Saturday, May 26, 2018
Friday, May 25, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2018
One of the more notable differences between Watergate and the metastasizing scandals involving the FBI, our intelligence agencies, and the Obama administration -- subjects of the soon-to-be-released inspector general's report -- is that the media exposed Watergate. They aided and abetted the current transgressions.
By providing a willing and virtually unquestioned repository for every anonymous leaker (as long as he or she was on the "right" side) in Washington and beyond, the press has evolved from being part of the solution to being a major part of the problem. Gone are the days of the true "whistle-blower." Here are the days of the special interest provocateur, shaping public opinion by passing on half-truths and outright lies to their favorite reporter. One might then even call the media, in Orwell's words, "objectively pro-fascist," functioning much in the manner of Pravda and Izvestia during that famous author's time, covertly or overtly pushing the party line in the most slavish and orthodox manner while feigning "objectivity."
CNN, NBC, the Washington Post and The New York Times -- misinforming the public as it hasn't since the days of their great Stalin-excuser Walter Duranty (still pictured on their Pulitzer wall of honor) -- are particularly egregious in this regard. But there are many others.
And the current scandal is far, far worse than Watergate, which, bad as it was, was the coverup of a completely unnecessary buffoon-like break-in during an election that was already won in a landslide. What is being exposed now is an attempt by our highest law enforcement agency working in concert with our intelligence agencies and, evidently, the blessing of the former administration itself to block the candidate of the opposing party, even to defraud and spy on him, that is to, as others have said, "set him up." And then, if they were unsuccessful, make it impossible for him to govern. In addition, in all probability, the same players conspired to make certain Hillary Clinton was not indicted for a crime for which virtually any other American would have done jail time.
Forget Donald Trump. Forget whoever is running. It could be your Aunt Fanny or Willam Buckley's random person from the Boston telephone directory. Forget whatever party we are talking about. This is the stuff of high treason of a type not imaginable to almost all of us in our lifetimes as American citizens. I and others have compared this plot to Lavrentiy Beria and the NKVD. At first, I admit, I was exaggerating a bit for effect. Now, not so much.
What we have here are people who think they are "good" driven to evil by their own self-righteousness.
So what will the mainstream media who participated so heavily in this, who were in effect the enabler of this disgraceful anti-democratic enterprise, do when the inspector general's report is finally published?
We may have gotten a taste in the nervous reaction of CNN's Jake Tapper to an informative series of tweets from the WSJ's Kimberley Strassel on the matter. Roughly a year ago, Mr. Tapper famously accused Donald Trump of himself being a purveyor of "fake news" for alleging he was being wiretapped (what an understatement that turned out to be!). Instead of apologizing for being wildly wrong or even acknowledging his mistake, Tapper tweaked Ms. Strassel for accidentally tweeting "Hurricane Crossfire" rather than "Crossfire Hurricane" (the name the FBI cribbed from Mick Jagger as a trendy name for their repellent activities).
Tapper is considered one of the more intelligent and putatively responsible of the MSM crew. If he is unable to face this coming press Armageddon, few will be. They bet the house that Donald Trump was the worst man in the room, but it turned out, and will be made quite explicit I would imagine, that there were many men and women far worse than he. It's not even close.
An interesting sidelight is the degree to which Watergate itself inspired the present level of reportorial corruption by launching "leaks" (i. e. Deep Throat and company) as the royal road to journalistic success, Pulitzer prizes, and Hollywood fame. In a sense, that would put journalism today in its Robespierre period, going further and further out onto a limb for a story until the limb falls off.
Whether Barack Obama himself will be looped definitively into the IG's report, we don't know at this time. But we all know where the fish rots from and we also know that Obama, despite his denials, knew well that Hilary was using an illegal server. He wrote her there himself under an assumed name, showing he was only slightly more computer savvy than John Podesta.
These next few weeks are going to be among the most interesting in our lifetimes -- especially for our friends in the press. We know from the NYT earlier this week they are preparing their excuses. Let's hope they don't have enough.
Friday, May 18, 2018
On 15 October (2016), the US secret intelligence court issued a warrant to investigate two Russian banks. This news was given to me by several sources and corroborated by someone I will identify only as a senior member of the US intelligence community. He would never volunteer anything - giving up classified information would be illegal - but he would confirm or deny what I had heard from other sources.from the American Spectator
"I'm going to write a story that says…" I would say. "I don't have a problem with that," he would reply, if my information was accurate. He confirmed the sequence of events below:Last April (2016), the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was - allegedly - a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.
It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.
The taskforce included six agencies or departments of government. Dealing with the domestic, US, side of the inquiry, were the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. For the foreign and intelligence aspects of the investigation, there were another three agencies: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.
Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.
Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities - in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.
A lawyer- outside the Department of Justice but familiar with the case - told me that three of Mr Trump's associates were the subject of the inquiry. "But it's clear this is about Trump," he said.
I spoke to all three of those identified by this source. All of them emphatically denied any wrongdoing. "Hogwash," said one. "Bullshit," said another. Of the two Russian banks, one denied any wrongdoing, while the other did not respond to a request for comment.
The investigation was active going into the election. During that period, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Harry Reid, wrote to the director of the FBI, accusing him of holding back "explosive information" about Mr Trump.
Mr Reid sent his letter after getting an intelligence briefing, along with other senior figures in Congress. Only eight people were present: the chairs and ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees, and the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress, the "gang of eight" as they are sometimes called. Normally, senior staff attend "gang of eight" intelligence briefings, but not this time. The Congressional leaders were not even allowed to take notes.
David Corn and Michael Isikoff, authors of Russian Roulette, gingerly refer to this anti-Trump spying operation as the “working group at Langley,” an undertaking so outré that even Brennan called it an “exceptionally sensitive issue.”And on an intimately related matter:
Since they are engaged in propaganda and stenography rather than investigative journalism, Corn/Isikoff and the Times are content to leave this part of the story fuzzy. As the most crucial period in this debacle — the period that would bring out its unfounded, partisan origins the most clearly — they don’t want to look too closely at it. Better to dispatch it all quickly with the Times’s line, “Intelligence agencies began collaborating to investigate that operation.”
But make no mistake about it: that the FBI and the CIA, on little more than the say-so of a virulent Trump hater like Brennan, were meeting to spy on the campaign of Hillary’s opponent makes Watergate look like a tenth-rate burglary. Nixon, at his most Machiavellian, wouldn’t have thought to form a “working group at Langley” against McGovern. But Obama, via Brennan, did the equivalent for Hillary.
For all intents and purposes, Crossfire Hurricane did not begin in July 2016 but at the moment Trump emerged as Hillary’s rival. Brennan, shortly thereafter, was bringing CIA agents, FBI agents, NSA agents, and an assortment of Obama’s political aides together in one room at CIA headquarters to bat around ideas on how to smoke out the campaign of Hillary’s opponent. Out of these meetings came the plot to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
Notice the timing of all the grooming and entrapment of George Papadopoulos, a twentysomething Trump campaign volunteer in London whom the Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, suddenly wanted to meet in May 2016 for an evening of sozzled political chitchat. That timing corresponds perfectly with the brainstorming meetings of Brennan’s Langley group.
British intelligence, through various planted stories, has bragged about its role in helping Brennan spy on the Trump campaign. It must have served as the bridge between Brennan and Downer. Famous for greasing the wheels of the Clinton Foundation, Downer was looking for ways to ingratiate himself with what he presumed was the next administration. So he was happy to serve as a cog in Brennan’s dirty machine.
One can only laugh at the sheer brazenness of the propaganda in the Times’s opener about Downer:"Within hours of opening an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.First of all, Downer had no “evidence.” All he had was the memory of speculative remarks (the kind anybody following the news could have made) that he had pumped out of a minor campaign volunteer during a meeting he set up, according to the Daily Caller.
Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos."
The threadbare character of this episode (not to mention the possibility that Papadopoulos might have simply been regurgitating speculation fed to him by a mole) is almost too stupid for words. But then Brennan’s Langley group needed something, anything, to get the dolts over at the FBI to open up a formal probe. Presumably, it was Brennan and other Obama political appointees who participated in the “tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra.” Or did Obama himself get on the phone with the Australian PM to discuss how to break through a diplomatic impasse touching on a matter as grave as the Downer-Papadopoulos pub crawl?
What a farce. But it is an entirely plausible one given the partisan progenitor at the heart of it, John Brennan, whose idea of a normal day at the CIA was to turn its offices into the Clinton War Room.
BREAKING: IG Horowitz has found "reasonable grounds" for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ's handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) May 17, 2018