The Bonnie and Clyde of US politics – by Publius Tacitus


Appears that Clinton Campaign Colluded with Ukraine and McCain in Bid to Destroy Donald Trump.

When the story of foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election is finally told it will have little to do with Russia and a lot to do with how Democrats, some Republicans and critical parts of the intelligence and law enforcement community colluded in an effort to discredit Donald Trump and undermine his ability to function as President. What puzzles me is why the media is acting surprised with the latest news confirming that Hillary Clinton's campaign financed the infamous Trump Dossier. Thank you Captain Obvious. Who else would have commissioned such an effort once the Republican primary battle was settled?

Reporters from the Washington Post,  while not breaking new ground, provided clear documentary evidence to confirm the suspicion:

Marc Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C., firm, to conduct the research. Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community.

Elias and his law firm, Seattle-based Perkins Coie, retained the firm in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’ research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’ research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.

Fusion GPS gave Steele’s reports and other research documents to Elias, the people familiar with the matter said. It is unclear how or how much of that information was shared with the campaign and DNC, and who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele.

Let me remind you of the basic facts about the Dossier–It consists of 13 separate reports. The first is dated 20 June 2016. That date is important because it shows that it took a little more than two months for Fusion GPS to generate its first report on Trump's alleged Russian activities. If Fusion GPS already had something in the can then I would expect them to have put something out in early May. Eleven more reports were generated between 26 July and 19 October 2016. That tracks with the letter from Perkins Coie that the engagement by the Clinton Campaign ended at the end of October.

But there is a big problem and unanswered question–The Dossier includes a final report that is dated 13 December 2016. Who paid for this? Was it John McCain?

McCain??!! Why do I bring him up. Do you recall the case of Aleksei Gubarev?

I wrote previously about Aleksej Gubarev, a Cypriot based chief executive of the network solutions firm XBT Holdings, who filed suit against Christopher Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, for defamation over their role in the publication of the Trump Dossier (which first  appeared in Buzzfeed).

Aleksej Gubarev, claims he and his companies were falsely linked in the dossier to the Russia-backed computer hacking of Democratic Party figures. Gubarev, 36, also is seeking unspecified damages from Buzzfeed and its top editor, Ben Smith, in a parallel lawsuit filed in Miami. 
Lawyers for Christopher Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence in the United Kingdom filed a response with the British court. Rowan Scarborough obtained a copy of the document and posted it on-line in April. The defense document is both illuminating and damning (I don't know how I missed this when it came out in April). This is a sworn legal document and it presents the following facts:
1. Orbis Business Intelligence was engaged by Fusion GPS sometime in early June 2016 to prepare a series of confidential memorandum based on intelligence concerning Russian efforts to influence the U.S. Presidential election process and links between Russia and Donald Trump (the first memo was dated 20 June 2016).
3. Senator John McCain, accompanied by David Kramer (a Senior Director at Senator McCain's Institute for International Leadership), met in London with an Associate of Orbis, former British Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood, to arrange a subsequent meeting with Christopher Steele in order to read the now infamous Steele Dossier. 
4. David Kramer and Christopher Steele met in Surrey on 28 November 2016, where Kramer was briefed on the contents of the memos.
5. Once Senator McCain and David Kramer returned to the United States, arrangements were made for Fusion GPS to provide Senator McCain hard copies of the memoranda.
6. After Donald Trump was elected, Christopher Steele prepared an additional memorandum (dated 13 December 2016) that made the following claims:
  • Michael Cohen held a secret meeting in Prague, Czechoslovakia in August 2016 with Kremlin operatives.
  • Cohen, allegedly accompanied by 3 colleagues (Not Further Identified), met with Oleg SOLODUKHIM to discuss on how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the Clinton campaign and various contingencies for covering up these operations and Moscow's secret liaison with the Trump team more generally.
  • In Prague, Cohen agreed (sic) contingency plans for various scenarios to protect the operation, but in particular what was to be done in the event that Hillary Clinton won the Presidency.
  • Sergei Ivanov's associate claimed that payments to hackers had been made by both Trump's team and the Kremlin.

[Note–Michael Cohen denies he was ever in Prague.]

7. Christopher Steele passed a copy of the December memo to a senior UK Government national security official and to Fusion GPS (via encrypted email) with the instruction to give a hard copy to Senator McCain via David Kramer.

Here is the key takeaway. After the Clinton Campaign and the DNC ended their relationship with Fusion GPS, why did John McCain and his staffer enter the picture and start receiving derogatory information about Donald Trump? Was there any communication or coordination between John McCain and Hillary Clinton's people regarding the findings of Fusion GPS? Or was this a unilateral move by McCain?

The Washington Post reporters claim that, "After the election, the FBI agreed to pay Steele to continue gathering intelligence, but the bureau pulled out of the arrangement after Steele was publicly identified." Who told the FBI about the Fusion GPS effort and the Steele reports? Was it McCain? Was it the Clinton campaign? Was it someone connected with the CIA or the NSA? There are some significant unanswered questions.

This takes on greater importance once you comprehend how entangled Hillary Clinton was with foreign governments. The story about Hillary Clinton's role in helping approve the sale of U.S. uranium to a Russian company involves a lot of money flowing into Clinton coffers:

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

 The story does not stop there. There also is Ukraine. This story was first reported by Politico:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.

 Smearing Russia with disinformation appears to be at the heart of the story that alleges Putin ordered and directed the hacking of the DNC emails. It is no coincidence that the firm and person behind that story, CrowdStrike and Dmitri Alperovich respectively, don't like Putin and Russia

. . .the only evidence that a break-in even occurred comes from a private cyber-security firm, CrowdStrike Inc. of Irvine, California, that the DNC hired to look into the breach.

Since when do the cops rely on a private eye to look into a murder rather than performing an investigation of their own? CrowdStrike, moreover, turns out to be highly suspect. Not only is Dmitri Alperovich, its chief technical officer, a Russian émigré with a pronounced anti-Putin tilt, but he is also an associate of a virulently anti-Russian outfit known as the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank funded by the Saudis, the United Arab Emirates, the Ukrainian World Congress, the U.S. State Department and a variety of other individuals and groups that have an interest in isolating or discrediting Russia.

The Atlantic Council puts out a stream of anti-Kremlin articles and reports with scary headlines like “Distract Deceive Destroy: Putin at War in Syria” and “Six Immediate Steps to Stop Putin’s Aggression.”

Since the Atlantic Council is also a long-time supporter of Hillary Clinton, this means that the Clinton campaign relied on a friendly anti-Putin cyber-sleuth to tell it what everyone involved wanted to hear, i.e. that the Kremlin was at the bottom of it all. If this strikes you as fishy, it should.

The peeling of the onion only has begun. Still to be exposed in greater detail are the activities of the CIA, under John Brennan, and the NSA, under Mike Rogers, in searching for and disseminating information that would damage Trump and prevent him from taking office. I am told by knowledgeable friends that there is plenty of fire behind this smoke.

While the mainstream media is trying desperately to ignore this story, the weight of evidence of foreign meddling aided and abetted by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is growing. The effort to smear Trump is losing steam, which may be a partial explanation for the hysteria demonstrated by Senators Corker and Flake yesterday. They are throwing wild verbal punches with a clear air of desperation and fear. The truth is that as this investigation of Fusion GPS unfolds that mainstream establishment Republicans, like McCain, will have political blood on their hands. Not likely to be a pretty picture in Washington, D.C.

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90 Responses to The Bonnie and Clyde of US politics – by Publius Tacitus

  1. Eric Newhill says:

    Just to check my level set, as I understand it, Uranium One isn’t exactly as Trump’s dumbed down sound bite for mass consumption has it, yet it is, ultimately pretty bad.
    What I [think] I understand; A Canadian company, Uranium One, controls significant Uranium mining rights all over the globe; including in the US. The Russians proposed, and eventually received, approval to purchase a controlling interest in the company. Clinton is a member of the committee that assessed the proposed purchase. Obama had the final say, but the president tends to rubber stamp a deal. During the time +/- the proposed Russian purchase of controlling interest was being considered by SFIUS (the committee) the Clinton Foundation began receiving large sums of money from Canadian sources related to the deal.
    The Russians cannot actually take the 20% of US uranium they now control out of the country (though some reports are that they have). However, we (Americans) would have to have Russian cooperation to access 20% of Uranium in US soil. The real kicker here is that the Russians, through Uranium One, gained access to much larger uranium deposits in Kazakhstan and that Uranium can be moved to wherever the Russians desire. In fact, it is likely that access to that uranium is why the Russians were interested in Uranium One. So that was handed to them by the Obama admin. and Clinton.
    Sound about right?

  2. DianaLC says:

    Great information. Thank you for lining everything out so clearly.
    I have not read the Dossier, of course. I have read reports about some of its most bizarre contentions, especially those about Trump’s supposed activities in Russian hotel rooms. Those made me wonder how anyone would take the Dossier seriously in the first place.
    But then I thought to myself, “Isn’t that stuff that Bill Clinton would find credible? And now that I think of it, it’s also stuff that dirty old man McCain might also find credible.
    Your reporting on the facts of the case is very helpful. But my gut reaction about the nature of Bill and John has also confirmed your conclusion. As for Hillary, there is nothing but gross ambition in her and no real moral compass. I can clearly seeing her doing this so she could try to explain “what happened” in regard to the loss of her chance to get back into the WH.

  3. Castellio says:

    This is from the wikileaks on Uranium One, and I quote it to bring in the name of Frank Giustra:
    “In 2007 Uranium One acquired a controlling interest in UrAsia Energy, a Canadian firm with headquarters in Vancouver, from Frank Giustra. UrAsia Energy has interests in rich uranium operations in Kazakhstan. UrAsia Energy’s acquisition of its Kazakhstan uranium interests from Kazatomprom followed a trip to Almaty in 2005 by Giustra and former U.S. President Bill Clinton where they met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan. Substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation by Giustra followed, with Clinton, Giustra, and Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2007 establishing the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat poverty in the developing world. In addition to his initial contribution of $100 million Giustra pledged to contribute half of his future earnings from mining to the initiative.”

  4. Kooshy says:

    PT exelent work, unfortunately I don’t see MSM is willing to expand and spread this. From what I see they have already started to divert and contain it.

  5. SM says:

    Rinat Akmetshin was at Halifax Conference with McCain in December 2016.

  6. SM says:

    Kazakh official who transferred Kazakh uranium assets to Clinton’s associates later sentenced to 14 years for corruption. Investigators need to look at who owned stock in acquisition.

  7. DavidKNZ says:

    It will be interesting to see how/if “The Establishment” manages to bury this unwinding scandal
    The NY Times provided details in 2015, but so far, no follow up
    John Helmer, an Australian reporter domiciled in Moscow notes:
    Helmer (‘Dancing with Bears’) is worth watching – he regularly provides detailed references to the machinations of the Russian Oligarchy. These are a useful wakeup call to those overly idealise Putin / Russia

  8. TV says:

    After 9/11, the FBI should have been cleaned out for incompetence.
    Now, it needs to be cleaned out for corruption.
    And I don’t mean most of the “feebs” in the field;they’re just keeping their heads down to get to their pension.
    It’s the top that’s dirty – and apparently no more competent.
    Then the DOJ – an arm of the Democrat party – needs to be cleaned out, including the so-called “non-partisan career professionals”…..LMAO.

  9. Peter AU says:

    Back when following MH17, I found it took leaps of faith to follow Helmer across the large gaps between solid facts.
    your linked article appears no different, linking articles from guardian, NYT, and other similar publications as facts.
    Rather than linking directly to a transcript of what Putin has said, helmer will link to a NYT or guarding article for their take on what has been said. This is why it is difficult to take Helmer seriously.

  10. Randy says:

    The first atom bombs used uranium as fuel. Hydrogen bombs use plutonium and hydrogen. Hydrogen bombs are an order or more of magnitude more powerful.
    So the Russians got some uranium, big deal. Like everything else blown orders of magnitude out of proportion but the Clintons have their greedy fingers in everything they can make a buck at. They deserve to be taken down HARD!
    Correct me if I am wrong.

  11. Peter in Toronto says:

    Does anyone here actually know what the deal with McCain is?
    What is his purpose in this chicanery? How does he get elected in Arizona when he doesn’t even serve his constituents, and is more often than not, pursuing some sort of war in a distant part of the world, or acting as an agent on behalf of the security interests of Israel?

  12. blue peacock says:

    What do your sources tell you about how compromised Mueller is? He’s been around a long time in the midst of a lot of DC shenanigans. He seems to epitomize a Swamp creature.
    For those sleuthing around, there is an interesting factoid. The Democrat law firm that paid Fusion GPS for the Steele dossier, also paid Crowdstrike to “investigate” the DNC email “leak”.
    The Clinton’s have always been among the sleaziest politicians at the highest levels of our government. They have felt invincible as they have in many ways lead the Democrat party apparat for a long time and were in the same policy mindset as the top GOP establishment.
    It was clear during the general election and during the transition that there was a concerted campaign to oust Trump through innuendo and media hysteria by top leaders of both political parties, key intel agency leaders and the entirety of the MSM. Why did they do this? What are they afraid of?
    I am most interested in the role of the intelligence agencies in this soft coup as Col. Lang has labeled it. I have read earlier that McCain had discussions with Comey about the Steele dossier. The FBI seems to have paid Steele or a business associated with him. Clearly, Clapper and Brennan were media hogs pitching the “Russians subverted our democracy colluding with the Trump campaign” story. What role did they play and what role did the top echelons at the CIA and the DNI play. What were the arrangements between MI6 and US intel agencies? Steele was their guy. Why did they feel the need to interfere in a US election? There can be no doubt they did not act alone. It is an easy deduction that they worked closely with their US counterparts. Where was the NSA in all this? They hoover all electronic communications. How does the unmasking requests made by Susan Rice and Samantha Powers play into this? And finally what did Barack Hussein Obama know and what did he authorize?
    This is not about Trump. This is about an attempted soft coup hatched and executed at the highest levels. This is the real subversion of democracy and our republic. The lid needs to be blown on this. And IMO, it will not come about through Mueller, Sessions, MSM, et al.

  13. blue peacock says:

    Frank Giustra comes up a lot. He’s a key player and big funder of the Clinton Foundation. I have read that he setup a charitable trust in Canada where there is less scrutiny to funnel money to the Clintons and others.
    The Clintons played an instrumental role with Kazakhstan. And there obviously was some quid pro quo. I believe what Nazarbayev got was international acceptance considering he was putting the screws on his political opposition through repression.

  14. different clue says:

    The uranium might be for nuclear power. And if nuclear power remains much in use, the uranium would remain very valuable.

  15. TV says:

    McCain’s constituents have had multiple chances to fix their original mnistake
    They apparently like being represented by two “flakes.”
    And, BTW, my niece was a staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee and had multiple interactions with McCain; he is NOT a nice guy.

  16. TV says:

    Especially NOT Sessions.
    He apparently spends his days hiding underneath his desk.

  17. bks says:

    Utter nonsense. When Clinton does something every other candidate does (oppo research) conservative heads explode. As far as we know, every word of the Steele Dossier (originally paid for by the GOP) is true.

  18. mikee says:

    Plutonium does not exist naturally. It is created from Uranium.

  19. Aka says:

    So the Kremlin does not have enough money to pay their hackers?
    I mean who come up with this info?

  20. Tidewater says:

    I disagree. Helmer is an old pro. He has a lot of reliable sources, quite obviously. And why shouldn’t he? He’s been in Russia and in the newspaper business a long time. Example is his article which Yves Smith published at Naked Capitalism– “John Helmer: Parsing the Dossier on Trump’s Alleged Bedroom Antics.” Helmer may not be able to answer the question whether or not Steele is in step with MI-6 in pushing the dossier, but it seems to me he gives a good background picture as to why Steele, at 52, should be out in the cold. Helmer, in London, is able to get the evaluation of Steele privately held by a number of different intelligence officers who knew him, and knew his career, and the whole background, which is no mean feat for a reporter. Steele doesn’t come out of Helmer’s inquiries looking good at all. Which is not what the American MSM was saying. Which simply corroborates some of the visible facts of Steele’s career. He was blown by 1996 and the Russian intelligence service told him so whenever it was (earlier?) that they stole his wife’s favorite shoes before an important party. But he did get his pension after twenty and then was out. Which left him desperate to make some money, given his expensive style of life, a million dollar plus house, surely private school fees for his children, a new wife, etc. etc. Helmer is one of the best on the early revelations about Steele.
    Then there is again on Naked Capitalism, and surely Dances with Bears, “JOHN HELMER: MH17–the Lie to End All Truths, and New Evidence.” (September 19, 2015.) In this article –actually there were a number of them–Helmer scrutinizes the report of Dutch State Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke and certain evidence that Westerbeke lets slip, including the fact that there were only 25 metal fragments found in the victim’s bodies. If a BUK had been used that is an impossibility.
    Helmer also examines the report of the Coroners Court of Victoria, Australia, in some detail. He states that the Australians are withholding forensic evidence and that there is something badly wrong with the report.
    Helmer’s reporting is very good, very thorough, and he has worked hard to tell the West that there is something disgracefully wrong with the whole MH17 investigation. It is ‘stonewall and coverup’, as was said during Watergate. Further, Helmer makes the interesting claim that both Obama and Putin know what happened almost immediately.
    Noone has refuted Helmer, to the best of my knowledge. The West has just let MH17 slide.
    So in re Helmer: Credit where credit is due.

  21. Pacifica Advocate says:

    It would not be far-fetched speculation that the Russians’ proposed purchase of interest in Uranium One was accompanied by an “or else–“, either perceived or implied.
    Kazakhstan remains firmly within the Russian orbit of influence, and it is run as a fiefdom by a vicious strongman. The payments that bought the company in Canada could just as easily have been delivered to the boss of Kazakhstan, and the same result we have now achieved–with the added bonus (for the Russians) of a critical hit to a Canadian company, as well as denial of access to U.S. and Canadian consumers. Seen that way, the purchase was almost certainly the best choice among a set of bad choices.

  22. You are indulging in utter nonsense. This was not oppo research. This was pure disinformation and smear. If you actually read the 13 reports you’d understand that. But it is clear you are intellectually dishonest and willing to make excuses for inexcusable conduct.

  23. JamesT says:

    How do you know that the leader of Kazakhstan is a vicious strongman (more vicious I take it than, say, the leader of UAE)?

  24. JamesT says:

    My personal working theory is that The Establishment has decided to toss Hillary under the bus. They can milk months if not years of “Russian criminal behaviour” from this story. My understanding is that bribes were paid, and I imagine some criminal conspiracy took place that involved some Russians.
    Everyone is expendable to The Establishment, and perhaps (just perhaps) Hillary has outlived her usefulness.

  25. JamesT says:

    Wow. I learn so much around here.

  26. different clue says:

    As I read your comment I had/ have an even worse thought. Namely ” isn’t that stuff that Bill Clinton would like to do his own self, if he felt sure that he could get away with it?” Shame on me for thinking that? Well . . . maybe.
    Just what was Slicky Bill doing on all those private luxury airplane flights to Epstein Island? Just what did Slicky Bill do on Epstein Island after he got off the plane?
    I hope that Harvey Weinstein is only the first of many great trees to fall in the forest.

  27. mariner says:

    Helmer is a propagandist. Once again, Putin’s laughing. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.
    ‘Bateson, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind describes the two forms of schismogenesis and proposes that both forms are self-destructive to the parties involved. He goes on to suggest that researchers look into methods that one or both parties may employ to stop a schismogenesis before it reaches its destructive stage.’

  28. Eric Newhill says:

    That is one of the more clever defenses of the Clinton’s indefensible behavior that I have heard yet. As it is still early in the story and I am sure that as we speak well paid BS masters are frantically bouncing various spin off focus groups in shabby rooms over stale donuts and luke warm coffee, something more clever may develop, but you’re #1 so far.
    Unfortunately, your theory is still only rises to the level of a good try. It only makes some sense if the “or else” was that the Russians would take their $150 million in pay to play/bribery money and give it to someone else.
    You raise the appearance of a good point about the Kazakhstan uranium. You say that if that was what the Russians were really after – the real prize – then they could have simply gone there with their bribery cash and been done with it. However, it seems to me that Uranium One had the Kazakhstan uranium tied up. So the only way to get at it was via controlling interest in Uranium One. The leader of Kazakhstan (even if a “vicious strongman” as you called him) can’t just rip up Uranium One’s deal. Plus, Uranium One probably gave him plenty of bribe money themselves. Also, obtaining a controlling interest in Uranium One means getting control of the Uranium of the US and other countries; which may not serve the short term tactical needs of Russia like the Kazak uranium, but which likely benefits long term strategy. Hey, at the very least, it never hurts to have some valuable asset in one’s portfolio.
    That luke warm coffee is going to give you heartburn after a while and the stale donuts aren’t doing you any favors either. Eat right, get some exercise and generally pace yourself. This is going to get heavy and not go away quickly.

  29. mikee says:

    bks: I certainly hope you are being paid to write this nonsense. First of all the GOP did not pay for the Steele dossier, not that they aren’t capable of such a thing. That is a wholly owned Democrat smear.
    Hell, From what I’ve seen Trump could likely be one of the most honest politicians in DC. It doesn’t take much in the way of integrity to top the pond scum that ‘serve’ there now.

  30. LondonBob says:

    Well I did a bit of uranium investing back in the day and it is still a lot less valuable now, than it was ten years ago. Actually I believe there is still the once sizeable military stockpile to be rundown, as everyone has been doing. Uranium itself is not rare and there are many deposits, however few of them are commercially viable to mine at the current market price. So I wouldn’t inflate the importance of uranium, especially as you can’t pick up deposits in the US and relocate them elsewhere, they have to be mined where they are. Anyway I expect the Russian interest was in the Kazakh, not the US, deposits for that reason.
    The corruption itself seems to be driven less so by the Russians but the other parties firstly in regards to the acquisition of the Kazakh assets by Guistra, then smoothing the purchase of UrAsia by Uranium One, and then finally insuring that these interests could then be sold on to Rosatom. The tone of media reporting tends to imply this was all a massive threat to US national security by nefarious corrupt Russians but I don’t think the facts of the matter bear that out, at best it is an exaggeration.

  31. MRW says:

    I can’t remember the details, but Helmer was on the staff of Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council.
    An absolutely fascinating account is this article he wrote about Brzezinski after Brzezinski died last May:

  32. b says:

    Also of note:
    The Obama-FBI used the content of the DNC/Clinton paid fake dossier to get FISA warrants to then spy on officials of the opposition party.
    The FBI never got (asked for?) access to the DNC servers of which the Fusion GPS hired Crowdstrike asserted that they were hacked by Russia.

  33. Tidewater,
    You clearly did not see my response after you recycled Helmer’s BS back in September.
    As I noted then, while he has often been a source of very valuable information, and while there is not yet enough evidence to form a definite view, there is certainly reason to contemplate the possibility that, on this occasion, he may have been channelling disinformation from the Russian security services.
    I will repost what I wrote then after posting this comment, which elaborates it.
    As I have noted in earlier comments, I do not think that one can simply discount the possibility that some of the material in the dossier was disinformation deliberately fed to Steele by Russian intelligence in the hope that it would blow up in his face, and that of Trump’s opponents.
    The suggestion, with which the dossier starts, that Russia had, as it were, picked Trump as its ‘Siberian candidate’ back in 2011 or earlier is so patently ludicrous that nobody with any kind of critical faculties could take it seriously. (Who knows – perhaps even now the winner of the 2024 election has been earmarked by the Kremlin, and ‘kompromat’ is already been gathered on him!)
    What is far from entirely unconceivable, however, is what when they discovered that Steele and the people behind him were attempting to frame them in order to destroy Trump, elements in Russian intelligence decided that it would be better if he included material that was patently ludicrous – and might involve him in lawsuits.
    One then however comes back to the critical question of precisely who is likely to have been behind Steele. If one is at all familiar with the history of the Litvinenko mystery, in which it now appears he was a key player, it comes to seem extremely unlikely that he was acting on his own in relation to the dossier.
    Insofar as he had actual sources – and I think that some of the time he did – a good few of them would have been MI6’s contacts in the networks operated by Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky. And that indeed is what could have opened up the possibility for Russian intelligence to trap Steele, as many such people have made their terms with Putin.
    These sources would not have been used without the consent of MI6, and those with whom it collaborates closely in American intelligence. And it is eminently possible that Steele, and Orbis, were being used as a ‘front’ for a project instigated by figures high up in American intelligence.
    So his role provides further grounds to suspect that a ‘soft coup’ was being planned against Trump, from quite early on, by leading figures in American intelligence, in collusion with their counterparts in Britain.
    If you want to see the kind of ‘information operations’ in which Steele was earlier involved, I would recommend a sampling of materials which Sir Robert Owen did allow into evidence in his scandal of an ‘Inquiry.’ A great deal of other material to which I drew his team’s attention was suppressed – and the obvious conclusions from the materials that were admitted were not drawn.
    One interesting item is a transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office of a 16 December 2006 BBC Radio 4 programme entitled ‘The Litvinenko Mystery’, presented by Tom Mangold. The ‘subject’ is described by the official responsible as ‘Investigation in to the Death of Alexander Litvinenko – Major Yuri Shvets & Bobby Levinson.’
    (See )
    It now appears overwhelmingly likely that what was going on was that key participants in ‘information operations’, designed either to topple or prevent the election of targeted leaders in a range of countries – including Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, and also Italy and probably Iran – were being ‘wheeled in’ to cover up what had actually happened to one of their number.
    As Steele – then head of the MI6 Russia Desk – has to have played a crucial role in this, a question has to arise as to whether officials sending it out, and those who received it – names blacked out in the transcript – were gullible dupes or accomplices.
    And that leads on to the more general question as to whether key British politicians – from Tony Blair and Jack Straw through to Theresa May and Boris Johnson – play the role of ‘useful idiots’ in the shenanigans in which elements in British and American intelligence have been involved, or are co-conspirators: or indeed some bizarre mixture of both.
    To see who the figures involved the Mangold programme really were, and linkages worth investigating, all one needs to do are a few basic Google checks. Some material by myself will appear, if you Google ‘Litvinenko David Habakkuk’ and ‘Shvets David Habakkuk.’ However, other searches may yield much more immediately relevant results: ‘Yuri Shvets Melnichenko’, ‘Robert Levinson CIA’, ‘Robert Levinson Mogilevich’, ‘Trump Mogilevich’, ‘Mangold Mogilevich’, ‘Mangold anthrax’, ‘Mangold David Kelly’, ‘Mueller Comey anthrax’.
    For a taste of the ‘information operations’ in which Litvinenko was involved, at a time when he was an agent, which must have at the least have been approved by Steele and the then head of MI6, Sir John Scarlett (of Niger uranium forgeries fame) see the extracts from the Melnichenko tapes, as edited by Shvets, presented in evidence to the ‘Inquiry’. These are available at .
    At the time when the original selection from the Melnichenko tapes was made public in 2002 – in support of the ‘régime change’ project in Ukraine which became the ‘Orange Revolution’ – a former worker in the FBI’s forensic laboratory, Bruce Koenig, then working for a private security company called ‘Bek-Tek’, claimed that there were no signs of them having been doctored.
    (See )
    See whether you can find the certain, and possible, edits in the later selection swallowed whole by Sir Richard Owen.
    For a glimpse into the purposes for which these edits were made, see the letter which Litvinenko supplied to the ‘Mitrokhin Commission’ in December 2005, shortly after his collaborator with that organisation, Mario Scaramella, departed on a trip to the United States, at
    For a summary of wiretaps by Italian officials of Scaramella’s accounts of that trip to Washington, and an early attempt by me to make sense of this mess, see a ‘diary’ I posted on the ‘European Tribune’ site back in December 2008, entitled ‘Not quite the “perfect fix”’, at
    I have to say that, when the ‘man behind the curtain’ in these high-jinks was revealed as Christopher Steele, part of me found this extraordinarily funny. Perhaps I should confess to a prejudice, in that with superannuated Oxbridge student politicians, like ex-Trotskyists and their children, I am perhaps too inclined to expect the worst. But then, I actually know something about such people from direct experience.
    But really, this man may be bumbling, but he not at all benevolent. That he should ever have been hired by MI6, and then promoted to run the Russia Desk, tells you most of what you need to know about that utter lack alike of intellectual competence and integrity in that organisation.
    As I have written before, if Americans are really prepared to tolerate intervention in your elections by the likes of Steele – or that ex-GCHQ ‘twerp’ Matt Tait, of ‘Capital Alpha Security’ – why did you go to the bother of having a Revolution?

  34. Tidewater,
    This is what I wrote about Helmer in the discussions of the Colonel’s 19 September post on the wiretapping of Trump Tower, which is at
    Thanks for reminding me of the Helmer piece, which I had forgotten.
    It I think illustrates a general principle – that it is unwise to do what the MSM currently do, and divide the world into supposed purveyors of ‘fake news’ and reliable information. Many of the most interesting sources of information produce some invaluable material, and some which is highly questionable: Helmer being a case in point.
    A key figure in the Litvinenko mystery is the former K.G.B. operative Yuri Shvets – who also played a central role in the ‘Orange Revolution’ in Ukraine. As his Wikipedia entry makes clear, in his 2005 book ‘Washington Station: My Life as a KGB spy in America’, Shvets claimed to have recruited two key sources of political intelligence, whom he referred to as ‘Sputnitsa’ and ‘Socrates.’
    (See .)
    In his book ‘Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer’ published the same year, Victor Cherkashin, who was case officer for two notorious Soviet spies in the United States, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, claimed that ‘Socrates’ was Helmer, and ‘Sputnitsa’ his wife Claudia Wright. However, Cherkashin also asserted that Helmer was ‘never an agent or even a target’ of the KGB.
    On the credibility of Shvets as a witness, see the ‘diary’ entitled ‘Fact, frame-up, or fiction? – Litvinenko’s “deathbed testimony”’, which I and my Italian collaborator David Loepp posted on the ‘European Tribune’ website back in December 2012.
    ( .)
    The answer to the question raised by our title, incidentally, is now clear. One can be absolutely certain that what is supposed to be the ‘deathbed testimony’, the interviews supposedly recorded by Litvinenko with Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt on 18-20 November 2006, are clumsy fabrications. It seems likely, although not certain, that one of the activities in which Steele was engaged with Orbis was organising the ‘industrial scale’ faking of evidence apparent at Owen’s inquiry.
    If the British authorities, and indeed Steele, want to dispute my arguments on this point, rather than relying on the credulity of the MSM, they should produce audio tapes of the Russian language originals of the interviews. What conceivable good grounds can there be for not doing so?
    The relevance of this in relation to Shvets is that my hunch would be that he is either simply lying about Helmer and Wright, or doing what spooks have on occasion been known to do: taking people with whom they have contact, and discuss the world, and portraying them as actual agents, or something close to it.
    That said, it would not particularly surprise me if on occasion Helmer was a conduit for material from Russian intelligence agencies. For one thing, it would perfectly natural if he cultivated sources in these – I certainly would, in his shoes.
    In relation to his claims about the dossier, however, he showed no more inclination to check what his informants told him than the MSM journalists who have simply accepted without question the kind of patently fabricated evidence about the life and death of Litvinenko provided by Steele, DI Brent Hyatt, and others.
    By the time Helmer’s piece appeared on 18 January, it had already been reported that its subject had left MI6 in 2009, and that he had been put in charge into the investigation into Litvinenko’s death. So the suggestion that the mishap over the fake rock operation, which occurred in January of that year, had any radical influence on Steele’s career is patent hokum – as Helmer should have known.
    As it happens, ever since the story of Steele’s involvement in the dossier broke, it has been clear that there have been deep divisions among Western intelligence agencies as to how to handle him: whether they should, as it were, ‘hang him out to dry’, or endorse and defend his work.
    A good example of the latter approach come a report on 15 January – three days before Helmer’s piece – by the ‘Defence Editor’ of the ‘Independent’, Kim Sengupta, entitled ‘Head of MI6 used information from Trump dossier in first public speech’.
    (See .)
    The approach taken here was the exact reverse of that taken by Helmer, as it unambiguously identified the head of the organisation, Sir Alex Younger, with the ‘defend Steele to the hilt’ school. It opened:
    ‘The head of MI6 used information obtained by former officer Christopher Steele in his Trump investigation, in a warning against Russian cyberattacks and attempts to subvert Western democracies, The Independent has learned.
    ‘Sir Alex Younger’s briefing notes for his first public speech as head of the Secret Intelligence Service contained some of the material supplied by Mr Steele, according to security sources. Drawing on the alleged hacking carried out by Moscow in the US presidential campaign, he warned of the danger facing Britain and Western European allies, and especially to elections due to be held next year.
    ‘Security sources stress that MI6 had extensive information, British and international, on the Russian threat apart from that of Mr Steele. But they pointed out that he is held in high regard and the contribution he provided was valuable.’
    It is worth reading the full text of Younger’s speech, to get a picture of quite how dismal the intellectual, and moral, quality of today’s MI6 is. From his discussion of ‘the increasingly dangerous phenomenon of hybrid warfare’:
    ‘In this arena, our opponents are often states whose very survival owes to the strength of their security capabilities; the work is complex and risky, often with the full weight of the State seeking to root us out.’
    (See .)
    As well as being borderline illiterate, and factually inaccurate, these remarks involve a – clearly unintended – irony. So we have it on the authority of the head of MI6 that the very survival of Russia can be attributed to the strength of the FSB, SVR, and GRU. How can any patriotic Russian do anything other than vote for Putin?
    A key part of the truth which underlies this drivel is actually brought out in the contemptuous remarks from Lugovoi and Kovtun I quoted, about the willingness of the British to take on trust anything claimed by Berezovsky and his associates – which brings me back to the reasons I suspect that Helmer may have been a conduit for Russian disinformation.
    As has been amply evident from the MSM coverage, and was made even more clear by Owen’s report, this view of British credulity has been essentially vindicated. One of its more dangerous consequences is that – in common with their American counterparts – British élites have consistently both gravely underestimated the strength of Putin’s position and also misunderstood his preferred ‘modus operandi.’
    By telling the oligarchs that they could hold on to what they had looted, so long as they kept out of politics, did actually pay taxes, and a few other things, and installing his cronies as quasi-oligarchs, Putin was able effectively to isolate those who were not prepared to accept the bargain offered: above all, Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky.
    As the outcome of the power struggle was initially uncertain, however, a lot of people, very naturally, played both sides. However, the general pattern was a steady move to the one which was clearly winning, and which also increasingly appeared to be pulling the country back from chaos, and so could appeal to patriotism (a very evident factor with Lugovoi.)
    This was at the core of the events in London in October-November 2006. It seems reasonably certain that Litvinenko’s supposed assassin was being used in an attempt – probably successful – to bring Berezovsky’s partner Arkadi ‘Badri’ Patarkatsishvili back into the Putin camp. It also seems likely that Lugovoi was being used in a bid to bring his supposed victim back on side.
    Attempts to produce a plausible explanation of why the Russian security services could have commissioned Lugovoi to assassinate Litvinenko are, frankly, only susceptible of belief by those the former claimed the latter called ‘retards.’ It is very easy to see how the supposed assassin could have been used to sing a siren song. It might have gone something like this:
    ‘Come back home, spill all the beans about Berezovsky, MI6, the CIA, etc, and go public with what of it suits Putin. Whatever his faults, he’s not one to bear grudges, and if you play ball, he will be happy to let bygones by bygones, just as with me and “Badri”.’
    All this has a corollary: that the suggestion in Helmer’s piece that, having been ‘blown’, Steele could not have had Russian sources may give further grounds to suspect that he was being used as a conduit for Russian disinformation.
    A major problem with the dossier is that different parts of it read very differently. While on many occasions I regard utter incompetence as a plausible hypothesis when it comes to MI6, I am still somewhat sceptical of the suggestion that the former head of its Russia Desk could not spell the name of the Alfa Group, one of the most significant business groups in Russia.
    And while parts of the dossier sound like simple fabrication, others – in particular some of those which, as Helmer notes, contradict claims by ‘CrowdStrike’, and also Matt Tait – sound as though they could have come from sources that existed.
    If this was so, however, it would have been likely that they would have been among the sources, most of them involved in one way or another with Putin’s oligarch opponents, on whom MI6 had drawn. Accessing such sources would obviously have been done through indirect channels. But there is no conceivable way it could have been done without the consent of the organisation.
    Some of the sources might still either be genuinely identified with the opposition, or so afraid of having their activities exposed that they had to continue to collaborate. Others, however, are likely to have wanted, like Lugovoi, to liquidate their involvement in a lost cause. Such figures could easily have been happy to disseminate disinformation, either on behalf of the Russian security services, or on their own account.
    The first kind of situation could account for the arrests of FSB information security experts in January – which would of course imply that Steele had fed genuine sources to the wolves, one more reason for thinking him a lower form of life. The second could account for the claims which have led to lawsuits from Aleksej Gubarev, the principals in the Alfa Group, and now Carter Page.
    However, this could provide a further reason why elements in the Russians security services might be happy covertly to collude with those of their Western counterparts who wanted to portray Steele as a kind of kind of lone ‘rogue operator.’ In my view, it is likely that he was nothing of the kind.

  35. Fred says:

    Carlos Slim is a major owner of the NYT, which has been consistently anti-Trump.

  36. LeaNder says:

    What is far from entirely unconceivable, however, is what when they discovered that Steele and the people behind him were attempting to frame them in order to destroy Trump, elements in Russian intelligence decided that it would be better if he included material that was patently ludicrous – and might involve him in lawsuits.
    that’s an interesting idea, David. Admittedly i never read the report after I got glimpses that sounded pretty silly.

  37. bks says:

    From the WaPo article, Mikee:
    “Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary:

  38. When you are in a hole you should stop digging. You fail to grasp the simple fact that the Republican client relationship with Fusion ended in March 2016. Hillary’s law firm engaged Fusion in April 2016. When did Steele deliver his first written report? 20 JUNE 2016. Whatever the Republican hired Fusion to do it did not result in a report of any kind that has made its way to the public. Mikee is absolutely correct–THE GOP DID NOT PAY FOR THE DOSSIER.
    Do you even take time to read what I write? My pique comes because I assume you are an educated, intelligent person. But your comment suggests otherwise. But that’s why I’m allowing it to go up.

  39. blue peacock says:

    David Habakkuk
    Fascinating! Thank you for your write-up.
    It seems that MI6 has played a rather murky role in all this. Are they acting as free agents or is this part of some design by the political leadership?

  40. Eric Newhill says:

    bks is repeating what I see as the current democrat response, “it’s just oppo research. Everyone does it. Republicans were in on it too. Nothing to see here let’s move along and ignore the alt-right hysterical witch hunt”.
    If one observes the comments sections in the various media sites that are actually reporting the story, one can see the dem-bots salting and peppering the comments with this meme. So they have received their marching orders from Dem central and are dutifully disseminating the message. However, one also sees that a lot of people are taking this very seriously and not buying what the dems are selling. In fact, the people on the right are rejoicing that, finally, the Clintons will be brought down. Trump is not going to be able to let this go now (if the thought ever even crossed his mind). Any republican that fails to support the investigation(s) or that wavers on the commitment to punish any and all dems involved (+ republican “cucks”) will go the way of corker and flake.
    IMO the revolution/swamp draining has jumped off and there’s no turning back.

  41. I agree with you about the soft coup. A friend who was privy to some of the conversations among the intel principals tells me that Brennan and Clapper genuinely believed they could release info that would prevent Trump from being inaugurated. The surface is only being scratched.
    One more curiosity–McCain reportedly met with Comey on the 9th of December, but the final report from Steele carries the date 13 December. Did McCain go back to Steele/Fusion and ask for that report to be issued?

  42. Couple of things to keep in mind as this all unravels.
    1. The Steele Dossier is just the sort of grab bag of bottom-feeding rumours and miscellaneous harum-scarum that can be easily bought in Russia (or anywhere else). There is no reason to assume any involvement by any Russian security organisation.
    2. The uranium buy is just good business. And, never forget, if your government is for sale, you can’t be surprised — or offended — if somebody buys it. Again, no reason to expect any big involvement by the Russian state.
    (PS Russia’s uranium reserves are about three time the USA’s, and Kazakhstan’s and Canada’s are much much more.)

  43. mikee says:

    From your WP link: “Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
    After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

  44. All,
    A few points about the chronology.
    That of the early memoranda in the dossier is actually a complete and utter mess. So the first document, which is listed as ‘Company Intelligence Report 2016/080’, is indeed dated June 20. This is the document which suggests that, back in 2011 or earlier, the Kremlin had already worked out that Trump was the ‘horse to back’ – and introduced the ‘golden showers.’
    The next document in the sequence, which is listed as 2016/086, introduces the claims about Russian hacking. Almost incredibly, it is dated 26 July 2015 – which is clearly a misprint for 2016.
    The next in the sequence by number, listed as 2016/094, is however dated 19 July 2016 – before 2016/086, if one assumes that ‘2015’ means ‘2016’. This is the memorandum which introduces the supposed secret meetings between Carter Page and Igor Sechin.
    This is however printed after 2016/095, which has no date. It however reverts to the task of trying to make the ‘hacking’ story credible, with a supposed Trump associate cited admitting that ‘Kremlin behind recent appearance of DNC e-mails on WikiLeaks, as meaning of maintaining plausible deniability’.
    It also contains the interesting suggestion that the intelligence networks being used against Clinton comprised three elements:
    ‘Firstly, there were agents/facilitators within the Democratic Party structure itself; secondly Russian émigré and associated offensive cyber operators based in the US; and thirdly, state-sponsored cyber operatives working in Russia.’
    (The ‘Cryptome’ transcription of the memoranda, which is easy to work with because searchable, places 2016/094 where one would have thought it should be, before 2016/095. But we simply do not know whether this is the right chronology, given that the latter has no date and the former has a date which suggests it was before 2016/086.
    To make sense of this extraordinary mess, one can I think usefully supplement the chronology produced by the ‘Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity’ people about these events. My additions are in capitals:
    (See )
    ‘On 25 May last year, the final email, in the sequence of material which opened in January 2015, which was later to be released by WikiLeaks, was sent.
    ‘On June 12 last year Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
    ‘On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.
    ‘On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.
    ‘On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia.
    What is also interesting is that the claims by Alperovitch and Tait are both in tension, and alike directly contradicted by those in 2016/086 – the memorandum dated 26 July 2015, which seems to mean 2016. So the first of these points the finger principally at the GRU, who are portrayed as masters of their craft. The second suggests they have left the initials of Dzerzhinsky in plain sight – which would suggest they are incompetent bunglers.
    And then, more than a month later, the ‘humint’ from one of MI6’s ‘ace spies’ makes no mention of the GRU, focuses exclusively on the FSB – and quotes a ‘senior government figure’ as saying that there had been ‘only limited success in penetrating the “first tier” foreign targets.’
    So, does the DNC count as a ‘first tier’ foreign target?
    What all this suggests to me are panic-stricken cover-up operations. The first memorandum was part of the initial response to the realisation that very damaging documentation from the DNC had been leaked, and would be published by WikiLeaks.
    As to the next three memoranda, an obvious hypothesis is that they were a response to the Seth Rich murder. If one thinks it likely – as I do – that the documentation from the DNC was leaked, and he was one of the conduits, anyone in the ‘apparatus’ who knew this would have been likely to panic.
    Simply to concede the possibility that there had been a leak would have been to open a ‘Pandora’s Box’, in that many would immediately conclude that he had been – to use the phrase ‘Arkancided.’ And if once a serious investigation either into the murder, or the leak, had begun, then skeletons would be liable to come tumbling out of closets.
    This would be true, ironically, even if in fact the murder was indeed a robbery gone wrong, or if it had some connection with the leaks, but was not in any way the responsibility of anyone in the ‘apparatus.’ Panic could have been expected to be the order of the day.
    A puzzle is that much of the material in the early memoranda sounds like pure invention – and from what I know of the Litvinenko cover-up, industrial-scale of fabrication of evidence is part of Steele’s ‘stock-in-trade.’
    However, if that was all there was too it, why did the memorandum supposedly dated 26 July 2015, which must have meant 2016, not produce an account reasonably compatible with those of Alperovitch and Tait?
    And why in that extraordinary puzzling final memorandum were the claims about hackers embroidered with the direct accusation against Aleksej Gubarev? It should surely have been obvious that, once you start briefing people on material, there is a non-negligible chance that it will eventually be made public. And why court the risk of legal action, if a simple redaction could have eliminated this?
    Moreover, why include the memorandum about the Alfa Group oligarchs – who have now, predictably, sued both BuzzFeed and Fusion. The fact that the normal transliteration of the name was not used – it was spelt Alpha – again sounds to me like panic. It also raises the question of how much of this material was actually sourced from Steele. This is the kind of mistake which would more naturally be made by someone used to writing in Russian – or Ukrainian – or by a professional translator operating in a hurry.
    But – why not just leave the memorandum out of the dossier?
    The intervention of Tait, incidentally, has been widely neglected. This seems to me unfortunate, as it once more points us back to the question – critical to my mind – of how far GCHQ played a highly significant role in this whole conspiracy.

  45. Tidewater says:

    Read the Wikipedia article on Cyrus Vance. Or Wiki on Operation Eagle Claw. (1980). Vance was ill and in Florida when the decision to go ahead with an operation by Delta Force to free the Iranian hostages was made. Brzezinski had been the prime mover for the use of military force, and he scheduled the meeting while Cyrus Vance was away. Warren Christopher attended the meeting in Vance’s place. He did not tell his boss, the Secretary of State, that this decision had been reached. Vance resigned in outrage. Vance stated that he regarded Brzezinski as being “evil.” I’d like to know more about Vance…

  46. FourthAndLong says:

    Kim Philby’s ghost must be having a good chuckle. 🙂

  47. Kooshy says:

    My question is why a US candidate for president wants, trusts and hire a foreign intellgane agent to do the opposition on a US presidential campaign? A dubious, foggy person from a friendly lapdog service that may not be accessed if SHTF?

  48. FourthAndLong says:

    Generally speaking, Uranium is needed for the production of Plutonium in amounts needed for practical applications.

  49. b says:

    The second part of the above comment is false – sorry:
    The same DNC/Clinton law firm that hired Fusion GPS (Steele) for the “Trump-Russia collusion” also hired Crowdstrike to find “Russian hacking” after DNC emails leaked to the public.
    The lawyer at the DNC/Clinton law firm involved in the issue was a former higher-up in the Obama Justice Department.
    The FBI used the Steele dossier to get FISA warrants against Trump/Republican staff.
    The FBI never demanded/got access to the DNC servers Crowdstrike had its hands on.
    This smells …

  50. ToivoS says:

    Bingo. The fact that the WaPo published the evidence that the Hillary campaign funded Steele to get the dossier tells me that the WaPo at least is finally ready to bury Hillary. Also of note is that the NY Times repeated the allegation a day later. There are some powerful forces working to neuter Hillary if she has any more ambitions to gain the presidency. Given her behavior on her latest book selling tour, I think she does have such ambitions.

  51. TV says:

    Quoting the WaPo as a credible source – for anything, besides a sports score?

  52. Huckleberry says:

    It has always seemed to me that someone must have something on him, but what?
    He should have been jailed for the Keating Scandal.
    Thankfully he’ll soon be under the ground in Arlington or wherever.

  53. Peter AU says:

    DH “Many of the most interesting sources of information produce some invaluable material, and some which is highly questionable: Helmer being a case in point.”
    I would agree with this. In some of his pieces I have read, he has come up with solid facts that I had not run onto elsewhere. However it becomes very tiring have to check every link, every assertion in a piece to see what is fact and what is fiction, and there are many of these type writers about.
    If something is of interest to me, I will spend the time to wade through Helmer type articles and try and sort fact from fiction.
    The piece DavidKNZ linked to, linking to NYT and Guardian for references to something Putin has said rather than linking directly to transcripts, to back up his assertions throws cold water on any of Helmers other assertions that are not backed up by linked facts.
    Tidewater, I also read the Hemlmer piece on the Victorian corona when it came out. There again, some solid linked facts I had not run onto before, mixed liberally with fiction and fantasy.

  54. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Vance publicly stated that he resigned because military means were used to try to resolve a problem for which diplomacy was the solution.

  55. ToivoS says:

    I have to say that your comments are very reasonable when it comes to Helmer’s credibility. I have read his stuff for a few years now. He has come up with some really interesting insights that, over time, have turned out to be spot on. Then he has written articles that made little sense at the time and made even less sense later on.
    Overall my major complaint with him is that he not a very good writer. If someone wants to make a point it should be made in simple to understand sentences organized into coherent paragraphs. Often Helmer fails miserably in this regard. I think Habakkuk is right about Helmer having some direct access to Russian intelligence — sometimes they give him solid information and then other times they give him deliberate disinformation.

  56. A.I.Schmelzer says:

    My own, rather jaded, view on the whole showergate thing is this:
    You see, the Kremlin absolutly hates wasting time on idiots. As such, if you want to reach actual decision makers within the Kremlin, you have to navigate a pretty dense maze of professional bullshitters and suit bearing scam artists who will all gleefully misrepresent how much, if any, influence they have.
    In return for acting as “door openers” these people will typically demand something in return etc.
    So, this Steele guy send some intern or whatever to moscow to dig up stuff on Trump. After waving around some cash, some very helpfull scam artists immidiatly offer to sell Russia most closely guarded secrets.
    To “investigate”, these scam artists probably used a nose based mechanism to ingest white powderous substances, imbibed conspicious amounts of Vodka, and simultaneously bingewatched Southpark and House of Cards.
    It is after all, well known that Toweli is a Russian mode of communication with sleeper agents hiding in plain sight….
    Thinking of having done absolutely no wrong, and not honestly believing that those dumb foreigners were far to stupid to be MI6 agents or whatever, the scam artists then went on their merry way trying to scam each other.
    A bit later they were probably quite shocked to discover that multiple major media outlets actually believed the whole thing, and that the “idiot they sold a bunch of bullshit for some serious money” was actually MI6 affiliated.
    I would assume that trousers turned brown and hectic prostrations before some (very inwardly) chuckling FSB/SVR agents followed.
    To be honest some telephone conversation like:
    Scam artist:”Hej Grisha, there are some idiots with money who want information on Trump, is it ok if I sell them a bunch of dumb bullshit?”
    Grisha from FSB:”Yeah sure, but send the bullshit to us first so we can check that nothing is accidentaly true.”
    Scam artist:”Hej Grisha, I got the stuff you send back, including the extra bullshit you added on top. May I have some of the stuff that whoever wrote this was smoking? I am kind of worried that this is over the top and may bust the sale?”
    Grisha from FSB:”Not smoking, also, you can but then I could kompromatbust you for drug possesion. Sale should be ok, the guys you are selling to get paid better the more bullshitty it is anyway.”
    Is overall more likely.

  57. Walrus says:

    James Clapper is still treating the dossier like gold until proven otherwise (which is an obvious impossibility). He also said it doesn’t matter who paid for it.
    The ‘golden showers” allegation tripped my BS detector at the time. It sounded to me like a clever Russian intelligence ploy. A hilarious falsehood that was dropped on Steele to indicate just how desperate he was to slander Trump. It was just prurient enough to be a bait. Allegations of Trump having underage sex, etc. would have potentially invited comparisons with Bill Clinton’s alleged behaviour. The golden showers allegation on the other hand is the sort of thing for which there is no response.

  58. charly says:

    The deals were from 2009 to 2013. Today nuclear energy is an industry without a future (see Toshiba, solar power, tepco) but it wasn’t in 2013. Still i think Obama can sell it as selling wordless mines.

  59. charly says:

    He is in Russians Orbit and not the American orbit like the UAE so he is obvious more vicious.
    ps. Does it matter?

  60. To be more accurate, the FBI repeatedly asked to access the DNC servers but were refused by the DNC. What the FBI got was allegedly “certified true images” of the DNC server(s). Mandiant and FireEye also received those copies from CrowdStrike.
    In other words, the only investigative body with any direct knowledge of the DNC servers remains CrowdStrike.
    And they’re thoroughly compromised.

  61. And the Russiagate fallout continues…
    Full on censorship! Twitter removes all RT and Sputnik ads from platform
    People who think this sort of thing is just “good business” for these de facto Internet oligarchies just don’t get it. They were created so they could do what the intelligence services could not legally do themselves: control the information available to the US electorate.
    As for the “Ukrainian connection” briefly referenced in Tacitus post, check out the following links It appears that this is now finally heating up and being looked at.
    Exclusive: Suspected Russian hack of DNC widens — includes personal email of staffer researching Manafort
    16 people who shaped the 2016 election: Alexandra Chalupa (Video)
    Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
    Report: $412,000 DNC insider, Ukraine officials spread dirt on Trump
    Watchdog files complaint alleging DNC worked with Ukraine
    Russia Hacking the Election the Inside Story
    Why Crowdstrike’s Russian Hacking Story Fell Apart- Say Hello to Fancy Bear
    Former DNC Official Partnered With Convicted Bomb Maker To Investigate Trump
    Everybody Is Forgetting That Clinton Allies Did The Same Thing As Don Jr.
    The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
    Trump’s not alone: Congress digging into DNC-Ukraine connection
    I’ve said all along that if anyone hacked the DNC, it was a “false flag” hack conducted by Ukrainian hackers connected to Chalupa in an effort to distract the public from the fact that there was a DNC leak. CrowdStrike was brought in to “certify” the alleged “hack.”
    And then we’re off the Russiagate races…

  62. Peter in Toronto says:

    I always assumed he was deeply entrenched in the invisible state security web because his dad was a high ranking Navy man – one of the oldest defense institutions in the USA, and probably politically the most powerful and elaborate.
    Influence seems to run down family lines.
    McCain has also had a very “irregular” marital history. He dumped his sweetheart for a woman from a more distinguished family.

  63. kooshy says:

    This I could foresee a few years back to happen, the system, borg and the western MSM, can’t stand a chance with free access to alternative media including this blog which we all use to inform each other of the various events that the borg, and media try to brush away. Somehow free press will not fit well with the country of “free democracy”. Those who have been following the rapid development of free access Internet news, social media news do notice how harder and difficult has become for MSM to compete with alternative news sites, and cross their message to public, especially to the younger educated crowd.
    IMO, both the Government and the MSM will welcome if RT and many many others, including this site can be banned altogether.

  64. kooshy says:

    that beast may only go away with a cross or wooden stick

  65. RT coverage of the Twitter ban of RT, including a discussion with former MI-5 operative Annie Machon, and also with RT’s Social Media executive explaining how the RT organization had a “great relationship” with Twitter…up until now…
    Twitter bans all RT advertising, citing ‘election interference’
    As revealed by the interview, prior to the 2016 election, Twitter actually offered RT an expensive ad package to enable RT to expand its election coverage and gain new viewers on the platform.
    If this isn’t a clear example of the government browbeating a corporation to do what it wants, I don’t know what is.

  66. blue peacock says:

    David Habakkuk
    Your timeline shows how questionable the contents of Steele’s dossier are and highlights the murky nature of the involvement of the US and British intelligence in this sordid affair.
    The question of when the FBI got involved with Steele and his “dossier” would be very interesting? Apparently they may have even funded him. And of course the timeline of the FISA application and the issuance of warrants to intercept the communications of Trump campaign officials. Followed by when Susan Rice who had the participants in those intercepts unmasked.
    I believe the FBI, CIA, NSA are prohibited from interfering in domestic political affairs. Did President Obama order these agencies to take down Trump or did Clapper, Brennan & Rogers do this on their own accord? These are important questions that get to the heart of our constitutional republic.

  67. blue peacock says:

    Isn’t it interesting that no reporter is asking Clapper when he received the dossier, who provided it to him and what role he played in obtaining it and how he was able to verify the veracity of the allegations in particular the “golden showers”? And if he can confirm that the DNI was able to corroborate the allegations?
    It would speak loudly if he attempts to prevaricate.

  68. JamesT says:

    I think the founding fathers did an admirable job of putting free speach guarantees into the US constitution that will protect sites like this one. Facebook and Twitter are however a different matter – those corporations can muzzle free speech as much as they like.
    It would be interesting if the Russian or Chinese competitors to Facebook took off in the US as a reaction to Silicon Valley censorship. Much of the youtube channels I watch have been “de-monitized”.

  69. blue peacock says:

    The UraniumOne and Clinton Foundation nexus in this April 2015 story reported by Pravda on Hudson.

  70. Pacifica Advocate says:

    I’m not defending the Clintons profiting off of this deal. I find it reprehensible on their part.
    What I am offering up, however, is a simple explanation as to why the Uranium One purchase may well have been in the overall best interest of the US. That the Clintons personally profited off of it is something I think should be investigated. The sale, however, makes sense to me: the Uranium in the US and Canada still cannot be taken out of the country, and the Uranium in Kazakhstan may be shared by the US and Russia. The end result makes sense, from a geopolitical view.
    When you say that “…it seems to me that Uranium One had the Kazakhstan uranium tied up,” I can only politely remind you that the Russian army is currently in Syria, directly opposing the US, Turkish, and Israeli militaries and the combined alliance of US/Saudi/Turkish/British/Israeli governments by force of arms.
    Uranium One is a company. Russia is a country, and a powerful one at that. When push comes to shove, companies lose to countries.
    Additionally, I would politely suggest that you are ignoring that the Uranium One deal was initially set up by Pres. Clinton himself, doubtlessly so that he and the people he represented could profit off of it. Profit off of it they did; but the idea that the bossman in Kazakhstan would, once a better offer came along, be loyal to a deal like seems rather naive, in my opinion.
    @James T:
    >>>How do you know that the leader of Kazakhstan is a vicious strongman…
    Because I read, often and in big lots.
    >>>…(more vicious I take it than, say, the leader of UAE)?
    Do you really think this kind of straw-man argumentation makes any kind of meaningful point? I was not talking about the UAE, nor comparing Kazakhstan’s bossman to anyone in particular. I was simply pointing out that he’s proven, over the years, to do whatever he thinks is to his and his junta’s advantage, no matter how brutal and vicious. In that context, it is as I said above: were he to believe that the benefits of breaking a business agreement with Bill Clinton and some Canadian corporation outweighed the penalties, it really isn’t hard to believe that he’d just summarily break the agreement.

  71. Pacifica Advocate says:

    @Eric Newhill and @JamesT and @charly should take note of this fact.

  72. LeaNder says:

    David, I am not fully concentrated, somewhat my standard setting.
    The next document in the sequence, which is listed as 2016/086, introduces the claims about Russian hacking. Almost incredibly, it is dated 26 July 2015 – which is clearly a misprint for 2016.
    Could it be earlier ‘research’ was recycled in this context?

  73. Pacifica Advocate says:

    Are you seriously attempting to argue that Sec. Clinton is “anti-establishment” in some way–or that she is somehow out-of-step with “The Establishment”?
    And if “this story”–by which I presume you mean the story highlighted by PT, above–is “milked,” then how exactly does that indict the Russians in any conceivable way?
    It seems rather obvious to me that the only person whom this can hurt is Ms. Clinton herself. It also seems to me that she is about as Teflon as Pres. Raygun was–which is not an admirable quality, in my opinion. A sense of personal shame is something I admire in public servants. Sadly, it seems to be rather lacking amongst most.

  74. Eric Newhill says:

    You’re suggesting that Russia was threatening to invade a sovereign country if Uranium One wasn’t approved?!!?
    Some people on this thread are saying that uranium has little value these days and you’re at the other end of the spectrum saying is worth going to war over (in the Russian perspective).
    It’s far outside my area of expertise and even beyond my dilettante interests. I have no idea of the value of uranium other than the Russians were recently interested enough in it to buy up control of Uranium One.

  75. Anna says:

    “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier
    Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
    Michael Sussmann, a lawyer from the same firm that hired Fusion GPS on order of Democrats, hired the Crowdstrike cyber-outlet to investigate the leak of DNC emails. Crowdstrike and the DNC denied the FBI access to the relevant servers but asserted that “Russian hacking” was the source of the leak.
    McCain had already been involved in distributing the report…”
    Looks and sounds like a treasonous anti-government activity.
    Here is another interesting angle: “Mr. Steel, the ex-MI6 spy ‘who worked with murdered Alexander Litvinenko’ [and who made the “discovery” that it was the Kremlin that hit the triple agent] flees his £1.5m home ‘fearing for his life’ leaving his pet with neighbors after being outed as the man behind the dirty dossier on Donald Trump.” – What a remarkable man! Nicely paid and always on call.

  76. DianaLC says:

    I am always upset that the fourth estate is so corrupted now with partisan thinking that no one wants to investigate in detail what BC was doing with the help of his friend Espstein.
    We read a few lines in the news, and then like the proverbial “sound and fury” it is heard no more.
    The Clintons should have been pariahs a long time ago.

  77. Anna says:

    “…the FBI, CIA, NSA are prohibited from interfering in domestic political affairs.”
    This is critical statement for the ongoing Russiagate affair. It would be great to know the details of the (alleged) prohibition.

  78. robt willmann says:

    The immediately preceding main post by Col. Lang brought up the Washington Post article of 24 October, which article has caused some discussion in the mass media, and the main post above references the article.
    What is the Washington Post newspaper doing revealing that the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid for research that led to the Russia “dossier”? The article looks and feels like a “modified limited hangout”. But for whose benefit? That would be for H. Clinton and the DNC, of course.
    The article does three things: 1) it says that the Hillary campaign and the DNC “helped fund” the so-called research; 2) it lays it all off on the Perkins Coie law firm and a lawyer there, Marc Elias; and 3) it lets the present DNC and the Clinton campaign play dumb and say that they known nothing about Fusion GPS and the dossier (paragraphs 10-12).
    By putting the monkey on the back of the Perkins Coie law firm, the WashPost tries to prevent any questions being directed at the Hillary campaign and the current DNC.
    1. Elias “retained Fusion GPS” … “to conduct the research”.
    2. The law firm “retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC”.
    3. The Clinton campaign and the DNC, “through the law firm”, continued to fund Fusion GPS through the end of October 2016.
    4. Fusion GPS “gave Steele’s reports and other research documents [what are those?] to Elias”.
    5. It is “unclear how or how much [both how and how much!] of that information was shared with the campaign and the DNC”, and “who in those organizations was aware of the roles of Fusion GPS and Steele. One person close to the matter said the campaign and the DNC were not informed by the law firm of Fusion GPS’s role” (ROFL). Huh? What? “I know nozzing, man!”
    6. Elias, “acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, agreed to pay for the work to continue”.
    You can see from this little list what the Washington Post is doing. It is publicly describing that one line of attempted defense as the issue heats up is the attorney-client privilege, and it says as much–
    “Those people [!] said that it is standard practice for political campaigns to use law firms to hire outside researchers to ensure their work is protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges”.
    Well, I am not sure that trying to hide behind the attorney-client privilege is as clear-cut as the WashPost and “those people” are saying. To begin with, an attorney-client relationship has to exist as defined by the ethics and disciplinary rules of the Bar association in the applicable state, as further interpreted by appellate court decisions, and possibly state laws. If push comes to shove, there are other issues that come into play about whether a communication is covered by the privilege.
    This brings us to a curious sentence in the article: “Some of the details [regarding what?] are included in a Tuesday letter sent by Perkins Coie to a lawyer representing Fusion GPS, telling the research firm that it was released from a client-confidentiality obligation”. The letter was apparently sent the same day, 24 October, that the article was published.
    Notice the term the WashPost uses — “client-confidentiality obligation”. Because of a time squeeze right now, maybe more on this later.
    On 25 October, the newspaper published a kind of hodgepodge explanation about the 24 October article, entitled “The Clinton camp and DNC funded what became the Trump-Russia dossier: Here’s what it means”–

  79. Eric Newhill says:

    That cuts both ways. He was sentence for corruption, indicating that wheeling and dealing is not totally tolerated and that Ruskies would have to obtain the uranium fair and square via purchase of the company that controls it.

  80. different clue says:

    I believe I read recently the theory that for the WP and/or the NYT to even be permitted to write anything about possible Putin/Nazarbayev bribery to the Clinton Foundation in return for greenlighting the Uranium One deal . . . indicates that somebody has decided that Clinton has reached the end of its public usefulness, and they are sending Clinton the message that it needs to retreat into private obscurity or there will be more revelations to come and then investigations to come after that.

  81. different clue says:

    Pacifica Advocate,
    Perhaps JamesT is implying that the Inner Establishment has decided that Clinton is more an embarrassment than an asset, and they are beginning to warn her that she needs to retreat quietly into private obscurity. And this is just a warning example of the many things the Inner Establishment “could” direct its MSM to discuss in public if the Clintons won’t go quietly.
    What if the Inner Establishment decides that the National Enquirer-type story about Clinton’s flights on the Air Pedo Express to Epstein Island need to begin showing up in the New York Times? Is that what it will take to convince the Clintons to disappear from public view and quietly count and spend their money in private?

  82. Sam Peralta says:

    In reading this post by Publius Tacitus and the comments on this thread, particularly the comments of David Habakkuk, I am convinced that there is something very fishy in the actions of the leadership of our intelligence agencies and the role of the UK intelligence agencies.
    Do folks here have an inkling of what they are up to here and why they were motivated to do what they did?

  83. Pacifica Advocate says:

    >>>You’re suggesting that Russia was threatening to invade a sovereign country if Uranium One wasn’t approved?!!?
    No. I’m suggesting that Kazakhstan is as suscept to Russian meddling and purchase as Mexico is to American meddling and purchase.
    This seems an easy and quite solidly established concept for me to accept; can you politely explain to me why it is so difficult for you?

  84. blue peacock says:

    Well, it wasn’t McCain or Ted Cruz or Jeb who funded Fusion GPS initially, but a Wall St billionaire hedge fund guy. They ended the contract before Steele was hired, which happened after Hillary & DNC started paying them.

    Lawyers for the conservative publication Washington Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee Friday that the organization was the original funder for the anti-Trump opposition research project with Fusion GPS.
    The Free Beacon funded the project from the fall of 2015 through the spring of 2016, whereupon it withdrew funding and the project was picked up by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
    The original arrangement between the Free Beacon and Fusion GPS involved opposition research into multiple Republican candidates, not just front-runner Donald Trump.
    Sources close to the Free Beacon stress that the project, when the Free Beacon funded it, had nothing to do with Russia and did not involve Christopher Steele, the former British spy who gathered anti-Trump dirt in Russia. Steele was retained by Fusion GPS when the project was funded by Democrats, and not in its initial phase, when the Free Beacon was involved.

  85. Pacifica Advocate says:

    >>>He was sentence for corruption, indicating that wheeling and dealing is not totally tolerated….
    He was sentenced for corruption, and that only indicates that the ruling Kazakh junta was displeased with him.
    You really have absolutely no idea how that place is run, do you? Think “Banana Republic”–50s-era Nicaragua or El Salvador–but with less brutality.

  86. DianaLC says:

    That is very interesting. Publius Tacitus is correct about the Clintons. These two are low life grifters and who somehow made it to the top of society, like the two people he compares them to: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
    I don’t know if you’ve seen the well-known movie starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, but after all of todays’s revelations in the news, I’ve been replaying in my mind the last scene in that movie when Bonnie and Clyde meet their end.
    I guess I wouldn’t want that horrific a fate for the Clintons, but I would sure like to see them removed from public life and living in shameful obscurity.

  87. DianaLC says:

    That is very interesting. I would sure like to see both Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton do just as you wrote–become nothing but obscure private citizens.
    I think, however, that there will be many people who have had personal ties with them who may prefer for them to meet the fate of the people Publius Tacitus has compared them to: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
    After today’s news reports I do think that their public life will become very difficult.

  88. Eric Newhill says:

    Yes, I’m sure Kazakhstan is subject to corruption just as are the governments Mexico and the United States.
    What you are not getting is that Kaz. officials already exercised corruption by dealing with Uranium One pre-Russian ownership. I don’t care what you think about corruption, vicious strongmen, whatever….the uranium rights belonged to Uranium One. You are suggesting that kaz. would simply ignore the UO deal and re-sell the same uranium to Russia. I don’t accept that anymore than I would accept you telling me that Mexico would confiscate a US owned maquiladora and sell it to Japan.

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