Category: Monica Showalter

It Begins: Axios' Revolting Bid to Rehabilitate Fusion GPS


How do you defend the indefensible? Start with Axios.

The news outfit founded by former Politico mainstay Mike Allen has a front-page feature by Steve LeVine that attempts to defend and rehabilitate Fusion GPS, the group that produced the phony Trump dossier. In the piece, Levine recasts the notorious smear outfit as just a group of smart investigative reporters turned gumshoes. 

Axios portrays their principals, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, as intelligent, ultra-competent, and rather incredibly, only in their line of business “with no motive apart from the thrill of the chase.” (Which is to say they take anyone’s dollars.)

They are seriously savvy at finding extremely hard-to-locate — and even more difficult to understand and contextualize — documents and other intelligence on globally powerful people and organizations. People who know what they are talking about want to speak with them, in large part because they understand that — either immediately or some time in the future — they themselves can learn something from them.

LeVine notes that the pair of them only got into their seamy line of work smearing people because Rupert Murdoch, the new owner of the Wall Street Journal, their former outfit, didn’t want to pay for their open-checkbook speculative investigative projects when they were at that paper and wanted spot scoops that sell papers instead. It’s Rupert’s fault, see.

Amid all LeVine’s justifications and rationalizations for the firm, which he tries to pass off as just professional conduct, or going where the facts lead, LeVine leaves out one thing:

They produce junk.

Useless things. Things that blow up in a client’s face. They’re not in the business of truth, they’re smear artists, as Sharyl Attkisson (a real investigative reporter) showed. Fusion GPS’s procured Trump dossier is in the news because it’s fake, the product of climbing in bed with Russian agents feeding disinformation from abroad. And it’s so fake, the purveyors had trouble shopping it around to reporters, until a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey was arranged with the dossier, so that the news of the meeting could be reported instead. The one news outfit that ran the phony dossier, without confirming any of it, Buzzfeed, is in deep doo-doo with the lawyers for it now. Other agencies, such as CNN’s Jake Tapper, focused on reporting the meeting rather than the sordid, mendacious contents of the dossier itself, via leaks.

Are these really investigative aces? Investigative aces worth the $9 milllion they were reportedly paid for this? They trusted an “old acquaintance,” former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who seems to have run a similar firm in London with putting the dossier together, given his pals in the Russian intelligence services, and what they ended up buying was likely Russian disinformation. What they ended up with was a mass of lies about “golden showers” and non-existent meetings in Prague written so badly the only people who were fooled by it were people who wanted to be fooled.

American Spectator summed up the picture pretty well here:

Clinton’s campaign hired a Democrat opposition research firm called Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on you, and in turn they hired a former British Intelligence agent named Christopher Steele to compile a sensational “dossier” on you. It turns out, however, that all of Steele’s sources were Russians whom he never even spoke with. The dossier was widely discredited by the intelligence community with many suggesting the information in question was disinformation fed to Steele by Russian intelligence.

And this wasn’t just one big-dollar operation that went bad. Fusion GPS has a horrid history of producing bad information with no passing acquaintance with the truth.

Taking cash from Venezuela’s sleazy rulers, Fusion GPS came up with filthy false stories about two Venezuelan dissidents, Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation and Alek Boyd, whose own investigative research into Chavista corruption enraged the Venezuelan government and its cronies. I have known these two men for years and am certain none of the sleazy claims have a scintilla of truth. Halvorssen testified in Congress on the appallingness of Fusion GPS and how it took cash from the corrupt Venezuelan tyrants to spread the most heinous lies to the press as well as intimidate reporters into spiking stories, just as the Chavistas wanted.

Fox News also reports that they attempted to smear and discredit William Browder, a former hedge fund manager who got out of the business to defend his Russian legal-firm accountant, a man named Sergei Magnitsky who uncovered a $230 million tax-refund fraud in 2009 and was hauled off to prison where he was tortured to death. Browder’s efforts led to the Magnitsky Act which sanctions Russian officials who had a role in the still-unpunished crime.

According to the Weekly Standard, the firm also produced misleading information about the Planned Parenthood undercover videos, attempting to succor their client into making the claim for the press that the videos were “altered” while to read their fine print, it turns out they were not.

Their great expertise touted by LeVine seems to amount to digging around trash cans in Idaho, where they smeared a man who donated money to Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign, splattering all his personal information out there. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel did some excellent reporting on the awfulness of the operation. It doesn’t take great expertise to do these kinds of operations, just a lot of money and a willingness to swim in the sewer.

All of these things are a day in the life of a smear operation. Crawl into bed with Russian propaganda operatives and pass off their lies as truth. Make up fake accusations against Venezuelan dissidents and muscle reporters into spiking stories. Spin the truth on Planned Parenthood videos. Violate the privacy of a political donor to scare him away. The worst of it is that they don’t even produce anything of enduring value. They just manipulate the truth.

And in the case of Fusion GPS’s Trump dossier and the lies about the Venezuelans, they outright negate the truth. Now they’re getting rehabbed as smart cookies by Axios. One hand washes the other in this reporter-smear firm racket.

It only works so long as it doesn’t get found out. Well, it’s been found out – in Congress and among ethical reporters and columnists. That makes Fusion GPS’s competence zero. The only question now is why Axios wants to save them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you defend the indefensible? Start with Axios.

The news outfit founded by former Politico mainstay Mike Allen has a front-page feature by Steve LeVine that attempts to defend and rehabilitate Fusion GPS, the group that produced the phony Trump dossier. In the piece, Levine recasts the notorious smear outfit as just a group of smart investigative reporters turned gumshoes. 

Axios portrays their principals, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, as intelligent, ultra-competent, and rather incredibly, only in their line of business “with no motive apart from the thrill of the chase.” (Which is to say they take anyone’s dollars.)

They are seriously savvy at finding extremely hard-to-locate — and even more difficult to understand and contextualize — documents and other intelligence on globally powerful people and organizations. People who know what they are talking about want to speak with them, in large part because they understand that — either immediately or some time in the future — they themselves can learn something from them.

LeVine notes that the pair of them only got into their seamy line of work smearing people because Rupert Murdoch, the new owner of the Wall Street Journal, their former outfit, didn’t want to pay for their open-checkbook speculative investigative projects when they were at that paper and wanted spot scoops that sell papers instead. It’s Rupert’s fault, see.

Amid all LeVine’s justifications and rationalizations for the firm, which he tries to pass off as just professional conduct, or going where the facts lead, LeVine leaves out one thing:

They produce junk.

Useless things. Things that blow up in a client’s face. They’re not in the business of truth, they’re smear artists, as Sharyl Attkisson (a real investigative reporter) showed. Fusion GPS’s procured Trump dossier is in the news because it’s fake, the product of climbing in bed with Russian agents feeding disinformation from abroad. And it’s so fake, the purveyors had trouble shopping it around to reporters, until a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey was arranged with the dossier, so that the news of the meeting could be reported instead. The one news outfit that ran the phony dossier, without confirming any of it, Buzzfeed, is in deep doo-doo with the lawyers for it now. Other agencies, such as CNN’s Jake Tapper, focused on reporting the meeting rather than the sordid, mendacious contents of the dossier itself, via leaks.

Are these really investigative aces? Investigative aces worth the $9 milllion they were reportedly paid for this? They trusted an “old acquaintance,” former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who seems to have run a similar firm in London with putting the dossier together, given his pals in the Russian intelligence services, and what they ended up buying was likely Russian disinformation. What they ended up with was a mass of lies about “golden showers” and non-existent meetings in Prague written so badly the only people who were fooled by it were people who wanted to be fooled.

American Spectator summed up the picture pretty well here:

Clinton’s campaign hired a Democrat opposition research firm called Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on you, and in turn they hired a former British Intelligence agent named Christopher Steele to compile a sensational “dossier” on you. It turns out, however, that all of Steele’s sources were Russians whom he never even spoke with. The dossier was widely discredited by the intelligence community with many suggesting the information in question was disinformation fed to Steele by Russian intelligence.

And this wasn’t just one big-dollar operation that went bad. Fusion GPS has a horrid history of producing bad information with no passing acquaintance with the truth.

Taking cash from Venezuela’s sleazy rulers, Fusion GPS came up with filthy false stories about two Venezuelan dissidents, Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation and Alek Boyd, whose own investigative research into Chavista corruption enraged the Venezuelan government and its cronies. I have known these two men for years and am certain none of the sleazy claims have a scintilla of truth. Halvorssen testified in Congress on the appallingness of Fusion GPS and how it took cash from the corrupt Venezuelan tyrants to spread the most heinous lies to the press as well as intimidate reporters into spiking stories, just as the Chavistas wanted.

Fox News also reports that they attempted to smear and discredit William Browder, a former hedge fund manager who got out of the business to defend his Russian legal-firm accountant, a man named Sergei Magnitsky who uncovered a $230 million tax-refund fraud in 2009 and was hauled off to prison where he was tortured to death. Browder’s efforts led to the Magnitsky Act which sanctions Russian officials who had a role in the still-unpunished crime.

According to the Weekly Standard, the firm also produced misleading information about the Planned Parenthood undercover videos, attempting to succor their client into making the claim for the press that the videos were “altered” while to read their fine print, it turns out they were not.

Their great expertise touted by LeVine seems to amount to digging around trash cans in Idaho, where they smeared a man who donated money to Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign, splattering all his personal information out there. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel did some excellent reporting on the awfulness of the operation. It doesn’t take great expertise to do these kinds of operations, just a lot of money and a willingness to swim in the sewer.

All of these things are a day in the life of a smear operation. Crawl into bed with Russian propaganda operatives and pass off their lies as truth. Make up fake accusations against Venezuelan dissidents and muscle reporters into spiking stories. Spin the truth on Planned Parenthood videos. Violate the privacy of a political donor to scare him away. The worst of it is that they don’t even produce anything of enduring value. They just manipulate the truth.

And in the case of Fusion GPS’s Trump dossier and the lies about the Venezuelans, they outright negate the truth. Now they’re getting rehabbed as smart cookies by Axios. One hand washes the other in this reporter-smear firm racket.

It only works so long as it doesn’t get found out. Well, it’s been found out – in Congress and among ethical reporters and columnists. That makes Fusion GPS’s competence zero. The only question now is why Axios wants to save them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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New German study finds its media up to its old tricks, colluding with the Merkel government


A new study from a couple of media/academic sources in Germany finds that the German media colluded with its government to hide the truth about the migrant crisis that flooded the country as part and parcel of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ‘let ’em all in’ refugee policy.

RT News reports:

 

Major German print publications have played to the tune of the German government in presenting the migrant crisis to the public, ignoring critical issues in their coverage of the biggest refugee flow into Europe since WWII, a new German study revealed.


After analysis of thousands of articles published in Germany between February 2015 and March 2016, researchers at the Hamburg Media School and the University of Leipzig found that major German publications failed to objectively cover the refugee crisis.


The report is available on the website of the Otto Brenner Foundation. According to German media, the full study will be officially published on Monday.

That’s not the finding of some right wing blog, but the piece-by-piece analysis of two leftish think tanks who took a good look at the problem and found the press – including papers such as Bild, Die Welt, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wanting. Essentially, the press covered up the extent of rapes, ripoffs, welfare-mining, terrorism and pillage the German people were subject to, all to advance the political fortunes of Chancellor Merkel, who seems to have little regard for the fate of her countrymen. german women were exposed to untold dangers and advised that their fears of migrants were baseless. The reality is, they were not. Merkel’s government got away with this becal’s use she had a willing handmaiden in the lapdog press, and the latter scrapped what used to be known as ‘honor’ in the media world by scrapping their independence, their capacity to report and write without fear or favor. Objective? They were not. Now, they are exposed.

So for all its self-praise (kid you not) and claims of ‘censorship’ one now sees in the media, in the German version (and don’t think these people aren’t educated in the same schools), the press has essentially self-nationalized without a word all to advance leftism and prop up Merkel.

Will it have an impact? It’s unknown. I suspect it may be a one-day story and then slip down the memory hole. But that it’s a collaboration of leftish institution finding this, there is reason to sit up and consider that maybe this could be a moment of truth for these colluders.

A new study from a couple of media/academic sources in Germany finds that the German media colluded with its government to hide the truth about the migrant crisis that flooded the country as part and parcel of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ‘let ’em all in’ refugee policy.

RT News reports:

 

Major German print publications have played to the tune of the German government in presenting the migrant crisis to the public, ignoring critical issues in their coverage of the biggest refugee flow into Europe since WWII, a new German study revealed.


After analysis of thousands of articles published in Germany between February 2015 and March 2016, researchers at the Hamburg Media School and the University of Leipzig found that major German publications failed to objectively cover the refugee crisis.


The report is available on the website of the Otto Brenner Foundation. According to German media, the full study will be officially published on Monday.

That’s not the finding of some right wing blog, but the piece-by-piece analysis of two leftish think tanks who took a good look at the problem and found the press – including papers such as Bild, Die Welt, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wanting. Essentially, the press covered up the extent of rapes, ripoffs, welfare-mining, terrorism and pillage the German people were subject to, all to advance the political fortunes of Chancellor Merkel, who seems to have little regard for the fate of her countrymen. german women were exposed to untold dangers and advised that their fears of migrants were baseless. The reality is, they were not. Merkel’s government got away with this becal’s use she had a willing handmaiden in the lapdog press, and the latter scrapped what used to be known as ‘honor’ in the media world by scrapping their independence, their capacity to report and write without fear or favor. Objective? They were not. Now, they are exposed.

So for all its self-praise (kid you not) and claims of ‘censorship’ one now sees in the media, in the German version (and don’t think these people aren’t educated in the same schools), the press has essentially self-nationalized without a word all to advance leftism and prop up Merkel.

Will it have an impact? It’s unknown. I suspect it may be a one-day story and then slip down the memory hole. But that it’s a collaboration of leftish institution finding this, there is reason to sit up and consider that maybe this could be a moment of truth for these colluders.



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After Wellesley, yes, Hillary's still running…


Hillary Clinton waded back into the celebrity college commencement speaker trough, undoubtedly with big speaking fees, giving her first public speech outlining her tax-and-spend agenda at her old alma mater, Wellesley College.

Her operatives also played down reports from it that she had long cough attacks during the delivery, which may be signs of serious medical issues. They casually dismissed it as allergies. Of such unnecessary protestations, “At this point, what difference does it make?”

Which brings us to the real point here: Hillary is running for president again.

One has to ask what the motivation for this might be, given that she is in poor health, in her mid-70s, has seen her pay-to-play Foundation fundraising cash cow collapse, and undoubtedly is mentally exhausted from the last run just six months ago.

American Thinker editor emeritus Richard Baehr has observed:

“I think she looks at rest of democratic field and President Trump’s approval numbers and is considering one more try for president. What else can keep her relevant?”

He’s right. She sees her opportunity and she’s going to take it. That would explain the public speaking engagements (paid, of course) and the hard-to-believe denials of chronic medical problems.

So what does the field look like and who else is out there? Will Andrew Cuomo take her place as the next Democratic Party favorite? He’s making noises for it. Possible, but not entirely a threat, given Clinton’s vastly greater name recognition and popularity among her supporters. Bernie Sanders? Maybe, but he’s got a ceiling on his support due to his socialist orientation. There’s Chuckie Schumer, the Castro brothers, Corey Booker from New Jersey, Massachusetts Democratic governor Deval Patrick, maybe Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. Yet none can hold a candle to her own standard as party standard bearer or presidential candidate.

There’s one name that might be such a threat however: Elizabeth Warren, whose name recognition is comparable to Hillary’s own, and who also has a fanatic base of followers.

She’s also not known to be on good terms with Hillary Clinton or the Clinton machine, despite occasional limp endorsements. In fact, it’s believed the two women hate each other. Hillary can never seen Warren as a friend or coeval – she’s an unwelcome rival.

And if so, there are plenty of reasons why, to look at the psychology of the matter.

Hillary married her way to power and is highly reliant on her husband, the oozing-charm natural politician Bill Clinton for political advice and direction. She knows this. Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, is entirely self-made. And Clinton knows this, too. This one fact alone has to rankle her the most.

House flipper, fake Indian, affirmative action fraudster, Elizabeth Warren bit and clawed her way to the top in ways only someone from a hardscrabble lower middle class background with immense ambition could do. Hillary has always had her ‘achievements’ handed to her by someone else. Yes, it has to rankle.

Warren also has a track record of sorts, making a name for herself with the establishment of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, supposedly to use as a hammer against corporate interests which are so part of her political platform. She’s a tenured Harvard professor, too, which has to rankle Clinton further, given her own middle class roots. Hillary, by contrast, has no achievements to point to, either as a Senator or as a former Secretary of State. In fact, her record is one of continuous failure, not merely leftwing policy, but failed leftwing policy. It has to rankle.

Warren is also a fresher face and it might mean something that she’s thinner and skinnier than the chronically corpulent Clinton. Personal jealousy? I vote yes.

In light of all those variables, is it any surprise Hillary might just be thinking of running? She’s not going to let the ‘first woman president’ title go to a hated rival like Warren. No, with her Wellesley speech and other calculated appearances, Clinton’s going to continue pursuing the crown she thinks is rightfully hers. Especially since she sees that Warren might get it.

 

Hillary Clinton waded back into the celebrity college commencement speaker trough, undoubtedly with big speaking fees, giving her first public speech outlining her tax-and-spend agenda at her old alma mater, Wellesley College.

Her operatives also played down reports from it that she had long cough attacks during the delivery, which may be signs of serious medical issues. They casually dismissed it as allergies. Of such unnecessary protestations, “At this point, what difference does it make?”

Which brings us to the real point here: Hillary is running for president again.

One has to ask what the motivation for this might be, given that she is in poor health, in her mid-70s, has seen her pay-to-play Foundation fundraising cash cow collapse, and undoubtedly is mentally exhausted from the last run just six months ago.

American Thinker editor emeritus Richard Baehr has observed:

“I think she looks at rest of democratic field and President Trump’s approval numbers and is considering one more try for president. What else can keep her relevant?”

He’s right. She sees her opportunity and she’s going to take it. That would explain the public speaking engagements (paid, of course) and the hard-to-believe denials of chronic medical problems.

So what does the field look like and who else is out there? Will Andrew Cuomo take her place as the next Democratic Party favorite? He’s making noises for it. Possible, but not entirely a threat, given Clinton’s vastly greater name recognition and popularity among her supporters. Bernie Sanders? Maybe, but he’s got a ceiling on his support due to his socialist orientation. There’s Chuckie Schumer, the Castro brothers, Corey Booker from New Jersey, Massachusetts Democratic governor Deval Patrick, maybe Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. Yet none can hold a candle to her own standard as party standard bearer or presidential candidate.

There’s one name that might be such a threat however: Elizabeth Warren, whose name recognition is comparable to Hillary’s own, and who also has a fanatic base of followers.

She’s also not known to be on good terms with Hillary Clinton or the Clinton machine, despite occasional limp endorsements. In fact, it’s believed the two women hate each other. Hillary can never seen Warren as a friend or coeval – she’s an unwelcome rival.

And if so, there are plenty of reasons why, to look at the psychology of the matter.

Hillary married her way to power and is highly reliant on her husband, the oozing-charm natural politician Bill Clinton for political advice and direction. She knows this. Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, is entirely self-made. And Clinton knows this, too. This one fact alone has to rankle her the most.

House flipper, fake Indian, affirmative action fraudster, Elizabeth Warren bit and clawed her way to the top in ways only someone from a hardscrabble lower middle class background with immense ambition could do. Hillary has always had her ‘achievements’ handed to her by someone else. Yes, it has to rankle.

Warren also has a track record of sorts, making a name for herself with the establishment of the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, supposedly to use as a hammer against corporate interests which are so part of her political platform. She’s a tenured Harvard professor, too, which has to rankle Clinton further, given her own middle class roots. Hillary, by contrast, has no achievements to point to, either as a Senator or as a former Secretary of State. In fact, her record is one of continuous failure, not merely leftwing policy, but failed leftwing policy. It has to rankle.

Warren is also a fresher face and it might mean something that she’s thinner and skinnier than the chronically corpulent Clinton. Personal jealousy? I vote yes.

In light of all those variables, is it any surprise Hillary might just be thinking of running? She’s not going to let the ‘first woman president’ title go to a hated rival like Warren. No, with her Wellesley speech and other calculated appearances, Clinton’s going to continue pursuing the crown she thinks is rightfully hers. Especially since she sees that Warren might get it.

 



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CNN goes for another dip into the Fake News pool


Awhile back, President Trump declared CNN ‘fake news’ on Twitter. If you thought that was overstating it, get a load of its latest claim that the public is just pining for a special prosecutor on the increasingly hoary claim that ‘Russia hacked the election.’

Really? Really really rilly rilly? I find that extremely hard to believe, just on its surface. I hear no such talk in bank lines, on the headlines of supermarket tabloids, on radio talk show banter, at gas stations, at Starbucks, or even in politically correct classrooms. So color me skeptical.

Unfortunately, skepticism is what’s lacking in the reportage from the writer who had otherwise been a fairly good journalist, Chris Cillizzia, who wrote this tripe under his own byline. You’d think he’d know better.

CNN’s Cillizzia cites an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll purporting to represent the entire nation from a tiny sample of 350 people, not all of them so much as registered voters. Citing President Trump’s skepticism about the Democrats’ demand for a special prosecutor, Cillizzia writes:

The public very much disagrees, according to new numbers from a NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. Almost eight in ten people — 78% — said they would prefer an investigation led by an independent prosecutor or independent commission. Just 15% said they preferred an investigation led by Congress.

It’s nothing but a partisan hack. The strange poll, with its far-fetched conclusions, is the Democrats’ bid to use polls to pressure President Trump into doing what President Obama always refused to do even in the face of the most egregious scandals (Loretta Lynch on the tarmac with Bill Clinton, Lois Lerner using IRS resources to illegally target dissidents and then retiring with a comfy pension). NBC/Wall Street Journal’s poll is led by a former Democratic Party operative with a long record of activism for progressive causes, and this one appears to be just another errand in that service. The tiny poll sample of a mere 350 people should be the first clue. The Democratic talking points on special prosecutor should be another. And who’s paying for this remains an worthy inquiry Cillizzia could look into instead of merely transmit this partisan tripe if he wants to preserve his journalistic reputation.

But perhaps even more important, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has a long record of inaccuracy. They were one of the surprised ones on election night 2016, for one, forecasting a Hillary Clinton victory with a four point margin on the day before elections in 2016. On Nov. 6, NBC’s headline blared:

They also reported an 11-point Clinton lead in October, just after embarrassing ‘locker room talk’ tapes were released by Clinton supporters in the television industry. Conservative Treehouse has an excellent piece debunking the accuracy of that one, unpacking the factors that call into question the poll’s objectivity there, too.

Now they’re beating the drum for a special prosecutor despite a massive absence of evidence that any Russian hacking of the election took place, and that any sitting Trump operatives colluded with the Russians to make that happen. The evidence remains that Russians were on friendly terms with Hillary Clinton, had gained a great deal from gamy deals connected to her Clinton Foundation, and fully expected her to win on election night. There’s not a scintilla of evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election. The sad story remains that Clinton was a poor candidate, showed contempt for voters, ran a very low-energy sickness-plagued campaign, refused to go to Wisconsin to campaign and had a historic pendulum swing against her. That’s why she lost. The Democrats remain in denial about this and now want to enshrine their ‘narrative’ blaming the Russians into the historic record through a special prosecutor.

Trump should treat this with the contempt it deserves. He’s vindicated on calling CNN ‘fake news.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awhile back, President Trump declared CNN ‘fake news’ on Twitter. If you thought that was overstating it, get a load of its latest claim that the public is just pining for a special prosecutor on the increasingly hoary claim that ‘Russia hacked the election.’

Really? Really really rilly rilly? I find that extremely hard to believe, just on its surface. I hear no such talk in bank lines, on the headlines of supermarket tabloids, on radio talk show banter, at gas stations, at Starbucks, or even in politically correct classrooms. So color me skeptical.

Unfortunately, skepticism is what’s lacking in the reportage from the writer who had otherwise been a fairly good journalist, Chris Cillizzia, who wrote this tripe under his own byline. You’d think he’d know better.

CNN’s Cillizzia cites an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll purporting to represent the entire nation from a tiny sample of 350 people, not all of them so much as registered voters. Citing President Trump’s skepticism about the Democrats’ demand for a special prosecutor, Cillizzia writes:

The public very much disagrees, according to new numbers from a NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. Almost eight in ten people — 78% — said they would prefer an investigation led by an independent prosecutor or independent commission. Just 15% said they preferred an investigation led by Congress.

It’s nothing but a partisan hack. The strange poll, with its far-fetched conclusions, is the Democrats’ bid to use polls to pressure President Trump into doing what President Obama always refused to do even in the face of the most egregious scandals (Loretta Lynch on the tarmac with Bill Clinton, Lois Lerner using IRS resources to illegally target dissidents and then retiring with a comfy pension). NBC/Wall Street Journal’s poll is led by a former Democratic Party operative with a long record of activism for progressive causes, and this one appears to be just another errand in that service. The tiny poll sample of a mere 350 people should be the first clue. The Democratic talking points on special prosecutor should be another. And who’s paying for this remains an worthy inquiry Cillizzia could look into instead of merely transmit this partisan tripe if he wants to preserve his journalistic reputation.

But perhaps even more important, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has a long record of inaccuracy. They were one of the surprised ones on election night 2016, for one, forecasting a Hillary Clinton victory with a four point margin on the day before elections in 2016. On Nov. 6, NBC’s headline blared:

They also reported an 11-point Clinton lead in October, just after embarrassing ‘locker room talk’ tapes were released by Clinton supporters in the television industry. Conservative Treehouse has an excellent piece debunking the accuracy of that one, unpacking the factors that call into question the poll’s objectivity there, too.

Now they’re beating the drum for a special prosecutor despite a massive absence of evidence that any Russian hacking of the election took place, and that any sitting Trump operatives colluded with the Russians to make that happen. The evidence remains that Russians were on friendly terms with Hillary Clinton, had gained a great deal from gamy deals connected to her Clinton Foundation, and fully expected her to win on election night. There’s not a scintilla of evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election. The sad story remains that Clinton was a poor candidate, showed contempt for voters, ran a very low-energy sickness-plagued campaign, refused to go to Wisconsin to campaign and had a historic pendulum swing against her. That’s why she lost. The Democrats remain in denial about this and now want to enshrine their ‘narrative’ blaming the Russians into the historic record through a special prosecutor.

Trump should treat this with the contempt it deserves. He’s vindicated on calling CNN ‘fake news.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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The DREAMer narrative gets old


Most news accounts on the Jessica Colotl case, that of a DREAMer activist whose DACA status was revoked for having an arrest record, and is being sent back home to Puebla, Mexico, carefully outline the typical narrative in such cases. They’re all honor students. They’re all achievers. They’re all children forced to come to the U.S. through no fault of their own, via their parents who brought them here illegally. They’re all victims of circumstance and ‘unwitting’ political activists. They’re all wonderful citizens in all but name only, save for that one little lack of papers. They’re all entitled.

There’s never any dimension to the ‘narrative.’ Which is why Colotl’s case is being painted as an outrage in lower-quality news reporting outfits, such as Fox News, and with a bit more disguised objectivity in the likes of the New York Times. Breitbart may be an exceptiion, but it often leaves questions unasked.

Such as, what’s wrong with life in Mexico after getting a full ride from the gringos in education? Why is being sent back to Mexico always depicted as the pit of hell when a deportation is the issue, but at any other time, is a fairly well-heeled third world country where most people live pretty well? Such as, why the government of Mexico, and other places that send illegal immigrants and benefit from their remittances, can escape all scrutiny and responsibility for bad conditions in their home country such that people want to leave? Explain to us how a light-skinned Mexican who has spent his or her life discriminating against darker skinned people in the Mexico as the hacienda lordling, can get affirmative action privileges over here, displacing some trailer-raised white kid from a broken home for a university place?  Explain to us why the highest profile DREAMer cases always involve some political science major who claims to not be interested in politics or activism? Or why so many DREAMer activists are well past their mid-20s as they agitate with their NGO buddies and leftwing lawyers?.

It gets old, given that none of these questions are ever asked.

In any case, now we are reading the sob stories and being told to be shocked because young Jessica Colotl, is being asked to return to her parents in her native Puebla, Mexico. Apparently, there couldn’t be any fate worse than that. Colotl was caught driving without a license a few years ago, lied to the cops about her address and now expects to be allowed to stay here despite not showing any evidence she believes in obeying laws or rules. Solely because she wants to. And we, the legal-American community, are being asked to scrap our rule of law-based system to one more like Mexico’s subjective one, just to accomodate her. Because she wants it.

Spare us this rubbish, it’s getting so old it’s like an aged tequila.

Most news accounts on the Jessica Colotl case, that of a DREAMer activist whose DACA status was revoked for having an arrest record, and is being sent back home to Puebla, Mexico, carefully outline the typical narrative in such cases. They’re all honor students. They’re all achievers. They’re all children forced to come to the U.S. through no fault of their own, via their parents who brought them here illegally. They’re all victims of circumstance and ‘unwitting’ political activists. They’re all wonderful citizens in all but name only, save for that one little lack of papers. They’re all entitled.

There’s never any dimension to the ‘narrative.’ Which is why Colotl’s case is being painted as an outrage in lower-quality news reporting outfits, such as Fox News, and with a bit more disguised objectivity in the likes of the New York Times. Breitbart may be an exceptiion, but it often leaves questions unasked.

Such as, what’s wrong with life in Mexico after getting a full ride from the gringos in education? Why is being sent back to Mexico always depicted as the pit of hell when a deportation is the issue, but at any other time, is a fairly well-heeled third world country where most people live pretty well? Such as, why the government of Mexico, and other places that send illegal immigrants and benefit from their remittances, can escape all scrutiny and responsibility for bad conditions in their home country such that people want to leave? Explain to us how a light-skinned Mexican who has spent his or her life discriminating against darker skinned people in the Mexico as the hacienda lordling, can get affirmative action privileges over here, displacing some trailer-raised white kid from a broken home for a university place?  Explain to us why the highest profile DREAMer cases always involve some political science major who claims to not be interested in politics or activism? Or why so many DREAMer activists are well past their mid-20s as they agitate with their NGO buddies and leftwing lawyers?.

It gets old, given that none of these questions are ever asked.

In any case, now we are reading the sob stories and being told to be shocked because young Jessica Colotl, is being asked to return to her parents in her native Puebla, Mexico. Apparently, there couldn’t be any fate worse than that. Colotl was caught driving without a license a few years ago, lied to the cops about her address and now expects to be allowed to stay here despite not showing any evidence she believes in obeying laws or rules. Solely because she wants to. And we, the legal-American community, are being asked to scrap our rule of law-based system to one more like Mexico’s subjective one, just to accomodate her. Because she wants it.

Spare us this rubbish, it’s getting so old it’s like an aged tequila.



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Was John Podesta Snared in a Kremlin Power Struggle?


Rep. Louis Gohmert’s calls for a new investigation on the Russian ties of John Podesta may just shed light on why the former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman’s emails were hacked at all. Far from being an effort to take down Clinton, it looks as though Podesta may have been a pawn in a Kremlin power struggle. As there’s little political hay to be made from that, it’s not the most convenient “narrative” for Podesta.

To hear Podesta and the rest of the Democrats tell it, Russians hacked the U.S. election and released his emails via Wikileaks because they were in cahoots with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Russians’ aim, they claimed, was to sow doubt, embarass Podesta and swing the election to a Trump victory.

Trump won all right, but hardly because of the doings of the cyberwar. In fact, a Russian government source has said that if they had wanted to follow such a strategy, they wouldn’t have chosen an inside-baseball, political junkie such as Podesta for an email release. They would have gone after Hillary. Easy to do, given that she had all of her emails on an illegal, less-secure-than-Gmail private server in some guy’s bathroom.

Going on a working thesis it was a Russian hacker, it may easily have been from one of Russia’s skilled, state-linked, but still deniable, cyberhacker shops, some of which are located out in the wilds of Siberia.

The motive looks very murky until one examines Podesta’s Russian business ties.

According to a report Wednesday by the Daily Caller News Foundation, Podesta had partnered with Anatoly Chubais, a big name from Russia’s privatization and chaos of the 1990s, during which time Bill Clinton was president.

The Clinton administration was advising, via the Harvard Institute for International Development, the Russians how to turn their once-communist state into a capitalist free market one. It didn’t work well because they themselves weren’t particularly onboard with capitalist free markets. They were center-left Clintonites. The results of that ‘help’ – which featured such atrocities as currency devaluation to keep the government going at the expense of the destroyed savings of ordinary Russians, as well as “shock therapy” designed by the likes of Yale leftist Jeffrey Sachs, and austerity at the tender hands of the IMF (another bastion of limousine leftists), pretty well left Russia a smoking ruin. 

People starved. Law and order broke down. Gangs took over large swathes of Russia’s cities, the worst of them the Chechen gangs. Oligarchs of the most grotesque arrogance, privilege and fantastic fortunes arose – this is what is meant by crony capitalism and such people always turn up whenever Democrats are in the saddle. Corruption was rife. Nostalgia for communism made a comeback. Emigration intensified. Russia fell into despair.

In the middle of these seven circles of hell stood Anatoly Chubais. He was in the middle of Russia’s privatization effort which saw huge state assets sold for pennies on the dollar to oligarchs while Russian citizens were completely cheated of the shares they were promised, either through devaluation, fire-sale desperate unloading to raise cash (remember, many were starving), intransparent transactions, and sometimes disinformation and thuggery: False dates and places for sales were announced to conceal real ones. Thug vehicles sometimes blocked roads so no one could line up to buy the shares they were entitled to. It was that bad. Once again, Chubais was in the middle of it.

Chubais got  snared in a bribery scandal of Clintonian character – he was offered $450,000 for a book deal (huge sum in Russia at the time)  paid for by a murkily backed publisher (sound familiar?) which looked a lot like a disguised bribe or payoff. That caused a scandal and got him booted from public life. He continued to tool around in cronyish business deals and retained the good opinion of Harvard as a ‘reformer,’ which was quite a node of Clinton loyalists – Larry Summers, being one, John Podesta being on friendly terms with the crowd, too, by making speeches there.

Chubais’ record in Russia directly led to the rise of Vladimir Putin. Originally on friendly terms with the man from St. Petersburg, Chubais invited Putin to move to Moscow, which provided the latter foothold to political power. The friendship did not last. Russians eventually elected Putin in 1999 as a means of utterly rejecting the Chubais legacy. Putin came off as severe, uninterested in mammon, un-corrupted, and a patriot.

Well, Chubais hasn’t been doing nothing in all these years. Like any good crony capitalist, he went into business where the subsidies were, founding a venture capital company called Rusnano with Putin to finance various green schemes (as if oil-rich Russia really needed them) and apparently to forge links with the cutting edge tech of Silicon Valley. Russia, at the time, was trying to set up a Silicon Valley of its own called Skolkovo. A pro-Putin Duma member told me around the time, 2011, in Los Angeles, that the effort was sputtering. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, went a long way to enable American involvement as well as ensure tech transfers in that project. At the same time, Podesta’s brother, Tony, was busy helping Rosatom, the Russian uranium monopoly, find a way to get control of 20% of America’s uranium industry, which happened because of Clinton’s permission. One wonders if Chubais’ plan at the time was to make himself the Mister Big, the go-to-guy for Russia’s tech appetite, much of which was focused on military modernization. Chubais didn’t have any problem forging ties with the politically connected Podesta, then an obscure if capable campaign operative, as the two got seats on the board of a green energy company called Joule in 2011, and $35 million in Russian capital flowed in. Podesta’s time on the board with Chubais coincided exactly with his friend Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State. Podesta ended up with 75,000 shares, and ‘forgot’ to mention them when he joined the Obama administration in 2014.

Around the same time Podesta and Chubais were in business together, Chubais’ fortunes with Putin went south. As I noted in my piece, the trouble started around 2013, two years into Podesta’s and Chubais’ board membership:

Putin accused Chubais of being a CIA agent at that time, and in 2015, another Chubais ally, a Rusnano official, was placed under house arrest for embezzlement.  In November 2016, Russia’s economy minister, still another Chubais ally, was arrested in November.  Chubais wrote on his Facebook page that it came as “a shock.”

Now think back to the Russian hacked emails, and why Podesta’s – not Donna Brazile’s, not President Obama’s, not Ben Rhodes’, and not Hillary’s – were the ones hacked and released. Podesta was Chubais’ fellow board member. Both of them had ties to the economics and energy crowd at Harvard University. Chubais, being an oligarch, and a corrupt one at that, is unlikely to have passively taken Putin’s attacks and hunkered down, there may well have been warfare. What’s more, Putin tends to act like a crocodile, generally only striking when he is struck first – which would again support the warfare theory. So might just Putin’s minions have been using Podesta as a pawn in their intra-state, boyar-like struggle between the two power centers of Chubais and Putin? Might Chubais have been aided by Hillary’s cash and influence at State? If the answer is yes, it’s typical of the Clintons. I

 

If Putin was as mad as he seemed to be at Chubais, it would make perfect sense that he would be just as mad at Hillary Clinton for the continued relationship between Podesta and Chubais at Joule and perhaps beyond. It would explain why his emails, and not Hillary’s were the ones released. If so, it leaves Podesta just a flopping fish on the deck of another Kremlin power struggle. That’s a pretty pathetic place to be for one’s choice of cash and company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rep. Louis Gohmert’s calls for a new investigation on the Russian ties of John Podesta may just shed light on why the former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman’s emails were hacked at all. Far from being an effort to take down Clinton, it looks as though Podesta may have been a pawn in a Kremlin power struggle. As there’s little political hay to be made from that, it’s not the most convenient “narrative” for Podesta.

To hear Podesta and the rest of the Democrats tell it, Russians hacked the U.S. election and released his emails via Wikileaks because they were in cahoots with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Russians’ aim, they claimed, was to sow doubt, embarass Podesta and swing the election to a Trump victory.

Trump won all right, but hardly because of the doings of the cyberwar. In fact, a Russian government source has said that if they had wanted to follow such a strategy, they wouldn’t have chosen an inside-baseball, political junkie such as Podesta for an email release. They would have gone after Hillary. Easy to do, given that she had all of her emails on an illegal, less-secure-than-Gmail private server in some guy’s bathroom.

Going on a working thesis it was a Russian hacker, it may easily have been from one of Russia’s skilled, state-linked, but still deniable, cyberhacker shops, some of which are located out in the wilds of Siberia.

The motive looks very murky until one examines Podesta’s Russian business ties.

According to a report Wednesday by the Daily Caller News Foundation, Podesta had partnered with Anatoly Chubais, a big name from Russia’s privatization and chaos of the 1990s, during which time Bill Clinton was president.

The Clinton administration was advising, via the Harvard Institute for International Development, the Russians how to turn their once-communist state into a capitalist free market one. It didn’t work well because they themselves weren’t particularly onboard with capitalist free markets. They were center-left Clintonites. The results of that ‘help’ – which featured such atrocities as currency devaluation to keep the government going at the expense of the destroyed savings of ordinary Russians, as well as “shock therapy” designed by the likes of Yale leftist Jeffrey Sachs, and austerity at the tender hands of the IMF (another bastion of limousine leftists), pretty well left Russia a smoking ruin. 

People starved. Law and order broke down. Gangs took over large swathes of Russia’s cities, the worst of them the Chechen gangs. Oligarchs of the most grotesque arrogance, privilege and fantastic fortunes arose – this is what is meant by crony capitalism and such people always turn up whenever Democrats are in the saddle. Corruption was rife. Nostalgia for communism made a comeback. Emigration intensified. Russia fell into despair.

In the middle of these seven circles of hell stood Anatoly Chubais. He was in the middle of Russia’s privatization effort which saw huge state assets sold for pennies on the dollar to oligarchs while Russian citizens were completely cheated of the shares they were promised, either through devaluation, fire-sale desperate unloading to raise cash (remember, many were starving), intransparent transactions, and sometimes disinformation and thuggery: False dates and places for sales were announced to conceal real ones. Thug vehicles sometimes blocked roads so no one could line up to buy the shares they were entitled to. It was that bad. Once again, Chubais was in the middle of it.

Chubais got  snared in a bribery scandal of Clintonian character – he was offered $450,000 for a book deal (huge sum in Russia at the time)  paid for by a murkily backed publisher (sound familiar?) which looked a lot like a disguised bribe or payoff. That caused a scandal and got him booted from public life. He continued to tool around in cronyish business deals and retained the good opinion of Harvard as a ‘reformer,’ which was quite a node of Clinton loyalists – Larry Summers, being one, John Podesta being on friendly terms with the crowd, too, by making speeches there.

Chubais’ record in Russia directly led to the rise of Vladimir Putin. Originally on friendly terms with the man from St. Petersburg, Chubais invited Putin to move to Moscow, which provided the latter foothold to political power. The friendship did not last. Russians eventually elected Putin in 1999 as a means of utterly rejecting the Chubais legacy. Putin came off as severe, uninterested in mammon, un-corrupted, and a patriot.

Well, Chubais hasn’t been doing nothing in all these years. Like any good crony capitalist, he went into business where the subsidies were, founding a venture capital company called Rusnano with Putin to finance various green schemes (as if oil-rich Russia really needed them) and apparently to forge links with the cutting edge tech of Silicon Valley. Russia, at the time, was trying to set up a Silicon Valley of its own called Skolkovo. A pro-Putin Duma member told me around the time, 2011, in Los Angeles, that the effort was sputtering. Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, went a long way to enable American involvement as well as ensure tech transfers in that project. At the same time, Podesta’s brother, Tony, was busy helping Rosatom, the Russian uranium monopoly, find a way to get control of 20% of America’s uranium industry, which happened because of Clinton’s permission. One wonders if Chubais’ plan at the time was to make himself the Mister Big, the go-to-guy for Russia’s tech appetite, much of which was focused on military modernization. Chubais didn’t have any problem forging ties with the politically connected Podesta, then an obscure if capable campaign operative, as the two got seats on the board of a green energy company called Joule in 2011, and $35 million in Russian capital flowed in. Podesta’s time on the board with Chubais coincided exactly with his friend Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State. Podesta ended up with 75,000 shares, and ‘forgot’ to mention them when he joined the Obama administration in 2014.

Around the same time Podesta and Chubais were in business together, Chubais’ fortunes with Putin went south. As I noted in my piece, the trouble started around 2013, two years into Podesta’s and Chubais’ board membership:

Putin accused Chubais of being a CIA agent at that time, and in 2015, another Chubais ally, a Rusnano official, was placed under house arrest for embezzlement.  In November 2016, Russia’s economy minister, still another Chubais ally, was arrested in November.  Chubais wrote on his Facebook page that it came as “a shock.”

Now think back to the Russian hacked emails, and why Podesta’s – not Donna Brazile’s, not President Obama’s, not Ben Rhodes’, and not Hillary’s – were the ones hacked and released. Podesta was Chubais’ fellow board member. Both of them had ties to the economics and energy crowd at Harvard University. Chubais, being an oligarch, and a corrupt one at that, is unlikely to have passively taken Putin’s attacks and hunkered down, there may well have been warfare. What’s more, Putin tends to act like a crocodile, generally only striking when he is struck first – which would again support the warfare theory. So might just Putin’s minions have been using Podesta as a pawn in their intra-state, boyar-like struggle between the two power centers of Chubais and Putin? Might Chubais have been aided by Hillary’s cash and influence at State? If the answer is yes, it’s typical of the Clintons. I

 

If Putin was as mad as he seemed to be at Chubais, it would make perfect sense that he would be just as mad at Hillary Clinton for the continued relationship between Podesta and Chubais at Joule and perhaps beyond. It would explain why his emails, and not Hillary’s were the ones released. If so, it leaves Podesta just a flopping fish on the deck of another Kremlin power struggle. That’s a pretty pathetic place to be for one’s choice of cash and company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Wikileaks CIA Dump Has Some Peculiar Timing


Wikileaks has published a huge intelligence trove showing the entire hacking capacity of the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday. It’s a bad loss of face for the top U.S. intelligence-gathering organization and a sign of something wrong over there – bad security, technology surpassed, spy penetration, or over-dissemination of secrets, to guess a few. The absurd explanation from chief Wikileaker Julian Assange is that some sensitive soul inside the CIA wants to start a ‘conversation’ about the top intelligence agency’s excessive power.

Tell us another one. This is the stupidest, most transparent lie since Bill didn’t inhale and Barack Obama said you could keep your health care.

A Wikileak of this sort is not only rare and specialized (when was the last time you saw a CIA secret splattered all over the Internet?) it was probably the work of Russian cyberspies, given that only the Russians are likely to have such capacity, as well as potential human penetrations on the inside. If so, it means a Russian power game is now in play, with just the right timing to support it.

Consider the source of the Wikileaks again: Julian Assange, someone who has repeatedly been accused of being a Russian agent based on the fact that his leaks (always accurate) consistently support Russian objectives. He never leaks Russian secrets, just ours and those of our allies, generally to serve Russian aims. A prime example was in the Olympic doping scandals. After the Russians saw their athletes humiliated and their medals stripped, a big batch of Wikileaks were released from assorted nations, including the U.S., to demonstrate that ‘everybody does it’ and Russia was no different. There were similar machinations around FIFA and its soccer sponsorships.

Far from being Assange’s sensitive soul, it’s more likely a Russian strikeback for all the garbage the CIA hurled at President Trump insinuating through leaks that Trump is colluding with the Russians. The events of recent weeks around this theme have resulted in political casualties for Trump and ended Russia’s high hopes for a rapprochement in relations. Trump lost his Russia-friendly National Security Advisor and now has a replacement who’s hostile to Russia and thinks we can win the Isis war without them. Russia also found itself in the middle of a CIA-congressional Democrat bid to unseat Attorney General Jeff Sessions, where the Russians ended up the punching bag in the middle. The new narrative to emerge from that is that no one should dare talk to the Russians, for fear of getting cooties or becoming a security risk, it’s just too dangerous. The Russian envoy who had just been doing his job meeting Sessions at the sidelines of a conference was demonized. The Russians reacted very badly to that, since it impedes even their legitimate work and isolates them at a time when they are trying to find a way to be friends..

If the Russians are sure the CIA has been using them to undermine Trump, it’s possible they decided to teach them a lesson by releasing a huge trove of files showing that they know all about the CIA’s hacking operations. It would make sense because one of the chief revelations of the file dump was that the CIA could disguise its own fingerprints as Russian ones, making any hack job appear to be something the Russians did. If the file dump can convince the U.S. public of that, the Russians can dissipate all the heat they have been taking about hacking by being able to claim that the CIA was likely behind the effort to undermine Trump, pinning its deed on the Russians. The timing would support it. Once again, ‘eveerybody does it.’

The bad thing is that it creates a breach of trust between Trump and the CIA and may make the president unwilling to use the agency to find out, via spying, what the Russians may be up to. That could effectively leave the CIA hamstrung, and Trump without a spy agency.

But it also humiliates the CIA as an agency so incompetent it can’t even keep its own cybersecrets and raise questions about its value to its top consumer, President Trump. Trump has gotten word out that government needs to be cut down and the agency needs to be cleaned out. Cutting too far or not using the agency would easily amouint to a victory for Russia.

What it shows is that the deep state’s war against Trump is an open opportunity for the Russians to exploit the existing fissures of distrust between Trump and his spy agency into full blown disarmament. It does so to advance its own national interests, just as the CIA ultimately hurts itself by playing leak games against Trump in Washington. Maybe if the CIA would start behaving itself and drop the phony leaks campaign about Trump being in bed with the Russians, there would be nothing to exploit from Moscow.

 

 

Wikileaks has published a huge intelligence trove showing the entire hacking capacity of the Central Intelligence Agency Tuesday. It’s a bad loss of face for the top U.S. intelligence-gathering organization and a sign of something wrong over there – bad security, technology surpassed, spy penetration, or over-dissemination of secrets, to guess a few. The absurd explanation from chief Wikileaker Julian Assange is that some sensitive soul inside the CIA wants to start a ‘conversation’ about the top intelligence agency’s excessive power.

Tell us another one. This is the stupidest, most transparent lie since Bill didn’t inhale and Barack Obama said you could keep your health care.

A Wikileak of this sort is not only rare and specialized (when was the last time you saw a CIA secret splattered all over the Internet?) it was probably the work of Russian cyberspies, given that only the Russians are likely to have such capacity, as well as potential human penetrations on the inside. If so, it means a Russian power game is now in play, with just the right timing to support it.

Consider the source of the Wikileaks again: Julian Assange, someone who has repeatedly been accused of being a Russian agent based on the fact that his leaks (always accurate) consistently support Russian objectives. He never leaks Russian secrets, just ours and those of our allies, generally to serve Russian aims. A prime example was in the Olympic doping scandals. After the Russians saw their athletes humiliated and their medals stripped, a big batch of Wikileaks were released from assorted nations, including the U.S., to demonstrate that ‘everybody does it’ and Russia was no different. There were similar machinations around FIFA and its soccer sponsorships.

Far from being Assange’s sensitive soul, it’s more likely a Russian strikeback for all the garbage the CIA hurled at President Trump insinuating through leaks that Trump is colluding with the Russians. The events of recent weeks around this theme have resulted in political casualties for Trump and ended Russia’s high hopes for a rapprochement in relations. Trump lost his Russia-friendly National Security Advisor and now has a replacement who’s hostile to Russia and thinks we can win the Isis war without them. Russia also found itself in the middle of a CIA-congressional Democrat bid to unseat Attorney General Jeff Sessions, where the Russians ended up the punching bag in the middle. The new narrative to emerge from that is that no one should dare talk to the Russians, for fear of getting cooties or becoming a security risk, it’s just too dangerous. The Russian envoy who had just been doing his job meeting Sessions at the sidelines of a conference was demonized. The Russians reacted very badly to that, since it impedes even their legitimate work and isolates them at a time when they are trying to find a way to be friends..

If the Russians are sure the CIA has been using them to undermine Trump, it’s possible they decided to teach them a lesson by releasing a huge trove of files showing that they know all about the CIA’s hacking operations. It would make sense because one of the chief revelations of the file dump was that the CIA could disguise its own fingerprints as Russian ones, making any hack job appear to be something the Russians did. If the file dump can convince the U.S. public of that, the Russians can dissipate all the heat they have been taking about hacking by being able to claim that the CIA was likely behind the effort to undermine Trump, pinning its deed on the Russians. The timing would support it. Once again, ‘eveerybody does it.’

The bad thing is that it creates a breach of trust between Trump and the CIA and may make the president unwilling to use the agency to find out, via spying, what the Russians may be up to. That could effectively leave the CIA hamstrung, and Trump without a spy agency.

But it also humiliates the CIA as an agency so incompetent it can’t even keep its own cybersecrets and raise questions about its value to its top consumer, President Trump. Trump has gotten word out that government needs to be cut down and the agency needs to be cleaned out. Cutting too far or not using the agency would easily amouint to a victory for Russia.

What it shows is that the deep state’s war against Trump is an open opportunity for the Russians to exploit the existing fissures of distrust between Trump and his spy agency into full blown disarmament. It does so to advance its own national interests, just as the CIA ultimately hurts itself by playing leak games against Trump in Washington. Maybe if the CIA would start behaving itself and drop the phony leaks campaign about Trump being in bed with the Russians, there would be nothing to exploit from Moscow.

 

 



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