porn video star - male or female - thus confirming that trump is a serial (serious?) user of ladies of the night

my sauces also tell me that the CIA offers a reward of 100,000 bucks (or 10 BTC) for every photo-shopped (snap-shopped or porn-shopped) material.

of course, the CIA already owns many many porn movie studios and films, but it would prefer third "party" movies - not from epstein's island where its operatives choose to rela with a pizza.

the CIA "pink" budget for such movies is limited to just 5,000 clips or 5 billion of taxpayers funds, whichever is the higher.

awesome sauce hey?

MusicIsYou Feb 10, 2018 1:14 PM