Did British Intelligence Try to Destroy the Trump Presidency? by Publius Tacitus


Last night's release of the memo by Senator's Grassley and Graham asking the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation of Christopher Steele for possible violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 provides critical confirmation of charges presented in the HPSCI memo prepared under the leadership of Devin Nunes, but it also confirms that Christopher Steele was not just some random guy offering good gossip to the FBI. He was an official intelligence asset. He was, in John LeCarre's parlance, our "Joe." At least we thought so. But, there is growing circumstantial evidence that Steele was acting on behalf of Britain's version of the CIA–aka MI-6. If true, we are now faced with actual evidence of a foreign country trying to meddle in a direct and significant way in our national election. Only it was not the Russians. It was our British cousins.

Here are the key take aways from the Grassley/Graham memo:

  • The FBI has since provided the Committee access to classified documents relevant to the FBI's relationship with Mr. Steele and whether the FBI relied on his dossier work. . . .it appears that either Mr. Steele lied to the FBI or the British court, or that the classified documents reviewed by the Committee contain materially false statements.
  • October 21, 2016, the FBI filed its first warrant application under FISA for Carter Page. . .The bulk of the application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier. The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page, although it does cite to a news article that appears to be sourced to Mr. Steele's dossier as well.
  • March 17, 2017–the Chairman and Ranking Member were provided copies of the two relevant FISA applications, which requested authority to conduct surveillance of Carter Page. Both relied heavily on Mr. Steele's dossier claims, and both applications were granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
  • December of 2017, the Chairman, Ranking Member, and Subcommittee Chairman Graham were allowed to review a total of four FISA applications relying on the dossier to seek surveillance of Mr. Carter Page, as well as numerous other FBI documents relating to Mr. Steele.
  • When asked at the March 2017 briefing why the FBI relied on the dossier in the FISA applications absent meaningful corroboration–and in light of the highly political motives surrounding its creation–then Director Corney stated that the FBI included the dossier allegations about Carter Page in the FISA applications because Mr. Steele himself was considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau.
  • In short, it appears the FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele's personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information.
  • . . . the FBI continued to cite to Mr. Steele's past work as evidence of his reliability, and stated that ''the incident that led to the FBI suspending its relationship with [Mr. Steele] occurred after [Mr. Steele] provided" the FBI with the dossier infonnation described in the application. The FBI further asserted in footnote 19 that it did not ,believe that Steele directly gave information to Yahoo News that "published the September 23 News Article."

The Grassley/Graham memo is devastating for Jim Comey. We can entertain only two possibilities–Jim Comey is a monumental dunce or he is a liar. One need only read the Michael Isikoff piece from 23 September 2016 to realize that Christopher Steele was a primary source for Isikoff. We are asked to believe that Comey is a naive, trusting soul bereft of curiosity, who refused to entertain the possibility that Steele was double dealing intel.

One of the most surprising revelations from the Grassley/Graham memo is in footnote 7. I'm surprised this was not redacted because it is drawn from a redacted/blacked out paragraph. Here is a critical bit of intel:

  • The FBI has failed to provide the Committee the 1023s documenting all of Mr. Steele's statements to the FBI, so the Committee is relying on the accuracy of the FBI's representation to the FISC regarding those statements.

This means Steele was a signed up intelligence asset for the FBI. He was our spy. A FD-1023 is an FBI form used to document meetings between FBI and sources. It is also called a CHS Report–CHS aka Confidential Human Source. Here is an example posted by a Trump supporter on Twitter:


With this confirmation the next move is in the hands of the Brits. If Steele became an FBI asset without the knowledge of his former colleagues and chain of command, he faces legal risk. But two development in the last two days suggest that British intelligence officials, at least some key officials, were witting of Steele's activities in gathering information for the FBI.

First, Steele is resisting efforts to face a deposition in a lawsuit over his infamous dossier. Steele’s lawyers argued in a court in London this week that a deposition would endanger the former spy’s dossier sources as well as harm U.K. national security interests. If the Judge buys this claim then we will not have to speculate anymore about whether or not Steele was acting on his own or had a "wink-and-a-nod" from his MI-6 bosses.

Second, in my mind more telling, were the comments made this week by former MI-6 Chief, Richard Dearlove, on behalf of his former protege:

Among those who have continued to seek his expertise is Steele’s former boss Richard Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004. In an interview, Dearlove said Steele became the “go-to person on Russia in the commercial sector” following his retirement from the Secret Intelligence Service. He described the reputations of Steele and his business partner, fellow intelligence veteran Christopher Burrows, as “superb.”

But we do not have to rely solely on Dearlove's glowing remarks about Steele. There is other information indicating that the Brits played a substantial, if not leading, role in spying on Trump and building the Russian meddling meme. The Guardian reported in April 2017 that:

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told. 

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

 So much for our special relationship. As the evidence of British intelligence meddling in the U.S. election piles up it will create some strains in our bi-lateral ties. It has the potential to harm cooperation on military, law enforcement and intelligence fronts. I suspect there is some scrambling going on behind the scenes to come up with a strategy to contain the damage while rooting out the sedition. Stay tuned.


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118 Responses to Did British Intelligence Try to Destroy the Trump Presidency? by Publius Tacitus

  1. patrick lang says:

    all What was Carter Page’s status in all this? He is reported to have been cooperating with the FBI against the SVR, and yet the FBI obtained a FISA warrant against him? If it was a title 1 warrant, they could use that as justification for surveilling anyone in contact with him? pl

  2. Joe100 says:

    It definitely was a title 1 warrant and that presumably opened up anyone he was communicating with to surveillance. Kid of convenient for Trump campaign access…
    And as noted earlier, he appeared to still be supporting the SVR case through March of 2016 and then in October 2016 a title 1 FISA warrant is approved – so from “spy catcher” to foreign spy in six months??

  3. Prem says:

    If it happened, the motivation would have been to curry favour with HRC, whom everybody assumed would be elected.
    Of course, we are only getting a partial view of what happened. Clinton family retainers also had contaacts with Russia; it’s just not been reported much. And Russia was unlikely to have been the only nation to break the unwritten rule that only Israel is allowed to interfere in US politics – Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Ukraine etc were almost certainly doing it too.

  4. SmoothieX12 says:

    Steele became the “go-to person on Russia in the commercial sector” following his retirement from the Secret Intelligence Service. He described the reputations of Steele and his business partner, fellow intelligence veteran Christopher Burrows, as “superb.”
    London-Russian “oligarchy” there, with a very specific outlook on Russia-UK’s track record in anti-Russian activities—> hence Steele’s sources. Anything Russia-related in Anglo-American IC can not be treated as “superb” or even moderately “good” at all. I am waiting for Nunes memo on State Department. I am in no position to pass judgements on any legal, let alone operational “superbity” of, say MI-6 but and if it had intentions of influencing US elections (which is scandalous in itself) it is one thing, but in circles it all comes back to this Dossier which stunk to heaven from the get go. In circles less sophisticated than MI-6 it is known as disinformation, which, of course, the first indication of operation of influence. The decision to “believe” in this cocktail of rumors, lies and hearsay was made in Washington, not London.

  5. EEngineer says:

    Typo/spell checker error?
    acting on his on or had a “wink-and-a-nod”
    I think should be:
    acting on his o(w)n or had a “wink-and-a-nod”
    Just trying to prevent confusion for the non-native English speakers.

  6. Eric Newhill says:

    I don’t know how all this works in terms of who they could be surveilling under the warrant. My only observation is that C. Page was not in direct contact w/ Trump at any time. Trump says that and Page says that. I have to believe it’s true or they would have nabbed Page for lying by now.
    Could the warrant permit spying on Trump himself by extension? legally? Or perhaps they illegally spied on Trump directly and then figured that would get lost in all the wildness and then transition once trump was impeached?
    That page was never in contact w/ Trump and that the warrant was issued and continued after Page left his very periphery position in the Trump campaign is a mystery to me, unless FISA does allow extremely broad application of the spying to even periphery contacts (or the other thing I mentioned).
    Or, beyond the illegality of the application for the warrant and beyond the fact that it used the same dossier that was aimed at Trump – there is no real connection to Trump himself and both sides are playing up Page’s unfortunate situation to promote or attack trump.
    Or there are other warrants, yet disclosed, based on the Steele material.
    or I’m missing something obvious

  7. Eric Newhill says:

    Pardon me, “Or there are other warrants, yet UNdisclosed, based on the Steele material.”

  8. Clueless Joe says:

    Trump had planned to visit UK this month but cancelled it a few weeks ago. Any possibility that might not just be due to expected protests and lack of British enthusiasm, but also as retaliation after he learned the MI6 and/or GCHQ involvement in this affair? (apparently he’s considering a visit late this year, in which case he might have got some assurances that British agencies will stop messing up, or UK authorities will now collaborate with his team)

  9. Thanks. You get an Editor award. My appreciation.

  10. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang,

    He is reported to have been cooperating with the FBI against the SVR, and yet the FBI obtained a FISA warrant against him? If it was a title 1 warrant, they could use that as justification for surveilling anyone in contact with him

    The FISA application was for a Title 1 warrant which was granted by FISC, as noted in the Nunes memo. This is why the role of Carter Page is important to know.
    I have been speculating in my exchanges with TTG, that Carter Page was an FBI “accomplice”, to provide retroactive cover for the surveillance of Trump and his campaign without any warrants. This is probably why there were FISA violations which were discovered by Admiral Rogers.
    The timelines become very interesting. The FISA violations were discovered by NSA sometime around March/April 2016. Admiral Rogers orders a compliance review. He goes to FISC in October 2016 to report the outcome of his compliance review. The Title 1 FISA warrant on Carter Page was in October 2016.
    Page was a volunteer at the Trump campaign. If he was a known Russian spy, as a FISA Title 1 warrant would imply, why didn’t the FBI inform the Trump campaign?

  11. BLL says:

    Couldn’t help but notice the FBI form you used as an example disclosed the sex of the “he/she” informant.

  12. Fred says:

    So who signed the warrent, the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI; and who approved it: AG Lynch, Deputy AG Sally (hero of the resistance) Yates, or the guy who stepped down on October 15th, 2016, as Assistnat AG for National Security John Carlin
    If it was hiim what day did he sign that and how long does it take to get the application to the court, since it looks a lot like he signed the thing then resigned to cover his ass. Where o where is Mr. Carlin now, since he doesnt (or no longer) has any page in Wikipedia? The internet wants to know. I bet the House and Senate want to know too.

  13. Virginia Slim says:

    Quite an intrigue, isn’t it? It reminds one rather of the Tukhachevsky affair.

  14. John Minnerath says:

    An endlessly convoluted can of worms impossible for anyone not completely up to speed on subjects like this to get a grip on.

  15. Cvillereader says:

    Reportedly, the Democrat House Intelligence Committee memo contains a great deal of information on Page’s background. It will be interesting to see if it survives the declassification process.
    From the Grassley letter, it doesn’t sound like a lot of this information was included in the FISA warrant. If that is the case, one has to wonder why it wasn’t.

  16. SmoothieX12 says:

    Quite an intrigue, isn’t it? It reminds one rather of the Tukhachevsky affair.
    In procedural terms, yes. On substance, no–most of it is as clear as a day. Per Tukhacevsky–his affair is not even in the same league as what is transpiring now in the US. The stakes here are immense since American statehood is under attack. As per Tuchachevsky–he wasn’t that good of a general to start with (certainly technologically not astute). Plus, there is a whole other dimension to his, and others, story which should not be discussed in this thread.

  17. Navsteva says:

    Excellent summary. Obvious reasons for British meddling in U.S. elections: Trump’s pre-election statements on NATO, desire to improve relations with Russia, related Russian sanctions, etc.

  18. blue peacock,
    I don’t think a Title 1 FISA warrant gives the FBI any additional surveillance capability beyond what could be gained by surveilling a controlled source. In either case the FBI would be listening to all those who came in contact with Page. That’s why I have serious doubts about Page being a controlled FBI source/informant. A FISA warrant is just not necessary if the target is already a controlled source/informant. I believe I read somewhere Comey had the FBI surveil himself in order to listen in on conversations he had with White House officials. It didn’t take a FISA warrant for that. (Actually, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more outrage about this.) In either case I don’t think the FBI gets access to retroactive surveillance except for the specific target of the surveillance.
    As I mentioned in our earlier conversation, I’m surprised the SVR would try to recruit Page after their earlier experience with him. He’s the reason they lost three SVR officers. He was a witness for the Federal prosecution rather than a controlled informant. Years later he looked like a dangle with his trips to Moscow. He’s either a clueless idiot or an operator worthy of the title, ace of spies. The questions about his true status are legitimate and worth pursuing.
    Was that compliance review you refer to the same one that was released by Coats earlier this year? That long (99 pages or so) report was an annual review conducted by the FISC of all NSA, CIA and FBI FISA activities. It wasn’t anything specific initiated by Rogers.
    Why was Page let go by the Trump campaign? Perhaps the FBI did tip the campaign off to his Russian connections. Obama warned Trump not to get involved with Flynn.

  19. Cvillereader says:

    He may have been an accomplice for someone other than the FBI.
    It might be a mistake to think that state actors would have been the only folks interested in obtaining intelligence about Trump.
    It has been reported that he worked on the Clinton transition team in 1992. He was also some kind of liaison to Congress under Les Aspin. His specialty involved nuclear weapons.

  20. Eric Newhill,
    reference your comment at #6
    You make a good point about Page not having access to Trump or the Trump campaign or transition team when he was under the FISA warrant and three renewals. I think this was because the target of the Page surveillance was the Russian connection, not Trump himself. An investigation should proceed from established facts rather than some presumed and unsubstantiated conclusion. And I’m pretty sure there are other warrants. Whether they’re based on the Steele material I don’t know.

  21. Jack says:


    We can entertain only two possibilities–Jim Comey is a monumental dunce or he is a liar.

    All these guys were certain Hillary would win the election. They were convinced their lawlessness would be rewarded and their subterfuge would be conveniently buried.
    Unfortunately for them the voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin decided otherwise. So they tried to create the casus belli for impeachment. That has now failed. Where this leads to is anyone’s guess.

  22. So, the Brits passing GCHQ intel that they are seeing suspicious indicators re. TRUMP – Russian contacts to us via long-established channels is now seen as “interfering with our elections”? Not realistic.
    Preliminary intel is always 99% uncorroborated. Sad, but true.
    Should the Brits have waited for full corroboration before informing us? Hell, no. As I understand it we get everything automatically. Nothing is withheld, that is the nature of the special relationship.
    So to answer the title, if Brit intel fabricated the indicators then yes, they did try to destroy the Trump Campaign. Otherwise no.
    Is Steele an FBI spy or is he a source? Unclear.
    If Steele is a still active Brit spy then he should have been declared as such under existing MOA. Could he be NOC for the Brits? Unlikely given his direct involvement with IC on intel matters.
    Did Steele leak the story to Yahoo News? Steele says he briefed several newspapers, only Yahoo published.
    The Yahoo article, written by Isikoff September 24, states “The activities of Trump adviser Carter Page, who has extensive business interests in Russia, have been discussed with senior members of Congress during recent briefings about suspected efforts by Moscow to influence the presidential election, the sources said. ”
    So the number of people read into the STEELE reports is significant.
    So the questions should be
    Did Brit intel fabricate the initial indicators?
    Did Steele fabricate his findings?
    Was Steele played by material released by third parties?
    How many other FISA warrants are there?
    Has Gowdy stated that the PAGE warrant was issued illegally?

  23. Barbara Ann says:

    And equally obvious that getting caught meddling in US elections would have catastrophic consequences for all involved, as we may shortly witness. If the British IC did have anything to do with this, it begs the question; what was worth the colossal risk?

  24. Addendum: can we all agree that if the STEELE intel was a genuine attempt to ensure Trump’s failure in the election then the effort was the most inept operation in a long time?
    The only STEELE memo that had any chance of doing any material damage was the pee-pee tapes. Trump supporters thought it was “cute”.
    As Trump himself said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a campaign rally. He was not joking and who knows his supporters better than Trump.

  25. Eric Newhill says:

    TTG #20
    Thx for the reply. As you know I like Trump a lot and I don’t like all I have seen going on to subvert his presidency (e.g. the MSM 24/7 fake news bashing on him, Soros organized riots). That said, I try to be as objective as possible.
    I am simply not seeing the connection between spying on Page and spying on Trump. There has been no evidence released that even suggests it happened. I watched Tucker Carlson and Hannity this week and both are saying that the FBI spied on a POTUS candidate and on a sitting president (Trump in both instances, of course). I had to stop myself, clear my head and think for minute. I don’t see it. They spied on Page and most likely anyone he talked to/met with, but that’s not Trump nor anyone in Trump’s inner circle.
    Maybe it will come out that Trump and his inner circle were spied on. Maybe the FISA warrant was construed to permit that. Maybe they just did it regardless of legality. Maybe that’s what all these GOP releases are leading up to.
    However, at this point, I see a lot of smoke and mirrors on both sides. The GOP is using the Page warrant to damage the FBI (well deserved, apparently) and Mueller’s investigation. The dems are using the existence of the warrant on Page to insinuate that Trump campaign needs to be investigated b/c they had a Ruskie mole amongst them and a bunch of other stuff about collusion that Clinton and Steele pulled out of their asses.
    In the midst of this is Carter Page, an obviously self-absorbed/self-promoting goofy homosexual that is always trying to get close to power and failing, who never met Trump and who never has yet been shown to have contributed anything to the Trump campaign – and who has an annoying habit of pretending to connections and knowledge that he doesn’t really have; and getting himself in hot water in the course of doing so.
    Until more is revealed – or someone explains how it could be otherwise – I am beginning to think that the entire focus on Page means nothing more than the exposure of a corrupt FBI playing fast and loose w/ FISA. All of the recently revealed FBI invective toward Trump and talk of “insurance policies” is highly suggestive, but that’s it [at this point].
    My spider sense says it will be revealed that Trump himself was sureveilled – that and a buck 50 gets me a ride on the cross town bus.

  26. LondonBob says:

    Joe I think such things would have been discussed when PM May rushed to see Trump after his elecion. I have always assumed that was the reason for the rushed visit. Due to his mother Trump is desperate to see the Queen and will do so when the time is right.
    Plausible but I still think any activities would have been done with the approval of, or more likely at the behest of, Brennan, Clapper et al. After all it is the former British Foreign Secretary who heads up the International Rescue Committee, rather than say John Kerry being the overpaid head of an NGO in London with MI6 links.

  27. Cvillereader says:

    I have noticed that you keep posing the same question about Gowdy, as have some prominent twitterers.
    Since a Gowdy is an attorney and was a federal prosecutor, I wonder whether there are professional restrictions on him in terms of declaring a person’s guilt.
    Do congressional investigations ever pronounce that someone is guilty of a crime? Or is it customary for such investigations to make a referral to the Justice Department?

  28. SmoothieX12 says:

    All these guys were certain Hillary would win the election. They were convinced their lawlessness would be rewarded and their subterfuge would be conveniently buried. Unfortunately for them the voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin decided otherwise.
    Exactly, one of those cases when what we broadly define as democracy actually worked and very effectively at that. You see, it is one thing to give it a lip service, totally another live with the consequences of democracy actually working. Many people in Washington still cannot resign themselves to the fact that people can actually have their own voice–what a novel concept for them.

  29. LondonBob says:

    I think it was more reactive, they had all been complicit in a number of illegal activities and they were worried they would all go down if Trump won. They obviously got more and more desperate, digging themselves a deeper and deeper hole.

  30. Addendum: can we all agree that if the STEELE intel was a genuine attempt to ensure Trump’s failure in the election then the effort was the most inept operation in a long time?
    Only two ways in which Trump candidacy could be destroyed once he was nominated.
    Official; Trump is charged with conspiring with a foreign government to materially damage America.
    Public; Trump is maligned as being an tool of the Russians.
    Official is unlikely as no evidence to date has any chance of being used for an indictment. Not saying that the charges are false just that what was released prior to election was insufficient.
    Public: most likely avenue. But the details released were not impressive or determinative to the majority of Trump supporters who I see as being more anti-establishment than anti-Russian. True, you could expect the GOP elite to be disturbed but they were anti-Trump before his nomination and wedded to him after.

  31. Cortes says:

    A court may err due to failings of its judges in interpretation or application of the law, but it doesn’t act illegally. The article at The Duran by Alexander Mercouris previously referred to by richardstevenhack exploring how the officers of court (lawyers) in the DOJ/FBI were somewhat economical in making their pitches for the Page warrants may have disadvantaged the judge or judges who, with fuller information, may have reached a different determination, might provide answers to your other questions.
    Due process should apply to all, not at whim.

  32. turcopolier says:

    Phony as a $3 dollar bill is the saying. The US used to have $2 dollar bills. pl

  33. The US still issues $2 bills.

  34. The Steele dossier is central to the public meme that Trump was colluding with the Russians. All of the major news stories on the subject were based on what Steele told them.

  35. I keep posting it because if stated it is an extremely powerful indicator.
    I believe that Gowdy can make a statement as to legality with no constraint other than not exposing national secrets.
    If he was constrained I would expect him to make reference to said constraint.
    Before we waste time with rabbit holes of choice we need to agree on what is known.

  36. Antoinetta III says:

    It still does, I have several $2 bills right now. Picture of Thomas Jefferson on the bill. If you want some, you can just buy them from the teller at your local bank.

  37. J says:

    “Did British Intelligence Try to Destroy the Trump Presidency?”
    That is why Steele is trying so hard to keep the Russian lawyers from deposing him in a London court. The Russians are on the scent, and Steele and his MI6 handlers know it.
    Are British Intelligence ‘Still’ Trying to Destroy the Trump Presidency?

  38. Cvillereader says:

    It has been suggested that Trey Gowdy be appointed as a special prosecutor to look into how the DOJ/FBI handled the Steele dossier. Would not an accusation of guilt by Gowdy disqualify him from that job?
    Also, I don’t think we understand yet what records the HPSCI has been given access to. Fox News is reporting that Nunes may go the FISC court and ask them to release all records and transcripts related to the Page FISA warrants. If that is the case, then it is too early for any one on the HPSCI to make conclusions about illegality.
    I think you are also ignoring what is happening with respect to both Grassley’s and Goodlatte’s investigations.
    It appears that the committees may be working in tandem to destroy the Democrats’ narrative. The idea is not to put all your cards on the table at once.

  39. jpb says:

    Trey Gowdy says Sidney Blumenthal is the ‘domestic’ source of the information in the Steele Dossier. Gowdy doesn’t say the Steele Dossier is illegal, but it appears it was obtained by illegal conspiracy of DJT’s political enemies.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzkOaHTkDpU (12:00 minutes in)

  40. steve says:

    Used to make great gifts for the nieces and nephews. Now they expect at least a $10 bill. Da*n that inflation.

  41. Rhondda says:

    Thank you for this important post, PT. You’ve really captured some arresting details. The Grassley/Graham document is impressive, isn’t it? I have been highly critical of both men in the past but credit where credit is due: good work, specific, particular, devastating. And at a tough time when taking sides makes enemies and draws fire.
    This is all rather depressing, seeing how rotten things are. And worse to come, I think. So I wanted to share with the Committee something that made me laugh, albeit in a rather black comedy sort of way.
    To that end, here follows some “glowing remarks” about Steele’s dossier and sources, from Mark Galeotti, the man that Simpson, in his testimony has called “very learned” and a “distinguished scholar”:
    When asked what efforts he had made to “corroborate or verify” the dossier’s assertions, Simpson seems to have Googled the name Ivanov:
    “As I dug into some of the more obscure academic work — how the Kremlin operates by some of the more distinguished scholars of the subject, I found that Ivanov is, in fact, or was at the time, in fact, the head of a sort of internal kind of White House plumber’s operation for the Kremlin and that he seemed to have the kind of duties that were being described in this memo. “
    In his August testimony, providing an example as to what effort had been made to “corroborate or verify” the dossier’s assertions, Glenn Simpson references Galeotti in re Sechin:
    “In particular I remember reading a paper by a superb academic expert whose name is Mark Galeotti, G-A-L-E-O-T-T-I, who’s done a lot of work on the Kremlin’s black operations and written quite widely on the subject and is very learned. So that would have given me comfort that whoever Chris is talking to they know what they’re talking about.”
    He must be talking about this: http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR_169_-_PUTINS_HYDRA_INSIDE_THE_RUSSIAN_INTELLIGENCE_SERVICES_1513.pdf
    I wouldn’t call publications of the European Council on Foreign Relations “obscure.” It was on page 2 of my Google search results. Just sayin’. And call me unrepentant foil-hatter, but Galeotti strikes me as about as much scholar as Simpson is journalist.
    So Steele named some names and Simpson “did that work” of what appears to have been — simply looking ‘em up on the internet. There he saw some “scholars” and “learned” experts saying some of the same things Steele had said — and so he believed it was all true. I guess world class journalist Simpson, who once worked for the Moonie Insight Magazine, had never heard of the disinformation tactic of mixing a dash of true with a pound of false. It would be sad — if I believed he was actually such a babe in the woods.
    But hoo boy, wish I could get paid $50k a month to look things up on the internet!
    OK. Now for the amusing part. The ‘very learned scholar’ Mr. Mark Galeotti has since offered his opinion of the Steele dossier and it’s rather more a radioactive kind of glowing remarks.
    “The trouble with the Trump Dossier is that it’s a recognizable product of a specific milieu: If you spend an evening or two in the bars where Moscow’s chattering classes hang out, you’ll hear an equal complement of political tall tales about Putin and his presidential administration…The kind of gossip that fills the Trump Dossier is common currency in Moscow, even if very little of it has any authority behind it aside from the speaker’s own imagination.
    Any experienced observer learns to filter gossip for the stray useful clues that are sometimes hidden within curlicues of fantasy. The author of the Trump Dossier, though, appears enthusiastically to have transcribed every bit of tittle-tattle that fit the overarching narrative of a grand Kremlin scheme to elevate Donald Trump to the presidency.”
    Ouch! I found this quite amusing, I hope it adds some levity to your day, as well.

  42. Tyler says:

    Basically Hillary bought herself a FISA warrant,

  43. Fred says:

    From comment 31: “Only two ways in which Trump candidacy could be destroyed once he was nominated… Official; … Public; Trump is maligned as being an tool of the Russians.”
    Wrong. The second didn’t work and after over a year there’s zero evidence of the other. The obvious way for Trump to lose the election was for the voters of the Democratic Party – that’s the party whose executives rigged the DNC Primary for Hilary – to nominate someone who could have beaten him.
    “can we all agree …. was the most inept operation in a long time?”
    No. You repeat this meme twice, comment 24 and 31. It only has the appearance of ineptness because they got caught. The obvious question is how many other times did political appointees/operatives within FBI/CIA/intellegence agencies succeed in doing the same thing? Then follow up and ask whether this was only done in Presidential elections or did they also do this in House and Senate races? My take is that this was done before and Trump is going to appoint Trey Gowdy as a speical prosecutor and we’ll all have fun watching as he goes all Ethan Edwards on finding the bad guys.

  44. aleksbraddick says:

    I still have couple of $2 bills. Supposed to be good luck. Last time we spent them, we went through hard times…

  45. Rhondda says:

    “…(Page) looked like a dangle with his trips to Moscow. He’s either a clueless idiot or an operator worthy of the title, ace of spies. The questions about his true status are legitimate and worth pursuing.”
    I’ve been thinking about what the PL calls “Carter Page’s status” — and I now wonder if maybe Russia was not the target of ‘the dangle’ after all.
    What if the target was the FBI?
    Based on the chain of events that culminated in Clapper and Ash Carter calling for Adm Rogers to be fired, we might deduce that the NSA and/or military side of the intel/cyber house had discovered a multi-pronged operation of ’domestic spying for political gain using the organs of the national security state’ collusion between FBI-DOJ / other non-mil IC / British assets / ObamaAdmin+Brennan+Clinton.
    Page is ex Navy Intel. It it possible he is still Navy intel? Undercover for the FBI, deeper undercover for the DIA, or similar?
    It should be noted that The Daily Caller has an article in which Page “denies” being an undercover employee for the FBI:
    “I’m not very familiar with the whole UCE concept,” he initially told The Daily Caller News Foundation when asked if he had heard the rumors that he was an undercover FBI agent. ” would assume that I’d have been briefed if I were somehow in it.” Told that the undercover agent planted recording devices in order to surveil, Page said, “well that settles that.”…”Never did anything of that variety.”
    Bit of a slippery “denial” imho, assuming The Daily Caller’s quotes and context are accurate. I didn’t see any other sources for the denial.
    Last night I read Page’s testimony (which, along with his attached letter, is amusingly florid — I urge you all to read it.) In those documents he says he has called repeatedly for the release of the FISA warrants on him. I saw this morning that the NYT has filed FOIA requests for the release of those same warrants.

  46. Walrus says:

    The sudden resignation of the head of GCHQ, Hannigan, coupled with UK PM May’s precipitate trip to Washington to meet Trump, leads me to speculate that GCHQ was an enabler of surveillance of the Trump team.
    My guess, based on my belief in the languid behaviour of British Intelligence professionals (which I acknowledge may be utterly unfounded) is that neither GCHQ or MI6 gave much thought to either Steeles machinations (which they may have known about in passing) or an American request for surveillance on a Trump team member, if in fact they even knew he was part of the team. They knew what was going on, but it was club chit chat until Trump won the election, then the enormity of their actions was made plain.
    To put that another way, I would prefer to believe in a stuff up rather than a concerted plan by the fiendish British to influence the U.S.

  47. Walrus says:

    Hilary bought a FISA warrant and then trolled for dirt on Trump.

  48. Jack says:

    Rep. Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has written FISC presiding judge Rosemary Collyer to provide him all the documentation around the Page FISA application and warrant. Let’s see what she does. FISC has been taken for a ride by the DOJ and FBI. Ball’s in their court.
    IMO, we need another Church Committee to have a broad mandate to investigate mass surveillance, secret courts and the entire national security apparatus and if our Constitution has been shredded by the Patriot Act and FISA and the GWOT. Is there anyone like Sen. Frank Church around?

  49. Fred, Fred, my post discussed the possible avenues for the destruction of the Trump candidacy as related to the Steele memos.
    As I wrote, both possible attacks, official and public, failed for fairly obvious reasons.

  50. Graham and Grassley
    “Thus, the FISA applications are either materially false in claiming that Mr. Steele said he did not provide dossier information to the press prior to Oct. 2016 or Mr. Steele made materially false statement to the FBI when he claimed he only provided the dossier info to his business partner and the FBI.”
    As Isikoff writes in Yahoo, September 24 2016
    “The activities of Trump adviser Carter Page, who has extensive business interests in Russia, have been discussed with senior members of Congress during recent briefings about suspected efforts by Moscow to influence the presidential election, the sources said. ”
    It should be clear that several if not many people in Washington were privy to the Page meeting Russians. I note also that, as far as I can see, there is nothing in the Isikoff article that is unambiguously attributable to the Steele memos. Maybe the experts can find a clear indicator.
    Page himself is headlined in a Reuters article July 8 2016 (referenced by Isikoff) after he gave a pro-Russian lecture to students at the New Economic School in Moscow.
    The article titled “Trump adviser, on Moscow visit, dodges questions about U.S. policy on Russia”
    “Page declined to say whether he was planning to meet anyone from the Kremlin, the Russian government or Foreign Ministry during his visit.”

  51. Eric Newhill – Though from a far less well-informed point of view than yours I’d concur heartily with your “All of the recently revealed FBI invective toward Trump and talk of “insurance policies” is highly suggestive, but that’s it [at this point].”
    It’s all of it highly suggestive at this point but what it suggests seems to depend entirely on the convictions of the observer.
    I’m not sure that’s going to change. When one looks at the contacts between UK and US Intelligence BEFORE the Presidential election results material is starting to come out that also could be suggestive either way but could also prove nothing at all. From what I’ve seen it proves nothing at all.
    If it turned out that the UK authorities had been in lockstep with the US authorities throughout before the election result, and had fed them every bit of nonsense they had relating to the US election, then what would that prove? Nothing. I’d hope they are in lockstep when it comes to passing on information from one country that might be of interest to the other. It would look very odd had it turned out later that the UK had been sitting on material that should have been passed across. I’ve no doubt that half the material the two sides pass across to each other is arrant nonsense – but they’re more likely to find out what is nonsense and what is serious if they share it.
    No smoking gun there then. All that’s happened so far is that a spotlight has been shone in the US on areas where it doesn’t usually get shone. That spotlight might find only hordes of intelligence officers running around trying to do the right thing when they find that they’ve got caught up in something intensely political. It could well show that and no more. The spotlight will inevitably show errors in procedure sometimes. Normal, unless all involved are prodigies. It does show a few people in the two Intelligence Communities who are pretty close to freaks. Disturbing – maybe they could tighten up on selection procedures – but irrelevant in this context. You work with what you’ve got. What I don’t think it does or will show is a top down conspiracy on both sides to get Trump.
    And as the comment above from John Minnerath says, it’s an “endlessly convoluted can of worms impossible for anyone not completely up to speed on subjects like this to get a grip on”, so whatever any investigation shows most of us won’t even grasp what that “whatever” is.
    I don’t think either that Trump will ever escape suspicion from those who want to suspect him. He’s come to the Presidency from a suspect world, the world of the New York property and construction business. Hot money looking for a bolthole, international contacts with people who are no better than crooks, lawyers everywhere smoothing out bent deals, politicians and officials on the take – spend a few decades in that world and there are always going to be episodes that can be made to look sufficiently suggestive of criminal activity to keep the never-Trumpers happy for ever.
    So what. Sending a man in to drain the swamp who comes from the swamp looks like a good move. Who better to sort out the poachers than one who’s turned gamekeeper. And to me he looks straight and the only question is whether he can keep straight in the Washington snake pit. A long shot, maybe, but the only one going and therefore rational. Those who think as I do on that will continue to hope he gets somewhere. Those who don’t will continue to find in everything they come across proof that he’s a crook. That won’t alter.
    Not so much a nothingburger then as a make whatever you like of it burger. Can we leave it at that? Almost. I’m sorry to keep harping on about this but there’s just one thing. That dossier, and in particular the post-result response to it in the UK.
    “CEO” keeps our feet on the ground about that dossier – “The only STEELE memo that had any chance of doing any material damage was the pee-pee tapes. Trump supporters thought it was ‘cute’.
    “As Trump himself said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a campaign rally. He was not joking and who knows his supporters better than Trump.”
    Shoddy rather than cute, this long-distance observer thought, but that observation from “CEO” must be accurate. Those of us in the UK too who don’t believe the nonsense that gets put out by the media didn’t believe this nonsense. I think it harmed Trump in the eyes of those who do believe the nonsense though, is all I’d add.
    Please look at this from the perspective of a UK politician or official. The UK IC has been following the rules, passing material over to the US and leaving the US authorities to make what they want of it. They’ve been allowing the US authorities to make what use they wish of an ex-operative, again happy to leave the US to decide on what that use is.
    Then it all blows up in their faces. Suddenly they find that the UK is associated with a very public down-market smear campaign against a US president. Associated by accident, that’s accepted, but associated. What do they do?
    They rush to mend fences. They disavow Steele and they make it clear that it’s nothing to do with the UK.
    Had that happened then there would, from the UK perspective, be no more to be said. It didn’t happen. Instead they backed Steele to the hilt, publicly and continuously. It’s that, from the UK side, that needs an explanation.

  52. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “A concerted plan by the fiendish British to influence US” will be of no surprise to many old school Iranians.

  53. turcopolier says:

    I testified in Collyer’s district court in Washington several times and recollect that she is a she. pl

  54. Harry says:

    My understanding is different. Page had left the campaign but remained in contact.
    I also understand that Page had been on the FBI radar much earlier after SVR attempted to recruit him.
    I am surprised that no one saw fit to warn the Trump campaign that asdociating with Page would put the entire campaign under surveillance. I guess they couldnt, but its very convenient. From what i gather it was an open secret and treated as part of the Trump campaigns general cluelessness.

  55. semiconscious says:

    & the mainstream media likes it, & wants to keep it, that way! 🙂 …

  56. All,
    A number of points.
    1. Not only large elements of the American and British intelligence services, but the ‘Borgistas’ in both countries, now including large elements of the academic/research apparatus and most of the MSM, really are joined at the hip.
    It is thus an open question how far it is useful to speak of British intelligence intervening in the American election, rather than the American section of the ‘Borg’ and their partners in crime ‘across the pond’ colluding in an attempt to mount such an intervention with a greater appearance of ‘plausible deniability.’
    2. A relevant element of such collusion has to do with the creation of the Yeltsin-era Russian oligarchy. On this, a crucial source are interviews given by Christian Michel and Christopher Samuelson, who used to run a company called ‘Valmet’, to Catherine Belton, then with the ‘Moscow Times’, later with the ‘Financial Times’, in the days leading up to the conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in May 2005.
    (See http://mikhail_khodorkovsky_society_two.blogspot.co.uk .)
    This describes the education in ‘Western banking practices’ given to him and his Menatep associates by Michel and Samuelson, starting as early as 1989, and also their crucial involvement with Berezovsky.
    We are told by Belton that: ‘With the help of British government connections, Valmet had already built up a wealthy clientele that included the ruling family of Dubai.’ As to large ambitions which Michel and Samuelson had, she tells us:
    ‘Used to dealing with the riches of Arab leaders, they found Menatep, by comparison still relatively small fry. By 1994, however, Menatep had started moving into all kinds of industries, from chemicals to textiles to metallurgy. But for Valmet, which by that time had already partnered up with one of the oldest banks in the United States, Riggs Bank, and for Menatep, the real prize was oil.’
    Try Googling ‘Riggs Bank’ – a lot of interesting information emerges, on matters such as their involvement with Prince Bandar. So, what we are dealing with is a joint Anglo-American attempt to create a ‘comprador’ oligarchy who could loot Russia’s raw materials resources.
    3. On the subject of the competence of MI6, what seems to me a total apposite judgement was provided by the man whom Steele and his associates framed over the death of Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi.
    In the press conference in May 2007 where he responded to the request for his extradition submitted by the Crown Prosecution Service, he claimed that: ‘Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.’
    (See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)
    It seems to me quite likely, although obviously not certain, that this did indeed represent the view of many of the ‘StratCom’ operators around Berezovsky of people like Steele.
    Throughout life, I have repeatedly come across a game played on certain kinds of élite Westerners, which, in honour of Kipling, who gave brilliant depictions of it, I call ‘fool the stupid Sahib.’
    Both people from other societies, and their own, often play this game, and the underlying mentality not infrequently involves a combination of a sense of inferiority and contempt for the gullibility of people who are thought of – commonly with justice – as not knowing how the world really works, and thus being open to manipulation if one tells them what they want to hear.
    Some fragments of a mass of evidence that this was precisely what Litvinenko did were presented by me in a previous post.
    Irrespective of whether Lugovoi was accurately reporting what Litvinenko said, however, a mass of ‘open source’ evidence testifies to the extreme credulity with which officials and journalists on both sides of the Atlantic treat claims made by members of the ‘StratCom’ groups created by the oligarchs whose initial training was done by Valmet. (One good example is provided by the way that Sir Robert Owen and his team took what the surviving members of the Berezovsky group told them on trust. Another is the extraordinary way MSM figures continue to claim made by Khodorkovsky and his associates seriously.)
    Accordingly, when I read of anyone treating practically anything that Steele claims as plausible, I try to work out how much of a ‘retard’ they must be, starting with a baseline of about 50%.
    4. In the light of the way that the reliance on the dossier in the FISA applications absent meaningful corroboration is being defended by Comey and others on the basis that Steele was ‘considered reliable due to his past work with the Bureau’, the question is how many people in the FBI must be considered to have a ‘retard’ rating somewhere over 90%.
    When I discover that John Sipher is a ‘former member of the CIA’s Clandestine Service’, who also worked ‘on Russian espionage issues overseas, and in support of FBI counterintelligence investigations domestically,’ then his apologetics for Steele seem not only to suggest he may be another ‘total retard’ – but to point towards how the Anglo-American collaboration actually worked.
    (See https://www.politico.eu/article/devin-nunes-donald-trump-the-smearing-of-christopher-steele/ .)
    5. Another characteristic of these ‘retards’ is that they seem unable to get their story straight. In his piece last September defending the dossier, Sipher wrote that ‘While in London he worked as the personal handler of the Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko.’ Apparently he didn’t know that the ‘party line’ had changed – that when Steele emerged from hiding in May, his mouthpiece, Luke Harding of the ‘Guardian’, had explained:
    ‘As head of MI6’s Russia desk, Steele led the inquiry into Litvinenko’s polonium poisoning, quickly concluding that this was a Russian state plot. He did not meet Litvinenko and was not his case officer, friends said.’
    (See http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/09/a_lot_of_the_steele_dossier_has_since_been_corroborated.html ; https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/07/former-mi6-agent-christopher-steele-behind-trump-dossier-returns-to-work .)
    6. In his attempts to defend the credibility of the dossier, Sipher also explains that its – supposed – author was President of the Cambridge Union. Here, two profiles of Steele on the ‘MailOnline’ site are of interest.
    In one a contemporary is quoted:
    “‘When you took part in politics at the Cambridge Union, it was very spiteful and full of people spreading rumours,” he said. “Steele fitted right in. He was very ambitious, ruthless and frankly not a very nice guy.”
    The other tells us that he born in Aden in 1964, and that his father was in the military, before going on to say that contemporaries recall an ‘avowedly Left-wing student with CND credentials’, while a book on the Union’s history says he was a ‘confirmed socialist’.
    (See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4115070/Chris-Whatsit-brilliant-Cambridge-spy-spent-life-battling-KGB-MI6-agent-wife-s-high-heels-stolen-Kremlin-spooks-revealed-Litvinenko-poisoned-Putin-s-thugs.html ; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4115070/Chris-Whatsit-brilliant-Cambridge-spy-spent-life-battling-KGB-MI6-agent-wife-s-high-heels-stolen-Kremlin-spooks-revealed-Litvinenko-poisoned-Putin-s-thugs.html .)
    From my own – undistinguished and mildly irreverent – Cambridge career, I can testify that there was indeed a certain kind of student politician, whom, if I may mix metaphors, fellow-students were perfectly well aware were going to arse-lick their way up some greasy pole or other in later life.
    It was a world with which I came back in contact when, after living abroad and a protracted apprenticeship in print journalism, I accidentally found employment with what was then one of the principal television current affairs programmes in Britain. In the early ‘Eighties I overlapped with Peter – now Lord – Mandelson, who became one of the principal architects of ‘New Labour.’
    7. Given that at this time British intelligence agencies were somewhat paranoid about CND, there is a small puzzle as to why on his graduation in 1986 Steele should have been recruited by MI6. In more paranoid moments I wonder whether he did not already have intelligence contacts through his father, and served as a ‘stool pigeon’ as a student.
    But then, people like Sir John Scarlett and Sir Richard Dearlove may simply have concluded that someone with ‘form’ in smearing rivals at the Union was ideally suited for the kind of organisation they wanted to run.
    8. From experience with Mandelson, and others, there are however other relevant things about this type. One is that they commonly love Machiavellian intrigue, and are very good at it, within the worlds they know and understand.
    If however they have to try to cope with alien environments, where they do not know the people and where such intrigues are played much more ruthlessly, they are liable to find themselves hopelessly outclassed. (This can happen not simply with the politics of the post-Soviet space and the Middle East, but with some of the murkier undergrowths of local politics in London.)
    Another limitation on their understanding is that the last thing they are interested in his how the world outside the bubbles they prefer to inhabit operates, and they commonly have absolutely contempt for ‘deplorables’, be they Russian, British or American. This can lead to political misjudgements.
    9. So it is not really so surprising that, when Berezovsky’s ‘StratCom’ people told them that the Putin ‘sistema’ really was the ‘return of Karla’, people like Steele believed everything they said, precisely as Lugovoi brought out.
    There is I think every reason to believe that, from first to last, the intrigues in which he has been involved have involved close collusion between them and elements in American intelligence – including the FBI. As a result, a lot of people on both sides of the Atlantic have repeatedly got into complex undercover contests in the post-Soviet space which ran right out of control, creating a desperate need for cover-ups. A similar pattern applies in relation to the activities of such people in the Middle East.

  57. Fred says:

    No, you are just making some deflecting comments to try and drive people to the desired narrative of what’s in the memo rather than discussing the criminal conduct of Obama holdover appointees and corrupt career federal employees.

  58. turcopolier says:

    David Habakkuk
    i confess to not knowing what “Stratcom” means in this context. pl

  59. Sid Finster says:

    I don’t understand what the big deal is here.
    British intelligence (or anybody else for that matter – remember Al Gore’s soliciting Chinese money?) is welcome to meddle in US elections, as long as it is on behalf of the establishment/Deep State candidate.

  60. Sid Finster says:

    The intelligence agencies believed the dossier, or at least were willing to suspend disbelief, go along with the deception, because it told them what they wanted to hear.
    Remember “Curveball”, AKA the “defecting Iraqi WMD scientist who told us
    every lurid thing he knew”? Anyone with the depth of understanding that God gave a housecat could tell that Curveball was not a super-scientist, he was a C student at best, and that he was embellishing his stories. In other words, he was lying shamelessly about things he knew nothing about.
    The investigators lapped it up.
    Even the German intelligence, less emotionally invested in finding some justification, any justification for a war on Iraq, warned the Americans that Curveball was a fabricator.
    No matter. Curveball told the CIA and FBI what they wanted to hear, so they took his stories at face value, then passed their “intelligence” up the food chain and out to their loyal stenographers working in the press, none of whom questioned not a word of it at the time.

  61. Joe100 says:

    Another question – possibly for TTG: why (as reported) did Nellie Ohr recently get an amateur radio license? This does not sound to me like a plausible later-life hobby to take up -which leads me to wonder if amateur radio traffic is well outside of NSA’s “we collect everything” net?

  62. Sid Finster says:

    Why do you think that this effort has failed?
    Of course, factually, russiagate is nonsense, everyone knows that. Russiagate is merely an excuse.
    It reminds me of Malcolm Muggeridge’s observation of the fate of businessmen and diplomats from the Baltic states travelling in the 1930’s Soviet Union. They would be arrested, imprisoned on laughably false pretexts, the NKVD wouldn’t even bother to follow their own procedures in doing so.
    The embassies of their unfortunates’ home countries would file protest after protest, legal objection after objection, all of which were duly ignored. Why? Because the Baltic statelets had no other leverage, no friends to call upon who would make the USSR recognize their rights and those of their citizens.
    One might also look at the United States’ presence in Syria. We are not invited there, we are not wanted there, we have no mandate to be there. Yes, our presence there is illegal, by any standard of international law.
    Yet we refuse to leave. Why? Because noone is able to force us to leave.
    This is, quite frankly, the logic of pirates.

  63. Sid Finster says:

    ISIS is an excuse. The United States is in Syria, looking for ane xcuse to go to war against the government there.

  64. SmoothieX12 says:

    Another limitation on their understanding is that the last thing they are interested in his how the world outside the bubbles they prefer to inhabit operates, and they commonly have absolutely contempt for ‘deplorables’, be they Russian, British or American. This can lead to political misjudgements.
    It is not just “can” it very often does. The whole situation with Russia, of which, be it her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people, is a monstrous empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this bubble. Most of those people are badly educated (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold) and cultured. In dry scientific language it is called a “confirmation bias”, in a simple human one it is called being ignorant snobs, that is why this IC-academic-political-media “environment” in case of Russia prefers openly anti-Russian “sources” because those “sources” reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with, thus Chalabi Moment is being continuously reproduced. In case of Iraq, as an example, it is a tragedy but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years–they simply have no idea what they are dealing with. None. It is expected from people who are briefed by “sources” such as Russian fugitive London Oligarchy or ultra-liberal and fringe urban Russian “tusovka”. Again, the level of “Russian Studies” in Anglophone world is appalling. In fact, it is clear and present danger since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can annihilate the United States completely in such a light that it creates a real danger even for a disastrous military confrontation. I would go on a limb here and say that US military on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms. In some sense–it is an exception. But even there, there are some trends (and they are not new) which are very worrisome.

  65. JOHN SHREFFLER says:

    The East StratCom Team is a part of the administration of the European union, focused on proactive communication of EU policies and activities in the Eastern neighbourhood (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine)[1] and beyond[2] (Russia itself).[1] The Team was created as a conclusion of the European Council meeting on 19 and 20 March 2015, stressing the need to challenge Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns.“[3]

  66. Joe100,
    My older son has been a HAM radio operator for years. He and his fellow HAM operators are getting a good laugh out of this Nellie Ohr conspiracy theory. Radio operators are not only subject to NSA interception, but also FCC interception. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is also vigilant in policing its members’ activities. If Ohr intended to use radio communications clandestinely, the last thing she would do is become a licensed operator.
    Amateur radio is very much a later in life hobby. My son is an outlier in that respect. They support all manner of community activities from weather emergencies to the Marine Corps Marathon. They were involved in a major volunteer effort to support communications in Puerto Rico last year. They’re an impressive bunch of nerds.
    I had CI folks talk to me because of my son’s radio license. Both he and I speak Russian. He has a degree in Russian literature. I had HF antennas under the eaves of my house. We both spent a lot of time researching hacking, especially Russian hacking. His online activities in college led my coworkers into jokingly calling him Erik the Red. Some jackass in CI didn’t find this at all funny and called me in with their suspicions. I didn’t make any friends among these CI folks with my reaction.

  67. In response to #63.
    Colonel Lang,
    My apologies – it was sloppy of me to use the term.
    I was using it interchangeably with ‘propaganda.’ One reason for this is that I have been looking at the website of the ‘Department of War Studies’ at King’s College London. This has a ‘Centre for Strategic Communications’, which ‘aims to be the leading global centre of expertise on strategic communications.’
    (See https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/kcsc/experts.aspx .)
    An ‘Associate Fellow’ is my sometime BBC Radio colleague Mark Laity, who, according to his bio on the site, ‘is the Chief Strategic Communications at SHAPE, the first post holder, and as such he has been a leading figure in developing StratCom within NATO.’ In this capacity, he produces presentations with titles like ‘ “Bocca della veritas” or “Perception becomes Reality.”
    (See http://www.natoschool.nato.int/Media/News/2015/20150910_StratCom .)
    The same ethos penetrates other parts of the War Studies Department – Eliot Higgins is involved, as also Thomas Rid, who backed up the claims made by Dmitri Alperovitch of ‘CrowdStrike’, along with the former GCHQ person Matt Tait. (It appears that Rid, who has now moved to SAIS at Johns Hopkins, is a German who has earlier worked at IFRI in Paris, RAND, and in Israel.)
    What ‘StratCom’ means in practical terms is propaganda, usually involving the creation of a ‘narrative’ – in which the complexities of the world are elided in favour of a simplistic picture of ‘good guys’ versus ‘bad guys.’ Commonly it is difficult to know how far the people doing this are deliberately dishonest, how far they have simply succumbed to ‘double think’ and ‘crimestop.’
    It has become amply apparent that with MI6, and other intelligence and indeed law enforcement agencies, the activity of attempting to understand the world has become inextricably involved with that of trying to shape it by covert action and ‘perception management’, or ‘StratCom.’
    The structures involved, moreover, are inextricably linked with ostensibly non-governmental institutions, like King’s College and the Atlantic Council, and related organisations in a range of countries, as Rid’s career strongly suggests.
    It has also however become amply apparent that these structures create ample opportunities for ‘information operations’ groups such as those which were associated with the late Boris Berezovsky and the Menatep oligarchs.
    So in describing what these people got up to I sloppily used ‘StratCom’, when I should have said propaganda.

  68. Cvillereader says:

    As I suspected, there are rules of professional conduct that prohibit attorneys from making public statements that are likely to have a material prejudicial impact on an adjudicative hearing in which they have been involved.
    You are going to have to come up with a new talking point.

  69. Great commentary as always Sir Hababkkuk. Also worth noting that the largest block of students at the university of Missouri school of journalism is strategic communications. But they don’t consider it propaganda (though it is).

  70. Fred says:

    What is the American Bar’s ethic rule for an Attorney General meeting with the spouse of someone under investigation by the FBI?

  71. cato iii says:

    It’s worth pointing out that no one in the administration publicized any of this information during the election. Unlike the Clinton emails case, which they made very public in the days immediately before the election, against policy.
    Even if you believe there was nothing to the idea of Russian interference, there was enough to make damning insinuations about. If the FBI or the intel community was corrupt and wanted to interfere against Trump, why didn’t they?

  72. Barbara Ann says:

    David Habakkuk
    Re your point 7. I am surprised at the level of robustness you expect of MI6’s recruitment due diligence process – especially in respect of a Cambridge alumnus with a leftist background.

  73. Harry says:

    From my own – undistinguished and mildly irreverent – Cambridge career, I can testify that there was indeed a certain kind of student politician, whom, if I may mix metaphors, fellow-students were perfectly well aware were going to arse-lick their way up some greasy pole or other in later life.
    I am very familiar with the lessor spotted cantab hack. Particular in its Trinity form.

  74. Are you really that obtuse? Government officials were leaking this info from August on and it was in the news. Most of the media ignored it because they did not think Trump had a chance

  75. an occasional reader says:

    The LaRouche people have always said it was London.
    I agree considering the center of the Trans-Atlantic financial empire is London and the currency of said empire is the petro-dollar which Russia, along with others, is slowing undermining.
    In other words, they have motive.

  76. Joe100 says:

    TTG – Thanks! I got my general HAM license back about 1959 (while living in Quantico and spending alot of time at the base “HAM shack”) but let it lapse once I hit college. Interesting to know that NSA monitors ham radio.
    Nice to have your calming insight on the conspiracy theories.

  77. Jack says:

    What is Mueller up to these days? Haven’t heard much from him other than to delay Flynn’s sentencing.
    I’m also curious why Cater Page hasn’t been charged with anything despite all the surveillance. Was he a Russian spy as Comey believed?

  78. Jack says:

    From Hugh Hewitt:

    From one of my long time (but now retired) AUSA pals: “David Laufman resignation is a big deal. As Dep. Assist. AG for National Security Division, he was the Primary Supervisor over Counter-Intelligence work in Nat Sec. He would have had a hand in the approval of the FISA application on Page.
    He likely had a role in the decision making on the Clinton email investigation since his section handled cases involving leaks of classified information. The decisions on granting immunity, and allowing conditions to be attached to the examination of computers, would have come from his office. I do not think those were conditions that the FBI would have wanted. On the immunity issue, FBI wouldn’t have the authority — that could only come from the prosecutors in Nat Sec.
    The press reporting is that he offered his resignation yesterday, effective IMMEDIATELY. That’s what happens when you are told that you are the subject of an OPR or OIG investigation.
    He was in the post since 2014 — under Carlin, Yates, and Lynch in the chain of command.” This source isn’t perfect. None are. But very accurate over many years.

  79. Walrus says:

    I am in furious agreement with your characterisation of these would – be Smileys. I knew a few. They are never happy unless engaged in some conspiracy to advance their latest cause which can range from the blackballing of a club candidate to the removal of a Prime Minister and much further.
    My guess based on my knowledge of the behaviour of such people here and my understanding of British circles is that Trumps candidacy would have been viewed with amused contempt in London with a large dose of cognitive dissonance thrown in.
    In my opinion if MI6 had known about Steele’s work they would have regarded it as harmless to UK interests and simply labelled it as “american politics as usual” since in their view Trump was unlikely to get elected. Similarly GCHQ assisted the FBI, etc. in what was deemed American political theatre.
    To put that another way, wouldn’t all of this have blown over if Clinton had won?
    Instead we have ended up with a wounded tigress and a thoroughly galvanised would be ruling class fighting for their lives and Mr Steele is a pawn in the battle.

  80. Christian Chuba says:

    “Government officials were leaking this info from August on and it was in the news.” – Tacitus

    Yes indeed Tacitus, I remember that part of the campaign.
    1. That was back when HRC was going with the ‘Trump is pals with Putin’ narrative.
    2. The MSM, especially CNN, did stories on how govt sources said that the FBI verified ‘portions’ of the dossier. Those are weasel words. That statement is technically true if even the smallest, most trivial fact is accurate but leave the impression that the really bad parts are true; classic disinformation.

  81. “And equally obvious that getting caught meddling in US elections would have catastrophic consequences for all involved, as we may shortly witness. If the British IC did have anything to do with this, it begs the question; what was worth the colossal risk?”
    That is precisely the question I ask about the alleged “Russian interference”, which TTG and the other anti-Trumpers seem to ignore.

  82. Larry M says:

    This cannot be good for the prospects of Brexit. I mean, disturbing the special relationship with the U.S. will likely weaken the British negotiating position vis-a-vis the European Union.

  83. I’ve seen no information that Page remained in contact with the Trump campaign, let alone that any such contact involved Russians.
    Second, the previous 2013 SVR incident with Page led to him not being charged with anything. So it is irrelevant except as an indicator that he might be approached again, which TTG has pointed out would be less likely as the SVR would be suspicious of his being available due to having lost 3 SVR operatives in the last approach.
    Since Page was cleared of his last involvement with Russians, there was no reason to warn the Trump campaign – especially if the goal was to this fake “Russian connection” to get a warrant to be used against the Trump campaign.
    Also, those assuming that a Title 1 warrant could not be used to extend surveillance into the Trump campaign are being disingenuous or naive. We’re talking violations of procedure all over the place here. As others have suggested, the perpetrators didn’t expect to have a spotlight shown on them.

  84. New text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have been released = and they implicate Obama.
    BREAKING: New text messages from FBI lovers state that Obama “wants to know everything”
    Fox News reports…
    Page wrote to Strzok on Sept. 2, 2016 about prepping Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” Senate investigators told Fox News this text raises questions about Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.
    End Quote

  85. Valissa says:

    I noticed the Laufman resignation today over at Conservative Treehouse. Now another one bites to the dust… FBI Asst. Director Michael Kortan.
    DOJ National Security Division Official, David Laufman, Quits… https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/08/doj-national-security-division-official-david-laufman-quits/ (helpful diagrams)
    …Laufman would have been involved and hold knowledge of the FISA “Title-1” surveillance program initiated on target Carter Page and the “incidental” Trump campaign officials. Laufman would also have close contact with former Asst. Deputy Attorney Bruce Ohr; husband of Fusion GPS employee Nellie Ohr.
    David Laufman also participated in the July 2nd 2016 interview of Hillary Clinton … Additionally, as a result of his specific responsibilities David Laufman would also have been involved in any FARA investigations of General Mike Flynn (Turkish lobbying), and/or Paul Manafort (Ukraine lobbying); and had access to FISA-702(16)(17) database use for incidental surveillance and subsequent unmasking etc.
    National Security Division head John P Carlin resigned around the same time as the Carter Page FISA warrant application was submitted, October 21st, 2016. National Security Division head Mary McCord replaced Carlin, and she resigned shortly before Special Counsel Robert Mueller was assigned May 17th, 2017.
    “Mike” is Out – Michael P Kortan Quits FBI… https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/08/mike-is-out-michael-p-kortan-quits-fbi/
    Another longtime FBI official quits today. According to Fox News Catherine Herridge reporting, FBI Asst. Director Michael Kortan (aka text message “Mike”), the head of the FBI Public Affairs Office, has announced he is retiring.
    Mike Kortan was previously exposed by FBI Agent Peter Strozok as having specific information that the investigation into Hillary Clinton was manipulated by the “small group”. “Mike’s” job was to sell the ruse as a valid investigation.
    I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence and has nothing to do with any sort of FBI “conspiracy.” /snark
    While discussing this political hot potato with my husband the other day, I started wondering how much evidence it would take (or poll numbers) for the reasonable Democrats in congress to start bailing on or start withdrawing support from this misbegotten strategy their leadership left them stuck with. I think it will take a lot of evidence and the MSM will have to start remembering what it means to be objective.

  86. Former CIA Operations Officer Phil Giradli is interview by the Ron Paul Liberty Report on Youtube. The interviewer cites PT’s thread here. Giraldi is asked about the possibility that Steele was both an FBI asset and member of MI-6 and how this is likely to get him in trouble with the Brits – unless, of course, they knew and approved.
    Worth watching although I don’t think it adds anything new, other than possibly the fact that according to the Washington Post, the meeting between Steele and the FBI agent in Rome was preceded by a meeting in London – which Giraldi characterizes as “dangerous” for Steele if indeed Steele was an “FBI source.”
    Grassley Memo Shocker! Did The UK Meddle In Our Elections? With Guest Phil Giraldi.

  87. Please read your own link.
    It delineates the constraints placed upon lawyers engaged in pending cases.
    The matter being discussed has already been settled. The FISA accepted the submission and all 3 reapplications.
    Gowdy is not a lawyer representing a plaintiff currently before a judge.
    There is however one reason and that is the possibility of Gowdy being selected by Trump as a Special Prosecutor to investigate the whole FISA matter. Gowdy may believe that flat out statements of illegality would taint his “independence”. But that is a joke. Gowdy was part of the House Intel Committee that has already issued a supposedly definitive opinion as the legality. Gowdy has no independence.
    He does, however, have personal ethics.
    Given the unusual arrangement of the FISA apparatus Gowdy may believe that a definitive statement of illegality is impossible to make.
    But, to cut to the chase. Do you believe that Steele lied when writing the memos?

  88. Harry says:

    I was independantly told by someone who was close to the Trump campaign that Page remained in contact with the campaign.
    Another republican leaning aquaintance (who was not a fan of Trump, but who had history in National Security circles) reported contemporary concerns about Page and Manafort. At the time he argued that there was legitimate cause for concern amount CI types. At the time i remember finding this hard to believe but being assured there was no shortage of evidence.
    I am told people behaved within the law. Who knows?

  89. Rhondda says:

    Russian organized crime and the mysteries of the Mueller-Democrats-Russia-Trump ‘thing’ by J.E. Dyer
    Lots of interesting and relevant detail I have not seen collated anywhere else. Author describes herself as “a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California”

  90. Cvillereader says:

    I would assume it also put constraints upon attorneys involved with investigations of matters that are currently being examined by the DOJ for criminal violations. Gowdy may be far more aware of what those matters are than you or I are.
    And I would not make the assumption that Steele even wrote the memos, There has been much discussion that at least parts of the dossier employ diction that would not be used by a native English speaker, and mostly especially not one with his academic credentials.

  91. catherine says:

    lol…so true.
    All this fuss… as if all those involved didn’t already know that the US government is nothing but a huge shopping bazar where anyone with 30 pieces of silver can buy a president, a war or anything else they want.

  92. Jack says:

    What’s with this Steele guy? Now we find out that Sen. Mark Warner was trying to arrange a meeting with him through the lobbyist for Russian oligarch Deripaksa.
    Sitting on the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Warner should know that all his communications are being collected and stored.
    Seems like we have the screenplay for a Hollywood political espionage thriller.

  93. Jack says:

    At this rate the entire top echelon of the DOJ National Security Division will be gone soon.

  94. Sid, re your post 65.
    I beg to differ. My recollection was that the intel agencies fought hard to keep all qualifications and caveats in all NIEs.
    Basically, they tried to say, “this WMD claim is unproven and dubious.”
    Blame Dick Cheney and his stovepipe operation for WMD fiasco. Basically he ensured that crap was passed off as truth.

  95. Cee says:

    He’s a liar too
    Ukrainian Arms Dealer Holding Fundraiser for Congressman Adam Schiffhttp://investmentwatchblog.com/wow-ukrainian-arms-dealer-holding-fundraiser-for-congressman-adam-schiff/

  96. Thirdeye says:

    IMO it was Steele who fell for a hoax. Not only was he malignant, he was incompetent.

  97. LeaNder says:

    David, you mentioned Laity before. Is this the context in which he was your colleague? You both were Defense Correspondents?
    Mark Laity joined NATO after 22 years in journalism, including 11 years as the BBC’s Defence Correspondent from 1989, when he reported from the frontlines of most major conflicts of the nineties, but particularly the break-up of Yugoslavia, and the Gulf War in 1991.
    Eliot Higgins is a “visiting scholar” at the Center for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), at the War College, whatever that means. I share your hesitations, but I assume you take what you can get in the brave new OSINT world? No? To what extend such research can be misused in “Strategic Communication” or for that matter how did it influence our media below the strategic aspect might be a more complex question. Just as his seemingly amazing career.
    Thomas Rid apparently left King’s Department of War Studies in September 2017. He is now Prof at the John Hopkin’s Center for International Studies.
    From a very, very superficial scan of the respective fields, both he and Neville Bolt might be the most interesting from my limited perspective. I have to admit I like the idea of questioning Cyber War more generally. Maybe that’s what got me more interested?
    Video: In Conversation Series, Introduction:
    I checked his publication via the link:

  98. LeaNder says:

    Ok, choose the wrong one, David.
    Based on more general interests, if I had all the time in the world, or could connect my mind to a quantum computer, I guess it would be Mervyn Frost fist. Maybe second and Rid first? War (Asymmetrical War?), Communication and Ethics?

  99. Arioch The says:

    Could you elaborate for a semi-speaker what means “British intelligence officials, …. were witting of Steele’s activities”
    Frankly I read it as “writing off” before grasping that “wiTTing” could hardly be mistyped “wriTing”

  100. Arioch The says:

    I have to concur.
    It all was about Trotskizm vs Stalinizm, if we stick to buzzwords.
    Either USSR was an explosive, to detonate the world into All-World Revolution here and now, while other states did not recovered yet from World War 1 – the Trotsky/Communist International line.
    Or USSR was a long-term base to be nurtured and enhanced until further opportunity comes some faraway day – the Stalin/Counter-revolutionary line.
    > The stakes here are immense since American statehood is under attack
    However statehood of Russia was already destroyed in February 1917 by pro-European liberals, and in mid-1920s it was about people inhabiting ex-Russia, whether the very population is something to be kept or spent.
    It was not much less than what is now at stakes in DC.

  101. LeaNder says:

    said empire is the petro-dollar which Russia, along with others, is slowing undermining.
    Not a LaRouche fan, but aware of him. At one point I made a difference between his confuse, to me, basic outlook and his analysts.
    One of more Bits and Pieces: More generally, HSBC seems to be in the process of shifting its attention on the growing Chinese market. …

  102. Anna says:

    The light is coming towards the shady quarters of the high-placed, vigorously opportunistic bureaucrats that have been busy promoting their careers for the expense of national security. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/418287-russiagate-nunes-memo-intelgate/
    The stunning incompetence and sheer stupidity are on wide display (see Brennan, Morell, Hayden, Clapper, Comey, Rosenstein and such). It looks that the opportunists have inflicted a tremendous harm to the US Intel system. Consider that Awan affair was blissfully overlooked by the brass.

  103. Sid Finster says:

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor have I any present intent of becoming “Russian” (except that Russians say that “Russian is a state of mind.”).
    That said, I know a fair amount about Russia and Russians, and I can categorically say that most people on the Washington-London-Brussels-Canberra Axis apparently get their views of this country straight from Marvel Comics.

  104. Rhondda says:

    Jack @ 52: ”IMO, we need another Church Committee to have a broad mandate to investigate mass surveillance, secret courts and the entire national security apparatus and if our Constitution has been shredded by the Patriot Act and FISA and the GWOT.”
    I agree with you, Jack, that the Constitution has been shredded and that serious investigations are necessary.
    But I will note that FISA was a presumably well-intentioned “reform” that came out of the Church investigations. It often seems as if every crisis is used by ‘bad actors’ for nefarious ends. And then one has to wonder if the crises themselves are staged events to create the opportunity for so-called reforms…
    The cognitive wilderness of mirrors is dreadful.

  105. Witting means “to be aware of” or “to have knowledge of”

  106. SmoothieX12 says:

    IMO it was Steele who fell for a hoax
    The whole Russiagate story is a hoax since is built around totally bogus “Dossier”.
    he was incompetent.
    I am not sure about his other qualifications but in terms of him having Russian “sources” I can only repeat myself–in his wildest dreams. Snooping around upscale real estate in London among so called “Russian” crooks living there or on Brighton Beach in NY among former Soviet Jews is not a good practice for a man who was portrayed by US MSM as International Man of Mystery when it comes to Russia. After Russo-Georgian War of 08/08/08 and especially after events in Ukraine term “incompetent” is what defines US foreign policy establishment. They also brought the world perilously close to the brink of a war precisely for the reasons that people like Steele are “go to” experts for them when it comes to Russia. We are not out of the woods yet, even despite very promising meeting of Russian-American intelligence royalty last week in D.C. I am still waiting for Nunes State Department memo–I don’t expect it to uncover anything new for me personally but merely as affirmation of what I am writing about for the last 4 (in reality longer) years.

  107. SmoothieX12 says:

    It was not much less than what is now at stakes in DC.
    It is different here, albeit I may agree to a certain degree with your points and parallels. You are correct in using Stalin and counter-revolution in the same sentence, for people who know (emphasis on “know”) Russia/Soviet history of the 20th Century this is a truism. Effectively, Trump is counter-revolutionary. He ran and won on this program. Now it is being sabotaged.

  108. Thank you for this comment to a significant article from PT. It’s also been a most informative thread.
    And you’ve unmasked your batteries, DH. Heavy guns too. That and the links on this thread provide an insight into the background and thinking of those who operate in this corner of the UK official and media world that I very much hope you will find yourself able to discuss further should the Colonel’s site touch on this subject again.
    Just one point. In amongst this shower of losers we do have, I hope, some properly trained and qualified UK Intelligence people soberly working away somewhere? We’re going to have a thin time of it here if we don’t.

  109. SmoothieX12 says:

    That said, I know a fair amount about Russia and Russians, and I can categorically say that most people on the Washington-London-Brussels-Canberra Axis apparently get their views of this country straight from Marvel Comics.
    It is especially startling against the background of such figure as Esteemed Ambassador Jack Matlock. The man spoke outstanding Russian and knew (I am sure he still does) WHOLE (!!!) Pushkin’s masterpiece Evgenii Onegin by memory, among other things–a feat very few even most well read and uber-educated in literature and Pushkin’s aficionados Russians are capable to repeat. The contrast with today and what passes in US as Russia “experts” is more than just startling. It is mind-boggling. Now add here neocon establishment which knows pretty much zero about the nature of military power and its application and one gets the picture.

  110. Jack says:

    From Marshall Cohen:

    FEINSTEIN puts her neck out to vouch for the Trump-Russia dossier: “Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted,” she said in a new statement blasting Grassley’s criminal referral of Steele.

    Does that imply she’s seen the pee pee tapes?

  111. SmoothieX12 says:

    Does that imply she’s seen the pee pee tapes?
    Even if she saw “pee-pee tapes” (if they exist) and even saw Trump giving a blow-job to Patrushev or vice-versa (which is a whole other thing altogether–you may envision this thing with Medvedev and Putin if you have a desire to lose a sleep for couple of weeks) it absolutely proves nothing other that there are some really kinky people out there. Where is “collusion” in terms which Dems “framed” their narrative?

  112. Tony Wikrent says:

    This is somewhat tangential to the discussion, but since there are so many commentators, I entertain hopes of actually getting some response. What was British intelligence doing before and during the American Civil War? There’s some material on British intelligence operations during the Revolutionary War, and lots of material on Union and Confederate intelligence operations. But British intelligence? Not one book out there that I know of. There is Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South, by Christopher Dickey, but it is carefully limited to looking only at the British consul in Charleston, though there are tantalizing hints of other operations, such as a former British Army officer who advised John Brown, and who is passed off as merely an adventurous soldier of fortune.
    There’s “British Preparations for War with the North, 1861-1862” in the Oct. 1961 English Historical Review which indicates that a good place to look is the Royal Navy and its North American Station. The importance of the Royal Navy in tracing British intelligence in USA is central to David Ramsay’s 2009 ‘Blinker’ Hall: Spymaster: The Man Who Brought America into World War I, which I highly recommend. So there’s a very interesting and suspicious pattern: lots of material on British intelligence in the late 18th century, hardly anything in the early through middle 19th century, and lots again beginning with the Crimean War and reaching a flood tide by World War 1.

  113. Alves says:

    In all the midia wars that are going on over the supposed collusions, now we see some trying to push the line that it was the democrats that colluded with the russians to fabricate a dossie to smear Trump.
    That sort of begs the question: how are we sure that the russians are involved with the production of the dossie? Even more, if there are real russians in this mess, did they have ties with the russian government or were they some fringe opposition group?
    The way things are going, looks like the russians will be blamed no matter what and both sides of the USA political spectrum will continue with the campaign to bring back the cold war.

  114. Thomas says:

    “FEINSTEIN puts her neck out to vouch for the Trump-Russia dossier: “Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted,” she said in a new statement blasting Grassley’s criminal referral of Steele.
    Does that imply she’s seen the pee pee tapes?”
    No, it implies she knows where her neck is going to be if this scorched earth narrative is not accepted. Hang together or hang separately, though the former would be more efficient.
    “…it absolutely proves nothing other that there are some really kinky people out there.”
    Among Nancy’s constituency are the top players in the Adult Entertainment Industry. I am sure they make the cocktail party chatter lively and give good ideas for political hit-jobs.

  115. blowback says:

    Maybe it’s the other way round. Perhaps the British unwittingly helped Trump get elected. It appears that Swedish prosecutors wanted to drop the sexual assault charges against Julian Assange back in 2013 but the British prosecutors wouldn’t let them. What or rather who persuaded the British prosecutors to do this? The Washington Borg?
    It’s difficult to know what would have happened with the leaked DNC and Podesta e-mails if Assange hadn’t been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London but because he no doubt blamed Obama for his predicament with a Grand Jury and because he had nothing better to do, why wouldn’t he make life as difficult as possible for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.

  116. J says:

    Judicial Watch is mounting a lawsuit against the Deep State and its players.
    Here’s Judicial Watch’s petition signing support page for its lawsuit against the Deep State and its players.
    Judicial Watch’s statement on their support page:
    Washington doesn’t want what the American people want.
    There is a deep state, shadow government, in place, a government staffed by recent appointees or hires of Obama. There are lots of Democrats in the bureaucracy, and lots of Republicans, who think they know better than President Trump and are willing to thwart the rule of law.
    It’s not just Republican vs. Democrat or Conservative vs. Liberal. It’s the Washington Establishment vs. the people!
    They will go to virtually any lengths to maintain the status quo and the public corruption that erodes our Constitution. We’ve seen this with the reckless disclosure of communications intelligence information aimed at destroying President Trump’s national security advisor, Lieutenant General Mike Flynn.
    This is all part of a political smear job by the Washington establishment who are rightly terrified of President Trump and the “swamp draining” that he has promised. They are actively organizing against him and subverting the rule of law!
    Fortunately, Judicial Watch aims to get to the truth behind these crimes. We filed a lawsuit against the CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Treasury Department for records on these illegal leaks!
    Sign the petition to support our lawsuit against members of the shadow government actively subverting the will of the people! ”

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