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11 January 2018

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blue peacock

PT

Thanks for spurring my interest on this monumental deceit with your many posts.

I knew nothing about FISA & mass surveillance other than our government was collecting all communications of every American, before you began posting on this topic. I've learned more since and it is revolting if one is a staunch believer in the Bill of Rights as what makes America different.

IG Mike Horowitz was barred from investigating the DOJ National Security Division by the Obama administration. It required an act of Congress and Obama signed it after the election, to allow the IG the ability to investigate all of DOJ. The DOJ NSD and FBI CounterIntelligence had a big role to play in all this as all the FISA applications originated there. What we know about Peter Strzok & Lisa Page, Bruce & Nellie Ohr and the Clinton exoneration all came from the IG. In testimony to Congress, Rosenstein used the IG investigation to stall the production of documents and witness interviews. It seems the IG report will become available in a few weeks. That will hopefully shed more light.

Considering that in our country the rule of law does not apply to high officials in government, I am not holding my breath that any of these miscreants will be held accountable or there will be any changes to the surveillance laws.

DC

Your analysis becomes less damning according to the degree that Steele's raw intelligence may turn out to be an accurate reflection of facts. We also don't know if, or how much, US intelligence was able to corroborate Steele's raw intelligence with our own external sources. I'm willing to withhold convicting anyone until we get a full report of investigation concerning the dossier's "findings"...

M. Smyth

So, is IG Michael Horowitz one of the honorable guys in this whole thing? You’d never guess judging by his bio. And his ties to the Democrats and Comey. I’ve lost all respect for the FBI. And the IC.

https://heavy.com/news/2017/01/michael-e-horowitz-inspector-general-department-of-justice-fb-investigation-james-comey-hillary-clinton-email-review/

Pilot44236

Sundance's view reporting on the whole affair.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/01/11/the-doj-and-fbi-worked-with-fusion-gps-on-operation-trump/#more-144446

Publius Tacitus

You are either a troll, a non-native speaker/reader of English, or a moron. You either neglected to read the entire piece or you simply don't understand what you've read. When James Comey testified in June of 2017 that the dossier was "SALACIOUS AND UNVERIFIED," he made it very clear that Steele's so-called "raw intelligence" had no value nor corroboration. If Comey had said, "WE HAVE VERIFIED KEY ELEMENTS OF THE DOSSIER BUT WILL HAVE TO DISCUSS THAT IN CLOSED SESSION," then Trump would have been a dead man walking. That did not happen. There are no other "facts" to support this piece of sewage produced by Steele. Hell, even Steele disavowed the factual basis of what he provided.
So I repeat, you are a troll, don't know English, or just a full blown moron.

Anna

"... according to the degree that Steele's raw intelligence may turn out to be an accurate reflection of facts."
Perhaps you need to re-read what Steele tells about the “raw intelligence" when the "intelligence" became a focus of litigation. Also, to what extend you believe in professionalism of the FBI brass? -- how come that the DNC computers had not been investigated by the US national security services and instead were "studied" exclusively by the likes of Alperovitch, an openly Russophobic Ukrainian Jew.
There are other damning aspects that came to light precisely because the national security agencies were put on a spot due to the sensational and unsupported statements like "all 17 intel agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump..." The most damning is the Awan affair, the greatest breach in the US national cyber-security. A simple Q—where the CIA and FBI had been while the Awans were surfing the congressional computers containing highly classified information? Why we hear nothing about investigation of Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and about investigation of Seth Rich murder?
Again, "Who did Steele contact at the FBI? Who at the FBI asked Steele to travel to Rome in October 2016?" If the national security agencies have been used for partisan ends, then the Russiagate story is about treason.

blue peacock

M. Smyth

I think one has to start with the assumption that everyone at the highest levels of the federal government, especially the national security apparatus, is a swamp creature. They just don't get there unless they are one. Weasels like Clapper, Brennan, Hayden. Of course that does not mean a person with honor & integrity doesn't get up there. Just far and few between.

I don't have any basis to judge Michael Horowitz since I didn't even know about him until a few weeks ago. What we know in this case is he has allowed us to learn about some of the activities of Peter Strozk & Lisa Page as well as Bruce & Nellie Ohr which has helped further understand Russiagate.

It is extremely difficult to uncover malfeasance in government in the best of circumstances and it is practically impossible within the national security apparatus as they have the ever present shield of "state secrets". In this context we have to be thankful for small gifts of transparency coming from inside like these disclosures by IG Horowitz as well as by whistleblowers like Snowden.

blue peacock

PT

Both Christopher Wray and Rosenstein in separate testimony were unable to confirm that any of the contents in the Steele dossier was verified, with the exception of Carter Page's visit to Russia.

doug

It's becoming quite clear that Trump, as President, appeared to be such an appalling concept amongst some highly placed functionaries that "insurance" was needed to deal with the possibility. And these people had contacts with the media, which, by and large, were as appalled. Thus the current situation.

Quite unfortunately, Trump's unbounded hubris has played into this mess. Trump is very fortunate that his party is in control of the legislative branches. One thinks of Hercules and the Aegean stables.

Newmarket

PT,r

Great compilation and analysis of the available facts. No need to publish the following, but I would suggest that your work is important enough to correct a couple of typos and provide a clarification which I will identify by paragraph number.
1. Perkins Coie (a Seattle Law Firm)--you get the name right in #2.
9. Put "Lisa" in front of "Page" in order to let the reader know you are referring to Lisa Page.
19. Rowan Farrow, I think, not Rowan Scarborough.
Keep posting and keep up the good work. Bob Randolph

DC

Well, thanks. And, we'll see. I appreciate your analysis, however. Your assessment might turn out to be 100% accurate prediction of reality, but for now your conclusion is just that, conclusory.

Cvillereader

Are you sure the”insurance policy” referred to a way to destroy Trump if he were to be elected?

What if FBI counterintelligence agents were involved in illegal surveillance activities that could possibly come to light if Trump were president? The dossier in fact was the insurance policy that they retroactively used to launder previous illegal searches that would have been covered up if Hillary had won.

The primary purpose of the “insurance policy” was to protect FBI agents against accusations of malfeasance, which at present, appears to be an accurate description of their behavior.

Stonevendor

I check in with this site from time to time because I find coverage of the Middle East that I will not find elsewhere. It has always been informative. But it is curious to find this remarkable devotion to Trumpism. In my book you have to really be bad to make Shrub look better. When he left office I was convinced the Iraq fiasco, with the attendant waste of blood and treasure would go down as the worst debacle in the foreign policy of the republic and Bush would be consigned to the bottom of the presidency. But with Trump we get someone who makes Bush and Cheney look reasonable and prudent. Oh my. For those who are interested here is the Simpson (Fusion GPS) testimony from last week.

Warning: It is long, over 300 pages. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_L-9rYK2x9EyPHt1WwG3QnjKnFIJdLvp/view

Reggie

DC, It is quite simple:

The ENTIRE SYSTEM of FISA-702 surveillance and data collection was weaponized against a political campaign. The DOJ and FBI used the FISA Court to gain access to Trump data, and simultaneously justify earlier FISA “queries” by their contractor, Fusion GPS. FISA-702 queries were used to gather information on the Trump campaign which later became FBI counterintelligence surveillance on the officials therein.

blue peacock

PT

Here's something that's puzzling.

The FBI directly or indirectly through Fusion GPS or another a subcontractor, began querying the NSA database around March 2016 as per the FISC ruling. That's pretty early in the primary. I don't think anyone at that point was thinking Trump was going to clinch the GOP nomination.

Do you think they were doing this on other candidates too? Bernie? Were they already an arm of the Clinton campaign? Or just snooping on all or some of the candidates communications?

The Twisted Genius

Publius Tacitus,

Here’s a stab at your relevant unanswered questions.

“Why does a former MI-6 officer reach out on his own to the FBI when the normal point of contact would be the CIA?”
“Who did Steele contact at the FBI?”
“Who at the FBI asked Steele to travel to Rome in October 2016?”

Steele’s CIA contacts were probably more of the bureaucratic liaison variety. Hardly memorable. However, he worked closely with the FBI Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad on several operations. He formed strong friendships doing these “heady things” as Steele describes . When he decided to bring his concerns to the FBI, he found one of these old FBI friends stationed in Rome. This FBI friend is who he reached out to. This FBI Special Agent seems to be identified in Steele's Judicial Committee testimony, but the name and position is redacted. Someone in Comey’s Russian investigation team probably decided to continue this established relationship and venue for the October 2016 meeting. Perhaps it was Comey himself.

Walrus

DC you are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts. Both the FBI and Steele in his court case have stated that there is no confirmation of anything in the reports. They are purely hearsay at absolute best and more likely a deliberate fabrication for political purposes in the opinion of far more knowledgeable people than you.

To put that another way, the chances of your opinion being valid are judged as zero.

Publius Tacitus

Keep your eyes tightly closed. Your hatred of Trump blinds you to what is really going on. Deal with these two indisputable facts: 1) Comey, under oath, almost one year after the info became available, still said it was UNVERIFIABLE; 2) Steele, himself, also under oath, now disavows the importance of what he originally claimed was so essential.
You should write a novel. You're very good at spinning a tale without having a shred of evidence to go on.

confusedponderer

Yesterday I read in Die Zeit that in 'Fire and Fury' Michael Wolff has written that Whitehouse employees see it is their job to protect America from Trump. Text about an inverview with Wolff is in German but anyway:

"Der Autor Michael Wolff hat sich im Gespräch mit der ZEIT zu seinem Enthüllungsbuch Fire and Fury geäußert. "Ich denke, die meisten wollen einfach das Schlimmste verhindern", beschreibt Wolff das Verhältnis von US-Präsident Donald Trump zu seinen engsten Mitarbeitern. "Sie sind da, um diesen Typen irgendwie auf einem engen, klaren Pfad zu halten. Die Mitarbeiter versuchen, Trump zu kontrollieren, obwohl sie wissen, dass sie ihn nicht kontrollieren können." Sie seien "keine Menschen, die den Mann, für den sie arbeiten, bewundern. Seine Mitarbeiter sehen ihren Job mehr oder weniger darin, das Land vor ihm zu beschützen", sagt Wolff.

In seinem Bestseller Fire and Fury spricht Wolff dem amtierenden US-Präsidenten die geistigen Fähigkeiten zur Führung des Landes ab. Angesprochen auf die mentalen Probleme, die er bei Trump beobachtete, erklärt Wolff: "Wenn Sie mit einem Menschen sprechen, der sich immer und immer wieder wiederholt, dann ist das meiner Meinung nach alarmierend." Auf die Frage, ob er glaube, der US-Präsident leide an Demenz, antwortet Wolff: "Das kann ich nicht sagen, ich bin kein Arzt." "

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2018-01/fire-and-fury-michael-wolff-donald-trump

The article says that the 'white housers' are there to keep the man on a narrow, straight path, and are trying to control Trump even though they know they cannot and that what they do is to try to protect the country of him.

If true, that's simply scaring and it speaks for itself.

It is also speaking for itself that apparently Trump just made a deal with Norway and sold them magical "F-52" aircraft that only exist in the computer game „Call of Duty“. Ah well ...

... in the latest gaffe to befall the US President, Mr Trump managed to suggest the US was selling Norway a type of fighter aircraft that does not actually exist.

The President claimed Norway had started receiving the first American-made “F-52s” . ​“In November, we started delivering the first F-52s and F-35 fighter jets,” he said.

The F-52 is a fictional aircraft that features prominently in the successful Call of Duty video game series.

The former real estate mogul was supposed to be speaking at the White House to announce Norway's purchase of 52 F-35 jets from American aerospace firm Lockheed Martin.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-us-norway-f52-aircraft-sold-deal-not-exist-defence-erna-solberg-a8153126.html

F35? Ah. But F52, B52 or B52 coctails ... details, schmetails. Spaking of that 'Cheers' (with coffee, that is).

blue peacock

TTG

If you look at the FISC ruling that has been declassified but heavily redacted, you will notice the FBI provided a sub-contractor "unauthorized" access to the NSA database in March 2016. This access to the raw FISA data was discontinued on April 18, 2016.

So, the snooping began much before Steele was hired by Fusion GPS. Sundance for example believes that the FBI provided this "unauthorized" access to its subcontractor Fusion GPS. This is how Fusion GPS was paid by the FBI.

When the time line and interactions are put together it seems that it all begins at the FBI during March 2016, pretty early in the primary season, possibly with Fusion GPS as the subcontractor. Steele only comes on the scene, after the meeting of Mary Jacoby, Glen Simpson's wife at the White House and Fusion is hired by the Clinton campaign.

Peter AU

Not being an academic, mathematician, nor pollster, I simply run an image search on both Clinton and Trump election rallies. These showed that Trump would win. Early in the campaign, there were several pics of large crowds at Clinton rallies, but from about six months out, the images all showed her speaking to fifty to hundred people, whereas Trump images always showed packed stadiums.
The Dossier. A person as portrayed in the Steele would be corrupt/dishonest in most everyday business dealings. With the attacks against Trump, by intelligence and investigative agencies, any dishonesty, breaking the law in business dealings, would have been brought up. This tells me he has always operated within the letter of the law. Perhaps sharp and ruthless, but within the letter of the law.
Trump's ideology/culture is USA through and through. Russia has no ideology, and its own culture.
There is no ideology nor religion involved, so why would a man like Trump that has always operated within the letter of the law be nefariously colluding with a foreign state?
Needs to be a lot more digging like you are doing PT, as the saying goes "Without fear or favor".

blue peacock

Here's a timeline based on Sundance's work to supplement PT's timeline. I did this for my benefit so likely contain errors. Others here at SST can correct.

- Before March 2016: a)Fusion GPS hired by Washington Free Beacon to do oppo research on Trump. I have read elsewhere that it was billionaire fund manager Paul Singer who paid for this, presume to provide GOP candidate he supported in the primary oppo research. b) FBI provides unauthorized FISA 702 access to a subcontractor who conducts numerous FISA 702(16)(17) searches on NSA database, which lead to FISA 702 violations. Speculation subcontractor is Fusion GPS. The subcontractor's name is redacted in declassified FISC ruling.

- March 9, 2016: DOJ oversight personnel learn that FBI has disclosed raw FISA information to a subcontractor that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI's request.

- Early April 2016: Admiral Rogers learns of FISA 702 violations and orders compliance review at NSA.

- April 18, 2016: Access to raw FISA information by subcontractor ended presume after FBI learns that Admiral Rogers is on to the FISA violations.

- April 19, 2016: White House log shows Mary Jacoby, wife of Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS visits White House.

- Later in April 2016: Clinton campaign hires Fusion GPS to do oppo research on Trump. See PT's timeline.

- March/April 2016: Fusion GPS hires Nellie Ohr, who also works with CIA and is the the wife of DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr.

- May 2016: Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele. See PT's timeline. Presume that Steele receives whatever prior oppo research the Fusion GPS did which may include info obtained from FISA 702 searches (if Fusion GPS is the FBI subcontractor) and whatever stuff Nellie Ohr has written up until then.

- May 23, 2016: Mary Jacoby applies for ham radio license. Presume to communicate with Steele without getting "collected" in NSA hoover.

- June 2016 on: Steele dossier dissemination. See PT's timeline for more detail.

- August 2016: Peter Strzok's "insurance policy" text message. See PT's timeline.

- October 2016: a) NSA compliance review completed and Admiral Rogers goes to FISC to report FISA 702 violations and ends FISA 702(17) searches. b) DOJ NSD prepares FISA application that in part includes content from Steele dossier. c) FISC grants warrant.

- A week after election: a) Admiral Rogers goes to Trump Tower and spills the beans b) Next day Trump transition moves out of Trump Tower to Trump Golf Club in Bedminster.

Lee A. Arnold

Publius Tacitus: "When James Comey testified in June of 2017 that the dossier was "SALACIOUS AND UNVERIFIED," he made it very clear that Steele's so-called "raw intelligence" had no value nor corroboration. If Comey had said, "WE HAVE VERIFIED KEY ELEMENTS OF THE DOSSIER BUT WILL HAVE TO DISCUSS THAT IN CLOSED SESSION," then Trump would have been a dead man walking."

Then Trump is in big trouble. In the June 2017 transcript, Senator Burr questions first. After about a dozen questions:

"BURR: In the public domain is this question of the “Steele dossier,” a document that has been around out in for over a year. I'm not sure when the FBI first took possession of it, but the media had it before you had it and we had it. At the time of your departure from the FBI, was the FBI able to confirm any criminal allegations contained in the Steele document?
COMEY: Mr. Chairman, I don't think that's a question I can answer in an open setting because it goes into the details of the investigation."

Lars

If you have to use that kind of rhetoric against even mild criticism, obviously something is not as solid as claimed. This, as so much else written, to justify Donald Trump is questionable and seems to largely be invented.

Most people know very well what kind of man he is and you can try to change that perception, but it will take very solid evidence to do so and none is forthcoming.

There are several investigations going on and hopefully at some point we will all know what has happened and who did what.

But if you have to use language like that in response, your credibility is suspect.

LeaNder

Pilot44236 said,

would you love to be summarizing Sundance's relevant findings?

Maybe I should be but I am not surprised he surfaces here so frequently lately as the ultimate go to source.

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