« Well, no one thought the Turks were subtle ... And I like Turks. | Main | A coupla things ... »

11 January 2018

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dr. Puck

So, why isn't this happening?

Lee A. Arnold

I read that too. So now we have 5 or 6different places where Steele never said the dossier was presented to anyone as verified. Where is the contradiction?

The Twisted Genius

Chill out, PT. Those are your “relevant unanswered questions.” If my attempt to answer them upsets you, you shouldn’t ask them. This is an excerpt from the Simpson interview with the Judiciary Committee where he names Steele’s initial FBI contact. Too bad it’s redacted. At least the Judiciary Committee knows who it was.

Q. And do you know who it is that Mr. Steele contacted and talked with at the FBI?
A. I did not know at the time. I believe I know now, but I don't have authoritative
information on that. I didn't -- yeah. I didn't know who it was in July.
Q. And do you now know who that was?
A. I think I know, but Chris never told me. I figured it out eventually based on other sources and other information, but that was not until December or November.
Q. December of -- November or December 2016?
A. November, December 2016. It was after the election.
Q. And what is your understanding from what you've been able to put together of who that would have been?
A. My understanding of?
Q. Of who Mr. Steele would have talked to at the FBI.
A. I believe it was a [redacted], an official named [redacted]

Steele offered more details of his first FBI contact in an interview with Howard Blum published on 30 March 2017.

“In the end, Steele found the rationale that is every whistle-blower’s sustaining philosophy: the greater good trumps all other concerns. And so, even while he kept working his sources in the field and continued to shoot new memos to Simpson, he settled on a plan of covert action.
The F.B.I.’s Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad—“Move Over, Mafia,” the bureau’s P.R. machine crowed after the unit had been created—was a particularly gung-ho team with whom Steele had done some heady things in the past. And in the course of their successful collaboration, the hard-driving F.B.I. agents and the former frontline spy evolved into a chummy mutual-admiration society
It was only natural, then, that when he began mulling whom to turn to, Steele thought about his tough-minded friends on the Eurasian squad. And fortuitously, he discovered, as his scheme took on a solid operational commitment, that one of the agents was now assigned to the bureau office in Rome. By early August, a copy of his first two memos were shared with the F.B.I.’s man in Rome.”

Jack

Why hasn't the DOJ appointed a second special counsel, even after many members if Congress have requested it? I suggest you look at Rosenstein's response to that in Congressional testimony. You could ask a further question why has DOJ stalled production of documents and witness testimony to Congressional subpoena?

Trump could just publish all this on the White House website? Are you serious? Have you already forgotten the shitstorm that ensued after he fired Comey? Imagine the hysterics of the media and the Democrats and all the Borgists in the GOP and DC in general if he published all the FBI, DOJ and CIA emails, let alone all those FISA searches.

Seriously!

English Outsider



Richardstevenhack - This starts to remind me of MH17, where there was clearly masses of information available but little could be put forward or examined. I understand why but such restrictions mean that any public investigation becomes little more than shadow boxing. Better to have no investigation at all than to undertake one that is going to lack credibility.

You point out - "The FBI never investigated the DNC servers because they decided to accept CrowdStrike's analysis despite CrowdStrike being run by a Russian ex-pat who hates Russia and sees Russians under every bed."

Yes, it always looked odd. But on the question of how the DNC files were leaked doesn't the NSA monitor communications if foreign countries might be involved?:-

"3. What Defines the Intelligence Role of NSA/CSS?

Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333) authorizes agencies of the Intelligence Community to obtain reliable intelligence information, consistent with applicable Federal law and EO 12333, with full consideration of the rights of U.S. persons. Pursuant to EO 12333, NSA is authorized to collect, process, analyze, produce, and disseminate Signals Intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions,..."

From - https://www.nsa.gov/about/faqs/sigint-faqs.shtml

Add to that the shared information collection capability of GCHQ Cheltenham and either the NSA was asleep at the wheel or they have the material needed to put all such questions of foreign interference to bed.

Publius Tacitus

No, you are wrong. Steele started passing the memos to his FBI contact in July, for starters. The decision to go to Rome came about in the end of September, according to Simpson (you actually should take time to read the original material).
Here are some more curiosities--if Steele actually shared the material he claimed in July 2016 with an FBI contact, that would have generated an internal FBI report. Where is that report? And then we have multiple sources reporting that the first application for a FISA warrant came in August 2016. That means the Attorney General and the FBI Director had been briefed on the memos. At a minimum, that should have triggered a full blown inter-agency intel gathering effort to validate the claims in the Steele memos. That never happened. How do I know? Spoke with an old friend who would have been right in the middle of such action. It never happened.

Jack

Thank you PT and blue peacock for the timelines. I haven't been following this story closely so these timelines are very helpful. I agree with many who have posted here that this is not about Trumpism or Clintonism but goes to the heart of if we have a constitutional republic with the rule of law anymore. It is rather amazing that so many can't get out of their partisan bias and can only see events through a partisan lens.

I recall well when the Patriot Act and then FISA were enacted that only a small fringe minority who did not ascribe to any partisan leaning but were civil libertarians warned how on the face of it they were unconstitutional and would inevitably lead to abuse. They were laughed at and scorned by the partisans. We have learned that the courts are not in the business of interpreting the constitution when it comes to the national security apparatus but aid in the justification of these draconian laws. We have also learned that these laws enable complete lawlessness by the national security apparatus since they can't be held accountable by the perceived imperative that they propagate that any disclosure is harmful to national security interests.

We are where we are precisely due to partisanship which only perpetuates this kind of mindless if my side does it, its all good. The Democrats need to be careful here because the tables could be easily turned. And then these agencies will become a law unto themselves.

The Twisted Genius

No one, including myself, denies Steele passed his first two reports to the FBI in July. That excerpt referred to Simpson not becoming aware of the identity of the FBI agent Steele met until November or December. Steele did not tell Simpson who his contact was or any particulars of the meeting. It doesn't appear that he even told him where they met. That's in the testimony, pages 164 to 169.

Concerning the September meeting in Rome, Simpson said, “Essentially what he told me was they had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that -- that they -- my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point -- that they believed Chris's information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.” (page 175) The FBI obviously did some kind of corroboration of Steel's reports to say that.

blue peacock

Thanks Barbara for the correction. Yes, it was Nellie Ohr with the ham radio license.

blue peacock

Thanks Greco for adding to the timeline. I find the timeline of what we know as facts, very helpful in gaining perspective on the chain of events as well as the various actors, and to know what we don't know yet as it prompts so many questions.

PT's timeline got the ball rolling here!

blue peacock

TTG

While the production of the Steele report and the role of the FBI in it are an important facet, IMO, the FISA 702 searches by the FBI and its subcontractor, preceding Steele by several months is even more interesting.

- Who at FBI launched these searches?
- Why?
- Why did they get a subcontractor to be part of this? Who was the subcontractor?
- Why wasn't this authorized?
- Why did it generate FISA 702 violations?
- Was there an approval chain at FBI to do this?

This seems to be the genesis if you look at the timeline. If this genesis was prompted by a suspicion of a true Russian intelligence operation, why weren't others like the NSA involved? Clearly, the NSA has all the SIGINT resources and Admiral Rogers wouldn't have had to run a complete compliance review of all FISA 702(16)(17) when he discovered the violations. Instead the NSA could have assisted the FBI in uncovering the "Russian operation". This whole "unauthorized" FBI with subcontractor FISA 702 searches is very fishy. The declassified FISC ruling while heavily redacted provides the basis for a lot of inquiry. I assume the Gangof8 in Congress have the unredacted version and they could possibly start to answer these questions.

Do you have a speculation on this matter?

Publius Tacitus

Just keep ignoring the fact that Comey testified under oath that the dossier was UNVERIFIED. If they actually had a corroborating source then Comey would have testified that the dossier was backed up by another source. He did no such thing. Just admit the fact that the dossier is a fraud bought and paid for by Hillary and facilitated by a corrupt FBI.

blue peacock

Sid Finster

I think bulk collection of every American's domestic communications is a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment. This is the basis for abuse of FISA 702 for domestic political purposes.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I don't think one needs to be a Harvard credentialed constitutional law expert to know that tapping and storing communications of Americans not even suspected of a potential crime violates this amendment. Yet the federal courts have found with all the sophistry they can muster that it is perfectly constitutional. And the vast majority of Americans would rather spend their political energy being on one side or the other in the fight between Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

Flavius

That is a question that is in the forefront of my mind.
There is more than sufficient predicate to begin the investigation. The jurisdiction and venue is perfectly clear. The air needs to be cleared, justice needs to be done (and seen to be done), and it is an opportunity to demonstrate that the wheels of justice can operate normally within a government that over the past two years has been signaling gross incompetence at best and at worst, has been demonstrating a pervasive malfeasance that very well may put Watergate in the shade.
This decision is on Trump and Sessions, either of whom could order this up on Monday morning. Perhaps they are waiting for the results of the internal DoJ investigation, a delay which in my opinion is unnecessary and imprudent because confidence in the integrity of the system is fast eroding away.
This case needs to be taken both out of the hands of the DoJ and away from anyone who could be remotely associated with the Beltway swamp.

Flavius

I would make the general observation that it is very unlikely that the FBI had the assets in place to verify the credibility and reliability of Steele's alleged sources. I haven't seen any reporting that the FBI even knew the identities of Steele's sources in order to assess their access let alone the circumstances of their receiving the information, their motives, whether they were being paid and by whom, etc. As far as I have been able to tell, the information was washed through Steele. This seems incomprehensibly incompetent, or corrupt, or an intermix of the two, but there it is. Nevertheless, answers to this question should be discoverable within 3 days of launching a proper investigation.
This raises some unaddressed, as far as I am aware, questions as to what, if any, involvement Brennans Agency
had in the matter; also I would be interested in the pattern of leaks and unmaskings that came along in the wake, post installation - whether those developed in the manner of a lynch mob piling in for the ride or whether there was more control and organization.
This case needs a lot of attention and it needs it now.

The Twisted Genius

blue peacock,

You bring up a very interesting area of focus. I started looking for some of the items you mentioned and found that there is an annual review of all FISC activities. All problem areas are examined and solutions agreed upon. I am actually fairly impressed by the reports I looked at. The 2016 Certifications Submissions, as the report is known, is 99 pages long and was filed on 26 April 2017. The largest part of that one dealt with the NCTC rather than the FBI and established new targeting and minimization procedures for that agency. It also described procedures for NCTC to obtain access to unminimized material. Something they did not have prior to this. There is also a finding eliminating the "about" search queries from 702 targeting. That's a big win for the Constitution as I see it. Seems to me that the primary purpose of these annual reports is to ensure FISC activities are in compliance with Constitutional protections. This latest report is not something Rogers initiated on his own.

I see no indication that FBI's searches undertaken in 2016 (one in April, one in October) with contractors was definitely related to any particular Russian collection objective. Judging by the unredacted wording, the contractors involved seemed to be employed by a government office, not FBI, largely manned by contractors. The two cases involved seemed to technical rather than anything Fusion GPS would do, possibly a computer crime. These were violations of established FISC procedures involving granting access to raw FISA information to contractors. I also got the impression that the FBI was doing this prior to 2016.

Given the annual requirement of these reviews and the full year covered by this 99 page report, I don't see any reason to believe these FBI violations are related to the Trump-Russia investigation. But you have to remember, I suffer from TDS and I know firsthand that the Russians have done worse to us in the past than anything they did in the 2016 election.

VietnamVet

PT

Thanks. I don’t think there will be a real investigation and publication of the facts. The DOJ IG will be restrained. Each faction will harp at each other and kick the can down the road; a replay of the earlier Clinton investigations. The Dodgy Dossier is after the fact and is important to document that there is an intelligence community/media counter coup underway to get rid of that Ugly American. A political bomb will hit DC if the 25th amendment attempt is fruitful or alternatively if the whole truth ever comes out.

Of all the allegations from Facebook on only the release of the DNC e-mails maybe had an effect on the election. Perhaps it was the Russians. There is the earlier case of Victoria Nuland’s FU** EU phone-call out in the wild. More likely, it was Seth Rich. If Russians are to have any effect here, they must dispense the truth.

The contradictions and consequences are so great that the Democrat Establishment can’t seriously look at themselves. They are the global Empire’s lackeys. Their leaders are ancient. Both political parties have purposefully degraded the well-being of the American people. The GOP admits that it is to make the rich richer.

The Twisted Genius

blue peacock,

Please excuse my sloppy grammar throughout my last reply to you. I composed it while keeping track of the Caps-Canes game. Caps won tonight at the last second of the last period. Ovi scored his 28th goal and leads the NHL... but Kutcherov is right behind him.

jjc

Does this story not confirm that all communications, worldwide including USA, are vacuumed and stored by the NSA in searchable databases?

ex-PFC Chuck

Stonevendor at #13, I concur with Barbara Anne, English Outsider, and by now perhaps others who have posted comments stating their agreement about your first assessment regarding SST but not the second. Although PT, the writer of this post, appears to lean somewhat partisanly toward Trump and there others who lean in the other direction, it’s my sense that most of the SST commentariat don’t lean much in either direction. One thing most of us do agree on, I believe, is that we vehemently oppose the military-focused, confrontational direction USA foreign policy has taken since it came under the dominance of the neoconservatives. When Trump was elected I for one was cautiously hopeful (“optimistic” was too strong a word) that he would follow through on his campaign rhetoric advocating a less confrontational foreign policy, only to be greatly dispirited last summer when he appeared to enthusiastically jump on the neocon band wagon. However now that a number of months have passed it’s becoming apparent that if you pay attention to what he does, as well as what he does not do on the foreign policy front, what he said then might have been a tactical move to misdirect his neocon opponents. Just a few days ago TTG put up a post here suggesting that his recent tweet dissing Pakistan might just have been a similar subtle move. I’ve come to suspect that most of his over-the-top tweets are intentional distractions to draw media attention away from what he is doing. Or not doing, which is just as important.
http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/01/trump-pressures-islamabad-ttg.html

Lest you think that I’m a knee-jerk Trump supporter, I disagree stridently with almost all of his domestic initiatives. Three examples will suffice. First, there’s no way he can come through for the people on the economic margins who have bet their hopes on him without directly confronting the financial sector, whose predatory business models are the root cause of the evisceration of the American economy. Not only is he from that community but considering most of his wealth is tied up in real estate, which is almost certainly heavily leveraged, there are too many ways the financiers could get back at him if he were to confront them. In short, there’s too much personal risk and we all know how completely he’s decoupled his personal affairs from those of the government. (/snark) As for the soaring stock markets, that’s an asset price inflation bubble driven by the Fed’s quantitative easing, which CEOs and CFOs take advantage of it by looting their employers. They use the profits they should be investing in American plants and people and instead are buying up their companies’ stock in order to boost the earnings per share figures to which their own bonuses are tied. It’s like the legendary Oozlum bird that starts out flying straight but once it turns left for the first time it continues in ever tightening circles until it flies up into its own ass and disappears. With it will disappear the bull market, perhaps not to reemerge for a decade or more.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oozlum_bird

Next on the list is our low-bang-for-the-buck healthcare system. Bush44CareObamaCare, which was designed mainly to entrench a revenue stream for insurance companies, was a piece of junk but nevertheless marginally better than what went before. Gutting it, and now also allowing states to boot unemployed people off of Medicaid, is just kicking people when they’re down.
Finally there’s the across-the-board trashing of environmental protections, one instance of which I take personally. One of the jewels of this country is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness in northeastern Minnesota, which is adjacent to the similarly undeveloped and protected Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. My first venture into the area was 65 years ago as a 13 year old boy scout. The waters there are among the most pristine in North America, but also among the most fragile. Back then and through the 1960s we had no hesitation about drinking it right out of the lakes. In recent decades that’s become a bit riskier, but some people still do it. Since then I’ve been in there at least 25 times, the majority of which were trips from a few days to a week on a one-to-one basis with each of my three kids. They’re all in their 40s now, and those canoe and camping outings are constant sources of reminiscences for us when we get together. One of the few things Bush44Obama did that I heartily approved of was his 2016 refusal to renew an expired lease that a mining company, Twin Metals, had on land for a copper mine and processing facility for sulfide ore immediately adjacent to the south side of the BWCA. All Trump had to do was . . . nothing. Instead, he supports a bill before Congress to renew the lease. It has passed the House and is now before the Senate. To my knowledge a detailed plan for the mine and related facilities has not yet been released. Suffice it to say that disposing of the waste of sulfide ore is an extremely messy process. See for yourself at the Wikipedia link below regarding the Berkeley Pit near Butte, Montana. Also below is a link to a Wilderness News Blog post about the mine and its controversial politics, complete with a map. The squiggly gray line is the continental divide between the Laurentian and Arctic watersheds, and note that the red areas denoting the Twin Metals lease areas are uphill from and immediately adjacent to the BWCA boundary. As they say, shit flows down hill.
http://queticosuperior.org/blog/twin-metals-legislation-passes-house-senate-support-seems-elusive#.WllwGLgoG-5
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Pit

blue peacock

TTG

Thanks for your response. I don't care about your TDS. I am surrounded by it in my daily life. But, you are an old intel hand and I'm sure you don't want the institutions you served for so long, dragged through the mud because they were possibly hijacked for partisan purposes.

It is the timeline that brings up the question of what was going on at the FBI in the period leading up to April 18, 2016 when these FISA 702 searches were ended and Admiral Rogers orders up a full compliance review at the NSA.

I am just learning that legislatively determined national security agencies like the FBI CI division and the DOJ NSD division really have no roadblocks in querying the bulk collected data. They don't have to get authorizations as long as it is for national security reasons like preventing a terrorist attack. So, the fact that there were these FISA violations imply that these FISA 702 queries did not have national security implications. I assume that is what got Admiral Rogers attention - that these FISA 702 (17) queries were not for national security purposes and he ordered the compliance review of all the FISA 702 (17) queries and then went to FISC to report these violations in October 2016.

As I spend time contemplating the timeline the more it seems to me that the Russia collusion narrative was developed as a cover & consequence of these earlier FISA 702 violations. And the Steele dossier was an outcome of the earlier FBI activity and was then circulated back to create at least in part the basis for the FBI investigation.

To put it another way, a possible scenario is that FBI CI (Bill Priestap & Peter Strzok, and we don't know who else in the chain) began the FBI's Trump oppo research effort by using FISA 702 queries in the February/March 2016 timeframe. There was no Russia investigation at that time as that would not have triggered a FISA 702 violation. Fusion GPS (Simpson, Jacoby & Nellie Ohr) & Christopher Steele were later brought onboard to help package some of the facts derived from these FISA queries and then stitched together with other known and fabricated elements to create the dossier. This dossier was then laundered back to the FBI and the media to create both the narrative, the formal FBI CI investigation & the FISC authorization for the Trump/Russia collusion.

Please ponder this fundamental question: What could have possibly created these FISA 702 violations that caused Admiral Rogers to order a full compliance review in early April 2016 and when it was completed in October 2016, report it to FISC by providing them a full personal briefing? This is serious stuff for Admiral Rogers to go personally to FISC to present the findings of the NSA compliance review. And then after the election to go to Trump Tower to brief the President-elect without informing his boss, DNI Clapper.

There would have been no FISA 702 violations if it were to investigate a Russian intelligence operation. It had to be something that did not have national security purposes like acquiring information on a presidential candidate and his campaign. When you watch a press briefing of Nunes after he goes to the White House to review PDBs at the WH SCIF, he says, I saw information about Trump but nothing about Russia in the PDB.

I am convinced that if you can crack the reason for the FISA 702 violations during the period before April 2016 you can know the genesis of Russiagate.

mariner

Only in contractorland

There are two traditions in 5eyes. When his cover as a field agent in the diplomatic stream was blown Steele's sources became useless. He becomes virtual persona non grata with his employer and when he gets sick of not being allowed to do what's he's good at he goes to private enterprise. Thereafter his former employer will have no relationship with him at all - he's a security risk. Even before his cover was blown, it would have taken half a lifetime to develop a network of good sources. Afterwards, impossible. He can't start again because nobody trusts him, his cover is blown and everyone knows it. Intelligence is information that others don't want us to know. Any information now given/sold to Steele is suspect, as are those who passed it. He no longer operates with immunity - bribery and blackmail are illegal and carry real risk to his safety. US agencies are obviously aware of all this but the US does things differently. Anywhere else Steele's dossier would have been chucked in the bin.

RK

Re: "human source from inside the Trump organization"

This is supposed to be a "mischaracterization." Senator Grassley has already sent a letter to Simpson's lawyer asking why the testimony was not corrected:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-01-11%20CEG%20to%20Fusion%20GPS%20(accuracy%20of%20interview)%20(003).pdf

integer

Not much to add to what has been said already. I agree with the opening paragraph of this article 100%. One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the role of Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat who apparently relayed the contents of a conversation he had with Papadopoulos to the Aus. govt, which apparently then informed the FBI of this conversation, albeit two months after it originally took place.

As an Aussie, I can verify that Alexander Downer is entirely untrustworthy. He is an honorary member of the borg and was one of, if not the, most ardent Australian supporters of the Iraq war, even after having been provided with information from Australian intelligence members detailing the flimsiness of the pretense on which it was based (i.e. weapons of mass destruction).

Here's an MSM article detailing his efforts to smear a Andrew Wilkie, an Australian intelligence analyst who was the lead author of this document (that was critical of the premises on which the Iraq war was based), and who subsequently resigned in protest to Australia decision to become involved. Wilkie has since become an independent politician, and now holds a seat in Australian Parliament.

http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/iraq-humanitarian-dimensions-how-secret-report-was-leaked-to-the-press-in-2003/news-story/819cbf9a849a2d6b3f744a5e56026578

TLDR: Alexander Downer has zero credibility.

LeaNder

Chill out, PT. Those are your “relevant unanswered questions.”

Appreciated, TTG. I felt I had to come to your help. Admittedly I am getting a little tired of labels lately. ;)

Beyond that my standard setting is this will end:
Not with a bang but a whimper
T.S. Eliot

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28            
Blog powered by Typepad