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British Spooks Exploiting Populist Insurgency for Anti-Russia Campaign

by Oui Thu Jun 7th, 2018 at 01:26:48 PM EST

From BooMan's fp story - Why the GOP Thought Clinton's Server Had Been Hacked .

Note 1 from the Papadopoulos indictment:

Defendant PAPADOPOULOS later learned that the Female Russian National was not in fact a relative of President Putin. In addition, while defendant PAPADOPOULOS expected that the Professor and the Female Russian National would introduce him to the Russian Ambassador in London, they never did.

A typical scam, how a nitwit like Papadopoulos got scammed by a Professor from Malta assisted by his girlfriend or Putin's niece to gain advantage in American-Russian relations. Close to Putin? Laughable indeed.

All supported by the dirt spread by a MI6 British operative Christopher Steele who himself was tied to the Obama administration on research done on corruption in the Ukraine, sending his reports to Victoria Nuland. MI6 has much better relationschip in collusion with the Obama White House than on possible collusion of the Trump Campaign and the Russia officials in the year 2016. Steele had been out of the Russian Federation for over 15 years!

Continued below the fold ...

Furthermore about Peter W. Smith, I had covered this in two diaries early on in 2017.

Russian hackers? Smith tried to get it from Russian hackers. It has been firmly established it was a US hacker working inside the Ukraine!!! Don't underrate the hackers in all poor East-European states, they do the work for less.

Apparently the Clinton emails were offered on the Dark Web for many months, easy for rumours to get out. Try to get to the source of the people offering goods on the Dark Web. Another British GCHQ spook came out of the woodwork, geez how convenient ...

The source for the WSJ article you mentioned was Matt Tait, a former GCHQ specialist on Internet and hacking and a British national. It's most likely Matt Tait pushed the line of Russian hackers linked to "missing emails" conflating the issue with the DNC "hack" and Podesta emails.

Nice photo to support his allegation, of course. Building recognizable??

View of the Kremlin from the Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge (Credit: Alexander Gusev)

How do the Western intelligence agencies go about framing the issue, injecting their conspiracy into the topic at hand and steer the narrative their way. I see a strong indication of gossip, rumours, false declarations and fake personas ... welcome to the real life of spooks roaming about in search of gullible, ambitious persons on the lower end of the totempole.

Interesting that Peter W. Smith has a long GOP career in finding trash on Bill and Hillary Clinton. He spend decades as a personel vendetta ... and FAILED. In the years before he passed away, he had set op a intelligence agency with a number of close advisors to Trump and his campaign team: KLS Research, LLC in Delaware. It looks similar to what became the enterprise hired by the Trumps, Robert Mercer's Cambridge Analytica. This group made the difference in getting the messaging out to the Trump voters in the crucial swing states. Not Putin or Russia or an old fool soon everyone will forget his name: Peter W. Smith. He died a disillusioned person. A loser, did he get an invitation to attend the Inauguration?

There was another group active with Peter W. Smith, there were and are plenty of right-wing extremists gaining status inside the United States, no need to blame their European allies or for that matter the Russian extremists used by Putin as Stormtroopers when needed.

Another longtime alliance of multi-billionaires and Wall Street vultures with GOP leaders, timed to use friends from technies in Silicon Valley, the Democratic homeland to crunch the numbers ...  

My case for why Paul Singer is the wealthy GOP donor that initially hired Fusion GPS by Marie3 @BooMan on Jan. 14, 2017  

December 7, 2016 - CNBC After criticizing Trump policies, billionaire hedge funder warms to the president-elect

Singer does tick off all the right boxes at the right time to be the "wealthy donor" that personally hired Fusion GPS in the December-January window.  For the project to be on behalf of a specific candidate (which Our Principles PAC wasn't).  Would have been inclined to continue funding it for another couple of months after his #1 guy was out and by June would have been disinclined to continue funding it and not persuaded to do so based in Fusion having found a fmr MI6 guy to hire.  He hedged his bet by being hands off for either of the two that had clinched their nominations.

Also factor in that Zionist doesn't = anti-Putin/Russia.  From what I have been able to glean, they line up with the Nuland, etc. faction on Ukraine but not on board with that faction's direct challenge to Putin/Russia.  Fascinating tightrope they walk.

The Cambridge Analytica Microcosm in Our Panoptic Macrocosm

A court document filed on November 15, 2017 ...



In September 2016, Smith sent Tait a document entitled "A Demonstrative Pedagogical Summary to be Developed and Released Prior to November 8, 2016."  The document "detailed a company Smith and his colleagues had set up as a vehicle to conduct the research: 'KLS Research', set up as a Delaware LLC 'to avoid campaign reporting,' and listing four groups who were involved in one way or another.  The first group, entitled 'Trump Campaign (in coordination to the extent permitted as an independent expenditure)' listed a number of senior campaign officials: Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Clovis, Lt. Gen. Flynn and Lisa Nelson."  According to Tait, "this document was about establishing a company to conduct opposition research on behalf of the campaign, but operating at a distance so as to avoid campaign reporting. Indeed, the document says as much in black and white."  On information and belief, this entity was established and Smith's activities were conducted in coordination with  the Trump Campaign.

My two diaries about Peter W. Smith working with US citizen hacker Auernheimer aka "Weev" and right-wing GOP operative Charles C. Johnson   ...

Peter Smith's Death Ruled A Suicide
Peter Smith Tapped Alt-Right to Access Dark Web

Some specifics on the right-wing connecton in search for the Clinton emails on the Dark Web ...

Andrew Auernheimer released from jail, traveled to Europe and settled in Ukraine ...

Ukraine: Andrew Auernheimer, alias 'Weev' - Jan. 2017  

I am an American. I have lived in Ukraine for over a year now. I love this country and its people so much I decided to stay forever. I have never felt as much at home as when I am in this country. I will be buried within sight of the Dnieper.

I am a political analyst for a living. I spent the last year making large amounts of money betting on the success of Donald Trump. The writing was on the wall for anyone who understood the American people. I kept telling people here we were electing Trump and I was laughed at. Your media insulted Trump and praised Hillary Clinton. Your leaders attacked Trump in vile and cowardly ways. Your ambassador insulted Trump in public.

I love my President as much as I love Ukraine. This presents a problem. My President hates your President. Your leaders have made grave mistakes. Just as I warned your country and its media about the impending election of Donald Trump, I will now warn it once more. I worry that war will come. I love my city and will not leave it. I want this place to succeed, and it will need America's help to do so.

More about the mysterious academic Prof. Mifsud from BuzzFeed earlier this year ... a fantast and a liar gone below radar.

Professor Mifsud Boasted to His Girlfriend In Ukraine That He Was Friends With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov  

A Ukrainian woman named Anna says Joseph Mifsud asked her to marry him in a restaurant overlooking the Kremlin. Later, he allegedly told a Trump campaign aide that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. She hasn't heard from him since that news broke in October.

Over the course of what Anna describes as an on-and-off relationship spanning three years, the couple saw each other in Rome, Moscow, and Kiev. But unlike in Rome and Moscow, where Mifsud frequently received visitors, Mifsud didn't use his trips to Ukraine to network. "He didn't meet people in Kiev. `Russia-Ukraine relationship not good, and I do a lot of work in Moscow,'" Anna recalled Mifsud saying.

Anna said she and Mifsud last met in person in Kiev in early April 2017. He told her then that he had recently been questioned by the FBI in the US, she said.

"He told me he was in his hotel room when he was called downstairs by reception. It was the FBI. He said they wanted to talk about connections he set up between people in Britain and Russia."

"He said his phone was probably being checked," Anna added.

In mid-May, about a month after Mifsud left Kiev, Anna found out she was pregnant. And six weeks ago she gave birth to a baby girl.

After finding out that she was pregnant, according to WhatsApp messages seen by BuzzFeed News, Mifsud repeatedly told Anna he really wanted to see her and promised to visit her soon, but he never did, often making excuses or citing health reasons.

Is there more than meets the eye with the professor at the center of the Trump-Russia probe? Or less? | WaPo - Nov. 3, 2017 | [cached]

Mifsud introduces Papadopoulos to a woman he identifies as Putin's niece [the mysterious Olga Vinogradova], promises top-level Russian meetings for Trump aides and returns from a visit to Moscow offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton based on "thousands of emails" obtained by the Russian government.

The plea agreement makes no direct accusation against Mifsud. But a sworn affidavit from FBI Special Agent Robert Gibbs at least raises the possibility he was a Russian cutout.

"[The] Russian government and its intelligence and security services frequently make use of non-governmental intermediaries to achieve their foreign intelligence objectives," Gibbs writes. "This structure serves in part to hide the overt involvement of the Russian government."

Russia probes spotlight 'deniable' Kremlin intelligence tactic | Politico - Nov. 11, 2017 |

My recent diary ...

Poroshenko's Losing Bet on a Clinton Win

My earlier diaries well received @EuroTrib ...

UK Issued a DA-Notice On My Diary Result [May 2nd, 2018]
East-West Freedom of Press Under Attack [April 28th, 2018]
British MOD Issued DA-notice on Snowden [August 25th,2013]

Further reading on the Great American Divide since the Kennedy era of the 1960s and the "failed" Barry Goldwater conservative revolution ...

G W F and McCarthyism In A Digital Age - Part 2
All Out Class Warfare, No Compromise
Free-Enterprise Small Government (and Nativist Nationalist Social Conservatism) Vs. Big Government Progressivism (and International Social Liberalism)
Nixon Loyalists, Barry Goldwater, and Republican Support for President Nixon during Watergate
1964 Republican Convention: Revolution From the Right | Smitsonian Magazine |

Trump fulfilled the goals founded on the Barry Goldwater movement, and the surge hasn't ended ... the religious blitz across the Red States.

Conservatism After Goldwater | Commentary Issue - 1965 |  

Now that the Republican party has been overwhelmingly repudiated for its secession from contemporary American society, and the efforts of reconstructing it have begun, there has developed a tendency to view the Goldwater candidacy as a temporary aberration that was decisively corrected at the polls by the American consensus. Indeed, those who originally underestimated Goldwater's strength now find in President Johnson's victory a belated confirmation of their original judgment. However nervous one may have been made by those four days last July at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, the strength of hard-line nativist conservatism is now seen, in perspective, to have been more apparent than real.

The Goldwater forces reduced President Eisenhower to political impotence, humiliated Governor Rockefeller, beat down one effort after another to broaden the political base of the platform, and ended on a rousing note of affirmation for extremism in the defense of freedom. But this show of power has generally come to be regarded as the result of a successful infiltration of the Republican organization by the wily and determined faction of the Right, a coup that was greatly abetted by the complacency and disunity of the moderate leaders. Similarly, the 27 million votes that Senator Goldwater received are taken to be largely an expression of last-ditch Republican party loyalty and Dixiecrat resistance to civil rights.

Gallup: Election Polls -- Vote by Groups, 1960-1964 h/t Marie 3


Smoke Signals from the Swamp: The fall of Flynn

On December 30, 2016, President-elect Trump took to Twitter to praise Putin for his restraint: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart.”

On January 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and National Intelligence Council declared: “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments …” (Emphasis DNI)

Think about what we know about General Flynn’s agenda in the context of this conclusion: “Putin publicly indicated a preference for President-elect Trump’s stated policy to work with Russia, and pro-Kremlin figures spoke highly about what they saw as his Russia-friendly positions on Syria and Ukraine. Putin publicly contrasted the President-elect’s approach to Russia with Secretary Clinton’s ‘aggressive rhetoric’ … Moscow also saw the election of President-elect Trump as a way to achieve an international counterterrorism coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). ” (Emphasis added)

Two things were happening simultaneously. The Obama Administration was increasingly alarmed by Russian cyber activity and attempts to cultivate, possibly recruit those involved in the Trump campaign. And while our Intelligence Community was increasingly aware this was happening, those within the Trump campaign and the candidate, soon to be the President-elect, were vociferously denying any contact with the Russians.

In mid-January 2016, General Flynn applied for a renewal of his security clearance. We learned from a May 22, 2017 letter sent by Rep. Elijah Cummings to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, that during that process General Flynn offered misleading information to investigators:

    “Specifically … General Flynn told security clearance investigators that he was paid by ‘U.S. companies’ when he traveled to Moscow in December 2015 to dine at a gala with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The actual source of the funds for General Flynn’s trip was not a U.S. company, but the Russian media propaganda arm, RT.”
In July 2016, when asked about his appearance in Moscow General Flynn told Yahoo News: “I didn’t take any money from Russia, if that’s what you’re asking me.”

Thanks to some judicious leaks the public began to learn bits and pieces of some of what our Intelligence Services knew. And as official stories began to unravel, we began to better appreciate incidents misremembered.

We learned from The New York Times on May 24, 2017 about critically important intercepted phone conversations:

    “American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence …

    “Details of the conversations, some of which have not been previously reported, add to an increasing understanding of the alarm inside the American government last year about the Russian disruption campaign. The information collected last summer was considered credible enough for intelligence agencies to pass to the F.B.I., which during that period opened a counterintelligence investigation that is continuing.”

James Clapper, America’s Top Spymaster, Steps Down—Here’s What Happens Next
Ex-CIA chief Brennan says Trump-Russia inquiry 'well-founded'
A Memoir: How a Former US Spy Chief Became Trump’s Fiercest Critic | Wired – May 2018 |


New Details of Victoria Nuland’s Role in the Steele Dossier | TheMarketsWork – March 2018 |

Here’s what Victoria Nuland said on the matter during a February 4, 2018 appearance on Face the Nation:

    During the Ukraine crisis in 2014-15, Chris Steele had a number of commercial clients who were asking him for reports on what was going on in Russia, what was going on in Ukraine, what was going on between them. Chris had a friend [Jonathan Winer] at the State Department and he offered us that reporting free so that we could also benefit from it. It was one of, you know, hundreds of sources that we were using to try to understand what was going on.

    Then, in the middle of July, when he was doing this other work and became concerned, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate.

Nuland said the State Department received the Dossier directly from Steele in mid-July 2016, whereupon the State Department turned it over to the FBI (segmented video here – transcript here). Jonathan Winer at State received a memorandum written by political activist Cody Shearer and passed it along to Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence official. Which is right around the time Susan Rice began showing increased interest in National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence material – including “unmasked” Americans’ identities. From a Circa article here.

Investigation of the Second Dossier handled by Cody Shearer | The New Yorker – March 12, 2018 |

The Bureau encouraged Steele to send any relevant information he came across, and that October he passed on a questionable item—a bit of amateur sleuthing that had been done by someone he’d never met, a former journalist and self-styled investigator named Cody Shearer. Jonathan Winer, Steele’s friend at the State Department, had shared with him an unfinished memo written by Shearer. Not only did it claim that the F.S.B. had incriminating videotapes of Trump having sex in Moscow; it also made wild allegations that leaders of former Soviet states had given huge payments to Trump family members. Steele wasn’t aware that Shearer had longtime ties to the Clintons, as did Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton ally, who had given Shearer’s report to Winer.

Only listed reference @BooMan to Cody Shearer is in a comment by Marie3 in my diary …

Steele's Dodgy Dossier and Dems' Train Wreck

The CIA and the Media by Carl Bernstein

In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America's leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap.

Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services--from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America's leading news organizations.

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were Williarn Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Tirne Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of The New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald Tribune.

By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with The New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.

The CIA's use of the American news media has been much more extensive than Agency officials have acknowledged publicly or in closed sessions with members of Congress.

The Washington Post - Katherine Graham


Is the CIA editing your newspaper? | Investig'Action - Jonathan Cook |

Here is a great overview by Ed Jones of why corporate media are the arch-exponents of "fake news". The media are overwhelming owned and controlled by billionaires and gargantuan corporations, who depend on the support of other corporations for ad revenue, and employ journalists from a narrow, privileged class whose careers depend on maintaining access to elite sources. It would be simply astounding in these circumstamces if we had anything resembling a pluralistic media.

The data concerns UK outlets, but the same principles apply in the US.

One section makes especially disturbing reading. It is the little-discussed matter of the intelligence services' deep penetration of most western, and in some cases non-western, media organisations. In short, US intelligence services - and to a lesser extent British ones - have for many decades fed information to sympathetic journalists in key positions inside the "free" media, working with them hand in glove.


    "Bloch and Fitzgerald, in their examination of covert UK warfare, report the editor of `one of Britain's most distinguished journals' as believing that more than half its foreign correspondents were on the MI6 payroll [the British equivalent of the CIA - my emphasis]. And in 1991, Richard Norton-Taylor revealed in the Guardian that 500 prominent Britons paid by the CIA and the now defunct Bank of Commerce and Credit International, included 90 journalists."

    Keeble has given many more examples in his book chapter of the intelligence services infiltrating the media and changing the politics of the time, including around the miners strikes and Arthur Scargill in the 1980s and during the lead-up to the Iraq war in 2003. ...

    David Leigh, former investigations editor of The Guardian, wrote about a series of instances in which the secret services manipulated prominent journalists. He claims reporters are routinely approached and manipulated by intelligence agents and identifies three ways - providing examples for each in his article - in which they do it:

    • They attempt to recruit journalists to spy on other people or themselves attempt to go under journalistic "cover."

    • They allow intelligence officers to pose as journalists "to write tendentious articles under false names."

    • And "the most malicious form": they plant intelligence agency propaganda stories on willing journalists who disguise their origin from readers.

Frank Church Investigation and Operation Mockingbird

Further details of Operation Mockingbird were revealed as a result of the Frank Church investigations (Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities) in 1975.

    Frank Wisner, the director of the espionage and counter-intelligence branch, spearheaded the organization and was told to concentrate on "propaganda, economic warfare; preventive direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world."

    Journalists were reportedly blackmailed and threatened into this network.

    The CIA's financing of independent and private organizations wasn't just meant to create favorable stories. It was also a means to covertly collect information from other countries that were relevant to America's national security.

Martin Longman's fp story in 2005 ...

The Establishment Press

A diary by Real History Lisa ...

The Real History of Gerald Ford, Watergate, and the CIA

My diary in July 2014 at the time of the downing of Malaysia flight MH17 above a war torn Eastern Ukraine ...

Ukraine's Coup d' État - George Marshall, OSS, Bissell and Gladio

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 7th, 2018 at 03:00:59 PM EST
An upcoming book by former top Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, "The World as It Is," portrays some of the former president's concerns and misgivings in the days and weeks after Donald Trump won the 2016 election.

How Trump's Election Shook Obama: `What if We Were Wrong?' | The New York Times - |

The day Mr. Obama hosted Mr. Trump at the White House after the election seemed surreal. Mr. Trump kept steering the conversation back to the size of his rallies, noting that he and Mr. Obama could draw big crowds, but Mrs. Clinton could not, Mr. Rhodes writes.

Afterward, Mr. Obama called a few aides to the Oval Office to ruminate on the encounter. "I'm trying to place him in American history," he said.

"He peddles" bull, Mr. Rhodes answered. "That character has always been part of the American story. You can see it right back to some of the characters in Huckleberry Finn."

"Maybe," Mr. Obama answered, "that's the best we can hope for."

Ben Rhodes' Obama legacy defence has weak spots | The Guardian - Book Review |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 7th, 2018 at 08:11:43 PM EST
How the attack on TV5Monde unfolded from reconnaissance to Zero Day | Bank Info Security - June 2017 |

The results of the attack have been well-publicized. In April 2015, online attackers sabotaged French broadcaster TV5Monde, knocking 12 of the broadcaster's channels offline for 18 hours.

But details about how the attack unfolded have just come to light, thanks to a presentation delivered by ANSSI - France's national cybersecurity agency - at an information security symposium held last week in the French city of Rennes. In its presentation, ANSSI thanked TV5Monde for allowing the information about the investigation to be released publicly, saying that unlike many organizations, the broadcaster was doing so to help others to better protect themselves.

One of the major takeaways from the investigation is that the attacker, or attack group, conducted reconnaissance inside the TV5Monde network for three months, following its initial access, before launching its sabotage operation. Just a few hours prior to that sabotage, which involved knocking multiple channels offline, the attackers compromised multiple TV5Monde social media accounts.

From my diary ...

Dutch Hackers Infiltrated Kremlin's Cozy Bear in 2014
GCHQ Intrusion into Belgacom, an Ally

Trump's 'Project Alamo'

According to Trumps digital campaign leader Brad Parscale, creator of this 'Project Alamo', Facebook, Twitter and Google were 'crucial' to win the elections. And it does not have to be large numbers at all; in America, elections are decided by small numbers, in specific places.

A future with AI will be far worse than what we see today from hackers and fake news/propaganda ...

The West is ill-prepared for the wave of "deep fakes" that artificial intelligence could unleash | Brookings Institute

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Jun 7th, 2018 at 11:22:13 PM EST
WXYZ finds local angle on data breach

When governments do this, it's cyberintelligence and if it causes damage, it's cyberwarfare.
When individuals or private organizations do the same thing, it's cybercrime.  


Russian Bears and spear-phishing attacks ... preparation for reconnaissance and  hackers.

The Clever Phishing Trick Used by Hackers Targeting the US Energy Sector
US Intelligence Ally: Dutch Hackers Infiltrated Kremlin's Cozy Bear in 2014
Boeing/Narus Helps Egyptian Dictatorship Fight Pro-Democracy Movement | AllGov - Jan. 2011 |
Earliest cyberwarfare to attack a sovereign nation - Stuxnet worm

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 07:02:00 AM EST
Excellent piece by Martin Longman @BooMan ... fits well in my latest diaries about British spooks and RussiaGate and Operation Mockingbird ... such warm relations between DNI and the media, BuzzFeed in this case.

James Wolfe's Case is Extraordinary

Having read through the entire indictment of James Wolfe, I have to say that the Feds were justified in taking the extreme step of looking at New York Times reporter Ali Watkins's electronic records. I don't say this lightly, and I'm not convinced that they did everything correctly in this case, but the behavior of Wolfe constituted a legitimate national security risk warranting an override of the presumed reporter/source privilege.

The primary problem here was more general than the specific role of Ali Watkins. Mr. Wolfe was the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's director of security from May 1987 to December 2017. In that role, he was responsible for safeguarding classified and top secret material and handling highly sensitive intelligence provided to the committee by the executive branch of the government. When the executive branch handed over material to the committee pertaining to a counterintelligence investigation on Carter Page, that information promptly leaked to the press, resulting in an April 3, 2017 BuzzFeed article by Ms. Watkins. Then, subsequently, when a subpoena was issued to Mr. Page compelling his appearance before the committee, that news immediately leaked, too.

A bit of sleuthing by the FBI turned up pictures of Mr. Wolfe and Ms. Watkins together. When questioned on December 15, 2017, Wolfe denied having any contact or relationship with Watkins. But when confronted with the pictures, he confessed to having had a four-year romantic relationship with her while still denying that he was her source for the scoop on Page. Wolfe also lied about having contact and being a source for two other reporters.

Just like Emptywheel, this is my first question on the leaked intelligence case ...

On the James Wolfe Indictment: Don't Forget Carter Page | Emptywheel |

The indictment also reveals the government obtained Signal and WhatsApp call records and content; it seems to have been Wolfe's preferred means to communicate "securely." I suspect they obtained the communications after June 2017, by targeting Wolfe's phone. It's possible he voluntarily provided his phone after confronted with his lies, but I suspect they obtained the Signal content via other means, basically compromising his device as an end point. I'll return to this, but it appears DOJ has made a decision in recent days to expose the ease with which they can obtain Signal and other secure chat apps, at least in national security investigations, perhaps to make people less comfortable using it.

What I'd like to focus on, however, is the role of Carter Page in the indictment.

The government lays out clear proof Wolfe lied about conversations with three reporters. With Watkins and another, they point to stories about Carter Page to do so. The Watkins story is this one, confirming he is the person identified in the Evgeny Buryakov indictment. Another must be one of two stories revealing Page was subpoenaed for testimony by the Senate Intelligence Committee -- either this one or this one.

I'm most interested, however, in this reference to a story the FBI raised with Wolfe in its interview, a story for which (unlike the others) the indictment never confirms whether Wolfe is the source.

For that reason, I suspect this is the story they asked about -- whether Wolfe is a source for the original credible story on Carter Page's FISA order. The focus on Page generally in the indictment suggests this investigation started as an investigation into who leaked the fact that Page had been targeted under FISA, and continued to look at the stories that revealed classified details about the investigative focus on him (stories which he rightly complained to SSCI about).

Here's the backstory behind "Russiagate" the MSM won't tell you   by leveymg on Jun 23rd, 2017

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 04:25:49 PM EST

eye-rolling o'er through the innerboobs and not much in the way of sympathy for the "whistleblower." Sounds about right for an ERA of unscrupulous "transactional relationships."

#MeToo story developing ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jun 8th, 2018 at 06:20:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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