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Can We Impeach the FBI Now?

By Peter Van Buren | The American Conservative | December 11, 2019

The release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which shows that the Democrats, media, and FBI lied about not interfering in an election, will be a historian’s marker for how a decent nation fooled itself into self-harm. Forget about foreigners influencing our elections; it was us.

The Horowitz Report is being played by the media for its conclusion: that the FBI’s intel op run against the Trump campaign was not politically motivated and thus “legal.” That covers one page of the 476-page document, but because it fits with the Democratic/mainstream media narrative that Trump is a liar, the rest has been ignored. “The rest,” of course, is a detailed description of America’s domestic intelligence apparatus, aided by its overseas intelligence apparatus, and assisted by its Five Eyes allies’ intelligence apparatuses. And the conclusion is that they unleashed a full-spectrum spying campaign against a presidential candidate in order to influence an election, and when that failed, they tried to delegitimize a president.

We learn from the Horowitz Report that it was an Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, a man with ties to his own nation’s intel services and the Clinton Foundation, who set up a meeting with Trump staffer George Papadopoulos, creating the necessary first bit of info to set the plan in motion. We find the FBI exaggerating, falsifying, and committing wicked sins of omission to buffalo the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts into approving electronic surveillance on Team Trump to overtly or inadvertently monitor the communications of Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon, Rick Gates, Trump transition staffers, and likely Trump himself. Trump officials were also monitored by British GCHQ, the information shared with their NSA partners, a piece of all this still not fully public.

We learn that the FBI greedily consumed the Steele Dossier, opposition “research” bought by the Clinton campaign to smear Trump with allegations of sex parties and pee tapes. Most notoriously, the dossier claims he was a Russian plant, a Manchurian Candidate, owned by Kremlin intelligence through a combination of treats (land deals in Moscow) and threats (kompromat over Trump’s evil sexual appetites). The Horowitz Report makes clear the FBI knew the Dossier was bunk, hid that conclusion from the FISA court, and purposefully lied to the FISA court in claiming that the Dossier was backed up by investigative news reports, which themselves were secretly based on the Dossier. The FBI knew Steele had created a classic intel officer’s information loop, secretly becoming his own corroborating source, and gleefully looked the other way because it supported his goals.

Horowitz contradicts media claims that the Dossier was a small part of the case presented to the FISA court. He finds that it was “central and essential.” And it was garbage: “factual assertions relied upon in the first [FISA] application targeting Carter Page were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.” One of Steele’s primary sources, tracked down by FBI, said Steele had misreported several of the most troubling allegations of potential Trump blackmail and campaign collusion.

We find human dangles, what Lisa Page referred to as “our OCONUS lures” (OCONUS is spook-speak for Outside CONtinental US) in the form of a shady Maltese academic, Joseph Mifsud, who himself has deep ties to multiple U.S. intel agencies and the Pentagon, paying Trump staffers for nothing speeches to buy access to them. We find a female FBI undercover agent inserted into social situations with a Trump staffer (pillow talk is always a spy’s best friend). It becomes clear the FBI sought to manufacture a foreign counterintelligence threat as an excuse to unleash its surveillance tools against the Trump campaign. … continue reading

December 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | Leave a comment

Barr Blasts Inspector General For Whitewashing FBI

By Ray McGovern – Consortium News – December 10, 2019

Attorney General William Barr on Monday disparaged the long-awaited findings of the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz into FBI conduct in the investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Barr, in effect, accused Horowitz of whitewashing a litany of proven misfeasance and malfeasance that created the “predicate,” or legal justification, for investigating candidate-and-then-president Donald Trump on suspicion of being in cahoots with the Russians.

In grammatical terms, there can be no sentence, so to speak, without a predicate. Trump was clearly the object of the sentence, and the sleuths led by then-FBI Director James Comey were the subjects in desperate search of a predicate. Horowitz candidly depicted the predicate the FBI requires for a counter-intelligence investigation as having to meet a very low bar. The public criticism from his boss was unusual. For the tenacious attorney general, doing a serious investigation of how the FBI handled the Trump-Russia inquiry has become a case of no-holds-Barr-ed, one might say.

Lindsey Smacking His Lips

Particularly damning in Horowitz’s report was the revelation that the FBI kept the “Russia investigation” going well after countervailing and exculpatory evidence clearly showed that, in the unforgettable words of one senior FBI official, Peter Strzok, there was “no there there.”

As Sen. Lindsey Graham put it yesterday, FBI investigators kept running through STOP signs in hot pursuit of a needed, but ever elusive, credible predicate. At a press conference, Graham pointed to page 186 of the Horowitz report to call attention to one of the most obvious STOP signs FBI sleuths should have heeded; namely, the fact that the FBI learned in January 2017 that the primary sub-source for Christopher Steele’s “dossier” disavowed it as misstated and exaggerated — basically rumor and speculation. No problem: the FBI investigation continued.

Mincing no words, Graham called the FBI investigation into alleged Trump campaign ties with Russia a “criminal enterprise” that got off the rails. (Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of such a conspiracy.) Sparks will fly on Wednesday as Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pursues the matter in more depth when Horowitz testifies before the committee. Graham emphasized yesterday that the general goal is to ensure that such a “criminal enterprise” does not happen again.

He added that one of the ways to prevent a recurrence is to make sure “those who took the law into their own hands need to pay a price.” Uh-oh. I cannot remember the last time leaders of the “national-security state” had to pay a price.

Barr: ‘Thinnest of Suspicions’

Barr took unusually strong public issue with Horowitz’s conclusion that there was adequate reason to mount an FBI investigation of the Trump campaign and suspected ties to Russia. Barr issued a formal statement asserting that the Horowitz report “now makes it clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”

U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr picked to lead what has now become a criminal investigation regarding how that FBI’s “intrusive investigation” was launched, issued his own formal statement of criticism, expressing disagreement with the IG’s findings as to the predication of the investigation and “how the FBI case opened.” Durham added that he had told the IG last month of this disagreement. In his statement yesterday, Durham spoke not of suspicions, but of evidence his ongoing investigation has already gathered “from other persons and entities both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.”

Evidence, Not Just Suspicions

Both Barr and Durham chose their words carefully, and so did former CIA Director John Brennan in his May 2017 congressional testimony about his suspicions that Trump’s campaign might have been colluding with the Russians. Soon the spotlight is likely to turn onto Brennan and his carefully parsed testimony, which fell considerably short of qualifying as a predicate for investigation (but played a key role anyway).

On May 23, 2017, Brennan told Congress:

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”

CNN’s coverage of Brennan’s testimony is even more revealing (of CNN’s bias) in retrospect.

Moreover, Brennan famously told Congress, he doesn’t deal with evidence. That was what Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy was wondering about, when he grilled the former CIA director, also on May 23, 2017, on what evidence he had provided to the FBI to catalyze its investigation of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion.

Brennan replied: “I don’t do evidence.”

The best Brennan could do was start out by repeating his well-rehearsed statement, later contradicted by Mueller’s report: “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” adding that “that required further investigation by the Bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.”

Media Treatment

Referring to the Horowitz report yesterday, Law Professor John Turley noted:

“Despite this shockingly damning report, much of the media is reporting only that Horowitz did not find it unreasonable to start the investigation, and ignoring a litany of false representations and falsifications of evidence to keep the secret investigation going. Nothing was found to support any of those allegations, and special counsel Robert Mueller also confirmed there was no support for collusion and conspiracy allegations repeated continuously for two years by many experts and members of Congress.”

And yet “debunking” is the name of the game. A New York Times headline this morning read, “Report on F.B.I. Russia Inquiry Finds Serious Errors but Debunks Anti-Trump Plot.” And an “analysis” article by Mark Mazzetti was titled: “Another Inquiry Doesn’t Back Up Trump’s Charges. So, on to the Next.”

Mazzetti writes:

“Engage in a choreographed campaign of presidential tweets, Fox News appearances and fiery congressional testimony to create expectations about finding proof of a “deep state” campaign against Mr. Trump. And then, when the proof does not emerge, skew the results and prepare for the next opportunity to execute the playbook.

“That opportunity has arrived in the form of an investigation by a Connecticut prosecutor [Durham] ordered this year by Attorney General William P. Barr — and the president and his allies are now predicting it will be the one to deliver damning evidence that the F.B.I., C.I.A. and even close American allies conspired against Mr. Trump in the 2016 election.”

Horowitz Report an ‘Appetizer?’

Mazzetti goes on to express doubt “that Mr. Durham will exhume any information that will fundamentally change the understanding of what happened in 2016.” Maybe, maybe not. It is a safe bet, though, that President Trump has better insight into this. According to Mazzetti, Trump recently had been playing down expectations about the Horowitz inquiry — indicating it was only an appetizer for what’s to come. “I do think the big report to wait for is going to be the Durham report,” he said. “That’s the one that people are really waiting for.”

The president may be expecting Mueller-inquiry-type vindication once Durham’s investigation is complete. If that proves to be the case and Trump receives post-impeachment acquittal from the Senate, as expected, he may be able to parlay that into four more years, a sobering thought.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer, then a CIA analyst for 27 years. He prepared and briefed the President’s Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and in retirement co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

December 11, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Just how bad was the FBI’s Russia FISA? 51 violations and 9 false statements

John Solomon Reports | December 9, 2019

To understand just how shoddy the FBI’s work was in securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant targeting the Trump campaign, you only need to read an obscure attachment to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report.

Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true.

The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.

A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: “Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is
inaccurate.”

For those who don’t speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.

To put that in perspective, former Trump aides Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos were convicted of making single false statements to the bureau. One went to jail already, and the other awaits sentencing.

The FBI made nine false statements to the court.

And the appendix shows the FBI made another nine factual assertions that did not match the supporting evidence in the file. In another words, the bureau was misleading on nine other occasions.

The vast majority of remaining Woods violations — 33 in total — involved failing to provide any evidence in the Woods procedure backing up assertion in the FISA warrant application.

That’s serious too since the sole purpose of the Wood procedures is to ensure all evidence cited in a FISA application is documented as accurate and reliable so it can be trusted by the courts.

December 10, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

‘Trump’s demeaning me!’ Lisa Page’s new victim narrative is just a media-backed PR move ahead of FBI misconduct report

By Michael Rectenwald | RT | December 3, 2019

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page’s interview isn’t about clawing back the dignity Donald Trump’s insults have denied her – it’s damage control before a likely damning DOJ report about the agency’s Russian collusion investigation.

In an interview published late Sunday in the Daily Beast, Page claimed that Trump’s “demeaning fake orgasm” enacted during an October rally in Minneapolis – and not Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s FBI misconduct investigation, to be made public in a week – prompted her to break a two-year silence.

Page tweeted the link to her Daily Beast interview Sunday night with a warning: “I’m done being quiet.” The interview cast Page as another victim of Trump’s “bullying,” which she described as “very intimidating” – the exact same phrase uttered by former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in her testimony during the congressional impeachment hearings.

“It’s like being punched in the gut,” Page said. “My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again. The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening.”

Page’s remarks also echoed Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings: “I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” Page lamented.

The word-for-word refrains are the trademarks of a concerted PR campaign choreographed by the anti-Trump establishment. The tired script features Trump as an unrestrained monster, who in every scene tries to intimidate his opponents, especially women. Trump is a misogynist, who therefore must also be a criminal and a traitor.

Page complained of the toll that Trump’s endless ridicule has taken on her:

“Like, when somebody makes eye contact with me on the Metro, I kind of wince, wondering if it’s because they recognize me, or are they just scanning the train like people do? It’s immediately a question of friend or foe? Or if I’m walking down the street or shopping and there’s somebody wearing Trump gear or a MAGA hat, I’ll walk the other way or try to put some distance between us because I’m not looking for conflict. Really, what I wanted most in this world is my life back.”

As if anyone would dare to wear a MAGA hat anywhere in urban America – other than among thousands of Trump fans attending a rally. As if Page is likely to meet a real “foe” of the permanent bureaucracy in the heart of Washington, DC.

Meanwhile, if Page sought to hide from attention, she sure picked a strange way to do it. News of her interview, in which she complained about getting way too much exposure, was carried by all the major media. It remained at the top of the Google News listings all day on Monday.

The purpose of Page’s timely interview was – as Page herself admitted in the interview – to “control the narrative.”

Page has been at the heart of controversy surrounding the Trump presidency ever since scandalous text messages between her and former FBI head of counterintelligence Peter Strzok exposed the couple’s extramarital affair and their mutual disdain for Trump and support for Hillary Clinton. The emails were reportedly sent to an FBI official by Strzok’s two-timed wife.

In one exchange concerning the presidential race, an apparently alarmed Page texted Strzok and asked if Trump had any chance of becoming president. Strzok answered: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” In another, Strzok alludes to an “insurance policy” against the unlikelihood of a Trump victory. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has claimed the insurance policy was the potential for the FBI to hack into the Trump campaign’s emails.

Page and Strzok worked on the FBI’s initial investigation into ‘Russian meddling’ in the 2016 election. At the same time, Strzok led a botched investigation, on which Page also worked, into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hacked private email server. Page and Strzok later worked together on the Special Counsel Robert Mueller team investigating unsubstantiated Trump ‘collusion’ with Russia. Page resigned and Strzok was fired when their partisan rancor and intimate relationship were revealed.

Will the public swallow this couple of smug plotters in their new role as stoic patriots? The Democratic establishment already has. Expect the furious media spinning to continue when the report is released next week.

Michael Rectenwald is the author of nine books, including the most recent, Google ArchipelagoHe was Professor of Liberal Arts at NYU from 2008 through 2019.

December 3, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , | Leave a comment

Here is What the Horowitz Report Should Conclude

By Larry C Johnson – Sic Semper Tyrannis – November 24, 2019

You do not have to wait for the Horowitz report. I can give you a preview of what he should have found if he conducted an honest audit. The following is not my opinion. It is based on the flood of information that has come out over the past two and a half-years surrounding the plot to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump. When you read these facts it is easy to understand how dishonest and corrupt the FBI were in presenting a FISA application to spy on Carter Page. Helen Keller could see this is wrong.

Let me take you through this piece-by-piece (except where noted I am quoting from the first FISA application).

Let’s start with the FBI claim that Carter Page was an “agent of a foreign government.”

The target of this application is Carter Page, a US person, and an agent of a foreign power, described in detail below. The status of the target was determined in or about October 2016 from information provided by the US Department of State.

What information did State supply? Information provided by the notorious Christopher Steele. The Washington Examiner’s Daniel Chaitin reported on this in May 2019:

Steele met Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec on Oct. 11, 2016, 10 days before the first warrant application was submitted, and admitted he was encouraged by a client, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, to get his research out before the 2016 election on Nov. 8, signaling a possible political motivation. The meeting was described in notes taken by Kavalec that were obtained by conservative group Citizens United through open-records litigation. The notes show that Kavalec believed at least some of Steele’s allegations to be false.

Government officials told the Hill that Kavalec informed FBI Special Agent Stephen Laycock about the meeting in an email eight days before the FISA warrant application was filed. Laycock, then the FBI’s section chief for Eurasian counterintelligence, quickly forwarded what he learned to Peter Strzok, the special agent who was leading the Trump-Russia investigation.

There it is. Not an assumption. A fact. State passed a false report from Christopher Steele to the FBI and the FBI ran with it. A competent FBI Agent would have asked about the identity of the source of the information. Either the FBI failed to do this or it lied in the FISA application. The FBI had a responsibility to note that Steele was the sole source for the claim that Page was an “agent of a foreign power.”

The application reiterates its basis for this assertion:

This application targets Carter Page. The FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian Government to undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election in violation of US criminal law.

This is based on the false report from Christopher Steele as well as “cooked” intelligence provided by CIA Director Brennan. Brennan was passing off a low level Russian bureaucrat as a high level source with direct access to Putin. That was a lie.

The application then tries to bolster the lie by attributing the FBI’s credulity by citing the US intelligence community (an ironic oxymoron).

In addition, according to an October 7, 2016 Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security (Election Security Joint Statement), the USIC is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The Election Security Joint Statement states that the recent disclosures of e-mails on; among others, sites like WikiLeaks are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. According to the Election Security Joint Statement, these thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process; activity that is not new to Moscow – the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. The Election Security Joint Statement states that, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.

This was a lie. The US Intelligence Community aka USIC had made no such formal determination. If they had there would have been a written document. There was no written document and no evidence that “all 17 intelligence agencies” had coordinated and approved such a document. The Intelligence Community Assessment would not be published until January 2017 and only the FBI, the CIA and the NSA signed off on that piece of fantasy.

After stating that Carter was a Trump foreign policy advisor the FBI insists in the application:

The FBI believes that the Russian Government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with Candidate #l’s campaign (i.e. Trump).

That belief was based on the bogus information passed to State Department by Christopher Steele. It was a lie. They had no evidence and, more importantly, obtained no validation as a result of spying authorized by this outrageous application.

The FBI continues with this charade by outlining Page’s previous cooperation in helping gather evidence that led to the indictment of two Russian intel officers in January 2015. Worth noting that Bill Priestrap, who was now running FBI’s Counter Intelligence operations from FBI Headquarters, was the supervising agent in that operation and knew all about the role Page played in helping get the Russians. But the FBI put this into the application merely to foster the perception that Carter had an in with the Russians.

The FBI then disingenuously introduces Christopher Steele (i.e., Confidential Human Source #1) as the source for evidence about Page’s supposedly nefarious activities:

According to open source information, in July 2016, Page traveled to Russia and delivered the commencement address at the New Economic School.7 In addition to giving this address, the FBI has learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials during this trip. First, according to information provided by an FBI confidential-human source (Source #1), reported that Page had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin, who is the President of Rosneft [a Russian energy company] and a close associate to Russian President Putin. [Steele] reported that, during the meeting, Page and Sechin discussed future bilateral energy cooperation and the prospects for an associated move to lift Ukraine-related Western sanctions against Russia.

This was a lie designed to bamboozle the FISA court Judge. When you look at the footnote for Christopher Steele, we catch the FBI in another monster lie:

and the FBI is unaware of any derogatory information pertaining to Source #1.

The FBI fired Steele as a compensated human source within days of this FISA application. Getting fired for leaking information to the press without the approval of the FBI is “DEROGATORY INFORMATION. Why did the FBI lie on this critical detail? Let us hope Horowitz addresses this.

The footnote related to Steele also contains this disingenuous whopper:

Source #1, who now owns a foreign business/financial intelligence firm, was approached by an identified US person, who indicated to Source #1 that a US-based law firm had hired the identified US person to conduct research regarding Candidate #l’s ties to Russia (the identified US person and Source #1 have a long-standing business relationship). The identified US person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified US person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #l’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified US person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.

The FBI knew that Glenn Simpson was working for Hillary Clinton. They failed to mention this. Instead, the FBI opted for the white lie of pretending that Steele, under Simpson’s guidance, was just doing opposition research. The FBI can pretend they were just incompetent, but we now know that they were fully aware of Simpson’s ties to the Clinton effort using the law firm as a cut-out.

The FBI continued feed out the lies of the Steele Dossier pretending they were verified facts:

Divyekin [who is assessed to be Igor Nikolayevich Divyekin] had met secretly with Page and that their agenda for the meeting included Divyekin raising a dossier or “kompromat” that the Kremlin possessed on Candidate #2 [i.e., Clinton] and the possibility of it being released to Candidate #l’s campaign.

This is an unverified claim. Regular Americans know it simply as another damn lie.

Then the FBI turns its attention to creating the propaganda meme that Donald Trump had cut a deal with Putin to lift all sanctions and hurt Ukraine. This is breathtaking in light of what we now know about real Ukrainian efforts to hurt Trump:

July 2016 article in an identified news organization reported that Candidate #1’s campaign worked behind the scenes to make sure Political Party #1’s platform would not call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Political Party #l’s foreign policy leaders in Washington. The article stated that Candidate #l’s campaign sought “to make sure that [Political Party #1] would ot pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.” Further, an August 2016 article published by an identified news organization characterized Candidate #1 as sounding like a supporter of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in September (2015], adopted a “milder” tone regarding Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The August 2016 article further reported that Candidate #1 said Candidate #1 might recognize Crimea as Russian territory and lift punitive US sanctions against Russia. The article opined that while the reason for Candidate #l’s shift was not clear, Candidate #l’s more conciliatory words, which contradict Political Party #1’s official platform, follow Candidate #l’s recent association with several people sympathetic to Russian influence in Ukraine, including foreign policy advisor Carter Page.

This was false information (i.e., A LIE) being fed to a pliant media by Clinton campaign officials and supporters. And the FBI buys it hook line and sinker.

The FBI then brings Michael Isikoff into the act, who also is passing along information obtained from Christopher Steele. This is nothing but chutzpah by the Bureau. Shameful:

About September 23, 2016, an identified news organization published an article (September 23rd News Article), which was written by the news organization’s Chief Investigative Correspondent, alleging that US intelligence officials are investigating Page with respect to suspected efforts by the Russian Government to influence the US Presidential election.· According to the September 23rd News Article, US officials received intelligence reports that when Page was in Moscow in July 2016 to deliver the above-noted commencement address at the New Economic School, he met with two senior Russian officials. The September 23rd News Article stated that a “well-placed Western intelligence source” told the news organization that Page met with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian deputy minister who is now the executive chairman of Rosneft. At their alleged meeting, Sechin raised the issue of the lifting of sanctions with Page.

According to the September 23rd News Article, the Western intellig nce source also reported that US intelligence agencies received reports that Page met with another top Putin aide – Igor Divyekm,, a former Russian security official who now serves as deputy chief for internal policy and is believed by US officials to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the US election.

The FBI is pretending that this is another source to corroborate Steele. It is not. It is Christopher Steele talking to Isikoff.

The FBI at least made the pretense of giving Carter Page a chance to deny the allegations and he did in the strongest terms possible:

On or about September 25, 2016, Page sent a letter to the FBI Director. In this letter, Page made reference to the accusations in the September 23rd News Article and denied them. Page stated thatthe source of the accusations is nothing more than completely false media reports and that he did not meet this year with any sanctioned official in Russia. Page also stated that he would be willing to discuss any “final” questions the FBI may have.

The rest of the application is blacked out and presumably contains the FBI’s explanation of why they believed Carter Page was lying. But it was the FBI who was lying. If those blacked out portions are declassified then we will almost certainly see that the FBI was claiming it had multiple sources contradicting Page when in fact, it only had one–Christopher Steele, a retired British intelligence officer.

I draw this conclusion based on the FBI’s stated conclusion in the application:

(U) As discussed above, the FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian Government . . .Based on the foregoing facts and circumstances the FBI submits that there is probable cause to believe that Page [and others whose names are blacked out, probably Michael Flynn] knowingly engage in clandestine intelligence activities (other than intelligence gathering activities) for or on behalf of such foreign power, or knowingly conspires with other persons to engage in such activities and, therefore, is an agent of a foreign power as defined by 50 USC. § 1801(b)(2)(E).

The American people must wake up and understand how dishonest and stupid the FBI was in writing and submitting this baseless application to the FISA court. And we are not talking about low level flunkies who changed an email. Jim Comey signed off on these lies. Andrew McCabe signed off on this lies.

I will reiterate, if Inspector General Horowitz fails to highlight these clear and pervasive lies then it will be up to Attorney General Barr and Prosecutor John Durham to set things right.

November 25, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , , | 3 Comments

The Civilian Government Doesn’t Owe Deference to Military Officers

By Ryan McMaken – Mises Institute – 11/20/2019

On Tuesday, Congressional impeachment hearings exposed an interesting facet of the current battle between Donald Trump and the so-called deep state: namely, that many government bureaucrats now fancy themselves as superior to the elected civilian government.

In an exchange between Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Alexander Vindman, a US Army Lt. Colonel, Vindman insisted that Nunes address him by his rank.

After being addressed as “Mr. Vindman,” Vindman retorted “Ranking Member, it’s Lt. Col. Vindman, please.”

Throughout social media, anti-Trump forces, who have apparently now become pro-military partisans, sang Vindman’s praises, applauding him for putting Nunes in his place.

In a properly functioning government — with a proper view of military power — however, no one would tolerate a military officer lecturing a civilian on how to address him “correctly.”

It is not even clear that Nunes was trying to “dis” Vindman, given that junior officers have historically been referred to as “Mister” in a wide variety of times and place. It is true that higher-ranking officers like Vindman are rarely referred to as “Mister,” but even if Nunes was trying to insult Vindman, the question remains: so what?

Military modes of address are for the use of military personnel, and no one else. Indeed, Vindman was forced to retreat on this point when later asked by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) if he always insists on civilians calling him by his rank. Vindman blubbered that since he was wearing his uniform (for no good reason, mind you) he figured civilians ought to refer to him by his rank.

Of course, my position on this should not be construed as a demand that people give greater respect to members of Congress. If a private citizen wants to go before Congress and refer to Nunes or any other member as “hey you,” that’s perfectly fine with me. But the important issue here is we’re talking about private citizens — i.e., the people who pay the bills — and not military officers who must be held as subordinate to the civilian government at all times.

After all, there’s a reason that the framers of the US Constitution went to great pains to ensure the military powers remained subject to the will of the civilian government. Eighteenth and nineteenth century Americans regarded a standing army as a threat to their freedoms. Federal military personnel were treated accordingly.

Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states that Congress shall have the power “to raise and support Armies …” and “to provide and maintain a Navy.” Article II, Section 2 states, “The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States when called into the actual Service of the United States.” The authors of the constitution were careful to divide up civilian power of the military, and one thing was clear: the military was to have no autonomy in policymaking. Unfortunately, early Americans did not anticipate the rise of America’s secret police in the form of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other “intelligence” agencies. Had they, it is likely the anti-federalists would have written more into the Bill of Rights to prevent organizations like the NSA from shredding the fourth amendment, as has been the case.

The inversion of the civilian-military relationship that is increasingly on display in Washington is just another symptom of the growing power of often-secret and unaccountable branches of military agencies and intelligence agencies that exercise so much power both in Washington and around the world.

November 21, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Russophobia | , , , | 3 Comments

Rethinking National Security: CIA and FBI Are Corrupt, but What About Congress?

By Philip Giraldi | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 21, 2019

The developing story about how the US intelligence and national security agencies may have conspired to influence and possibly even reverse the results of the 2016 presidential election is compelling, even if one is disinclined to believe that such a plot would be possible to execute. Not surprisingly perhaps there has been considerable introspection among former and current officials who have worked in those and related government positions, many of whom would agree that there is an urgent need for considerable restructuring and reining in of the 17 government agencies that have some intelligence or law enforcement function. Most would also agree that much of the real damage that has been done has been the result of the unending global war on terror launched by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, which has showered the agencies with resources and money while also politicizing their leadership and freeing them from restraints on their behavior.

If the tens of billions of dollars lavished on the intelligence community together with a “gloves off” approach towards oversight that allowed them to run wild had produced good results, it might be possible to argue that it was all worth it. But the fact is that intelligence gathering has always been a bad investment even if it is demonstrably worse at the present. One might argue that the CIA’s notorious Soviet Estimate prolonged the Cold War and that the failure to connect dots and pay attention to what junior officers were observing allowed 9/11 to happen. And then there was the empowerment of al-Qaeda during the Soviet-Afghan war followed by failure to penetrate the group once it began to carry out operations.

More recently there have been Guantanamo, torture in black prisons, renditions of terror suspects to be tortured elsewhere, killing of US citizens by drone, turning Libya into a failed state and terrorist haven, arming militants in Syria, and, of course, the Iraqi alleged WMDs, the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history. And the bad stuff happened in bipartisan fashion, under Democrats and Republicans, with both neocons and liberal interventionists all playing leading roles. The only one punished for the war crimes was former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed some of what was going on.

Colonel Pat Lang, a colleague and friend who directed the Defense Intelligence Agency HUMINT (human intelligence) program after years spent on the ground in special ops and foreign liaison, thinks that strong medicine is needed and has initiated a discussion based on the premise that the FBI and CIA are dysfunctional relics that should be dismantled, as he puts it “burned to the ground,” so that the federal government can start over again and come up with something better.

Lang cites numerous examples of “incompetence and malfeasance in the leadership of the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” to include the examples cited above plus the failure to predict the collapse of the Soviet Union. On the domestic front, he cites his personal observation of efforts by the Department of Justice and the FBI to corruptly “frame” people tried in federal courts on national security issues as well as the intelligence/law enforcement community conspiracy to “get Trump.”

Colonel Lang asks “Tell me, pilgrims, why should we put up with such nonsense? Why should we pay the leaders of these agencies for the privilege of having them abuse us? We are free men and women. Let us send these swine to their just deserts in a world where they have to work hard for whatever money they earn.” He then recommends stripping CIA of its responsibility for being the lead agency in spying as well as in covert action, which is a legacy of the Cold War and the area in which it has demonstrated a particular incompetence. As for the FBI, it was created by J. Edgar Hoover to maintain dossiers on politicians and it is time that it be replaced by a body that operates in a fashion “more reflective of our collective nation[al] values.”

Others in the intelligence community understandably have different views. Many believe that the FBI and CIA have grown too large and have been asked to do too many things unrelated to national security, so there should be a major reduction-in-force (RIF) followed by the compulsory retirement of senior officers who have become too cozy with and obligated to politicians. The new-CIA should collect information, period, what it was founded to do in 1947, and not meddle in foreign elections or engage in regime change. The FBI should provide only police services that are national in nature and that are not covered by the state and local jurisdictions. And it should operate in as transparent a fashion as possible, not as a national secret police force.

But the fundamental problem may not be with the police and intelligence services themselves. There are a lot of idiots running around loose in Washington. Witness for example the impeachment hearings ludicrous fact free opening statement by House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (with my emphasis) “In 2014, Russia invaded a United States ally, Ukraine, to reverse that nation’s embrace of the West, and to fulfill Vladimir Putin’s desire to rebuild a Russian empire.”

And the press is no better, note the following excerpt from The New York Times lead editorial on the hearings, including remarks of the two State Department officers who testified, on the following day: “They came across not as angry Democrats or Deep State conspirators, but as men who have devoted their lives to serving their country, and for whom defending Ukraine against Russian aggression is more important to the national interest than any partisan jockeying…

“At another point, Mr. Taylor said he had been critical of the Obama administration’s reluctance to supply Ukraine with anti-tank missiles and other lethal defensive weapons in its fight with Russia, and that he was pleased when the Trump administration agreed to do so

“What clearly concerned both witnesses wasn’t simply the abuse of power by the president, but the harm it inflicted on Ukraine, a critical ally under constant assault by Russian forces. ‘Even as we sit here today, the Russians are attacking Ukrainian soldiers in their own country and have been for the last four years…’ Mr. Taylor said.”

Schiff and the Times should get their facts straight. And so should the two American foreign service officers who were clearly seeing the situation only from the Ukrainian perspective, a malady prevalent among US diplomats often described as “going native.” They were pushing a particular agenda, i.e. possible war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine, in furtherance of a US national interest that they fail to define. One of them, George Kent, eulogized the Ukrainian militiamen fighting the Russians as the modern day equivalent of the Massachusetts Minutemen in 1776, not exactly a neutral assessment, and also euphemized Washington-provided lethal offensive weapons as “security assistance.”

Another former intelligence community friend Ray McGovern has constructed a time line of developments in Ukraine which demolishes the establishment view on display in Congress relating to the alleged Russian threat. First of all, Ukraine was no American ally in 2014 and is no “critical ally” today. Also, the Russian reaction to western supported rioting in Kiev, a vital interest, only came about after the United States spent $5 billion destabilizing and then replacing the pro-Kremlin government. Since that time Moscow has resumed control of the Crimea, which is historically part of Russia, and is active in the Donbas region which has a largely Russian population.

It should really be quite simple. The national security state should actually be engaged in national security. Its size and budget should be commensurate with what it actually does, nothing more. It should not be roaming the world looking for trouble and should instead only respond to actual threats. And it should operate with oversight. If Congress is afraid to do it, set up a separate body that is non-partisan and actually has the teeth to do the job. If the United States of America comes out of the process as something like a normal nation the entire world will be a much happier place.

November 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | 4 Comments

John Brennan’s CIA Trump Task Force

Could it become Obamagate?

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 12, 2019

There is considerable evidence that the American system of government may have been victimized by an illegal covert operation organized and executed by the U.S. intelligence and national security community. Former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director Jim Comey appear to have played critical leadership roles in carrying out this conspiracy and they may not have operated on their own. Almost certainly what they may have done would have been explicitly authorized by the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and his national security team.

It must have seemed a simple operation for the experienced CIA covert action operatives. To prevent the unreliable and unpredictable political upstart Donald Trump from being nominated as the GOP presidential candidate or even elected it would be necessary to create suspicion that he was the tool of a resurgent Russia, acting under direct orders from Vladimir Putin to empower Trump and damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Even though none of the alleged Kremlin plotters would have expected Trump to actually beat Hillary, it was plausible to maintain that they would have hoped that a weakened Clinton would be less able to implement the anti-Russian agenda that she had been promoting. Many observers in both Russia and the U.S. believed that if she had been elected armed conflict with Moscow would have been inevitable, particularly if she moved to follow her husband’s example and push to have both Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, which Russia would have regarded as an existential threat.

Trump’s surprising victory forced a pivot, with Clapper, Brennan and Comey adjusting the narrative to make it appear that Trump the traitor may have captured the White House due to help from the Kremlin, making him a latter-day Manchurian Candidate. The lesser allegations of Russian meddling were quickly elevated to devastating assertions that the Republican had only won with Putin’s assistance.

No substantive evidence for the claim of serious Russian meddling has ever been produced in spite of years of investigation, but the real objective was to plant the story that would plausibly convince a majority of Americans that the election of Donald Trump was somehow illegitimate.

The national security team acted to protect their candidate Hillary Clinton, who represented America’s Deep State. In spite of considerable naysaying, the Deep State is real, not just a wild conspiracy theory. Many Americans nevertheless do not believe that the Deep State exists, that it is a politically driven media creation much like Russiagate itself was, but if one changes the wording a bit and describes the Deep State as the Establishment, with its political power focused in Washington and its financial center in New York City, the argument that there exists a cohesive group of power brokers who really run the country becomes much more plausible.

The danger posed by the Deep State, or, if you choose, the Establishment, is that it wields immense power but is unelected and unaccountable. It also operates through relationships that are not transparent and as the media is part of it, there is little chance that its activity will be exposed.

Nevertheless, some might even argue that having a Deep State is a healthy part of American democracy, that it serves as a check or corrective element on a political system that has largely been corrupted and which no longer serves national interests. But that assessment surely might have been made before it became clear that many of the leaders of the nation’s intelligence and security agencies are no longer the people’s honorable servants they pretend to be. They have been heavily politicized since at least the time of Ronald Reagan and have frequently succumbed to the lure of wealth and power while identifying with and promoting the interests of the Deep State.

Indeed, a number of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directors have implicitly or even directly admitted to the existence of a Deep State that has as one of its roles keeping presidents like Donald Trump in check. Most recently, John McLaughlin, responding to a question about Donald Trump’s concern over Deep State involvement in the ongoing impeachment process, said unambiguously “Well, you know, thank God for the ‘deep state’… With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else. This is the institution within the U.S. government… is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth. It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth — it’s engraved in marble in the lobby.”

Well, John’s dedication to truth is exemplary but how does he explain his own role in support of the lies being promoted by his boss George “slam dunk” Tenet that led to the war against Iraq, the greatest foreign policy disaster ever experienced by the United States? Or Tenet’s sitting in the U.N. directly behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the debate over Iraq, providing cover and credibility for what everyone inside the system knew to be a bundle of lies? Or his close friend and colleague Michael Morell’s description of Trump as a Russian agent, a claim that was supported by zero evidence and which was given credibility only by Morell’s boast that “I ran the CIA.”

Beyond that, more details have been revealed demonstrating exactly how Deep State associates have attempted, with considerable success, to subvert the actual functioning of American democracy. Words are one thing, but acting to interfere in an electoral process or to undermine a serving president is a rather more serious matter.

It is now known that President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. Rather than working against genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that still surfaces regularly to this day. Working with James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Brennan fabricated the narrative that “Russia had interfered in the 2016 election.” Brennan and Clapper promoted that tale even though they knew very well that Russia and the United States have carried out a broad array of covert actions against each other, including information operations, for the past seventy years, but they pretended that what happened in 2016 was qualitatively and substantively different even though the “evidence” produced to support that claim was and still is weak to nonexistent.

The Russian “election interference” narrative went on steroids on January 6, 2017, shortly before Trump was inaugurated, when an “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA) orchestrated by Clapper and Brennan was published. The banner headline atop The New York Times, itself an integral part of the Deep State, on the following day set the tone for what was to follow: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.”

With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and Brennan were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by “all 17 intelligence agencies” (as first claimed by Hillary Clinton). After several months, however Clapper revealed that the preparers of the ICA were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA, and NSA. He explained rather unconvincingly during an interview on May 28, 2017, that “the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique,” adding later that “It’s in their DNA.”

Task Force Trump was kept secret within the Agency itself because the CIA is not supposed to spy on Americans. Its staff was pulled together by invitation-only. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and administrative personnel were recruited, presumably based on their political reliability. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did because it came with promises of promotion and other rewards.

And this was not a CIA-only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force with the approval of then Director James Comey. Former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele’s FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been one of those detailed to the Trump Task Force. Steele, of course, prepared the notorious dossier that was surfaced shortly before Donald Trump took office. It included considerable material intended to tie Trump to Russia, information that was in many cases fabricated or unsourced.

So, what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities that would implicate Trump and his associates in illegal activity. And there is evidence that John Brennan himself would contact his counterparts in allied intelligence services to obtain their discreet cooperation, something they would be inclined to do in collegial fashion, ignoring whatever reservations they might have about spying on a possible American presidential candidate.

Trump Task Force members could have also tasked the National Security Agency (NSA) to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in complicated covert actions that would further set up and entrap Trump and his staff in questionable activity, such as the targeting of associate George Papadopoulos. If he is ever properly interviewed, Maltese citizen Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed him on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. It is highly likely that Azra Turk, the woman who met with George Papadopoulos, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, sometimes using press or social media placements to disseminate fabrications about Trump and his associates. Information operations is a benign-sounding euphemism for propaganda fed through the Agency’s friends in the media, and computer network operations can be used to create false linkages and misdirect inquiries. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 may have been a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what has been learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them secretly after he was seconded to the National Security Council. All the CIA and FBI officers involved in the Task Force had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, but nevertheless were involved in a conspiracy to first denigrate and then possibly bring down a legally elected president. That effort continues with repeated assertions regarding Moscow’s malevolent intentions for the 2020 national elections. Some might reasonably regard the whole Brennan affair, to include its spear carriers among the current and retired national security state leadership, as a case of institutionalized treason, and it inevitably leads to the question “What did Obama know?”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

November 12, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

De Facto Collapse of Case Against Free Joseon?

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 08.11.2019

After the first suspects in the case involving an attack on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid were identified, the author hoped that this would set the wheels in motion. However, since spring 2019 there have not been any news reports about it, and the ones published have been disappointing.

The only person, arrested in connection with the case in April 2019, was Christopher Ahn, a 38-year-old American of Korean descent and a former marine. He was released on $1.3 million bail, and was meant to wear an ankle bracelet and remain at an “undisclosed location”, which he was allowed to leave only to go to a medical clinic or to church.

We would like to remind our readers that Christopher Ahn and the others accused of the attack on the DPRK Embassy, had taken diplomatic personnel hostage, and had beaten up and handcuffed embassy staff before taking a civil servant of the highest rank to the basement and urging him to defect from North Korea. The robbers escaped from the building in embassy vehicles, having taken two thumb drives, two computers and two hard drives with them. They later shared the contents of these devices with the FBI under mutually agreed terms of confidentiality.

Some of the staff were tortured. Hence, in accordance with Spanish laws, the attackers face a 10-year sentence for the crime of robbery by violence, intimidation or threat, for torture and for being a member of a criminal organization. Their involvement was proven by evidence collected by the police at the scene of the crime, medical reports, footage from surveillance cameras and statements given by the staff of the DPRK Embassy.

According to Linkedin, Christopher Ahn, currently employed by Digital Strategy & Marketing Consulting, served in the US marines for 6 years. His responsibilities included monitoring prisoners in American jails in Fallujah and taking part in other intelligence missions.

Officially, Christopher Ahn was meant to remain under house arrest until further progress in the investigation was made and his potential extradition to Spain. However, Magistrate Judge Jean Rosenbluth said that Ahn’s family and friends risked losing the money paid as bail if the suspect escaped. And while making her decision public, she said the following phrase, which could appear to have a dual meaning to any conspiracy theorist: “I have spent a lot of time reading about you and I trust that you will do the right thing.” Jean Rosenbluth also added that she had seen evidence from US authorities suggesting that the DPRK government posed a risk to Christopher Ahn’s life. And although it is unusual to release someone who faces extradition on bail, her order to do so stated: “The Court could find no other case in which most of the evidence came from representatives of a government with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations.”

The leader of Free Joseon, Adrian Hong, is still on the run as he “fears for his safety.” The U.S. Marshals Service believes that he could be armed and dangerous. When law enforcement agents came to arrest him, he was not in his apartment. And his lawyer stated that he did not know where his client was at the time. In fact, CNN has publicized a video which shows six police officers entering the flat and shouting “Police!” before conducting the search. Was this a covert warning by chance?

In addition, U.S. citizen Samuel Ryu and South Korean Wooram Lee, whose whereabouts are unknown, are also involved in the case.

However, another individual is of even greater interest. According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Judge José de la Mata, of Spain’s High Court, issued the fifth international arrest warrant against Charles Ryu (or Cheol Ryu), a high-profile North Korean defector who was only recently identified as linked with the raid on the embassy.

24-year-old Charles Ryu is a U.S. citizen and well-known activist, who, according to NK News, earlier worked for the nonprofit organization Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). Cheol Ryu became a more public figure in 2018, when he began to tell media outlets about his escape from the DPRK as a child and his new life in the United States. An active social media user, Cheol Ryu visited South Korea in January 2019, and in March of the same year, he began a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a documentary about his experiences. He has said that he escaped from North Korea twice, when he was 14 and 16 years of age, and that his mother had died of starvation when he was 11. For nine months of his life (probably after his first failed attempt to escape), Cheol Ryu was held in a North Korean detention center, where he was “ordered to carry out forced labor and later worked in a coal mine.”

After his escape, he settled in the United States and later on became a U.S. citizen. NK News reported that LiNK CEO Hannah Song made the following statement about Cheol Ryu (who finished his internship with the organization in November 2018): “While working with us, he was a genuinely passionate advocate for the North Korean people. It appears that he was contacted by Adrian Hong and, unbeknownst to our organization, recruited to be involved in Free Joseon’s activities after leaving LiNK.”

United States Department of Justice official “declined to comment when asked for more details about Ryu’s case, or whether the U.S. would comply with Spain’s requests for his extradition.” However, there are rumors that Cheol Ryu was identified as a suspect when he was caught on camera entering the embassy, and that a number of appeals made by Free Joseon were written by him.

In the meantime, Free Joseon, which portrays itself as “government-in-exile” for North Korea, continues to publicize various appeals from time to time. They are then re-stated by lawyer Lee Wolosky: “It is completely unprecedented, and extremely sad and unfortunate, that the Department of Justice is — for the first time ever — executing arrest warrants against U.S. citizens based on criminal complaints of North Korea, and based on the accounts of North Korean witnesses who we know not to be credible.” He has also said that it was dangerous to release any information about the organization because then Pyongyang death squads would use this against it. There are also appeals to Washington to decline the extradition request from the Spanish government as there is a possibility that Madrid would hand over the suspects to the DPRK, where they would be executed.

Lee Wolosky openly refers to his clients as heroes, who deserve “much better treatment” and Free Joseon as the “magnet for defectors, who contact them in a variety of ways in all places around the globe”.

“Let these men go back to serving their country, the United States, and to work toward a free and democratic North Korea as they have been doing. Let them go back to their families and let them go back to their service,” the lawyer has said.

Christopher Ahn’s other lawyer Naeun Rim said in an interview: “This case continues to unnecessarily endanger the life of an American veteran based on the statements of North Korean officials who lack all credibility.” Moreover, he believes that if his client was to go to Spain, he would be within reach of North Korean authorities. In an interview with CNN Naeun Rim said: “There are people on the ground who are connected to the North Korean government, they can reach out to people in Spain if they want to commit a crime or harm somebody.” And since DPRK agents are most likely “in touch with people in the underworld, in Spain,” they “would have no trouble finding their way into a Spanish jail if Mr. Ahn were to be detained there”.

Hence, although the investigation revealed some interesting information, the case has essentially collapsed. After all, the suspects in this case are being sought by authorities but not very actively or they were released on bail and, in fact, disappeared. U.S. Department of Justice and Department of State have refused to comment on the case.

The reason for this behavior is clear, neither the anti-North Korean lobby nor the law enforcement agencies view these people as criminals. And this means that these anti-DPRK terrorists could still stage a provocation of equal magnitude to the raid on the embassy or the murder of Kim Jong-nam that, in the author’s opinion, they are responsible for.

Konstantin Asmolov, Ph.D, is aChief Research Fellow of the Center for Korean Studies, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences.

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Growing Indicators of Brennan’s CIA Trump Task Force

By Larry C Johnson | Sic Semper Tyrannus | November 2, 2019

The average American has no idea how alarming is the news that former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

This was not a simple gathering of a small number of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A “Task Force” is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bringing case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project. But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here’s a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958. The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit “in the field”, i.e. deployed around the world.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA “Mission Centers” (that’s the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? I am told by a knowledgeable source that Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. It was an invitation only Task Force. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

This was not a CIA only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force. We have some clues that Christopher Steele’s FBI handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been detailed to the Trump Task Force (see here).

So what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities. Task Force members could task NSA to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in covert action, such as targeting George Papadopoulos. Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. I think it is highly likely that the honey pot that met with George Papadopoulos, a woman named Azra Turk, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what we have learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them.

When I described this to one friend, a retired CIA Chief of Station, his first response was, “My God, that’s illegal.” We then reminisced about another illegal operation carried out under the auspices of the CIA Central American Task Force back in the 1980s. That became known to Americans as the Iran Contra scandal.

I sure hope that John Durham and his team are looking at this angle. If true it marks a new and damning indictment of the corruption of the CIA. Rather than spying on genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of Putin.

November 3, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Failed FBI Plot to Paint Trump Doing Deals with Putin

Felix Sater
By Larry C. Johnson | Sic Semper Tyrannis | October 31, 2019

To appreciate the lies and corruption that are the foundation of the conspiracy to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump by the FBI, the CIA and the DNI, one need only look at how Robert Mueller lied about FBI informants who were targeting the Trump team.

Let us look specifically at Felix Sater. Felix Sater has been a fully signed up Confidential Human Source for the FBI since 1998. His original plea deal was signed off on by Mueller’s deputy, Andrew Weismann. But you would not know any of this if you relied solely on the Mueller Report.

Here is how Mueller portrays Sater:

In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater, a New York based real estate advisor, contacted Michael Cohen, then-executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump. Sater had previously worked with the Trump Organization and advised it on a number of domestic and international projects. Sater had explored the possibility of a Trump Tower project in Moscow while working with the Trump Organization and therefore knew of the organization’s general interest in completing a deal there.

This is fundamentally dishonest. Sater was more than a mere “real estate advisor” who had previously worked with Trump. He was and is a fully signed up FBI Confidential Human Source. Not my opinion. It is a fact.

An excellent article by Newsweek reporter Bill Powell, Donald Trump Associate Felix Sater Is Linked to the Mob and the CIA—What’s His Role in the Russia Investigation?, provides an excellent review of Sater’s history and involvement with the FBI. One of the surprising revelations from Powell is that Felix Sater was a childhood friend of Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer. Let that sink in for a moment. The FBI informant, Felix Sater, was a long time friend of Cohen.

Sater was playing a role scripted by the FBI and deliberately designed to feed the meme that Trump was dealing with the Russians.

The covert op to paint Trump as a Russian stooge was not left to Sater alone. Christopher Steele, a British spy who was hired by Fusion GPS, conveniently produced a report insisting that the Russians were working overtime to get Trump in bed with them on “lucrative real estate deals.” The Steele report dated 20 June 2016 makes the following claims:

Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years. . . .

In terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years (see more below). . . .

The Kremlin’s cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.

Pay attention. Who offered Trump the deal in Moscow? FELIX SATER. Was he a Russian agent? No. He was the FBI’s Joe.

If the Steele Dossier was true, Trump should have had multiple offers for projects on in Russia, especially Moscow. Steele claims Putin’s people were feeding Trump information and opportunity. So where is the evidence of such activity? There is none. Just Felix Sater, FBI snitch.

Robert Mueller tried in vain to advance the lie that Trump was doing deals in Moscow. His report states:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov’s purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Who was pushing the project in Moscow? FELIX SATER. Not Michael Cohen and certainly not Donald Trump. Sater was the instigator. At no time did he testify that he was directed by Trump or anyone else in the Trump organization to reachout to the Russians. And don’t forget what Christopher Steele claimed—the Russians were in a frenzy supposedly to offer Trump lucrative deals. That was and is a monumental lie.

Sater was and is an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. We know without a doubt that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater’s status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012 (you can read the letter confirming Sater’s status as an FBI snitch here). Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller’s Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business. Sater was used multiple times in the next decade by the FBI to make cases against Russian spies and mobsters.

How could Robert Mueller neglect to mention this critical fact? This was not the oversight of a senile old man. It was deliberate obfuscation.

The question that prosecutor Robert Durham needs to ask is who directed Sater to pitch the Trump team in September 2015 to pursue a deal in Moscow? The answer probably lies in Sater’s FD-1023s. A 1023 is a report that an FBI agent must file every time he meets with a Confidential Human Source. This was an orchestrated attempt to set up Donald Trump as a Russian stooge. But it did not start in July 2016 as the FBI falsely claims. It started in September 2015. Who authorized this?

October 31, 2019 Posted by | Deception | , , | Leave a comment

From Russiagate to Ukrainegate: An Impeachment Inquiry

By Renée Parsons | OffGuardian | October 30, 2019

As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation’s most trusted purveyors of truth.

Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil.  In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.

The Inspector General’s Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham’s probe into the origin of the FBI’s counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.

The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.

NBC suggests that the Barr investigation is a ‘mysterious’ review “amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis” while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to “deliver a political victory for President Trump.”  The Times misleads its readers with:

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it.”

… when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr “owes the Committee an explanation” since the committee is completing a “three-year bipartisan investigation” that has “found nothing to justify” Barr’s expanded effort.

The Senator’s gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with “nothing” as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.

On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability “raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge” and that “the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage.”

Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.

There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the Barr-Durham investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a ‘small group’ within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Baker’s cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General’s FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.

As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.

As the agency’s chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they knew it.

His ‘cooperation’ can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.

In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker’s collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since ‘cooperation’ usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.

With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.

It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

In a recent CNN interview, when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:

I don’t know. I don’t think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President.”

One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for ‘cooperating’ along with Baker.

As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ‘connect the dots.”

With the addition of James Clapper’s DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.

Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law.  Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31

October 30, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | , , , | 2 Comments