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10 September 2019

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David Habakkuk

Apologies for failure to proofread.

When I wrote 'phone', I meant to write 'phoney.'

That said, if Americans find a conspiracy to subvert constitutional government not really very interesting, the prospects of their continuing to enjoy the benefits of such government for very long do not seem bright.

Moreover, part of the problem is precisely that questions to do with the subversion of the Constitution have got tangled up with questions to do with the relative merits and demerits of Trump versus Hillary Clinton, and Trump versus Obama.

There has never been a guarantee that constitutional government will necessarily produce the best governors.

What it quite often does is create a situation where people can accept the prospect of losing, both because they recognise the outcome as fairly arrived at, and because they believe it can be reversed, and because they do not see it as a catastrophic threat.

It is precisely these fundamental preconditions for minimising the -- omnipresent -- cut-throat elements in politics which people like the Ohrs, Strzok, and Pientka, with behind them, among others Brennan, Clapper and Comey, have threatened.

This is why they, together with their British co-conspirators, including Steele, Dearlove and Hannigan, these people remain very materially more dangerous than Trump.

blue peacock

Epstein being "suicided" out in the open is Exhibit A to what lengths the powerful will go and how they can act with impunity. To believe in the few rotten apples but the heroic rank & file is to believe the narrative spun by the meisters.

Ben Hunt says it well in "I'm a Superstitious Man".

https://www.epsilontheory.com/im-a-superstitious-man/

" I’m a superstitious man, and if some unlucky accident should befall him — if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if he should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he’s struck by a bolt of lightning — then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room." - Vito Corleone, “The Godfather” (1972)

turcopolier

jack

I think the whole IC needs a "tear down" and re-build. That and the need tp prosecute the conspiratprs in Russiagate probab;y requires more guts than Barr and Trump have. This will probably all end up on the "too hard to do pile."

Jim Ticehurst

TTG...Thank you for your Comments..I enjoy all your Input here..I once Commented here recently about the Alternative Sources that Gen.Petraeus brought over to CIA that were used in the Field In Iraq..I read they had been Hacked By Iran and China even then..I imagine The Russians too..My question then was...Who advised The general then to Use That Line for Communications..Did He make the Decision himself Because He trusted It..????People at he Agency then should have known better and told Him so..Especially Cryptologists..And Why..after all those Years..WHY didn't He Know it had been hacked ,,,and Was NOT Secure..??...I spent a long time talking to someone who had been with the Agency in Viet Nam..Who was on the ROOF Tops..trying to get His Assets out up to the Last Minute..and One of the Last to Leave..He remained with The Agency..at Various Stationsd around the World..Until Democratic Senator Frank Church..from Idaho..began His Senate Select Committee Hearings in 1975...To "Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Gathering..."which Dismanteled All Our Government Intelligence Agencys...The NSA...and The FBI...My CIA Friend has Is Cover Blown...Assets were Killed...and He had to Come Home to Langley..His Cubicle was not Far from that of Aldrich Ames..The Agent on the Russian Desk at Langley...who sold out to the Russians..He displayed a remarkable Change in His Lifestyle..( Aldrich) His Apperance..His Spending and Use of His Credit Card..It went Unnoticed nd Ignored..for a Long Time..Until Many of Our Assets in Russia had been Killed..(Agent Robert Hanssen..at FBI was doing the Same) My friend was a strong Believer in Cyber Security..Communication Security..Not ZHoarding Massive Piles of Paper Work In Station..And Believed in The "Burn Bag" almost Dying in Nam flying around with Air America ..and His Burn Bag on His Lap...He also believed in the Courier System..and did that Frequently for the Then DCI...There is a lot of Shit To Shovel..in Government..and I Hope The United States will No Longer keep Talking about a Swamp..Its been a Pig Pen..and Its time to Make Bacon...

David Habakkuk

Jack,

I cannot calculate how Trump, Barr and Durham are going to play this. And I am, rather obviously, not disposed to count chickens before they are hatched.

However, I think you may be looking in the wrong place.

What is happening in the civil courts may be the most interesting area.

Reading Robert Willman’s piece has confirmed my suspicion that Michael Flynn is not, as it were, the brightest button in the sewing box.

In his shoes, just about the last people I would have chosen to represent me are Covington & Burling.

Obviously, Sidney Powell is a quite unfamiliar name. But the ‘Motion to Compel’ looks rather good to me.

And then, we have the cases in which Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss are acting.

The pair have represented Ed Butowsky in the actions he has brought against David Folkenflik and Michael Gottlieb, as well as, in both cases, their media co-conspirators. Among these are CNN.

Subsequently, Biss has acted in the case that Svetlana Lokhova has brought against Stefan Halper and his media co-conspirators. And, most recently, he has filed the complaint which Devin Nunes has brought against Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, and – what is it called?! – the ‘Campaign for Accountability.’

A lot of material which Clevenger and Biss have produced looks very good to me, but there are also quite important matters on which I think they may be on the wrong track.

Be that as it may, it seems to me that it may be in a coming together of the efforts of such people with veneration for the majesty of law which still clearly survives among some American judges that our best hopes now lie.

But, in a contest with Goliath, David really does need help – both intellectual and material. This means that the invaluable work Clevenger and Biss and those for whom they are acting have done has to be publicised, and also that they can get more support, both intellectual and financial.

It also means that, when they are on the wrong track, it needs to be pointed out.

Factotum

Founders assumed men would do evil things. Men using the powers of government would be doubly dangerous. Therefore, what system of governance could best mitigate both these truths.

Not eliminate evil, nor deprive any man, no matter how evil the charges agains him, his hallowed due process rights.

There is comfort right now, as we watch the unraveling of the last siege attempted by evil men, that we chose an effective, tri-partate, checks and balance system of governance.

(Make your own gender choices that work best for you.)

Factotum

Haldeman, Mitchell, Ehrlicman, Dean, Colson , etc........ the beat goes on. Some government officials did go to prison, when it was found they had subverted the laws of our land.

What did Obama know, and when did he know it.

anon

Well there it is,you have said something that i thought about but have never mentioned because i am basically not privy to much.This.after the vietnam war agents were sent to the west by communist goverments.Between say 1976 to 1980 to infiltrate long term.That is a project over a long period 40-50 years.The 4 year window of opportunity.All immigration over that period needs to be checked.Especially the us,australia and other us allies.

turcopolier

anon

the infiltration started with the professors like Leo Strauss who were Trots and members of the Frankfurt School

English Outsider

Mr Habakkuk - is it premature to add to that - what did Mr Cameron/Mrs May know and when did they know it?

Barbara Ann

If Epstein really is dead, rather than simply 'gone' it is because he was an insufficiently superstitious man. In his position, I would have been extraordinarily superstitious and have made all concerned very much aware of the grave consequences (for them) of my having an unlucky accident.

anon

Yep,frank and kraut on roll with seeded mustard and green tomato relish.That European school has been replaced by anti intellectual greedy predators.The Shark school.You must know that for a rolling stone to point out how uncivil society has become.......

Jim Ticehurst

Ah yes..Professor Strauss..1939''from Germany..Went to Chicago..where all Communist..and Marxists..go to Get Recruited..Indoctrinated.Infiltrate Our Universitys and Colleges...or to Die and have their Ashes sent to Moscow....

Jack

”What is happening in the civil courts may be the most interesting area.”

David,

I agree. But..I wonder if that will provide the deterrence necessary to prevent future abuse of power? Would it have the same effect compared to if Trump declassified & disclosed all the materials and Barr convened a grand jury to hear testimony?

In the absence of any action by the President and the executive branch he runs the only remaining option are the courts and specifically judges not intimidated by the national security apparatus. In this context I’m particularly interested in the proceedings in Judge Sullivan’s court as he has been through the Stevens case where he called out prosecutorial misconduct. It would seem to me that the DOJ, loath to produce the Brady materials requested by Flynn’s new counsel may be willing to risk contempt and the dismissal of the prosecution. I believe the institutional instinct to protect the egregious actions and actors in directly intervening in a presidential election will be very high.

I’m not familiar enough with the cases that Clevenger and Biss are litigating, Where do you believe they are on the wrong track?

I am very intrigued by the case brought forward by Devin Nunes as he must have immense knowledge of many facets of the whole operation and could potentially lay some embarrassing landmines in specific discovery requests. Do you have any opinions on where this case could lead as Fusion GPS seems to have played an important clearinghouse role?

Linda

Every decent non-corporate journalist has established that there was no Russian collusion, and in fact no Russian influence on our election. We, on the other hand, interfere with most elections around the globe on a regular basis.

Factotum

Pretty much the conclusion put forth by the aurhor of of Legacy of Ashes and what he saw was the make-work role of the CIA today - if that was a valid assessment or just a disgruntled hit job. A work force in search of a mission.

blue peacock

Yes, indeed. An automatic release of a cache of incriminating evidence including videos, photos, and recordings. Heck, even a confession on tape naming names.

In any case this was the most expected "suicide" and conveniently the guards were asleep and the hallway video camera malfunctioned and so did the camera in the cell. And then there was the psychologist who determined he didn't need to be under suicide watch. And his previous cell mate was removed.

Of course his prosecution has also ended. And his victims can go after his estate while his partners in crime can quietly slink away.

Aint it all nicely done and wrapped with a bow tie? As Ben Hunt notes: They're.Not.Even.Pretending.Anymore.

Seamus Padraig

Novichok perhaps?

David Habakkuk

Jack,

A ‘clearinghouse role’ is precisely what I think Fusion played.

The way the cover-up seems to me to be moving is to attempt to disguise the fact that much of the material being cleared was provided either by, or with the connivance of, intelligence/law enforcement agencies, by suggesting that the FBI/DOJ were duped by Simpson and Steele.

This strategy is not being challenged by the ‘Complaint’ which Biss has filed on behalf of Nunes.

The history of the dossier attributed to Steele provided in this dovetails very neatly with that suggested by the Ohr/Pientka 302s.

This, I am arguing, may have been a mixture of fact and fiction, carefully crafted so that, should the dossier and the uses to which it was put come seriously into question, blame could be deflected to Simpson and Steele.

A plea of credulity could be used to cover up collusion in a – palpably treasonous – conspiracy.

What I am not in a position to judge is why the ‘Complaint’ accepts this deflection of blame, apparently without question.

It is perfectly possible that Nunes and Biss have genuinely fallen for the diversion strategy – a lot of people seem to have done so.

If that is the case, then unless convincing arguments can be deployed to demonstrate that my suspicions are unfounded, it would be a good thing if they could be encouraged to at least consider the possibility that Ohr is a blackguard pretending to be a bumbler.

However, even if Nunes and Biss are either alert to this possibility now, or become so in the future, they might still think it made sense to fall in with the cover-up.

This, however, could be for two quite different reasons. It might be that they are not seriously interesting in exposing the full extent of the corruption within the upper echelons of American, and British, intelligence agencies.

In a sense, these may be protected by the extremity of their offences. There are genuine risks, and costs, involved in exposing top-level incompetence and corruption of the magnitude involved here.

Alternatively, Nunes and Biss could want to do this, but believe that the unmasking is best done on a step-by-step basis, in particular by, as you put it, laying ‘some embarrassing landmines in specific discovery requests.’

If I was in their shoes, this might well seem to me the most promising strategy.

Whatever game Nunes and Biss are playing, however, there are already quite enough requests for document by them and others, either already made, or clearly in the pipeline, for the problems in keeping skeletons in cupboards to be quite formidable.

This may – or may not , make the credibility of the diversion strategy hard to sustain.

Some interesting questions here relate to the disavowal of Steele that the then British National Security Adviser, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, sent to Flynn shortly after the publication of the dossier.

This may however be another of those cases where the equivocal nature of much of the evidence can be exploited by the conspirators.

Context is, as so often, indispensable to understanding what can, and cannot, legitimately be inferred from this disavowal. It seems clear that the publication of the dossier took Steele and the British authorities by surprise, and was extremely unwelcome.

There was then a behind-the-scenes struggle about whether to use him as ‘patsy’, or stand by him. This was eventually resolved, clearly as a result of discussions between key intelligence people on both sides of the Atlantic, in favour of the latter option.

The Lyall Grant letter was written before this decision was taken. Why Flynn did not make use of it has always baffled me. In the new situation which has arisen, however, precisely the fact that it can be used to exonerate him may make it easier for corrupt people on both sides of the Atlantic to use Steele and Simpson as ‘patsies.’

It is material here that Gubarev’s case against Steele is due to be heard in the High Court at some point in the relatively near future. A relevant question may be whether he is prepared to be used as a ‘patsy’ – and whether he has any realistic alternative.

Also interesting here is the portrayal of Smolenkov as a key source for the dossier in recent news reports. A problem, however, is that this would appear to suggest that Steele was being used as a ‘diversion’, for material originating from the CIA. It is not immediately clear how you can use Smolenkov in an attempt to suggest that the claims about a 'Putin plot' were well-founded, without implicating Brennan et al in the dossier.

David Habakkuk

EO, Factotum,

All these questions need to be asked. And so far there are far more indications of serious curiosity on the American side than the British.

However, they need to be discussed in conjunction with an exploration of the ‘backstory’ of collaboration in support of a range of covert agendas which is another of the things which the Ohr/Pientka 302s are designed to obfuscate.

J

News articles show that ol Oleg Smolenkov had the Agency footing just under $1 Million dollars for his new U.S. crib in Virginia. Just imagine if the Agency treated their own agents and case officers with Million dollar cribs, they'd never want to retire.

An NBC article said that now that Oleg's crib's location in known, they'd probably be moving him out of it and to a new location for what they called 'his personal safety' reasons.

Will the Agency put Oleg's current digs up for sale, and will we as taxpayers who footed the bill get our money back?

Atown

DH, Nellie Hauke Ohr is the child of university professor(s) hired during the expansion of the public higher education system in the 50s and 60s. She is a highly intelligent and conscientious person who received a merit admit to Harvard U in the late 70s. She is fluent in the Russian language and has degrees in Russian history. I assume that she is smart enough to know what she is doing and why in the context of the work of a CIA asset/agent. She may have been a 'dupe', but I wouldn't rule out 'informed participant' stuck in a hard place after Hillary lost, either. How likely it is that a CIA asset who is married to the director of the USA DOJ organized crime and drug enforcement task force where he recruited Russian informants would be conned by an MI6 agent with a very long visible resume who is sharing obvious bullsh!t paid for by a political campaign that the CIA asset supports?

Factotum

RE: Nellie Ohr's prior intellectual history: Never underestimate what the hormonal shifts during menopause does to a woman's brain, emotionality and former executive level critical thinking processes. This is a serious comment; not just a low brow joke.

The Twisted Genius

J, a million dollars is not at all unusual for an agent of this caliber. His final bonus alone could have been a million dollars. Add to that his salary for being an agent for ten years and the Smolenkovs are a wealthy family. He most likely bought that house on his own although I'm sure the CIA advised against settling in true name so close to DC.

Seems I most likely lost an interesting neighbor. The Smolenkov family moved out of the house hastily on Monday. Too bad, one of his neighbors said Oleg was looking forward to caring for his expansive lawn and gardens in all his free time.

The Twisted Genius

Jim, the IC was consumed by the "capture, kill" mentality of counterterrorism after 9/11. Clandestine tradecraft took a huge hit. When I first sent one of my young collectors to Iraq, he told me no one was using cover of any kind in their operations. He started doing so, as I trained him to, and he had great success in his operations. He was an Arabic linguist so he didn't have to rely on local translators.

I remember when we got word of the arrest of Aldrich Ames. Our headquarters back at Meade panicked and ordered a stand down of all our Russian operations. I ran our Russia team in Germany at the time. Over the next few months most of our agents were scheduled to surface throughout Europe. I wrote back to Meade that this stand down was a monumentally stupid idea. Our agents read the news and were sure to be apprehensive at the least over their safety. I advised meeting these agents as scheduled to determine their status and mindset. Meade was more worried about our security and safety. I countered that this was bullshit. The worse that could happen to us was being exposed by a turned agent. Failing to meet an apprehensive agent could cause them to run or turn themselves into their police, a far worse outcome than any potential exposure of our identities. Luckily, Meade agreed to my plan to meet the agents and employ heavy counter-surveillance during each of the meetings. In the end, our agents and operations remained intact. And the heavy counter-surveillance operations we mounted as a team were tremendous training and team building opportunities. Good times.

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