Monday, November 25, 2019

Two Good Russia Hoax Reads, And ...

Here are the two good Russia Hoax reads:

1. The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe

This is by Ray McGovern. McGovern was chief of the CIA’s Soviet Foreign Policy Branch during the 1970s. His target here is Fiona Hill:

Like so many other glib “Russia experts” with access to Establishment media, Fiona Hill, who testified Thursday in the impeachment probe, seems three decades out of date.

but also the entire Russia Hoax narrative, especially the Russia-meddled-ICA that Brennan and Clapper put out to validate the coup attempt against Trump:

As for the “Intelligence Community Assessment,” the banner headline atop The New York Times on Jan. 7, 2017 set the tone for the next couple of years: “Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says.” During my career as a CIA analyst, as deputy national intelligence officer chairing National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), and working on the Intelligence Production Review Board, I had not seen so shabby a piece of faux analysis as the ICA. The writers themselves seemed to be holding their noses.  They saw fit to embed in the ICA itself this derriere-covering note: “High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.”  
Not a Problem 
With the help of the Establishment media, Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan,  were able to pretend that the ICA had been approved by “all 17 intelligence agencies” (as first claimed by Clinton, with Rep. Jim Himes, D-CT, repeating that canard Thursday, alas “without objection).”  Himes, too should do his homework.  The bogus “all 17 intelligence agencies” claim lasted only a few months before Clapper decided to fess up. With striking naiveté, Clapper asserted that ICA preparers were “handpicked analysts” from only the FBI, CIA and NSA. The criteria Clapper et al. used are not hard to divine. In government as in industry, when you can handpick the analysts, you can handpick the conclusions. 
Maybe a Problem After All 
“According to several current and former intelligence officers who must remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue,” as the Times says when it prints made-up stuff, there were only two “handpicked analysts.”  Clapper picked Brennan; and Brennan picked Clapper.  That would help explain the grossly subpar quality of the ICA. 
If U.S. Attorney John Durham is allowed to do his job probing the origins of Russiagate, and succeeds in getting access to the “handpicked analysts” — whether there were just two, or more — Hill’s faith in “our intelligence agencies,” may well be dented if not altogether shattered.

2. FBI Lawyer Referred for Criminal Prosecution by Horowitz Was Primary FBI Attorney on Trump-Russia Case

h/t on this one to Mike Sylvester. My feed on Jeff Carlson's blog seems slow to refresh. This showed up in my feed reader eventually, but not before Mike pointed it out.

This blog is all about Kevin Clinesmith. There's not a lot here that we haven't already heard, but it puts a lot of information at your fingertips in a readable way. Recommended. After reading it you'll have no doubts about why Clinesmith's situation--targeted by John Durham in a criminal investigation--could be a game breaker.

3. The Carlson blog on Clinesmith leads me to sundance's latest piece, in which he suggests that the "altered email" that Clinesmith used to bolster a woefully weak Carter Page FISA application was, in fact, an email from Page himself (complaining about death threat occasioned by leaks about him). I don't see how this could be true based on the information that we have at this point. According to the NYT, Clinesmith:

“took an email from an official at another federal agency
that contained several factual assertions, then added material to the bottom that looked like another assertion from the email’s author, when it was instead his own understanding.”

If the email Clinesmith altered was, in fact, from "an official at another federal agency" then it wasn't from Carter Page.

OTOH, for separate reasons, I'm inclined to suspect that the renewal application to which this altered email was applied may well have been the final renewal, which was done for Team Mueller.

QUICK ADDENDUM: Ron Paul has a nice piece at Zerohedge. Nothing you don't know, but succinct--all about the "interagency consensus" or Deep State: The Real Bombshell of the Impeachment Hearings.


  1. I have just reread Jeff Carlson's article, and I again am puzzled by one paragraph:

    [quote; emphasis added]

    On Nov. 22, 2016, [Kevin] Clinesmith sent another instant message to [Sally] Moyer, “commenting on the amount of money the subject of an FBI investigation had been paid while working on the Trump campaign.” Moyer responded, “Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration?” Clinesmith replied, “Hell no.” and then added, “Viva le resistance.”

    [end quote]

    I assume that the subject of an FBI investigation is Carter Page, but I am puzzled about who was paying some remarkable amount of money to Page.

    * The Trump campaign staff?

    * The FBI?

    * The CIA?

    I think the most plausible explanation is that Page was being paid by the CIA. Perhaps the FBI discovered this fact belatedly, after the election.

    If so, then I speculate that this fact was concealed in the first applications to renew the FISA warrant. Only in the last renewal application was Clinesmith compelled to address the fact that Page had been a paid informant of the CIA while working on Trump's campaign staff in 2016.

    The e-mail that Clinesmith altered was a CIA e-mail about Page being a paid informant.

    1. Mike, I wondered about this, too. The OIG account (p. 448 of the entire pdf - - doesn't shed much light on this.

      Overall, I tend to come down on the idea that the a money in question was paid by the Trump campaign, for the reason that later in the exchange the comment is made:

      "Trump was 'going to eliminate all of our pensions in order to pay for people like' the person discussed in the instant message exchange, and FBI Attorney 1 and FBI Attorney 2 then began a
      discussion of federal pension and retirement issues."

      The idea seems to be that if Trump pays so lavishly he'll have to reduce the benefits of more low level Federal employees. And interesting level of paranoia.

  2. Maybe the later comment was just a silly after-thought.

    I cannot assume that Carter Page was paid some huge amount by the Trump campaign staff. On the contrary, I think it's likely that Page was paid only trivially -- or not at all.

    Another possibility is that on November 22, 2016, the two FBI lawyers assumed that the new President Trump might appoint Carter Page to some high, well-paid job in the Trump Administration -- and might fire the two FBI lawyers and their ilk before they were fully vested in their pensions.

    1. Mike, why don't you repost this comment on the new post and we can continue there: