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25 October 2017

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JamesT

TV

Wow. I learn so much around here.

different clue

DianaLC,

As I read your comment I had/ have an even worse thought. Namely " isn't that stuff that Bill Clinton would like to do his own self, if he felt sure that he could get away with it?" Shame on me for thinking that? Well . . . maybe.

Just what was Slicky Bill doing on all those private luxury airplane flights to Epstein Island? Just what did Slicky Bill do on Epstein Island after he got off the plane?

I hope that Harvey Weinstein is only the first of many great trees to fall in the forest.

mariner

Helmer is a propagandist. Once again, Putin's laughing. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

'Bateson, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind describes the two forms of schismogenesis and proposes that both forms are self-destructive to the parties involved. He goes on to suggest that researchers look into methods that one or both parties may employ to stop a schismogenesis before it reaches its destructive stage.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schismogenesis

Eric Newhill

PA,
That is one of the more clever defenses of the Clinton's indefensible behavior that I have heard yet. As it is still early in the story and I am sure that as we speak well paid BS masters are frantically bouncing various spin off focus groups in shabby rooms over stale donuts and luke warm coffee, something more clever may develop, but you're #1 so far.

Unfortunately, your theory is still only rises to the level of a good try. It only makes some sense if the "or else" was that the Russians would take their $150 million in pay to play/bribery money and give it to someone else.

You raise the appearance of a good point about the Kazakhstan uranium. You say that if that was what the Russians were really after - the real prize - then they could have simply gone there with their bribery cash and been done with it. However, it seems to me that Uranium One had the Kazakhstan uranium tied up. So the only way to get at it was via controlling interest in Uranium One. The leader of Kazakhstan (even if a "vicious strongman" as you called him) can't just rip up Uranium One's deal. Plus, Uranium One probably gave him plenty of bribe money themselves. Also, obtaining a controlling interest in Uranium One means getting control of the Uranium of the US and other countries; which may not serve the short term tactical needs of Russia like the Kazak uranium, but which likely benefits long term strategy. Hey, at the very least, it never hurts to have some valuable asset in one's portfolio.

That luke warm coffee is going to give you heartburn after a while and the stale donuts aren't doing you any favors either. Eat right, get some exercise and generally pace yourself. This is going to get heavy and not go away quickly.

mikee

bks: I certainly hope you are being paid to write this nonsense. First of all the GOP did not pay for the Steele dossier, not that they aren't capable of such a thing. That is a wholly owned Democrat smear.

Hell, From what I've seen Trump could likely be one of the most honest politicians in DC. It doesn't take much in the way of integrity to top the pond scum that 'serve' there now.

LondonBob

Well I did a bit of uranium investing back in the day and it is still a lot less valuable now, than it was ten years ago. Actually I believe there is still the once sizeable military stockpile to be rundown, as everyone has been doing. Uranium itself is not rare and there are many deposits, however few of them are commercially viable to mine at the current market price. So I wouldn't inflate the importance of uranium, especially as you can't pick up deposits in the US and relocate them elsewhere, they have to be mined where they are. Anyway I expect the Russian interest was in the Kazakh, not the US, deposits for that reason.

The corruption itself seems to be driven less so by the Russians but the other parties firstly in regards to the acquisition of the Kazakh assets by Guistra, then smoothing the purchase of UrAsia by Uranium One, and then finally insuring that these interests could then be sold on to Rosatom. The tone of media reporting tends to imply this was all a massive threat to US national security by nefarious corrupt Russians but I don't think the facts of the matter bear that out, at best it is an exaggeration.

MRW

I can’t remember the details, but Helmer was on the staff of Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council.

An absolutely fascinating account is this article he wrote about Brzezinski after Brzezinski died last May:

"ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, THE SVENGALI OF JIMMY CARTER’S PRESIDENCY, IS DEAD, BUT THE EVIL LIVES ON”
http://johnhelmer.net/zbigniew-brzezinski-the-svengali-of-jimmy-carters-presidency-is-dead-but-the-evil-lives-on/

b

Also of note:

The Obama-FBI used the content of the DNC/Clinton paid fake dossier to get FISA warrants to then spy on officials of the opposition party.

The FBI never got (asked for?) access to the DNC servers of which the Fusion GPS hired Crowdstrike asserted that they were hacked by Russia.

David Habakkuk

Tidewater,

You clearly did not see my response after you recycled Helmer’s BS back in September.

As I noted then, while he has often been a source of very valuable information, and while there is not yet enough evidence to form a definite view, there is certainly reason to contemplate the possibility that, on this occasion, he may have been channelling disinformation from the Russian security services.

I will repost what I wrote then after posting this comment, which elaborates it.

As I have noted in earlier comments, I do not think that one can simply discount the possibility that some of the material in the dossier was disinformation deliberately fed to Steele by Russian intelligence in the hope that it would blow up in his face, and that of Trump’s opponents.

The suggestion, with which the dossier starts, that Russia had, as it were, picked Trump as its ‘Siberian candidate’ back in 2011 or earlier is so patently ludicrous that nobody with any kind of critical faculties could take it seriously. (Who knows – perhaps even now the winner of the 2024 election has been earmarked by the Kremlin, and ‘kompromat’ is already been gathered on him!)

What is far from entirely unconceivable, however, is what when they discovered that Steele and the people behind him were attempting to frame them in order to destroy Trump, elements in Russian intelligence decided that it would be better if he included material that was patently ludicrous – and might involve him in lawsuits.

One then however comes back to the critical question of precisely who is likely to have been behind Steele. If one is at all familiar with the history of the Litvinenko mystery, in which it now appears he was a key player, it comes to seem extremely unlikely that he was acting on his own in relation to the dossier.

Insofar as he had actual sources – and I think that some of the time he did – a good few of them would have been MI6’s contacts in the networks operated by Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky. And that indeed is what could have opened up the possibility for Russian intelligence to trap Steele, as many such people have made their terms with Putin.

These sources would not have been used without the consent of MI6, and those with whom it collaborates closely in American intelligence. And it is eminently possible that Steele, and Orbis, were being used as a ‘front’ for a project instigated by figures high up in American intelligence.

So his role provides further grounds to suspect that a ‘soft coup’ was being planned against Trump, from quite early on, by leading figures in American intelligence, in collusion with their counterparts in Britain.

If you want to see the kind of ‘information operations’ in which Steele was earlier involved, I would recommend a sampling of materials which Sir Robert Owen did allow into evidence in his scandal of an ‘Inquiry.’ A great deal of other material to which I drew his team’s attention was suppressed – and the obvious conclusions from the materials that were admitted were not drawn.

One interesting item is a transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office of a 16 December 2006 BBC Radio 4 programme entitled ‘The Litvinenko Mystery’, presented by Tom Mangold. The ‘subject’ is described by the official responsible as ‘Investigation in to the Death of Alexander Litvinenko – Major Yuri Shvets & Bobby Levinson.’

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf )

It now appears overwhelmingly likely that what was going on was that key participants in ‘information operations’, designed either to topple or prevent the election of targeted leaders in a range of countries – including Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, and also Italy and probably Iran – were being ‘wheeled in’ to cover up what had actually happened to one of their number.

As Steele – then head of the MI6 Russia Desk – has to have played a crucial role in this, a question has to arise as to whether officials sending it out, and those who received it – names blacked out in the transcript – were gullible dupes or accomplices.

And that leads on to the more general question as to whether key British politicians – from Tony Blair and Jack Straw through to Theresa May and Boris Johnson – play the role of ‘useful idiots’ in the shenanigans in which elements in British and American intelligence have been involved, or are co-conspirators: or indeed some bizarre mixture of both.

To see who the figures involved the Mangold programme really were, and linkages worth investigating, all one needs to do are a few basic Google checks. Some material by myself will appear, if you Google ‘Litvinenko David Habakkuk’ and ‘Shvets David Habakkuk.’ However, other searches may yield much more immediately relevant results: ‘Yuri Shvets Melnichenko’, ‘Robert Levinson CIA’, ‘Robert Levinson Mogilevich’, ‘Trump Mogilevich’, ‘Mangold Mogilevich’, ‘Mangold anthrax’, ‘Mangold David Kelly’, ‘Mueller Comey anthrax’.

For a taste of the ‘information operations’ in which Litvinenko was involved, at a time when he was an agent, which must have at the least have been approved by Steele and the then head of MI6, Sir John Scarlett (of Niger uranium forgeries fame) see the extracts from the Melnichenko tapes, as edited by Shvets, presented in evidence to the ‘Inquiry’. These are available at http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613094212/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ015726wb.pdf">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ015726wb.pdf">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613094212/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ015726wb.pdf .

At the time when the original selection from the Melnichenko tapes was made public in 2002 – in support of the ‘régime change’ project in Ukraine which became the ‘Orange Revolution’ – a former worker in the FBI’s forensic laboratory, Bruce Koenig, then working for a private security company called ‘Bek-Tek’, claimed that there were no signs of them having been doctored.

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykola_Melnychenko )

See whether you can find the certain, and possible, edits in the later selection swallowed whole by Sir Richard Owen.

For a glimpse into the purposes for which these edits were made, see the letter which Litvinenko supplied to the ‘Mitrokhin Commission’ in December 2005, shortly after his collaborator with that organisation, Mario Scaramella, departed on a trip to the United States, at

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613094212/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ015726wb.pdf">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ015726wb.pdf">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613094212/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/INQ015726wb.pdf

For a summary of wiretaps by Italian officials of Scaramella’s accounts of that trip to Washington, and an early attempt by me to make sense of this mess, see a ‘diary’ I posted on the ‘European Tribune’ site back in December 2008, entitled ‘Not quite the “perfect fix”’, at

http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/12/3/105927/737

I have to say that, when the ‘man behind the curtain’ in these high-jinks was revealed as Christopher Steele, part of me found this extraordinarily funny. Perhaps I should confess to a prejudice, in that with superannuated Oxbridge student politicians, like ex-Trotskyists and their children, I am perhaps too inclined to expect the worst. But then, I actually know something about such people from direct experience.

But really, this man may be bumbling, but he not at all benevolent. That he should ever have been hired by MI6, and then promoted to run the Russia Desk, tells you most of what you need to know about that utter lack alike of intellectual competence and integrity in that organisation.

As I have written before, if Americans are really prepared to tolerate intervention in your elections by the likes of Steele – or that ex-GCHQ ‘twerp’ Matt Tait, of ‘Capital Alpha Security’ – why did you go to the bother of having a Revolution?

David Habakkuk

Tidewater,

This is what I wrote about Helmer in the discussions of the Colonel’s 19 September post on the wiretapping of Trump Tower, which is at

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/09/httpwwwcnncom20170918politicspaul-manafort-government-wiretapped-fisa-russiansindexhtml.html

Tidewater,

Thanks for reminding me of the Helmer piece, which I had forgotten.

It I think illustrates a general principle – that it is unwise to do what the MSM currently do, and divide the world into supposed purveyors of 'fake news' and reliable information. Many of the most interesting sources of information produce some invaluable material, and some which is highly questionable: Helmer being a case in point.

A key figure in the Litvinenko mystery is the former K.G.B. operative Yuri Shvets – who also played a central role in the 'Orange Revolution' in Ukraine. As his Wikipedia entry makes clear, in his 2005 book 'Washington Station: My Life as a KGB spy in America', Shvets claimed to have recruited two key sources of political intelligence, whom he referred to as 'Sputnitsa' and 'Socrates.'

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Shvets .)

In his book 'Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer' published the same year, Victor Cherkashin, who was case officer for two notorious Soviet spies in the United States, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, claimed that 'Socrates' was Helmer, and 'Sputnitsa' his wife Claudia Wright. However, Cherkashin also asserted that Helmer was 'never an agent or even a target' of the KGB.

On the credibility of Shvets as a witness, see the 'diary' entitled 'Fact, frame-up, or fiction? – Litvinenko's “deathbed testimony”', which I and my Italian collaborator David Loepp posted on the 'European Tribune' website back in December 2012.

(http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/18/171030/73 .)

The answer to the question raised by our title, incidentally, is now clear. One can be absolutely certain that what is supposed to be the 'deathbed testimony', the interviews supposedly recorded by Litvinenko with Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt on 18-20 November 2006, are clumsy fabrications. It seems likely, although not certain, that one of the activities in which Steele was engaged with Orbis was organising the 'industrial scale' faking of evidence apparent at Owen's inquiry.

If the British authorities, and indeed Steele, want to dispute my arguments on this point, rather than relying on the credulity of the MSM, they should produce audio tapes of the Russian language originals of the interviews. What conceivable good grounds can there be for not doing so?

The relevance of this in relation to Shvets is that my hunch would be that he is either simply lying about Helmer and Wright, or doing what spooks have on occasion been known to do: taking people with whom they have contact, and discuss the world, and portraying them as actual agents, or something close to it.

That said, it would not particularly surprise me if on occasion Helmer was a conduit for material from Russian intelligence agencies. For one thing, it would perfectly natural if he cultivated sources in these – I certainly would, in his shoes.

In relation to his claims about the dossier, however, he showed no more inclination to check what his informants told him than the MSM journalists who have simply accepted without question the kind of patently fabricated evidence about the life and death of Litvinenko provided by Steele, DI Brent Hyatt, and others.

By the time Helmer's piece appeared on 18 January, it had already been reported that its subject had left MI6 in 2009, and that he had been put in charge into the investigation into Litvinenko's death. So the suggestion that the mishap over the fake rock operation, which occurred in January of that year, had any radical influence on Steele's career is patent hokum – as Helmer should have known.

As it happens, ever since the story of Steele's involvement in the dossier broke, it has been clear that there have been deep divisions among Western intelligence agencies as to how to handle him: whether they should, as it were, 'hang him out to dry', or endorse and defend his work.

A good example of the latter approach come a report on 15 January – three days before Helmer's piece – by the 'Defence Editor' of the 'Independent', Kim Sengupta, entitled 'Head of MI6 used information from Trump dossier in first public speech'.

(See http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-dossier-mi6-christopher-steele-russia-documents-alex-younger-a7528681.html .)

The approach taken here was the exact reverse of that taken by Helmer, as it unambiguously identified the head of the organisation, Sir Alex Younger, with the 'defend Steele to the hilt' school. It opened:

'The head of MI6 used information obtained by former officer Christopher Steele in his Trump investigation, in a warning against Russian cyberattacks and attempts to subvert Western democracies, The Independent has learned.

'Sir Alex Younger’s briefing notes for his first public speech as head of the Secret Intelligence Service contained some of the material supplied by Mr Steele, according to security sources. Drawing on the alleged hacking carried out by Moscow in the US presidential campaign, he warned of the danger facing Britain and Western European allies, and especially to elections due to be held next year.

'Security sources stress that MI6 had extensive information, British and international, on the Russian threat apart from that of Mr Steele. But they pointed out that he is held in high regard and the contribution he provided was valuable.'

It is worth reading the full text of Younger's speech, to get a picture of quite how dismal the intellectual, and moral, quality of today's MI6 is. From his discussion of 'the increasingly dangerous phenomenon of hybrid warfare':

'In this arena, our opponents are often states whose very survival owes to the strength of their security capabilities; the work is complex and risky, often with the full weight of the State seeking to root us out.'

(See https://www.sis.gov.uk/media/1155/cs-public-speech-8-december-2016-final.doc .)

As well as being borderline illiterate, and factually inaccurate, these remarks involve a – clearly unintended – irony. So we have it on the authority of the head of MI6 that the very survival of Russia can be attributed to the strength of the FSB, SVR, and GRU. How can any patriotic Russian do anything other than vote for Putin?

A key part of the truth which underlies this drivel is actually brought out in the contemptuous remarks from Lugovoi and Kovtun I quoted, about the willingness of the British to take on trust anything claimed by Berezovsky and his associates – which brings me back to the reasons I suspect that Helmer may have been a conduit for Russian disinformation.

As has been amply evident from the MSM coverage, and was made even more clear by Owen's report, this view of British credulity has been essentially vindicated. One of its more dangerous consequences is that – in common with their American counterparts – British élites have consistently both gravely underestimated the strength of Putin's position and also misunderstood his preferred 'modus operandi.'

By telling the oligarchs that they could hold on to what they had looted, so long as they kept out of politics, did actually pay taxes, and a few other things, and installing his cronies as quasi-oligarchs, Putin was able effectively to isolate those who were not prepared to accept the bargain offered: above all, Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky.

As the outcome of the power struggle was initially uncertain, however, a lot of people, very naturally, played both sides. However, the general pattern was a steady move to the one which was clearly winning, and which also increasingly appeared to be pulling the country back from chaos, and so could appeal to patriotism (a very evident factor with Lugovoi.)

This was at the core of the events in London in October-November 2006. It seems reasonably certain that Litvinenko's supposed assassin was being used in an attempt – probably successful – to bring Berezovsky's partner Arkadi 'Badri' Patarkatsishvili back into the Putin camp. It also seems likely that Lugovoi was being used in a bid to bring his supposed victim back on side.

Attempts to produce a plausible explanation of why the Russian security services could have commissioned Lugovoi to assassinate Litvinenko are, frankly, only susceptible of belief by those the former claimed the latter called 'retards.' It is very easy to see how the supposed assassin could have been used to sing a siren song. It might have gone something like this:

'Come back home, spill all the beans about Berezovsky, MI6, the CIA, etc, and go public with what of it suits Putin. Whatever his faults, he's not one to bear grudges, and if you play ball, he will be happy to let bygones by bygones, just as with me and “Badri”.'

All this has a corollary: that the suggestion in Helmer's piece that, having been 'blown', Steele could not have had Russian sources may give further grounds to suspect that he was being used as a conduit for Russian disinformation.

A major problem with the dossier is that different parts of it read very differently. While on many occasions I regard utter incompetence as a plausible hypothesis when it comes to MI6, I am still somewhat sceptical of the suggestion that the former head of its Russia Desk could not spell the name of the Alfa Group, one of the most significant business groups in Russia.

And while parts of the dossier sound like simple fabrication, others – in particular some of those which, as Helmer notes, contradict claims by 'CrowdStrike', and also Matt Tait – sound as though they could have come from sources that existed.

If this was so, however, it would have been likely that they would have been among the sources, most of them involved in one way or another with Putin's oligarch opponents, on whom MI6 had drawn. Accessing such sources would obviously have been done through indirect channels. But there is no conceivable way it could have been done without the consent of the organisation.

Some of the sources might still either be genuinely identified with the opposition, or so afraid of having their activities exposed that they had to continue to collaborate. Others, however, are likely to have wanted, like Lugovoi, to liquidate their involvement in a lost cause. Such figures could easily have been happy to disseminate disinformation, either on behalf of the Russian security services, or on their own account.

The first kind of situation could account for the arrests of FSB information security experts in January – which would of course imply that Steele had fed genuine sources to the wolves, one more reason for thinking him a lower form of life. The second could account for the claims which have led to lawsuits from Aleksej Gubarev, the principals in the Alfa Group, and now Carter Page.

However, this could provide a further reason why elements in the Russians security services might be happy covertly to collude with those of their Western counterparts who wanted to portray Steele as a kind of kind of lone 'rogue operator.' In my view, it is likely that he was nothing of the kind.

Fred

Castellio,

Carlos Slim is a major owner of the NYT, which has been consistently anti-Trump.

LeaNder

What is far from entirely unconceivable, however, is what when they discovered that Steele and the people behind him were attempting to frame them in order to destroy Trump, elements in Russian intelligence decided that it would be better if he included material that was patently ludicrous – and might involve him in lawsuits.

that's an interesting idea, David. Admittedly i never read the report after I got glimpses that sounded pretty silly.

bks

From the WaPo article, Mikee:
"Before that agreement, Fusion GPS's research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/clinton-campaign-dnc-paid-for-research-that-led-to-russia-dossier/2017/10/24/226fabf0-b8e4-11e7-a908-a3470754bbb9_story.html

Publius Tacitus

When you are in a hole you should stop digging. You fail to grasp the simple fact that the Republican client relationship with Fusion ended in March 2016. Hillary's law firm engaged Fusion in April 2016. When did Steele deliver his first written report? 20 JUNE 2016. Whatever the Republican hired Fusion to do it did not result in a report of any kind that has made its way to the public. Mikee is absolutely correct--THE GOP DID NOT PAY FOR THE DOSSIER.
Do you even take time to read what I write? My pique comes because I assume you are an educated, intelligent person. But your comment suggests otherwise. But that's why I'm allowing it to go up.

blue peacock

David Habakkuk

Fascinating! Thank you for your write-up.

It seems that MI6 has played a rather murky role in all this. Are they acting as free agents or is this part of some design by the political leadership?

Eric Newhill

PT,
bks is repeating what I see as the current democrat response, "it's just oppo research. Everyone does it. Republicans were in on it too. Nothing to see here let's move along and ignore the alt-right hysterical witch hunt".

If one observes the comments sections in the various media sites that are actually reporting the story, one can see the dem-bots salting and peppering the comments with this meme. So they have received their marching orders from Dem central and are dutifully disseminating the message. However, one also sees that a lot of people are taking this very seriously and not buying what the dems are selling. In fact, the people on the right are rejoicing that, finally, the Clintons will be brought down. Trump is not going to be able to let this go now (if the thought ever even crossed his mind). Any republican that fails to support the investigation(s) or that wavers on the commitment to punish any and all dems involved (+ republican "cucks") will go the way of corker and flake.

IMO the revolution/swamp draining has jumped off and there's no turning back.

Publius Tacitus

I agree with you about the soft coup. A friend who was privy to some of the conversations among the intel principals tells me that Brennan and Clapper genuinely believed they could release info that would prevent Trump from being inaugurated. The surface is only being scratched.

One more curiosity--McCain reportedly met with Comey on the 9th of December, but the final report from Steele carries the date 13 December. Did McCain go back to Steele/Fusion and ask for that report to be issued?

Patrick Armstrong

Couple of things to keep in mind as this all unravels.
1. The Steele Dossier is just the sort of grab bag of bottom-feeding rumours and miscellaneous harum-scarum that can be easily bought in Russia (or anywhere else). There is no reason to assume any involvement by any Russian security organisation.
2. The uranium buy is just good business. And, never forget, if your government is for sale, you can't be surprised -- or offended -- if somebody buys it. Again, no reason to expect any big involvement by the Russian state.

(PS Russia's uranium reserves are about three time the USA's, and Kazakhstan's and Canada's are much much more.)

mikee

From your WP link: "Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

David Habakkuk

All,

A few points about the chronology.

That of the early memoranda in the dossier is actually a complete and utter mess. So the first document, which is listed as ‘Company Intelligence Report 2016/080’, is indeed dated June 20. This is the document which suggests that, back in 2011 or earlier, the Kremlin had already worked out that Trump was the ‘horse to back’ – and introduced the ‘golden showers.’

The next document in the sequence, which is listed as 2016/086, introduces the claims about Russian hacking. Almost incredibly, it is dated 26 July 2015 – which is clearly a misprint for 2016.

The next in the sequence by number, listed as 2016/094, is however dated 19 July 2016 – before 2016/086, if one assumes that ‘2015’ means ‘2016’. This is the memorandum which introduces the supposed secret meetings between Carter Page and Igor Sechin.

This is however printed after 2016/095, which has no date. It however reverts to the task of trying to make the ‘hacking’ story credible, with a supposed Trump associate cited admitting that ‘Kremlin behind recent appearance of DNC e-mails on WikiLeaks, as meaning of maintaining plausible deniability’.

It also contains the interesting suggestion that the intelligence networks being used against Clinton comprised three elements:

‘Firstly, there were agents/facilitators within the Democratic Party structure itself; secondly Russian émigré and associated offensive cyber operators based in the US; and thirdly, state-sponsored cyber operatives working in Russia.’

(The ‘Cryptome’ transcription of the memoranda, which is easy to work with because searchable, places 2016/094 where one would have thought it should be, before 2016/095. But we simply do not know whether this is the right chronology, given that the latter has no date and the former has a date which suggests it was before 2016/086.

See https://cryptome.org/2017/01/Steele-Trump.htm,)

To make sense of this extraordinary mess, one can I think usefully supplement the chronology produced by the ‘Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity’ people about these events. My additions are in capitals:

(See https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/ )

‘On 25 May last year, the final email, in the sequence of material which opened in January 2015, which was later to be released by WikiLeaks, was sent.

‘On June 12 last year Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

‘On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.

‘On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.

ON JUNE 15, MATT TAIT OF CAPITAL ALPHA SECURITY ‘DISCOVERED’ EVIDENCE IN THE ‘GUCCIFER 2.0’ MATERIAL SUGGESTING THAT WAS WORKING ON BEHALF OF RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE – INCLUDING ‘FELIX EDMUNDOVICH’, THE NAME AND PATRONYMIC OF DZERZHINSKY, FOUNDER OF THE CHEKA.

A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF GCHQ, WHO HAD WORKED FOR GOOGLE'S ‘PROJECT ZERO’, TAIT HAD SET UP ‘CAPITAL ALPHA SECURITY’ IN FEBRUARY 2016, WITH HIMSELF AS SOLE SHAREHOLDER.

‘On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia.

ON JULY 10, SETH RICH WAS MURDERED IN WASHINGTON.

ON JULY 22, WIKILEAKS BEGAN RELEASING THE DNC MATERIALS.

What is also interesting is that the claims by Alperovitch and Tait are both in tension, and alike directly contradicted by those in 2016/086 – the memorandum dated 26 July 2015, which seems to mean 2016. So the first of these points the finger principally at the GRU, who are portrayed as masters of their craft. The second suggests they have left the initials of Dzerzhinsky in plain sight – which would suggest they are incompetent bunglers.

And then, more than a month later, the ‘humint’ from one of MI6’s ‘ace spies’ makes no mention of the GRU, focuses exclusively on the FSB – and quotes a ‘senior government figure’ as saying that there had been ‘only limited success in penetrating the “first tier” foreign targets.’

So, does the DNC count as a ‘first tier’ foreign target?

What all this suggests to me are panic-stricken cover-up operations. The first memorandum was part of the initial response to the realisation that very damaging documentation from the DNC had been leaked, and would be published by WikiLeaks.

As to the next three memoranda, an obvious hypothesis is that they were a response to the Seth Rich murder. If one thinks it likely – as I do – that the documentation from the DNC was leaked, and he was one of the conduits, anyone in the ‘apparatus’ who knew this would have been likely to panic.

Simply to concede the possibility that there had been a leak would have been to open a ‘Pandora’s Box’, in that many would immediately conclude that he had been – to use the phrase ‘Arkancided.’ And if once a serious investigation either into the murder, or the leak, had begun, then skeletons would be liable to come tumbling out of closets.

This would be true, ironically, even if in fact the murder was indeed a robbery gone wrong, or if it had some connection with the leaks, but was not in any way the responsibility of anyone in the ‘apparatus.’ Panic could have been expected to be the order of the day.

A puzzle is that much of the material in the early memoranda sounds like pure invention – and from what I know of the Litvinenko cover-up, industrial-scale of fabrication of evidence is part of Steele’s ‘stock-in-trade.’

However, if that was all there was too it, why did the memorandum supposedly dated 26 July 2015, which must have meant 2016, not produce an account reasonably compatible with those of Alperovitch and Tait?

And why in that extraordinary puzzling final memorandum were the claims about hackers embroidered with the direct accusation against Aleksej Gubarev? It should surely have been obvious that, once you start briefing people on material, there is a non-negligible chance that it will eventually be made public. And why court the risk of legal action, if a simple redaction could have eliminated this?

Moreover, why include the memorandum about the Alfa Group oligarchs – who have now, predictably, sued both BuzzFeed and Fusion. The fact that the normal transliteration of the name was not used – it was spelt Alpha – again sounds to me like panic. It also raises the question of how much of this material was actually sourced from Steele. This is the kind of mistake which would more naturally be made by someone used to writing in Russian – or Ukrainian – or by a professional translator operating in a hurry.

But – why not just leave the memorandum out of the dossier?

The intervention of Tait, incidentally, has been widely neglected. This seems to me unfortunate, as it once more points us back to the question – critical to my mind – of how far GCHQ played a highly significant role in this whole conspiracy.

Tidewater

Read the Wikipedia article on Cyrus Vance. Or Wiki on Operation Eagle Claw. (1980). Vance was ill and in Florida when the decision to go ahead with an operation by Delta Force to free the Iranian hostages was made. Brzezinski had been the prime mover for the use of military force, and he scheduled the meeting while Cyrus Vance was away. Warren Christopher attended the meeting in Vance's place. He did not tell his boss, the Secretary of State, that this decision had been reached. Vance resigned in outrage. Vance stated that he regarded Brzezinski as being "evil." I'd like to know more about Vance...

FourthAndLong

Kim Philby's ghost must be having a good chuckle. :)

Kooshy

My question is why a US candidate for president wants, trusts and hire a foreign intellgane agent to do the opposition on a US presidential campaign? A dubious, foggy person from a friendly lapdog service that may not be accessed if SHTF?

FourthAndLong

Generally speaking, Uranium is needed for the production of Plutonium in amounts needed for practical applications.

b

The second part of the above comment is false - sorry:
Correction:

The same DNC/Clinton law firm that hired Fusion GPS (Steele) for the "Trump-Russia collusion" also hired Crowdstrike to find "Russian hacking" after DNC emails leaked to the public.

The lawyer at the DNC/Clinton law firm involved in the issue was a former higher-up in the Obama Justice Department.

The FBI used the Steele dossier to get FISA warrants against Trump/Republican staff.
The FBI never demanded/got access to the DNC servers Crowdstrike had its hands on.

This smells ...

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