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15 February 2018

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J

The American populace isn't stupid. They KNOW that we the U.S.'meddle'in other nations elections.

They just shrug their shoulders when D.C. politicians go stupid over possible outside meddling in ours.

FB Ali

I don't know much about this controversy - and, frankly, care even less. However, the following lines in the post caught my eye:

In addition to this intelligence, the IC had at that time intelligence from Estonia (and maybe others) about Page’s June trip to Moscow, the Dutch observation of Cozy Bear activities and the report from Australia about Popadopoulis’ drunken ramblings in a London bar.

"This intelligence" refers to Brennan. I would not trust anything associated with Mr Brennan. He is involved up to his eyebrows in all these shenanigans, and his motives are clearly crooked. To advance him as a source is to taint the story irredeemably.

As for the rest of the quote, Estonia as a "source" - for crying out loud! We have already read about those truly weird Dutch observations. And, to top it all, we have these drunken ramblings advanced as proof!

If this is the kind of stuff the whole story is based on, then it's obviously all poppycock! That it should be taken seriously enough to warrant posts on SST is beyond weird!

likbez

TTG,

Your logic is suspect in this particular case.

Firstof all the "Intelligence community" here means predetermined conclusions by specifically handpicked for this purpose by Brennan team,consisting of a dozen or so analysts. Which included Peter Strzok and, most probably, Andrew McCabe.

The key operation launched after election nicely fits the scheme of a color revolution (which are CIA specialty in tandem with the State Department ;-) In this context, the role ICA was to launch the media frenzy (to use controlled MSM as attack dogs to de-legitimize the elected government accusing it of some mortal sin such as corruption, collision with Russia (or other chosen scapegoat country), plunging the standard of living and economics of the country, racism and suppression of ethnic minorities, etc) is a classic recipe from Gene Sharp book https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/30/gene-sharp-dead-arab-spring-political-scientist ).

That goal which was successfully achieved -- unprecedented neo-McCarthyism campaign, along with the allegation of "collision with Russia" by Trump and his team were both in full bloom by January 2017.

David Stockman provided the names of the principal conspirators of the color revolution listing Brannan as the No. 1 (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/russiagate-witch-hunt-stockman-names-names-deep-states-insurance-policy)


Here are the names and rank of the principal conspirators:
John Brennan, CIA director;
Susan Rice, National Security Advisor;
Samantha Power, UN Ambassador;
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence;
James Comey, FBI director;
Andrew McCabe, Deputy FBI director;
Sally Yates, deputy Attorney General,
Bruce Ohr, associate deputy AG;
Peter Strzok, deputy assistant director of FBI counterintelligence;
Lisa Page, FBI lawyer;
and countless other lessor and greater poobahs of Washington power, including President Obama himself.

And this MSM witch hunt was n turn a step stone toward "Appointment of the Special Prosecutor" gambit (for which Rosenstein was used possibly with the help of intimidation), the most important goalpost so far achieved by plotters.

Your interpretation of the visit of Brennan to Raid is probably wrong. Information about Steele dossier was of secondary importance. His goal to recruit an influential Congress ally who shared the agenda "Trump should go" and who can help with the forthcoming color revolution steps based on dossier and ICA. Raid subsequent steps of propagating Steele dossier is just a part of larger effort.

Barack Obama biography and his very strange relations with Brennan raises a lot of interesting questions one of which is: To what extent Obama was dependent/controlled by CIA and to what extent he was the part of the color revolution plot. He definitely took unprecedented steps (and dangerous for him personally) to de-legitimize Trump and implicated Russians before leaving the office ("unmasking" campaign by Rice and Powell, exclusion of Russian diplomats and confiscation of Russian property made of the basis of Steele falsification and the burning desire to “get” Trump )

The other question is to what extent Strzok and McCabe can be considered as Brennan allies, or maybe even Brennan agents of influence within FBI. It is not that plausible that those two guys ventured into "va bank" operation of spying on Trump by themselves. From recovered texts, it is clear that Strzok opinion about Hillary was pretty low.

Now we know that Brennan single-handedly opened Russiagate investigation and even boasted about that. That means that he is the real godfather of Russiagate. According to the Washington Times:

"It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama's, who provided the information -- what he termed the "basis" -- for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer .Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians."

Links from Crowdstrike "analysis" (which most probably was a false flag operation to implicate Russians and cover the leak of email to USB drive) also might lead to Brennan.

The same is true about Fusion GPS. And even Steele himself, who, as we now know, got some information collected by the duo of Shearer-Blumenthal via State Department. So it is plausible that none, or very little of the dirt on Trump published in the dossier belongs to Steele. He might simply be used for the legitimization purpose of already collected by somebody else dirt; I read somewhere that he produced the "initial" dossier memo used for FISA court in record short period; something like three days). The story with prostitutes urinating on the bed in a Moscow hotel really smells with Blumenthal. It’s his methods of dealing with Hillary political opponents. BTW he is the author of “birth certificate hypothesis” and "birther movement" (of which Trump became a part much later, after Obama victory) and due to this was rejected by Ralph Emmanuel when Hillary tried to get him into Obama WH (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/does-clinton-have-a-blumenthal-birther-problem/article/2602090 )

Mike Whitney asked several important in this content questions (http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/is-john-brennan-the-mastermind-behind-russiagate/ ):


But now the plan has backfired and the investigations are gaining pace. Trump's allies in the House smell the blood in the water and they want answers. Did the CIA surveil members of the Trump campaign on the basis of information they gathered in the dossier? Who saw the information? Was the information passed along to members of the press and other government agencies? Was the White House involved? What role did Obama play? What about the Intelligence Community Assessment? Was it based on the contents of the Steele report? Will the "hand-picked" analysts who worked on the report vouch for its conclusions in or were they coached about what to write? How did Brennan persuade the reluctant Comey into opening a counterintelligence investigation on members in the Trump campaign when he knew it would be perceived as a partisan attempt to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge?

I'm wondering why it's that much of a stretch to believe that the CIA might have engineered the whole thing.

Richardstevenhack

And IIRC Scott Ritter ripped that report a new one as being totally speculative and without an ounce of fact behind it.

After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/after-nine-months-only-stale-crumbs-in-russia-inquiry/

Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/exposing-the-man-behind-the-curtain_us_5877887be4b05b7a465df6a4

Throwing a Curveball at ‘Intelligence Community Consensus’ on Russia
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in ‘Russiagate’ Case
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/leaked-nsa-report-is-short-on-facts-proves-little-in-russiagate-case/

The idea that these "selected" analysts really understand "Russian thinking" and "Russian interests" is highly questionable. The bottom line remains that Russia had ZERO POSSIBILITY of actually influencing the election in favor of Trump at any point up the night of the election itself.

And the Russians would know that. And they also know that despite the US' more extensive efforts to influence Russian elections that the US has no chance of influencing the upcoming election. Which means they understand this fact better than you do.

Richardstevenhack

It's an interesting theory, but it pales in probability to the likelihood that Russiagate is actually a disinformation operation run by the CIA.

It also fails to take into account the inevitable hiking of US hostility to Russia which Putin has shown zero evidence of wanting to have happen and which would be the obvious result of such a plan. Which as I say is precisely why he wouldn't do it because it is in no way in Russia's interests, whether they got caught or not.

This is far more logical than the ICA and TTG's notions that Russia's interests would be served by trying to do the impossible and actually mess with a US election.

And of course, there have been NO "solid clues" to any of this - just innuendo and unsupported assertions by a pack of liars including Clapper, Brennan, and others.

Dabbler

One possible problem with the idea that the Russians proceeded in the hope that they would be discovered is that it would have no value if Hillary were to have won, which she almost did.

likbez

Typo: Raid should Reid. Spellchecker effect ;-)

Fred

TTG,

That was the Senate investigation of an actual crime where 5 men were arrested inside the DNC offices and the subsequent cover up. What were the initial arrests that started the investigation? What crime is "collusion" and what crime is "meeting with Russians"?

kooshy

That I agree, and that is the general intention.

wisedupearly Ceo

Just to better position the discussion.
Exactly how large was Trump's margin of winning?
Some 60,000 total in 3 states?
What was the dominant characteristic of Hillary's loss?
Lackluster turnout by Democrats that did vote for Obama but not for Hillary.

Duck1

Sort of a Catiline conspiracy where Cicero was wrong footed in the modern Rome, eh?

Ingolf Eide

TTG,

I’m only concerned here with the last four paragraphs, those attempting to buttress the contention that Russia interfered in the election.

What strikes me is the circularity of the arguments. They all, to varying degrees, rely on the credibility of Brennan et al: “some kind of . . . operation that detailed Putin’s direct involvement”; “This intelligence also captured Putin’s instructions . . . “; alleged intelligence from Estonia; the Dutch “revelations”; and Papadopoulos’ “ramblings”. For the most part, these are either assertions by parties who have forfeited the right to any presumption of disinterested analysis, or apparently independent “sources” that might as easily be anything but. There still isn’t any there there.

I accept that doesn’t of itself mean it’s all lies. Still, it seems a mighty shaky foundation on which to build an argument.

Peter AU

In looking at the 'Russia done it syndrome. Looking at both PT and TTG's arguments, I keep coming back to the thought that it is not Russia, or for that matter any other adversary that has done something out of the ordinary.
It is the US that has done something out of the ordinary. But then again, McCarthyism may be an occurrence that happens every few decades for the US, and if so, then it is not out of the norm for the US.

SR Wood

I agree with TTG that we need to wait for the Mueller investigation to run its course and see what he comes up with. As for Publius Tacitus and other deep state conspiracy theorists on the appropriateness of Mueller's investigations, I will paraphrase Shakespeare, "me thinks they doth protest too much".

Bsox327

Whether the Russians or any other Government tried to influence elections AND WHETHER the U.S intel community is trying to orchestrate a soft coup on U.S President Donald Trump are two very different things.

THE INTEL COMMUNITY DID A GOOD JOB OF SETTING UP THE PRETEXT (cover story for their soft coup) that was to be used (mainly that RUSSIA HAD BEEN OBSERVED TRYING TO INFLUENCE A U.S ELECTION) as the reason to keep attacking President Trump to impede any attempt at rapprochement with Putin and the Russian gov’t.

56% of "Russian-linked Facebook ads" appeared *after* the election. 25% were seen by no one.

https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/10/hard-questions-russian-ads-delivered-to-congress/

The Intel community then continued adding to that evidence with the now infamous white house evidence free assessment on Russian meddling.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/11/the-fbi-hand-behind-russia-gate/

Virtually all skepticism about the evidence-free “assessment” was banned. For months, the Times and other newspapers of record repeated the lie that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had concurred in the conclusion about the Russian “hack.”

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.

Clapper testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that the Russia-hacking claim came from a “special intelligence community assessment” (or ICA) produced by selected analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, “a coordinated product from three agencies – CIA, NSA, and the FBI – not all 17 components of the intelligence community,” the former DNI said.

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/29/nyt-finally-retracts-russia-gate-canard/

#releasethememo also backfired when Twitter responded to congress.

"Twitter, meanwhile, offered a more lengthy reply, stressing that its “initial inquiry, based on available data, has not identified any significant activity connected to Russia with respect to tweets posting original content to this hashtag.” It also pointed to the fact that #ReleaseTheMemo had been spread by “several prominent, verified U.S. accounts”

https://www.recode.net/2018/1/31/16955432/democrats-congress-adam-schiff-dianne-feinstein-russia-release-the-memo-bots-trolls

Anna

Naming a big fraction of SST’ readers paranoid only because you like TTG interpretation better? Some manners.

blowback

"In addition to this intelligence, the IC had at that time intelligence from Estonia (and maybe others) about Page’s June trip to Moscow,..."
He visited Moscow in July 2016 and information about his visit was openly and publicly available at that time. This is why the Steele Dossier claim that he met with Igor Sechin according to someone described as “close” to Sechin damages the Steele dossier as Page denies meeting with Sechin on that visit and there is no other evidence that he did so which suggests that Steele made up the alleged meeting with Igor Sechin.

Papadopoulos - if Trump was already Putin's "bitch" there would be established secure links between Putin and Trump. Why tout the anti-Clinton information through a dodgy Maltese professor of international relations and a wannabe on the periphery of the Trump Campaign - why not e-mail it direct to some one on the campaign, after all I doubt the SVR is short of funds and expected to be paid for the information. If the Russians really had hacked the DNC and Podesta e-mails why not send them to Wikileaks to have them made public? Why go anywhere near the Trump campaign?

Dutch intelligence - they're still suffering the effects of the famine in 1944/5.

Anna

What would be your understanding of CrowdStrike instant discovery (in 10 sec) of Russian hacking? You do know that Dm. Alperovitch' father is a CIA asset and that Dm. Aperovitch is an “expert” at the aggressively Russophobic Atlantic Council. Wouldn’t you prefer that the whole Russian hacking affair was re-investigated? Moreover, the Awan affair is an important tangential to the (alleged) Russian hacking affair.
Your point is that Russians meddled in the US politics. What if the meddling had a miniscule effect that is easy to find, whereas the anti-constitutional activities of the US high-order officials constitute the real danger to the republic?

English Outsider

TTG,

Took my washing machine in to be repaired yesterday. Off course I'd had a go at it first. Stripped it down, looked with puzzlement at an inscrutable printed circuit board (What happened to those timer controls you could fiddle around with?), went on a few forums on the internet, cursed, put the whole lot together again and took it in to the local repair shop.

I shan't forget the benevolent contempt with which the owner listened to my analysis of the fault. He heard me out patiently, fetched the machine into his workshop, and came up with a quite different (and correct) analysis and cure.

End of my career as a we never fail home repairman. I don't intend to waste your time either by pretending I've got any insight into the workings of this imbroglio you're examining. But with that washing machine there was at least one fact that was for both of us, for me and for the specialist, common ground. The damn thing wasn't working.

Your imbroglio is a little more complex. As far as I can see you've got the routine probing and interfering that one assumes all Intelligence agencies get up to against each other or against each other's countries. You've got a suspicion that your President or his team were somehow influenced or compromised. You've got a smear campaign possibly set in motion by some Walter Mitty type that your lot have, to the chagrin of some of us in the UK, somehow borrowed from us. On that last you have, in previous articles and comments, expressed your contempt.

There are all those elements mixed up together and in a more difficult context - little of the relevant information is released and what is is open to various interpretations. It's as if my friendly neighbourhood appliance specialist were only permitted to see a few bits of the machine he was examining and that in a dim light. And whereas it was possible for me to cart the thing home, connect it up, and get a triumphal confirmation that the specialist was right, you and your fellow specialists on SST are never, I think, going to come up with such indisputable proof; even though the Americans have a better record of openness than we have, and seem to take public accountability more seriously, all the information you want in order to get proof past doubt is never going to be fully available.

Which leaves one thing, and as far as I can see one thing only, that is agreed common ground between the specialist and the uninformed bystander. After Trump was elected the UK government publicly put its weight behind a smear campaign against the President.

It didn't have to. Whatever was going on in the background the salacious elements of that campaign could easily have been disavowed. As you say in your article the various elements are all entangled, but this element could have been disentangled. For the sake of diplomatic propriety, if nothing else, the UK government could have made it clear that those elements were unverified, that Steele's work was not officially supported or approved of in the UK, and that it was nothing to do with the UK.

If they'd been truly worried that Trump was compromised, or that there was some other intelligence problem, the UK authorities could have worked away at that just as well whether Steele was disavowed as not. There was no need to go up publicly against the new Administration. But they did.

David Habakkuk has given us some incisive articles and comments showing the attitudes of at least some elements within the UK Intelligence community - Russophobic to the point of paranoia, solidly behind what we have learned to call the neo-con Weltanschauung. One can see how that might lead to a no holds barred enmity to the new President. One can even accept that there are many officials in the US who share those attitudes. Many in Europe and the States also share those attitudes and have an automatic contempt for Trump and his supporters. One can understand all that. It's the context in which it's all happening and has happened. But whatever the context there is as yet no explanation for why the UK authorities went all in for that smear campaign against Trump after the election.

That's the one fact that can't be ignored, that cannot be interpreted this way or that, just as it was not possible to ignore that fact that my machine had failed. It's just an undisputed fact. It leads to the obvious questions. Who in the UK gave approval? Would they have dared to give approval to a PR attack on the new American Administration without at least some approval or support from within the US itself?

I hope you might be able to factor in those questions as you continue your painstaking examination. Seems to me - and I'm not trying to come into the workshop with you and pretend I can be of any help - that those are questions that should be being asked both sides of the Atlantic.

Anna

"Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments."
Thank you for addressing this laughable "assessment." What was Clinton's definition of Putin? - Hitler?
Where to start… Putin is from a family of survivors of the Blockade of Leningrad (St Petersburg, Russia), where at least 1 million people died of starvation or were frozen to death during the WWII.
Was not Mrs. Clinton in charge of certain Mrs. Nuland-Kagan that went into tight and profitable collaboration with Ukrainian neo-Nazis in Kiev, in 2014? How about insulting the memory of WWII soldiers and victims?
Poor extra-sensitive bureaucrats at the CIA and FBI, who wrote this outstanding kindergarten-level assessment: "We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence."
So the US electorate was directed by the "thug" and "Hitler" Putin and not by "we came, we saw, he died..." coming from the supposedly virtuous Mrs. Clinton? What about the amazing story of Uranium One? The $145 millions in gesheft for the Clinton Foundation is not such a bad outcome for Clintons: https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/clinton-inc-only-got-145-million-in-uranium-deal-linked-cash/

Anna

Was not Brennan coming incognito to Kiev on the eve of military actions against the civilian population of Easter Ukraine, by the US-installed regime (see Nuland-Kagan's activities in Kiev) in 2014? Brennan is a war criminal who instigated the ongoing civil war in Ukraine. https://original.antiwar.com/paul/2014/05/11/what-does-the-us-government-want-in-ukraine/

kooshy

I wonder, those who continue to spread that Russians, or a foreign power successfully hacked and determined the outcome of 2016 election ever think how confident real American voters will be when it comes to next election? And if their votes count anymore?

If anybody anymore cares if campaign/exercise can or will causes a breakdown in the voter’s confidence, (IMO already has) and a less desire by voters to participate (already low) in an election that believe is cooked or hacked. Could this be what the outcome the establishment and both dominant party wants? IMO it is, they really would rather us the independent undecided to stay home and don’t participate, that makes a much easier and less “EXPENSIVE” campaigns. After all most of the party’s money is spend on swing voters.

Tyler

Your TDS really has affected your ability to reason.

GeneO

Sorry Anna! A bad turn of phrase. I was not speaking of you or the big fraction you mention.

I do like TTG's analysis. It is neither pro-Clinton nor anti-Trump, it is apolitical. It is not based on an ideology, like some of the comments of his detractors. He does not claim collusion, which many seem to read between his lines and claim to see.

The Twisted Genius

Richardstevenhack,

Reference your comments at #29 and #30

You, the writers you cite and many others are making a mistake in assuming that the IC and the Mueller investigation are releasing all the information they have on this issue, that there cannot be classified intelligence being held back. There were two ICAs as was explained in the publicly released ICA. I suspect that anyone who has read the classified ICA is not commenting on SST or any other site if they value keeping their clearances. Do you believe there was an OPM hack? No proof has been released that it occurred. I have never detailed exactly what I know the Russians are capable of in this field or have done prior to this election interference campaign. But that knowledge shapes my thinking on this issue.

Your idea that electorates are immune to influence is silly. That is the whole purpose of political campaigns, to influence voters, to energize ones own voters and suppress the opposition's voters. Electorates are very much susceptible to influence. The argument that the Russians would never attempt to influence our electorate because electorates cannot be influenced is both laughable and desperate.

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