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‘I Was Set Up’: Papadopoulos Tells Sputnik He Was Target of US, UK Intelligence

Sputnik – 24.04.2019

George Papadopoulos, former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the first person to plead guilty in the Russiagate investigation, told Sputnik Tuesday that he was targeted by UK and US intelligence to serve as a “patsy” who would ease their targeting of the Trump campaign.

“I was set up to become some sort of patsy in this conspiracy, which I believe was designed for two reasons: one was to initially cover up that I was being spied on for other reasons,” Papadopoulos told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Tuesday, “and two, to then use me and frame me to eventually undermine the Trump presidency and use me as some sort of conspiracy person that connects all the dots that never existed in the first place.”

In October 2017, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in what was the first guilty plea of those charged in the Russia probe. In the two years since, he has become a household name. A former volunteer foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, he came to the attention of the FBI regarding his contacts in 2016 related to US-Russian relations. In the end, he took a plea to the throwaway charge of making a false statement. He now has a book out called “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump.”

​Papadopoulos explained that in the summer of 2015, he went to Europe for work after his initial approach to the Trump campaign was rebuffed and Ben Carson’s campaign fell apart. When he was preparing to leave after Trump did eventually approach him with an offer of work, he was invited by Arvinder Sambei, a co-director of the London Center of International Law Practice, to a conference on the Link Campus University in Rome, where he could meet well-connected people that would help him in future political work with the Trump campaign.

It was in March 2016 at the Link Campus, a CIA spy school that trained Italian intelligence services, that he met a Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud, who offered to introduce Papadopoulos to Eurasian politicos, including in Russia, and to be a liaison between the Trump campaign and Russia.

It was this meeting, which Papadopoulos says he misreported the date of to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, that got him charged.

However, Papadopoulos said the Trump campaign was in general ambivalent and noncommittal about the idea of a foreign policy trip to Russia, which the adviser suggested in order to present image of worldliness and diplomatic credentials to US public, not to coordinate with Russia.

Papadopoulos said he never told the Trump campaign about Mifsud’s sudden revelations one night that the Russians ostensibly had “thousands” of Hillary Clinton’s emails, because he “never found this person credible.”

He noted that “in Europe there was open speculation that Hillary Clinton’s personal server had been hacked, so when Joseph Mifsud told me this information I thought he was validating a rumor, but then I was confused as to how he could have had inside information when this person couldn’t even introduce me to the Russian ambassador in London after I asked him to at least five times.” The former adviser said he “gossiped about it with the Greek foreign minister,” Nikos Kotzias, but never told Alexander Downer, then the Australian high commissioner to the UK, at a meeting at which Papadopoulos supposedly drunkenly blabbed about Russia having Clinton’s emails.

However, Papadopoulos told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that Downer requested the meeting with him and that he believed the diplomat was recording him, so he remained “very cognizant of my surroundings at that meeting” — suspicions he said were later vindicated by conversations with FBI agents.

Papadopoulos told Sputnik he thought he was set up by US intelligence as a “patsy.”

“I believe I had been under surveillance immediately upon joining the campaign. And then there was this understanding that I was trying to organize this meeting with Western intelligence asset Joseph Mifsud, and he drops this information in my lap, and they hoped that I would repeat it to the campaign, but I never did.”

The former adviser said he was emailed out of the blue by Stefan Halper seeking a report on Greek and Cypriot politics at Cambridge University, where Halper heads the Department of Politics and International Studies. However, when they met in Britain, Papadopoulos says the scholar berated his opinions and asked very open-ended and leading questions about him and the Trump campaign’s goals, which Papadopoulos forcefully rejected.

The adviser told Sputnik that when Halper asked those questions, he pulled out his phone “similarly to how Alexander Downer had done, so I suspected right away that he was spying or he was recording my conversation.” Indeed, Halper was outed by US media as an FBI informant in May 2018 and, as the Intercept reported at the time, had also worked as a CIA operative to illegally spy on President Jimmy Carter’s administration during the 1980 presidential election.

“The Reagan campaign — using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-vice-presidential candidate George H.W. Bush — got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration,” the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald wrote. “The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.”

Papadopoulos said Halper was a spy, used to try and frame him as well as to “spy on me for my ties to the Israeli and Cypriot energy business, which I’ve been told I had a FISA warrant issued on me for, and that’s why he paid me $3,000 and lured me to London, where the CIA has jurisdiction, not the FBI, and where MI6 has jurisdiction… obviously Stefan Halper has very close links to MI6,” he said. Papadopoulos noted that Downer and Mifsud also have “suspicious links” to both each other and to MI6, the British intelligence agency.

Papadopoulos said he didn’t speak out after being implicated because he had a gag order, but also the FBI threatened his girlfriend Simona, “because she knew too much about Joseph Mifsud and his connections to Italy,” and she was serving as his voice during that period.

“Without her I would’ve had no credibility,” he told Sputnik, “and I think that’s actually why the Mueller team arrested me in the savagelike manner that they did, the reason they had me under a gag order and why they had me under a sealed indictment the way that they did, because they never wanted any of this story ever coming out. But unfortunately for them, it is coming out, and my testimony has been used by the Republicans to help launch new investigations into the investigators.”

None of this, he noted, could have ever taken place without the initiative of the Obama administration and the cooperation of foreign governments.

April 24, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Conspiracy Against Trump

The Deep State plot to undermine the president

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • April 23, 2019

The real “deplorable” in today’s United States is the continuation of a foreign policy based on endless aggression to maintain Washington’s military dominance in parts of the world where Americans have no conceivable interest. Many voters backed Donald J. Trump because he committed himself to changing all that, but, unfortunately, he has reneged on his promise, instead heightening tension with major powers Russia and China while also threatening Iran and Venezuela on an almost daily basis. Now Cuba is in the crosshairs because it is allegedly assisting Venezuela. One might reasonably ask if America in its seemingly enduring role as the world’s most feared bully will ever cease and desist, but the more practical question might be “When will the psychopathic trio of John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Elliott Abrams be fired so the United States can begin to behave like a normal nation?”

Trump, to be sure, is the heart of the problem as he has consistently made bad, overly belligerent decisions when better and less abrasive options were available, something that should not necessarily always be blamed on his poor choice of advisers. But one also should not discount the likelihood that the dysfunction in Trump is in part comprehensible, stemming from his belief that he has numerous powerful enemies who have been out to destroy him since before he was nominated as the GOP’s presidential candidate. This hatred of all things Trump has been manifested in the neoconservative “Nevertrump” forces led by Bill Kristol and by the “Trump Derangement Syndrome” prominent on the political left, regularly exhibited by Rachel Maddow.

And then there is the Deep State, which also worked with the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama to destroy the Trump presidency even before it began. One can define Deep State in a number of ways, ranging from a “soft” version which accepts that there is an Establishment that has certain self-serving objectives that it works collectively to promote to something harder, an actual infrastructure that meets together and connives to remove individuals and sabotage policies that it objects to. The Deep State in either version includes senior government officials, business leaders and, perhaps most importantly, the managed media, which promotes a corrupted version of “good governance” that in turn influences the public.

Whether the Mueller report is definitive very much depends on the people they chose to interview and the questions they chose to ask, which is something that will no doubt be discussed for the next year if not longer. Beyond declaring that the Trump team did not collude with Russia, it cast little light on the possible Deep State role in attempting to vilify Trump and his associates. The investigation of that aspect of the 2016 campaign and the possible prosecutions of former senior government officials that might be a consequence of the investigation will likely be entertaining conspiracy theorists well into 2020. Since Russiagate has already been used and discarded the new inquiry might well be dubbed Trumpgate.

The media has scarcely reported how Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ), has been looking into the activities of the principal promoters of the Russiagate fraud. Horowitz, whose report is expected in about a month, has already revealed that he intends to make criminal referrals as a result of his investigation. While the report will only cover malfeasance in the Department of Justice, which includes the FBI, the names of intelligence officers involved will no doubt also surface. It is expected that there will be charges leading to many prosecutions and one can hope for jail time for those individuals who corruptly betrayed their oath to the United States Constitution to pursue a political vendetta.

A review of what is already known about the plot against Trump is revealing and no doubt much more will be learned if and when investigators go through emails and phone records. The first phase of the illegal investigation of the Trump associates involved initiating wiretaps without any probable cause. This eventually involved six government intelligence and law enforcement agencies that formed a de facto task force headed by the CIA’s Director John Brennan. Also reportedly involved were the FBI’s James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson, and Admiral Michael Rogers who headed the National Security Agency.

Brennan was the key to the operation because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court refused to approve several requests by the FBI to initiate taps on Trump associates and Trump Tower as there was no probable cause to do so but the British and other European intelligence services were legally able to intercept communications linked to American sources. Brennan was able to use his connections with those foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, to make it look like the concerns about Trump were coming from friendly and allied countries and therefore had to be responded to as part of routine intelligence sharing. As a result, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Gen. Michael Flynn were all wiretapped. And likely there were others. This all happened during the primaries and after Trump became the GOP nominee.

In other words, to make the wiretaps appear to be legitimate, GCHQ and others were quietly and off-the-record approached by Brennan and associates over their fears of what a Trump presidency might mean. The British responded by initiating wiretaps that were then used by Brennan to justify further investigation of Trump’s associates. It was all neatly done and constituted completely illegal spying on American citizens by the U.S. government.

The British support of the operation was coordinated by the then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan who has since been forced to resign. Brennan is, unfortunately still around and has not been charged with perjury and other crimes. In May 2017, after he departed government, he testified before Congress with what sounds a lot like a final unsourced, uncorroborated attempt to smear the new administration: “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 that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals.”

Brennan’s claimed “concerns” turned out to be incorrect. Meanwhile, other interested parties were involved in the so-called Steele Dossier on Trump himself. The dossier, paid for initially by Republicans trying to stop Trump, was later funded by $12 million from the Hillary campaign. It was commissioned by the law firm Perkins Coie, which was working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The objective was to assess any possible Trump involvement with Russia. The work itself was sub-contracted to Fusion GPS, which in turn sub-contracted the actual investigation to British spy Christopher Steele who headed a business intelligence firm called Orbis.

Steele left MI-6 in 2009 and had not visited Russia since 1993. The report, intended to dig up dirt on Trump, was largely prepared using impossible to corroborate second-hand information and would have never surfaced but for the surprise result of the 2016 election. Christopher Steele gave a copy to a retired of British Diplomat Sir Andrew Wood who in turn handed it to Trump critic Senator John McCain who then passed it on to the FBI. President Barack Obama presumably also saw it and, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, “If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation.”

The report was leaked to the media in January 2017 to coincide with Trump’s inauguration. Hilary Clinton denied any prior knowledge despite the fact that her campaign had paid for it. Pressure from the Democrats and other constituencies devastated by the Trump victory used the Steele report to provide leverage for what became the Mueller investigation.

So, was there a broad ranging conspiracy against Donald Trump orchestrated by many of the most senior officials and politicians in Washington? Undeniably yes. What Trump has amounted to as a leader and role model is beside the point as what evolved was undeniably a bureaucratic coup directed against a legally elected president of the United States and to a certain extent it was successful as Trump was likely forced to turn his back on his better angels and subsequently hired Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams. One can only hope that investigators dig deep into what Washington insiders have been up to so Trumpgate will prove more interesting and informative than was Russiagate. And one also has to hope that enough highest-level heads will roll to make any interference by the Deep State in future elections unthinkable. One hopes.

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.

April 22, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Unaccountable Media Faced with Dilemma in Next Phase of Deep State-gate

By Ray McGovern | Consortium News | April 10, 2019

Readers of The Washington Post on Monday were treated to more of the same from editorial page chief Fred Hiatt. Hiatt, who won his spurs by promoting misleading “intelligence” about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and suffered no consequences, is at it again.

This time he is trying to adjust to the fading prospect of a Deus ex Mueller to lessen Hiatt’s disgrace for being among the most shameless in promoting the Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

He is not giving up. When you are confident you will not lose your job so long as you adhere to the agenda of the growing Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT if you will), you need not worry about being a vanguard for the corporate media. It is almost as though Hiatt is a tenured professor in an endowed chair honoring Judith Miller, the New York Times reporter who perhaps did most to bring us Iraqi WMD.

In his Monday column Hiatt warned: “Trump was elected with the assistance of Russian spies and trolls, which he openly sought and celebrated. But he did not (or so we are told) secretly conspire with them.” In effect, Hiatt is saying, soto voce: “Fie on former (now-de-canonized) Saint Robert of Mueller; we at the Post and our colleagues at The New York Times, CNN et al. know better, just because we’ve been saying so for more than two years.”

Times executive editor Dean Baquet said, about the backlash to the Times‘ “collusion” coverage: “I have no regrets. It’s not our job to determine whether or not there was illegality.” CNN President Jeff Zucker said: “We are not investigators. We are journalists.” (One wonders what investigative journalist Bob Parry, who uncovered much of Iran-Contra and founded this site, would have thought of that last one.)

Going in Circles

Hiatt’s circular reasoning is all too familiar. It is the kind a former director of national intelligence excels at when he’s not lying, sometimes under oath. For instance, James Clapper was hawking his memoir at the Carnegie Endowment last year when he was confronted by unexpectedly direct questions from the audience.

Asked about the misleadingly labeled, rump “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017, which he orchestrated, and which blamed Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, Clapper gave an ipse dixit response: The ICA simply had to be correct because that’s what he had told President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump.

In fact, that “Intelligence Community Assessment” stands out as the most irresponsible, evidence-free and at the same time consequential crock of intelligence analysis since the National Intelligence Estimate of Oct. 2001 claimed there was WMD in Iraq. Recall that that one was shaped by out-and-out fraudulent intelligence to “justify” an attack on Iraq six months later.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, described the main thrust of the committee’s five-year bipartisan report, stating, “In making the case for war, the [Bush] Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.”

Hiatt was one of the media’s major offenders, feeding on what the Cheney/Bush folks told him. When no “weapons of mass destruction” were found in Iraq, Hiatt conceded during an interview with The Columbia Journalism Review that, “If you look at the editorials we write running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction … If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.” [CJR, March/April 2004] As Parry wryly observed at the time in a piece calling for Hiatt’s dismissal, “Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn’t real, we’re not supposed to confidently declare that it is.”

The Morning After

Clapper: After WMD failure, promoted by Obama.  (White House Photo/ Pete Souza)

The media set the prevailing tone the day after the ICA was published. The banner headline atop page one of the Times read: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.” That put in motion more than two years of Dick Cheney-like chicanery in the media.

Buried inside the Times that same day was a cautionary paragraph written by staff reporter Scott Shane who noted, “What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the [three] agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. That is a significant omission.” Indeed it was; and remains so.

(Sadly, Shane was then given his marching orders and fell in line with many other formerly reputable journalists in what has been the most miserable performance by the mainstream media since they helped pave the way for war on Iraq.)

Clapper and Hiatt are kindred souls when it comes to the “profound effect” of Russian election interference. In his column, Hiatt asserted as flat fact that: “Trump was elected with the assistance of Russian spies and trolls …” At the Carnegie event in November, Clapper opined:

“As a private citizen, understanding the magnitude of what the Russians did and the number of citizens in our country they reached and the different mechanisms that, by which they reached them, to me it stretches credulity to think they didn’t have a profound impact on election on the outcome of the election.”

Hiatt: Captain of Cheerleaders

Hiatt emulated peppy, preppy cheerleader George W. Bush in leading Americans to believe that war on Iraq was necessary. Appointed Washington Post editorial page editor in 2000, he still runs the page — having not been held accountable for gross misfeasance, if not malfeasance, on Iraq. Shades of Clapper, whom President Obama allowed to stay on as director of national intelligence for three and a half years after Clapper lied under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee about NSA surveillance of U.S. persons.

That Obama appointed Clapper to lead the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election speaks volumes. Clapper claims to have expertise on Russia and has made no effort to disguise his views on “the Russians.” Two years ago, he told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press:

“… in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who are typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique … we were concerned.”

It beggars belief that Obama could have been unaware of Clapper’s bizarre views on “the Russians.” Clearly, Obama was bowing yet again to pressure from powerful Deep State actors arguing that Clapper was the ideal man for the job.

And there is now documentary evidence that, from the Deep State point of view, indeed he was. In the text exchanges between discredited FBI sleuth Peter Strzok and his girlfriend, Lisa Page, a lawyer working for the FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, it seems clear that Obama wanted to be kept apprised of the FBI’s behind-the-scenes machinations. In a Sept. 2, 2016 text to Strzok, Page writes that she was preparing talking points because the president “wants to know everything we’re doing.”

A Sweaty Pate?

Clapper is aware now that he is going to have to sweat it out. He may believe he can ignore White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who has said that he and other former intelligence officials should be investigated after special counsel Mueller did not establish collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Strzok: Will he be on Nunes’s list? (Wikipedia)

But recent statements by members of the House and Senate intelligence committees cannot be dismissed so easily. In his media appearances, the supremely confident, hero-of-many-liberals Clapper has been replaced by a squirming (but-Obama-made-me-do-it) massager of facts. He may find it harder this time to avoid being held accountable.

Devin Nunes (R-CA), the House Intelligence Committee ranking member, has gone on the offensive, writing Friday that committee Republicans “will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved … in the abuse of intelligence for political purposes. These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future.”

On Sunday, Nunes told Fox News he’s preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Department of Justice this week concerning alleged misconduct during the Trump-Russia investigation. This will include leaks of “highly classified material” and conspiracies to lie to Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. It’s no-holds-barred for Nunes, who has begun to talk publicly about prison for those whom DOJ might indict and bring to trial.

Nunes’s full-speed-ahead offensive is being widely ignored in “mainstream” media (with the exception of Fox), giving the media the quality of “The Dog That Did Not Bark in the Night.” The media has put its ducks in a row, such as they are, to try to rip Attorney General William Barr apart this coming week when he releases the redacted text of the Mueller report that so disappointed the Democratic Party/media coalition.

But how will they cover criminal referrals of the “heroes” who have leaked so much to them, providing grist for their Russia-gate mill? They will likely find a way, eventually, but the media silence about Nunes is depriving oxygen to the story.

On Sunday, Nunes said,

“They [the Democrats] have lied multiple times to the American people. All you have to do is look at their phony memos. They have had the full support of the media, 90 percent of the media in this country. They all have egg on their face. And so the fact of the matter remains, is there going to be — is justice going to be served or is justice going to be denied? And that’s why we’re sending over these criminal referrals.”

Nunes is, of course, trying to project an image of confidence, but he knows he is fighting uphill. There is no more formidable foe than the MICIMATT, with the media playing the crucial role in these circumstances. How will the American people be able to see egg on anyone’s face if the “mainstream media” find ways to wipe it off and turn the tables on Nunes, as they have successfully done in the past?

Though the Democrats now control the House, they have lost some key inside-the-Deep-State allies.

By all appearances, House Democrats still seem to be banking on help from the usual suspects still on duty in the FBI, CIA, and the Justice Department. Lacking that they seem ready to go down with the Schiff—Rep. Adam Schiff of California, perhaps the most virulent Russia-gater that there’s been.

Clapper is no longer in a position to help from the inside, and there’s no knowing how his sleepy replacement, Dan Coates, will react, if and when he wakes up long enough to learn chapter and verse about the machinations and dramatic personae of 2016.

Of course, there is a new sheriff in town running the Department of Justice. Attorney General William Barr, for better or ill, is a far cry from Jeff Sessions, who let himself be diddled into recusing himself. He’s not Rod Rosenstein either, whose involvement in this affair may have already earned him a prominent place on Nunes’s list of referrals.

What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?

On top of this, Sen. Rand Paul (R, KY) has called for an investigation into the origins of Mueller’s probe, including on the dicey question of how witting President Obama was of the Deep State chicanery during the last months of his administration. Page did tell Strzok in that Sept. 2, 2016 text that the president “wants to know everything we’re doing.”

Sen. Paul has also tweeted information from “a high-level source” that it was former CIA Director John Brennan who “insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report… Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP.”

Vying for Media Attention

If, as expected, Nunes discloses the names of those being criminally referred to DOJ, and Barr releases a redacted text of the Mueller report, the “mainstream” media will have a fresh challenge on their hands. The odds would seem to favor the media covering the Democrats’ predictable criticism of Barr — and perhaps even of Mueller, now that he has been defrocked.

The Post’s Hiatt should be counted on, as always, to play a leading role.

At the same time, there are signs the America people are tired of this. It would be difficult though for the media to avoid reporting on criminal referrals of very senior law enforcement and intelligence officials. Given the media’s obvious preference for siding with the intelligence agencies and reporting on Russia-gate rather than Deep-State-gate, it would be even harder for the media to explain why these officials would be in trouble.

Things appear to be unraveling but, as always, much will depend on whether the media opts to remain the “dog that didn’t bark,” and succeeds again in hoodwinking too many people.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and prepared the President’s Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

April 10, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

The Tale of a ‘Deep State Target’

Daniel Lazare reviews George Papadopoulos’s book about his misadventures with a nest of intelligence agents.

By Daniel Lazare – Consortium News – April 4, 2019

Now that Russian collusion is dead and buried thanks to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, the big question is how and why such charges arose. George Papadopoulos’s “Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump” doesn’t tell the whole story.  But this account by one of the crusade’s first victims pulls the covers off a few important aspects.

It describes a lengthy entrapment scheme that began when Papadopoulos told co-workers that presidential candidate Donald Trump was about to appoint him to his foreign-policy advisory team.

The time was March 2016, the place the London Centre of International Law Practice, where Papadopoulos was working as an energy consultant, a job that mainly involves meeting with diplomats and going out for a dinner and drinks. Regarding the LCILP, he recalls it as a “strange operation” where there’s “no actual law practice going on that I can see” and which he later suspects is an intelligence front.

The reaction to his announcement was not good. “You should not be working with Trump,” one of Papadopoulos’s bosses tells him. “He’s a threat to society. He’s a racist. He’s anti-Muslim.”

But the tone changes when another LCILP director insists that he join him for a three-day conference at Link Campus University, a privately owned educational center in Rome. There he is introduced to a well-dressed Maltese academic in his mid-fifties named Joseph Mifsud.

“He asks about my background,” Papadopoulos writes. “He asks if I have Russian contacts. I shake my head. ‘I heard you have connections,’ I say. ‘And that you might be able to help me with the campaign.’”

“Oh yes, absolutely,” Mifsud replies.  “Let’s talk tonight. Let’s go to dinner.”

Into the Rabbit Hole

With that, the author enters into a rabbit hole filled with twists and turns in which he found himself in the middle of a deep-state intelligence war over Trump’s alleged Kremlin ties and by the end of which he had served a 12-day sentence in a medium-security federal prison.

In late April, Mifsud takes him to breakfast at a London hotel and informs him that he had just returned from Russia where officials say they have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. “Emails of Clinton,” Mifsud says. “They have thousands of emails.” Papadopoulos writes it off as idle chitchat by a dubious diplomatic networker whom he has come to see as all talk and no action.

A friend from the Australian embassy introduces him to a top Aussie diplomat named Alexander Downer, who tells him over gin-and-tonics that his foreign-policy ideas are all wet.

A British foreign-ministry official takes him out for still more drinks and grills him about Russia.

Stefan Halper, an old CIA hand turned Cambridge academic, contacts him out of the blue and pesters him about Russia as well.

A mysterious Belorussian-American name Sergei Millian offers him a secret $30,000-a-month PR job but only if he continues working for Trump.

An Israeli-American businessman named Charles Tawil buys him lunch at a steakhouse in Skokie, Ill. Later, in Greece, they go clubbing together in Mykonos, and then Tawil flies Papadopoulos to Israel where he presents him with $10,000 in cash – money that a wary Papadopoulos leaves with a lawyer in Thessaloniki.

While flying back to the U.S. in July 2017, Papadopoulos runs into a squad of FBI agents as he is changing planes. “And then, finally, it dawns on me as they are going through my bags,” he writes.  “Charles Tawil and the money. They are looking for $10,000 in undeclared cash! That fucking guy was setting me up.”

“I’ve barely slept in two days,” he goes on after appearing before a judge. “I’m wearing the same shirt that I left Athens in. I smell like garbage. I look like garbage. I’m disoriented – because while I’ve just finally heard the charges, I still don’t really understand any of it.” To his horror, he learns that he is facing 25 years in prison on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI.

What was going on? Although Papadopoulos doesn’t go into the pre-history, we know from other sources that, by late 2015, intelligence agencies were buzzing over reports that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were reaching out to one another behind the scenes.

Three Mood-Setting Events 

Spooks are paranoid by profession, but three recent events had put them particularly on edge.  One was the Euromaidan uprising in Kiev in early 2014, which, by driving out an allegedly pro-Russian president, sparked a parallel revolt among Russian speakers in the east.  Another was in Syria where U.S. backing of Islamist rebels had prompted Russia to intervene in support of President Bashar al-Assad.  The third was on the U.S. campaign trail where Trump was thoroughly shocking foreign-policy “experts” by sounding off against regime change and making friendly noises toward Putin.

“But I think that I would probably get along with him very well,” Trump said of the Russian president in October 2015. When CNN host John Dickerson asked about Russian air assaults, he replied: “And as far as him attacking ISIS, I’m all for it. If he wants to be bombing the hell out of ISIS, which he’s starting to do, if he wants to be bombing ISIS, let him bomb them, John.  Let him bomb them. I think we [can] probably work together much more so than right now.”

Intelligence agencies might have conceded that the U.S. was wrong to encourage far-right elements in Kiev and that it was equally mistaken in giving backhanded support to Al Qaeda and ISIS in the Middle East. They might have granted that Trump, for all his reality-TV bluster, had a point. But western intelligence agencies don’t do self-criticism. What they did was blame Putin for messing up their plans for a clean coup in Kiev and an equally neat ouster of Assad and then blamed Trump for arguing in his behalf. From there, it was a very short step to concluding that Trump was not only siding with Putin, but conspiring with him.

Individual intelligence assets went into action to prove this  theory correct and, if need be, to invent a conspiracy where none existed. Joseph Mifsud was apparently among them. “Deep State Target” devotes a fair amount of space to his background. Although Mueller’s indictment says Mifsud had “substantial connections to Russian government officials,” a wealth of data indicates the opposite.

‘Only One Master’

Stephan Roh, a Swiss-German lawyer who employed Mifsud as a consultant, writes in a self-published book that he has “only one master: the Western Political, Diplomatic, and Intelligence World, his only home, of which he is still deeply dependent.” Mifsud has been photographed with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and veteran diplomat Claire Smith, a top British intelligence official. Indeed, Mifsud taught a course with Smith for Italian military and law-enforcement personnel at the same Link Campus where he’d met Papadopolous.

Mifsuds’s ties with western intelligence are thus multifarious and deep.  The same goes for the other people with whom ran Papadopoulos had contact.

Alexander Downer, the Aussie diplomat with whom he had drinks, turns out to be a director of a London private intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co., which counts among its close associates Halper, the Cambridge academic who was ex-CIA, and Sir Richard Dearlove, ex-director of MI6, the British equivalent of the CIA. These two — Dearlove and Halper — ran an intelligence seminar at Cambridge and are also partners in a private venture calling itself “The Cambridge Security Initiative.”  (See “Spooks Spooking Themselves,” Consortium News, May 31, 2018.)

Millian, the man who offered Papadopoulos $30,000 a month, turns out to be a source for the notorious Steele Dossier, compiled by ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele. Steele, in turn, sought counsel at one point from fellow Cambridge man Dearlove on how to spread his findings. According to one of Willian’s buddies, Millian works for the FBI as well.

All of which is enough to get anyone’s conspiratorial juices flowing.

As for Charles Tawil, he arouses Papadopoulos’s fears of an intelligence link once he arrives in Mykonos by boasting of his friendship with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and then-South African President Jacob Zuma, and declaring of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, “it wasn’t our fault he got caught.” In Israel, he brags about helping to wiretap Syrian strong man Hafez al-Assad, father of the current president.  “We could have killed him at any time,” he says. Finally, Papadopoulos reveals a private diplomatic cable citing Tawil as a U.S. intelligence asset back in 2006.

Five intelligence assets were thus hounding Papadopoulos at every turn while a sixth was compiling the dossier that would send Russia-gate into overdrive. It added up to the greatest propaganda campaign since the furor over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and, like those nonexistent WMDs, turns out to have been manufactured out of thin air.

Full-Court Press

“Deep State Target” is vague about many details and Papadopoulos doesn’t have all the answers about Russia-gate. No one at this point does. But his book leaves little doubt that he was the victim of a full-court press by intelligence assets in and around the FBI, CIA, and MI6.

Like everyone, Mifsud knew about Clinton’s emails – the ones she stored on her private server, not those that Wikileaks would later release – and fed Papadopoulos tidbits about a supposed Russia connection in the hope, no doubt, that he would pass them along to the Trump campaign. When he didn’t, Downer nonetheless reported back to Canberra that Papadopoulos had told him something along those lines. (Papadopoulos does not remember saying any such thing.) Once Canberra told Washington, the FBI investigation, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, was on.

Halper tried to get him to admit to working with Russia: “It’s great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails.”

Millian sends him an email shortly before the election telling him to “[p]lease be very cautious these last few days. Even to the point of not leaving your food and drinks out of eye sight.”

“Obviously a Greek Orthodox guy like you has close ties to Russia,” Charles Tawil, observes, leaving it to Papadopoulos to fill in the blanks.

Diehard Russia-truthers will point out that, even though the charge that Papadopoulos obstructed justice by misleading the FBI was dropped, Papadopoulos is still a convicted liar who pled guilty to misleading the FBI about the exact timing of his meetings with Mifsud. But he says that he was frightened and nervous and didn’t have his lawyer present and that he didn’t even remember what he had said until he read it in the indictment.

He also says he now regrets taking his then-lawyers’ advice to cop a plea: “There was never any pre-trial discovery. We never saw – or at least I hadn’t seen – the transcript of my interview, so all we had was the prosecutor’s word regarding what I had said. And we caved.” But he was an amateur running out of money while doing battle with a prosecutor with a $25-million budget. He had little choice.  Russia-gate was unstoppable – until the collusion theory finally collapsed.

Daniel Lazare is the author of “The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy” (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at Daniellazare.com.

April 5, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , | 1 Comment

Russiagate ‘patient zero’ Papadopoulos expects Mueller probe fiasco to expose deep state conspiracy

RT | April 2, 2019

With the Mueller investigation over and the Russiagate DOA, George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign energy adviser, told RT he hopes the truth about the alleged deep state conspiracy will soon come out.

Lamenting the “disinformation” encircling the Trump campaign and Russia over the past three years, Papadopoulos explains that the only reasons the Trump team ever wanted to work with Russia were to stabilize Syria and Ukraine – and “to assure that Russia and China do not align in this devastating geopolitical alliance which will probably have many unpredictable consequences for the US in Europe and in Asia.”

But they never even got a chance to make any Russian connections, Papadopoulos says, adding that he was contacted by Israeli, Australian, and American intelligence – all of whom were interested in his “high-level connections in the Middle East” – but no Russians.

“It goes to the core of how corrupt the Mueller investigation really was, into supposed Russian interference when no one on the Trump campaign and the transition team was even dealing with Russians,” Papadopoulos said. “I’ve never met a Russian… official in my entire life, and somehow I find myself in the middle of a fake Russian conspiracy!”

The Mueller investigation zeroed in on Papadopoulos’ contact with Joseph Mifsud and Alexander Downer, both of whom the media portrayed as “Russian intermediaries” but whom Papadopoulos believes were working with the FBI, “dropping information in my lap that I did not want regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails in the hands of the Russians.” Papadopoulos even went so far as to report Downer to the FBI “because I thought he was spying on me.”

“The truth is going to be out there” when Trump declassifies the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) documents, Papadopoulos predicts. “It’s probably going to show the Obama administration, with the aid of both the Australian government and the UK government, were coordinating and laying various traps for the Trump campaign to essentially undermine us and that’s what they did for the last two years.”

Papadopoulos, who calls himself “Patient Zero of the Russian conspiracy,” was the first Trump affiliate to be indicted under the Mueller investigation and served 14 days in prison for making false statements to the FBI.

April 4, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Russian collusion was no more than “conspiracy porn” created by Clinton and Obama

By Mitchell Feierstein | The Duran | April 1, 2019

After 675 days, 25 million dollars, 2,800 subpoenas, over 500 witnesses, and more than 500 search warrants, all of which took up the time of 20 prosecutors and nearly 50 FBI agents, Special Counsel Robert Mueller submitted the results of his “witch hunt” to the Attorney General of the United States of America, Robert Barr.

Barr, in turn, submitted a four-page overview highlighting the following conclusions: There are no further indictments of anyone and there was no collusion with Russia by any American. Barr and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whom Mueller reported to, determined that there was no obstruction by President Trump.

But, for the past three years, elite Democratic Party partisans, along with their media partners, force-fed thousands of “Bombshell” headlines to millions of Americans, without ever providing a lick of evidence. The absence of evidence supporting their outrageous lies coupled with the results of Mueller’s investigation and Barr’s conclusions establishes collusion – not between Russia and the Trump family to influence the 2016 presidential election, but amongst the Democrats and mass media to delegitimize the Trump presidency.

The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, “We saw cold, hard evidence of the Trump campaign, and indeed the Trump family, eagerly intending to collude with Russia.” Pelosi has never presented any evidence to support this claim or any of the many other suspect claims the speaker has made.

The Chairman of House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff said, “I have evidence of collusion with Russia and kompromat. It’s all in plain sight.” Schiff regularly repeated this claim to the public yet never provided any evidence. He appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and ABC over 150 times and was never called out for repeating these lies over and over again.

Congressman Eric Swalwell on MSNBC said, “Donald Trump is a Russian agent; we have evidence Trump and his family colluded with Russia.” Swalwell has parroted this and many other claims since 2016. Evidence provided: none.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters stated, “Trump and his buddies are scumbags who are all Putin’s puppets; we will Impeach 45.” Waters has been shrieking “Impeach 45” since election day in 2016. Water’s reason: she hates Trump and the entire Grand Old Party “GOP.”

Many other Democratic members of Washington DC’s swamp echoed similar propaganda that mobilized the Trump “resistance.” Their hit list of frequent salacious claims included “Trump in handcuffs;” “The entire Trump family, frog-marched, and jailed forever;” “Treason, much worse than Watergate, we have evidence;” “Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987;” “Trump is a racist, sexist, misogynist, Islamophobic, homophobic, transphobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, white-national, white-supremacist;” and let’s not forget “He’s the next Hitler.” This “hit list” has become the Democratic party mantra since Donald trump announced his candidacy in 2015.

Ex-Central Intelligence Agency “CIA” director John Brennan, who just so happens to be on MSNBC’s payroll, also weighed in on Trump. “Trump’s behavior is treasonous. He committed high crimes and misdemeanors. There is evidence that proves many people in Trump’s orbit are guilty of serious crimes and indictments are coming, and soon. Trump committed Treason” The penalty for committing “treason” in America, death. Brennan never provided any evidence. Brennan’s lies have destroyed the CIA’s reputation and credibility.

Viewers of CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and ABC were inundated with purposeful misrepresentations that continuously promised faithful audiences that Mueller and his team had “mountains” of evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. Day after day, these media outlets repeated how Mueller would deliver an indictment of President Trump, who had committed “treason and high crimes and misdemeanors” that would lead to his impeachment and jail time. The corrupt media represented that Trump’s family members, who were also guilty of similar crimes, would be sent to prison. All the above were outrageous lies.

In fact, the only convictions that arose through the Mueller investigation were low-level process crimes which had NOTHING to do with Trump. $25 million wasted, bravo! These salacious accusations proved to be part of an elaborate scheme to delegitimize the sitting president and his administration in order to remove him from office. However, the Democrats and mass media could not have done it without FBI Director James Comey’s exploitation of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

We know the whole coup d’état was facilitated by FBI Director James Comey’s October 20, 2016 submission of a 66-page application to the FISA court.

Comey and Sally Quillian Yates, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, signed this application. Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, the presiding judge of the secret FISA court, granted an order that led to our intelligence agencies spying on the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump. The FBI ran a counter-intelligence investigation named “Crossfire Hurricane” on Trump’s campaign.

Comey’s FISA application was largely based on information contained in the Steele dossier, a dossier written by a disgraced MI6 agent named Christopher Steele. The dossier made wild, unsubstantiated claims and was financed by the campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee via Clinton’s law firm Perkins Coie through a company named Fusion GPS.

In a meeting with President Trump in early January 2017, James Comey told President Trump about the existence of the Steele dossier and told him not to worry about it. Comey stated that the dossier’s contents were salacious, unverified, and untrue. Apparently, James Comey knew, yet never disclosed to Judge Collyer, that the Steele dossier was garbage prepared by political partisans that did not want Trump to be
elected and financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Three days after Comey’s meeting with Trump the entire Steele dossier was “leaked” to numerous media sources and published in it’s entirety on Buzzfeed with no mention that none of the claims in the Steele dossier had been verified.

Comey signed and submitted two more FISA applications, one in Jan 2017, and another in April 2017 which relied upon the Steele dossier. FISA Judge Michael W. Mosman signed the January renewal, and Judge Anne C. Conway signed the April renewal.

Apparently, Comey never disclosed, to any of the FISA judges, that the Steele dossier was: paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign, and the DNC, or that the Department of Justice’s Bruce Ohr had warned on the credibility of the unverified Steele Dossier, or that Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS and helped back door the Steele dossier into the FBI, or that the dossier was filled with baseless allegations, lies, and
propaganda. It appears that four secret court, FISA, judges were lied to in order to kick- off the biggest scandal in history.

FBI’s Deputy Director Andrew McCabe recently stated during Congressional testimony that “without the Steele dossier, the FISA warrants would have never been granted.” Recent reports suggest that it was ex-CIA director John Brennan who insisted that the Steele dossier be included in the intelligence report used to request the FISA warrants. Senator Rand Paul has issued a call that Brennan be called to testify under oath in Congress.

The entire Mueller investigation would have never been possible without this fake dossier being used to illegally obtain FISA warrants by the omission of material facts within the original FISA application and the three subsequent renewal applications.

Why is Judge Collyer not looking into these and other material misrepresentations used in the FISA application to obtain search warrants to spy on Americans and on a presidential campaign by its opposition and enabled by a weaponized Obama Department of Justice? The silence of secret FISA court Judges Mosman, Conway, and Dearie is frightening. America’s secret courts should be abolished.

April 1, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Grave terrorist attack’: North Korea seeks probe into mysterious raid on its mission in Spain

RT | March 31, 2019

North Korea called on Spain to conduct a thorough investigation into a raid on its mission in Madrid, which was said to be done by FBI-linked dissidents, now hiding in the US.

Pyongyang asked Spain to investigate the “grave terrorist attack” and “flagrant violation of international law,” state-run KCNA news agency reported. “This kind of act should never be tolerated,” the statement read.

It was the first time North Korean officials have commented on the mysterious break-in at its mission in Madrid on February 22. A group of intruders subdued and tied up the staff before stealing a number of electronic devices and a trove of documents from the building. They also reportedly tried to persuade a North Korean attaché to defect. A video, allegedly filmed during the break-in, shows men taking down portraits of North Korean leaders and smashing them on the ground.

Spanish media say that 10 suspects fled to the US and a court in Madrid issued arrest warrants against them. The leader of the group was named as veteran dissident and anti-Pyongyang activist Adrian Hong Chang, who is a Mexican national and a US citizen. Two of the other suspects were named as US nationals.

An unexpected twist came several weeks later when the Spanish paper El Pais cited court documents and police sources as saying that the suspects tried to obtain information on the North Korean nuclear program and contacted the FBI after arriving in the US.

The details were partially confirmed by dissident group ‘Cheollima Civil Defense / Free Joseon’, which claimed responsibility for the raid. Its members shared “certain information of enormous potential value” with the FBI, on the Bureau’s request, the group claimed on its website.

The US has denied any involvement with the break-in, and the FBI has refused to comment on the incident.

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

Washington told Ukraine to end probe into George Soros-funded group during 2016 US election – report

RT | March 27, 2019

An NGO co-funded by George Soros was spared prosecution in 2016 after the US urged Ukraine to drop a corruption probe targeting the group, the Hill reported, pointing to potential shenanigans during the US presidential election.

Bankrolled by the Obama administration and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC) was under investigation as part of a larger probe by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office into the misallocation of $4.4 million in US funds to fight corruption in the eastern European country.

As the 2016 presidential race heated up back in the United States, the US Embassy in Kiev gave Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko “a list of people whom we should not prosecute” as part of the probe, the Hill reported. Ultimately, no action was taken against AntAC.

Lutsenko told the paper that he believes the embassy wanted the probe nixed because it could have exposed the Democrats to a potential scandal during the 2016 election.

A State Department official who spoke with the Hill said that while the request to nix the probe was unusual, Washington feared that AntAC was being targeted as retribution for the group’s advocacy for anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine.

AntAC wasn’t just the benefactor of well-connected patrons – at the time it was also collaborating with FBI agents to uncover then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine. Manafort later became a high-profile target of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian collusion, and was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for tax fraud and other financial crimes.

Lutsenko divulged in an interview with the Hill last week that he has opened an investigation into whether Ukrainian officials leaked financial records during the 2016 US presidential campaign in an effort to sway the election in favor of Hillary Clinton.

While AntAC may have failed to help the FBI find the Russia collusion smoking gun, the group’s activities constitute yet another link between the anti-climactic Russiagate probe and Soros, a Democrat mega-donor who bet big on Hillary Clinton taking the White House in 2016.

In 2017, the billionaire philanthropist siphoned money into a new group, the Democracy Integrity Project, which later partnered with Fusion GPS to create the now-infamous Steele dossier.

Spokespersons for AntAC and the Soros umbrella group Open Society Foundations declined to comment on the Hill’s scoop.

Ironically, the prosecutor general who had preceded Lutsenko, Viktor Shokin, resigned under pressure from Washington – which accused Shokin of corruption.

Virtuous US officials continue to make similar demands of Ukraine’s justice system. Earlier this month, Washington urged the Ukrainian government to fire its special anti-corruption prosecutor, again over accusations of administrative abuse.

March 27, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Russophobia | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apologies to President Trump

By Sharyl Attkisson – The Hill – 03/25/19

With the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe now known to a significant degree, it seems apologies are in order.

However, judging by the recent past, apologies are not likely forthcoming from the responsible parties.

In this context, it matters not whether one is a supporter or a critic of President Trump.

Whatever his supposed flaws, the rampant accusations and speculation that shrouded Trump’s presidency, even before it began, ultimately have proven unfounded. Just as Trump said all along.

Yet, each time Trump said so, some of us in the media lampooned him. We treated any words he spoke in his own defense as if they were automatically to be disbelieved because he had uttered them. Some even declared his words to be “lies,” although they had no evidence to back up their claims.

We in the media allowed unproven charges and false accusations to dominate the news landscape for more than two years, in a way that was wildly unbalanced and disproportionate to the evidence.

We did a poor job of tracking down leaks of false information. We failed to reasonably weigh the motives of anonymous sources and those claiming to have secret, special evidence of Trump’s “treason.”

As such, we reported a tremendous amount of false information, always to Trump’s detriment.

And when we corrected our mistakes, we often doubled down more than we apologized. We may have been technically wrong on that tiny point, we would acknowledge. But, in the same breath, we would insist that Trump was so obviously guilty of being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet that the technical details hardly mattered.

So, a round of apologies seem in order.

Apologies to Trump on behalf of those in the U.S. intelligence community, including the Department of Justice and the FBI, which allowed the weaponization of sensitive, intrusive intelligence tools against innocent citizens such as Carter Page, an adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.

Apologies also to Page himself, to Jerome Corsi, Donald Trump Jr., and other citizens whose rights were violated or who were unfairly caught up in surveillance or the heated pursuit of charges based on little more than false, unproven opposition research paid for by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Apologies for the stress on their jobs and to their families, the damage to their reputations, the money they had to spend to hire legal representation and defend themselves from charges for crimes they did not commit.

Apologies on behalf of those in the intelligence community who leaked true information out of context to make Trump look guilty, and who sometimes leaked false information to try to implicate or frame him.

Apologies from those in the chain of command at the FBI and the Department of Justice who were supposed to make sure all information presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) is verified but did not do so.

Apologies from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judges who are supposed to serve as one of the few checks and balances to prevent the FBI from wiretapping innocent Americans. Whether because of blind trust in the FBI or out of ignorance or even malfeasance, they failed at this important job.

Apologies to the American people who did not receive the full attention of their government while political points were being scored; who were not told about some important world events because they were crowded out of the news by the persistent insistence that Trump was working for Russia.

Apologies all the way around.

And now, with those apologies handled — are more than apologies due?

Should we try to learn more about those supposed Russian sources who provided false “intel” contained in the “dossier” against Trump, Page and others? Should we learn how these sources came to the attention of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who built the dossier and claimed that some of the sources were close to Putin?

When and where did Steele meet with these high-level Russian sources who provided the apparently false information?

Are these the people who actually took proven, concrete steps to interfere in the 2016 election and sabotage Trump’s presidency, beginning in its earliest days?

Just who conspired to put the “dossier” into the hands of the FBI? Who, within our intel community, dropped the ball on verifying the information and, instead, leaked it to the press and presented it to the FISC as if legitimate?

“Sorry” hardly seems to be enough.

Will anyone be held accountable?

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times best-sellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”

March 27, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Did the KGB Try to Infiltrate the Reagan Campaign?

By Philip M. GIRALDI | Strategic Culture Foundation | 28.02.2019

There appeared last week an interesting article about Soviet and American intelligence operations centered on San Francisco during the 1970s and 1980s, where Moscow had a very active KGB station that was focused on obtaining Silicon Valley generated high tech information. The piece is entitled “The Soviets wanted to infiltrate the Reagan camp. So, the CIA recruited a businessman to bait them.” The author of the article is Zach Dorfman, who describes himself as a senior fellow at the New York City based Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. The Council is a little known but mainstream organization that seeks to “…enlarge the audience for the simple but powerful message that ethics matter, regardless of place, origin, or belief. Since our founding by Andrew Carnegie a century ago, we have been one of the world’s top creators of nonpartisan educational resources on international ethics…”

Countering technology transfer, as it was referred to back in the 1970s, was a big deal for western intelligence agencies, driven by concern that the Soviet Union would be able to steal western technology and use it to upgrade its weapon systems as well as its military related infrastructures. A number of European CIA stations, including Germany, actually had tech transfer as the highest priority in their operating directives, meaning that it was considered to be more important than recruiting Soviet officials to learn what the Kremlin was planning to do about recurrent areas of friction like the controversial stationing of intermediate range ballistic missiles in Europe.

Given the still ongoing dissection of the events surrounding the 2016 election, the title of the Dorfman article was intriguing, suggesting that the Soviets and now the Russians have been attempting to infiltrate America’s political parties for over forty years. But, like the endless Robert Mueller investigation, is it actually true or is it a contrivance that is useful for those who want to continue to depict the Kremlin’s activities in the most negative possible light?

The intelligence war between the Soviets and the United States at the midpoint in the Cold War was certainly multifaceted and fraught with real danger as “mutual assured destruction” by the two great nuclear powers was by no means a notion empty of meaning. Looking back on the GOP nomination battle in 1976, one might reasonably recall that Ronald Reagan was a bit of an anomaly, a potentially dangerous hardliner with sometimes quixotic opinions, not unlike Donald Trump. His views on the Soviet Union were largely unknown apart from the usual bromides and the KGB would have had as a high priority the collection of information that would illuminate the somewhat outside the norm Hollywood actor turned politician.

All of that given, it would appear that the headline to the Dorfman article is not supported by evidence presented in the text. The narrative describes how an American businessman was used as an access agent to two Soviet intelligence officers beginning in 1975. One of the Russians, Yuri Pavlov, was under diplomatic cover at the Soviet San Francisco Consulate. The American businessman, John Greenagel ran a public relations firm in the city and had a relationship with the Reagan campaign that predated Reagan’s first run for the Republican nomination in 1975-6. He was also reporting to the CIA about the contact with the Russian, clearly with the objective of developing personal insights into Pavlov’s personality and character to permit an eventual recruitment pitch by an Agency officer.

In the article, a former FBI counter-terrorism officer concedes that Pavlov “wanted to learn about the American political system, and what people were thinking at the time,” and he did so openly by asking questions at diplomatic receptions and cocktail parties he was invited to. For example, over lunch with the American Greenagel, Pavlov asked questions about the former California governor: “He asked, ‘Is Reagan a warmonger? Why does he want military superiority? Why doesn’t he support détente?’”

It was all something that diplomats as well as spies and journalists normally do and it did not include any attempt by Pavlov to recruit Greenagel or anyone else to collect specific information from individuals working on the Reagan campaign. On the contrary, to set the hook for a recruitment pitch of Pavlov by CIA, it was Greenagel who provided the Russian with expensive gifts, including a designer suit and handfuls of $100 bills “for expenses.”

The article concludes “In the cat and mouse game of recruiting Cold War spies, it’s hard to say who came out ahead. What is perhaps most striking about Pavlov’s efforts to develop contacts in the Reagan camp was, in fact, how fruitless they seemed in the end. Some of the academics Pavlov targeted did indeed end up working in presidential administrations, recalls Kinane, though Pavlov failed to recruit any of them.” Nor was Pavlov ever recruited, or even pitched, by CIA. So did the KGB want to “infiltrate the Reagan camp” suggesting that 2016 was no anomaly? The answer would have to be “no,” or at least that if they wanted to do so they didn’t try very hard and any comparison to the current state of Russian-American relations as seen through allegations of mutual electoral interference is more than a bit of a stretch.

So, the Dorfman article’s headlined political message about Moscow’s alleged interference in US politics is not supported by the story. But Dorfman or his editor gets in the last word coming from the former FBI counter-intelligence officer, even though the evidence does not support the claim: “People think this is new. This isn’t new. The Russians have been doing this stuff for 40 or 50 years. It’s news now because they’ve been so successful. You’ve got to hand it to the Russians: they know what they’re doing. They’re more and more sophisticated; they’ve learned an awful lot. Now they get somebody like Donald Trump Jr. meeting with them — they’re killing them — because Americans like Trump Jr. don’t know what they’re doing.” Nor does the FBI, apparently.

February 28, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , | Leave a comment

McCarthyism Then and Now: But There Was Reality Then

By Patrick ARMSTRONG | Strategic Culture Foundation | 27.02.2019

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. (Karl Marx)

Humor is reason gone mad. (Groucho Marx)

Every now and again, we hear about a “new McCarthyism“. Usually it’s the alternative media like Truthdig or Consortium News or left-wing outlets because mainstream outlets are so sunk in Trumpophobia that they have forgotten what the expression means. It’s not Trump who’s the new McCarthy (Trumpism Is the New McCarthyism or Is Donald Trump The New Joe McCarthy?) it is they: Is Trump Putin’s Puppet?Trump Is Making the Case That He’s Putin’s Puppet; calling other people Moscow puppets is precisely what McCarthy did. And today’s Russhysteria has spread outside the USA: France to Probe Possible Russian Influence on Yellow Vest RiotsWhy Putin Is Meddling in Britain’s Brexit VoteSpain: ‘Misinformation’ on Catalonia referendum came from Russia. Endless torrents of delirium, nothing too absurd: Russia could freeze us to death!Russian cricket agents14-legged killer squid found TWO MILES beneath Antarctica being weaponised by Putin? The Russophobes find Moscow’s influence everywhere: children’s’ cartoonsfishsticksPokemon. People who like to imagine that they’re taken seriously suggest the Russians are threatened by our “quality”.

But not so threatened, it appears, by our mental qualities.

Joseph McCarthy, making much of (and perhaps improving upon) his war record, was elected a US Senator in 1946. After three years in which he attracted little attention, he rose to national prominence with a speech in February 1950 in which he claimed to have a list of Communist Party members active in the US State Department. There is still debate today about the precise numbers he claimed and to what degree he was used by other actors. But he realised he was on to a good thing (he secured re-election in 1952) and kept “revealing” communists in the government and elsewhere. Televised hearings showed his vituperative and erratic nature; the Senate censured him in 1954 and he faded away. “McCarthyism” has become a doubleplusungood swearword so stripped of meaning that it can be shaped into mud to be thrown at Trump.

But – and a very big but – whatever McCarthy’s motivation or cynicism, however unpleasant, shifty and unshaven he looked on TV, there was a reality behind what he was saying.

  • ITEM. August 1945. Elizabeth Bentley approaches the FBI and eventually reveals the spying activities of the CPUSA.
  • ITEM. September 1945. Igor Guzenko defects in Ottawa, revealing the extent of spying on its allies by the USSR. Thanks to his information Alan Nunn May, part of the British contribution to the atomic bomb project, is arrested March 1946. A number of Canadians are arrested – including the MP Fred Rose.
  • ITEM. August 1948. Whittaker Chambers, a CPUSA member disgusted by the Hitler-Stalin pact, in testimony to HUAC, names Alger Hiss, a senior State Department official, as a CPUSA agent.
  • ITEM. February 1950. McCarthy’s speech.
  • ITEM. Beginning in summer 1951 with the defection of Burgess and Maclean and only ending with the discovery of the last member in 1979, the revelation of extensive penetration by the Soviets of British intelligence – the Cambridge Five – caused continuing investigations and suspicions which tied up the CIA and SIS for years.

In conclusion, whatever you think of the man himself, “McCarthyism” was based on reality: there was extensive Soviet penetration in the USA and elsewhere.

+ + +

And today? The equivalent of McCarthy’s speech are the Clinton campaign’s excuses for losing.

We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election. (Hillary Clinton, 19 October 2016.)

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. [9 November 2016] Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. (From Shattered, quoted here.)

After the story had been happily re-typed by the complaisant media, the “intelligence community” weighed in with two fatuous “intelligence assessments”:

ITEM. The DHS/FBI report of 29 December 2016 carried this stunning disclaimer:

This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.

ITEM. The DNI report of 6 January 2017 crazily devoted nearly half its space to a four-year old rant about RT. But the real clue that the report was nonsense was its equally stunning disclaimer:

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

In other words, DHS told us to ignore its report and the one agency in the US intelligence structure that would actually know who hacked what refused to sign its name to it.

And not “all 17”, only three. Then – the final nail – not really the three but only “hand-picked” people from them. Eventually, the NYT issued a correction. (“Correction” being presstitute-speak for “you caught us”.)

The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community. (New York Times correction, 29 June 2017)

And that was the beginning of the story that has consumed so much effort, done so much damage, metastasised so far and continues today. No Elizabeth Bentley, no atomic spies, no Venona. Only 1) an excuse for losing, 2) “hand-picked” writers, 3) forced plea deals and 4) the pompous indictment of a Russian click bait farm.

The fons et origo of today’s Russhysteria, I am convinced, was a conspiracy in the security organs to derail Trump’s candidacy and when that failed, to overthrow him. Little by little that story is dribbling out:

Congressional testimony backs up former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s account that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was talking to high-level officials about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

One can only hope that the conspiracy will finally be so revealed and so proven and so obvious that even the consumers of CNN, MSNBC, The Guardian, the NYT and the rest will understand what was really going on. Then, maybe, we can hope to edge away from the highly dangerous anti-Russia hysteria.

McCarthyism was based on reality, today’s recurrence is not. A significant difference indeed.

+ + +

Lavrenti Beria is reputed to have said “give me the man, and I will give you the crime”. And sleep depravation and teeth and blood on the floor delivered the confession. How little he understood his craft. Maria Butina, an innocent if naïve Russian girl who liked the Second Amendment, arrested, stuck in solitary, on suicide watch (sleep deprivation – Beria knew about that), innumerable charges, after months, makes a plea deal. Michael Flynn, innumerable charges, savings burnt up, makes a plea deal. Paul Manafort, early morning SWAT attack (Beria recognises that), innumerable charges, makes a plea deal. Cohen, Papadopoulos and so on. That’s the American justice system – not Stalin’s “beat, beat and beat again” – just innumerable charges, bankruptcy by lawyers’ fees, endless interrogations, SWAT raids. Then the plea deal. Beria was an amateur.

So the Marx brothers are both wrong: the second time it’s a much more dangerous tragedy and, when you actually see it in reality, reason gone mad isn’t actually very funny.

February 27, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

WTC 1993 was an FBI job

corbettreport | April 23, 2008

For more details on this startling case, read the New York Times article on the subject:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage…

For the recording of Salem and Anticev, click here:

http://nwo.media.xs2.net/tape/SalemWB…

For more information about state-sponsored false flag terrorism and why the government perpetrates it, visit our homepage at:

http://www.corbettreport.com

February 26, 2019 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 2 Comments