Thursday, September 27, 2018

What Are Our 'Allies' Afraid Of?

We've all read by now that President Trump's recent declassification order regarding key documents in the Russia Hoax led not only to mad scrambling in the hallways of DoJ and the FBI, but also to frantic phone calls from "close allies" of the United States, begging Trump not to declassify those documents. Which naturally leads to the question, What are those "allies" (the UK and Australia) so afraid of? Once again I want to point to Jeff Carlson's excellent work at The UK and Australia Have Reason to be Concerned About Declassification. Carlson goes into great detail, but for our purposes I'll focus simply on the UK and the role of GCHQ--their counterpart of our NSA.

The role of GCHQ is an aspect of the Russia Hoax that I've alluded to to one degree or another in at least four separate blogs. Let's review those references quickly:

UPDATED: Christopher Steele As Frontman - 2/7/18

As a sidenote to these British connections, it's interesting still to watch the interactions between Trump and Theresa May. Public consciousness of the precipitate resignation of the head of GCHQ has receded (he resigned for "personal reasons" giving only three days notice, not at all coincidentally, immediately after the inauguration of President Trump). Perhaps the Brits will think better of "meddling" in US politics the next time the likes of a John Brennan comes calling.

Of London, Rome, And Christopher Steele - 2/8/18

I believe it's a well established fact that British Intelligence (GCHQ) as well as the Intelligence Services of several other European countries (including, really, Estonia!) colluded with US Government agencies (presumably the CIA) in the effort to avert a Trump presidency. Perhaps they feared Trump, or perhaps they naively believed the MSM narrative that President Hillary was inevitable and thought this was a smart way to curry favor with the incoming administration. It backfired and, in the case of the British, in a very public way: GCHQ boss Robert Hannigan quits for 'personal reasons' after just two years. Right--who wanted that job anyway? And what was that date? January 23, 2017, giving only three days notice? Surely this had nothing to do with Trump being inaugurated, when was that? January 20, 2017, the very same day Hannigan gave his notice? Yes, very messy, and we can probably trace PM May's rocky relationship with Trump to this, oh, misunderstanding.

UPDATED: The Central Scandal of the Russia Hoax--and Our Constitutional Crisis - 9/15/18

This conspiracy that I've referred to was a conspiracy that involved the core institutions of the Executive Branch of government: the Department of Justice--including the FBI--the "Intelligence Community" generally, including the CIA and DNI, and the Department of State. But if all this weren't appalling enough, this conspiracy against the integrity of our fundamental institutions and our courts--even our electoral processes--extended to enlisting the cooperation of the intelligence agencies of a foreign power--Great Britain (GCHQ and MI6), not Russia!--against our own government.
This may be speculative, but there is a possibility that those FD-302s may contain references to Steele's relations with British intelligence agencies--MI6 and GCHQ in particular. If so, they could be explosive in providing further light on collusion of American intelligence with the intelligence services of a foreign power against the US government. 

Really? Rosenstein Wanted To Wear A Wire Against Trump? - 9/21/18

In a comment, dated 9/24/18:

I was certainly very struck by Nunes' interview on Fox yesterday (I watched it linked from CTH--it advances the storyline past what was in the presentation you sent) in which he expressed frank skepticism re the common narrative that UK concerns on declassification focus on Steele--a knucklehead if ever there was one. Nunes found that narrative frankly non-credible. CTH commented briefly without discussion that the real concern is re GCHQ involvement--which, I'm sure you've noticed, is also my view.

Carlson has now been able to add a significant bit of circumstantial evidence. Bear in mind, as Carlson points out, the anomaly of GCHQ's Hannigan traveling to Washington, DC, to confer not with his counterpart--Admiral Mike Rogers at NSA--but with John Brennan at the CIA. That appears to me to be an extraordinary breach of protocol:

So why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to Trump.
A good point to start is in late 2015. Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States.
As Luke Harding of The Guardian reported, “The precise nature of these exchanges has not been made public, but according to sources in the US and the UK, they formed a suspicious pattern. They continued through the first half of 2016. The intelligence was handed to the US as part of a routine sharing of information.”
In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of GCHQ, flew from London to meet personally with then-CIA Director John Brennan.
Hannigan’s meeting was somewhat noteworthy as Brennan was not Hannigan’s counterpart. That position belonged to NSA Director Mike Rogers. Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement on Jan. 23, 2017—three days after President Trump’s Jan. 20, 2017, inauguration.
The Guardian reported on speculation that Hannigan’s resignation was directly related to UK Intelligence sharing.

But read it all.


  1. I think the British were electronically monitoring people in the Trump campaign from 2015 onwards, and sharing that information with the Obama Administration via the CIA or FBI. Some of that information is probably in the FISA applications. I also think that the human intelligence, Halper etc. might well have more links to the British government than they do with the US one, but it is all coordinated. I think it likely that Halper and others are named in the redacted sections.

    One of the great mysteries to me is that Papadopoulos appears to have never been monitored via FISA at any level, and part of me definitely wonders whether that had something to do with who Joseph Mifsud worked for. Would you be unwilling to go forward with a FISA warrant if you had reveal who Mifsud worked for if it was, let's say, the British government?

  2. Yancey, I think there are still some variables at play here, but I also think you're well within the parameters of what likely--no, make that 'certainly'--happened. The big picture is simply that key components of our government--CIA, FBI, State, DoJ--conspired with foreign intelligence services against a candidate for the US presidency. Apparently that reality has no power to shock, but it shocks me.

    With you, I'm puzzled by the Mifsud and Papadopoulos thing. It appears that in the relatively early going Papadopoulos was the most heavily targeted of the Trump FP team, and Carter Page was on the back burner because he had repeatedly shown an unwillingness to cooperate with the agents who were run against him. That seems to have changed quickly when Carter Page traveled to and gave his address in Moscow. My guess is that Glenn Simpson and/or those who employed him recognized that that trip was something that they could spin a 'narrative' around, and at the same time avoid the complexities of Mifsud/Papadopoulos thing. Later, Papadopoulos was prosecuted--but basically for PR purposes, to try to implant in the public mind the big lie of the Russia Hoax: if people in the FP part of the Trump campaign lied to the FBI (no matter the details) then, to reverse Strzok's words, there must be some "there" there. Doesn't seem to have worked.

  3. The extent of the collusion (really conspiracy) between Brennan and British/Ausy Intelligence will likely be revealed later this year, and thereafter may trigger some significant consequences. British politics is even more cut-throat than what we saw in the Kavannagh hearing, and PM May could well be sacked as a result. In addition, I don't see how Brennan can escape a criminal referral for his conduct (plus Comey and McCabe). Then the dominoes may begin to fall, and the next stop is the Obama Whitehouse. Next year could be even more eventful than this year. I think Mueller was planning a big October Surprise indictment in order to slant the elections, but that may be moot now with the Rosenstein developments and the Democrats performance in the Kavannagh hearing. More dirty politics could backfire in a big way.

  4. Unknown, I sure hope so. I'll confess to being a bit disappointed with how slowly this has developed.

  5. Mr. Wauck,

    I think we have had this discussion before (or I am having deja vu), but I am also of the opinion that that Page's trip to Moscow- to give a speech to Western supported school- was also a deliberate part of the frame.

  6. I think the British also fear the FISA information could reveal Sergei Skripal as a source for Steele. That could be enough to finally get tough questions asked about the nonsensical "Novichok" story surrounding the disappearance of Sergei and his daughter, Yulia, since March 4, 2018. That a chemical weapon was supposedly used in the poisoning incident has been seized upon by the US and British governments to sanction Russia and to bolster support for their illegal and deadly activities in Syria.

  7. Anon, I think we're in the realm of speculation with that. I am very open to the idea that the "Novichok" story is another Russia Hoax. Concerning the dimensions of it, however, I'm not in a position to offer a truly informed opinion.

  8. Yancey, I know we've discussed some aspects of that incident--who extended the invitation to Page, etc. However, I believe you may be the first to explicitly suggest that it was a deliberate part of the setup. Your theory has a lot to offer. For example, the extremely quick response of Steele and Fusion, the rapidity with which they--and the FBI--made use of that trip, certainly give the impression that they had a narrative already in place, ready for use: that Page met "privately" with Russian regime insiders, and so forth. I've wondered about that rapid response in the past, but I believe you're the first to articulate the idea.

  9. Mr. Wauck - I agree that the Skripal connection is speculation at this time. I don't understand why Trump agreed to the delay in releasing the unredacted documents. By this time, it should be clear to him that both current and former members of the DOJ/FBI and the "intelligence community" leadership, including that of some of our allies, are out to get him. The public already knows we're under constant electronic surveillance by US and allied governments. The "sources and methods" defense of the redactions is weak, at best.

  10. David, like you I want the declassification to happen sooner rather than later. Trump, when he delayed implementation of the order, stated said that speed is important to him. Is he waiting until just a few weeks before the elections? Has he been buffaloed by Deep State operatives who remain embedded within the "intel community"? I don't know the answer to that, but you're certainly right that the "sources and methods" claim is nonsense. Embarrasment to allies? The public deserves to know the truth.

  11. Mark - FYI, I posted the original Skripal post as Anonymous. I enjoy reading your blog.