So, Trump Tower WAS actually wiretapped by the Obama people.


"US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.  Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive."  CNN News
 Pilgrim Alert!
Trump claimed that the Obamanite administration had wiretapped Trump Tower during the election campaign of 2016.
The left wing media (CNN, MSNBC, NY Time, Wash Post, Etc.) hooted at that.
Well, pilgrims, he was right.  pl

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85 Responses to So, Trump Tower WAS actually wiretapped by the Obama people.

  1. notlurking says:

    But yet Trump has done nothing to stop the snooping on American citizens……

  2. Fred says:

    Well you are right he has not fired all those Obama people and look what he got for firing Comey.

  3. Fred says:

    Trump can’t be the only one wiretapped. I wonder what is in my Stassi Obama file?

  4. Fredw says:

    Not sure of the precise the precise wording of claims and counterclaims. I have all along been reading speculation that even if Trump himself was not wiretapped, there were plenty of strong candidates in Trump Tower for FISA warrants. “Loaded with Russian mafia” was the general tenor. I am looking to see what was actually said last winter, but specificity is not one the strong points of American media.

  5. Tyler says:

    Remember when the media had a big John Oliver yuck fest about this, which became semantics games where anything less than Obama crawling through Trump Tower with a stethoscope wasn’t wire tapping and now…this?

  6. Fred says:

    How many Democrats were “strong candidates” for FISA warrants? What is the criteria, other than innuendo like “loaded with Russian mafia”?

  7. Nick says:

    With respect, Trump implied or asserted that Obama had illegally ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower. This appears to be legal, FISA court-ordered surveillance. A healthy debate can be had as to whether FISA is abused, or the extent to which secret courts are necessary or healthy for our democracy, but to suggest that Obama himself was overstepping his bounds by personally ordering this surveillance is not supported by the reporting currently in the public sphere.

  8. Fredw says:

    From the Politfact time line:
    March 5, Trump: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
    March 5, Clapper: “Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appears on NBC’s Meet the Press and says no wiretap activity was mounted against Trump while Clapper oversaw the national security apparatus.”
    But OK that’s Clapper. Wouldn’t bet anything significant on anything he says.
    March 13, Spicer: “The president used the word wiretap in quotes to mean broadly surveillance and other activities during that,” Spicer says, adding, “there is no question that the Obama administration, that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 elections.”
    But OK that somebody with even less credibility. And in any case, when you boil down the verbiage it doesn’t actually say anything.
    March 16, Spicer: “Spicer suggests Obama didn’t use American intelligence services, but instead the British intelligence agency GCHQ through which “he was able to get it and there’s no American fingerprints on this.” Spicer quotes Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano, a judicial analyst, who made the allegations the night before, citing unnamed sources.”
    This is getting pretty far from the original claim.
    March 20, Comey: “With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,” Comey said. “The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets.”
    So far I haven’t found anything about wiretapping Manafort that contradicts the wiretapping denials. You have to parse the words fairly closely, but that is normal.
    What the story does do is to contradict the media story line, but that was, as usual, always a fantasy taken far past the facts.
    I am open to contradictory evidence, but so far this has come down pretty much as I always thought it would.

  9. turcopolier says:

    My God! Do you really condone the wiretapping of political opponents during a campaign and then hide behind the FISA Act? What greater political corruption could there be other than to simply have them arrested to win the election for HC? Ah! Yes, that’s what the “resistance” wants now. They are desperately hoping for Mueller to take care of that for them. pl

  10. There’s still nothing here about Trump’s phone or Trump Tower being wiretapped. It’s all about Manafort’s smartphone being turned into a wire through a SS7 “feature” and FISA court authorized wiretapping order. Not sure if the original tapping was due to a criminal suspicion or a CI suspicion, but the last reauthorization was CI in nature and based on possible ties to Russian intelligence. Seems like the same SS7 trick that was used on the Russian Ambassador’s phone. I’m sure theses aren’t the only two who had their phones turned into wires. I don’t know why anybody to wants to keep secrets would carry such infernal devices.

  11. Fredw says:

    The implementation of the FISA act is an abomination. Arguably a necessary one. But when you have something that poorly constructed, complaining about the effects is pointless. Especially since the evidence does not actually establish a political use of the mechanism. (It never will if the perpetrators possess even a particle of competence.) The whole thing rests on a foundation of trust. And the people we are talking about are almost never trustworthy in any administration.

  12. Tyler says:

    Whoa right on time! Obama with a stethoscope semantics games, right on cue.
    You’re gonna hate the new rules when wiretapping political opponents is okay cause “muh FISA”.

  13. Oilman2 says:

    I am very sure that in Costa Rica alone there are many transcripts of things that would be considered most illegal here in the USA. To think that any conversation or email trail of a “person of interest” is not recorded somewhere offshore is just damned foolish and terribly ignorant. There is a US-oriented reason for the diameter of the fiber optic cables in Costa Rica. What we are told via the media and alphabet agency sources is just the tip of the iceberg.
    Go have a beer with some of the ex-spooks in Costa Rica – it is most enlightening.

  14. ked says:

    If Manafort was engaged in espionage or some “high crime” of international financial conspiracy should he be untouchable because he was part of a political campaign in the US?
    Trump plays fast & loose with the meaning of things… like words, but (as we all know) in law specific details matter, or at least supposed-to.
    I think Trump has long known that he’s in deep trouble from going way-back, and his rhetoric (guided by the spirit of Roy Cohn) has been to attack attack attack. It has long worked – so much so that no one in the USA would touch him when he needed $$$ to keep his real estate empire afloat.
    Being excessively consumed by media reactions (from Fox to MSNBC and all the mediocrity in between) is a sideshow, though an entertaining one.

  15. Annem says:

    According to the same press coverage, Manafort was being wiretapped since 2014, BEFORE the Trump campaign and the reason was related to his ties to then Ukrainian President Yanakovich. It was, I believe, the same issue of not registering as a foreign agent. Given Yanakovich’s close ties to Putin, that led the investigation to cover Russia as well. The US, of course, was supportive of the overthrow of that Ukrainian government and the installation of a new one. The significance here is that the wiretapping continued “off and on” for the coming years.

  16. turcopolier says:

    Yes, an opposing campaign worker should be exempt from the use of government police powers during a campaign. If that is not so, then we are just another tin pot dictatorship in which the faction in power uses the state to maintain its power. As for your hope/belief thatTrump has been a criminal agent of influence of Russia for a long time, there is no evidence whatever for that. If tere is, let Mueller produce it. i am far more concerned with the jingo belligerence of Trump’s remardks to the General Assembly today and his faithful adherence to Israel (a foreign power) desires with regard to US willingness to fight the Iranians for them. pl

  17. turcopolier says:

    The issue of the FISA intercept warrants and the issue of soliciting foreign intelligence regurgitation of material useful against Trump are two separate issues. pl

  18. Green Zone Café says:

    Events are proceeding in accordance with my prediction that Trump will be gone by June 30, 2018.
    Mueller will squeeze Manafort and more. They will rat on Trump to preserve their lives.
    It won’t make any difference whether what they say is true or not. It only has to be credible.

  19. Gary Hamm says:

    Some contents of the secret electronic eavesdropping were leaked to WP & NYT. And while these tidbits were pushed as damning, they seemed innocuous to me. I can assume the rest stuff they have not leaked is even more innocuous if not exculpatory.
    I now have zero trust that there are any good, moral guys in Deep State. Philip Giraldi said that he is regularly visited by the FBI (he said this today in the comments section of his article over at No doubt Col. Lang is closely watched by Deep State. Most all of the others from the upper levels of the IC/MIC have sold their souls for sinecures in the Military-Security-NGO-Industrial Complex.

  20. Bill Herschel says:

    Which kind of raises the question, “How did Trump know Manafort’s phone had been wiretapped?”
    Because that seems to be what happened. The comments here seem to stipulate that this was a Manafort thing.
    Yet, Trump knew. How did he know?
    Which brings us to the Russian Ambassador. Are we to believe that he was tapped because he was using a cellphone which he did not understand could be used to tap him, a cellphone using technology from 1975 that was a standard? A lot of people have made the mistake of thinking the Russians are stupid. That stupid? The Russian Ambassador to the United States carries on secret conversations on a radio transceiver that uses standard, penetrable technology 40 years old?
    I personally believe Trump has a complicated and subservient relationship with Russians. I believe Russia did attempt to help him win the election. I even believe that some of what they did could have been illegal. But for anyone in the U.S. to turn around and say that what the U.S. has been doing in other sovereign states for decades and decades (cf. Ukraine and Russia as recent examples) is somehow against the laws of God and man, is laughable. What did we expect? What is more, Trump did not win the election on account of Russians. He won the election because the median income of working males in the United States has declined since the 60’s. Emphasis *median*. Income is up, median income is down. Enter Trump.
    Obama? Obama broke an unwritten political campaign law? Well, then he should be prosecuted, and the Mueller investigation will definitely bring this out.

  21. LeaNder says:

    maybe alarming (causing concern), but unexpected? Did I misread his foreign policy speech?

  22. ked says:

    I do not know (or even particularly care) if Trump has been an agent of Russian influence, even if the Russians think so. He’s an agent only of his own self. Ultimately, no one wants his help – he’s too flaky & selfish. At best one may only manipulate him for one-time use, like a burner phone.
    My opinion is he owes $$$ to Russian oligarchs (“gangsters”) and that haunts him – even if it isn’t an impeachable offence (whatever the heck THAT is these days). If a crime has been committed (“or evidence adequate for an indictment…”), we’ll find out eventually… big damn deal / what’s it matter? Now, I don’t think he’ll be impeached (say, 15%, but maybe 30% he’ll leave office). He’s too valuable to all sides as an excuse or lightening rod… or a career-maker for whoever claims him in Russia (or pick your favorite players in SA, Israel, China).
    And you are damn right about jingoism. I hope he doesn’t conflate his deep fear of exposure / inadequacy with his power to start a coupla more wars. My own fear is that he cannot distinguish between the end of HIS world and THE world.

  23. Anna says:

    What have the personalities of Manafort and Trump to do with the US Constitution?
    To entertain you more, Obama has been the most pronounced Fraud in the US history. At least Bush the Lesser was obvious.

  24. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater says,
    This brings us back to Christopher Steele. Remember some things about him. His cover was blown in Moscow in 1996 and he was yanked out. He continued to work for SIS based out of London. In 2006 he was involved in an embarrassing failure in Moscow–the use of fake rocks as dead drops. (He was also deeply involved in the Litvinenko case.) MI6 seems to have let him go after this. He started an intelligence-gathering company, Orbis. He created the so-called dossier on Trump, which used Russian informers, though he had not been in Russia for ten years. That he could not have known his agents very well was one immediate reservation about his dossier. There was a great deal more. One source, Sergei Millian, was considered unreliable. The report was passed around D.C. like a hot potato. There were way too many problems. Then Steele shopped it to the FBI, who told him he would be paid $50,000 for it if he could give them appropriate supporting evidence as to its accuracy. Apparently, Steele could not. They did not pay him. From this one can infer that the FBI, like so many other players in the business, believed it to be suspect, very poor intelligence, not credible.
    Now here’s what I want to know. Is it true that the FBI used the Steele dossier as probable cause to obtain a FISA warrant from a federal judge? I think that the FBI did do this. The warrant was one of many FISA warrants, not just one. We know this from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes. The Steele dossier was one of a number of accusations that provided enough to get a warrant on Carter Page. Page did have business interests in Russia. But he had no real role in the Trump campaign. Nevertheless, he surely must have been surveilled in a number of disturbing ways. And once in the door, just as in the case of the Clinton home internet server and various Clinton operative cell phones, by persons unknown, as in the case of Victoria Nuland in Kiev, many different intercepts could be made by the FBI from any phone calls. There must have been people blown all over Kiev from the Nuland intercepts.
    That the FBI would use the Steele dossier to get the pump primed seems to me to be stooping very low indeed. It echoes of the Plame affair; the Mohamed Atta Prague meeting; the Iraqi aluminum tubes business. All were shaky, flaky, intelligence with stink all over them that amounted to deception. And now, if you go back to Comey’s testimony in which, among other things, he keeps repeating that he “has no information” to support Trump’s wire-tapping tweets, and you notice the phrasing, how very precisely he focusses on the “tweets”– you can see that this man, one of the chief law-enforcement officers in the country, the very symbol of integrity, is using weasel words. Trump’s tweets–the allegations were colloquially expressed and very broadly, even eccentrically, stated. Nonetheless, there was substance to them, and the response of Comey, which has been presumed to be the honest denial by a straight arrow kind of a guy, now makes him seem more and more like some sort of a slick Willy ink-blowing cuttlefish.
    I would think the federal judiciary would be greatly interested in this. Surely there is some power that oversees the propriety and integrity of the process by which warrants are handed down by these secret courts.

  25. Swami says:

    Let’s see. There are reports that Manafort’s phones were tapped pursuant to a FISA warrant. Pat Lang has concluded this means Trump Tower was wiretapped.
    There are links missing in this chain of reasoning.

  26. Laura says:

    Nick, I agree with your take on this and wonder if anyone would have been upset if the FBI had NOT sought a warrant? Why should either candidates campaign staff be sacrosanct in such a situation? Should the FBI NOT follow an investigation when the subject becomes part of a campaign for President?
    Neither candidate was POTUS at the time…just private citizens with possibly questionable associations.
    Of course, with a sitting POTUS as a candidate, there is all sorts of possibilities for “TOP SECRET” chicanery…right? What then?

  27. Laura says:

    PL…not sure I agree entirely that campaign workers should be exempt (especially if the exigence of the investigation is from before the campaign association)…I am, however, in complete accord on Trump and Israel and Iran. That way lies madness and pain for many.

  28. steve says:

    According to Fox, they started wiretapping Manafort in 2014. Also according to Fox, it sounds like they stopped it during the campaign. I think we should wait for dates to be released. Also, if there was cause to wiretap Manafort before he became part of the campaign, should they stop because he joined it? Finally, if they are wiretapping one person in all of Trump Tower where hundreds work, is it really true that they were wiretapping the entity, “Trump Tower”?

  29. turcopolier says:

    If you allow a sitting government to use the government’s assets to procure information useful to itself then inevitably that power will be used to perpetuate that party’s rule. That is the end of constitutional democracy and the benning of the principate. Hail Caesar. pl

  30. turcopolier says:

    Manaforte carried his cell phone everywhere in Trump Tower including into meetings with all the campaign principals including DJT were present. As TTG has explained to you it is easy to make the cell phone into a traveling bug. I suspect that you would like to see indictments come from Mueller’s group. pl

  31. Bobo says:

    Mr. Mueller it’s time to “Crap or get off the Pot” as the media, Congress, Politicians and government toadies have queered up your investigation to no end and you have let this drag on way too long. This was one that you should of got into quickly and finished just as quickly as today if you have something more than BS charges (tax evasion, money laundering of lack of filing as a foreign agent) your going to have to put your cards on the table quickly before your told to go home by the American people.
    Today we learn from that bastion of objective reporting (CNN) that an American Citizen had a FISA warrant issued and closed because there was nothing to charge. Is there no decency left in this countries justice system. We also learn that some FISA Judge issued a warrant against a Presidential Campaign Manager or cohort and allowed his phone to be utilized as a walking megaphone to those toadies listening. That other bastion of objectivity (NY Times) was writing about other people’s dinner conversations recently. Hopefully they realize today they were played. Also hopefully that three letter organization that paid for the false information about the peeing on a bed in Russia realize they were played. From my view Bob you got no more than 72 hours to come clean.
    Donaldo you were elected to clean up all them three letter organizations- get going.

  32. turcopolier says:

    Tidewater et al
    “Now here’s what I want to know. Is it true that the FBI used the Steele dossier as probable cause to obtain a FISA warrant from a federal judge? I think that the FBI did do this. The warrant was one of many FISA warrants, not just one.” I agree that his is probably true. BTW it IS NOT difficult for DoJ and the FBI io get FISA warrants. FISA judges are typically ambitious for further advancement on the bench. I know two. The number of requests turned down is small. pl

  33. turcopolier says:

    What you have said is that you don’t like him and wish him ill. Is this an argument? pl

  34. turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    “Which kind of raises the question, “How did Trump know Manafort’s phone had been wiretapped?”” I am told that someone in “the swamp” informed DJT. pl

  35. turcopolier says:

    Gary Hamm
    You don’t need to have a government wide conspiracy among career people to have the various institutions act on shated assumptions. It has been 10 years since the FBI visited me. Perhaps tomorrow will be an occasion for such a visit. pl

  36. Peter VE says:

    This morning on NPR, the newsreaders were commenting on how difficult it is to get a FISA warrant…. implying that the evidence against Manafort must be ironclad. Must all our national media be so eager to regurgitate the drivel fed them?
    At least I can still come here for a more skeptical view of the “news”.

  37. turcopolier says:

    Peter VE
    I heard that as well. Nonsense. Look at the statistics on approvals and disapproval.

  38. Fred says:

    It’s well past time for the president to use his authority to declassify information and put everything out in the open.

  39. Walrus says:

    There is too much hair splitting going on here and in my opinion Col. Lang is being far too kind in explaining the pitfalls of the various agencies alleged activities.
    The totality of the message that is now being sent by the Borg is this; “Run for office without our approval and expect us to arrest you or your associates if we can find enough dirt”. This is commonly known as a “chilling effect”.
    Furthermore, if President Trump can be hobbled in this manner, then expect the same methods will be applied to Senate and later HR elections in future.
    The result of this situation is that good people will be deterred from running for office and America will suffer.

  40. steve says:

    TTG- Since you seem fairly objective here, if someone was being wiretapped, then joined a political campaign, do we have a protocol for this? Does the wiretap then ordinarily stop? Do they notify the campaign that the person they have now hired is being surveilled?
    Also, listening to an interview a few minutes ago, it sounds like the Congressional Intel committees were probably aware Manafort was being wiretapped for a couple years. Seems like a possible leak source.

  41. steve says:

    In the age of the internet, why don’t people go back to look at what was actually said? Trump’s actual claim was that it was his phones being tapped. Not the Tower, not Manafort or anyone else. Note the “my in his actual quotes.
    “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
    “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

  42. steve says:

    Absolutely agree!

  43. turcopolier says:

    In walrus’ words, more hairsplitting. Do you really think DJT was capable of making such distinctions? pl

  44. ex-PFC Chuck says:


    To entertain you more, Obama has been the most pronounced Fraud in the US history. At least Bush the Lesser was obvious.

    As I’ve been telling my numerous Democratic friends since not too far into 2009, the hoped for “audacity” turned out to be the audacity of the fraud he perpetrated on the Democratic Party base in 2008.
    PS: I don’t have to duck as much immediately after saying this as I used to.

  45. Bill Smith says:

    I guess it is in the eye of the beholder.
    “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
    Sounds accurate enough to me.

  46. Bill Smith says:

    “Manafort’s smartphone”
    You know that was the case? There was no tap on the phone in the condo Manafort had in Trump Tower?

  47. Bill Smith says:

    “same issue of not registering as a foreign agent”
    Had to be more than that as lots of people who really are, don’t register.

  48. Bill Smith says:

    Manafort had a condo in Trump Tower.

  49. Bill Smith says:

    The DOJ usually shops the warrant to the judge beforehand. The judge tells the DOJ what they need to change to get approval. If they can’t make the needed changes they don’t get the warrant. But isn’t turned ‘down’, it was never formally submitted. Thus the approvals and disapproval statistics.
    To be clear, what I am talking about takes place before the first column in that wiki article.

  50. Eric Newhill says:

    Trump isn’t going anywhere. The people still count and the people are still behind him, despite what some phony polls may say (same ones that said he’d never win).
    The more he is proven right – like on this wiretapping – the more fence sitters join with him. The more idiot slacker leftists riot in the streets, the more fence sitters come to his side.
    The more he rolls out moderate policies the more moderates side with him. The alt-right might not like of that, but they’ve got no one even close. So they stay with him.
    Impeachment would be undertaken at tremendous risk to those initiating it and to the country itself. Ain’t gonna happen.

  51. steve,
    I know of no protocol to stop an ongoing criminal or national security investigation or not initiate such an investigation into any politician or political operative. Politicians get investigated, indicted and convicted all the time. I doubt campaigns are regularly told anybody associated with those campaigns is under investigation and/or surveillance until there is an indictment. If any prior notification happens, it would be as a courtesy not a legal requirement.
    I’m sure the Congressional committees are aware of this surveillance and have been for some time. The rabid impeach Trump crowd have been talking about Manafort’s phone being used as a mike for months. I’m also sure what Mueller knows from all the available surveillance and IC intercepts positively dwarfs anything we know. His problem is digesting all that info, corroborating all that info with confessions and other evidence and, most importantly, explaining the full extent of the Russian info op. That’s what’s taking so long. There may never be indictments for anything related to possible collusion. Hell, I not yet convinced there was any actual collusion. But I am pretty damned certain there was a masterfully planned and executed Russian info op.

  52. Bill Herschel,
    “Which brings us to the Russian Ambassador. Are we to believe that he was tapped because he was using a cellphone which he did not understand could be used to tap him”
    Kislyak is in his mid-sixties. I seriously doubt he grasped the technical details of his cellphone or perhaps he just didn’t give a shit about those technical details. He was far too important a man to bother with those silly details. I’ve worked around plenty of his generation and know how technically oblivious they can be. It’s a combination of arrogance and ignorance, not stupidity.

  53. Jack says:

    Mueller’s special counsel office is a perfect example of a self-licking ice cream cone. Their incentives are to keep going as long as possible and increase the scope of their activities as much as possible and if they find nothing after all this, they’ll find some technicality with which to indict. Those under the microscope will be under increasing financial pressure as this drags on and their legal bills mount. This leads to plea deals even if there’s nothing there just to stanch the financial bleeding. There’s no doubt that this was a witch hunt right from the beginning.
    They’ll never be able to provide credible evidence that the Russians changed the outcome of the election nor will they be even handed and investigate the influence of big foreign money on all political campaigns. No matter how weak the evidence the MSM will spin the hysteria to create the sense of their preferred outcome that Russians manipulated the election to hand Trump victory. Clearly Hillary is traveling the country selling her book as to why she had nothing to do with her electoral loss.

  54. ked says:

    Don’t ask me, Anna. I wasn’t focusing on personality, but pointing out implications of behavior. The judicial system will run its course – those who own & operate justice have first cut at the Constitution.

  55. turcopolier says:

    This has nothing to do with any “protocal” or rule. It has everything to do with common sense. pl

  56. ked says:

    No, it isn’t. Nor is my opinion that he’s an odious person teasing our nation with a touch of mental illness at the apex of power.
    My arguement is that faith he’s going to save us from the Borg (wether by craft, consequence or sheer fate) & contribute mightily to a better future is ludicrous. I see no evidence of deliverance through Trump. Choose another idol… this one will poison your cause.

  57. MRW says:

    You’re a whack job, ked. What are you smoking?

  58. Bill Smith,
    The smartphone would always be with Manafort. A phone in his condo, if there even is one, would seldom be near him. So far all reports say it was Manafort’s smartphone that was hacked.

  59. pl,
    Do you think the Watergate or Whitewater investigations should have met the same threshold of common sense?
    I am well aware that the Mueller investigation is divisive as are all the questions surrounding the Russian IO and any possible collusion by US citizens. The investigation is like cleaning out a wound. It’s painful, but it will lead to successful healing. I have full faith in the strength of the Constitution to withstand whatever may come out of the Mueller investigation.

  60. turcopolier says:

    Are you for due process or mob rule in the media? The constitution is a social construct. You are implying that the president is a Russian agent of influence. Where is the proof? pl

  61. pl,
    What I see are numerous indicators of a broad based and sophisticated Russian IO. I want that IO to be fully understood, fully exposed and methods to counter future IO developed and implemented. I also see weaker indications that some surrounding the Trump campaign had an idea what the Russians were doing and were willing to gain from that. I see no indications that Trump is either a willing or unwitting Russian agent of influence.

  62. Green Zone Café says:

    The people? He has a 38% approval rating now.
    Mueller and the media can drive that down into the twenties or teens.
    I don’t see policies of any coherent kind being rolled out, moderate or otherwise. Obamacare repeal? Immigration? Tax reform? Infrastructure spending bill? Nothing effective yet.
    I don’t think he’ll be impeached, rather resign after Mueller drops the bomb.
    We don’t know the circumstances of the wiretap: FISA or standard warrant based on probable cause on facts we don’t know about.
    There’s a good chance he’ll try to decapitate North Korea. If it goes well, he’ll be a hero for awhile. If it goes badly, we’ll all be in trouble.
    As the Colonel mentioned, Trump is all-too enthused about going after Iran with his shrill UN Ambassador Nikki.

  63. Tidewater,
    I am slightly puzzled. The date generally given for Christopher Steele’s departure from Moscow is 1992 not 1996, and I have read nothing about his cover having been blown. For his time as head of the MI6 Russia Desk, the accepted dates are from 2004 to 2009.
    That last is certainly the date he set up Orbis. (Where companies are registered with Companies House, Googling the name plus ‘Companies House’ supplies a good deal of info.)
    So the notion that the organisation ‘let him go’ because of the incident with the fake rock in 2006 clearly does not hold water. I would be curious to know your sources for all this, as it sounds very like the kind of disinformation which MI6 disseminates when they are trying to conceal their involvement in yet another clusterf**k their incompetence has produced.
    It is relevant here that the pattern whereby former members of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and military, set up private companies is now common on both sides of the Atlantic, but appears particularly prevalent in Britain.
    This has created a system whose dynamics can be very difficult to interpret. A major problem is that it is always possible that the supposedly private sector activities of people like Steele are actually carried out either on behalf of, or at least in cahoots with, their former employers.
    Another is that it becomes possible for other players to, as it were, ‘buy their way’ into the system, particularly as the sources of funding for such companies are commonly not transparent. (This can provide yet another means by which, as it were, ‘tails’ can wag ‘dogs’.)
    Some examples of the interpretive problems that result from Syria may be worth mentioning. In 2008, Dan Kaszeta, a former Chemical Weapons officer with the US Army, who had worked in the White House for the previous twelve years, moved to London.
    As you will recall, the first protests in Syria came in March 2011, with the ‘Free Syrian Army’ being formed by defectors from the country’s military that July.
    In May of that year Kaszeta set up a company called ‘Strongpoint Security.’ In June that year, a company called ‘Secure Bio’ was set up. This was run by Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon – former commander of the British CBRN regiment and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN battallion – following his retirement from the Army that September.
    Both these figures have been pivotal in the ‘information operations’ designed to obscure the compelling evidence that a range of atrocities involving use of chemical weapons, in particular sarin, were ‘false flags’ designed to inveigle the United States into destroying the Syrian government – the likely result being to hand the country over to jihadists.
    Other former British Army officers have played critical roles in ‘information operations’ in Syria are James Le Mesurier, with Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets, and Paul Tilley with Innovative Communication and Strategies – InCoStrat.
    Questions obviously arise in relation to all these figures as to how far they were actually as agents of long-standing policies of ‘regime change’ in Syria embraced by successive American and British governments. In relation to some of them – not, interestingly, Strongpoint – the company structures are opaque, so the funding is unclear.
    In relation to the British involvement in the attempts at ‘regime change’ in the United States, similar questions arise. This is not the place to get into the credibility or lack of it of the claims made by ‘Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity’ analysts about these events.
    However, it is worth looking again at the chronology, produced in their report, adding in key dates relating to the involvement of people in Britain, and some other facts I consider relevant. (The additions are in capital letters):
    ‘On 25 May last year, the final email, in the sequence of material which opened in January 2015, which was later to be released by WikiLeaks, was sent.
    ‘On June 12 last year Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks had and would publish documents pertinent to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
    ‘On June 14, CrowdStrike, a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC, announced, without providing evidence, that it had found malware on DNC servers and had evidence that Russians were responsible for planting it.
    ‘On June 15, Guccifer 2.0 first appeared, took responsibility for the “hack” reported on June 14 and claimed to be a WikiLeaks source. It then posted the adulterated documents just described.
    ‘On July 5, Guccifer again claimed he had remotely hacked DNC servers, and the operation was instantly described as another intrusion attributable to Russia.
    As to the credibility of Steele, I produced a great deal of evidence on a post on this site and the subsequent exchanges of comments, in the wake of the publication of Sir Robert Owen’s ludicrous report into the Litvinenko mystery.
    (See ; for the report, see .)
    It appears to be consensual that Steele was responsible for the MI6 ‘investigation’, although earlier claims that he was Litvinenko’s ‘case officer’ have been repudiated. It is now suggested the two never even met, which seems wildly improbable, given the Russian’s pivotal role in a range of ‘information operations.’
    What however is clearly established by the evidence are three things:
    1. In their efforts to counter Russian government arguments that in supporting jihadists Western governments were risking catastrophic ‘blowback’, Steele and his associates in the group around Berezovsky produced some quite extraordinary disinformation. Among its purposes was to suggest that the notorious Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich, while working as an agent for the FSB and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’, had attempted to obtain a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ for Al Qaeda;
    2. As a result of ‘information operations’ orchestrated by elements in the Russian security services, these were, initially cock-a-hoop that Counter Terrorism Command would have to identify a timeline which incriminated Berezovsky and Litvinenko in handling polonium
    3. To escape what would have been a total public relations catastrophe, Steele orchestrated one of the more inept and transparent ‘information operations’ in history – of which the eventual outcome was Owen’s Inquiry. This operation has succeeded for two reasons: The Russian security services are no more enthusiastic about having the truth about how Litvinenko lived and died come out than their Western counterparts, and MSM journalists on both sides of the Atlantic are quite prepared to accept the garbage produced by people like Steele at face value.
    Among the ‘key documents’ listed by Owen in his report, one finds the ‘Transcript of press conference of Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitri Kovtun, 31 May 2007.’ In his prepared statement, Lugovoi claimed that: ‘Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.’
    In the Q&A, Kovtun claimed:
    ‘Litvinenko said interesting things about the British judiciary system. He was thrilled, he loved it, that in Britain you could prove anything, really. He used to say: “You can’t imagine, you can simply raise your hand, tell the judge whatever, and they will believe you! They will believe you!” And in this respect, a Russia to totally different things, so for a Russian person it is all available and beneficial.’
    Whether or not Litvinenko said these things – and I think it quite likely that he did – as an assessment of the intellectual level of MI6, the British law enforcement system, and the MSM, this seems to me absolutely accurate.
    A consequence is that, time and again, such people have got themselves involved, or played the ‘useful idiot’ role, in Machiavellian intrigues where they are, quite simply, out of their depth. An instance, ironically, is the coverage of the Seth Rich murder. If, as I think likely, he was involved in leaking material from the DNC, it would be natural for opponents of Hillary Clinton to conclude that he had been ‘Arkancided’.
    But, ironically, precisely because of this, in fact the murder had something to do with the DNC leaks, the ‘cui bono’ argument could rather more easily point to people who did not want to see her elected than her supporters. (The same holds, in reverse, with the death in December 2016 of Steele’s supposed source, the former FSB General Oleg Erovinkin. Murdering someone like that could be a rather obvious way of making the accusations in the dossier appear credible.)
    What does seem probable is that both the intervention of Matt Tait, and also the beginnings of the BuzzFeed dossier have their origins in a panic-stricken attempt to cover up – just like the conventional wisdom about Litvinenko. It is, for instance, interesting that the claims made in the dossier clearly contradict those made by Alperovitch and Tait.
    I have not had time to look closely at more than a part of the material supposed to establish the existence of a Russian ‘influence operation’ to influence the US election. That material which I am in a position to assess, however, looks like amateurish ‘information operation’ stuff, which might fool British judges or the MSM, but should not impress anyone with reasonable critical faculties. Accordingly, it is evidence against the notion of Russian interference, rather than for it.
    The extraordinary way that the British involvement in attempts to subvert the constitutional order in the United States has been ignored is a source of continuing amazement to me. What did you people bother to have a Revolution for, for God’s sake, if you’re prepared to be led by the nose by twerps like Tait and Steele?

  64. Lars says:

    As with many prior investigations, it may start with one aspect and as information is gained, turn into other areas. Typically money is involved and once the flow is mapped out, unsavory practices are found. I expect the current one will follow this path. I also think it will go on much longer than expected. These are complicated matters with complicated aspects that can have profound effects in the future. The methodology seems to follow true and tried efforts to deal with organized crime, with lower participants squeezed for information about the actions of higher ups.
    I don’t think anyone knows how and when this ends.

  65. turcopolier says:

    Someone banned wrote to say that I hate Obama. I voted for him twice. I couldn’t vote for either McCain or Romney. IMO McCain has been emotionally unwell for a long time and Romney is a lot like Trump in the essence of his hard hearted business soul. Obama governed far left of where he ran for office. That was a disappointment to me. pl

  66. ked says:

    now, THAT’s a quality arguement for ya, folks!

  67. Gary Hamm says:

    Not sure where you get your indicators. I would say any Russian attempts at influencing the 2016 election would be less than 1/1000 of the influence Israel (or Saudi Arabia) has going on, on a continuous basis. But of course, this can’t be said in public or the “Who” of the Bolshevist phrase “Who, whom?” will have your career and life destroyed and you will be silenced. And the “Who” will see to it that you have a lifetime pox placed on you.
    Oh yeah, those horrible Russians. According to Catholic Bishop, Georges Abou Khazen, O.F.M., “The Russian operation in Syria is our salvation.” Sadly, while we and our friends wanted Christians (and other religious minorities) subjugated and/or slaughtered. Well, maybe not wanted, but we thought, to quote Madeleine Albright, “we think the price is worth it” to facilitate the strategic interests of the “Who”.

  68. Eric Newhill says:

    Your mistake is to believe the phony polls. They’re manipulated in several ways to result in the appearance of an unpopular president; just as they were before the election to give the appearance of an unpopular candidate.
    Beyond purposeful deceit the polls are reflecting only one facet of reality. Not approving – or approving at a low level for a guy – does not mean you won’t ultimately vote for that guy or that you prefer the other guy more. There has to be a viable alternative, and there isn’t. The Rs have failed to live up to their rhetoric of the past 8 years, Trump exposed them on that….. and the liberals are just plain nuts.
    Also, Trump is not a quitter. He’s been in tight spots before and we can see how he reacted. He will fight back.

  69. Eric Newhill says:

    I am another 2X Obama voter. Same reasons for voting for him and same disappointment with the result. Disagree with the Romney/Trump comparison.
    IMO, Trump actually has a heart, but in business, as in war, be kind to your enemies, be cruel to yourself. Romney, however, is a cold fish and he disrespected working class Americans.

  70. Allen Thomson says:

    This pertains to some 25 years ago, but at the time I asked a friend who had been an FBI SAC working national security issues about the high FISA approval rates. The answer I got was that the process was so tightly constrained that the FBI was very, very careful to have its ducks lined up before approaching the court. Sort of a “failure is not an option” approach.

  71. Dr.Puck says:

    Thank you TTG. This isn’t about semantics and spin, this about precise descriptions of what actually happened, and, happened under a FISA warrant–irrespective of whether one thinks listening to conversations between American citizens and overseas persons should not be allowed.
    An accurate differentiation between smartphone and landline doesn’t negate the inaccuracy of Trump’s original assertion. Nor is Obama himself implicated until there is evidence of his having a hand in the intel op.
    A lot of tax payer dollars goes into intelligence gathering. It strikes me as naive but common sensical to hope the surveillance is aimed at one’s enemies rather than at one’s own self.

  72. Dr.Puck says:

    It seems the trend is moving in the direction of increasing government police powers. It also is usually the case that once new powers are gained, these are retained by the ‘next guy.’

  73. Dr.Puck says:

    The problem with your assertion about the polls is that any number of groups can counter-poll for the sake of unearthing the actual numbers that are “missed” by the phony polls.
    Question is begged, why don’t such ‘counter’ polls and their solid transparent methodologies exist?
    I agree that impeachment has close to a zero chance of coming into play. POTUS can pardon everyone–although the NY AG is pesky–and get back to the main event of tweeting.
    Incidentally, I note the common casting of stones against a monolithic left that ends up with calling them, in your example, nuts. Yet, POTUS is actually mentally ill! I have compassion for the poor man.

  74. Sam Peralta says:

    I always appreciate your input. Thank you!
    Do you have any thoughts or speculations on why the British intel agencies and those private companies created by their former employees are in the business of disinformation in the US? Wouldn’t they be concerned that they could be unmasked by US intel agencies unless of course they are in cahoots with them? Whose agenda are they really promoting?

  75. Sam Peralta says:

    Dr. Puck
    You are spot on in my opinion on the trend towards increasing totalitarian powers among law enforcement. IMO, this is part and parcel of the growth in government and the impunity with how those that run the government act. Note how Clapper got away without even a slap on his wrist for blatant perjury in sworn testimony to Congress. Note how there is no serious pushback on civil forfeiture with no due process.
    You are absolutely correct that the powers gained are always retained and then expanded upon by the next administration. Note how few signed on to Rand Paul’s amendment to the Defense appropriations bill to repeal the Authorization to Use Military Force. 9/11 happened a while ago, yet AUMF and the Patriot Act remain. And at present course will remain forever and even strengthened further.
    There is no constituency in America today for essential Liberty. The very idea that animated the formation of the US. Does anyone believe that the Founding Fathers and their message of limited government would be elected by the present day American electorate? Both the left and the right want bigger government to use the increasing power of the state to enforce their ideological hobby horses. The political and corporate elite are happy to oblige.

  76. Harry says:

    Quite so Colonel. But to tell the truth my leftist bullshit detector already suspected as much. What fascinates me is how little airtime the truth is accorded.

  77. Jack says:

    It would seem that the web of MI6 operators and others linked to British intelligence can only attempt to “subvert the constitutional order in the United States” with the connivance and possibly active participation of the political appointees in US intelligence. Do you believe the British spooks would do this on their own? What would be their motivation?

  78. Tidewater says:

    Tidewater says to David Habakkuk,
    Thanks for your reply. It was good to hear from you. One of the main sources for my comments on Christopher Steele comes from John Helmer. Yves Smith published it on January 18, 2017 on her blog Naked Capitalism. It was also published on Helmer’s own blog, Dances with Bears, at about the same time. The article is: JOHN HELMER: PARSING THE DOSSIER ON TRUMP’S ALLEGED RUSSIAN BEDROOM ANTICS.
    About Steele, Helmer wrote: “Trump has responded that Steele is a “failed spy.” This is not an impetuous tweet. It’s the assessment of both US and British intelligence agencies, including MI6, for which Steele worked undercover in Moscow between 1994 and 1996. His cover was blown; he was evacuated; and as British intelligence sources report this week, Steele has been unable to enter Russia for a decade. “No Russian with official links and knowledge would risk communicating with Steele for fear of being detected by Russian counter-intelligence,” said an intelligence source in London. Said another: “I met [Steele] a couple of times and thought that for a relatively undistinguished man who never made very senior rank he was a smug, arrogant s.o.b. So I don’t work with him. The description of his being the top expert on Russia in MI6 is bollocks.”
    Helmer goes on: “Steele’s career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publically exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks [sic] in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012…”
    You don’t suppose SIS did a sting on John Helmer do you? I hope not.
    And thanks for patiently bringing us up to date on your work with reminder links. I do print them out. And, of course, I admit I am in over my head.
    I had written a longer comment, but I lost it.

  79. LeaNder says:

    spells differently. Stasi: State Sicherheit/Security
    If there was such a thing in the US. If Obama really introduced something like that: You should check your surrounding for possible HUMINT sources. Occasionally they were family members too. Of course you would also be highly afraid to talk to strangers/foreigners anywhere. Could cause you loose your right to study. That’s a real case I know of. …

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

  81. LeaNder says:

    My opinion is he owes $$$ to Russian oligarchs (“gangsters”) and that haunts him
    I rarely do, but I agree with MRW in this case. I object only to his question about what you are smoking. If the law changed I might have one or other plant in backyard.
    But yes, no one calls anyone in any other country with the money, power or assumed power to control matters an oligarch:

  82. Sam and Jack,
    Very good questions.
    A short answer is that MI6 and key elements in the CIA appear to be joined at the hip, and likewise, the GCHQ and the NSA.
    If as I think – more on this in my second response to Tidewater – Steele was acting in cahoots with the leadership of MI6, this would give further reason to think that everything that was going on was part of a operation which was co-ordinated between both sides of the Atlantic, if rather shambolically so.
    As regards the agendas, a key point is that the new consensus which emerged in Britain in the Thatcher years – after in large measure ‘New Labour’ ideologically capitulated – was both neoconservative and neoliberal.
    One thing however that people like Tony Blair retained from their youthful socialist enthusiasms was the ‘rainbow coalition’, ‘coalition of the fringes’ element. While what can be called ‘cultural Marxism’ is part of this over here, much more has to do with what Steve Sailer, following Michael Barone, has termed ‘Lennonism.’
    A great deal of this, ironically, was taken on board by figures like Cameron and Osborne when it was their turn to work out how to deal with successive electoral defeats.
    A result has been an enthusiastic cross-party collaboration with the ‘invade the world, invite the world’ agenda. This is I think part of the reason effective political control of the intelligence agencies has been absent, and people like Steele have been able to ‘run amuck.’
    The supporters of this agenda were completely taken aback by the comprehensive way in which it has blown up in people’s faces – which is I think one reason for the extraordinary lengths to which the transatlantic co-operation against Trump has gone.

  83. Eric Newhill says:

    Dr. Puck,
    Counter polls do exist. They just aren’t given a space in the MSM. I said repeatedly during the election that the polls were phony. I pointed how and where the methodology was shabby – by design or accident, or both – to favor Hillary. I put money on a Trump win based on my analysis. Tyler also saw some of the flaws and also won money.
    You sound like one of those global warming hysterics repeating the lie that virtually all scientists agree that it’s happening. Same problem, they don’t, but those that don’t are given air time or publication space. Media, political and greed manipulated consensus isn’t science, but it does temporarily sooth mediocre minds and separates them from their money.

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