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11 January 2017

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Willybilly

Too little, much too late. The US IC has become the laughing stock of the world. No chiefs, simply Indians and subservient shafts!

Tyler

Brennan as crypto-Muslim would explain a lot of this.

Sam Peralta

He's not trying to keep his job. That's already been assigned to Dan Coats.

He's just a perfect example of a weasel apparatchik. He would have done very well in the Soviet Kremlin as he has done in the DC Kremlin that is perfectly mirroring Soviet times.

Col. Lang is tipping his hat to a master of bureaucratic games. That's his skill. Not intelligence gathering and analysis. Not the national security of the US. He'll perjure, lie, kiss ass, backstab and do everything that weasel bureaucrats do so well. He's just like another weasel, George Tenet of slamdunk fame.

Sam Peralta

Col. Lang

How are Dan Coats & Mike Pompeo who are cut of the same cloth gonna work in this situation of tension and subterfuge with Trump surely on the warpath? Are they gonna snooker Trump to get him to back the party line?

What do you think Clapper, Brennan and Comey were expecting to accomplish by getting so deeply involved?

johnf

Forgive me if someone has already posted this.

James Clapper is not the only individual seeking forgiveness of Trump according to Politico, President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine is also desperately trying to climb back on board the good ship Trump, saying he has no knowledge of any Ukrainian/Democrat joint black ops to tie Trump to Putin.

It is a surprisingly detailed article, going into the Chaputas and their antics in great depth, and it is the first time I have seen this stuff aired in the MSM.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446

Also on the Christopher Steele (British "intelligence" officer/professional smear merchant) affair, there's a long article on what is known about him at:

http://heavy.com/news/2017/01/christopher-steele-british-intelligence-officer-mi6-donald-trump-russia-wrote-report-name-golden-showers-linkedin-photos-orbis/

What is fascinating about it is the campaigns he's previously been involved in. "Steele worked with former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was fatally poisoned with polonium-210 in 2006 in London," and, "According to Reuters, Steele was looking into corruption allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Moscow", both of which, without any evidence, I've always assumed were British Intelligence operations to smear Putin and reignite the Cold War.

According to the article it was Steele who personally delivered the report to McCain in a Washington Park - I'm surprised Steele and McCain and Craig Murray and the Wikileaks leaker didnt all collide each other on these le Carre-like assignations.

shanks

It's one thing to try to delegitimize your opponent politically and using media and another to use Gov. resources of the 'black ops' and 3 letter agencies kind to front that dossier.

Not only do the agencies look like chumps, their future prez is going to look at them with a jaundiced eye on their intel input and KNOW that they might try this schtick again to hustle to take some action based on faulty stuff

A lot of political appointees to these agencies will probably need to go, quickly, if only to prevent institutional damage

b

Two issues of interest:

- There are TWO investigation of stuff related to Russia
One is about alleged payments of Russian banks to U.S. people near Trump. This is the one that led FBI try to get a FISA court decision which was twice rejected and then narrowly signed by a new judge in October. The tip for this comes from "the Intel service of a Baltic State" according to BBC
This is the relevant BBC link that details the issue by their Washington correspondent Paul Wood:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38589427
Trump 'compromising' claims: How and why did we get here?

It is unclear in most reports to which issue (banking bribes or 35 pages?) Clapper and others refer.

- There is the 35 pages stuff which is just bullshit as anyone knowing Russia a bit knows.
An unredacted(!) version was leaked to Buzzfeed which is different from the redacted versions other media received. This is why Trump thinks the CIA or FBI leaked it.
See Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/11/trump-russia-report-opposition-research-john-mccain
The content of the 35 pages is probably from Ukraine. Christopher Steeele, the MI-6 dude who wrote it, had to rely on some dodgy "Russian" sources as he can not travel to Russia himself.

GarrettK

Yeah, Clapper, the former Booz Allen exec who, while he was head of NGA in late 2003, said there was satellite image proof that Iraq had moved its WMD into Syria. If that's what counts as good in government work, then these guys will have a hard time living up to the standards of a Manhattan billionaire business titan who is used to rock solid information when clashing with other billionaire business titans in a zero sum game.

English Outsider


So have I got this right? A dossier on Trump was compiled as part of the Republican campaign to prevent his nomination. Work on the dossier continued and it then became part of the Democratic campaign against him. The dossier then became part of the post-election campaign against Trump.

Nothing out of the way so far, not for modern politics, except that it will be an interesting footnote in American political history. The dossier wasn't used during the Presidential election campaign, not publicly; it wasn't a convincing piece of research and public release would have brought more ridicule on those who released it than it would have damaged Trump. Had it been released just a day or two before the election though, enough voters might have believed it to make the risk of ridicule worthwhile - a sort of last minute Hail Mary that might just have brought the Democrats victory. But at that time it wasn't thought the Democrats needed a Hail Mary so the dossier remained limited circulation. A day or so back I heard one of the Clinton election team lamenting that the dossier hadn't been used at the right time and reflected that had it been, we might now be looking at a President-elect Clinton. As it is, the dossier remains just a footnote.

Not quite a footnote. The dossier seems to have got mixed up with a herculean effort on the part of the American Intelligence services to prove that the Russians are spying on America. And that they'd prefer to see Trump as President and have done what they can to ensure that outcome. That's the bit I don't understand. I thought we already knew that everyone spies on everyone else, We certainly know that countries interfere in each other's elections: it's not so long ago that President Obama was earnestly telling us in England not to vote for Brexit, and if that's not interference, though of course welcome interference given the outcome, I don't know what is.

So put it all together and it's obvious that Trump's a Russian agent. Or members of his team are. Or something. I can understand that bit. Another Hail Mary, but this time for real.

Very much for real. I've just been listening to the eight o'clock news this morning and hearing what the BBC has made of it all. Very clever - if you like that sort of clever - and quite damning for Trump. When you're listening, as opposed to reading, the mind skates over all the carefully phrased qualifications and seizes on the "facts". The automatic assumption is that there's no smoke without fire and the BBC wouldn't be giving so much attention to the matter unless there really was something in it.

That's the purpose of these "intelligence reports" that are being so carefully analysed at present. They're not intended to convince people who have a background in such work. They're concocted to get allegations out into the open. Once that's done the media can be trusted to make suitable use of them, and listening to the use the BBC has just made of them I'd say those "intelligence reports" serve their purpose well.

But you can't make bricks entirely without straw and reading Patrick Bahzad on this site it's clear that the source of some of that straw is identifiable:- "What CNN alluded to is actually a dossier containing 17 short "intelligence reports" drafted between June and December 2016 by a private intelligence company headed by a former (anonymous) MI6 officer with – allegedly – extensive sources and networks in Russia and Eastern Europe. The various reports contain extremely serious allegations, based on anonymous HUMINT sources and – possibly – various SIGINT intercepts, although the reports do not state this clearly. In other words, this "dossier" is the work of a nameless former intelligence officer who quotes anonymous sources."

It seems that this former MI6 officer has now been named, so even in this largely fact-free zone there's that much to go on: one of our lot's got himself mixed up in all this. It leads to the question that has been in my mind since this blew up. As I have said before, it's scarcely possible that a former British Intelligence agent has been running around loose on the American political scene, and using his network of contacts and sources to concoct reports about an American Presidential candidate, without that being known to his previous employers. So who in London authorised it?

Pundita

[dry chuckle]

JohnH

This is a huge embarrassment to Democrats, the mainstream media, and those intelligence officials who have been piling on Trump. It hurts their
credibility with the public, which was already under a cloud of doubt.

In the end their ham fisted only makes Trump stronger, enhancing his creds and his narrative of 'they're out to get me.' What a ham fisted campaign!

If they want to get Trump, it should not be on trumped up charges. With a smidgeon of patience, real opportunities to get him should arise...

johnf

In addition to Christopher Steele, "ex"SIS, the Daily Mail is now suggesting that a senior British Diplomat, an ex Ambassador to Russia, was involved in DODGY DOSSIER II. They name the Ambassador as being the currently extremely delicately positioned Sir Tim Barrow. "Delicately positioned" because the previous Ambassador to Europe having just flounced out because he is a Remainer, reliable old Barrow was wheeled only a couple of weeks ago to fill his place.

All sorts of stresslines and faults within the British power structure are being revealed by this Dossier. SIS I suspect are straight-down-the-line globalists/anti-Assadists/Clintonistas as are the British Establishment, but the fact Trump takes office in a few days is meaning they are radically having to reposition themselves. Steele and his neo-Cold War antics are suddenly proving to be extremely embarassing to the government. This is made worse by the statement of Nigel Farage - Theresa May's major political opponent and friend of Trump - stating that Steele should be given no cover whatsoever by the government. He's on his own. "Realist" Tory MPs are lining up behind him. Farage said the government should make it very plain to Trump that they had nothing to do with this.

And a further twist. On the Beeb's lunchtime news show, Frank Gardiner, their longterm Security correspondent (almost certainly an SIS asset) was suggesting that the original Dossier written by Steele contained none of the dodginess of that made public. No bad spelling, no ludicrous scenarios. In other words, it woz the Yanks wot rewrit it. Wriggle, wriggle.

The BBC's coverage was also fascinating. It seemed in full row back mode. It was suggested that the dossier was almost certainly dodgy. A lot of time was spent talking to the Russians and interviewing ordinary Russians in the street - all of whom had pithy views on the subject.

I suspect a lot of the cheer leaders for this most recent madness are getting cold feet and withdrawing at speed. A bridge too far. The rebellion, at least on this side of the Atlantic, could be over.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4112388/Theresa-make-clear-UK-ex-MI6-agent-s-claims-dirty-Russian-dossier-says-Nigel-Farage-No10-tries-distance-row.html

turcopolier

English Outsider

"Nothing out of the way so far, not for modern politics, except that it will be an interesting footnote in American political history." Well ... when Mr. Jefferson, the Grand High Virginian wuz prez, he wuz regularly attacked in the yankee press for his relationship with Sally Hemings, the fine lady of color who bore him several children and who ran Monticello (the household). Does that count as a precedent? She was his deceased wife's half sister. Hefreed her and a couple of his sons in his will and they lived in Charlottesville, VA where the census classified them as white. pl

turcopolier

GarettK

Having functioned in the upper echelons of both business and intelligence, IMO Clapper is fit only for boot-licking when dealing with someone like Trump and Trump will use him for that. pl

TV

Same-o, same-o...
The CIA and FBI continue to embarrasingly display their gross incompetence.
These agencies need to be shut down and replaced - with all NEW people, preferably adults.
There is overwhelming dishonesty and ineptness - all of these wannabe James Bonds running around playing spy vs. spy.

The Beaver

More on the travails of the ex-MI^ agent:
Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump's bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report.

He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media.

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/11/former-mi6-officer-produced-donald-trump-russian-dossier-terrified/

robt willmann

Here is the statement of 11 January from Clapper about his conversation of the same day with Donald Trump--

https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/224-press-releases-2017/1469-dni-clapper-statement-on-conversation-with-president-elect-trump

One interesting thing in it is: "We also discussed the private security company document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it."

Oh, really? The salacious document was "widely circulated" during "recent months" among the mass media, members of Congress and Congressional staff "before" the intelligence community "became aware of it"?

So Clapper wants us to believe that with all the former (and current?) CIA people floating around in the staffs of members of Congress and around the mass media, that the "intelligence community" had not even heard of the document with its juicy contents before some very recent, unspecified date?

Cut their budget.

Bill Herschel

She was, I believe, 14 when he started having sex with her.

turcopolier

Bill Herschel

Prig. 14 has been for many years, in many states a marriageable age. pl

Larry Kart

Good to see you again ,Tyler -- it's been a while, no?

FredW

I don't think Clapper is trying to get anybody to believe anything that he says. This is not an environment where people are likely to take anything at face value. What he wants is to present as non-threatening. Whether the lack of threat derives from perceptions of motivation or of ineptness is irrelevant.

"When you attack the king, you HAVE to kill the king." When you don't have the goods, you go for bootlicking. when you do have the goods but are not prepared to use them, you go for bootlicking. When you don't have anything but people think you might, you go for bootlicking and and a display of the most ridiculous version of "the goods" that you can come up with. Clapper may be the grandmaster of this, but I can't envision ANY DNI taking a significantly different line. The goal is to not trigger a wholesale massacre. Whether that goal is achievable is not clear at this time.

Is there anything to be learned from these reports that goes any deeper than that?

Margaret Steinfels

Amateur Observation: What if the CIA has the aforementioned tape, and now they can blackmail Trump?

Old Microbiologist

I think this is typical Washington. They went all in for Clinton and can't seem to understand it is time to back off and apologize. A few sacrificial lambs must be slaughtered otherwise things are going to get really rough for the IC. They will be ignored and possible major re-organizations or large budget cuts in efforts to reduce budgets and force better performance through consolidation. Arguably we have too many disparate organizations working in parallel.

To most Americans perception, every major terrorist act in the US has been missed completely. The ones (more than 50 now) proudly announced as successes have all been sting operations and many were not terrorists or even remotely thinking about it until enticed into it by the FBI. Then we have the gross failures such as missing the fall of the Soviet Union and the WMD in Iraq. There are many others but these are still fresh in the minds of average Americans who actually pay attention. Add in the recent leaks and it looks comically bad. It is so effective one might think this is in fact a real Russian operation to dismantle the IC and maybe the deep state.

turcopolier

Margaret Steinfels

What if Lincoln was a secret Southern agent and his hidden diaries might be discovered? pl

mike

Why would the CIA leak the story? If they had wanted to leak it, then before November 8 would be the time, not January.

Cui bono?

McCain and the old lady from SC and other "never Trump" Republicans in Congress (or the Bush clan) benefit from this leak a lot more than the CIA.

Russia benefits from sowing dissension. This puts the frosting on the cake for them by having the CIA being shown as incompetent, and they have now again defeated Clinton and Samantha P putting a stake in their heart. Plus it makes Trump a laughing stock internationally. 3rd world yellow press, blogs, and twitter feeds are already using the term "PEEOTUS".


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