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06 November 2019


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Wow, THANKS, wonderful Coleen Rowley, for these facts and all others, past and future!


The scientist who was framed for the anthrax attack successfully sued the Feds for malicious prosecution, and recieved, I think, $6 miliones.


The manner in which Comey and his select team of officials engineered the Flynn 'interview' was contemptible, but not surprising. The group had been steeping in politics from the moment Comey agreed to the Clinton e-mail case under the conditions he did. The special organization he created, an FBI within the FBI operating out of HQ, the administering of 'blood oaths', etc, only made matters worse, or better, depending on one's political point of view. The only thing lacking was secret hand shakes.
In my now outdated experience, the charge of lying to the FBI was viewed as B.S., period; it was never even contemplated as as a stand alone charge. Separated from a substantive charge, it is worse than B.S.
There are several things wrong about the Flynn interview. Among them: if there was indeed a reason for a strategy session to deceive Flynn about his possibly requiring a lawyer, that reason to the fair minded person meant there should have been no need for a strategy session: the interview required telling Flynn that he had the right to a lawyer; he should have been told the purpose of the interview, ie what it was he was suspected of having done wrong and that the import of his answers was sufficiently serious that if he didn't tell the truth he could be charged with lying; if there was uncertainty whether Flynn had told the truth, as apparently there was because the 302 was subjected to editing and reediting, itself highly irregular, the proper way to have resolved any question would have been to reinterview Flynn, not tailor the paperwork to support the charge; if in fact Flynn did lie, what was the harm caused by the lie, or put another way, what would have been the outcome if Flynn had told the truth.
On the subject of recorded interviews, I am of uncertain mind. There is a before interview; there is an after interview. Electronics change the dynamics of the interview itself, and it may be to the advantage of the person interviewed and it may be to his or her disadvantage. If an interview is fairly played, there should be no need to record it; if the interview is intent on something other than fair play, he will find some way to game the electronics. Electronics are no panacea to instilling integrity where integrity is not otherwise to be found.

David Habakkuk


The ‘honey badger’ was a species unknown to me, but having looked that animal up, it seems an apt comparison.

Indeed, at the risk of being frivolous, I am tempted to quote the Kipling refrain about the ‘female of the species’ being ‘deadlier than the male.’ It seems to me quite likely that people at the FBI, and elsewhere, are still finding it difficult to grasp what has hit them.

Something which interests me greatly is the possible knock-on effects of Ms. Powell’s breakthroughs in exposing the conspiracy to frame Michael Flynn on other cases, notably those in which Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss are involved.

The pair are representing Ed Butowsky and Devin Nunes, and also, crucially, Svetlana Lokhova, in her case against the ‘ratfucker’ – the term used in the ‘Complaint’ – Stefan Halper and some of the MSM organisations who have collaborated in his ‘dirty tricks.’

In all of these cases, material freely available on the ‘Courtlistener’ site is a mine of fascinating information.

Of particular interest at the moment, I think, are the efforts of Clevenger to ‘prise open’ the cover-up over the role over Seth Rich in leaking the materials from the DNC which the conspirators falsely alleged were hacked by the Russians, and that about the circumstances of his murder.

These efforts have been aided by a remarkable ‘hostage to fortune’ given by Deborah Sines, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in D.C. who was assigned to the Rich case.

On 8 October, Clevenger produced motions to ‘accept supplemental evidence’ and ‘permit discovery’ in the case he has himself brought against the DOJ, FBI and NSA. (His filing is freely available at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6775665/clevenger-v-us-department-of-justice/ .)

The ‘supplemental evidence’ in question appeared back in July in Episode 5 of the podcast ‘Conspiracyland’ which Michael Isikoff produced for ‘Yahoo! News’. In this, Ms. Sines recycled the familiar disinformation from Andrew McCabe to the effect that it had been established that there was no connection between Rich and Wikileaks.

She then suggested that the FBI had indeed examined his computer, but solely because someone had been trying to ‘invade his Gmail account and set up a separate account after Seth was murdered.’ The supposed purpose of this activity, by a ‘foreign hacker’, was ‘so they could dump false information in there.’

As Clevenger pointed out, this claim is rather hard to reconcile with the FBI’s insistence that it has no records pertaining to Rich, and makes the Bureau’s refusal to search its Computer Analysis Response Team (“CART”) for relevant records, and the Washington Field Office for email records, look even more suspicious than it already did.

From the ‘Courtlistener’ pages it also appeared that, following a telephone conference, Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom ruled that the statement by Ms. Sines did not rise to the ‘level of bad faith’ required to justify the ‘discovery’ that Clevenger sought, on the basis of it.

Also freely available on ‘Courtlistener’, however, is an ‘Unopposed motion for stay’ which Clevenger filed on 30 November. From this, we learn that Judge Bloom had ‘noted that Ms. Sines’ statements were not made under oath, further suggesting that the Plaintiff might try to obtain a sworn statement from Ms. Sines.’

In response, Clevenger made clear that he intended to subpoena that lady for a deposition, in the relation to the defamation cases brought against Michael Gottlieb et al, and also David Folkenflik et al, where he is representing Ed Butowsky.

Accordingly, he asked the Court to stay his own case ‘until the deposition of Ms. Sines can be arranged and the transcripts can be produced.’ Apparently, there was no objection from the DOJ, FBI, and NSA.

In addition, Clevenger asked the court to take ‘judicial notice’ of the fact that, in her reply dated 24 October to the lawyers for the USG, ‘attorney Sidney Powell laid out damning evidence that high-ranking FBI officials systematically tampered with records and hid exculpatory evidence for the purpose of framing the defendant, retired General Mike Flynn.’

So it looks as though what the ‘honey badger’ has been digging out in relation to Flynn may help in the burrowing efforts of others in related matters – who may be in a position to return the favour.

Increasingly, it seems not entirely unthinkable that the cumulative effect of of the cases in which Powell, Clevenger and Biss are involved may blow open the whole conspiracy against the Constitution, irrespective of whether or not Horowitz, Barr and Durham are prepared to go substantially beyond a ‘limited hangout.’

Another important, and neglected, aspect here relates to the cases still ongoing against Steele and Orbis in London – that brought by Aleksej Gubarev, and that by the Alfa oligarchs. It is material that libel laws on this side are noticeably less favourable to defendants than on yours – not least in that the ‘fair report privilege’ retains its original narrower construction here.

Unfortunately, we do not have here any equivalent to ‘PACER’ and ‘Courtlistener.’ The last I heard about the Gubarev case was in the spring, when his American lawyers suggested that it should come to court before Xmas.

It would not at all surprise me if it was postponed. Ironically, however, I now think that it may be quite likely that his British lawyers see delay as being in Gubarev’s interests.

A critical point is that Steele is making no attempt to defend the accuracy of the claims about the involvement of Gubarev and his companies in hacking in the final memorandum in the dossier.

It seems quite likely that what is coming to light as the result of the lawsuits on your side may make it materially more difficult to mount any credible case that these were not very seriously defamatory.

There have been repeated attempts to locate the dossier attributed to Steele in another version of a familiar ‘Russophobic’ narrative, suggesting that he was deliberately fed disinformation by his Russian contacts as part of an ‘active measures’ campaign.

In my view, these are largely BS. However, a possible partial exception has to do with the claims about Gubarev, which follow on from the those made in Company Report 2016/086, which is dated 26 July 2015.

My suspicion has long been that the sloppy misdating – 2016 is clearly meant – reflected the fact that the document was part of a panic-stricken response to the murder of Rich, which had taken place on 10 July. What I may well have happened is that FBI cybersecurity people, who had been cultivating sources among their FSB counterparts, put out an urgent request, which generated material that went into the dossier.

If that was the case however, it would have been likely that some of their informants were playing a ‘double game.’ And my suspicion is that, when a further request was put in, following Trump’s election victory, those making it were fed a ‘baited hook’ about Gubarev, very likely cast in the hope of producing something like the outcome that materialised.

I noted with interest that both Devin Nunes and Lee Smith are now expressing scepticism about the notion that Steele’s role was in actually authoring the dossier, rather than taking ownership of a compendium essentially produced within Fusion GPS.

Another ground for believing this was put into sharp focus with the publication by ‘Judicial Watch’ in September of – heavily redacted – versions of reports from Steele circulated in the State Department prior to the dossier.

(See https://www.judicialwatch.org/tag/christopher-steele/ )

These clarify a matter which has long puzzled me about the memoranda. Normally, one would expect the product of a serious business intelligence company to be properly presented, on headed stationery, without elementary errors. And one would not expect a numbering which suggests that the documents made public are part of a much larger series.

A document dated 13 June 2014, headline ‘RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS: Kremlin Emboldened to Challenge USG Sanctions and Anti-Russian Leverage On Financial Markets’, which is labelled ‘Report ID: 2014/130a’, suggests that we are actually dealing with a format used in an information service sent out to a large number of clients. Precisely what this would not contain was material attributed to highly sensitive sources.

So the clumsy imitation of this formatting in the dossier gives further reason to believe that it was produced by people other than Steele, who were trying to attribute authorship to him.

A further implication is that Steele may have ended up left facing libel charges in relation to claims for which he was not actually responsible.

In addition to those about Gubarev, the use of the transliteration ‘Alpha’ instead of ‘Alfa’ for the Fridman/Aven/Khan group makes me think that the author of the relevant memorandum was not a native English speaker, but someone used to thinking in Russian and/or Ukrainian.

If so, the memorandum may be part of ‘Ukrainegate’, which, unlike ‘Russiagate’, looks like being a real story.

And here, of course, the question of what became of Seth Rich’s laptop, and what information the FBI is concealing about it, is again critical.

It would not in the least surprise me if the kind of traces described by Ms. Sines are actually really present on some hard drive.

If however they are, a quite likely explanation is that Alperovitch and his Ukrainian ‘partners-in-crime’ organised a hack, after the leak was discovered, as part of the more general attempt to obfuscate the truth.


Andrei: Strzok and Pientka come from Galicia -- the westernmost portion of what is now Ukraine -- that was acquired by Empress Maria Theresa in the mid - 18th century.


Thank goodness the German government has never done anything like this?

Please enlighten me, I am curious and must have missed it - and I live in Germany.

If you want to go back to Attila, Genghis Khan, Adolf or Honnecker - please spare me since about all of that happened long before I was born (and two of those are huns or mongols) and is utterly irrelevant here.

Bolsonaro-isms on the other hand "happen right now" and are an example of pretty obvious abuse of power to cover up crimes like political murder and to permanently silence critics and/or inconvenient media.

In context of Factotum's point that is relevant.


Why does the media and virtually every pundit commenting on the Ukrainian phone call intentionally avoid any mention of Trump's Crowdstrike "favor" request?

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12)

Very well put. No better example, apart from being utter academic failure, expected from "white board" theorists with zero understanding of power, exists of this than late Zbig. Only blind or sublime to the point of sheer idiocy could fail to see that Brzezinski's loyalties were not with American people, but with Poland and old Polish, both legitimate and false, anti-Russian grievances. He dedicated his life to settling whatever scores he had with historic Russia using the United States merely as a vehicle. So do many, as you correctly stated, Eastern European immigrants to the United States. They bring with them passions, of which Founding Fathers warned, and then infuse them into the American political discourse. It finally reached it peak of absurdity and, as I argue constantly, utter destruction of the remnants of the Republic.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12)

Andrei: Strzok and Pientka come from Galicia

Well, that explains a lot. Not all of it, but a lot.

David Habakkuk

Andrei and EO,

I wrote what follows before reading Andrei’s response to EO, but do not see much reason to change what I had written.

When in 1988 I ended up working at BBC Radio ‘Analysis’ programme because it was impossible to interest any of my old television colleagues in the idea that one might go to Moscow and talk to some of the people involved in the Gorbachev ‘new thinking’, my editor, Caroline Anstey, was an erstwhile aide to Jim Callaghan, the former Labour Prime Minister.

As a result of his involvement with the Trilateral Commission, she had a fascinating anecdote about what one of his fellow members, the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, said about another, Zbigniew Brzezinski: that he could never work out which of his country’s two traditional enemies his Polish colleague hated most.

Almost a generation after hearing her say this, in December 2013, I read an article Brzezinski published in the ‘Financial Times, headlined ‘Russia, like Ukraine, will become a real democracy.’

(See https://www.ft.com/content/5ac2df1e-6103-11e3-b7f1-00144feabdc0 .)

Unfortunately, it is behind a subscription wall, but it clearly expresses its author’s fundamental belief that after all those years of giving Russia the ‘spinach’ treatment – to use Victoria Nuland’s term – it would finally ‘knuckle under’, and become a quiescent satellite of the West.

An ironic sidelight on this is provided in a recent article by a lady called Anna Mahjar-Barducci on the ‘MEMRI’ site – which actually has some very useful material on matters to do with Russia for those of us with no knowledge of the language – headlined ‘Contemporary Russian Thinkers Series – Part I – Renowned Russian Academic Sergey Karaganov On Russia And Democracy.’

Its subject, who I remember well from the days when he was very much one of the ‘new thinkers’, linked to it on his own website, clearly pleased at what he saw as an accurate and informed discussion of his ideas.

(See http://karaganov.ru/en/news/534 )

There is an obvious risk of succumbing to facetiousness, but sometimes what one thinks are essential features of an argument can be best brought out at the risk of caricaturing it.

It seems to me that some of the central themes of Karaganov’s writing over the past few years – doubly interesting, because his attacks on conventional Western orthodoxies are very far from silly, and because he is a kind of ‘panjandrum’ of a significant section of the Russian foreign policy élite – may be illuminated in this way.

So, attempting to link his Russian concerns to British and American ones, some central contentions of his writings might be put as follows:

‘“Government of the people, by the people, for the people’ looked a lovely idea, back in 1989. But if in practice “by the people” means a choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn, how can it be “for the people?”

‘Moreover, it turned out that our “deplorables” were always right, against us ‘intellectuals’, in grasping that, with “Russophobes” running Western policy, a “real democracy” would simply guarantee that we remained as impotent and humiliated as people like Brzezinski clearly always wanted us to be.

‘Our past, and our future, both in terms of alliances and appropriate social and political systems, are actually “Eurasian”: a ‘hybrid’ state, whose potential greatest advantage actually should be seen as successfully synthesising different inheritances.

‘As the need for this kind of synthesis is a normal condition, with which most peoples have to reckon, this gives us a very real potential advantage over people in the West, who, like the communists against whom I rebelled, believe that there is one path along which all of humanity must – and can – go.’

At the risk of over-interpreting, I might add the following conclusion:

‘Of course, precisely what this analysis does not mean is that we are anti-European – simply that we cannot simply come to Europe, Europe come some way to meet us.

‘Given time, Helmut Schmidt’s fellow countrymen, as also de Gaulle’s, may very well realise that their future does not lie in an alliance with a coalition of people like Brzezinski and traditional “Russophobes” from the “Anglosphere”.

‘And likewise, it does not lie with the kind of messianic universalist “liberalism” – and, in relation to some of the SJC and LGBT obsessions, one might say “liberalism gone bonkers” – which Putin criticised in his interview with the “Financial Times” back in June.

(This is also behind a subscription wall, but is available at http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836 . It is well worth reading in full.)

An obvious possibility implicit in the argument is that, if indeed the continental Europeans see sense, then the coalition of traditional ‘Anglophobes’ and the ‘insulted and injured’ or the ‘borderlands’ may find itself marginalised, and indeed, on the ‘dustbin of history’ to which Trotsky once referred.

Of course, I have no claims to be a Russianist, and my reading of Karaganov may be quite wrong.

But I do strongly believe that very superficial readings of what was happening when I was working in the ‘Analysis’ office, back in 1988-9, have done an immense disservice alike to Britain and the United States.

David Habakkuk


I have been curious about precisely where both Srzok and Pientka came from, but have not had time to do any serious searches.

What is the actual evidence that they have Galician origins?

And, if they do, what are these?

I would of course automatically tend to assume that Polish names mean that their origins are Polish.

But then, if this is so, why are they enthusiastically collaborating with ‘Banderista’ Ukrainians?

It has long been a belief of mine that one of Stalin’s great mistakes was to attempt to incorporate Galicia into the empire he was creating.

Had he returned it to Poland, the architects of the Volhynia massacres of Poles – as also of the massacres of Jews in Lviv/Lvov/Lemberg – could have gone back to their old habits of assassinating Polish policemen.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12)

David, Karaganov is an opportunist, granted a smart one. But the events of two days ago with Putin and Lavrov being personally present at the unveiling of the monument to Evgenii Primakov in a front of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs speaks, in fact screams, volumes. You know of Primakov's Doctrine. It is being fully implemented as I type this and it means that the West "lost" (quotation marks are intentional--Russia was not West's to lose) Russia and it can be "thankful" for that to a so called Russia Studies field in the West which was primarily shaped and then turned into the wasteland, in large part thanks to influx of East European "scholars" and some "Russian" dissidents which achieved their objectives by drawing a caricature. They succeeded and Russia had it with the West.


K.T. McFarland (whose name comes up every now and then in this matter)
has some pertinent thoughta on how the government used its power against Flynn:
"KT McFarland speaks for first time about Michael Flynn", Fox News interview, 2019-11-05


Andrei Martyanov & David Habakuk:

I first picked up the Galician connection in an article by Scott Humor: " North America is a land run by Galician zombies " -- published by The Saker on July 4, 2018. It seems that Galicians, especially those that arrived after WWII, migrate into security positions such as ICE / FBI / NSA etc. It may have to do with a family history of work in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Regrettably, I am not from Eastern Europe and cannot help you further about the Bortnicks, the Gathkes, Buchtas, and so on.



There has been plenty of abuse of government power and it doesn't all require a bullet in the back or investigators/prosecutors making false claims. I'm on the road but will write something up about that over the weekend.


DH, appreciate your comment. Haven't read the MEMRI paper yet. Scanned the first page though.

Karaganov is an opportunist, granted a smart one. ... You know of Primakov's Doctrine. It is being fully implemented as I type this and it means that the West "lost" (quotation marks are intentional--Russia was not West's to lose)

Well, two things sticked out for me during Tumps reelection campain.
1) on the surface he stated, he wanted closer relations to Russia. Looked at more closely, as should be expected, maybe. They were ambigous. If I may paraphrase it colloguially: I meet them and, believe me, if I don't get that beautiful deal, i'll be out of the door the next second.
2) he promised to be enigmatic, compared to earlier American administrations. In other words, hard to read or to predict. Guess one better is as dealmaker. But in the larger intelligence field? Enigmatic may well be a commonplace. No?

Otherwise, Andrei, I would appreciate your further elaboration on Karaganov as opportunist.

That said, would you please explain why

Cameron Kelley

Mr. Johnson: where are these people going wrong? https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/11/05/emptywheel-fact-check-service-doj-1-1-sidney-powell-0-28/

English Outsider

The Poles certainly don't like it when Petliura or Bandera are celebrated -


But were and are also supplying arms and working with Ukrainian forces -


"A very important initiative, particularly in terms of sharing experience and preparing Ukraine for the process of joining NATO, is the establishment of the LITPOLUKRBRIG Multinational Brigade, composed of soldiers from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade includes over 4,000 soldiers, who are stationed with their home units on a day-to-day basis. The brigade headquarters is located in Lublin, Poland. There are currently 58 Polish officers, 18 Ukrainian officers and 5 Lithuanian officers stationed here."

As for Mr Strzok, I'd assumed that in the environment he was working in his motivation would be firmly anti-Trump anyway.

One to two million Ukrainian refugees in Poland, says Wiki. Sounds like shorthand for nobody knows. They are filling the gaps in the Polish labour market left by Poles who've sought jobs elsewhere


Haven't heard of them fetching up in Germany yet, but someone has to pick asparagus and the Poles aren't as keen as they were on the job. Pay and conditions poor, it seems.

Good people, the Ukrainians. Not all Right Sector by a long chalk. Tragedy that so many will end up as ultra-cheap labour washing around Europe.

Just don't argue with it. Globalism rules, OK?

Hindsight Observer

Crowdstrike is center to the left's diversion. Ukraine is tied-in at so many levels to the origins of Obama-Clinton corruption scams. Recent reports now suggest the US Embassy (more of Brennan's cronies) may have been monitoring the communications of key US Citizens. To what end? Providing early warning, against uncovering the Ukraine link! What is Rudy saying? What information has he uncovered? More importantly, who is talking with Rudy? Crowdstrike is key to Ukraine's involvement. Which in turn exculpates the Russian Hoax. Which brings into question their entire X-Fire, Secret Society.

Hopefully AG Barr and US Att Durham have flipped some key personnel. Those capable of making the connection from Brennan to Comey to Crowdstrike, to the DNC hacking and beyond.

IMO, they picked the wrong conversation to base their Witch Hunt on. There are far to many, basic indicators of criminality in the part of the Obama administration in Ukraine. Than for President Trump. However time is getting short, and people are panicking.


I urge Larry Johnson to investigate the effects of Obama's repeal of the 1948 Smith-Mundt Propaganda Ban as part of the 2012 NDAA. Until 2012, government propaganda aimed at Americans was illegal. Obama legalized propagandizing us, and this has been a gamechanger. Are all these FBI, CIA and Cable TV pundits and "reporters of record" now protected from prosecution under the NDAA? It seems the late investigative journalist Michael Hastings wrote was right. He tried to warn us. Here is his 2012 article sounding the alarm. Very informative.




"Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban...."

My, Congress is now "Obama" and then at the bottom of that linked report from almost a decade ago: "CORRECTION: The amendment under consideration would not apply to the Department of Defense, though the it is attached to a defense authorization bill."

Why should anyone waste more than 60 seconds on your badly worded distraction?

Ishmael Zechariah

I am very glad that you are commenting again. I have an off-topic request; apologies for the imposition.I would be very interested in your take on the Epstein/Maxwell case. You might have run across their operations at some time.
Many thanks in advance
Ishmael Zechariah

English Outsider

LJ - sorry that that last comment went seriously off topic. You'll understand, I hope, that some of your readers have preoccupations that draw them off course.

On your article what struck me immediately was 1, that those documents had been retained 2, that you take it for granted they had not been tampered with and 3, that, albeit with enormous reluctance, some at least were produced when required. In most countries most of that wouldn't happen. In most countries you could have as many "honey badgers" as you pleased and they'd not make a dent.

So one does not get the impression that the organisations you are examining are corrupt or derelict from top to bottom. More that they are functioning organisations that have been abused by a relatively small number of people; and those people themselves having to at least seem to play by the rules and unable themselves to bend those rules entirely.

Which, if that impression is justified, leaves one feeling relatively cheerful.


My comment was mainly about MSM stonewalling. Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough.



Eric Ciaramella (the slithering viper as he's referred to by many) info:


So he's back at the Agency? Now my question, is why hasn't Gina fired the little worm, or transferred him to a secluded assignment on a mountain top?

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