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10 December 2019

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Jack

Yes. What is routine practice? It would appear from the Steven Hatfill, Richard Jewell and Sen. Ted Stevens cases and the many more that haven’t been publicized, that it is routine practice for the DOJ/FBI to falsify evidence, misrepresent evidence and hide exculpatory evidence. Does it matter what the motives were? What the biases were? The fact is law enforcement mislead a rubber stamp court to gain deeply intrusive surveillance authority on a presidential campaign and manipulated an election in cahoots with many elements in the media. The only question is should they get away one more time and if the answer is yes, what will they do next? If we claim we are a constitutional republic then at what level of egregiousness does the hammer come down? And more broadly why should the citizenry follow the law when law enforcement routinely distorts it?

English Outsider

TTG - from the American end I'd imagine the "salacious material" was only a small part of it all. But it was the part that registered most with the public then. In today's world, where what can be got to register with the public is often what matters, it was I believe a significant part. If Mr Johnson does not object to me taking up yet more space on this thread, might I explain why?

I don't at all believe that "Golden Showers" story but even were it true it'd make no odds.

Ignore the FBI and other activity before the election.  As far as I know none of that was known to the public at the time.  Look at what happened after the election and imagine the position had been reversed.  Imagine a CIA operative surfacing in London putting out such stories publicly just after our new Prime Minister had been elected.

The US diplomats would have immediately disavowed him.  All know "ex" doesn't mean a lot when it comes to CIA operatives and the US government would not have wanted to be associated with such a damaging attack on a new British Prime Minister.

They'd certainly have been associated with that attack if they had not only failed to disavow.  Imagine they had given the CIA operative a safe house and that later it had come out that that CIA operative had retained close links with the CIA.  If it also came out that the operative had consulted with an ex-CIA Director before he released the story.  And if the US media had continued to insist on the veracity of the story, again without any disavowal from the US government.

That could only be seen as a direct attack, supported by the US government, against the new UK administration.

Of course the position was reversed.  I remember how odd it seemed at the time, that Steele had put such material out and that no attempt was made at the London end to minimise the damage.  It's one thing helping with some bad publicity against a Presidential candidate who was in any case unlikely to be elected.  Quite a different matter continuing with the attack once he'd become President.

There was all the talk about foreign influence on that US election.  Russian or Israeli, if I remember correctly.  But no mention that it was an ex-MI6 operative who attempted to damage Trump before the election and who, with no check from his ex-employer, continued with that attempt long after.

That failure on the part of HMG to disavow Steele was the smoking gun at the start of the publicly known beginning of the Steele affair and it has remained the smoking gun since.  There will be no Horowitz put in at the UK end to meticulously assemble the facts behind what happened, but the publicly known facts speak for themselves.  HMG allowed and to an extent supported an attack on an elected US President.

Just HMG, or was there some conscious help at the American end?  Presumably that's what Mr Durham will be looking into next.

.

Scottish independence? Best of luck to them, if they go for it. As an Englishman, and for sentimental reasons, I'd rather we stayed together. Whatever they do Mrs Sturgeon can expect a most disapproving letter from me if there's a tariff on Single Malts.


Factotum

Who was the secretive Special Agent A unnamed in the Horowitz report as the human train wreck of errors within the FBI?

Speculation abounds: "FBI Agent Joseph Pientka was never interviewed by the joint House judiciary and oversight committees (Goodlatte and Gowdy). The reason, as explained by Meadows, was simple; Pientka was on Weissmann and Mueller’s special counsel team. Congress was not allowed to interfere in the Mueller probe. In hindsight this looks like Weissmann, Mueller & Rosenstein strategically using the investigation as a shield from sunlight." (ConTreeHouse)

blue peacock

Was it consensual unprotected? That was taking a huge risk on both sides as Hunter Biden is finding out with his baby mama in Arkansas.

blue peacock

Col. Lang

Do you think Barr will explore what Obama knew and when? He seems to me to be a card carrying member of the Swamp.

blue peacock

TTG

Do you think, even if it is par for the course, that it is all good for the DOJ & FBI to play fast and loose with evidence and character assassination through their media buddies and even frame innocent Americans?

blue peacock

"And more broadly why should the citizenry follow the law when law enforcement routinely distorts it?"

Good question, Jack.

I suppose they have the ability to inflict state sanctioned violence. Lock you up. Make you go broke. Harass you and your friends and family. And have the media paint you as a villain. Make you lose your employment prospects.

The reality is we live in an uneven system. One set of rules for law enforcement and all the big shots at the apex. Another set of rules for us schmucks.

Fred

TTG,

And how would that ever be found out as no comparison to GRU command and control servers have been made, other than "according to figures in the lawsuit against the Russia.." - as reported by the Daily Beast on July 16th 2018. Even Are Technica reports from July 2018 don't make that claim.

The Twisted Genius

Fred, I don’t think the indictment of the GRU 12 makes any mention of CrowdStrike’s work with the DNC beyond a brief mention of “Company 1’s” effort to mitigate the intrusion. With what the NSA gathered, there was no need to rely on CrowdStrike’s images or to mention any congruities/incongruities between NSA and CrowdStrike captured data.

As an example, the NSA (or some other government agency) monitored GRU activities on a leased server in Arizona configured as their attack point called the AMS panel communicating with the DCCC network in April and May 2016. On 19 April they monitored the GRU configuring another overseas server to serve as a relay between the DNC network and the AMS panel. This the GRU called the middle server. The next day the GRU hackers directed the X-Agent malware on the DCCC network to connect with this middle server rather than directly to the AMS panel. On 22 April the NSA observed the GRU compress gigabytes of data on the DCCC network and then move that data to another leased server in Illinois.

The indictment is full of those kinds of details. Those details are the result of real time monitoring and imaging of those GRU controlled servers. I could damn near guarantee that an FBI or DOJ techie would catch any incongruity between what the NSA captured on the GRU controlled servers with CrowdStrike’s images of the DNC/DCCC servers. I can also damned near guarantee that the techies would have done such a comparison. I’ve seen them do so whenever the attack server data is captured which is not always the case. Often the attack server is never identified. Perhaps a normal FBI agent or DOJ lawyer would miss it, but a techie, no way. I’ve seen them catch the smallest incongruities in mountains of data.

The Twisted Genius

Blue peacock, I'm with Horowitz on the FBI's sloppiness and overzealous diddling of evidence. He's investigating other FISA applications to see just how deep these problems are. He recommends legislative corrective action to the abuse of LE investigative powers. He even identified potentials for abuse in current legislation and DOJ regulations that should be addressed. Good. Do it.

Factotum

You follow the law for your own benefit; regardless.

English Outsider


Note - TTG - that's very much the bare bones of how it appeared to us in the general public when the Steele affair first became public. As said, there's not going to be a UK Horowitz examining what happened in the background at the UK end. However, while your were engaged in the house renovation David Habakkuk has been looking closely at that background. His conclusions, and the information on which he bases his conclusions, aren't all in one place but the pre-penultimate comment here -

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/12/benchmarks-to-look-for-in-the-horowitz-report-on-fisa-by-larry-c-johnson.html#comment-6a00d8341c72e153ef0240a4f3cd5a200b

- shows that there were a lot of moving parts that we in the UK public weren't aware of and aren't aware of now.

Again, this is very much your field and not mine at all, but the whole together does suggest hat Steele was not a lone rogue operative but was part of a somewhat wider UK effort.

Factotum

St Comey, now in deep rehab states on Sunday news circuit: I was wrong. Carter Page was right.

Factotum

Redstate weighs in:

.... "So, if you want to understand how a Third World kleptocracy with the GDP of New York State ran circles around the United States during the Obama administration, you now have your answer.

The CIA employs highly partisan idiots, lots of them, and apparently has an extraordinarily effective affirmative action program for them to ensure they get promoted to positions of responsibility....."

turcopolier

factotum

"I was let down and betrayed by my subordinates."

Factotum

Back to Samatha Powers "hundreds" of last minute Obama administration FISA unmasking requests. So far this loose end has not been mentioned, let along tied up in any of the current FISA abuse reports.

Could Samantha Powers, or an Obama agent using her name, have been applying one of Barry Soetoro's favorite tactics? Cloward-Pivens: overwhlem the system with so many legal requests that it breaks down and cannot function with any degree of diligence?

Swamp FISA with court unrelated requests so it does not pay careful attention to the one FISA request you really want. The timing of the FISA court Carter Page requests and the "hundreds" of Samantha Power's FISA court requests may be interesting to track.

Why am I still smelling Ben Rhodes fingerprints somewhere in this ongoing Obama scandal saga?

Factotum

Collectively, how much were US taxpayers spending on these "subordinates" who betrayed their country; yet willingly picked up their US taxpayer funded paychecks year after year.

We need the equivalent of 'Transparent California" - a seachable data base for all government employees in the state of California, breaking down their full compensation packages. It has been a blinding dose of cruel sunshine for California tax payers. And exposes why the deep state has such a vested interest in its own perpetuity. Cash, lots and lots of cash.

David Habakkuk

‘English Outsider’ and all,

In – somewhat belated – response to the responses to earlier comments of mine by ‘EO’, ‘BP’, ‘Elmo Zoneball.’

As far as I can judge at the moment, the Horowitz report shows every sign of being a classic ‘limited hangout’, which will greatly assist the efforts of a group of seditious conspirators to portray themselves as not much worse than panic-stricken bunglers.

Unfortunately, people seem to be falling for this, in droves.

The basic truth of the situation was well set out by Devin Nunes back in July, when he commented:

“These are all a bunch of dirty cops and I’ll tell you, some of them better go to jail, or we’re going to go down in a spiral in this country because you will not have a Republican that will trust the FBI or the Department of Justice for generations to come.”

(https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/07/14/nunes_without_jail_for_dirty_cops_people_wont_trust_doj_or_fbi_for_generations.html .)

As has become progressively clearer, however, we have all along been dealing not just with ‘dirty cops’, but with equally grimy people from the intelligence and foreign affairs bureaucracies, on both sides of the Atlantic, and – crucially – journalists whose preponderant concern is to keep in with their – supposed – ‘reliable sources.’

In this situation, a government investigation could only be credible, if it proceeded on the basis that ‘evidence’ from FBI people about what the supposed ‘Primary Sub-Source’ of the memoranda published by ‘BuzzFeed’ told them, and what the supposed conduit for the material himself claimed, needed alike to be treated with scepticism.

This is all the more so, given that Christopher Steele’s response to the report specifically disputes the account supposed to have been given by the ‘Primary Sub-Source’ to the FBI, in addition claiming that ‘Orbis was not given an opportunity to respond to those materials’, and that his, or her, ‘debriefings by Orbis were meticulously documented and recorded.’

(See https://hannity.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Steele-Statement.pdf .)

What justification can Horowitz give, other than nationalistic prejudice, for believing one set of liars rather than another, when common sense suggests he should at least have contemplated the possibility that the one point on which they agree – that the ‘Primary Sub-Source’ actually existed – is simply a part of the original concatenation of lies neither can afford to disavow?

One comes back, here, to a number of issues which were raised by the ‘Nunes memo’ back in February 2018 – among other things, by its description of Steele as a ‘longtime FBI source’.

On these, I commented in a SST post shortly afterwards, which was entitled ‘Habakkuk on “longtime” sources: Steele, Shvets, Levinson, Litvinenko and the “Billion Dollar Don.”’

(See https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/habakkuk-on-longtime-sources.html .)

This, and the exchanges of comments it provoked, need to be read in conjunction with my January 2016 response here to Sir Robert Owen’s cover-up of Steele’s cover-up relating to how the late Alexander Litvinenko died and lived, which was entitled ‘David Habakkuk on Sir Robert Owens’ Inquiry.’ (At the time, of course, the ‘Wizard’ was still hidden behind the ‘curtain.’)

(See https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/01/david-hakkuk-on-sir-robert-owens-inquiry.html .)

As it happens, I have two apologies to make.

My discussions, I think, demonstrate two things which are rather relevant to assessing the claims, and counter-claims, about the ‘Principal Sub-Source’ and many other matters.

It is clear that corrupting judicial investigations, fabricating evidence, and turning journalists into ‘stenographers’ for what the Soviets called the ‘organs’ is part of Steele’s ‘modus operandi’.

It is, however, equally clear that he has done this, all along, in close collaboration with people from your side of the Atlantic.

Accordingly, I should have been more alert to the sheer scale of the mendacity of these people.

For instance, rereading the ‘302s’ that Bruce Ohr dictated to Joseph Pientka, against the background of what we now know about those which the latter and Peter Strzok produced following their interview with Lieutenant-General Flynn, including the swapping of notes by the pair, I see I should have grasped that a ‘dual strategy’ was being pursued.

(See https://themarketswork.com/2018/08/18/the-bruce-ohr-302s/ .)

So, on the one hand, Pientka and Strzok, clearly in conjunction with many others, were ‘doubling down’ on the conspiracy against Trump, by using ever more discreditable methods to ‘frame’ Flynn – who seems increasingly to have provided an awful warning about the dangers of assuming that any of these people have an ounce left of honour or integrity (if they ever had any.)

At the same time, however, Pientka and Ohr were colluding in leaving an ‘evidence trail’, to support what was increasingly emerging as the ‘insurance policy’ on both sides of the Atlantic: if the conspiracy came unstuck, make Steele the ‘patsy.’

And then, take the following paragraph in the Nunes memo:

‘Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations – an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September – before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October – but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts.’

Again, it now looks as though many of us simply did not grasp the depth of deliquency with which we were dealing.

One part of Steele’s response which I think may actually be true is his assertion that ‘The FBI Never asked Steele Not to Disclose Information to the Media.’

Where it gets really interesting however is that, in supporting his assertion, he denies that he had ever been a ‘Confidential Human Source’ for the FBI.

According to his account, in 2013 ‘the FBI decided that it wanted to engage Christopher Steele to conduct investigations on its behalf.’ And this, his lawyers tell us, was at a time when ‘the FBI at that time had no history of contracting out work to private investigatory firms.’

As a result of this, supposedly, while Orbis successfully insisted that the only possible relationship was contractual, ‘FBI agents, for internal FBI purposes, decided to call Christopher Steele a CHS.’

So, it looks as though the account we were fed may have been simply another part of the ‘insurance policy’, designed to disguise the extent to which those who disseminated it were co-conspirators, in the dissemination of the ‘dossier’ material and almost certainly its production.

If meanwhile anyone thinks that the – apparently unprecedented – engagement of Steele in 2013 was really simply because the FBI had been impressed by what they had seen of his reports, there is a very fine bridge near me in Hammersmith I am quite prepared to sell you, for a reasonable fee (without of course letting you know it has been found unsuitable for traffic.)

More material than I was aware of when I wrote my response to the Nunes memo has since appeared on the background – which brings me to my second apology.

I had simply taken it for granted that Steele and his confederates had been totally successful in corrupting the investigation of Litvinenko’s death by Counter Terrorism Command (SO15.)

The close involvement of senior members of that organisation with figures involved in the conspiracy on your side does appear to have been made even more apparent with the publication by Heidi Blake of a book-length version of the ‘investigation’ she and her ‘BuzzFeed’ colleagues published in June 2017 under the title ‘From Russia With Blood.’

This deals with fourteen murders in London, where, supposedly, U.S. intelligence people knew that the Russian security services were ‘prime suspects’, but which the British would not investigate properly because they wanted to suck up to Putin (LOL.)

(For an extract, see https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/heidiblake/putin-global-assassination-campaign-berezovsky-london .)

As it happens, however, my cynicism about SO15 caused me to miss the masterly way in which some of its members cleverly subverted the Litvinenko cover-up.

One of the major problems Steele and his confederates faced in organising this resulted from the fact that the Pine Bar of the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square was only fixed on as the ‘scene of the crime’ after it became impossible to disguise the scale of the polonium contamination there.

This was a full fortnight after Litvinenko’s death, and more than five weeks after – supposedly – he realised that Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun had tried to kill him there.

The change made it necessary to insist that Litvinenko had not visited the offices of his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky, and left contamination on the photocopier there, until after the Pine Bar meeting.

If you go the archived inquiry website, and open the report, you can find the timeline which seems to support this on pages 279-80.

(See https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090320/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/">https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090320/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ .)

If, however, you cross over to the ‘Evidence’ page, and put ‘INQ018243’ into the ‘Find’ facility on your browser, you can open the ‘Maps showing movements of Alexander Litvinenko on 1 November 2006.’

One of the first things I noticed, when I belatedly did this, was that while it certainly has Litvinenko using the photocopier in Berezovsky’s at 5.00 pm, on the strength of a statement by one of Berezovsky’s cronies, it also includes an earlier visit, timed at 1.40pm, on the strength of a statement by a security guard at the offices, Stephen Brown.

It seems absolutely clear that Steele and Owen’s team, and also Berezovsky and his cronies, colluded in suppressing this critical evidence.

Looking further at the maps, however, it is clear that enormous wit and ingenuity has been deployed in what is sometimes called ‘esoteric writing’ – where one pretends to conform to what one is supposed to believe, but actually makes covertly clear that it is false. I take my hat off to the detectives who constructed it.

Among other things, some of the oblique clues they included strongly reinforce my long-standing suspicion: that another key thing which Steele and his confederates had to cover up was that on the morning of the day he was supposedly poisoned, Litvinenko was given a lift in Akhmed Zakayev’s Mercedes to Berezovsky’s office.

Read against this background, the lies which Ms. Blake is busily disseminating actually point to a key truth: that key roots of ‘Russiagate’ go back to the ‘devil’s pact’ which key figures in London, and Washington, made those who became the ‘semibankirshchina’ of the Russian ‘Nineties.

This led to false claims about murders, which in the end led to real murders. And generally – as in Berezovsky’s own case – the ‘prime suspects’ are emphatically not the Russian security services and Vladimir Putin.

blue peacock

David

We can certain that there will be a whitewash. Not much different than your Iraq WMD investigation that exonerated Blair and his cronies.

Bill Barr has been a long term Swamp player. He and Durham will do what Comey did with Hillary - extreme carelessness that does not rise to the level of criminality. And follow up with burying everything which the equally complicit media will be happy to do as they are in it to their eyeballs.

It is fascinating when you read the comments on the pro-Trump site, Conservative Treehouse, which has been at the forefront of investigating the Russia Collusion hoax and done a phenomenal job. The excuses that are made for Trump not taking the one action he could, which is to declassify all the documents & communications. Devin Nunes who has been vindicated, begged Trump to declassify the FISA applications and other communications. That would have put to rest 2 years ago that the FISA was based on the Steele dossier. Trump did not. All he did was tweet - "witch hunt" incessantly.

It should be obvious to even the most die-hard Trump supporter, that Trump could have opened this wide open by a single action, completely in his sole authority, which is to declassify. He did not. Why?

prawnik

"If it does not bother you to learn that the FBI repeatedly and deliberately deceived the FISA court into granting it permission to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign, then it is virtually certain that you are either someone with no principles, someone who cares only about partisan advantage and nothing about basic civil liberties and the rule of law, or both. There is simply no way for anyone of good faith to read this IG Report and reach any conclusion other than that this is yet another instance of the FBI abusing its power in severe ways to subvert and undermine U.S. democracy. If you don’t care about that, what do you care about?

But the revelations of the IG Report are not merely a massive FBI scandal. They are also a massive media scandal, because they reveal that so much of what the U.S. media has authoritatively claimed about all of these matters for more than two years is completely false."

https://theintercept.com/2019/12/12/the-inspector-generals-report-on-2016-fb-i-spying-reveals-a-scandal-of-historic-magnitude-not-only-for-the-fbi-but-also-the-u-s-media/?fbclid=IwAR1I64d2cUM6hu5axIppCeWcHG5mwITc7pk4ke3OWKouoPGyZH2KuPIzkXo

Note that Glenn Greenwald is not exactly a Team R cheerleader or Trump cultist.

Factotum

"They" are going after Nunes now.

Big news story this morning speculating about who is funding Nunes string of defensive law suits trying to protect his reputation - article claims it must be from laundered funds, illegal reporting campaign contributions, misused funds, etc, ete and debunking the possibility his recent spate of defensive lawsuits were taken for free on contingency.

A total media hit piece against Nunes in the press today. "They" do not sleep. Except with the devils.

Factotum

Pientka is speculated to be the prime unnamed bungler or inside agent. When will he get exposed by name? Why is his name referred to only by code right now.

CG

Oh, well:

Rain was spreading like a fresh bruise across the London sky as the unmarked car rolled up Whitehall toward Big Ben. The Scotland Yard protection officer scanned the road with a well-trained eye, clocking potential hazards as the car passed the spiked iron gates of Downing Street, and swung right on Parliament Square. ...

how comes investigative reporting sounds so much like fiction nowadays?

Jack

Well, Larry, the honey badger got taken by Judge Sullivan.

English Outsider

Mr Habakkuk - "As far as I can judge at the moment, the Horowitz report shows every sign of being a classic ‘limited hangout’, which will greatly assist the efforts of a group of seditious conspirators to portray themselves as not much worse than panic-stricken bunglers."

I see what you mean.  A "limited hangout" is required because there's a danger that in lifting one corner of the conspiracy they lift all.  Get to the bottom of the Steele affair and the general public will start looking more sceptically at Litvinenko, Skripal - then possibly on to any number of events where we've most of us in the general public bought the official line and most of us in the general public are still happy with that official line.

Can't be allowed to happen.  And won't.  On the other hand there are some  powerful American politicians who are indignant at the conspiracy to damage Trump and who need to see the fact that there was a conspiracy publicly and indisputably acknowledged by a court or by an official investigator.

So the problem they have is how to lift one corner to vindicate Trump without having to lift many others and thus allowing other scandals coming to light.  We might be seeing this attempted limitation of the investigation in Senator Sasse's suggestion -  "Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the collusion was between the DNC and the FBI..."  (28.58 of that part of the (as yet incomplete) transcript) -

https://www.rev.com/blog/inspector-general-report-hearing-transcript-michael-horowitz-testifies-on-fbis-findings

That would meet the need for an exposure of what happened at the American end without needing to go further.  Or perhaps the even more limited possible scenario that Mr Johnson sets out above - "that will expose the FBI, at a minimum, as unwitting dupes out-smarted by duplicitous intelligence operatives."

That can easily become, as reported by the BBC (above) -

"Democrats said the report undercuts Mr Trump's repeated claims that he was the victim of a "witch hunt".

"It was never a witch hunt, Democratic Senator Mark Warner said on Twitter.  "It was the men and women of federal law enforcement doing their jobs.""

That is the "limited hangout" that you fear, and with your encyclopaedic knowledge of all the moving parts and how they relate to each other you can see how that could occur.  But it does seem to me, at the other end of that scale of knowledge admittedly, that the Horowitz report, as expanded at the hearing, could also open the way for a more comprehensive account of the conspiracy.

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