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27 March 2018

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Thomas Kleeman

Presumably Brennan can shoot off his mouth with his opinion. I have read things that made me wonder if there were a connection between some Russians and Mr. Trump, or certain members of his family, or his campaign. But at this point such claims are mere conjecture. Supposedly this is why we have an investigation by Mr. Mueller. Maybe at some point we will have concrete facts. So for the time being we have opinions without proof.

But as opinions go this does not strike me as outlandish as the claims that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen. This was objectively verifiable. Why did the birth announcement appear in the two Honolulu papers? The truth on this matter was known, or knowable, from the beginning of Obama's political career. So to go about claiming he was not a citizen meant that one was: 1. Illiterate (possible); 2. Ignorant of objective reality; 3. a liar.

I am waiting for some report from the investigation, for documents that we can examine, something to move this beyond conjecture. And for anyone harboring suspicion about the birth records check here: http://www.staradvertiser.com/2011/04/23/breaking-news/obamas-isle-birth-is-easily-verified-but-few-check/

Peter VE

Colonel, you need to change that attitude if you want to get on the media gravy train! I'm old enough to remember when the media would actually dare to bring on a commenter who questioned the official story...

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Yes, John Brennan needs to be investigated. So, does the rest of the political appointees who have tried to toss the 2016 election into the trash and negate the Constitution. The heart of the problem is the thrashing about of a failing hegemon. Even neo-con Max Boot wrote “Anyone who favors a ‘war of choice’ against a nuclear-armed state belongs in a psychiatric ward”. Governments across the West must be cleansed and rule by consent of the governed restored.

The Salisbury England poisoning highlights the problem. If this was state sponsored nerve gas attack, it is an act of war. The march to war with Russia without any proof is insane.

The truth is our only hope of avoiding a catastrophe.

Richardstevenhack

Off-topic, but perhaps not really since Brennan is one of those deeply involved in Russiagate, which has led to the Skripal case and the expulsion of Russian diplomats. Sy Hersh, in the infamous audio tape, specifically fingered Brennan as the man behind Russiagate. I can't wait for his "long form journalism" report on the issue that he's working on.

Maria Zakharova, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, appears on Russian TV (with English subtitles) and points out that the US and the UK appear to have pressured the EU into supporting the UK over the Skripal case - while the UK is going to Brexit soon leaving the UK "stuck in their solidarity". She also all but lays the Skripal poisoning at the feet of the UK's chemical weapons facility at Porton Down as well as the US without actually saying so.

Maria Zakharova: West is Launching an All-Out Anti-Russian Campaign
http://thesaker.is/maria-zakharova-west-is-launching-an-all-out-anti-russian-campaign/

The interviewer brings up an important point: How is Russia going to defend itself against these accusations when the UK is totally controlling all the evidence of what happened to Skripal and the US, EU and the media are all in lockstep? Zakharova didn't really have an answer. There's no way to prove a negative unless one somehow gets insider information and can reveal it without appearing to be a biased observer. Nothing Russia says will be believed.

likbez

There are several problem with investigating Brennan.

1. That will undermines further the US political system (which already is weakened by this slash and burn anti-Trump complain, or color revolution, if you wish) and might open a can of worms.

2. Who might be able to do it. Definitely not Trump Justice Department. Brennan was a really big player in Obama administration and probably was behind Nulandgate (UNZ comment):


JR says:

March 27, 2018 at 6:24 am GMT

Within a week after Brennan’s ‘routine’ visit in April 2014 to the Ukraine the Ukrainian army launched a civil war. That was within 2 weeks of the CIA instigated coup an the end of February 2014.

3. Brennan probably is the key person behind Russiagate and color revolution against Trump that still is running unabated. And that means that he has influential friends in high places. Including UK.

UNZ has several insightful comments on the topic. Here is one:

Art says:

March 27, 2018 at 8:38 pm GMT • 200 Words


How Brennon came to power, should draw questions. Was the dethroning of Gen. David Petraeus, as CIA chief, a palace coup? Was Brennen spying on Petraeus? Was the NSA tapping his phones? Did the idea that a military man was heading the CIA, anathema to the institution – so they got rid of him?

Just how much actual power does the CIA have in the American permanent Deep State?

Congress is NO check on the CIA – all the politicians on the intel security committees are handpicked dedicated worshipers.

The CIA is the most anti democracy organization on the planet. From its beginning, it has played with, subverted, and toppled democracies and sovereign governments. Today it assonates, tortures, and bombs people around the world. (Has Trump given them a free hand?)

The commie cold war is over – let’s not start another one. The CIA’s covert activities must stop.

(Spying is rational.)

Think Peace — Art


eakens

This whole mess of collusion and meddling by the Russians is obvious rubbish. I don't think the Russians could ask for anything more than an opportunity to find people in positions of power within the USG to collude with, since it would be the gold standard of owning that person or persons, ad infinitum.

I would not hold my breath with Sessions.

Dave

Do you consider Putin to be a "possible war criminal?"

turcopolier

likbez

If we stop CIA covert actions (directed by WH) will Russia stop its covert actions? pl

J

YES, YES, YES YES!!!

Let's find the Department of Corrections finest orange jumpsuits tailor to fit Brennan for the last suit he'll ever wear!

turcopolier

Peter VE

Any relations to the maker of wondrous bronze and copper lamps? I own one. I bought it with the money CNN paid me for years. Should I send back those monies and those paid me by CBS and PBS for years? I decided around 2005 that the money was not worth the degradation. Ten years later (2015) I decided that I no longer could justify helping the government as a role player in national war game exercises or as an expert witness in federal court cases. I then asked to be relieved of the burden of security clearances, (clearances in which I had been briefed of game scenarios and classified exhibits only) Should I send back my fees? pl

turcopolier

Thomas Kleeman

You seem to have missed the fact that Phil's post is about Brennan, not Obama. pl

turcopolier

Dave

No more than any number of Americans starting with Lemay. pl

steve

I thoroughly agree. Get Mueller started. Plus, don't limit the investigation to Russiagate. Look back at those financial conflicts in the past.

Steve

Eric Newhill

Funny. He doesn't look like an analyst.

More like a dull witted brute with barely controlled base impulses. He lacks the spark of intelligence in eyes that is unmistakable in Giraldi's.

Yes! Investigate him. I hope Admiral Rogers is willing to participate.

J

Colonel,

I propose a Hudna, wherein the DIA coordinates with the GRU/SVR, ALL mutually agreeded to items. Then the DIA can shove it down Langley's throat, and let them chew on that crow for a while. IMO there is little to no respect for CIA by the other side, so it'd be a waste of time holding a chair for them at the negotiation table.

likbez

I am flattened that view me as an expert on those topics but I do not know much about either CIA or Russia.

But IMHO right now the situation looks like a prewar situation. So all bets are off.

Also it is not clear how CIA can stop its covert operation. A leopard can't change its spots.

Russia still is weakened by economic rape of 1991-2000 and by neoliberalism. So this is a country with pretty low standard of living and a mass of internal problems. In many respects it is still a third world country (and under Yeltsin it was a vassal of the USA, with all negative consequences of such a position.)

Also I think the level of penetration of CIA into Russia intelligence services after Yeltsin years remains very high (look at Skripal case; he essentially sold the whole Russian intelligence network for $100K ).

Being a weaker party Russia will probably thread very carefully in the current situation and try to avoid any moves that increase the level of confrontation. that includes covert operations. False flag operation with Skripal poisoning, which run so smoothly and became so damaging for Russia tells them a lot about what dangerous, treacherous and ruthless enemy they face (and this not only Perfidious Albion in this particular case), and the corresponding level of danger.

They need time to recover to the economic rape, say another ten to twenty year. So it is not in their interests to rock the boat.

Here is what Beebe -- the CIA's former head of Russia analysis -- noted on the topic ( http://nationalinterest.org/feature/stumbling-war-russia-25089?page=2 )

With his political power secure, Putin can turn his attention to rebuilding Russia as a great power. The lesson that Putin and the Kremlin elite have drawn from the collapse of the Soviet Union and the chaos of the 1990s when Moscow was weak is that Russia must be strong. “[Putin] is saying Russia needs to be strong,” Beebe said. “If I were to boil this down to one sentence, it would be ‘the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.’”

The problem for Russia, Beebe said, is that there is tension between its various goals. To have a strong economy, the Kremlin must relax its grip on society, which weakens the power of the state, Beebe said. But a strong military requires a strong economy, which means that Russia will have to make those reforms. And a strong military is a part of Russia’s self-image as a great power. “That’s a balancing that he’s going to have to perform and there is no easy way of doing that,” Beebe said.

Given Russia’s circumstances, those competing factors are pushing Putin towards a more nationalistic stance that emphasizes military power, Beebe said. That in turn is driving Russia to be more confrontational. Thus, in Kofman’s view, if there is some sort of crisis that develops where Washington and Moscow are facing off against each other, the Russians are not willing to meekly stand aside and defer to the United States. While Russia was weak in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, those days are long gone. Today’s Russia, with its modernized military, is far more confident than it was during the 1990s and is willing and eager to push back against the United States.

So there is a kind of Melian Dialogue (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Melos#The_Melian_Dialogue ‘the strong do what they will and the weak suffer what they must.’) between the USA and Russia right now and Russia's position is not that strong. West already squeezed them and this process started in full force around 2014, not now:

“I don’t think many of us would question that we do face a new Cold War,” Dimitri Simes, Center for the National Interest president and chief executive officer, said during a lunchtime panel on March 26. “Now a new Cold War might be different in many respects than the old one. First of all, a very different balance of forces. Second, the absence of an attractive international ideology on the Russian side. Third, obviously, Russia is much more exposed to the West than during the original Cold War, but also, fewer rules and, I think, perhaps more emotions on both sides and increasingly hostile emotions on both sides.”

The Possibility of a Conflict

Simes, who recently returned from a trip to Russia, said that while the Kremlin is held in low regard by Washington, those feeling are mirrored in Moscow. Indeed, tensions between the two nuclear-armed great powers are so high that analysts are openly wondering if there could be some sort of military confrontation between Washington and Moscow. Asked by Simes to grade the likelihood of any sort of potential military clash (though not necessarily nuclear) in Syria or elsewhere on a scale of one to ten—where ten would mean that a conflict was all but certain—a panel of experts on Russia concluded that there is a serious possibility of a military confrontation between Washington and Moscow.

“I’ll go with a six,” George Beebe, director of intelligence and national security studies at the Center for the National Interest, told a lunchtime audience

The key here is "the absence of an attractive international ideology on the Russian side." So while the crisis of neoliberalism hit the USA (and led to election of Trump, which Brennan faction of CIA is trying to depose), it simultaneously, but in a different way weakened Russia too.

And Putin attempt to play a weaker hand as equal might not succeed in a long run.

ISL

Dear Colonel,

And more to the point, will Israel? They seem to wag the dog into trouble more than the Ruskies manage these days?

The Twisted Genius

The crux of Phil Giraldi's call for the investigation of Brennan centers on the intelligence provided by allied intel services concerning contact between Russian officials and some of Trump's people. Did the allies share this kind of information as standard practice or did Brennan somehow induce them to collect and report it? I agree that this question would fall within the scope of Mueller's investigation. Whether Mueller investigates the provenance of this allied intelligence is unknown. I hope he has already done so. If Brennan really thought those contacts between Russian officials and Trump's people posed a potential CI risk, he would have been derelict if he did not pursue the matter. After all, three Russian intelligence officers were already convicted of trying to recruit Page who became one of Trump's people.

Beyond L'Affaire Russe, there is much that needs to be investigated concerning the CIA's capture-kill MO during the entire GWOT era. Brennan was in the thick of that, but that is not a subject for Mueller.

Jack
Do you consider Putin to be a "possible war criminal?"

Not in comparison to Obama & Hillary or Bill & Madeline or Dubya & Cheney. They would fit the definition of "war criminal" to a T. Even LBJ. Relative to our crew Putin seems very much a statesman. Suggest you watch the Oliver Stone interview. What he has done for Russia is truly commendable.

TomV

Thank you for that comment about Gerald! I have been reading his columns for sometime, but not able to perfectly judge his expertise and objectivity.

turcopolier

likbiz

Skripal was recruited by the British, not CIA. He was a GRU officer and would have had a very limited idea of what FSB and SVR were doing. "Also it is not clear how CIA can stop its covert operation. A leopard can't change its spots" CIA has among its tasks the conduct of covert operations. That is statutorily authorized and directed. The CIA is an instrument of US government. The Congress can delete covert action from among CIA's authorized tasks whenever it wishes to do so just as it deprived CIA of many other functions in the IC reforms that that followed 9/11 but you don't know anything about that. You are a wordier james. pl

Peter VE

Dirk Van Erp was my grandfather's second cousin. Keep the lamp! I wish I had one. Dirk's grandfather, also named Dirk, is said to have the round trip to Moscow in 1812, whilst my grandfather's grandfather (Dirk's brother Johannes) died in Spain in 1808, in the service of the little Corporal.
I assumed that the media did not want an objective observer any longer, and that's why I no longer heard you on the radio. The lack of balance in our media's charge to war with Russia is appalling. At least there are some relatively sane places on the web to balance out the propaganda stream, including this one.

English Outsider


Likbez - the Melians didn't have the bomb. If we are to accept a "Melian dialogue" world then any country with any sense must equip itself with nuclear weapons. And if the same Hobbesian approach is to prevail internally then I'd better start measuring out the front garden for a Howitzer.

I'll go with the Rule of Law. In fact the Rule of Common Sense would do at present. Here's Boris Johnson flouting the latter:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/putins-sinister-threats-and-lies-extend-far-beyond-his-own-country-article-by-boris-johnson

Seriously, I'm not that happy with a government in which such as Mr Johnson are the best we can do for statesmen. Nor, I would imagine, are you very happy when such a man as is featured in the Colonel's article above can have such influence in the States. I don't see this as a battle between us and the Russians, though it's always prudent to take precautions. I see it as a battle between us and our ruling elites.

They're out of control at the moment but both Trump/Sanders 2016 and Brexit showed that very many of us are aware of that and would like to get them back under control. That's a feeling that seems to be growing in Continental Europe too.

It may look very much like a losing battle just now, but it's one that needs to be won. If it's not we can forget about threats, real or imagined, from any foreign power. It's our own ruling elites that will do for us.

Jack

TTG

The way I interpreted Phil Giraldi's note is that these were not independent intel reports from Estonia, the Dutch and others, but Brennan instigating these European agencies to fabricate intelligence. Seems similar to Steele being used to launder Fusion GPS fabrication as intel.

At this point we don't know what the facts are and Mueller is not only highly compromised himself but seems uninterested in investigating the provenance of all these "intel" reports and dossiers and what role if any Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, et al, played in all this.

I would have had much more confidence in the special counsel if someone like Patrick Fitzgerald was appointed. But a borgist, swamp rat like Mueller??

likbez

> "The CIA is an instrument of US government."

I would respectfully disagree. My impression is that the internal dynamic of development of such a large and well financed intelligence service as CIA is directed toward "liberation" from any civil control.

And at some point the tail start wagging the dog. At this point we have national security state and this transition is permanent and can't be reversed.

So at some point CIA became the government, not "an instrument of US government." And Church Committee stated this explicitly and tried (unsuccessfully) to curb the level of influence on CIA on the US society.

Looks like existence of powerful intelligence agencies is incompatible with the idea of democratic society. At some pint it become the Big Brother. Welcome to 1984 distopia or some variation of it.

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