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15 July 2019


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Ishmael Zechariah

Mr. Johnson,
re: It is understandable why some Israelis would want to get information about Fethullah Gulen in front of the U.S. Government. He is perceived in some circles as a terrorist and an enabler of drug trafficking. Others insist these are unfounded charges and that Gulen is being smeared simply for opposing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

I question the motives of these "others". They are either complicit knaves or deluded fools. Just like Epstein, the source of Gulen's wealth is murky. It might even originate from a set of common sources.

Perhaps the in-fighting within the deep state will reveal more of their earlier machinations in the days to come.

Ishmael Zechariah


No need to publish this, but please let Mr Johnson know he may need to add one more person here - George Papadopolous.

PapaD was working an oil deal around this time (2016 iirc) with Israel and Greece that would bypass Turkey. This brought the attention of someone, presumably CIA. PapaD was also arrested by FBI and threatened with FARA violations for working for Israel. PapaD's story is longer and more convoluted, but you get the idea.

Gen Flynn's brother Joe Flynn had an interview 15 Jun 2019 with John B Wells, and told nearly the same story as Mr Johnson, sans details. Joe Flynn believes Gen Flynn was the original target for both CIA interest and FISA warrant.

Thank you very much. All the best.


Larry, Your original article has also been on thegatewaypundint.com & is being picked up by other sites.


Peter VE

Thank you for your diligence in keeping up with this. The way our MSM works today, I won't be surprised to hear on NPR that Gen. Flynn is suspected of involvement in the murder of Seth Rich.


Nice work, Mr. Johnson. I wonder what you would put the odds of a Flynn change of plea, at this point?

David Habakkuk


One does not like to admit to having been one of John Brennan’s ‘useful idiots’ – I had thought I could see through any of the ‘active measures’ which he and his co-conspirators, on both sides of the Atlantic, could dream up. But I had swallowed whole the notion that Michael Flynn had been stupid enough knowingly to get involved in Erdoğan’s feud with Gülen.

In fairness, however, I do think that when dealing with spiders like the former head of the CIA, a prudent fly needs to be sure he, or she, gets competent legal advice at the outset.

It may perhaps be interesting to put your account together with a post by ‘Sundance’ on the ‘Conservative Treehouse’ site on 14 July, headlined ‘Devin Nunes Discusses Upcoming Mueller Testimony…’

This takes up the issue, on which its author has commented extensively, of illegitimate access by contractors to the databases of NSA intercepts – an issue which is clearly bound up with that of the use of such material to create the ‘web’ in which Flynn found himself hopelessly entangled.

The post by ‘Sundance’ suggests, just as you do, that the driving force behind what has happened was actually John Brennan. The April 2017 ruling by FISA Court Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer does not definitely establish that the illegitimate access of contractors started in 2012, but it definitely strongly suggests that it did.

Reading the 6 September ‘Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity’ memorandum to Obama, entitled ‘Is Syria a Trap?’, whose signatories included both you and Colonel Lang, it seemed overwhelmingly likely to some of us who were familiar with both your writings that Brennan had to have been involved in a conspiracy with the Turks, Saudis, and Qataris.

(To my surprise, this can no longer be accessed at the ‘Consortium News’ site. However, it is still available at http://www.shoah.org.uk/2013/09/10/page/2/ .)

One relevant question related to whether the role of the Americans involved in this conspiracy was simply ‘ex post facto’ exploitation of the patent ‘false flag’ sarin atrocity at Ghouta the previous 21 August to attempt to inveigle the United States into toppling Assad, or whether there was ‘ex ante’ complicity.

Moreover, if, as the memorandum asserted, ‘British officials’ were also aware that the ‘most reliable intelligence’ exonerated the Syrian government, rather fundamental questions arose as to how the JIC had felt able to claim precisely the reverse in support of David Cameron’s unsuccessful attempt on 29 August to win Commons’ support for British participation in air strikes.

At the time, the Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the FCO was one Robert Hannigan, who in April 2014 would be appointed as Director of GCHQ. The National Security Adviser was a certain Sir Kim Darroch, whose appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. would be announced in August 2015. Both have been in the news, in relation to ‘Russiagate.’

Obviously, the same question arises about both of them as about Brennan: are they ‘Gleiwitz types’, who were actively complicit in preparing a murderous ‘false flag’, or were they simply part of a rather stupid Anglo-American ‘dog’, whom the ‘tail’, in the shape of the jihadists and their Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backers, could ‘wag’, as they chose?

From the articles which Seymour Hersh published in the ‘London Review of Books’, and other materials, it became evident that the Defense Intelligence Agency, then headed by General Flynn, had been aware of the likelihood of fresh ‘false flags’ – after the small scale incidents in spring 2013.

And it was clear enough, if one bothered to study the ‘open source’ material at all carefully, that the DIA had been a key locus of opposition to the strategies being pursued by Brennan, together with his British co-conspirators.

Accordingly, the fact that an ‘interagency memorandum of understanding’, which according to Collyer’s judgement looks as though it may well date from 2012 – the year Brennan was appointed to head the CIA – appears to have led, in that year, to the granting of access to the material, through the FBI, to outside contractors, looks somewhat interesting. (This is well covered by ‘Sundance’.)

So, I find myself asking whether in fact this gross abuse of the role of the NSA was not linked at the outset to the divisions within the American intelligence apparatus and military about policy towards the Middle East, and also whether this may not be relevant to assessing the role of Robert Mueller, who was FBI Director through until September 2013.

An argument that ‘Sundance’ has repeatedly made is that a lot of what was happening in mid-2016, including the dossier attributed to Steele, had to do with the need to find justifications for these questionable surveillance operations.

While I think there is something in this, I have long thought that the discovery that a mass of material exfiltrated from the DNC, and was going to be published by ‘WikiLeaks’, and the subsequent murder of Seth Rich, are likely to have been critically important triggers.

Among other things, I do not think that the version given by ‘Sundance’ can explain the air of panic-stricken improvisation found alike in the dossier, and the claims about the ‘digital forensics’ made by Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘CrowdStrike’, and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.

I see that there has now been a dramatic escalation in the legal battles which began when Ed Butowsky bought his initial action against David Folkenflik and his ‘NPR’ colleagues in June 2018. The discovery process in that action was followed by an ‘Amended Complaint’ on 5 March this year.

A week later, Butowsky filed a new action, in which the suggestion of a very-wide ranging conspiracy to suppress the truth about both the DNC leaks and Rich’s murder was turned into a catalogue of defamation claims against a long list of people, including, as well as a variety of lawyers involved, CNN, the’Nw York Times’, Vox, and the DNC.

On 9 July, Michael Isikoff published a story alleging that the claims about Rich and his murder were the result of a Russian ‘active measures’ operation – to use a favourite phrase of TTG’s.

A useful account, with links, is provided by our colleague ‘b’, at ‘Moon of Alabama’, at https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/07/isikoff-who-first-peddled-the-fake-steele-dossier-invents-new-russian-influence-story.html .

Concluding his piece, ‘b’ wrote:

‘That Seth Rich was wacked because he stole the DNC emails and transferred them to Wikileaks is a conspiracy theory. It is possible and even plausible, but there is no evidence to confirm it. Many people seem to believe it because it makes more sense than the competing conspiracy theory, that Russia hacked the DNC and handed the emails to Wikileaks. Isikoff's claim, that Russia planted the Rich conspiracy theory, has no sound base. That theory existed before anything “Russian” mentioned it.’

As it happens, Butowsky and his lawyer, Ty Clevenger, obviously decided it was time to, as it were, ‘unmask their batteries’, and provide some of the evidence they have been accumulating.

There is another useful post by ‘Sundance’, which in turn links to a very interesting post on the Gateway Pundit’ site. From there, you can access both Clevenger’s blog post, and the text of the ‘Amended Complaint.’

(See https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/07/15/lawsuit-claims-julian-assange-confirmed-dnc-emails-received-from-seth-rich-not-a-russian-hack/ .)

It seems likely that Butowsky and Clevenger were pushed into acting a bit sooner than they had intended. The fact that the name of Ellen Ratner, clearly a pivotal participant, was misspellled ‘Rattner’ in the ‘Amended Complaint’, is likely to be an indication of this.

However, I also think that Clevenger, who seems to me a first-class ‘ferret’, could do with the services of an old-style secretary, who checked his productions before they went out.


As I have previously mentioned, I testified several times in Collyer's Washington district court on non-FISA matters. My impression was that she is a very ambitious woman who wishes always to do DoJ's bidding.

David Habakkuk


Your recollections of Collyer had, unfortunately, slipped my mind when I posted my comment above. So, unfortunately, had Larry’s post on Judge Caroline M. Craven’s denial in her report dated 17 April 2019 of the Motion to Dismiss filed by David Folkenflik and his NPR colleagues in the defamation case brought against them by Ed Butowsky.

At the time of his post, the full text of the judgement was only available on PACER, which requires a subscription. However, looking at the ‘Court Listener’ site, I now see that both it and some other key documents in the case are freely available.

(See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7244731/butowsky-v-folkenflik/ .)

Reading the full text of Ms. Craven’s report, I can see quite how well justified was Larry’s suggestion in his post that Folkenflik and NPR were on a very sticky wicket indeed (as we say in England.)

And I can also see more clearly why, following the judgement, Butowsky and Ty Clevenger felt they were in a position to launch an action both against some of the major legal players in the cover-up of the fact that the materials published by the DNC were leaked by Seth Rich, not hacked by the Russians, and also key disseminators of the cover-up, CNN, the NYT, and Vox.

The most important documents in that case are also now free available on ‘Court Listener’, at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14681570/butowsky-v-gottlieb/ .

What looks to have happened subsequently is a natural enough process of escalation.

Among those who rather actively promoted the hogwash attributed to Christopher Steele was Michael Isikoff, who is, apparently, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. In April, he was reported in ‘Vanity Fair’ conceding that ‘I think it’s fair to say that all of us should have approached this, in retrospect, with more skepticism’.

(See https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/04/the-steele-dossiers-moment-of-truth-arrives-journalists-argue-its-impact .)

Any ‘investigative reporter’ worth his or her salt would have done elementary checks on the dossier immediately, and not touched it with a bargepole – again, as we used to say in England. Also, even among the incompetent and corrupt, common prudence might have suggested caution.

However, ‘fools rush in’, as the saying goes, so Isikoff decided to conspire with Deborah Sines, apparently the former U.S. assistant attorney in charge of investigating Seth Rich’s murder, to suggest that suggestions that the victim had been the source of the material from the DNC published by ‘WikiLeaks’ originated as just another Russian plot.

(See https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html .)

It appears that prior to the publication of his ‘report’, Isikoff talked to Butowsky, who in his efforts to dissuade him explained that his involvement in the whole affair began when Ellen Ratner, a news analyst with Fox, and sister of the late Michael Ratner, who had been an attorney for Assange, contacted him in Fall 2016 about a meeting she had with her that figure.

Although Butowsky intended the conversation to be ‘off the record’, and the idea was emphatically not that Isikoff would contact Ellen Ratner, he did. It seems that – not particularly surprisingly, in the current climate – she lied to him, and he was stupid enough to think that this meant he could get away with publishing his story.

(See https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/breaking-lawsuit-outs-reporter-ellen-ratner-as-source-for-seth-rich-information/ .)

And then, not particularly surprisingly, Butowsky and Clevenger abandoned their inhibitions about identifying Ellen Ratner as a source, and filled in a lot of ‘blanks’ in their ‘narrative’ about how Seth Rich lived and died.

I am still in the process of digesting the new information. However, a couple of preliminary observations about the implications may be worth making.

Among the many problems for Brennan and his co-conspirators – among whom, on the British side, Hannigan and Darroch, and also Sedwill, are very important – one relates to the way that the capabilities of ‘scientific forensics’, in all kinds of areas, have increased by leaps and bounds in recent years.

This has meant that they have had little option but to corrupt the processes of investigation. The ludicrous claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘Crowdstrike’ and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait, which nobody but a fool – congenital ‘useful idiot’ one might say – or a knave would dare to defend in public, are only one of many cases in point.

What is really dangerous for the conspirators, however, is when the problems they have in contesting rational arguments about the ‘scientific forensics’ come together with problems relating to more ‘old-fashioned’ kinds of evidence: crucially, ‘witness testimony’.

This, I think, may now be happening.

It also seems to me quite likely that some of those ‘in the know’ – including perhaps Rosemary Collyer – had seen what was liable to happen a good while ago, and decided that a prudent ‘rat’ keeps its options open.

Keith Harbaugh

Wow! Listen to Ellen Ratner assert, in her own voice and words, that
the DNC leak came, not from Russian hacking, but from an internal DNC source:
That starts a little before her statement about the leaks, which comes at 1h2m10s.

Looks totally definitive to me, at least as regards what Ratner asserted.
Of course, she could, for some reason, be lying in her assertion,
or so could Assange have been.
But it is hard to see what motive Ratner could have for lying about this.
As to Assange, who knows?
His asserted statement could be a cover-up ploy.
But it certainly bears noticing.

For where I found out about this, it was:
“Video Confirms Butowsky Lawsuit Claim: Julian Assange Told Ellen Ratner DNC Emails Received From Seth Rich – Not a Russian Hack…”,
by, who else, sundance (on 2019-07-21).

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