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When I posted on the FISA memo last week, two of my readers asked questions about Christopher Steele, particularly why he is so anti-Trump.

I held off posting on this until now in the hopes that new information would surface about that. Unfortunately, it has not.

Christopher Steele

It is hard to say why Christopher Steele is so opposed to President Donald Trump.

It could be that is his mindset, given his work for and international involvement with security agencies.

In December 2017, Yoichi Shimatsu, a forensic journalist who was also an editor at The Japan Times for ten years, wrote an exclusive for Rense, ‘How A CIA-DOJ-FBI Team Forged The Trump-Russia Dossier’. It is worth reading. I haven’t included some of it, as there seems to be some questionable information about Steele. It is possible that parts that mention ‘Steele’ might be better worded as ‘people working for him’.

What follows is the story of how Steele ended up getting involved in the Russian dossier.

In 2006, Steele headed the MI-6 Russia desk. He retired in 2009 to co-found (emphases mine):

a for-hire investigative firm called Orbis Business Intelligence, which produced a series of 100 reports on the Ukraine-Russia crisis, which erupted in 2014, on contract with the U.S. State Department. In other words, the main author of the Trump-Russia Dossier had a lucrative contract under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before her presidential campaign.

Shimatsu tells us that Steele might well have met Bruce Ohr, another player in the Trump surveillance scheme, in 2010, when investigating the FIFA scandal. (More about Ohr below.) The FBI went to London for an Orbis briefing on the scandal:

As chief of the DOJ international organized crime bureau, Bruce Ohr likely attended the London briefing, where he would have been first introduced to veteran spy Christopher Steele.

Shimatsu claims that Ohr and Steele met again in 2013. At that time, Ohr was Assistant Deputy Director at DOJ and presented a paper at the third St. Petersburg International Legal Forum:

The Korean-American Ohr presented a paper titled “Criminal Matters and Allegations of Crimes in International Arbitration”, a choice of topic timed to undermine Russian counter-claims in the Magnitsky affair. In hindsight it’s ironic that his lecture synopsis included an apt description of the yet to-be drafted Russia Dossier: “a party (in a dispute) may introduce false testimony or forged documents.”

Moscow and Washington were butting heads over the Magnitsky affair when the conference, sponsored by the Russian Federation’s Justice Ministry:

the Kremlin was locked in a controversy over U.S. congressional retaliation for the 2009 prison death of Russian-Jewish accountant Sergei Magnitsky.

(The Magnitsky Act was signed into US law in 2012.)

Before he was imprisoned, Magnitsky worked for Hermitage Capital, which Bill Browder co-owns. Magnitsky worked as an auditor for the firm:

investigating dozens of Russian tycoons allied with President Vladimir Putin as to their links with organized crime figures.

Ohr had a similar interest, as chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, in shady businessmen suspected of money laundering. His job also involved tracking international drug trafficking.

Shimatsu says that Steele was in Russia for the conference in St Petersburg, but is there any corroboration for that? See Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee at the end of this post. According to Simpson, Steele had not been in Russia for 17 years. That would tie in with citizen journalists researching when he worked in Moscow: between 1990 and 1992. It is unclear whether he travelled there or was even allowed to enter the country at some point during that time and/or afterwards.

This brings in another Trump surveillance person into the mix, Carter Page. Ohr’s:

cyber-surveillance network would later focus, outside of its authority, on the activities of Trump adviser Carter Page in Russia and Croatia.

The next event, also in 2013, was the Miss Universe Pageant. Donald Trump was the head of the pageant at that time. As US intelligence agencies cannot spy on American citizens abroad, Steele’s — or was it his company’s? — assignment was to make sure the Russian mafia was not involved in skewing the results:

As it turned out, Miss Venezuela was crowned Miss Universe 2013, meaning Ohr had wasted a lot of American taxpayer money on a wild goose chase.

However, something more significant resulted:

That dated information from 2013 was recycled three years later into the Russia Dossier.

In 2016, Steele became involved in compiling the Russian dossier. Before getting to that part, let’s look at Bruce and Nellie Ohr.

Bruce Ohr

Until recently, Bruce Genesoke Ohr was unknown to the American public, including the media. He worked in the inner sanctum of the Robert F. Kennedy Building, the DOJ headquarters:

on the executive 4th floor, just four doors down from the suite of then Deputy Director Sally Quillian Yates, and since late April her replacement Rod Rosenstein … Ohr served as the assistant to Rosenstein, following the latter’s transfer from the Maryland DOJ office, showing the newcomer the ropes and keeping watch on him on behalf of Yates, Loretta Lynch, Holder and, ultimately, Barack Obama and the Clintons. 

He lost his associate deputy attorney general title on December 7, 2017.

Also note:

Ohr, in short, is a partisan watchdog for the Democratic establishment, who’s shown absolutely no respect for the Constitution.

Even worse, Shimatsu asserts that Ohr was partly responsible for the corruption at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), because that agency was under the authority of the International Organized Crime Drug office, which he was still in charge of until January 8, 2018:

The DOJ has also ignored nearly the entire CIA-run Afghan drug importation, at least since the Eric Holder years. Cocaine, of course, is being targeted by the DEA/DOJ, but that elite-status drug was never in style with the millennial generation, which prefers depressants like heroin mixed with synthetic opioids, on the path to Nirvana.

In July 2001, Ohr testified to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, downplaying the infiltration of Indian reservation casinos by organised crime:

What Ohr completely failed to mention is how Indian casinos along the U.S.-Mexico border were becoming money-laundering centers for the Mexican mafia, lucrative enough for the Caesar’s team of Drexel Lambert junk-bond dealer to build a Harrah’s casino resort at Rincon reservation. Caesar’s Entertainment Group spectacularly collapsed two years ago, amid angry charges by institutional investors of fraud, financial crimes on a much greater scale than small-time gangster scams.

Ultimately:

The politically correct attitudes toward ethnic minorities, here again, has enabled massive expansion of the organized crime, which is ultimately detrimental to the minority groups to achieve genuine economic development and security from violence. The DOJ/FBI, run by front-men for crime, is [a] big part of the problem and not the solution.

Also:

That exactly is why and how the DOJ/FBI and CIA are enabling Chinese triads, the Taiwanese mob, Vietnamese mafia, Japanese yakuza and Korean gangsters to run heroin smuggling, prostitution rings and counterfeits products unimpeded into the United States. The fix is in with the Democratic Party, and the bad guys every hour of every day are winning the battle against the industrial economy and ethical principles of the USA.

Now to the 2016 campaign. Shimatsu tells us:

the DNC and Hillary campaign generously forked over up to a half-million dollars for the Trump-Russia fabrication.

Shimatsu explains something interesting about southeast Asians and the Democrats and why big donations are kept quiet:

the Democratic Party relies so heavily on large unreported donations of cash from the urban Chinese and Korean business communities, suspect Asia-based businessmen and major crime groups. This tradition since the end of the Chinese Exclusion era is a feudal tribute legacy, by which Asian “leaders” (triad or organized crime figures) pay protection money (aka bribery) to Democrat politicians to enable illegal immigration of underpaid laborers, exemption from minimum wage laws and mandatory benefits for employees, unhealthy tenant crowding of buildings, and police neglect of the illicit trade in contraband, including methamphetamines, heroin and more recently synthetic opioids.

Asians, of course, are not alone in groveling before the powers that be, since most immigrants have had to pay their dues to Tammany Hall and dirty cops, from the Irish to the current wave of Arabs. Despite their strong academic performance, East Asians are perpetually under the Democratic Party heel due to the substandard status of the small-business economy. That is changing, for all the wrong reasons, with the pay-for residency by super-wealthy “businessmen” from East Asia, many of them wanted for economic crimes at home, including illicit capital flight. The United States is a sanctuary for Asian fraudsters and gangsters

Nellie Ohr

As for Bruce’s wife Nellie, Shimatsu says nothing about her father. Her mother, Kathleen Armstrong Hauke, was active in leftist causes in the 1960s. In the 1980s, Hauke taught English in Nairobi, Kenya. She died in 2004.

Nellie has a ham radio licence, which Shimatsu says isn’t that unusual:

Shortwave radio hearkens back to the late Cold War era, when Nellie would have monitored Russian signals for the CIA. Since that Stone Age for telecommunications, Nellie Ohr became part of the CIA cyber-intelligence program known as Open Source Works (OSW), discussed below, which explains her intelligence role inside Fusion GPS, the private investigation group that hired Orbis and Christopher Steele to draft the Trump-Russia Dossier.

Until late 2017, she and her husband shared the same office, indicating that the Ohrs were:

part of a high-level inter-agency intelligence team.

The Ohrs, Steele and the dossier

Shimatsu winds the clock back to 2013 to the St Petersburg conference. However, was it Steele himself or an Orbis representative who attended? Donald Trump arrived in Russia one month later in advance of the beauty pageant:

What a tangled web they weave! The Ohr-Steele encounter in St. Petersburg turned out to be the very seed from which sprang the Trump-Russia Dossier Just a month later, in June 2013, Donald Trump arrived with his advance team to make the arrangements for the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled for November 2013 at the Crocus hall in the Moscow suburb of Krasnogorsk.

Fast forward to 2016 and Fusion GPS:

the private investigation firm led by three former Wall Street Journal reporters …

… in mid-2016, the Seattle law firm Perkins Coie, representing the Hillary Clinton Foundation and Democratic National Committee, hired Fusion GPS to probe the Russian relationships of Trump and his associates with the aim of discrediting and defeating his presidential campaign …

Fusion GPS, therefore, was hired as a “cut out”, spy terminology for a neutral go-between created to shield the actual perpetrators in an exchange of stolen information. A psychological operation aimed at political intervention at this level required the direct involvement of and authorization from CIA director John Brennan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and this was to interfere in the elections in favor of their former colleague at State, Hillary Clinton, and not a matter of national security. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper should have been aware of these illicit activities and was responsible for shutting down political subversion, meaning that he, too, bears some degree of responsibility for the bureaucratic assault on democracy.

Do readers notice how anti-Trump Brennan and Clapper are whenever they are interviewed on television? YouTube has various videos of them on news programmes and at conferences.

With regard to the dossier, Shimatsu says that Steele provided little of the content. Most of the content:

strongly appears to be based on CIA and NSA intercepts of phone calls and emails, along with human intelligence from informants. There is also an equally strong possibility that many, perhaps most, of the claims in the dossier are fabrications, lies. Nellie Hauke Ohr and her husband at DOJ reviewed and copied from classified files for the dossier in blatant violation of intelligence regulations. The method of direct translation, for example, “Russian regime” without the article “the”, indicates the CIA protocol followed by Nellie Ohr in radio intercepts. The tiny lapse shows that source is not Moscow but Langley, Virginia.

Shimatsu explains the role of Steele and his company, Orbis:

The notes from CIA and DOJ/FBI classified files, which Nellie Ohr compiled during her several months, during summer and autumn 2016, on the payroll of Fusion GPS while in Washington D.C.. Those materials were then “laundered” through Orbis for plausible deniability at the CIA. Fusion GPS paid the London-based firm more than $160,000, meaning the total budget for consultants, services, travel and communication was probably about a half-million dollars from the original source of funding (prior to DNC-Hillary, which was probably provided by a slush fund at the Clinton Foundation. To the heisted CIA material and forged information, Christopher Steele added his recollections from Donald Trump’s Miss Universe visits in 2013, supplemented by whatever hearsay picked up immediately after the contest. Examination of the dossier is similar to the findings from a forensic autopsy on Frankenstein’s monster: A lot of body parts that don’t fit together, laced together and patched with putty.

Nellie Ohr’s inchoate and disorganized editing, in contrast to the minimal standards at any daily newspaper, reveals the sloppiness that’s the norm at her post inside the CIA bureau known as Open Source Works, which itself is highly classified and anything but open

In summary:

Open Source is now the major enterprise of the CIA in its effort to intimidate world leaders, corporate executives, military officers and media personalities. The Trump-Russia Dossier is an end-product of illicit CIA privacy violations, enhanced by selective editing and outright fabrication to incriminate the victim, in this case the President of the United States. The Frank Church amendments need to be upgraded to deal with terror by fake media, so that the offending bureaucrats and their political patrons can be locked away without access to cyberspace.

Present day

On January 22, 2018, just over a month after Shimatsu’s article was published, the New York Post had a report about the testimony to the House Intelligence Committee from Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) asked Steele’s Clinton-paid handler Glenn Simpson, during the House Intelligence Committee’s Nov. 14 closed-door hearing, if Steele had gone “to Russia as part of this project,” to which Simpson replied, “No, sir.” Steele, at the time he compiled the dossier, hadn’t been back to Russia in 17 years.

If true, that clearly contradicts what Shimatsu alleges.

Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee that Steele:

ran a “network of subsources or subcontractors” who traveled around Russia and gathered information for him.

As for the framework of the dossier:

it turns out the primary subcontractor worked not for Steele but for Simpson at Washington-based Fusion GPS, and he contributed key material for the investigation of Trump underwritten by the Clinton campaign. 

Steele’s reputation preceded him:

Simpson says he completely deferred to Steele’s expertise and did not question his findings because of his “sterling reputation.” Simpson has pumped this guy up to be the real-life 007 so deep inside the Kremlin, he didn’t have to corroborate his information, yet Steele was so far out of the hunt, his tradecraft so rusty, he apparently had to rely on a Russian translator who flacked for Putin to gather his so-called intelligence.

These latest revelations make it all the more baffling that the FBI took Steele so seriously. They also suggest the public should not make that mistake.

Since then, a redacted version of Senator Charles Grassley’s memo on the dossier has been made public. More on that next week.

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Earlier this week, I posted about an anti-Christmas message from 2014 that the Washington Post recycled this year.

There is more news about WaPo to tell.

A WaPo reader is upset

Jean-Marie Simon, who has read WaPo for 20 years, gave the paper information about her Christmas flight on United. Simon had bought a first-class ticket — seat 1A — only to find that she had been bumped by congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas).

The Daily Mail has the full story with photos and Simon’s relevant Facebook posts. It is not surprising that WaPo did not want to cover it. What is surprising is that Simon, a schoolteacher, thought they would do so (Facebook post courtesy of Reddit):

Here’s another — albeit facetious — view of the situation. Courtesy of 8chan:

One wonders if Simon will continue to read WaPo after this.

Perhaps this incident red-pilled her.

The Post

In other WaPo news, a movie — The Post — made its debut before Christmas. The New York Post gave it three out of four stars.

This film documents how WaPo increased its national prominence as a newspaper.

The story is about the Pentagon Papers, which was a huge exposé in 1971 about how Lyndon Johnson’s administration lied about the Vietnam War. Daniel Ellsberg was the Edward Snowden of his day. He had worked on the papers, a study officially called United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense.

Ellsberg and a friend, Anthony Russo, photocopied the pages in 1969 and approached a few political luminaries to see if they would be interested in disclosing it. Henry Kissinger, who was Richard Nixon’s national security adviser at the time, declined. So did two Democrat legislators.

In 1971, Ellsberg approached a reporter at the New York Times, giving him 43 volumes the following month. These were not published until June 13 that year. The excerpts were dubbed The Pentagon Papers.

The Nixon administration quickly tried — but failed — to stop the NYT from publishing another excerpt on June 14. Although one would have thought Nixon — a Republican — would have relished this as Johnson was a Democrat, Henry Kissinger told him that allowing the excerpts to continue would be dangerous, as nothing would prevent newspapers from publishing dirty laundry from his administration.

Oh, the irony — think Watergate, which WaPo broke with daily coverage from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Furthermore, the Nixon administration argued that Ellsberg and his friend Russo were guilty of a felony because they were circulating classified documents.

Attorney General John Mitchell and Nixon obtained a federal injunction forcing the NYT to stop publication after three articles. The NYT appealed and the case New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713) quickly ended up in the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Ellsberg had given other portions of the study to WaPo reporter Ben Bagdikian, who took them to the paper’s legendary editor, Ben Bradlee. WaPo began publishing the excerpts on June 18.

Assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist asked WaPo to stop publishing, but WaPo refused. Rehnquist tried — but failed — to get an injunction issued in US district court.

Ultimately, the NYT won the case in the Supreme Court on June 30, 1971. Fifteen other newspapers began publishing parts of the Pentagon Papers. In 1973, all charges against Ellsberg and Russo were dismissed — because of theft and bribery by the Nixon administration with regard to the case.

The Post shows how WaPo decided to publish the Pentagon Papers with all the drama involved.

The film also shows the male-dominated world of Katharine Graham, the only female publisher of a notable newspaper at the time. She was WaPo‘s publisher from 1969 to 1979. She then became chairman of the board and CEO before relinquishing the latter position in 1993. She continued to serve as chairman of the board until her death in 2001 at the age of 84.

Graham wisely put investigative reporting front and centre in a successful effort to ensure the NYT would not grab all the big Washington stories, such as the Pentagon Papers and Watergate.

The New York Post‘s review says that, when this film was made, a female occupant of the White House was envisioned for 2017.

So much for that.

The present occupant makes much out of fake news, predominant in today’s WaPo and the NYT.

Philip Graham

Katharine Meyer Graham rose to the top at WaPo because she succeeded her husband Philip. Also of note is that her father, Eugene Meyer, bought the paper in a bankruptcy auction in 1933. Philip Graham succeeded his father-in-law as publisher in 1946.

Philip Graham (1915-1963) was an interesting character with a lot of Deep State connections. Spartacus Educational has a well-researched entry on him. Do read it all, including the footnotes. A summary with excerpts follows.

He was born in a small town in South Dakota. His parents relocated to Florida during his childhood. Graham ended up attending Harvard Law School and edited the Harvard Law Review.

He married Katharine Meyer in 1940, during which time he was a law clerk for the famous Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter. Graham joined the Army Air Corps in 1942. He worked for the head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), William Donovan. In 1944:

Graham was recruited into the “Special Branch, a super-secret part of Intelligence, run by Colonel Al McCormick”. He later worked under General George Kenney, commander of the Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific. Graham was sent to China where he worked with John K. Singlaub, Ray S. Cline, Richard Helms, E. Howard Hunt, Mitchell WerBell, Jake Esterline, Paul Helliwell, Robert Emmett Johnson and Lucien Conein. Others working in China at that time included Tommy Corcoran, Whiting Willauer and William Pawley.

From this, we can see that he was incredibly well-connected to power.

After the war, as the publisher for WaPo, he expanded his network further with a group of men known as the Georgetown Set. They included:

Frank Wisner, George Kennan, Dean Acheson, Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Joseph Alsop, Stewart Alsop, Tracy Barnes, Thomas Braden, David Bruce, Clark Clifford, Walt Rostow, Eugene Rostow, Chip Bohlen, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, William Averill Harriman, John McCloy, Felix Frankfurter, John Sherman Cooper, James Reston, Allen W. Dulles and Paul Nitze.

Whilst this is showing my age, I grew up hearing and reading a lot of those names.

It is likely that Graham already knew some of those men from the war. Allen Dulles, to name but one, ran the New York OSS office.

Dulles headed the CIA during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency. Richard Bissell worked with him. Cord Meyer was in the CIA. Meyer was involved with Project, or Operation, Mockingbird, which used big media outlets to drive a government narrative:

According to Katherine Graham, her husband worked overtime at the Post during the Bay of Pigs operation to protect the reputations of his friends who had organized the ill-fated venture.

By the time of the 1960 presidential campaign, Graham did what he could to get Lyndon Johnson in the vice presidential slot for John Kennedy:

Graham met Lyndon B. Johnson in 1953. Graham believed that one day Johnson would make a good president. Graham told Johnson that his main problem was that he was perceived in Washington as someone under the control of the Texas oil and gas industry. Graham added that his attitude towards civil rights was also hurting him with liberals in the North. He was advised to go a “bit beyond (Richard) Russell and yet far short of (Hubert) Humphrey”.

Graham was a supporter of the Democratic Party and did what he could to get Johnson the nomination in 1960. When John F. Kennedy defeated Johnson he sent Clark Clifford to ask Stuart Symington to be his running-mate. Symington accepted the post but said: “I bet you a hundred dollars that no matter what he says, Jack will not make me his running mate. He will have to pick Lyndon”.

In the background Graham and Joseph Alsop were attempting to persuade John F. Kennedy to appoint Lyndon B. Johnson instead. Despite the objection of Robert Kennedy and other leading advisers, Kennedy decided to replace Symington with Johnson.

Once Kennedy was in the White House, Graham succeeded in persuading him to appoint his (Graham’s) buddies to administration positions: Douglas Dillon as Secretary of the Treasury, Arthur Schlesinger (former OSS) as a presidential adviser and David Bruce as ambassador to London.

Graham was able to expand the Washington Post Company by purchasing a radio and a television station as well as Newsweek and two prominent art magazines:

The main person involved in arranging Graham’s takeover of other media companies was Fritz Beebe. He ran the law firm Cravath, Swaine, & Moore. This was the company owned by Al McCormick, who Graham met during the war. Averell Harriman was another one involved in these negotiations.

Behind the scenes, things were less rosy, Even before Eugene Meyer died in 1959, a rift was growing between Philip and Katharine — Kay, to her friends. Graham’s mental state was not very good, either. Meyer wondered whether he should turn the company over to his son-in-law:

The Post publisher took a mistress, Robin Webb, whom he set up in a large house in Washington and a farm outside of the city. A heavy drinker who reportedly had manic-depressive tendencies, Graham, in some respects, was his own worst enemy, stridently abusive to his wife, both privately and publicly.

Katharine Graham’s biographer, Deborah Davis, posited that Graham was beginning to bother the CIA. After his second nervous breakdown he talked openly about how troubling he found Operation Mockingbird in terms of manipulating journalists:

He said it to the CIA… He turned against the newsmen and politicians whose code was mutual trust and, strangely, silence. The word was that Phil Graham could not be trusted. Graham was actually under surveillance by somebody. Davis has noted that one of Graham’s assistants “recorded his mutterings on scraps of paper.”

Others suggest that Graham had been damaged from undergoing CIA and other psychiatric treatments involving mind-altering drugs.

Graham told one of his close friends, WaPo attorney Edward Bennett Williams, that he wanted a divorce and planned on rewriting his will to leave everything — including the Washington Post Company — to his mistress instead of to Kay.

Williams was able to delay a divorce, but Graham rewrote his will three times in the spring of 1963. The last version omitted Kay altogether.

Then, Graham addressed a newspaper publishers convention in Arizona in a tirade about the CIA and Washington:

even to the point of exposing his friend John Kennedy’s affair with Mary Meyer, the wife of a top CIA official, Cord Meyer (no relation to Katharine Graham).

Katharine heard about it and flew to Phoenix:

and snatched up her husband who was captured after a struggle, put in a straitjacket and sedated. He was then flown to an exclusive mental clinic in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Md.

On the morning of Aug. 3, 1963, Katharine Graham reportedly told friends that Philip was “better” and coming home.

Suicides

That day in 1963, Philip Graham killed himself at home while Katharine was napping upstairs. The New York Post gives us this detail that other media outlets often suppress. He:

committed suicide at age 48 by shooting himself with a 28-gauge shotgun in 1963, days after being released from a psychiatric hospital following six weeks of treatment.

As he was not of sound mind when he died, his will was declared invalid. As he died intestate, Katharine assumed control of the Washington Post Company.

On December 20, 2017, one of the Grahams’ sons, William, 69, also committed suicide. He did not work at WaPo. He was a lawyer and law professor at UCLA. In later life, he turned to philanthropy. He died at his home in Los Angeles.

WaPo reported:

The cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said his brother Donald E. Graham, a former Post publisher and chief executive.

Like Philip, William also left behind a wife and grown children. I hope they find comfort in the months ahead.

William did not live to see the national release of The Post.

On December 11, 2017, Politico published an extensive interview with former CIA head Mike Morell, ‘Ex-Spy Chief: Russia’s Election Hacking Was An “Intelligence Failure”‘.

This is an important admission:

So, I don’t think it was a mistake. I think there were downsides to it that I didn’t think about at the time. I was concerned about what is the impact it would have on the agency, right? Very concerned about that, thought that through. But I don’t think I fully thought through the implications.

One downside could have been not expecting Donald Trump to win the election.

Not thinking through the implications could be a way of saying that Americans now know that the CIA (like other security agencies) is politicised.

Here’s another interesting admission:

So, I think there was a significant downside to those of us who became political in that moment. So, if I could have thought of that, would I have ended up in a different place? I don’t know. But it’s something I didn’t think about.

No, because Hillary Clinton was a dead cert to win.

There is a bit more history to Mike Morell. Remember how, after 9/11, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the US government had received intelligence briefings weeks before but did not act on them? I do.

National Interest published an article in January 2017 about Mike Morell. This is what it says about 9/11:

On August 6, 2001, Morell served as the CIA debriefer for President Bush’s most critical ever Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB); the one that read, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” It was essential that he impress upon Bush the importance of the memo. But he didn’t. Morell recollected in his memoir that NSC staffer Steve Biegun, who accompanied Morell to the Crawford Ranch where Bush was vacationing, apparently relayed to others that he, Morell, had indicated to the president, “there was no need to worry about an Al Qaida attack on the homeland…” Morrell himself directly observed that in retrospect, “I did not treat it as a ‘hair on fire’ or action-forcing piece and the president did not read it that way either.”

Surely Bush was not given the assessment that Morell’s colleague, counter-terrorism expert, Cofer Black, gave to Condoleezza Rice weeks earlier: “An attack is impending” and “this country needs to go on a war footing now.” On 9/11, close to 3,000 people perished in attacks on both New York and Washington.

Despite that, Morell’s career continued its ascent:

The 2003 Iraq War provided an opportunity for Morell to advance his career. Leading a group of CIA analysts, he was assigned to help prepare Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 5 U.N. Security Council speech.

Justifying the forthcoming invasion of Iraq, a passage in the speech affirmed that Iraq possessed “biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more.” False! We still don’t know who was directly responsible for leaving this passage in Powell’s speech. However, Morell was in charge of the CIA analysts who were vetting it. In 2015, Morell apologized to Powell.

Then came Benghazi in 2012:

Morell, then CIA Deputy Director, quickly learned it was a well-planned terrorist attack. However he also discovered the President and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with the 2012 November election in mind, were pushing a different interpretation—a “spontaneous demonstration” over an anti-Muslim video. Given his status as a high-ranking official, it would be surprising if he did not receive, or was unaware of, an email from Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes: “The goal: To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of [our] policy.”

Then Morell was asked to review an important document—the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice was to disseminate to the media explaining the attack. Morell complied. He altered the talking points. The doctored, scrubbed and bogus video story was presented by Rice to the U.S. public on TV stations, helping to save Obama’s presidency. Yet, even after the elections, Morell, accompanied by Susan Rice, continued to defend his altered product with three GOP heavyweights, John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-NC).

[Senator Lindsay] Graham later reported Morell “did not accept responsibility for changing the talking points. He told me the FBI had done this. I called the FBI—They went ballistic. . . . Within 24 hours, this statement was changed where he [Morell] admitted the CIA had done it.”

Good grief.

This short video explains a lot about CIA activity in recent years, complete with newspaper sources. This is not fabricated:

The description reads:

How do you start a fight when your opponent doesn’t want a fight with you? You force it… you create fear… you create fear and sell another stinkin’ pile of lies til the body count meets your project goals.

There is more analysis on Morell and the CIA at Liberty Blitzkrieg.

Yesterday’s post discussed the events that took place Friday, December 1, 2017.

Today’s entry serves as an update on the weekend’s news. I won’t be recapping much of what I wrote about Friday, so you might want to read that post before continuing here.

ABC’s Brian Ross

ABC’s veteran reporter Brian Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay for his fake news of Friday that caused the US stock market to dip for an hour:

President Donald Trump was delighted:

But he was not yet finished:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, father of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is a past Republican presidential candidate and former Fox News show host:

This lawyer and writer for The Federalist listed more of Ross’s huge blunders:

Mueller investigation — Peter Strzok

One of Robert Mueller’s top investigators has been sacked from his team investigating the Trump campaign’s notional Russian collusion:

One could not make this up:

 

You can read clips from more articles on that subject here (image courtesy of a Reddit contributor).

Trump chimed in:

Advice came in for the new FBI director, Christopher Wray:

Judicial Watch has been keen for the McAuliffe/Clinton scandal to be investigated:

Their November 21 article begins with this summary:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 79 pages of Justice Department documents concerning ethics issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office.

The news that Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign.

Most Trump supporters knew about that during the 2016 campaign, but it got little media coverage.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton has been doing great work in exposing Swamp scandals. See here, here and here.

This is very serious. Can one imagine a Republican getting away with such a thing?

Where’s the justice?

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn has been made to look like a criminal for lying to the FBI, but we have senior US officials — present and former — who have committed crimes. The American people are told there is nothing to see.

Congressman Steve Smith (R-Georgia) summarised the situation well:

Trump is, rightly, on the warpath:

Is he having a go at his Attorney General Jeff ‘Sleepy’ Sessions?

Sleepy will be leaving soon, probably early in 2018.

His immediate recusal from this probe, because it was connected with the Trump campaign and he was part of the campaign, caused a lot of grief for a lot of people, including the spring-summer campaign manager Paul Manafort, whom the Mueller team treated terribly — including a middle-of-the-night FBI raid on his and his wife’s home while they were asleep.

What Manafort has been indicted for isn’t even related to the Trump campaign but to work he did in Ukraine years before.

See how justly Manafort has been treated:

Obama still acts as if he’s in office

But wait, there’s more.

Never has there been a US president who hasn’t let his successor be in charge.

But not Obama:

Even if he was only referring to climate change, he should do the decent thing.

On December 2, the Washington Examiner reported:

While speaking to a group of business leaders in Paris, former President Barack Obama said there is a “temporary absence of American leadership” when it comes to tackling climate change.

“I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue,” the former president noted, which was met with laughter from the room full of French former ministers and CEOs at the invite-only event, according to Reuters.

Obama also recently visited China:

Swamp tries to trap CIA director Pompeo

On December 2, the CIA director Mike Pompeo — a Trump appointee — was a guest at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

TrumpSoldier has a detailed Twitter thread on Pompeo’s appearance, video clips and still photos included. A summary with most of the tweets follows. I corrected a few original typos below.

The Reagan National Defense Forum (RNDF) sounds conservative until one looks at who is on the steering committee (see point 4), including the CEO/Publisher of the Washington Post, a few Obama appointees, anti-Trump Republican senator John McCain and former Clinton adviser and CIA director Leon Panetta. Fox News’s Bret Baier conducted an interview on stage with Pompeo and Panetta (emphases mine below):

5) Mike Pompeo was going into swamp territory and now everything makes sense to me as you will soon see.

6) The slogan for the RNDF is “Investing in Peace Through Strength” I like Peace through Strength but the “investing” part sets off alarm bells. I am not going to investigate who funds them but I imagine it’s not pretty.

7) The RNDF is an organization that is run by active and retired swamp creatures whose main purpose is influencing and shaping policy.

8) Mike sat down with Panetta and his lackey Bret Baier for an hour and they discussed world events from a security perspective. It was light hearted and fun and that is all part of the set up.

9) Mike Pompeo is relaxed, joking and having fun. Panetta even tries to connect with him as “two Italians”. Bret’s ambush questions are strategically placed for maximum effect.

10) The Triggering!
Baier asks Mike Pompeo about Saudi Arabia: Panetta and decades of swamp failure are brought face to face with the dramatic sudden success of Trump Administration Foreign Policy.

11) Everything was jovial up to this point (at about 30 minutes in) Panetta’s reactions became really serious and concerned and his responses became lectures. An old swamp thing cut off from power flailing for relevance.

12) The Soft Ball
Baer asks Mike Pompeo how he shares intelligence with Trump.

No real answer, by the way. Good.

14) The Ambush!
Mike Pompeo asked about #FakeNews stores regarding the mental state of President Trump: “It’s Absurd” (watch and listen closely)

15) Remember everyone is laughing and having a good time up to this point and on cue as the question is asked Panetta laughs. It was the perfect set up!

16) You can see the moment when Mike senses the trap he licks his lips and smiles ever so slightly. He is ready!

17) Mike breaks character, reveals his power level, and suddenly kills the room! Panetta nervously begins laughing some more to try to lighten the mood. I would have loved to see Baier’s face as he absorbed this stare. I guarantee he looked down and away.

18) The next order of business to to try to get Pompeo to listen to the wisdom of a “very concerned” Panetta regarding the danger of #TrumpTweets

19) #TrumpTweets are Dangerous!
Mike Pompeo doesn’t think so. He uses them strategically.

In fact, The Hill reported on this interview:

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that President Trump’s Twitter habits have actually helped his agency gather and understand intelligence

 “I’ve actually seen it help us,” he said. “I have seen things the president has put on his Twitter account actually have a real-world impact on our capacity to understand what’s going on in other places in the world.”

“That is, our adversaries responded to those tweets in ways that were helpful to us to understand command and control issues, who’s listening to what messages, how those messages are resonating around the world.”

Back now to the Twitter thread. Baier was eager to pursue this line of questioning, even though Pompeo wanted to move on to other topics. Panetta also pressed Pompeo on Trump’s tweets, expressing ‘concern’.

22) Note Mike’s body language and comments he really is trying to politely end the conversation but they keep pushing

23) THE KILL
CIA Director Mike Pompeo reminds old swamp creature (Leon Panetta) that he is a failure and irrelevant.

24) After you are done laughing consider how deadly serious this was. It was a carefully orchestrated trap completely scripted and gamed out in advance and Mike came up aces!

25) Pompeo’s ruthless defense of Donald Trump speaks volumes about his loyalty and dedication to the cause. His defense of #TrumpTweets confirms that they are highly strategic and coordinated with the CIA. This frightens everyone… but us.

No doubt this week’s narrative will be about Trump’s mental health again.

The Left’s dirty game

For over a year, the media and other Democrats have been saying that it was wrong for the Trump team to speak to the Russians prior to the inauguration.

It is legal and something that every president-elect’s transition team does.

As for contact with Russia during the campaign, to date, Mueller’s team has found nothing, except for the abortive meeting with the Russian lawyer. Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner left soon after it started. President Trump was unaware of it at the time.

My post yesterday listed three meetings that campaign advisers to then-candidate Obama had with Hamas and FARC. When he was still president-elect in January 2009, he met with the president of Mexico.

The Democrats — including the media — are being very dishonest with this anti-Trump narrative which is dividing the country.

In January 2017, Obama’s press secretary Mark Toner said there was no problem with the Trump team speaking with the Russian ambassador:

That text comes from the transcript of January 13. This is what precedes it:

QUESTION: — reports starting yesterday, but then more of them this morning, about contact between the incoming national security advisor and the Russian ambassador. I’m just wondering, from the State Department’s point of view, is this something that’s of concern at all? Or – I’ll just leave it there and then follow up.

MR TONER: Again, not necessarily – I’ve seen the reports. I don’t think they’ve been confirmed or corroborated yet. But that’s – as he’s part of the transition team, that’s really for them to speak to in how they are engaging. I mean —

QUESTION: Right, but —

MR TONER: — the president-elect is also engaged on his own with many world leaders.

 

Lt Gen Michael Flynn

Now a word about the embattled Lt General Michael Flynn.

On Saturday, December 2, Trump tweeted:

And:

The Conservative Treehouse has a good analysis and timeline of Flynn and the Russian ambassador, including Flynn’s dismissal. Excerpts follow (emphases in the original):

Many people have asked the question why would Michael Flynn have lied about talking to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the first place?

It’s a great question.

The Occam’s Razor answer is the toxic political environment that existed in January 2017, where the administration was being hammered by a tsunami of media narratives and political opposition claiming that any scintilla of contact with anything Russian meant that Putin and Trump were “colluding” BFFs,…. and Flynn didn’t want to fuel that nonsense.

That’s really the only reason to mislead about Russian contacts.

And/or once Vice-President Mike Pence made the statement that Flynn had no contact with anyone from Russia etc. any contradictory statement from Flynn would make Pence appear compromised; so Flynn had to stick to it without clarification.

Sunday January 15th – VP-elect Mike Pence appears on Face The Nation. [Transcript Here] …

[*NOTE* Notice the narrative questioning at the time (early Jan) was framed that ‘any contact’ with Russians was evidence of meddling/election-collusion with Russians.]

Friday January 20th – Inauguration

Tuesday January 24th – Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn was interviewed at the WH by the FBI.  [Either Flynn contradicts Pence, or he tells a lie, those were his options.]

Afterwards, having received a report of the interview, Department of Justice (DOJ) employee, Sally Yates — since fired — had discussions about Flynn with other senior Obama holdovers still working there. This was what brought about the charge that Flynn lied to the FBI.

Another part of this story is that Flynn had talked to the Russian ambassador in December 2016 about the sanctions that Obama had imposed on Russia.

The following comes from The Last Refuge, the founder and author of The Conservative Treehouse (emphases mine below):

11. So on December 29th, sanctions day, Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak… Essentially, saying ‘chill out, we’ll get through this’ etc.

14. We arrive at Sunday January 15th. VP-Elect Mike Pence appears on Sunday talks to discuss political stuff and the Trump administration.

15. On that Sunday 1/15/17 Pence appeared on CBS Face the nation (John Dickerson)

16. What does Dickerson start off with? Of course – The Vast Russian Hacking Election conspiracy: “did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?”

17. Amid the questioning, there is no distinction between *BEFORE* the election, and during the President-Elect transition period (ie. *AFTER* the election). It’s just one long framed question about “contact” and “collusion” etc.

18. And with that framework VP-Elect Pence says: “Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”

19. VP-Pence says “of course not”, ie NO CONTACT. In doing so, and without pointing out the transition team would have ordinary and customary contact, Pence has now painted Flynn into a corner.

20. Flynn has had contact (ordinary and appropriate contact), but VP-Elect Pence gave an emphatic: “Of course not.”

22. The January 24th [FBI] interview is where the “Flynn Lied” to the FBI came from.

23. At the time of the interview the media cycle was filled with intelligence leaks. During that interview Flynn had two options: Option #1) tell investigators he did have conversations with Kislyak in December – and as a consequence contradict VP Pence.

24. Option #2) tell investigators he did not have conversations with the Russians (Kislyak) and align with VP Pence statement a week prior.

Option #1 puts the criticism and Russia story on VP Pence for lying to CBS. (He didn’t, because the question was vague on timing but that didn’t matter amid the frenzy) and as an outcome weaken the incoming administration 4 days after inauguration.

26. Option #2 puts himself at risk; but protects VP Pence and avoids the immediacy of a narrative against the White House and new administration.

27. Likely Flynn knew the FBI was up to no good because they probably already knew the answer to the question (wiretapping). But these decisions were about politics amid the frenzied media swarm. The downstream sh[*]t-storm on Pence would have been brutal.

28. The very next day, Wed Jan 25th, Sally Yates (DOJ) gets an after action report on the FBI questioning of Flynn.

37. Note the presumption here is that Flynn had lied to VP Pence. However, there is nothing to indicate that angle/aspect is or was actually correct. Specifically, there is ample evidence the ‘lie to Pence’, evolved from a storyline -driven by necessity- to save face for Pence.

38. The administration was now boxed in. Flynn lied to protect Pence’s political posture/integrity/position, (ie. Military Leadership Training 101: never compromise your leadership), but was now confronted by Sally Yates. FUBAR!!

Conclusion — thus far

It seems this past weekend served, in part, as a watershed moment.

As I write, Trump’s Twitter account has over 43m subscribers. Imagine factoring in millions of others, e.g. yours truly, who don’t subscribe but check it at least once a day.

Tens of millions of people are reading and passing his tweets along to millions more every day.

Over time, that’s a lot of red pills being handed out.

Trump is taking this time to get the American people psychologically prepared for The Storm / the Silent War.

I have read several online commenters saying that they never realised how corrupt America is until they read about the Strzok dismissal and the crookedness of this Mueller investigation which, so far, has cost around $5m in taxpayer money.

Meanwhile, actual criminals who served at federal level are on the loose. Where’s the DOJ? Where’s the justice?

On October 25, 2017, I posted an entry about the JFK files and included material from a video by Dick Morris, who explained the political background at the time of the Kennedy assassination.

Morris was an advisor to Bill Clinton for 20 years but eventually saw the error of his ways and became a Republican.

In the video below, he first discusses the Uranium One scandal and the dossier on Trump. These two issues, he says, are huge. Both point to Hillary Clinton:

Robert Mueller is investigating Trump’s connections to Russia. However, with more information coming out about Uranium One — for a summary, see my post from October 2016 — it looks as if Mueller’s investigation could turn from Trump to Clinton.

As for the dossier, Morris says that it could profoundly affect the FBI and CIA. According to him, former MI6 agent Christopher Steele has had longstanding ties with the FBI, beginning with the FIFA World Cup bribery scandal in 2010. Morris says that his research has uncovered that Steele himself did not write the dossier but was given anonymous documents to compile.

Where did they come from? Morris thinks the FBI and CIA were out to prevent Trump from taking office.

Hillary’s campaign funded the dossier, paying Fusion GPS, who had hired Steele. Morris says the FBI must have known that. The dossier was supposed to have been released after the election to scupper Trump’s votes in the Electoral College in December 2016, but it was not. It surfaced on January 11, 2017, nine days before Trump’s inauguration. The timing was meant to prevent Trump from being inaugurated.

Yet, to date, none of what is in the dossier is true.

Morris says that Steele is the common link here to Fusion GPS (which has Russian clients), the FBI, the CIA and MI6. He says to watch for more information coming in the weeks ahead.

Also relevant, Morris says, is the unmasking scandal, whereby Trump and some of his associates were bugged in Trump Tower.

One of the people under investigation is a man named Carter Page. Morris tells us that Carter Page was never part of Trump’s campaign team. At one point, he said he was a part-time adviser to the Trump campaign, but, in fact, he was a volunteer and only peripherally. He had never even met Trump. The Trump campaign wrote to him, Morris says, telling him to stop saying he was an adviser. Strangely, Page’s name showed up in Steele’s dossier as being one of the primary go-to men between Trump and Vladimir Putin. The FBI also had him under surveillance. Morris says this is how Carter Page came to be investigated. Page has been interviewed off and on this year by the FBI and the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. He last gave testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on November 2.

Something big is about to unravel. Trump can sit back and watch it explode.

The second part of Morris’s video concerns the November 3 release of more JFK files — 553 CIA documents, to be precise. Morris is amazed that, after 54 years, the agencies involved are still asking for more time (up to April 26, 2018), to go through their documents.

The National Archives press release states, in part:

The majority of the public release today consists of 553 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) records that were previously denied in their entirety.  Also included in the release are records from components of the Departments of Justice (18) and Defense (48), the House Select Committee on Assassinations (56), and the National Archives (1).  Released records are available for download.

More to follow.

In closing, Dick Morris’s latest book, Rogue Spooks, co-authored with Eileen McGann, came out in August. The readers who commented on Amazon say that Morris explains the goings-on with the FBI and CIA clearly and in-depth. The book also includes background to the aforementioned dossier (emphases mine):

This dossier―filled with little more than gossip, rumor, and innuendo―was compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence operative who teamed up with the FBI and anti-Trump partisans. Hillary Clinton supporters paid for Steele’s work.

When no news media would publish the unverified dossier, the ex-spook enlisted the help of a former UK ambassador to Russia, who arranged in turn for a former U.S. assistant secretary of state to get the document to Senator John McCain, in the hope that he would then bring it to FBI Director James Comey’s attention. McCain did just that.

Comey himself played a critical role in the dossier ultimately going public, giving a confidential summary to President Obama and congressional leaders. It was immediately leaked by rogue spooks in order to demean, destabilize, and destroy Donald Trump’s nascent presidency.

The dossier and this mythical intelligence are the basis for the phony claims about a Russia-Trump collusion to steal the election. No proof was found. No substantiation uncovered. Even Comey told Trump he was not under investigation for the Russian meddling charges.

But that didn’t end the leaks or the allegations. Working in concert with liberal news outlets, these rogue spooks have formed a new Intel/Media complex that threatens our democracy.

I still know too many people who believe what passes as news, including this dossier. One woman I know is sure that the content is true. She couldn’t be more wrong, but it’s doubtful that even Dick Morris could convince her. Sad!

The JFK files released in July and October 2017 have produced a few interesting revelations about media and US government agencies.

Cambridge News (England) — November 22, 1963

This is the most bizarre of the content. A CIA memo from November 23, 1963 states that the senior reporter from the Cambridge News in England received a phone call on the day of the assassination before it took place. The reporter was told to ring the American embassy in London for ‘some big news’ then rang off:

Outside of the strange nature of ringing 25 minutes beforehand, it is also highly unusual to ring a provincial newspaper. Cambridge, home to the world-famous university, is a small city in East Anglia.

An excerpt from the end of the memo follows. Jaguar is MI5:

Last night after word of the President’s death was received, the reporter informed the Cambridge Police of the above call and the police informed Jaguar … Cambridge reporter had never received call of this kind before and Jaguar say he is known to them as sound and loyal person with no security record. Jaguar wanted above reported particularly in view reported SOV background Oswald. Depending on circumstances, HQS may wish pass above to ODENVY [FBI] as Jaguar could not reach ODENVY rep this morning. Jaguar stand ready assist in any way possible on investigations here.

The tweet below has a photo of the copy of the letter from the CIA’s James Angleton, who was in charge of counter-intelligence, to FBI director J Edgar Hoover:

NBC — December 11, 1963

The memo discussed below is actually from the FBI, not the CIA:

The memo, from the FBI’s New York office to J Edgar Hoover, states that George F Murray, a television director for NBC:

had info which would be of value to the Bureau in instant cases, and desired contact by BUAGENTS [Bureau agents].

That was on December 9. On December 10, agents Lawson and Reidy met with Murray, who was assistant producer and director of a documentary on Lee Harvey Oswald. The memo states that the FBI must protect Murray’s identity.

It goes on to say that NBC would not televise the documentary until the FBI had made their report into the Kennedy assassination public.

The first page of the memo — which is all we have to date — ends with this:

Murray advised NBC’s policy will be to televise only those items which are in consonance with Bureau report. All film being prepared for

[END PAGE ONE]

American media and the CIA

The JFK files has a 37-page document from the 1970s about media links to the CIA. Note that churchmen are also mentioned:

The content of this document, which includes memos, letters and newspaper articles, appears to relate to Operation Mockingbird, which began in the 1950s and allegedly manipulated media for propaganda purposes.

Personally, I think it is still going on today as the pattern of news reporting remains the same. By 1953:

Operation Mockingbird had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies.[5] The usual method was placing reports developed from intelligence provided by the CIA to cooperating or unwitting reporters. Those reports would be repeated or cited by the preceding reporters, which in turn would then be cited throughout the media wire services. These networks were run by people with well-known liberal but pro-American big business and anti-Soviet views, such as William S. Paley (CBS), Henry Luce (Time and Life), Arthur Hays Sulzberger (The New York Times), Alfred Friendly (managing editor of The Washington Post), Jerry O’Leary (The Washington Star), Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Barry Bingham, Sr. (Louisville Courier-Journal), James S. Copley (Copley News Services) and Joseph Harrison (The Christian Science Monitor).[5]

The JFK files document is about the House Select Committee on Assassinations which met between 1976 and 1978.

It also touches on matters the Church Committee reported during 1975 and 1976. The Committee’s reports covered CIA ties to not only US but also foreign media.

The agency’s links to the media had reportedly ended by the time the Church Committee published its findings. However, when you read the rest of this post, you will wonder if that was true.

Here is more from the document:

There is a telex from the UPI (United Press International) on page 15 about the House Select Committee on Assassinations which looked into the Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr assassinations. The telex — containing copy for a news story — is about Congressman Robert Bauman (D-Maryland) criticising Committee delegate Congressman Walter Fauntroy (D-Washington DC) for wanting to know whether reporters attending the sessions were working for the CIA in order to discredit the committee.

It reads in part:

“The Committee has no plans to call reporters to probe their coverage,” said Fauntroy. “I do have a personal interest in finding out whether certain news reporters have another purpose other than dissemination of the news to the public.”

Fauntroy’s reply refers to the news articles shown in the above tweet:

Fauntroy cited a 1973 story in the Washington Star-News reporting the CIA “had some 40 journalists as undercover contacts.”

“One of those identified has been assigned to cover our committee. I want to know if any of the other 39 are covering our committee,” said Fauntroy.

The journalist cited by Fauntroy was Jeremiah O’Leary, a reporter for the Star. The newspaper said he was not paid by the CIA but only passed on information he picked up during foreign assignments.

My spidey sense went off when I read the last sentence. I hope he was okay:

O’Leary is presently recovering in hospital from a heart attack.

That said, note that a Jerry O’Leary from the Star was in contact with the CIA as per the aforementioned Operation Mockingbird excerpt from Wikipedia regarding the status in 1953. Jeremiah — Jerry? Same journalist?

It is peculiar that the links between the CIA and media supposedly ended before the House Select Committee on Assassinations convened, yet the same issues were still being reported.

This final post on Lee Harvey Oswald discusses his time in New Orleans in 1963.

It really does seem as if he was an intelligence agency asset. It was also easy for the US government to paint him as a pro-Castro communist. The following information explains why.

Two blog posts which appeared in 2016 discuss the organisation Oswald was involved with, Fair Play for Cuba.

My post yesterday, citing an article from The Independent which provided information from author Jefferson Morley, discussed Oswald final months in more detail.

The Independent‘s article states that, when he returned from the Soviet Union (emphases mine):

Oswald then spent much of 1963 with hardcore anti-communists in New Orleans, such as CIA pilot David Ferrie and ex-FBI turned private eye Guy Banister. Both were involved in anti-Castro ops, as unearthed by the Garrison investigation. Then Oswald was integrated into the White Russian exile community in Dallas. As Oliver Stone points out in his magnum opus JFK, this was a strange way for a Marxist to spend his spare time.

Who was Guy Banister?

Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen wrote an interesting article, accompanied by photos, early in April 2016. He tells us (bold emphasis in the original, those in purple mine):

Guy Banister Associates was located on the ground floor of the Newman Building at 5312 Lafayette Street while Oswald’s “pro-Castro” Fair Play for Cuba Committee was located around the corner but on the ground floor of the same building but with an address of 544 Camp Street. Banister was a retired FBI agent who continued to carry out tasks for the bureau and the CIA. The Newman Building housed a number of anti-Castro groups, including the Cuban Revolutionary Council, Crusade to Free Cuba Committee, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, and Friends of Democratic Cuba.

On May 15, 2016, Hang The Bankers posted on the same story. That article says the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (emphases mine):

was a CIA front group since most of the people associated with the organization in New Orleans, including Oswald, had all worked for the CIA in some capacity.

Madsen has a photo of one of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee pamphlets that Oswald used to hand out in the summer of 1963. At the bottom is stamped his name and address.

On August 9, Oswald was arrested. Madsen tells us:

he got into what is considered to have been a “staged” fight with anti-Castro Cuban activist and lawyer Carlos Bringuier. Before Oswald’s very public fight with Bringuier and Oswald’s subsequent arrest, the ex-Marine offered to help the DRE train its commandos to fight against the Castro government in Cuba

On August 9, 1963, Oswald was found guilty of disturbing the peace and he was fined 10 dollars. It is known that Oswald worked with Bringuier and Clay Shaw in anti-Castro activities linked to the CIA. Bringuier’s Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE), an anti-Castro organization, used the same 544 Camp Street address as Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Moreover, Bringuier had in his possession Oswald’s personal copy of the book, Guidebook for Marines.

From that information, we can see it was easy for the government to spin Oswald’s work for them, flipping it against him. All the government had to say for the public to believe them was that Oswald was a Communist who had defected to the Soviet Union and returned to work for a pro-Castro organisation.

The takeaway here is the tricks government officials can use to present their story. The same thing is no doubt happening in Las Vegas with the Mandalay Bay massacre.

The official line from the Warren Commission is that Lee Harvey Oswald shot John F Kennedy.

Yet, since then, it seems probable that more shooters were involved.

Until — if — we ever find out more, we really do not know who Oswald was. The Independent had a good article on a Cuban living in the United States, now aged 88, who probably met Oswald not long before the assassination. The first part of the article is about him. Then it turns to Oswald, with information provided by Jefferson Morley, a journalist who has written several books about the personalities involved.

Morley’s books include CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files (2016) and The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton (2017). Morley also edits the website JFKFacts.org.

The Independent says:

Morley, based in Washington, points out that we now know a cadre of CIA officers, including the “protean” James Jesus Angleton (chief of CIA counter-intelligence 1954-75), had a pre-assassination interest in Oswald.

Along with Angleton was former CIA director Richard Helms. Both denied knowledge of Oswald.

On Monday, I posted about the possibility that Oswald was a CIA asset, based on a 1975 memo that gave a potted history of his work for the agency, from his training through his time in the Soviet Union to his return to the United States. The memo says that Oswald became unreliable, even for smaller assignments.

Morley’s research, as revealed by The Independent, showed that (emphases mine):

These CIA officers had what Morley describes as a “granular” knowledge of the beliefs, movements and history of the alleged assassin, going back at least to his time as an apparent “defector” to the Soviet Union. In fact, as Morley emphasises, the information pertaining to Oswald all went back to Angleton’s office rather than representing a failure to connect the dots.

Younger readers should bear in mind that, at the time of JFK’s assassination, the Cold War was in full flow and the US was also trying to overthrow Castro in Cuba.

Therefore, it seems strange that Oswald could marry a Russian and be able to bring her back to the United States, no questions asked:

Oswald’s biography poses the thorniest questions for the official version. The presidential assassin was immediately portrayed as a fanatical communist. Yet if this was the case, then it is difficult to explain away his return to the US with no questions asked following his defection to the Soviet Union. In fact, not only did the State department hand back his passport, but it gave him a loan to facilitate his settling down.

That would not have happened to an ordinary citizen.

When Oswald returned to the United States, he was placed with anti-Communists:

Oswald then spent much of 1963 with hardcore anti-communists in New Orleans, such as CIA pilot David Ferrie and ex-FBI turned private eye Guy Banister. Both were involved in anti-Castro ops, as unearthed by the Garrison investigation. Then Oswald was integrated into the White Russian exile community in Dallas. As Oliver Stone points out in his magnum opus JFK, this was a strange way for a Marxist to spend his spare time.

Weeks before the assassination, Oswald travelled to Mexico City:

Oswald apparently travelled to both the Cuban and Russian embassies in the Mexican capital, and failed to obtain a visa for travel to Cuba and onwards to the Soviet Union. He supposedly met with Valery Kostikov, who just happened to be a KGB assassinations agent.

Again, seeking to get to Cuba, then the Soviet Union, would have been highly suspect in that era unless facilitated. An ordinary American attempting that would have been trailed by the authorities and arrested.

The CIA muddied the waters over Oswald’s trip:

the photographs from their round-the-clock surveillance of the embassies were of another man. The official excuse was that the cameras were either turned off or not working. Furthermore, taped recordings of Oswald’s phone conversations were conveniently destroyed.

The Independent says:

It seems more plausible that Oswald was a CIA asset, starting with his stationing at the Atsugi base in Japan, from where the top secret U2 spy planes originated. It appears that his mission to the USSR saw him being dangled as part of Angleton’s hunt for a KGB mole at the highest levels of the CIA.

We cannot even be sure about his role before the assassination took place:

Was he even being asked to penetrate an assassination plot on the President in an effort to sabotage it?

It would make sense for the US government to say that Oswald was a rabid Communist in order to:

pin the blame on Castro and the Soviets, in an attempt to catalyse long-sought-after regime change in Cuba.

That probably-falsified portrait of Oswald made it easier for the American public to accept the horrifying event of November 22, 1963. Everyone could then say, ‘Well, he was anti-American’.

President Lyndon Johnson was also keen for tidy closure:

The ingenuity here is that the same logic was used to close down investigation channels; with Lyndon Johnson in effect tasked Chief Justice Earl Warren’s eponymous commission to arrive at the conclusion of a “lone nut” assassin.

However, there was something much deeper:

Based on Hoover’s confidential disclosures of Oswald’s trip to the Soviet embassy in Mexico, the morning after the assassination, Johnson believed that a wide-ranging investigation could trigger a third world war.

The 1,100+ documents in the JFK files that are being held back until April 2018 are said to name people who are still alive, as Fox News pointed out on Thursday, October 26, when Trump authorised the release of approximately 2,800 documents, which are available on the National Archives site.

For now, there is no smoking gun.

Along with many others, I do not hold out much hope that, even in April, we will find out much more about the mystery that was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Yesterday’s post began a series on the JFK files, in particular, those released on October 26 and on July 24, 2017.

One of the questions still outstanding concerns Lee Harvey Oswald having been a CIA asset. Part of this 1975 memo was released last week:

Tantalisingly, that memo stops on page 4 with this question:

MR. BELIN: Is there any information involved with the assassination of President Kennedy which in any way shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was in some way a CIA agent or an agency …

A decade earlier, in 1964, then-CIA director John McCone sent a memo to the US Secret Service chief James J. Rowley about Oswald. This is the first page, courtesy of The Conservative Treehouse:

You can read the full document and a 2004 analysis from Walt Brown here. Excerpts and a summary follow. Emphases mine below.

First, these are the paragraphs highlighted above:

In response to the request made by your office on 24 February 1964 re: Lee Oswald’s activities and assignments on behalf of this agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, there follows a narrative summary of the internal subversive activities of the Oswald subject.

Oswald subject was trained by this agency, under cover of the Office of Naval Intelligence, for Soviet assignments. During preliminary training, in 1957, subject was active in aerial reconnaissance of mainland China and maintained a security clearance up to the “confidential” level. His military records during this period are open to your agency and I have directed they be forwarded to the Commission.

Secondly, the memo provides more details about Oswald. It states that he was trained ‘at our own Camp Peary site’ in 1957 and 1958. He was sent to the Soviet Union in 1959, near Minsk:

It would not be advantageous at this time to divulge the specifics of that assignment; however, if you wish this information, it can be made available for your personal inspection within the confines of our own offices, or I can send it by courier on the condition that it not leave the custody of the courier. I am concerned that if this information were in any way disclosed to the wrong persons, it would lead the media to erroneously claim this agency, and perhaps others, were directly involved in the Dallas action. While the persons involved were in the employ of this agency, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it is virtually impossible for this or any agency to maintain full, 24-hours-a-day responsibility over its operatives.

In 1961, Oswald was hospitalised in Minsk for a routine operation. The memo states that he should have been there for only three days. Instead, he was there 11 days. McCone says that Oswald might have undergone some type of chemical or electronic control while in hospital. Six days after his release he met his future wife, Marina Prusakova. At the time McCone sent the memo, he had not yet received an intelligence report he had requested from the CIA’s Soviet Embassy contact about Marina Oswald.

McCone’s memo states that Oswald became unstable after his release from hospital and subsequent marriage to Marina. He was of no further significant use to the CIA. He returned to the United States with Marina:

After his return to the U.S., Oswald worked in New Orleans through the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean and Friends of Democratic Cuba; his case officer was SAIC Guy Bannister from the Chicago F131 office. He was transferred from his assignments there after he was arrested and fined stemming from an incident of his distribution of pamphlets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. While our files here show no flirther [sic] assignments or contact, I am requesting an (xx) check on the subject from our New Orleans and Ft. Worth offices.

By the time of Kennedy’s assassination:

the Oswald subject was only (xxxx xx) in our employ … He was provided with a few unimportant infiltration assignments and proved of little or no value. It is possible that Oswald, given his instability, might have been involved in some operation involving [Teamsters head Jimmy] Hoffa, as noted in SAIC Bertram’s report to your agency dated 1/3/64. Mr. [J Edgar] Hoover advises that his agency [the FBI] is trying to determine whether Hoffa might have been involved laterally or vertically with the Dallas assassination I have advised that I would be interested in seeing the results of that investigation.

Yesterday’s post mentions that Hoffa was planning to travel to Puerto Rico for a trial involving the union there.

After the assassination, the organiser for Local 901 in Puerto Rico, Miguel Cruz said:

Now that we’ve taken care of President Kennedy, we’ll have no trouble in taking over things.

In his analysis, which follows the text of the memo, Walt Brown lays out all the reasons for and against the authenticity of this document.

Supporting the case ‘for’, Brown tells us the wording sounds agency-like: ‘subject Oswald’, ‘Dallas action’ (instead of ‘Kennedy assassination’):

So, it reads extremely accurately. I’d expand that thought and append, again using only logic and circumstance, and suggest that if someone wanted to make this up, “nobody is that good.” I’ve had the good fortune to meet some brilliant people who have dedicated decades of their lives to getting to the bottom of the “Dallas action,” and I truly believe that none of them — and I mean to clearly include myself in the noting of the inability — to be good enough to put together a document in this way. It touches on just enough — Hoffa, LHO going to the USSR (although the Minsk purpose is more ‘secret’ than the fact that Oswald was a CIA agent — were Russian radios that important, or did Oswald actually photograph Russian military installations?) — the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, and the “Sweatt” information — unstated, but it was Deputy Sheriff Alan Sweatt who released the information that Oswald was a paid FBI informant, using the designation S-179.

I just can’t imagine even the most talented researcher/critic being able to put together something as clear and uncontrived as this document.

Supporting the case ‘against’, Brown points out that there are none of the characteristic agency markings on the document, e.g. an ‘X’, date stamps, initials. The fact that it is marked ‘Confidential’ instead of ‘Top Secret’ or in an agency-like way throws up another red flag. Also curious is that it is from the CIA to the Secret Service.

This could be a real memo or a fabricated one. Brown concludes:

“Is it real?” The question is a very valid one.

Perhaps something about this will emerge between now and April 2018.

Tomorrow’s post looks at an FBI memo stating that Oswald was not part of their team.

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump authorised the release of approximately 2,800 documents concerning the assassination of John F Kennedy. These are available on the National Archives site.

Over 1,000 documents are pending review, being withheld for up to six months, as they are sensitive either to national security or persons who are still alive. The White House announcement stated (emphases mine):

The remaining records will be released with agency-proposed redactions on a rolling basis in the coming weeks. The President has demanded unprecedented transparency from the agencies and directed them to minimize redactions without delay. The National Archives will therefore release more records, with redactions only in the rarest of circumstances, by the deadline of April 26, 2018.

Many people have wondered if this was the right time. This date was mandated by the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, signed into law on October 26, 1992, in the last few months of Bush I’s (George Herbert Walker Bush’s) presidency. Wikipedia tells us:

The Act requires that each assassination record be publicly disclosed in full and be made available in the collection no later than the date that is 25 years after the date of enactment of the Act (which was October 26, 2017), unless the President of the United States certifies that: (1) continued postponement is made necessary by an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations; and (2) the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

It is worth remembering that Bush I was CIA director under Ronald Reagan. He is probably the only person alive who knows what actually happened on November 22, 1963. It is ironic that the act passed under his administration, however, the year before — 1991 — Oliver Stone’s JFK was shown in cinemas around the world. It posited that the CIA and FBI conspired to assassinate Kennedy. The influence of Stone’s film was huge:

The final report of the Act’s Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) partially credited the conclusions in Oliver Stone‘s 1991 film JFK with the passage of the Act.[2]

The day the files were released, The Guardian published an article by Philip Shenon, a former Washington and foreign correspondent for the New York Times, who wrote A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination. Excerpts from ‘Files will shed light on a JFK shooting conspiracy – but not the one you think’ follow.

I was a young child when the assassination occurred. Unlike Bush I, who seems to be the only American who does not remember what he was doing when he heard the news, I recall exactly where I was. I also remember the cast of characters that poured out of the woodwork in the months that followed. My parents and their friends spent a lot of time talking about these people popping up in the news.

The Warren Commission did not clear anything up. This is why the conspiracy theory has persisted. We are now getting some answers, thanks to President Trump’s authorisation. As Philip Shenon notes:

The authors of the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Collection Act said they were alarmed, in particular, by the cloud of suspicion kicked up by Stone’s film

Thanks to other files that the US government has declassified over the years, people discovered that a cover up started almost immediately:

The first act came on Sunday 24 November, the day [Jack] Ruby gunned down [Lee Harvey] Oswald at Dallas police headquarters, when an FBI agent in the bureau’s field office across town was ordered to destroy a threatening handwritten note that Oswald had hand-delivered to the office earlier that month – apparently a protest over the FBI’s aggressive surveillance of his family.

Shenon tells us what happened to the note:

the agent took the note into the men’s room, tore it into pieces and flushed it down the toilet. Years later, the agent admitted to congressional investigators that he and his supervisor had panicked at the thought that the note would been seen as proof that that the FBI had botched the opportunity to save the president’s life.

Details surrounding the assassination have tied people in knots for 54 years. But Shenon says those are nothing compared to:

the well-documented, proven conspiracy within the highest reaches of the US government – a criminal conspiracy from the start, involving the destruction of top-secret documents and photographs, the silencing of witnesses and whistleblowers, and the wholesale suborning of perjury – to cover up the truth about what the government had known in advance about Oswald and the clear threat he had posed to one man: President Kennedy.

The word “cover-up” is not hyperbole. Remarkably enough, it is the word that the CIA itself applies to what happened immediately after the assassination. In a once-classified internal report that became public in 2014, the spy agency’s in-house historian acknowledged that the CIA had engaged in a “cover-up” (albeit a “benign cover-up”, he insisted) to hide evidence from the Warren commission and later government investigations. The cover-up was intended to keep investigators focused exclusively on evidence that proved “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing Kennedy”.

Shenon looked into what the Warren Commission did:

I was saddened and surprised by a central conclusion that I reached by the end of my research: the Kennedy assassination did not have to happen. It could have been prevented – easily – if the CIA and FBI had just acted on the intelligence in their own files in November 1963. Yes, Oswald was a violent, delusional misfit. But he was not the pure “lone wolf” portrayed by the initial government accounts of the assassination – the image that the government was desperate to present after Kennedy’s murder, since it suggested nothing could have been done to stop him.

He tells us:

Both agencies had strong reason to believe that Oswald, a self-proclaimed Marxist who had years of rifle practice in the Marine Corps, would be a danger when Kennedy’s motorcade passed through Dallas on 22 November 1963.

Shenon’s position on Oswald and the shooting is more or less along government lines. He thinks that it was a ‘horrifying coincidence’ that Oswald just happened to be a rather new employee at the Texas School Book Depository.

Shenon says it is distressing that the agencies did not act on the information they had on Oswald. Yet, JFK said he wanted to break the CIA into ‘a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds’. My post the other day discussed other aspects of what was going on in Washington DC at the time, including the scandals surrounding Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was close to being indicted. JFK planned to drop him from his re-election ticket in 1964.

The KGB thought that LBJ was behind the assassination:

Unions did not seem too fond of JFK. One of the released documents is a communication dated November 26, 1963, concerning union officials in San Juan, Puerto Rico (full version here). It reads in part:

Ana Maria Del Valle, Secretary – Treasurer, HRWU, was approached by Miguel Cruz, Organizer for Local 901, Teamsters Union (TU), who made a statement “Now that we’ve taken care of President Kennedy, we’ll have no trouble in taking over things.”

… Details: at SJ, PR. Possible connection between Jack Ruby and Teamsters Union (TU).

An FBI memo from May 1963 states that a trial involving a union took place there. Jimmy Hoffa, head of the Teamsters at the time, was going to sit in and had made hotel reservations.

I will post more on the JFK files — past and present releases — this week.

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