Summary

How can democratic societies ensure that intelligence services are able to operate effectively while complying with democratic norms and standards? This book chapter from the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces examines the control and oversight of intelligence services in democratic states. It argues that security and intelligence agencies have special features that make effective control and oversight particularly challenging. Democratic oversight and accountability of intelligence services requires constant vigilance from the executive, legislature, judiciary and civil society.

The challenges of effective control and oversight of intelligence are significant and daunting, particularly in environments where perceptions of threats to security are heightened. The paradox of striving for transparency in an inherently secretive area and the degree of professional discretion that effective intelligence requires are central issues. Nevertheless, the values and norms which are fundamental to democratic systems require that intelligence agencies are accountable and subject to internal control and external oversight.

Horizontal accountability refers to the accountability of state institutions to other state institutions. Vertical accountability refers to accountability within the hierarchy of state institutions and of state institutions to the public. The ‘third dimension’ of accountability refers to the role of international actors in holding state institutions to account. These three forms of accountability highlight the importance for ensuring democratic oversight and accountability of intelligence services of various actors, including:

Control of intelligence services confronts a number of structural problems. Secrecy, the discretionary authority granted to intelligence practitioners, the principle of ‘plausible denial’ and claims of national security all pose challenges for control of intelligence. Oversight and control of intelligence also faces a number of paradoxes:


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[Sep 15, 2019] How the UK Security Services neutralised the country s leading liberal newspaper by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis

Highly recommended!
Essentially neoliberal MSM were hijacked. Which was easy to do. The current anti-Russian campaign is conducted under the direct guidance of MI6 and similar agencies
Notable quotes:
"... committee minutes note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it." ..."
"... These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was marked "private and confidential: not for publication, broadcast or use on social media". ..."
"... "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story." ..."
"... The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies. ..."
"... The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair noted that after GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen". ..."
"... But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this, noting that "the process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice Committee] member". ..."
"... The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing. ..."
"... In November 2016, The Guardian published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice Committee. This was not mentioned in the article. ..."
"... The MI5 chief was given copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the Snowden files." ..."
"... Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004". ..."
"... The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent any revelations of this kind happening again. ..."
"... The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour concluded that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law." ..."
"... A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The Times rather than The Guardian." ..."
"... The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden go? DM ..."
Jan 01, 2019 | dailymaverick.co.za

The Guardian, Britain's leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the 'security state', according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.

The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.

Snowden's bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of mass surveillance operated by both agencies.

According to minutes of meetings of the UK's Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, the revelations caused alarm in the British security services and Ministry of Defence.

" This event was very concerning because at the outset The Guardian avoided engaging with the [committee] before publishing the first tranche of information," state minutes of a 7 November 2013 meeting at the MOD.

The DSMA Committee, more commonly known as the D-Notice Committee, is run by the MOD, where it meets every six months. A small number of journalists are also invited to sit on the committee. Its stated purpose is to "prevent inadvertent public disclosure of information that would compromise UK military and intelligence operations". It can issue "notices" to the media to encourage them not to publish certain information.

The committee is currently chaired by the MOD's director-general of security policy Dominic Wilson, who was previously director of security and intelligence in the British Cabinet Office. Its secretary is Brigadier Geoffrey Dodds OBE, who describes himself as an "accomplished, senior ex-military commander with extensive experience of operational level leadership".

The D-Notice system describes itself as voluntary , placing no obligations on the media to comply with any notice issued. This means there should have been no need for the Guardian to consult the MOD before publishing the Snowden documents.

Yet committee minutes note the secretary saying: "The Guardian was obliged to seek advice under the terms of the DA notice code." The minutes add: "This failure to seek advice was a key source of concern and considerable efforts had been made to address it."

' Considerable efforts'

These "considerable efforts" included a D-Notice sent out by the committee on 7 June 2013 – the day after The Guardian published the first documents – to all major UK media editors, saying they should refrain from publishing information that would "jeopardise both national security and possibly UK personnel". It was marked "private and confidential: not for publication, broadcast or use on social media".

Clearly the committee did not want its issuing of the notice to be publicised, and it was nearly successful. Only the right-wing blog Guido Fawkes made it public.

At the time, according to the committee minutes , the "intelligence agencies in particular had continued to ask for more advisories [i.e. D-Notices] to be sent out". Such D-Notices were clearly seen by the intelligence services not so much as a tool to advise the media but rather a way to threaten it not to publish further Snowden revelations.

One night, amidst the first Snowden stories being published, the D-Notice Committee's then-secretary Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Vallance personally called Alan Rusbridger, then editor of The Guardian. Vallance "made clear his concern that The Guardian had failed to consult him in advance before telling the world", according to a Guardian journalist who interviewed Rusbridger.

Later in the year, Prime Minister David Cameron again used the D-Notice system as a threat to the media.

" I don't want to have to use injunctions or D-Notices or the other tougher measures," he said in a statement to MPs. "I think it's much better to appeal to newspapers' sense of social responsibility. But if they don't demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act."

The threats worked. The Press Gazette reported at the time that "The FT [Financial Times] and The Times did not mention it [the initial Snowden revelations] and the Telegraph published only a short". It continued by noting that only The Independent "followed up the substantive allegations". It added, "The BBC has also chosen to largely ignore the story."

The Guardian, however, remained uncowed.

According to the committee minutes , the fact The Guardian would not stop publishing "undoubtedly raised questions in some minds about the system's future usefulness". If the D-Notice system could not prevent The Guardian publishing GCHQ's most sensitive secrets, what was it good for?

It was time to rein in The Guardian and make sure this never happened again.

GCHQ and laptops

The security services ratcheted up their "considerable efforts" to deal with the exposures. On 20 July 2013, GCHQ officials entered The Guardian's offices at King's Cross in London, six weeks after the first Snowden-related article had been published. At the request of the government and security services, Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson, along with two others, spent three hours destroying the laptops containing the Snowden documents.

The Guardian staffers, according to one of the newspaper's reporters, brought "angle-grinders, dremels – drills with revolving bits – and masks". The reporter added, "The spy agency provided one piece of hi-tech equipment, a 'degausser', which destroys magnetic fields and erases data."

Johnson claims that the destruction of the computers was "purely a symbolic act", adding that "the government and GCHQ knew, because we had told them, that the material had been taken to the US to be shared with the New York Times. The reporting would go on. The episode hadn't changed anything."

Yet the episode did change something. As the D-Notice Committee minutes for November 2013 outlined: "Towards the end of July [as the computers were being destroyed], The Guardian had begun to seek and accept D-Notice advice not to publish certain highly sensitive details and since then the dialogue [with the committee] had been reasonable and improving."

The British security services had carried out more than a "symbolic act". It was both a show of strength and a clear threat. The Guardian was then the only major newspaper that could be relied upon by whistleblowers in the US and British security bodies to receive and cover their exposures, a situation which posed a challenge to security agencies.

The increasingly aggressive overtures made to The Guardian worked. The committee chair noted that after GCHQ had overseen the smashing up of the newspaper's laptops "engagement with The Guardian had continued to strengthen".

Moreover, he added , there were now "regular dialogues between the secretary and deputy secretaries and Guardian journalists". Rusbridger later testified to the Home Affairs Committee that Air Vice-Marshal Vallance of the D-Notice committee and himself "collaborated" in the aftermath of the Snowden affair and that Vallance had even "been at The Guardian offices to talk to all our reporters".

But the most important part of this charm and threat offensive was getting The Guardian to agree to take a seat on the D-Notice Committee itself. The committee minutes are explicit on this, noting that "the process had culminated by [sic] the appointment of Paul Johnson (deputy editor Guardian News and Media) as a DPBAC [i.e. D-Notice Committee] member".

At some point in 2013 or early 2014, Johnson – the same deputy editor who had smashed up his newspaper's computers under the watchful gaze of British intelligence agents – was approached to take up a seat on the committee. Johnson attended his first meeting in May 2014 and was to remain on it until October 2018 .

The Guardian's deputy editor went directly from the corporation's basement with an angle-grinder to sitting on the D-Notice Committee alongside the security service officials who had tried to stop his paper publishing.

A new editor

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger withstood intense pressure not to publish some of the Snowden revelations but agreed to Johnson taking a seat on the D-Notice Committee as a tactical sop to the security services. Throughout his tenure, The Guardian continued to publish some stories critical of the security services.

But in March 2015, the situation changed when the Guardian appointed a new editor, Katharine Viner, who had less experience than Rusbridger of dealing with the security services. Viner had started out on fashion and entertainment magazine Cosmopolitan and had no history in national security reporting. According to insiders, she showed much less leadership during the Snowden affair than Janine Gibson in the US (Gibson was another candidate to be Rusbridger's successor).

Viner was then editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia, which was launched just two weeks before the first Snowden revelations were published. Australia and New Zealand comprise two-fifths of the so-called "Five Eyes" surveillance alliance exposed by Snowden.

This was an opportunity for the security services. It appears that their seduction began the following year.

In November 2016, The Guardian published an unprecedented "exclusive" with Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service. The article noted that this was the "first newspaper interview given by an incumbent MI5 chief in the service's 107-year history". It was co-written by deputy editor Paul Johnson, who had never written about the security services before and who was still sitting on the D-Notice Committee. This was not mentioned in the article.

The MI5 chief was given copious space to make claims about the national security threat posed by an "increasingly aggressive" Russia. Johnson and his co-author noted, "Parker said he was talking to The Guardian rather than any other newspaper despite the publication of the Snowden files."

Parker told the two reporters, "We recognise that in a changing world we have to change too. We have a responsibility to talk about our work and explain it."

Four months after the MI5 interview, in March 2017, the Guardian published another unprecedented "exclusive", this time with Alex Younger, the sitting chief of MI6, Britain's external intelligence agency. This exclusive was awarded by the Secret Intelligence Service to The Guardian's investigations editor, Nick Hopkins, who had been appointed 14 months previously.

The interview was the first Younger had given to a national newspaper and was again softball. Titled "MI6 returns to 'tapping up' in an effort to recruit black and Asian officers", it focused almost entirely on the intelligence service's stated desire to recruit from ethnic minority communities.

" Simply, we have to attract the best of modern Britain," Younger told Hopkins. "Every community from every part of Britain should feel they have what it takes, no matter what their background or status."

Just two weeks before the interview with MI6's chief was published, The Guardian itself reported on the high court stating that it would "hear an application for a judicial review of the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to charge MI6's former counterterrorism director, Sir Mark Allen, over the abduction of Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his pregnant wife who were transferred to Libya in a joint CIA-MI6 operation in 2004".

None of this featured in The Guardian article, which did, however, cover discussions of whether the James Bond actor Daniel Craig would qualify for the intelligence service. "He would not get into MI6," Younger told Hopkins.

More recently, in August 2019, The Guardian was awarded yet another exclusive, this time with Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu, Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer. This was Basu's " first major interview since taking up his post" the previous year and resulted in a three-part series of articles, one of which was entitled "Met police examine Vladimir Putin's role in Salisbury attack".

The security services were probably feeding The Guardian these "exclusives" as part of the process of bringing it onside and neutralising the only independent newspaper with the resources to receive and cover a leak such as Snowden's. They were possibly acting to prevent any revelations of this kind happening again.

What, if any, private conversations have taken place between Viner and the security services during her tenure as editor are not known. But in 2018, when Paul Johnson eventually left the D-Notice Committee, its chair, the MOD's Dominic Wilson, praised Johnson who, he said, had been "instrumental in re-establishing links with The Guardian".

Decline in critical reporting

Amidst these spoon-fed intelligence exclusives, Viner also oversaw the breakup of The Guardian's celebrated investigative team, whose muck-racking journalists were told to apply for other jobs outside of investigations.

One well-placed source told the Press Gazette at the time that journalists on the investigations team "have not felt backed by senior editors over the last year", and that "some also feel the company has become more risk-averse in the same period".

In the period since Snowden, The Guardian has lost many of its top investigative reporters who had covered national security issues, notably Shiv Malik, Nick Davies, David Leigh, Richard Norton-Taylor, Ewen MacAskill and Ian Cobain. The few journalists who were replaced were succeeded by less experienced reporters with apparently less commitment to exposing the security state. The current defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, started at The Guardian as head of media and technology and has no history of covering national security.

" It seems they've got rid of everyone who seemed to cover the security services and military in an adversarial way," one current Guardian journalist told us.

Indeed, during the last two years of Rusbridger's editorship, The Guardian published about 110 articles per year tagged as MI6 on its website. Since Viner took over, the average per year has halved and is decreasing year by year.

" Effective scrutiny of the security and intelligence agencies -- epitomised by the Snowden scoops but also many other stories -- appears to have been abandoned," a former Guardian journalist told us. The former reporter added that, in recent years, it "sometimes seems The Guardian is worried about upsetting the spooks."

A second former Guardian journalist added: "The Guardian no longer seems to have such a challenging relationship with the intelligence services, and is perhaps seeking to mend fences since Snowden. This is concerning, because spooks are always manipulative and not always to be trusted."

While some articles critical of the security services still do appear in the paper, its "scoops" increasingly focus on issues more acceptable to them. Since the Snowden affair, The Guardian does not appear to have published any articles based on an intelligence or security services source that was not officially sanctioned to speak.

The Guardian has, by contrast, published a steady stream of exclusives on the major official enemy of the security services, Russia, exposing Putin, his friends and the work of its intelligence services and military.

In the Panama Papers leak in April 2016, which revealed how companies and individuals around the world were using an offshore law firm to avoid paying tax, The Guardian's front-page launch scoop was authored by Luke Harding, who has received many security service tips focused on the "Russia threat", and was titled "Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin".

Three sentences into the piece, however, Harding notes that "the president's name does not appear in any of the records" although he insists that "the data reveals a pattern – his friends have earned millions from deals that seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage".

There was a much bigger story in the Panama Papers which The Guardian chose to downplay by leaving it to the following day. This concerned the father of the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, who "ran an offshore fund that avoided ever having to pay tax in Britain by hiring a small army of Bahamas residents – including a part-time bishop – to sign its paperwork".

We understand there was some argument between journalists about not leading with the Cameron story as the launch splash. Putin's friends were eventually deemed more important than the Prime Minister of the country where the paper published.

Getting Julian Assange

The Guardian also appears to have been engaged in a campaign against the WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who had been a collaborator during the early WikiLeaks revelations in 2010.

One 2017 story came from investigative reporter Carole Cadwalladr, who writes for The Guardian's sister paper The Observer, titled "When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange". This concerned the visit of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage to the Ecuadorian embassy in March 2017, organised by the radio station LBC, for whom Farage worked as a presenter. Farage's producer at LBC accompanied Farage at the meeting, but this was not mentioned by Cadwalladr.

Rather, she posited that this meeting was "potentially a channel of communication" between WikiLeaks, Farage and Donald Trump, who were all said to be closely linked to Russia, adding that these actors were in a "political alignment" and that " WikiLeaks is, in many ways, the swirling vortex at the centre of everything".

Yet Cadwalladr's one official on-the-record source for this speculation was a "highly placed contact with links to US intelligence", who told her, "When the heat is turned up and all electronic communication, you have to assume, is being intensely monitored, then those are the times when intelligence communication falls back on human couriers. Where you have individuals passing information in ways and places that cannot be monitored."

It seems likely this was innuendo being fed to The Observer by an intelligence-linked individual to promote disinformation to undermine Assange.

In 2018, however, The Guardian's attempted vilification of Assange was significantly stepped up. A new string of articles began on 18 May 2018 with one alleging Assange's "long-standing relationship with RT", the Russian state broadcaster. The series, which has been closely documented elsewhere, lasted for several months, consistently alleging with little or the most minimal circumstantial evidence that Assange had ties to Russia or the Kremlin.

One story, co-authored again by Luke Harding, claimed that "Russian diplomats held secret talks in London with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help him flee the UK, The Guardian has learned". The former consul in the Ecuadorian embassy in London at this time, Fidel Narvaez, vigorously denies the existence of any such "escape plot" involving Russia and is involved in a complaint process with The Guardian for insinuating he coordinated such a plot.

This apparent mini-campaign ran until November 2018, culminating in a front-page splash , based on anonymous sources, claiming that Assange had three secret meetings at the Ecuadorian embassy with Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

This "scoop" failed all tests of journalistic credibility since it would have been impossible for anyone to have entered the highly secured Ecuadorian embassy three times with no proof. WikiLeaks and others have strongly argued that the story was manufactured and it is telling that The Guardian has since failed to refer to it in its subsequent articles on the Assange case. The Guardian, however, has still not retracted or apologised for the story which remains on its website.

The "exclusive" appeared just two weeks after Paul Johnson had been congratulated for "re-establishing links" between The Guardian and the security services.

The string of Guardian articles, along with the vilification and smear stories about Assange elsewhere in the British media, helped create the conditions for a deal between Ecuador, the UK and the US to expel Assange from the embassy in April. Assange now sits in Belmarsh maximum-security prison where he faces extradition to the US, and life in prison there, on charges under the Espionage Act.

Acting for the establishment

Another major focus of The Guardian's energies under Viner's editorship has been to attack the leader of the UK Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn.

The context is that Corbyn appears to have recently been a target of the security services. In 2015, soon after he was elected Labour leader, the Sunday Times reported a serving general warning that "there would be a direct challenge from the army and mass resignations if Corbyn became prime minister". The source told the newspaper: "The Army just wouldn't stand for it. The general staff would not allow a prime minister to jeopardise the security of this country and I think people would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent that."

On 20 May 2017, a little over two weeks before the 2017 General Election, the Daily Telegraph was fed the story that "MI5 opened a file on Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns over his links to the IRA". It formed part of a Telegraph investigation claiming to reveal "Mr Corbyn's full links to the IRA" and was sourced to an individual "close to" the MI5 investigation, who said "a file had been opened on him by the early nineties".

The Metropolitan Police Special Branch was also said to be monitoring Corbyn in the same period.

Then, on the very eve of the General Election, the Telegraph gave space to an article from Sir Richard Dearlove, the former director of MI6, under a headline: "Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to this nation. At MI6, which I once led, he wouldn't clear the security vetting."

Further, in September 2018, two anonymous senior government sources told The Times that Corbyn had been "summoned" for a "'facts of life' talk on terror" by MI5 chief Andrew Parker.

Just two weeks after news of this private meeting was leaked by the government, the Daily Mail reported another leak, this time revealing that "Jeremy Corbyn's most influential House of Commons adviser has been barred from entering Ukraine on the grounds that he is a national security threat because of his alleged links to Vladimir Putin's 'global propaganda network'."

The article concerned Andrew Murray, who had been working in Corbyn's office for a year but had still not received a security pass to enter the UK parliament. The Mail reported, based on what it called "a senior parliamentary source", that Murray's application had encountered "vetting problems".

Murray later heavily suggested that the security services had leaked the story to the Mail. "Call me sceptical if you must, but I do not see journalistic enterprise behind the Mail's sudden capacity to tease obscure information out of the [Ukrainian security service]," he wrote in the New Statesman. He added, "Someone else is doing the hard work – possibly someone being paid by the taxpayer. I doubt if their job description is preventing the election of a Corbyn government, but who knows?"

Murray told us he was approached by the New Statesman after the story about him being banned from Ukraine was leaked. "However," he added, "I wouldn't dream of suggesting anything like that to The Guardian, since I do not know any journalists still working there who I could trust."

The Guardian itself has run a remarkable number of news and comment articles criticising Corbyn since he was elected in 2015 and the paper's clearly hostile stance has been widely noted .

Given its appeal to traditional Labour supporters, the paper has probably done more to undermine Corbyn than any other. In particular, its massive coverage of alleged widespread anti-Semitism in the Labour Party has helped to disparage Corbyn more than other smears carried in the media.

The Guardian and The Observer have published hundreds of articles on "Labour anti-Semitism" and, since the beginning of this year, carried over 50 such articles with headlines clearly negative to Corbyn. Typical headlines have included " The Observer view: Labour leadership is complicit in anti-Semitism ", " Jeremy Corbyn is either blind to anti-Semitism – or he just doesn't care ", and " Labour's anti-Semitism problem is institutional. It needs investigation ".

The Guardian's coverage of anti-Semitism in Labour has been suspiciously extensive, compared to the known extent of the problem in the party, and its focus on Corbyn personally suggests that the issue is being used politically. While anti-Semitism does exist in the Labour Party, evidence suggests it is at relatively low levels. Since September 2015, when Corbyn became Labour leader, 0.06% of the Labour membership has been investigated for anti-Semitic comments or posts. In 2016, an independent inquiry commissioned by Labour concluded that the party "is not overrun by anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism. Further, it is the party that initiated every single United Kingdom race equality law."

Analysis of two YouGov surveys, conducted in 2015 and 2017, shows that anti-Semitic views held by Labour voters declined substantially in the first two years of Corbyn's tenure and that such views were significantly more common among Conservative voters.

Despite this, since January 2016, The Guardian has published 1,215 stories mentioning Labour and anti-Semitism, an average of around one per day, according to a search on Factiva, the database of newspaper articles. In the same period, The Guardian published just 194 articles mentioning the Conservative Party's much more serious problem with Islamophobia. A YouGov poll in 2019, for example, found that nearly half of the Tory Party membership would prefer not to have a Muslim prime minister.

At the same time, some stories which paint Corbyn's critics in a negative light have been suppressed by The Guardian. According to someone with knowledge of the matter, The Guardian declined to publish the results of a months-long critical investigation by one of its reporters into a prominent anti-Corbyn Labour MP, citing only vague legal issues.

In July 2016, one of this article's authors emailed a Guardian editor asking if he could pitch an investigation about the first attempt by the right-wing of the Labour Party to remove Corbyn, informing The Guardian of very good inside sources on those behind the attempt and their real plans. The approach was rejected as being of no interest before a pitch was even sent.

A reliable publication?

On 20 May 2019, The Times newspaper reported on a Freedom of Information request made by the Rendition Project, a group of academic experts working on torture and rendition issues, which showed that the MOD had been "developing a secret policy on torture that allows ministers to sign off intelligence-sharing that could lead to the abuse of detainees".

This might traditionally have been a Guardian story, not something for the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times. According to one civil society source, however, many groups working in this field no longer trust The Guardian.

A former Guardian journalist similarly told us: "It is significant that exclusive stories recently about British collusion in torture and policy towards the interrogation of terror suspects and other detainees have been passed to other papers including The Times rather than The Guardian."

The Times published its scoop under a strong headline , "Torture: Britain breaks law in Ministry of Defence secret policy". However, before the article was published, the MOD fed The Guardian the same documents The Times were about to splash with, believing it could soften the impact of the revelations by telling its side of the story.

The Guardian posted its own article just before The Times, with a headline that would have pleased the government: "MoD says revised torture guidance does not lower standards".

Its lead paragraph was a simple summary of the MOD's position: "The Ministry of Defence has insisted that newly emerged departmental guidance on the sharing of intelligence derived from torture with allies, remains in line with practices agreed in the aftermath of a series of scandals following the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." However, an inspection of the documents showed this was clearly disinformation.

The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further. Which begs the question: where does the next Snowden go? DM

The Guardian did not respond to a request for comment.

Daily Maverick will formally launch Declassified – a new UK-focused investigation and analysis organisation run by the authors of this article – in November 2019.

Matt Kennard is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Declassified . He was previously director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, and before that a reporter for the Financial Times in the US and UK. He is the author of two books, Irregular Army and The Racket .

Mark Curtis is a leading UK foreign policy analyst, journalist and the author of six books including Web of Deceit: Britain's Real Role in the World and Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam .

[Sep 13, 2019] Antiwar.com wins legal case against FBI

Notable quotes:
"... The Inteligence elite mistake their power over people -- and the unspeakable sums of money that are flooded into their agencies -- for success. As you might imagine, that has spelled disaster where ever in the world that they operate. God help the society where they gain the upper hand. Like in the United States, for example. Their minds are broken beyond repair because reality actively lies to them. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/court-fbi-must-destroy-...

Court: FBI Must Destroy Memos Calling Antiwar.com a Threat
Ruling comes after a eight-year battle over secret surveillance of the popular website after 9/11.
By KELLEY BEAUCAR VLAHOS • September 12, 2019

In a major victory for Antiwar.com, free speech and journalism, a federal appeals court has ruled that the FBI must expunge surveillance memos that agents had drafted about the website's co-founders Eric Garris and Justin Raimondo in the early years following the 9/11 attacks.

"It's been a long fight and I'm glad we had an outcome that could might affect future FBI behavior," said Garris, who runs Antiwar.com, based in the San Francisco Bay area. "I just wish Justin was still here to know that this has happened."

Raimondo, 67, passed away in June from a long bout with cancer. He and Garris had sued the FBI in 2013 demanding it turn over all the memos and records it was keeping on the two men and the website, which has been promoting anti-interventionist news and views from a libertarian-conservative perspective since 1995

They won their case, and in 2017 the FBI agreed to turn over all the memos and settle their legal fees, $299,000, but the final expungement of two key memos involving intelligence gathered on the men and Antiwar.com, had yet to be expunged from the agency's record...

It all began when an observant reader brought a heavily redacted 2004 memo to Antiwar.com's attention in 2011. It was part of a batch of documents the reader had obtained through FOIA requests. It was clear from the documents' contents that the FBI had been collecting information and records on Raimondo and Garris for some time. At one point the FBI agent writing the April 30, 2004 memo on Antiwar.com recommended further monitoring of the website in the form of opening a "preliminary investigation to determine if [redaction] are engaging in, or have engaged in, activities which constitute a threat to national security."

Why? Because the website was questioning U.S. war policy ...

Agents noted that Antiwar.com had, or linked to, published counter-terrorism watch lists (already in the public domain). The FBI noted at least two of Raimondo's columns and wondered openly, "who are (Antiwar.com's) contributors and what are the funds utilized for?" This, after acknowledging there was no evidence of any crime being plotted or committed.

Other things noted in the documents::

-- Garris had passed along a threat he received on Sept. 12, 2001 from a Antiwar.com reader obviously disgruntled with the website's coverage of 9/11. The subject line read, "YOUR SITE IS GOING DOWN," and proceeded with this missive: "Be warned assholes, ill be posting your site address to all the hack boards tonight your site is history."

Concerned, Garris forwarded the email to the FBI field office in San Francisco. Garris heard nothing, but by January 2002, it turned up again, completely twisted around, in a secret FBI memo entitled, "A THREAT BY GARRIS TO HACK FBI WEBSITE."

It turns out this "threat" went on to justify, at least in part, the FBI's ongoing interest in monitoring the website.

-- The FBI took interest in Raimondo's writing about a 2001 FBI investigation of five Israeli nationals who were witnessed smiling and celebrating and taking pictures of the burning Twin Towers from a rooftop perch across the river from Manhattan in Union City, New Jersey, on 9/11. After witnesses called the police, the individuals, who all worked for a local moving company, were taken into custody and grilled by FBI and CIA for two months after it was deemed their work visas had expired. They were eventually deported without charge.

Raimondo, in writing about the case in 2002, linked to an American-generated terror watchlist (which had been published elsewhere on the Internet) that went out to Italian financial institutions and included the name of the man who owned the New Jersey moving company in question.

-- The FBI noted Antiwar.com was cited in an article, the name of the author redacted, about U.S aid to Israel.

-- They also noted that Raimondo had appeared on MSNBC to talk about his opposition to the Iraq War.

-- It also cited an article that listed Antiwar.com as a reference was handed out in 2002 at a "peaceful protest" at a British air base in the U.K.

-- The FBI was watching a member of a domestic neo-Nazi group who had "discussed a website, Antiwar.com" while encouraging fellow members at a conference to "educate themselves" about the Middle East conflict.

-- The agency said a special agent's review of hard drives seized during an investigation of an unnamed subject, revealed that the subject had visited Antiwar.com between July 25, 2002 and June 15, 2003, "among many other websites."

The FBI acknowledged it searched the Web, as well as Lexis-Nexis, the Universal Index (FBI central records), the agency's Electronic Case File, Department of Motor Vehicles and Dunn & Bradsheet (credit reports) for information on Antiwar.com and for "one or more individuals" working for the website.

Looking back, it's hard to fathom how such tiny (Constitutionally protected) crumbs led the FBI to the conclusion that Garris and Raimondo, two dedicated activists (Raimondo was also a prolific author) with decades of time in California's political trenches, might be a "threat to national security," but there you are...

The case decided on Wednesday revolved around two remaining memos that the FBI had so far refused to expunge. One involved the call Garris made to the FBI in 2002. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in Northern California found that the government did not have a compelling law enforcement reason to keep them.

"Maintenance of a record that describes only First Amendment activity and does not implicate national security is not pertinent to the FBI's authorized activities," the court concluded...

Garris said he was relieved and elated that the court was able to end this ugly chapter for the website...

>dervish
This is an example of why the innocent have nothing to fear from "all surveillance, all the time" is patently untrue.

Not to mention that casual erasures of any part of the Bill of Rights by government are frickin' scary, as are casual acceptance and rationalization of same by ordinary Americans (and/or those seeming like ordinary Americans).

In his memoir, True Compass , Ted Kennedy said that LBJ told him that LBJ considered the FBI culpable in the assassination of JFK, in that the FBI had had its eye on Oswald and considered him dangerous, but never warned the Secret Service.

Many years later, we have failures by the FBI and CIA to coordinate and act upon intel involved in 911. They did nothing about reports from citizens of the suspicious activities of the Saudi assassins while the assassins were in the US, such as taking flying lessons, but saying they didn't need to learn how to land. Moreover, the FBI and CIA had months of Arab conversations awaiting translation because of a shortage of translators cause by the FBI's and CIA's unwillingess to use Arab translators.

Then we have two warnings, not from ordinary citizens, but from the Russian government, that the Tsarnaevs were a threat. Now, that alone sure sounds to me like probable cause for surveillance. However, the FBI interviewed them and supposedly was unable to justify doing anything else.

So, we have culpability in a Presidential assassination AND two terrorist attacks. And that certainly can't be all before and after 1960. For instance, speaking of JFK, there was the Bay of Pigs fiasco. On the bright side, that taught JFK to squint at the CIA and the military, which, in turn, may have avoided nuclear disaster over the Cuban missile "crisis." (When we place missiles somewhere, it's defense on our part and a deterrent; when another nation, especially Russia, does the same, it's casus belli , unless some brilliant politicians can scale it "all the way down" to a "crisis" or a "national emergency." Our hypocrisy sickens.

BTW, according to the memoir, JFK was questioning our Vietnam involvement and Bobby Kennedy had flat out become convinced that bombing should stop immediately and peace negotiations should begin. He volunteered to negotiate the peace himself, but LBJ refused. So, that's another thing Bobby and Jack had in common. (Interestingly to me, by Ted's own account, he was the last of the three Kennedy brothers to lose support for the Vietnam War!)

jim p on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 7:20pm

Doubtless there are other agencies with files and stalking
Pluto's Republic on Thu, 09/12/2019 - 8:34pm
Thanks for reporting on this, Linda

The socially destructive solutions designed by the Intelligence Communities since the mid-20th century are paying off in one way:

There is now a copious amount of research and data, that once harnessed and put to work, will clearly demonstrate without doubt how tragic and destructive their outcomes have been. They have accomplished precisely the opposite of the goal they were reaching for. For example, apply their social engineering to reduce the number of terrorists in a region, and in less than a decade the region will be overrun with terrorists.

Use their strategic genius to stop the flow of drugs from hot-spots of the world, and in another decade, much of the world will be saturated with illegal drugs.

Humanity throughout the world are the losers, and they pay dearly for the blindness of Nazi-mentored techniques and strategies that are embraced by intelligence agencies and military intelligence. In the long term, they are bringers of chaos.

The nazis always lose. Ever since we brought them to America after World War II to teach us their techniques -- the US has lost every war it attempted. The effects of this influence has turned America into a prison complex.

The Inteligence elite mistake their power over people -- and the unspeakable sums of money that are flooded into their agencies -- for success. As you might imagine, that has spelled disaster where ever in the world that they operate. God help the society where they gain the upper hand. Like in the United States, for example. Their minds are broken beyond repair because reality actively lies to them.

If you ask them to send a rocket to the moon, they'll wait until the full moon is directly overhead, then fire the rocket. They are void of subtlety. The failure will be classified and forgotten.

We need Taoist leaders if we want to solve real world problems.

[Sep 12, 2019] Israel Accused Of plating StingRays swvices near White House

Sep 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Though it's easy to imagine the outpouring of fury and wall to wall media coverage -- complete with urgent Congressional hearings -- should such allegations center on any other foreign country caught spying on the White House (let's say Russia for example), the bombshell Politico report has barely made a dent in the mainstream media or big cable networks' coverage.

This is partly because the administration's own reaction has been muted, as the report notes that "the Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the Israeli government" after being informed by US intelligence that Israel likely planted the devices.

Politico's sources in most instances held top intelligence and national security posts, who describe the following of the recovered spy devices :

The miniature surveillance devices, colloquially known as "StingRays," mimic regular cell towers to fool cell phones into giving them their locations and identity information . Formally called international mobile subscriber identity-catchers or IMSI-catchers, they also can capture the contents of calls and data use .

The devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates -- though it's not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.

From the moment the report was unveiled early Thursday, Israel's stance has been to vehemently deny, and to even suggest the accusations are tinged with "anti-Semitism".


Pure Speculation , 7 minutes ago link

The statement from the prime minister's office added, "There is a longstanding commitment, and a directive from the Israeli government not to engage in any intelligence operations in the U.S. This directive is strictly enforced without exception."

Uh huh... Sure. So how do you explain Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell then?

Vuke , 19 minutes ago link

Come on readers. Next they'll be saying Israel controls all levels of government through political donations. Possible from the $2 Billion a year they get? Anybody know how much total Israeli contributions go to the Pres, Congress etc?

africoman , 21 minutes ago link

How sweet & bitter this revelation come on the anniversary of 911 & perps are free solidifying their grips over America etc

it would be ironically surprising if the MSM took it for repointing to Americans on such a day or we

How could you deprogram Americans especially trumptards when others such as Ilhan Omar tried to hint them who did 911?

i commemorate the anniversary of 911 cos it happened on the eve of my new year and at least 3 of my people died in that fateful event

i wish isisrahell annexed their strong holds DC and leave Palestinians alone

attah-boy-Luther , 32 minutes ago link

... ... ...

http://themillenniumreport.com/2019/09/9-11-truth-exploding-worldwide-perps-desperate-to-distract-populace-and-disarm-patriots/#more-84351

Mustafa Kemal , 33 minutes ago link

I was hoping to see a comment from Einstein, but cant find him. Wonder where he is. I guess we will just have to lower our standards and look to ZD1 for the real scoop.

[Sep 12, 2019] On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later

Sep 12, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al September 7, 2019 at 4:07 am

The subject itself is v. interesting but I'm only posting this because, well you'll see from the brief section below:

The Groaning Man: From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA's darkest secrets
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-control-to-murder-how-a-deadly-fall-revealed-the-cias-darkest-secrets

Olson's doubts deepened. In spring 1953, he visited the top-secret Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, where government scientists were studying the effects of sarin and other nerve gases. On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later. Afterward, Olson spoke about his discomfort with a psychiatrist who helped direct the research, William Sargant .
####

That's very unBritish! Not really. This is not the first time that something that has been declassified in the United States and uncovered British (shameful) secrets. The thing is the Brits like to see themselves as not 'going as far' as their American cousins and this myth is perpetuated – a bit like the British sense of 'fairness'. Yet again we discover that the UK has worked hand in glove in the deepest of sh*t, something that most probably would have been buried forever under their Secrets Act if it wasn't for the US' relative openness.


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/from-mind-control-to-murder-how-a-deadly-fall-revealed-the-cias-darkest-secrets

Olson's doubts deepened. In spring 1953, he visited the top-secret Microbiological Research Establishment at Porton Down in Wiltshire, where government scientists were studying the effects of sarin and other nerve gases. On 6 May, a volunteer subject, a 20-year-old soldier, was dosed with sarin there, began foaming at the mouth, collapsed into convulsions, and died an hour later. Afterward, Olson spoke about his discomfort with a psychiatrist who helped direct the research, William Sargant .
####

That's very unBritish! Not really. This is not the first time that something that has been declassified in the United States and uncovered British (shameful) secrets. The thing is the Brits like to see themselves as not 'going as far' as their American cousins and this myth is perpetuated – a bit like the British sense of 'fairness'. Yet again we discover that the UK has worked hand in glove in the deepest of sh*t, something that most probably would have been buried forever under their Secrets Act if it wasn't for the US' relative openness.

[Sep 11, 2019] Video Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 The Bamboozle Has Captured Us

Highly recommended!
David Warner Mathisen definitely know what he is talking about due to his long military career... Free fall speed is documented and is an embarrassment to the official story, because free fall is impossible for a naturally collapsing building.
Now we need to dig into the role of Larry Silverstein in the Building 7 collapse.
Notable quotes:
"... Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001. ..."
"... The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004. ..."
"... Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7 ..."
"... This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001. ..."
"... its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview. ..."
"... the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building ..."
"... Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states). ..."
"... Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day. ..."
"... In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019. ..."
"... on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. ..."
"... Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here . ..."
"... The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare: ..."
"... David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Below is a video showing several film sequences taken from different locations and documenting multiple angles of World Trade Center Building 7 collapsing at freefall speed eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001.

The four words "Building Seven Freefall Speed" provide all the evidence needed to conclude that the so-called "official narrative" promoted by the mainstream media for the past eighteen years is a lie, as is the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report of 2004.

  1. Building.
  2. Seven.
  3. Freefall.
  4. Speed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Mamvq7LWqRU

Earlier this month, a team of engineers at the University of Alaska published their draft findings from a five-year investigation into the collapse of Building 7, which was not hit by any airplane on September 11, 2001, and concluded that fires could not possibly have caused the collapse of that 47-story steel-frame building -- rather, the collapse seen could have only been caused by the near-simultaneous failure of every support column (43 in number).

This damning report by a team of university engineers has received no attention from the mainstream media outlets which continue to promote the bankrupt "official" narrative of the events of September 11, 2001.

Various individuals at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) tried to argue that the collapse of Building 7 was slower than freefall speed, but its rate of collapse can be measured and found to be indistinguishable from freefall speed, as physics teacher David Chandler explains in an interview here (and as he eventually forced NIST to admit), beginning at around 0:43:00 in the interview.

Although the collapse of the 47-story steel-beam building World Trade Center 7 into its own footprint at freefall speed is all the evidence needed to reveal extensive and deliberate premeditated criminal activity by powerful forces that had the ability to prepare pre-positioned demolition charges in that building prior to the flight of the aircraft into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (Buildings One and Two), as well as the power to cover up the evidence of this criminal activity and to deflect questioning by government agencies and suppress the story in the mainstream news, the collapse of Building 7 is by no means the only evidence which points to the same conclusion.

Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming, to the point that no one can any longer be excused for accepting the official story. Certainly during the first few days and weeks after the attacks, or even during the first few years, men and women could be excused for accepting the official story (particularly given the level to which the mainstream media controls opinion in the united states).

However, eighteen years later there is simply no excuse anymore -- except for the fact that the ramifications of the admission that the official story is a flagrant fraud and a lie are so distressing that many people cannot actually bring themselves to consciously admit what they in fact already know subconsciously.

For additional evidence, I strongly recommend the work of the indefatigable Kevin Robert Ryan , whose blog at Dig Within should be required reading for every man and woman in the united states -- as well as those in the rest of the world, since the ramifications of the murders of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001 have led to the murders of literally millions of other innocent men, women and children around the world since that day, and the consequences of the failure to absorb the truth of what actually took place, and the consequences of the failure to address the lies that are built upon the fraudulent explanation of what took place on September 11, continue to negatively impact men and women everywhere on our planet.

Additionally, I would also recommend the interviews which are archived at the website of Visibility 9-11 , which includes valuable interviews with Kevin Ryan but also numerous important interviews with former military officers who explain that the failure of the military to scramble fighters to intercept the hijacked airplanes, and the failure of air defense weapons to stop a jet from hitting the Pentagon (if indeed a jet did hit the Pentagon), are also completely inexplicable to anyone who knows anything at all about military operations, unless the official story is completely false and something else was going on that day.

I would also strongly recommend listening very carefully to the series of five interviews with Kevin Ryan on Guns and Butter with Bonnie Faulkner, which can be found in the Guns and Butter podcast archive here . These interviews, from 2013, are numbered 287, 288, 289, 290, and 291 in the archive.

Selected Articles: 9/11: Do You Still Believe that Al Qaeda Masterminded the Attacks?

I would in fact recommend listening to nearly every interview in that archive of Bonnie Faulkner's show, even though I do not of course agree with every single guest nor with every single view expressed in every single interview. Indeed, if you carefully read Kevin Ryan's blog which was linked above, you will find a blog post by Kevin Ryan dated June 24, 2018 in which he explicitly names James Fetzer along with Judy Woods as likely disinformation agents working to discredit and divert the efforts of 9/11 researchers. James Fetzer appears on Guns and Butter several times in the archived interview page linked above.

In addition to these interviews and the Dig Within blog of Kevin Ryan, I would also strongly recommend everybody read the article by Dr. Gary G. Kohls entitled " Why Do Good People Become Silent About the Documented Facts that Disprove the Official 9/11 Narrative? " which was published on Global Research a few days ago, on September 6, 2019.

That article contains a number of stunning quotations about the ongoing failure to address the now-obvious lies we are being told about the attacks of September 11. One of these quotations, by astronomer Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), is particularly noteworthy -- even though I certainly do not agree with everything Carl Sagan ever said or wrote. Regarding our propensity to refuse to acknowledge what we already know deep down to be true, Carl Sagan said:

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken.

This quotation is from Sagan's 1995 text, The Demon-Haunted World (with which I have points of disagreement, but which is extremely valuable for that quotation alone, and which I might suggest turning around on some of the points that Sagan was arguing as well, as a cautionary warning to those who have accepted too wholeheartedly some of Sagan's teachings and opinions).

This quotation shows that on some level, we already know we have been bamboozled, even if our conscious mind refuses to accept what we already know. This internal division is actually addressed in the world's ancient myths, which consistently illustrate that our egoic mind often refuses to acknowledge the higher wisdom we have available to us through the reality of our authentic self, sometimes called our Higher Self. Previous posts have compared this tendency of the egoic mind to the blissfully ignorant character of Michael Scott in the television series The Office (US version): see here for example, and also here .

The important author Peter Kingsley has noted that in ancient myth, the role of the prophet was to bring awareness and acknowledgement of that which the egoic mind refuses to see -- which is consistent with the observation that it is through our authentic self (which already knows) that we have access to the realm of the gods. In the Iliad, for example, Dr. Kingsley notes that Apollo sends disaster upon the Achaean forces until the prophet Calchas reveals the source of the god's anger: Agamemnon's refusal to free the young woman Chryseis, whom Agamemnon has seized in the course of the fighting during the Trojan War, and who is the daughter of a priest of Apollo. Until Agamemnon atones for this insult to the god, Apollo will continue to visit destruction upon those following Agamemnon.

Until we acknowledge and correct what our Higher Self already knows to be the problem, we ourselves will be out of step with the divine realm.

If we look the other way at the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children on September 11, 2001, and deliberately refuse to see the truth that we already know deep down in our subconscious, then we will face the displeasure of the Invisible Realm. Just as we are shown in the ancient myths, the truth must be acknowledged and admitted, and then the wrong that has been done must be corrected.

In the case of the mass murder perpetrated on September 11, eighteen years ago, that admission requires us to face the fact that the "terrorists" who were blamed for that attack were not the actual terrorists that we need to be focusing on.

Please note that I am very careful not to say that "the government" is the source of the problem: I would argue that the government is the lawful expression of the will of the people and that the government, rightly understood, is exactly what these criminal perpetrators actually fear the most, if the people ever become aware of what is going on. The government, which is established by the Constitution, forbids the perpetration of murder upon innocent men, women and children in order to initiate wars of aggression against countries that never invaded or attacked us (under the false pretense that they did so). Those who do so are actually opposed to our government under the Constitution and can be dealt with within the framework of the law as established by the Constitution, which establishes a very clear penalty for treason.

When the people acknowledge and admit the complete bankruptcy of the lie we have been told about the attacks of September 11, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate repeal and dismantling of the so-called "USA PATRIOT Act" which was enacted in the weeks immediately following September 11, 2001 and which clearly violates the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Additionally, the correction of that lie will involve demanding the immediate cessation of the military operations which were initiated based upon the fraudulent narrative of the attacks of that day, and which have led to invasion and overthrow of the nations that were falsely blamed as being the perpetrators of those attacks and the seizure of their natural resources.

The imposition of a vast surveillance mechanism upon the people of this country (and of other countries) based on the fraudulent pretext of "preventing terrorism" (and the lying narrative that has been perpetuated with the full complicity of the mainstream media for the past eighteen years) is in complete violation of the human rights which are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and which declare:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

That human right has been grievously trampled upon under the false description of what actually took place during the September 11 attacks. Numerous technology companies have been allowed and even encouraged (and paid, with public moneys) to create technologies which flagrantly and shamelessly violate "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" and which track their every move and even enable secret eavesdropping upon their conversation and the secret capture of video within their homes and private settings, without any probable cause whatsoever.

When we admit and acknowledge that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, which has been falsely used as a supposed justification for the violation of these human rights (with complete disregard for the supreme law of the land as established in the Constitution), then we will also demand the immediate cessation of any such intrusion upon the right of the people to "be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" -- including the cessation of any business models which involve spying on men and women.

Companies which cannot find a business model that does not violate the Bill of Rights should lose their corporate charter and the privilege of limited liability, which are extended to them by the people (through the government of the people, by the people and for the people) only upon the condition that their behavior as corporations do not violate the inherent rights of men and women as acknowledged in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

It is well beyond the time when we must acknowledge and admit that we have been lied to about the events of September 11, 2001 -- and that we continue to be lied to about the events of that awful day. September 11, 2001 is in fact only one such event in a long history which stretches back prior to 2001, to other events which should have awakened the people to the presence of a very powerful and very dangerous criminal cabal acting in direct contravention to the Constitution long before we ever got to 2001 -- but the events of September 11 are so blatant, so violent, and so full of evidence which contradicts the fraudulent narrative that they actually cannot be believed by anyone who spends even the slightest amount of time looking at that evidence.

Indeed, we already know deep down that we have been bamboozled by the lie of the so-called "official narrative" of September 11.

But until we admit to ourselves and acknowledge to others that we've ignored the truth that we already know, then the bamboozle still has us .

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

The original source of this article is Global Research Copyright © David W. Mathisen , Global Research, 2019 Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

David Warner Mathisen graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and became an Infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and the 4th Infantry Division. He is a graduate of the US Army's Ranger School and the 82nd Airborne Division's Jumpmaster Course, among many other awards and decorations. He was later selected to become an instructor in the Department of English Literature and Philosophy at West Point and has a Masters degree from Texas A&M University.

[Sep 10, 2019] How Deep Is the Rot in America s Institutions by Charles Hugh Smith

Highly recommended!
The question why the USA intelligence agencies were "unaware" about Epstein activities is an interesting one. Similar question can be asked about Hillary "activities" related to "Clinton cash".
Actually the way the USA elite deal with scandals is to ostracize any whistleblower and silence any media that tryt to dig the story. Open repression including physical elimination is seldom used those days as indirect methods are quite effective.
Notable quotes:
"... Either we root out every last source of rot by investigating, indicting and jailing every wrong-doer and everyone who conspired to protect the guilty in the Epstein case, or America will have sealed its final fall. ..."
"... If you doubt this, then please explain how 1) the NSA, CIA and FBI didn't know what Jeffrey Epstein was up to, and with whom; 2) Epstein was free to pursue his sexual exploitation of minors for years prior to his wrist-slap conviction and for years afterward; 3) Epstein, the highest profile and most at-risk prisoner in the nation, was left alone and the security cameras recording his cell and surroundings were "broken." ..."
"... America's ruling class has crucified whistleblowers , especially those uncovering fraud in the defense (military-industrial-security) and financial (tax evasion) sectors and blatant violations of public trust, civil liberties and privacy. ..."
"... Needless to say, a factual accounting of corruption, cronyism, incompetence, self-serving exploitation of the many by the few, etc. is not welcome in America. Look at the dearth of investigative resources America's corporate media is devoting to digging down to the deepest levels of rot in the Epstein case. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.oftwominds.com

Either we root out every last source of rot by investigating, indicting and jailing every wrong-doer and everyone who conspired to protect the guilty in the Epstein case, or America will have sealed its final fall.

When you discover rot in an apparently sound structure, the first question is: how far has the rot penetrated? If the rot has reached the foundation and turned it to mush, the structure is one wind-storm from collapse.

How deep has the rot of corruption, fraud, abuse of power, betrayal of the public trust, blatant criminality and insiders protecting the guilty penetrated America's key public and private institutions? It's difficult to tell, as the law-enforcement and security agencies are themselves hopelessly compromised.

If you doubt this, then please explain how 1) the NSA, CIA and FBI didn't know what Jeffrey Epstein was up to, and with whom; 2) Epstein was free to pursue his sexual exploitation of minors for years prior to his wrist-slap conviction and for years afterward; 3) Epstein, the highest profile and most at-risk prisoner in the nation, was left alone and the security cameras recording his cell and surroundings were "broken."

If this all strikes you as evidence that America's security and law-enforcement institutions are functioning at a level that's above reproach, then 1) you're a well-paid shill who's protecting the guilty lest your own misdeeds come to light or 2) your consumption of mind-bending meds is off the charts.

How deep has the rot gone in America's ruling elite? One way to measure the depth of the rot is to ask how whistleblowers who've exposed the ugly realities of insider dealing, malfeasance, tax evasion, cover-ups, etc. have fared.

America's ruling class has crucified whistleblowers , especially those uncovering fraud in the defense (military-industrial-security) and financial (tax evasion) sectors and blatant violations of public trust, civil liberties and privacy.

Needless to say, a factual accounting of corruption, cronyism, incompetence, self-serving exploitation of the many by the few, etc. is not welcome in America. Look at the dearth of investigative resources America's corporate media is devoting to digging down to the deepest levels of rot in the Epstein case.

The closer wrong-doing and wrong-doers are to protected power-elites, the less attention the mass media devotes to them.

... ... ...

Here are America's media, law enforcement/security agencies and "leadership" class: they speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil, in the misguided belief that their misdirection, self-service and protection of the guilty will make us buy the narrative that America's ruling elite and all the core institutions they manage aren't rotten to the foundations.

Either we root out every last source of rot by investigating, indicting and jailing every wrong-doer and everyone who conspired to protect the guilty in the Epstein case, or America will have sealed its final fall.

[Sep 09, 2019] Declassified documents now reveal how extensive Reagan's propaganda project became with inter-agency task forces assigned to develop "themes" that would push American "hot buttons.

Sep 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

retiredmecheng , Sep 9 2019 6:16 utc | 94

Peter AU 1 , Sep 9 2019 6:20 utc | 95

"everyone in journalism appears completely untroubled by the complete paucity of information that an organisation which troubles them"

Robert Parry's pieces on perception management. They come up by putting perception management in the site search at Consortium News. Parry read through the Reagan papers.


"Declassified documents now reveal how extensive Reagan's propaganda project became with inter-agency task forces assigned to develop "themes" that would push American "hot buttons.""

But things were about to change. In a Jan. 13, 1983, memo, NSC Advisor Clark foresaw the need for non-governmental money to advance this cause. "We will develop a scenario for obtaining private funding," Clark wrote. (Just five days later, President Reagan personally welcomed media magnate Rupert Murdoch into the Oval Office for a private meeting, according to records on file at the Reagan library.)

As administration officials reached out to wealthy supporters, lines against domestic propaganda soon were crossed as the operation took aim not only at foreign audiences but at U.S. public opinion, the press and congressional Democrats who opposed funding the Nicaraguan Contras."
https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/28/the-victory-of-perception-management/

[Sep 09, 2019] Will NPR Now Officially Change Its Name to National Propaganda Radio? by Edward Curtin

The main achievement of neoliberal and imperial (warmongering) propaganda in the USA is that it achieved the complete, undisputed dominance in MSM
Pot Calling the Kettle Black: "The Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation machine is being unleashed via new platforms and continues to grow in Russia and internationally. Russia seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts as it attempts to influence opinions about the United States and its allies. It is not an understatement to say that this new form of combat on the information battlefield may be the fight of the 21st century."
Notable quotes:
"... Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to "court the compatible left." ..."
"... The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites. ..."
"... Then in 1977, Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire – “The CIA and the Media” – naming names of journalists and media (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked hand-in-glove with the CIA, propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world. ..."
Sep 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Back in the 1960s, the CIA official Cord Meyer said the agency needed to "court the compatible left."

Right-wing and left-wing collaborators were needed to create a powerful propaganda apparatus that would be capable of hypnotizing audiences into believing the myth of American exceptionalism and its divine right to rule the world.

The CIA therefore secretly worked to influence American and world opinion through the literary and intellectual elites.

Frances Stonor Saunders comprehensively covers this in her 1999 book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA And The World Of Arts And Letters, and Joel Whitney followed this up in 2016 with Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, with particular emphasis on the complicity between the CIA and the famous literary journal, The Paris Review.

By the mid-1970s, as a result of the Church Committee hearings, it seemed as if the CIA, NSA, FBI, etc. had been caught in flagrante delicto and disgraced, confessed their sins, and resolved to go and sin no more.

Then in 1977, Carl Bernstein wrote a long piece for Esquire – “The CIA and the Media” – naming names of journalists and media (The New York Times, CBS, etc.) that worked hand-in-glove with the CIA, propagandizing the American people and the rest of the world.

It seemed as if all would be hunky-dory now with the bad boys purged from the American “free” press. Seemed to the most naïve, that is, by which I mean the vast numbers of people who wanted to re-stick their heads in the sand and believe, as Ronald Reagan’s team of truthtellers would announce, that it was “Morning in America” again with the free press reigning and the neo-conservatives, many of whom had been “converted” from their leftist views, running things in Washington.

... ... ...

...read Lansing’s July 10, 2019 testimony before the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: “United States Efforts to Counter Russian Disinformation and Malign Influence.”

Here is an excerpt:

USAGM provides consistently accurate and compelling journalism that reflects the values of our society: freedom, openness, democracy, and hope. Our guiding principles—enshrined in law—are to provide a reliable, authoritative, and independent source of news that adheres to the strictest standards of journalism…

Russian Disinformation. And make no mistake, we are living through a global explosion of disinformation, state propaganda, and lies generated by multiple authoritarian regimes around the world. The weaponization of information we are seeing today is real. The Russian government and other authoritarian regimes engage in far-reaching malign influence campaigns across national boundaries and language barriers.

The Kremlin’s propaganda and disinformation machine is being unleashed via new platforms and continues to grow in Russia and internationally. Russia seeks to destroy the very idea of an objective, verifiable set of facts as it attempts to influence opinions about the United States and its allies. It is not an understatement to say that this new form of combat on the information battlefield may be the fight of the 21st century.

Then research the history of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, etc. You will be reassured that Lansing’s July testimony was his job interview to head National Propaganda Radio.

Edward Curtin writes, and his writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is edwardcurtin.com

[Sep 09, 2019] From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA's darkest secrets - Stephen Kinzer/Guardian

Sep 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Sep 9 2019 11:48 utc | 106

From mind control to murder? How a deadly fall revealed the CIA's darkest secrets - Stephen Kinzer/Guardian

I read about that a year or so ago. In one of the North Korea threads, someone posted some links to the Erik Olson website, in connection with the use of biological weapons in North Korea.

If I remember correctly there was a very detailed pdf report, maybe published by or on behalf of Erik Olson, about Frank Olson's death and the circumstances leading to it.

It was a lot more detailed about some of the areas whitewashed by the Guardian article, such as connections between his trips to Germany and his realization that germ warfare was being used in North Korea, and also more about the Porton Down war criminal William Sargant.

[Sep 09, 2019] Meet American Empire's 'Doctor Death' The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... by Stephen Kinzer, September 2019, Henry Holt & Co., 368 pages ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Meet American Empire's 'Doctor Death' Stephen Kinzer's new book shows how Greatest Generation spooks justified their horrific experiments on unwitting Americans. By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos September 10, 2019

(Photo by © Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images). On right, Sidney Gottlieb testifies before Congress in the 1970's Poisoner In Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control by Stephen Kinzer, September 2019, Henry Holt & Co., 368 pages

In the 1962 film adaptation of Richard Condon's The Manchurian Candidate, a diabolical North Korean doctor named Yen Lo tells Staff Sergeant Raymond Shaw to "pass the time with a little solitaire." These trigger words, accompanied by a Queen of Diamonds playing card, prompts the lanky soldier to get up, and when instructed, brutally kill two of his own comrades sitting on the stage, both of whom appear under the same trance as Raymond.

Later, we find out this was not a dream but a real test of Shaw's programming through elaborate mind control, undertaken before he is sent home to the United States as a sleeper agent for a Communist Party cell, led by his own mother. "His brain has not only been washed, as they say, but cleaned," declares a gleeful Dr. Lo.

"The Manchurian Candidate" (1962, Universal Artists)

The film was released when the country was in a state of high Cold War anxiety. The idea that the Communists were deep into finding a way to brainwash and program individuals to deploy as weapons of war was not new, of course. It was just finding its way into the increasingly paranoid popular culture. But what Americans did not know was that our own government was in part responsible for those stories as a cover for their own brainwashing experiments, which were racing along at the speed of a freight train.

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In 1953, Allen Dulles told a group of fellow Princeton alumni that the U.S. was far behind the Russians and North Koreans in "brain warfare." He warned of a mind control gap that would likely grow because "we in the West..have no human guinea pigs to try these extraordinary techniques."

This was a lie of breathtaking proportions. For several years, his CIA had already been conducting extreme experiments on unwitting "human guinea pigs" at black sites in France, Germany, and South Korea. Shortly after he broadcast this cynical lament to the Princeton lads, he approved MK-ULTRA, the most illicit and morally corrupt intelligence program in American history (that we know of). In it, the CIA tested a stomach roiling variety of unregulated drugs, electro-shock, sensory deprivation, and other extreme techniques on unwitting souls across the United States -- in "safe houses," prisons, psychiatric hospitals, doctors' offices -- even in the CIA itself. People died, went crazy, or withered away in a vegetative state, often with little or no clue of what had happened to them.

In Poisoner in Chief, released today, journalist and author Stephen Kinzer makes Dr. Sidney Gottlieb the manifestation of the U.S. government's Cold War obsession with winning, its warped moral compass, and its utter disregard for the law. From 1951 to the late 1960s, under Dulles' protection, Gottlieb was the principal player in what can only be called a maniacal mission to find the perfect drug to destroy/control/reprogram the human mind (he believed, though he was never able to prove, that the drug was LSD).

Gottlieb was also the chief scientist in a CIA program that developed poisons with which to assassinate world leaders (failed attempts included Cuba's Fidel Castro and Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba), tested aerosol-delivered germs and deadly gases, and honed extreme torture techniques. He's been called Dr. Death, Washington's "official poisoner," and a mad scientist. But "Sidney Gottlieb" never became a household name, mostly because he never paid for his crimes. Thanks to Deep State politics, statutes of limitations, a great lawyer, and depressingly weak congressional investigators, Gottlieb was able to take the worst of his secrets to the grave in 1999.

Now, pulling together a trove of existing research, newly unearthed documents, and fresh interviews, Kinzer puts the fetid corpus of American Empire back under a microscope. It isn't pretty -- but it is instructive.

"Commitment to a cause provides the ultimate justification for immoral acts. Patriotism is the most seductive of those causes," Kinzer surmises in an attempt to give context to Gottlieb and Dulles, and Gottlieb's closest patron and conspirator, Richard Helms, who served as CIA chief after Dulles and during the later years of MK-ULTRA.

"Some do things they know are wrong for what they consider good reasons," Kinzer continued. "No one else of Gottlieb's generation, however, had the government-given power to do so many things that were so profoundly and horrifically wrong. No other American -- at least, none that we know of -- ever wielded such terrifying life-or-death power while remaining so completely invisible."

With so much material to work with, Poisoner in Chief is a parade of outrages. But by the time the twisted calliope falls silent, two major themes are left to contemplate.

First, Gottlieb did not emerge in a vacuum but in the primordial ooze of moral justification following World War II. While America was putting its public virtue on display during the Nuremberg trials , the army under the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was courting Nazi scientists who had been involved in the most grotesque human experimentation imaginable during the war. Their expertise in biological warfare and psychoactive drugs was highly prized. The Americans had to make sure, after all, that the commies didn't get to them first.

So under Operation Paperclip , the army "bleached" their records and brought these men in among several hundred other scientists, engineers, and technicians who served the Third Reich. Instead of prison, they were settled into comfortable obscurity in suburban Washington, working for the U.S. government.

For those whose crimes were not so easily scrubbed, the army found ways to collaborate with them overseas in even less controlled environs. Like Kurt Blome , a Nazi scientist who deliberately infected prisoners with deadly viruses, including the plague, at the Auschwitz concentration camp and other sites. After saving him from the gallows at Nuremburg, officials quietly installed him in the European Command Intelligence Center at Oberursel, West Germany -- otherwise known as "Camp King" -- to conduct more experiments, but on our side.

The same went for Japanese scientist Shiro Ishi, who was reportedly responsible for some 10,000 deaths in and around his Manchurian complex called Unit 731 during the war. His ghastly activities included everything from slow-roasting test subjects with electricity, to amputating limbs and dissecting people alive to monitor their slow deaths. At one point, he lined up naked Chinese women and children to see how long they would live after being struck by shrapnel in the buttocks. He also created tons of anthrax that was later used to kill thousands of Chinese civilians.

But instead of bringing this monster to justice, U.S. agents granted Ishi and his Japanese collaborators immunity and obtained all of his research on how toxins affect the body -- including all of the tissue slides from people whose organs were taken out while they were still alive. "Scientists at Camp Detrick (Maryland) were delighted," Kinzer writes.

"Thus did the man responsible for directing the dissection of thousands of living prisoners escape punishment," he adds, noting that Ishi and his minions were deployed to U.S. detention centers in East Asia, where they "helped Americans conceive and carry out experiments on human subjects that could not legally be conducted in the United States.

Secondly, Kinzer highlights how easily American government officials adopted their former wartime foes' detached, ruthless approach to human experimentation, embarking without guidance or oversight on what appears to be a fanatical quest without consequences. At a time when many Americans were zooming to suburbia in search of "Leave it to Beaver," Gottlieb was hiring people like George White, straight out of "The Sweet Smell of Success."

White was "a hard charging narcotics detective who lived large in the twilight world of crime and drugs" writes Kinzer. In 1953 he started setting up "safe houses" in New York and San Francisco where he would use pay hoodlums and prostitutes in drugs and dough to dose unsuspecting subjects with increasing amounts of LSD at "parties" while the CIA peeped the action from two-way mirrors outfitted with cameras.

Meanwhile, Gottlieb gave tons of cash and LSD to doctors like Harris Isbell at the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky. "Officially this center was a hospital, but it functioned more like a prison," writes Kizner. "Most inmates were African American from the margins of society. They were unlikely to complain if abused."

And abused they were, like most of the test subjects at the prison programs financed by the CIA. If they were told they were part of a test (agreement was typically in exchange for something, like good behavior credits or high grade heroin), they weren't told what kind of drugs they were given or how much. Many of the experiments involved dosing subjects with greater and greater amounts of LSD over long periods of time. Gottlieb wanted to see at what point the mind would dissolve. "He was pleased to have secured a supply of 'expendables' across the United States," Kinzer notes.

Certainly his test subjects at the CIA interrogation cites overseas were "expendable." Kinzer offers a number of cases in which foreign detainees, usually suspected spies, were given massive amounts of different drugs "to see if their minds could be altered." Others were given electro shock. They were later killed, "and their bodies burned."

Then there were the seemingly random tragedies. Like art student Stanley Glickman who was believed to be drugged directly by Gottlieb while at a Paris cafe in 1952, and then taken into a hospital where more "testing" occurred. It was the end of "his productive life," writes Kinzer. Glickman died alone and mentally ill in New York city several decades later. Or Frank Olson, a CIA scientist who "fell or jumped" from a Manhattan hotel window after being unwittingly dosed at a "retreat" hosted by Gottlieb a week earlier. Though his family tried, they were never able to pin his strange death on Gottlieb or the government.

"A Clockwork Orange" (Warner Bros./1971)

Kinzer shows that sometimes paranoia comes from a very real place -- that Big Brother was not only watching, but for nearly 20 years he was drugging and testing germs and other toxins on unsuspecting Americans like they were laboratory animals. And Gottlieb, Dulles, and Helms were no fictional spawn of an over-active imagination. They were highly respected and powerful men with a combined 105 years of government service. They were the system.

So how do we digest this today? We can start by acknowledging that the ends will always justify the means because the government always gets away with it. And we are still living with the effects. The torture techniques set into motion in the 1950's, for example, later surfaced in the dark corners of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, and more recently in the dirty cells of Abu Ghraib detention center.

Indeed, with a head full of Red Menace and lord knows what else, these so-called stalwart men of the "Greatest Generation" pounded the earth as though America owned the world. Perhaps it did. American Empire had many faces during the Cold War, and thanks to Kinzer, Sidney Gottlieb is one you shouldn't forget.

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is e xecutive editor at . Follow her on Twitter @Vlahos_at_TAC

[Sep 07, 2019] 14 Strange Facts Exposed As General Flynn's Endgame Approaches

Sep 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Here are just some of the twists and turns in the case, which has gone on for more than three years.

  1. Flynn's trip to Russia in 2015, where it was claimed Flynn went without the knowledge or approval of the DIA or anyone in Washington, was proven not to be true .
  2. Flynn was suspected of being compromised by a supposed Russian agent, Cambridge academic Svetlana Lokhova, based on allegations from Western intelligence asset Stefan Halper. This was also proven to be not true.
  3. Flynn's phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were framed as being incredibly shady and a potential violation of the Logan Act . This allegation was always preposterous .
  4. Unnamed intelligence officials leaked the details of the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls to The Washington Post.
  5. FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joseph Pientka were dispatched by Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to interview Flynn at the White House, even though the FBI had already reviewed the transcripts of the calls and cleared Flynn of any crimes .
  6. Both FBI Director James Comey and McCabe testified to Congress that Flynn didn't lie.
  7. Despite what McCabe and Comey both testified to under oath before Congress, the Mueller special counsel's office decided to prosecute Flynn for perjury in November of 2017 .
  8. The very strange post-dated FD-302 form on the FBI's January 2017 interview of Flynn that wasn't filled out until August 2017, almost seven months afterward, is revealed in a court filing by Flynn's defense team .
  9. FBI agent Pientka became the "DOJ's Invisible Man," despite the fact that Congress has repeatedly called for him to testify. Pientka has remained out of sight and out of mind more than a year and a half since his name first surfaced in connection with the Flynn case.
  10. Judge Rudolph Contreras was removed from the Flynn case immediately after accepting Flynn's guilty plea and was replaced by Judge Emmit Sullivan .
  11. Sullivan issued what's known as a Brady order to prosecutors -- which ordered them to immediately turn over any exculpatory evidence to Flynn's defense team. Flynn's team then made a filing alleging the withholding of exculpatory evidence .
  12. Flynn was given a chance to withdraw his guilty plea by Judge Sullivan but refused , and insisted to go forward with sentencing.
  13. Flynn suddenly fired his lawyers for the past two years and hired Sidney Powell to lead his new legal team following special counsel Robert Mueller's disastrous testimony to Congress . And now, the latest startling development:
  14. Flynn filed to have the Mueller prosecution team replaced for having withheld exculpatory evidence , despite Sullivan having directly ordered them to hand any such evidence over months ago.

Now, it's not that far-fetched of an idea that the Mueller special counsel prosecutors would hide exculpatory evidence from the Flynn defense team, since they've just admitted to having done exactly that in another case their office has been prosecuting .

The defense team for Internet Research Agency/Concord, more popularly known as "the Russian troll farm case," hasn't been smooth going for the Mueller prosecutors.

First, the prosecution team got a real tongue-lashing from Judge Dabney L. Friedrich in early July , when it turned out they had no evidence whatsoever to prove their assertion that the Russian troll farms were being run by the Putin government.

Then, in a filing submitted to the court on Aug. 30, the IRA/Concord defense team alerted Judge Friedrich that the prosecutors just got around to handing them key evidence the prosecutors had for the past 18 months. The prosecution gave no explanation whatsoever as to why they hid this key evidence for more than a year.

It's hard to see at this point how the entire IRA/Concord case isn't tossed out.

What would it mean for Flynn's prosecutors to have been caught hiding exculpatory evidence from him and his lawyers, even after the presiding judge explicitly ordered them in February to hand over everything they had?

It would mean that the Flynn case is tossed out, since the prosecution team was caught engaging in gross misconduct.

Now you can see why Flynn refused to withdraw his guilty plea when Judge Sullivan gave him the opportunity to do so in late December 2018.

A withdrawal of the guilty plea or a pardon would let the Mueller prosecution team off the hook.

And they're not getting off the hook.

Flynn hired the best lawyer he possibly could have when it comes to exposing prosecutorial misconduct. Nobody knows the crafty, corrupt, and dishonest tricks federal prosecutors use better than Powell, who actually wrote a compelling book about such matters, entitled " License to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice ."

Everything this Mueller prosecution team did in withholding exculpatory evidence from Flynn's defense team -- and continued to withhold even after Judge Sullivan specifically issued an order about it -- is going to be fully exposed.

Defying a federal judge's Brady order is a one-way ticket to not only getting fired, it's a serious enough offense to warrant disbarment and prosecution.

If it turns out Mueller special counsel prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence -- not only in the IRA/Concord case, but also in the cases against Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, and others -- that will have a huge impact.

If they are willing to withhold exculpatory evidence in one case, why wouldn't they do the same thing in other cases they were prosecuting? Haven't they have already demonstrated they are willing to break the rules? Tags


Tirion , 3 minutes ago link

We have become a third-world country. Even throwing Mueller and his entire prosecutors' team in jail would not be enough to restore confidence in our legal system. But it would be a start.

consistentliving , 2 hours ago link

On or about December 28, 2016, the Russian Ambassador contacted FLYNN.

c. On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN called a senior official of the Presidential Transition Team ("PTT official"), who was with other senior ·members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, to discuss what, if anything, to communicate to the Russian Ambassador about the U.S. Sanctions. On that call, FLYNN and 2 Case 1:17-cr-00232-RC Document 4 Filed 12/01/17 Page 2 of 6 the PTT official discussed the U.S. Sanctions, including the potential impact of those sanctions on the incoming administration's foreign policy goals. The PIT official and FLYNN also discussed that the members of the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation. d. Immediately after his phone call with the PTT official, FLYNN called the Russian Ambassador and requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner. e. Shortly after his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke with the PTT official to report on the substance of his call with the Russian Ambassador, including their discussion of the U.S. Sanctions. f. On or about December 30, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin released a statement indicating that Russia would not take retaliatory measures in response to the U.S. Sanctions at that time. g. On or about December 31, 2016, the Russian Ambassador called FLYNN and informed him that Russia had chosen not to retaliate in response to FL YNN's request. h. After his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, FLYNN spoke with senior members of the Presidential Transition Team about FL YNN's conversations with the Russian Ambassador regarding the U.S. Sanctions and Russia's decision not to escalate the situation.

https://www.justice.gov/file/1015126/download

Charlie_Martel , 2 hours ago link

The coup plot between the international intelligence community (which includes our FBI-CIA-etc) and their unregistered foreign agents in the multinational corporate media is slowly being revealed.

Mah_Authoritah , 2 hours ago link

The truth is so precious that it must be spoon fed.

Transmedia001 , 3 hours ago link

Here’s another possibility... elites in the US Gov set on running a soft coup against a duly elected president and his team made up a whole pile of **** and passed it off as truth.

spoonful , 2 hours ago link

Agreed, so long as you put Flynn on the side of the elites

Boris Badenov , 3 hours ago link

The Manafort thing has me totally riled since HRC's "Password" guy and his brother were PARTNERS with manafort, did the same damn things, and were NOT investigated.

Donald Trump is many things to many people, but is not his social personna to be patient. He is being VERY patient to let this unfold, to "give a man enough rope" or political party and its owner, as it may be....

Donna Brazile's book is under-rated: it holds they keys as to who ran the DNC and why after Obie bailed.

TheAnswerIs42 , 3 hours ago link

Our local community rag (Vermont) had an opinion piece last week about "The slide towards Facism", where the author breathlessly stated that she had learned from a MSNBC expose by Rachel Maddow that the administration was firing researchers at NASA and EPA as well as cutting back funding for LGBTQ support groups. Oh the horror. The author conveniently forgot that the same dyke had lied for 2 years about Russia,Russia,Russia but it's still OK to believe any **** that drops out of her mouth.

This is the level of insanity happening around here. Of course it is Bernie's turf.

People who are so stupid and gullible deserve everything they are gonna get.

LEEPERMAX , 4 hours ago link

14 Strange Facts About Mueller's "Michael Flynn Scam"

https://youtu.be/ksb8VsOMqQg

LEEPERMAX , 4 hours ago link

MUELLER and his "Band of Legal Clowns" have played us all for "Absolute Fools" again and again.

THE U.S. IS A CAPTURED OPERATION

Drop-Hammer , 4 hours ago link

Poor Flynn. Rail-roaded by ZOG and Obama and Hillary and Co. I hope beyond hope that the truth is revealed and that he can sue the **** out of the seditionists/(((seditionists))) who put him into this mess such that his great-great-grandchildren will never have to work.

I also blame Trump for throwing Flynn under the bus.

Westcoastliberal , 3 hours ago link

Trump didn't throw Flynn under the bus, I think he would pardon him later, but Trump needs to let this play out. Otherwise the left will bury him.

just the tip , 36 minutes ago link

trump threw flynn under the bus when trump said the reason he let flynn go was flynn lied to pence.

Homer E. Rectus , 4 hours ago link

If they are willing to withhold exculpatory evidence in one case, why wouldn’t they do the same thing in other cases they were prosecuting? Haven’t they have already demonstrated they are willing to break the rules?

Duh! Because it's easy and the media never covers it and AG Barr and FBI director Wray will cover it all up. America no longer operates under rule of law, and now we all know it. Never cooperate with them!

Roger Casement , 4 hours ago link

Mike Flynn stands for us. Help him put handicapped trolls out of work.

Buy lunch for Sidney Powell. o7

https://mikeflynndefensefund.org/

ztack3r , 4 hours ago link

flynn didn't rape children, to buzy trying to fight liberators of iraq and afganistan from invasion... that's his major crime.

I guess, kelly, mattis, mcmaster neither are on the child rape trend. but what can they do? when the entire cia and doj and fbi are full on controlled and run by the pedos? it's like when all the cardinals and the pope are pedos, what a bishop to do...

Why would CIA Rothschild'd up puppet Trump pick only the best William Barr?

Who told Acosta to cut no prosecution deal with Epstein? George Bush? Robert Mukasey? or Bob Mueller?

Trump, Barr, Bush, Mueller all on the same no rule of law national no government pys op , for Epstein & 9/11 clean op team Poppa Bush, Clinton, & Mossad.

Barr: CIA operative

It is a sobering fact that American presidents (many of whom have been corrupt) have gone out of their way to hire fixers to be their attorney generals.

Consider recent history: Loretta Lynch (2015-2017), Eric Holder (2009-2015), Michael Mukasey (2007-2009), Alberto Gonzales (2005-2007), John Ashcroft (2001-2005),Janet Reno (1993-2001), **** Thornburgh (1988-1991), Ed Meese (1985-1988), etc.

Barr, however, is a particularly spectacular and sordid case. As George H.W. Bush’s most notorious insider, and as the AG from 1991 to 1993, Barr wreaked havoc, flaunted the rule of law, and proved himself to be one of the CIA/Deep State’s greatest and most ruthless champions and protectors :

  • Barr was a full-time CIA operative, recruited by Langley out of high school, starting in 1971. Barr’s youth career goal was to head the CIA.
  • CIA operative assigned to the China directorate, where he became close to powerful CIA operative George H.W. Bush, whose accomplishments already included the CIA/Cuba Bay of Pigs, Asia CIA operations (Vietnam War, Golden Triangle narcotics), Nixon foreign policy (Henry Kissinger), and the Watergate operation.
  • When George H.W. Bush became CIA Director in 1976, Barr joined the CIA’s “legal office” and Bush’s inner circle, and worked alongside Bush’s longtime CIA enforcers Theodore “Ted” Shackley, Felix Rodriguez, Thomas Clines, and others, several of whom were likely involved with the Bay of Pigs/John F. Kennedy assassination, and numerous southeast Asian operations, from the Phoenix Program to Golden Triangle narco-trafficking.
  • Barr stonewalled and destroyed the Church Committee investigations into CIA abuses.
  • Barr stonewalled and stopped inquiries in the CIA bombing assassination of Chilean opposition leader Orlando Letelier.
  • Barr joined George H.W. Bush’s legal/intelligence team during Bush’s vice presidency (under President Ronald Reagan) Rose from assistant attorney general to Chief Legal Counsel to attorney general (1991) during the Bush 41 presidency.
  • Barr was a key player in the Iran-Contra operation, if not the most important member of the apparatus, simultaneously managing the operation while also “fixing” the legal end, ensuring that all of the operatives could do their jobs without fear of exposure or arrest.
  • In his attorney general confirmation, Barr vowed to “attack criminal organizations”, drug smugglers and money launderers. It was all hot air: as AG, Barr would preserve, protect, cover up, and nurture the apparatus that he helped create, and use Justice Department power to escape punishment.
  • Barr stonewalled and stopped investigations into all Bush/Clinton and CIA crimes, including BCCI and BNL CIA drug banking, the theft of Inslaw/PROMIS software, and all crimes of state committed by Bush
  • Barr provided legal cover for Bush’s illegal foreign policy and war crimes
  • Barr left Washington, and went through the “rotating door” to the corporate world, where he took on numerous directorships and counsel positions for major companies. In 2007 and again from 2017, Barr was counsel for politically-connected international law firm Kirkland & Ellis . Among its other notable attorneys and alumni are Kenneth Starr, John Bolton, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and numerous Trump administration attorneys. K&E’s clients include sex trafficker/pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital.

A strong case can be made that William Barr was as powerful and important a figure in the Bush apparatus as any other, besides Poppy Bush himself.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/ciabushiran-contra-covert-operative-fixer-william-barr-nominated-attorney-general/5662609

my new username , 4 hours ago link

That's FBI lawfare: either you plead guilty of crimes you did not commit, or we frame your son, as well as bankrupt you.

Roger Casement , 5 hours ago link

Mike Flynn stands for us. Going to buy guns or butter for the cause?

These consiglieres went after his son. They aren't lawyers. They are hitmen.

https://mikeflynndefensefund.org/

ztack3r , 4 hours ago link

there is a war on america, and the DoD and men like flynn are too arrogant, dumb, and proud to admit they have been fucked and conned deeply by men way smarter than them...

we don't need ******* brains, but killers to wage this revolution against the american pedostate.

and that, what they master, they don't want to do.

if they want money, they should have learned to trade and not kill...

[Sep 06, 2019] The CIA Bull in Glenn Simpson's Russia Shop naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Sep 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2018%2F01%2Fcia-bull-glenn-simpsons-russia-shop.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> The CIA Bull in Glenn Simpson's Russia Shop Posted on January 22, 2018 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By John Helmer , the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

In criminal trials the rule for prosecuting and defending lawyers is the same. Never ask a witness a question unless you already know the answer. The corollary rule for defending lawyers is – if the answer to your question will incriminate your client, don't ask it, and hope the prosecutor fails to do his job.

Glenn Simpson, a former employee of the Wall Street Journal in New York, is currently on trial in the US for having fabricated a dossier of allegations of Russian misconduct (bribes, sex, blackmail, hacking) involving President Donald Trump and circulating them to the press; the objective was to damage Trump's candidacy before the election of November 8, 2016. Simpson was called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017; then the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on November 8 and again on November 14, 2017. So far, Simpson's veracity and business conduct face nothing more than the court of public opinion. He has not yet been charged with criminal or civil offences. That will happen if the evidence materializes that Simpson has been lying.

Simpson's collaborator in the dossier and his business partner, Christopher Steele, is facing trial in the London High Court, charged with libels he and Simpson published in their dossier. Together, they are material witnesses in two federal US court trials for defamation, one in Miami and one in New York. If they perjure themselves giving evidence in those cases, they are likely to face criminal indictments. If they tell the truth, they are likely to face fresh defamation proceedings; perhaps a civil racketeering suit for fraud; maybe a false statement prosecution under the US criminal code.

One question for them is as obvious as its answer. Who do an American ex-journalist on US national security and an ex-British intelligence agent go to for sources on Russian undercover operations outside Russia in general, the US in particular? Answer -- first, their friends and contacts from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); second, their friends and contacts from the Secret Intelligence Service or MI6, as the UK counterpart is known.

Why then did the twenty-two congressmen, the members of the House Intelligence Committee who subpoenaed Simpson for interview, fail to pursue what information he and Steele received either directly from the CIA or indirectly through British intelligence?

The answer noone in the US wants to say aloud is the possibility that it was the CIA which provided Simpson and Steele with names and source materials for their dossier, creating the evidence of a Russian plot against the US election, and generating evidence of Russian operations. If that is what happened, then Simpson and Steele were participants in a false-flag CIA operation in US politics.

This isn't idle speculation. It has been under investigation at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since Simpson and Steele decided in mid-2016 to go to the FBI to request an investigation, and then told American press to get the FBI to confirm it was investigating. At the fresh request this month from the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the FBI is still investigating .

Simpson's appearance at the House Intelligence Committee was the sequel to his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee; for that story, read this .

Simpson's three lawyers from the Washington, DC, firm of Cunningham Levy Muse, who appeared with him at the Senate and House committee hearings. From left to right, Robert Muse; Joshua Levy, and Rachel Clattenburg.  
The firm's other name partner, Bryan Cunningham, was a CIA officer specializingin cyber operations.

The transcripts of the House Intelligence Committee were released last Thursday. Simpson's first appearance was on November 8, and can be read in full here .

Simpson's lawyers did all the talking; Simpson said nothing, pleading the US Constitution's Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.

Although his lawyers repeatedly claimed during the earlier Senate Committee hearing that Simpson was testifying voluntarily, the House Committee recorded that Simpson was compelled to testify. "Our record today," the November 8 transcript begins, "will reflect that you have been compelled to appear today pursuant to a subpoena issued on October 4th, 2017." Simpson then told the Committee through his lawyers that he would plead the Fifth Amendment and not answer any questions. The first transcript is a record of debate between Republican and Democratic members of the Committee.

This resulted in an agreement for Simpson to testify under the subpoena but on terms his lawyers said would limit the scope of the questions which he would agree to answer.

Steele, according to the November 8 transcript, was also summoned to testify. A British citizen with home in Berkshire and office in London, he refused and the Committee recorded his "noncooperation and nontestimony."

Republicans outnumber Democrats on the House Committee, 13 to 9. Just 5 Republican members were at Simpson's November 14 appearance; 7 Democrats. The Republican committee chairman, Devin Nunes, was absent. Release of Simpson's transcript was an initiative of the Democrats. In a statement by their leader on the committee, Adam Schiff, the Democrats claimed last week "thus far, Committee Republicans have refused to look into this key area and we hope the release of this transcript will reinforce the importance of these critical questions to our investigation."

Read the November 14 testimony here .

Members of the House Intelligence Committee on the podium at an open hearing inNovember 2017.    From left to right: Adam Schiff (D), Michael Conaway (R),and Thomas Rooney (R).

Search the 165 pages of the transcript for the CIA, and you will find many references to the letters, C, I and A – spe cia lize, so cia l, commer cia l, espe cia lly, asso cia tion, finan cia l and politi cia n. There were 44 mentions of the Federal Bureau of Intelligence (FBI); 4 mentions of "British Intelligence" – the spy agency to which Steele belonged ten years ago – one mention each of the Israeli Mossad, the Chinese and Indian intelligence services.

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."

Left: Glenn Simpson reporter for the Wall Street Journal in 1996, promoting his book, Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption in American Politics.  Right: Simpson in Washington in August 2017.

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."

Left: Christopher Steele; right, Christopher Burrows.

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.

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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

[Sep 04, 2019] The Future of the Grand Spectacle which is the USA reality by C.J. Hopkins

Sep 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

If you want a vision of the future, don't imagine "a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever," as Orwell suggested in 1984 . Instead, imagine that human face staring mesmerized into the screen of some kind of nifty futuristic device on which every word, sound, and image has been algorithmically approved for consumption by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA") and its "innovation ecosystem" of "academic, corporate, and governmental partners."

The screen of this futuristic device will offer a virtually unlimited range of "non-divisive" and "hate-free" content, none of which will falsify or distort the "truth," or in any way deviate from "reality." Western consumers will finally be free to enjoy an assortment of news, opinion, entertainment, and educational content (like this Guardian podcast about a man who gave birth , or MSNBC's latest bombshell about Donald Trump's secret Russian oligarch backers ) without having their enjoyment totally ruined by discord-sowing alternative journalists like Aaron Maté or satirists like myself.

"Fake news" will not appear on this screen. All the news will be "authentic." DARPA and its partners will see to that. You won't have to worry about being "influenced" by Russians, Nazis, conspiracy theorists, socialists, populists, extremists, or whomever. Such Persons of Malicious Intent will still be able to post their content (because of "freedom of speech" and all that stuff), but they will do so down in the sewers of the Internet where normal consumers won't have to see it. Anyone who ventures down there looking for it (i.e., such "divisive" and "polarizing" content) will be immediately placed on an official DARPA watchlist for "potential extremists," or "potential white supremacists," or "potential Russians."

Once that happens, their lives will be over (i.e., the lives of the potentially extremist fools who have logged onto whatever dark web platform will still be posting essays like this, not the lives of the Persons of Malicious Intent, who never had any lives to begin with, and who by that time will probably be operating out of some heavily armed, off-the-grid compound in Idaho). Their schools, employers, and landlords will be notified. Their photos and addresses will be published online. Anyone who ever said two words to them (or, God help them, appears in a photograph with them) will have 24 hours to publicly denounce them, or be placed on DARPA’s watchlist themselves.

The Alarmist , says: September 4, 2019 at 9:02 am GMT

@El Dato Dude, you watch RT? You may as well go turn yourself in at the local Federal Building.
The Alarmist , says: September 4, 2019 at 9:03 am GMT
I’d laugh, if this was actually satire and not the reality unfolding before our very eyes.

[Sep 04, 2019] What We Still Do Not Know About Russiagate by Stephen F. Cohen's

Notable quotes:
"... It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation. ..."
"... Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? ..."
"... Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. ..."
"... Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why. ..."
"... Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? ..."
"... the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits. ..."
"... First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.) ..."
"... At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.thenation.com

It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation.

Even leaving aside the misperception that Russia is the primary threat to America in world affairs, no aspect of this allegation has turned out to be true, as should have been evident from the outset. Major aspects of the now infamous Steele Dossier, on which much of the allegation was based, were themselves not merely "unverified" but plainly implausible.

Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? Nonetheless, the American mainstream media and other important elements of the US political establishment relied on Steele's allegations for nearly three years, even heroizing him -- and some still do, explicitly or implicitly.

Not surprisingly, former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. No credible evidence has been produced that Russia's "interference" affected the result of the 2016 presidential election in any significant way. Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996.

Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why.

Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)

But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.

So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not. Barr has already leveled procedural charges against James Comey, head of the FBI under President Obama and briefly under President Trump, but the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits.

The FBI is no longer the fearsome organization it once was and thus not hard to investigate, as Barr has already shown. The others, particularly the CIA, are a different matter, and Barr has suggested they are resisting. To investigate them, particularly the CIA, it seems, he has brought in a veteran prosecutor-investigator, John Durham.

Which raises other questions. Are Barr and Durham, whose own careers include associations with US intelligence agencies, determined to uncover the truth about the origins of Russiagate? And can they really do so fully, given the resistance already apparent? Even if so, will Barr make public their findings, however damning of the intelligence agencies they may be, or will he classify them? And if the latter, will President Trump use his authority to declassify the findings as the 2020 presidential election approaches in order to discredit the role of Obama's presidency and its would-be heirs?

Equally important perhaps, how will mainstream media treat the Barr-Durham investigation and its findings? Having driven the Russiagate narrative for so long and so misleadingly -- and with liberals perhaps finding themselves in the incongruous position of defending rogue intelligence agencies -- will they credit or seek to discredit the findings?

It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.

There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.)

At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .

[Sep 01, 2019] How Hollywood star Jean Seberg was destroyed by the FBI The Independent

Sep 01, 2019 | independent.co.uk

Jean Seberg on a phone call during the filming of 'Joan of Arc', directed by Otto Preminger, in 1957, in London ( AFP/Getty )
T he circumstances of Jean Seberg 's death 40 years ago in late August 1979 were squalid and pathetic. The American star's body lay decomposing in a car on a street in Paris for 10 days before the French police discovered it. There was a bottle of barbiturates and a suicide note beside the corpse. As the press reported, her body had "baked in the sun" and the odour was "unimaginably foul". This was the actress who, at the start of her career, was described as "so unimaginably fresh" by her colleagues.

Paris was the city with which Seberg was most closely associated. Every film lover remembers her in Jean-Luc Godard 's Breathless (1960) in her white New York Herald Tribune T-shirt, selling newspapers and gallivanting around the streets with her co-star, Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Seberg had one of the strangest and most contradictory careers of any Hollywood star during the postwar years.

"She was so misunderstood. It's not like you need to hero-worship a celebrity, they are just people you want to look at. The fact that people stared at her and fixated on things that were not real, projections: that really ultimately destroyed her," Kristen Stewart , who plays her in the new film, Seberg , commented recently of the ill-fated actress in a Vanity Fair interview. As an actress who has worked on both big Hollywood productions like Twilight and in independent French arthouse features, Stewart seems perfectly qualified to play her.

Seberg , a world premiere at the Venice film festival , isn't a straight biopic. Its focus is its subject's deadly entanglement with the FBI . Days after her suicide, the FBI admitted that its agents had plotted to ruin her reputation as part of their counter-intelligence programme, Cointelpro, authorised by FBI founder, J Edgar Hoover himself. Seberg's crime, in Hoover's eyes, was her involvement in political causes and her support of the Black Panther Party . In particular, they were suspicious of her close links with Black Power leader, Hakim Jamal (played in the film by Anthony Mackie).

Kristen Stewart as Jean Seberg in Benedict Andrews's film ' Seberg ' (Amazon Studios)

In 1970, the FBI planted the false rumour that Seberg was pregnant by a Black Panther Party member in order to "cause her embarrassment" and "cheapen her image" with the American public. Their plan worked. It was dispiriting but inevitable that some gossip columnists followed the false leads that the FBI dangled in front of them. From the FBI's point of view, she was involved in radical politics, had contributed financially to the Black Panthers and was therefore fair game. The story was picked up by gossip columnist, Joyce Haber, who referred obliquely to it in the Los Angeles Times . Newsweek also wrote about it and named Seberg.

"Under the ruthless gaze of the FBI, the threads of Jean's life come apart," Benedict Andrews, the director of Seberg , pointed out. The assault on her reputation set in motion the events that led to her death a decade later. At the time of the leak, Seberg had indeed been pregnant. In the wake of reading the false stories about herself, she went into labour. Her baby was born prematurely and died a few days later.

The woman Hoover set out to crush was the quintessential young American, "the golden sunflower girl" from the midwest, as she was characterised. A pharmacist's daughter who had grown up in Marshalltown, Iowa, she had won Hollywood's version of the Lottery by landing the lead role in Otto Preminger's George Bernard Shaw adaptation, Saint Joan (1957). The autocratic Preminger had launched a nationwide talent hunt for a new Joan of Arc. A reported 18,000 girls had sent in pictures and resumes and 3,000 had been given personal auditions. Seberg got the part. She was the one, as TV show host Ed Sullivan put it, who had "caught lightning in a bottle". It was the equivalent of Vivien Leigh being cast as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939).

Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo in Jean-Luc Godard's 'Breathless' (Films Around The World)

Preminger was the perfect gentleman off-set but, when the cameras began to roll, he turned into a bad-tempered ogre. He used every ruse at his disposal to publicise the film and its new young star. It would have made the perfect story about overnight stardom if it hadn't been for the fact that the film didn't turn out very well. By her own admission, Seberg wasn't obvious casting. She talked about being burnt at the stake twice, first in making the movie and then by the critics. Preminger cast her in a second film, Bonjour Tristesse (1958) but then discarded her. "He used me like a Kleenex and then threw me away", is how she described her treatment at his hands.

The irony is that Preminger had been right all along. Seberg really was a special talent. She had a spontaneity, mischief and lambent grace on screen that immediately enraptured the young critics and would-be filmmakers from Cahiers du Cinéma in France. "When Jean Seberg is on the screen, which is all the time, you can't look at anything else," Francois Truffaut enthused about her performance in Bonjour Tristesse . Godard and Claude Chabrol were equally smitten with her.

In one of the more bizarre transformations in Hollywood history, the midwestern girl-next-door type became the sacred muse of the French Nouvelle Vague.

Seberg was wryly humorous about the effect she exercised on French male directors. "I was their new Jerry Lewis, I suppose," she told journalist Rex Reed, comparing herself to the American comedian who made goofy films with Dean Martin and was treated with near contempt by American critics but revered as "Le Roi du Crazy" by their French counterparts. "Godard is like a Paul Klee painting, always hiding behind those funny dark glasses," she suggested, going on to call the French auteurs who worshipped her "very strange little men".

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Thanks to Breathless , Seberg also became more highly valued back in Hollywood. Director Robert Rossen, who cast her in one of her greatest roles as the beautiful schizophrenic opposite Warren Beatty and Peter Fonda in Lillith (1964) spoke of her "flawed American girl quality, sort of like a cheerleader who's cracked up". She had prominent roles in all-star blockbusters like Airport (1970) and successfully held her own against such scene-stealers as Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon (1969).

That, though, was the period before Hoover and the FBI set about destroying her just as surely as Otto Preminger had tried to create her as a star in the late Fifties in the first place.

Preminger and Hoover bookend her career. The media colluded with those two patriarchs, building her up and then knocking her down.

Elements of Seberg's story are utterly heartbreaking. As Alistair Cooke told British listeners in one of his Letters from America broadcasts the week after her death, she took her prematurely born baby's corpse back home to Iowa "in a glass coffin as a glaring proof that the baby was white – an excessive reaction perhaps but in 1970, she knew that the FBI could and did destroy hundreds of radicals and non radicals".

On each anniversary of the baby's death, her then-husband Romain Gary later revealed, she had attempted suicide.

Seberg as the beautiful schizophrenic who starred opposite Warren Beatty and Peter Fonda in ' Lillith ' (1964) (Glasshouse/Rex)

Seberg continued to work throughout the 1970s, making an experimental film with Philippe Garrel and collaborating on projects with her third husband, Dennis Berry. She wrote to Ingmar Bergman, the great Swedish director, telling him that she looked a little like Bibi Andersson, who had starred in Bergman films from The Seventh Seal (1957) to Persona (1966), and expressing her fervent desire to work with him. The letter is kept in Bergman's archives. He received it and read it – but didn't deign to reply to it.

If Seberg was feeling marginalised and paranoid in her final years, you could hardly blame her given the FBI harassment, the upheaval in her private life and the alarming way her career had begun to creak. As her biographer David Richards notes, she was putting on weight, drinking too much and seemed to be in a state of permanent "psychological siege". By the late 1970s, she was close to being forgotten. Her death, though, put her right back on the front pages. The public was reminded of just how abominably she had been treated both by Hollywood and by the FBI. There was a sense of frustration over talent that had never been properly fulfilled. Then again, as is pointed out in Mark Rappaport's dramatised documentary, From The Journals of Jean Seberg (1995), most of her films may have been "mediocre", but she made one or two "great ones" and that is more than in most careers. Now, with Stewart portraying her on screen (and already being talked up for awards), Seberg is likely to be rediscovered all over again

'Seberg' is a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Friday 30 August (labiennale.org). It has its UK premiere at the London Film Festival on 4 and 5 October (bfi.org.uk)

[Sep 01, 2019] Film 'Official Secrets' is the Tip of a Mammoth Iceberg Consortiumnews

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Sep 01, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Film 'Official Secrets' is the Tip of a Mammoth Iceberg August 29, 2019 • 37 Comments

A new film depicting the whistleblower Katherine Gun, who tried to stop the Iraq invasion, is largely accurate, but the story is not over, says Sam Husseini.

By Sam Husseini
Special to Consortium News

T wo-time Oscar nominee Keira Knightley is known for being in "period pieces" such as "Pride and Prejudice," so her playing the lead in the new film "Official Secrets," scheduled to be released in the U.S. on Friday, may seem odd at first. That is until one considers that the time span being depicted -- the early 2003 run-up to the invasion of Iraq -- is one of the most dramatic and consequential periods of modern human history.

It is also one of the most poorly understood, in part because the story of Katharine Gun, played by Knightley, is so little known. Having followed this story from the start, I find this film to be, by Hollywood standards, a remarkably accurate account of what has happened to date–"to date" because the wider story still isn't over.

Katharine Gun worked as an analyst for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British equivalent of the secretive U.S. National Security Agency. She tried to stop the impending invasion of Iraq in early 2003 by exposing the deceit of George W. Bush and Tony Blair in their claims about that country. For doing that she was prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act -- a juiced up version of the U.S. Espionage Act, which in recent years has been used repeatedly by the Obama administration against whistleblowers and now by the Trump administration against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Gun was charged for exposing -- around the time of Colin Powell's infamous testimony to the UN about Iraq's alleged WMDs – a top secret U.S. government memo showing it was mounting an illegal spying "surge" against other U.N. Security Council delegations in an effort to manipulate them into voting for an Iraq invasion resolution. The U.S. and Britain had successfully forced through a trumped up resolution, 1441 in November 2002. In early 2003, they were poised to threaten, bribe or blackmail their way to get formal United Nations authorization for the invasion. [See recent interview with Gun .]

Katherine Gun The leaked memo, published by the British Observer , was big news in parts of the world, especially the targeted countries on the Security Council, and helped prevent Bush and Blair from getting the second UN Security Council resolution they said they wanted. Veto powers Russia, China and France were opposed as well as U.S. ally Germany.

Washington invaded anyway of course -- without Security Council authorization -- by telling the UN weapons inspectors to leave Iraq and issuing a unilateral demand that Saddam Hussein leave Iraq in 48 hours -- and then saying the invasion would commence regardless .

'Most Courageous Leak' It was the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where I work ( accuracy.org ), Norman Solomon, as well as Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg who in the U.S. most immediately saw the importance of what Gun had done. Ellsberg would later comment: "No one else -- including myself -- has ever done what Katharine Gun did: Tell secret truths at personal risk, before an imminent war, in time, possibly, to avert it. Hers was the most important -- and courageous -- leak I've ever seen, more timely and potentially more effective than the Pentagon Papers."

Of course, no one knew her name at the time. After the Observer broke the story on March 1, 2003, accuracy.org put out a series of news releases on it and organized a sadly, sparsely attended news conference with Ellsberg on March 11, 2003 at the National Press Club , focusing on Gun's revelations. Ellsberg called for more such truth telling to stop the impending invasion, just nine days away.

Though I've followed this case for years, I didn't realize until recently that accuray.org's work helped compel Gun to expose the document. At a recent D.C. showing of "Official Secrets" that Gun attended, she revealed that she had read a book co-authored by Solomon, published in January 2003 that included material from accuracy.org as well as the media watch group FAIR debunking many of the falsehoods for war.

Daniel Ellsberg on the cover of Time after leaking the Pentagon Papers

Gun said: "I went to the local bookshop, and I went into the political section. I found two books, which had apparently been rushed into publication, one was by Norman Solomon and Reese Erlich, and it was called Target Iraq . And the other one was by Milan Rai. It was called War Plan Iraq . And I bought both of them. And I read them cover to cover that weekend, and it basically convinced me that there was no real evidence for this war. So I think from that point onward, I was very critical and scrutinizing everything that was being said in the media." Thus, we see Gun in "Official Secrets" shouting at the TV to Tony Blair that he's not entitled to make up facts. The film may be jarring to some consumers of major media who might think that Donald Trump invented lying in 2017. Gun's immediate action after reading critiques of U.S. policy and media coverage makes a strong case for trying to reach government workers by handing out fliers and books and putting up billboards outside government offices to encourage them to be more critically minded.

Solomon and Ellsberg had debunked Bush administration propaganda in real time. But Gun's revelation showed that the U.S. and British governments were not only lying to invade Iraq, they were violating international law to blackmail whole nations to get in line.

Mainstream reviews of "Official Secrets" still seem to not fully grasp the importance of what they just saw. The trendy AV Club review leads : "Virtually everyone now agrees that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a colossal mistake based on faulty (at best) or fabricated (at worst) intelligence." "Mistake" is a serious understatement even with "colossal" attached to it when the movie details the diabolical, illegal lengths to which the U.S. and British governments went to get other governments to go along with it.

Gun's revelations showed before the invasion that people on the inside, whose livelihood depends on following the party line, were willing to risk jail time to out the lies and threats.

Portrayal of The Observer

Other than Gun herself, the film focuses on a dramatization of what happened at her work; as well as her relationship with her husband, a Kurd from Turkey who the British government attempted to have deported to get at Gun. The film also portrays the work of her lawyers who helped get the Official Secrets charge against her dropped, as well as the drama at The Observer , which published the NSA document after much internal debate.

Observer reporter Martin Bright, whose strong work on the original Gun story was strangely followed by an ill-fated stint at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, has recently noted that very little additional work has been done on Gun's case. We know virtually nothing about the apparent author of the NSA document that she leaked -- one "Frank Koza." Other questions persist, such is prevalent is this sort of U.S. blackmail of foreign governments to get UN votes or for other purposes? How is it leveraged? Does it fit in with allegations made by former NSA analyst Russ Tice about the NSA having massive files on political people?

Observer reporter Ed Vulliamy is energetically depicted getting tips from former CIA man Mel Goodman. There do seem to be subtle but potentially serious deviations from reality in the film. Vulliamy is depicted as actually speaking with "Frank Koza," but that's not what he originally reported :

"The NSA main switchboard put The Observer through to extension 6727 at the agency which was answered by an assistant, who confirmed it was Koza's office. However, when The Observer asked to talk to Koza about the surveillance of diplomatic missions at the United Nations, it was then told 'You have reached the wrong number'. On protesting that the assistant had just said this was Koza's extension, the assistant repeated that it was an erroneous extension, and hung up."

There must doubtlessly be many aspects of the film that have been simplified or altered regarding Gun's personal experience. A compelling part of the film -- apparently fictitious or exaggerated -- is a GCHQ apparatchik questioning Gun to see if she was the source.

Little is known about the reaction inside the governments of Security Council members that the U.S. spied on. After the invasion, Mexican Ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser spoke in blunt terms about U.S. bullying -- saying it viewed Mexico as its patio trasero , or back yard -- and was Zinser was compelled to resign by President Vicente Fox. He then, in 2004 , gave details about some aspects of U.S. surveillance sabotaging the efforts of the other members of the Security Council to hammer out a compromise to avert the invasion of Iraq, saying the U.S. was "violating the U.N. headquarters covenant." In 2005, he tragically died in a car crash .

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept in 2016 boasted of how the NSA "during the wind-up to the Iraq War 'played a critical role' in the adoption of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The work with that customer was a resounding success." The relevant document specifically cites resolutions 1441 and 1472 and quotes John Negroponte , then the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations: "I can't imagine better intelligence support for a diplomatic mission." (Notably, The Intercept has never published a word on " Katharine Gun ." )

Nor were the UN Security Council members the only ones on the U.S. hit list to pave the way for the Iraq invasion. Brazilian Jose Bustani, the director-general of the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. was ousted in an effective coup by John Bolton in April of 2002 . Bolton is now national security adviser.

"Official Secrets" director Gavin Hood is perhaps more right than he realizes when he says that his depiction of the Gun case is like the "tip of an iceberg," pointing to other deceits surrounding the Iraq war. His record with political films has been uneven until now. Peace activist David Swanson, for instance, derided his film on drones, " Eye in the Sky ." At a D.C. showing of "Official Secrets," Hood depicted those who backed the Iraq war as being discredited. But that's simply untrue.

Keira Knightley appears as Katherine Gun in Official Secrets (Courtesy of Sundance Institute.)

Leading presidential candidate Joe Biden -- who not only voted for the Iraq invasion, but presided over rigged hearings on in 2002 – has recently falsified his record repeatedly on Iraq at presidential debates with hardly a murmur. Nor is he alone. Those refusing to be held accountable for their Iraq war lies include not just Bush and Cheney, but John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi .

Biden has actually faulted Bush for not doing enough to get United Nations approval for the Iraq invasion. But as the Gun case helps show, there was no legitimate case for invasion and the Bush administration had done virtually everything, both legal and illegal, to get UN authorization.

Many who supported the invasion try to distance themselves from it. But the repercussions of that illegal act are enormous: It led directly or indirectly to the rise of ISIS, the civil war in Iraq and the war in Syria. Journalists who pushed for the Iraq invasion are prosperous and atop major news organizations, such as Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt. The editor who argued most strongly against publication of the NSA document at The Observer , Kamal Ahmed, is now editorial director of BBC News.

The British government -- unlike the U.S.– did ultimately produce a study ostensibly around the decision-making leading to the invasion of Iraq, the Chilcot Report of 2016. But that report -- called "devastating" by the The New York Times made no mention of the Gun case . [See accuracy.org release from 2016: " Chilcot Report Avoids Smoking Gun ." ]

After Gun's identity became known, the Institute for Public Accuracy brought on Jeff Cohen, the founder of FAIR, to work with program director Hollie Ainbinder to get prominent individuals to support Gun . The film -- quite plausibly -- depicts the charges being dropped against Gun for the simple reason that the British government feared that a high profile proceeding would effectively put the war on trial, which to them would be have been a nightmare.

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist, senior analyst at the Institute for Public Accuracy and founder of VotePact.org . Follow him on twitter: @samhusseini .

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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David G , August 31, 2019 at 19:49

Saw the film today. Solid work; recommended.

Did her ultimate court appearance really go down in such a dramatic fashion? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if it did: English courtroom proceedings may not deliver better justice than U.S. ones, but they're definitely more entertaining.

William , August 31, 2019 at 19:06

U.S. Government officials should be indicted for war crimes. It is quite clear that U.S. officials conspired to ensure that an invasion
of Iraq would take place. The U.S. and Britain -- George Bush and Tony Blair -- initiated a war of aggression against Iraq, and under
international law should be tried for war crimes, just as numerous German officials were tried and convicted of war crimes.

No U.S. politician has called for investigation, and the main stream media has not touched this topic. It is unquestionably clear that
the U.S. congress is a collection of spineless, cowardly, corrupt, greedy men and women. They have allowed the U.S. to become a rogue,
criminal nation.

Vivek Jain , August 31, 2019 at 14:33

Must-read article by Phyllis Bennis:
The Roller Coaster of Relevance | The Security Council, Europe and the US War in Iraq
Institute for Policy Studies, 29 July 2004
https://www.tni.org/en/article/the-roller-coaster-of-relevance

Susan J Leslie , August 31, 2019 at 09:11

Katherine Gun is awesome! I heard her speak as part of a panel of whistleblowers – wish there were many more like her

michael , August 31, 2019 at 08:15

Inequality.org reports that the majority of our top 1% are corporate executives. Finance, which reportedly accounted for 3% of our economy in 1980, now accounts for 30%. Many of the US's 585 billionaires have monopolies in their business domain, no different from the Robber Barons of the late 19th and early 20th century. "Stability is more important than democracy", the market hates uncertainty, and our foreign policies, determined by think tanks staffed and funded by our "allies" Israel and Saudi Arabia, will continue to push for the greed of our Richest. "Democracy" is a just a hypocritical bon mot for stealing and destroying.
The Republicans have always supported these people. What is worrisome is that the Democrats have come to the same place as the GOP, since donations– pay-to-play- lead to re-elections. The Democrats have deserted the Poor and working class, since they have no money for pay-to-play. Our 17 technologically advanced Stasis work in concert with Congress, our entitled government bureaucrats, and their lapdog main stream media to "make things happen" for our Richest. How long before people like Assange, Katherine Gunn, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Binney, Kiriakou etc learn that it pays to keep their mouths shut? Transparency and whistleblowing is punished. Maybe other approaches are needed?

Tony , August 31, 2019 at 07:26

Very interesting to see what inspired her to act the way that she did.

Of course, the supporters of the war had various motives.
But one motive behind President Bush's plan was revealed by Russ Baker in his book 'Family of Secrets' page 423.

He recalls a conversation with Bush family friend and journalist Mickey Herskowitz. He says that he told him:

"He (George W. Bush) was thinking about invading in 1999."

Bush apparently said:

"If I have a chance to invade if I had that much (political) capital, I'm not going to waste it. I'm going to get everything passed that I want to get passed, and I'm going to have a successful presidency."

So there we have it, he thought that a war would boost his presidency.

David G , August 31, 2019 at 05:16

"The editor who argued most strongly against publication of the NSA document at The Observer, Kamal Ahmed, is now editorial director of BBC News."

That's a repulsive little nugget I would never have known otherwise.

Thanks to Sam Husseini for this account. The film is playing in my town, at least for this coming week; I plan to get to it.

RomeoCharlie29 , August 30, 2019 at 19:24

This is a really interesting story and one I knew nothing about, although I was one who opposed the Iraq war because to me it was obvious the whole WMD issue was bullshit. Now I understand the perception that that war was an American/ Brit thing but you might recall that America's deputy Sheriff in the Pacific, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, was Gung ho for the war and committed Australian troops to the ill-fated endeavour with the result that our country has subsequently become a target for ISIS inspired terrorism. Australia's Opposition Leader at the time, Simon Crean led a vocal opposition to the war but "Little Johnny" as we called him was not to be denied. Incidentally I don't think he has ever admitted being wrong on this.

Xander Arena , August 30, 2019 at 18:15

Tip of an iceberg is right. Iraq was the second big lie of the 21st century. I wonder how the world will react to the University of Alaska Fairbanks report which proves fraud at NIST, and arguably reveals aiding and abetting of treason by the contractors who wrote NIST's analysis of the WTC7 destruction. The UAF report drops Tuesday 9/3/19, and chisels away at the big lie that preceded all the related Iraq deceit. BTW great article :)

Dan Anderson , August 30, 2019 at 16:49

I enjoyed the article and learned some things, but it does seem a bit of Hollywood promotion at the same time.

If only Gun's sacrifice had stopped the invasion it would have been a sensation. As is, the UN did not sanction the invasion, making that effort a bit moot, and since the reveal of NSA bugging the world under Obama that dulls the sensibilities of those who might today have otherwise been shocked, shocked like the Gary Powers U-2 spy plane downing over the USSR and Ike being caught in a lie on TV.

But overall, knowing the downhill Gun's livelihood has taken over the 15 years makes the story more of a warning for whistle blowers than inspiration. Maybe Gun will be well compensated by the movie makers!

Neil E Mac , August 30, 2019 at 15:54

En fin!

bevin , August 30, 2019 at 14:13

One thing is certain: The Observer of 2019 would not publish a story like this. That is one of the major changes since 2003: the capitalist media has tightened up. There are no longer papers competing to attract readers at risk of cozy relations with the State. The Observer/Guardian today – since the Snowden revelations- does what it is told.

Litchfield , August 30, 2019 at 13:16

"In 2005, he tragically died in a car crash."

Unfortunately -- or fortunately? -- this no longer seems to be credible when it comes to those who have gone ouit on a limb to challenge the Deep State, or the US version of the Deep State.

Can Bush and Blair be charged with crimes? In connection with the Third Reich there is AFAIK no statute of limitations on crimes against humanity. Well, Iraq was also full of 'humanity." These guys belong in The Hague. Or in Iraq, doing community service.

In connection with Ellsberg's reviewing the evidence and concluding there was no evidentiary justification for invading Iraq -- I wanna say, you didn't need to be Ellsberg or any kind of expert to see clearly that there was no evidence that justified invading Iraq. Millions of common folk could see this clearly. That is why over 14 million people worldwide demonstrated against the planned illegal invasion. That is why people like me when to NYC, to Washington, and also the front our local US Post Office in small towns all over the country to protest the country's being lied into war. And were greeted mostly with thumbs-up from the passers- and drivers-by.

The people knew it was all a pack of lies. It was the gullible PRESS that ginned up this show. Remember Judith what's her name at the NYT? These people also should be indicted as war criminals.

Dan Anderson , August 30, 2019 at 16:19

Judith Miller, the NYTimes reporter who did maybe the most to make the invasion of Iraq, is the last name you were seeking.

SteveF , August 30, 2019 at 12:22

The timescales are interesting, we have the alleged US blackmail to get this illegal war 'approved' by the UN and in the same timescale we have the Jeffery Epstein story unfolding and the corresponding allegations that he was a CIA/Mossad agent operating honey traps to entangle the rich and famous.
The evil machinations of our governments are indeed breathtaking.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 30, 2019 at 11:56

Good gripping tale.

As we can see from so very many modern instances, it matters not at all that truth is on your side, if what you are doing is attacking those with money and power.

And there's an entire American establishment dedicated to keeping it just that way.

America's history of the last half century, at least so far as foreign relations and control of an empire, is almost entirely an artificial construct.

Absolutely no truth in everything from John Kennedy's assassination, which was intimately concerned with America's relationship with Cuba, and the despicable Vietnam War to 9/11 and the despicable Neocon Wars in the Middle East.

From hundreds of millions of printed newspapers and television broadcasts to speeches from prominent American politicians, you have tissue of lies not unlike that that was constantly being created by Oceania's Inner Party in 1984.

That's not even the slightest exaggeration, but, truly, are Americans in general the least concerned or bothered?

We have no evidence of significant concern. None.

The Democratic Party just weeded out the only candidate it had, brave and informed enough to speak to truth in some of these matters.

The ten left just represent varying degrees of hopelessness. On and on with weaving dreams about this or that creative social program while the resources and close attention dedicated to destruction in a dozen lands make them all impossible.

At the sae time, there is an almost complete lack of information and courage about anything that is happening in Syria, in Iraq, in Libya, in Israel, and in such massively important countries as China, Russia, and Iran.

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are brave contemporary examples of the American establishment's methods for shutting down truth and punishing severely those who reveal it. While they have followers and supporters, I am always amazed at how relatively small their numbers are.

And we have remarkably few individuals like Manning or Assange, especially when you consider the scale and scope of America's many dark works. Mostly, we see only "willing helpers" carrying on with their sensitive, secretive careers in government.

In the Democratic nomination contest, the "star" liberals, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are virtually no different in these absolutely critical matters than a confirmed old puke of a war criminal like Joe Biden, someone who probably deserves recognition as father of Obama's industrial-scale extrajudicial killing project with drones and Hellfire missiles making legally-innocent people in a dozen countries just disappear. Biden has a long record of smarmy deeds and lack of courage and principles. He is, of course, most likely to get the nomination too.

Act, from America's CIA, no different in principle and in law to those of the old Argentine military junta's massive efforts at dragging people off the streets, drugging them, and throwing them out of planes over the ocean, something they did to thousands. Oh, and during that wonderful project there were no objections from America, only silence.

Aimee , August 30, 2019 at 22:31

Excellent post. Agree completely. Tulsi was our only hope and she never had a chance. We are doomed.

Coleen Rowley , August 30, 2019 at 23:29

Here are some of the reasons for the ever lessening concern over US-NATO-Israel-Saudi's (aka our current Empire's) wars: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/04/recipe-concocted-for-perpetual-war-is-a-bitter-one/ By the way my co-author and I tried unsuccessfully to get this published in about 15 different US papers before Robert Parry posted it on Consortiumnews.

Robert Edwards , August 30, 2019 at 11:17

It's time these liers and war criminals are brought to Justice – I know that's wishful , but sometimes wishes come true America must get back to a country run on integrity and honesty, otherwise all will be lost in the spiral of evil

JOHN CHUCKMAN , August 30, 2019 at 12:11

Sorry, but, oh please, America is lost. Has been so for a very long time.

Only tremendous outside influences like depression or war and the growth of competing states and the loss of the dollar's privileged status, are going to change the reality.

America's feeble democratic system is capable of changing almost nothing. After all, it was constructed with just that in mind.

john wilson , August 31, 2019 at 05:07

I think think the real worry is that these days they don't even bother to lie anymore and they just do what they want. Think Venezuela.

Guy , August 30, 2019 at 10:42

"Other questions persist, such is prevalent is this sort of U.S. blackmail of foreign governments to get UN votes or for other purposes? How is it leveraged? Does it fit in with allegations made by former NSA analyst Russ Tice about the NSA having massive files on political people?"
This also stands out , as given what we now know is standard modus opendi of CIA / Mossad operations ,due to the Epstein arrest and ensuing information , who knows what is used to leverage other nations to follow along with US and in this case UK demands.Birds of a feather fly together.
Very good report by Sam Husseini.

Litchfield , August 30, 2019 at 13:32

Absolutely. It is an obvious avenue now to investigate: How did the Epstein operation impact on the decision to invade Iraq? How were teh votes wrung out for the war authorization in October 2002?

Regarding Kerry, as a resident of Mass. I couldn't believe that Vietnam vet Kerry would vote Yes on the war authorization act. I called his office a number of time to beg him to vote no. Rumors emanated from within his office in Boston or wherever that phone calls from constituents were running 180 to 1 urging him to vote NO. But he voted YES anyhow.

I simply believe that Yalie Kerry didn't see what was up with the obvious lying that drove the runup to an illegal invasion. This is the kind of scenario where one now has to wonder -- and ask openly -- whether Kerry had been compromised in some way that made him vulnerable to blackmail. Why the hell else would he vote so stupidly?

Recall that Scott Ritter ran afoul of some kind of sex trap and so he, one of the most knowledgeable and outspoken critics of the fake WMD narrative, was effectively muzzled.

Did Kerry have a little skeleton in the closet somewhere?

The same could be asked of all the esp. Democratic legislators who voted YES. Because we now understand which state in the EAstern Med wanted the war most and profited the most from it. We now know how deep and how wide the tentacles of that state's intelligence service intrude into our own national sphere, our Congress, our own intelligence services, our media, and, most likely, our military. Epstein seems to been part f this web of pressure and blackmail.

Epstein is gone, but Ghislaine Maxwell apparently still runs free.
Let's bring her in for questioning specifically about pressure applied on the Oct. 2002 vote. (Although some speculate that she, too, is already dead.)

Guy , August 30, 2019 at 10:23

At a time when despair in political affairs is very depressing ,it is very refreshing to see that the voices of reason are being vindicated.
I really want to see this film as this is the first time that I hear of the voice of Katherine Gun .Bless her heart for standing up and her efforts to warn of deception . Does the film make any mention of Dr.David Kelly's so-called suicide / murder ? Will have to wait ans see.
Thank you CN for once again coming through for your excellent report.

Pablo , August 30, 2019 at 10:15

Lawrence Wilkerson (Powell's Chief of Staff?) told me that Collin knew Bush was fabricating, but went to the U.N. as a "loyal foot soldier".

AnneR , August 30, 2019 at 08:25

Thank you, Sam Husseini, for this overview of the background – real story – to the film Official Secrets.

To be frank, I'd not heard of Katherine Gun's revelations at the time – not surprising because I don't think that the US MSM gave the leak any oxygen. They were all too gung-ho for the war.

While the film undoubtedly soft-pedals some of the story and likely doesn't reveal or make explicit as much as we'd all hope, I really do hope that it receives at least as much publicity (good) and viewing as that execrable film Zero dark Thirty which basically supported the CIA and its torturers. But somehow I doubt that.

TomR , August 31, 2019 at 06:19

Zero Dark Thirty is just about the worst bullshit fake narrative put out by the CIA that I've ever seen. I watched it but cringed with the dramatized fake narrative that the CIA is famous for – think the bullshit 9/11 US govt. narrative – if you or anyone else believes that totally bunkum govt. narrative – well, I feel sorry for you.

Druid , August 31, 2019 at 17:28

Im a good- movie buff. I avoided Zero Dark Thirty. Not a farthing for those lies

Sylvia Bennet , August 30, 2019 at 07:51

I applaud Keira Knightley and all who were involved in bringing this story to the public. It is vital that more people who have the eyes and ears of the public speak out on these issues. Sadly, most of them keep their heads below the parapet. With the Main Stream Media colluding with corrupt corporations and governments to lie or distort the truth, we need decent people with influence to step up before it is too late.

Toxik , August 30, 2019 at 02:42

Looked at my local theaters and Official Secrets will not be shown.

jmg , August 29, 2019 at 18:39

Katharine Gun's case can also be very relevant for Julian Assange's defense:

"Within half an hour, the case was dropped because the prosecution declined to offer evidence. . . . The day before the trial, Gun's defence team had asked the government for any records of advice about the legality of the war that it had received during the run-up to the war. A full trial might have exposed any such documents to public scrutiny as the defence were expected to argue that trying to stop an illegal act (that of an illegal war of aggression) trumped Gun's obligations under the Official Secrets Act 1989. . . . In 2019 The Guardian stated the case was dropped 'when the prosecution realised that evidence would emerge that even British government lawyers believed the invasion was unlawful.'"

Katharine Gun – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Gun

So Katharine Gun, like Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, etc., by revealing corruption and crimes, maybe didn't obey the code of silence of organized crime, government sector, but that's not a law.

For example, the US Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information, explicitly outlaws any classification that covers up crimes or embarrassing information.

This means that whistleblowers like Katharine Gun or Chelsea Manning, and investigative journalists like Julian Assange are the ones defending the law here, while the US and UK governments are the criminals.

lindaj , August 29, 2019 at 22:10

Hear, Hear!

Me Myself , August 30, 2019 at 12:11

The espionage act has and would protect those who were responsible for the war I believe.

If we could Abrogate the espionage act it would make are representatives more accountable.

I was unaware of Katherine Gun she is clearly a standout person and will join the ranks of are most respected truthers.

WTF Burkie , August 31, 2019 at 14:05

Our not are.b.c. burkhart

evelync , August 30, 2019 at 13:34

And the secrecy, apparently, is required in the name of "national security" .that's what I was told by a Harvard JFK School of Government associate when I emailed 200+ of 'em to express my outrage over their withdrawal of Chelsea Manning's honorary degree when Pompeo and Morrell bullied them. I responded with – that's INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE at Harvard – as a "respected" educational institution you should be front and center critiquing foreign policy instead of helping to bury the wrongdoing ..no wonder voters didn't trust the establishment candidates in 2016 but the DNC was too much a part of it all to see or care what was going on. Except for Tulsi Gabbard who resigned at DNC VP in protest for what was being done to the Sanders campaign and to endorse Sanders instead of Clinton. The DNC knee capped the campaign of the one person who had won peoples' trust for his honesty.

We have incompetent people with no moral fiber making terrible decisions and burying the mistakes under secrecy, a fear based "code of silence", as you say.

Biden touts his being chosen by Obama for VP; therefore "he's qualified".
Since Clinton and Biden were the most dangerously ambitious critics of Obama, I think he may have chosen to add them to his administration as VP and Sec of State to practice "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" .but his decision was very costly to the lives of people around the world including the Caribbean and South American countries whose wealth our oligarchs coveted.
And as far as Honduras is concerned those political choices by Obama sadly explains refugees fleeing from that violent country even now ..thanks to our failing to declare the 2009 Coup a "military coup". One of Clinton's "hard choices". Obama and Biden went along with that of course.
Daniel Immerwahr's "How to Hide an Empire" tells the sordid tale of how waterboarding was used long before Bush II – used on the freedom fighters for their independence in the Philippines after the Spanish American War and we took over as imperialists ..
Most people, I think, don't know all the gruesome details of our aggression but they now know enough to be troubled by it. Few political candidates have the backbone to criticize wrongheaded foreign policy.
I'm disappointed that Tulsi Gabbard won't be permitted to join Bernie Sanders at the September 12 2019 "debate" as the only ones who speak out on how wrong for this country and the world our foreign policies have been. This courageous woman should be heard.
When Bernie was challenged in the 2016 Miami debate on his enlightened views on Cuba and other Caribbean and South American countries, Clinton used Cold War rhetoric to attack him. She was shocked, I tell you, shocked that he would not grind his heel on the Cuban people. I wondered at the time whether she really believed the crap she was selling or just put on a good political show for the national security state.

We so need transparency if we want to be a real democracy.

Sam F , August 30, 2019 at 21:06

Very true that transparency is essential to democracy. That also requires lifelong monitoring of officials and their relatives for paybacks and other influence. But (for example) Florida has an Sunshine Act that merely moves the bribes into other channels, and may be the most corrupt state. I am investigating extensive racketeering there involving state officials stealing conservation funds. They can be quire careless because their party runs the entire state including state and federal judiciary, and instantly approves whatever their rich "donors" want to steal. But the FBI and DOJ refuse to take action when given the evidence on a silver platter – no doubt because they are appointed by the same party. Theft is their sacred right and duty, to protect their country from its people.

michael , August 31, 2019 at 07:30

Florida's Sunshine laws were on display at Epstein's only trial, much of it still sealed from public view.

[Aug 30, 2019] Hollywood reboots Russophobia for the New Cold War by Max Parry

See also National Security Cinema The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood by Matthew Alford
Aug 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

It is apparent that the caricature of the Soviet Union in both productions is really a stand-in for the present-day Russian government under Vladimir Putin. As only American exceptionalism could permit, Hollywood did not hold the same disdain for his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, whose legacy of high inflation and national debt have since been eliminated. In fact, most have forgotten that the same filmdom community outraged about Russia's supposed interference in the 2016 U.S. election made a celebratory movie back in 2003, Spinning Boris , which practically boasted about the instrumental role the West played in Yeltsin's 1996 reelection in Russia.

The highly unpopular alcoholic politician benefited from a near universal media bias as virtually all the federation's news outlets came under the control of the 'oligarchs' (in America known simply as billionaires) which his economic policies of mass privatization of state industry enriched overnight.

Yeltsin initially polled at less than 10% and was far behind Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov until he became the recipient of billions from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) thanks to his corrupt campaign manager, Anatoly Chubais, now one of the most hated men in all of Russia. After the purging of votes and rampant ballot-box stuffing, Yeltsin successfully closed the gap between his opponent thanks to the overt U.S. meddling.

Spinning Boris was directed by Roger Spottiswoode, who previously helmed an installment in the James Bond series, Tomorrow Never Dies . The 1997 entry in the franchise is one of thousands of Hollywood films and network television shows exposed by journalists Matthew Alford and Tom Secker as having been influenced or directly assisted by the Pentagon and CIA in their must-read book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood. Based on evidence from documents revealed in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, their investigation divulges the previously unknown extent to which the national security complex has gone in exerting control over content in the film industry. While it has always been known that the military held sway over movies that required usage of its facilities and equipment to be produced, the level of impact on such films in the pre-production and editing stages, as well as the control over non-military themed flicks one wouldn't suspect to be under supervision by Washington and Langley, is exhaustively uncovered.

As expected, Hollywood and the military-industrial complex's intimate relationship during the Cold War is featured prominently in Alford and Secker's investigative work. It is unclear whether HBO or Netflix sought US military assistance or were directly involved with the national security state in their respective productions, but these are just two recent examples of many where the correlated increase in geopolitical tensions with Moscow is reflected. The upcoming sequel to DC's Wonder Woman set to be released next year , Wonder Woman 1984, featuring the female superhero " coming into conflict with the Soviet Union during the Cold War in the 1980s ", is yet another. Reprising her role is Israeli actress and IDF veteran is Gal Gadot as the title character, ironically starring in a blockbuster that will demonize the Eurasian state which saved her ethnicity from extinction. Given the Pentagon's involvement in the debacle surounding 2014's The Interview which provoked very real tensions with North Korea, it is likely they are at least closely examining any entertainment with content regarding Russia, if not directly pre-approving it for review.

Ultimately, the Western panic about its imperial decline is not limited to assigning blame to Moscow. Sinophobia has manifested as well in recent films such as the 2016 sci-fi film Arrival where the extra-terrestrials who reach Earth seem more interested in communicating with Beijing as the global superpower than the U.S. However, while the West forebodes the return of Russia and China to greater standing, you can be certain its real fear lies elsewhere. The fact that Chernobyl and Stranger Things are as preoccupied with portraying socialism in a bad light as they are in rendering Moscow nefarious shows the real underlying trepidation of the ruling elite that concerns the resurgence of class consciousness. The West must learn its lesson that its state of perpetual war has caused its own downfall or it could attempt a last line of defense that would inevitably conscript all of humanity to its death as the ruling class nearly did to the world in 1914 and 1939.

[Aug 28, 2019] Russiagate: It really is that simple

How are "Russian Oligarchs" different than "American Oligarchs" who bought Trump? Inquiring minds want to know :)
Notable quotes:
"... The mass media is desperate to propagate a fake narrative, they keep making "mistakes." Over and over. For 3 freakin years. ..."
Aug 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Mike Krieger summed the farce up best:

Michael Krieger

@LibertyBlitz

Replying to @LibertyBlitz

The mass media is desperate to propagate a fake narrative, they keep making "mistakes." Over and over. For 3 freakin years. It really is that simple.

[Aug 26, 2019] The article about how many intelligence officials (retired) now work for the corporate press is misleading. It does not take into account the "undeclared" operatives such as Anderson Cooper and Rachael Maddow

Aug 26, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Babyl-on , Aug 25 2019 19:42 utc | 28

The article about how many intelligence officials (retired) now work for the corporate press is misleading. It does not take into account the "undeclared" operatives such as Anderson Cooper and Rachael Maddow. Cooper went to work for the CIA and they out him in his job, Maddow is a Rhodes Scholar, a trained apparatchik for the elites.

This is nothing new, after WWII, when the press was most compliant and the CIA was formed the press was "taken over" by the newly reforming and consolidating of deep state power. There was Operation Mockingbird which was exposed long ago but nothing changes if they get caught they just reorganize and continue.

[Aug 26, 2019] What we need to know from the Horowitz report by Byron York

Notable quotes:
"... And what did the spying involve? In such intelligence work, wiretaps are recorded; transcripts are made. The same can be true for person-to-person conversations between FBI informants and Trump campaign figures. In May, Trey Gowdy, the former Republican congressman who read deeply into Trump-Russia materials when he was in the House, strongly implied the FBI had transcripts of informant communications. ..."
"... "If the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired," Gowdy told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "And if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there's going to be a transcript of that." ..."
"... "Where are the transcripts, if any exist," Gowdy continued, "between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos?" ..."
"... And then the biggest questions: If there was evidence gained from the wiretapping and informing, what was it? Was it valuable? What did it tell the FBI about Russia and the Trump campaign? And did it prove that the Justice Department was right all along to spy on the campaign -- that the spying was, in the words of Attorney General William Barr, "adequately predicated"? ..."
"... Here is why Republicans are skeptical. Special counsel Robert Mueller had access to the results of the FBI's spying, and Mueller could not establish that there was any conspiracy or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. After a two-year investigation with full law enforcement powers, Mueller never alleged that any American took part in any such conspiracy or coordination. ..."
"... And even if it were entirely declassified, Horowitz will not tell the whole story of spying and the 2016 election. Horowitz is the inspector general of the Justice Department and does not have the authority to investigate outside the department. For example, he cannot probe the actions of the Central Intelligence Agency and its then-director John Brennan during the period in question. ..."
Aug 20, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

There will be much to learn in Inspector General Michael Horowitz's upcoming report on the Trump-Russia investigation, but most of it will likely boil down to just two questions. One, how much did the Obama Justice Department spy on the Trump campaign? And two, was it justified?

Many Democrats would immediately protest the word "spying." But the public already knows the FBI secured a warrant to wiretap low-level Trump adviser Carter Page a few months after Page left the campaign. The public also knows the FBI used informant Stefan Halper to gather information on other Trump campaign figures. And the public knows the FBI sent an undercover agent who went by the alias "Azra Turk" to London to tease information out of another low-level Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos.

Was that all? Were there more? Horowitz should give definitive answers.

And what did the spying involve? In such intelligence work, wiretaps are recorded; transcripts are made. The same can be true for person-to-person conversations between FBI informants and Trump campaign figures. In May, Trey Gowdy, the former Republican congressman who read deeply into Trump-Russia materials when he was in the House, strongly implied the FBI had transcripts of informant communications.

"If the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired," Gowdy told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "And if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there's going to be a transcript of that."

"Where are the transcripts, if any exist," Gowdy continued, "between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos?"

The "if any exist" was Gowdy's way of casting his statements as a hypothetical, but there was no doubt he was speaking from the knowledge he gained as a congressional investigator.

And then the biggest questions: If there was evidence gained from the wiretapping and informing, what was it? Was it valuable? What did it tell the FBI about Russia and the Trump campaign? And did it prove that the Justice Department was right all along to spy on the campaign -- that the spying was, in the words of Attorney General William Barr, "adequately predicated"?

Here is why Republicans are skeptical. Special counsel Robert Mueller had access to the results of the FBI's spying, and Mueller could not establish that there was any conspiracy or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. After a two-year investigation with full law enforcement powers, Mueller never alleged that any American took part in any such conspiracy or coordination.

So, Republicans know the end result of the investigation, but they don't know how it began. Yes, they know the official story of the start of what the FBI called Crossfire Hurricane -- that it began with a foreign intelligence service (Australia) telling U.S. officials that Papadopoulos appeared to have foreknowledge of a Russian plan to release damaging information about Hillary Clinton. But they don't think it's the whole story.

That's where Horowitz comes in.

There's one big potential problem that people on Capitol Hill are talking about, and that is the issue of classified information. Everyone expects a significant amount of Horowitz's report to be classified. How much, no one is quite sure. But the fact is, the report was done to tell the American people what the nation's intelligence and law enforcement agencies did during the 2016 election. Issuing a report with page after page blacked out would not be a good way to do that. But no one will know the extent of the classification issue until Horowitz is ready to go public.

And even if it were entirely declassified, Horowitz will not tell the whole story of spying and the 2016 election. Horowitz is the inspector general of the Justice Department and does not have the authority to investigate outside the department. For example, he cannot probe the actions of the Central Intelligence Agency and its then-director John Brennan during the period in question.

That will be the role of another investigator, John Durham, the U.S. attorney appointed by Barr to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. Durham is working with the support of top Republicans on Capitol Hill, like Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who recently said, "I really am very curious about the role that the CIA played here."

But first, the Horowitz report. It will be an important step in answering the questions of how much spying took place and whether it was justified. It's long past time Americans learned what happened.

[Aug 25, 2019] MintCast Interviews Doug Valentine, expert on CIA covert operations

Notable quotes:
"... The politically minded rich, or what I call the overworld, have reason to tolerate mob violence that never occur to those of a lesser means ... in maintaining a violent status quo in our society ... of weak and failed states ..."
"... And not to leave out the ex-CIA guys who blew the whistle from Phillip Agee to John Kiriakou over the years. Phil Giraldi another, and the work David Talbot did with "The Devil's Chessboard." New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, and the granddaddy of them all, Col L Fletcher Prouty. https://ratical.org/ratvill... ..."
"... Two interesting if not disparate notables from the ONI: Lee Harvey Oswald and Bob Woodward. ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | www.mintpressnews.com

Webb and Valentine begin the interview discussing how Valentine's journalistic work on the CIA led him to be spied on and even threatened by the agency and how being a dissident journalist in the 1990s compares to being one now. Valentine argues that, in the present, efforts to outlaw criticism of the state of Israel are like a gateway that will soon lead to the prohibition of criticism of the U.S. government and its intelligence agencies, the CIA among them.

<img src="https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/cia_as_-_copy_3-x_small.jpg" alt="THE CIA AS ORGANIZED CRIME" width="220" height="330" srcset="https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/cia_as_-_copy_3-x_small.jpg 320w, https://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/cia_as_-_copy_3-x_small-200x300.jpg 200w" sizes="(max-width: 220px) 100vw, 220px" /> Valentine then touches on some of the themes covered in his book, The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World , including his assertion that the CIA operates as "the organized crime branch of the U.S. government" and his examination of how its activities have been influenced by its decades-long relationships with organized crime networks in the United States and throughout the world.

Lastly, Webb and Valentine discuss the CIA's long-standing interest in manipulating the media and how those efforts also extend to alternative media, not just mainstream media outlets. Valentine discusses the methods the CIA uses to target alternative, independent media and how we are seeing its efforts take place in real time.

Follow Doug Valentine on Twitter or visit his website to learn more about his work.

MintPress donors and patrons: Stay tuned later this week for a patron-exclusive extension of this podcast with Doug Valentine, which will discuss his work on the War on Drugs and the Drug Enforcement Agency and how both are key to unconstitutional, covert CIA programs. You can become a patron via Patreon or through our website.


Luther Blissett 19 days ago ,

"The politically minded rich, or what I call the overworld, have reason to tolerate mob violence that never occur to those of a lesser means ... in maintaining a violent status quo in our society ... of weak and failed states. [...] Even in America, one of the more successful states, there has always been a negative space in which the overworld, corporate power, and privately organized violence all have access to and utilize each other, and rules are enforced by power that does not derive from the public state."

Peter Dale Scott - American War Machine p. 7-8

DaveO 22 days ago ,

Thanks, Whitney. And thanks to Doug too.

And not to leave out the ex-CIA guys who blew the whistle from Phillip Agee to John Kiriakou over the years. Phil Giraldi another, and the work David Talbot did with "The Devil's Chessboard." New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, and the granddaddy of them all, Col L Fletcher Prouty. https://ratical.org/ratvill...

pdurpan a month ago ,

Whitney, are you aware of the lengthy (10 hour interview) with Kay Griggs? I am sure her observations will resonate with you. The time spent on that interview will be RICHLY rewarding, I promise.

She makes the point that it is not the CIA but Various military intel agencies like ONI (office of naval intelligence) and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) directing organized crime. Google Kay Griggs for You tube video of that long interview.

DaveO pdurpan 22 days ago ,

Two interesting if not disparate notables from the ONI: Lee Harvey Oswald and Bob Woodward.
http://watergate.brightpixe...

[Aug 24, 2019] BigBrotherWatch Facial Recognition Epidemic in the UK Eroding freedom of association

Notable quotes:
"... Facial recognition surveillance risks making privacy in Britain extinct. ..."
Aug 24, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

TruePublica

At TruePublica we have written endlessly about the continued slow strangulation of civil liberties and human rights in Britain. We have warned about the rise of a techno-Stasi-state where technology is harnessed and used against civilians without any debate or indeed any real legal framework. We have alerted the public on the illegal mass data collections by the government and subsequent loss of much it by MI5 who should not have had it all in the first place. We warned against ' digital strip searches ' – an activity of the police of the victims in rape cases, and the fact that Britain is becoming a database state . At TruePublica we have tried to press home the story that surveillance by the state on such a scale, described as the most intrusive in the Western world – is not just illegal, it's immoral and dangerous. (see our surveillance database HERE ).

Here is more evidence of just how dangerous and out of hand this creeping surveillance architecture is becoming. An investigation by Big Brother Watch has uncovered a facial recognition 'epidemic' across privately owned sites in the UK. The civil liberties campaign group has found major property developers, shopping centres, museums, conference centres and casinos using the technology in the UK.

Millions of shoppers scanned

Their investigation uncovered the use of live facial recognition in Sheffield's Meadowhall , one of the biggest shopping centres in the North of England, in secret police trials that took place last year. The trial could have scanned the faces of over 2 million visitors.

The shopping centre is owned by British Land, which owns large areas within London including parts of Paddington, Broadgate, Canada Water and Ealing Broadway. Each site's privacy policy says facial recognition may be in use, although British Land insists only Meadowhall has used the surveillance so far.

Last week, the Financial Times revealed that the privately owned Kings Cross estate in London was using facial recognition, whilst Canary Wharf is considering following suit. The expose prompted widespread concerns and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to write to the estate to express his concerns. The Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has launched an investigation.

Last year, the Trafford Centre in Manchester was pressured to stop using live facial recognition surveillance following an intervention by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner. It was estimated that up to 15 million people were scanned during the operation.

" Dark irony" of China exhibition visitors scanned

Big Brother Watch's investigation has also revealed that Liverpool's World Museum scanned visitors with facial recognition surveillance during its exhibition, "China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors" in 2018. Director of Big Brother Watch Silkie Carlo described it as "dark irony" noting that "this authoritarian surveillance tool is rarely seen outside of China" and warning that "many of those scanned will have been school children".

The museum is part of the National Museums Liverpool group, which also includes the International Slavery Museum, the Museum of Liverpool and other museums and art galleries. The museum group said it is "currently testing the feasibility of using similar technology in the future".

" Eroding freedom of association"

Big Brother Watch's investigation also found that the Millennium Point conference centre in Birmingham uses facial recognition surveillance "at the request of law enforcement", according to its privacy policy. In recent years, the area surrounding the conference centre has been used for demonstrations by trade unionists, football fans and anti-racism campaigners. The centre refused to give further information about its past or present uses of facial recognition surveillance. Millennium Point is soon to host a 'hackathon'.

A number of casinos and betting shops also have policies that refer to their use of facial recognition technology including Ladbrokes, Coral and Hippodrome Casino London.

Director of Big Brother Watch, Silkie Carlo, said:

There is an epidemic of facial recognition in the UK.

The collusion between police and private companies in building these surveillance nets around popular spaces is deeply disturbing. Facial recognition is the perfect tool of oppression and the widespread use we've found indicates we're facing a privacy emergency.

We now know that many millions of innocent people will have had their faces scanned with this surveillance without knowing about it, whether by police or by private companies.

The idea of a British museum secretly scanning the faces of children visiting an exhibition on the first emperor of China is chilling. There is a dark irony that this authoritarian surveillance tool is rarely seen outside of China.

Facial recognition surveillance risks making privacy in Britain extinct.

Parliament must follow in the footsteps of legislators in the US and urgently ban this authoritarian surveillance from public spaces.

truepublica.org.uk

[Aug 23, 2019] Spygate The Inside Story Behind the Alleged Plot to Take Down Trump by Jeff Carlson

Highly recommended!
Images removed. See the original for full version.
Much more plausible explanation of Russiagate then Mueller report that cost probably 1000 times less. Mueller and his team should commit hara-kiri in shame.
It contains more valuable information about Russiagate and color revolution against Trump initiatesd by Obama and Brennan. And what is important it is much shorter and up to the point. In other words, Jeff Carlson beat the whole Mueller team to the punch.
An excellent reporting by Jeff Carlson !!! Bravo!!!
Notable quotes:
"... Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act . Horowitz would ultimately win his battle, but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the Inspector General Empowerment Act into law. ..."
"... The IGs' memo included an assessment that Clinton's email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton's claims that there was no classified information present on her server. ..."
"... On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI's opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position in the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office, and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began. ..."
"... Strzok was one of the agents selected, and in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters. ..."
"... On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as FBI deputy director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position in the FBI, after having held the No. 3 position for just six months. ..."
"... By early 2016, the three participants in the infamous "insurance policy" meeting -- McCabe, Strzok, and Page -- were now in place at the FBI. ..."
"... Priestap, who testified that he was unaware of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, seems to have been kept in the dark regarding many of the actions taken by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant investigative control. ..."
"... It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?" ..."
"... Peter and Jon, yeah." ..."
"... Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?" ..."
"... My understanding was that he was aware." ..."
"... Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove the term "gross negligence" to describe Clinton's actions from his prepared statement by, among others, Page, Strzok, Anderson, and Moffa. ..."
"... While GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted, after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos -- whose own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious -- occurred in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so. ..."
"... As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation. ..."
"... The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017. ..."
"... On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed on at some point to both the FBI and then-Secretary of State John Kerry. ..."
"... Prior to joining Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for an internal open-source division of the CIA, Open Source Works, from 2008 to at least June 2010; it appears likely she remained in that role into 2014. ..."
"... Additionally, email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent her husband at the DOJ articles on Russia -- most carrying a similar negative slant. The emails continued through the duration of Nellie's employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line comment from Nellie. ..."
"... In her testimony, Nellie described her work as online open-source efforts that utilized "Russian sources, media, social media, government, you know, business registers, legal databases, all kinds of things." Ohr said that she would "write occasional reports based on the open-source research that I described about Donald Trump's relationships with various people in Russia." ..."
"... Steele had produced eight reports from June 20, 2016, through the end of August 2016 (there also is one undated report included in the dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank named Alfa Bank, misspelled as "Alpha" in his memo. Steele's sudden burst of productivity was likely done in preparation for his Sept. 19 meeting in Rome with the FBI. ..."
"... The impact of Brennan's potential knowledge of the dossier in August 2016 should not be underestimated. As Brennan testified to Congress, his briefing to the Gang of Eight was done in consultation with the Obama administration: ..."
"... Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant, stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired. ..."
"... Following the publication of the Isikoff article, the Hillary for America campaign released a statement on the same day that touted Isikoff's "bombshell report," with the full article attached. ..."
"... Winer had received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele then shared this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele's own dossier. ..."
"... Steele also met with U.S. media during his visit to Washington, doing so "at Fusion's instruction." According to UK Court documents , Steele testified that he "briefed" The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were "conducted verbally in person." ..."
"... Sometime in late 2016, his wife, Nellie Ohr, provided him with a memory stick containing all of her research that she had compiled while employed at Fusion GPS. Bruce Ohr testified he gave the memory stick to Pientka. Nellie Ohr had left Fusion in September 2016. Through Pientka, Strzok now had all of Nellie Ohr's Fusion research in his possession. ..."
"... Flynn's 2015 dinner in Moscow was initially used to implicate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. It was then used as a means to cast doubts on Flynn's ability as Trump's national security adviser. Following Flynn's resignation, it was then used as a means to pursue the ongoing collusion narrative that gained full strength in the early days of the Trump administration. ..."
"... On April 18, 2016, Rogers moved aggressively in response to the disclosures. He abruptly shut down all FBI outside-contractor access. At this point, both the FBI and the DOJ's NSD became aware of Rogers's compliance review. They may have known earlier, but they were certainly aware after outside-contractor access was halted. ..."
"... Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of the compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the NSA inspector general and associated FISA abuse to the FISA court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702-compliance review. ..."
Mar 28, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Updated: July 7, 2019

Efforts by high-ranking officials in the CIA , FBI , Department of Justice ( DOJ ), and State Department to portray President Donald Trump as having colluded with Russia were the culmination of years of bias and politicization under the Obama administration.

<img class="size-large wp-image-2855920" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/27/DOJ-FBI_infographic_3_Epoch-Times-1200x630.png" alt="" width="640" height="336" /> Click on image to enlarge.

The weaponization of the intelligence community and other government agencies created an environment that allowed for obstruction in the investigation into Hillary Clinton and the relentless pursuit of a manufactured collusion narrative against Trump.

A willing and complicit media spread unsubstantiated leaks as facts in an effort to promote the Russia-collusion narrative.

The Spygate scandal also raises a bigger question: Was the 2016 election a one-time aberration, or was it symptomatic of decades of institutional political corruption?

This article builds on dozens of congressional testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of Obama administration officials in the scandal that's become known as Spygate.

<img class=" wp-image-2833768" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Michael-Horowitz-1200x1239.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="165" /> Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz . (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

To understand this abuse of power, it helps to go back to July 2011, when DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed.

From the very start, Horowitz found his duties throttled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who placed limitations on the inspector general's right to have unobstructed access to information. Holder used this tactic to delay Horowitz's investigation of the failed sting operation known as Operation Fast and Furious.

"We got access to information up to 2010 in all of these categories. No law changed in 2010. No policy changed. It was simply a decision by the General Counsel's Office in 2010 that they viewed, now, the law differently. And as a result, they weren't going to give us that information," Horowitz told members of Congress in February 2015.

On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general had sent a letter to Congress asking for unimpeded access to all records. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded on July 20, 2015, with a 58-page memorandum, titled " Memorandum for Sally Quillian Yates Deputy Attorney General ," written by Karl R. Thompson, the principal deputy assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).

<img class=" wp-image-2833772" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/sally-yates-1200x1188.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="159" /> Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The July 20, 2015, opinion was widely criticized . But it accomplished what it was intended to do. The opinion limited IG Horowitz's oversight from extending to any information collected under Title III -- including intercepted communications and national security letters. (Notably, The New York Times disclosed that national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.)

In response, on Aug. 3, 2015, IG Horowitz sent a blistering letter to Congress. The letter was signed not only by Horowitz but by all other acting inspectors general as well:

"The OLC opinion's restrictive reading of the IG Act represents a potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our collective ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner. Our concern is that, as a result of the OLC opinion, agencies other than DOJ may likewise withhold crucial records from their Inspectors General, adversely impacting their work.

Horowitz continued to push Congress for oversight access and encouraged passage of the Inspector General Empowerment Act . Horowitz would ultimately win his battle, but only as President Barack Obama was leaving office. On Dec. 16, 2016, Obama finally signed the Inspector General Empowerment Act into law.

It is against this backdrop of minimal oversight that Spygate took place.

Ironically, the Clinton email server investigation, known as the "Mid-Year Exam," originated from a disclosure contained in a June 29, 2015, memo sent by the inspectors general for both the State Department and the Intelligence Community to Patrick F. Kennedy, then-undersecretary of state for management.

The IGs' memo included an assessment that Clinton's email account contained hundreds of classified emails, despite Clinton's claims that there was no classified information present on her server.

On July 6, 2015, the IG for the Intelligence Community made a referral to the FBI, which resulted in the official opening of an investigation into the Clinton email server by FBI officials Randall Coleman and Charles Kable on July 10, 2015.

<img class="size-large wp-image-2833204" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Andrew-McCabe-Lisa-Page-Peter-Strzok-1200x720.jpg" alt="peter strzok andrew mccabe and lisa page" width="640" height="384" /> (L-R) FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe , and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (Getty Images/Epoch Times)

A Hand-Picked Team

At this time, Peter Strzok was an assistant special agent in charge at the FBI's Washington Field Office. The assistant director in charge at the Washington Field Office during this period was Andrew McCabe, a position he assumed on Sept. 14, 2014.

On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI's opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position in the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office, and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began.

Strzok would follow shortly. Less than a month after McCabe was transferred, FBI headquarters reached out to the Washington Field Office, saying it needed greater staffing and resources "based on what they were looking at, based on some of the investigative steps that were under consideration," Strzok told congressional investigators in a closed-door hearing on June 27, 2018.

Strzok was one of the agents selected, and in late August 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of hand-picked personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters.

Starting in October 2015 and continuing into early 2016, FBI Director James Comey made a series of high-profile reassignments that resulted in the complete turnover of the upper-echelon of the FBI team working on the Clinton email investigation:

Comey is the only known senior FBI leadership official who remained involved throughout the entire Clinton email investigation. McCabe had the second-longest tenure.

On Jan. 29, 2016, Comey appointed McCabe as FBI deputy director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position in the FBI, after having held the No. 3 position for just six months.

It was at this point that FBI lawyer Lisa Page was assigned to McCabe as his special counsel. This was not the first time that Page worked directly for McCabe. James Baker, the FBI's former general counsel, told congressional investigators that Page had worked for McCabe at various times during McCabe's career, going back as far as 2013.

By early 2016, the three participants in the infamous "insurance policy" meeting -- McCabe, Strzok, and Page -- were now in place at the FBI.

In January 2016, Bill Priestap was named as head of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, replacing Coleman and inheriting the Clinton email investigation in the process.

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2857145" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/28/Spygate_Epoch-TImes.jpg" alt="" width="676" height="1280" />

According to Priestap, Coleman had "set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command" in the Clinton email investigation. Priestap, who said he didn't know why Coleman had "set it up," kept the chain of command in place when he assumed Coleman's position in January 2016.

This new structure resulted in some unusual reporting lines that went outside normal chains of command. Strzok, who would not normally fall under Priestap's oversight, was now reporting directly to him.

As Priestap described it, the team involved in the Clinton investigation comprised three different but intertwined elements: the primary team, the filter team, and the senior leadership team.

While the elements of the day-to-day investigative team differed for the Clinton email investigation and the Trump–Russia investigation, the primary team remained the same throughout both cases -- as did the lines of communication between the FBI and the DOJ. According to testimony by Page, John Carlin, who ran the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), was receiving briefings on both investigations directly from McCabe.

Priestap Left in the Dark

Priestap, who testified that he was unaware of the frequency of meetings between McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, seems to have been kept in the dark regarding many of the actions taken by Strzok, who appeared to be exercising significant investigative control. Priestap was asked about this by congressional investigators during a June 5, 2018, testimony:

Rep. Meadows: " It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?"

Mr. Priestap: " Peter and Jon, yeah."

<img class=" wp-image-2833249" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Priestap-1200x1548.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="205" /> Assistant Director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap. (Jennifer Zeng/The Epoch Times)

Additionally, Page often circumvented the established chain of command, not only with McCabe, for whom she reportedly served as a conduit for Strzok, but also with Baker. Additionally, there were concerns that Page bypassed both the executive assistant director for the National Security Branch -- first Giacalone, then Steinbach -- and Priestap, the head of counterintelligence. Anderson, the No. 2 lawyer, admitted in her testimony to congressional investigators that she had been aware of these concerns, saying, "Neither of them personally complained to me, but I was aware of their concerns."

A report published by IG Horowitz in June 2018, which reviewed the FBI's investigation of the Clinton email case, included the notable statement that several witnesses had informed the IG that Page "circumvented the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap's or Steinbach's knowledge." Steinbach, who was the executive assistant director and Priestap's direct supervisor, left the FBI in early 2017.

According to Anderson, McCabe was aware of the ongoing concerns regarding Page's circumventions, but it appears that nothing was done to address them:

Mr. Baker: " Do you know if Mr. McCabe was aware that some of his agent executives were concerned that they were being bypassed on information on what, by all accounts, was a sensitive, critical investigation?"

Ms. Anderson: " My understanding was that he was aware."

DOJ Prevents 'Gross Negligence' Charges

By the spring of 2016, the Clinton email investigation was already winding down. This was due in large part to the fact that the DOJ, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch , had decided to set an unusually high threshold for the prosecution of Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she would not be charged.

In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent -- even though the gross negligence statute explicitly does not require this.

This meant that the FBI would have needed to find a smoking gun, such as an email or an admission made during FBI questioning, revealing that Clinton or her aides knowingly set up the private email server to send classified information.

According to Page, the DOJ played a far larger role in the Clinton investigation than previously had been known:

"Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department," Page told congressional investigators on July 13, 2018.

<img class=" wp-image-2833254" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-545524880-1200x1441.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="193" /> Attorney General Loretta Lynch. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Comey also had hinted at the influence exerted by the DOJ over the Clinton investigation, at a July 5, 2016, press conference , in which he recommended that Clinton not be charged, stating that "there are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent."

Notably, Comey had been convinced to remove the term "gross negligence" to describe Clinton's actions from his prepared statement by, among others, Page, Strzok, Anderson, and Moffa.

CIA Director Instigates Trump Investigation

As the Clinton investigation wound down, interest from the intelligence community in the Trump campaign was ramping up. Sometime in 2015, it appears former CIA Director John Brennan established himself as the point man to push for an investigation into the Trump campaign. Using a combination of unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates -- primarily from the UK , but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia -- Brennan then fed this information to the FBI. Brennan stated this fact repeatedly during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony :

"I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI]."

<img class=" wp-image-2833258" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-687314312-1200x1279.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="171" /> CIA Director John Brennan. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Brennan also admitted that it was his intelligence that helped establish the FBI investigation:

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."

In late 2015, Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States. The GCHQ is the UK equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

<img class=" wp-image-2833230" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/George-Papadopoulos.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="192" /> Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

While GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted, after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Most of these meetings with Papadopoulos -- whose own background and reasons for joining the Trump campaign remain suspicious -- occurred in the first half of 2016. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so.

<img class=" wp-image-2833234" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Alexander-Downer-1200x1391.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="186" /> Australian high commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer. (GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Downer's conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through Australian government channels, although it may have come directly from Downer himself.

Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.

In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of the UK's GCHQ, traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Around the same time, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the NSA handled foreign and intelligence aspects.

During this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting , which refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen.

Mr. Brennan:

" We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA's foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there -- so they could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here."

As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation.

The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first, titled the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017.

This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Adm. Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning it only a moderate confidence level.

Fusion GPS and the Steele Dossier

Meanwhile, another less official effort began. Information paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign targeting Trump made its way to the highest levels of the FBI and the State Department, with a sophisticated strategy relying on the personal connections of hired operatives.

<img class=" wp-image-2833265" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-621958726-1200x1324.jpg" alt="" width="159" height="176" /> Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

At the center of the multi-pronged strategy to disseminate the information were Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and former British spy Steele.

In early March 2016, Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie -- the law firm used by the Clinton campaign and the DNC -- expressing interest in an "engagement," according to an Oct. 24, 2017, response letter by Perkins Coie. The firm hired Fusion GPS in April 2016 to "perform a variety of research services during the 2016 election cycle."

Steele's firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, was retained by Fusion GPS during the period between June and November 2016. During this time, Steele produced 16 memos, with the last memo dated Oct. 20, 2016. There is one final memo that Steele wrote on Dec. 13 at the request of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

<img class=" wp-image-2833240" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-634408242-1200x1349.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="180" /> Sen. John McCain commissioned one of Steele's memos. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Steele provided Fusion GPS with something that Simpson's firm was lacking: access to individuals within the FBI and the State Department. These contacts could be traced back to at least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance in the FBI's investigation into FIFA over concerns that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.

Sometime in the latter half of 2014, Steele began to informally provide reports he had prepared for a private client to the State Department. One of the recipients of the reports was Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.

After Steele's company was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016, he began to reach out to the FBI through Michael Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome who Steele had worked with on the FIFA case. Gaeta also headed up the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.

Gaeta was later identified as Steele's FBI handler, in a July 16, 2018, congressional testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees by Page.

<img class=" wp-image-2833242" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/victoria-nuland-1200x1373.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. At some point in early July, Steele passed his initial report to Nuland and the State Department. Nuland later said these documents were passed on at some point to both the FBI and then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Exactly what happened with the reports that Gaeta brought back from London, and precisely who he gave them to within the FBI, remains unknown, although some media reports have indicated they might have been sent to the FBI's New York Field Office. During the period following Steele's initial contact with the FBI, there appears to have been no further FBI interaction or contact with Steele.

Former CIA Contractor Worked for Fusion GPS

Notably, eight months before Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele, Simpson had hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, to work for his firm as a researcher in October 2015. It was at this time that Fusion GPS was retained by the Washington Free Beacon to engage in research on the Trump campaign.

Prior to joining Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for an internal open-source division of the CIA, Open Source Works, from 2008 to at least June 2010; it appears likely she remained in that role into 2014.

Nellie told congressional investigators, in her Oct. 19, 2018, closed-door testimony, that part of her work for Fusion GPS was to research the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, including campaign associate Carter Page, early campaign supporter Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and campaign manager Paul Manafort, as well as Trump's family members, including some of his children.

Additionally, email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent her husband at the DOJ articles on Russia -- most carrying a similar negative slant. The emails continued through the duration of Nellie's employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line comment from Nellie.

In her testimony, Nellie described her work as online open-source efforts that utilized "Russian sources, media, social media, government, you know, business registers, legal databases, all kinds of things." Ohr said that she would "write occasional reports based on the open-source research that I described about Donald Trump's relationships with various people in Russia."

The work Nellie conducted for Fusion GPS matches the same skill set used when she worked for Open Source Works, which is a division within the CIA that uses open-source information to produce intelligence products.

When asked how she came to be hired by Fusion GPS and who had approached her, Nellie responded, "Nobody approached me," telling investigators that it was she who had initiated contact and approached Fusion GPS after reading an article on Simpson.

Nellie would continue to work for Fusion GPS until September 2016. By this time, Simpson and Steele already had started working on pushing the Steele dossier into the FBI.

Following the end of her employment with Fusion GPS, Nellie provided Bruce with a memory stick that contained all of the research she had compiled during her time at the firm. Bruce then gave the memory stick to the FBI, through his handler, Joe Pientka.

Bruce Ohr Becomes a Conduit

Nearly a month after Gaeta brought back the reports that Steele provided in London, Simpson and Steele decided to pursue a new channel into the FBI through Bruce Ohr. Bruce had known Steele since at least 2007, when they met during an "official meeting" while Steele was still employed by the British government as an MI6 agent. Steele had already been in contact with Bruce via email in early 2016. Notably, most of these prior communications appeared to discuss Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his ongoing efforts to obtain a U.S. visa.

<img class=" wp-image-2833270" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Bruce-ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="191" /> Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

On July 29, 2016, Steele wrote to Bruce, saying that he would "be in DC at short notice on business," and asked to meet with both Bruce and his wife. On July 30, 2016, the Ohrs met Steele for breakfast at the Mayflower Hotel. Also present at the breakfast meeting was a fourth individual, described by Bruce as "an associate of Mr. Steele's, another gentleman, younger fellow. I didn't catch his name." Nellie testified that Steele's associate had a British accent.

The timing of the July 30 breakfast meeting is of particular note, as the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, "Crossfire Hurricane," was formally opened the following day, on July 31, 2016, by FBI agent Peter Strzok.

<img class=" wp-image-2833272" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Nellie-Ohr.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="183" /> Fusion GPS contractor Nellie Ohr. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to a transcript of Bruce's testimony before Congress, Steele relayed information from his dossier at this meeting and claimed that "a former head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR, had stated to someone that they had Donald Trump over a barrel."

Steele also referenced Deripaska's business dealings with Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and foreign policy adviser Carter Page's meetings in Moscow.

Lastly, Bruce noted that Steele told him he had been in contact with the FBI but now had additional reports. "Chris Steele had provided some reports to the FBI, I think two, but that Glenn Simpson had more," he said.

Immediately following the Ohrs' breakfast meeting with Steele, Bruce Ohr reached out to FBI Deputy Director McCabe and the two met in McCabe's office -- sometime between July 30 and the first days of August. Also present at this meeting was FBI lawyer Page, who had previously worked for Bruce Ohr at the DOJ, where he was her direct supervisor for five to six years.

Bruce Ohr would later testify that during the July/August meeting, he told McCabe that his wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion, noting, "I wanted the FBI to be aware of any possible bias." FBI General Counsel Baker, who reviewed a portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page -- which relied in part on the information from Steele -- told congressional investigators that he was never told of Ohr's concerns regarding possible bias and conflicts of interest.

On Aug. 15, 2016, a week or two following Bruce Ohr's meeting with McCabe, Strzok would send the now-infamous "insurance policy" text referencing McCabe to Lisa 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."

On Aug. 22, Bruce Ohr had a meeting with Simpson. Ohr would later discuss that meeting during his testimony:

"I don't know exactly what Chris Steele was thinking, of course, but I knew that Chris Steele was working for Glenn Simpson, and that Glenn might have additional information that Chris either didn't have or was not authorized to prevent [present], give me, or whatever."

It was at this meeting that Simpson first mentioned Belarusan-American businessman Sergei Millian and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen.

Brennan's Briefings to the Gang of Eight <img class=" wp-image-2833280" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/GettyImages-103218413-1200x1585.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="211" /> Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

During this same period in late August 2016, Brennan began briefing members of the Gang of Eight on the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, through a series of meetings in August and September 2016. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts by Democrats to block the release of transcripts from each meeting are ongoing. Comey, however, did not notify Congress of the FBI investigation until early March 2017, and it's entirely possible he was unaware of Brennan's private briefings during the summer of 2016.

During her testimony, FBI lawyer Lisa Page was questioned by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message that read, "What are you doing after the CH brief?" CH almost certainly referred to Crossfire Hurricane.

Lisa Page then was asked about an event that took place on the same day as the "CH brief" -- a briefing provided by Brennan to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:

"You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It's not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell, a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point."

According to Meadows, Brennan briefed Reid on the Steele dossier:

"We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then obviously we're going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware [of the dossier]?"

Lisa Page appeared genuinely surprised that Brennan would have been aware of the dossier's existence at this early point, telling Meadows: "The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did."

She elaborated further: "As of August of 2016, I don't know who Christopher Steele is. I don't know that he's an FBI source. I don't know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life."

This claim by Page seems incongruous when viewed against Bruce Ohr's testimony that he met with Page and McCabe in the first days of August following his July 30, 2016, breakfast with Steele:

"My initial meeting was with Mr. McCabe and with Lisa Page.

"I was telling them about what I was hearing from Chris Steele."

Meanwhile, Brennan's briefing prompted Reid to write not one but two letters to Comey. Both demanded that Comey commence an investigation, with the details to be made public.

Reid's first letter , which touched on Carter Page, was sent on Aug. 27, 2016. Reid's second letter , far angrier and declaring Comey to be in possession of material information, was sent on Oct. 30, 2016.

There had been reports that Comey had been considering closing the FBI investigation of Trump, something Brennan strongly opposed. Now, with Reid's letters sent, that avenue was effectively closed. The termination of the FBI's Trump–Russia investigation would be all but impossible in the face of Reid's public demands.

Perhaps it was in response to Reid's Aug. 27 letter that the FBI suddenly reached out to Steele in September 2016, asking him for all the information in his possession. The team working on Crossfire Hurricane received documents and a briefing from Steele in mid-September, reportedly at a meeting in Rome, where Gaeta also was present.

During Lisa Page's testimony, she appeared to corroborate this account, noting that the team received the "reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele's handler in September of 2016." She would later clarify the timing, noting "we received the reporting from Steele in mid-September." A text sent to her by FBI agent Peter Strzok on Oct. 12, 2016, may provide us with the actual date:

"We got the reporting on Sept 19. Looks like [redacted] got it early August."

Steele had produced eight reports from June 20, 2016, through the end of August 2016 (there also is one undated report included in the dossier). No further reports were generated by Steele until Sept. 14, when he suddenly wrote three separate memos in one day. One of the memos referenced a Russian bank named Alfa Bank, misspelled as "Alpha" in his memo. Steele's sudden burst of productivity was likely done in preparation for his Sept. 19 meeting in Rome with the FBI.

The impact of Brennan's potential knowledge of the dossier in August 2016 should not be underestimated. As Brennan testified to Congress, his briefing to the Gang of Eight was done in consultation with the Obama administration:

"Through the so-called Gang-of-Eight process we kept Congress apprised of these issues as we identified them. 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.

"Given the highly sensitive nature of what was an active counter-intelligence case, 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."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PseDla0l9xE?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque The Carter Page FISA Warrant <img class=" wp-image-2833286" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Carter-Page.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="207" /> Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

As the dossier was making its way into the FBI, the agency began its preparations to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who was surveilled under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

According to Baker's testimony, it appears that the FBI began to set its sights on Carter Page in the summer of 2016. When asked how he had first gained knowledge of the FBI's intention to pursue a FISA warrant on Carter Page, Baker testified that it came through his familiarity with the FBI's investigation:

Mr. Baker: " I learned of -- so I was aware when the FBI first started to focus on Carter Page, I was aware of that because it was part of the broader investigation that we were conducting. So I was aware that we were investigating him. And then at some point in time –"

Rep. Meadows: "But that was many years ago. That was in 2014. Or are you talking about 2016?"

Mr. Baker: " I am talking about 2016 in the summer."

Rep. Meadows: "Okay."

Mr. Baker: " Yeah. And so I was aware of the investigation, and then at some point in time, as part of the regular briefings on the case, the briefers mentioned that they were going to pursue a FISA."

It appears the FBI, and possibly the CIA, began to focus on Carter Page earlier than Baker was aware. Carter Page had been invited some months prior to a July 2016 symposium held at Cambridge regarding the upcoming election. The speaker list was notable:

Carter Page attended the event just four days after his July 2016 Moscow trip, and it was during this time in the UK that he first encountered Stefan Halper. Page's Moscow trip would later figure prominently in the Steele dossier.

Halper, who has been outed as an FBI informant, stayed in contact with Carter Page for the next 14 months, severing ties exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired.

Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel for the FBI and head of the bureau's National Security and Cyber Law Branch, approved the application for a warrant to spy on Carter Page before it went to FBI Director James Comey.

According to Anderson, pre-approvals for the Carter Page FISA warrant were provided by both McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, before the FISA application was ever presented to Anderson for review.

"[M]y boss and my boss' boss had already reviewed and approved this application. And, in fact, the Deputy Attorney General, who had the authority to sign the application, to be the substantive approver on the FISA application itself, had approved the application. And that typically would not have been the case before I did that," said Anderson.

The unusual preliminary reviews and approvals from both McCabe and Yates appear to have had a substantial impact on the normal review process, leading other individuals like Anderson to believe that the warrant application was more vetted than it really was.

Anderson also testified that she had not read the Carter Page FISA application prior to signing off on it and passing it along to Comey for the final FBI signature. According to FBI lawyer Sally Moyer, the underlying Woods file (a document that provides facts supporting the allegations made in a FISA application) was only read by the originating agent and the supervisory special agent in the field. Moyer also noted that the Woods file relating to the Page FISA had not been reviewed or audited by anyone.

The Carter Page FISA application was largely reliant on the Steele dossier, which was unverified at the time of its submission to the FISA court and remains unverified by the FBI to this day. Circular reporting, provided by Steele himself, was used as corroboration of the dossier. Additionally, Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, whose conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer was used to open the FBI's July 31, 2016, counterintelligence investigation, is referenced in the FISA, yet there "is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos," according to a House Intelligence Committee memo.

Moyer testified that without the Steele dossier, the Carter Page application would have had a "50/50" chance of achieving the probable cause standard before the FISA court. Notably, the Steele dossier is generally considered to have been largely discredited.

A Perkins Coie Partner and Alfa Bank Allegations

<img class=" wp-image-2679668" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/Michael-Sussmann-Perkins-Coie.jpg" alt="Michael Sussmann Lawyer Perkins Coie" width="160" height="194" /> Michael Sussmann, partner at Perkins Coie. (Courtesy Perkins Coie)

On Sept. 19, shortly after Steele completed his latest three memos, FBI General Counsel James Baker met with Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann, the lawyer the DNC turned to on April 28, 2016, after discovering the alleged hacking of their servers.

Sussman, who sought out the meeting, presented Baker with documents that Baker described as "a stack of material I don't know maybe a quarter inch half inch thick something like that clipped together, and then I believe there was some type of electronic media, as well, a disk or something."

The information that Sussmann gave to Baker was related to what Baker described as "a surreptitious channel of communications" between the Trump Organization and "a Russian organization associated with the Russian Government."

Baker was describing alleged communications between Alfa Bank and a server in the Trump Tower. The allegations, which were investigated by the FBI and proven to be false, were widely covered in the media.

Just four days earlier, on Sept. 14, Steele mentioned Alfa Bank (misspelled as Alpha bank) in one of his memos.

According to Baker's testimony, there appears to have been at least three meetings with Sussmann -- the first in person and at least two subsequent meetings by phone. In either the second or third conversation, Baker came to understand The New York Times was also in possession of Sussmann's information. As would become clear later, other members of the media also had this same information.

As Baker was meeting with Sussmann, Steele was back in Washington for a series of meetings that included his DOJ contact, Bruce Ohr.

On Sept. 23, 2016, Bruce Ohr again met with Steele for breakfast, telling lawmakers during testimony, "Steele was in Washington, D.C., again, and he reached out to me, and, again, we met for breakfast, and he provided some additional information." Ohr said this meeting concerned similar topics that were discussed at the July 30, 2016, meeting but did not provide further details.

Bruce Ohr would also meet either that same month or in early October with FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and DOJ career officials from the criminal division, Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman (Ohr testified that he was unsure whether Weismann was at this or a later meeting). Both Weissman and Ahmad would later become part of the team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Steele's Meetings With the Media

On the same day that Bruce Ohr met with Christopher Steele for breakfast, on Sept. 23, 2016, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff published an article about Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. The article, headlined " U.S. Intel Officials Probe Ties Between Trump Adviser and Kremlin ," was based on an interview with Steele. Isikoff's article would later be used by the FBI in the FISA spy warrant application on Carter Page as corroborating information.

Following the publication of the Isikoff article, the Hillary for America campaign released a statement on the same day that touted Isikoff's "bombshell report," with the full article attached.

A second lengthy article was published on Sept. 23, by Politico: " Who Is Carter Page? The Mystery of Trump's Man in Moscow ," by Julia Ioffe. This article was particularly interesting as it appeared to highlight media efforts by Fusion GPS:

"As I started looking into Page, I began getting calls from two separate 'corporate investigators' digging into what they claim are all kinds of shady connections Page has to all kinds of shady Russians. One is working on behalf of various unnamed Democratic donors; the other won't say who turned him on to Page's scent. Both claimed to me that the FBI was investigating Page for allegedly meeting with Igor Sechin and Sergei Ivanov, who was until recently Putin's chief of staff -- both of whom are on the sanctions list -- when Page was in Moscow in July for that speech."

Ioffe noted that "seemingly everyone I talked to had also talked to the Washington Post, and then there were these corporate investigators who drew a dark and complex web of Page's connections."

Her article also mentioned rumors regarding Alfa Bank:

"In the interest of due diligence, I also tried to run down the rumors being handed me by the corporate investigators: that Russia's Alfa Bank paid for the trip as a favor to the Kremlin; that Page met with Sechin and Ivanov in Moscow; that he is now being investigated by the FBI for those meetings because Sechin and Ivanov were both sanctioned for Russia's invasion of Ukraine."

It was probably during this same trip to Washington that Steele met with Jonathan Winer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya, whom Steele had known since at least 2010.

Winer had received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele then shared this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it as a means to corroborate Steele's own dossier.

Steele also met with U.S. media during his visit to Washington, doing so "at Fusion's instruction." According to UK Court documents , Steele testified that he "briefed" The New York Times, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, The New Yorker, and CNN at the end of September 2016. Steele would engage in a second round of media contact in mid-October 2016, meeting again with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Yahoo News. Steele testified that all these meetings were "conducted verbally in person."

Alfa Bank Media Leaks

<img class=" wp-image-2679669" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/05/james-baker.jpg" alt="James Baker FBi Special Counsel" width="160" height="203" /> Former FBI General Counsel James Baker.

As Steele's media meetings were going on, FBI General Counsel James Baker learned that Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann was also speaking with reporters from The New York Times regarding the Alfa Bank information that Sussmann had provided to the FBI. After some internal discussion, the FBI approached both Sussmann and The New York Times, asking that any story be held until the FBI had time to complete an investigation into the documents provided by Sussmann. It appears that an agreement was reached, and the FBI began to look into the claims regarding Alfa Bank and the server at Trump Tower.

But Sussman wasn't the only one that Baker, currently the subject of an ongoing criminal leak investigation, was speaking with. According to congressional investigators, beginning sometime in September 2016 -- before the presidential election -- Baker began having conversations with his old friend and journalist, David Corn of Mother Jones.

According to Baker, these conversations were in relation to ongoing FBI matters:

Rep. Jordan: " Did you talk to Mr. Corn prior to the election about anything, anything related to FBI matters? Not -- so we're not going to ask about the Steele dossier. Anything about FBI business, FBI matters?"

Mr. Baker: " Yes."

Rep. Jordan: " Yes. And do you know -- can you give me some dates or the number of times that you talked to Mr. Corn about FBI matters leading up to the 2016 Presidential election?"

Mr. Baker: " I don't remember, Congressman."

By Oct. 31, 2016, the FBI had apparently wrapped up their investigation into the Alfa Bank allegations, finding no evidence of anything untoward in the process. It was on this day that three separate articles on Alfa Bank would be published.

The first, " Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia " by The New York Times, appeared to be an updated version of the article they had intended to publish before the FBI asked them to delay their reporting. It stated the following:

"In classified sessions in August and September, intelligence officials also briefed congressional leaders on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump. They focused particular attention on what cyberexperts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia's biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin."

The reference to "classified sessions in August and September" is likely in relation to the series of Gang of Eight briefings that former CIA Director John Brennan engaged in at that time -- including his briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The article continued:

"F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 'look-up' messages -- a first step for one system's computers to talk to another -- to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts."

The second article, "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?" by Slate Magazine, was solely focused on the allegations regarding a server in the Trump Tower that had allegedly been communicating with a server at Alfa Bank in Russia.

Immediately following the publication of the Slate article, Clinton posted a tweet that included a statement from Jake Sullivan, a senior policy adviser:

"Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank."

Sullivan's statement referenced the Slate article and included the following:

"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

"This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists."

The Alfa Bank story took off -- despite the same-day story from The New York Times that specifically noted the FBI had investigated that matter and found nothing untoward.

The final article published on Oct. 31, " A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump " by Mother Jones reporter -- and Baker's friend -- David Corn, also mentioned Alfa Bank:

"In recent weeks, reporters in Washington have pursued anonymous online reports that a computer server related to the Trump Organization engaged in a high level of activity with servers connected to Alfa Bank, the largest private bank in Russia. On Monday, a Slate investigation detailed the pattern of unusual server activity but concluded, 'We don't yet know what this [Trump] server was for, but it deserves further explanation.' In an email to Mother Jones, Hope Hicks, a Trump campaign spokeswoman, maintains, 'The Trump Organization is not sending or receiving any communications from this email server. The Trump Organization has no communication or relationship with this entity or any Russian entity.'"

More notably, Corn's article also provided the first public reporting on the existence of the Steele dossier:

"A former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump -- and that the FBI requested more information from him."

As it turns out, Corn had detailed, first-hand knowledge of the dossier. According to testimony from Baker, Corn had been provided with parts of the dossier by Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson. Baker knew of this fact, because within a week of publishing his article, Corn passed these dossier parts on to Baker personally:

Rep. Jordan: " Prior to the election Mr. Corn had a copy of the dossier and was talking to you about giving that to you so the FBI would have it. Is that all right? I mean all accurate."

Mr. Baker: " My recollection is that he had part of the dossier, that we had other parts already, and that we got still other parts from other people, and that -- and nevertheless some of the parts that David Corn gave us were parts that we did not have from another source?"

Steele had written four memos after the FBI team received his information in mid-September. All of the memos were written in October -- on the 12th, 18th, 19th, and the 20th. It is possible that these were the memos passed along to Baker by Corn.

Baker testified that he received elements of the dossier from Corn that were not in the FBI's possession at the time. He said that he immediately turned this information over to leadership within the FBI, noting, "I think it was Bill Priestap," the head of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.

The use of personal relationships as a mechanism to transmit outside information to the FBI was actually noted by Baker, who said of Corn: "Even though he was my friend, I was also an FBI official. He knew that. And so he wanted to somehow get that into the hands of the FBI."

Bruce Ohr's FBI Handler

Christopher Steele was terminated as a source by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2016, for communicating with the media. Despite this, DOJ official Bruce Ohr and Steele communicated regularly for another full year, until November 2017.

On Nov. 21, 2016, Ohr had a meeting with FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and was introduced to FBI agent Joe Pientka, who became Ohr's FBI handler. Pientka was also present with Strzok during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview of Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn .

The next day, Nov. 22, 2016, Ohr met alone with Pientka. Ohr would continue to relay his communications with Steele to the FBI through Pientka, who then recorded them in FD-302 forms. What Ohr didn't know was that Pientka was transmitting all the information directly to Strzok.

Ohr, in his testimony, detailed his interactions with Steele and Glenn Simpson, as well as his communications with officials at the FBI and DOJ. Notably, Ohr repeatedly stated that he never vetted any of the information provided by either Steele or Simpson. He simply turned it over or relayed it to the FBI -- usually to Pientka -- but Ohr also testified that "at least on two occasions I was handed onto a new agent."

Sometime in late 2016, his wife, Nellie Ohr, provided him with a memory stick containing all of her research that she had compiled while employed at Fusion GPS. Bruce Ohr testified he gave the memory stick to Pientka. Nellie Ohr had left Fusion in September 2016. Through Pientka, Strzok now had all of Nellie Ohr's Fusion research in his possession.

On Dec. 10, 2016, Bruce Ohr met with Simpson, who gave him a memory stick that Ohr believed contained a copy of the Steele dossier. Ohr also passed this second memory stick along to Pientka.

On Jan. 20, 2017, Ohr had one final communication with Simpson, a phone call that took place on the same day as Trump's inauguration. Ohr testified that Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson was concerned that one of Steele's sources was about to be exposed through the pending publication of an article:

Mr. Ohr: " He says something along the lines of, I -- there's going to be some reporting in the next few days that's going to -- could expose the source, and the source could be in personal danger."

Rep. Meadows: " And why was he concerned about that source being exposed?"

Mr. Ohr: " I think he was aware of some kind of article that was likely to come out in the next, you know, few days or something."

Apparently, Simpson's information was at least partly accurate. On Jan. 24, 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sergei Millian, a Belarusan-American businessman and onetime Russian government translator, was both "Source D" and "Source E" in the dossier. It remains unknown exactly how Simpson knew in advance that Millian would be outed as a source.

But there are some questions as to the accuracy of the Journal's reporting. The dossier appears to conflict with the newspaper's article in at least one aspect. According to the dossier, Source E was used as confirmation for Source D -- meaning they can't be the same person.

McCain, the Dossier, and a UK Connection

Simpson and Steele were carefully thorough in their dissemination efforts. The dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources.

One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood may have previously worked on behalf of Steele's company, Orbis Business Intelligence; he was referenced in a UK court filing as an associate of Orbis. Wood was also referred to as an adviser to Orbis in a deposition by an associate of late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), David Kramer.

Kramer knew Wood previously from their mutual expertise on Russia. Kramer said in his deposition, which was part of a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed News, that Wood told him that "he was aware of information that he thought I should be aware of and that Senator McCain might be interested in."

<img class=" wp-image-2833323" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/kramer-300x300.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="173" /> McCain associate David Kramer. (Courtesy McCain Institute)

McCain, Wood, and Kramer would meet later that afternoon, on Nov. 19, 2016, in a private meeting room at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Wood told both Kramer and McCain that "he was aware of this information that had been gathered that raised the possibility of collusion and compromising material on the president-elect. And he explained that he knew the person who gathered the information and felt that the person was of the utmost credibility," Kramer said.

Kramer ascribed the word "collusion" three times to Wood in his deposition. He also said that Wood mentioned the possible existence of a video "of a sexual nature" that might have "shown the president-elect in a compromising situation." According to Kramer, Wood said that "if it existed, that it was from a hotel in Moscow when president-elect, before he was president-elect, had been in Moscow."

No such video was ever uncovered or given to Kramer.

Kramer testified that following the description of the video, "the senator turned to me and asked if I would go to London to meet with what turned out to be Mr. Steele."

Kramer traveled to London to meet with Steele on Nov. 28, 2016. Kramer reviewed all the memos during his meeting with Steele but wasn't provided with a physical copy of the dossier.

When Kramer returned to Washington, he was provided with a copy of the dossier -- which, at that point, consisted of 16 memos -- during a meeting with Simpson on Nov. 29, 2016. Kramer also testified that there was another individual, "a male," present at the meeting.

<img class=" wp-image-2849229" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/John-McCain-1200x1530.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="204" /> Late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Interestingly, Kramer testified that Simpson gave him two copies of the dossier, noting that Simpson told him that "one had more things blacked out than the other." Kramer said, "It wasn't entirely clear to me why there were two versions of this, so but I took both versions."

Kramer noted that Simpson, who was aware the dossier was being given to McCain, said the dossier "was a very sensitive document and needed to be handled very carefully."

Despite that warning, Kramer showed the dossier to a number of journalists and had discussions with at least 14 members of the media, along with some individuals in the U.S. government.

Kramer testified that he gave a physical copy of the dossier to reporters Peter Stone and Greg Gordon of McClatchy; to Fred Hiatt, the editor of the Washington Post editorial page; Alan Cullison of The Wall Street Journal; Bob Little at NPR; Carl Bernstein at CNN; and Ken Bensinger at BuzzFeed. It's possible that Kramer gave copies to other reporters as well.

Kramer said that Simpson and Steele were aware of most of these contacts, but that Kramer hadn't told either of them that he gave the dossier to NPR. He also noted that Steele had been in contact with Bernstein at CNN and that the CNN and BuzzFeed meetings occurred at Steele's request. Steele told Kramer that he and Bensinger "had been in touch during the FIFA investigation; they got to know each other that way."

According to Kramer, he didn't believe that Fusion GPS and Simpson were aware of these two meetings with CNN and BuzzFeed.

Kramer testified that he, McCain, and McCain's chief of staff, Christopher Brose, met to review the dossier on Nov. 30, 2016. Kramer suggested that McCain "provide a copy of [the dossier] to the director of the FBI and the director of the CIA." McCain later passed a copy of the dossier to James Comey on Dec. 9, 2016. It isn't known whether McCain also provided a copy to then-CIA Director John Brennan. Notably, Brennan did attach a two-page summary of the dossier to the intelligence community assessment that he delivered to outgoing President Barack Obama on Jan. 5, 2017.

Kramer said that he wasn't aware of the content of McCain's Dec. 9 discussion with Comey, noting that he "did not get any readout from the senator on the meeting, but just that it had happened."

Kramer did, however, provide updates to both Steele and Simpson regarding the status of McCain's meeting with Comey, in subsequent discussions with Simpson and Steele:

"It was mostly just to inform him about whether or not the senator had transfer -- transmitted the document to the FBI. Both he and Mr. Steele were -- I kept them apprised of whether the senator was -- where the senator was in terms of his contact with the FBI."

The implications of this statement are significant. Kramer, a private citizen, was providing updates to a former British spy as to what a sitting senator, and chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, was saying to the director of the FBI.

Other members of the media also had advance knowledge of McCain's intention to meet with Comey. Kramer testified that both Mother Jones reporter David Corn and Guardian reporter Julian Borger came to meet with him. According to Kramer, "They were mostly interested in Senator McCain and his, whether he had given it to Director Comey or not."

Several days after McCain, Brose, and Kramer met to discuss the dossier, Kramer said that McCain instructed him to meet with Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, and Celeste Wallander, the senior director for Russia and Central Asia on the National Security Council.

The purpose of the meeting was to verify whether the dossier "was being taken seriously." Both Nuland and Wallander were previously aware of the dossier's existence, and both officials previously knew Steele, whom "they believed to be credible." Kramer said he didn't physically share the dossier with them at this point, but met again with Wallander "around New Years" and "gave her a copy of the document"

Nuland had actually received a copy of the earlier Steele memos back in July 2016.

Steele produced a final memo dated Dec. 13, 2016. According to UK court documents , Kramer, on behalf of McCain, had asked Steele to provide any further intelligence that he had gathered relating to "alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election." Notably, it appears it was this request from McCain that led Steele to produce his Dec. 13 memo.

Although Kramer didn't provide a date, he said he received the final Steele memo sometime after "Senator McCain had provided the copy to Director Comey." We know that Kramer received the final memo prior to Dec. 29 -- when Kramer met with BuzzFeed's Bensinger.

Kramer testified that Bensinger "said he wanted to read them, he asked me if he could take photos of them on his -- I assume it was an iPhone. I asked him not to. He said he was a slow reader, he wanted to read it. And so I said, you know, I got a phone call to make, and I had to go to the bathroom " Kramer said that he "left him to read it for 20, 30 minutes."

Kramer also testified that besides the reporters, he gave a final copy of the dossier to two other people in early January 2017: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Il.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan's chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.

James Clapper Leaks Details of Obama–Trump Briefings

The ICA on alleged Russian hacking was released internally on Jan. 5, 2017. On this same day, outgoing president Obama held an undisclosed White House meeting to discuss the assessment -- and the attached summation of the dossier -- with national security adviser Susan Rice, FBI Director James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. Rice would later send herself an email documenting the meeting.

The following day, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Comey attached a written summary of the Steele dossier to the classified briefing they gave Obama. Comey then met with President-elect Trump to inform him of the dossier. This meeting took place just hours after Comey, Brennan, and Clapper formally briefed Obama on both the ICA and the Steele dossier.

<img class=" wp-image-2833293" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/James-Clapper-1200x1296.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="173" /> Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Comey would only inform Trump of the "salacious" details contained within the dossier. He later explained on CNN in an April 2018 interview that he had done so at the request of Clapper and Brennan, "because that was the part that the leaders of the intelligence community agreed he needed to be told about."

Shortly after Comey's meeting with Trump, both the Trump–Comey meeting and the existence of the dossier were leaked to CNN. The significance of the meeting was material, as Comey noted in a Jan. 7 memo :

"Media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material."

The media had widely dismissed the dossier as unsubstantiated and, therefore, unreportable. It was only after learning that Comey briefed Trump on it that CNN reported on the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee report on Russian election interference confirmed that Clapper personally leaked confirmation of the dossier, along with Comey's meeting with Trump, to CNN:

"The Committee's investigation revealed that President-elect Trump was indeed briefed on the contents of the Steele dossier and when questioned by the Committee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that he confirmed the existence of the dossier to the media."

Additionally, the House intelligence report shows Clapper appears to have been the direct source for CNN's Jake Tapper and his Jan. 10 story that disclosed the existence of the dossier:

"When initially asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, former DNI Clapper flatly denied 'discuss[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.' Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the 'dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,' and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic.

"Clapper's discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on 'the Christopher Steele information,' a two-page summary of which was 'enclosed in' the highly-classified version of the ICA."

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published the article "Intel Chiefs Presented Trump With Claims of Russian Efforts to Compromise Him " by Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein. (The article would later be updated and have a Jan. 12, 2017, date.)

The allegations within the dossier were made public, and with reporting of the briefings by intelligence community leaders, instant credibility was given to the dossier's assertions.

Immediately following the CNN story, BuzzFeed published the Steele dossier, and the Trump–Russia conspiracy was pushed into the mainstream.

David Kramer was asked about his reaction when CNN broke the story on the dossier. According to his deposition, Kramer stated, "I believe my words were 'Holy [expletive].'"

Kramer, who was actually meeting with The Guardian's Julian Borger when CNN reported on the dossier, said that he quickly spoke with Steele, who "was shocked."

On the following day, Jan. 11, 2017, Clapper issued a statement condemning the leaks -- without revealing the fact that he was the source of the leak.

On Nov. 17, 2016, Clapper submitted his resignation as director of national intelligence; his resignation became effective on Jan. 20, 2017. Later that year, CNN hired Clapper as its national security analyst.

The Effort to Remove General Flynn

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then-national security adviser to President Donald Trump, was interviewed on Jan. 24, 2017, by FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka about two December 2016 conversations that Flynn had had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

<img class=" wp-image-2833340" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Michael-Flynn-1200x1469.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="197" /> National security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. (Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

Details of the phone conversation had leaked to the media. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI regarding his conversations with Kislyak. It remains unknown to this day who leaked Flynn's classified call -- a far more serious felony violation.

The Washington Post reported in January 2017 that the FBI had found no evidence of wrongdoing in Flynn's actual call with the Russian ambassador. The call, and the matters discussed in it, broke no laws.

Flynn has been portrayed in the media as being suspiciously close to Russia; a dinner in Moscow that occurred in late 2015 is frequently cited as evidence of this.

On Dec. 10, 2015, Flynn attended an event in Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Russian television network RT. Flynn, who was seated next to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the culminating dinner, was also interviewed on national security matters by an RT correspondent. Flynn's speaker's bureau, Leading Authorities Inc., was paid $45,000 for the event and Flynn received $33,000 of the total amount.

Seated at the same table with Flynn was Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in the 2016 election. By all accounts, including Stein's , Flynn and Putin didn't engage in any real conversation. At the time, Flynn's trip didn't garner significant attention. But it would later be used by the media and the Clinton campaign to push the Russia-collusion narrative.

Notably, as stated by lawyer Robert Kelner, Flynn disclosed his Moscow trip to the Defense Intelligence Agency before he traveled there and provided a full briefing upon his return:

"As has previously been reported, General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of the DoD, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by the DIA concerning the trip during those briefings."

Flynn's trip to Russia was first brought to broader attention on July 18, 2016, during a live interview at the Republican National Convention with Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vjvvtuDEQJY?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque

The Isikoff interview took place on July 18, 2016. Unknown at the time, the matter had also captured the attention of Christopher Steele, who had begun publishing his dossier memos on June 20, 2016.

Contained within an Aug. 10, 2016, memo was this initial reference to Flynn:

"Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn) and funding their recent visits to Moscow."

In addition to the obvious questions raised by the timing of Flynn's name appearing in Steele's Aug. 10 memo, is the manner in which Flynn is denoted. All other names are capitalized, in the manner of intelligence briefings. Flynn's name isn't capitalized and, in one case, appears within parentheses.

Steele met with Yahoo News' Isikoff in September 2016 and gave him information from the dossier. The resulting Sept. 23, 2016, article from Isikoff was then cited by the FBI as validating Steele's claims and was featured in the original FISA application , and its three subsequent renewals , for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Steele wasn't the only person Isikoff was working with. On April 26, 2016, Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort's business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It was later learned from a Democratic National Committee (DNC) email leaked by Wikileaks that Isikoff had been working with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American operative who was doing consulting work for the DNC. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose alleged ties between Trump, Manafort, and Russia.

The obvious question remains: How did the information on Flynn make its way into the dossier at the time it did, and who provided the information to Steele?

Flynn's 2015 dinner in Moscow was initially used to implicate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. It was then used as a means to cast doubts on Flynn's ability as Trump's national security adviser. Following Flynn's resignation, it was then used as a means to pursue the ongoing collusion narrative that gained full strength in the early days of the Trump administration.

A Jan. 10, 2017, article in The New York Times, " Trump's National Security Pick Sees Ally in Fight Against Islamists: Russia ," highlighted the efforts:

"In an extraordinary report released last week, the agencies bluntly accused the Russian government of having worked to undermine American democracy and promote the candidacy of Mr. Trump. The report is likely to renew questions about Mr. Flynn's avowed eagerness to work with Russia, and his dismissal of concerns about President Vladimir V. Putin."

Flynn would resign from his position as national security adviser in February 2017. The sequence of events leading to his resignation were both coordinated and orchestrated, with acting Attorney General Sally Yates playing a leading role.

On Jan. 12, 2017, Flynn's Dec. 29, 2016, call with Kislyak was leaked to The Washington Post. The article portrayed Flynn as undermining Obama's Russia sanctions that had been imposed on the same day as Flynn's call with the Russian ambassador.

On Jan. 15, five days before Trump's inauguration, Vice President Mike Pence appeared on "Face the Nation" to defend Flynn's calls.

A few days later, on Jan. 19, Obama officials -- Yates, Clapper, Brennan and Comey -- met to discuss Flynn's situation. The concern they reportedly discussed was that Flynn might have misled Trump administration officials regarding the nature of his call with Kislyak.

<img class="wp-image-2852644 size-full" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/25/spygate-small.jpg" alt="" width="592" height="724" /> Click on the infographic to enlarge

Yates, Clapper, and Brennan supported informing the Trump administration of their concerns. Comey took a dissenting view. On Jan 23, Yates again pressured Comey, telling the FBI director that she believed Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail. At this point, according to media reports, Comey relented, despite the FBI finding nothing unlawful in the content of Flynn's calls.

Strzok and Pientka, at the instruction of McCabe, interviewed Flynn the following day. According to court documents, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed." It was during this interview that Flynn reportedly lied to the FBI.

The DOJ was provided with a detailed briefing of the Flynn interview on the following day. On Jan. 26, Yates contacted White House counsel Don McGahn, who agreed to meet to discuss the matter. Yates arrived at McGahn's office, bringing Mary McCord, John Carlin's acting replacement as head of the DOJ's National Security Division.

Yates later testified before Congress that the meeting surrounded Flynn's phone calls and his FBI interview. She also testified that Flynn's call and subsequent interview "was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community." McGahn reportedly asked Yates, "Why does it matter to the DOJ if one White House official lies to another official?"

McGahn called Yates the following day and asked her to return for a second meeting. Yates returned to the White House without McCord. McGahn asked to examine the FBI's evidence on Flynn. Yates said she would respond by the following Monday.

Yates failed to provide McGahn with the FBI's evidence on Flynn. From that point, the pressure on Flynn and the Trump administration escalated -- with help from media reporting.

Flynn resigned on Feb. 13, after it was reported that he had misled Pence about phone conversations he'd had with Kislyak.

The following day, The New York Times reported that "phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials."

With Flynn gone and the Russian narrative firmly established, the conspirators then turned their attention to Trump's newly confirmed attorney general, Jeff Sessions . On March 1, 2017, The Washington Post reported that Sessions had twice had contact with the Russian ambassador, Kislyak. The following day, March 2, Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation.

On the same day that Sessions recused himself, Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, detailed efforts at hampering the newly installed Trump administration, during a March 2, 2017, interview with MSNBC , in which she described how the Obama administration gathered and disseminated intelligence on the Trump team:

"I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill 'Get as much information as you can. Get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.'

"The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff's dealing with Russians, [they] would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. That's why you have the leaking."

Note that Farkas said "how we knew," not just "what we knew."

Obama Officials Used Unmasking to Target the Trump Campaign

On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), met a classified source who showed him "dozens" of intelligence reports. Contained within these reports was evidence of surveillance on the Trump campaign. Nunes held a press conference on March 22 highlighting what he had found:

<img class=" wp-image-2849235" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Devin-Nunes-1200x1522.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="203" /> Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting."

In a series of rapid-fire questions and answers, Nunes attempted to elaborate on what he had been shown:

"From what I know right now, it looks like incidental collection. We don't know exactly how that was picked up but we're trying to get to the bottom of it I think the NSA's going to comply. I am concerned – we don't know whether or not the FBI is going to comply. I have placed a call, I'm waiting to talk to Director Comey, hopefully later today.

"I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show the President-elect and his team were at least monitored and disseminated out in intelligence, in what appears to be raw -- well I shouldn't say raw -- but intelligence reporting channels.

"It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing."

The documents Nunes had been shown highlighted the unmasking activities of the FBI, the Obama administration, and CIA Director Brennan in relation to the Trump campaign. Although March 2017 would prove chaotic, the Trump administration had survived the first crucial months, and would now begin to slowly assert its administrative authority.

Comey Testifies No Obstruction by Trump Administration

On May 3, 2017, James Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Under oath, Comey stated that his agency -- and the FBI's investigation -- had not been pressured by the Trump administration:

Sen. Hirono: " So if the attorney general or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?"

Mr. Comey: " In theory, yes."

Sen. Hirono: " Has it happened?"

Mr. Comey: " Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that – without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don't see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason. That would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience."

<img class="wp-image-2849240" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Former-FBI-Director-James-Comey-.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="199" /> FBI Director James Comey. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Less than a week later, on May 9, Trump fired Comey based on a May 8 recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein .

Rosenstein would later tell members of Congress: "In one of my first meetings with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions last winter, we discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI. Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the FBI, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks."

Regarding the recommendation, Rosenstein said: "I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it."

McCabe's FBI Reaches Out Again to Steele

Within days of Trump's firing of Comey, the FBI, now under the leadership of acting-FBI Director Andrew McCabe, suddenly decided to reestablish direct contact with Christopher Steele through DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

The re-engagement attempt came six months after Steele had been formally terminated by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2016.

The FBI's re-engagement of Ohr was highlighted during a congressional review of some text messages between Ohr and Steele:

Mr. Ohr: " The FBI had asked me a few days before, when I reported to them my latest conversation with Chris Steele, they had had would he -- next time you talk with him, could you ask him if he would be willing to meet again."

Rep. Jordan: " So this is the re-engagement?"

Mr. Ohr: " Yes."

The texts being referenced were sent on May 15, 2017, and refer to a request that Ohr received from the FBI to ask Steele to re-engage with the FBI in the days after Comey had been fired on May 9.

This was the only time the FBI used Ohr to reach out to Steele.

The Battle Between McCabe and Rosenstein

Two days after Comey was fired, on May 11, 2017, McCabe testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. While the hearing's original intent had been to focus on national security threats, Trump's firing of Comey completely altered the topic of the hearing.

McCabe, who agreed that he would notify the committee "of any effort to interfere with the FBI's ongoing investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign," told members of Congress that there had been "no effort to impede our investigation to date." In other words, McCabe testified that he was unaware of any evidence of obstruction from Trump or his administration. Notably, Comey's May 3 testimony may have left McCabe with little choice other than to confirm there had been no obstruction.

<img class="wp-image-2849245 " src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/McCabe-1200x1290.jpg" alt="" width="161" height="173" /> Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

McCabe, however, failed to inform the committee that he was actively considering opening an obstruction-of-justice probe of Trump -- a path he would initiate in a meeting with Rosenstein just five days later.

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein allegedly suggested to McCabe that he could secretly record Trump. It was at this meeting that McCabe was "pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president," according to witness accounts reported by The Washington Post.

In addition to McCabe, Rosenstein, and McCabe's special counsel, Lisa Page, there were one or two others present, including Rosenstein's chief of staff , James Crowley, and possibly Scott Schools, the senior-most career attorney at the DOJ and a top aide to Rosenstein.

An unnamed participant at the meeting, in comments to The Washington Post, framed the conversation between McCabe and Rosenstein in an entirely different light, noting that Rosenstein had responded with angry sarcasm to McCabe, saying, "What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?"

This was just five days after McCabe had publicly testified that there was no obstruction on the part of the Trump administration.

<img class="wp-image-2849247 " src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Rod-Rosenstein-1200x1404.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="187" /> Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Sometime later that same day, both Rosenstein and Trump met with former FBI Director Robert Mueller in the Oval Office. The meeting was reported as being for the FBI director position, but the idea that Mueller would be considered for the FBI director role seems highly unlikely.

Mueller had previously served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013 -- two years beyond the normal 10-year tenure for an FBI director. In 2011, Obama requested that Mueller stay on as FBI director for an additional two years, which required special congressional approval .

Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel the following day, on May 17, 2017, and in doing so, Rosenstein removed control of the Trump–Russia investigation from McCabe and put it in the hands of Mueller.

This was confirmed in a recent statement by a DOJ spokesperson, who said, "The deputy attorney general in fact appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, and directed that Mr. McCabe be removed from any participation in that investigation."

Following the appointment of Mueller as special counsel, it also appears the FBI's efforts to re-engage with Steele abruptly ended.

'There's No Big There There'

We know the FBI hadn't found any evidence of collusion in the May 2017 timeframe. While McCabe was attempting to open an obstruction investigation, Peter Strzok -- who played a key role in the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign -- texted Lisa Page about lacking evidence of collusion:

"You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I'd be there, no question. I hesitate, in part, because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there."

Page, who was asked about this text during her July 2018 testimony, said, "So I think this represents that even as far as May of 2017, we still couldn't answer the question."

James Baker, who was questioned about the Strzok text, was then asked if he'd seen any evidence to the contrary. He stumbled a bit in his reply:

Rep. Meadows: " Do you have any evidence to the contrary that you observed personally in your official capacity?"

Mr. Baker: " So the difficulty I'm having with your question is, what does 'collusion' mean, and what does 'prove' mean? And so I don't know how to respond to that."

FBI Leadership Speculates on New Trump–Russia Collusion Narrative

In his testimony, Baker disclosed the actual substance of discussions taking place at the upper echelons of the FBI immediately following Comey's firing -- that Vladimir Putin had ordered Trump to fire Comey:

Mr. Baker: " We discussed, so to the best of my recollection, with the same people I described earlier: Mr. McCabe, possibly Mr. Gattis [Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the National Security Branch], Mr. Priestap, possibly Lisa Page, possibly Pete Strzok. I don't remember that specifically."

Rep. Ratcliffe: " So there was -- there was a discussion between those folks, possibly all of the folks that you've identified, about whether or not President Trump had been ordered to fire Jim Comey by the Russian Government?"

Mr. Baker: " I wouldn't say ordered. I guess I would say the words I sort of used earlier, acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will, whether -- and so literally an order or not, I don't know. But -- "

Rep. Ratcliffe: " And so -- "

Mr. Baker: " As a -- it was discussed as a theoretical possibility."

Rep. Ratcliffe: " When was it discussed?"

Mr. Baker: "After the firing, like in the aftermath of the firing."

The FBI, with no actual evidence of collusion after 10 months of investigating, began discussing a complete hypothetical at the highest levels of leadership as a means to possibly open an obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president of the United States.

During his testimony, Baker told lawmakers: "I had a jaundiced eye about everything, yes. I had skepticism about all this stuff. I was concerned about all of this. This whole situation was horrible, and it was novel and we were trying to figure out what to do, and it was highly unusual."

McCabe was later fired for lying to the DOJ inspector general and is currently the subject of a criminal grand jury investigation.

The Fixer

Despite the ongoing assault from the intelligence community and holdovers from the Obama administration, Trump was not entirely without allies.

Dana Boente, one of the nation's highest-profile federal prosecutors, served in a series of critical shifting roles within the Trump administration. Boente, who remained the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia until early 2018, concurrently became the acting attorney general following the firing of Sally Yates. Boente, who was specifically appointed by Trump, was not directly in the line of succession that had been previously laid out under an unusual executive order from the Obama administration.

<img class=" wp-image-2849248" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/Dana-Boente.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="213" /> FBI General Counsel Dana Boente. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Upon the confirmation of Sessions as attorney general, Boente next served as acting deputy attorney general until the confirmation of Rod Rosenstein as deputy attorney general on April 25, 2017. Boente then became the acting head of the DOJ's National Security Division on April 28, 2017, following the sudden resignation of Mary McCord.

Boente was appointed as FBI general counsel on Jan. 23, 2018, replacing Baker, who was demoted and reassigned. Baker is currently the subject of a criminal leak investigation. Boente remains in his position as FBI general counsel.

On March 31, 2017, the Trump administration asked for the resignations all 46 holdover U.S. attorneys from the Obama administration. Trump refused to accept the resignations of just three of them -- Boente, Rosenstein, and John Huber.

As Sessions noted in a March 29, 2018, letter to congressional chairmen Chuck Grassley, Bob Goodlatte, and Trey Gowdy, Huber was assigned by Sessions to lead a prosecution team and is currently working with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz:

"I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort."

John Carlin's Race With Admiral Rogers

<img class=" wp-image-2833317" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/11/Mike-Rogers-1200x1435.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="191" /> Director of the National Security Agency Admiral Mike Rogers. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

The Carter Page FISA application has been the subject of significant media attention, but there's another element to the story that, although largely ignored, is equally important. It involved what amounted to a surreptitious race between then-NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers and DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin.

Following a March 9, 2016, discovery that outside contractors for the FBI had been accessing raw FISA data since at least 2015, Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702" at some point in early April 2016 ( Senate testimony & pages 83–84 of court ruling).

On April 18, 2016, Rogers moved aggressively in response to the disclosures. He abruptly shut down all FBI outside-contractor access. At this point, both the FBI and the DOJ's NSD became aware of Rogers's compliance review. They may have known earlier, but they were certainly aware after outside-contractor access was halted.

The DOJ's NSD maintains oversight of the intelligence agencies' use of Section 702 authority. The NSD and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) jointly conduct reviews of the intelligence agencies' Section 702 activities every 60 days. The NSD -- with notice to the ODNI -- is required to report any incidents of agency noncompliance or misconduct to the FISA court.

Instead of issuing individual court orders, the attorney general and the director of national intelligence (DNI) are required by Section 702 to provide the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) with annual certifications that specify categories of foreign intelligence information the government is authorized to acquire, pursuant to Section 702.

The attorney general and the DNI also must certify that Intelligence Community agencies will follow targeting procedures and minimization procedures that are approved by the FISC as part of the certification.

Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of the compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the NSA inspector general and associated FISA abuse to the FISA court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702-compliance review.

On Sept. 27, 2016, the day after he filed the annual certifications, Carlin announced his resignation , which would become effective on Oct. 15, 2016.

<img class=" wp-image-2849255" src="https://img.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2019/03/22/John-Carlin-FBI.jpg" alt="" width="160" height="192" /> John Carlin, DOJ's National Security Division. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

On Oct. 4, 2016, a standard follow-up court hearing was held ( Page 19 ), with Carlin present. Again, he made no disclosure of FISA abuse or other related issues. This lack of disclosure would be noted by the court later in the April 2017 ruling:

"The government's failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing [was ascribed] to an institutional 'lack of candor.'"

Rogers appeared formally before the FISA court on Oct. 26, 2016, and presented the written findings of his audit:

"Two days later, on the day the Court otherwise would have had to complete its review of the certifications and procedures, the government made a written submission regarding those compliance problems and the Court held a hearing to address them.

"The government reported that the NSA IG and OCO were conducting other reviews covering different time periods, with preliminary results suggesting that the problem was widespread during all periods under review."

The FISA court was unaware of the FISA "query" violations until they were presented to the court by then-NSA Director Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications, apparently in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA court ahead of receiving the Carter Page FISA warrant.

The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page. FISA Abuse & the FISC

Rogers presented his findings directly to the FISA court's presiding judge, Rosemary Collyer. Collyer and Rogers would work together for the next six months, addressing the issues that Rogers had uncovered.

It was Collyer who wrote the April 26, 2017, FISA court ruling on the entire episode. It also was Collyer who signed the original FISA warrant on Carter Page on Oct. 21, 2016, before being apprised of the many issues by Rogers.

The litany of abuses described in the April 26, 2017, ruling was shocking and detailed the use of private contractors by the FBI in relation to Section 702 data. Collyer referred to it as "a very serious Fourth Amendment issue." The FBI was specifically singled out by the court numerous times in the ruling:

"The improper access previously afforded the contractors has been discontinued. The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

Rogers informed Collyer of the ongoing FISA abuses by the FBI and NSD just three days after she personally signed the Carter Page FISA warrant.

Virtually every FBI and NSD official with material involvement in the original Carter Page FISA application would later be removed -- either through firing or resignation.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the wrong month for Christopher Steele's 2016 meeting with the FBI in Rome. The meeting took place in September 2016.

[Aug 22, 2019] Focus in Spygate Scandal Shifts to CIA, Former Director Brennan by Jeff Carlson

Notable quotes:
"... Toward the end of the segment , Bartiromo asked Graham: "Who do you think is the mastermind of this? Whose idea was it to insert Donald Trump into Russia meddling?" ..."
"... Graham responded: "You know, I really am very curious about the role the CIA played here. We know that the FISA warrant application was based on a dossier prepared by Christopher Steele, who was biased against Trump, that was unverified. That's one problem. But this whole intelligence operation -- what role did the CIA play?" ..."
"... "Over the spring of 2016, multiple European allies passed on additional information to the United States about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians. Is this accurate?" ..."
"... "Yes, it is, and it's also quite sensitive. The specifics are quite sensitive." ..."
"... "We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA's foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there -- so they could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here." ..."
"... So, it's an intelligence-sharing operation between " ..."
"... Right. We put together a Fusion Center at CIA that brought NSA and FBI officers together with CIA to make sure that those proverbial dots would be connected." ..."
"... "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign. I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials." ..."
"... "We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then, obviously, we're going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware of [the dossier]?" ..."
"... "Yes, sir. Because with all due honesty, if Director Brennan – so we got that information from our source, right? The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did." ..."
"... "So what you're saying is, is that you had no knowledge of these potential unverified memos prior to the middle part of September in your investigation?" ..."
"... "That is correct, sir." ..."
Aug 22, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com
told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that Justice Department Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz was "doing a very in-depth dive about the FISA warrant application" and "the behavior regarding the counterintelligence operation."

Graham noted that he believed Horowitz's report would be coming out in "weeks -- not days, not months" and would prove to be "ugly and damning regarding the Department of Justice's handling of the Russian probe." Graham noted that the IG's report has been delayed because "every time you turn around, you find something new."

Graham said he wants the IG's report to be as declassified as possible in order for the "American public to hear the story."

Graham said that prosecutor John Durham "will be looking at criminality, did somebody violate the law," while Horowitz "will be telling us about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and what should be done internally." He went so far as to mention exploring a possible restructuring of the Department of Justice.

Toward the end of the segment , Bartiromo asked Graham: "Who do you think is the mastermind of this? Whose idea was it to insert Donald Trump into Russia meddling?"

Graham responded: "You know, I really am very curious about the role the CIA played here. We know that the FISA warrant application was based on a dossier prepared by Christopher Steele, who was biased against Trump, that was unverified. That's one problem. But this whole intelligence operation -- what role did the CIA play?"

Graham then went a step further, asking: "Who knew about this in the White House? Here's a question: Was President Obama briefed on the fact that they were opening up a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign? I'd like to know that."

Bartiromo, who noted that Brennan was running the CIA at that time and would have likely provided the Obama briefing, asked Graham if he was going to call Brennan to testify before Congress. Graham responded somewhat cryptically, saying only, "We'll see."

Brennan's Role

Brennan appears to have played a key role in establishing the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign -- including making repeated use of questionable foreign intelligence.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper personally confirmed foreign intelligence involvement during congressional testimony in May 2017:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein: "Over the spring of 2016, multiple European allies passed on additional information to the United States about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians. Is this accurate?"

James Clapper: "Yes, it is, and it's also quite sensitive. The specifics are quite sensitive."

Brennan has testified to Congress that any information, specifically "anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign was shared with the bureau [FBI]." Brennan also admitted that it was his intelligence that helped establish the FBI investigation:

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."

Focus on Intelligence Role Prior to FBI Probe

John Solomon of The Hill, who has extensively covered the Spygate scandal, told Bartiromo in an interview that he was hearing that "John Durham and Bill Barr are focused on the part before the FBI officially got started on July 31, 2016, the period of March to July, and whether intelligence assets -- Western, private, or U.S. -- were deployed in an earlier effort to start probing the Trump campaign and its Russia ties -- maybe lay the breadcrumb trail of evidence that Christopher Steele then collected up and gave to the FBI."

Solomon noted that when Attorney General Barr said, "I believe there was political surveillance going on," this was likely what he was referring to.

This focus on the spring of 2016 is particularly interesting given that during this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting on members of the Trump campaign. Reverse targeting refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen. During an Aug. 17, 2018, interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, Brennan said:

"We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA's foreign intelligence collection authorities. Any time we would incidentally collect information on a U.S. person, we would hand that over to the FBI because they have the legal authority to do it. We would not pursue that type of investigative, you know, sort of leads. We would give it to the FBI. So, we were picking things up that was of great relevance to the FBI, and we wanted to make sure that they were there -- so they could piece it together with whatever they were collecting domestically here."

As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of traditional channels -- was gathered on members of the Trump campaign, Brennan began his process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director helped push the FBI toward establishing a formal counterintelligence investigation.

Role of Joseph Mifsud

Solomon also discussed the role of Joseph Mifsud, the individual who told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos in March 2016 that Russia had Hillary Clinton emails. Solomon noted that he had recently interviewed Stefan Roe, Mifsud's lawyer, who told him that Mifsud "had long worked with Western intelligence" and that he was "asked to connect George Papadopoulos to Russia -- meaning it was an operation, some form of an intelligence operation."

As Solomon noted, this would mean that the "flashpoint that started the whole investigation was, in fact, manufactured from the beginning." Solomon also noted that "both John Durham and two different committees in Congress have recently reached out to get this evidence from the lawyer, which includes an audiotaped deposition that Mr. Mifsud gave his lawyer before he went into hiding."

Bartiromo closed by asking Solomon the same question she put to Graham, "Who do you think is the mastermind?" Solomon responded in a similar fashion to Graham, noting: "I think the CIA. We have to take a closer look at them. We're starting to see some sign of it."

Role of UK Intelligence

Luke Harding, a journalist for The Guardian, had previously reported on the early involvement of UK intelligence and their interaction with the U.S. intelligence community, noting that Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was engaged in collecting information on the Trump campaign and transmitting it to the United States beginning in late 2015:

"In late 2015, the British eavesdropping agency GCHQ was carrying out standard 'collection' against Moscow targets. The intelligence was handed to the U.S. as part of a routine sharing of information," Harding wrote in an article on Nov. 15, 2017.

Additionally, in the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, then-head of GCHQ, traveled to Washington to personally meet with Brennan:

"That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the U.S. to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at 'director level,' face-to-face between the two agency chiefs," Harding reported.

Around the same time, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and government departments. Brennan appeared to describe the task force formation during the Aug. 17, 2018, interview with MSNBC's Maddow:

Maddow: " So, it's an intelligence-sharing operation between "

Brennan: " Right. We put together a Fusion Center at CIA that brought NSA and FBI officers together with CIA to make sure that those proverbial dots would be connected."

FBI's 'Mid-Year Exam' Team Shifts to Trump Probe

By the spring of 2016, the Clinton email investigation was winding down. This was due in large part to the fact that the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, had decided to set an unusually high threshold for the prosecution of Clinton, effectively ensuring from the outset that she wouldn't be charged.

In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the department required the FBI to establish evidence of intent -- even though the gross negligence statute explicitly doesn't require that.

It was at this same time that Trump campaign adviser Papadopoulos had his April 26, 2016, meeting with Mifsud, followed a few weeks later with his ill-fated meeting with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer in May. The meeting with Downer, then Australia's high commissioner to the UK, was established through a chain of two intermediaries.

Downer's conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through Australian government channels, although it also may have come directly from Downer himself via the U.S. Embassy in London. Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016.

Interestingly, the information allegedly relayed by Papadopoulos during the Downer meeting -- that the Russians had damaging information on Clinton -- appears nearly identical to claims later contained in the first memo from former MI6 spy and dossier author Christopher Steele that the FBI obtained in early July 2016.

Steele's first dossier document , dated June 20, 2016, noted that "a dossier of compromising information on Hillary Clinton has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years."

Which raises a good question, recently posed by internet researcher Nick Weil on Twitter: "When the FBI got the tip from Alexander Downer that the Russians had Hillary's 33k emails, the appropriate action would have been to re-open Mid Year Exam, no?"

Rather than deciding to re-examine the "Mid-Year Exam" investigation, which looked into Clinton's handling of her emails and use of a private server, the FBI instead used this information to establish an investigation into the Trump campaign.

What makes this sequence of events even more telling is exactly when the FBI first received information from Steele.

After Steele's company was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016, he began to reach out to the FBI through Michael Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome whom Steele had worked with on the FIFA case. Gaeta also headed up the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.

Gaeta would later be identified as Steele's FBI handler, in a July 16, 2018, congressional testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees by FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

Following a reported initial meeting that took place during late June 2016 in Rome, Gaeta traveled to London on July 5, 2016, and met with Steele at the offices of Steele's firm, Orbis. During the July 5 meeting, Steele provided the first memo in his dossier to Gaeta for ultimate transmission back to the FBI and the State Department.

At the exact time that Gaeta was meeting with Steele, on July 5, 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey announced the closure of the FBI's investigation into Clinton's use of a personal e-mail system during her time as secretary of state.

During the July 5, 2016, press conference , Comey recommended that Clinton not be charged, stating, "We cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts." Comey also noted that "although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case."

With the July 5 closure of the Clinton investigation, many of the same FBI agents who had worked on the case were assigned to the agency's July 31, 2016, counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign -- the opening of which was based on little more than details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos, provided by the Australian government. Although all investigative focus fell on the Trump campaign, the fact that Downer said that the Russians had Clinton's emails appears not to have been an impetus for the FBI to reopen the Clinton email investigation.

CIA's Use of Unofficial Intel on Trump Campaign

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who has seen the electronic communication that was used to officially open the FBI's counterintelligence investigation, has publicly stated , "We now know that there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation."

Contrast Nunes's statement with what Brennan testified before Congress on May 23, 2017:

"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign. I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials."

Brennan has claimed that he didn't see the dossier until "later in that year; I think it was in December [2016]." Brennan also stated in his testimony that the CIA didn't rely on the Steele dossier and that it "was not in any way used as a basis for the intelligence community assessment that was done."

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https://g.jwpsrv.com/g/gcid-0.1.2.html?notrack Rewind 10 Seconds Next Up Live 00:00 00:00 00:00 Closed Captions Settings Fullscreen click to watch video

But this claim was countered during the July 16, 2018, testimony of former FBI lawyer Page, when the following discussion took place regarding Brennan's August 2016 briefing of then-Sen. Harry Reid:

Rep. Mark Meadows: "We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then, obviously, we're going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware of [the dossier]?"

Lisa Page: "Yes, sir. Because with all due honesty, if Director Brennan – so we got that information from our source, right? The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did."

While some within the FBI likely had parts of the dossier in early July, Page testified that the counterintelligence investigative team didn't receive it until mid-September -- likely during a trip to Rome, where they met with Steele:

Rep. Meadows: "So what you're saying is, is that you had no knowledge of these potential unverified memos prior to the middle part of September in your investigation?"

Page: "That is correct, sir."

Was Reid's Letter Based on Steele Dossier Info?

In the days following Brennan's briefing, Reid sent a letter on Aug. 27, 2016, to Comey demanding an investigation -- and that the investigation be made public. Based on Brennan's briefing, it's highly likely that Reid knew an FBI investigation was already underway. Some of the details contained within Reid's letter relate to former Trump adviser Carter Page and match details contained only within the Steele dossier at the time.

Specifically, Reid claimed that Page had "conflicts of interest due to investments in Russia energy conglomerate Gazprom" and that he had "met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July of 2016, well after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee."

Page's investment in Gazprom was known prior to Reid's letter, but it appears that the first public allegations that Page had met with "high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow" weren't made until Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff published his article " U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin " on Sept. 23, 2016, based on information directly from Christopher Steele.

Prior to Isikoff's September article, the only place that information had been referenced, aside from Reid's letter, was in a July 19, 2016, Steele dossier memo (there is also a mention in a sequentially earlier, but undated memo from Steele). The Steele dossier wouldn't become public until its Jan. 10, 2017, publication by BuzzFeed.

During his May 2017 testimony, Brennan discussed his briefings to the Gang of Eight. Brennan testified that the briefings were done "in consultation with the White House" and stated that he gave the "same briefing to each of the Gang of Eight members." Notably, Brennan conducted his briefings individually over a period of almost a full month between Aug. 11, 2016, and Sept. 6, 2016.

However, Nunes has stated that he wasn't given the same briefing as was Reid, despite that Nunes held the position of chairman of the House Intelligence Committee at the time. Nunes made this disclosure in a July 28, 2019, interview with Bartiromo, noting: "We now know that John Brennan briefed Harry Reid on the dossier in August 2016. At the same time, he never briefed me or Paul Ryan, who was the speaker of the House at the time."

Brennan's Role in Official Reports

The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports. The first report was released on Oct. 7, 2016, and the second on Dec. 29, 2016.

The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the intelligence community assessment (ICA) -- was released Jan. 6, 2017.

This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of Trump as president. Notably, Adm. Mike Rogers, then director of the National Security Agency , publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning it only a moderate confidence level.

As previously noted, while Brennan has denied using the dossier in the ICA, he did attach a two-page summary of the dossier to the intelligence community assessment that he, along with Clapper and Comey, delivered to President Barack Obama on Jan. 6, 2017.

Comey then met with President-elect Trump to inform him of the dossier. This meeting took place just hours after Comey, Brennan, and Clapper formally briefed Obama on both the ICA and the Steele dossier.

Comey would only inform Trump of the "salacious" details contained within the dossier. He later explained on CNN in an April 2018 interview that he'd done so at the request of Clapper and Brennan, "because that was the part that the leaders of the intelligence community agreed he needed to be told about."

[Aug 19, 2019] CIA ( Dulles in particular) "invented" the term ""conspiracy theory" to further muddy the waters in the wash up from the Kennedy assassination.

Aug 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

animalogic , says: August 18, 2019 at 8:32 am GMT

@Sean McBride Not sure if I'm correct here, but my understanding is that the CIA (& & Dulles in particular) "invented" the term ""conspiracy theory" to further muddy the waters in the wash up from the Kennedy assassination.

[Aug 19, 2019] Conspiracy Theories From the Elders of Zion to Epstein's Youngsters by Gilad Atzmon

Aug 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

'Conspiracy theory' is how the mainstream media characterizes any narrative that differs from their reporting of the official line. What is a conspiracy theory? Can it be defined in categorical terms? Can a conspiracy theory be validated forensically or refuted by similar means? What criteria can be used to differentiate between a conspiracy theory and theoretical musings?

The labelling of a theory as 'conspiratorial' is an attempt to discredit its author/authors and deny its validity. A 'conspiracy theory' usually involves an explanatory thesis that points to a malevolent plot often involving a secretive interested party. The term 'conspiracy theory' has a pejorative connotation: its use suggests that the theory appeals to prejudice and/or involves a farfetched, unsubstantiated narrative built on insufficient evidence.

Those who oppose conspiracy theories argue that such theories resist falsification and are reinforced by circular reasoning, that such theories are primarily based on beliefs, as opposed to academic or scientific reasoning.

But this critique is also not exactly based on valid scholarly principles. It isn't just 'conspiracy theories' that resist falsification or are reinforced by circular reasoning. The philosopher Karl Popper, who defined the principle of falsifiability, would categorically maintain that Freudian psychoanalysis and Marxism fail for the same reasons. The Oedipal complex, for instance, has never been scientifically proven and can't be scientifically falsified or validated. Marxism also resists falsification. Despite Marx's 'scientific' predictions, the proletarian revolution never occurred. I have personally never come across anyone who refers to Marx or Freud as 'conspiracy theorists.' 'Resisting falsification' and "reinforced by circular reasoning," are traits of non-scientific theories and do not apply only to 'conspiracy theories.'

The Oxford English Dictionary defines conspiracy theory as "the theory that an event or phenomenon occurs as a result of a conspiracy between interested parties; spec. a belief that some covert but influential agency (typically political in motivation and oppressive in intent) is responsible for an unexplained event".

The Oxford dictionary does not set forth the criteria that define a conspiracy theory in categorical terms. The history of mankind is saturated with references to hidden plots led by influential parties.

The problem with refuting conspiracy theories is that they are often more elegant and explanatory than the official competing narratives. Such theories have a tendency to ascribe blame to hegemonic powers. In the past, conspiracy theories were popular mostly amongst fringe circles, they are now becoming commonplace in mass media. Alternative narratives are widely disseminated through social media. In some cases, they have been disseminated by official news outlets and even by the current American president. It is possible that the rapid rise in popularity of alternative explanatory theories is an indication of a growing mistrust of the current ruling class, its ideals, its interests and its demography.

The response to the story of Jeffrey Epstein's suicide is illustrative. The official narrative provoked a reaction that was a mixture of disbelief expressed in satire and inspired a plethora of theories that attempted to explain the saga that had escalated into the biggest sex scandal in the history of America and beyond.

The obvious question is what has led to the increase in popularity of so called 'conspiracy theories'? I would push it further and ask, why is a society that claims to be 'free' is threatened by the rise of alternative explanatory narratives?

In truth, the question is itself misleading. No one is really afraid of 'conspiracy theories' per se. You will not be arrested or lose your job for being a 'climate change denier.' You may speculate on and even deny the moon landing as much as you like. You are free to speculate about Kennedy's assassination as long as you don't mention the Mossad . You can even survive being a 911 truther and espouse as many alternative narratives as you like, however, the suggestion that ' Israel did 911' will get you into serious trouble. Examining 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' as a fictional, however prophetic , piece of literature can lead to imprisonment in some countries. Digging into the true origin of Bolshevism and the demographics of the Soviet revolution is practically a suicidal act. Telling the truth about Hitler's agreement with the Zionist agency will definitely result in your expulsion from the British Labour party and you will be accused of being at the least, theoretically conspiratorial .

[Aug 18, 2019] Trump Slams NYT After Leaker Reveals Pivot From Russiagate To Racism Witch Hunt

Notable quotes:
"... "The failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from the Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt ," Trump wrote on Twitter ..."
"... Systematic deception by the press is a national security issue. In a real crisis, 2/3rds of this country is not going to believe either the government nor the media. That will be a real problem, and it's a massive weakness. ..."
"... Neoliberal MSM propaganda like heroin. Those "news" outlets don't care about actual facts or news, they are more script writers than anything else. ..."
Aug 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump Slams NYT After Leaker Reveals Pivot From 'Russiagate' To 'Racism Witch Hunt'

by Tyler Durden Sun, 08/18/2019 - 11:49 0 SHARES

President Trump slammed the "failing New York Times" on Sunday after leaked comments from executive editor Dean Baquet revealed that the paper is pivoting from the Russia narrative (which he described as being "a little tiny bit flat-footed") to 'Trump is a racist.'

"The failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from the Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt ," Trump wrote on Twitter, adding "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke But the public is aware! The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke But the public is aware!"

Sanity Bear , 13 minutes ago link

Systematic deception by the press is a national security issue. In a real crisis, 2/3rds of this country is not going to believe either the government nor the media. That will be a real problem, and it's a massive weakness.

MrAToZ , 37 minutes ago link

Neoliberal MSM propaganda like heroin. Those "news" outlets don't care about actual facts or news, they are more script writers than anything else. These pretend journalists have conjured up a narrative and it is all about repeat repeat repeat, keeping that constant drip going into the vein of the Dem constituency. It's been going on for decades and the only people that are too stupid to see it are the Dems themselves.

[Aug 16, 2019] One of the ways the Deep State undermines conspiracy theories is to plant evidence purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information

Notable quotes:
"... Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms . ..."
"... Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc. ..."
"... "A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed." ..."
"... "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. ..."
"... The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here. ..."
"... This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason. ..."
"... The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty. ..."
"... The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are . ..."
"... Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. ..."
"... The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity ..."
"... I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true" ..."
"... A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. ..."
"... One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense. ..."
"... For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down). ..."
"... 'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner. ..."
OffGuardian

Noam Chomsky has pointed out , the more educated we are, the more we are a target for state-corporate propaganda. Even journalists outside the mainstream may internalize establishment values and prejudices. Which brings us to Parramore's embrace of the term "conspiracy theory." Once a neutral and little-used phrase, "conspiracy theory" was infamously weaponized in 1967 by a memo from the CIA to its station chiefs worldwide.

Troubled by growing mass disbelief in the "lone nut" theory of President Kennedy's assassination, and concerned that "[c]onspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization," the agency directed its officers to "discuss the publicity problem with friendly and elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and to "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose."

As Kevin Ryan writes , and various analyses have shown :

In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase 'conspiracy theory' appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week."
While it turns out that Parramore knows something about this hugely successful propaganda drive, she chose in her NBC piece to deploy the phrase as the government has come to define it, i.e., as "something that requires no consideration because it is obviously not true." This embeds a fallacy in her argument which only spreads as she goes on. Likewise, the authors of the studies she cites, who attempt to connect belief in "conspiracy theories" to "narcissistic personality traits," are not immune to efforts to manipulate the wider culture. Studies are only as good as the assumptions from which they proceed; in this case, the assumption was provided by an interested Federal agency. And what of their suggested diagnosis?

The DSM-5's criteria for narcissism include "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity a need for admiration and lack of empathy." My experience in talking to writers and advocates who -- to mention a few of the subjects Parramore cites -- seek justice in the cases of the political murders of the Sixties , have profound concerns about vaccine safety , or reject the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 , does not align with that characterization.

On the contrary, most of the people I know who hold these varied (and not always shared) views are deeply empathic, courageously humble, and resigned to a life on the margins of official discourse, even as they doggedly seek to publicize what they have learned. A number of them have arrived at their views through painful, direct experience, like the loss of a friend or the illness of a child, but far from having a "negative view of humanity," as Parramore writes, most hold a deep and abiding faith in the power of regular people to see injustice and peacefully oppose it. In that regard, they share a great deal in common with writers like Parramore: ultimately, we all want what's best for our children, and none of us want a world ruled by unaccountable political-economic interests. If we want to achieve that world, then we should work together to promote speech that is free from personal attacks on all sides. Even more importantly, we should all be troubled by efforts to shut down content and discussions labeled "false and misleading" on major social media platforms.

Who will decide what is false and what is true? ... ... ...

President Kennedy said:

a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
Perhaps we should take a closer look at ideas that so frighten the powers-that-be. Far from inviting our ridicule, the people who insist that we look in these forbidden places may one day deserve our thanks.
John Kirby is a documentary filmmaker. His latest project, Four Died Trying, examines what John Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were doing in the last years of their lives which may have led to their deaths.

George
I am responding to an earlier comment you made because, for some reason, I cannot reply to it in the proper place.

"The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here."

Wrong: secrets can be uncovered even if both of them are dead.

"The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked."

Conspiracies can be found out by many different ways e.g. documents uncovered, discrepancies, evidence that contradicts what has been claimed etc.

"A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people–someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed."

Always a bad sign when you start to repeat "would have". Lots of presumption here.

"No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves .."

New facts can emerge all the time even regarding the most ancient of events.

" .or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported."

So you now have godlike omniscience?

"A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy "

There's no point in going much further here. You now devolve into psychobabble which, as always, is based on the dogmatic assertion that you are right. (cf. the formerly mentioned godlike omniscience)

Ragnar
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." These words are attributed to Joseph Goebbels.

-So, George, it would hardly make a difference whether the State is Marxist or Capitalist. It's either power or truth. They are inherently different and can not be reconciled. Ultimately, there is no bridge possible.

However, so-called "common" goals are of a lower order and cooperation here is possible, temporarily. These relationships are unstable and prone to breaking up precisely because they're ultimately not common at all. The principle are different and the personalities too. Ships Passing In The Night, like. -See?

George
We all have common goals. Basically the goals of life and health. And these are hardly goals "of a lower order". If that was true then we must be living in a state of "postmodernist relativity" where anyone can decide arbitrarily what matters. And that would certainly lead to your ships-passing-in-the-night scenario i.e. the ultimate divide-and-rule vision.

As for power, the late Marxist writer Ellen Meiksins Wood noted that, in modern times, we have an unprecedented degree of political freedom. But the reason for that is that power no longer lies in politics. It lies in economics. What is the point of having formal rights when your livelihood is gone?

William HBonney

The old adage 'two men can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' applies here.

The conspiracies we know about are exposed because someone talks, or a computer gets hacked. A two decade old CT, like 9/11, or worse, one six decades old (the JFK assassination), are false because they would have involved too many people – someone would have blown the whistle, if only on their deathbed. No new facts have emerged because the only people who knew anything are long dead, taking the reasons to their graves, or in the case of 9/11, because there was no great conspiracy, beyond the one reported.

A propensity for subscribing to conspiracy theories, is, sad to say, indicative of mental inadequacy. Such people are unable to deal with the complexities of the world as it is, and therefore seek to make it a world of black and white, good and evil, heroes and villains. The internet, with its blurring of fantasy and fact enables them. This is why discussions like this get so polarised.

TFS

1. 9/11 and JFK are false because WILLIAM HBonney has declared it so.

Boom, thanks for watching kids.

2. In other news, some Conspiracy Theorists Imagined 747-E4Bs above Washington at the time of 9/11 and 25+second delay introduced into the Air Traffic Control System but the Official Conspiracy Account of 9/11 didn't discuss it because there was nothing to see.

3. In related news, HWB wack jobs go on one

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/no_author/new-york-fire-commissioners-call-for-new-9-11-investigation-about-pre-planted-explosives/

4. Corbett, goes off on one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXYswf3lzU8

5. And again, Corbett goes even more mental. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWLis-TVB2w

6. But it's ok kidz, because HWB wack jobs, like first responders, police, fire personnel architects, physicists, former military personnel, pilots, Nobel Peace Prixe winners, medical experts, etc etc all collectively asertained that the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11 is about as usefull as the Warren Commission Report.

7. HOWEVER, HWB THINKS YOU'RE A WACK JOB.

r. rebar
unless & until someone goes to jail -- there are no conspiracies & as silence is -- like any commodity -- only as good as the price paid to maintain it -- those who know have a real vested interest in not talking (it's not a secret if you tell someone)
roger morris
Ms Parramore is doing nothing more than her profession and tenure demands. Witting or un-witting. This co-ordinated and global media attack on the 'Conspiracy Theorist' is co-ordinated and Global for good reason.

It is the 'Great Wurlitzer' at full throat coinciding with extraordinary reductions in internet freedoms of information flow. The determination of international deepstate to make illegal any question or recognition of it under guise of 'Conspiracy theorist=domestic terrorist/anti-semite/anti-Zionist/BDS/trump supporting white supremacist(etc)'- conflating those ULTRA memes with growing awareness of the Anglo/Yankee/zionist PSYOPS underway globally, mean we are entering a choke point in progression of reason, truth and beauty.

A read of the Cass Sunstein/Cornelius Adrian Comstock Vermeule Paper describing 'Conspiracy theory' as a 'crippled Epistemology' and determining 'COINTELPRO' type strategies to counter the danger of their truth becoming certainty, will enlighten those in the dark of IIO methodology and expose Ms Parramore as a true MOCKINGBIRD.

The danger of the conspiracy theorist to the present world order, is that most of the BIG ones, the nasty ones, are true. And CIA operation Mockingbirds' job (Quote) 'is to Guard against the illicit Transformation of Probability into Certainty," that they are .

mathias alexand
Try this for conspiracy thinking

https://lorenzoae.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/part-2/

George
Good link. I like this bit:

"Ultimately, the average conspiracy theorist has a better grasp of how the world works than the average liberal. Even the most outlandish "conspiracy theory" in existence -- that people like George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth are shape-shifting, extra-dimensional reptilians -- is closer to the truth than what liberals believe.

The reality is that the ruling class and its public servants really do have a parasitic and predatory relationship to the vast majority of humanity "

I've often felt there is a lot of (metaphorical!) truth in David Icke's ravings, although the reptile image is unfortunate in that actual reptiles are amongst the most sedate and peaceful creatures.

Molloy
Eichmann and today's useful idiots; Hannah Arendt

(start Arendt quote)

Despite all the efforts of the prosecution, everybody could see that this man was not a "monster," but it was difficult indeed not to suspect that he was a clown. And since this suspicion would have been fatal to the whole enterprise, and was also rather hard to sustain, in view of the sufferings he and his like had caused so many millions of people, his worst clowneries were hardly noticed. What could you do with a man who first declared, with great emphasis, that the one thing he had learned in an ill-spent life was that one should never take an oath ("Today no man, no judge could ever persuade me to make a sworn statement. I refuse it; I refuse it for moral reasons. Since my experience tells me that if one is loyal to his oath, one day he has to take the consequences, I have made up my mind once and for all that no judge in the world or other authority will ever be capable of making me swear an oath, to give sworn testimony.

I won't do it voluntarily and no one will be able to force me"), and then, after being told explicitly that if he wished to testify in his own defense he might "do so under oath or without an oath," declared without further ado that he would prefer to testify under oath? Or who, repeatedly and with a great show of feeling, assured the court, as he had assured the police examiner, that the worst thing he could do would be to try to escape his true responsibilities, to fight for his neck, to plead for mercy -- and then, upon instruction of his counsel, submitted a handwritten document that contained a plea for mercy?

As far as Eichmann was concerned, these were questions of changing moods, not of inconsistencies, and as long as he was capable of finding, either in his memory or on the spur of the moment, an elating stock phrase to go with them, he was quite content.
(end quote)

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1963/02/16/eichmann-in-jerusalem-i

Molloy
Chomsky dealing with the indoctrinated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLcpcytUnWU&app=desktop Why it is important to call out the so-called 'Global Elite' facilitators on here.

And why it is essential to understand what Eichmann was facilitating (and the madness that morphed into the same apartheid bigotry in the 21st century).

Better understand than be hanged.

Gary Weglarz

I appreciate the article, but the sentence below is offered with no logical or rational support – it is simply an evidence free assertion:

("But Parramore and many journalists like her are neither assets of an intelligence service nor unthinking tools of big media; ) – really?

It is quite clear that if someone "is" (an asset of an intelligence service) that they will certainly not be broadcasting this fact to the world or to friends and family. And for someone to assert that "conspiracies" don't exist in the real world requires a level of credulity that most intelligent and rational people the least bit familiar with the historical record would find rather difficult to muster up. I dare say it would be much easier in fact to prove the assertion that our Western history is simply the "history of conspiracies" given the oligarchic control of Western populations for millennia. This is hardly "rocket science" as they say. We do have a rather well documented historical record to fall back on to show the endless scheming of Western oligarchy behind the backs of Western populations.

wardropper
I like Michael Moore's response when asked if he believed the conspiracy theories which were floating about at the time: "Just the ones that are true"
John Thatcher
A conspiracy theory, like any theory is as strong as the evidence put forward to support it. Often people offer as fact conspiracies that only as yet exist as theories,with greater or lesser amounts of evidence to support.I have no doubt that interested parties who are the accused in these theories, will mount efforts to discredit any theory mounted against them or those they represent.

One of the ways they will do this is to plant "evidence" purporting to support the theory, but easily disproved by easily available information. Unfortunately,it is a sad fact that far too many "conspiracy theorists" readily accept and share along with genuine evidence, this planted "evidence" to the wider internet, thereby undermining the solid evidence of a conspiracy, by associating it with the easily disprovable nonsense.

Harry Stotle

Isn't it high time we had a term to describe those who always accept the official version of events after controversial political incidents no matter how implausible this account might be?

For example, after the attack on the WTC Kissinger was appointed to the head the 9/11 commission (before stepping down).

'Conspiracy theorists' would have thought – why are neocons appointing a mass-murdering neocon to investigate an event that might have involved neocons (raising obvious credibility issues) – whereas those who regard conspiracy theorists as dribbling fruitcakes would have welcomed the appointment of the nobel peace prize winner.

Anyway, here's a clip of Henry – the believers in everything the government say would never have considered the objections raised in the film – such questions are tantamount to mental illness according to these 'progressives'.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YcxjJDlbnC4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Aug 16, 2019] According to Dr.Crenshaw who treated JFK at the Parkland Hospital Kennedy was shot once or twice from the front

Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

9/11 Inside job , says: August 14, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT

Need to investigate the role , if any , of Dr. Michael Baden in the Epstein and JFK autopsy cover-ups .

According to Dr.Crenshaw who treated JFK at the Parkland Hospital Kennedy was shot once or twice from the front and , therefore, Oswald could not possibly have been the killer. See " Trauma Room One , the JFK Medical Coverup Exposed . " By Dr. Michael Crenshaw .

[Aug 16, 2019] Lapdogs for the Government and intelligence agencies by Greg Maybury

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.' ..."
"... Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public. ..."
"... All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .) ..."
"... The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.' ..."
Aug 16, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Lapdogs for the Government

Here was, of course, another surreal spectacle, this time courtesy of one of the Deep State's most dangerous, reviled, and divisive figures, a notable protagonist in the Russia-Gate conspiracy, and America's most senior diplomat no less.

Not only is it difficult to accept that the former CIA Director actually believes what he is saying, well might we ask, "Who can believe Mike Pompeo?"

And here's also someone whose manifest cynicism, hypocrisy, and chutzpah would embarrass the much-derided scribes and Pharisees of Biblical days.

We have Pompeo on record recently in a rare moment of honesty admitting – whilst laughing his ample ass off, as if recalling some "Boy's Own Adventure" from his misspent youth with a bunch of his mates down at the local pub – that under his watch as CIA Director:

We lied, cheated, we stole we had entire training courses.'

It may have been one of the few times in his wretched existence that Pompeo didn't speak with a forked tongue.

At all events, his candour aside, we can assume safely that this reactionary, monomaniacal, Christian Zionist 'end-timer' passed all the Company's "training courses" with flying colours.

According to Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times, all this did not stop Pompeo however from name-checking Wikileaks when it served his own interests. Back in 2016 at the height of the election campaign, he had ' no compunction about pointing people toward emails stolen* by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee and then posted by WikiLeaks."

[NOTE: Rosenberg's omission of the word "allegedly" -- as in "emails allegedly stolen" -- is a dead giveaway of bias on his part (a journalistic Freudian slip perhaps?), with his employer being one of those MSM marques leading the charge with the "Russian Collusion" 'story'. For a more insightful view of the source of these emails and the skullduggery and thuggery that attended Russia-Gate, readers are encouraged to check this out.]

And this is of course The Company we're talking about, whose past and present relationship with the media might be summed up in two words: Operation Mockingbird (OpMock). Anyone vaguely familiar with the well-documented Grand Deception that was OpMock, arguably the CIA's most enduring, insidious, and successful psy-ops gambit, will know what we're talking about. (See here , here , here , and here .) At its most basic, this operation was all about propaganda and censorship, usually operating in tandem to ensure all the bases are covered.

After opining that the MSM is 'totally infiltrated' by the CIA and various other agencies, for his part former NSA whistleblower William Binney recently added , ' When it comes to national security, the media only talk about what the administration wants you to hear, and basically suppress any other statements about what's going on that the administration does not want get public. The media is basically the lapdogs for the government.'

Even the redoubtable William Casey , Ronald Reagan's CIA Director back in the day was reported to have said something along the following lines:

We know our disinformation program is complete when almost everything the American public believes is false.'

In order to provide a broader and deeper perspective, we should now consider the views of a few others on the subjects at hand, along with some history. In a 2013 piece musing on the modern significance of the practice, my compatriot John Pilger ecalled a time when he met Leni Riefenstahl back in 70s and asked her about her films that 'glorified the Nazis'.

Using groundbreaking camera and lighting techniques, Riefenstahl produced a documentary that mesmerized Germans; as Pilger noted, her Triumph of the Will 'cast Adolf Hitler's spell'. She told the veteran Aussie journalist the "messages" of her films were dependent not on "orders from above", but on the "submissive void" of the public.

All in all, Riefenstahl produced arguably for the rest of the world the most compelling historical footage of mass hysteria, blind obedience, nationalistic fervour, and existential menace, all key ingredients in anyone's totalitarian nightmare. That it also impressed a lot of very powerful, high profile people in the West on both sides of the pond is also axiomatic: These included bankers, financiers, industrialists, and sundry business elites without whose support Hitler might've at best ended up a footnote in the historical record after the ill-fated beer-hall putsch. (See here , and here .)

" Triumph " apparently still resonates today. To the surprise of few one imagines, such was the impact of the film -- as casually revealed in the excellent 2018 Alexis Bloom documentary Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes -- it elicited no small amount of admiration from arguably the single most influential propagandist of recent times.

[Readers might wish to check out Russell Crowe's recent portrayal of Ailes in Stan's mini-series The Loudest Voice , in my view one the best performances of the man's career.]

In a recent piece unambiguously titled "Propaganda Is The Root Of All Our Problems", my other compatriot Caitlin Johnstone also had a few things to say about the subject, echoing Orwell when she observed it was all about "controlling the narrative".

Though I'd suggest the greater "root" problem is our easy propensity to ignore this reality, pretend it doesn't or won't affect us, or reject it as conspiratorial nonsense, in this, of course, she's correct. As she cogently observes,

I write about this stuff for a living, and even I don't have the time or energy to write about every single narrative control tool that the US-centralised empire has been implementing into its arsenal. There are too damn many of them emerging too damn fast, because they're just that damn crucial for maintaining existing power structures.'

The Discreet Use of Censorship and Uniformed Men

It is hardly surprising that those who hold power should seek to control the words and language people use' said Canadian author John Ralston Saul in his 1993 book Voltaire's Bastards–the Dictatorship of Reason in the West .

Fittingly, in a discussion encompassing amongst other things history, language, power, and dissent, he opined, ' Determining how individuals communicate is' an objective which represents for the power elites 'the best chance' [they] have to control what people think. This translates as: The more control 'we' have over what the proles think, the more 'we' can reduce the inherent risk for elites in democracy.

' Clumsy men', Saul went on to say, 'try to do this through power and fear. Heavy-handed men running heavy-handed systems attempt the same thing through police-enforced censorship. The more sophisticated the elites, the more they concentrate on creating intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures. These systems require only the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

In other words, along with assuming it is their right to take it in the first place, ' those who take power will always try to change the established language ', presumably to better facilitate their hold on it and/or legitimise their claim to it.

For Oliver Boyd-Barrett, democratic theory presupposes a public communications infrastructure that facilitates the free and open exchange of ideas.' Yet for the author of the recently published RussiaGate and Propaganda: Disinformation in the Age of Social Media , 'No such infrastructure exists.'

The mainstream media he says, is 'owned and controlled by a small number of large, multi-media and multi-industrial conglomerates' that lie at the very heart of US oligopoly capitalism and much of whose advertising revenue and content is furnished from other conglomerates:

The inability of mainstream media to sustain an information environment that can encompass histories, perspectives and vocabularies that are free of the shackles of US plutocratic self-regard is also well documented.'

Of course the word "inability" suggests the MSM view themselves as having some responsibility for maintaining such an egalitarian news and information environment. They don't of course, and in truth, probably never really have! A better word would be "unwilling", or even "refusal". The corporate media all but epitomise the " plutocratic self-regard" that is characteristic of "oligopoly capitalism".

Indeed, the MSM collectively functions as advertising, public relations/lobbying entities for Big Corp, in addition to acting as its Praetorian bodyguard , protecting their secrets, crimes, and lies from exposure. Like all other companies they are beholden to their shareholders (profits before truth and people), most of whom it can safely be assumed are no strangers to "self-regard", and could care less about " histories, perspectives and vocabularies" that run counter to their own interests.

It was Aussie social scientist Alex Carey who pioneered the study of nationalism , corporatism , and moreso for our purposes herein, the management (read: manipulation) of public opinion, though all three have important links (a story for another time). For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' This former farmer from Western Australia became one of the world's acknowledged experts on propaganda and the manipulation of the truth.

Prior to embarking on his academic career, Carey was a successful sheep grazier . By all accounts, he was a first-class judge of the animal from which he made his early living, leaving one to ponder if this expertise gave him a unique insight into his main area of research!

In any event, Carey in time sold the farm and travelled to the U.K. to study psychology, apparently a long-time ambition. From the late fifties until his death in 1988, he was a senior lecturer in psychology and industrial relations at the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, with his research being lauded by such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and John Pilger, both of whom have had a thing or three to say over the years about The Big Shill. In fact such was his admiration, Pilger described him as "a second Orwell", which in anyone's lingo is a big call.

Carey unfortunately died in 1988, interestingly the year that his more famous contemporaries Edward Herman and Chomsky's book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media was published, the authors notably dedicating their book to him.

Though much of his work remained unpublished at the time of his death, a book of Carey's essays – Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty -- was published posthumously in 1997. It remains a seminal work.

In fact, for anyone with an interest in how public opinion is moulded and our perceptions are managed and manipulated, in whose interests they are done so and to what end, it is as essential reading as any of the work of other more famous names. This tome came complete with a foreword by Chomsky, so enamoured was the latter of Carey's work.

For Carey, the three "most significant developments" in the political economy of the twentieth century were: the growth of democracy the growth of corporate power; and the growth of propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

Carey's main focus was on the following: advertising and publicity devoted to the creation of artificial wants; the public relations and propaganda industry whose principal goal is the diversion to meaningless pursuits and control of the public mind; and the degree to which academia and the professions are under assault from private power determined to narrow the spectrum of thinkable (sic) thought.

For Carey, it is an axiom of conventional wisdom that the use of propaganda as a means of social and ideological control is 'distinctive' of totalitarian regimes. Yet as he stresses: the most minimal exercise of common sense would suggest a different view: that propaganda is likely to play at least as important a part in democratic societies (where the existing distribution of power and privilege is vulnerable to quite limited changes in popular opinion) as in authoritarian societies (where it is not).' In this context, 'conventional wisdom" becomes conventional ignorance; as for "common sense", maybe not so much.

The purpose of this propaganda barrage, as Sharon Bader has noted, has been to convince as many people as possible that it is in their interests to relinquish their own power as workers, consumers, and citizens, and 'forego their democratic right to restrain and regulate business activity. As a result the political agenda is now confined to policies aimed at furthering business interests.'

An extreme example of this view playing itself right under our noses and over decades was the cruel fiction of the " trickle down effect " (TDE) -- aka the 'rising tide that would lift all yachts' -- of Reaganomics . One of several mantras that defined Reagan's overarching political shtick, the TDE was by any measure, decidedly more a torrent than a trickle, and said "torrent" was going up not down. This reality as we now know was not in Reagan's glossy economic brochure to be sure, and it may have been because the Gipper confused his prepositions and verbs.

Yet as the GFC of 2008 amply demonstrated, it culminated in a free-for all, dog eat dog, anything goes, everyman for himself form of cannibal (or anarcho) capitalism -- an updated, much improved version of the no-holds-barred mercenary mercantilism much reminiscent of the Gilded Age and the Robber Barons who 'infested' it, only one that doesn't just eat its young, it eats itself!

Making the World Safe for Plutocracy

In the increasingly dysfunctional, one-sided political economy we inhabit then, whether it's widgets or wars or anything in between, few people realise the degree to which our opinions, perceptions, emotions, and views are shaped and manipulated by propaganda (and its similarly 'evil twin' censorship ,) its most adept practitioners, and those elite, institutional, political, and corporate entities that seek out their expertise.

It is now just over a hundred years since the practice of propaganda took a giant leap forward, then in the service of persuading palpably reluctant Americans that the war raging in Europe at the time was their war as well.

This was at a time when Americans had just voted their then-president Woodrow Wilson back into office for a second term, a victory largely achieved on the back of the promise he'd "keep us out of the War." Americans were very much in what was one of their most isolationist phases , and so Wilson's promise resonated with them.

But over time they were convinced of the need to become involved by a distinctly different appeal to their political sensibilities. This "appeal" also dampened the isolationist mood, one which it has to be said was not embraced by most of the political, banking, and business elites of the time, most of whom stood to lose big-time if the Germans won, and/or who were already profiting or benefitting from the business of war.

For a president who "kept us out of the war", this wasn't going to be an easy 'pitch'. In order to sell the war the president established the Committee on Public Information (aka the Creel Committee) for the purposes of publicising the rationale for the war and from there, garnering support for it from the general public.

Enter Edward Bernays , the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who's generally considered to be the father of modern public relations. In his film Rule from the Shadows: The Psychology of Power , Aaron Hawkins says Bernays was influenced by people such as Gustave le Bon , Walter Lippman , and Wilfred Trotter , as much, if not moreso, than his famous uncle.

Either way, Bernays 'combined their perspectives and synthesised them into an applied science', which he then 'branded' "public relations".

For its part the Creel committee struggled with its brief from the off; but Bernays worked with them to persuade Americans their involvement in the war was justified -- indeed necessary -- and to that end he devised the brilliantly inane slogan, "making the world safe for democracy" .

Thus was born arguably the first great propaganda catch-phrases of the modern era, and certainly one of the most portentous. The following sums up Bernays's unabashed mindset:

The conscious, intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.'

The rest is history (sort of), with Americans becoming more willing to not just support the war effort but encouraged to view the Germans and their allies as evil brutes threatening democracy and freedom and the 'American way of life', however that might've been viewed then. From a geopolitical and historical perspective, it was an asinine premise of course, but nonetheless an extraordinary example of how a few well chosen words tapped into the collective psyche of a country that was decidedly opposed to any U.S involvement in the war and turned that mindset completely on its head.

' [S]aving the world for democracy' (or some 'cover version' thereof) has since become America's positioning statement, 'patriotic' rallying cry, and the "Get-out-of-Jail Free" card for its war and its white collar criminal clique.

At all events it was by any measure, a stroke of genius on Bernays's part; by appealing to people's basic fears and desires, he could engineer consent on a mass scale. It goes without saying it changed the course of history in more ways than one. That the U.S. is to this day still using a not dissimilar meme to justify its "foreign entanglements" is testament to both its utility and durability.

The reality as we now know was markedly different of course. They have almost always been about power, empire, control, hegemony, resources, wealth, opportunity, profit, dispossession, keeping existing capitalist structures intact and well-defended, and crushing dissent and opposition.

The Bewildered Herd

It is instructive to note that the template for 'manufacturing consent' for war had already been forged by the British. And the Europeans did not 'sleepwalk' like some " bewildered herd ' into this conflagration.

For twenty years prior to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the then stewards of the British Empire had been diligently preparing the ground for what they viewed as a preordained clash with their rivals for empire the Germans.

To begin with, contrary to the opinion of the general populace over one hundred years later, it was not the much touted German aggression and militarism, nor their undoubted imperial ambitions, which precipitated its outbreak. The stewards of the British Empire were not about to let the Teutonic upstarts chow down on their imperial lunch as it were, and set about unilaterally and preemptively crushing Germany and with it any ambitions it had for creating its own imperial domain in competition with the Empire upon which Ol' Sol never set.

The "Great War" is worth noting here for other reasons. As documented so by Jim Macgregor and Gerry Docherty in their two books covering the period from 1890-1920, we learn much about propaganda, which attest to its extraordinary power, in particular its power to distort reality en masse in enduring and subversive ways.

In reality, the only thing "great" about World War One was the degree to which the masses fighting for Britain were conned via propaganda and censorship into believing this war was necessary, and the way the official narrative of the war was sustained for posterity via the very same means. "Great" maybe, but not in a good way!

In these seminal tomes -- World War One Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War and its follow-up Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years -- Macgregor and Docherty provide a masterclass for us all of the power of propaganda in the service of firstly inciting, then deliberately sustaining a major war.

The horrendous carnage and destruction that resulted from it was of course unprecedented, the global effects of which linger on now well over one hundred years later.

Such was the enduring power of the propaganda that today most folks would have great difficulty in accepting the following; this is a short summary of historical realities revealed by Macgregor and Docherty that are at complete odds with the official narrative, the political discourse, and the school textbooks:

It was Great Britain (supported by France and Russia) and not Germany who was the principal aggressor in the events and actions that let to the outbreak of war; The British had for twenty years prior to 1914 viewed Germany as its most dangerous economic and imperial rival, and fully anticipated that a war was inevitable; In the U.K. and the U.S., various factions worked feverishly to ensure the war went on for as long as possible, and scuttled peacemaking efforts from the off; key truths about this most consequential of geopolitical conflicts have been concealed for well over one hundred years, with no sign the official record will change; very powerful forces (incl. a future US president) amongst U.S. political, media, and economic elites conspired to eventually convince an otherwise unwilling populace in America that U.S. entry onto the war was necessary; those same forces and many similar groups in the U.K. and Europe engaged in everything from war profiteering, destruction/forging of war records, false-flag ops, treason, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and direct efforts to prolong the war by any means necessary, many of which will rock folks to their very core.

But peace was not on the agenda. When, by 1916, the military failures were so embarrassing and costly, some key players in the British government were willing to talk about peace. This could not be tolerated. The potential peacemakers had to be thrown under the bus. The unelected European leaders had one common bond: They would fight Germany until she was crushed.

Prolonging the Agony details how this secret cabal organised to this end the change of government without a single vote being cast. David Lloyd George was promoted to prime minister in Britain and Georges Clemenceau made prime minister in France. A new government, an inner-elite war cabinet thrust the Secret Elite leader, Lord Alfred Milner into power at the very inner-core of the decision-makers in British politics.

Democracy? They had no truck with democracy. The voting public had no say. The men entrusted with the task would keep going till the end and their place-men were backed by the media and the money-power, in Britain, France and America.

Propaganda Always Wins

But just as the pioneering adherents of propaganda back in the day might never have dreamt how sophisticated and all-encompassing the practice would become, nor would the citizenry at large have anticipated the extent to which the industry has facilitated an entrenched, rapacious plutocracy at the expense of our economic opportunity, our financial and material security, our physical, social and cultural environment, our values and attitudes, and increasingly, our basic democratic rights and freedoms.

We now live in the Age of the Big Shill -- cocooned in a submissive void no less -- an era where nothing can be taken on face value yet where time and attention constraints (to name just a few) force us to do so; [where] few people in public life can be taken at their word; where unchallenged perceptions become accepted reality; where 'open-book' history is now incontrovertible not-negotiable, upon pain of imprisonment fact; where education is about uniformity, function, form and conformity, all in the service of imposed neo-liberal ideologies embracing then prioritising individual -- albeit dubious -- freedoms.

More broadly, it's the "Roger Ailes" of this world -- acting on behalf of the power elites who after all are their paymasters -- who create the intellectual systems which control expression through the communications structures, whilst ensuring these systems require only 'the discreet use of censorship and uniformed men.'

They are the shapers and moulders of the discourse that passes for the accepted lingua franca of the increasingly globalised, interconnected, corporatised political economy of the planet. Throughout this process they 'will always try to change the established language.'

And we can no longer rely on our elected representatives to honestly represent us and our interests. Whether this decision making is taking place inside or outside the legislative process, these processes are well and truly in the grip of the banks and financial institutions and transnational organisations. In whose interests are they going to be more concerned with?

We saw this all just after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) when the very people who brought the system to the brink, made billions off the dodge for their banks and millions for themselves, bankrupted hundreds of thousands of American families, were called upon by the U.S. government to fix up the mess, and to all intents given a blank cheque to so do.

That the U.S. is at even greater risk now of economic implosion is something few serious pundits would dispute, and a testament to the effectiveness of the snow-job perpetrated upon Americans regarding the causes, the impact, and the implications of the 2008 meltdown going forward.

In most cases, one accepts almost by definition such disconnects (read: hidden agendas) are the rule rather than the exception, hence the multi-billion foundation -- and global reach and impact -- of the propaganda business. This in itself is a key indicator as to why organisations place so much importance on this aspect of managing their affairs.

At the very least, once corporations saw how the psychology of persuasion could be leveraged to manipulate consumers and politicians saw the same with the citizenry and even its own workers, the growth of the industry was assured.

As Riefenstahl noted during her chinwag with Pilger after he asked if those embracing the "submissive void" included the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? " Everyone ," she said.

By way of underscoring her point, she added enigmatically: 'Propaganda always wins if you allow it'.

Greg Maybury is a freelance writer based in Perth, Australia. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military, and geopolitical affairs. For 5 years he has regularly contributed to a diverse range of news and opinion sites, including OpEd News, The Greanville Post, Consortium News, Dandelion Salad, Global Research, Dissident Voice, OffGuardian, Contra Corner, International Policy Digest, the Hampton Institute, and others.


nottheonly1

This brilliant essay is proof of the reflective nature of the Universe. The worse the propaganda and oppression becomes, the greater the likelihood such an essay will be written.

Such is the sophistication and ubiquity of the narrative control techniques used today -- afforded increasingly by 'computational propaganda' via automated scripts, hacking, botnets, troll farms, and algorithms and the like, along with the barely veiled censorship and information gatekeeping practised by Google and Facebook and other tech behemoths -- it's become one of the most troubling aspects of the technological/social media revolution.

Very rarely can one experience such a degree of vindication. My moniker 'nottheonly1' has received more meaning with this precise depiction of the long history of the manipulation of the masses. Recent events have destroyed but all of my confidence that there might be a peaceful way out of this massive dilemma. Due to this sophistication in controlling the narrative, it has now become apparent that we have arrived at a moment in time where total lawlessness reigns. 'Lawlessness' in this case means the loss of common law and the use of code law to create ever new restrictions for free speech and liberty at large.

Over the last weeks, comments written on other discussion boards have unleashed a degree of character defamation and ridicule for the most obvious crimes perpetrated on the masses through propaganda. In this unholy union of constant propaganda via main stream 'media' with the character defamation by so called 'trolls' – which are actually virtual assassins of those who write the truth – the ability of the population, or parts thereof to connect with, or search for like minded people is utterly destroyed. This assault on the online community has devastating consequences. Those who have come into the cross hairs of the unintelligence agencies will but turn away from the internet. Leaving behind an ocean of online propaganda and fake information. Few are now the web sites on which it is possible to voice one's personal take on the status quo.

There is one word that describes these kind of activities precisely: traitor. Those who engage in the character defamation of commenters, or authors per se, are traitors to humanity. They betray the collective consciousness with their poisonous attacks of those who work for a sea change of the status quo. The owner class has all game pieces positioned. The fact that Julian Assange is not only a free man, but still without a Nobel price for peace, while war criminals are recipients, shows just how much the march into absolute totalitarianism has progressed. Bernays hated the masses and offered his 'services' to manipulate them often for free.

Even though there are more solutions than problems, the time has come where meaningful participation in the search for such solution has been made unbearable. It is therefore that a certain fatalism has developed – from resignation to the acceptance of the status quo as being inevitable. Ancient wisdom has created a proverb that states 'This too, will pass'. While that is a given, there are still enough Human Beings around that are determined to make a difference. To this group I count the author of this marvelous, albeit depressing essay. Thank you more that words can express. And thank you, OffGuardian for being one of the last remaining places where discourse is possible.

GMW
Really great post! Thanks. I'm part of the way through reading Alex Carey's book: "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda Versus Freedom and Liberty," referenced in this article. I've learned more about the obviously verifiable history of U.S. corporate propaganda in the first four chapters than I learned gaining a "minor" in history in 1974 (not surprisingly I can now clearly see). I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in just how pervasive, entrenched and long-standing are the propaganda systems shaping public perception, thought and behavior in America and the West.
Norcal
Wow Greg Maybury great essay, congratulations. This quote is brilliant, I've never see it before, "For Carey, the following conclusion was inescapable: 'It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.' "

Too, Rodger Ailes was the man credited with educating Nixon up as how to "use" the TV media, and Ailes never looked back as he manipulated media at will. Thank you!

nondimenticare
That is also one of the basic theses of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech.
vexarb
I read in 'Guns, Germs and Steel' about Homo Sapiens and his domesticated animals. Apparently we got on best in places where we could find animals that are very like us: sheep, cattle, horses and other herd animals which instinctively follow their Leader. I think our cousins the chimpanzee are much the same; both species must have inherited this common trait from some pre-chimpanzee ancestor who had found great survival value in passing on the sheeple trait to their progeny. As have the sheep themselves.

By the way, has anybody observed sheeple behaviour in ants and bees? For instance, quietly following a Leader ant to their doom, or noisily ganging up to mob a worker bee that the Queen does not like?

Andy
Almost unbelievable that this was commisioned by the BBC 4 part series covering much of what is in Gregs essay. Some fabulous old footage too. https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-century-of-the-self/
S.R.Passerby
I'd say the elites are both for and against. Competing factions. It's clear that many are interested in overturning democracy, whilst others want to exploit it.

The average grunt on the street is in the fire, regardless of the pan chosen by the elites.

[Aug 12, 2019] The primary mission of intelligence agencies is self-preservation, and that means co-operation with other nation's intelligence agencies whenever possible. They are on one team, and those outside the intelligence "community" are on the other team. /

Aug 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Justvisiting , says: August 11, 2019 at 7:20 pm GMT

@freedom-cat

I'm hoping that an element within our intelligence services did the right thing and Offed him to send a loud and clear message to the rest of the tribal members involved in false flags against USA and world. Obviously, JE was a very high ranking mossad agent who had strong ties with ALL the Israelis and Americans who did 9/11.

The primary mission of intelligence agencies is self-preservation, and that means co-operation with other nation's intelligence agencies whenever possible.

As a practical matter it is highly likely that both Israeli and US Intelligence agencies had access to the Epstein blackmail materials to use as they wish.

( and, as a practical matter it is highly likely that both Israeli and US Intelligence agencies were behind 911, the Kennedy assassinations, etc etc etc)

They are on one team, and those outside the intelligence "community" are on the other team.

Anon [245] Disclaimer , says: August 12, 2019 at 12:54 am GMT
Question for all,

Ever consider a rogue upper echelon CIA faction may have ran Epstein, hoping it looked optically like the Mossad ran him?

Epstein was probably a sex criminal from his early adulthood, but knew a few people. Hell, his handlers could have told him they were Mossad. I think our CIA/NSA has some brass who wouldnt mind calling America's foreign policy shots from behind the scenes via blackmail info on influential company leaders and corporate officers/assorted congresscritters. Epstein could privide this while appearing to be Mossad.

Its hard to believ CIA would let the Mossad get kompramat on our politicians so they could boss them around. Turf concerns and a bruised ego would lead me to believe the CIA would at least brief new members of congress about this anyway. I think it could have been them. "He belongs to intelligence".

Beefcake the Mighty , says: August 12, 2019 at 1:13 am GMT
@Anon Interesting idea, but aren't the CIA and Mossad joined at the hip at this stage? How likely is it that rogue elements within the CIA haven't been purged by now?
peterAUS , says: August 12, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@Anon

Ever consider a rogue upper echelon CIA faction may have ran Epstein, hoping it looked optically like the Mossad ran him?

No. For simple reasons: "What's there for me" and "Unless having THAT clearance I'll never know".

Re the former: if they can pull this to him what can they pull on me (or people I care for) if/when they want it.

Gets worse.

What if they pull that just to get a kick of out of it? Like aristocrats/nobles of Rome would pull it on a gladiator/slave? Or Middle Age noble on a serf?

I remember when Milosevic died and I'd mention that over lunch in white-collar/corporate environment. He WAS a head of state, European, White. I remember the jokes. And I was thinking (stupid, I know) the same: if they can do this to him, what can they do to me? Nobody else was, of course, at least where I was moving around (senior corporate management, that is .or so I say).
Then, there was a S.A.S. guy. Quote from Wikipedia:

He was a lance corporal in 1980, serving in Pagoda Troop, 'B' Squadron, 22 SAS Regiment, when he led "Blue Team" in the storming of the Iranian Embassy in London during a hostage siege on 5 May 1980. McAleese fought in the Falklands War in 1982, and in Ulster. He was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in action at the Loughgall ambush in Armagh on 8 May 1987,[4] and was present at the Drumnakilly ambush in County Tyrone in August 1988.[5] He also served as a bodyguard for three Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.

The last sentence could be interesting.
And, then ..

Four days after his son's funeral John McAleese was arrested by officers from West Mercia Police on charges of accessing indecent images of juveniles on the internet via a home computer.

So, again, if they can do that to this fellow, what can they do to me?
Etc.

Hehehe ..now the funny part: how many people reading this knew about Mr. McAleese? No need to state it here.

Oh, BTW, how many people you know are paying attention to this? Real attention, I mean?
Funny too.

[Aug 11, 2019] Some government inspector in Texas had agreed to testify about the details of a gigantic corruption ring that was closely connected with LBJ. I can't remember the exact details, but not long afterward, he was found dead, shot seven times.

Notable quotes:
"... Malcolm Wallace and LBJ had been closely linked. In the early 50’s, LBJ had gone to great extents to save Wallace’s life after he shot down a professional golfer who was having an affair with LBJ’s alcoholic sister. Although guilty of murder, Wallace ended up with a minor sentence. ..."
"... Interestingly, a Wallace fingerprint was apparently found at the TSBD “Sniper nest” from where Oswald allegedly shot JFK. Probably some insurance taken against LBJ by his co-conspirators… ..."
Aug 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ron Unz: August 10, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT

This reminds me a little of a almost forgotten incident from the 1960s

Some government inspector in Texas had agreed to testify about the details of a gigantic corruption ring that was closely connected with LBJ. I can't remember the exact details, but not long afterward, he was found dead, shot seven times.

The local Texas court ruled it an apparent suicide and that's exactly how it was reported in the Washington Post and the other national newspapers

Iris : August 11, 2019 at 12:16

His name was Henry Marshall.

In 1984, Billie Sol Estes told a grand jury investigating the 1961 shooting death of Henry Marshall, an official with the Department of Agriculture, that LBJ’s associate Malcolm Wallace was Marshall’s murderer.

Malcolm Wallace and LBJ had been closely linked. In the early 50’s, LBJ had gone to great extents to save Wallace’s life after he shot down a professional golfer who was having an affair with LBJ’s alcoholic sister. Although guilty of murder, Wallace ended up with a minor sentence.

Interestingly, a Wallace fingerprint was apparently found at the TSBD “Sniper nest” from where Oswald allegedly shot JFK. Probably some insurance taken against LBJ by his co-conspirators…

lysias , says: August 11, 2019 at 1:34 am GMT

@Iris Shortly before he died, Estes collaborated with a French journalist on a book called “Le dernier temoin” (“The Last Witness”) in which Estes claimed that he had participated in a meeting with LBJ in which the JFK assassination was planned. The book was published in French (I have a copy), but no English translation has ever appeared.

[Aug 03, 2019] The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s Is the Story of Our Times. The Killing of the Kennedys and Today's New Cold War by Edward Curtin

That the rogue elements of the CIA participated in the assassination of JFK now is undisputable. And they probably were connected to the very top. Presence of Bush Senior on Dealey Plaza (who was top CIA executive at the time) at the moment of assassination tells a lot in this respect as well as the speed and intensity of the cover up. The only discussion can be about motives and the degree in which LBJ was involved.
Notable quotes:
"... The killing of the Kennedys and today's new Cold War and war against terror are two ends of a linked intelligence operation. ..."
"... The assassination of the top four leaders of the political left in the five year period – President John Kennedy in 1963, Malcolm X in 1965, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 – represented nothing less than a slow-motion coup on the political scene. ..."
"... If anyone wishes to understand what has happened to the United States since this coup, and thus to its countless victims at home and throughout the world, one must understand these assassinations and how the alleged assassins were manipulated by the coup organizers and how the public was hoodwinked in a mind-control operation on a vast scale. ..."
"... Sandra Serrano, a Kennedy campaign worker and a courageous witness, was bullied by the CIA-connected police interrogator Sergeant Enrique "Hank" Hernandez. She had been sitting outside on a metal fire escape getting some air when the polka dot dress girl, accompanied by a man, ran out and down the stairs, shouting, "We've shot him, we've shot him." When Serrano asked whom did they shoot, the girl replied, "We've shot Senator Kennedy." Then she and her companion, both of whom Serrano had earlier seen ascending the stairs with Sirhan, disappeared into the night. A little over an hour after the shooting Serrano was interviewed on live television by NBC's Sander Vanocur where she recounted this. And there were others who saw and heard this girl say the same thing as she and her companion fled the crime scene. Nevertheless, the LAPD, led by Lieutenant Manuel Pena, also CIA affiliated, who was brought out of retirement to run the investigation dubbed "Special Unit Senator," worked with Hernandez and others to dismiss the girl as of no consequence. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

The CIA Takeover of America in the 1960s Is the Story of Our Times. The Killing of the Kennedys and Today's New Cold War A Quasi-Review of A Lie Too Big To Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Lisa Pease By Edward Curtin Global Research, August 03, 2019 Region: USA Theme: History , Law and Justice , Media Disinformation

First published by Global Research on April 2, 2019

"'We're all puppets,' the suspect [Sirhan Sirhan] replied, with more truth than he could have understood at that moment." – Lisa Pease , quoting from the LAPD questioning of Sirhan

When Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated on June 5, 1968, the American public fell into an hypnotic trance in which they have remained ever since. The overwhelming majority accepted what was presented by government authorities as an open and shut case that a young Palestinian American, Sirhan Sirhan , had murdered RFK because of his support for Israel, a false accusation whose ramifications echo down the years. That this was patently untrue and was contradicted by overwhelming evidence made no difference.

Sirhan did not kill Robert Kennedy, yet he remains in jail to this very day. Robert Kennedy, Jr., who was 14 years old at the time of his father's death, has visited Sirhan in prison, claims he is innocent, and believes there was another gunman. Paul Schrade , an aide to the senator and the first person shot that night, also says Sirhan didn't do it. Both have plenty of evidence. And they are not alone.

There is a vast body of documented evidence to prove this, an indisputably logical case marshalled by serious writers and researchers. Lisa Pease is the latest. It is a reason why a group of 60 prominent Americans has recently called for a reopening of, not just this case, but those of JFK, MLK, and Malcom X. The blood of these men cries out for the revelation of the truth that the United States national security state and its media accomplices have fought so mightily to keep hidden for so many years.

That they have worked so hard at this reveals how dangerous the truth about these assassinations still is to this secret government that wages propaganda war against the American people and real wars around the world. It is a government of Democrats, Republicans, and their intelligence allies working together today to confuse the American people and provoke Russia in a most dangerous game that could lead to nuclear war, a possibility that so frightened JFK and RFK after the Cuban Missile Crisis that they devoted themselves to ending the Cold War, reconciling with the Soviet Union, abolishing nuclear weapons, reining in of the power of the CIA, and withdrawing from Vietnam. That is why they were killed.

The web of deceit surrounding the now officially debunked Democratic led Russia-gate propaganda operation that has strengthened Trump to double-down on his anti-Russia operations (a Democratic goal) is an example of the perfidious and sophisticated mutuality of this game of mass mind-control.

The killing of the Kennedys and today's new Cold War and war against terror are two ends of a linked intelligence operation.

Moreover, more than any other assassination of the 1960s, it is the killing of Bobby Kennedy that has remained shrouded in the most ignorance.

It is one of the greatest propaganda success stories of American history.

In her exhaustive new examination of the case, A Lie Too Big To Fail , Lisa Pease puts it succinctly at the conclusion of her unravelling of the official lies that have mesmerized the public:

The assassination of the top four leaders of the political left in the five year period – President John Kennedy in 1963, Malcolm X in 1965, and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 – represented nothing less than a slow-motion coup on the political scene.

If anyone wishes to understand what has happened to the United States since this coup, and thus to its countless victims at home and throughout the world, one must understand these assassinations and how the alleged assassins were manipulated by the coup organizers and how the public was hoodwinked in a mind-control operation on a vast scale. It is not ancient history, for the forces that killed these leaders rule the U.S. today, and their ruthlessness has subsequently informed the actions of almost all political leaders in the years since. A bullet to the head when you seriously talk about peace and justice is a not so gentle reminder to toe the line or else.

"But the way the CIA took over America in the 1960s is the story of our time," writes Pease, "and too few recognize this. We can't fix a problem we can't even acknowledge exists."

Nothing could be truer.

Lisa Pease has long recognized the problem, and for the past twenty-five years, she has devoted herself to shedding light on the CIA's culpability, particularly in the Robert Kennedy case. Few people possess the grit and grace to spend so much of their lives walking this path of truth. The extent of her research is dazzling, so dazzling in its voluminous detail that a reviewer can only touch on it here and there. She has written a book that is daunting in its comprehensiveness. It demands focused attention and perseverance, for it runs to over 500 pages with more than 800 footnotes. This book will remain a touchstone for future research on the RFK assassination, whether one agrees or disagrees with all of her detailed findings and speculations. For this book is so vast and meticulous in its examination of all aspects of the case that one can surely find areas that one might question or disagree with.

Nevertheless, Pease fundamentally proves that Sirhan did not shoot RFK and that there was a conspiracy organized and carried out by shadowy intelligence forces that did so. These same forces worked with the Los Angeles Police Department, federal, state, and judicial elements to make sure Sirhan was quickly accused of being the lone assassin and dispatched to prison after a show trial. And the mass media carried out its assigned role of affirming the government's case to shield the real killers and to make sure the cover-up was successful.

The Blatant Conspiracy behind Senator Robert F. Kennedy's Assassination

No doubt others will investigate this case further. Yet I think no more research is really needed, for as with these other assassinations, additional analyses will only result in pseudo-debates about minutiae. Such debates will only serve to prolong the hallucinatory grip the perpetrators of these crimes have on a day of reckoning, suggesting as they would that we do not really know what happened. This is an old tactic meant to delay forevermore such a day of reckoning.

The facts are clear for all to see if they have the will to truth. All that is now needed is a public tribunal, which is planned for later this year, in which the fundamental, clear-cut facts of these cases are presented to the American public. In the case of Robert Kennedy's assassination as with the others, a little knowledge goes a long way, and only those who are closed to basic logic and evidence will refuse to see that government forces conspired to kill these men and did so because all were seeking peace and justice that was then, and is now, a threat to the war-making forces of wealth and power that control the American government.

Pease writes:

Anyone who has looked closely and honestly at the evidence has realized that more than one person was involved in Robert Kennedy's death. So why can't reporters see this? Why can't the media explain this? Because the media and the government are two sides of the same coin, and those who challenge the government's version of history, as numerous reporters have found out, all too often lose status and sometimes whole careers. Kristina Borjesson published an anthology of such stories in her book Into the Buzzsaw, in which journalists describe how they lost their careers when eachof them expressed a truth that the government did not want exposed.

Lisa Pease discloses such truths. I am reporting on her work. Therefore, the mainstream media, except for an extraordinary reporter or two, such as Tom Jackman of The WashingtonPost , will likely ignore both of us, but the publication where you are reading this is on the side of truth, and in the disclosure of truth lies our hope.

Since more than one person was involved in the killing of RFK, there was – ipso facto – a conspiracy. This is not theory but fact. The fact of a conspiracy. For more than fifty years, mainstream reporters have been cowed by this word "conspiracy," thanks to the CIA. Many others have been intelligence assets posing as journalists, regurgitating the lies. This is a fact.

The official story is that after giving his victory speech for winning the 1968 Democratic California Primary, Kennedy, as he was walking through a crowded hotel pantry, was shot by Sirhan Sirhan, who was standing to his left between 3-6 feet away. Sirhan's revolver held eight bullets, and as he was shooting, he was tackled by a group of large men who subdued him. All witnesses place Sirhan in front of Kennedy and all claim he was firing a gun.

Fact: As the autopsy definitively showed, RFK was shot from the rear at point blank range, three bullets entering his body, with the fatal headshot coming upward at a 45-degree angle from 1-3 inches behind his right ear. Not one bullet from Sirhan's gun hit the Senator. In addition, an audio recording shows that many more bullets than the eight in Sirhan's gun were fired in the hotel pantry that night. It was impossible for Sirhan to have killed RFK.

Let me repeat: More than one gunman, contrary to the government's claims, equals a conspiracy. So why lie about that?

What is amazing is that the obvious conclusion to such simple syllogistic logic (Sirhan in front, bullets in the back, therefore ) that a child could understand has been dismissed by the authorities for fifty-one years. The fact that the government authorities – the LAPD, the Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney, federal and state government officials, the FBI, the CIA – have from the start so assiduously done all in their power to pin the blame on "a lone assassin," Sirhan, proves they are part of a coordinated cover-up, which in turn suggests their involvement in the crime.

The fact that Robert Kennedy was shot from the back and not the front where Sirhan was standing immediately brings to mind the Zapruder film that shows that JFK was killed from the front right and not from the 6 th floor rear where Oswald was allegedly shooting from. That unexpected film evidence was hidden from the public for many years, but when it was finally seen, the case for a government conspiracy was solidified.

While no such video evidence has surfaced in the RFK case, the LAPD made sure that no photographic evidence contradicting the official lies would be seen. As Lisa Pease writes:

Less than two months after the assassination, the LAPD took the extraordinary step of burning some 2,400 photos from the case in Los Angeles County General's medical waste incinerator. Why destroy thousands of photos in an incinerator if there was nothing to hide? The LAPD kept hundreds of innocuous crowd scene photos that showed no girl in a polka dot dress or no suspicious activities or individuals. Why were those photos preserved? Perhaps because those photos had nothing in them that warranted their destruction.

While "perhaps" is a mild word, the cover-up of "the girl in the polka dot dress" needs no perhaps. Dozens of people reported seeing a suspicious, curvaceous girl in a white dress with black polka dots with Sirhan in the pantry and other places. She was seen with various other men as well. The evidence for her involvement in the assassination is overwhelming, and yet the LAPD did all in its power to deny this by browbeating witnesses and by allowing her to escape.

Sandra Serrano, a Kennedy campaign worker and a courageous witness, was bullied by the CIA-connected police interrogator Sergeant Enrique "Hank" Hernandez. She had been sitting outside on a metal fire escape getting some air when the polka dot dress girl, accompanied by a man, ran out and down the stairs, shouting, "We've shot him, we've shot him." When Serrano asked whom did they shoot, the girl replied, "We've shot Senator Kennedy." Then she and her companion, both of whom Serrano had earlier seen ascending the stairs with Sirhan, disappeared into the night. A little over an hour after the shooting Serrano was interviewed on live television by NBC's Sander Vanocur where she recounted this. And there were others who saw and heard this girl say the same thing as she and her companion fled the crime scene. Nevertheless, the LAPD, led by Lieutenant Manuel Pena, also CIA affiliated, who was brought out of retirement to run the investigation dubbed "Special Unit Senator," worked with Hernandez and others to dismiss the girl as of no consequence.

Lisa Pease covers all this and much more. She shows how Sirhan was obviously hypnotized, how the trial was a farce, how the police destroyed evidence from the door frames in the pantry that proved more than the eight bullets in Sirhan's gun were fired, how Officer DeWayne Wolfer manipulated the ballistic evidence, etc. Through years of digging into court records, archives, transcripts, the public library, and doing countless interviews, she proves without a doubt that Sirhan did not kill Kennedy and that the assassination and the cover-up were part of a very sophisticated intelligence operation involving many parts and players. She shows how no matter what route Kennedy took in the hotel that night, the killers had all exits covered and that he would not be allowed to leave alive.

While some of her more speculative points – e.g. that Robert Maheu (Howard Hughes/CIA) was "the most credible high-level suspect for the planner of Robert Kennedy's assassination," that Kennedy was shot twice in the head from behind, etc. are open to debate, they do not detract from her fundamentally powerful case that RFK, like his brother John, was assassinated by a CIA-run operation intended to silence their voices of courageous resistance to an expanding secret government dedicated to war, murder, and human exploitation. The U.S. government of today.

When Bobby Kennedy was entering the kitchen pantry, he was escorted by a security guard named Thane Eugene Cesar, a man long suspected of being the assassin. Cesar was carrying a gun that he drew but denied firing, despite witnesses' claims to the contrary. Conveniently, the police never examined the gun. He has long been suspected of being CIA affiliated, and now Pease says she has found evidence to confirm that. She writes, "It's hard to overstate the significance of finding a current or future CIA contract agent holding Kennedy's right arm at the moment of the shooting."

Yes, it is. As she rightly claims, the CIA takeover of America in the 1960s is the story of our time. And our time is now. None of this is ancient history. That is so crucial to grasp. For those who think that learning the truth about the 1960s assassinations is an exercise in futility reserved for those who are living in the past, they need to think again. Our descent into endless war and massive media propaganda to support it is part of a long-term project that began with the elimination of JFK, Malcom X, MLK, and Robert Kennedy. They were killed for reasons, and those reasons still exist, even if they don't physically, but only in spirit. Their killers roam the land because they have become far more deeply part of the institutional structure of government and the media.

Pease says:

It was horrible that Robert Kennedy was taken from us far too soon. It is horrible that one man has borne the guilt for an operation he neither planned nor willingly participated in. It's horrible the conspiracy was so obvious that bullets had to be lost and switched to hide it. And it's horrible that the mainstream media has never dared to tell the people of this country that the government lied to us about what they really found when they looked into this case. Until the media can deal with the truth of the Robert Kennedy assassination, and until the people can be made aware of the CIA's role in slanting the truth on topics of great importance, America's very survival is in jeopardy .We've come perilously close to losing democracy itself because of fake, CIA-sponsored stories about our history. Should America ever become a dictatorship, the epitaph of our democracy must include the role the mainstream media, by bowing to the National Security state, played in killing it.

By writing A Lie Too Big To Fail, Lisa Pease has done her valiant part in refuting the lie that is now failing. Now it is up to all of us to spread the word of truth by focusing on the fundamental facts so we can finally take back our country from the CIA.

Then we can say with RFK and his favorite poet Aeschylus:

And even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

[Aug 03, 2019] Was future President George H. W. Bush at Dealey Plaza during JFK's assassination - Quora

Notable quotes:
"... There is a photo of someone who looks like him standing in front of the School Book Depository. Bush is one of the few people in America who can't remember where he was that day. ..."
Aug 03, 2019 | www.quora.com

Kevin Stewart , Writer Answered Nov 4 2018 · Author has 370 answers and 39.7k answer views

There is some flimsy photo evidence of someone who looked like him in Dealey Plaza, so my answer would be, "not sure." But anecdotally, there sure seems to be a large number of "coincidences" around a guy who could apparently walk across a snow covered field without leaving foot prints , so maybe.

Since the beginning, the rumored driving motive for JFK's assassination, (from both sides really) was the cluster-fuck known as "The Bay of Pigs invasion," so we'll start there. At the end of Mark Lane's book "Plausible Denial," (the account of E. Howard Hunt's ill-fated lawsuit against The Liberty Lobby) some interesting facts about the Bay of Pigs invasion were tossed out that leaves one scratching his or her head and wondering if 41 had anything to do with it. The operation was ostensibly to deliver small arms and ordnance to a (turns out to be fictional) 25,000 man rebel army that was in the Cuban hills waiting for help to depose Castro.

The US Navy supplied a couple of ships, but they were decommissioned, had their numbers scraped off, and were renamed the "Houston" and the "Barbara," (or the Spanish spelling of Barbara.) This is while 41 was living in Houston with his wife Barbara. Also, the CIA code name for the invasion was "Operation Zapata."

This while the name of 41's business was "Zapata Offshore." (Or something like that. 41 had business' using Zapata's name since his days as an oilman in Midland Texas.) The day after Kennedy's killing, a George Bush met with Army Intel. What went on in that meeting is a mystery, and the CIA unconvincingly claims that they had another guy working for them named George Bush, only he wasn't hired until 1964 and his expertise was meteorology so it's difficult to understand why they wanted to talk with him on that day. Then there's the fact that Oswald's CIA handler, a guy name Georges DeMorinshilt (sp?) had the name George (Poppy) Bush in his address book along with 41's Houston address and phone number.

Of course this is all coincidental, but consider: 41 was a failed two-term congressman who couldn't hold his seat, (in Houston Texas of all places) and yet was made by Nixon the ambassador to the UN, then Ford named him ambassador to China and the Director of the CIA. Wow! What a lucky guy.

So was he involved with the Kennedy assassination and photographed in Dealey Plaza? Don't know. I was 13 at the time, but in the intervening years, the politics in this country, especially relating to the Republican Party, have become shall we say, "Kalfkaesque."

Steven Hager , Author of "Killing Kennedy." Updated Dec 31, 2018 · Author has 1.2k answers and 1.4m answer views

There is a photo of someone who looks like him standing in front of the School Book Depository. Bush is one of the few people in America who can't remember where he was that day.

There is also a memo by J.Edgar Hoover referencing a "George Bush of the CIA" reporting on "misguided Cubans" in Dallas that day. The CIA had a safe house stuffed with Cuban agents in the Oak Cliff neighborhood, and Lee Harvey Oswald rented a room nearby shortly before the assassination took place.

Michael Tarnpoll , We came so goddamn close Answered Feb 2, 2017 · Author has 3.7k answers and 1.5m answer views

The George Bush connections to JFK's assassination

Astoundingly, Bush, the elder, claims that he does not remember where he was when Kennedy was assassinated. I do. I'll bet a dollar that you do (if old enough). Everyone above the age of fifty-five does except George H. W. Bush. He does however, remember that he was not at Dealey Plaza at the time.

It is interesting to note that photographs and videos exist showing a man who looks very much like Bush, at the site, at the time. It was not difficult to find them on line in the past. Now, they seem to have been expunged somehow, though a few blurry photos can still be found.

[Aug 03, 2019] Was George Bush in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963

Sep 7, 2013 | theamericanchronicle.blogspot.com

We discovered some fascinating evidence that George Bush was directly involved in the murder of President John F Kennedy, the latest of which evidence comes from the late Roger Craig. The evidence seems overwhelming that George Herbert Walker Bush was in Dealey Plaza at the time of the president's murder, supervising the Cubans involved in the assassination squad. Evidence for Bush's involvement is legion. Bush denies remembering where he was on November 22d, largely because he can't remember which lie he should tell about it. It saves him the embarrassing contradictions in which Nixon found himself when explaining his whereabouts on that day. But not remembering one's location on that historic and traumatic day doesn't pass the laugh test although Bush did manage to laugh about it at Gerald Ford's funeral – precisely when he mentioned the murder. The laugh speaks volumes of Bush's contempt for Kennedy. We have written previously about the memo which Hoover wrote about a meeting he had with "Mr George Bush of the CIA" – a memo which irrefutably links Bush with the CIA operating under cover as an "independent oil man from Houston." We reported in a recent blog posting identifying Hunt as Bush's case officer in the CIA. These two independent witnesses help cement Bush's involvement with the agency as well as his presence in the City of Hate on the day he helped murder the president. Bush was on business for the CIA which is why he had official communication with the FBI and most likely Hoover himself in Washington, DC the following day. His official post was Dallas. Bush's cover story is that he spoke at an oil convention – the Dallas based American Association of Oil Well Drilling Contractors, but this is at best plausible deniability.

The important point is that this story demonstrates that he was in Dallas, a fact which the Dallas Morning News reported occurring on the evening of November 21, 1963. Indeed, he stayed at the Sheraton Hotel which was also headquarters of Secret Service communications and other elements coordinating the assassination. Many have covered the James Parrot story in which Bush called the FBI to warm it about suspicious activity of Parrot. But Parrot worked for Bush, and Bush used this lame story to provide an alibi for his non-presence in Dallas.

Unfortunately, the lady doth protest too much. The Tyler, TX story – the one where Bush supposedly called the FBI from Tyler is a giant hoax. It didn't happen. Someone impersonating Bush made the call because Bush was too busy supervising the assassination at that time. As we will show momentarily, Bush was nowhere near Tyler. The aforementioned memo's citation of the "mis-guided" anti-Castro Cubans clearly associates Bush with Alpha 66, Operation 40, and groups the CIA was training for assassination duty. The pretext is that it was against Castro, but the plan was always against Kennedy. But how do we know that? A CIA pilot told the story of George Bush being the pay master for Castro.

We have posted elsewhere in this Chronicle that Cuba was an invention – a hoax – to justify covert and bellicose operations – to justify the permanent war and police state. Castro was on the CIA payroll and has always been a pawn of the New York banksters. Now here is the kicker, as John Hankey quotes Dallas Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig speaking with Jim Garrison, the New Orleans district attorney who prosecuted Clay Shaw for his involvement with the murder: "Jim also asked me about the arrests made in Dealey Plaza that day. I told him I knew of twelve arrests, one in particular made by R. E. Vaughn of the Dallas Police Department. The man Vaughn arrested was coming from the Dal-Tex Building across from the Texas School Book Depository. The only thing which Vaughn knew about him was that he was an independent oil operator from Houston, Texas. The prisoner was taken from Vaughn by Dallas Police detectives and that was the last that he saw or heard of the suspect." (emphasis added)

Here is extraordinary evidence that George Bush was arrested in Dallas at the time of the assassination. But why was he arrested? We diverge from Hankey's explanation that he was caught where he wasn't supposed to be. Citizens knew that bullets were fired from Dal-Tex and were jeering the people coming out. The police were providing Bush an escort of safety from one of the crime scenes, as the Dallas Police were heavily involved in the murder. Thus an enormous amount of evidence places George Bush in the City of Hate and Dealey Plaza on 11/21-22. The evidence consists of newspaper accounts, FBI memoranda, photographs, and first person witness accounts. George Herbert Walker Bush murdered John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Reference Jim Fetzer, John Hankey, Was George H. W. Bush Involved With Assassination of JFK? VeteransToday.com, November 16, 2011 Copyright 2013 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.

[Jul 31, 2019] Jack Ruby was the Mafia capo of Dallas

Jul 31, 2019 | www.unz.com

ploni almoni , says: July 30, 2019 at 1:55 am GMT

@Kevin Barrett Jack Ruby did not kill Oswald "for the Jews." He was the Mafia capo of Dallas and was following orders in Plan B when two previous attempts to kill Oswald failed. He tried to get out of it, but had no choice but to follow orders that he could not refuse.

[Jul 28, 2019] The CIA Wants To Hide All Its 'Assets'

Jul 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Generation O , 16 minutes ago link

I've communicated in the past with former U.S. Army unit leaders whose occasional mission was to escort CIA teams into Laos during the Vietnam war, who were to bring back significant amounts of heroin for placement in the body bags of killed U.S. soldiers for shipment back to the States for distribution. I was told that in some cases, the CIA team did not make it back with the heroin, courtesy of the accompanying U.S. military unit. I guess that saves the trouble of making such activities public.

Promethus , 27 minutes ago link

The CIA / FBI are the deep state's thugs.

Element , 5 minutes ago link

um, they are both state security agencies, those tend to not **** around.

LetThemEatRand , 34 minutes ago link

The point is to criminalize things like the Pentagon Papers (and of course, Wikileaks).

[Jul 28, 2019] Antisemitism prejudices projection on Russians

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing.... ..."
"... Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system??? ..."
"... The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge" meme. ..."
Jul 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) -> catherine... , 27 July 2019 at 11:30 PM
Here are some insights into the minds of many movers and shakers in Russiagate:

Key US officials behind the Russia investigation have made no secret of their animus towards Russia.

"I do always hate the Russians," Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer on the Russia probe, testified to Congress in July 2018. "It is my opinion that with respect to Western ideals and who it is and what it is we stand for as Americans, Russia poses the most dangerous threat to that way of life."

As he opened the FBI's probe of the Trump campaign's ties to Russians in July 2016, FBI agent Peter Strzok texted Page: "fuck the cheating motherfucking Russians Bastards. I hate them I think they're probably the worst. Fucking conniving cheating savages."

Speaking to NBC News in May 2017, former director of national intelligence James Clapper explained why US officials saw interactions between the Trump camp and Russian nationals as a cause for alarm: "The Russians," Clapper said, "almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."

In a May interview with Lawfare, former FBI general counsel Jim Baker, who helped oversee the Russia probe, explained the origins of the investigation as follows: "It was about Russia, period, full stop. When the [George] Papadopoulos information comes across our radar screen, it's coming across in the sense that we were always looking at Russia. we've been thinking about Russia as a threat actor for decades and decades."

https://www.thenation.com/article/questions-mueller-russiagate/

It was always about Russians no matter what they do or don't do. Large strata of US so called "elite" is obsessed with Russia. Not even China.

plantman , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM

I believe Larry Johnson is right when he says:

"You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing....

My question for Larry Johnson requires some speculation on his part: How did the claims of "Russia meddling" which began with the DNC and Hillary campaign, take root at the FBI, CIA and NSA???

Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system???

Walrus , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM
The Russians trying to rig the elections meme was a fallback for the failure of the “trump is a russianstooge" meme.

[Jul 27, 2019] Understanding the Roots of the Obama Coup Against Trump by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Evidence accumulates that Obama was the real leader of this color revolution against Trump with Brannan as his chief lieutenant and Comey as a willing accomplice.
Now that the dust has settled, one must ask why the Deep State wanted Trump gone. Why does the Obama-Clinton mafia hates him so much? Is this due to Trump committed an unforgivable sin in suggesting we “get along with Russia” and thus potentially cut the revenues of military-industrial complex ? This is not true -- Trump inflated the Pentagon budget to astronomical height. Then why ?
Notable quotes:
"... The full details of the plot to take out Donald Trump remain to be revealed. But there should now be no doubt that his effort was not the work of a few rogue intelligence and law enforcement officials acting on their own. This was a full blown covert action undertaken with the full knowledge and blessing of Barack Obama. ..."
"... Operation Crossfire Hurricane was launched the end of July 2016. CIA Director John Brennan briefed key Democrat members of Congress in early August on allegations that Donald Trump was colluding with Vladimir Putin. And Peter Strzok traveled to London in early August 2016 to meet with the CIA and with Alexander Downer, who was claiming that George Papadopolous was talking up the Russians. Following that trip Strozk texted the following to his mistress, Lisa Page : ..."
"... We also know that Senior Obama Administration officials, such as NSC Director Susan Rice and UN Ambassdor Samantha Power, were pushing to "unmask" Trump campaign officials who were named in US intelligence documents. ..."
"... Let us look at this from another angle. If the Russians were actually trying to interfere in the 2016 election, then it was known to both US intelligence and law enforcement. Hell, we are told in the Mueller report that the FBI detected the Russians trying to hack the DNC way back in 2015. If there really was intelligence on Russian efforts to meddle why did the Obama Administration do nothing other than sanction FBI's Crossfire Hurricane? ..."
"... On what basis did Barack Obama insist it was impossible to rig the US Presidential election? This is a critical anomaly. Why was the Obama team asleep at the switch, especially on the intel front, it the Russians actually were engaged in rigging the election to install Donald Trump? ..."
"... Obama seemed to have got a taste for spying on his domestic political opponents from monitoring Israeli attempts to block the Iran nuclear deal. I think the lock her up stuff really scared the Obama people, who had much to hide. ..."
Jul 27, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The full details of the plot to take out Donald Trump remain to be revealed. But there should now be no doubt that his effort was not the work of a few rogue intelligence and law enforcement officials acting on their own. This was a full blown covert action undertaken with the full knowledge and blessing of Barack Obama.

As I have written previously , the claim that Russia tried to hijack our election is a damn lie. But you do not have to take my word for it. Just listen to Barack Obama speaking in October 2016 in response to Donald Trump's expressed concerns about election meddling :

"There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America's elections, in part because they are so decentralized. There is no evidence that that has happened in the past, or that there are instances that that could happen this time," the president said to the future president in October 2016.

"Democracy survives because we recognize that there is something more important than any individual campaign, and that is making sure the integrity and trust in our institutions sustains itself. Becasue Democracy works by consent, not by force," Obama said.

"I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It is unprecedented. It happens to be based on no fact. Every expert regardless of political party... who has ever examined these issues in a serious way will tell you that instances of significant voter fraud are not to be found. Keep in mind elections are run by state and local officials."

It is important to remember what had transpired in the Trump/Russia collusion case by this point. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was launched the end of July 2016. CIA Director John Brennan briefed key Democrat members of Congress in early August on allegations that Donald Trump was colluding with Vladimir Putin. And Peter Strzok traveled to London in early August 2016 to meet with the CIA and with Alexander Downer, who was claiming that George Papadopolous was talking up the Russians. Following that trip Strozk texted the following to his mistress, Lisa Page :

Strzok: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: " the White House is running this. " My answer, "well, maybe for you they are." And of course, I was planning on telling this guy, thanks for coming, we've got an hour, but with Bill [Priestap] there, I've got no control .

Page: Yeah, whatever (re the WH comment). We've got the emails that say otherwise.

The White House clearly knew. But Strzok's text is not the only evidence. We also know that Senior Obama Administration officials, such as NSC Director Susan Rice and UN Ambassdor Samantha Power, were pushing to "unmask" Trump campaign officials who were named in US intelligence documents.

There are only two possibilities:

  1. Obama was being briefed by Susan Rice and DNI James Clapper and CIA Director about the project to take out Trump, or
  2. Obama was kept in the dark.

Let us look at this from another angle. If the Russians were actually trying to interfere in the 2016 election, then it was known to both US intelligence and law enforcement. Hell, we are told in the Mueller report that the FBI detected the Russians trying to hack the DNC way back in 2015. If there really was intelligence on Russian efforts to meddle why did the Obama Administration do nothing other than sanction FBI's Crossfire Hurricane?

On what basis did Barack Obama insist it was impossible to rig the US Presidential election? This is a critical anomaly. Why was the Obama team asleep at the switch, especially on the intel front, it the Russians actually were engaged in rigging the election to install Donald Trump?


turcopolier , 26 July 2019 at 04:19 PM

All

My wife was for many years an election official in Virginia. IMO Obama was right in saying that a US presidential election is impossible to "rig." The US Constitution requires that federal elections be run by the states WITHOUT federal supervision. As a result the methods and equipment in the states and the various parts of the states vary widely and the state systems are not tied together with a national electronic network as, for example, the system is in France where the result of a national election is reported on TeeVee immediately when the polls close.

Bill H , 26 July 2019 at 04:51 PM
Asking the question, "Can you cite one specific case where a single vote was definitively changed by Russian meddling?" causes panic in a person who is declaiming about the evils of Russian meddling in our elections.
Alexandria , 26 July 2019 at 07:02 PM
Bill H,

When you ask that question, the invariable retort is that the Russians are so clever that you wouldn't know that you were being gulled; or, when I say that I have never seen a Russian produced facebook ad, the rejoinder is that the Russians concentrated on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and, of course, I would have been privy to the bot-sent emails and facebook ads generated by the Internet Research Agency.

Jack said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 12:41 AM
TTG

You've maintained all along that the Russians interfered in the election, yet I believe it is your position that the Russians did not change a single vote. Is that correct or do you believe the Russians changed the votes before tabulation?

What did the Russians do that the Trump and Hillary campaigns did not do? Did they also turnout the tens of thousands who showed up for Trump rallies that Hillary could never muster? Are they still turning out thousands at recent Trump rallies? I'm curious how come Brennan and Clapper could not turn out thousands to Hillary's rallies when according to our German friend "b", the omnipotent US Intel services just turned out a quarter of the population of Hong Kong to protest CCP authoritarianism?

Did the Israeli, Saudi and Chinese governments interfere in the election? How would you compare what they did to what you believe the Russians did?

uieter about it. All that is very different from the absolute covert nature of the Russian IO in the 2016 election. I have no idea what China did or is doing.

Larry Johnson -> The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 11:36 AM
You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication. The lies on this are enormous. If the FBI really had detected GRU hacking of the DNC in 2015, which is claimed in the fabricated meme, then you would expect the FBI and the other counter intel elements of the USG to take action. THEY DID NOTHING.

The issue of Russian hacking only emerged when Hillary and the DNC learned that DNC emails were going to be put out by WIKILEAKS. Again, not one shred of actual evidence that the Russians did it, but blaming the Russians became a convenient excuse in a bid to divert attention from the real story--i.e,. Hillary and the DNC colluded to defeat Bernie Sanders.

The only real solid evidence of colluding with foreigners, in this case the Ukraine, comes courtesy of Hillary and her campaign. Hiring a foreign intel officer (ie. Steele) who then takes info from Russians of questionable background and spread it around as "truth". That was not a Russian IO. Pure Clinton IO.

blue peacock said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 12:29 PM
"What the Russians did was insert misattributed information and disinformation into the election cycle...That is what separates the Russian IO from anything Clinton, Trump or any of their supporters did."

I believe supporters of both candidates did exactly what you say the Russians did - insert misattributed information & disinformation into the media stream. If you watch MSNBC or Fox on any given day there is much assertion & opinion masquerading as news. And the Twitter & Facebook and blog universe are teeming with stories and innuendo that are more fiction than fact all from anonymous accounts.

The Russia Collusion hysteria is replete with examples of "misattributed information and disinformation". It seems that yellow journalism is as American as apple pie.

The whole opaque PAC structure with names like "Americans for Democracy" funded by chain structures hiding the real financiers and calling up down is something that we see growing in every election cycle and is already of significant scale both in terms of financing and dubiousness.

It is also rather common that "experts" who are called upon to opine on issues routinely never disclose their conflicts of interest. Jeffrey Sachs and so many others on the payroll of CCP entities never disclose those payments as they extoll the virtues of offshoring our industrial base to China and are apologists for CCP espionage.

The Twisted Genius -> blue peacock... , 27 July 2019 at 01:42 PM
Blue peacock, supporters of Clinton and Trump did not put out misattributed info. They both put out truth, innuendo, exaggerations, misleading info and even outright lies, but they put it out as themselves. They didn't represent themselves as someone other than who they were. The PAC structure comes close to skirting this requirement for truthful attribution, but a quick internet search blows away the facades of these PACs. What the Russians did was pure black propaganda.
Fred -> The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 09:23 AM
TTG,

You mean the kindly grandmother, Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States, did not inform President Obama that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant to surveil the Republican candidate for the presidency and members of his staff becasue he was working with Russians? Or do you mean that James Comey failed to tell his boss, Loretta Lynch; or do you mean John Brennan failed to tell Obama about that Steele dossier from Fusion GPS that Mueller know anything about; or do you mean that James Clapper failed to tell Jeh Johnson about that too? The Russians made them do all those things as part of an interference campaign, right? It couldn't have been they were corrupt and incompetant.

"Instead, Obama...." made an "If you like your doctor, you can keep you doctor" statement that he knew was completely false. Trump didn't win, Russians influenced Americans to vote for Trump, just ask the losers of the election, their paid sources and their colleagues in Congress. In fact Americans love Hilary so much she's just where in the polls right now?

catherine , 27 July 2019 at 12:20 AM
I continue to be astounded by the outrage at "Russian meddling". So some Russians used the internet to post true or false information on candidates in a election.... so what?...millions of American partisan trolls were doing the same thing for or against a candidate. We had tons of fake info written by American bloggers and posters all over the net, Facebook, twitter etc..

Its not like Putin came to the US and gave a speech to congress in favor of Trump ...as Netanyahu did in appearing before the US congress and urging them to go against President Obama's Syria policy for heaven's sake.
It is so ridiculous I have given up hope of finding enough IQs above that of a cabbage to form a sane government.

LondonBob , 27 July 2019 at 06:57 AM
Obama seemed to have got a taste for spying on his domestic political opponents from monitoring Israeli attempts to block the Iran nuclear deal. I think the lock her up stuff really scared the Obama people, who had much to hide.
J , 27 July 2019 at 12:27 PM
This has shown two things IMO

1. The FBI cannot be trusted to uphold defend and protect our Constitution, as they sought actively to overturn a duly elected POTUS.; and

2 - Mueller's incompetence is astounding.

Is the only entity of the Defense Department called the U.S. Army the only ones left actually upholding, defending, and protecting our Constitution and our Constitution processes? I don't see the other entities of the DOD called Navy and Air Force doing their jobs upholding our Constitution!

Thumbs up to the Army, thumbs down to the Navy and Air Force!

Mark Logan said in reply to J... , 27 July 2019 at 02:14 PM
J,

I'm a little more charitable to the FBI. The Trumps lied their asses off to the FBI about their foreign contacts. Which IMO, wrong or right, left the FBI all but no recourse but to investigate those lies. Even if the lies were simply based in long-seated personal habits, it takes investigation to prove that is the case.

plantman , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM
I believe Larry Johnson is right when he says:

"You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing....

My question for Larry Johnson requires some speculation on his part: How did the claims of "Russia meddling" which began with the DNC and Hillary campaign, take root at the FBI, CIA and NSA???

Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system???

rg , 27 July 2019 at 01:46 PM
Larry, sorry to nitpick, but I have such regard for your work that it pains me to see the typographical error in your second sentence, where you say "his error" shortly after referring to Trump. I'm guessing that you meant to say "this error", but it reads as if it means "Trump's error".

And while I'm at it, your last sentence has "it" instead of "if".

Keep up your great work for this excellent website.

turcopolier , 27 July 2019 at 03:35 PM
Mark Logan

Sadly naive in that you think the conspirators were actually acting in good faith. You think they were right when they used the Steele Dossier in applying for a FISA warrant in Colyyer's Star Chamber? Steele was a paid informant for the FBI as was Page.

turcopolier , 27 July 2019 at 03:35 PM
Mark Logan

How do you know "they lied their asses off?" Mueller's report stated that no American had conspired with the Russians,

[Jul 22, 2019] Comey Under DOJ Investigation For Misleading Trump While Targeting Him In FBI Probe

Notable quotes:
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public. ..."
"... Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York. ..."
"... What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing." ..."
"... According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons. ..."
"... "You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview. ..."
"... Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director. ..."
"... The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address. ..."
"... This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. ..."
"... Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public.

According to RealClearInvestigations ' Paul Sperry, "Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will file a report in September which contains evidence that Comey was misleading the president " while conducting an active investigation against him.

Even as he repeatedly assured Trump that he was not a target, the former director was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president, while at times acting as an investigative agent . - RCI

According to two US officials familiar with Horowitz's upcoming report on FBI misconduct, Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York.

What's more, Comey had an FBI agent in the White House who reported the activities of Trump and his aides, according to 'other officials familiar with the matter.'

The agent, Anthony Ferrante, who specialized in cyber crime, left the White House around the same time Comey was fired and soon joined a security consulting firm, where he contracted with BuzzFeed to lead the news site's efforts to verify the Steele dossier, in connection with a defamation lawsuit. -RCI

According to the report, Horowitz and his team have examined over 1 million documents and conducted over 100 interviews - including sit-downs with Comey and other current and former FBI and DOJ employees. "The period covering Comey's activities is believed to run from early January 2017 to early May 2017, when Comey was fired and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as the acting FBI director, formally opened full counterintelligence and obstruction investigations of the president."

McCabe's deputy, Lisa Page, appeared to dissemble last year when asked in closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee if Comey and other FBI brass discussed opening an obstruction case against Trump prior to his firing in May 2017. Initially, she flatly denied it , swearing: "Obstruction of justice was not a topic of conversation during the time frame you have described." But then, after conferring with her FBI-assigned lawyer, she announced: " I need to take back my prior statement ." Page later conceded that there could have been at least "discussions about potential criminal activity" involving the president . -RCI

Comey coordination

Sperry notes that Comey wasn't working in isolation on the Trump effort. In particular, Horowitz has looked at the January 6, 2017 briefing on the infamous 'Steele Dossier' - a meeting which was used by BuzzFeed, CNN and others to legitimize reporting on the dossier's salacious and unsubstantiated claims .

Comey's meeting with Trump took place one day after the FBI director met in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to brief Trump -- a meeting attended by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who would soon go to work for CNN. -RCI

While Comey claims in his book, "A Higher Loyalty" that he didn't have "a counterintelligence case file open on [Trump]," former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy notes that just because Trump's name wasn't on a formal file or surveillance warrant doesn't mean that he wasn't under investigation.

"They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him," said McCarthy. " The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading . The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject ."

What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing."

What remains unclear is why Comey would take such extraordinary steps against a sitting president . The Mueller report concluded there was no basis for the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theories. Comey himself was an early skeptic of the Steele dossier -- the opposition research memos paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign that were the road map of collusion theories -- which he dismissed as "salacious and unverified." -RCI

According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons.

"You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview.

Read the rest of Sperry's report here .


AI Agent , 4 minutes ago link

They will whitewash Comey. The deep state is alive and well, the DoJ and the FBI are as corrupt as they were the day before Trump took office.

Why do I say this? Well, the canary hasn't fallen off her perch yet. Hillary Clinton is still singing her song, and even making noises like she's going to run again, and she's not in prison. They have her solid on over a hundred felony counts of mishandling classified documents and they've not touched her. Proof of life that the Deep State is still in power.

MoreFreedom , 8 minutes ago link

So, was the Steele dossier the ex post facto excuse for illegally spying on Trump, or was it the ex post facto diversion for ALL of Obama's spying on politically powerful people, which we know included spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, spying on reporters, and spying on Trump. I'll bet Obama hopes the investigation doesn't get into all of his spying activities, and I wouldn't be surprised government officials in charge of the spying equipment are keeping it covered up because they don't want to lose their jobs (for either allowing such to happen, or because they fear the spying apparatus will be eliminated).

Did Obama also spy on SCOTUS justices, Congressmen, other Senators and other rich and powerful people? I'll bet he did, because we haven't seen all the unmasking documentation, and Obama took it to his library so no one can see it (at least so he thinks). Further, look at the way Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Rice are disparaging Trump (they protest too much). And look at how all the allegations about Trump are blowing right back into the faces of the Democrats who've shown their MO is to accuse their political opponents, of the illegal activity in which the Democrats are engaged.

They need to go to jail, for a long time, if not be executed for treason.

SgtShaftoe , 4 minutes ago link

Did Obama spy on SCOTUS justices, et al? - Yes. Look up project HAMR or "Hammer". MI5/6 was spying on all Americans comms to circumvent legal frameworks (5 eyes). Google is now fully Chinese intelligence - TREASON. It's coming and it's gonna blow most people's minds.

dcmbuffy , 10 minutes ago link

Just the minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with its information, it becomes a Gestapo.

J. Edgar Hoover

i at least agree with him on this one thought.

peippe , 9 minutes ago link

you realize J.Edgar probably said the above with a smile on his face.

Playtime's Over , 8 minutes ago link

been going on for longer than Obongo, but he put an inner cooled turbo on it.

radar99 , 13 minutes ago link

it all started with Obama. Time to investigate him and hang him for treason

SgtShaftoe , 8 minutes ago link

It started a very long time ago. 1913 was a notable date, so was JFK's assassination. So was 9/11. So was Operation Paperclip. These monsters have been slithering around a while. Now it's time for them to go bye-bye. Dark to Light. Execute.

Indelible Scars , 13 minutes ago link

B-B-But Nadler said...

JaxPavan , 14 minutes ago link

This goes back to Obama asking MI6 to surveil Trump and his campaign, and to continue it past the inauguration.

JaxPavan , 13 minutes ago link

correction: GCHQ

JaxPavan , 6 minutes ago link

Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director.

The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address.

That our broken secrecy system effectively legalized Watergate under Obama and the "five eyes" is the real problem that needs fixing.

Stainless Steel Rat , 1 hour ago link

Three Things We Know For Sure

1. Trump did not collude with Russia

2. Mueller was sent on a witch hunt

3. Somebody's going under the bus

If not Comey, then who?

StiffLittleFinger , 39 minutes ago link

“I executed the session exactly as planned,”* Comey reported back to his “sensitive matter team.”

*in the meeting with Obama the day before

Equinox7 , 45 minutes ago link

This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. The end of the Deep State is starting.

valerie24 , 21 minutes ago link

Let’s hope so. The clock is ticking and this needs to happen by early 2020 or it won’t happen at all.

carbonmutant , 1 hour ago link

Are Comey's phones being bugged?

punchasocialist , 43 minutes ago link

Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question.

[Jul 20, 2019] House orders Pentagon to say if it weaponized ticks and released them by John M. Donnelly

Notable quotes:
"... If the answer is yes, then the IG must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the experiments' scope and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design." The amendment is an attempt to confirm or deny reports that Pentagon researchers -- at places such as Fort Detrick in Maryland and Plum Island in New York -- implanted diseases into insects to learn about the effects of biological weapons and also looked into using such insects to disseminate biological agents. ..."
"... A book called "Bitten," published this year, makes the case that the Defense Department research occurred and hints at a possible connection between the experiments and the spread of maladies such as Lyme disease, which is borne by ticks. ..."
"... Between 300,000 and 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year, with further growth expected in the years ahead, said Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater awareness of the disease and for more funding for research into a cure. ..."
"... Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said in an interview Monday that she is hopeful the IG report could provide information that could save lives. ..."
"... "We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease," she said. ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | www.rollcall.com

The House quietly voted last week to require the Pentagon inspector general to tell Congress whether the department experimented with weaponizing disease-carrying insects and whether they were released into the public realm -- either accidentally or on purpose.

The unusual proposal took the form of an amendment that was adopted by voice vote July 11 during House debate on the fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill, which lawmakers passed the following day.

The amendment, by New Jersey Republican Christopher H. Smith , says the inspector general "shall conduct a review of whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975."

If the answer is yes, then the IG must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the experiments' scope and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design." The amendment is an attempt to confirm or deny reports that Pentagon researchers -- at places such as Fort Detrick in Maryland and Plum Island in New York -- implanted diseases into insects to learn about the effects of biological weapons and also looked into using such insects to disseminate biological agents.

President Richard Nixon banned U.S. government research into biological weapons in 1969, but research into protecting U.S. military personnel from such agents may have continued, Smith said in an interview Monday.

A book called "Bitten," published this year, makes the case that the Defense Department research occurred and hints at a possible connection between the experiments and the spread of maladies such as Lyme disease, which is borne by ticks.

To Smith and other advocates of the Pentagon IG report, studying the past may provide data that can help stem the spread of Lyme disease in the future.

Between 300,000 and 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease occur each year, with further growth expected in the years ahead, said Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater awareness of the disease and for more funding for research into a cure.

"We need answers and we need them now," Smith said.

Smith's amendment was co-sponsored by Minnesota Democrat Collin C. Peterson , who is the House caucus's other leader, and by Maryland Republican Andy Harris .

Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said in an interview Monday that she is hopeful the IG report could provide information that could save lives.

"We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease," she said.

It remains to be seen whether Congress will send President Donald Trump a defense authorization bill with the weaponized ticks amendment. The Senate has passed its version without any similar provision, and now House and Senate negotiators must reconcile the two bills.