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15 December 2017

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Ishmael Zechariah

PT, Col. Lang,TTG;

If the letter linked below is correct, the rot in the US Army has also permeated the whole corps and will require serious triage. Given PT's postulate that the IC is also irredeemably compromised, what can an American patriot do to save the place? Can the operation to remove the cancer kill the patient? Our folks in Turkey are discussing the same thing w/ regards to our current mess, day in day out, w/o coming up w/any real solution.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/open-letter-green-berets-go-soft-lower-standards-to-be-more-inclusive/

Ishmael Zechariah

Rhondda

I withdraw my comment at #26 and stand corrected after having read Mr. Habbakuk's most recent comment on the subject, to wit:

"My hunch about the initial memorandum is that it was a forgery pure and simple, with the likely purpose of supporting what was apparently an initial – unsuccessful – attempt to secure a FISA warrant which it has been reported would have been directed against Trump as well as associates of his. The forgery could have been done by Steele, but it is equally possible that it was done by others – most probably with Fusion the centre of operations – and his name was brought in to give it credibility. Of course, my judgement is influenced by the fact that I know – and can prove – that Steele has ‘form’ in organising the fabrication of evidence and corrupting law enforcement processes. But other elements are relevant. Much of the material in the subsequent memoranda looks as though it was related to the renewed efforts to get the FISA warrant, which I think, subject to correction, were successful, although it was more tightly drawn, and did not include Trump personally, in October 2016. Again, however, it seems to me an open question whether Steele was actually responsible for the material, or whether he was brought in to make it seem more authoritative than it was, and perhaps to disguise the actual production process."

Richardstevenhack

Here's where FBI collusion with the DNC and the Clinton campaign really stands out...

The FBI has admitted that they never investigated the alleged hack of the DNC servers...because the DNC wouldn't allow them.

IANAL but it seems to me that a hack of the DNC is 1) a Federal crime, and 2) a crime which national security implications if in fact it was done by Russian intelligence, as alleged by CrowdStrike.

So since when does the victim of a Federal crime get to obstruct justice by refusing the FBI access to the evidence.

Now, it is true that CrowdStrike supplied the FBI with what are alleged to be "certified true images" of the DNC servers involved. And since CrowdStrike has been under contract to the FBI, as well as the DNC, and because CrowdStrike has a former high-ranking FBI official on its payroll, the FBI went along with that.

Or did they?

Because here comes Sy Hersh. On a audio tape where he was not aware he was being recorded, he describes his contact with a high-ranking intelligence official - which agency is not named, but the implication is the FBI - who it is implied read an FBI report to him over the phone which explicitly states that murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents, and that Rich had a DropBox account to which Wikileaks had access.

Hersh later denied all this, but the audio tape stands on its own. Anyone can hear it on Youtube. Make up your own mind.

What is the take-away from this? That the FBI has a report explicitly accusing Seth Rich of being the DNC leaker (or one of them.) That the FBI has never revealed the existence of this report to anyone AFAIK. That the FBI KNOWS therefore that there was no "Russian hack" - or if there was a hack by someone, that there is no evidence the DNC emails were the target or that they ended up in Wikileaks hands via that hack.

Given the collusion we now know the FBI was involved in, is it not likely that the FBI's acceptance of not investigating the alleged DNC hack directly was part and parcel of the same collusion to enable Hillary Clinton to paint Trump as being aided by Russia as the Trump Dossier?

I've said all along that the primary investigation which needs to be done is to determine whether the DNC hack occurred at all, and if so, by whom? And what was the involvement of certain DNC Ukrainian-American operatives as well as the Ukrainian Embassy as well as possible Ukrainian hacker collectives connected to Ukrainian right-wing political factions supportive of Hillary Clinton?

This investigation is more important than the investigation into the nonsensical claims of the Trump Dossier. And if properly done, a lot of high-ranking Democrats could go down for obstruction of justice and interference in the investigation of a Federal crime.

Since the FBI is compromised in this case, clearly a Special Prosecutor is needed whose investigators should come from an independent source - perhaps from one of the other law enforcement agencies not involved in the situation whose agents have been vetted for political bias, say, the US Marshals Srevice or some such.

Remember - without the alleged "Russian hacking" incident to base the whole "Russian neddling" story on, the Trump Dossier would never have been as accepted as relevant as it has been.

English Outsider


It is decidedly odd that Mr Steele's work is receiving so much attention and yet the basic facts about how the work came to be authorised receive none.

It was not possible for Mr Steele to get involved on the American political scene without his former superiors knowing. Knowing in such circumstances implies consent.

1. The question of who in the British Intelligence services gave that consent has not yet been asked.

2. Mr Steele was working at a high level in America. Collecting material on a possible future President can only be called high level. The question of whether Steele's work therefore required UK approval at the political level has also not yet been asked.

3. When the material Mr Steele had collected became public his work was publicly defended in the UK. That must have required political authorisation. The question of how the UK authorities found themselves supporting an attack on a US President has not been raised.

4. The question of what communication there was between the American Intelligence community and the UK Intelligence community relating to the work Mr Steele was doing has also not been raised. It is not realistic to assume that there can have been no such communication given the nature of the work Mr Steele was engaged in and the importance attached to the Steele dossier both before and after the American Presidential election.

I will confess that I have not been able to follow all the references now being made to the Steele dossier. They are now so extensive that it would be difficult to do so. But in what I have seen I have seen no reference to these four queries. Might I ask, are these queries being raised at all, on either side of the Atlantic?

Anna

The show is going on: "Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has taken possession of "many tens of thousands" of emails from the Trump transition team, obtained through the General Services Administration - the government agency responsible for hosting the transition email system which used a "ptt.gov" address, and which according to a Trump lawyer were improperly obtained through "unlawful conduct.... " http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-16/mueller-obtained-tens-thousands-trump-transition-emails
Some use the word "sedition" re Robert Mueller's team's attempt at regime change in the US

Publius Tacitus

Excellent questions and observations. This side of the pond is largely ignoring what, as you rightly note, they should be focusing on.

The Twisted Genius

English Outsider and all,

I share your thought about all the attention being paid to Steele's work. It was just a series of raw reports of second and third hand unsubstantiated information. For 24 hours after it was publicly released the tale of the "pee-pee tape" trended as the number one topic on Twitter. That was more funny than anything else. My feeling is that particular piece, and probably others, was fed to Steele by Russian intelligence as a cruel joke. I believe the attention paid to these reports is far out of proportion to their importance to Mueller's investigation.

What I truly find odd is that it is Trump supporters who are paying the most attention to Steele's work and seek to paint it as the core document in the entire Russian IO and Trump collusion investigation. I see no convincing evidence it was central to obtaining renewed FISA warrants on Page and Manafort. Both those individuals were first under FBI investigation for their Russian activities long before Steele's first report and long before he started passing them to the FBI in August 2016.

Here are two articles which paint the Steele "dossier" in less sinister terms than what has been presented by many commenters here. John Sipher looks at it from the view of a CIA intel officer. He notes that time has shown some of Steele's reports to be true. The old Howard Blum article shows a more detailed time line of how Steele put his reports together. Time will tell if these takes on the Steele saga are close to the truth or not.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/how-the-explosive-russian-dossier-was-compiled-christopher-steele

https://www.justsecurity.org/44697/steele-dossier-knowing/

The Twisted Genius

Anna,

Those tens of thousands of emails are on government servers and are the property of the government. There is no expectation of privacy when using government systems. It's the same situation as the FBI texts released to Congress and the public. That's the law that Clinton tried to circumvent with her home grown email server.

blue peacock

EO

At this point the only people with clout asking questions are the Republicans on the investigative committees in Congress.

The MSM has buried all the recent revelations and continue to spin the story around the Russians stole the elections on Trump's behalf. It is only sites like SST where this topic is being examined with any kind of depth.

There are two issues that the Republicans in Congress seem interested in right now.

One, is on the FBI investigation of Hillary's mishandling of top secret information and who in the FBI & DoJ changed the original charge of "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless" and why, when all the facts led to the earlier charge. This has now become politically interesting for the Republicans due to the now revealed partisanship of senior FBI & DoJ officials. This also directly taints the Mueller investigation as many of these same people are/were senior members of Mueller's special counsel team.

Second, is the Trump Dossier prepared by Christopher Steele. Once again the Republicans in Congress are interested in this from the perspective that this dossier was passed on as an "intelligence product" and briefed to key people in Congress and used to obtain a warrant from the FISA court to wiretap Trump associates, with no disclosure that this was opposition research commissioned and paid for by the Clinton campaign.

No one in Congress is yet asking, at least publicly, about collusion between US and British intelligence to interfere in the presidential election. I think this is where even the Republicans in Congress will close ranks with the FBI & the intelligence agencies as they will not want any disclosures on the extent of disinformation and influence operations targeting the American people, which I believe is illegal.

In one sense the cat is already out of the bag. But you can also sense that AG Sessions and the current leadership of these agencies are stonewalling and obfuscating to prevent any further disclosures. What is clear is that top level officials at the FBI, DoJ, CIA, DNI colluded in an information operation to influence a presidential election to favor a specific candidate. And when that candidate failed to win the election, they ratcheted up the campaign to destroy a legitimately elected POTUS. As Publius Tacitus notes it will be next to impossible that there will be an impartial investigation that will shed light on any of the details of this disinformation & influence campaign. Which also implies that it is highly unlikely that any will be held to account.

While many of the Democrats and the liberals cheer this interference due to their hatred for Trump, a precedent is being established. The next time, it is quite possible, that law enforcement and intelligence agencies take such interference up several notches and actually steal an election, but on the behalf of a highly totalitarian candidate who targets liberals for extra-judicial treatment. Of course by then it is too late as there is no capacity to resist authoritarianism.

blue peacock

TTG

This is what Rep. Jim Jordan said while questioning FBI Director Wray.

"Here's what I think Director Wray. I think Peter Strzok, head of counter intelligence at the FBI, Peter Strzok the guy who ran the Clinton investigation and did all the interviews, Peter Strzok, the guy who was running the Russia investigation at the FBI, Peter Strzok, Mr. 'Super Agent' at the FBI, I think he's the guy who took the application to the FISA court...and if that happened...if you have the FBI working with the Democrats' campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document and taking it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign...if that happened...that's as wrong as it gets."

Do you think Rep. Jordan is just "fishing" or when he says "...if that happened.." does he already know?

You are much more knowledgeable about how these agencies work and how their testimony to Congress works, but, it seems to a lay person like me there is fire where this smoke comes from.

David Habakkuk

I am up in Shropshire for the theatrical debut of our three-year-old great-niece, as the Virigin Mary in a Nativity Play, so have not had time to comment properly on the many issues raised by this thread.

But a few brief points.

The questions raised by EO are absolutely central, and need to be pursued on both sides of the Atlantic. They also however need to be seen in the context of another question: who knows, and who does not know, that, in relation to Owen's Inquiry, there is a strong prima facile case of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. This I can prove, as I sent detailed memoranda to his team outlining a mass of evidence that should have been considered at the Inquiry and was not, and received emails making clear that they were read.

In some cases I sent the actual evidence, in others indications of where it could be found.

Also relevant is another point to emerge from Owen's Inquiry.

Russian organised crime is quite properly a priority topic of investigation for Western intelligence agencies. And such investigation quite properly includes transnational links - for example, to Colombian drug cartels - and the interpenetration of criminal activity, 'legitimate' business, and state agencies: including, crucially, intelligence agencies.

What however Owen's report and the proceedings that led up to it - read with intelligence - illustrate are two things. One is the way that claims by Putin's opponents, in particular members of the Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky 'information operations' machines, have repeatedly been accepted without serious examination. Another is the way in which, on the basis of a foundation of truth, the most outrageous "StratCom' -- frequently in support of 'regime change' projects -- has been created.

As claims about Mogilevich were being used by the 'dissident' Litvinenko to try to support the allegation that Putin had been trying to supply Al Qaeda with a 'suitcase nuke', and are now being used to try to exploit the Manafort/Putin link to bring down Trump, the history is very relevant.

And as 'Bobby' Levinson, who was central to the FBI investigations into Mogilevich twenty years ago is likely to have been pivotal in Steele's earlier 'regime change' projects, and Lisa Page, who has been centrally involved in the attempts to secure the extradition of Firtash, appears to be linked to his current ones, large questions are raised as to whether the FBI is completely out of control.

With regard to people in American and British intelligence agencies who profess respect for Steele: the relevant question is whether they are 'useful idiots', co-conspirators, or some weird combination of the two. In either case, they need to be 'put out to grass' asap.

johnf

There have been straws in the wind.

Following Trump's election Theresa May showed indecent haste in rushing across the Atlantic and squeezing his tiny hand.

The youthful Head of GCHQ resigned for family reasons almost simultaneously.

On the other hand there are also signs of a rift between the UK and US. Iran and the recognition of Jerusalem spring to mind. And Britain is of course now buying US sanctioned Russian natural gas by the cubic mile.

English Outsider


TTG - Thank you for those links, and for the valuable comments that accompany them. You won't expect from me any useful response to your comments as they relate to what happened in America, but it is still legitimate to ask what on earth was going on at our end during the Steele saga.

All I know about your world is gleaned from a casual reading of published memoirs from people who have worked in or near it. Vetted memoirs - sometimes there's a reference in the memoirs to the fact that the book has been checked over by British Security to make sure that no defence or intelligence secrets are being given away.

Which is very sensible - you wouldn't want ex-Servicemen broadcasting our defence secrets to the world when they retire.

Oh, and there's a grapevine story I heard about some low level operative who decided to use his retirement writing a warts and all account of his time in the Services. He cheerfully sent it off to the publishers when done and received in return an unannounced visit from ten or so very serious types who confiscated everything from his hard drive to the notes on the fridge and told him they'd fall on him from a great height if he did it again. Very much a man in the pub story but it sounds about right.

That's all I know or can guess about your world - they keep an eye on what ex-operatives are doing. It's not much but it's enough to lead me to believe that when Mr Steele retired they didn't say to him "Use the knowledge you got here, and the contacts, and push off and do whatever you like with them."

Here's Vanity Fair indicating that Mr Steele was not exactly a low level operative:-

"from 2004 to 2009 he headed M.I.6’s Russia Station, the London deskman directing Her Majesty’s covert penetration of Putin’s resurgent motherland.

"And so, as Steele threw himself into his new mission, he could count on an army of sources whose loyalty and information he had bought and paid for over the years. There was no safe way he could return to Russia to do the actual digging; the vengeful F.S.B. would be watching him closely. But no doubt he had a working relationship with knowledgeable contacts in London and elsewhere in the West, from angry émigrés to wheeling-and-dealing oligarchs always eager to curry favor with a man with ties to the Secret Service, to political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind. And, perhaps most promising of all, he had access to the networks of well-placed Joes—to use the jargon of his former profession—he’d directed from his desk at London Station, assets who had their eyes and ears on the ground in Russia."

That last paragraph. I'd have thought the term "Joes" went out with John le Carre but whatever they call them now they were recruited and paid for from our tax revenues. Is it really credible that that network of contacts was placed at Mr Steele's private disposal and no oversight of what he used them for?

Nor was Mr Steele sitting quietly in retirement. He seems to have kept up with his old pals both sides of the Atlantic. This from the second link, Just Security:-

"His willingness to share his work with professional investigative agencies such as the FBI and the British Security Service also suggest that he is comfortable opening his work to scrutiny, and is seen as a serious partner by the best in the business."

And we are expected to believe that none of this got back to Mr Steele's former superiors? That none of them said, as Mr Steele was romping around the American political and intelligence scene and raising hell in an American Presidential election, "Chris is getting in a bit deep here. Better see what he's up to"?

I believe that the four queries I raised above really do need answering. Either the UK intelligence world is a total shambles, which is difficult to believe, or they knew what Mr Steele was doing. As I said above, in these circumstances knowledge must mean consent

Anna

True.
The difference: the FBI has never checked the DNC server but has been supporting the “Russians hacked it" story and even left their responsibilities to a Russophobe (of Jewish extraction) Dmitri Alperovitch from CrowdStrike. Why did not they (theFBI) simply invite the famous expert Eliot Higgins, whose only known expertise used to be selling ladies' underwear? -- Higgins proved to be such an exceptionally useful idiot that he is employed by both Atlantic Council and the Department of War Studies, King's College London (no kidding!) How else the western civilization could be protected but through the support and promotion of the treasonous Alperovitch, ignorant Higgins, and opportunistic Steele (“I am 007”).
Someone in the higher echelons of the US government has leaked the private communication among people in Trump' transitional team. On one hand there are the Clinton's server, DNC server, Awan affair, Seth Rich murder, Page involvement with Firtash, collusion (via Steele) between CIA and British security services, Michael Morell' treasonous behavior with regard to POTUS and more and on the other hand -- the dissemination of the private, classified, and outright false information via MSM – on the massive scale! – by the nation's security services, the FBI and CIA, which are very populous and very expensive for the US citizenry and which are obviously incompetent.
Lance the Boil!

David Habakkuk

A possibility is that the British intelligence world is a total shambles, and that key figures knew exactly what Steele was doing. Note that the 'Vanity Fair' piece has him becoming head of the MI6 Russia Desk in 2004 - which would among other things raise the question of his involvement in Litvinenko's disinformation designed to establish that Putin had employed Mogilevich in an attempt to supply a 'mini nuclear bomb' to Al Qaeda.

In the 'Guardian' piece to which 'blowback' linked however it is said that Steele took 'a senior post on MI6's Russia desk in 2006.' Likewise, it was originally claimed that he was Litvinenko's 'case officer' - and then that he never even met him.

Clearly, the question of whether those of us who suspect that the initial memorandum was simply another of Steele's fabrications designed to facilitate the obtaining of the FISA warrant cannot be definitively settled with the current available evidence, The obvious next step is for people who do not have an interest in a cover-up to see the documentation relating to the application.

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

IMO there was a conspiracy among the leaders of the US and UK ICs (to include the FBI). This was the "insurance policy" mentioned by Strzok in a text message to his "paramour." This insurance policy was a fall back position devised against the possibility that trump might be elected. The plan was and is to make the country ungovernable in the hope of causing Trump to resign or in some other way remove him from office. Dr. Evelyn Farkas, (a former Obama Administration sub-cabinet political appointee) admitted twice on national television (Mornin' Joe) that she was a member of this cabal. she was proud of that. Even Lightnin' Joe Scarborough was shocked. pl

fanto

TTG, All
the second link supplied by TTG (from Just security) made me think more of the "totality" of the information supplied and it seems to me that the totality is just a lot of obfuscation and BS; the references to the established and known Russian M.O., are tiresome and prove nothing. However, reading of that second link made me look again Graham Greene´s novel "Our Man in Havana". The story also plays on both sides of the Atlantic, it has the possible russian meddling in cuban revolt at the main topic - and most interesting and funny is the description of "MO" of British and US ´organs of security apparatus´- one can break ones sides from laughter - as Russians say.. I think Mr. Steele is a fan of Graham Greene.

J

Colonel,

There is every indication that the Borg intends to push (in heavy fashion) for Trump's impeachment in 2018. If they can gain the House seats necessary, they will impeach him.

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

Ever since the breaking of the story of Steele's involvement in the dossier was followed by Robert Hannigan's resignation, and Philip Giraldi first speculated that this might be related to the use of GCHQ to make possible surveillance of Flynn, some kind of conspiracy involving top-level intelligence figures in the US and UK fans has seemed the most likely hypothesis.

In the light of the Strzok/Page exchanges, and other recent disclosures, I have difficulty seeing how any other interpretation is possible. It may also be material here that Hannigan is not a GCHQ professional. Before being appointed to head that organisation, he held top-level intelligence co-ordination posts in the FCO and Cabinet Office. So he will certainly know where a lot of skeletons are buried.

What one then comes back to are a range of versions of the question Fred raised about Obama. In relation not simply to the conspiracy against Trump but many other matters, we want to know how much the political leadership knew, and when they knew it. How far have people like Blair, Brown, Cameron and May been the 'useful idiots' of corrupt and incompetent intelligence chiefs like Dearlove, Scarlett, Sawers and Younger, how far their willing co-conspirators?

The Twisted Genius

Anna,

It was the FBI that alerted the DNC to the penetration of those servers by the same hackers that were attacking other USG systems including the JCS systems. The FBI totally dropped the ball through their half-hearted warnings to the DNC. That failure allowed the hackers to own the DNC systems for seven months before CrowdStrike was called in. In addition to the monitoring of hacker activity going into and out of the DNC systems by the FBI and/or NSA, the FMI was given the output of the CrowdStrike collection from the DNC systems. That output was collected remotely by CrowdStrike. Hands on access was only needed to mitigate the hack, not to identify it.

The Twisted Genius

English Outsider,

I have no insight into how Steele fit into the IC on your end. On our side there does seem to be a well greased revolving door allowing certain retired and former IC officers to remain in contact with their buddies still on the USG payroll. I was never part of that set. Nor have I ever dealt directly with MI6 or GCHQ. What strikes me as odd is how Steele continued to use sources he developed while on active service long after he left the Service. I find that unconscionable. I would never attempt to contact any of my former sources. It would be immoral, stupid and surely illegal under US law. Were Steele's sources former recruited assets? Were the FSB officers arrested for committing espionage sources of Steele? If so, I would think MI6 would want Steels's head on a platter. No I don't understand your IC at all. Maybe it is in total shambles as you suggest.

Ron

Publius T. The Dossier was not commissioned by the Free Beacon's billionaire owner, he paid the same company (Fusion GPS) to do opposition research, that is a fact, but the Russian Dossier done by Steele was paid for by Clinton. Lots of people to oppo research, but only the Clinton;s/Dems pay for foreign lies it seems.

Anna

You mean, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been wrong? https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/24/intel-vets-challenge-russia-hack-evidence/
Also, "Carter Page testimony confirms Trump dossier was the basis of Russiagate" https://www.sott.net/article/367138-Carter-Page-testimony-confirms-Trump-dossier-was-the-basis-of-Russiagate

The Twisted Genius

blue peacock,

“I think… I think… I think… if… if... if…”

Jordan wasn’t just fishing. He was surf casting. If he knew what happened he wouldn't have to resort to all the "I thinks" and "ifs."

David Habakkuk

TTG,

It is not clear that Steele used any sources at all.

As you will have seen, the view taken by Dr Patrick Armstrong - who was a long-serving Canadian government analyst of Soviet and Russian affairs - is that the whole dossier was essentially fabricated. As it happens, I have followed Dr Armstrong's writings for more than a decade,and he has a pretty good track record.

As regards Steele, as I have pointed out repeatedly here on SST, he has 'form' in fabricating evidence and corrupting law enforcement procedures, and I am in a position to prove this. If people like Steele, or Luke Harding, or Sir Robert Owen, or a great many others, want to get into an argument with me, rather than continuing to attempt to suppress the evidence I have in my possession, there is nothing I would like better.

However, my respect for Dr Armstrong does not mean I always agree with him. As I have already argued here on SST, I think it possible that Dokuchaev and Mikhailov were used to feed Western intelligence agencies with the crap about FSB hacking which has led to the lawsuits from Gubarev.

But if you do a little elementary - 'Tidewater' used the term 'dogged', which I take as a compliment - research, you will see that if Dokuchaev and Mikhailov were conduits, the channels are far more likely to have been through the FBI.

As you clearly have no knowledge whatsoever of how British intelligence, or British society, works, explaining the kind of appalling creature Steele is is liable to be a bit difficult. Suffice it, for the moment, to say that MI6 never seems to have done 'dogged', any more than Luke Harding's kind of journalist does.

Some of us have done, both in intelligence and journalism.

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