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Friday, February 2, 2018

The Release of the MemWow

I have now read the famous heretofore highly classified memo produced by the Republican staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes. Below I provide a few of my initial reactions to the memo.

I have REFUSED to read or listen to any and all other analyses prior to this posting. I don't want to be influenced. I want to react to it as I would to any other classified memo I would have received during my career in the State Department. I will read and listen other analyses later, and perhaps adjust my own.

There is no reason, in my view, of course, for this memo to have been classified at the "Top Secret" level; that's way over classification. This memo should rate no more than a "Secret" or even perhaps more appropriate a "Confidential" rating. No sensitive methods are discussed in the memo or damaged by its release; no sensitive sources are named in the memo or blown by its release.  This is not a TS document. The causing of embarrassment to certain individuals or institutions if the memo went public is not justification for a TS label.

The memo is well-written but too short.  The information it mentions needs considerably more discussion and investigation. A great deal of "good" stuff got left in the ink well.

That said, this memo is devastating to the whole Russia collusion narrative. It also provides a very disturbing glimpse into an FBI and a DOJ gone amok and fully involved in affecting the electoral process to ensure the victory of Hillary Clinton. There is no way around that. The FBI and the DOJ, and perhaps other intel and law enforcement agencies, are shown as politically motivated, and willing to subvert the rule of law in the pursuit of the objectives of their political bosses. That is outrageous, and those organizations need a thorough purge.

I find extremely disturbing that the FBI acknowledged that the author of the infamous GPS Fusion "Dossier" on Trump, ex-British intel officer Steele, was minimally reliable, that the FBI had not corroborated the Dossier, and yet, "Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information." It gets worse. It seems Steele had been briefing certain journalists on his "findings" and the FBI and DOJ used those press reports in their filing with the court as validation for the information in the dossier. Another outrage.

The memo seems to confirm what I speculated nearly a year ago,
The Dems claim that Trump is in bed with the Russians; Trump denies it and countercharges that the Dems had him under surveillance. We have here a problem. If the Dems have official intel on Trump's connections with Russia, how did they get it? Presumably from the official intel services which then it would appear were monitoring Russian contacts with Trump's people. If there was no surveillance order given to US intel, from where did the intel on Russian contacts come? The British is apparently the Trump answer. I have a more plausible one. I think there was surveillance of Russian activity, probably by the NSA, and it found nothing to show that Trump had contacts with the Russians; the Obamistas and the Clintonistas then made up the accounts of Russian interference. In other words, they lied. That's the most charitable explanation I can develop. There, of course, are harsher ones which I hope are not accurate, ones that would show, once again, Obama's misuse of the nation's intel and enforcement capabilities.
The Dems made the whole thing up, paid somebody to write a fake dossier, got the FBI to employ that same somebody (Steele), and then got DOJ to go to the courts with the fake dossier as a justification for spying on the Trump campaign.

The Dems, including, of course, the reprehensible Obama misadministration, used our government agencies as their personal hit-men and shredded the Constitutional protections we all should enjoy.




35 comments:

  1. "The memo is well-written but too short."

    I somewhat disagree, there's that rebuttal memorandum coming out and, to take from an old fishing adage, "pay a little line out and then ..."

    Somewhat tangentially I see McCain's fired a torpedo to which I'd reply, "Well he would wouldn't he":

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/how-the-explosive-russian-dossier-was-compiled-christopher-steele

    JK

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  2. Now we understand why J.Edgar Comey advised the President why it would not be in his interest to investigate the provenance of the Steele memo when he was still running the FBI.

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  3. I am most amused by Nancy Pelosi crying about a constitutional crisis. She is right of course if she is talking about events 1-2 years past.

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  4. So.. either the Clinton campaign was directing the FBI's investigation, or the FBI was effectively phished/trolled by the Clinton campaign?
    I mean.. it's a pretty lame attempt... the "steele did it" narrative isn't worth much.
    First I've heard of an associate deputy attorney general being involved. I assume that title isn't handed out like a 'junior fireman' sticker at a county fair?

    - reader #1482

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    1. so this steele guy trolled mccain.. the FBI.. and even comey himself.. I just can't imagine that would all be unwilling... I can kind of understand McCain trying to save his party from Trump... it's a loyalist thing to do... not something I appreciate.. but I can see how someone would do that in the face of an organization's external takeover by someone hostile to their traditional values.. whatever they were... (always kinda confused me, I'm guessing the previous GOP-values was "being the conservatives that the progressive media would accept")

      -reader #1482

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    2. Well #1482 while it may be accurate to conclude from that Vanity Fair link posted above "So this Steele guy trolled McCain" it isn't necessarily that, at that specific point in time, he also trolled the FBI and/or even Comey. The narrative as outlined by the article's author Howard Blum seems cementing only that Mr. McCain himself initiated the trolling of those subsequent. Excerpting from below the article's "Moscow Rules" heading about two thirds down:

      "On a bright autumn weekend in late November in Nova Scotia, about 300 deep thinkers—a collection of academics, government officials, corporate executives, and journalists from 70 countries—settled in for a couple of ruminative days at the annual Halifax International Security Forum. ... It was at some point in this busy weekend that Senator John McCain and David J. Kramer, a former State Department official whose bailiwick was Russia and who now toils at Arizona State University’s Washington-based McCain Institute for International Leadership, found themselves huddling with Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Russia. ... Had Sir Andrew arrived in Halifax on his own covert mission? Was it just an accident that his conversation with Senator McCain happened to meander its way to the findings in Steele’s memos?"

      "[A]ll that can be firmly established is that McCain and Kramer listened with a growing attentiveness to Sir Andrew’s summary of what was purportedly in these reports—and the two men came to realize they had to see them with their own eyes. Kramer, the good soldier, volunteered to retrieve them. ... [A]bout a week later, using a ticket purchased with miles from his own account, Kramer flew out of Washington and landed early the next morning at Heathrow. [After]Kramer engaged in an exchange of word code Steele whisked him off in a Land Rover to the security of his house in Surrey. ... Steele passed him his report. Was this the identical 35-page memo making the rounds among reporters? Or, as some intelligence analysts believe, a longer document. ... Neither McCain nor Kramer would comment."

      "On December 9, McCain sat in the office of F.B.I. director James Comey and, with no other aides present, handed him the typed pages that could bring about the downfall of a president. Afterward, the senator would issue a statement that amounted to little more than a hapless shrug, and a disingenuous one to boot: he had been “unable to make a judgment about their accuracy” and so he’d simply passed them on."

      Maybe #1482 - the Dems in their rebuttal'll do us the kindness of explaining all that?

      I won't be holding my breath though and I'd advise you don't either.

      JK

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  5. Remember when Trump said that Obama was "tapping" his campaign? He was mocked and ridiculed by the MSM (inc. low IQ Mika and Banjo Boy). Now that he has been proven correct, will these trolls eat their words?
    I can't remember where I first saw it (here?), but the real hero here was the NSA chief, Admiral Rogers, who gave Trump the news that he was being surveilled. A nd so Trump moved his campaign operation to his NJ golf club. Is Rogers still alive? Or did he have an Arkansas accident?

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  6. I wonder if they found Trump campaign info that they then turned over to the Hillaryites to help in her campaign. That would seem to have been the initial motivation for the illegal surveillance. Who knows how long it was going on. Perhaps long before the first FISA application. The supposed Russian connection was just an excuse, but once she lost, Podesta and other DNC masterminds decided to try to damage Trump by claiming "collusion"--whatever that is--with Russia.

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  7. Two Keynotes I took from the memo.
    1. The Dossier was actually used as evidence 4 separate times. First to get the initial Warrant, then three more times to renew the warrant. Looking at the signatories validating the integrity of the evidence (including the dossier) through the 4 separate approvals were Comey, McCabe, Yates, and Rosenstein. They all lied to the Court in regards to the evidence to support the Warrant Request.
    2. Text evidence indicates that McCabe was including in at least one meeting to discuss strategies and actions should Trump become President. McCabe, the #2 person at the FBI, neither reported nor took action on Senior Government Officials conspiring to undermine a duly elected POTUS. McCabe. At best he was incompetent in understanding the magnitude of what was being discussed. At worst, and more likely, he was complicit in creating a coup against a POTUS. This also explains his rather sudden retirement plans being bumped up...though he likely needs to Lawyer Up else his future retirement home may be in Leavenworth Kansas.

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  8. Ponder this... what are the odds this was the first time this cabal pulled something like this? We know the FISA program had systemic abuse.. that's already out there. The DOJ IG report is due soon and it will likely be even more explosive. Odds are, this goes to show a very corrupt and ethically challenged DOJ, FBI, State and WH. I predict it's going to be a mess, with lots of rocks they just aren't going to want to turn over. Constitutional crisis. Sedition. Treason. Bad stuff.. and a compliant media that has purposely sold themselves to further the narrative they need to... and looked the other way or buried stories deemed unhelpful to the cause.

    Good summation Diplo.. appreciate your analysis w/o reading other stuff first.

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    1. There is no doubt that this kind of abuse was already common. You can't get otherwise honest people to all agree on a coup that requires this level of complexity from multiple agencies as a first time thing. They all knew who could be counted on for what because they'd been doing it for years.

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    2. Paul Ryan's sudden support for the Nunes effort makes me wonder if he has had a revelation concerning his 2012 run w Romney. Perhaps some odd things happened around their strategies being blown up that now make sense to him?

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  9. Has anyone thought about this, maybe this whole "thing" about the memo was cover for the IG report? It got everyone to talking especially the Left, who may have used all of their arguments publicly and so are are easy to predict. I feel that Trump and the "Whitehouse " were strangely quiet and low key throughout this tending to defer to Congress.

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    1. I think Trump needs this to be a Congressional action. Anything he does, he's "obstructing justice" by "trying to interfere with Mueller investigation."

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  10. Imo, because this is !imitted to Fisa warrant, media and Dems will successfully spin this as corrupt, partisan use by GOP of House to try to derail Mueller investgation. Rest of Obama corruption, i.e., the illegal unmasking of individuals and illegal NSA 702 database queries and spying, needs to be made highly public ASAP.

    Best web site over last year for following players and developments in whole co!lusion/Obama spying/Mueller saga:

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com

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  11. On a side note, as someone holding a TS/SCI clearance from my submarine work, I agree the security markings on this memo are way over done.
    "Top Secret shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe."
    I see nothing in this memo that warrants such dire consequences. I suspect either Congress over-classifies stuff to smooth their own over-inflated egos of the work they do, or the markings were set as a potential political trap that can be pointed to down the road of how the current Administration is frivolous with such sensitive information.
    FWIW, Confidential may be the right level...but I could argue a case to take it down to For Official Use Only (FOUO) also. While Politically damaging to a certain Party, I see nothing that would harm the US if improperly released.

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    1. Hmmm. just an idle thought. The Democrats are making their own version of a counter memo. They say it includes other evidence not in the current memo and will cast doubt on the Nunes memo. I can only assume that it too would have to have the same TS/NOFORN security classification...meaning any Democrat who leaks it to the NYT is subject to a 10,000 dollar fine and 10 years in prison for disclosing classified information.

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    2. We've witnessed have we not KellyJ, the utter hysteria Trump's managed with his Tweets to incite the Dems totally overboard?

      I'm betting that, what with all the "going overboards" that the run-up to this day's release baited (fishing adage again sorry) the Dems into a, hmmm do forgive me please, premature ejaculation of their highly publicized ten (10) pages which has in turn, pushed the Dem-media-wing into the apoplexy we're witnessing this very moment?

      And that ten paged rebuttal probably/hopefully is by this time, "locked in."

      Be interesting to see if Schiff attempts to do what he accused Nunes of doing ... substantially editing.

      Thing is though, Nunes needn't have. Schiff likely does.

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    3. KellyJ?

      Here's the January 28th Intel Committee meeting transcript from which, I (sort of) understood that the rebuttal was "set to go/set in stone."

      https://lawfareblog.com/transcript-house-intelligence-committee-meeting-regarding-nunes-memo

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    4. Thanks, both Dip and KellyJ, for your opinions on the classification. I know nothing about how those classifications are made, but on first reading, I thought it seems nutty to have something so minor covered under "Top Secret". I can see where the guilty parties would have wanted it so, but not otherwise. Maybe it is just that they have gone so far with their secrets they think everything has to be hidden.

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    5. Regarding level of classification, my guess it that it was classified at that level as a way of controlling access and reducing the chance of spillage, not because the info contained in it was particularly sensitive. TS/NoForn would be held in a SCIF with few copies and those copies tightly managed. Secret significantly less so, and Confidential would virtually guarantee someone would leak it.

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  12. Sundance at TCH notes an important distinction in the FISA provisions:
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/02/inside-the-hpsci-memo-a-key-distinction-being-conflated-title-i-vs-title-vii/

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  13. Suppose you are MI6. The Foreign Office explains that it is unhappy that Obama, whom they thoroughly disliked, is going to be replaced by Heilary, whom ditto. What weapon can MI6 suggest that would give the FO some purchase on Heilary when she is President? A discussion ensues that agrees that her weak points are (i) her dishonesty and taste for playing dirty, and (ii) her irrational fear that she might lose to the absurd Trump. Thus the plot: she'll be supplied with a load of twaddle about Russia and Trump, she'll exploit it, and when she takes office her misbehaviour will be known to the FO, supported by conclusive evidence. The FO can then choose either to use the info against Heilary (or threaten to do so), or try to curry favour with Heilary by virtue of Steele's role.

    Remember that MI6 knows lots about Heilary because of her absurd lack of care of the confidentiality of her server; they can no doubt read her every e-mail and every text. Perhaps they can record virtually every telephone conversation. Maybe they have their own humint people in her campaign.


    What could go wrong?

    Answer: Trump could win.

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    1. P.S. Or maybe it was a Mossad plot, dressed up to look like an MI6 plot? That would be even better.

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  14. Notably absent from the memo coverage I have read is one name: Loretta Lynch.

    It has become clear (if not documented) over time that she was a completely bought-in stooge of Obama. She instructed the supposedly virtuous James Comey to refer to the Hillary investigation as a "matter." She attempted to confer secretly with Bill Clinton in Arizona, and then delivered a thoroughly unconvincing account of their meeting once it was exposed.

    If Comey rolled over meekly when his attorney general told him to euphemize the Hillary probe, who knows what else he did at her behest (besides start drafting his exoneration statement long before the investigation was completed)? And from what we've learned about his underlings, the current at the top levels of the FBI and DOJ certainly flowed in the stop-Trump-at-all-costs direction.

    So if the FBI delivered a crazily misleading request to the FISA court, who ultimately authorized it? I think we all know, even if we can't prove it yet.

    The only puzzler in all this is Comey's announcement days before the election that the Hillary email investigation was being reopened. Maybe that action had consequences, since the announcement that there was nothing new there came just a few days later.

    Considering how thoroughly the FBI reputedly looks into such things, I find that implausible, since all of Huma Abedin's emails on Anthony Wiener's computer couldn't possibly have been reviewed and evaluated in so little time.

    Yet Comey, who was the Democrats' public enemy No. 1 for supposedly causing Hillary's defeat, somehow became a hero of the Left once Trump fired him -- something Trump should have done the day after his inauguration.

    At the nexus of all this, however, is not Loretta Lynch but Barack Obama. Of course bringing up his name is impossible in today's media environment. And so far there's no unambiguously smoking gun. But he weaponized the IRS, he weaponized the EPA, he weaponized the DOS, he weaponized the FCC, he weaponized pretty much any agency that might be employed against his ideological enemies.

    So it's a fair bet that he did the same with the DOJ and FBI.

    It might take a decade or two, but the truth will eventually come out. And by releasing the memo, Devin Nunes and House Republicans may have taken the first step down that long road.

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    1. HarryBro,
      Not only Lynch, but also Obama himself. Remember he was "rested and ready to go", also the big deal about the "house" to be shared with Jarrett, now nothing. Biden nothing, Lynch's predecessor nothing, Clapper nothing, Brennan nopthing. It's almost like they are hoping this will go no farther than Comey etc.

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    2. It has been reported by various right-wing sources plugged into the NYPD and the NY FBI Field Office that the Comey "puzzler", i.e. reopening the Hillary email investigation on 10/28/2016, was done to forestall an NYPD leak of information about Weiner's laptop to the press. Apparently Comey relayed an extremely sanitized version of events to forestall this leak. And then claimed there was nothing new found only three days later.

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    3. Hope everything about Obummer also gets unearthed and how this illegal pawn was installed. Also McCain’s involvement, not himself being eligible to run (Panama born) and never to raise a peep about his rival on that. In addition, stolen SS from CT, photoshopped birth document and switched HI birth index numbers, missing US entry passenger lists from Africa 1961... A lot of excavation left.

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    4. nsc,
      Commenting as an armchair critic (such as myself) is pretty easy, but that would be a pretty bush league move by Comey. And if I remember correctly you are right.

      Delete
  15. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-29/european-pipeline-wars-realpolitik-meets-geography
    So happy to read that the crazy "Russia collusion" narrative might finally fall apart. It would mean a lot to Europe, well, to the entire world. European countries would not have to put up with this dangerous but idiotic Washington-charade but could go about their businesses in the open. Take a look at the linked article. Russian Gazprom delivered record amounts of gas to Europe 2017 despite the rethorics, it is expected to deliver even more 2018. Germany will not allow this to stop.
    Russia is our neighbor, we must have good relations with this country. The great Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck understood this. His policy was to avoid war, he said " preemptive war is like committing suicide for fear of death". And he said ; " The secret of politics ? Make a good treaty with Russia". Neocons in Washington, please read some history.
    Swedish lady

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    1. Good points all. Thanks for this perspective!

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  16. It is possible that Trump's comment during the election - "lock her up!" may have put the establishment into hyperdrive; looking into HRC would have also exposed Obama his many enablers. Can't let that happen..

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  17. Heh.. media in overdrive attempting to counter this 'memo':
    "Nunes memo fails to make legal case against the FBI"

    "The FBI" cannot be charged with a crime. There is no 'legal' case to be made about this. If anything, it's a constitutional crisis to have an organization within the executive branch openly opposing the President.
    These are interesting times.

    - reader #1482

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  18. I am old enough to remember that the head of the IRS refused to allow his agency to be weaponized against Richard Nixon's political opponents. Indeed, trying to turn federal agencies into partisan political weapons was #2 on the charges for which Nixon would have been impeached had he not resigned.

    Nothing more is needed to convince me that the O and Shrillary Shroooo were criminals who needed to be kept as far away from the levers of political influence as possible. This FISA business convinces me that a lot of heads from DoJ and FBI need to [figuratively] roll.

    I voted for Trump with extreme reluctance, and had I known he'd lose my deep indigo state by such a huge margin, I would've gone for Castle of the Constitution Party. However, while I am still put off by Trump's persona and personal history, I will give him credit for making NorK, China, and Iran take notice that we are ready to defend ourselves; for making at least a few moves to drain the Washington Swamp; and for some good court appointments (both Supreme and lower). I will also give him credit for standing up to a very wide attempt at a coup based on false information. I am far sicker of the cheap shots of "racist" and "fascist" thrown at Trump than I am of his own crassness (and, Heaven knows, the Left has its own crowd of p#$$y-grabbers); and if the Left screams that America is going the way of old Rome, I'm more afraid we're going the way of ancient Canaan, Sodom, and Gomorrah. I pray God will be merciful on these poor, misled, and increasingly factious United States.

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  19. It doesn't warrant a confidential.

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