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13 January 2017

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Cortes

A fascinating essay. Thank you. Two brief remarks.

First, the fourth comment on the following article by Pat Buchanan

http://www.unz.com/pbuchanan/trumps-enemies-see-an-opening/ makes a very good point: that anti-Trump politicians who don't like the assessments of the IC regarding Iranian nuclear programmes are quite content to accept wholly any materials issued by or with the knowledge of said IC whose effect seems to be to paint the President-elect as a dupe or a depraved traitor.

The second is that I was shocked by the language used by Gilbert Doctorow in his contribution to the latest edition of the RT show "Cross Talk" dealing with the lead-in to the new Administration. Any time previously I've been impressed by his measured tone and rational arguments. On the show in question he identifies the USA as being in "the antechamber of civil war."

I sincerely hope that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Everyone&Noone

You are aware that OSINT may provide dividends.

US IC scours OSINT, including Twitter tweets.

Garnered via Twitter tweets:

--BBC has reported that there are multiple sources that claim much of the Steele reportage is accurate in the dossier, multiple films/videos, and an audio tape as well. Not just events in Moscow, but in Saint Petersburg as well. Also mentions knowledge by an East European intelligence agency of an additional carnality blackmail tape existing.

"Outside Source" 11 Jan. 1800 GMT. Paul Wood reporting.

Apparently Penthouse's $1 million offer for a Trump carnality tape has three interested parties. Ex-FBI persons will study tape to check authenticity. Spokesperson for Penthouse magazine says they expect to (allegedly) get a copy of the tape by the end of this weekend.

--There is an "East European intelligence agency" involved that eavesdropped on Trump associate meeting a Russian Duma member in (what is surmised to be the Czech Republic). That was the Estonian intelligence service. Newsweek article states this.

--A Twitter account of Christo Grozev has proffered informed speculation that one of Steele's high Russian sources is FSB General Erovinkin, the ex-Chief of Staff for Sechin. Or should I say the late FSB General. He was found murdered in an automobile in Moscow on December 26. (First FSB General to be murdered.) Erovinkin appears to have been well connected enough to know about all the chicanery.

The Beaver

Patrick,
It would also have been virtually impossible for Steele to reach out to his sources and meet them on Russian soil.

Through what I have read since Tuesday night, Steele has not been to Russia for the past 20 yrs- he can't go because of the Polonium affair. Thus through contacts and money, he has managed to buy some informants or second-hand info. Hence the 17 reports from different sources or may even been written by some of them.

What is very strange ( but not as far as the Brits are concerned) is the involvement of FCO in that affair. Granted that as a spook, he was a "diplomat" at the British Embassy in Moscow but getting a former Ambassador involved to get the attention of Sen McCain?

His original report may have been altered since the hand over was made via Sen McCain to the FBI and the leaked redacted version that everyone saw on different news sites may not be 100% accurate in content.

Ghostship

Who is responsible for deciding what the foreign policy of the United States is? I've always thought it was the president. Am I wrong?

kooshy

"As Inauguration Day approaches, chances are, we have not seen the end of it and there still is room for yet another layer of hyperbole.'

Yes PB you are right, just today, a few hours ago, an elected US congressman(John Lewis) refused to recognize as legitimate US' legally elected president by overwhelming electoral vote. IMO, In a way, this fool is questioning the legality of US system and his own office. PB IMO, with these systematic attacks (you read coup) on legality and legitimacy of the system we are on trouble for some time to come, but I believe so you are on the otherside of water, since you are so attached to us to lead. I hope you tell us, how private and public talks around this issue is discussed in France.

kooshy

PB remember this dossier was originally compiled as a research opinion for primaries, I guess a report as such, for primaries may not require as high of research and accuracy as it does for general elections or the legitimacy of president elect. Could that be the reason for sloppiness of the report?

Boomheist

Good article. I would say my radar is firing off all over the pace on this one. All the whiskers alert to con jobs are quivering. Tonkin Gulf? Burning babies on Bush #1 vs Iraq war 1?

Here's what I think. I bet they DO have something nasty on Trump, not itself sufficient to drive him from the palace, but embarrassing, perhaps sexual in nature, but perhaps not. Maybe something as simple as Trump himself talking to someone in Russian intelligence in he run up to the election, some brief aside at a meeting somewhere. With all this hoopla and unending blizzard of allegation, if THEN Trump is found to have lied or mis-spoke about ANYTHING, they will drag him down. I think that's what this is about.

We are going t find out, fast, if the man truly has titanium balls...

Just Asking

I have one (hypothetical) question that puzzles me: why would Trump feel that he needed to wait until he was in a Russian 5-star hotel before hiring some hookers to, umm, mark his territory?

Has Obama never had a sleepover in, say, a classy San Fran or an expensive Los Angeles establishment?

Or London? Paris? What about Rome in the time of Bersesconi - at least then he'd know who the pimp is.

The idea that Trump would think it a good idea to choose the one country that is guaranteed to bug the Presidential Suite - or supply hookers straight out of Honey Pot Central Casting - just doesn't sound right to me.

Trump may not be cultured, but he has proved beyond a doubt that he is very, very, very shrewd. Surely he is shrewd enough to know when it's a good time to call up the hookers for a good time, and when it's Neither The Time Nor The Place.


Babak Makkinejad

Along similar lines:

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/america-becoming-third-world-country-19050

BraveNewWorld

Great article. Better stuff here than every thing else I have read put together.

What strikes me the most is just how totally amateurish it all seems. Even at the height of the CIAs BS it still had polish. MI6s games for terrorists in Syria has polish. This just all feels so third rate. To over the top. Any one could think up a more believable story. I can't help but think there is another player we haven't heard from yet. But that's just my gut backed by zero facts.

Macgupta123

Funny how the conventional journalistic ethics works.

When Trump made unsubstantiated allegations about Obama's citizenship, birth certificate, etc., the MSM published it. Trump's making of these allegations does not affect his credibility.

When former MI6 agent, the highly regarded Michael Steele of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. makes unsubstantiated allegations, but staking the credibility of his business on it, the MSM ought not to publish these allegations because they are not verified.

It seems that MSM should not act as filters on celebrities and should publish whatever they say; but should sternly block anything lesser mortals say because ..."unverified".

The moral of the story is that per current standards, you need to have your own reality TV show in order to have what you say published by the MSM.

 jld

Unfortunately once the infos have been "sufficiently" messed up it is not possible to properly sort them out again:
https://sciencehouse.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/fake-news-and-beliefs/

Castellio

First point:

It's quite amazing that we're talking about this... given that it is most likely the DNC leak was initiated by Seth Rich, an idealistic Democrat with the appropriate computer access, angered and betrayed by the dirty tricks against Sanders... who was later found murdered.

Why is the media not focused on a real crime directly tied to an inside leak of true information at the DNC, rather than focusing on this shoddy and obvious ploy to redirect and obfuscate?

Second point:

As Patrick rightly points out, whenever certain elements of the US government intend to engage in something obviously illegal, they prefer to have the "cover" of the British government or British intelligence; as if immediate action on an important consensus of the Anglo-American world is necessary to save the globe from disaster. At first blush it sounds impressive, doesn't it, "an intelligence operative for M16"? However, this approach is so tired and so far from the current reality of people's lives that it has become, at long last, tiresome and ineffective.

Third point:

Obama rose so quickly to his powerful position because he had the necessary big money big media backing, and had made the necessary compromises and promises to get it: which is precisely how he ended up being such a disappointing President. Hillary spent the last eight years trying to prove her loyalty – by ALL means possible – to exactly those who had neglected her for Obama. She thought if she could win them (and she did) she had the position in the bag. The electorate was secondary in her priorities, and too many of the electorate knew it.

Those who chose Obama and had decided to back Clinton represent a key power node of Big Media, Big Money and Big Influence. They are hardly "fresh thinkers" and, a great and complicating factor, they have a lot to hide. They will fight Trump relentlessly not only in the media which they own (slurs, chastisement, ridicule), and in the Congress which they are used to manipulating (impeachments, legislation), and most likely, too, to try to freeze funding for or otherwise undermine the health of his companies' projects.

It will come down to this: will the breadth of the Republican party keep their noses out of the proverbial trough of self-interest long enough to maintain any sort of party coherence?


johnf

I agree that this is a very dark and dangerous situation arising, but as an incurable optimist I do see some reasons for hope.

The powerful in the Western world seem to have gone collectively mad. Like a swarm of Godzillas they are rampaging drunkenly around our countries destroying everything decent and worthwhile in sight. Democracy - pfft! Freedom - puff! Innocent until proved guilty - give us a break!

We have a saying in British politics. The higher one climbs up the greasy pole, the better everyone can see your arse. What all this thud and blunder is providing for the lesser classes is a sudden and deeply salutary lesson in the realities of our betters and their politics. After years of supine indifference, suddenly ordinary people are being forced to educate themselves and discover for themselves precisely what the hell these weasels are up to. The MSM stink - at last they realize that - and instead they educate and inform themselves on social media relying on people they know and trust.

And I'm not denying there is a lot of shit on social media. But that means they are having to hyone their own analytical skills, they are having to learn to reason and think. It is an amazing and heartening thing to witness.

And all the entitled princelings haven't the least idea its going on. To them the deplorables are incapable of rational thought. As the princelings become irrational and hysterical, the unwashed are becoming informed and pragmatic.

Interesting days! I thank God I'm living in them.

johnf

Just a footnote.

What also cheers me is the youth, emotion, wit, the irony, and the sheer fun many people on social media are having playing with and destroying the memes of the undeplorables. I find twitter sites like draftourdaughters and fakenews verbally and visually arresting, imaginative and hilarious.

As our great puritan poet John Milton wrote during the darkest days of our civil war:

"Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks: Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam; purging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance, while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms. What should ye do then, should ye suppress all this flowery crop of knowledge and new light sprung up and yet springing daily in this city, should ye set an oligarchy of twenty ingrossers over it, to bring a famine upon our minds again, when we shall know nothing but what is measured to us by their bushel?"

Enuff over-the-topness.

Patrick Bahzad

Impressive stuff.

Ghostship

The Russian government have formally denied that they do such things.
Back in the Soviet Era when all hotels were state owned it probably occurred frequently. These days with all the hotels privately owned, I doubt it. Five star hotels are five star hotels because they give their guests privacy among many other things. Do you really think a major corporation would compromise its reputation by allowing such activity? Just imagine the financial impact of the hotel chain if this proved to be true. That's not to say that hotels don't allow monitoring of guests when required by the legal authorities of the country concerned. or that other entities do it.

LondonBob

Surprisingly the government and MI6 are coming under a lot of criticism here. Of course this has been well deserved for a long time.

The intelligence agencies, the media and the political class have managed to thoroughly discredit themselves. The question is really is how detached are the political establishment in the US are from reality, they have already pushed this far further than would have been wise. From one of the few reliable pollster in the US, Trump's approval ratings have only risen since his election.

https://www.peoplespunditdaily.com/polls/2017/01/05/trump-favorability-rating-improves-across-board-inauguration/

raven

"In a way" what was you first clue? Next thing you know this "fool" will scream out at the state of the union "YOU LIE"!!!

Raven

"Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday that there are about 30 to 40 Republicans in Congress who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency and are seeking to erase everything that’s happened during his administration.


King made the remarks in a discussion with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s "Hardball," after the host asked how many Republicans would like to “erase [Obama’s] record, as if he was never here.”
“I’ve had members, they know who they are, they say, ‘I really can’t say with these lips that this man, Barack Obama, was elected president,’” Matthews said. “They choke on that. How many are there in Congress on your side that represent that rejectionist front?”

“I would say there are probably 30 or 40 who are like that,” King responded. “As there were a number of Democrats who felt that way about George W. Bush, and going back to when you and I first met, Republicans who felt that way about Bill Clinton.”

Raven

"Others" like Cheney etc all?

turcopolier

raven and kooshy

IMO John Lewis is a very decent man who deserves our respect, but in this instance I think he is probably acting out long standing and understandable anger over Trump's birther nonsense. He knows quite well that Trump is legitimately elected. The national popular vote is legally meaningless. It is interesting that her popular vote majority resides in California. pl

J

The deepstate war versus Trump

Tucker Carlson and Glen Greenwald discuss

ttps://youtu.be/7IwPSv-ALeI

ambrit

Considering that nationalism is still a potent force in world affairs, the fact of being a global concern doesn't guarantee immunity from local politics. Thus, multi-layered webs of influence will affect actions. America is no stranger to government agencies strong arming private concerns. Strong arming is not necessary, when "patriotism" is put into play.
Finally, Bill Clinton 'got away' with sexual predations. In the Lewinsky case, Clinton had a responsibility to protect the young woman, simply because he was her boss, and wielded total control over her workplace situation. At worst, Trump has shown poor judgement in his 'extracurricular' dalliances. The women here were supposedly paid for their time and 'talents.'
I agree with Mr. Bahzad that this is shaping up into a Constitutional crisis. If Trump goes, America will have it's first official President chosen by the Praetorian Guard.

Vic

I wonder if the ORBIS Russian spy network (or MI6) was also the source for the high confidence assessment that the highest levels of the Russian government knew about the hacking and that the purpose of the hacking was to disadvantage Clinton? Such detailed insight into the working of the Russian leadership is seldom if ever in Open Source. It often requires a highly placed insider to get the required placement and access to that type of information. Such sources are historically rare. More often it is disinformation or just fabrication for money by Expats. If it is too good to be true....it usually is.

Vic

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