Over the weekend there was plenty of discussion about the WaPo hit piece on Rudy Giuliani--and incidentally, or so it seemed, on Senator Ron Johnson. We knew there was more to this story--that much was obvious. The question was whether any more would come out. That question is answered, partially, by Christopher Bedford in a must read article today:
FBI’s Failed Ron Johnson Set-Up A Case Study In How Agencies Use Corrupt Reporters To Peddle Lies, Hurt Their American Enemies
For years now, a number of the country's most prominent publications have assumed the groveling role of palace guards for the state and its friends in Congress.
I urge you to read the entire article, which shows the WaPo working hand in glove with the Zhou regime's intel agencies. Here, however, are some key passages. It seems--are you sitting down for this?--that the WaPo didn't publish everything that Ron Johnson told them about the FBI "defensive briefing". Naturally nobody expects a newspaper article to simply be a transcript, unless it presents itself as an interview. However, in these cases, these omitted portions were extremely important and were major parts of the story--the story could not be understood without them. The statements by Senator Johnson are taken from a letter he wrote to the WaPo after their article was published.
In these excerpts, Bedford begins with a point I made that should be obvious even to WaPo reporters: the Russians always seek to influence powerful and/or influential persons. But it's not just the Russians. We do it, too--of course. In fact, it isn't just intelligence operatives in a formal sense. Diplomats from every country on earth seek to influence powerful people from other nations--especially important nations. Our allies seek to influence us in this way, too, to convert us to see world affairs from their standpoint, to possibly alter our own policies. Do we stop talking to them? How stupid would that be? Such influence efforts are no ipso facto "disinformation campaigns." We can actually learn from the views of other countries. We'd be pretty stupid if we stopped listening to Russian representatives--but the Inter Agency wants the public to think that such basic responsible governance is somehow treasonous without any further consideration:
Let’s begin with how powerful people are often the targets of foreign disinformation campaigns. It isn’t novel: Since the early 20th century, the Russians have sought to influence reporters, politicians, entertainers, public intellectuals, and other powerful people around the planet. It isn’t new, it’s well-documented, and it isn’t partisan.
Johnson explained this pattern to The Washington Post. The publication decided to not include this important portion of his explanation, and it is being printed for the first time at The Federalist:
Because of my position as chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, I have always been aware of Russian disinformation and the need to be careful believing and using any information coming from sources from that region. In fact, during all my investigations we have viewed every piece of information and evidence with skepticism and rigorously worked to verify everything. Our report on Hunter Biden proves the meticulousness of our methods. That is why we asked for and received a briefing on [suspected Russian agent] Andrii Telizhenko, and received assurances from the FBI that there was no reason that the Committees should not continue their investigation (see report page 59). We made that clear in the report last September.
Next up — and crucially — powerful intel agencies have a known and well-documented history of conducting briefings solely to create records that can then be leaked to sympathetic corporate reporters in order to generate the narratives actors at the agencies want.
This isn’t conspiracy: Former FBI Director James Comey admitted it to the Senate four years ago, testifying that he had briefed the then-president on his theories of Russian collusion — allegations he also testified “was not true” — only to record his interactions and leak them to a friend to hand off to a sympathetic press. His goal, he explained, was to “prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”
In other words, the disinformation campaigns that our Deep State run against US politicians--prominently recently having included President-Elect Donald Trump--was also being used against Senator Johnson.
Read that again. Understand: Our Inter-Agency, the Deep State, sees it as part of their job to run disinformation campaigns against US politicians right up to the level of the POTUS. The purpose is to convert those politicians to the views of the Inter-Agency Deep State, if those politicians aren't already on board. To the extent that all relevant information is provided, such advocacy is legitimate, but to the extent that that is not the case ...
He wasn’t alone in this. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan were both part of the plan, and played their roles well.
Of course, it seemed obvious enough to skeptical reporters way back when. But skepticism of the state isn’t the game with Trump and Republicans, is it? Instead of incredulity, the American public was treated to now five straight years of media mouthpieces spreading both the propaganda of our intel agencies and Russian disinformation, from the fake “pee tape” on down.
“A similar hit piece,” Johnson told the Post in another previously unpublished part of his statement, “had been published the day Senator [Gary] Peters disapproved of my subpoena request for Andrii Telizhenko.”
And then, there were reportedly no actionable specifics in the Johnson briefing. The senator explained this to The Washington Post, and it’s worth notice because it itself is strong evidence for the senator’s near-immediate suspicion that the entire briefing was a set-up by the FBI — just as Trump’s had been.
“Based on this suspicion,” Johnson told the Post in yet another part of his statement they did not publish, “I asked the briefers for the name of who directed them to provide me this briefing. Other than to say it was a product of an inter-agency process, they refused to give me any names. To this day, I have not been told who ordered the completely unnecessary — but politically useful to my opponents — briefing. If you proceed to write this hit piece, you should know that you are being used as a tool and are acting with actual malice.”
That alone is a rather telling admission: The decision to conduct a "non-informational" briefing of Senator Johnson was arrived at by the Inter-Agency--the Intel Community/Deep State acting together. One assumes that, of the 17 member agencies of the IC, only certain agencies were involved. One thinks of the FBI, the CIA, ODNI, NSC. Zhou himself? Why not?
Now, I also recommend this interview/discussion between two savvy reporters: Aaron Maté and Glenn Greenwald--BlueAnon: Glenn Greenwald on Why Russiagate Disinformation Never Ends. Here's the brief lead-in to the video interview:
On the same day that the claim of “Russian bounties” in Afghanistan collapsed, another US intelligence-sourced, evidence-free claim was treated as vindication for conspiracy theories about Trump-Russia collusion.
Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté discuss the predictable demise of the “Russian bounties”; the Biden administration’s new evidence-free assertion that Paul Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik passed Trump campaign polling data to Russia; and why major US media outlets continue to parrot Russiagate disinformation no matter how many times the “bombshells” turn into duds.
"If you proceed to write this hit piece, you should know that you are being used as a tool and are acting with actual malice."ReplyDelete
Johnson's notification to WaPo is a clear warning that he may sue it for defamation. I hope he does so, and eventually learns who the Deep State leakers are.
I hope he does. And good on Johnson for recognizing the false pretense behind his briefing. He has learned quite quickly in his time in the Senate, and I'm glad he is there.Delete
I look forward to reading the Bedford article, as well as watching the Greenwald and Aaron Maté discussion while you're on break this am. I would also offer up the following for related consideration:ReplyDelete
We're long overdue getting to the bottom of the Deep State's obsession with "Russia As Existential Threat".
It's a good article. You don't have to agree with everything to get benefit. You only have to agree generally that Russia actually does have legitimate national security and foreign policy concerns. For example:Delete
"The Russian military is ... a potent tool designed to maintain influence over the states along its periphery"
Is there a conceptual problem with the notion of Russia wanting to maintain influence along its periphery? For a country of the size of Russia, with a variety of possible trouble spots around its periphery--to put it mildly--that seems like pretty normal behavior.
So maybe we don't like their involvement in the Western Hemisphere? Maybe it's possible to do a deal, and renounce some of our extremely provocative actions on Russia's periphery.
But no one can suggest something that would, in any normal country, be a commonplace of diplomacy without being pilloried as a stooge of Putin, the devil incarnate (except when Barry or Hillary want to do a reset).
@Cass: Read the linked article. Was this written on April 29th, 2021 or April 29th, 1961?Delete
Weren't you struck by a thread of -- I want to call it paranoia -- or more accurately perhaps, narcissistic paranoia -- which runs through the security assessment?
Most of what the assessment characterizes as threats to American security are simply manifestations of what any self-respecting country facing innumerable internal and external threats would do to protect itself. I would hazard the thought that Putin's efforts are justified in that Russia's security is in fact at far greater risk than the United States'.
I'd still like to know what real threat Russia poses to the United States? And, if there is one, why we aren't working constructively to address it? Instead of constantly inflaming the relationship?
FWIW, I think that Russia's inherent nationalism (it is a profoundly conservative state) is anathema to our Left. If left to prosper, Right-oriented states like Russia and incipient populist movements around the world might eventually come together and even predominate...putting at extreme risk the One World -- Global Project.
Why doesn't Ron Johnson and other well-placed political leaders start openly calling for the dismantling of the FBI?ReplyDelete
I appreciate that, at this moment in history, it would almost certainly result in further harassment and even assassination (by "white nationalists" no doubt) as they begin to feel the heat at their heels... but until it starts being put into the record as something other than a conspiracy theory, it won't gain the attention it deserves.
The agency (and plenty others) are enemies of the American people. And a political party needs to start saying it openly, before we are well past the point of no return.
Stop with the softball memos. Stop with the "reforms". Stop with the testifying before Congress circus acts. Commit to ABOLISH if you regain control.
Amen. We’re well past the point of “reforms” anymore, drastic action is necessitated. One of the reasons I voted for DJT was to send a wrecking ball to DC.Delete
The FBI/DoJ have morphed into the Gestapo/Stasi arm of the DS/Dem party. They’re not even trying to hide it anymore, confident their allies in the sycophantic media will ignore/bury it for them.
We’re living & witnessing the perfect storm of a constitutional representative republic being shoved sideways into a de facto fascist regime.
"Why doesn't Ron Johnson and other well-placed political leaders start openly calling for the dismantling of the FBI?"
It's my personal belief that 80% of this is just theater and theatrics for maintaining the appearance of opposition.
I've long asked why there are no members of the GOP who call out hundreds of things from within their own party let alone the actors within the military industrial complex / IC / DS.
Never a peep beyond what could very bluntly be called showmanship where they rail against and call for action they know will not produce any meaningful result.
The second you start calling out the insututions I'll bet you find yourself party less.
Boar, yes and yes.Delete
But consider the implications of what you wrote. Trump was indeed sent to DC to be a wrecking ball, to drain the Swamp etc... He accomplished more than almost anyone thought possible against determined Uniparty opposition. But. DC showed us all that it will not allow real change to occur. And that is why our republic is dead dead dead. Because only the military now has any chance of effecting the kind of change needed to root out the authoritarian Swamp creatures. Mere politicians...mere Presidents even, cannot do it.
I've said it before and it bears repeating... the MSM media is the enemy of the people. Doing the Deep State's dirty work for them w/o rationale investigative journalism. Love me some G.G.ReplyDelete
For years now, a number of the country's most prominent publications have assumed the groveling role of palace guards for the state and its friends in Congress.ReplyDelete
I love the article's subtitle.
While not a national matter, I once had a smart-ass female reporter call me for comment about an article that would be defamatory about me.ReplyDelete
I suggested she talk to her paper's attorneys about the very real risks of printing her story. I briefly explained why it would be a huge mistake, and even though the paper is located in the State of Washington, I would have her and her paper in a Texas Federal Court by the end of the week and would not need a lawyer. There were other stories about local government corruption the paper knew about and never reported.
As a result, the paper never printed their story. I wish they had.