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Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?

There is a country within the country in the USA with around 5 million citizens. It can be called "Classified America."

News Corporatism Recommended Links The Deep State Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Nation under attack meme Steele dossier FBI Mayberry Machiavellians
News Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Recommended Links Total Surveillance Inverted Totalitarism Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State The woulr as the Grand Chessboard of American Empire and its intelligence services Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
Resurgence of neofascism How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Machiavellism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Facebook as Giant Database about Users FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition
CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war MSM as fake news industry NeoMcCartyism JFK assassination as a turning event in US history History of American False Flag Operations
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The attempt to secure global hegemony Frustrated underachievers NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism The Real War on Reality Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy National Security State Color revolutions Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
Who will guard the guards themselves?

There is a country within the country in the USA. It can be called "Classified America".  It has population of around 5 million people and controls the other 320 million. Almost 5 million people is more more then 1% of population. And now it becme a formidable political force that strives to become a kingmaker. much like Praetorian Guard in ancient Role it is clearly out of control of elected government and has its own, sometimes nefarious agenda.  All-in-all this is the fastest growing part of media-military-industrial complex.

After creation such powerful agencies as FBI adn CIA inevitable try to to extent and enhance there position and influnece4 and this process logically leads that at some point they start to control bigger and bigger  chunk of the US political life and the institution of Presidency become mostly a decoration, a Potemkin village to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite represented by the "deep state" with the intelligence agencies in the driving seat.   It took CIA less then 20 years to reach this point from its creation by President Truman and 1963.  John Edgar Hoover was the first FBI director who dies in his position in 1972 at the age of 77 with no previous President able to depose him, because of dirt he collected on them.

A January 2016 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says more than 4.9 million people in the USA have some sort of government security clearance. About 1.4 million of those have "top secret" clearance.... Most security clearances are held by government workers. They hold 2,757,333 "confidential/secret" clearances and 791,200 clearances designated as "top secret." Contractors claim 582,524 "confidential" clearances and 483,263 "top-secret" ones. There is another general category of people who hold 167,925 "confidential/secret" clearances and 135,506 top-secret. See Security clearances held by millions of Americans for more details.

This "inner state" represented by holders of security clearance controls such areas of US public life as two most important newspapers (NYT, WaPo) several TV channels (MSNBC, CNN) as well as (if we believe recent stories about ) elections. That might well be a sign that  the "national security state" has  gone rogue and the tail is wagging the dog. 

Hierarchy

A security clearance is granted to an individual and generally recognizes a maximum level of clearance. Exceptions include levels above compartmentalized access or when an individual is cleared for a certain type of data. The President of the United States may be given access to any government or military information that they request if there is a proper "need to know", even if they would not otherwise be able to normally obtain a security clearance were they not the President. Having obtained a certain level security clearance does not mean that one automatically has access to or is given access to information cleared for that clearance level in the absence of a demonstrated "need to know".[12] The "need-to-know" determination is made by a 'disclosure officer,' who may work in the office of origin of the information. The specified "need to know" must be connected to the prospective user's mission, or of necessity for the integrity of a specified security apparatus. the system is pretty Bisantium and include multiple levels tha tparciallyh intersect

  1. Controlled Unclassified: "Controlled Unclassified" does not represent a clearance designation, but rather a clearance level at which information distribution is controlled. Controlled Unclassified designates information that may be illegal to distribute. This information is available when needed by government employees, such as the USA's Department of Defense (DoD) employees, but the designation signifies that the information should not be redistributed to users not designated to use it on an operational basis. For example, the organization and processes of an information-technology system may be designated Controlled Unclassified to users for whom the operational details of the system are non-critical.
  2. Public Trust Position: Despite common misconception, this designation is not a security clearance, and is not the same as the confidential designation. Certain positions which require access to sensitive information, but not information which is classified, must obtain this designation through a background check. In the USA, Public Trust Positions can either be moderate-risk or high-risk.[13][14]
  3. Confidential: This is hierarchically the first security clearance to get, typically requiring a few weeks to a few months of investigation. A Confidential clearance requires a NACLC investigation which dates back 7 years on the subject's record and must be renewed (with another investigation) every 15 years.
  4. Secret: A Secret clearance, also known as Collateral Secret or Ordinary Secret, requires a few months to a year to investigate, depending on the individual's background. Some instances wherein individuals would take longer than normal to be investigated are many past residences, having residences in foreign countries, having relatives outside the United States, or significant ties with non-US citizens. Unpaid bills as well as criminal charges will more than likely disqualify an applicant for approval. However, a bankruptcy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is not an automatic disqualifier. Poor financial history is the number-one cause of rejection, and foreign activities and criminal record are also common causes for disqualification. A Secret clearance requires a NACLC, and a Credit investigation; it must also be re-investigated every 10 years.[15] Investigative requirements for DoD clearances, which apply to most civilian contractor situations, are contained in the Personnel Security Program issuance known as DoD Regulation 5200.2-R, at part C3.4.2
  5. Top Secret: Top Secret is a more stringent clearance. A Top Secret, or "TS", clearance, is often given as the result of a Single Scope Background Investigation, or SSBI. Top Secret clearances, in general, afford one access to data that affects national security, counterterrorism/counterintelligence, or other highly sensitive data. There are far fewer individuals with TS clearances than Secret clearances.[16] A TS clearance can take as few as 3 to 6 months to obtain, but often it takes 6 to 18 months. The SSBI must be reinvestigated every 5 years.[15] In order to receive TS clearance, all candidates must participate in an oral SF86 review that will later be adjudicated.[citation needed]
  6. Compartmented: As with TS clearances, Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) clearances are assigned only after one has been through the rigors of a Single Scope Background Investigation and a special adjudication process for evaluating the investigation. SCI access, however, is assigned only in "compartments". These compartments are necessarily separated from each other with respect to organization, so that an individual with access to one compartment will not necessarily have access to another. Each compartment may include its own additional special requirements and clearance process. An individual may be granted access to, or read into, a compartment for any period of time.

Among other things Top secret clearance required to access:

Such compartmentalized clearances may be expressed as "John has a TS/SCI", whereby all clearance descriptors are spelled out verbally. For example, the US National Security Agency once used specialized terms such as "Umbra",[17][18][19] This classification is reported to be a compartment within the "Special Intelligence" compartment of SCI.[20] The various NSA compartments have been simplified; all but the most sensitive compartments are marked "CCO", meaning "handle through COMINT channels only".

The US Department of Defense establishes, separately from intelligence compartments, special access programs (SAP) when the vulnerability of specific information is considered exceptional and the normal criteria for determining eligibility for access applicable to information classified at the same level are not deemed sufficient to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure. The number of people cleared for access to such programs is typically kept low. Information about stealth technology, for example, often requires such access.

Area-specific clearances include:


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Old News ;-)

[May 20, 2019] The dirty art of politicians entrapment: Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers, gay sex, pedophilia, or what-have-you, all or in combination

Highly recommended!
That remind me how old Kushner tried to smear his relative...
Notable quotes:
"... They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician. ..."
"... The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right. ..."
"... So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely. ..."
"... As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties. ..."
"... Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level. ..."
"... Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches. ..."
"... Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan. ..."
"... The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns. ..."
"... The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset. ..."
"... B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc. ..."
"... It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. ..."
"... I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria. ..."
"... Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions. ..."
"... Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation? ..."
"... The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents. ..."
"... If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia ..."
"... François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously. ..."
"... Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy. ..."
"... In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern? ..."
"... This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months. ..."
"... Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest. ..."
"... Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. ..."
"... As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country". ..."
"... To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.
...
The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink


james , May 19, 2019 1:40:31 PM | 1

b - thanks .. i agree "elaborate sting" and "the video was held back until the right moment"... clearly this was a set up.. strache says he is going to pursue this legally..

"working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust." injustices are being done on a constant basis now and being justified by the msm regularly.. i think this is part of the reason people are seeking alternatives - whatever they might be... power to the people..screw the neoliberal agenda and blackmail artists that are so rampant at present...

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 1:40:51 PM | 2
Funny thing is e.g.- a German comedian Jan Böhmerman knew before. Already in April he said in a Video call live in Austian television duringthe TV-prize-giving of the trophy "Romy" that he couldn´t attend personally to receive the price because right know he was sitting together with some FPÖ-buddies in a Russian oligarch-villa on Ibiza, sniffing cocain, drinking and negotiating the takeover of the "Krone-Zeitung" (the biggest rag in Austira, smth like the "Bild" in Germany or "The sun" in Britain).

Böhmers management released a statement yesterday that Böhermann did know before but didn´t name the source he knew it from.
https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article193725535/FPOE-Vize-Strache-Was-Boehmermann-mit-dem-Video-zu-tun-hat.html

Cui bono?

Paul Damascene , May 19, 2019 1:43:18 PM | 3
Your article here raises a number of important issues. More or less at random:

* If I understand your characterization of your political leanings, based on this and on the perspectives MoA offers, I share many of your views. And whereas there may be a certain Schadenfreude at seeing a right-wing, B-team operator reveal himself, I agree that the forces behind the sting itself are of potentially far greater interest (and danger)..

* For every sting and smear such as this that we see, how many others take place sub rosa, corrupting our political and social landscapes, leaving no evidence that might trigger criticism or resistance?

* I'm not sure of how this plays out legally, but this seems not just to have been a sting, but entrapment, in which (if these were law enforcement agents) we could protest that the only illegal activity being proposed, was by those conducting the sting.

* If this was, as you suggest, authored by the BND, then this would be a clear instance of election "meddling" -- though not of the sort that our shining democracies are now being warned against. (At least President Putin will not be accused of conducting it, for once. That oligarch's daughter could have come from anywhere, but of course Russia.) Russia gets smeared is probably the larger aim, rather than this particularly Austrian politician.

hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4
The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician.
somebody , May 19, 2019 1:56:55 PM | 5
I think the word is protofascist. b. you have got a blind spot seeing geopolitics everywhere. Truth is most of this is simply a battle of billionaires. The key to understand the Ibiza video is the product placement. Everybody there drinks Red Bull plus alcohol (I am not sure about the alcohol the loss of control of the politicians who are present suggests cocaine).

The owner of Red Bull is an Austrian billionaire called Dietrich Mateschitz. Mateschitz is a right wing crank building a media empire in Austria including an "investigative platform" called addendum that is something like the Austrian version of Breitbart.

For some reason "addendum" began to shoot against Rene Benzko, an Austrian real estate billionaire, who intends to take over Kronenzeitung.

And guess what, Rene Benzko was mentioned in the video "as a friend", and a large part of the conversation centered on taking over Kronenzeitung something Rene Benzko is involved in.

Strache, Vice Chancellor of Austria, explained in the video for every Austrian to understand, that his party's scheme is based on accepting illegal contributions via a ngo, and lowering taxes in return. According to what he says in the video he also intends to charge for water by selling the right to the Latvian/Russien "niece of a Russian oligarch" or someone else prepared to pay to his party's ngo.

Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 1:58:49 PM | 6
> with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin

Putin himself though stresses his non involvement in that party, he also tried to bootstrap organizations that could supplant or even challenge U.R. at least in some niches.

While U.R. probably is party of Russian ruling elites, it is hardly one-man-show of LDPR/Zhirinovsky kind and whether Putin is "gray cardinal" of U.R. is very questionable.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:05:52 PM | 7
It is said that children and drunk people always say the truth... Why is it not to be taken into account what he said once drunk enough?

For to be a strong leftist, b, you spend a great effort in discharging this man, while whitewashing the far-right saying they are no danger for our societies and assuring that they are clean, when that is a thing you do not know since they have not had yet the possibility to rule.

They are neither cleaner nor inocuous for our societies. For starters they have chosen as scapegoat the migrants when who is to blame for the wave of migration is the US, NATO and their imperial ambitions, so as to throw poor against poor and that way the elites could continue quietly looting us, while we fight each other. You will never heard anything agsint banks ans elites from anybody in the far-right.

FYI, it is not Matteo Salvini who is forming a coalition of the far-right to conflude to European elections, but it is Bannon from his HQ in a Cisterciense monastery in Italy who is commanding this operation. Salvini is really a piece, having supported Guiado and the Venezuelan coup intend, and said what he would do with the Yellow Vests , "I don't go to the Yellow Vests with Molotov cocktails, if anything, I put them in prison" ...

Then it is AfD, who goes also in the block, whose members have claimed the Germans should be proud of the performance of the German Army during both WW....

Then Vox, financed by MEK and Israeli lobby and promoted by Bannon and the WH, who only wear clear neoliberal economic policies in their, for the rest, confusing program.

The best to test what the far-right will do in Europe is taking a look at what is happening in Brazil during these last days, an attack on education and research as if it was a military target ...This, after the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and wide support to coup d´etat in Venezuela...He is also widely supported and financed by the US and Zionists.

The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right.

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8
@4 hallelujah hinton
https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Neuwahlen-Der-gefeierte-Stratege-Kurz-hatte-keine-Optionen-mehr-4425362.html
Telepolis one of the oldest and biggest non-commercial online news and discussion platforms in Germany states in the following article, commenting on his statement at his resignation declaration:

"Glaubt er, man wäre bei Alkohol nachsichtiger? Offenbar schien er sich betrunken kaum mehr im Griff zu haben - und dies ist wohlgemerkt seine Erklärung für die Äußerungen im Video. Erst gegen Ende beginnt er eigenes Fehlverhalten einzuräumen und bittet insbesondere seine Frau um Verzeihung, mit der er ein wenige Monate altes Kind hat. Kenner Straches ahnten an dieser Stelle bereits, dass dieser sich bereits für Dinge entschuldigt, die zu diesem Zeitpunkt der Öffentlichkeit noch gar nicht bekannt sind."

Does he (Strache) really assume he would get more indulgence by blaming it on the alcolhol? Obviously when being drunken he wasn´t in control of himself anymore - and this is actually his explanation for his statements in the video. Somehow at the end he finally begins admitting own misconduct and especially asks his wife for forgiveness, with which he has a few months old child. Experts on Strache suspected from this moment on, that he apologized for things which at this moment are not known to the public, yet"

So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.

Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9
somebody @5:
battle of billionaires.... Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead. Only supporting protest Movements (like Gillet Jeune) and free press/citizen journalism (Wikileaks/Assange) will have any real effect.
Zanon , May 19, 2019 2:30:32 PM | 0
Great piece - I dont see how Strache actually made anything wrong or atleast nothing not normal to politicians that constantly seek out support by big, powerful people. Most likely the deep state in Austria struck FPÖ just like FBI struck Trump.

As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 2:36:33 PM | 1
@hallelujah hinton #4

Also notice how she pretended to be a niece.

Not some very close relative like daughter or sister, which may be fearsome, as "russian mafia" oligarch could be expected to "protect" her of ladykillers viciously. But also not some far relative who would be seen alien and have no financial support.

Just enough distance to be safe to hit on and try to share the oligarch's money. It was both honey&gold trap.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:38:57 PM | 2
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead.

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9

If voting would be such a waste, why would had taken so hard and long to achieve voting for minorities and women? Why the parties go to such efforts to campaign and disguise themselves as wolves with sheepskin like the far-right?

Why would certain forces need to go to such editorial coordinated efforts through their several blogs out there to give an impression of certain candidates which is opposite to what they really are? Wikilieaks/Assange are part of this efforts, btw

Clueless Joe , May 19, 2019 2:44:05 PM | 4
Metulski:

Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level.

Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:44:10 PM | 5
Spanish Colonel ( ret.) Pedro Baños, who was postulated for head of the CNI by the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, was object of slander campiagn as "pro-Russian" by the Spanish cluster of Integrity Initiative, only for declarations on the prejudice of sanctions for Spain, and nobody made such noise....
hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 3:03:31 PM | 6
Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan.

Enforcement and and penalties are selective. Selective enforcement. It's how "The Law" operates. Not defending the wingnut pig in the article. I appreciate Sasha's Trojan Horse allegory above.

the pair , May 19, 2019 3:16:52 PM | 7
wow...a bunch of elitist neoliberals with contempt for anyone lacking 10 zeroes on their paychecks and zero useful policies use "russian collusion" to entrap and embarrass a pseudo-right wing politician. who could ever imagine such a scenario? and why learn from the masses you represent when james o'keefe gives you all the inspiration you need?

but at least they blocked the ascension of someone who would trade political favors for money. that kind of nonsense simply won't do in western society.

karlof1 , May 19, 2019 3:24:47 PM | 8
Thanks for this explanation, b! I first saw this reported at Geroman's Twitter and used machine translation of the article he linked, but it lacked the context which you provided. This incident is subsumed within the larger conflict that's trying to keep EU from combining with BRI/EAEU, which means its roots/culprits are NATO/Outlaw US Empire--it points to desperation on their part.
Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 3:25:34 PM | 9
the pair @17

Some will fail to see the sarcasm. Best to use the /sarc tag.

somebody , May 19, 2019 3:34:51 PM | 0
Posted by: hallelujah hinton | May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4

Sorry, you don't see the Latvian/Russian woman. You see Gudenus' wife who is from Serbia. Whatever the publishing papers got, it was a copy. More will come out.

Copeland , May 19, 2019 4:01:44 PM | 1
The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns.
BM , May 19, 2019 4:14:36 PM | 2
So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.
Posted by: Bratislav Metulski | May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8

The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset.

---

On the issue of "populism" and right-wing parties I confess I have a problem. I certainly want to see the Establishment thrashed, and especially in next week's EU elections, and there is no question that at the moment the right-wing parties have far more potential to upset the establishment than the left. If "Populist" parties are able to radically upset the EU Parliament, that should bring a much-needed hammer and axe to the anti-populist activities of the EU, and hopefully lead to the breakup of the EU.

On the other hand, unlike B, I do have extremely strong worries about the rising power of the far right and their connections to Nazis and neo-Nazis. I am concerned - even without the involvement of Bannon, but far more so with - that the rise of "populism" is a calculated policy of a Nazi segment of the Establishment that is designed specifically to usher in an international Nazi movement across Europe and Latin America under the leadership of and proxies of the - ever more and more Nazi behaving - US (which itself is in so many very real ways descended from Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and the Japanese war criminals including Bush's family, tight connections with Nazi war criminals in the CIA, and historical leadership figures in the CIA). The large scale and extremely high level infiltration of hardcore Nazis in the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, and CDU politics is a ticking timebomb waiting for its moment. There seems to be similar high level Nazi infiltration in many other countries.

We have to be careful what we wish for!

B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 4:21:50 PM | 3
On how there is real danger with these wolves on sheepskin who only try to divide and conquer the working masses of the world, this old article by Ho Chi Minh on the importance of class conscience and the great labor of the University of the East in the former USSR to get workers of the world conscous and united in the common struggle. Also on the importance of having the right to vote:
Colonialism is a leech with two suckers, one of which sucks the metropolitan proletariat and the other that of the colonies. If we want to kill this monster, we must cut off both suckers at the same time. If only one is cut off, the other will continue to suck the blood of the proletariat, the animal will continue to live, and the cut–off sucker will grow again. The Russian Revolution has grasped this truth clearly. That is why it is not satisfied with making fine platonic speeches and drafting "humanitarian" resolutions in favor of oppressed peoples, but it teaches them to struggle; and helps them spiritually, as proclaimed by Lenin in his theses on the colonial question. To the Baku Congress, twenty–one Eastern nations sent delegates. Representatives of Western workers' parties also participated in the work of this congress. For the first time, the proletariat of the conquering Western States and that of the subject Eastern countries fraternally joined hands and deliberated in common on the best means to defeat their common enemy, imperialism .

Following this historic congress, despite internal and external difficulties, revolutionary Russia has never hesitated to come to the help of peoples awakened by its heroic and victorious revolution. One of its first important acts was the founding of the University of the East.(...)

The sixty–two nationalities represented at the University form a "Commune." Its chairman and functionaries are elected every three months by all the students.

A student delegate takes part in the economic and administrative management of the University. All must regularly and in turn work in the kitchen, the library, the club, etc. All "misdemeanors" and disputes are judged and settled by an elected tribunal in the presence of all comrades. Once a week, the "Commune" holds a meeting to discuss the international political and economic situation. From time to time, meetings and evening parties are organized where the amateur artists introduce the art and culture of their country.

The fact that the Communists not only treat the "inferior natives of the colonies" like brothers, but that they get them to participate in the political life of the country, is highly characteristic of the "barbarity" of the Bolsheviks. Treated in their native country as "submissive subjects" or "protéges," having no other right but that to pay taxes, the Eastern students, who are neither electors nor eligible for election in their own country, from whom the right to express their political opinion is withdrawn, in the Soviet Union take part in the election of the Soviets and have the right to send their representatives to the Soviets. Let our brothers of the colonies who vainly seek a change of nationality make a comparison between bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy.

These students have suffered themselves and have witnessed the sufferings of others. All have lived under the yoke of "high civilization," all have been victims of exploitation and oppression by foreign capitalists . Moreover, they passionately long to acquire knowledge and to study. They are serious and full of enthusiasm. They are entirely different from the frequenters of the boulevards of the Latin Quarter, the Eastern students in Paris, Oxford, and Berlin. It can be said without exaggeration that under the roof of this University is the future of the colonial peoples.

The colonial countries of the Near and Far East, stretching from Syria to Korea, cover an extent of more than 15 million square kilometers and have more than 1,200 million inhabitants. All these immense countries are now under the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. Although their considerable numbers should be their strength, these submissive peoples have never yet made any serious attempts to free themselves from this yoke. Not yet having realized the value of international solidarity, they have not known how to unite for the struggle. Relationships between their countries are not yet established as they are among the peoples of Europe and America. They possess gigantic strength and do not yet realize it. The University of the East, assembling all the young, active, and intelligent leaders of the colonized countries, has fulfilled a great task, namely:

-It teaches to the future vanguard militants the principles of class struggle, confused in their minds by race conflicts and patriarchal customs.
-It establishes between the proletarian vanguard of the colonies a close contact with the Western proletariat, thus preparing the way for the close and effective cooperation which will alone ensure the final victory of the international working class.
-It teaches the colonized people, hitherto separated from one another, to know one another and to unite, by creating the bases of a future union of Eastern countries, one of the wings of the proletarian revolution.
-It sets the proletariat of colonialist countries and example of what they can and must do in favor of their oppressed brothers
.

This is why it is needed to throw the workers from the West against the migrants from the East and South, to avoid the invincible force they would constitute together. This dirty work is made by the far-right in the name of corporate liberal elites. They can play that they fight each other, but as soon as they get seats at the European Parliament, you will find the previous allegedly opponents all together aligned in the same Eurogroup. Time to time.

Bacchante , May 19, 2019 4:38:44 PM | 4
It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. Yet here we can still talk about he was drunk, how his being set up was unjust, and how the poor guy will have to miss his lovers' right cause in Italy. Those vulgar masses are at it again! There can be no justification about the masses' support of far-right causes and the clowns like him. If you think otherwise it is the likes of moonofalabama next in line to be "fired", or eliminated. Legitimize their causes and it is Germany in 1920s all over again.

Two wrongs do not make a right, unfortunately.

Walter , May 19, 2019 4:56:04 PM | 5
"Left/right", I agree, is nearly without semantic value. Nevertheless class interests remain...how is it that this is so? Think about that, comrades.

And then consider wsws report about "At the annual meeting of the Bundeswehr reserve in autumn 2016, Veith announced: "I dream that in 2026 there will be a provincial regiment in each state with a charismatic commander, a troop flag and an organization of between 800 and 2,000 reservists to support the police and the Bundeswehr in emergency situations." " see> "German government prepares troops for domestic missions" @ wsws.org

Considering the overall aspects, it's rational to expect all parties in Europe to make plans, is it not? Of course the working class is not permitted to make such plans...is it?

Pnyx , May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 6
I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria.

Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions.

I agree with you that this is not the big setback for the right the mainstream parties dream of. But it won't help the fascists in spe in the future either.

Adrian E. , May 19, 2019 5:25:25 PM | 7
Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation?

A first association might be the dirty, deceptive campaigning SPÖ used against Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) - the Silberstein affair -, but I think the methods that were chosen are too different to make a common source likely, Strache was targeted in a much more sophisticated way. The Silberstein affair may, however, be the reason why the tapes have partially been published now rather than before the last Austrian elections - at that time, dirty campaigning might have been discredited too much for the tape to have the desired effect,

The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents.

If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia.

François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously.

Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy.

In the case of Strache and FPÖ, a different motive may also be plausible. There are connections between FPÖ and neonazis, and there are, in my view, legitimate concerns that Strache is too close to such far-right networks. I don't think it is good when right-wing populists whose rise is mainly due to the unpopularity of the neoliberal elites are equated with Nazis too quickly.

But in the case of FPÖ, this is less far-fetched than in the case of other European right-wing parties - historically, Nazis played an important role in FPÖ in post-war Austria, and it is one of the current right-wing parties that probably has more connections to the extreme right (e.g. via Burschenschaften) than others. I could imagine that someone might have ordered and financed the sting operation out of antifascist principles. While I may recognize the motivation as ethical and even partially agree with it, I don't think the right means were chosen, and such dirty methods can backfire.

Michael Droy , May 19, 2019 5:33:51 PM | 8
"While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties"

Quite. It seems to me that only the Right and the Left have a clue right now, because they have an instinctive mistrust of what they are told in the media.
People like "b" and Craig Murray are to be thanked for explaining that to us middling voters.

You miss the most glaring "injustice". That which shows that GDP in most western countries had doubled in the last 30 odd years, that earnings for the top quartile have gone up by factors of 3 or 4. But that median earnings in US are unchanged, and in say UK are only up 10% or so (unless one is seeking to buy one's own house or flat).

All the improvements in inequality from 1930s to 1980s have been reversed in full. "Populists" (or better "anti-elitists") are driven mostly by sheer anger at how a small group had taken all the Economic gains of the last 35 years.

somebody , May 19, 2019 5:35:30 PM | 9
Posted by: Pnyx | May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 26

I don't know what b. saw in the video what I saw was a discussion of an Orban like take over of Austria by FPÖ.

In other news people are arguing the following
- who will profit most - ÖVP
- why was the video not published after it was produced in 2017 - because ÖVP wanted a coalition with FPÖ
- why was it published now - ÖVP has been renting advertising space for weeks for an election in September (renting before the video came out), Sebastian Kurz will be the saviour who will get the disappointed FPÖ vote
add
- why the emphasis on Kronenzeitung,
who were the people producing the video
why Red Bull everywhere - Red Bull media empire billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz publicly announced that he would back Sebastian Kurz in 2017

ÖVP/Kurz/Mateschitz have moved so far to the right that there is not much space for FPÖ anyway. His problems will return when he needs another coalition.

brian , May 19, 2019 5:37:28 PM | 0
'The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe'

other?

Erelis , May 19, 2019 6:09:06 PM | 1
While the right wing parties in Europe don't have a problem with Putin, it does seem that much of the Western European establish has gone full McCarthyite hysterical where they see any contact for any reason with a Russian is automatically criminal. Aside from being a setup it relied the underlying false flag of presenting the woman as a Russian (and hence guility of some crime against the Austrians).

In fact, a suggestion for a column--personal impressions on whether everyday Europeans are falling for anti-Russian propaganda. Polls in the US indicate that Americans simply do not care (they could believe it, but not effecting their daily lives).

S , May 19, 2019 6:36:42 PM | 2
1. The ER (United Russia) party was founded by Sergey Shoygu, Yuriy Luzhkov, and Mintimer Shaymiev. Its chairman is Dmitriy Medvedev, not Vladimir Putin. Putin is not even a member of ER. Putin is the leader of ONF (All-Russia People's Front), which is a nation-wide discussion platform for politicians, professionals, and NGOs.

2. Russian billionaire Igor Makarov denies having a niece: "I was the only child in the family." ( Forbes.ru , in Russian).

3. In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern?

4. This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:37:32 PM | 3
Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest.

Leaving aside the discussion of of various factors in that election, this public reaction is typical. Actually, in both cases the core supporters may be energized by the suspicion that this trick was performed by a foreign government. I do not think that there is a particular hostility toward Germany in Felix Austria, but the to the right wing Merkel government is like red cape for a bull. The women who unleashed a wave of refugees. On top of that, traditionally major parties of Austria gained reputation of dirty patronage, so the voters who care about that issue probably do not vote for them.

I do not expect Austrians to demand expulsions of German diplomats -- interference in our democracy -- or other sanctions, but nevertheless it stinks. Making sting operations on politicians has corrupt potential even if it is done by domestic law enforcement, but foreign intelligence services really do not have any excuse.

Thinking about it, the stings against George Papadopoulos described in his book were remarkably similar.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 4
Great minds think alike, S!

That said, Austrians have a reputation of good manners etc., they will not unload their frustration on a girl. BTW, why there are suspicions of Germany being involved? Again, even extremist Austrians probably would like to have some proof before doing anything. I guess, America is indeed exceptional.

Uncoy , May 19, 2019 6:49:33 PM | 5
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

This all starts with Austrian's Presidential Election of 2016. The FPÖ won the presidential election a couple of years ago in May 2016. After the bell, postal votes overturned it! – postal votes more than 90% in favour of the establishment candidate Van der Bellen. Some constituencies full of Van der Bellen votes turned out to have 148% turn out. There was a court case by the FPÖ about procedure and hinting at ballot falsification. The case was judged by a (non-corrupt but under serious pressure) judge to have enough merit that the elections had to be annulled and the election rerun six months later . Austria went without a president at all for six months!

For six months the mainstream Austrian media campaigned non-stop against the FPÖ and Norbert Hofer. Huge efforts were made for voter turnout (it included huge bussing of potential anti-FPÖ constituencies and bribing pensioners to vote against the FPÖ via parties and cakes). With all of that, Van der Bellen scraped in on 4 December 2016, by 348,231 votes. Despite the non-stop anti-FPÖ propaganda and banging on drums, votes for Hofer's fell by less than 100,000 (95,993 votes to be exact). It's just that with six months to prepare the establishment had found enough "dead souls" to win the second round.

In the parliamentary elections of 15 October 2017, the FPÖ were set to win a strong majority in parliament. To defeat the FPÖ and Strache, the conservatives (Völkspartei) were forced to elect a male model non-university graduate 30 year old sex symbol with no work experience outside of politics as party leader. Of course Sebastian Kurz was mainly a figurehead for establishment figures in the venerable Völkspartei. Kurz does have a mind of his own though (I had the opportunity to interact with him personally at a local political discussion group in 2015) and it's hard to know exactly how much of his policy is dictated to him and how much is off his own bat.

Going back to Austrian corruption, there are enormous sums at stake. There is a long entrenched system of corruption in the establishment parties, the Völkspartei and the SPÖ. Strabag does win most of the government contracts. Favour is regularly granted on quid pro basis. The media landscape is very partisan and mostly for sale. Kurz's spiritual predecessor as a powerful head of the Völkspartei if not direct predecessor Wolfgang Schüssel was forced to retire from politics in 2011 due to never-ending corruption scandals. Schüssel's longstanding finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser was caught carrying bags of cash to Lichtenstein and is still under investigation. If his mother-in-law were not the richest woman in Austria (Swarovski Crystal) and devoted to her daughter (Grasser's wife), he would long ago have been in jail.

Politically, Grasser knows where a lot of the bodies are buried from the Schlüssel political machine so either he has to be kept out of jail or he may take others down with him. In elite Austrian circles turning informant would be considered unsportsmanlike so there's an uneasy truce still fought to this day in the courts where Grasser is kept out of jail via procedural methods (detect a pattern) and Grasser doesn't rat out the others.

Strache's sin is not planning to use the advantages which accrue to the governing Austrian party but getting caught out talking about it. Strache is something of a lout, not terribly loyal (he was the Brutus who threw Jörg Haider under the bus in 2005 in a palace putsch). He's a smoker in power who used his power to overturn some very positive anti-smoking laws. But he's less corrupt than any of his equivalents in the Völkspartei and is only a nose ahead of the his equivalents in the SPÖ. His politics and policies of Austria for Austrians are pretty simple. Hence people vote for these policies.

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

The FPÖ has historically been weakest in Vienna but in 2010 they took 27% of the vote in this SPÖ stronghold, their first step in what has been a steady march to power.

Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. We instinctively abhor what is happening to our nations. By nature Strache is inclined this way himself (he's no great thinker) and has the good sense to ride the wave.

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:11:44 PM | 6
Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 34

As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country".

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:21:16 PM | 7
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

So why did he step down?

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

You mean FPÖ wares .

Hoarsewhisperer , May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 8
...
"This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:"

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

"The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false..."

I can't agree that Spiegel's attitude to Strache's party is condescending toward the working class. Right-wing parties tend to spout a lot of aggressively authoritarian spin tank bullshit to encourage voters to tune out when a R-w politician is telling them what to think. If Strache is adept at separating fact from fiction and superfluous verbiage, then people would appreciate his candor.

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

I'll always remember Spiegel as the folks whose photo-journalists torpedoed Crooked Hillary's feeble-minded Cheonan (NK-SK) bullshit. That story vanished overnight. It's not even referred to in NK smear campaigns. Dead & buried.

somebody , May 19, 2019 8:15:54 PM | 9
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 38

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

You are making this theory up.

Let's take the American constitution .

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

That's it.

The German constitution is absolutely clear that members of parliament represent all of the people (ie different views and interests) and are bound by their own judgement and conscience only.

As we are discussing Austria, lets see what the Austrian constitution says. Austria has "linguistic and cultural diversity" and the protection of its grown native peoples in its constitution, this means Slovenian, Croatian, Czech, Slovakian, Roma and Hungarian. So the Austrian constitution has a concept of a multinational state where different peoples grow and are protected even if the Viennese "Stammtisch" does not like them.

There is no "democratic theory" that suggests representatives should follow the uninformed and prejudiced views of their electorate against their better judgement.

Strache seems to have specialized in "fake news" - ie mostly invented stuff claiming Muslims, immigrants or whoever were treated in a better way than native Austrians or threatened native Austrians.

It is a very convenient technique when you plan to cut social services, you have someone to blame.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 9:05:45 PM | 0
To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange.

[May 19, 2019] Why The Takedown Of Heinz-Christian Strache Will Strengthen The Right

Notable quotes:
"... In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones. ..."
"... The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy. ..."
"... Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now. ..."
"... The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions. ..."
"... The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.

...

The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink

[May 19, 2019] Intel agencies of the UK and US are guilty of fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing fake analysis and operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Couple of factors not mentioned. one is Israel and the other is more sinister still and tied to the conclusions to be drawn from the Mueller report.

it may be true that Skripal helped Steele with some elements of the dossier compiled by Steele, via SKripals handler Pablo Miller. It may be true that Skripal went "stir crazy" and an attempt was made to silence him and his daughter - permanently, because they simply cold not be trusted. a similar motivation could be drawn up against Russia - with the two Russians visiting Salisbury used as diversionary "stool pigeons". It may be true that the "poisoning" was self inflicted and was in fact a murder/suicide attempt as a result of depression along the ines "what's the point of it all".

what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers.

what ought to be apparent is

- the same tactics used by the special prosecutor to investigate the "Russia collusion" smoke screen erected by the howler monkeys in the US intel agencies (aided and abetter by howler monkeys in UK intel agencies) to stymie the US executive branch (Trump) are likely to be used by the the UK government and some more as well - in true Le Carre fashion, but with much dumber and less principled actors than Smiley's people.

these tactics prevented (and continue to prevent) investigation and prosecution of heinous corruption within the obama administration of the previous 8 years - these howler monkey intelligence agency tactics include(d) entrapment, honeypots, racketeering, blackmail, de facto kidnapping (in the case of Skripals), bribery, wire fraud, unauthorized wire-tapping, breach of authorized intel agency activities (like the FBI operating overseas and the CIA operating domestically in the US, false and unverified claims in FISA warrants, NSA providing unauthorized information to the CIA and FBI etc)

- given the howler monkey activities of the alphabet soup, it is not beyond the imagination to draw parallels with the CIA's reporting and analysis of situations on the ground wherever they operate to provide intel ahead of military activity. the DOD has already proved complicit by hiring Halper (for hundreds of thousands of dollars) to assist with the entrapment of Trump operative Papadopoulos. Mifsud is likely a CIA, not a Russian, asset.

- given that we have ample evidence of the howler monkeys in the alphabet soup seeking to facilitate a coup against a sitting US president, it is certainly plausible that - as with the US goverment sponsoring the mujaheedin, isis and al qaeda in afghanistan to fight the russians in late 80's early 90's, Iraq yellow cake and WMD - that the howler monkeys paid the white helmets to ovethrow assad and foment civil war in Syria - thus causing the migration of some 5 million syrians into europe, iraq, turkey, jordan, turkey and lebanon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Helmets_(Syrian_Civil_War)

so , the case is that howler monkey activity in intel agencies of the UK and US (add (F)rance to get FUKUS) are guilty of the manufacture of human conflict by fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing shitty analysis (howler monkeys are only good at swinging in trees and flinging ****) and generally operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity.

this can only be brought into sharp relief if howler monkey activities were instead shown to be powers for good rather than the geo-political risks that persist in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and so on and so forth.

Never mind how much past conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and so on relied on evidence and analysis thrown at us by the howler monkeys in the tree tops, how much of what we we are doing now is a fabrication causing needless suffering by civilian (not politicians or military engaged in conflict) populations?

the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people.

there are equivalents of strzok, page, ohr right throughout the US and UK government "machines" operating overseas. think about that. crimes exposed by Barr et al in the US - against a sitting president - are replicated wherever howler monkeys operate overseas as well.

[May 18, 2019] 'US already spying on public, Huawei threat unproven' Swann

Trump is a bully and he does not have any methods of diplomacy other then bulling.
May 16, 2019 | www.youtube.com

US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over Huawei, which he has deemed a national security threat. His new executive order makes it more difficult for US companies to do business with the Chinese tech giant. RT America's Manila Chan chats with investigative journalist Ben Swann, who says no evidence exists for the Trump administration's claim. #RTAmerica #InQuestionRT #QuestionMore


US Of Zion , 2 days ago

What US bans I will buy. Huawei has profited from Trump's tweets. 😂😂😂

riva2003 , 2 days ago

National emergency against one single company? What a promotion for HUAWEI! They must have paid US government a looooot of money! LOOOOOL

E Walker , 2 days ago (edited)

U.S. cannot spy via Chinese made technology products. That is the problem. When did competition against American technology get to be a national security threat? It is about creating a monopoly of only certain products in America. I hope American companies fight back. Prices in American stores have already started to rise. Monopolies mean high prices.

BTV-Channel , 2 days ago div

In the age of technology...any country who doesn't SPY on other countries or their own citizens is LYING thru their teeth! USA is NO DIFFERENT than CHINA.....they both are rogue nations, competing for the same thing, TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP! The problem is....HUAWEI just got the upper hand in 5G technology before the US can compete...so as such, the US threatens other countries with scare tactics until the US can develop and deploy 5G technology to compete with CHINA. It's all about MONEY and BUSINESS.

OGASI , 2 days ago

USA has dishonestly gathered more data on it's own civilians than it can access or understand in several lifetimes, they have the gaul to attack others without proof? UNREAL

[May 16, 2019] FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... BREAKING: A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report... Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP. ..."
"... As one example, in its FISA application, the bureau repeatedly and incorrectly assured the court in a footnote that it "does not believe" British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion, and instead asserted that the Yahoo article provided an independent basis to believe Steele. - Fox News ..."
"... Graham noted a report by The Hill 's John Solomon that the FBI was specifically told that Steele was "keen" to leak his salacious dossier for the purpose of influencing the 2016 US election . The agency also knew that the document's claims were either unverified or disproven , yet it was used anyway against Trump and his campaign. ..."
"... Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are now blaming Loretta Lynch for the botched Hillary/email investigation. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier

by Tyler Durden Thu, 05/16/2019 - 10:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print A dispute has erupted over whether former FBI Director James Comey or his CIA counterpart, John Brennan, promoted the unverified Steele dossier as the Obama-era intelligence community targeted the Trump campaign.

According to Fox News , an email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference . Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy.

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey ."

"Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey's recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report," said the official.

"They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA," the official continued. "The intelligence analysts didn't include it when they were doing their work because it wasn't corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn't used and it wasn't included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document. "

James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan are starting to publicly argue who was pushing the dossier that ended up in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference. The RATS are beginning to turn on each other.

I'm sure AG Barr is taking notes!

-- thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) May 15, 2019

Former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy - a longtime defender of the FBI - told Fox News ' Martha MacCallum on Tuesday night that "Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I've seen."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A9lI-lUyjlc

In March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested over Twitter that Brennan had "insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier" be included in the January 2017 ICA .

BREAKING: A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report... Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP.

-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 27, 2019

The dossier was ultimately not included in the ICA according to previous testimony by Clapper. Meanwhile, word that Comey had briefed President Trump personally on the dossier - "because he understood reporters already had that information and it could become public soon if journalists had a "news hook," according to the Associated Press . And as it so happens - the fact that Comey briefed Trump is what CNN and Buzzfeed caim legitimized their decision to publicly release the salacious and unverified dossier.

Whether the FBI acted appropriately in obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to Trump campaign aide Carter Page is now the subject not only of U.S. Attorney John Durham's new probe, but also the ongoing review by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber has been conducting his own investigation separately, although details of his progress were unclear.

As one example, in its FISA application, the bureau repeatedly and incorrectly assured the court in a footnote that it "does not believe" British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion, and instead asserted that the Yahoo article provided an independent basis to believe Steele. - Fox News

On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that he was pushing to declassify documents which would expose the FBI's dismal efforts to verify the claims within the dossier.

"There's a document that's classified that I'm gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier -- all the pages of it -- and it has verification to one side," said Graham. "There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier."

Graham noted a report by The Hill 's John Solomon that the FBI was specifically told that Steele was "keen" to leak his salacious dossier for the purpose of influencing the 2016 US election . The agency also knew that the document's claims were either unverified or disproven , yet it was used anyway against Trump and his campaign.


LEEPERMAX , 26 seconds ago link

Whoa Nellie!!!

"I'm deleting these emails now"

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-nellie-ohr-deleted-emails-exchanged-with-doj-husband-bruce-ohr/

LEEPERMAX , 8 minutes ago link

"SPYGATE" FALLOUT? – ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER GIUSEPPE CONTÉ REQUESTS RESIGNATION OF INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS

https://aim4truth.org/2019/05/16/cat-report-32/

847328_3527 , 11 minutes ago link

Ben Shapiro tears a new one for far left BBC's leftie Andrew Neil - BBC News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VixqvOcK8E

Ben makes a fool of the BBC and their pawn.

LEEPERMAX , 13 minutes ago link

As Rosenstein Departs, the Battlefield Is Now Ready: https://youtu.be/rhQhfmXLrl4

Teamtc321 , 21 minutes ago link

Italy has flipped on Brennan, turning over Joseph Mifsud

George Papadopoulos@GeorgePapa19

The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.

2:03 PM - May 16, 2019

The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.

https://www.citizenfreepress.com/breaking/italy-has-flipped-on-brennan-turning-over-joseph-mifsusd/

deus ex machina , 22 minutes ago link

Hang. Then draw and quarter all three POFS. Problem solved.

LEEPERMAX , 30 minutes ago link

What Was Obama's Roll in the Attempted Coup Of Donald Trump ???

https://youtu.be/yUT9Vb6Hc8c

Baron von Bud , 33 minutes ago link

These agency heads are all underlings. The directive came from above. This dossier job was approved by Obama and Hillary ran the plan. It's obvious.

Giant Meteor , 26 minutes ago link

But they are always insulated, protected, no? They know, and we know, that they know .. Everybody knows .,

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8IfmiKnZi3E

Koba the Dread , 43 minutes ago link

U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber has been on the job for some months yet narry a peep out of him. There's not even any indication that he gets out of bed in the morning.

He's a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, I imagine that should he ever get out of bed, he will whitewash whichever agency has the most Mormons who might be affected by this scandal.

Back in the sixties, Jack Anderson, a serious investigative journalist and Mormon, noted that to Mormons the US Constitution is a sacred document given to the founding fathers by God himself. Let's hope Huber honors this Mormon tradition.

I love your wife , 57 minutes ago link

Comey was going to blackmail Trump and be the white knight he thinks he is. Even if it were true (which it isn't) Trump didn't give a ****. Especially after all the lies after lies of trash the Dems have sunk to (like with Kavanaugh). Never be ashamed of **** you do, and you will be blackmail proof....except for the pedophiles in DC. We know they are there, and when we find out who they are we will kill them. Comey's a douche.

Koba the Dread , 12 minutes ago link

If you kill all the pedophile in and associated with Washington, the streets will run with blood.

Imagine you or me. If we have a little sexual kink--even a little one--there is little we can do about it but fantasize or find an occasional person/animal/or vegetable to accommodate us. But if you hold great power or are super-rich, you don't need to fantasize. You can act out your little kink with impunity. If you hold great power or are super-rich and you have a very, very evil kink, you can exercise it with impunity. I often thought of that looking at **** Cheney's eyes. They're the eyes of a madman. He could have sliced and diced a man, woman, child or beast a day and gotten away with it. President Trump can grab them by the ***** (adult women) and why not. It's just a very personal way of shaking hands. But I see no insanity in his eyes at all. Hillary's eyes remind me of Norman Bates on a bad day. And Biden. . . . Wow! A pervert of the first water but also a complete coward. Thank God! One less sex monster in action.

Ban KKiller , 1 hour ago link

Sly **** show! Spy vs. Spy! Who done it?

Everyone knows that FBI, CIA, NSA etc., are all in the business of being in business. Helps that insider trading is not illegal for Congress. Corporate America directs intelligence outfits. My opinion...well, ok, my chickens told me.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 1 hour ago link

Trump is NOT Putin's Puppet

https://seriousguy.donclasen.com/trump-is-not-putins-puppet/

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

The hits just keep coming. It's not just Comey vs. Brennan. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are now blaming Loretta Lynch for the botched Hillary/email investigation. Bruce Ohr is blaming DOJ and FBI officials for ignoring his "warnings" about Christopher Steele and the dossier.

Comey is bashing Strzok, Page, and now Rosenstein. Rosenstein is firing back at Comey. Andrew McCabe is attacking anyone pretty much with a pulse.

Popcorn is sold out!

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

She's trying to protect herself. She already testified and spilled the beans about herself and her husband. And they threw a criminal referral at her anyway. MARK MEADOWS REFERS NELLIE OHR TO DOJ FOR INVESTIGATION

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/02/mark-meadows-nellie-ohr-doj/

On top of all that, this came out today:

Nellie Ohr deleted emails sent from husband's DOJ account

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/nellie-ohr-deleted-emails-sent-from-husbands-doj-account

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

This just gets juicier and juicier. Adm. Rogers of the NSA had found that FBI contractors were overusing the NSA database to run searches/spying so he shut them down. In April 2016! Friends, Fusion GPS wasn't hired just to fabricate dirt on Trump, they were hired to create cover for the spying that was already happening when they knew they got caught by Rogers. They were terrified of what Rogers would do. Enter Fusion/Steele/dossier/European & Australian intelligence. The cover-up will be the death of them. Wait until we find out who else they were spying on during this time.

Admiral Michael S. Rogers is a hero. He has everything. He knows exactly who was being spied on and when.

EDIT: So who the hell approved the original spying? We know Brennan pushed the dossier but who pushed Brennan? I smell Barry.

[May 16, 2019] The Disinformationists by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela. ..."
"... The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC. ..."
"... No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years? ..."
"... The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell. ..."
"... Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

paraglider , says: May 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT

the hysteria emanating from the nyt, cnn and the rest of the msm is the result of a conscious or subconscious grasp that socialism dying worldwide. the great ponzi scam of forcing future generations to pay for the cookies and ice cream of the present generation has hit the math of the complete dearth of unencumbered assets from which to emit more unpayable debt, insufficient economic growth upon which to pretend the debt can be serviced forget about repayment and the simple fact demographichs throughout the west are so negative the government and public pension scheme blowup in the several years

the more intelligent members of the establishment know in their bones the jig is up. hence the great and urgent need to turn up .lets over throw sovereign nations so the plunder model ..venezuela, syria, russia, china et al.can find more unencumbered assets to be brought into the nyc, london orbit of banks from which new debt can be emitted.

the west is staring at its last decade of global rule, a rule that began 500 years ago. by the 2030's finance, manufacturing and all the global power and prestige that goes with it moves from ny, london to shanghai and moscow.

if the united states is lucky and remains intact, a giant IF, we may wind up as continent size farm with a smidgen of non competitive industry here and there.

the west has only disinformation with which to go to war against the rising east. the weapons of the west are powerful ONLY in their quantity. Russian weapons already are many years beyond anything the pentagon has in the field and the gap is only increasing, ergo the us treasury is forced to fight the battle using sanctions and other forms of restrictions, a long term losing strategy irrespective of any short terms gains.

so, cj worry not, the disinformation campaign is backed by nothing but hot air and the rage from being thwarted by china and russia as well as brave pipsqueakes like iran and venezuela.

see it for what it is, transparent sound and fury signifying nothing

Anon [232] Disclaimer , says: May 15, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.
Gordo , says: May 15, 2019 at 9:16 pm GMT
@Anon

I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.

The UK gov't covertly subsidizes the Guardian.

9/11 Inside job , says: May 16, 2019 at 1:11 am GMT
In 1917 US Congressman Calloway informed Congress that J.P. Morgan interests had purchased 25 of the nations leading newspapers and replaced their editors in order to control the mass media for the benefit of the plutocrats/money interests who ran the country and who still do . The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC.
obwandiyag , says: May 16, 2019 at 3:18 am GMT
See, half a century after McCarthy, wingers got their noses into some (not all) Soviet files, and got to scream, nonstop and to this day, "See!@@#$% McCarthy was RIGHT!"

Betya in a half century, if we're still around, the same type people are going to get nosing in some files somewhere and find incontrovertible evidence that: "See!@#%$%^^ The New York Times was RIGHT!"

Same kind of people. They never change.

OEMIKITLOB , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:13 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job There is a virus-free link to a declassified CIA memo at the end of the article. It's interesting.

https://www.spyculture.com/cia-memos-on-task-force-on-greater-openness/

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website May 16, 2019 at 4:37 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

You had me doing a cartoon spit-take with this beaut!

Giuseppe , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT

these enormous corporate media conglomerates, and the transnational corporations that own them, and these intelligence agencies, and their fronts and cutouts, and corporate lobbyists and PR firms, and councils, and think tanks, and research institutes, to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative

No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years?

" that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark "

It isn't the akvavit that does it, but you can't do it without the akvavit.

Biff , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:45 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

I had a good laugh at the Spy Whale schtick. One look at the thing, and you get the idea it should've been in a Pink Panther movie.

Made up shit that only a mind of a child could believe.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell.

The serfs have to love that. How could they not embrace it? Only spybots beaming up doom-and-gloom messages from halfway around the globe could persuade the thick-headed serfs that the part-time / churn / gig economy is anything but nirvana.

Alfa158 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
@paraglider I think you're probably right about the inevitable collapse of the West as the dominant global power.

Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies.

Also Russia has been making some progress, but unless that continues it may not reach the level of competitiveness in science, industry and domestic product to be any more than a junior partner to China.

Whatever happens, a sea change in history seems unavoidable and it won't be what our present rulers think it will. I don't pretend to think I can reliably predict what is coming.

unit472 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:19 am GMT
I used to know Russian disinformation when I saw it because it was obvious when it came from the USSR. Then the MSM peddled it as authentic as when, in response to Soviet deployment of IRBM in Europe, pinkos magically appeared to protest the American deployment of similar weapons. It was well funded too as Brezhnev had serious oil revenues to finance both his military and his disinformation campaigns and the USSR had 125% of America's population and a satellite Eastern Europe to boot.

Now I am to believe a motheaten "Russia' with less than half the US population, a hostile Ukraine and no Eastern European satrapies is able to exert more 'influence' in the West than the mighty USSR. Yet those same 'pinkos' would have me believe a castrated Russia is an existential threat. Come on!

[May 14, 2019] The Propaganda Multiplier How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics

Highly recommended!
Images omitted.
Important article that shed some light on the methods of disinformation in foreign events used by neoliberal MSM
Notable quotes:
"... However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves. ..."
"... Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters. ..."
"... Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media. ..."
"... How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" : ..."
"... The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists. ..."
"... Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media: ..."
"... What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts: ..."
"... "In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298) ..."
Jun 01, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Swiss Propaganda Research Global Research, May 14, 2019 Swiss Propaganda Research Region: Europe , USA Theme: Media Disinformation

This study was originally published in 2016.

Introduction: "Something strange"

"How does the newspaper know what it knows?" The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers: "The main source of information is stories from news agencies. The almost anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to world events. So what are the names of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To judge how well one is informed about events in East and West, one should know the answers to these questions." (Höhne 1977, p. 11)

A Swiss media researcher points out:

"The news agencies are the most important suppliers of material to mass media. No daily media outlet can manage without them. () So the news agencies influence our image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have selected." (Blum 1995, p. 9)

In view of their essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these agencies are hardly known to the public:

"A large part of society is unaware that news agencies exist at all In fact, they play an enormously important role in the media market. But despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to them in the past." (Schulten-Jaspers 2013, p. 13)

Even the head of a news agency noted:

"There is something strange about news agencies. They are little known to the public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the story." (Segbers 2007, p. 9)

"The Invisible Nerve Center of the Media System"

So what are the names of these agencies that are "always at the source of the story"? There are now only three global agencies left:

  1. The American Associated Press ( AP ) with over 4000 employees worldwide. The AP belongs to US media companies and has its main editorial office in New York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media outlets, reaching more than half of the world's population every day.
  2. The quasi-governmental French Agence France-Presse ( AFP ) based in Paris and with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends over 3000 stories and photos every day to media all over the world.
  3. The British agency Reuters in London, which is privately owned and employs just over 3000 people. Reuters was acquired in 2008 by Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson – one of the 25 richest people in the world – and merged into Thomson Reuters , headquartered in New York.

In addition, many countries run their own news agencies. However, when it comes to international news, these usually rely on the three global agencies and simply copy and translate their reports.

The three global news agencies Reuters, AFP and AP, and the three national agencies of the German-speaking countries of Austria (APA), Germany (DPA) and Switzerland (SDA).

Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of the Austrian APA, described the key role of news agencies with these words:

"News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system." (Segbers 2007, p.10)

Small abbreviation, great effect

However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves.

The following figure shows some examples of source tagging in popular German-language newspapers. Next to the agency abbreviations we find the initials of editors who have edited the respective agency report.

News agencies as sources in newspaper articles

Occasionally, newspapers use agency material but do not label it at all. A study in 2011 from the Swiss Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the University of Zurich came to the following conclusions (FOEG 2011):

"Agency contributions are exploited integrally without labeling them, or they are partially rewritten to make them appear as an editorial contribution. In addition, there is a practice of 'spicing up' agency reports with little effort; for example, visualization techniques are used: unpublished agency reports are enriched with images and graphics and presented as comprehensive reports."

The agencies play a prominent role not only in the press, but also in private and public broadcasting. This is confirmed by Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies critically:

"One fundamental problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information mainly from three sources: the news agencies DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British and one French. () The editor working on a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them together with a few flourishes."

Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), too, largely bases itself on reports from these agencies. Asked by viewers why a peace march in Ukraine was not reported, the editors said : "To date, we have not received a single report of this march from the independent agencies Reuters, AP and AFP."

In fact, not only the text, but also the images, sound and video recordings that we encounter in our media every day, are mostly from the very same agencies. What the uninitiated audience might think of as contributions from their local newspaper or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York, London and Paris.

Some media have even gone a step further and have, for lack of resources, outsourced their entire foreign editorial office to an agency. Moreover, it is well known that many news portals on the internet mostly publish agency reports (see e.g., Paterson 2007, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013).

In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a striking similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases – a phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with "controlled media" in authoritarian states.

The following graphic shows some examples from German and international publications. As you can see, despite the claimed objectivity, a slight (geo-)political bias sometimes creeps in.

"Putin threatens", "Iran provokes", "NATO concerned", "Assad stronghold": Similarities in content and wording due to reports by global news agencies.

The role of correspondents

Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters.

First of all, the size ratios should be kept in mind: while the global agencies have several thousand employees worldwide, even the Swiss newspaper NZZ, known for its international reporting, maintains only 35 foreign correspondents (including their business correspondents). In huge countries such as China or India, only one correspondent is stationed; all of South America is covered by only two journalists, while in even larger Africa no-one is on the ground permanently.

Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media.

How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" :

"I'd imagined correspondents to be historians-of-the-moment. When something important happened, they'd go after it, find out what was going on, and report on it. But I didn't go off to find out what was going on; that had been done long before. I went along to present an on-the-spot report. ()

The editors in the Netherlands called when something happened, they faxed or emailed the press releases, and I'd retell them in my own words on the radio, or rework them into an article for the newspaper. This was the reason my editors found it more important that I could be reached in the place itself than that I knew what was going on. The news agencies provided enough information for you to be able to write or talk you way through any crisis or summit meeting.

That's why you often come across the same images and stories if you leaf through a few different newspapers or click the news channels.

Our men and women in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington bureaus – all thought that wrong topics were dominating the news and that we were following the standards of the news agencies too slavishly. ()

The common idea about correspondents is that they 'have the story', () but the reality is that the news is a conveyor belt in a bread factory. The correspondents stand at the end of the conveyor belt, pretending we've baked that white loaf ourselves, while in fact all we've done is put it in its wrapping. ()

Afterwards, a friend asked me how I'd managed to answer all the questions during those cross-talks, every hour and without hesitation. When I told him that, like on the TV-news, you knew all the questions in advance, his e-mailed response came packed with expletives. My friend had relalized that, for decades, what he'd been watching and listening to on the news was pure theatre." (Luyendjik 2009, p. 20-22, 76, 189)

In other words, the typical correspondent is in general not able to do independent research, but rather deals with and reinforces those topics that are already prescribed by the news agencies – the notorious "mainstream effect".

In addition, for cost-saving reasons many media outlets nowadays have to share their few foreign correspondents, and within individual media groups, foreign reports are often used by several publications – none of which contributes to diversity in reporting.

"What the agency does not report, does not take place"

The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists.

Rather, the "Observatory" delivered its stories to global agencies, which then forwarded them to thousands of media outlets, which in turn "informed" hundreds of millions of readers and viewers worldwide. The reason why the agencies, of all places, referred to this strange "Observatory" in their reporting – and who really financed it – is a question that was rarely asked.

The former chief editor of the German news agency DPA, Manfred Steffens, therefore states in his book "The Business of News":

"A news story does not become more correct simply because one is able to provide a source for it. It is indeed rather questionable to trust a news story more just because a source is cited. () Behind the protective shield such a 'source' means for a news story, some people are quite inclined to spread rather adventurous things, even if they themselves have legitimate doubts about their correctness; the responsibility, at least morally, can always be attributed to the cited source." (Steffens 1969, p. 106)

Dependence on global agencies is also a major reason why media coverage of geopolitical conflicts is often superficial and erratic, while historic relationships and background are fragmented or altogether absent. As put by Steffens:

"News agencies receive their impulses almost exclusively from current events and are therefore by their very nature ahistoric. They are reluctant to add any more context than is strictly required." (Steffens 1969, p. 32)

Finally, the dominance of global agencies explains why certain geopolitical issues and events – which often do not fit very well into the US/NATO narrative or are too "unimportant" – are not mentioned in our media at all: if the agencies do not report on something, then most Western media will not be aware of it. As pointed out on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German DPA: "What the agency does not report, does not take place." (Wilke 2000, p. 1)

America's "Righteous" Russia-gate Censorship. "Russia Bashing All the Time"

"Adding questionable stories"

While some topics do not appear at all in our media, other topics are very prominent – even though they shouldn't actually be: "Often the mass media do not report on reality, but on a constructed or staged reality. () Several studies have shown that the mass media are predominantly determined by PR activities and that passive, receptive attitudes outweigh active-researching ones." (Blum 1995, p. 16)

In fact, due to the rather low journalistic performance of our media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience. DPA editor Steffens warned of this danger:

"The critical sense gets more lulled the more respected the news agency or newspaper is. Someone who wants to introduce a questionable story into the world press only needs to try to put his story in a reasonably reputable agency, to be sure that it then appears a little later in the others. Sometimes it happens that a hoax passes from agency to agency and becomes ever more credible." (Steffens 1969, p. 234)

Among the most active actors in "injecting" questionable geopolitical news are the military and defense ministries. For example, in 2009, the head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with a budget of nearly $ 5 billion a year, are working the media and circulating targeted manipulations. In addition, high-ranking US generals had threatened that they would "ruin" the AP and him if the journalists reported too critically on the US military.

Despite – or because of? – such threats our media regularly publish dubious stories sourced to some unnamed "informants" from "US defense circles".

Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media:

"With the help of the media, the military determine the public perception and use it for their plans. They manage to stir expectations and spread scenarios and deceptions. In this new kind of war, the PR strategists of the US administration fulfill a similar function as the bomber pilots. The special departments for public relations in the Pentagon and in the secret services have become combatants in the information war. () The US military specifically uses the lack of transparency in media coverage for their deception maneuvers. The way they spread information, which is then picked up and distributed by newspapers and broadcasters, makes it impossible for readers, listeners or viewers to trace the original source. Thus, the audience will fail to recognize the actual intention of the military." (Tilgner 2003, p. 132)

What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Stockwell said of his work in the Angolan war,

"The basic theme was to make it look like an [enemy] aggression in Angola. So any kind of story that you could write and get into the media anywhere in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my staff in this task force were covert action, were propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up stories and finding ways of getting them into the press. () The editors in most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages that conform to general views and prejudices. () So we came up with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. () [But] it was all fiction."

Fred Bridgland looked back on his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency: "We based our reports on official communications. It was not until years later that I learned a little CIA disinformation expert had sat in the US embassy, in Lusaka and composed that communiqué, and it bore no relation at all to truth. () Basically, and to put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it will get newspaper room."

And former CIA analyst David MacMichael described his work in the Contra War in Nicaragua with these words:

"They said our intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came straight out of the toilet." (Hird 1985)

Of course, the intelligence services also have a large number of direct contacts in our media, which can be "leaked" information to if necessary. But without the central role of the global news agencies, the worldwide synchronization of propaganda and disinformation would never be so efficient.

Through this "propaganda multiplier", dubious stories from PR experts working for governments, military and intelligence services reach the general public more or less unchecked and unfiltered. The journalists refer to the news agencies and the news agencies refer to their sources. Although they often attempt to point out uncertainties with terms such as "apparent", "alleged" and the like – by then the rumor has long been spread to the world and its effect taken place.

The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.

As the New York Times reported

In addition to global news agencies, there is another source that is often used by media outlets around the world to report on geopolitical conflicts, namely the major publications in Great Britain and the US.

For example, news outlets like the New York Times or BBC have up to 100 foreign correspondents and other external employees. However, Middle East correspondent Luyendijk points out:

"Dutch news teams, me included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times . We did that on the assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world and commanded a view of it – but many of them turned out not to speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a conversation in it or to follow the local media. Many of the top dogs at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and translators." (Luyendijk p. 47)

In addition, the sources of these media outlets are often not easy to verify ("military circles", "anonymous government officials", "intelligence officials" and the like) and can therefore also be used for the dissemination of propaganda. In any case, the widespread orientation towards the Anglo-Saxon publications leads to a further convergence in the geopolitical coverage in our media.

The following figure shows some examples of such citation based on the Syria coverage of the largest daily newspaper in Switzerland, Tages-Anzeiger. The articles are all from the first days of October 2015, when Russia for the first time intervened directly in the Syrian war (US/UK sources are highlighted):

Frequent citation of British and US media, exemplified by the Syria war coverage of Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in October 2015.

The desired narrative

But why do journalists in our media not simply try to research and report independently of the global agencies and the Anglo-Saxon media? Middle East correspondent Luyendijk describes his experiences:

"You might suggest that I should have looked for sources I could trust. I did try, but whenever I wanted to write a story without using news agencies, the main Anglo-Saxon media, or talking heads, it fell apart. () Obviously I, as a correspondent, could tell very different stories about one and the same situation. But the media could only present one of them, and often enough, that was exactly the story that confirmed the prevailing image." (Luyendijk p.54ff)

Media researcher Noam Chomsky has described this effect in his essay "What makes the mainstream media mainstream" as follows: "If you leave the official line, if you produce dissenting reports, then you will soon feel this. () There are many ways to get you back in line quickly. If you don't follow the guidelines, you will not keep your job long. This system works pretty well, and it reflects established power structures." (Chomsky 1997)

Nevertheless, some of the leading journalists continue to believe that nobody can tell them what to write. How does this add up? Media researcher Chomsky clarifies the apparent contradiction:

"[T]he point is that they wouldn't be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. () They have been through the socialization system." (Chomsky 1997)

Ultimately, this "socialization process" leads to a journalism that generally no longer independently researches and critically reports on geopolitical conflicts (and some other topics), but seeks to consolidate the desired narrative through appropriate editorials, commentary, and interviewees.

Conclusion: The "First Law of Journalism"

Former AP journalist Herbert Altschull called it the First Law of Journalism:

"In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298)

In that sense, it is logical that our traditional media – which are predominantly financed by advertising or the state – represent the geopolitical interests of the transatlantic alliance, given that both the advertising corporations as well as the states themselves are dependent on the US dominated transatlantic economic and security architecture.

In addition, our leading media and their key people are – in the spirit of Chomsky's "socialization" – often themselves part of the networks of the transatlantic elite. Some of the most important institutions in this regard include the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission (see in-depth study of these networks ).

Indeed, most well-known publications basically may be seen as "establishment media". This is because, in the past, the freedom of the press was rather theoretical, given significant entry barriers such as broadcasting licenses, frequency slots, requirements for financing and technical infrastructure, limited sales channels, dependence on advertising, and other restrictions.

It was only due to the Internet that Altschull's First Law has been broken to some extent. Thus, in recent years a high-quality, reader-funded journalism has emerged, often outperforming traditional media in terms of critical reporting. Some of these "alternative" publications already reach a very large audience, showing that the „mass" does not have to be a problem for the quality of a media outlet.

Nevertheless, up to now the traditional media has been able to attract a solid majority of online visitors, too. This, in turn, is closely linked to the hidden role of news agencies, whose up-to-the-minute reports form the backbone of most news portals.

Will "political and economic power", according to Altschull's Law, retain control over the news, or will "uncontrolled" news change the political and economic power structure? The coming years will show.

Case study: Syria war coverage

As part of a case study, the Syria war coverage of nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were examined for plurality of viewpoints and reliance on news agencies. The following newspapers were selected:

The investigation period was defined as October 1 to 15, 2015, i.e. the first two weeks after Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian conflict. The entire print and online coverage of these newspapers was taken into account. Any Sunday editions were not taken into account, as not all of the newspapers examined have such. In total, 381 newspaper articles met the stated criteria.

In a first step, the articles were classified according to their properties into the following groups:

  1. Agencies : Reports from news agencies (with agency code)
  2. Mixed : Simple reports (with author names) that are based in whole or in part on agency reports
  3. Reports : Editorial background reports and analyzes
  4. Opinions/Comments : Opinions and guest comments
  5. Interviews : interviews with experts, politicians etc.
  6. Investigative : Investigative research that reveals new information or context

The following Figure 1 shows the composition of the articles for the nine newspapers analyzed in total. As can be seen, 55% of articles were news agency reports; 23% editorial reports based on agency material; 9% background reports; 10% opinions and guest comments; 2% interviews; and 0% based on investigative research.

Figure 1: Types of articles (total; n=381)

The pure agency texts – from short notices to the detailed reports – were mostly on the Internet pages of the daily newspapers: on the one hand, the pressure for breaking news is higher than in the printed edition, on the other hand, there are no space restrictions. Most other types of articles were found in both the online and printed editions; some exclusive interviews and background reports were found only in the printed editions. All items were collected only once for the investigation.

The following Figure 2 shows the same classification on a per newspaper basis. During the observation period (two weeks), most newspapers published between 40 and 50 articles on the Syrian conflict (print and online). In the German newspaper Die Welt there were more (58), in the Basler Zeitung and the Austrian Kurier , however, significantly less (29 or 33).

Depending on which newspaper, the share of agency reports is almost 50% (Welt, Süddeutsche, NZZ, Basler Zeitung), just under 60% (FAZ, Tagesanzeiger), and 60 to 70% (Presse, Standard, Kurier). Together with the agency-based reports, the proportion in most newspapers is between approx. 70% and 80%. These proportions are consistent with previous media studies (e.g., Blum 1995, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013, Paterson 2007).

In the background reports, the Swiss newspapers were leading (five to six pieces), followed by Welt , Süddeutsche and Standard (four each) and the other newspapers (one to three). The background reports and analyzes were in particular devoted to the situation and development in the Middle East, as well as to the motives and interests of individual actors (for example Russia, Turkey, the Islamic State).

However, most of the commentaries were to be found in the German newspapers (seven comments each), followed by Standard (five), NZZ and Tagesanzeiger (four each). Basler Zeitung did not publish any commentaries during the observation period, but two interviews. Other interviews were conducted by Standard (three) and Kurier and Presse (one each). Investigative research, however, could not be found in any of the newspapers.

In particular, in the case of the three German newspapers, a journalistically problematic blending of opinion pieces and reports was noted. Reports contained strong expressions of opinion even though they were not marked as commentary. The present study was in any case based on the article labeling by the newspaper.

Figure 2: Types of articles per newspaper

The following Figure 3 shows the breakdown of agency stories (by agency abbreviation) for each news agency, in total and per country. The 211 agency reports carried a total of 277 agency codes (a story may consist of material from more than one agency). In total, 24% of agency reports came from the AFP; about 20% each by the DPA, APA and Reuters; 9% of the SDA; 6% of the AP; and 11% were unknown (no labeling or blanket term "agencies").

In Germany, the DPA, AFP and Reuters each have a share of about one third of the news stories. In Switzerland, the SDA and the AFP are in the lead, and in Austria, the APA and Reuters.

In fact, the shares of the global agencies AFP, AP and Reuters are likely to be even higher, as the Swiss SDA and the Austrian APA obtain their international reports mainly from the global agencies and the German DPA cooperates closely with the American AP.

It should also be noted that, for historical reasons, the global agencies are represented differently in different regions of the world. For events in Asia, Ukraine or Africa, the share of each agency will therefore be different than from events in the Middle East.

Figure 3: Share of news agencies, total (n=277) and per country

In the next step, central statements were used to rate the orientation of editorial opinions (28), guest comments (10) and interview partners (7) (a total of 45 articles). As Figure 4 shows, 82% of the contributions were generally US/NATO friendly, 16% neutral or balanced, and 2% predominantly US/NATO critical.

The only predominantly US/NATO-critical contribution was an op-ed in the Austrian Standard on October 2, 2015, titled: "The strategy of regime change has failed. A distinction between ‚good' and ‚bad' terrorist groups in Syria makes the Western policy untrustworthy."

Figure 4: Orientation of editorial opinions, guest comments, and interviewees (total; n=45).

The following Figure 5 shows the orientation of the contributions, guest comments and interviewees, in turn broken down by individual newspapers. As can be seen, Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, NZZ, Zürcher Tagesanzeiger and the Austrian newspaper Kurier presented exclusively US/NATO-friendly opinion and guest contributions; this goes for FAZ too, with the exception of one neutral/balanced contribution. The Standard brought four US/NATO friendly, three balanced/neutral, as well as the already mentioned US/NATO critical opinion contributions.

Presse was the only one of the examined newspapers to predominantly publish neutral/balanced opinions and guest contributions. The Basler Zeitung published one US/NATO-friendly and one balanced contribution. Shortly after the observation period (October 16, 2015), Basler Zeitung also published an interview with the President of the Russian Parliament. This would of course have been counted as a contribution critical of the US/NATO.

Figure 5: Basic orientation of opinion pieces and interviewees per newspaper

In a further analysis, a full-text keyword search for "propaganda" (and word combinations thereof) was used to investigate in which cases the newspapers themselves identified propaganda in one of the two geopolitical conflict sides, USA/NATO or Russia (the participant "IS/ISIS" was not considered). In total, twenty such cases were identified. Figure 6 shows the result: in 85% of the cases, propaganda was identified on the Russian side of the conflict, in 15% the identification was neutral or unstated, and in 0% of the cases propaganda was identified on the USA/NATO side of the conflict.

It should be noted that about half of the cases (nine) were in the Swiss NZZ , which spoke of Russian propaganda quite frequently ("Kremlin propaganda", "Moscow propaganda machine", "propaganda stories", "Russian propaganda apparatus" etc.), followed by German FAZ (three), Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung (two each) and the Austrian newspaper Kurier (one). The other newspapers did not mention propaganda, or only in a neutral context (or in the context of IS).

Figure 6: Attribution of propaganda to conflict parties (total; n=20).

Conclusion

In this case study, the geopolitical coverage in nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland was examined for diversity and journalistic performance using the example of the Syrian war.

The results confirm the high dependence on the global news agencies (63 to 90%, excluding commentaries and interviews) and the lack of own investigative research, as well as the rather biased commenting on events in favor of the US/NATO side (82% positive; 2% negative), whose stories were not checked by the newspapers for any propaganda.

*

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English translation provided by Terje Maloy.

[May 14, 2019] 1984 Turns 70-Years-Old In A World That Looks A Lot Like The Book

Notable quotes:
"... In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance. ..."
"... Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media. ..."
"... Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense." ..."
"... "Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells." ..."
"... Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. ..."
"... "We are not at war with Eurasia. You are being made into obedient, stupid slaves of the Party." -Emmanuel Goldstein ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

1984 Turns 70-Years-Old In A World That Looks A Lot Like The Book

by Tyler Durden Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Authored by John Vibes via ActivistPost.com,

This month, George Orwell's legendary novel Nineteen Eighty-Four turns 70 years old, and the warnings contained within the story are now more relevant than ever. Orwell's predictions were so spot on that it almost seems like it was used as some type of accidental instruction manual for would-be tyrants.

In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance.

Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media.

Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense."

There was also never-ending war in Orwell's story, the conditions of which would change on a regular basis, keeping the general population confused about conflicts so they give up on trying to understand what is actually going on. Some of these predictions were merely recognitions of patterns in human history, since the idea of "unpersons" and war propaganda is nothing new. However, Orwell had an incredible understanding of how technology was going to progress over the 20th century, and he was able to envision how technology would be used by those in power to control the masses.

The technological predictions made in the book were truly uncanny, as they give a fairly accurate description of our modern world. Orwell described "telescreens," which acted as both an entertainment device and a two-way communication device. This type of technology was predicted by many futurists at the time, but Orwell's prediction was unique because he suggested that these devices would be used by the government to spy on people, through microphones and cameras built into the devices.

Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. This police state was also a strong deterrent in the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , because although many of the citizens in the book had a positive opinion of "big brother," it was still something that they feared, and it was a force that kept them in control. Of course, this is not much different from the attitude that the average American or European has when confronted with police brutality and government corruption.

Many of the ideas about power and authority that were expressed in Orwell's classic are timeless and as old as recorded history ; but his analysis of how technology would amplify the destructive nature of power was incredibly unique, especially for his time.


wonder warthog , 2 minutes ago link

Not to stray too far, I always liked the part in Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes":

"Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells."

The laugh shouter is one of those government or corporate chuckle-heads that goes along, gets along, and usually spends less than an hour a day actually doing his job. You see them on TV and in every office. Everything out of their mouths has to be punctuated with a chuckle.

sacredfire , 2 minutes ago link

Coincidentially, I am reading it now and when I first started reading it three weeks ago I was stunned at it's accurate depiction of todays America!

Teja , 6 minutes ago link

Regarding the way the world is dis-informed and manipulated by social media comments, try "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, written in 1985.

Reaper , 7 minutes ago link

The Exceptionals find virtue in trusting their "protectors," aka police/FBI/military/CIA./courts.

wonder warthog , 12 minutes ago link

The thing I remember from the novel was the "versificator" which was a typewriter-like device that allowed historical events to be changed as needed . . . very much like the networked computer.

TahoeBilly2012 , 11 minutes ago link

Facebook recently made me an UnPerson, not joking. I had deleted my acct some years ago, re-registered to man a business page and...haha they rejected me, recent photo and all.

Deep Snorkeler , 21 minutes ago link

Donald Trump's World

He watches TV. That's his primary experience with reality.

He communes with nature solely through manicured golf courses.

A man of empty sensationalism, devoid of real experience,

uneducated, insulated and deeply shallow.

WileyCoyote , 22 minutes ago link

A group of 'servants' possessing a monopoly of force and using it to rule over others has never worked out well for the 'citizens' in the long run.

hedgeless_horseman , 28 minutes ago link

...and The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Barbarossa296 , 19 minutes ago link

A great classic by Edward Gibbons. History does indeed repeat itself.

Alananda , 28 minutes ago link

There are a few other books and booklets and letters that also seem eerily prescient. Following modern-day protocols, however, it's best not to mention them in polite company. ;-)

chumbawamba , 22 minutes ago link

To which Protocols do you refer?

-chumblez.

hedgeless_horseman , 32 minutes ago link

Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state.

Exactly...

"We are not at war with Eurasia. You are being made into obedient, stupid slaves of the Party." -Emmanuel Goldstein

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-10/voting-big-brother-you-might-be-low-information-voter

chumbawamba , 28 minutes ago link

"1984", otherwise known as "Plantation Theory 101" to the bloodline elites.

-chumblez.

hedgeless_horseman , 20 minutes ago link

I plan on voting in the local elections, especially for Sheriff and the bond issues. Also, I still think that voting for the quality Libertarian candidates is a better option than not voting, but I do understand your point. But when all else fails, you better be prepared to vote from the rooftops...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-18/political-power-grows-out-barrel-gun-mao-tse-tung

[May 13, 2019] Barr Appoints US Attorney To Investigate FBI-DOJ Spying On Trump; Has Investigated FBI Before

Notable quotes:
"... According to Fox , Barr is "serious" and has assembled a team from the DOJ to participate in the probe, adding that Durham is known as a "hard-charging, bulldog" prosecutor according to their source. ..."
"... Sources familiar with matter say the focus of the probe includes the pre-transition period -- prior to Nov. 7, 2016 - - including the use and initiation of informants , as well as potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses. ..."
"... An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try extracting any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia from George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, it emerged earlier this month. Papadopoulos told Fox News the informant tried to "seduce" him as part of the "bizarre" episode. ..."
"... Durham has a history of serving as a special prosecutor, investigating wrongdoing among national security officials - including the FBI's ties to a Boston crime boss, as well as accusations of CIA detainee abuse. ..."
"... According to the report, Durham's review would run in parallel with the ongoing DOJ probe by Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. Meanwhile, Republicans have been seeking answers from US Attorney for Utah, John Huber, who was appointed by former AG Jeff Sessions to review FBI and DOJ surveillance abuses, as well as authorities' handling of the probe into the Clinton Foundation . ..."
"... As part of the FBI's FISA application on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, the FBI cut-and-pasted from a disputed Washington Post article which suggested that the Trump campaign may have been compromised. The agency also repeatedly told the FISA court that it "did not believe" UK ex-spy Christopher Steele was the source of a Yahoo News article written by Michael Isikoff which implicated Page in Russian collusion. ..."
"... London court records , however, reveal that contrary to the FBI's statements, Steele had briefed Yahoo News and other media outlets in the fall of 2016 at the urging of his employer Fusion GPS - which the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had paid for anti-Trump opposition research. This information was withheld from FISA judges during the application to surveil Page. ..."
"... Steele told Kavalec that Russia had a "technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election," which recruited US emigres to "do hacking and recruiting. Steele added that "Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian consulate in Miami." ..."
"... Except that's a lie - as Kavalec debunked the assertion in a bracketed comment: " It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami. " ..."
"... Could it be that Mueller was in charge of the Boston mobster thing, and he ended up with a giant promotion to head of the agency? So what exactly happened as a result of that "investigation"? ..."
"... So, Huber was Sessions' special stooge put in place to help smother the truth? ..."
"... Catch 22. They all have the same paymaster. Kinda like asking whores to testify against their pimps. ..."
"... Alexander Downer also funnelled millions in Australian tax dollars to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's election campaign ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Attorney General William Barr has appointed US Attorney John H. Durham of Connecticut to examine the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation to determine if the FBI's spying on the Trump campaign was "lawful and appropriate," according to Fox News .

The move comes as the Trump administration has demanded answers over the use of "informants" on his 2016 campaign.

According to Fox , Barr is "serious" and has assembled a team from the DOJ to participate in the probe, adding that Durham is known as a "hard-charging, bulldog" prosecutor according to their source.

Sources familiar with matter say the focus of the probe includes the pre-transition period -- prior to Nov. 7, 2016 - - including the use and initiation of informants , as well as potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses.

An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try extracting any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia from George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, it emerged earlier this month. Papadopoulos told Fox News the informant tried to "seduce" him as part of the "bizarre" episode.

Durham previously has investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office's relationship with mobsters. He is set to continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut. - Fox News

Of note - in January House Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows wrote to Durham , saying that they had "discovered" he was "investigating former FBI General Counsel James Baker" over unauthorized leaks to the media, adding "We know the DOJ and FBI departed from traditional investigative and prosecutorial practices, and insufficiently adhered to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Durham has a history of serving as a special prosecutor, investigating wrongdoing among national security officials - including the FBI's ties to a Boston crime boss, as well as accusations of CIA detainee abuse.

According to the report, Durham's review would run in parallel with the ongoing DOJ probe by Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. Meanwhile, Republicans have been seeking answers from US Attorney for Utah, John Huber, who was appointed by former AG Jeff Sessions to review FBI and DOJ surveillance abuses, as well as authorities' handling of the probe into the Clinton Foundation .

Not much has come of Huber's investigation, while Republicans have cautioned that he has spoken with few key witnesses and whistleblowers.

Durham's appointment comes about a month after Barr told members of Congress he believed "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign in 2016. He later said he didn't mean anything pejorative and was gathering a team to look into the origins of the special counsel's investigation.

Democrats have pummeled Barr in frustration following revelations in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russian actors , despite numerous offers by Russians to assist the campaign. Mueller's final report has led to a bitter D.C. battle over the limited number of redactions in the report, which the DOJ says are legally necessary because they pertain to grand jury matters. - Fox News

As part of the FBI's FISA application on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, the FBI cut-and-pasted from a disputed Washington Post article which suggested that the Trump campaign may have been compromised. The agency also repeatedly told the FISA court that it "did not believe" UK ex-spy Christopher Steele was the source of a Yahoo News article written by Michael Isikoff which implicated Page in Russian collusion.

London court records , however, reveal that contrary to the FBI's statements, Steele had briefed Yahoo News and other media outlets in the fall of 2016 at the urging of his employer Fusion GPS - which the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had paid for anti-Trump opposition research. This information was withheld from FISA judges during the application to surveil Page.

What's more, the FBI could not verify the dodgy dossier Steele assembled . Speaking Fox on 'Sunday Morning Futures,' Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said "There's a document that's classified that I'm gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier -- all the pages of it -- and it has verification to one side," adding "There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier."

Graham cited a recent report from The Hill 's John Solomon which reveals that the FBI was specifically informed that Steele had admitted he was "keen" to influence the 2016 election with his document.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec's written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline . - The Hill

Solomon also reported last week that a high-ranking government official who met with Christopher Steele in October 2016 determined that information in the Trump-Russia dossier was inaccurate , and likely leaked to the media.

Ten days before the FBI used the now-discredited dossier to apply for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Steele met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec, who took handwritten notes of the encounter.

Steele told Kavalec that Russia had a "technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election," which recruited US emigres to "do hacking and recruiting. Steele added that "Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian consulate in Miami."

Except that's a lie - as Kavalec debunked the assertion in a bracketed comment: " It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami. "

What makes this particularly damning is that the FBI swore on October 21, 2016 to the FISA judges that Steele's "reporting has been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings," and that the FBI deemed him to be "reliable" and was "unaware of any derogatory information pertaining" to the former British spy who was working for Fusion GPS - the firm paid by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to come up with dirt on Donald Trump.

And now U.S. Attorney John Durham will sort out exactly what happened, we can only hope.


sgorem , 2 minutes ago link

that rank stench hitting your nostrils is the clinton criminal syndicate. they have, from their beginning days in arkansas, killed, bribed, extorted, blackmailed, stole, and fucked their way through the political system. if you wonder why they aren't in Leavenworth, think of ALL the "government employees, i.e., representatives, diplomats, congressmen/women, etc., protecting these vermin from the light of the truth. they have found "the way" to find and keep friends in the deep state. they make you an offer you can't refuse............

deFLorable hillbilly , 4 minutes ago link

Something doesn't smell right on this one. Could it be that Mueller was in charge of the Boston mobster thing, and he ended up with a giant promotion to head of the agency? So what exactly happened as a result of that "investigation"?

This guy Durham has a very suspicious looking mustache. Comey may end up as Biden's VP. Just sayin'.

LEEPERMAX , 5 minutes ago link

As the sun sinks on the horizon . . .

PANIC MODE settles in across the Washington Swamp !!!

Chuck Walla , 5 minutes ago link

So, Huber was Sessions' special stooge put in place to help smother the truth?

VWAndy , 6 minutes ago link

Catch 22. They all have the same paymaster. Kinda like asking whores to testify against their pimps.

DeepThoughts , 7 minutes ago link

As a 45-year old man, I hope that they get to the bottom of this by the time my unborn grandkids grow old.

Md4 , 7 minutes ago link

"Steele told Kavalec that Russia had a "technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election," which recruited US emigres to "do hacking and recruiting. Steele added that "Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian consulate in Miami."

Except that's a lie - as Kavalec debunked the assertion in a bracketed comment: " It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami. "

Russian hacking...

...still no presented, credible evidence...

Herp and Derp , 7 minutes ago link

Great. Who is prosecuting Hillary? Who is going after Schiff for brains and the dozen other democrat congressional leakers?

Teamtc321 , 8 minutes ago link

Mueller Time is Over ... It's time to pay the BARR tab...............

IvannaHumpalot , 8 minutes ago link

INVESTIGATE AUSTRALIA

Alexander Downer former foreign minister is the one who was meddling - Australia's high commissioner to the UK in 2016

Started whole Russiagate investigation against Trump's campaign by telling the FBI that a drunken George Papadopoulos had said Russia had dirt on Hillary. Because of his diplomatic standing the FBI took Downer seriously and it was a major factor in their decision to investigate.

Alexander Downer also funnelled millions in Australian tax dollars to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's election campaign

https://thepoliticalinsider.com/alexander-downer-clinton-foundation/

"Downer is suspected of helping to "dishonestly" obtain $25 million from the Australian government for the Clinton Foundation's Clinton HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI). Michael Smith (former Australian police detective) says that he gave materials to the FBI containing evidence that shows "corrupt October 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15 million contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates."

Smith also found evidence of a "$10 million financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception between April 1, 2008, and Sept. 25, 2008, at Washington, D.C., New York, New York, and Canberra Australia involving an MOU between the Australian government, the 'Clinton Climate Initiative,' and the purported 'Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Inc.'"

Lord Raglan , 3 minutes ago link

I agree with you. It is about branding. Coke versus Pepsi but more committed. I don't think that way but Democrats seem to. The ones I know are filled with hate. The real paradigm is World Government v. Nation States, not Dem v. Repub.

hxc , 1 minute ago link

The real fight is world government vs self-government.

Tapeworm , 13 minutes ago link

Congreff could have done some little thing about the DS aholes that lied in testimony, but a fat zero. Clapper was a slam dunk as they say at this time of year in bubble bouncing. Come to thing of it, and sing along with the bouncing ball----"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"......

Where is fabulous Q?

Md4 , 13 minutes ago link

They say the wheels of justice grind slowly.

Fine.

As long as they do so in the direction of truth...and consequences.

Proceed...

frankthecrank , 3 minutes ago link

if you have the guts and the stamina and push long enough and hard enough, you can make it happen.

DEDA CVETKO , 17 minutes ago link

Hillary will plea not guilty on account of having to escape nonexistent Sarajevo snipers.

Seal Team 6 , 16 minutes ago link

Barring (no pun intended) the images of Hillary and Obama being lead in cuffs into a black Tahoe on the 6 oclock news, I don't think it will go anywhere as the MSM won't report it.

steverino999 , 20 minutes ago link

Don't make me say it, Willie!

Willie the Pimp , 18 minutes ago link

Oh you will because you are a bitch. Go for it bitch. This is your life's work right here loser! HAHAHAA! Dumbass.

Tapeworm , 4 minutes ago link

steverino666 has it right. The likelihood of anything exhumed out of the slime in DC is a fat zero...

Blue Boat , 24 minutes ago link

All you people who recently said, "Nothing will happen. Wake me if anyone gets indicted." SEE? We told you the tide had turned with a new sheriff, Russia hoax investigation over. Now, the gauntlet drops. Talk about needing to buy some popcorn!

Blue Boat , 20 minutes ago link

Boston FBI .... https://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/24/us/trial-ending-for-boston-fbi-agent-accused-of-mob-ties.html

Mike Rotsch , 11 minutes ago link

Hey - the world is a giant toilet. And the laws of probability favor pessimism.

847328_3527 , 27 minutes ago link

Feinstein is looking for Durham's high school yearbook as we speak....

SenatorBlutarsky , 10 minutes ago link

+1!

[May 13, 2019] Brennan has no vision or compass or pronciples. Like a dog, he will hunt and maul anything that is approved by the Power

It might well be that Trump treatment of 9/11 as unsolved investigation was one of the red flag for establishment (and personally Brennan) which led to launching of Russiagate.
Notable quotes:
"... But why was Brennan so anti-Syria and anti-Ukraine? What personal motives did he have? ..."
"... Can someone please explain what it was about Donald Trump at the time that this all began, that Brennan would set all of this in motion? ..."
"... For one thing, Trump, early in his campaign stated that he had suspicions regarding official explanations of 9/11. ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website May 11, 2019 at 2:12 pm GMT

But why was Brennan so anti-Syria and anti-Ukraine? What personal motives did he have? Why target two regimes esp hated by Jews?

It seems he's like McCain. A mean nasty son of a bitch who likes to play world politics. It's his bullying nature. But he has no vision or compass. Like a dog, he will hunt and maul anything that is approved by the Power. And that Power is Jewish.

Dogs love to hunt but only get to hunt what the master orders it to. If the master orders the dog to love rabbits and hunt raccoon, it will do just that. If the master orders it to love raccoon and hunt rabbits, it will do that. In the end, the dog doesn't care what it hunts as long as it's given a chance to hunt something.

Same with these goy cuck dogs. Their lives feel fulfilled only in Big Power bully mode. They need to beat up on something. But they have no vision or compass, no agency. They look over their shoulders to the Power to tell them what to love(Israel and Saudis) and what to hate(Iran and Syria and Russia).

Dogs growl at dogs, not at their masters. When Trump came around, Brennan didn't see him as the new master but as a bad dog(or even wolf) displeasing his master, the Jews. Like McCain, a very loyal dog. Also, a dog feels jealousy that the master may take to a new dog over him.

Alas, Trump has been neutered and tamed by Jews.

R Boyd , says: May 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT
Can someone please explain what it was about Donald Trump at the time that this all began, that Brennan would set all of this in motion?
Carroll Price , says: May 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm GMT
@R Boyd For one thing, Trump, early in his campaign stated that he had suspicions regarding official explanations of 9/11.
Digital Samizdat , says: May 11, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
@R Boyd Why? Because of Trump's stated desire to pull out of Syria and to work for a détente with Russia, for openers.
Cassander , says: May 11, 2019 at 10:58 pm GMT
"The real architect of the Trump-Russia treachery was the boss-man at the nation's premier intelligence agency, the CIA."

–Which begs the question whether the 'real architect' was authorized by his superior in the WH. How could he not have been?

FB , says: Website May 12, 2019 at 4:44 am GMT
Excellent hard nosed article by Mike

I have to think that the pyramid goes higher still Brennan working for Hillary and Hillary working for the combined plutocratic imperialist elite that make up the core of the Clinton Foundation's billions these scumbags will never be touched for buying Killary, but maybe Killary will end up in an orange jumpsuit, right beside her gopher Brennan

And maybe Trump finally has his hands untied to start doing the things he promised time will tell

anon [354] Disclaimer , says: May 12, 2019 at 4:55 am GMT

Mike Whitney:

But evidence of wrongdoing is not proof that Comey was the ringleader, he was just the hapless sad sack who was left holding the bag. The truth is, Comey was just a reluctant follower. The real architect of the Trump-Russia treachery was the boss-man at the nation's premier intelligence agency, the CIA.

suspect you are correct

Brennan seems like the real evil, Comey just a doofus

The Scalpel , says: Website May 12, 2019 at 5:33 am GMT
@R Boyd "Can someone please explain what it was about Donald Trump at the time that this all began, that Brennan would set all of this in motion?"

He was not truly compromised thus controlled by the spooks. So they were trying to achieve that, and it appears based on Trump's behavior, that they did achieve that

[May 13, 2019] Russiagate Zealotry Continues To Endanger Western National Security

It is true that "Russiagate is the worst, most corrosive, and most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history."
Notable quotes:
"... But equally alarming, Russiagate continues to endanger American national security by depriving a US president, for the first time in the nuclear age, of the diplomatic flexibility to deal with a Kremlin leader in times of crisis. ..."
"... A major subject of the conversation was unavoidably the growing conflict over Venezuela, where Washington and Moscow have long-standing economic and political interests. Trump administration spokespeople have warned Moscow against interfering in America's neighborhood, ignoring, of course, Washington's deep involvement for years in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. Kremlin representatives, on the other hand, have warned Washington against violating Venezuela's sovereignty. Increasingly, there is talk, at least in Moscow policy circles, of a Cuban Missile–like crisis, the closest the United States and Russia (then Soviet Russia) ever came to nuclear war. ..."
"... To the extent, however remote, that Venezuela might grow into a Cuba-like US-Russian military confrontation, would Trump be sufficiently free of Russiagate allegations to resolve it peacefully, as President John Kennedy did in 1962? Judging by mainstream media commentary on the May 3 phone conversation, the answer seems to be no. Considering the mounting confrontation in Venezuela, Trump was right, even obligated, to call Putin, but he got no applause, only condemnation. ..."
"... Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Eric Swalwell, both candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also expressed deep suspicion regarding the Trump-Putin phone talk. Swalwell was sure it meant that Trump "acts on their behalf," that he "is putting the Russians' interests ahead of the United States' interests." (Voters may wonder if these candidates and quite a few others who continue to promote extremist Russiagate allegations are emerging American statesmen.) ..."
"... Russiagate's unproven allegations are an aggressive malignancy spreading through America's politics to the most vital areas of national security policy. A full nonpartisan investigation into their origins is urgently needed, but US intelligence agencies were almost certainly present at their creation, which is why I have long argued that Russiagate is actually Intelgate . If so, James Comey, then FBI director, was present at the creation, though initially in a lesser role than were President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and intelligence overlord James Clapper. ..."
"... Comey recently deplored Attorney General William Barr's declaration that US intelligence agencies resorted to "spying" on the Trump campaign. (In fact, Barr mischaracterized what happened: The agencies, first and foremost Brennan's CIA, it seems, ran an entrapment operation against members of the campaign.) Comey warned Barr that he will discover that Trump "has eaten your soul." ..."
"... It would be more accurate to say -- and certainly more important -- that baseless Russiagate allegations are eating America's national security. ..."
"... That, doc, is the raison d'etre of Russiagate. That's how far this coup d'etat in Washington has gotten. The showrunners/secret coupsters finally going public with the previously surmised fact that they, not Trump, are running the show and that DJT is just their official tweetsman. ..."
"... So fake news and fake collusion now rule the country? NOT! The President has more power now then he had prior to the Mueller Report being released, the report shows clear obstruction from the Mueller team as they failed to do the basics in investigation, ..."
"... the Mainstream Media has become a threat to democracy and the number one enemy of the American People while "endangering national security" for us all. ..."
"... The mainstream media is a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Military-Industrial complex, via secret government programs such as Operation Mockingbird and doubtless several others. ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Russiagate Zealotry Continues To Endanger Western National Security

by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/12/2019 - 23:30 3 SHARES Authored by Stephen Cohen via The Nation,

If Venezuela becomes a Cuban Missile–like Crisis, will Trump be free to resolve it peacefully?

Now in its third year, Russiagate is the worst, most corrosive, and most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history. It rests on two related core allegations: that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "attack on American democracy" during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to put Donald Trump in the White House, and that Trump and his associates willfully colluded, or conspired, in this Kremlin "attack." As I have argued from the outset -- see my regular commentaries posted at TheNation.com and my recent book War With Russia? -- and as recently confirmed, explicitly and tacitly, by special prosecutor Robert Mueller's report, there is no factual evidence for either allegation.

Nonetheless, these Russiagate allegations, not "Putin's Russia," continue to inflict grave damage on fundamental institutions of American democracy. They impugn the integrity of the presidency and now the office of the attorney general. They degrade the many Democratic members of Congress who persist in clinging to the allegations and thus the Democratic Party and Congress. And they have enticed mainstream media into one of the worst episodes of journalistic malpractice in modern times .

But equally alarming, Russiagate continues to endanger American national security by depriving a US president, for the first time in the nuclear age, of the diplomatic flexibility to deal with a Kremlin leader in times of crisis. We were given a vivid example in July 2018, when Trump held a summit with the current Kremlin occupant, as every president had done since Dwight Eisenhower. For that conventional, even necessary, act of diplomacy, Trump was widely accused of treasonous behavior, a charge that persists. Now we have another alarming example of this reckless disregard for US national security on the part of Russiagate zealots.

On May 3, Trump called Putin. They discussed various issues, including the Mueller report. (As before, Putin had to know if Trump was free to implement any acts of security cooperation they might agree on. Indeed, the Russian policy elite openly debates this question, many of its members having decided that Trump cannot cooperate with Russia no matter his intentions.)

A major subject of the conversation was unavoidably the growing conflict over Venezuela, where Washington and Moscow have long-standing economic and political interests. Trump administration spokespeople have warned Moscow against interfering in America's neighborhood, ignoring, of course, Washington's deep involvement for years in the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. Kremlin representatives, on the other hand, have warned Washington against violating Venezuela's sovereignty. Increasingly, there is talk, at least in Moscow policy circles, of a Cuban Missile–like crisis, the closest the United States and Russia (then Soviet Russia) ever came to nuclear war.

To the extent, however remote, that Venezuela might grow into a Cuba-like US-Russian military confrontation, would Trump be sufficiently free of Russiagate allegations to resolve it peacefully, as President John Kennedy did in 1962? Judging by mainstream media commentary on the May 3 phone conversation, the answer seems to be no. Considering the mounting confrontation in Venezuela, Trump was right, even obligated, to call Putin, but he got no applause, only condemnation. To take some random examples:

None of these "opinion leaders" mentioned the danger of a US-Russian military confrontation over Venezuela or elsewhere on the several fraught fronts of the new Cold War. Indeed, retired admiral James Stavridis, once supreme allied commander of NATO forces and formerly associated with Hillary Clinton's campaign, all but proposed war on Russia in retaliation for its "attack on our democracy," including "unprecedented measures" such as cyberattacks.

Russiagate's unproven allegations are an aggressive malignancy spreading through America's politics to the most vital areas of national security policy. A full nonpartisan investigation into their origins is urgently needed, but US intelligence agencies were almost certainly present at their creation, which is why I have long argued that Russiagate is actually Intelgate . If so, James Comey, then FBI director, was present at the creation, though initially in a lesser role than were President Barack Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and intelligence overlord James Clapper.

Comey recently deplored Attorney General William Barr's declaration that US intelligence agencies resorted to "spying" on the Trump campaign. (In fact, Barr mischaracterized what happened: The agencies, first and foremost Brennan's CIA, it seems, ran an entrapment operation against members of the campaign.) Comey warned Barr that he will discover that Trump "has eaten your soul."

It would be more accurate to say -- and certainly more important -- that baseless Russiagate allegations are eating America's national security.


Real Estate Guru , 16 minutes ago link

President Trump Calls Out FBI Director Christopher Wray: "the director is protecting the coup gang"
Posted on May 12, 2019 by sundance
This is good to see. Finally President Trump indicates he is well aware of the intents and motives of FBI Director Christopher Wray covering for the illegal coup effort:

President Trump may have been aware of Chris Wray's corrupt disposition prior to today; however, this is the first visible indication he understands the internecine organization of it. Hopefully we can start the countdown clock to Wray's exit.

Next up, Chris Wray's #1 strategic hire, current FBI Legal Counsel Dana Boente.

Real Estate Guru , 20 minutes ago link

President Trump Calls Out FBI Director Christopher Wray: 'The FBI Has No Leadership; The Director is Protecting the Same Gang That Tried to Overthrow the President Through an Illegal Coup'....

He will be fired soon.

francis scott falseflag , 25 minutes ago link

Russiagate deprives ... a US president, for the first time in the nuclear age, of the diplomatic flexibility to deal with a Kremlin leader in times of crisis

That, doc, is the raison d'etre of Russiagate. That's how far this coup d'etat in Washington has gotten. The showrunners/secret coupsters finally going public with the previously surmised fact that they, not Trump, are running the show and that DJT is just their official tweetsman.

Sounds right to me.

would Trump be sufficiently free of Russiagate allegations to resolve it peacefully, as President John Kennedy did in 1962?

But Trump wouldn't be the one peacefully resolving anything. He was deprived of it by more important powers that be. So he'll only get an award from the MSM for his portrayal/impression of a 21st Century American statesman/politician.

Which will set the bar quite high for future Trumps-to-come.

VWAndy , 1 hour ago link

Corruption is the biggest threat to mankind. All this other stuff is just for show.

TeethVillage88s , 51 minutes ago link

GWB seized all kinds of power after 911, Bill Clinton got big power for Fast Track of WTO & NAFTA, Presidential Signing Orders or Executive Powers become Increased as I remember under GWB then expanded under Obama, Bill Clinton took extended time in bombing campaign in Balkans above congressional war powers act, but GWB seemed to have complete war powers in his admin, Dirty War Powers included,... Point is that Democrats & Republicans, the Money Party, the One Party conveniently forget that powers granted to Dems or GOP... are then available in corrupt universe of USSA...

Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Eric Swalwell, both candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, also expressed deep suspicion regarding the Trump-Putin phone talk

How will Dims feel when the Next Obama get in and people want to witch hunt all his first phone calls for foreign leaders?

HopefulJoe , 1 hour ago link

So fake news and fake collusion now rule the country? NOT! The President has more power now then he had prior to the Mueller Report being released, the report shows clear obstruction from the Mueller team as they failed to do the basics in investigation, they also purposefully ignored the obvious to continue with the fake investigation in order to impede the President. The President is now more powerful as ever as the slow and methodical take down of the left deep state continues. In the coming weeks it will become more and more evident to the masses that the President was clearly correct and the attempted coupe of the President was real and has failed. The mainstream media will become even less relevant despite all of their efforts.

Congress will soon have no choice but to act in protecting free speech and the hand of all the CIA controlled media will be tied and bound for generations to come...

libtears , 1 hour ago link

The real Russia Gate is the Russians got all the classified emails from Hillarys server

VWAndy , 1 hour ago link

Everyone saw them except the US genpop. Russia,China,Israeli, UK everyone. Thats what she was selling is my guess. Prolly had the whole fn country up for sale. Like a ebay for selling off everything. Cops, judges, senators and congress people. Who is to say they were not just selling it off by the slice like pizza?

CaptainObvious , 1 hour ago link

And the Chinese, and the Koreans. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised to find the Nigerian scammers got a piece of that action.

LEEPERMAX , 2 hours ago link

THE RUSSIAGATE SCAM has shown us . . .

the Mainstream Media has become a threat to democracy and the number one enemy of the American People while "endangering national security" for us all.

IntercoursetheEU , 1 hour ago link

Christoper Steele is still at work: https://twitter.com/PoliPsyche/status/1127015531654070277

r0mulus , 1 hour ago link

The mainstream media is a wholly controlled subsidiary of the Military-Industrial complex, via secret government programs such as Operation Mockingbird and doubtless several others.

It is likely that the MIC, long puppeteered by shadowy financial forces through the Federal Reserve and Bank of England, is doing everything it can to prevent Trump from disturbing it's long running plans to encircle and subdue Russia via Mackinder's "Heartland" theory. Preventing Trump from reaching across the divide to constructively engage with Putin and Russia to break the economic stranglehold on their country is paramount to their strategy.

One would be right to wonder why the British government is so intimately engaged in all of these provocations. Could it be that they fear a loss of power and influence that could result from a continental Europe more closely aligned with Russian interests? This question is central to our current dilemma here in the states, unfortunately.

It's absolutely vital that the American people learn of the treachery of the British elites before it is too late. Perfidious Albion, indeed...

Real Estate Guru , 2 hours ago link

Compared to Nadler, Pelosi, Schiff, Waters, Comey, Hillary, Obama, Mueller, the MSM, CNN, PMSNBC, and all the rest of the loonatic left, Uncle Vladmmir Putin looks pretty good!

Dasvadaniya comrades!! (of course I am kidding you schmucks!)

LMAO!! what a joke these people are.

Do the declass Trump! And the IG Report!!! NOW!!!

[May 13, 2019] US Foreign Policy as Bellicose as Ever by Serge Halimi

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Historians will study this period when there was a convergence in the objectives of the US intelligence agencies, the leaders of the Hillary Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, the majority of Republican politicians and the anti-Trump media. That common objective was stopping any entente between Moscow and Washington. ..."
"... Each group had its own motive. The intelligence community and elements in the Pentagon feared a rapprochement between Trump and Putin would deprive them of a 'presentable' enemy once ISIS's military power was destroyed. The Clinton camp was keen to ascribe an unexpected defeat to a cause other than the candidate and her inept campaign; Moscow's alleged hacking of Democratic Party emails fitted the bill. And the neocons, who 'promoted the Iraq war, detest Putin and consider Israel's security non-negotiable' ( 8 ), hated Trump's neo-isolationist instincts. ..."
"... This is why the Democratic Party data hack, which the US intelligence services allege is the work of the Russians, obsesses the party, and the press. It strikes two targets: delegitimising Trump's election and stopping his promotion of a thaw with Russia. Has Washington's aggrieved reaction to a foreign power's interference in a state's domestic affairs, and its elections, struck no one as odd? Why do just a handful of people point out that, not long ago, Angela Merkel's phone was tapped not by the Kremlin but by the Obama administration? ..."
"... Now the Times is in the vanguard of those preparing psychologically for conflict with Russia. There is almost no remaining resistance to its line. On the right, as the Wall Street Journal called for the US to arm Ukraine on 3 August, Vice-President Mike Pence spoke on a visit to Estonia about 'the spectre of [Russian] aggression', encouraged Georgia to join NATO, and paid tribute to Montenegro, NATO's newest member. ..."
"... At this stage, it doesn't matter any more what Trump thinks. He is no longer able to get his way on the issue. Moscow has noted this and is drawing its own conclusions. ..."
May 10, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

... ... ...

Trump was after a good deal from Russia. A new partnership would have reversed deteriorating relations between the powers by encouraging their alliance against ISIS and recognising the importance of Ukraine to Russia's security. Current US paranoia about everything Kremlin-related has encouraged amnesia about what President Barack Obama said in 2016, after the annexation of the Crimea and Russia's direct intervention in Syria. He too put the danger posed by President Vladimir Putin into perspective: the interventions in Ukraine and the Middle East were, Obama said, improvised 'in response to a client state that was about to slip out of his grasp' ( 5 ).

Obama went on: 'The Russians can't change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn't produce anything that anybody wants to buy, except oil and gas and arms.' What he feared most about Putin was the sympathy he inspired in Trump and his supporters: '37% of Republican voters approve of Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave' ( 6 ).

By January 2017, Reagan's eternal rest was no longer threatened. 'Presidents come and go but the policy never changes,' Putin concluded ( 7 ). Historians will study this period when there was a convergence in the objectives of the US intelligence agencies, the leaders of the Hillary Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, the majority of Republican politicians and the anti-Trump media. That common objective was stopping any entente between Moscow and Washington.

Each group had its own motive. The intelligence community and elements in the Pentagon feared a rapprochement between Trump and Putin would deprive them of a 'presentable' enemy once ISIS's military power was destroyed. The Clinton camp was keen to ascribe an unexpected defeat to a cause other than the candidate and her inept campaign; Moscow's alleged hacking of Democratic Party emails fitted the bill. And the neocons, who 'promoted the Iraq war, detest Putin and consider Israel's security non-negotiable' ( 8 ), hated Trump's neo-isolationist instincts.

The media, especially the New York Times and Washington Post, eagerly sought a new Watergate scandal and knew their middle-class, urban, educated readers loathe Trump for his vulgarity, affection for the far right, violence and lack of culture ( 9 ). So they were searching for any information or rumour that could cause his removal or force a resignation. As in Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, everyone had his particular motive for striking the same victim.

The intrigue developed quickly as these four areas have fairly porous boundaries. The understanding between Republican hawks such as John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the military-industrial complex was a given. The architects of recent US imperial adventures, especially Iraq, had not enjoyed the 2016 campaign or Trump's jibes about their expertise. During the campaign, some 50 intellectuals and officials announced that, despite being Republicans, they would not support Trump because he 'would put at risk our country's national security and wellbeing.' Some went so far as to vote for Clinton ( 10 ).

Ambitions of a 'deep state'?

The press feared that Trump's incompetence would threaten the US-dominated international order. It had no problem with military crusades, especially when emblazoned with grand humanitarian, internationalist or progressive principles. According to the press criteria, Putin and his predilection for rightwing nationalists were obvious culprits. But so were Saudi Arabia or Israel, though that did not prevent the Saudis being able to count on the ferociously anti-Russian Wall Street Journal, or Israel enjoying the support of almost all US media, despite having a far-right element in its government.

Just over a week before Trump took office, journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Edward Snowden story that revealed the mass surveillance programmes run by the National Security Agency, warned of the direction of travel. He observed that the US media had become the intelligence services' 'most valuable instrument, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials.' This at a time when 'Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing -- eager -- to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviours might be' ( 11 ).

The anti-Russian coalition hadn't then achieved all its objectives, but Greenwald already discerned the ambitions of a 'deep state'. 'There really is, at this point,' he said 'obvious open warfare between this unelected but very powerful faction that resides in Washington and sees presidents come and go, on the one hand, and the person that the American democracy elected to be the president on the other.' One suspicion, fed by the intelligence services, galvanised all Trump's enemies: Moscow had compromising secrets about Trump -- financial, electoral, sexual -- capable of paralysing him should a crisis between the two countries occur ( 12 ).

Covert opposition to Trump

The suspicion of such a murky understanding, summed up by the pro-Clinton economist Paul Krugman as a 'Trump-Putin ticket', has transformed the anti-Russian activity into a domestic political weapon against a president increasingly hated outside the ultraconservative bloc. It is no longer unusual to hear leftwing activists turn FBI or CIA apologists, since these agencies became a home for a covert opposition to Trump and the source of many leaks.

This is why the Democratic Party data hack, which the US intelligence services allege is the work of the Russians, obsesses the party, and the press. It strikes two targets: delegitimising Trump's election and stopping his promotion of a thaw with Russia. Has Washington's aggrieved reaction to a foreign power's interference in a state's domestic affairs, and its elections, struck no one as odd? Why do just a handful of people point out that, not long ago, Angela Merkel's phone was tapped not by the Kremlin but by the Obama administration?

The silence was once broken when the Republican representative for North Carolina, Tom Tillis, questioned former CIA director James Clapper in January: 'The United States has been involved in one way or another in 81 different elections since World War II. That doesn't include coups or the regime changes, some tangible evidence where we have tried to affect an outcome to our purpose. Russia has done it some 36 times.' This perspective rarely disturbs the New York Times 's fulminations against Moscow's trickery.

The Times also failed to inform younger readers that Russia's president Boris Yeltsin, who picked Putin as his successor in 1999, had been re-elected in 1996, though seriously ill and often drunk, in a fraudulent election conducted with the assistance of US advisers and the overt support of President Bill Clinton. The Times hailed the result as 'a victory for Russian democracy' and declared that 'the forces of democracy and reform won a vital but not definitive victory in Russia yesterday For the first time in history, a free Russia has freely chosen its leader.'

Now the Times is in the vanguard of those preparing psychologically for conflict with Russia. There is almost no remaining resistance to its line. On the right, as the Wall Street Journal called for the US to arm Ukraine on 3 August, Vice-President Mike Pence spoke on a visit to Estonia about 'the spectre of [Russian] aggression', encouraged Georgia to join NATO, and paid tribute to Montenegro, NATO's newest member.

No longer getting his way

But the Times, far from worrying about these provocative gestures coinciding with heightened tensions between great powers (trade sanctions against Russia, Moscow's expulsion of US diplomats), poured oil on the fire. On 2 August it praised the reaffirmation of 'America's commitment to defend democratic nations against those countries that would undermine them' and regretted that Mike Pence's views 'aren't as eagerly embraced and celebrated by the man he works for back in the White House.'

At this stage, it doesn't matter any more what Trump thinks. He is no longer able to get his way on the issue. Moscow has noted this and is drawing its own conclusions.

... ... ...

[May 13, 2019] The CIA does the coordination of media narratives. You can think of them as the conductor of the neoliberal MSM orchestra...

May 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

dan , May 11, 2019 9:34:36 AM | link

Whats difficult to understand here is who is driving who. The white house uses the media, the media uses the white house. The CIA uses both. All of them use the Pentagon, which in turn uses and serves the MIC. These stories that suddenly appear could be any one of those parties using the press, or a drive by the press to prepare the stage for war on behalf of their corporate overlords.
It is not " the job of the media to point that out", the job of the media is to serve shareholders interest, whoever they may be. It is, however, the responsibility of a conscientious public to discriminate very carefully between various consumable media outlets.

William Gruff , May 11, 2019 9:43:04 AM | link

It is the duty of patriotic journalists to support their country's war efforts in times of war, is it not? America has been at war for a very long time. For as long as the latest crop of crappy "journalists" can remember (assuming they can remember anything beyond yesterday's breakfast, which we see precious little evidence of).

Maybe in Europe and the rest of the world outside America there remains this idealized conception of what journalism should be about, but that is long gone in the US. In America the journalists consider themselves the "boots on the ground" in the psy-op information war. They know that they are just as vital to America's imperial ambitions as the Special Forces assassins and CIA covert operatives directing the death squads.

somebody , May 11, 2019 9:51:15 AM | link
Posted by: Don Bacon | May 11, 2019 9:33:11 AM | 4

There is always Poland .

William Gruff , May 11, 2019 10:07:24 AM | link
dan @5

The CIA does the coordination of media narratives. You can think of them as the conductor of the orchestra... the organist at the Mighty Wurlitzer . The CIA also direct a lot of covert operations to strong-arm vassals into line and to knock states off balance that try to resist the empire. They also do lots of assassinations of labor organizers and the like.

But who is above the CIA? Who does the CIA work for? Certainly not the US Executive Branch! The CIA kills presidents when they feel the need.

Just ask yourself who benefits. The corporate elites at Coca-Cola, Nestle, Exxon, Monsanto, GE, and so on; and above them the elites at maybe a dozen giant financial syndicates whose evils psychohistorian is always going on about (he is right, by the way). These are the folks that gather at the Bilderberg and Bohemian Grove meet-ups where the large scale plans are hatched and corrections to faltering plans are debated and that the CIA must then fine tune and implement.

Full Spectrum Domino , May 11, 2019 3:07:11 PM | link
@ William Gruff 8#

"The CIA does the coordination of media narratives."

For an example of just how tightly choreographed that coordination is 2:08-4:25:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LVfi3NInsg&t=156s

[May 12, 2019] The Trans-Pacific Partnership, stopping Brexit, and abandoning an Atlanticist foreign policy were opposed by a CIA and corporate political establishment, who created the fake Steele dossier to bring down Trump

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

George Papadopoulos's story on why he thinks that the RussiaGate probe was started is something out of The Parallax View but, alas, rings true: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stopping Brexit, and abandoning an Atlanticist foreign policy were opposed by a CIA and corporate political establishment, who created the fake Steele dossier to bring down Trump (the TPP, and also Brexit, I believe, were in the dossier as reasons why "Putin" wanted Trump to win)

Anne Jaclard | Apr 18, 2019 4:33:48 PM | link

Michael Tracey has a long interview with George Papadopoulos at Patreon .

Don't like Papadopoulos but it's worth listening to.

[May 12, 2019] Brennan and 9/11

May 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , May 11, 2019 6:47:57 PM | link

Saudi "Nawaf Al-Hamzi, one of the 9/11 hijackers," as mentioned by b above,
arrived in the US in January of 2000.

The CIA station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was there in Saudi Arabia during what
would have been the early planning stages for 9/11.

He left this position and traveled back to the US to become chief of staff
to CIA director George Tenet in 1999. This was just before the 9/11 hijackers
themselves began arriving.

I have not been able to locate a time table. Was it days, weeks or months
before Nawaf Al-Hamzi arrived in the US that John Brennan, CIA station chief
in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, relocated to the US?
**Anyone have John Brennan's arrival date in 1999?**

[May 12, 2019] Judgment Day For John Brennan by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... "The evidence is plain–there was a broad, coordinated effort by the Obama Administration, with the help of foreign governments, to target Donald Trump and paint him as a stooge of Russia. The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the US and UK and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign." ( "How US and Foreign Intel Agencies Interfered in a US Election" , Larry C. Johnson, Consortium News) ..."
"... "Brennan was the key to the operation because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court refused to approve several requests by the FBI to initiate taps on Trump associates and Trump Tower as there was no probable cause to do so but the British and other European intelligence services were legally able to intercept communications linked to American sources. Brennan was able to use his connections with those foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, to make it look like the concerns about Trump were coming from friendly and allied countries and therefore had to be responded to as part of routine intelligence sharing. As a result, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Gen. Michael Flynn were all wiretapped. And likely there were others. This all happened during the primaries and after Trump became the GOP nominee." ( "The Conspiracy Against Trump" , Philip Giraldi) ..."
"... According to a report in The Guardian (where the story first appeared.): "GCHQ (British Government Communications Headquarters) played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016. One source called the British eavesdropping agency the "principal whistleblower". ("British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia ", The Guardian) ..."
"... Okay, so Brennan twisted a few arms and got his foreign Intel buddies to make uncorroborated claims that got the investigative ball rolling, but then what? If there was any meat to Brennan's foreign intel, then Mueller would have dug it up and used it in his report, right? But he didn't. Why? ..."
"... Because there was nothing there, the whole thing was a sham from the get go. Brennan probably "sexed up" the intelligence so it would sound like something it really wasn't. (Think: WMD) Again, if there was even a scintilla of hard evidence that Trump's campaign assistants were in bed with Russia, Mueller would have shrieked it from every mountaintop across America. But he didn't, because there wasn't any. There was no cooperation, no conspiracy and no collusion. Trump was falsely accused. End of story. ..."
May 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Sometime in the next 4 weeks, the Justice Department's inspector general will release an internal review that will reveal the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. Among other matters, the IG's report is expected to determine "whether there was sufficient justification under existing guidelines for the FBI to have started an investigation in the first place." Critics of the Trump-collusion probe believe that there was never probable cause that a crime had been committed, therefore, there was no legal basis for launching the investigation. The findings of the Mueller report– that there was no cooperation or collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign– seem to underscore this broader point and suggest that the fictitious Trump-Russia connection was merely a pretext for spying on the campaign of a Beltway outsider whose political views clashed with those of the foreign policy establishment. In any event, the upcoming release of the Horowitz report will formally end the the first phase of the long-running Russiagate scandal and mark the beginning of Phase 2, in which high-profile officials from the previous administration face criminal prosecution for their role in what looks to be a botched attempt at a coup d'etat.

Here's a brief summary from political analyst, Larry C. Johnson, who previously worked at the CIA and U.S. State Department:

"The evidence is plain–there was a broad, coordinated effort by the Obama Administration, with the help of foreign governments, to target Donald Trump and paint him as a stooge of Russia. The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the US and UK and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign." ( "How US and Foreign Intel Agencies Interfered in a US Election" , Larry C. Johnson, Consortium News)

Bingo. Attorney General William Barr has already stated his belief that spying on the Trump campaign "did occur" and that, in his mind, it is "a big deal". He also reiterated his commitment to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to find out whether the spying was adequately "predicated", that is, whether the FBI followed the required protocols for such spying, or not. Barr already knows the answer to this question as he is fully aware of the fact that the FBI used information that they knew was false to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. Having no hard evidence of cooperation with the Kremlin, senior-level FBI officials and their counterparts at the Obama Justice Department used parts of an "opposition research" document (The Trump Dossier) that they knew was unreliable to procure warrants that allowed them to treat a presidential campaign the same way the intelligence agencies treat foreign enemies; using electronic surveillance, wiretapping, confidential informants and "honey trap" schemes designed to gather embarrassing or incriminating information on their target. Barr knows all of this already which is why the Democrats are doing everything in their power to discredit him and have him removed from office. His determination to "get to the bottom of this" is not just a threat to the FBI, it's a threat to multiple agencies that may have had a hand in this expansive domestic espionage operation including the CIA, the NSA, the DOJ, the State Department and, perhaps, even the Obama White House. No one knows yet how far up the political food-chain the skulduggery actually goes, but Barr appears to be serious about finding out.

Here's Barr again: "Many people seem to assume that the only intelligence collection that occurred was a single confidential informant .I would like to find out whether that is in fact true. It strikes me as a fairly anemic effort if that was the counterintelligence effort designed to stop the threat as it's being represented."

In other words, Barr knows that the Trump campaign was riddled with spies and he is going to do his damnedest to find out what happened. He also knows that the FISA warrants were improperly obtained using the shabby disinformation from an opposition research "hit piece" (The Steele Dossier) that was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, just like he knows that government agents had concocted a strategy for leaking classified information to the media to fuel the public hysteria. Barr knows most of what happened already. It's just a matter of compiling the research in the proper format and delivering it in a way that helps to emphasize how trusted government agents abused their power by pursuing a vicious partisan plot to either destroy the president's reputation or force him from office. Like Barr said, that's a "big deal".

The name that seems to feature larger than all others in the ongoing Trump-Russia saga, is James Comey, the former FBI Director who oversaw the spying operations that are now under investigation at the DOJ. But was Comey really the central figure in these felonious hi-jinks or was he a mere lieutenant following directives from someone more powerful than himself? While the preponderance of new evidence suggests that the FBI was deeply involved, it does not answer this crucial question. For example, just this week, a report by veteran journalist John Solomon, showed that former British spy Christopher Steele admitted to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec that his "Trump Dossier" was "political research", implying that the contents couldn't be trusted because they were shaped by Steele's political bias. Kavalec passed along this information to the FBI which shrugged it off and then, just days later, used the dossier to obtain warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign. Think about that for a minute. The FBI had "written proof . that Steele had a political motive", but went ahead and used the dossier to procure the warrants anyway. That's what I'd call a premeditated felony.

But evidence of wrongdoing is not proof that Comey was the ringleader, he was just the hapless sad sack who was left holding the bag. The truth is, Comey was just a reluctant follower. The real architect of the Trump-Russia treachery was the boss-man at the nation's premier intelligence agency, the CIA. That's where the headwaters of this shameful burlesque are located, in Langley. More on that in a minute, but first check out this excerpt from an article at The Hill which sums up Comey's role fairly well:

(There) "will be an examination of whether Comey was unduly influenced by political agendas emanating from the previous White House and its director of national intelligence, CIA director and attorney general. This, above all, is what's causing the 360-degree head spin.

"There are early indicators that troubling behaviors may have occurred in all three scenarios. Barr will want to zero in on a particular area of concern: the use by the FBI of confidential human sources, whether its own or those offered up by the then-CIA director.

In addition, the cast of characters leveraged by the FBI against the Trump campaign all appear to have their genesis as CIA sources ("assets," in agency vernacular) shared at times with the FBI. From Stefan Halper and possibly Joseph Mifsud, to Christopher Steele, to Carter Page himself, and now a mysterious "government investigator" posing as Halper's assistant and cited in The New York Times article, legitimate questions arise as to whether Comey was manipulated into furthering a CIA political operation more than an FBI counterintelligence case." ( "James Comey is in trouble and he knows it" , The Hill)

Why is the Inspector General so curious as to whether Comey "was unduly influenced by political agendas emanating from the previous White House and its director of national intelligence, CIA director? And why did Comey draw from "a cast of characters " . that "all appear to have their genesis as CIA sources"??

Could it be that Comey was just an unwitting pawn in a domestic regime change operation launched by former CIA Director John Brennan, the one public figure who has expressed greater personal animus towards Trump than all the others combined? Could Trump's promise to normalize relations with Russia have intensified Brennan's visceral hatred of him given the fact that Russia had frustrated Brennan's strategic plans in Ukraine and Syria? Keep in mind, the CIA had been arming, training and providing logistical support to the Sunni militants who were trying to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al Assad. Putin's intervention crushed the jihadist militias delivering a humiliating defeat to Generalissimo Brennan who, soon after, left office in disgrace. Isn't this at least part of the reason why Brennan hates Trump?

Regular readers of this column know that I have always thought that Brennan was the central figure in the Trump-Russia charade. It was Brennan who first referred the case to Comey, just as it was Brennan who "hand-picked" the analysts who stitched together the dodgy Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) (which said that "Putin and the Russian government aspired to help Trump's election chances.") It was also Brennan who persuaded Harry Reid to petition Comey to open an investigation in the first place. Brennan was chief instigator of the Trump-Russia fiasco, the omniscient puppet-master who persuaded Clapper and Comey to do his bidding while still-unidentified agents strategically leaked stories to the media to inflame passions and sow social unrest. At every turn, Brennan was there guiding the perfidious project along. According to journalist Philip Giraldi, the CIA may have even assisted in the obtaining of FISA warrants on Trump campaign aids as this excerpt from an article at The Unz Review indicates:

"Brennan was the key to the operation because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court refused to approve several requests by the FBI to initiate taps on Trump associates and Trump Tower as there was no probable cause to do so but the British and other European intelligence services were legally able to intercept communications linked to American sources. Brennan was able to use his connections with those foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, to make it look like the concerns about Trump were coming from friendly and allied countries and therefore had to be responded to as part of routine intelligence sharing. As a result, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Gen. Michael Flynn were all wiretapped. And likely there were others. This all happened during the primaries and after Trump became the GOP nominee." ( "The Conspiracy Against Trump" , Philip Giraldi)

Can you see how important this is? The FBI was having trouble getting warrants to spy on the Trump campaign, so Brennan helped them out by persuading his foreign intelligence allies (the British and other European intelligence services) to come up with bogus "intercepted communications linked to American sources," which helped to secure the FISA warrants. We have no idea of what these foreign agents heard on these alleged intercepted communications, all we know is that they were effectively used to achieve Brennan's ultimate objective, which was to acquire the means of taking down Trump via a relentless and expansive surveillance campaign.

According to a report in The Guardian (where the story first appeared.): "GCHQ (British Government Communications Headquarters) played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016. One source called the British eavesdropping agency the "principal whistleblower". ("British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia ", The Guardian)

Okay, so Brennan twisted a few arms and got his foreign Intel buddies to make uncorroborated claims that got the investigative ball rolling, but then what? If there was any meat to Brennan's foreign intel, then Mueller would have dug it up and used it in his report, right? But he didn't. Why?

Because there was nothing there, the whole thing was a sham from the get go. Brennan probably "sexed up" the intelligence so it would sound like something it really wasn't. (Think: WMD) Again, if there was even a scintilla of hard evidence that Trump's campaign assistants were in bed with Russia, Mueller would have shrieked it from every mountaintop across America. But he didn't, because there wasn't any. There was no cooperation, no conspiracy and no collusion. Trump was falsely accused. End of story.

Here's more from the same article:

"The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump's team and Moscow ahead of the US election." (Guardian)

"The extensive nature of contacts between Trump's team and Moscow"???

Really? This is precisely the type of hyperventilating journalism that fueled the absurd conspiracy theory that the president of the United States was a Russian agent. It's hard to believe that we're even discussing the matter at this point.

There was an interesting aside in John Solomon's article that suggests that he might be thinking along the same lines. He says: "One legal justification cited for redacting the Oct. 13, 2016, email is the National Security Act of 1947, which can be used to shield communications involving the CIA or the White House National Security Council."

Why would Solomon draw attention to "to shielding communications involving the CIA or the White House", after all, the bulk of his article focused on the State Department and the FBI? Is he suggesting that the CIA and Obama White House may have been involved in these spying shenanigans, is that why Kavalec's damning notes (which stated that Steele's dossier could not be trusted.) have been retroactively classified?

Take a look at this email from the FBI's chief investigator in the Russia collusion probe, Peter Strzok, to his fellow agents in April 2017.

"I'm beginning to think the agency (CIA) got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn't shared it completely with us. Might explain all those weird/seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as source of some leaks." -Peter Strzok.

Ha! So even the FBI's chief investigator was in the dark about the CIA's shadowy machinations behind the scenes. Clearly, Brennan wanted to prevent the other junta leaders from fully knowing what he was up to.

All of this is bound to come out in the inspector general's report sometime in the next month or so. Both Attorney General William Barr and IG Horowitz appear to be fully committed to revealing the criminal leaks, the illegal electronic surveillance, the improperly obtained FISA warrants, and the multiple confidential human sources (spies) that were placed in the Trump campaign. They are going to face withering criticism for their efforts, but they are resolutely moving forward all the same. Bravo, for that.

Bottom line: The agents and officials who conducted this seditious attack on the presidency never thought they'd be held accountable for their crimes. But they were wrong, and now their day of reckoning is fast approaching. The main players in this palace coup are about to be exposed, criminally charged and prosecuted. Some of them will probably wind up in jail.

"The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine."

[May 12, 2019] Trump about to dump Bolton caucus99percent

May 12, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Speaking of getting led around by the nose, we come to one Gina Haspel's great deceptions. This deception plays directly into the hands of Russiagaters. This woman, supposedly brought into CIA leadership in order to demolish the agency, is proving quite adept in perpetuating its reign of terror. Again, we have a neocon undermining Trump's prestige and authority.

[May 12, 2019] Gina Haspel Conned Trump with British Lies into Expelling Russian Diplomats over Skripal Case

Apr 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com

(EIRNS) -- The New York Times ran a story yesterday titled, "Gina Haspel Relies on Spy Skills To Connect with Trump. He Doesn't Always Listen." Based on interviews with former and current CIA agents who worked with CIA Director Haspel (but not interviewing her), the Times praises her skills and attempts to denigrate Trump, but they also retail a story about her and Trump which could cost Haspel deeply.

Following the March 2018 breaking of the Skripal poisoning story in England, the Times writes, Trump had initially "written off the poisoning as part of legitimate spy games, distasteful but within the bounds of espionage." Haspel, on the other hand, was backing London's demand for Trump to blame Russia immediately and expel dozens of Russian diplomats.

Writes the Times:

"During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy CIA director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the President that the 'strong option' was to expel 60 diplomats.

"To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.

"Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives."

This appeal reportedly swayed Trump to go along with Haspel's advice.

If it sounds like the British "White Helmet" terrorists in Syria faking pictures of children being hit with chemical weapons to convince Trump to bomb Syrian targets, it is indeed precisely the same.

Former British Ambassador Craig Murray, an outspoken critic of these British imperial lies and atrocities, posted a response today to the Times garbage on his blog. He states first that yet another truth behind the Skripal lies was revealed recently by police, acknowledging that "the perfume bottle Charlie Rowley found was sealed and could not have been the container used on the Skripals." He goes on: "It took nine months for us to learn that, by a truly wonderful coincidence, the first person to find the Skripals ill on the bench was the Chief Nurse of the British Army."

But on the Haspel story in the Times, Murray is furious. "The problem is," he writes,

"there were no hospitalized children. No children have been reported as becoming ill following their duck feeding with the Skripals. We have heard from one of the parents that they were shown by the police extremely clear [closed-circuit surveillance] CCTV footage of the duck feeding, which has never been made public. Surely if the child had been hospitalized, the parent would have mentioned it?"

He quotes Dr. Stephen Davies of Salisbury Hospital, who wrote to the New York Times on March 14 stating clearly that no children had been hospitalized, and that every person who came to the hospital fearing they had been contaminated had no symptoms and tests turned out negative. Murray states:

"We also know that the duck feeding was the time that Boshirov and Petrov [the alleged Russian culprits] were physically closest to the Skripals. But this is the first time there has ever been any mention of any harm to the ducks. Dead ducks would have been noticed by the public."

It appears that the British Empire is the dead duck in this myth.

[May 11, 2019] Russiagaters now represent an interesting new supported by intelligence agencies "for profit" sect. That's why Mueller report can't shake their convictions, it just increase their zeal

If prophecy does not happen, Russiagaters like typical members of "Doomsday cults" just became more bound to their sect as admitting this means destroying self-respect.
Notable quotes:
"... What does it say about American society that so many people are actually enrolled in believing that this man could be any kind of a savior? What does that say about the divisions and the conflicts and the contradictions and the genuine problems in this culture? And how do we address those issues? ..."
"... I mean there was a massive denial of the actual dynamics in American society that led to the election of this traumatized and traumatizing individual as President, number one. ..."
"... Now, you may think that's a good thing to do. I'm not arguing about that. I'm not arguing politics. All I'm saying is projection is when we project onto somebody else the things that we do ourselves, and we refuse to deal with the implications of it. So there's denial and then there's projection. ..."
"... And I think there was this huge element of victimhood in this Russiagate process. ..."
"... ("The Resistance With Keith Olbermann", GQ, December 2016) ..."
"... ("The Rachel Maddow Show", MSNBC, March 2017) ..."
"... ("All In With Chris Hayes", MSNBC, February 2018) ..."
"... ("AM Joy", MSNBC, February 2018) ..."
"... GABOR MATÉ : And the assumption, that even if you take all the things that Russia was charged with in this whole Russiagate narrative over the last two and a half years, and if you multiply it by a hundred times, even then, you could not have possibly destroyed the United States. Even then, what is our self image if we think we're that weak, that that kind of external interference could undermine everything that you believed this country has built over the last few centuries?' ..."
"... (FBI Director Robert Mueller, Congressional Testimony, February 2003) ..."
"... ROBERT MUELLER : As Director Tenet has pointed out, Secretary Powell presented evidence last week that Baghdad has failed to disarm its weapons of mass destruction and willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international community. Our particular concern is that Saddam Hussein may supply terrorists with biological, chemical or radiological material. ..."
"... GABOR MATÉ : So given the line supported by Mueller led to the deaths of several hundred thousand Iraqi people and thousands of Americans, and has incurred costs that we all are fully aware of in terms of rise in terrorism and embroilment in multiple wars and situations, it takes an act of powerful historical amnesia for people to believe that this man is going to be our savior. That's the first point. Just incredible historical amnesia number one. ..."
"... ooking at how under the Bushes and under Obama, there was this massive transfer of wealth upwards. Instead of asking why Barack Obama gets $400,000 for an hour speech to Wall Street, which means that maybe our faith in how our system operates needs to be shaken a bit so we can actually look at what's really going on, let's just put our attention on some foreign devil again. ..."
"... How did the Democratic elite deliberately try to marginalize the progressive candidate? ..."
"... Like if he lacks discretion, let's assume that Russia did leak those Democratic e mails. Let's assume that. We don't know that they did. But we don't know that they didn't either. Let's assume that they did. Which is the greater assault on American democracy? The fact that the Russians leaked the document? Or that the American national Democratic leadership deliberately tried to marginalize one of their own candidates? ..."
"... We screwed up. We actually tried to undemocratically interfere with the Democratic nomination. We didn't pay attention to the people that were really hurting in the society because of our policies. We as the press gave this man all kinds of attention that he never deserved and never merited because he was interesting news and sold copies. ..."
"... AARON MATÉ: And there's a material incentive to do it. Because as you've talked about, if you're the Democrats and you look at the lessons of the election, you saw that people rejected your neoliberal economic legacy, that means you have to start challenging the powerful corporate sectors that you've been representing for a long time, actually posing real alternative policies to Donald Trump. ..."
"... If you do that, though, you risk losing your privileged status within the power structure. And the same thing if you're in the media and you identify with that faction of the power structure. ..."
May 08, 2019 | opensociet.org
AARON MATÉ : So we've just been through this two-year ordeal with Russiagate. It's in a new phase now with Robert Mueller rejecting the outcome that so many were expecting, that there would be a Trump-Russia conspiracy. Your sense of how this whole thing has gone?

GABOR MATÉ : What's interesting is that in the aftermath of the Mueller thunderbolt of no proof of collusion, there were articles about how people are disappointed about this finding.

Now, disappointment means that you're expecting something and you wanted something to happen, and it didn't happen. So that means that some people wanted Mueller to find evidence of collusion, which means that emotionally they were invested in it. It wasn't just that they wanted to know the truth. They actually wanted the truth to look a certain way. And wherever we want the truth to look a certain way, there's some reason that has to do with their own emotional needs and not just with the concern for reality.

And in politics in general, we think that people make decisions on intellectual grounds based on facts and beliefs. Very often, actually, people's dynamics are driven by emotional forces that they're not even aware of in themselves. And I, really, as I observed this whole Russiagate phenomenon from the beginning, it really seemed to me that there was a lot of emotionality in it that had little to do with the actual facts of the case.

... ... ...

What does it say about American society that so many people are actually enrolled in believing that this man could be any kind of a savior? What does that say about the divisions and the conflicts and the contradictions and the genuine problems in this culture? And how do we address those issues?

... ... ...

I mean there was a massive denial of the actual dynamics in American society that led to the election of this traumatized and traumatizing individual as President, number one.

... ... ...

GABOR MATÉ : So even if it's true what the Russians have even if it's the worst thing that's alleged about the Russians is true, it's not even on miniscule proportion of what America has publicly acknowledged it has done all around the world. And so this rage that we project, then, and this bad guy image that we project onto the Russians, it's simply a mirror a very inadequate mirror of what America publicly and openly and repeatedly does all around the world.

Now, you may think that's a good thing to do. I'm not arguing about that. I'm not arguing politics. All I'm saying is projection is when we project onto somebody else the things that we do ourselves, and we refuse to deal with the implications of it. So there's denial and then there's projection.

And then, there's just something in people. I can tell you well, your mother can tell you this that in relationships it's always easier to see ourselves as the victims than as the perpetrators. So there's something comforting about seeing oneself as the victim of somebody else. Nobody likes to be a victim. But people like to see themselves as victims because it means they don't have to take responsibility for what we do ourselves.

AARON MATÉ : I can relate to that, too.

GABOR MATÉ : Yeah. I'm just saying the effect of somebody else. So this functions beautifully in politics. And populist politicians and xenophobic politicians around the world use this dynamic all the time. That whether it's Great Britain, or whether it's France with their vast colonial empires, they're always the victims of everybody else. The United States is always the victim of everybody else. All these enemies that are threatening us. It's the most powerful nation on earth, a nation that could single handedly destroy the earth a billion times over with the weapons that are at its disposal, and it's always the victim.

So this victimhood, there is something comforting about it because, again, it allows us not to look at ourselves. And I think there was this huge element of victimhood in this Russiagate process.

VIDEO CLIPS

https://www.youtube.com/embed/x6qk01yq-dY

Noam Chomsky on Mass Media Obsession with Russia & the Stories Not Being Covered in the Trump Era

("The Resistance With Keith Olbermann", GQ, December 2016)

KEITH OLBERMANN : The nation and all of our freedoms hang by a thread. And the military apparatus of this country is about to be handed over to scum who are beholden to scum, Russian scum. As things are today, January 20th will not be an inauguration but rather the end of the United States as an independent country

("The Rachel Maddow Show", MSNBC, March 2017)

RACHEL MADDOW : But the important thing here is that that Bernie Sanders lovers page run out of Albania, it's still there. Still running. Still operating. Still churning this stuff out. Now. This is not part of American politics. This is not, you know, partisan warfare between Republicans and Democrats. This is international warfare against our country.

("All In With Chris Hayes", MSNBC, February 2018)

JERROLD NADLER : Imagine if FDR had denied that the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor and didn't react, that's the equivalent.

CHRIS HAYES : Well, it's a bit of a different thing. I mean --

JERROLD NADLER : No, it's not.

CHRIS HAYES : They didn't kill anyone.

JERROLD NADLER : They didn't kill anyone, but they're destroying our country, our democratic process.

CHRIS HAYES : Do you really think it's on par?

JERROLD NADLER : Not in the amount of violence, but I think in the seriousness it is very much on par. This country exists to have a democratic system with a small D, that's what the country's all about, and this is an attempt to destroy that.

("AM Joy", MSNBC, February 2018)

ROB REINER : We have been invaded in such a subtle way because we don't see planes hitting the buildings. We don't see bombs dropping in Pearl Harbor. But we have been invaded as Malcolm [Nance] points out. We are under attack, but we don't feel it. But it's like walking around with high blood pressure and then all of a sudden you're not aware of it and you drop dead.

So it's insidious, and it has affected our blood stream. And if we don't do something about it – and that's why, guys like John Brennan and James Clapper are running around with their hair on fire because they're trying to wake people up to tell them: We have to do something about it. We have to protect ourselves and if we don't, our 241 years of democracy and self-governance will start to collapse.

GABOR MATÉ : And the assumption, that even if you take all the things that Russia was charged with in this whole Russiagate narrative over the last two and a half years, and if you multiply it by a hundred times, even then, you could not have possibly destroyed the United States. Even then, what is our self image if we think we're that weak, that that kind of external interference could undermine everything that you believed this country has built over the last few centuries?'

So it shows to me a real shock reaction. And what has been shocked here is our beliefs in what this country is about.

And again, as I said before, it's in a sense more comforting. It's frightening, but at the same time more comforting to see the problem as coming from the outside than to search for it with amongst ourselves and within ourselves.

AARON MATÉ : How about then the aspect of this that puts so much hope into Robert Mueller? Because Robert Mueller was supposed to be our savior.

GABOR MATÉ : First of all, if we actually look at who Mueller is, who is he?

He's a man who, amongst many others, was 100 percent convinced that Iraq had weapons of mass discussion.

VIDEO CLIP

(FBI Director Robert Mueller, Congressional Testimony, February 2003)

ROBERT MUELLER : As Director Tenet has pointed out, Secretary Powell presented evidence last week that Baghdad has failed to disarm its weapons of mass destruction and willfully attempting to evade and deceive the international community. Our particular concern is that Saddam Hussein may supply terrorists with biological, chemical or radiological material.

GABOR MATÉ : So given the line supported by Mueller led to the deaths of several hundred thousand Iraqi people and thousands of Americans, and has incurred costs that we all are fully aware of in terms of rise in terrorism and embroilment in multiple wars and situations, it takes an act of powerful historical amnesia for people to believe that this man is going to be our savior. That's the first point. Just incredible historical amnesia number one.

Number two, America, if you can judge by its TV shows, is very much addicted to the good guy/bad guy scenario. So that reality is not complex. And it's not subtle. And it's not a build up of multiple dynamics, internal and external. But, basically, there's evil and there's good. And evil is going to be cut out by the good and destroyed by it. And that's really how the American narrative very often is presented.

Now, the same thing is projected into politics. So now if there's a bad guy called Putin and his puppet called Trump, then there has to be a good guy that is going to save us from it. Some guy on a white charger that's going to move in here, and is silver haired, patrician looking man who's going to find the truth and rescue us all, which again is a projection of people's hopes for truth outside of themselves onto some kind of a benevolent savior figure.

Needless to say, when that savior figure doesn't deliver, then we have to argue that maybe he was bought off or corrupt or stupid himself or insufficient himself. Or that there's something secret that has yet to be uncovered that some day will come to the surface that Mueller himself was unable to discover for himself.

But, again, this projection of hope onto some savior figure. Rather than saying, okay, there's a big problem here. We've elected a highly traumatized grandiose, intellectually unstable, emotionally unstable, misogynist, self aggrandizer to power. Something in our society made that happen. And let's look at what that was. And let's clear up those issues if we can. And let's look at the people on the liberal side who, instead of challenging all those issues, put all their energies into this foreign conspiracy explanation. Because to have challenged those issues would have meant looking at their own policies, which tended in the same direction.

Rather than looking at how under the Clinton, they've jailed hundreds of thousands of people who should never have been in jail. L ooking at how under the Bushes and under Obama, there was this massive transfer of wealth upwards. Instead of asking why Barack Obama gets $400,000 for an hour speech to Wall Street, which means that maybe our faith in how our system operates needs to be shaken a bit so we can actually look at what's really going on, let's just put our attention on some foreign devil again.

... ... ...

GABOR MATÉ : .... How did the Democratic elite deliberately try to marginalize the progressive candidate?

Like if he lacks discretion, let's assume that Russia did leak those Democratic e mails. Let's assume that. We don't know that they did. But we don't know that they didn't either. Let's assume that they did. Which is the greater assault on American democracy? The fact that the Russians leaked the document? Or that the American national Democratic leadership deliberately tried to marginalize one of their own candidates?

... ... ...

GABOR MATÉ : Let me just interrupt to say that if I were those people, then, then quite apart from the shock defense that we've already talked about, it'd be so much more convenient for me to go to the Russia narrative than to say publicly, you know what? We screwed up. We actually tried to undemocratically interfere with the Democratic nomination. We didn't pay attention to the people that were really hurting in the society because of our policies. We as the press gave this man all kinds of attention that he never deserved and never merited because he was interesting news and sold copies.

... ... ...

AARON MATÉ: And there's a material incentive to do it. Because as you've talked about, if you're the Democrats and you look at the lessons of the election, you saw that people rejected your neoliberal economic legacy, that means you have to start challenging the powerful corporate sectors that you've been representing for a long time, actually posing real alternative policies to Donald Trump.

If you do that, though, you risk losing your privileged status within the power structure. And the same thing if you're in the media and you identify with that faction of the power structure.

... ... ...

[May 11, 2019] Spygate (aka Russiagate) was a program to entrap and smear Trump as a Putin stooge by top officials in the Obama administration, directly interfering in a presidential election.

May 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock , 11 May 2019 at 02:05 AM

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

― Upton Sinclair

As more evidence is being uncovered like the the Kathy Kavalec contemporaneous notes & email to FBI on her meeting with Steele, it is getting more & more apparent that there was a program to entrap and smear Trump as a Putin stooge by top officials in the Obama administration, directly interfering in a presidential election.

Mueller was conflicted right from the very beginning. The fact that Strzok, Page & Weisman were on his initial staff points to that conflict. Considering the inherent bias it should be instructive that they could not find any evidence and had to conclude that the Trump campaign did not collude with agents of the Russian government.

[May 11, 2019] Whitney Judgment Day Looms For John Brennan

Highly recommended!
May 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Whitney: Judgment Day Looms For John Brennan

by Tyler Durden Sat, 05/11/2019 - 11:05 48 SHARES Authored by Mike Whitney via The Unz Review,

Sometime in the next 4 weeks, the Justice Department's inspector general will release an internal review that will reveal the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. Among other matters, the IG's report is expected to determine "whether there was sufficient justification under existing guidelines for the FBI to have started an investigation in the first place." Critics of the Trump-collusion probe believe that there was never probable cause that a crime had been committed, therefore, there was no legal basis for launching the investigation.

The findings of the Mueller report– that there was no cooperation or collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign– seem to underscore this broader point and suggest that the fictitious Trump-Russia connection was merely a pretext for spying on the campaign of a Beltway outsider whose political views clashed with those of the foreign policy establishment.

In any event, the upcoming release of the Horowitz report will formally end the the first phase of the long-running Russiagate scandal and mark the beginning of Phase 2, in which high-profile officials from the previous administration face criminal prosecution for their role in what looks to be a botched attempt at a coup d'etat.

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Here's a brief summary from political analyst, Larry C. Johnson, who previously worked at the CIA and U.S. State Department:

" The evidence is plain–there was a broad, coordinated effort by the Obama Administration, with the help of foreign governments, to target Donald Trump and paint him as a stooge of Russia. The Mueller Report provides irrefutable evidence that the so-called Russian collusion case against Donald Trump was a deliberate fabrication by intelligence and law enforcement organizations in the US and UK and organizations aligned with the Clinton Campaign." ( "How US and Foreign Intel Agencies Interfered in a US Election" , Larry C. Johnson, Consortium News)

Bingo. Attorney General William Barr has already stated his belief that spying on the Trump campaign "did occur" and that, in his mind, it is "a big deal". He also reiterated his commitment to thoroughly investigate the matter in order to find out whether the spying was adequately "predicated", that is, whether the FBI followed the required protocols for such spying, or not. Barr already knows the answer to this question as he is fully aware of the fact that the FBI used information that they knew was false to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. Having no hard evidence of cooperation with the Kremlin, senior-level FBI officials and their counterparts at the Obama Justice Department used parts of an "opposition research" document (The Trump Dossier) that they knew was unreliable to procure warrants that allowed them to treat a presidential campaign the same way the intelligence agencies treat foreign enemies; using electronic surveillance, wiretapping, confidential informants and "honey trap" schemes designed to gather embarrassing or incriminating information on their target. Barr knows all of this already which is why the Democrats are doing everything in their power to discredit him and have him removed from office.

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4855

His determination to "get to the bottom of this" is not just a threat to the FBI, it's a threat to multiple agencies that may have had a hand in this expansive domestic espionage operation including the CIA, the NSA, the DOJ, the State Department and, perhaps, even the Obama White House. No one knows yet how far up the political food-chain the skulduggery actually goes, but Barr appears to be serious about finding out.

Here's Barr again:

"Many people seem to assume that the only intelligence collection that occurred was a single confidential informant .I would like to find out whether that is in fact true. It strikes me as a fairly anemic effort if that was the counterintelligence effort designed to stop the threat as it's being represented."

In other words, Barr knows that the Trump campaign was riddled with spies and he is going to do his damnedest to find out what happened. He also knows that the FISA warrants were improperly obtained using the shabby disinformation from an opposition research "hit piece" (The Steele Dossier) that was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, just like he knows that government agents had concocted a strategy for leaking classified information to the media to fuel the public hysteria. Barr knows most of what happened already. It's just a matter of compiling the research in the proper format and delivering it in a way that helps to emphasize how trusted government agents abused their power by pursuing a vicious partisan plot to either destroy the president's reputation or force him from office. Like Barr said, that's a "big deal".

The name that seems to feature larger than all others in the ongoing Trump-Russia saga, is James Comey, the former FBI Director who oversaw the spying operations that are now under investigation at the DOJ. But was Comey really the central figure in these felonious hi-jinks or was he a mere lieutenant following directives from someone more powerful than himself? While the preponderance of new evidence suggests that the FBI was deeply involved, it does not answer this crucial question. For example, just this week, a report by veteran journalist John Solomon, showed that former British spy Christopher Steele admitted to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec that his "Trump Dossier" was "political research", implying that the contents couldn't be trusted because they were shaped by Steele's political bias. Kavalec passed along this information to the FBI which shrugged it off and then, just days later, used the dossier to obtain warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign. Think about that for a minute. The FBI had "written proof . that Steele had a political motive", but went ahead and used the dossier to procure the warrants anyway. That's what I'd call a premeditated felony.

But evidence of wrongdoing is not proof that Comey was the ringleader, he was just the hapless sad sack who was left holding the bag. The truth is, Comey was just a reluctant follower. The real architect of the Trump-Russia treachery was the boss-man at the nation's premier intelligence agency, the CIA. That's where the headwaters of this shameful burlesque are located, in Langley. More on that in a minute, but first check out this excerpt from an article at The Hill which sums up Comey's role fairly well:

(There) "will be an examination of whether Comey was unduly influenced by political agendas emanating from the previous White House and its director of national intelligence, CIA director and attorney general. This, above all, is what's causing the 360-degree head spin.

"There are early indicators that troubling behaviors may have occurred in all three scenarios. Barr will want to zero in on a particular area of concern: the use by the FBI of confidential human sources, whether its own or those offered up by the then-CIA director.

In addition, the cast of characters leveraged by the FBI against the Trump campaign all appear to have their genesis as CIA sources ("assets," in agency vernacular) shared at times with the FBI. From Stefan Halper and possibly Joseph Mifsud, to Christopher Steele, to Carter Page himself, and now a mysterious "government investigator" posing as Halper's assistant and cited in The New York Times article, legitimate questions arise as to whether Comey was manipulated into furthering a CIA political operation more than an FBI counterintelligence case." ( "James Comey is in trouble and he knows it" , The Hill)

Why is the Inspector General so curious as to whether Comey "was unduly influenced by political agendas emanating from the previous White House and its director of national intelligence, CIA director? And why did Comey draw from "a cast of characters " . that "all appear to have their genesis as CIA sources"??

Could it be that Comey was just an unwitting pawn in a domestic regime change operation launched by former CIA Director John Brennan, the one public figure who has expressed greater personal animus towards Trump than all the others combined? Could Trump's promise to normalize relations with Russia have intensified Brennan's visceral hatred of him given the fact that Russia had frustrated Brennan's strategic plans in Ukraine and Syria? Keep in mind, the CIA had been arming, training and providing logistical support to the Sunni militants who were trying to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al Assad. Putin's intervention crushed the jihadist militias delivering a humiliating defeat to Generalissimo Brennan who, soon after, left office in disgrace. Isn't this at least part of the reason why Brennan hates Trump?

Regular readers of this column know that I have always thought that Brennan was the central figure in the Trump-Russia charade. It was Brennan who first referred the case to Comey, just as it was Brennan who "hand-picked" the analysts who stitched together the dodgy Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) (which said that "Putin and the Russian government aspired to help Trump's election chances.") It was also Brennan who persuaded Harry Reid to petition Comey to open an investigation in the first place. Brennan was chief instigator of the Trump-Russia fiasco, the omniscient puppet-master who persuaded Clapper and Comey to do his bidding while still-unidentified agents strategically leaked stories to the media to inflame passions and sow social unrest. At every turn, Brennan was there guiding the perfidious project along. According to journalist Philip Giraldi, the CIA may have even assisted in the obtaining of FISA warrants on Trump campaign aids as this excerpt from an article at The Unz Review indicates:

"Brennan was the key to the operation because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court refused to approve several requests by the FBI to initiate taps on Trump associates and Trump Tower as there was no probable cause to do so but the British and other European intelligence services were legally able to intercept communications linked to American sources. Brennan was able to use his connections with those foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, to make it look like the concerns about Trump were coming from friendly and allied countries and therefore had to be responded to as part of routine intelligence sharing. As a result, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Gen. Michael Flynn were all wiretapped. And likely there were others. This all happened during the primaries and after Trump became the GOP nominee." ( "The Conspiracy Against Trump" , Philip Giraldi)

Can you see how important this is? The FBI was having trouble getting warrants to spy on the Trump campaign, so Brennan helped them out by persuading his foreign intelligence allies (the British and other European intelligence services) to come up with bogus "intercepted communications linked to American sources," which helped to secure the FISA warrants. We have no idea of what these foreign agents heard on these alleged intercepted communications, all we know is that they were effectively used to achieve Brennan's ultimate objective, which was to acquire the means of taking down Trump via a relentless and expansive surveillance campaign.

According to a report in The Guardian (where the story first appeared.):

"GCHQ (British Government Communications Headquarters) played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016. One source called the British eavesdropping agency the "principal whistleblower". ("British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia ", The Guardian)

Okay, so Brennan twisted a few arms and got his foreign Intel buddies to make uncorroborated claims that got the investigative ball rolling, but then what? If there was any meat to Brennan's foreign intel, then Mueller would have dug it up and used it in his report, right? But he didn't. Why?

Because there was nothing there, the whole thing was a sham from the get go. Brennan probably "sexed up" the intelligence so it would sound like something it really wasn't. (Think: WMD) Again, if there was even a scintilla of hard evidence that Trump's campaign assistants were in bed with Russia, Mueller would have shrieked it from every mountaintop across America. But he didn't, because there wasn't any. There was no cooperation, no conspiracy and no collusion. Trump was falsely accused. End of story.

Here's more from the same article:

"The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump's team and Moscow ahead of the US election." (Guardian)

"The extensive nature of contacts between Trump's team and Moscow"???

Really? This is precisely the type of hyperventilating journalism that fueled the absurd conspiracy theory that the president of the United States was a Russian agent. It's hard to believe that we're even discussing the matter at this point.

There was an interesting aside in John Solomon's article that suggests that he might be thinking along the same lines. He says: "One legal justification cited for redacting the Oct. 13, 2016, email is the National Security Act of 1947, which can be used to shield communications involving the CIA or the White House National Security Council."

Why would Solomon draw attention to "to shielding communications involving the CIA or the White House", after all, the bulk of his article focused on the State Department and the FBI? Is he suggesting that the CIA and Obama White House may have been involved in these spying shenanigans, is that why Kavalec's damning notes (which stated that Steele's dossier could not be trusted.) have been retroactively classified?

Take a look at this email from the FBI's chief investigator in the Russia collusion probe, Peter Strzok, to his fellow agents in April 2017.

"I'm beginning to think the agency (CIA) got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn't shared it completely with us. Might explain all those weird/seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as source of some leaks." -Peter Strzok.

Ha! So even the FBI's chief investigator was in the dark about the CIA's shadowy machinations behind the scenes. Clearly, Brennan wanted to prevent the other junta leaders from fully knowing what he was up to.

All of this is bound to come out in the inspector general's report sometime in the next month or so. Both Attorney General William Barr and IG Horowitz appear to be fully committed to revealing the criminal leaks, the illegal electronic surveillance, the improperly obtained FISA warrants, and the multiple confidential human sources (spies) that were placed in the Trump campaign. They are going to face withering criticism for their efforts, but they are resolutely moving forward all the same. Bravo, for that.

Bottom line : The agents and officials who conducted this seditious attack on the presidency never thought they'd be held accountable for their crimes. But they were wrong, and now their day of reckoning is fast approaching. The main players in this palace coup are about to be exposed, criminally charged and prosecuted. Some of them will probably wind up in jail.

"The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine."


DocBerg , just now link

Please wake me up from my hibernation if any of these cretins are actually prosecuted effectively, much less punished, as they richly deserve.

JCW Industries , 3 minutes ago link

Nothing will happen. IG report will show nothing. Look who's doing it. (((Horowitz))).....the DS protects its own

notfeelinthebern , 18 minutes ago link

So we should probably be sanctioning GB, instead of Russia? It would be the right thing to do? No?

Gonzogal , 6 minutes ago link

There is ZERO evidence that Russia played ANY role in the 2016 USSA election and yet are sanctioned to the max, threatened with war etc. HOWEVER there IS proof of the UK/GCHQ involvement.

I am waiting to see if Trump still goes to the UK in June or if he tells them he is "busy with more important things at home" aka F...off.

Amy G. Dala , 2 minutes ago link

Remember when Gowdy asked Brennan for evidence, and Brennan does reply with a straight face:

"We don't deal in evidence."

Mister Brennan, thou has dost protest too loudly, for too long . . .

Idaho potato head , 19 minutes ago link

Apocalypse, I would say that word describes it pretty well.

Middle English Apocalipse "Revelation (the New Testament book)," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin apocalypsis "revelation, the Book of Revelation," borrowed from Greek apokálypsis "uncovering, disclosure, revelation," from apokalyp-, stem of apokalýptein "to uncover, disclose, reveal" (from apo- APO- + kalýptein "to cover, protect, conceal," of uncertain origin) + -sis -SIS

Joebloinvestor , 24 minutes ago link

Anyone notice NO ******* COMMENT from UK intelligence about their ex-spies being involved in a US election?

I kind of expected one "throwaway" to be found with a hole behind his ear.

Idaho potato head , 13 minutes ago link

'highly likely'. would be typical english understatement.

bh2 , 30 minutes ago link

"No one knows yet how far up the political food-chain the skulduggery actually goes"

Too kind. We all know it is impossible that Susan Rice did not know -- she would have to authorize the FBI to conduct any foreign spying operations.

And if Susan Rice knew, it is impossible that Barack Obama didn't know. And approved of it, if only by not putting a stop to it.

The string that hasn't been pulled yet is the role of British intelligence. Brennan is obviously not a very bright man. He's a post-turtle, so how a dull-witted former communist ended up as head of the CIA is yet another story that needs looking into.

Was he actually a British mole?

The intersection of British establishment political goals and donated assets in the operation of this plot is nakedly obvious. It will be for Barr to expose that "angle", with the distinct possibility the ultimate origin of this scheme was the Blairite UK civil service who wished to eliminate a potentially powerful political actor who repeatedly and strongly indicated his unreserved support for Brexit.

Philthy_Stacker , 45 minutes ago link

All the things you mentioned were obfuscated by Clinton, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr., Cheney, several Generals, heads of state, foreign intelligence. Do you think someone just snaps a finger and the MIC disappears?

You conflate 'past' leadership with the current. The deep state is crumbling. We need to keep digging and indicting until Rothschild takes a one way rocket off planet Earth.

It will only end when treasonous traitor hang by their necks. I'm still hoping and informing others.

joego1 , 36 minutes ago link

Only the wheels that grind the sheeple work right now.

wadalt , 50 minutes ago link

"I've talked to the members of the Israeli government at the highest levels. I know who they want elected here. It's not Hillary Clinton." – Former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani

The TRUMP Collusion wasn't with the Russians , but with APARTHEID Israhell.

But NO ONE will investigate that.

M.A.G.A. is out

K.A.K.A. is in (Keep America Kabalah Again)

http://cufpa.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/trumps-jewish-agenda/

KJWqonfo7 , 34 minutes ago link

It's difficult to look at him with that repugnant grin on his rat face.

boring_man , 54 minutes ago link

"Some of them will probably wind up in jail."

"The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine."

"Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all."

Henry Wadsworth Longellow

Patience is an integral part of of those interested in true "justice"

man will fail, and at times shirk his duty to God and each other,,,,,,,,,,,,,our Great Judge misses no thing,,,,,,,

- now there's yer dinner -

boring

Dumpster Elite , 1 hour ago link

I know what occurred...it was a coup attempt.

I won't believe that ANYTHING will be done about it. Prove me wrong, Barr. I remain a non-believer that anything bad happens to the Deep State.

Pa Kettle , 1 hour ago link

The definitive exposé:

"CIA Crimes: How John Brennan Weaponized the CIA and FBI, and Conspired with Russia and Harry Reid to Frame Trump"

PART A
https://chaletbooks.com/chaletreports/?p=1362

PART B
https://chaletbooks.com/chaletreports/?p=1443

PART C
https://chaletbooks.com/chaletreports/?p=1525

PART D
https://chaletbooks.com/chaletreports/?p=2241

PART E
https://chaletbooks.com/chaletreports/?p=2423

PART F
https://chaletbooks.com/chaletreports/?p=2463

Philthy_Stacker , 52 minutes ago link

Sorry Ashton, Dan Bongino figured it out 2 years ago. Your book is weak.
https://www.amazon.com/Spygate-Attempted-Sabotage-Donald-Trump/dp/1642930989
Ashton is a day late and a dollar short. Hats off to Dan Bongino, the real 'exposer'.
Investigative reporting by:
John Solomon and Sara Carter.

[May 11, 2019] A Texan Looks At Lyndon: A Study In Illegitimate Power

May 31, 2003 | www.amazon.com

Kurt Harding

A Devastating Diatribe, May 31, 2003

It would be an understatement to say that author Haley does not like Lyndon Baines Johnson. And despite the fact that his book is an unrelenting tirade against all things Lyndon, it provides a useful service in reminding the reader of how Johnson trampled and double-crossed friend and foe alike in his single-minded lust for power.

I am fairly conservative politically, but I am open-minded enough to recognize and oppose corruption whether practiced by liberals or conservatives. In my lifetime, Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton have been shining examples of the worst impulses in American presidential politics in which greed and lust for either power or money ended up overshadowing any of their real achievements.

Haley shows that Johnson was a man of few real principles, neither liberal nor conservative, but rather a man who usually always wanted to know which way the wind was blowing before taking a stand on any important issue. Johnson was a man who used all his powers of persuasion and veiled threats to get what he wanted and woe unto anyone who stood in his way.

He was a man who knew and used the old adage "It's not what you know, but who you know" to Machiavellian extremes.

But he was also a man of sometimes great political courage who would rarely give an inch once he took a stand. He hated those who opposed him, nursed resentments, and wreaked revenge on those who crossed him in the least as most of his enemies and many of his friends learned to their sorrow. From the earliest days, he was involved with corrupt Texas politicians from the local to the state level and swam in the seas of corporate corruption with the likes of the infamous swindler Billy Sol Estes and others of his stripe.

Admittedly, the conservatism of the author is the conservatism of a bygone age and the reader will recognize that the book is meant to be a partisan attack on Johnson. Some of the attacks on Johnson are made solely for political reasons as Johnson was clever enough to outmaneuver Haley's ideological brothers and sisters. But Johnson surrounded himself with enough scummy characters and got involved in so many underhanded political AND business deals that he deserves the rough treatment given him in Haley's devastating diatribe.

No matter your political leanings, your eyes will be opened when you read A Texan Looks At Lyndon. The book is well-written and often riveting in its allegations and revelations, but it loses one star for occasional hysteria. If US or Texas politics interests you, then I highly recommend this.

Randall Ivey

You have been warned, July 31, 2000

Haley wrote this book (and published it himself) in 1964 basically as a campaign tract for Barry Goldwater. In the intervening years it has become a classic of its kind, a philippic, to use M.E. Bradford's term, tracing the illegitimate rise to power of Lyndon Baines Johnson.

If you're politically naive, this book will grown hair on your chest. It's an unblinking, fearless portrait of Johnson's wheeling dealing and underhanded methods to achieve the power, prestige, and money he craved all his life.

Haley names all the names and lays out facts and figures for the reader to make up his mind. And the reader winds up shaking his head in utter astonishment. The best part of the book is that detailing Johnson's eventual election to the U.S. Senate in a contest with former Gov. Coke Stevenson.

The election was clearly Stevenson's, but through the machinations of George Parr, the notorious Duke of Duval County, the results were turned around in LBJ's favor. Investigators later found that among those voting in the primary were people who didn't live in the county anymore and people who weren't alive at all. But the results stood.

(An interesting and amusing aside: when Haley ran for Texas governor in 1956, he approached Parr and said, "I'm Evetts Haley. I'm running for governor, and if I win, it will be my privilege to put you in jail."

Parr's reply: "I believe you will." Parr, the Artful Dodger of Texas politics for years, eventually killed himself.)

At times the book grows tiresome, especially in the Bobby Baker and Billie Sol Estes scandals, where Haley turns a virtual torrent of names and numbers on the reader as to be sometimes confusing.

[May 11, 2019] The Untold Facts of John Brennan s Career of Treachery by Richard Galustian

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton, Her husband Bill and Barak Obama are all deep cover CIA agents in addition to their other positions, as documented in the book "CIA: Crime Incorporated of America". ..."
"... The arms came from more places than simply Libya, although Libya was the central shipping and gathering point to go to Turkey and then on to Syria. Turkey was part of the Obama enablers of ISIS and ISIL big time ! Obama made sure ISIS got all the weapons and munitions and equipment we left behind and did literally nothing to stop them at all. He, Brennan, Hillary as well as Kerry all have massive blood on their hands via the atrocities of ISIS ! ..."
"... Not forgetting William Browder, part of the same gang, whose grandfather was the Leader of the US Communist Party. No doubt with close ties to Allen Dulles and ''peration Paperclip'. ..."
"... Will never forget Brennan, going to Ukraine, with instructions, just prior to 2 May 2014 and the Odessa Trade Union Massacre. Coincidence or what? ..."
"... Brennan may well have already been CIA when he joined the CPUSA. In any case, he's scum. ..."
"... Tucker Carlson and the author of this article asks, How can someone like Brennan be provided security clearance for top secrets in the CIA. A very easy answer: the entire American financial/judicial/military/spy organizations have become highly corrupt. Meanwhile, millions of adult Americans could care less. ..."
"... "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you". https://t.co/uKppoDbduj -- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018 ..."
www.zerohedge.com

Let's get something clear from the start. In 1976, in his 20s, John Brennan was a card carrying communist who supported the then Soviet Union, at the height some might say of the Cold War, so much so he voted and assisted Gus Hall, the communist candidate for President against a devout Christian, Jimmy Carter who ultimately won the Presidency.

Yet under four years later, just after the then Soviet Union invaded, just weeks before, Afghanistan and months after the tumultuous Iranian revolution of 1979, which at the time many thought the Soviet Union had a hand in, Brennan was accepted into the CIA as a junior analyst.

At that time, John Brennan should have never got into the CIA, or any Western Intelligence agency given his communist background.

Think on that carefully as you continue to read this.

Also reflect on the fact that Brennan, later in his CIA career, was surprisingly elevated from junior analyst to the prestigious position of Station Chief in Saudi Arabia where he spent a few years.

Its said he was appointed purely for 'political' reasons, alleged to have been at the direct request of Bill Clinton and other Democrats not because of a recommendation or merit from within the Agency.

Its further said that the Saudis liked Brennan because he became very quickly 'their man' so to speak. Some reports, unsubstantiated, even allege Brennan became a Muslim while there to ingratiate himself with the Saudis.

Important to read is an NBC news article entitled 'Former Spooks Criticize CIA Director John Brennan for Spying Comments' by Ken Dilanian dated March 2nd, 2016.

The article contains many revealing facts and evidence, while giving a flavour, of the feelings of many in the CIA who felt that Brennan was totally unsuitable and unqualified to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

(This is the link to the above referenced article: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/ us-news/brennan-joking-when- he-says-cia-spies-doesn-t- steal-n529426. )

A final controversy is the little known fact of Brennan's near four year departure from the CIA into the commercial world, having been 'left out in the cold' from the CIA, from November 2005 to January 2009 when he was CEO of a private company called 'The Analysis Corporation'.

So why was he then reinstated into the CIA, to the surprise of CIA's senior management, by newly elected President Obama, to head the CIA? No answer is available as to why he left the CIA in 2005.

(An important link that gives background to his experience in the commercial world can be read here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ cia-slammed-brennans- disingenuous-contract-bid- wikileaks-show)

Lastly let's not forget Brennan's many failures as CIA head in recent years, one most notable is the Benghazi debacle and the death of a US Ambassador and others there. Something else to ponder.

Back to the present an the issue of security clearances.

In early August, on the well known American TV Rachel Maddow Show, Brennan back tracked on his Trump traitor claim by saying "I didn't mean he (Trump) committed treason. I meant what he has done is nothing short of treasonous." Rachel Maddow responded correctly "If we diagram the sentence, 'nothing short of treason' means it's treasonous?"

A simple question follows. Since he is no longer in the CIA, why does he need a security clearance other than to commercially exploit it?

Tucker Carlson explains succinctly here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kzxf9TcJ_3k

Last month what can be described as 200+ 'friends of Brennan', former CIA officials of varying rank, responded against the removal of former CIA Director Brennan's security clearances, in support of him.

These men and women too most likely will have their clearances revoked.

And why not?

Since the only purpose they retain it is to make money as civilians?

A potentially more serious issue than 'the Brennan controversies' is that the US intelligence community has around 5 million people with security clearances as a whole includes approximately 1.4m people holding top secret clearances. It is patently a ridiculously high number and makes a mockery of the word secret.

Former CIA veteran Sam Faddis is one of the few people brave enough and with the integrity required, that has stood up and told some of the real truths about Brennan in an 'Open Letter', yet this letter's contents have hardly at all been reported in the media.

Generally by nature, CIA Officers sense of service and honour to their Country, their professionalism and humility, and disdain for publicity has dissuaded most of them to enter the current very public Brennan controversy; but for how much longer?

As stated earlier, former CIA professional Sam Faddis explains what's wrong with Brennan in his revealing letter, abbreviated for space below. A link to the complete letter is: http://thepoliticsforums.com/ threads/107849-Scathing-Open- Letter-to-Mr-Brennan-by-Retired-CIA-Case-Officer:

Dear Mr. Brennan,

I implore you to cease and desist from continuing to attempt to portray yourself in the public media as some sort of impartial critic concerned only with the fate of the republic. I beg you to stop attempting to portray yourself as some sort of wise, all-knowing intelligence professional with deep knowledge of national security issues and no political inclinations whatsoever.

None of this is true.

You were never a spy. You were never a case officer. You never ran operations or recruited sources or worked the streets abroad. You have no idea whatsoever of the true nature of the business of human intelligence. You have never been in harm's way. You have never heard a shot fired in anger.

You were for a short while an intelligence analyst. In that capacity, it was your job to produce finished intelligence based on information provided to you by others. The work of intelligence analysts is important, however in truth you never truly mastered this trade either.

In your capacity as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, while still a junior officer, you were designated to brief the President of the United States who was at that time Bill Clinton. As the presidential briefer, it was your job to read to the president each morning finished intelligence written by others based on intelligence collected by yet other individuals. Period.

While serving as presidential briefer you established a personal relationship with then President Bill Clinton. End of story.

Everything that has transpired in your professional career since has been based on your personal relationship with the former president, his wife Hillary and their key associates. Your connection to President Obama was, in fact, based on you having established yourself by the time he came to office as a reliable, highly political Democratic Party functionary.

All of your commentary in the public sphere is on behalf of your political patrons. It is no more impartial analysis then would be the comments of a paid press spokesman or attorney. You are speaking each and every time directly on behalf of political forces hostile to this president. You are, in fact, currently on the payroll of both NBC and MSNBC, two of the networks most vocally opposed to President Trump and his agenda.

There is no impartiality in your comments. Your assessments are not based on some sober judgment of what is best for this nation. They are based exclusively on what you believe to be in the best interests of the politicians with whom you long since allied yourself.

It should be noted that not only are you most decidedly not apolitical but that you have been associated during your career with some of the greatest foreign policy disasters in recent American history.

Ever since this President was elected, there has been a concerted effort to delegitimize him and destabilize him led by you. This has been an unprecedented; to undermine the stability of the republic and the office of the Presidency, for solely partisan political reasons. You and your patrons have been complicit in this effort and at its very heart.

You abandoned any hope of being a true intelligence professional decades ago and became a political hack. Say so.

Sam Faddis

EPILOGUE:

I decided to update this article with this epilogue that summarises events since its first publication, but by not writing more. By simply adding links showing Brennan speaking in March just before Meuller's Report was released, and excerpts of other interviews and commentaries.

In this way, reader's can judge for themselves Brennan's essentially undoubtable despicable character which shines through by watching and reading the below 8 links up to 1st April 2019. There are many more, but in consideration of space, I've selected these links.

These are not in chronological order, date/time wise.

I would add that, for his own 'survival', and that of his co-conspirators, there will, I predict, over the coming days and weeks, be an attempt by Brennan to STILL try and fabricate 'dirt' on President Trump to justify his treacherous behaviour against importantly more than just Trump, but 'the Office of the President', something for which, in my opinion, he and those involved should be prosecuted for, even some jailed for.

Most particularly in addition to Brennan is clearly Obama himself, Clinton, Clapper and Comey et al.

1. Brennan https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/04/john-brennan-is-lying-no-way-he-wasnt-involved-with-russia-hoax-from-the-beginning/

2. Brennan's treasonous behaviour. https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/ex-cia-director-john-brennan-admits-he-may-have-had-bad-information-regarding-president-trump-and-russia.amp?__twitter_impression=true

3. John Brennan Now Says His Months of Attacks on Trump "May Be Based on Bad Information"!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bQvY4aD7T9o

4. Ex-CIA Boss Got "Bad Information", Now "Relieved" Trump Not a Criminal.

5. Fox News – John Brennan Admits He had 'Bad Information' on Mueller Report.

6. Ex-CIA director Brennan backs down from calling Trump's claims of no collusion 'hogwash'

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wXVLgB6SbsE

7. Deep State former CIA Director John Brennan is unhinged and in deep trouble (Video) – August 2018

Deep State former CIA Director John Brennan is unhinged and in deep trouble (Video)

8. Russian collusion was no more than "conspiracy porn" created by Clinton and Obama.


Herbert Dorsey 17 days ago ,

The CIA operation in Benghazi was smuggling weapons captured from the Libyan army to Syria via Jordan and Turkey to arm the anti Assad forces. This operation was directed by Brennan, Clinton, Obama and General Petraeus and was in total violation of national and international law.

Ambassador Stevens was aware of this operation and allowed to die by delaying a military rescue operation, as part of a cover up of this illegal operation. Dead men tell no tales.

Herbert Dorsey AM Hants 17 days ago ,

Hillary Clinton, Her husband Bill and Barak Obama are all deep cover CIA agents in addition to their other positions, as documented in the book "CIA: Crime Incorporated of America".

They don't like Trump because he is the first non CIA President in a long while (George W. Bush was not CIA but under his father's influence) and not part of the secret team. Hopefully, they eventually will be punished for their crimes. Qanon gives hope!

Down to Earth Thinking Herbert Dorsey 14 hours ago ,

The arms came from more places than simply Libya, although Libya was the central shipping and gathering point to go to Turkey and then on to Syria. Turkey was part of the Obama enablers of ISIS and ISIL big time ! Obama made sure ISIS got all the weapons and munitions and equipment we left behind and did literally nothing to stop them at all. He, Brennan, Hillary as well as Kerry all have massive blood on their hands via the atrocities of ISIS !

AM Hants Garry Compton 17 days ago ,

Not forgetting William Browder, part of the same gang, whose grandfather was the Leader of the US Communist Party. No doubt with close ties to Allen Dulles and ''peration Paperclip'.

Which provided safe passage and new identities for the Nazi and Bolshevik Elite. Funny how the stench behind the overthrow of he Russian Empire, can still be found, firmly embedded in the swamps of the 21st century.

Will never forget Brennan, going to Ukraine, with instructions, just prior to 2 May 2014 and the Odessa Trade Union Massacre. Coincidence or what?

Wasn't McCain's father also good friends with Allen Dulles? Wonder where Clinton fitted into the work of Dulles?

Taras77 17 days ago ,

One of the more murky issues is the murder of Michael Hastings. A lot of information died with his murder but some info indicates that he was working on a major report on Brennan. He reportedly advised his friends that the fbi was working on an investigation on him and he was fearful for his survival

As many will recall, Hastings died in June 2013 in fiery crash of his Mercedes which was speeding at up to 100 mph in a calif neighborhood.

Also, many will recall, the leaking of "Vault 7" by wikileaks indicated that one of the tools revealed was the ability to remotely control a vehicle without any input from the driver, positive or negative. This ability is described in detail in the following:

https://www.wired.com/2015/...

A "conspiracy theory" article summarizes the murkiness of the death of Michael Hastings:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/ne...

Nassim7 Taras77 17 days ago ,

How do you think the Royal Family killed princess Diana? If they can control a drone on the other side of the globe, they can certainly control the accelerator, brakes and steering of a motor vehicle.

Billo 16 days ago ,

Only the most creepy evil people are allowed to be in our government. They have done a terrible job. Our country is like a plane in a death spiral, and the same list of creeps keeps getting into the White House. The same people no matter who we elect. Trump has the same people, or worse than Obama or Hillary or Bush had. It's past time to try and salvage whatever is left of this country.

Bill Rood 4 hours ago ,

Brennan may well have already been CIA when he joined the CPUSA. In any case, he's scum.

Marv Sannes 14 hours ago ,

100 Stinger shoulder launch ground-to-air missiles. Stevens tried to block the shipment, the embassy was attacked by a highly skilled, armed, assault team - the story told by "Tonto", one of the military contractors involved in the attempted rescue. All those Americans in Benghazi were sacrificed in the same way the USS Liberty crew was sacrifice.

Greater Israel is the base of all this violence. Incidentally, "Tonto" and his mates had to commandeer a private jet, after the fire-fight, that got them to Germany - the US/CIA/State Dept., etc. left them to their own methods and they got out, to the consternation of the Obama/Clinton Administration.

Chelsea Yorkshire 15 days ago ,

Tucker Carlson and the author of this article asks, How can someone like Brennan be provided security clearance for top secrets in the CIA. A very easy answer: the entire American financial/judicial/military/spy organizations have become highly corrupt. Meanwhile, millions of adult Americans could care less.

Well............Those two contrasts will be intriguing to watch how the grandchildren and great-grandchilren will fare when the US Empire becomes so degraded, that the young will have to forage on their own for housing, water, and food.

Sam Adams Sean Kuyler 16 days ago ,

It is axiomatic that the Democrats always accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of. Never forget that.

Sean Kuyler 16 days ago ,

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you". https://t.co/uKppoDbduj -- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018

luluka 16 days ago ,

He has to be part of a CIA "cleansing" operation. Better put him in jail with no rights whatsoever . Let that turd rot in some humid dungeon . That's for the rats like this one .

[May 11, 2019] Christopher Steele, FBI s Confidential Human Source by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
A foreign intelligence asset was used to justify surveillance of Trump[ and some of his associates
Notable quotes:
"... What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent? ..."
"... The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant"). ..."
"... The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale. ..."
"... Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power. ..."
"... I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors. ..."
"... if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know? ..."
"... Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost. ..."
"... Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance. ..."
"... From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. ..."
"... He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI. ..."
"... its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered. ..."
"... Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this? ..."
"... A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies. ..."
"... It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries ..."
"... If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary. ..."
"... An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him ..."
"... A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination ..."
"... 'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.' ..."
"... I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief. ..."
"... Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it. ..."
"... Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs. ..."
"... Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly: ..."
"... Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. ..."
"... One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...? ..."
"... What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this? ..."
"... Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun? ..."
"... British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy. ..."
"... British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion. ..."
"... Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people. ..."
"... still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources ..."
"... I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia. ..."
"... Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are. ..."
"... It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The revelations from US Government records about the FBI/Intel Community plot to take out Donald Trump continue to flow thanks to the dogged efforts of Judicial Watch. The latest nugget came last Friday with the release of FBI records detailing their recruitment and management of Britain's ostensibly retired Intelligence Officer, Christopher Steele. He was an officially recruited FBI source and received at least 11 payments during the 9 month period that he was signed up as a Confidential Human Source.

You may find it strange that we can glean so much information from a document dump that is almost entirely redacted . The key is to look at the report forms; there are three types--FD-1023 (Source Reports), FD-209a (Contact Reports) and FD-794b (Payment Requests). There are 15 different 1023s, 13 209a reports and 11 794b payment requests covering the period from 2 February 2016 thru 1 November 2016. That is a total of nine months.

These reports totally destroy the existing meme that Steele only came into contact with the FBI sometime in July 2016. It is important for you to understand that a 1023 Source Report is filled out each time that the FBI source handler has contact with the source. This can be an in person meeting or a phone call. Each report lists the name of the Case Agent; the date, time and location of the meeting; any other people attending the meeting; and a summary of what was discussed.

What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent?


richardstevenhack , a day ago

Indeed we do need more information.

The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant").

We can be pretty sure this predates any alleged Russian "hacking" (unless it occurred as a result of alleged Russian hacking of the DNC in 2015).

This needs to be pinned down if anyone is to be successfully prosecuted for creating this treasonous hoax.

chris chuba , 5 hours ago
A very closely related topic, Victor Davis Hanson is onto something but it is darker than he suggests, https://www.nationalreview.... Paraphrasing, he gives the typical, rally around the flag we must stop the Russians intro but then documents how govt flaks abused their power to influence our elections and then makes the point, 'this is why the public is skeptical of their claims'.

The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale.

Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power.

I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors.

Leonardo Facchin , 20 hours ago
Thanks for the explanation.

What I can't figure out is: if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know?

Publius Tacitus -> Leonardo Facchin , 17 hours ago
Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost.
blue peacock -> Leonardo Facchin , 13 hours ago
Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance.

From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. And of course the media narrative that Rep. Nunes, Goodlatte and others were endangering "national security" by casting aspersions on the "patriotic" law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Paul M -> Leonardo Facchin , 16 hours ago
He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI.

Of course, he had most likely already done so and its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered.

David Habakkuk , 4 hours ago
PT,

Fascinating.

Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this?

The point is not merely a quibble. A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies.

It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries.

Another related matter has to do with the termination of Steele as a 'Confidential Human Source.'

It has long seemed to me that it was more than possible that this was not to be taken at face value. If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary.

An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him.

A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination.

(See http://thehill.com/person/d... .)

When on 31 January 2017 – well after the publication of the dossier by BuzzFeed – Ohr provided reassurance that he could continue to help feed information to the FBI, Steele texted back:

"If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can't allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous."

At that point, Solomon tells us that 'Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to.' This seems to me a rather important question. It would seem likely, although not certain, that he is talking about another Brit. If he is, would it have been someone else employed by Orbis? Or someone currently working for British intelligence? What is the precise significance of 'forced to go back home', and why would this have been 'disastrous'?

Another crucial paragraph:

'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.'

The earlier contacts may be of little interest, but there again they may not be.

As it happens, it was following Berezovsky's arrival in London in October 2001 that the 'information operations' network he created began to move into high gear. It is moreover clear that this was always a transatlantic operation, and also fragments of evidence suggest that the FBI may have had some involvement from early on.

I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief.

The original attempt came in a radio programme broadcast by the BBC – which was to become known to some of us as the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – on 16 December 2006, presented by Tom Mangold, a familiar 'trusty' for the intelligence services.

(A transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office at the time is available on the archived 'Evidence' page for the Inquiry, at http://webarchive.nationala... , as HMG000513. There is an interesting and rather important question as to whether those who sent it out, and those who received it, knew that it was more or less BS from start to finish.)

The programme was wholly devoted to claims made by the former KGB operative Yuri Shvets, who was presented as an independent 'due diligence' expert, without any mention of the rather major role he had played in the original 'Orange Revolution.'

Back-up was provided by his supposed collaborator in 'due diligence', the former FBI operative Robert 'Bobby' Levinson. No mention was made of the fact that he had been, in the 'Nineties, a, if not the lead FBI investigator into the notorious Ukrainian Jewish mobster Semyon Mogilevich.

The following March Levinson would disappear on the Iranian island of Kish, on what we now know was a covert mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it.

Jack -> David Habakkuk , 2 hours ago
David

Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs.

Keith Harbaugh , 19 hours ago
Thanks for this informative article.

Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly:

Seems rather surprising to me. Anyone have any comment on this?

TTG , an hour ago
Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. His initial contact with old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crime Task Force is awfully similar to his contacting these same friends in 2016 after deciding his initial Trump research was potentially bigger than mere opposition research.
FB , 3 hours ago
One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...?

Even worse is that the FBI was using this same foreign agent that a presidential candidate had hired to get dirt on an opponent... Even knowing nothing about legalities this just doesn't look very good...

Wally Courie , 4 hours ago
Stupid question? As the Col. has explained, the President can declassify any document he pleases. So, why doesn't Donaldo unredact the redacted portions of these bullcrap docs? What is he afraid of? That the Intel community will get mad and be out to get him? Isn't time for him to show some cojones?
blue peacock , 16 hours ago
What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this?
akaPatience , 19 hours ago
Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun?
Navstéva يزور 🐐 -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy.
unmitigatedaudacity -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 16 hours ago
British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion.
Bryn Nykrson -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 14 hours ago
Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? And therefore without having to mess about with any formal FISA warrant thingy's ... But, then use what might be found (or plausibly alleged) to try to get a proper FISA warrant later on (July 2016)? 'Parallel Discovery' of sorts; with Fusion GPS also a leaky cut-out: channelling media reports to be used as confirmation of Steele's "raw intelligence" in the formal FISA application(s)?
Biggee Mikeee -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates,

" Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, "

That's a good question, could it legally enable an end run around the FISC until enough evidence was gathered for a FISC surveillance authorization?.

richardstevenhack -> Biggee Mikeee , 13 hours ago
I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people.

Only a matter of time until someone figured out the same method could be used to "meddle" in national affairs.

akaPatience -> Biggee Mikeee , 15 hours ago
I understand, but still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources such as Steele about a very high profile American citizen and businessman -- aren't our intelligence services competent enough to have known and discovered as much if not more about Trump than other countries' intelligence services? I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia.
DianaLC -> akaPatience , 4 hours ago
Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are.

It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things.

[May 11, 2019] Report How Fusion GPS and the Obama Administration Weaponized the Trump Dossier by Kristina Wong

Brennan role in weaponizing dossier now became more clear.
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, Fusion GPS hiring of Nellie Ohr -- the wife of senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr -- also shows that Steele's role in producing the dossier may be exaggerated. Ohr is a Stanford Ph.D. whose expertise is Russia and she appears to be fluent in Russian. She may have conducted interviews or written parts of the dossier. ..."
"... The dossier, however, only has Steele's name on it -- helping to credential the research as an "intelligence product." ..."
"... A Democratic consultant and Ukrainian-American activist named Alexandra Chalupa, told the Clinton campaign about Manafort's work for Yanukovich. "I flagged for the DNC the significance of his hire," Chalupa told CNN in July of this year. ..."
"... Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS in April, shortly after Trump hired Manafort. Manafort's role now allowed Simpson to highlight corruption that he already knew to exist, from his reporting. A line from the dossier states: ..."
"... Steele -- it notes -- had not lived or worked in Russia for nearly 25 years, but his name "at a minimum" would be useful in marketing whatever his firm pulled together. Plus, Steele had a good relationship with the FBI and could "spill secrets" to journalists. ..."
"... it is likely that Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook cited Fusion GPS's work in a July 22 interview after embarrassing leaks of Democratic National Committee emails. He told ABC News's George Stephanopoulos that "some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump." ..."
"... The FBI did launch an investigation into possible collusion, however, known by "only a dozen or so people at the FBI," including then-director James Comey and Peter Strzok, who was chosen to supervise the investigation. ..."
"... She said by August 2016, the CIA had "verified the key finding of the dossier" to the point that it was having "eyes only" top secret meetings with President Obama about it. ..."
"... CIA Director John Brennan had also briefed top lawmakers on Russian efforts to help Trump last summer and had said the CIA had limited legal ability to investigate Russian connections to Trump, prompting Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to write a public letter to the FBI -- which collects domestic intelligence -- about the threat of Russian interference. ..."
"... It appears that Brennan was briefing Reid on the Steele dossier. ..."
"... Brennan apparently sent the dossier to the White House, prompting the "eyes only" meetings. ..."
"... The Post also writes that the "material was so sensitive that CIA Director John O. Brennan kept it out of the president's daily brief, concerned that even that restricted report's distribution was too broad." ..."
"... But as Tablet asks, "if the material was so sensitive that it had to be kept out of the PDB and withheld from the Senate majority leader, why was someone telling The Washington Post about it?" ..."
Dec 24, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Did the Obama administration launch an investigation into the Trump campaign based solely off of unverified political opposition research? And was that "research" dressed up and given more credibility than it should have? It appears that way based on an investigation of open-source information by Tablet.

The outlet's investigation begins with a June 24, 2017, Facebook post by Mary Jacoby, the wife of Glenn Simpson, the former Wall Street Journal reporter who started Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier.

Jacoby, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who once shared bylines with Simpson, bragged how her husband was not getting the credit he deserved for the dossier.

"It's come to my attention that some people still don't realize what Glenn's role was in exposing Putin's control of Donald Trump," she wrote on Facebook. "Let's be clear. Glenn conducted the investigation. Glenn hired Chris Steele. Chris Steele worked for Glenn."

Until this day, the dossier is often referred to as the "Steele dossier," named after the former British spy Christopher Steele who is believed to have authored the document.

Steele's background has been used by collusion-believers to argue that the document is credible. But Jacoby's post suggests that Steele might not have played as big of a role in the dossier as he is given credit.

Indeed, Fusion GPS hiring of Nellie Ohr -- the wife of senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr -- also shows that Steele's role in producing the dossier may be exaggerated. Ohr is a Stanford Ph.D. whose expertise is Russia and she appears to be fluent in Russian. She may have conducted interviews or written parts of the dossier.

The dossier, however, only has Steele's name on it -- helping to credential the research as an "intelligence product."

Tablet also took a look at Simpson and Jacoby's work for the WSJ . In April 2007 -- in the lead-up to the 2008 election -- they co-wrote a story about Republican links to Russians.

In that story, titled "How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington," they detail how prominent Republicans helped open doors for "Kremlin-affiliated oligarchs and other friends of Vladimir Putin."

They reported on Viktor Yanukovich, who had paid political fixer Paul Manafort to introduce Yanukovich to powerful Washington, DC, figures. They later reported on May 14, 2008, that Manafort's lobbying firm was escorting Yanukovich around Washington. Yanukovich would later become president of Ukraine in 2010.

Tablet explains how their reporting may have been the origins of the Trump dossier:

So when the Trump campaign named Paul Manafort as its campaign convention manager on March 28, 2016, you can bet that Simpson and Jacoby's eyes lit up. And as it happened, at the exact same time that Trump hired Manafort, Fusion GPS was in negotiations with Perkins Coie, the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, to see if there was interest in the firm continuing the opposition research on the Trump campaign they had started for the Washington Free Beacon. In addition to whatever sales pitch Simpson might have offered about Manafort, the Clinton campaign had independent reason to believe that research into Manafort's connections might pay some real political dividends: A Democratic consultant and Ukrainian-American activist named Alexandra Chalupa, told the Clinton campaign about Manafort's work for Yanukovich. "I flagged for the DNC the significance of his hire," Chalupa told CNN in July of this year.

Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS in April, shortly after Trump hired Manafort. Manafort's role now allowed Simpson to highlight corruption that he already knew to exist, from his reporting. A line from the dossier states:

Ex-Ukrainian President YANUKOVYCH confides directly to PUTIN that he authorised (sic) kick-back payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western media Assures Russian President however there is no documentary evidence/trail.

Tablet notes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would later find corruption by Manafort related to money laundering (before he joined the Trump campaign). It also points out that Tony Podesta -- Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's brother -- worked for Manafort at the time he represented Yanukovich. (The Podesta Group disbanded this year after those connections were made public, and the special counsel is reportedly investigating Podesta too.)

Tablet notes that while Simpson had begun working on the dossier on Trump collusion with Russia, he was also working for a Russian lawyer to undermine an American law called the Magnitsky Act and that Steele may have been hired to disguise that contradiction.

Steele -- it notes -- had not lived or worked in Russia for nearly 25 years, but his name "at a minimum" would be useful in marketing whatever his firm pulled together. Plus, Steele had a good relationship with the FBI and could "spill secrets" to journalists.

Ohr -- Simpson's next hire -- also hadn't lived in Russia for decades and was "not a spy, or even a journalist." "In this world, she was definitely an amateur," Tablet writes.

"Presumably, as a result of all the above, much of the reporting in the dossier is recognizably the kind of patter that locals in closed or semi-closed societies engage in to impress expats -- the kind of thing you hear in a bar, or on the cab ride from the airport to the hotel," it says.

Tablet then goes into the bad shape of U.S. intelligence on Russia -- likely making officials less skeptical of the dossier even though, to date, they have not been able to confirm any of its allegations on collusion.

And Tablet notes that it is likely that Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook cited Fusion GPS's work in a July 22 interview after embarrassing leaks of Democratic National Committee emails. He told ABC News's George Stephanopoulos that "some experts are now telling us that this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump."

At that point, a tech firm had attributed the leaks to Russia but was not able to explain why. The FBI was looking at the leak but had not yet publicly determined political motivation.

"But the DNC and Clinton campaign did have an oppo-research firm under contract that was in the middle of putting together a file that would claim that the Russians were trying to get Trump elected," Tablet notes.

The FBI did launch an investigation into possible collusion, however, known by "only a dozen or so people at the FBI," including then-director James Comey and Peter Strzok, who was chosen to supervise the investigation.

But by late October, they had not yet found any evidence that showed Russia was working to elect Trump. So, ten days before the election, angry Clinton supporters and unnamed intelligence officials spoke to the New York Times in an October 31, 2016, story about what the investigation had found so far.

Jacoby would post that story in her June 24 Facebook post, slamming the FBI and accusing it of "ineptitude," while the CIA "hopped to and immediately worked to verify" the dossier.

She said by August 2016, the CIA had "verified the key finding of the dossier" to the point that it was having "eyes only" top secret meetings with President Obama about it.

Thus, while the document could not be verified and was not used in any intelligence assessment because of its inability to be verified, it was now the topic of meetings with the president.

CIA Director John Brennan had also briefed top lawmakers on Russian efforts to help Trump last summer and had said the CIA had limited legal ability to investigate Russian connections to Trump, prompting Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to write a public letter to the FBI -- which collects domestic intelligence -- about the threat of Russian interference.

Reid then wrote another letter to Comey after he reopened the investigation into Clinton's emails -- accusing him of letting Trump slide.

"It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government -- a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity," he wrote.

"I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public and yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information."

That "information" Reid was referring to was the dossier, according to Tablet:

According to David Corn's Oct. 31, 2016, article in Mother Jones , the Nevada lawmaker was referencing the findings of "a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence."

Corn now explains that the "former Western intelligence officer -- who spent almost two decades on Russian intelligence matters and who now works with a U.S. firm that gathers information on Russia for corporate clients" is Christopher Steele. According to Corn, Steele said 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."

It appears that Brennan was briefing Reid on the Steele dossier.

Brennan apparently sent the dossier to the White House, prompting the "eyes only" meetings.

"An envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried 'eyes only' instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides," the Washington Post reported on June 23, 2017.

"So was the Steele dossier in the envelope?" Tablet asks.

The Post writes that inside that envelope "was an intelligence bombshell" -- a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detained Putin's direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the presidential race, defeat or at least damage Hillary Clinton, and help elect Donald Trump.

The Post also writes that the "material was so sensitive that CIA Director John O. Brennan kept it out of the president's daily brief, concerned that even that restricted report's distribution was too broad."

But as Tablet asks, "if the material was so sensitive that it had to be kept out of the PDB and withheld from the Senate majority leader, why was someone telling The Washington Post about it?"

Tablet writes:

Sources and methods are the crown jewels of the American intelligence community. And yet someone has just told a major American newspaper about a "report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that captured Putin's specific instructions." If the CIA had a human intelligence source that close to Putin, publication of the Post article could have exposed that source -- doing incalculable damage to American national security. He and many of his loved ones would then have presumably died horrible deaths.

Or, as Mary Jacoby surmised, it was her husband's handiwork that landed on the president's desk.

[May 11, 2019] CIA Paid $100,000 To Shadowy Russian For Dirt on Trump, Including Sex Video by Chuck Ross

Highly recommended!
This "shadowy Russian" might well be Sergey Skripal. This suggests that Steele dossier was CIA operation with British MI6 as transfer mechanism and Steele as a cover. And implicates Brennan. So this is next level of leaks after "Stormy Daniel"...
Another NYT leak out of a set of well coordinated leans from anonymous intelligence officials ;-) Poor Melania...
Notable quotes:
"... But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times. ..."
"... If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries. ..."
"... More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what. ..."
"... Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down. ..."
"... the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy ..."
"... How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind ..."
"... You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS? ..."
"... "U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds. ..."
"... Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it... ..."
"... Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us. ..."
"... 'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot. ..."
"... i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump. ..."
"... Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth." ..."
"... And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works ..."
"... So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw? ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Chuck Ross of Daily Caller

When they said "Russian collusion", few expected it to be between the CIA and a "shadowy Russian operative." And yet, according to a blockbuster NYT report, that's precisely what happened.

* * *

The CIA paid $100,000 last year to a Russian operative who claimed to have derogatory information about President Trump, including a video tape of the Republican engaged with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. If the video showed Trump, it would support claims made in the infamous Steele dossier, the salacious opposition research report financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times.

American spies made contact with the Russia early in 2017 after he offered to sell the Trump material along with cyber hacking tools that were stolen from the NSA that year, according to The Times. U.S. intelligence officials told The Times they were so desperate to retrieve those tools that they negotiated with the operative for months despite several red flags, including indications that he was working in concert with Russian intelligence.

Another red flag was the Russian's financial request. He initially sought $10 million for the information but dropped the asking price to $1 million.

After months of negotiations, American spies handed over $100,000 in cash in a brief case to the Russian during a meeting in Berlin in September.

The operative also offered documents and emails that purported to implicate other Trump associates, including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But The Times viewed the documents and reported that they were mostly information that is already in the public domain.

The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers, showed the video purported to be Trump to a Berlin-based American businessman who served as his intermediary to the CIA. But according to the Times, the footage and the location of the viewing raised questions about its authenticity.

The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. The Russian also showed the video to his American partner at the Russian embassy in Berlin, a sign that the operative had ties to Russian intelligence.

The Russian stonewalled the production of the cyber tools, and U.S. officials eventually cut ties, according to The Times. After the payout in Berlin, the man provided information about Trump and his associates of questionable veracity.

The Americans gave him an ultimatum earlier in 2018 to either play ball, leave Western Europe, or face criminal charges. He left, according to The Times, which interviewed U.S. officials, the American intermediary and the Russian for its article.

The Times' U.S. sources -- who appear to paint the American side in a positive light -- said that they were reluctant to purchase information because they did not want to be seen buying dirt on the president.

The officials also expressed concern that the Russian operative was planting disinformation on behalf of the Russian government. U.S. officials were worried that the Russian government has sought to sow discord between U.S. intelligence agencies and Trump. The revelation that the CIA purchased dirt on him would likely do the trick.

The Times report also has other new details.

Four other Russians with ties to the spy world have surfaced over the past year offering to sell dirt on Trump that closely mirrors allegations made in the dossier, according to the article. But officials have reason to believe that some of sellers have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

The Times also provides new details on Cody Shearer, a notorious operative close to the Clintons. Shearer was recently revealed to have shopped around a so-called "second dossier" prior to the campaign which mirrored the sex allegations of the Steele report.

According to The Times, he has criss-crossed Europe over the past six months in an attempt to find video footage of Trump from the Moscow hotel room. Shearer claimed to have information from the FSB, Russia's spy service, that a video existed of Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

He shared a memo making the allegations with his friend and fellow Clinton fixer, Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal in turn passed the memo to his friend, Jonathan Winer, a Department of State official. Winer then gave the information to Steele who provided it to the FBI in October 2016.

Steele also provided information to Winer, who wrote up a two-page memo that was circulated within the State Department.

Trump has denied allegations that he used prostitutes in Moscow. He has called the dossier a "hoax" and "crap."

* * *

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that "according to the @nytimes, a Russian sold phony secrets on "Trump" to the U.S. Asking price was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time. I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out - DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Of course, if Trump really wants to "drain the swamp", any such decision would have originate with him. Tags Politics Commercial Banks

InjectTheVenom -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

DRAIN. THE. SWAMP.

Billy the Poet -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:04 PM Permalink

Release the pee pee video now! No one pee peed in the $100,000 video in question. The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. And how can anyone be more fascinated by the prospect of pee pee than by the fact that US intelligence agencies were buying bad information from extremely shady foreigners in an attempt to overthrow the President of the United States?

caconhma -> Billy the Poet Feb 10, 2018 12:42 PM Permalink

Trump is the swamp. If zio-Banking Mafia did not have enough dirt of Trump, he would not be elected.

gatorengineer -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

Trump is starting to assume that the people are dumber than Obowel did. Earth to Don, you sir have the drain pump, you sir have surrounded yourself with Swamp creatures.... You sir are.............

Arrowflinger -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:18 PM Permalink

According to this, the Russians stole the hacking tools needed to cut through the Swamp levee, which were developed by the NSA, and now the CIA cannot buy them back. Now, since the USA wanted its Swamp, the Russians are more than happy to let the USA drown in its swamp.

What a country!

gatorengineer -> Arrowflinger Feb 10, 2018 1:06 PM Permalink

Anyone have a link for the Qanon posts. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks since he left 8chan where he was posting. I don't want the Youtube BS, I just want the link... anyone got one. Its strangely not googleable... LOLZ.

El Oregonian -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:53 AM Permalink

If you think that the CIA is a U.S. intelligence agency working on the best interests of the United States, you better wake up and smell the treason. They only work for the best interests of themselves.

Bula_Vinaka -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:10 PM Permalink

They are parasites and nothing more.

BurningFuld -> Bula_Vinaka Feb 10, 2018 12:40 PM Permalink

Here is a question. Why does the CIA not come out and clear the air re: Trump?

I mean they were even paying people to come up with dirt. He is now your president and the country is a fucking mess. Should the CIA not come out and say we tried but we got nothing? They do have the ability to fix all this Trump shit and yet crickets.

Ahmeexnal -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:03 PM Permalink

CIA is the covert dirty dealing arm of the VATICAN.

MarshalJimDuncan -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

ooohh... they release this questionable information for all to hear and paid a lot of money for it too. this fucking government is a joke

Posa -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:56 PM Permalink

And the best interests of clients. The CIA started out is the muscle for the Dulles Brothers clients who were being booted out of various countries they were super-exploiting. The Agency hasn't looked back since.

Alfred -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:59 PM Permalink

Seems wrong to call them 'intelligence' agencies. There must be a more descriptive name we can use... Anyone?

Guitarilla -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 12:35 PM Permalink

Nobody got whizzed on. That lurid fantasy came soley out of the head of Hillary Clinton, given to Blumenthal, passed around and made to look like it came from Russia.

DownWithYogaPants -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

CIA killed Kennedy. This pretty much removes all doubt. They are willing to do anything.

Killtruck -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:51 PM Permalink

"Oswald killed Kennedy. That's it."

It IS remarkable the stuff people believe when all logic goes against it. Like Oswald firing magic bullets from an old Italian Carcano...and jet fuel melting steel beams...and a building collapsing through the path of greatest resistance into its own footprint after NOT being hit by an airplane...and Kennedy being shot from behind, but his head snapping backwards from the impact...and Oswald picking the worst possible shooting location, but in front of Kennedy were two intersecting highways going in any direction...and terrorist passports floating gently down from the sky.

It sure is remarkable.
#letsroll

possible band name
OswaldandtheMagicBullets

Able Ape -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:57 PM Permalink

What was Oswald's reason to kill JFK? And yeah, he picked the very building he worked at to commit the crime. He wasn't THAT stupid!...

Posa -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

RFK and Nixon knew immediately the assassination of JFK was a CIA hit job because they had CHAIRED those hit squad operations themselves for Cuban Operations. They saw the CIA- Cuban hit squad fingerprints all over the kill. RFK had personally fired Wm Harvey, Dulles' chief of assassinations. However, RFK was silenced because he and Jack had been tag-teaming Marilyn Monroe.

The reason JFK was killed was a) his openly stated determination to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces so they could no longer operate as a dangerous, renegade private army; and b) in the Spring of '63 JFK delivered his famous American U address calling for the end of the Cold War...

Oswald was always a patsie... the WC documents how his rifle was inoperable... scope needed parts just to be be sited and take aim... even after parts installed the rifle attributed to Oswald remained highly inaccurate... Military sharpshooters couldn't even hit stationary targets reliably.

mobius8curve -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

If there is a video you can be sure it was manufactured using these tools:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_Nx404VLzw

Lawlessness is arising exponentially:

https://sumofthyword.com/2017/01/18/the-mystery-of-lawlessness/

oDumbo -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:19 PM Permalink

Drain the swamp! Townsquare justice for Odumbo and Hitlery! George Soros to bathe in the Amazon River with 1 million Piranha Fish until it completely disappears. Drain the evil Dumorat swamp. Drain the banana republic CIA and FBI. Our tax dollars and constitution did not pay for this shit.

Kelley -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:34 PM Permalink

With today's technology, the CIA is most likely working on a fake video for you right now. They might release it on Vimeo or Netflix to cover the costs and give themselves plausible deniability. To add a finishing touch they will make a fake video of Julian Assange claiming he is releasing it. You'll be in hog heaven. Which is where folks like you go just before being slaughtered by your owners and turned into spam.

shovelhead -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:55 PM Permalink

10 Million...

1 million...

Ok, How about $9.99

algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

Move along. Nothing to see here ...

DosZap -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:40 AM Permalink

What a load of camel dung, if there was a sex tape of Trump w/Russian hookers, it would have been out while he was RUNNING for the job, FAKE NEWS.

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

silvermail -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:55 AM Permalink

I propose impeachment to any US president for eating, drinking and visiting toilets!

TheWholeYearInn Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

What's the difference between prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room, or prostitutes in the FBI/DOJ?

Global Hunter -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

I can't confirm price, so I will go with hotter (can't really confirm that either but Slavic chicks usually seem hot to me).

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

turkey george palmer -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:09 PM Permalink

Fuckin eh right. That's probably the closest thing .

A Sentinel -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:21 PM Permalink

Damn good point. And the dates are off too. A 6+/- month zh article about the dark web had the nsa software downloadable long before 2017.

Gee. Why would someone date that hack into 2017? What was different between 2016 and 2017?

SMH Trying to figure that out.

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

Winston Churchill -> buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 12:02 PM Permalink

More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what.

Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down.

H-O-W Feb 10, 2018 11:46 AM Permalink

The more we learn,

The more it looks like the Russians set this up perfectly.

They know these scumbags better than we do!

buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 11:48 AM Permalink

the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy.

Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

Good point in the last sentence. If someone is going to "drain the swamp" it is going to have to be the president of the United States. I think I'm correct that he can fire anyone that works in the executive department for cause. He can also order investigations or hire people who will launch real investigations.

Mr. President, if you want to "drain the swamp," drain it.

P.S. You can start with an audit of The Fed.

desertboy -> Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

That last sentence assumes a rather critical fantasy.

Anunnaki -> Thordoom Feb 10, 2018 12:24 PM Permalink

The Tripod of Evil

  1. Deep State
  2. Presstitutes
  3. Corporate Democrats
Dre4dwolf Feb 10, 2018 12:11 PM Permalink

If there was a video it would of been leaked during the election, they have nothing that sticks on the guy.

All the evidence thus far states

Obama Hillary the FBI, DNC, CIA all spied on Trump and colluded with foreign governments (U.K. , Ukraine , Russia) to try and dig up dirt to use against Trump (and they more or less failed).

They turned over every rock they could, look at that stupid hot-mic video in the bus, how many hours of video did they have to go through to dig up that crumb? they went back searching through 30+ years of content and thats all they could come up with.... some locker room talk lol

People have to just face it.

Your government was and still is corrupt and its a weaponized system of control, Your government colluded with the enemy in a desperate attempt to stop Trump from becoming president. Your government started a sham "Russia investigation" to cover up its own crimes. Your government applied a different standard of justice to the clintons than it would have to you or anyone else.

To date ZERO evidence has been brought forward that Trump or anyone in his campaign did anything wrong, and the only people that have done anything wrong so far were picked by "the swamp" to fill positions..... all the others fell into petty perjury Traps on meaningless topics and insignificant factoids.

Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind buying this and thus, Obama and Hillary?

navy62802 -> Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS?

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

Isn't it lovely to find out that your money and mine is being used by government agents to give us the government they want?

It's sort of like a thug robbing you and using part of your money to pay another thug to rough you up from time time to time if you ask any questions with the thugs believing it's for our own good.

Thanks, Hillary, for looking out for us. You and your best buds are the best. Such bighearted givers! Meanwhile, give our regards to your partner in slime Obama, although it must pain you to have been bested by 'Beavis' who thinks so much of himself to balance out how little he impresses anyone who knows him.

desertboy Feb 10, 2018 12:20 PM Permalink

"U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds.

Consuelo Feb 10, 2018 12:22 PM Permalink

Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it...

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

As taxpayers can we sue the CIA for misusing our funds? Pretty sure that buying sex videos for commercial release isn't part of the CIA's lawful mandate even at bargain prices.

indaknow Feb 10, 2018 1:13 PM Permalink

Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us.

It's not going to work.

hooligan2009 Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

my sauces tell me that pink pussyhat wearing hollywood types have been called in because they have a doppelganger for trump and access to 30,000 sexually abused victims that can act as Russian prostitutes for just ten bucks each. snapchat has a trump emoji that can be transplanted onto any porn video star - male or female - thus confirming that trump is a serial (serious?) user of ladies of the night

my sauces also tell me that the CIA offers a reward of 100,000 bucks (or 10 BTC) for every photo-shopped (snap-shopped or porn-shopped) material.

of course, the CIA already owns many many porn movie studios and films, but it would prefer third "party" movies - not from epstein's island where its operatives choose to rela with a pizza.

the CIA "pink" budget for such movies is limited to just 5,000 clips or 5 billion of taxpayers funds, whichever is the higher.

awesome sauce hey?

MusicIsYou Feb 10, 2018 1:14 PM Permalink

For only $100,000 that's all? Now I know it's probably not true.

Robert A. Heinlein Feb 10, 2018 1:17 PM Permalink

'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot.

hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:33 PM Permalink

i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump.

i call bullshit.

RKae -> hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:47 PM Permalink

Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth."

And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works.

Quantify Feb 10, 2018 1:38 PM Permalink

The CIA is at the head of the shadow government.

RKae Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw?

I mean if they're so concerned about Trump and a couple of hookers... Better put some ice on that, CIA.

vofreason Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

You all are so ridiculous and fooled with your "drain the swamp" bs. It's a great idea but Trump doing it is a joke, I mean just look at who he has hired, what's wrong with you all are you blind?!!

He can't even fill 1/3 of the government positions he's supposed to and the ones he has have no business holding the positions given to them and are so incompetent, downright criminal or just personally horrendous humans that they can't stay in office more than a few months. All their blatant and moronically concocted lies are backing them into corners every day that they just try and lie out of again. America is over if we really have gotten to the point that a group like Trump's has support, it's just astonishing.

[May 10, 2019] The role of Clinton Campaign and the DNc in Spygate (aka Russiagate)

Notable quotes:
"... Chalupa's meetings with DNC and Ukrainian officials would continue. On April 26, 2016, investigative reporter Michael Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Manafort's business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It was later learned from a DNC email leaked by Wikileaks that Chalupa had been working with Isikoff -- the same journalist Christopher Steele leaked to in September 2016. Manafort would later be indicted for Foreign Agents Registration Act violations that occurred during the Obama administration. Perkins Coie ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

Clinton Campaign and the DNC

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee both occupied a unique position. They had the most to gain but they also had the most to lose. And they stood willing and ready to do whatever was necessary to win. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, is credited with being the first to raise the specter of candidate Donald Trump's alleged collusion with Russia.

The entire Clinton campaign willfully promoted the narrative of Russia–Trump collusion despite the uncomfortable fact that they were the ones who had engaged the services of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele through their law firm Perkins Coie. Information flowed from the campaign -- sometimes through Perkins Coie, other times through affiliates -- ultimately making its way into the media and sometimes to the FBI. Information from the Clinton campaign may also have ended up in the Steele dossier.

Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for the Clinton campaign, in tandem with Jake Sullivan, the senior policy adviser to the campaign, took the lead in briefing the press on the Trump–Russia collusion story.

Palmieri helped promote the Russia-collusion narrative.

Another example of this behavior can be seen from an instance when Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann leaked information from Steele and Fusion GPS to Franklin Foer of Slate magazine. This event is described in the House Intelligence Committee's final report on Russian active measures , in footnote 43 on page 57. Foer then published the article "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia? " on Oct. 31, 2016. The article concerns allegations regarding a server in the Trump Tower.

The Slate article managed to attract the immediate attention of Clinton, who posted a tweet on the same day the article was published:

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

Attached to her tweet was a statement from Sullivan:

"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."

These statements, which were later proven to be incorrect, are all the more disturbing with the hindsight knowledge that it was a senior Clinton/DNC lawyer who helped plant the story. And given the prepared statement by Sullivan, the Clinton campaign knew this.

This type of behavior would be engaged in repeatedly -- damning leaks leading to media stories, followed by ready attacks from the Clinton campaign.

Alexandra Chalupa is a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia. Chalupa began investigating Manafort in 2014. In late 2015, Chalupa expanded her opposition research on Manafort to include Trump's ties to Russia. In January 2016, Chalupa shared her information with a senior DNC official.

Chalupa's meetings with DNC and Ukrainian officials would continue. On April 26, 2016, investigative reporter Michael Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Manafort's business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It was later learned from a DNC email leaked by Wikileaks that Chalupa had been working with Isikoff -- the same journalist Christopher Steele leaked to in September 2016. Manafort would later be indicted for Foreign Agents Registration Act violations that occurred during the Obama administration. Perkins Coie

International law firm Perkins Coie served as the legal arm for both the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Ties to Perkins Coie extended beyond the DNC into the Obama White House.

Bob Bauer, a partner at the law firm and founder of its political law practice, served as White House counsel to President Barack Obama throughout 2010 and 2011. Bauer was also general counsel to Obama's campaign organization, Obama for America, in 2008 and 2012.

Perkins Coie partners Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann each played critical roles and were the ones who hired Fusion GPS and Steele. Sussmann personally handled the alleged hack of the DNC server. He also transmitted information, likely from Steele and Fusion GPS, to James Baker, then-chief counsel at the FBI, and to several members of the press.

According to a letter dated Oct. 24, 2017, written by Matthew Gehringer, general counsel at Perkins Coie, the firm was approached by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in early March 2016 regarding the possibility of hiring Fusion GPS to continue opposition research into the Trump campaign. Simpson's overtures were successful, and in April 2016, Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the DNC.

Sometime in April or May 2016, Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele. During this same period, Fusion also reportedly hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Steele would complete his first memo on June 20, 2016, and send it to Fusion via enciphered mail.

Perkins Coie appears to have also been acting as a conduit between the DNC and the FBI. Documents suggest that Sussmann was feeding information to FBI general counsel James Baker and at least one journalist ahead of the FBI's application for a FISA warrant on the Trump campaign.

The information provided by Sussmann may have been used by the FBI as "corroborating information."

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 10, 2019] The key role of British intelligence in Spydate (aka Russiagate)

Notable quotes:
"... Hannigan's meeting was noteworthy because Brennan wasn't Hannigan's counterpart. That position belonged to NSA Director Mike Rogers. In the following year, Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement on Jan. 23, 2017 -- three days after Trump's inauguration. ..."
"... Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier on Trump, was an MI6 agent while the agency was headed by Sir Richard Dearlove. Steele retains close ties with Dearlove. ..."
"... Dearlove has ties to most of the parties mentioned. It was he who advised Steele and his business partner, Chris Burrows, to work with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI in the fall of 2016. He also was a speaker at the July 2016 Cambridge symposium that Halper invited Carter Page to attend. ..."
"... Dearlove knows Halper through their mutual association at the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. Dearlove also knows Sir Iain Lobban, a former head of GCHQ, who is an advisory board member at British strategic intelligence and advisory firm Hakluyt , which was founded by former MI6 members and retains close ties to UK intelligence services. ..."
"... Halper has historical connections to Hakluyt through Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books. ..."
"... Downer, who met Papadopoulos in a May 2016 meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries, served on the advisory board of Hakluyt from 2008 to 2014. He reportedly still maintains contact with Hakluyt officials. Information from his meeting with Papadopoulos was later used by the FBI to establish the bureau's counterintelligence investigation into Trump–Russia collusion. Downer has changed his version of events multiple times. ..."
"... Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia. ..."
"... Stefan Halper met with Page for the first time on July 11, 2016, at a Cambridge symposium , just three days after Page's July 2016 Moscow trip. As noted previously, former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove was a speaker at the symposium. Halper and Dearlove have known each other for years and maintain several mutual associations. ..."
"... Page was already known to the FBI. The Page FISA warrant application references the Buryakov spy case and an FBI interview with Page. Current information suggests there was only one meeting between Page and the FBI in 2016. It happened on March 2, 2016. It was in relation to Victor Podobnyy, who was named in the Buryakov case. ..."
"... Page, who cooperated with the FBI on the case, almost certainly was providing testimony or details against Podobnyy. Page had been contacted by Podobnyy in 2013 and had previously provided information to the FBI. Buryakov pleaded guilty on March 11, 2016 -- nine days after Page met with the FBI on the case -- and was sentenced to 30 months in prison on May 25, 2016. On April 5, 2017, Buryakov was granted early release and was deported to Russia. ..."
"... House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said in August that exculpatory evidence on Page exists that wasn't included by the DOJ and the FBI in the FISA application and subsequent renewals. The exculpatory evidence likely relates specifically to Page's role in the Buryakov case. ..."
"... If the FBI failed to disclose Page's cooperation with the bureau or materially misrepresented his involvement in its application to the FISA Court, it means that the FBI's Woods procedures, which govern FISA applications, were violated. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

Intelligence

UK and Australian intelligence agencies also played meaningful roles during the 2016 presidential election.

Britain's GCHQ was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of GCHQ, flew from London to meet personally with then-CIA Director John Brennan, The Guardian reported.

Hannigan's meeting was noteworthy because Brennan wasn't Hannigan's counterpart. That position belonged to NSA Director Mike Rogers. In the following year, Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement on Jan. 23, 2017 -- three days after Trump's inauguration.

As 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. 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.

Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier on Trump, was an MI6 agent while the agency was headed by Sir Richard Dearlove. Steele retains close ties with Dearlove.

Dearlove has ties to most of the parties mentioned. It was he who advised Steele and his business partner, Chris Burrows, to work with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI in the fall of 2016. He also was a speaker at the July 2016 Cambridge symposium that Halper invited Carter Page to attend.

Dearlove knows Halper through their mutual association at the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. Dearlove also knows Sir Iain Lobban, a former head of GCHQ, who is an advisory board member at British strategic intelligence and advisory firm Hakluyt , which was founded by former MI6 members and retains close ties to UK intelligence services.

Halper has historical connections to Hakluyt through Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books.

Downer, who met Papadopoulos in a May 2016 meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries, served on the advisory board of Hakluyt from 2008 to 2014. He reportedly still maintains contact with Hakluyt officials. Information from his meeting with Papadopoulos was later used by the FBI to establish the bureau's counterintelligence investigation into Trump–Russia collusion. Downer has changed his version of events multiple times.

The Steele 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 later relayed information regarding the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who dispatched David Kramer, a fellow at the McCain Institute, to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. McCain would later admit in a Jan. 11, 2017, statement that he had personally passed on the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey.

Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia.

In a Twitter post , Trump wrote that the "key Allies called to ask not to release" the documents.

Questions to be asked are why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to the president? And why would these same allies have even the slightest idea of what was contained in these classified U.S. documents?

Britain and Australia appear to know full well what those documents contain, and their attempt to prevent their public release appears to be because they don't want their role in events surrounding the 2016 presidential election to be made public.

Fusion GPS/Orbis/Christopher Steele

Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, is co-founder of Fusion GPS, along with Peter Fritsch and Tom Catan. Fusion was hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie to produce and disseminate the Steele dossier used against Trump. The dossier would later be the primary evidence used to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page on Oct. 21, 2016.

<img src="https://www.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/10/Glenn-Simpson.jpg" alt="" width="185" height="220" /> Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS. The company was hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC–through law firm Perkins Coie–to produce the dossier on Trump.

Christopher Steele, who retains close ties to UK intelligence, worked for MI6 from 1987 until his retirement in 2009, when he and his partner, Chris Burrows, founded Orbis Intelligence. Steele maintains contact with British intelligence, Sir Richard Dearlove , and UK intelligence firm Hakluyt.

Steele appears to have been represented by lawyer Adam Waldman, who also represented Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. We know this from texts sent by Waldman. On April 10, 2017, Waldman sent this to Sen. Mark Warner:

"Hi. Steele: would like to get a bi partisan letter from the committee; Assange: I convinced him to make serious and important concessions and am discussing those w DOJ; Deripaska: willing to testify to congress but interested in state of play w Manafort. I will be with him next tuesday for a week."

Steele also appears to have lobbied on behalf of Deripaska, who was discussed in emails between Bruce Ohr and Steele that were recently disclosed by the Washington Examiner:

"Steele said he was 'circulating some recent sensitive Orbis reporting' on Deripaska that suggested Deripaska was not a 'tool' of the Kremlin. Steele said he would send the reporting to a name that is redacted in the email."

Fusion GPS was also employed by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in a previous case. Veselnitskaya was involved in litigation pitting Russian firm Prevezon Holdings against British-American financier William Browder. Veselnitskaya hired U.S. law firm BakerHostetler, who, in turn, hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Browder. Veselnitskaya was one of the participants at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, at which she discussed the Magnitsky Act .

Fox News reported on Nov. 9, 2017, that Simpson met with Veselnitskaya immediately before and after the Trump Tower meeting.

A declassified top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court report released on April 26, 2017, revealed that government agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and NSA, had improperly accessed Americans' communications. The FBI specifically provided outside contractors with access to raw surveillance data on American citizens without proper oversight.

Communications and other data of members of the Trump campaign may have been accessed in this way.

Nellie Ohr
<img src="https://www.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/10/Nellie-Ohr-.jpg" alt="Nellie Ohr" width="185" height="252" />
Nellie Ohr, the wife of high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS to work on the dossier on Trump.

Bruce and Nellie Ohr have known Simpson since at least 2010 and have known Steele since at least 2006. The Ohrs and Simpson worked together on a DOJ report in 2010 . In that report, Nellie Ohr's biography lists her as working for Open Source Works, which is part of the CIA. Simpson met with Bruce Ohr before and after the 2016 election.

Bruce Ohr had been in contact repeatedly with Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign -- while Steele was constructing his dossier. Ohr later actively shared information he received from Steele with the FBI, after the agency had terminated Steele as a source. Interactions between Ohr and Steele stretched for months into the first year of Trump's presidency and were documented in a number of FD-302s -- memos that summarize interviews with him by the FBI.

Spy Traps

In an effort to put forth evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, it appears that several different spy traps were set, with varying degrees of success. Many of these efforts appear to center around Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and involve London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, who has ties to Western intelligence, particularly in the UK.

Papadopoulos and Mifsud both worked at the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP). Mifsud appears to have joined LCILP around November 2015 . Papadopoulos reportedly joined LCILP sometime in late February 2016 after leaving Ben Carson's presidential campaign. However, some reports indicate Papadopoulos joined LCILP in November or December of 2015. Mifsud and Papadopoulos reportedly never crossed paths until March 14, 2016, in Italy.

Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to several Russians, including Olga Polonskaya, whom Mifsud introduced as "Putin's niece," and Ivan Timofeev, an official at a state-sponsored think tank called the Russian International Affairs Council. Both Papadopoulos and Mifsud were interviewed by the FBI. Papadopoulos was ultimately charged with a process crime and was recently sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI. Mifsud was never charged by the FBI.

Throughout this period, Papadopoulos continuously pushed for meetings between Trump campaign officials and Russian contacts but was ultimately unsuccessful in establishing any meetings.

Papadopoulos met with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer on May 10, 2016. The Papadopoulos–Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case.

Papadopoulos was introduced to Downer through a chain of two intermediaries who said Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos. Another individual happened to be in London at exactly the same time: the FBI's head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap. The purpose of Priestap's visit remains unknown.

The Papadopoulos–Downer meeting was later used to establish the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Trump–Russia collusion. It was repeatedly reported that Papadopoulos told Downer that Russia had Hillary Clinton's emails. This is incorrect.

George Papadopoulos
<img src="https://www.theepochtimes.com/assets/uploads/2018/10/10/George-Papadopoulos-1028769226-1200x1497.jpg" alt="George Papadopoulos" width="187" height="234" /> Foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign was approached by several individuals with ties to UK and U.S. intelligence agencies. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Downer, Papadopoulos at some point mentioned the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

"During that conversation, he [Papadopoulos] mentioned the Russians might use material that they have on Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the election, which may be damaging,'' Downer told The Australian about the Papadopoulos meeting in an April 2018 article. "He didn't say dirt, he said material that could be damaging to her. No, he said it would be damaging. He didn't say what it was."

Downer, while serving as Australia's foreign minister, was responsible for one of the largest foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation: $25 million from the Australian government.

Unconfirmed media reports, including a Jan. 12, 2017, BBC article , have suggested that the FBI attempted to obtain two FISA warrants in June and July 2016 that were denied by the FISA court. It's likely that Papadopoulos was an intended target of these failed FISAs.

Interestingly, there is no mention of Papadopoulos in the Steele dossier. Paul Manafort, Carter Page, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, Gen. Michael Flynn, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski are all listed in the Steele dossier.

Papadopoulos may have started out assisting the FBI or CIA and later discovered that he was being set up for surveillance himself.

After failing to obtain a spy warrant on the Trump campaign using Papadopoulos, the FBI set its sights on campaign volunteer Carter Page. By this time, the counterintelligence investigation was in the process of being established, and we know now that it was formalized with no official intelligence. The FBI needed some sort of legal cover. They needed a retroactive warrant. And they got one on Oct. 21, 2016. The Page FISA warrant would be renewed three times and remain in force until September 2017.

Stefan Halper met with Page for the first time on July 11, 2016, at a Cambridge symposium , just three days after Page's July 2016 Moscow trip. As noted previously, former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove was a speaker at the symposium. Halper and Dearlove have known each other for years and maintain several mutual associations.

Page was already known to the FBI. The Page FISA warrant application references the Buryakov spy case and an FBI interview with Page. Current information suggests there was only one meeting between Page and the FBI in 2016. It happened on March 2, 2016. It was in relation to Victor Podobnyy, who was named in the Buryakov case.

Page, who cooperated with the FBI on the case, almost certainly was providing testimony or details against Podobnyy. Page had been contacted by Podobnyy in 2013 and had previously provided information to the FBI. Buryakov pleaded guilty on March 11, 2016 -- nine days after Page met with the FBI on the case -- and was sentenced to 30 months in prison on May 25, 2016. On April 5, 2017, Buryakov was granted early release and was deported to Russia.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said in August that exculpatory evidence on Page exists that wasn't included by the DOJ and the FBI in the FISA application and subsequent renewals. The exculpatory evidence likely relates specifically to Page's role in the Buryakov case.

If the FBI failed to disclose Page's cooperation with the bureau or materially misrepresented his involvement in its application to the FISA Court, it means that the FBI's Woods procedures, which govern FISA applications, were violated.

Page has not been arrested or charged with any crime related to the investigation.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 10, 2019] Mueller Report - Expensive Estimations And Elusive Evidence by Adam Carter

Highly recommended!
Looks more and more like Crowdstrike conducted false flag operation to implicate Russians, not a real investigation.
I always assumed that #Guccifer2 was either a Crowdstryke construction at DNC request (that's probably why it was so badly, incompetently done) or a NSA construction (then, we somehow need to explain, why it was so badly done?). In both cases the goal was to implicate Russia in a DNC 'hack' ...
Craig Murray has stated he received the DNC files in Wash DC from a leaker. Mueller failed to interview him, which suggest the Mueller and his team were the part of cover-up, not the part of investigation.
Notable quotes:
"... We are told the GRU obtained files from the DNC network on April 22, 2016, (this is a little different to the Netyksho indictment that states the files were archived on April 22, 2016 and extracted later): ..."
"... The malware samples provided by CrowdStrike show that the earliest compile date of Fancy Bear malware reportedly discovered at the DNC was April 25, 2016 . ..."
"... Whoever was controlling the Guccifer 2.0 persona went out of their way to be perceived as Russian and made specious claims about having already sent WikiLeaks documents, even claiming that WikiLeaks would release them soon (all before Mueller records any initial contact between the parties) . ..."
"... The Special Counsel seems to have been impervious to critical pieces of countervailing evidence (some of which demonstrates that Guccifer 2.0 deliberately manufactured Russian breadcrumbs) and they have failed to accurately account for the acquisition of WikiLeaks' DNC emails (missing the date on which approximately 70% of them were collected) , which is, in itself, a stunning failure for a supposedly thorough investigation costing US taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. ..."
"... There should have been a proper, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the Guccifer 2.0 persona. The Special Counsel certainly hasn't done that job and, in retrospect, looks to have been ill-equipped (and perhaps somewhat reluctant) to do so from the outset. ..."
May 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

On April 18, 2019, a redacted version of Robert Mueller's report on "RussiaGate" related activities was released to the public.

This article focuses on Volume I Part III titled "Russian Hacking & Dumping Operations" and provides details of the errors made, critical omissions, lack of conclusive evidence and reliance on assumptions and speculation.

We will also look at problems relating to attribution methods used, countervailing evidence that has clearly been disregarded and other problems that are likely to have affected the quality of the investigation and the report.


The Mueller Report: Context & Contradiction

We start with a read-through of this section of the report, highlighting missing context, contradictions and errors.

Page 36

[To minimize repetition, we'll deal with statements made in this introduction where the basis is explained or details are provided on other pages ahead.]

Page 36

While the Netyksho indictment does provide details of intrusions and infrastructure used, it's still unclear how the infrastructure has been attributed back to individuals in the GRU and no conclusive evidence has been presented to support that in the indictment or the report.

Page 37

Some of the claims relating to state boards of elections are contradicted by the Department of Homeland Security , we'll return to this where it's covered in more detail later in the report.

Page 37

Whatever the sources are the GRU did their "learning" from they seem to have been outdated as many of the phishing emails were bounced due to being for individuals that were not involved in Clinton's 2016 campaign and that no longer had mailboxes on the relevant domains (they were involved in earlier campaigns in previous years) .

Page 39

In the Netyksho indictment it is stated that the "middle-servers" are overseas:

So, what was the point in having a US-based AMS Panel if you're using overseas servers as proxies?

This seems to be a needlessly noisy setup that somewhat defeats the purpose of having a US-based server for the AMS panel.

This setup makes the assets allegedly used by GRU officers subject to US laws, subject to Internet monitoring by US intelligence agencies and prone to being physically seized.

With the GRU using middle-servers, as alleged, there would have been absolutely no reason to have the AMS panel hosted on a server within the US and every reason to have it hosted elsewhere.

It almost seems like they wanted to get caught!

Page 40

We are told the GRU obtained files from the DNC network on April 22, 2016, (this is a little different to the Netyksho indictment that states the files were archived on April 22, 2016 and extracted later):

The problem with this is that it suggests the GRU had their implant on the DNC network earlier than what the available evidence supports.

The malware samples provided by CrowdStrike show that the earliest compile date of Fancy Bear malware reportedly discovered at the DNC was April 25, 2016 .

Perhaps they didn't discover all the malware until later? (Though, with their flagship product installed across the network, one would think they'd have detected all the malware present by the time they reported on discoveries).

Regarding the stolen opposition research, we've only seen the document as an attachment to one of Podesta's emails and a deliberately tainted version of the same document released by Guccifer 2.0.

The implication that this was stolen from the DNC is questionable due to this.

Going further, the story surrounding this changed in November 2017 when the Associated Press published a story titled " How Russians hacked the Democrats' emails " in which they cite an anonymous former DNC official who asserts that Guccifer 2.0's first document (the Trump opposition report) did not originate in the DNC as initially reported.

Another interesting point relating to this is the "HRC_pass.zip" archive released by Guccifer 2.0 on June 21, 2016 ( which also provided another US central timezone indication ) contained files with last modification dates of April 26, 2016. While this fits within the above timeframe, the transfer of the files individually, the apparent transfer speeds involved and the presence of FAT-like 2-second rounding artifacts ( noted elsewhere in Guccifer 2.0's releases ) when the files came from an NTFS system (and the ZIP implementation was not the cause) does not correlate well with what the report outlines.

In spite of its name ("HRC_pass.zip") this archive appears to contain files that can be sourced to the DNC. Out of 200 files, only one showed up as an attachment (in the Podesta emails) .

Regarding the May 25 - June 1 timeframe cited, this seems to exclude the date on which approximately 70% of the DNC's emails published on WikiLeaks' website were acquired (May 23, 2016)

What makes this interesting is that this is apparently being evaluated on evidence that was very likely to have been provided by CrowdStrike:

Page 40

How did Crowdstrike's evidence not inform the FBI and Special Counsel of the real initial acquisition date of WikiLeaks' DNC emails?

Was the May 23, 2016 activity not recorded?

Going back to the Netyksho indictment , we have also been told that Yermakov was searching for Powershell commands between the May 25 - June 1st period:

However, we know 70% of the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks had already been acquired prior to that time, before Yermakov had allegedly researched how to access and manage the Exchange server.

Page 41

We can tell from the use of "appear" here that the Special Counsel does not have conclusive evidence to demonstrate this.

Page 41

While the overlap between reported phishing victims and the output of DCLeaks cannot be denied, it is still unclear how bitcoin pools or leased infrastructure have been definitively tied back to any GRU officers or the GRU itself.

This isn't to say that there isn't evidence of it (I would assume there is some evidence or intelligence that supports the premise to some degree, at the very least) but we have no idea what that could be and there is no explanation of how associations to individual GRU officers were made (perhaps to protect HUMINT but this still leaves us completely in the dark as to how attributions were made) .

We know already that things are assumed by the Special Counsel on the basis of circumstantial evidence, so there is good reason to question whether the attributions made are based on conclusive evidence.

Page 42

This is the first point at which to recall Assange's announcement on 12 June that WikiLeaks was working on a release of "emails related to Hillary Clinton" - two days before the DNC goes public about being hacked by Russians, and three days before the appearance of Guccifer 2.0.

It's also approximately one month before Mueller says Guccifer 2.0 first successfully sent anything to WikiLeaks.

Whoever was controlling the Guccifer 2.0 persona went out of their way to be perceived as Russian and made specious claims about having already sent WikiLeaks documents, even claiming that WikiLeaks would release them soon (all before Mueller records any initial contact between the parties) .

While WikiLeaks did mention this via their Twitter feed on June 16, 2016, they were clearly skeptical of his claims to be a hacker and although they cite his claim about sending material to WikiLeaks, they don't confirm it:

It also seems a little odd that the GRU would do searches for already translated phrases (using Google translate to get English translations would be more understandable) and if it's Guccifer 2.0 doing it why did he not use the VPN he used for his other activities throughout the same day?

Why does the Mueller report not report on the IP address of the Moscow-based server from which searches occurred? It wouldn't really expose sources and methods to disclose it and it's unclear how it was determined to have been used and managed by a unit of the GRU. (Citation #146 references the Netyksho indictment, however, that fails to provide evidence or explanation of this too.)

Also, Guccifer 2.0 did not attribute the hack to a Romanian hacker in his first blog post , he didn't mention nationality until a week later (after he'd already gone out of his way to leave Russian breadcrumbs behind ) .

Page 43

The version of the opposition research document Guccifer 2.0 released was built using a prepared "Russian-tainted" template document .

The template was made by taking an attachment from one of John Podesta's emails (a document originally authored by Warren Flood in 2008) , stripping out the content, adding in Russian language stylesheet entries , altering "Confidential Draft" in the background of the document to "Confidential", altering the footer and then stripping out the body content.

The body content of a Trump Opposition research document (originally authored by Lauren Dillon) that was attached to another of Podesta's emails was then copied into the template document.

The document was saved (with a Russian author name), its body content cleared and this was then re-used to produce two further "Russia-tainted" documents.

It was no accident that led to the documents being tainted in the way that they were and it looks like Guccifer 2.0's version of the Trump opposition research didn't really come from the DNC.

Page 43

The email sent to The Smoking Gun revealed that Guccifer 2.0 appeared to be operating from somewhere in the central (US) time zone . It is one of several inexplicable examples of US timezone indications from Guccifer 2.0.

Page 43

It should be noted that the data referenced above was also unrelated to the general election and didn't have any noticeable impact on it (the 2.5Gb of data Guccifer 2.0 provided to Aaron Nevins was unlikely to have hurt the Clinton campaign or affect the outcome of the general election) .

In the states that the data related to, general election results didn't flip between the time of the publication of the documents and the election:

Page 43

Interesting to note that Guccifer 2.0 lied about DCLeaks being a "sub project" of WikiLeaks.

Page 44

The only materials Mueller alleges that WikiLeaks confirmed receipt of was a "1gb or so" archive, for which, instructions to access were communicated in an attached message (none-too-discreetly titled "wk dnc link1.txt.gpg") and sent by Guccifer 2 via unencrypted email.

It is an assumption that this was an archive of DNC emails (it could have contained other files Guccifer 2.0 subsequently released elsewhere).

We don't even know for sure whether WikiLeaks released what had been sent to them by either entity.

Even if, theoretically, the archive contained the emails, it couldn't have been the whole collection because the whole collection, when compressed, exceeds 2Gb of data .

This, of course, doesn't rule out the possibility of it being a portion of the overall collection but what the persona had sent to WikiLeaks could also easily have been other material relating to the DNC that we know Guccifer 2.0 later released or shared with other parties.

Page 45

This is the second point at which to recall Assange's 12 June TV announcement of upcoming "emails related to Hillary Clinton", coming two days before Guccifer 2.0's colleagues at DCLeaks reach out to WikiLeaks via unencrypted means on 14 June 2016 to offer "sensitive information" on Clinton.

Then, seven days after Guccifer 2 had already claimed to have sent material to WikiLeaks and stated that they'd soon release it (which made it sound as though he'd had confirmation back), we see that WikiLeaks reaches out to Guccifer 2.0 and suggests he sends material to them (as though there's never been any prior contact or provision of materials previously discussed) .

Page 45

How is it "clear" that both the DNC and Podesta documents were transferred from the GRU to WikiLeaks when there is only around a gigabyte of data acknowledged as received (and we don't even know what that data is) and little is known about the rest (and the report just speculates at possibilities) ?

Page 46

We aren't provided the full dialogue between WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2.0. Instead we have just a few words selected from the communication that could easily be out of context. The Netyksho indictment did exactly the same thing. Neither the indictment nor the report provide the full DM conversation in context.

(It certainly wouldn't harm HUMINT resources or expose methods if this evidence was released in full context.)

Would the GRU really engage in internal communications (eg GRU Guccifer 2.0 to GRU DCLeaks) via Twitter DMs? Maybe, but it seems insanely sloppy with regards to operational security of a clandestine organization communicating between its own staff.

The statement that concludes on the following page (see below) also seems a little bizarre. Would WikiLeaks really ask Guccifer 2.0 to DM DCLeaks to pass on such a message on their behalf?

Why doesn't Mueller provide the comms evidence of WikiLeaks asking Guccifer 2.0 for assistance in contacting DCLeaks?

As written, we are expected to take the words of Guccifer 2.0 (stating that the media organisation wished to talk to DCLeaks) at face value.

The problem with this is that we are talking about a persona who lied publicly about when he first sent material to WikiLeaks ( claiming to have done so already on the day appeared ) , lied about the relationship between WikiLeaks and DCLeaks and who had gone to a great deal of trouble to leave false Russian fingerprints in his work output.

Page 47

It was actually the last-modification date, not the creation date that was recorded as 19 September, 2016.

This wasn't necessarily the creation date and is only indicative of the last recorded write/copy operation (unless last modification date is preserved when copying but there's no way to determine that based on the available evidence) .

The gap between email file timestamps and attachment timestamps may simply be explained by WikiLeaks extracting the attachments from the EML files at a later stage. With the DNC emails we observed last-modifications dates as far back as May 23, 2016 but the attachments had last-modification dates that were much later (eg. July 21, 2016).

The wording is also worth noting: "Based on information about Assange's computer and its possible operating system" [emphasis mine] does not sound like it's based on reliable and factual information, it sounds like this is based on assessment/estimation. This also seems to be relying on an assumption that the only person handling files for WikiLeaks is Assange.

How have the Special Counsel cited WikiLeaks metadata for evidence where it's suited them yet, somehow, have managed to miss the May 23, 2016 date on which the DNC emails were initially being collected?

Going further, the report, based on speculation, suggests that the GRU staged releases in July (for DNC emails) and September (for Podesta emails). However, going off the same logic as the Special Counsel, with last-modification dates indicating when the email files are "staged", the evidence would theoretically point to the DNC emails being "staged" in May 2016).

It doesn't seem so reliable when the rule is applied multilaterally.

Of course, if both assumptions about staging dates are true, then we're left wondering what Julian Assange could have been talking about on June 12, 2016 when mentioning having emails relating to Hillary Clinton.

The speculation in the final paragraph of the above section also shows us that the Special Counsel lacks certainty on sources.

Page 48

Really, this correlation of dates (March 21, 2016 and the reported phishing incident relating to March 19, 2016) is one of the best arguments for saying that emails published by WikiLeaks were acquired through phishing or hacking incidents reported.

However, this merely suggests the method of acquisition, it says nothing of how the material got to WikiLeaks. We can make assumptions, but that's all we can do because the available evidence is circumstantial rather than conclusive.

Page 48

Far from "discredit[ing] WikiLeaks' claims about the source of the material it posted", the file transfer evidence doesn't conclusively demonstrate that WikiLeaks published anything sent to it by Guccifer 2.0 or DCLeaks.

Although there are hints that what was sent by Guccifer 2.0 related to the DNC, we don't know if this contained DNC emails or the other DNC related content he later released and shared with others.

"The statements about Seth Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails" is itself a false statement. The reason Assange gave for offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of Seth Rich's killers was "Our sources take risks and they become concerned when they see things occurring like that [the death of DNC worker Seth Rich]... We have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States" ( source ) .

This implies WikiLeaks is offering the reward for info about Seth Rich at the behest of its actual source/s.

Page 49

By the time Trump had made the statements cited above, it was already assumed that Hillary had been hacked by the Russians, so Trump saying he hoped the Russians would find the emails seems more likely to have been in reference to what he assumed was already in their possession.

Finding those 30,000 emails also wouldn't be achieved through hacking at that point in time as the emails had already been deleted by Hillary Clinton's IT consultants in March 2015 .

Page 50

What is being described here is, to a considerable extent, just common exploit scanning on web services, scanning that will almost certainly have come from other nodes based in other nations too .

These scans are typically done via compromised machines, often with machines that are in nations completely separate to the nationality of those running the scanning effort.

The Department of Homeland Security threw cold water on this a long time ago.

DHS would not characterize these efforts as attacks, only "simple scanning ... which occurs all the time".

Page 51

There was no alteration of ballots or results at all anywhere as of a testimony by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on June 21 2017 nor since that time, according to Brian Krebs, to the date of a hearing on November 27, 2017 .

The remaining pages in this section of the report include a lot of redactions and mostly cover the actions of individuals in the US in relation to communications they had with or in relation to WikiLeaks. As this article is about the technical claims made in relation to hacking and so much is redacted, we'll only look at those really relevant to this.

Page 52

By the time Assange made the announcement referenced above, the Hillary Clinton emails obtained through FOIA had already been published by WikiLeaks.

Considering what WikiLeaks subsequently published, it would seem that Assange was making a reference to at least one of the upcoming leaks.

At this time, there was no record of contact between WikiLeaks and either of the parties alleged to be the GRU.

Page 58

Regarding the timing of the leaks and the Access Hollywood tape, it's important to note that journalist Stefani Maurizi, who had worked with WikiLeaks on the Podesta leaks, has stated publicly that she knew of WikiLeaks intention to publish on that date on the evening prior to it .

WikiLeaks stated the "timing conspiracy theory" was the other way round: " The [Access Hollywood] tape was moved forward to the day of our release, which WikiLeaks had been teasing " and was " well-documented ".

[The remaining pages in this section have little relevance to the technical aspects of this section of the report and/or acquisition of materials that this article is intended to cover.]


Circumstantial Evidence & Understandable Assumptions

While the above does show numerous issues with the report, it's important not to fall into the trap of outright dismissing as false anything for which evidence is lacking or assuming there is no evidence at all to support assertions.

However, without knowing what evidence exists we're left to make assumptions about whether it's conclusive or circumstantial, we don't know if the source of evidence is dependable and it's clear in the report that the Special Counsel has relied on assumptions and made numerous statements on the basis of presuppositions.

There is also a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence that, although it doesn't conclusively prove what the report tries to convince us of, it does at least raise questions about relationships between different entities, especially with regards to any overlaps in resources and infrastructure used.

For example, based on the cited evidence, it is perfectly understandable that people will assume Guccifer 2.0 provided DNC emails to WikiLeaks and will also assume that WikiLeaks published whatever it was that Guccifer 2.0 had sent them (especially with Mueller presenting that conversation in the form of a couple of words devoid of all context) .

The apparent overlap between a VPN service used by Guccifer 2.0 and by DCLeaks does suggest the two could be associated beyond Guccifer 2.0 just being a source of leaks for them.

Also, DCLeaks publishing some DNC emails that later appeared in the DNC email collection (though not necessarily from the same mailboxes) also suggests that DCLeaks and WikiLeaks could have had access to some of the same material and/or sources.

The same is true for Guccifer 2.0 releasing Podesta and DNC email attachments before WikiLeaks released both collections. Unless given good reason to consider any ulterior motive, the implied explanation, on the surface, seems to be that it was this persona that was a source for those emails. If nothing else, that's how it appears based on the little information typically made available to us by the mainstream press.

However, despite all of this, we still have not seen conclusive evidence showing that either of the entities was really controlled by the GRU and, when the countervailing evidence (which seems to have been completely ignored by the Special Counsel's investigation) is considered, there is reason to give consideration to Guccifer 2.0's efforts to not just associate himself with WikiLeaks and DCLeaks but also to associate third parties with each other through false claims.


The Mystery Of The May 23, 2016 Omission

One of the most notable omissions is the date on which emails from several mailboxes (including Luis Miranda's) were originally collected.

We know, from analysis of metadata of files hosted by WikiLeaks that this was May 23, 2016.

Not only is this prior to the May 25, 2016 - June 1, 2016 timeframe given for the DNC's exchange server being hacked, this activity is unmentioned throughout the entire report.

How has this failed to come to the surface when it should have been apparent in evidence CrowdStrike provided to the FBI and also apparent based on the WikiLeaks metadata? How is it the Special Counsel can cite some of the metadata in relation to WikiLeaks releases yet somehow manage to miss this?


Countervailing Evidence

What the Special Counsel's investigation also seems to have completely disregarded is the volume of countervailing evidence that has been discovered by several independent researchers in relation to the Guccifer 2.0 persona.

It's worth considering what evidence the Special Counsel has brought to the surface and comparing it with the evidence that has come to the surface as a result of discoveries being made by independent researchers over the past two years and the differences between the two sets of evidence (especially with regards to falsifiability and verifiability of evidence) .

Some excellent examples are covered in the following articles:


Reliability Of Attribution Methods

Skip Folden (who introduced me to VIPS members and has been a good friend ever since) recently shared with me his assessment of problems with the current attribution methods being relied on by the Special Counsel and others.

It covered several important points and was far more concise than anything I would have written, so, with his permission, I'm publishing his comments on this topic:

No basis whatsoever

APT28, aka Fancy Bear, Sofacy, Strontium, Pawn Storm, Sednit, etc., and APT29, aka Cozy Bear, Cozy Duke, Monkeys, CozyCar,The Dukes, etc., are used as 'proof' of Russia 'hacking' by Russian Intelligence agencies GRU and FSB respectively.

There is no basis whatsoever to attribute the use of known intrusion elements to Russia, not even if they were once reverse routed to Russia, which claim has never been made by NSA or any other of our IC.

On June 15, 2016 Dmitri Alperovitch himself, in an Atlantic Council article, gave only "medium-level of confidence that Fancy Bear is GRU" and "low-level of confidence that Cozy Bear is FSB." These assessments, from the main source himself, that either APT is Russian intelligence, averages 37%-38% [(50 + 25) / 2].

Exclusivity :

None of the technical indicators, e.g., intrusion tools (such as X-Agent, X-Tunnel), facilities, tactics, techniques, or procedures, etc., of the 28 and 29 APTs can be uniquely attributed to Russia, even if one or more had ever been trace routed to Russia. Once an element of a set of intrusion tools is used in the public domain it can be reverse-engineered and used by other groups which precludes the assumption of exclusivity in future use. The proof that any of these tools have never been reverse engineered and used by others is left to the student - or prosecutor.

Using targets

Also, targets have been used as basis for attributing intrusions to Russia, and that is pure nonsense. Both many state and non-state players have deep interests in the same targets and have the technical expertise to launch intrusions. In Grizzly Steppe, page 2, second paragraph, beginning with, "Both groups have historically targeted ...," is there anything in that paragraph which can be claimed as unique to Russia or which excludes all other major state players in the world or any of the non-state organizations? No.

Key Logger Consideration

On the subject of naming specific GRU officers initiating specific actions on GRU Russian facilities on certain dates / times, other than via implanted ID chips under the finger tips of these named GRU officers, the logical assumption would be by installed key logger capabilities, physical or malware, on one or more GRU Russian computers.

The GRU is a highly advanced Russian intelligence unit. It would be very surprising were the GRU open to any method used to install key logger capabilities. It would be even more surprising, if not beyond comprehension that the GRU did not scan all systems upon start-up and in real time, including key logger protection and anomalies of performance degradation and data transmissions.

Foreign intelligence source

Other option would be via a foreign intelligence unit source with local GRU access. Any such would be quite anti-Russian and be another nail in the coffin of any chain of evidence / custody validity at Russian site.


Chain Of Custody - Without An Anchor There Is No Chain

Another big problem with the whole RussiaGate investigation is the reliance on a private firm, hired by the DNC, to be the source of evidence.

As I don't have a good understanding of US law and processes surrounding evidence collection and handling, I will, again, defer to something that my aforementioned contact shared:

Chain of Evidence / Custody at US end, i.e., DNC and related computing facilities

Summary: There is no US end Chain of Evidence / Custody

The anchor of any chain of evidence custody is the on-site crime scene investigation of a jurisdictional law enforcement agency and neutral jurisdictional forensic team which investigate, discover, identify where possible, log, mark, package, seal, or takes images there of, of all identified elements of potential evidence as discovered at the scene of a crime by the authorized teams. The chain of this anchor is then the careful, documented movement of each element of captured evidence from crime scene to court.

In the case of the alleged series of intrusions into the DNC computing facilities, there is no anchor to any chain of evidence / custody.

There has been no claim that any jurisdictional law enforcement agency was allowed access to the DNC computing facilities. The FBI was denied access to DNC facilities, thereby supposedly denying the FBI the ability to conduct any on-site investigation of the alleged crime scene for discovery or collection of evidence.

Nor did the FBI exercise its authority to investigate the crime scene of a purported federal crime. Since when does the FBI need permission to investigate an alleged crime site where it is claimed a foreign government's intelligence attacked political files in order to interfere in a US presidential election?

Instead, the FBI accepted images of purported crime scene evidence from a contractor hired by and, therefore, working for the DNC. On July 05, 2017 a Crowdstrike statement said that they had provided "... forensic images of the DNC system to the FBI." It was not stated when these images were provided. Crowdstrike was working for the DNC as a contractor at the time.

This scenario is analogous to an employee of a crime scene owner telling law enforcement, "Trust me; I have examined the crime scene for you and here's what I've found. It's not necessary for you to see the crime scene."

Crowdstrike cannot be accepted as a neutral forensic organization. It was working for and being paid by the DNC. It is neither a law enforcement agency nor a federal forensic organization. Further Crowdstrike has serious conflicts of interest when it comes to any investigation of Russia.

Crowdstrike co-founder and Director of Technology, Dimitri Alperovitch, is a Nonresident Senior Fellow, Cyber Statecraft Initiative, of the Atlantic Council. Alperovitch has made it clear of his dislike of the government of Putin, and The Atlantic Council can not be considered neutral to Russia, receiving funding from many very staunch and outspoken enemies of Russia.

Summary: Not only was no federal jurisdictional law enforcement agency allowed to investigate the alleged crime scene, but the organization which allegedly collected and provided the 'evidence' was not neutral by being employed by the owner of the alleged crime scene, but seriously compromised by strong anti-Russian links.

This issue of this substitute for an anchor then leads us to our next problem: an apparent conflict of interest from the investigation's outset.


Conflict of Interest Inherent In The Investigation?

Would it seem like a conflict of interest if the person in charge of an investigation were friends with a witness and source of critical evidence relied upon by that investigation?

This is effectively the situation we have with the Special Counsel investigation because Robert Mueller and CrowdStrike's CSO (and President) Shawn Henry are former colleagues and friends.

Their history at the FBI is well known and their continued association after Henry had left the agency ( having dinner together at an executive retreat ) has been noted.

If nothing else, it's understandable for people to feel that the Special Counsel would have struggled to be truly impartial due to such relationships.


Conclusion

The Special Counsel seems to have been impervious to critical pieces of countervailing evidence (some of which demonstrates that Guccifer 2.0 deliberately manufactured Russian breadcrumbs) and they have failed to accurately account for the acquisition of WikiLeaks' DNC emails (missing the date on which approximately 70% of them were collected) , which is, in itself, a stunning failure for a supposedly thorough investigation costing US taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

There should have been a proper, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the Guccifer 2.0 persona. The Special Counsel certainly hasn't done that job and, in retrospect, looks to have been ill-equipped (and perhaps somewhat reluctant) to do so from the outset.


This article may be republished/reproduced in part or in full on condition that content above is unaltered and that the author is credited (or, alternatively, that a link to the full article is included).

[May 10, 2019] Obama administration raced to obtain FICA warrant on Carter Page before Rogers investigation closes on them and that was definitely an obstruction of justice and interference with the ongoing investigation

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the 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. ..."
"... The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016. ..."
"... After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target. ..."
"... On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit. ..."
"... Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the 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. ..."
"... While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

FISA Abuse

Admiral Mike Rogers, while director of the NSA, was personally responsible for uncovering an unprecedented level of FISA abuse that would later be documented in a 99-page unsealed FISA court ruling . As the FISA court noted in the April 26, 2017, ruling, the abuses had been occurring since at least November 2015:

"The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to private contractors.

"Private contractors had access to raw FISA information on FBI storage systems.

"Contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI's requests."

The FISA Court report is particularly focused on the FBI:

"The Court is 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."

The FISA Court disclosed that illegal NSA database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA database. Once in the contractors' possession, the data couldn't be traced.

In April 2016, after Rogers became aware of improper contractor access to raw FISA data on March 9, 2016, he directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702."

On April 18, 2016, Rogers shut down all outside contractor access to raw FISA information -- specifically outside contractors working for the FBI.

DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the 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.

The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016.

After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target.

On Oct. 21, 2016, the DOJ and the FBI sought and received a Title I FISA probable-cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISA Court.

At this point, the FISA Court was still unaware of the Section 702 violations.

On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit.

The FISA Court had been unaware of the query violations until they were presented to the court by Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the 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.

While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director.

The move to fire Rogers, which ultimately failed, originated sometime in mid-October 2016 -- exactly when Rogers was preparing to present his findings to the FISA Court.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 10, 2019] What was the meaning of the term "insurance policy" in Stzok messages to Lisa Page

Highly recommended!
The insurance policy was the false flag operation directed at establishing the Trump–Russia collusion narrative. The key part was the appointment of Special Prosecutor in which McCabe played an important if not the decisive role.
Notable quotes:
"... The insurance policy was the actual process of establishing the Trump–Russia collusion narrative. It encompassed actions undertaken in late 2016 and early 2017, including the leaking of the Steele dossier and James Clapper's leaks of James Comey's briefing to President Trump. The intent behind these actions was simple. The legitimization of the investigation into the Trump campaign. ..."
"... The strategy involved the recusal of Trump officials with the intent that Andrew McCabe would end up running the investigation. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

The Insurance Policy

Ever since the release of FBI text messages revealing the existence of an "insurance policy," the term has been the subject of wide speculation.

Some observers have suggested that the insurance policy was the FISA spy warrant used to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and, by extension, other members of the Trump campaign. This interpretation is too narrow and fails to capture the underlying meaning of the text.

The insurance policy was the actual process of establishing the Trump–Russia collusion narrative. It encompassed actions undertaken in late 2016 and early 2017, including the leaking of the Steele dossier and James Clapper's leaks of James Comey's briefing to President Trump. The intent behind these actions was simple. The legitimization of the investigation into the Trump campaign.

The strategy involved the recusal of Trump officials with the intent that Andrew McCabe would end up running the investigation.

The Steele dossier, which was paid for by the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the foundation for the Russia narrative.

The intelligence community, led by CIA Director John Brennan and DNI James Clapper, used the dossier as a launching pad for creating their Intelligence Community assessment.

This report, which was presented to Obama in December 2016, despite NSA Director Mike Rogers having only moderate confidence in its assessment, became one of the core pieces of the narrative that Russia interfered with the 2016 elections.

Through intelligence community leaks, and in collusion with willing media outlets, the narrative that Russia helped Trump win the elections was aggressively pushed throughout 2017.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 10, 2019] The Battle Between Rosenstein and McCabe

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... On July 28, 2017, McCabe lied to Inspector General Michael Horowitz while under oath regarding authorization of the leaking to The Wall Street Journal. At this point, Horowitz knew McCabe was lying, but did not yet know of the May 9 INSD interview with McCabe. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe held a pivotal role in what has become known as "Spygate." He directed the activities of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and was involved in all aspects of the Russia investigation. He was also mentioned in the infamous "insurance policy" text message.

McCabe was a major component of the insurance policy.

On April 26, 2017, Rosenstein found himself appointed as the new deputy attorney general. He was placed into a somewhat chaotic situation, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recluses himself from the ongoing Russia investigation a little less than two months earlier, on March 2, 2017. This effectively meant that no one in the Trump administration had any oversight of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI and the DOJ.

Additionally, the leadership of then-FBI Director James Comey was coming under increased scrutiny as the result of actions taken leading up to and following the election, particularly Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

On May 9, 2017, Rosenstein wrote a memorandum recommending that Comey be fired. The subject of the memo was "Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI." Comey was fired that day.

McCabe was now the acting director of the FBI and was immediately under consideration for the permanent position.

On the same day Comey was fired, McCabe would lie during an interview with agents from the FBI's Inspection Division (INSD) regarding apparent leaks that were used in an Oct. 30, 2016, Wall Street Journal article, "FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe" by Devlin Barrett. This would later be disclosed in the inspector general report, "A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Relating to Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe."

At the time, nobody, including the INSD agents, knew that McCabe had lied, nor were the darker aspects of McCabe's role in Spygate fully known.

In late April or early May 2016, McCabe opened a federal criminal investigation on Sessions, regarding potential lack of candor before Congress in relation to Sessions's contacts with Russians. Sessions was unaware of the investigation.

Sessions would later be cleared of any wrongdoing by special counsel Robert Mueller.

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein reportedly suggested to McCabe that he secretly record President Trump. This remark was reported in a New York Times article that was sourced from memos from the now-fired McCabe, along with testimony taken from former FBI general counsel James Baker, who relayed a conversation he had with McCabe about the occurrence. Rosenstein issued a statement denying the accusations.

The alleged comments by Rosenstein occurred at a meeting where McCabe was "pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president."

An unnamed participant at the meeting, in comments to The Washington Post, framed the conversation somewhat differently, noting Rosenstein responded sarcastically to McCabe, saying, "What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?"

Later, on the same day that Rosenstein had his meetings with McCabe, President Trump met with Mueller, reportedly as an interview for the FBI director job.

On May 17, 2017, the day after President Trump's meeting with Mueller -- and the day after Rosenstein's encounters with McCabe -- Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

The May 17 appointment of Mueller in effect shifted control of the Russia investigation from the FBI and McCabe to Mueller. Rosenstein would retain ultimate authority for the probe and any expansion of Mueller's investigation required authorization from Rosenstein.

Interestingly, without Comey's memo leaks, a special counsel might not have been appointed -- the FBI, and possibly McCabe, would have remained in charge of the Russia investigation. McCabe was probably not going to become the permanent FBI director, but he was reportedly under consideration. Regardless, without Comey's leak, McCabe would have retained direct involvement and the FBI would have retained control.

On July 28, 2017, McCabe lied to Inspector General Michael Horowitz while under oath regarding authorization of the leaking to The Wall Street Journal. At this point, Horowitz knew McCabe was lying, but did not yet know of the May 9 INSD interview with McCabe.

On Aug. 2, 2017, Rosenstein secretly issued Mueller a revised memo on "the scope of investigation and definition of authority" that remains heavily redacted. The full purpose of this memo remains unknown. On this same day, Christopher Wray was named as the new FBI director.

Two days later, on Aug. 4, 2017, Sessions announced that the FBI had created a new leaks investigation unit. Rosenstein and Wray were tasked with overseeing all leak investigations.

That Aug. 2 memo from Rosenstein to Mueller may have been specifically designed to remove any residual FBI influence -- specifically that of McCabe -- from the Russia investigation. The appointment of Wray as FBI director helped cement this. McCabe was finally completely neutralized.

On March 16, 2018, McCabe was fired for lying under oath at least three different times and is currently the subject of a grand jury investigation.

[May 10, 2019] Spygate represents the biggest political scandal in our nation's history

May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

Spygate represents the biggest political scandal in our nation's history. A sitting administration actively colluded with a political campaign to affect the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. Government agencies were weaponized and a complicit media spread intelligence community leaks as facts.

But a larger question remains: How long has the United States been subject to interference from the intelligence community and our political agencies? Was the 2016 presidential election a one-time aberration, or is this episode symptomatic of a larger pattern extending back decades?

The intensity, scale, and coordination suggest something greater than overzealous actions taken during a single election. They represent a unified reaction of the establishment to a threat posed by a true outsider -- a reaction that has come to be known as Spygate.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 10, 2019] I Will Not Yield - In Epic Rant, Jim Jordan Accuses Dems Of Sweeping Spygate Coverup

Jordan speech is informative enough to watch. He summaries "spygate" pretty well.
Notable quotes:
"... During his speech, Jordan cited a 2017 interview with Senator Chuck Schumer on the Rachel Maddow show where he said "if you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday for getting back at you." ..."
"... "I don't know if the FBI went after Trump in six ways, but they sure went after him in two ways. One was the dossier...the FBI used one party's oppo research to get a warrant from a secret court to spy on another campaign." ..."
"... "Second, just last Thursday, New York Times story, the FBI sent an investigator pretending to be somebody else to talk with George Papadopoulos who was working with the Trump campaign. You know what they call that? It's called spying. Think about the term he used: Political surveillance." ..."
"... Unfortunately, Republicans weren't able to stop the contempt vote from moving forward, but now that Trump has invoked executive privilege to protect the unredacted Mueller report and any related materials - which Democrats had demanded Barr release to them. ..."
"... Bill Barr is following the law. What's his reward? Democrats are going to hold him in contempt. ..."
May 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee - led by Chairman Jerry Nadler - voted to hold AG William Barr in contempt on Wednesday , one Republican wasn't having it.

During a heated diatribe during the vote, Jordan refused to yield and instead accused Democrats of trying to punish Barr for vowing to expose skullduggery by the Democrats and the Deep State during the campaign - particularly as it pertains to the provenance of the Russia collusion probe.

When it came his turn to speak, Jordan laid out everything Barr had said about his efforts to investigate exactly how the Russia probe was initiated, and look into suspicions that senior FBI and DoJ officials colluded with the Democrats to create an "insurance policy" to stop Trump. Jordan accused the Democrats of trying to punish Barr for simply following the law, while covering up for the FBI's malfeasance and politically motivated interference.

"He's going to get to the bottom of everything, he's going to find out how and why this investigation started in the first place. Never mind what he said three and a half weeks ago when he testified before the Senate Finance Committee. He said four very interest things: First he said there was a failure of leadership at the upper echelon of the FBI."

Out of everything Barr has said during his appearances before Congress over the last month, Jordan focused on one: Barr's claim that he has found evidence suggesting that "spying did occur," and that said spying may have been politically motivated - a reference to what has become known as "spygate".

"Second thing he said...spying did occur. Third, he said, there's a basis for my concern about the spying that took place. And maybe the most interest thing - two terms he used that frankly I find frightening - he said in his judgment that it looks like there might have been unauthorized surveillance and political surveillance."

During his speech, Jordan cited a 2017 interview with Senator Chuck Schumer on the Rachel Maddow show where he said "if you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday for getting back at you."

As far as Jordan can tell, the intelligence community took two concrete steps to try and get back at Trump for all of his deep state rhetoric.

"I don't know if the FBI went after Trump in six ways, but they sure went after him in two ways. One was the dossier...the FBI used one party's oppo research to get a warrant from a secret court to spy on another campaign."

"When they went to the court they didn't tell the court important things like who paid for it, that Christopher Steele had said he was desperate to stop Trump, and they didn't tell them that Steele had been fired by the FBI because he was out talking to the press."

The second was spying on the Trump campaign. To support this, Jordan referenced a New York Times story recounting an example of FBI spying on the Trump campaign.

"Second, just last Thursday, New York Times story, the FBI sent an investigator pretending to be somebody else to talk with George Papadopoulos who was working with the Trump campaign. You know what they call that? It's called spying. Think about the term he used: Political surveillance."

Asked to yield his time, Jordan replied "I will not yield."

Unfortunately, Republicans weren't able to stop the contempt vote from moving forward, but now that Trump has invoked executive privilege to protect the unredacted Mueller report and any related materials - which Democrats had demanded Barr release to them.

Watch Jordan's speech below:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-10/i-will-not-yield-epic-rant-jim-jordan-accuses-dems-sweeping-spygate-coverup

Rep. Jim Jordan 11:39 AM - May 8, 2019

✔ @Jim_Jordan

Bill Barr is following the law. What's his reward? Democrats are going to hold him in contempt.

[May 10, 2019] In some respects, the neoliberal MSMs has played the most disingenuous of roles is Spygate (aka Russiagate)

May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

Media

In some respects, the media has played the most disingenuous of roles. Areas of investigation that historically would have proven irresistible to reporters of the past have been steadfastly ignored. False narratives have been all-too-willingly promoted and facts ignored. Fusion GPS personally made a series of payments to several as-of-yet- unnamed reporters .

The majority of the mainstream media has represented positions of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

Steele met with members of certain media with relative frequency. In September 2016 , he met with a number of U.S. journalists for "The New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News, the New Yorker and CNN," according to The Guardian. It was during this period that Steele met with Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News.

In mid-October 2016, Steele returned to New York and met with reporters again. Toward the end of October, Steele spoke via Skype with Mother Jones reporter David Corn.

Leaking, including felony leaking of classified information, has been widespread. The Carter Page FISA warrant -- likely the unredacted version -- has been in the possession of The Washington Post and The New York Times since March 2017. Traditionally, the intelligence community leaked to The Washington Post while the DOJ leaked to sources within The New York Times. This was a historical pattern that stood until this election. The leaking became so widespread, even this tradition was broken.

On April 3, 2017, BuzzFeed reporter Ali Watkins wrote the article " A Former Trump Adviser Met With a Russian Spy ." In the article, she identified "Male-1," referred to in court documents relating to the case of Russian spy Evgeny Buryakov, as Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had provided the FBI with assistance in the case. Just over a week later, on April 11, 2017, a Washington Post article, " FBI Obtained FISA Warrant to Monitor Former Trump Adviser Carter Page ," confirmed the existence of the October 2016 Page FISA warrant.

The information contained within both articles likely came via felony leaks from James Wolfe, former director of security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who was arrested on June 7, 2018, and charged with one count of lying to the FBI. Wolfe's indictment alleges that he was leaking classified information to multiple reporters over an extended period of time.

Reporter Ali Watkins likely received the undredacted FISA application on Carter Page from James Wolfe.

It appears probable that Wolfe leaked unredacted copies of the Page FISA application.

According to the indictment , Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with Watkins on March 17, 2017. That same evening they engaged in a 28-minute phone call.

The original Page FISA application is 83 pages long, including one final signatory page.

In the public version of the application, there are 37 fully redacted pages. In addition to that, several other pages have redactions for all but the header. There are only two pages in the entire document that contain no redactions.

Why would Wolfe bother to send 37 pages of complete redactions? It seems more than plausible that Wolfe took pictures of the original unredacted FISA application and sent them by text to Watkins.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has repeatedly stated that evidence within the FISA application shows the counterintelligence agencies were abused by the Obama administration. Most of the mainstream media has known this.

Despite this, most major news organizations for over two years have promoted the Russia-collusion narrative. Despite ample evidence having come out to the contrary, they have not admitted they were wrong, likely because doing so would mean they would have to admit their complicity.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 10, 2019] The role of Obama administration in spygate (aka Russiagate)

May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

Obama Administration

The Obama administration provided a simultaneous layer of protection and facilitation for the entire effort. One example is provided by Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 , also known as Obama's data-sharing order . With the passage of the order, agencies and individuals were able to ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance simply by claiming the intercepts contained relevant information that was useful to a particular mission.

Section 2.3 had been expected to be finalized by early to mid-2016. Instead, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn't sign off on Section 2.3 until Dec. 15, 2016. The order was finalized when Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed it on Jan. 3, 2017.

The reason for the delay could relate to the fact that while the executive order made it easier to share intelligence between agencies, it also limited certain types of information from going to the White House.

An example of this was provided by Evelyn Farkas during a March 2, 2017, MSNBC interview , where she detailed 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."

Many of the Obama administration's efforts appear to have been structural in nature, such as establishing new procedures or creating impediments to oversight that enabled much of the surveillance abuse to occur.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed by Obama in 2011. From the very start, he found his duties throttled by the attorney general's office. According to congressional testimony by Horowitz:

"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."

These new restrictions were put in place by Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general 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 . The memo specifically denied the inspector general access to any information collected under Title III -- including intercepted communications and national security letters.

The New York Times recently disclosed that national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump campaign.

At other times, the Obama administration's efforts were more direct. The Intelligence Community assessment was released internally on Jan. 5, 2017. On this same day, Obama held an undisclosed White House meeting to discuss the dossier with national security adviser Susan Rice, FBI Director James Comey, and Yates. Rice would later send herself an email documenting the meeting.

The following day, Brennan, 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 Intelligence Community assessment 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 why:

"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 he wrote:

"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 that CNN reported on the dossier. It was later revealed that DNI James Clapper personally leaked Comey's meeting with Trump to CNN.

The Obama administration also directly participated in a series of intelligence unmaskings , the process whereby a U.S. citizen's identity is revealed from collected surveillance. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power reportedly engaged in hundreds of unmasking requests. Rice has admitted to doing the same.

The Obama administration engaged in the ultimately successful effort to oust Trump's newly appointed national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn. Yates, along with Mary McCord, head of the DOJ's National Security Division, led that effort .

Executive Order 13762

President Barack Obama issued a last-minute executive order on Jan. 13, 2017, that altered the line of succession within the DOJ. The action was not done in consultation with the incoming Trump administration.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired on Jan. 30, 2017, by a newly inaugurated President Trump for refusing to uphold the president's executive order limiting travel from certain terror-prone countries. Yates was initially supposed to serve in her position until Jeff Sessions was confirmed as attorney general.

Obama's executive order placed the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia next in line behind the department's senior leadership. The attorney at the time was Channing Phillips.

Phillips was first hired by former Attorney General Eric Holder in 1994 for a position in the D.C. U.S. attorney's office. Phillips, after serving as a senior adviser to Holder, stayed on after he was replaced by Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

It appears the Obama administration was hoping the Russia investigation would default to Channing in the event Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the investigation. Sessions, whose confirmation hearings began three days before the order, was already coming under intense scrutiny.

The implementation of the order may also tie into Yates's efforts to remove Gen. Michael Flynn over his call with the Russian ambassador.

Trump ignored the succession order, as he is legally allowed to do, and instead appointed Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as acting attorney general on Jan. 30, 2017, the same day Yates was fired.

Trump issued a new executive order on Feb. 9, 2017, the same day Sessions was sworn in, reversing Obama's prior order.

On March 10, 2017, Trump fired 46 Obama-era U.S. attorneys, including Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan. These firings appear to have been unexpected.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 08, 2019] Clapper admits FBI's actions 'meet the dictionary definition' of 'spying'

Notable quotes:
"... But in a widely-overlooked interview on CNN on May 3, Clapper admitted that spying had occurred. When asked by Wolf Blitzer whether spying had occurred, Clapper said that "it's not a term of art used by intelligence people" but admitted that "I guess it meets the dictionary definition of surveillance or spying, a term I don't particularly like." ..."
"... Going by the alias Azra Turk, this yet-unknown woman was reportedly sent to meet with Papadopoulos by one of the FBI agents who had previously spoken at Halper's Cambridge Intelligence Seminars." Washington Examiner ..."
"... I have suggested before that Clapper and the FISA court judges are the weakest spots in the array of Russiagate conspirators. The FISA judges are suggested to the Chief Justice by the DoJ for appointment. This occurs after close vetting for probable compliance with anything communicated by DoJ as desired outcomes in cases brought to them. After all, who knows them better than the DoJ lawyers who argue in the courts they come from? ..."
"... Clapper is a weakling filled boundless ambition and handicapped by limited intelligence. He has no particular allegiance to anything or anyone except himself and will seek forgiveness for his misdeeds if pressed hard. ..."
May 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"James Clapper admits FBI's actions 'meet the dictionary definition' of 'spying'" Wash Examiner

""I was amazed at that and rather disappointed that the attorney general would say such a thing," Clapper said. "The term 'spying' has all kinds of negative connotations and I have to believe he chose that term deliberately."

But in a widely-overlooked interview on CNN on May 3, Clapper admitted that spying had occurred. When asked by Wolf Blitzer whether spying had occurred, Clapper said that "it's not a term of art used by intelligence people" but admitted that "I guess it meets the dictionary definition of surveillance or spying, a term I don't particularly like."

Clapper conceded this point following a May 2 story in the New York Times that revealed that a woman who had been posing as the assistant of Stefan Halper, a Cambridge University professor who himself had worked as a Trump campaign informant on behalf of the FBI, was herself working undercover for the FBI. Going by the alias Azra Turk, this yet-unknown woman was reportedly sent to meet with Papadopoulos by one of the FBI agents who had previously spoken at Halper's Cambridge Intelligence Seminars." Washington Examiner

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

I have suggested before that Clapper and the FISA court judges are the weakest spots in the array of Russiagate conspirators. The FISA judges are suggested to the Chief Justice by the DoJ for appointment. This occurs after close vetting for probable compliance with anything communicated by DoJ as desired outcomes in cases brought to them. After all, who knows them better than the DoJ lawyers who argue in the courts they come from?

Clapper is a weakling filled boundless ambition and handicapped by limited intelligence. He has no particular allegiance to anything or anyone except himself and will seek forgiveness for his misdeeds if pressed hard.

If Lindsay Graham needs initial targets for his very own "witchhunt," he should start with these people. pl

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/james-clapper-admits-fbis-actions-meet-the-dictionary-definition-of-spying


Jack , 08 May 2019 at 12:50 AM

Sir

I don't think Lindsey is gonna do much other than showboat. The only person who should have the motive and has the power to take action is Trump. I'm skeptical he has the wherewithal to push it through. He'll likely delegate to Barr and who knows if Barr really wants to rock the boat.

Robert , 08 May 2019 at 09:30 AM
The way the South Korean's pronounced Clapper's name was priceless--"Crapper"--and appropriate, too. Always broke me up.
walrus , 08 May 2019 at 12:09 PM
The smoking gun; FBI conspired with HRC;

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/442592-steeles-stunning-pre-fisa-confession-informant-needed-to-air-trump-dirt#.XNIAVvr8PT0.twitter

Fluesterwitz , 08 May 2019 at 12:09 PM
The dictionary definition of 'spying':

"to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes"

I suppose the legal definition is somewhat different, otherwise this seems to be a confession, doesn't it?

[May 08, 2019]