Pieces of the Coup Puzzle Fall Into Place by Publius Tacitus


Most people, including many of you, have the memory of an Alzheimer's patient when it comes to putting events into their proper historical context. So let me help. Do you remember when Donald Trump first started talking about the Presidential election being possibly rigged? That was in early August 2016. He said:

"I'm afraid the election's going to be rigged. I have to be honest," Trump told voters in Ohio, a crucial swing state. . . . Trump added that he has heard "more and more" that the November election will be rigged — suggesting to his supporters that the outcome of the election is out of the hands of voters.

So here is Trump raising the concern about "MEDDLING" in the Presidential election and the Democrats went wild denouncing his craziness:

Hillary Clinton's spokesman Brian Fallon mocked Trump on Twitter Tuesday morning, writing, "Even for a reflexive conspiracy theorist like Trump, this is pathetic. It's dangerous, too."

But less than one month later we have Michael Isikoff warning that unnamed intelligence officials are warning about Russian efforts to rig the election. He made the following key points:

  • U.S. intelligence officials have told key members of Congress that they are trying to determine whether Carter Page, an American businessman identified as a Trump foreign policy advisers, opened up private communications with senior Russian officials
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking minority member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking minority member on the House Intelligence Committee — released a joint statement stating that, "we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election."
  • U.S. officials have since received intelligence reports that during that same three-day trip, Page met with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian deputy prime minister who is now the executive chairman of Rosneft, Russian’s leading oil company, a well-placed Western intelligence source tells Yahoo News.
  • U.S. intelligence agencies have also received reports that Page met with another top Putin aide while in Moscow — Igor Diveykin.

It is important to note that at least two of the sources for Isikoff were FBI paid intelligence asset, Christopher Steele and persons from the US intelligence agencies. It is not the FBI that is telling "key members of Congress" about Carter Page. And it is "intelligence reports" that are cited, not FBI personnel, in identifying Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin as the Russians Page met with.

This is where it gets dicey for former CIA Director John Brennan.

The information about Igor Sechin and Igor Divyekin appears in the Steele Dossier in report 2016/94 (dated 19 July 2016).  This information was cited as well in the FISA application that the FBI submitted to the FIS Court in October. No other source of intelligence, such as SIGINT from NSA or HUMINT from CIA. If such information had existed it would have been cited in the classified FISA application. It was not.

So how did John Brennan know about Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin. We now know that Brennan was the one who briefed  Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in August 2016. Paul Sperry reports:

On Aug. 25, 2016, for example, the CIA chief gave an unusual private briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in which he told Reid the Russians were backing Trump and that the FBI would have to take the lead in an investigation because the FBI is the federal agency in charge of domestic intelligence . . . .

It was because of that briefing that Harry Reid sent a letter to the FBI's James Comey demanding an investigation. Reid clearly had been fully briefed on the Steele Dossier that existed at that time:

I have recently become concerned that the threat of the Russian government tampering in our presidential election is more extensive than widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results. The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount . . . .

Further, there have been a series of disturbing reports suggesting other methods Russia is using to influence the Trump campaign and manipulate it as a vehicle for advancing the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin. For example, questions have been raised about whether a Trump advisor who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia, and who has conflicts of interest due to investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom, met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July of 2016, well after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee. (The same individual recently broke precedent by giving a speech critical of U.S. policy while in Moscow.)

If James Comey had been the source of this information then Reid certainly would have referenced that in his letter. He did not.

What is so curious about all of this is the lack of a formal response by the intelligence community. In other words, if the Russians really were in a full court press beyond their normal propaganda activities, then the intelligence community should have been galvanized to collect more information and should have briefed the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees. That did not happen. Key Republican leaders DID NOT, I repeat NOT, receive such a briefing. For example, Devin Nunes, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, did not get briefed by Brennan or any of his minions on this subject.

And where was Jim Clapper. If the CIA Director is raising the warning that Russia is marauding through our electoral system like some rapacious pirate, then it was up to the Director of National Intelligence, to make sure the President was briefed and that the vested intelligence agencies were alerted and focused on dealing with this new threat. That did not happen.

Barack Obama provides the final proof that the Russia threat was bullshit when he responded to Trump's persistent claim that there was an attempt to rig the election (which we now know is true). On October 18, 2016 (two days after the FBI submitted a FISA application insisting that Russia was meddling in the election via Donald Trump), Obama called Trump a crazy whiner:

"It doesn't really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you'd want out of a president. You start whining before the game's even over? If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else? Then you don't have what it takes to be in this job," Obama said. 
And he said the warnings of a "rigged election" are entirely unprecedented in modern American political history.
"I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It's unprecedented,"

But, if you believe the Washington Post, Obama was warned in August 2016 by John Brennan:

Early last August (2016), an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

There was no other intelligence source besides the Christopher Steele dossier for this information. And, thanks to the unwitting reporters of the Washington Post, Barack Obama, courtesy of John Brennan, read what existed at that time of the Steele Dossier.

The list of people who will be investigated keeps growing. That list now includes the names of the most elite members of the Obama Administration's intelligence, law enforcement and White House personnel–Jim Clapper, John Brennan, Susan Rice, and even Barack Obama himself.

Grab the popcorn.

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44 Responses to Pieces of the Coup Puzzle Fall Into Place by Publius Tacitus

  1. DianaLC says:

    I think I need a tranquilizer instead of popcorn. I’m just an ordinary citizen who had excellent government and civics teachers in high school, after some good old-fashioned history classes in fourth grade, seventh, and eighth grade. I was also required to take a Government class as a freshman in college.
    None of this is what we were taught should happen.
    It makes me angry and sad. And you are right about the seeming Alzheimer’s and dementia, or just plain lack of knowledge or curiosity on the part of the media and the regular citizenry. Our once-trusted “fourth estate” is in disarray. We are left to search for the truth on our own, so we come to blogs like this. And thank heavens they have not been banned yet or put out of existence because of the tendency of many to use the legal system to sue good people until they can’t afford to tell the truth.
    I caught Obama and Michele at the introduction of their official portraits. I’m sorry. Perhaps I am not trained in art enough or perhaps I have too much white privilege, but I felt that these two people are continuing to poke their fingers into the eyes of the Americans who actually grew up being proud of our country and its founding values.

  2. Fred says:

    “We now know that Brennan was the one who briefed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in August 2016.”
    I was going to ask did the Republicans get the same briefing, but you answered that with a no. So why did John Brennan choose to inform only one political party in the House of this “intelligence” and isn’t that a violation of law?

  3. Keith Harbaugh says:

    On the title of this post,
    the following seems relevant:
    “Someone’s Doing The DOJ and FBI Interrogations and It’s Not Congress…”
    by “sundance”, 2018-02-14
    To answer the obvious question, the “someone” sundance identifies is DOJ IG Michael Horowitz.
    sundance has some interesting assertions about who he thinks is singing to Horowitz.

  4. Lefty says:

    “I was going to ask did the Republicans get the same briefing, but you answered that with a no. So why did John Brennan choose to inform only one political party in the House of this “intelligence” and isn’t that a violation of law?”
    My recollection is that the rest of the Gang of 8 had been briefed and that Reid got his separately later. Did he get the same briefing, or one with some extra secret sauce and spices?
    On a different but related topic, we have also subsequently learned that Obama communicated with Hillary over her email server using a pseudonym. Could that have made him reluctant to see her charged with him as an accessory?

  5. Fred,
    Brennan started briefing the Gang of Eight individually beginning with Reid. He finished all individual briefings on 5 Sep 2016 commenting that it proved difficult to get appointments and talk with certain Republicans. Obama also sent Comey, Jeh Johnston and Lisa Monaco to brief the “Gang of Twelve” that included the chairmen and ranking minority members of Homeland Security and Intelligence to seek bipartisan support to respond forcefully to the Russians in early Sep 2016. McConnell reacted forcefully to stifle the intelligence and any forceful response saying “he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”

  6. I don’t know. Good questions.

  7. No, Brennan did not brief all of the Republicans. Stop regurgitating Dem talking points. I’ll save you time. Here’s the best example of the Dem talking points/excuse (which was posted on SLATE):
    Why didn’t Obama raise public alarms about Russian infiltration? Because that might have backfired. “Trump was predicting that the election would be rigged,” says the Post. “Obama officials feared providing fuel to such claims, playing into Russia’s efforts to discredit the outcome.” According to the paper, Obama and his team “worried that any action they took would be perceived as political interference in an already volatile campaign.” Rather than speak up when the CIA first warned him about Putin’s moves, Obama waited for “a high-confidence assessment from U.S. intelligence agencies on Russia’s role and intent.” He asked congressional Republicans to join him in cautioning citizens and state election officials. You can argue that this was politically naïve. But Obama wasn’t playing politics. He was trying to unite the country.
    If you buy into that crap you are beyond help. Their argument is this—They knew for CERTAIN that Russia was meddling, but did not want to make this public because it would show that Donald Trump was right. And yet we’re asked to buy the horseshit that “Obama wasn’t playing politics.” Really, you are too smart to endorse jello-brained thinking like that.

  8. Dr. Puck says:

    Have you seen the full FISA application? You make claims “as if” you have. Thank you for clarifying.

  9. Fred says:

    You mean the Congress couldn’t be bothered to give up an hour of “dialing for dollars” fundraising to hear about the national security threat. Sounds like the hogwash from Brennan and company that was surprie! released after Hilary lost. At least nobody is talking about the content of the Podesta emails that came out of the un-secured email server Hilary set up.

  10. Bill Herschel says:

    If anyone is engineering a coup, it is the Republicans. Why on earth would the Democrats want to get rid of Trump? He is the gift that keeps on giving. Alabama? C’mon.
    All the talk about Russia, peu importe whether it’s directed by Trump or against Trump, is just the, largely CIA directed, propaganda machine at work. They understand better than anyone that it simply doesn’t matter which side the American people think the Russians are on as long as they think the Russians are behind every bush.
    We used to joke in the 50’s that the Russians controlled the weather. We were a lot saner then, even though the risk of being vaporized in a nuclear war was a hell of a lot more real then than now.

  11. Charles Michael says:

    I love this one:
    “It doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you’d want out of a president. You start whining before the game’s even over? If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job,” Obama said.
    very prescient about HRC post election reactions.

  12. J says:

    Brennan belongs in a Gitmo prison cell

  13. Fred says:

    So Donna Brazile and co. rigged the DNC primary so Trump would win? Ah, the CIA did it.

  14. J says:

    I reiterate, Brennan belongs behind prison cell bars for the crime of Sedetion to start with.

  15. Bill H says:

    I was watching a news clip of one of the “head of intelligence agency” types briefing Congress today. Yesterday? I forget which one it was that said, “We don’t want Russians telling us how to vote on Facebook.”
    Think about it. If people are deciding how to vote based on Russian posts on Facebook, the problem isn’t that Russians are posting on Facebook, it’s that voters are deciding how to vote based on Facebook posts.

  16. Just a reminder that in the infamous audio tape of Sy Hersh, he explicitly declared the entire Russiagate nonsense to be a CIA disinformation campaign run by Brennan. I believe he also described the NSA head as an “f’ing moron.”
    The fun part is this nonsense: “a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.” Absolutely zero evidence has been produced to back that up on any level, let alone tying it to the Russian government or Putin.
    Furthermore it’s next to impossible short of directly hacking election machines – and as everyone knows most of the fraud in that area is being controlled by both Republican and Democratic voting offices in the swing states and by redistricting and by cleansing the voting rolls of members of the electorate who don’t fit the party’s demographics.
    So the notion that Russia would even try something like is ludicrous on its face. There’s no way they could even remotely swing the vote to one candidate or the other, certainly not without being detected.
    Interestingly I read an English translation of a Russia TV program recently where the panelists were discussing US efforts to influence the Russian election. The conclusion they came to is that the US was trying, but that there was no real way the US could influence the Russian elections over and above what the Russian people themselves were doing. Apparently the Russians have more common sense than the US media.
    What it should remind us is that without the alleged Russia hacking of the DNC the rest of Russiagate would be much less likely to be believed by the public. Which is why that entire situation needs to be reopened by an independent investigation.

  17. “We used to joke in the 50’s that the Russians controlled the weather. We were a lot saner then, even though the risk of being vaporized in a nuclear war was a hell of a lot more real then than now.”
    Less danger now? I’d be happier if you could give me a written guarantee.
    And Trump got elected. Whatever your opinion of him I’d have thought anyone prepared to put himself through an American Presidential election might deserve a bit of time afterwards simply to try to get through the policies he was elected on. Else why bother to pretend it’s a Constitutional Democracy?

  18. Ex 11B says:

    I do not agree with the second part of your last sentence. The take away being you/we were saner then.I could find you lots of expert opinions that think it is much worse today.Paul Craig Roberts makes a convincing case. You tube has a bunch of interviews you might want to look at.

  19. turcopolier says:

    that is your answer? you obviously have no answer. pl

  20. Greco says:

    If it hasn’t been said often enough, your commentary here is always appreciated PT.
    In addition to your points, back in late July 2016 Sen. Harry Reid had publicly encouraged giving then nominee Donald Trump “fake [intelligence] briefings”:
    He implies they don’t have to lie. They just don’t “have to tell him everything.”
    There may be a possibility Reid held discussions with others in terms of how to share the report dated July 19th and he had concluded that they should go ahead and give “fake briefings.” Despite Reid’s public endorsement, it appears they declined to give briefings to anyone other than their own political allies. So it appears they took a safer route. The likes of Rep. Devin Nunes were simply not briefed and now they have the excuse, depending on how one views it, that this was due to scheduling conflicts.
    I think it’s also worth stressing another important consideration. This apparent coup/meddling goes well beyond an effort to remove/debilitate Pres. Trump. For instance, Sen. John McCain had said Sen. Rand Paul was “working for Vladimir Putin.”
    I think they aimed to remove a rash of Freedom Caucus Republicans, not just Trump. Maybe they thought, due to a constitutional crisis this Russian collusion scandal would have evoked, that they could hold a new emergency election of some kind under broader Federal (Deep State?) control.
    It seems they’re still pushing this idea as we speak in regards to the 2018 midterms.
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/13/politics/intelligence-chiefs-russia-2018-elections-target/index.html (the article was updated as of yesterday)
    Current NI Dir. Dan Coats said, “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.”
    Personally, I happen to agree with TTG’s assessment, that the collusion and Russian meddling should be understood separately; however, I outright consider the collusion narrative to be a complete lie, on par with Birthrism, while the notion Russia had meddled during the election campaign is a very real possibility that may just as well be treated as fact. That said, I don’t think the Russians were alone and the threat Russia posed pales in comparison to the role others have played, like we see here with this apparent coup effort.

  21. Vic says:

    Besides the Steele document, the other half of this Russia gate sage was the computer forensics on Russian election hacking NOT from the NSA or FBI, but instead from Crowdstrike a private IT security firm who also worked for the DNC. The DNC did not allow the FBI to touch their servers.
    MSM needs to start investigating Crowdstrike.

  22. Fred says:

    Bill H,
    ” it’s that voters are deciding how to vote …” and didn’t vote for your preferred candidate. I wonder how many people were influenced to vote for Hilary by stuff on Facebook. Is it okay when predatory capitalist Mark Zuckerburg tells us how to vote on Facebook? How about Planned Parenthood or any of a number of others who give Mark money – except the Russians (whose money Mark was quite happy to keep) to put up ads on Facebook? How about Twitter or the NYT, they take money for political ads too.

  23. PT and all,
    Some of what ‘sundance’ has been publishing on ‘The Conservative Treehouse’ site brings us back to the British input into the conspiracy, and the way the transnational nature of the ‘Borg’ is used to enable its members to hide their traces. Specifically, it brings one to the significant – and neglected – role played by the former GCHQ employee Matt Tait.
    It was on 14 June 2016 that the claim that the DNC had been hacked by the Russians originally appeared, in the ‘Washington Post’. The allegations were buttressed with interviews with two people from ‘CrowdStrike’: the company’s President, Shawn Henry, who is apparently a former Executive Assistant Director at the FBI, and its co-founder and chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, who as the paper notes is also a senior fellow with the ‘Atlantic Council.’
    (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-government-hackers-penetrated-dnc-stole-opposition-research-on-trump/2016/06/14/cf006cb4-316e-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html?utm_term=.cb575ff26802 .)
    The following day, in a detailed defence of the claims, having linked the group referred to as ‘Cozy Bear’ with the FSB and that referred to as ‘Fancy Bear’ with the GRU, Alperovitch went on to say, of both, that ‘their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none’.
    (See https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bears-midst-intrusion-democratic-national-committee/ .)
    The day after that, a post appeared on a site called ‘Ars Technica’ entitled ‘“Guccifer” leak of DNC Trump research has a Russian’s fingerprints on it; Evidence left behind shows leaker spoke Russian and had affinity for Soviet era.’
    (See https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/guccifer-leak-of-dnc-trump-research-has-a-russians-fingerprints-on-it/ .)
    A key part of this ‘evidence’ was the fact that one of the documents released by ‘Guccifer 2.0’ was last edited by someone using, in cyrillic, the name and patronymic ‘Felix Edmundovich’, a clear reference to Dzerzhinsky, described by ‘Ars Technica’ as ‘the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police.’
    Already we have a howler. Like very many of the original Bolsheviks, the founder of the Cheka was a man of the ‘borderlands’, and also had nothing ‘proletarian’ about him – his family were Polonised Lithuanian nobility.
    Moreover, either ‘Fancy Bear’ have ‘superb’ tradecraft, or they are dolts leaving the most obvious of clues: it is difficult to have it both ways. It would seem relevant that the GRU comes under the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Valery Gerasimov, who does not show any visible signs of being a blithering idiot (mild irony alert.)
    And then, one really does not have to know much history to be aware that it is less than totally obvious that the successor to Tukhachevsky, Zhukov, and Vasilevsky, and indeed Aleksandr Svechin would naturally regard Dzerzhinsky as his kind of person. This kind of inanity is much more what one would expect from, say, Christopher Steele or Mike Pompeo – or indeed John Brennan.
    According to ‘Ars Technica’, this and other supposed ‘smoking gun’ pieces of evidence were ‘teased out of the documents and noted on Twitter by an independent security researcher who goes by the handle PwnAllTheThings.’
    Currently, this ‘Twitter’ account identifies its proprietor as Matt Tait, ‘Now @StraussCenter, @UTAustin. Formerly @GCHQ, @Google etc. Views mine.’ However, if one looks back at articles – by himself and others – in which his claims were discussed at the time, one finds him referred to as ‘CEO and founder of Capital Alpha Security, a UK based security consultancy which focuses on research into software vulnerabilities, exploit mitigations and applied cryptography.’
    The online records from Companies House show that ‘Capital Alpha Security’ was incorporated in February 2016, with Tait as sole shareholder, and last November 2017 filed ‘dormant accounts’ for the year to February 2017.
    So, the company never did any business that year, and the notion that Tait was running a consultancy was a fiction. How, one asks, was he keeping alive and funding his relentless exposés of Russian malignity – busking on the Tube perhaps?
    Clues to what was going on may lie in the site on which he published his own account of how he – supposedly – came to identify the ‘smoking gun’ of the name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky. This came in a post entitled ‘On the Need for Official Attribution of Russia’s DNC Hack’ published on the ‘Lawfare’ blog, to which Tait had started contributing that April, on 28 July 2016.
    (See https://www.lawfareblog.com/need-official-attribution-russias-dnc-hack .)
    As it happens, one of the founders of this site, Benjamin Wittes, has been in the news recently, and has been another focus of the investigations of ‘sundance.’ A former editorial writer for the ‘Washington Post’, he co-founded ‘Lawfare’ in September 2010, and is now its editor in chief, as well as a ‘Senior Fellow in Governance Studies’ at Brookings.
    In a piece in the March 2018 issue of ‘The Atlantic’ Wittes and Jonathan Rauch claim that Trump is a menace to the Republic because of ‘his attempt to erode the independence of the justice system’ and his ‘encouragement of a foreign adversary’s interference in U.S. electoral processes.’
    They further argue that the Republican party is enabling this threat. Accordingly, they contend, citizens should ‘vote mindlessly and mechanically against Republicans at every opportunity, until the party either rights itself or implodes’ – regardless of their views on issues such as guns, taxes, and abortion.
    (See https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/ .)
    Relevant background comes in a recent piece by ‘sundance’ entitled ‘October 2016: James Comey Friend Benjamin Wittes Discusses “The Insurance Policy” Against Trump…’ As he notes, on 24 October 2016 – which appears to be three days after the FBI secured the FISA “Title-1” surveillance authority over former Trump campaign official Carter Page, using the Steele dossier, Wittes produced a post on ‘Lawfare’, entitled: ‘A Coalition of All Democratic Forces, Part III: What if Trump Wins?’
    (See https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/08/october-2016-james-comey-friend-benjamin-wittes-discusses-the-insurance-policy-against-trump/ .)
    In this he argued that ‘our democracy needs a health insurance policy’, using arguments, and wording, very close to those used by the then Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division of the FBI to his mistress Lisa Page that August.
    And ‘sundance’ also notes that Wittes has himself made plain that he is a personal friend of James Comey, and has acted as a conduit for leaks from the former FBI to the media, and specifically the ‘New York Times.’
    As its name implies, the ‘Lawfare’ blog has to do with the relationship of ‘law’ and ‘warfare.’ It then becomes interesting to look at the opening post which Wittes published on that site in September 2010.
    (See https://www.lawfareblog.com/about-lawfare-brief-history-term-and-site .)
    It seems that the term was popularised by Air Force General Charles Dunlap, in the wake of the 1999 Kosovo campaign. The initial concern behind its coining, apparently, was largely with the possibility that international law might be used by weak states to stop interventions such as that in Yugoslavia.
    As it happens, that intervention was the first instance of a pattern which has become recurrent since.
    Time and again, military intervention, and ‘régime change’ more generally, are advocated on the basis of the central ‘borgist’ premise, that somehow the problems of complex and bitterly fractured societies can be interpreted in terms of some wicked ‘dictator’ repressing the natural aspirations of his subjects to some harmonious, multicultural, ‘freedom.’
    First it was Milosevic, then Saddam, then Assad, then Yanukovych, and Putin is clearly targeted for ‘régime change’ on the same basis.
    This premise is intimately involved with the ideology of ‘COIN’, in that this is intimately linked to the belief that Western countries have it in their power to remodel other societies on the basis of their own values and institutions. Unsurprisingly, another theme of the introductory post by Wittes is the potential for using law to do this in Afghanistan.
    That this dotty – and commonly corrupt – utopian project has produced disaster after disaster, from the total economic collapse produced by ‘shock therapy’ in the former Soviet Union, to the shambles we have created in Iraq, Libya and Syria, does not worry its advocates.
    The backlash it has produced, both on the right and left of the political spectrum, may however have created a situation in which its proponents have felt they have little option but to resort to extreme measures. So it is perhaps perfectly natural to find that when compromising DNC material is clearly going to be provided to ‘WikiLeaks’, one has a – rather incompetent – cover-up being mounted by former FBI, MI6 and GCHQ people in collusion, probably also with a strong CIA involvement.
    It appears likely that ‘Lawfare’ may indeed be an important part of the networks involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution. A co-founder with Wittes, Robert Chesney, is a Law Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and directs the ‘Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.’
    In 30 May last year an item appeared on a university website, entitled ‘Chesney’s Lawfare Blog Makes Headlines, Reaches 10 Million People a Year.’ This tells us that, having started as a three-man operation, ‘the masthead now features over 60 names, including a who’s who of top national security media analysts and law professors.’
    It also notes that ‘Matt Tait, a British hacker who formerly worked for GCHQ (the British NSA) and Google, and who will arrive in Austin this fall to teach cybersecurity courses at Texas Law.’ Perhaps that was how Tait made his living – by hacking. But, however he was funded until then, from last autumn Tait had a steady income from the ‘Strauss Center.’
    (See https://law.utexas.edu/news/2017/05/30/chesneys-lawfare-blog-makes-headlines-reaches-10-million-people-a-year/ .)
    A critical question then becomes whether his involvement can be seen as another indication that the former GCHQ head Robert Hannigan, who resigned in January last year in mysterious circumstances, was intimately involved with this whole process of corruption.
    As it happens, his history turns out to be very interesting. But that is a matter for another comment.

  24. el sid says:

    Wrap your heads around this:
    Obama & Rice Asked Brits to Spy on Trump, 2055
    The Still Report
    As far back as 28 Aug 2016
    “Five eyes are better than two!”

  25. Russia-Gate; Murder-Gate
    These people have tried to kill me multiple times.
    I continue to be tortured and abused.
    They have tried to Frame me as “Crazy” — I am the furthest thing from it and this is the unequivocal truth!
    There are countless murders.
    Children have been exploited; Families have been destroyed.
    Public Funds were stolen.
    They have lined their pockets with my intellectual property and with agendas of murder (including mine).
    These people have and continue to steal my intellectual property worth Trillions and obscure my discoveries.
    The people implicated in this are the purported leaders of our Nation.
    This is the truth and the starting point beginning/source of “Russia-Gate”.
    This includes the former director of the CIA et al.
    This entire US Government has been engaged and I have all the substantiating evidence to prove it (see below).
    As I have stated numerous times: I am begging for my life.
    Further your families, their lives, their freedom, and our United States of America depends on Public exposure and your representation.
    I need YOUR LEGAL HELP and Representation NOW!!!
    This is life and death and the outcome of our United States and our Earth “The Free World” depends on this.
    Benjamin Allen Sullivan

  26. Sid Finster says:

    Comprehensively trashes the “‘Russia’ hacked the DNC” narrative.
    Although if Russia *did* hack the DNC and pulled back the curtain on the rigging of the nomination, then they did us a favor.

  27. Harry says:

    TTG has given quite a persuasive rebuttal of this point.
    No need for FBI to examine server themselves a d they gave Alperovitch a remote tool. The point i was hazy on was why emails from well after Crowdstrike had looked at the DNC servers were included in the “hacked” cache. Did Crowdstrike not secure the servers?

  28. Harry says:

    Great work, as per usual. Even a dolt like me is begining to see the light.
    I noticed on Thomas Rid’s twitter feed that Matt Tait was his source for calling out russian official hackers. Their work has subsequently been called into doubt. But Rid has also been an Atlantic fellow, and now has a gig in the US.
    Nice work.

  29. Bill H says:

    “and didn’t vote for your preferred candidate.”
    Which is not what I said at all. My reference was to the idiocy of using Facebook as a source for making decisions for anything and, in fact, I had no preferred candidate and regarded Trump as the lesser of two evils.
    You must have flunked mind reading class in high school.

  30. robt willmann says:

    In a comment above, David Habakkuk, with his usual eye for detail, notes an association between some people of the “Lawfare” Internet website and the University of Texas Law School.
    I am embarrassed to say that his observation is a further indication that the school is but a shadow of its former self. Like most people, I am not pleased with the fact of growing older, but I am grateful to have been at the Univ. of Texas Law School at the tail end of its excellence, an era of such exceptional teachers as Page Keeton, Charles Alan Wright, Bernard Ward, Leon Green, and others. Prof. Wright was both a lawyer and scholar, and was named a Corresponding Fellow to the British Academy in 1999, the year before he passed away. He was active in other areas and was a founder of the classical radio station in Austin. His influence in the legal system was nationwide, and for those who like to keep track of such things, he argued 13 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won 11 of them. However, I suspect that he and the others would not only not recognize their beloved law school, but also would not recognize Austin itself, which has mutated into a price-inflated, traffic-snarled morass.
    When I started there, I had only a bicycle and a shabby, one-room apartment near the law school. It was one of the happiest times of my life.

  31. PT and all,
    Another lead from ‘sundance’ has led in some interesting directions.
    Both he and a lot of other people have suggested for some time that Bill Priestap, the F.B.I. Assistant Director in charge of counterintelligence operations, has been, as it were, ‘singing sweetly.’
    Only more recently, if my memory serves me right, has ‘sundance’ been suggesting that Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Baker and Bruce Ohr have also been co-operating with the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
    It is I think interesting to look at the career of Priestap’s wife, Sabina Menschel.
    Last December, it was announced that she had been appointed as President of Nardello & Co, which advertises itself as ‘the premiere global investigations firm’ – as well as continuing as Chief Operating Officer.
    (See https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171207005223/en/Nardello-Bolsters-Leadership-Firm-Enters-New-Growth .)
    Her bio on the firm’s site makes clear that she is a graduate both of Harvard and Harvard Business School. Further material:
    ‘Sabina began her investigative career as a research analyst at Kroll, and rose to Director of Research for the New York office and then to Global Head of Training for the Business Intelligence and Investigations practice.
    ‘Earlier in her career, Sabina served as a Special Advisor in the Directorate of Intelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s headquarters in Washington, DC. In that capacity, she worked with senior management to refine and strengthen the FBI’s intelligence gathering capabilities and implement its intelligence transformation efforts in response to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.’
    Her father Richard Menschel and her uncle Robert became senior directors at Goldman Sachs. Both have been honoured with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.
    (See https://news.syr.edu/2015/10/alumni-robert-and-richard-menschel-awarded-carnegie-medal-of-philanthropy-62555/ .)
    The latter figures in a report in the ‘WSJ’ back in 2009 about a group called the ‘Wednesday 10.’ Apparently, it was formed as a ‘networking’ eating club by a group of young Jews in different professions in New York back in the ‘Fifties, with William Safire, who became a highly influential columnist for the ‘New York Times’, in the leading role. Many of these were sons of immigrants, they started from zero, and they made it.
    (See https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704779704574555862616828726 .)
    As to William Safire, the following from his ‘Wikipedia’ entry is of interest:
    ‘Safire was one of several voices who called for war with Iraq, and predicted a “quick war” and wrote: “Iraqis, cheering their liberators, will lead the Arab world toward democracy.” He consistently brought up the point in his Times columns that an Iraqi intelligence agent met with Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 attackers, in Prague, which he called an “undisputed fact”, a theory which was disputed by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Safire insisted that the theory was true and used it to make a case for war against Iraq. He also incorrectly predicted that “freed scientists” would lead coalition forces to “caches [of weapons of mass destruction] no inspectors could find”.’
    Actually, I remembered reading Safire at the time of the Gorbachev-era ‘new thinking.’
    Refreshing my memory with the help of ‘Google’, I came across a response to a column by Safire from Georgiy Arbatov, one of its key architects, from December 1987 – which would have been shortly after I started working on the subject.
    In it, Arbatov reiterated the suggestion he was frequently making at the time: that ‘we have a “secret weapon” that will work almost regardless of the American response – we would deprive America of The Enemy.’
    (See http://www.nytimes.com/1987/12/08/opinion/l-it-takes-two-to-make-a-cold-war-963287.html .)
    Over the following months, Gorbachev did in fact proceed to liquidate the whole security policy inherited from the Stalinist era. This made little impression on Safire. In the wake of the failed August 1991 coup, and two weeks before Gorbachev resigned as President of the Soviet Union, he would write:
    ‘Revealing the true colors of a tyrant, Mikhail Gorbachev now seeks to thwart the democratic will of the independent republics of his former empire by bidding for the support of the veteran Red Army generals.’
    (See http://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/12/opinion/essay-gorby-invites-the-deluge.html .)
    I am well aware of the danger of ‘connecting the dots’, and reaching conclusions which appear to be cogent, but turn out to be quite wrong. However, it seems to me relevant to ask whether in fact the views of Sabina Menchel’s father and uncle on critical questions relevant to American foreign policy have been as divorced from reality as those of their long-time dining partner, and, if so, whether this has influenced her, and whether this may have relevance to the views of her husband.
    In 2015, she published a book entitled ‘Investigative Due Diligence: Beyond Google’, of which there is a summary on the Nardello site. From the discussion of investigative methodology:
    ‘It is also important to consider how information found online is exchanged and disseminated. In countries with high degrees of government censorship, such as Myanmar, the independent press may be run from abroad or through blogs and chat forums. The media in those countries may be pushing a hidden political or business agenda or have critical information scrubbed by government censors.’
    (See http://www.nardelloandco.com/insights/investigative-due-diligence-beyond-google/ .)
    If she actually believes that the media in Western countries is not pushing various kinds of ‘agenda’ – often not very hidden – or that critical information is not in effect ‘scrubbed’, then Ms. Menschel is living in never-never-land. What also frightens me is what looks like an implicit assumption that in countries with high degrees of censorship the ‘opposition’ media is necessarily ‘independent.’
    It is the assumption – explicit or implicit – that those who oppose ‘dictators’ can be assumed to be honest, virtuous people who tell the truth which has been responsible for very much of the mess into which we have got ourselves over the past few years. People with their own agendas had every reason to exploit the inanity of Safire and his like to persuade them that the result of toppling Saddam would be a ‘democracy’ friendly to the United States and Israel.

  32. Arioch The says:

    > Canada Air mechanic newly transferred from Europe had liters in his head rather than gallons
    you mean Gimli Glider
    But that story was very different actually.
    1a. No one transferred nowhere.
    1b. CA got new shiny Boeing 767, which had a lot of teething problems
    1c. In particular this Boeing could only operate one fuel meter if another, backup one, was shunned.
    1d. Mechanic during casual tests enabled both meters for short while, without formally reporting it. Then he got distracted. Both meters stayed enabled without notice.
    2a. Canada was switching from Imperial system (gallons, pouinds) to SI (litres, grams).
    2b. Canada Air decided to do it starting with new Boeing 767, while running their traditional crafts on traditional gallons. So when calculating between fuel weight and volume crews had to switch between systems, dependign upon which plane they pilot/service.
    2c. This Boeing had a problem with manuals, it listed SI constants in fuel calculation chapters for all the formulas. Except one thing, the figure for fuel density was forgotten and was just copied from pre-SI handbooks. It claimed kg/liter but it in reality was pound/gallon
    2d. Since crew were swinging back and forth between SI-crafts and IS-crafts. that figure was familiar to them and no one raised an eyebrow.
    2e. All other measurement and calculaitons were proprely done in SI system, except weight-volume conversions.
    3. In the emergency day MANY people failed at once.
    3a. Origin airport crew, who fueled much too less gas.
    3b. Intermediate airport crew, who did the same when refuelling
    3c. Pilots crew, who dealing with unfamiliar european SI figures did not grasped the fuel figures were too small
    3d. Hardware. The Boeing 767 fuel meters stopped working when both were turned on, and they were.

  33. turcopolier says:

    All right already! All right! pl

  34. b says:

    Of interest to this thread
    Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election?
    His dossier was more than opposition research, it was part of a full-spectrum information operation.
    By Peter Van Buren • February 15, 2018

  35. Fred says:

    Do you have a complete list of non-idiocy sources of information for decision making? Maybe we could spread it around Facebook to help educate folks.

  36. Referencing my earlier comment on corrupt people being advisers on news media, we now have Exhibit A: John Brennan…
    When Spies Turn into TV ‘Experts’
    Morell has long been a paid contributing “expert” for CBS news, Hayden has had the same role at CNN, and they are are now being joined by John Brennan at NBC….
    In his first appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday he said that the Steele dossier did “not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was presented to President Obama…” which is a lie.
    End Quote

  37. turcopolier says:

    Minor nit, Brennan was first an analyst. He must have been non-selected for field work at the Farm. After his initial work as a scholar sucking up to Alan Fiers, he became a full time bureaucratic politician and administrator. pl

  38. J says:

    Reserve prison cells at Gitmo —
    Cell#1 Obama,
    Cell#2 Brennan,
    Cell#3 Clapper,
    Cell#4 Rice, Cell#5 Comey,
    prison cells vacancy light on, Gitmo open for business.

  39. VietnamVet says:

    This post and comments make clear that the globalist Borg conspiracy is real. Although idiots, as the cream of the meritocracy, they are in the leadership class and have wholesome contempt for democracy and deplorables. In mid-2016, the more preceptive underlings started having misgivings and looked for insurance policies. Added to the mix are contractor wives, a paramour and a retired British Agent. Their gravy train could derail. It did. Today there is a Coup underway to wrestle control back away from the Generals and Goldman Sachs alumni to get power and money flowing their way again. Donald Trump must go. To survive the President and his allies will have to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate “Intelgate”. The problem is two prosecutors digging for dirt in the same place. Bad, for D.C. but good for America.

  40. Keith Harbaugh says:

    In comment 5 (echoed by PT at 7) Lefty asked:

    [W]e have also subsequently learned that
    Obama communicated with Hillary over her email server using a pseudonym.
    Could that have made him reluctant to see her charged with him as an accessory?

    Andrew C. McCarthy says: “You betcha!” (echoing Sarah Palin).
    “Clinton–Obama Emails:
    The Key to Understanding Why Hillary Wasn’t Indicted”

    by Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 2018-01-23

    If Clinton had been charged,
    Obama’s culpable involvement would have been patent.
    In any prosecution of Clinton,
    the Clinton–Obama emails would have been in the spotlight.
    For the prosecution, they would be more proof of willful
    (or, if you prefer, grossly negligent)
    mishandling of intelligence.
    More significantly, for Clinton’s defense,
    they would show that Obama was complicit in Clinton’s conduct
    yet faced no criminal charges.

  41. Anna says:

    “… entire situation [re the DNC server] needs to be reopened by an independent investigation.”
    Totally agree. That was the beginning of the ongoing inflammation that has since produced so much puss.

  42. Anna says:

    Thank you for the detailed and informative report.

  43. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Somehow in writing comment #40 I left out the url of the McCarthy article.
    Mea culpa.
    Here it is:

  44. BoydR says:

    Thank you Diana. I had a similar education as you and feel that we can never be taught enough about history and especially how our young country relates to the rest of the world with older civilizations. How do we maintain our truth without being invalidated. When was the V in the road?

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