Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
It is far more reasonable to conclude that the CIA another spy agencies probably know quite a bit more than anyone else about how to do the work of recruiting and influencing foreign agents. So when they go through the extraordinary trouble of actually alerting competent political authorities, privately as well as publicly, that a political candidate, and subsequent elected winner, for the US Presidency (!) has likely also been a target of the same kind actions,
And that would maybe be a halfway plausible story if these hadn't been the same production house that brought us the Domino Theory, the Young Reformers, and the Moderate Syrian Opposition.

I have no problem believing that the CIA believes that Trump is a Russian asset. But the CIA believes a lot of things that clearly aren't true, especially about Russia, so trusting them to get this one right would be downright silly.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 6th, 2017 at 10:52:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's stipulate that we don't know precisely how much quality evidence is behind the report. However the intelligence agencies also gave us the "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" guff to justify an invasion, so their bona fides are suspect.

What we also know is that the intelligence agencies have become dominated by neocons so their suspicions of Russian perfidy are hardly news.

Finally we know that Trump isn't a neocon - for him Russia is just another business opportunity with a vast amount of real estate.  As it happens there isn't a huge amount of trade between Russia and the US so it is of less strategic economic interest than say China.  If Trump wants to have a trade war with China, Russia could be a useful ally. If trump wants to break up the EU, Russia would be an even more useful ally.

So besides an adolescent infatuation with Putin's strong man machismo, there are real reasons why Trump might want to cosy up to Russia and why the intelligence agencies might be alarmed at that prospect.

What is unprecedented is the degree to which they have gone public in their opposition to him and the dismissive way he has treated their opposition.

Among the good things that could yet come out of a Trump Presidency would be a less reverent attitude to the intelligence agencies, possible cutbacks in their funding and access, as well as less meddling in the middle east and Ukraine.

Not a lot of consolation if he starts a war with China or helps to break up the EU, but hey, lets look at the bright side!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 7th, 2017 at 01:07:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if Trump wants to take on the letter agencies, my money isn't on Trump. They employ some of the smartest, nastiest people on the planet, and if realpolitik is your thing, their political record is impressive in its effectiveness.

But Trump's aims and politics don't necessarily conflict with their aims and politics. Both tend to corporate fascism, both claim to be patriotic but use plastic stick-on nationalism as an excuse to promote their own interests, and neither is much troubled by minor distractions such as human rights, the rule of law, or democratic accountability.

America is rotten enough that a truce is a more likely outcome than a war. Trump can't be reined in with a direct challenge, but he can be manipulated with ease, incapacitated in various ways, or even removed and replaced if necessary.

For now I would expect the game to be about waiting and exploring the ways in which he could be useful.

Challenges are more likely to come from the more overt political machinery, especially federal agencies and the judiciary. But if the letter agencies decide Trump is more of an asset than a liability, I wouldn't expect much lasting push-back from those quarters.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2017 at 03:56:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Among the good things that could yet come out of a Trump Presidency would be a less reverent attitude to the intelligence agencies, possible cutbacks in their funding and access, as well as less meddling in the middle east and Ukraine.

Not a lot of consolation if he starts a war with China or helps to break up the EU, but hey, lets look at the bright side!

Unfortunately his press creatures have been making some very conventional woofing noises about those two theaters since the coronation. It's looking increasingly like his semi-sensible mouth noises about them were just his usual contrarian cussedness.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Feb 7th, 2017 at 07:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's stipulate that we don't know precisely how much quality evidence is behind the report. However the intelligence agencies also gave us the "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction" guff to justify an invasion, so their bona fides are suspect.
To give the mirrorshade brigade their due, they actually did leak that the Iraq story was made up out of whole cloth. The press just didn't want to hear it.

I think Iran's alleged atom bomb is a better analogy: It's not out of character for any of the players involved, nor beyond their technical capabilities. But a lot of people have looked very hard for evidence that it actually exists, and found nothing at all beyond the paranoid ravings of notorious conspiracy theorists.

So while it's not at the same level of lunacy as Nessie or the little gray aliens at Roswell, it's certainly less plausible than grassy knoll theory off the Kennedy assassination.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2017 at 06:13:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Ulster says NO!

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 17
39 comments

Trump's Presidency Transfixed

by ARGeezer - Oct 17
9 comments

Spain is not a democracy

by IdiotSavant - Oct 14
10 comments

Does anyone care?

by Frank Schnittger - Oct 10
71 comments

Occasional Series