Monday, May 21, 2018

'Sources'

"Framing the Trump Campaign as Lackey's of Russia by Publius Tacitus" (my emphasis in red):
"There are still many unanswered questions, but the evidence that now is part of the public record removes any doubt that British and US Intelligence services collaborated in a devious and fabricated scheme to portray the Trump campaign as intent on collaborating with Russia. The evidence was planted and cleverly fabricated. It was done through highly classified intelligence channels, which created a paper trail and provided prima facie "evidence" that individuals with tenuous ties to the Trump campaign where seeking meetings with Russian officials. What was not reported, however, was the fact that the original impetus for those reporting on those communications originated with an individual who appears to be an MI-6 intelligence asset. His name is Joseph Mifsud and I believe that evidence ultimately will establish that he was directed to contact and then feed incriminating information to George Papadopoulos. That information became the foundation of creating a counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump and his campaign."
and:
"When Papadopoulos communicated to persons in the Trump campaign the results of his meetings with Mifsud and Mifsud's Russian contacts, that information was relayed from the UK to America via telephone and email. Those conversations, without one doubt, were intercepted and put into a Top Secret intel reports (known in intel circles as SIGINT) by GCHQ.

It would be damning if Papadopoulos had initiated the contact with Russian sources and was lighting up the web with requests for info about Russians willing to work with or help Trump. But that did not happen. The impetus to talk about Russia originated with Mifsud, who, based on circumstantial evidence, was a British intelligence asset and was direct to target and bait Papadopoulos. It was Mifsud who raised the specter of the Russians targeting Hillary Clinton (see pp 6-7 of the Statement of Offense):

On or about April 26, 2016, defendant PAPADOPOULOS met the Professor for breakfast at a London hotel. During this meeting, the Professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with highlevel Russian government officials. The Professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS that on that trip he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained "dirt" on then-candidate Clinton. The Professor told defendant PAPADOPOULOS, as defendant PAPADOPOULOS later described to the FBI, that "They [the Russians] have dirt on her"; "the Russians had emails ofClinton"; "they have thousands of emails."

Mifsud provided the Russian information. Not Papadopoulos. Mifsud's mission of feeding Papadopoulos "Russian intelligence," which the later then reported back to the Trump campaign produced the casus belli (of sorts) to justify opening an FBI counter intelligence investigation. The FBI also was ensnared, most likely. It does not appear the FBI was briefed immediately on these matters. Instead, John Brennan and Jim Clapper built up a pretty sizable intel file, filled with SIGINT reports from the UK's GCHQ, which contained American names and reports of efforts to broker a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Of course they (Clapper and Brennan) conveniently failed to mention to the FBI that the information originated with a UK plant. But it did provide legal cover for unmasking the identities of Trump campaign personnel.

This was not the only "information dump" in place. MI-6 also helped ensure that there was an "independent" source of intelligence--human intelligence. Hence the Steele Dossier, with the first reports being produced in June 2016. It is this combination of SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE and HUMAN INTELLIGENCE, which persuaded the FBI that something serious was going on. While it may be possible that that Comey and McCabe conspired initially with Brennan and Clapper, I do not think that is what happened. Comey and McCabe were duped by Brennan and Clapper into believing that there was actual malfeasance  underway with the Trump campaign. They were naive, even stupid, but not engaged in sedition."
The main reason this operation seems so odd is that the target wasn't Trump - he was irrelevant as he had no chance of winning - but Putin. They were trying to frame Putin for buying Trump, and used the bumbling minor functionaries in the Trump campaign to accomplish this by leading them on using various intelligence operatives.  The bait was a mythological trove of dirt on Hillary held by the Russians.

"All Russiagate Roads Lead To London: Evidence Emerges Of Joseph Mifsud’s Links To UK Intelligence" (Vos).  Mifsud had an unfortunate love, for an intelligence asset, of appearing in selfies, and an extensive and varied list of associates, often of the hinky persuasion:  "United States: who is Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious professor who put the Donald Trump team in contact with the Russians".

"The mysterious work of the Maltese professor identified in the FBI’s Russia probe" (de Haldevang) (a screamingly obvious spy front, as depicted by Hollywood in productions like 'Rubicon' and 'Three Days of the Condor'):
"LCILP didn’t respond to multiple phone and email requests for comment on this story. When a Quartz reporter visited LCILP’s headquarters inside a handsome Georgian building, he found that the office amounted to four people working in an undecorated backroom, all of whom declined to comment."
"A Spy in the House of Trump" (Raimondo) (the second link is worth reading):
"Papadopoulos’s meetings with Mifsud, and Downer, and Halper’s first approach to the Trump campaign (via Carter Page) occurred well before the FBI officially opened its investigation on July 31, 2016. A few days later the FBI sent agent Peter Strzok to London to meet with an unknown person in the Australian embassy (probably Downer). And now we are learning that the preliminary stages of the probe began well before July – in March of that year. Writing in The Federalist, Margot Cleveland asks: “But on whose behalf? And for what purpose?”"
"'The Day that We Can't Protect Human Sources': The President and the House Intelligence Committee Burn an Informant" (Lawfare).  Note how the intelligence assets who ran the entrapment operation are now described as 'sources'!  It is a very American argument deriving from Nixon - and Trump has tried it on from time to time - that the wrongdoing of various government agencies and functionaries has to be ignored as to look too hard would undermine the very foundations of these entities and positions, thus damaging their ability to keep the country running, and safe (though this kind of argument has much more consistency if applied at the executive level, with the IC, in this case, just committing unjustifiable crimes, in fact the worst kind of crimes, intended to lead to WWIII).  In fact, this entire skulduggery is beginning to sound like a reverse Watergate - of course, we now know Watergate itself was a reverse operation, a successful IC plot to remove a President, based on treasonous insiders and the President's own paranoia - with the criminal acts being committed by the IC rather than the President, and the story coming out in dribs and drabs (but Nunes and the dogged journalists working it don't get the hagiographical treatment around Watergate, just the opposite).
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