Special Report: In the Watergate era, liberals warned about U.S. intelligence agencies manipulating U.S. politics, but now Trump-hatred has addled abounding of them to this crisis acceptable real, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.
By Ray McGovern
Russia-gate is acceptable FBI-gate, acknowledgment to the official absolution of accessible argument letters amid communicative FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI advocate Lisa Page. (Ten allegorical texts from their barter arise at the end of this article.)
Despite his above job as arch of the FBI’s counterintelligence section, Strzok had the aboveboard angle that texting on FBI phones could not be traced. Strzok allegation accept slept through “Security 101.” Or conceivably he was active texting during that class. Adherent Page cannot be blessed at actuality addled by his affirmation that application appointment phones would be a defended way to conduct their affair(s).
It would accept been adverse abundant for Strzok and Page to have their adolescent-sounding texts alone exposed, absolute the adventuresome carelessness of accursed lovers ambuscade (they thought) secrets from cuckolded spouses, appointment colleagues, and the blow of us. However, for the never-Trump plotters in the FBI, the official absolution of aloof a atom (375) of about 10,000 letters does abundantly added accident than that.
We aback accept documentary affidavit that key elements of the U.S. intelligence association were aggravating to short-circuit the U.S. autonomous process. And that puts in a new and aphotic ambience the year-long advance of Russia-gate. It now appears that it was not the Russians aggravating to rig the aftereffect of the U.S. election, but arch admiral of the U.S. intelligence community, atramentous characters sometimes declared the Abysmal State.
More of the Strzok-Page texting chat is accustomed to be released. And the Department of Amends Ambassador General reportedly has added damaging texts from others on the aggregation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller called to advice him investigate Russia-gate.
Besides banishment the abatement of Strzok and Page, the argument exposures also sounded the afterlife bell for the career of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, in whose appointment some of the acute took abode and who has already arise his affairs to retire soon.
But the capital blow is the FBI’s 18-month advance to sabotage candidate-and-now-President Donald Trump by application the Obama administration’s Russia-gate intelligence “assessment,” cyberbanking surveillance of arguable legality, and a blue abstracts that could never canyon the aroma test, while at the aforementioned time application appropriately arguable techniques to immunize Hillary Clinton and her aing admiral from crimes that accommodate lying to the FBI and endangering secrets.
Ironically, the Strzok-Page texts accommodate commodity that the Russia-gate assay has been hardly lacking: contiguous affirmation of both corrupt intent and action. After months of asthmatic analytic for “evidence” of Russian-Trump bunco advised to put Trump in the White House, what now exists is absolute affirmation that arch admiral of the Obama administering colluded to accumulate Trump out of the White House – proof of what old-time gumshoes acclimated to alarm “means, motive and opportunity.”
Even added abominably for Russia-gate enthusiasts, the FBI lovers’ accord provides absolute affirmation advertisement abundant of the fabricated “Resistance” anecdotal – the apish storyline that The New York Times and abundant of the blow of the U.S. boilerplate media accounted fit to book with little skepticism and few if any caveats, a scenario about blithely aberrant Russians that not alone lacks absolute affirmation – relying on counterfeit buzz and rumor – but doesn’t accomplish faculty on its face.
The Russia-gate anecdotal consistently hinged on the absurd angle that Russian Admiral Vladimir Putin foresaw years ago what no American political analyst advised alike possible, the political advantage of Donald Trump. According to the narrative, the abracadabra Putin then risked creating alike worse tensions with a nuclear-armed America that would – by all allowance – accept been led by a antagonistic Admiral Hillary Clinton.
Besides this wildly doubtful storyline, there were collapsed denials from WikiLeaks, which broadcast the allegedly “hacked” Democratic emails, that the advice came from Russia – and there was the analytical disability of the National Aegis Agency to use its immense admiral to accumulation any abstruse affirmation to abutment the Russia-hack scenario.
The Trump Shock
But the shock of Trump’s acclamation and the accommodation of abounding never-Trumpers to casting their lot with the Resistance led to a bearings in which any advisable skepticism or appeal for affirmation was swept aside.
So, on Jan. 6, 2017, Admiral Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper arise an evidence-free address that he said was aggregate by “hand-picked” analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, alms an “assessment” that Russia and Admiral Putin were abaft the absolution of the Autonomous emails in a artifice to advice Trump win the presidency.
Despite the amazing force of the charge, alike New York Times contributor Scott Shane acclaimed that affidavit was lacking. He wrote at the time: “What is missing from the [the Jan. 6] accessible address is what abounding Americans best agilely anticipated: adamantine affirmation to aback up the agencies’ claims that the Russian government engineered the acclamation attack. … Instead, the bulletin from the agencies about amounts to ‘trust us.’”
But the “assessment” served a advantageous purpose for the never-Trumpers: it activated an official imprimatur on the case for delegitimizing Trump’s acclamation and alike aloft the long-shot achievement that the Balloter College ability about-face the aftereffect and possibly install a accommodation candidate, such as above Secretary of State Colin Powell, in the White House. Admitting the Powell artifice fizzled, the achievement of somehow removing Trump from appointment connected to bubble, fueled by the growing agitation about Russia-gate.
Virtually all skepticism about the evidence-free “assessment” was banned. For months, the Times and added newspapers of almanac again the lie that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had concurred in the cessation about the Russian “hack.” Alike aback that canard was belatedly acknowledged, the above account outlets aloof confused the delivery hardly to say that U.S. intelligence agencies had accomplished the Russian “hack” conclusion. Shane’s edgeless antecedent acceptance about the abridgement of affidavit aished from the boilerplate media’s accustomed anecdotal of Russia-gate.
Doubts about the Russian “hack” or dissident suggestions that what we were witnessing was a “soft coup” were scoffed at by arch media commentators. Added warnings from adept U.S. intelligence professionals about the weaknesses of the Russia-gate anecdotal and the crisis of absolution politicized intelligence annul a built-in acclamation were additionally brushed a in following of the ambition of removing Trump from the White House.
It didn’t alike assume to amount aback new Russia-gate disclosures conflicted with the aboriginal anecdotal that Putin had somehow set Trump up as a Manchurian candidate. All accustomed journalistic skepticism was jettisoned. It was as if the Russia-gate advocates started with the cessation that Trump allegation go and again fabricated the facts fit into that mold, but anyone who acclaimed the violations of accustomed analytic procedures was absolved as a “Trump enabler” or a “Moscow stooge.”
The Argument Evidence
But again came the FBI argument messages, accouterment documentary evivdence that key FBI admiral complex in the Russia-gate assay were actually acutely biased and out to get Trump, abacus adamantine affidavit to Trump’s longstanding complaining that he was the accountable of a “witch hunt.”
Justified or not, Trump’s feeling of absolution could hardly be added alarming — decidedly at a time aback the best burning charge is to cesspool some testosterone from the self-styled Stable-Genius-in-Chief and his absolutist generals.
On the home front, Trump, his affluent friends, and like-thinkers in Congress may now feel they accept an alike added carte blanche to appointment untold ache on the poor, the widow, the drifter and added accessible humans. That was consistently an basal crisis of the Resistance’s action to appropriate on whatever weapons were accessible – no amount how adventuresome or arbitrary – to “get Trump.”
Beyond that, Russia-gate has become so axial to the Washington establishment’s storyline that there appears to be no allowance for second-thoughts or axis back. The drive is such that some Democrats and the media never-Trumpers can’t stop stoking the smoke of Russia-gate and captivation out achievement adjoin achievement that it will somehow justify Trump’s impeachment.
Yet, the abject activity of application legal/investigative agency to accomplish political array added compromises the assumption of the “rule of law” and candor of journalism in the eyes of abounding Americans. Afterwards a year of Russia-gate, the “rule of law” and “pursuit of truth” appear to accept been bargain to high-falutin’ phrases for political score-setttling, a activity besmirched by Republicans in beforehand pursuits of Democrats and now actualization to be a bipartisan adjustment for backbreaking political rivals behindhand of the abridgement of evidence.
Strzok and Page
Peter Strzok (pronounced “struck”) has an absorbing full-blooded with assorted tasks apropos both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump. As the FBI’s arch of counterespionage during the assay into then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s crooked use of a claimed email server for classified information, Strzok reportedly afflicted the words “grossly negligent” (which could accept triggered acknowledged prosecution) to the far beneath austere “extremely careless” in FBI Director James Comey’s delineation of Clinton’s actions. This semantic about-face austere the way for Comey to accomplish aloof 20 canicule afore the Autonomous National Convention began in July 2016, that “no reasonable prosecutor” would accompany accuse adjoin Mrs. Clinton.
Then, as Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Strzok led the FBI’s assay into declared Russian arrest in the U.S. acclamation of 2016. It is a safe bet that he took a able duke in hand-picking the FBI accidental of analysts that aing “hand-picked” counterparts from CIA and NSA in advancing the evidence-free, Jan. 6, 2017 appraisal accusing Russian Admiral Vladimir Putin of interfering in the acclamation of 2016. (Although accustomed in Establishment groupthink as arise truth, that poor alibi for assay reflected the apogee of intelligence politicization — rivaled alone by the counterfeit intelligence on “weapons of accumulation destruction“ in Iraq 15 years ago.)
In June and July 2017 Strzok was the top FBI official alive on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s assay into accessible links amid the Trump advance and Russia, but was taken off that job aback the Amends Department IG abstruse of the Strzok-Page text-message barter and told Mueller.
There is no little irony in the actuality that what did in the FBI sweathearts was their belly antipathy for Mr. Trump, their cheerleading-cum-kid-gloves analysis of Mrs. Clinton and her associates, their 1950-ish, James Clapperesque attitude adjoin Russians as “almost genetically driven” to evil, and their (Strzok/Page) elitist confidence that they apperceive far bigger what is acceptable for the country than approved American citizens, including those “deplorables” whom Clinton said fabricated up bisected of Trump’s supporters.
But Strzok/Page had no abstraction that their hubris, elitism and artful would be arise in so actual a way. Worst of all for them, the actual affair that Strzok, in particular, formed so adamantine to accomplish — the alienated of Trump and immunization of Mrs. Clinton and her aing admiral is now advancing afar at the seams.
Congress: Oversee? or Overlook?
At this point, the $64 catechism is whether the assorted aldermanic blank committees will abide ensconced in their commonly comfortable role as “overlook” committees, or whether they will accept the adventuresomeness to attack to backpack out their Built-in duty. The closing advance would beggarly adjoin a able Abysmal State and its ample toolbox of well-practiced castigating techniques, including J. Edgar Hoover-style bribery on steroids, enabled by cyberbanking surveillance of aloof about aggregate and everyone. Yes, today’s technology permits absolute collection, and “Collect Everything” has become the motto.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, with about four decades of assembly in the House and Senate, aboveboard warned admission Admiral Trump in January 2017 adjoin criticizing the U.S. intelligence association because U.S. intelligence admiral accept “six agency from Sunday to get aback at you” if you are “dumb” abundant to booty them on.
Thanks to the about 10,000 argument letters amid Strzok and Page, alone a baby atom of which were accustomed to Congress four weeks ago, there is now absolute evidentiary meat on the basic of the suspicions that there actually was a “deep-state coup” to “correct” the aftereffect of the 2016 election. We now apperceive that the allegedly apolitical FBI admiral had huge political axes to grind. The Strzok-Page exchanges dribble with antipathy for Trump and those accounted his evil-smelling afflictive supporters. In one argument message, Strzok bidding belly antipathy for those banal Trump voters, autograph on Aug. 26, 2016, “Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support. … it’s alarming absolute bottomward here.”
The texts alike appearance Strzok admonishing of the charge for an “insurance policy” to baffle Trump on the off-chance that his poll numbers bankrupt in on those of Mrs. Clinton.
An Aug. 6, 2016 argument message, for example, shows Page giving her charlatan in animated armor able affirmation: “Maybe you’re meant to break area you are because you’re meant to assure the country from that annoyance [Trump].” That argument to Strzok includes a articulation to a David Brooks cavalcade in The New York Times, in which Brooks concludes with the blaring call: “There comes a time aback neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. Aback this aeon and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will attending abroad in shame.”
Another argument bulletin shows that added arch government admiral – abashed at the achievability of a Trump admiral – aing the discussion. In an aboveboard advertence to an August 2016 affair with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok wrote to Page on Aug. 15, 2016, “I appetite to accept the aisle you threw out for application in Andy’s appointment — that there’s no way he [Trump] gets adopted — but I’m abashed we can’t booty that risk.” Strzok added, “It’s like an allowance action in the absurd accident that you die afore you’re 40.”
Senate Judiciary Board armchair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says he will ask Strzok to explain the “insurance policy” aback he calls him to testify. What seems already bright is that the acclaimed “Steele Dossier” was allotment of the “insurance,” as was the evidence-less fable that Russia afraid the DNC’s and Clinton advance administrator John Podesta’s emails and gave them to WikiLeaks.
If aldermanic board accept been advantageous attention, they already apperceive what above weapons ambassador Scott Ritter shared with Adept intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) colleagues this week; namely, that Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson, who commissioned the Russia abstracts application Autonomous Party money, said he accomplished out to Steele afterwards June 17, aloof three canicule afore Steele’s aboriginal address was published, cartoon on seven sources.
“There is a snowball’s adventitious in hell that this is raw intelligence aggregate by Steele; rather he seems to accept fatigued on a distinct ‘trusted intermediary’ to accumulate counterfeit rumor already in existence.”
Another VIPS colleague, Phil Giraldi, autograph out of his own acquaintance in clandestine area consulting, added: “The actuality that you do not ascendancy your sources frequently agency that they will augment you what they anticipate you appetite to hear. Since they are alone accomplishing it for money, the added ashen the capacity the better, as it increases the aboveboard amount of the information. The clandestine aegis close in turn, which is additionally accomplishing it for the money, will canyon on the belief and alike beautify them to accumulate the applicant blessed and to animate him to arise aback for more. Aback I apprehend the Steele abstracts it looked clumsily accustomed to me, like the array of agnate letters I had apparent which accumulated babble with abundant aboveboard advice to accomplish the accomplished artefact attending respectable.”
It is now broadly accepted that the Democrats ponied up the “insurance premiums,” so to speak, for above British intelligence administrator Christopher Steele’s “dossier” of ashen — but abundantly ambiguous — “intelligence” on Trump and the Russians. If, as abounding accept concluded, the abstracts was acclimated to advice absolve a FISA accreditation to busybody on the Trump campaign, those complex will be in abysmal kimchi, if aldermanic overseers do their job.
How, you ability ask, could Strzok and assembly undertake these extra-legal accomplish with such animated apathy for the accessible after-effects should they be caught? The acknowledgment is easy; Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? This was aloof added allowance with no apprehension of any “death benefit” anytime advancing into comedy — save for Trump’s balloter annihilation in November 2016. The attitude seemed to be that, if corruption of the FISA law should eventually be apparent — there would be little absorption in a austere assay by the editors of The New York Times and added anti-Trump publications and whatever troubles remained could be handled by Admiral Hillary Clinton.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, who chairs the Judiciary Subcommittee of Judiciary on Crime and Terrorism, aing Sen. Grassley in signing the letter apropos Christopher Steele to the Amends Department to investigate what arise to be apocryphal statements about the dossier. In signing, Graham acclaimed the “many stop signs the Department of Amends alone in its use of the dossier.” The signature of board baronial affiliate Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, however, was missing — an aboriginal assurance that a abominable accessory action royale is in the offing. On Tuesday, Feinstein unilaterally arise a abundant archetype of Glenn Simpson’s beforehand affidavit and, as admitting on cue, Establishment pundits portrayed Steele as a acceptable antecedent and Fusion GPS’s Glenn Simpson as a victim.
The Donnybrook is now underway; the aftereffect uncertain.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the all-comprehensive Church of the Saviour in burghal Washington. He was an Army and CIA intelligence analyst for 30 years; able and a the President’s Daily Brief for Nixon, Ford, and Reagan; and is co-founder of Adept Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
Sample argument letters amid Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, arise to Congress and the media on December 13, 2016
Strzok – God Hillary should win. 100,000,000-0.
Page – I know
Page – So look, you say we argument on that buzz aback we allocution about Hillary because it can’t be traced, you were aloof venting, bc you feel bad that you’re gone so abundant but that can’t be helped appropriate now.
Strzok – And meanwhile, we accept Black Lives Amount protestors, appropriate now, chanting “no amends no peace” about DoJ and the White House…
Page – That’s awful.
Page – Accept you apprehend this? It’s actually frightening. For Whites Sensing Decline, Donald Trump Unleashes Words of Resistance http://NYTI/ms/29WCu5!
Strzok – I accept not. But I anticipate it’s bright he’s capturing all the white, poor voters who the boilerplate republicans alone in all but name in the adventure for the absolute $$$
Page – Yeah, it’s not good.
Strzok – Poll Finds Emails Weighing on Hillary Clinton, Now Tied With Donald Trump http://nyti.ms/29RV5gf
Page – It is
Strzok – And hey. Congrats on a woman nominated for Admiral in a above party! About abuse time! Abounding abounding added allotment of the day!!
Page – That’s cute. Thanks
Page – Jesus. You should apprehend this. And Trump should go f himself. Moment in Convention Glare Shakes Up Khans American Life http://nyti.ms/2aHulE0
Strzok – God that’s a abundant article. Acknowledgment for sharing. And F TRUMP.
Page – And maybe you’re meant to break area you are because you’re meant to assure the country from that menace. To that end comma, apprehend this:
Page – Trump Enablers Will Finally Accept to Booty A Stand http://nyti.ms/2aFakry
Strzok – Thanks. It’s actually accurate that we’re both actual fortunate. And of advance I’ll try and access it that way. I aloof apperceive it will be boxy at times. I can assure our country at abounding levels, not abiding if that helps
Page – He’s not anytime activity to become president, right? Right?!
Strzok – OMG did you apprehend what Trump aloof said?
Strzok – Aloof went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support…
Page – Yep. Out to cafeteria with (redacted) We both abhorrence anybody and everything.
Page – Aloof riffing on the hot blend that is our country.
Strzok – Yeah…it’s alarming absolute bottomward here
Strzok: I am affronted up. Trump is a f***ing idiot, is clumsy to accommodate a articular answer.
Strzok – I CAN’T PULL AWAY, WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!
Page– I don’t know. But we’ll get it back. We’re America. We rock.
Strzok– Donald aloof said “bad hombres”
Strzok– Trump aloof said what the FBI did is disgraceful.
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