Problem. By my reading, much of the story doesn't really seem like such big news. I'm not saying it's nothing, but there are aspects of it that simply aren't news at all--not to anyone with a little background on Soviet and, now, Russian intelligence ops. Like, just to take one example, the fact that the Russians use their diplomatic infrastructure in the US for intel purposes (a thing we would never do ourselves). Please. So, the fact that non-news is being presented as actual news leads to the obvious question: What's up with this story appearing now?
An easy explanation would be that this is the Deep State preparing a defense for the Russia Hoax coup plotters. The defense narrative would go something like this, as reflected in the first two paragraphs of the Yahoo story:
On Dec. 29, 2016, the Obama administration announced that it was giving nearly three dozen Russian diplomats just 72 hours to leave the United States and was seizing two rural East Coast estates owned by the Russian government. ...
The Obama administration’s public rationale for the expulsions and closures — the harshest U.S. diplomatic reprisals taken against Russia in several decades — was to retaliate for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But there was another critical, and secret, reason why those locations and diplomats were targeted.
Both compounds, and at least some of the expelled diplomats, played key roles in a brazen Russian counterintelligence operation that stretched from the Bay Area to the heart of the nation’s capital, according to former U.S. officials. ... It even raised concerns among some U.S. officials about a Russian mole within the U.S. intelligence community.
“It was a very broad effort to try and penetrate our most sensitive operations,” said a former senior CIA official.
These compromises, the full gravity of which became clear to U.S. officials in 2012 ...
Thus, the Obama administration--and by extension, of course, his Intel Community--had all been on this job for years--since 2012. They "realized the full gravity" of the situation. They were even concerned that there might be a "mole." And if that mole wasn't actually within the government, thenl, who knows? maybe the mole was in the political campaign of the presidential candidate of the opposing party? Maybe the mole was the presidential candidate of the opposing party! Maybe Chris Steele is on to something big!
See? That's what was behind the Russia Hoax! Sure we may have gone a bit too far with our suspicions. Flynn, Page, Papadopoulos, Manafort. We played a bit rough, but we really thought they were in bed with the Russians--and we loved our fellow Americans so much (well, except for those stinky Trump voters in southern Virginia Walmarts, and those annoying pro-life marchers). And maybe we should have been a bit more forthcoming with the FISA court, and been less trusting of our pal Christopher. But it was all done out of pure patriotism, the best of motives. For four long years we were worried sick about the Russian threat--right here in our own US cities. You wouldn't send us to jail for that, would you?
Speaking for myself, Yes, I would. Because I don't believe you for a moment.
UPDATE: A friend put it to me the way I wish I'd said it originally:
FBI counterintelligence knows by 2012 that the Russians are up to something big and have penetrated FBI comms, in fact it’s so big that by 2016 the counterintelligence guy in charge of Russia is texting with his FBI girlfriend on their FBI phones about a HUGE Russian operation involving a US presidential candidate!
But that's OK! Being stupid is part of the defense. It's about staying out of jail.
I'm with you. I read this story too and it hit me exactly the way it hit you. A first step for the defense. I also have a hard time believing a word of it. It's almost fake news. And a mole! Do they mean like Aldrich Ames?ReplyDelete
Shows how incompetent the Obama administration for all to see.ReplyDelete
“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”ReplyDelete
"Some claim a place in the list of patriots, by an acrimonious and unremitting opposition to the court. This mark is by no means infallible. Patriotism is not necessarily included in rebellion. A man may hate his king, yet not love his country."
Yeah, I saw the article too, and thought "So what else is new?" Intel assets under diplomatic cover--gee, how novel!ReplyDelete
The problem for these stories is that they're always a little murky--just like one the other day that had Mossad using Stingray devices to intercept comms in DC. The man on the street says, "Oh, this had been going on since 2012, but it's coming out now? Sounds fishy."
This is all window dressing for The Narrative. It looks like a concerted effort--as I remarked the other day--to run distracting stories and keep Hoax and Coup off the 24/7 news loop.
"to run distracting stories and keep Hoax and Coup off the 24/7 news loop."Delete
Declassification and transparency. The volume of incriminating evidence that the coup conspirators left behind is staggering, and no amount of alternative narrative can withstand the onslaught of revelation. McCabe and Comey would be wise to flip now (take their medicine) and offer up Brennan as the fall guy. That's Obama best hope; stop the bleeding at Brennan.ReplyDelete
The biggest threat to real accountability now is in the Congress, where Graham is trying to negotiate a plea deal that trades a faux legislative remedy and censure in exchange for no prosecution of the big fish (which would likely include a few GOPe congressmen/senators). Sessions was working on this same scheme in the Fall of 2018 before he got fired.
Graham has no leverage in this. Barr has total control. If Trump didn't fire Rosenstein, he won't fire Barr. Everything comes down to Barr. He knows it, everyone else knows it.Delete
The Spy Who Failed, an article written by Scott Ritter and published by Consortium NewsReplyDelete
From the article's conclusion:
In my view, the CIA, Russia and Smolenkov were happy to maintain the status quo, with Smolenkov living in comfortable retirement with his family, the CIA continuing to accuse Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, and Russia denying it. As well, Russia seems to have brushed off the sanctions that resulted from this alleged “interference.”
This idyllic truce started to unravel in May 2019, when Trump ordered Attorney General William Barr to “get to the bottom” of what role the CIA played in initiating the investigation into allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller’s investigation concluded earlier this year, with a 400-plus page report being published which did not find any evidence of active collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. ...
Reports indicate that Barr is particularly interested in finding out how and why the CIA concluded that Putin personally ordered the Russian intelligence services to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Barr’s investigation will inevitably lead him to the intelligence report that was hand couriered to the White House in early August 2016, which would in turn lead to Smolenkov, and in doing so open up the can of worms of Smolenkov’s entire history of cooperation with the CIA. Not only could the entire foundation upon which the intelligence community has based its assessment of Russian interference collapse, it could also open the door for potential charges of criminal misconduct by Brennan and anyone else who helped him bypass normal vetting procedures and, in doing so, allowed a possible Russian double agent to influence the decisions of the president of the United States.
Seen in this light, the timing of the CNN and New York Times reports about the “exfiltration” of the CIA’s “sensitive source” seems to be little more than a blatant effort by Brennan and his allies in the media to shape a narrative before Barr uncovers the truth. ...
Thanks, Mike. I saw that but didn't read it, not suspecting where it was actually going--hafta draw a line sometimes and miss useful stuff. It makes sense to me.Delete
Ritter's article seems to be remarkably well-informed. If it's true, then someone inside the CIA has told him a lot.Delete
Yes. It's also an indication that Barr and Durham are very busy, but that there is a LOT of resistance still. Trump giving Barr declass authority is important, but it still doesn't give him a complete free hand when the Deep State still controls CIA and FBI.Delete
I did see somewhere else yesterday a reference to Brennan having bypassed normal vetting procedures. So word of this angle is getting out. As you say, probably folks at CIA are talking.Delete
I have thought some more about Ritter's article, wondering why all this info was leaked to Ritter, rather than to some journalist at a major publication, such as the NYT or WashPost.Delete
Ritter's main claim to fame, as I remember, was as an inspector of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. As such an inspector, he publicly expressed skepticism of the GW Bush Administration's claims about the existence of such weapons in Iraq. (I am speaking from memory, not studying that history again.)
I am speculating that some CIA insider still appreciates Ritter's public skepticism from those old days and so has leaked all this info to him.
Ritter has had various problems in his life. Maybe someone is trying to give his career a boost. I am not aware that the info in that article has been reported elsewhere.
Here's one piece, but it's not the one I think I saw:Delete
The New York Times has noted that this source “was instrumental to the C.I.A.’s most explosive conclusion about Russia’s interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself.”
The source was apparently highly regarded by former CIA Director John Brennan, who felt the identity of the source was so important that, according to the New York Times article, he “kept information from the operative out of President Barack Obama’s daily brief in 2016.”
“Instead, Mr. Brennan sent separate intelligence reports, many based on the source’s information, in special sealed envelopes to the Oval Office,” according to the article.
But the nature of the source raises some very real questions. If, for example, the source was indeed so highly placed, why then was the United States so seemingly ill-informed regarding many of Russia’s foreign policy actions, particularly in Syria or Crimea, when Russia forcibly annexed the peninsula from the Ukraine?
And if this asset was indeed so highly placed, how is it that Russia was able to hack the Democratic National Committee servers and extract their emails without the CIA’s advance knowledge of the alleged Russian activities?
There is another significant problem, as well. The Mueller report, after two lengthy years of investigation, concluded there was no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, thereby proving a key part of the alleged Russian activities incorrect.
How could the same spy who was “instrumental to the C.I.A.’s most explosive conclusion about Russia’s interference campaign,” when he was ensconced within reach of Putin’s innermost circle, fail to provide even more concrete proof for Mueller’s team of investigators after he was exfiltrated to our nation’s capital in 2017?
The Moon of Alabama website provides some interesting information about Oleg Smolenkov's home in the USA.ReplyDelete
Life is good! Especially when the CIA wants you to keep your mouth shut.Delete
Mark, typed up a comment which somehow got lost and did not publish. I too have many questions about the Yahoo article, SPECIFICALLY I'm wondering why the Buryakov case was introduced and then dropped like a hot potato in only two sentences. I've detailed some bizzare inherent contradictions within the article here:ReplyDelete
Sorry about the comment. I'm very careful at my end--no idea what may have happened. I agree that this narrative looks like a Deep State op for other than intel purposes.Delete