Saturday, August 22, 2020

Sundance's Chat With Bill Aldenberg

Earlier today in Shipwreckedcrew Goes Toe To Toe With Sundance I quoted a sundance tweet in which he invited anyone who hadn't spoken, as he has, with John Durham's lead investigator--William "Bill" Aldenberg--to basically just shut up when it comes to evaluating the Durham investigation: 

If anyone else on Twitter has actually talked to the Durham investigators personally please identify yourself so we can compare notes ... 
If not, enough said.… 

I offered some comments and a suggestion:

How silly can you get? The fact that William Aldenberg allowed sundance to present his theories means ... everyone who disagrees with sundance now has to shut up? I'm not following that, maybe because there's nothing to follow.
I was an investigator for 28 years. Investigation is a one way street. Investigators collect information--they don't dispense it. Did Aldenberg somehow make an exception for sundance? I very much doubt that, but there's one way to find out. Sundance is big on issuing ultimatums and demands, telling Barr and Durham what they have to reveal and when. How about if sundance tells the rest of us what information Aldenberg shared with him?

Sundance has now posted My Discussion With John Durham’s Lead Investigator, William Aldenberg. It's one of his trademark long-as-your-arm posts. However, it turns out that there actually was no discussion to speak of. Instead, Aldenberg politely allowed sundance to harangue him about what sundance has posted, and reposted and reposted. That was basically it. As for Aldenberg sharing information about his investigation? Not so much:

Mr. Aldenberg could not affirm or attest to the implications of the information as provided; however, he did accept the briefing was clear and articulately grounded on the evidence within the documents provided.
Mr Aldenberg and I exchanged direct contact information, and concluded our conversation.

So there you have it. As expected.


  1. Sundance's self-serving puffery reminds me of something the Bard once wrote:

    "Much ado about Nothing"

    1. One solilloquy from Shakespere sums it up for the daily dose of "it will be released soon":

      To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
      Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
      To the last syllable of recorded time;

      And the end encapsulates it all :)

      It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
      Signifying nothing.

  2. Sigh ...

    Sundance serves a purpose. Some of it directed by others, but it still is worthwhile.

    Consider what Cassander put forth previously.


  3. Well, I've read and re-read this paragraph from his post more than a few times, as it is the crux of his entire missive:


    "...and all of issues point to a direct national security threat, including the overarching possibility of blackmail against those who are currently charged with intelligence oversight. Lastly, all of the events to cover-up the Wolfe leak involve direct criminal conduct.

    Now you know why I focused on James Wolfe. It’s not political, it’s criminal."


    Interesting. If he's suggesting Mark Warner has a crime scandal he is the center of, that makes me very happy. I'll be quite pleased to have a new Senator. Hopefully a Republican one. I'd even take James Webb in a reconvert at this stage. Or how Ollie North? Sorry, couldn't resist.

  4. Sundance's major focus / point seems to be the Senate Intel Committee, members of both parties, was up to their eyeballs in anti Trump activities, and the Mueller investigation was aiding and abetting them. And James Wolfe should be criminally charged.

    What would be nice is if Sundance would set up a Wiki, so all the massive amount of information he has collected could be updated and linked too.

    Mark's point on a lot of the internal processes, rules, and laws that govern DOJ and FBI are inside Baseball type stuff. I appreciate how he is demystifying for us outsiders / non experts.

    I wonder why the self puffery all of a sudden. What is driving it? My guess it is his way to keep the focus on Wolfe and the Senate Intel Committee's actions.

    1. Actually Sundance's site is all tagged just like Mark W. tags his topics. Sundance has a powerful search capability that hits on words inside his posts. And he does employ links in all his posts. So his site, to me at least, is already "wikified." Not sure what else one would want in that vein.

      What's driving his puffery? Good question. Maybe he's feeling the competition from other researchers. I'm interested in knowing what he thinks he's found. He's playing a bit of the intrigue game. He links what he refers to as "Most Of The Citations" but still doesn't really say what he's found. Maybe he's wanting some other enterprising internet investigators to pore over those documents to see if they can find what he thinks he has. All I gather is what you did...Wolfe got off easy for a crime...and that Sen. Warner is subject to blackmail? And is also complicit in criminal behavior?

  5. Sundance believes that he has some leverage over the Durham investigation via his spotlight, and hopes to use that leverage as a means of pushing them toward more indictments and accountability (and of course there is the veiled threat that if Barr attempts a coverup and lets coup plotters skate, he will march down MainStreet USA beating a drum of exposure).

    But what Sundance doesn't understand is that bureaucrats really don't care what he thinks, or what evidence he has amassed, or what he may do with that story. Everyone in DC has either an angle or an axe to grind, so humoring every amateur investigator is a distraction and not an aid.

    My guess is that Aldenberg wanted to remain under the radar during the investigation and consequently wanted to know how Sundance uncovered his identity and role. Specifically, did someone tip him off, and if so, who?

    Sundance's reporting will have absolutely no impact on what Barr and Durham decide to do, period.

  6. I've used the word carnival barker before, but I have come to think cult leader is more appropriate.

    Of course, sundance says the inspectors "know none of this", yet if they were pursuing already leads or insights sundance offered, as Mark explains there is no way the investigator can confirm any of it. All the investigator can do is nod and take it in.

    Sundance just needs to reveal the public information he has and no more--that would be enough to get people to pay attention to his site. He has delusions of grandeur as if he is part of the story. He has lost perspective.

    1. @Anonymous

      "He has lost perspective."

      Becoming obsessively engaged in any pursuit...for dangerous.

  7. It seems that Senator Mark Warner told James Wolfe to leak the Page FISA warrant to the New York Times. Wolfe (and Warner) were caught by the FBI, but then DOJ/FBI covered up the crime. Wolfe was not charged for leaking the top-secret FISA warrant. Rather, he was charged only for lying to the FBI.

    Exactly who made the decision to reduce the charge against Wolfe from leaking to merely lying? Who approved that decision? What was the justification?

    I suspect that the decisions were made actually by Robert Mueller's gang.

    This should be explained to the public.

    Each Republican Senator and staff member on that Senate committee should be asked to tell publicly what he knows about it.

    1. This may have been the justification for reducing the charge against Wolfe:

      As part of their investigation, FBI agents obtained a search warrant and used imaging software to capture the contents of Wolfe's phone while they had him distracted and attending a meeting with FBI agents to discuss SSCI leaks, according to a separate DOJ court filing last week.

      Although the searches turned up evidence that Wolfe's actions had "actual impact on the national security functions of the FBI and had the potential to disrupt important government functions,” they did not turn up proof that he had leaked the FISA application or other classified materials, according to the DOJ.
      (emphasis added)

    2. There's no reason I know of to suppose that the FBI did less than their best in this investigation--as you document. If evidence comes up that they somehow fudged it, I'll change that view. But I'll need evidence.

    3. I wish I could remember where I read it. Someone said that the actual documents Wolfe leaked to his reporter girlfriend could not be found because he had scrubbed his cell phone. Thus, no proof. He was also said to have used a form of encryption that allowed the FBI to find the emails to the reporter but not the actual documents transmitted (as attachments?), such as the FISA application. This was no reflection on the FBI, but something Wolfe had used (or done) to remove the documents themselves from his phone.

      Has anyone read/heard any of that?

    4. From the same Fox News article linked above:

      The SSCI, which functions as a liason between the intelligence community and the Senate, is chaired by North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr and vice-chaired by Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner. In the affidavit filed Friday, the lead FBI agent noted that the agency personally alerted Burr and Warner -- and only Burr and Warner -- that it was probing whether "a person holding a Top Secret security clearance may have disclosed national security information to the news media."

      The FBI instructed the two senators not to tell Wolfe about the probe in order to avoid the "potential destruction of evidence” as they continued to investigate, according to the affidavit.

      So did one or both of the senators give Wolfe a heads up? Plausible.

    5. "So did one or both of the senators give Wolfe a heads up? Plausible."

      Yes, it is. But where's the proof. And here we get to constitutional problems. We've been looking--for years now--at what happens when the FBI takes over oversight of the Presidency. Do we really want to hand over to the FBI oversight of the Legislative branch? Is the cure worse than the disease? I have no particular answer.

    6. But also from the same Dec 20, 2018 Fox News article is this:

      "In an affidavit attached to Friday's filing, the FBI special agent overseeing the Wolfe investigation noted that there had been a "known disclosure of classified information -- the FISA application," apparently referring to the government's highly secret application to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page."

      I would presume this Special Agent overseeing the Wolfe investigation would be who Sundance says is Brian Dugan. But there is a disconnect. Why is Dugan signing an affidavit that says it was the FISA application...and DOJ says no such evidence was found. Is that Sundance's "big find?"

    7. Yes Chico, you nailed it.

      According to SD, you nailed it. The disconnect between Dugan and DOJ was because Dugan was on the straight and narrow, whilst DOJ was run by Mueller/Weissman (because Sessions recused and RR was MIA).

      Charles Z

  8. Mueller’s SC gave Warner the heads up no later than Fall 2018 as the investigation of Wolfe wound down and the evidence showed Warner’s involvement. This is where Dugan comes in as he gets pushed his investigation gets cut to a basic lying offense.

  9. I am above my pay grade here, but it would seem to me that an investigator could find that documents had been leaked, but without the actual documents themselves, the evidence would not be complete enough for prosecution. Lawyer, help!