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10 September 2019

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Mark Logan

I'll suggest that Steele was just an ex-intell guy trying to make a buck by delivering dirt on political figures to opponents. He was originally hired by McCain to dig the dirt on Trump. When McCain dropped out Hillary picked up the tab, but then did not use any of his stuff during her campaign. It is said she didn't because it was shaky info at best and IMO she felt she didn't need it.

I think LE would have ignored it too, had not Trump and many of his people lied about their foreign contacts. I attribute the lying to habit, they are business people and shady ones at that. They were ignorant of the ramifications of lying about foreign contacts as politicians, or as people working directly for politicians.

I'm pretty sure that when all these "conspirators" are given a chance to defend themselves that is what they will say, anyway, and it's entirely plausible. When high (or even low ranking) politicians lie about their foreign contacts what choice does LE have but to investigate?

I don't think that Trump is working for Putin, and I don't think the FBI is a bastion of liberals looking to install Hillary as POTUS either. The only likely outcome of "proving" that Trump is compromised after being elected POTUS would be the installation of Pence as POTUS.

I suppose this makes me a skunk at everybody's picnic. So be it.

J

This whole thing smelled of a dangle,the SVR was probably laughing their asses off at the Agency being so gullible.

The Twisted Genius

What makes this look like a dangle? Other than your near religious belief that Russia doesn't engage in espionage and IO activities like most other nations. Russia just put out a request to Interpol to locate Smolenkov in the US. That's a lot of trouble for someone they just said was little more than a coffee boy with no access.

English Outsider

It's not a particularly enjoyable picnic but you're no skunk, Mr Logan. Here's what you say -

"I'll suggest that Steele was just an ex-intell guy.."

Yes.  Ex UK Intelligence. He ran the "Russia Desk" in London, shades of le Carre an' all.

He didn't retire to grow roses.  He went freelance after leaving.  Such people are kept a close eye on.  Obvious reasons.  

He got himself mixed up in - some say caused - a mighty scandal over in America.  Could have been just one of those things.  He could just have escaped normal checks and been operating solo.  Loose canons everywhere so why not Steele?

Why not?  Here's why not.  His work caused grave embarrassment to a US president.  All heavily political.  Had he truly been just a loose canon he would have been outed as such and disavowed instantly by HMG.

He was not.  He was never disavowed but instead was provided with a "safe house" - more le Carre - until the thing blew over.  He hasn't been disavowed since.  The BBC, which in such cases as this has been more or less a mouthpiece for HMG since Dr Kelly, reported as if Steele's work was to be taken seriously and as far as I know continues to do so.  Sir Richard Dearlove stated publicly that Steele's work was 70% accurate and that was as close to a disavowal as official sources got.  Semi-official, more accurately, and that statement more like an endorsement than a disavowal.

It's the dog that didn't bark, Mr Logan. The scenario of an "ex-intell guy" going solo like that in the middle of a hotly contested American Presidential election doesn't fit what happened.  Never did.

Jim Ticehurst

TTG,,,Thanks,,Sounds like you are good at what You do...and..Have Good Instincts...Which I find Valuable..

Jack

David,

I’m in agreement with you that the explanation they’re coming up with, while throwing a lot of sand in the gears, is that they would have been derelict if they didn’t investigate this as a counter-intelligence matter. They are spending a lot of effort in obfuscating the central role of US and British intelligence. IMO, the Smolenkov leak and narrative is just to add more smoke, to cloud the role of the national security apparatus in this sordid affair.

The one problem with this for the public is the complexity. The number of moving parts to the story. It is easy for the average person to have their head spin with all the different threads. A question that has intrigued me greatly is if it was all orchestrated including the attempted cover-up. Or was it all organic with Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Hannigan all responding on their own on a basic axis?

CK

A request to Interpol is not "... a lot of trouble." It might be 10 minutes of a secretary's time to fill out a form or two. They might care, they might not care but not doing anything would be even more "danglicious" than making an Interpol request. Pro forma and the Russians are a punctilious lot.

English Outsider

You can imagine this outsider struggling to keep up.  And failing.  As "Jack" says below - " It is easy for the average person to have their head spin with all the different threads."  But below -

" 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."

But that would have been done without the knowledge of President Trump?  Or of the UK PM?

These "key intelligence people" must have thought they could walk on water to keep something like that under wraps.  And there is still the question of how high it did go on the UK side.

It is irksome that UK Intelligence should be put to this sort of use.  Shouldn't they be counting warheads or something?

blue peacock

"He was originally hired by McCain to dig the dirt on Trump. When McCain dropped out Hillary picked up the tab,.."

McCain wasn't a candidate in the 2016 primary.

vig

Interesting statement.

you feel its more then hystics? Now I am surely no Freudian.

No joke. But yes it can get you into troubles, since as life it seems to be complex.

vig

curious. Have to look up the history of Ovomaltine, which I always assumed was a Swiss product. Malt and all ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovaltine

Larry Johnson

Smolenkov is a nobody. If he actually was a person of substance the CIA would be taking him to the Farm regularly to instruct new CIA recruits. That has not happened.

Larry Johnson

Mark,
A really ignorant, uninformed comment. You state, "Trump and many of his people lied about their foreign contacts." Really? What is your evidence of that?
If General Flynn is one of the people you have in mind, he did not lie. Even the FBI agents who interviewed him in wrote that up after their interview. McCabe changed the 302 to imply otherwise and Flynn was pressured to plead guilty to a violation of FARA. Nothing Flynn did in conversing with the Russian Ambassador was illegal or wrong. To assert otherwise is to reveal your own ignorance of how foreign policy is conducted.

Factotum

Just saying Nellie Ohr's prior intellectual credentials can be just as suspect as Christopher Steele's fomer UK spy agency credibility. If he can flip to the dark side for whatever personal motivations, why not Nellie?

Mark Logan

Larry,

The lies are google-able especially Flynn's, and Manafort several are about to or are already serving time for lying about their contacts, among other things. Do you still believe NYC meeting was about adopting kids?? The list is long. That they lied is irrefutable.

https://www.apnews.com/d47a5be3e46442d0a1243c7dc52278f3

Larry Johnson

For Christ's sake. Are you really this obtuse? "Google"? Boy, there's a source of authority. Pay attention. First, please cite the specific "lies", which you originally claimed all the Trump people did. Flynn did not lie. He pled to not being a registered foreign agent, which was bullshit. It was a set up. He did not lie about his conversations with the Russian Ambassador.
Second, re the NYC meeting? I am assuming you are referring to the meeting with Veselnitskaya. Donald Trump Jr. didn't say it was "about adopting kids." He testified that he took the meeting because he was told the people coming in had dirt on Hillary. Getting such information is not illegal. You don't even have the courtesy to read the Mueller report and what he said about it.
I have zero patience for your kind of blind stupidity. If you are mentally handicapped or have a learning disability then I will cut you some slack. But if you are possessed of normal intelligence there is no excuse for you to push these blatant lies.

The Twisted Genius

Larry, you got what Flynn pled guilty to backwards. He did not plead guilty to his activities with Turkey violating FARA. He did plead guilty about lying to the FBI about his conversations with Kislyak. The DOJ charge sheet, statement of charges and plea deal are available through Google. You're usually not that sloppy.

Mark Logan

Larry,

Here's an account of the shifting explanations given by the Trump's for the meeting:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/06/us/politics/trump-tower-russia-meeting.html


Ad-hominem indicates a lack of confidence.

turcopolier

All

There has been an outbreak of personal attacks on SST. If this continues the ultimate penalty that you may pay is my abandonment of the log.

J

It appears their INTERPOL request (coming from the Foreign Ministry not their Intel) was related to the initial paperwork caused when Oleg and brood disappeared in Montenegro back in 2017 and their subsequent initial criminal investigation opened as to the brood's disappearance. The Russians are just like U.S., their left hand doesn't know what their right hand is doing. FM vs Intel. LOL, punctilious ain't the half of it, LOL. Smolenkov is an embarrassment to their FM section, while their Intel sections are smirking.

J

Colonel,

Smolenkov reminds me of a worm on a hook, the bait is put on the hook, and it is cast out to see where it goes and what's biting. Then the fishing expedition goes from there. Smolenkov was as our POTUS so frequently says, "YOU'RE FIRED!" is what transpired with Smolenkov when he was under Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov. The Russians knew that there were plays under the table afoot to undermine POTUS with the fake Russia-Gate, and probably saw it was good time for a fishing expedition to see where the bait goes, and how far up the food-chain the fake Russia-Gate went.

The SVR boyz know the Agency is trolling, so they fix a bait and see where it goes. Like I said, Smolenkov has the odor of a dangle that the Agency bit, and has been paying for ever since. If Smolenkov had any real value, the Russians would have performed one of their snatch-n-grabs.

J

Colonel,

Smolenkov reminds me of a worm on a hook, the bait is put on the hook, and it is cast out to see where it goes and what's biting. Then the fishing expedition goes from there. Smolenkov was as our POTUS so frequently says, "YOU'RE FIRED!" is what transpired with Smolenkov when he was under Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov. The Russians knew that there were plays under the table afoot to undermine POTUS with the fake Russia-Gate, and probably saw it was good time for a fishing expedition to see where the bait goes, and how far up the food-chain the fake Russia-Gate went.

The SVR boyz know the Agency is trolling, so they fix a bait and see where it goes. Like I said, Smolenkov has the odor of a dangle that the Agency bit, and has been paying for ever since. If Smolenkov had any real value, the Russians would have performed one of their snatch-n-grabs.

CK

I accept your conclusion.

J

Colonel,

If I may with your permission, I'll get on my little soap-box for a brief minute.

We can never (MUST never) underestimate the Russian SVR/GRU/FSB. To do so will spell our undoing. The CIA aka Agency IMO should have been closed down many many years ago, and a meaner and leaner Intelligence capability put in its place. I see the CIA as a place today where ice-castles form, trouble is the heat is on and their ice-castles will melt at the wrong time for our nation. DIA should absorb CIA, and then go through everything cleaning house thoroughly. There needs to be an IC oversight set up over any new set up as to preclude it from ever becoming so bloated as we see the CIA today. Again this is all my personal opinion and outlook.

One of the problems has been that our once strong Russian capabilities of our IC was gutted under different Presidencies to preclude our nation knowing what the Israelis were really up to. One must remember that Israel today is really in many ways nothing more than a post-eastern-European mafia. Many Russian mobsters fled to Israel and are today still in Israel. The Russians keep a close eye on them, and with good reason, they almost gutted Russia's resources before Putin and company (nationalists) put a stop to it. Our Russian linguistic capabilities were gutted, as understanding Russian was not politically correct under different Presidencies.

Russian Intelligence understand all too well that they can't afford to make a serious mistake like they did pre-WWII, as it cost them dearly as a result. That is why today we see Russian Intelligence more aggressive, their national survival depends on it in their eyes. And they have a point in many ways based on history.

Now I'll step off my little soap-box and wish everyone a good weekend.

J

Larry Johnson

This is what the House Intel Committee reported:
"The unredacted portion of the report, written by Republicans on the panel, details testimony from former FBI Director James Comey and his then-deputy, Andrew McCabe. The report says McCabe, in particular, testified that the two agents who interviewed Flynn “didn’t think he was lying."

Despite the agents' initial impressions, McCabe reportedly testified that officials found that Flynn’s statements to investigators were “inconsistent” with their “understanding of the conversation that he had actually had with the ambassador.”

You obviously have not read all of the briefs and legal filings in this case. I have. The real pressure they brought on him was over the alleged FARA violation. You know, if you are being honest, as well as I do that a conversation between Flynn and the Russian Ambassador was NOT illegal nor inappropriate. The real question you ought to ask is why was the US intelligence illegally listening in on the conversation of an incoming national security advisor? No justification for this whatsoever.

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